Is Linux Mint better than Ubuntu?

In today's open source roundup: Linux Mint versus Ubuntu. Plus: KDE releases Plasma 5.3. And screenshot tours of Debian 8 Cinnamon

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KDE releases Plasma 5.3

The KDE developers have been busy working on the next official release of the Plasma desktop, and it's now available for Linux users. For full details, see the official Plasma 5.3 changelog page.

The official KDE announcement has highlights of the Plasma 5.3 release:

Enhanced Power Management
Power management settings can be configured differently for certain activities
Laptop will not suspend when closing the lid while an external monitor is connected ('cinema mode', by default, can be turned off)
Power management inhibitions block lock screen too
Screen brightness changes are now animated on most hardware
No longer suspends when closing the lid while shutting down
Support for keyboard button brightness controls on lock screen
KInfoCenter provides statistics about energy consumption
Battery monitor now shows which applications are currently holding a power management inhibition for example ('Chrome is currently suppressing PM: Playing video')

Better Bluetooth Capabilities

New Bluetooth applet
Bluedevil was ported to a new library from KDE, BluezQt
Added support for blocking and unblocking Bluetooth
Connected devices with Browse Files (ObexFTP) support are now displayed in the file dialog's Places panel

Improved Plasma Widgets

Clipboard applet gains support for showing barcodes
The Desktop and Folder View containment codebases were unified, and have seen performance improvements
The Recent Documents and Recent Applications sections in Application Menu (Kicker) are now powered by KDE activities
Comics widget returns
System monitor plasmoids return, such as CPU Load Monitor and Hard Disk usage

Big Steps Towards Wayland Support

Plasma 5.3 makes a huge step towards to supporting the Wayland windowing system in addition to the default X11 windowing system. Plasma's window manager and compositor KWin is now able to start a nested XWayland server, which acts as a bridge between the old (X11) and the new (Wayland) world. X11 windows can connect to this server as if it were a normal X server, for KWin it looks like a Wayland window, though. This means that KWin learned to handle Wayland windows in this release, though full integration is only expected for Plasma 5.4.

In addition KWin gained new output modes for Wayland allowing to start a nested KWin on X11 and to start KWin directly on a framebuffer device, which will be the fallback for the case that OpenGL and/or kernel mode settings are not supported. A rendering backend on kernel mode settings is expected for Plasma 5.4. More information about these new backends and how to test them can be found in the KWin wiki pages. Please keep in mind that this is only a development preview and highly experimental new code.

More at KDE

Debian 8 screenshot tours

Debian 8 was just released, and now you can view screenshot tours of Debian 8 with the Cinnamon desktop. If you prefer, you can also check out a screencast of Debian 8 Cinnamon on Linux Screencasts.

Linux Screenshots has a full Debian screenshot tour:

After almost 24 months of constant development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 8 (code name 'Jessie'), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and of the Debian Long Term Support team.

The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system is called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short. Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel. Linux is a completely free piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. Of course, the thing that people want is application software: programs to help them get what they want to do done, from editing documents to running a business to playing games to writing more software. Debian comes with over 20,000 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine) - all of it free. It's a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel. On top of that are all the basic tools. Next is all the software that you run on the computer. At the top of the tower is Debian -- carefully organizing and fitting everything so it all works together.

More at Linux Screenshots

Softpedia also has a Live CD screenshot tour of Debian 8 Cinnamon:

As you might know, the Debian GNU/Linux 8.0 (Jessie) operating system has been announced on April 25, 2015, and it is the first ever release to include optional Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments that users can test via Live CDs.

As Cinnamon is one of my favorite desktop environments, which I currently use on an Arch Linux machine, I was tremendously curious to see what the Cinnamon setup looks like on the Debian 8 "Jessie" distribution.

More at Softpedia

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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