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August 12th, 2016

SUSE Apes Oracle, Lithuania Goes LibreOffice & More…

Also included: Fedora and RHEL working for better laptop support, one new distro release and All Things Open announces tentative schedule.

FOSS Week In Review

Look on the bright side. We’re a third of the way through August, meaning autumn is just around the corner. Also, Oracle’s still having trouble getting its cloud off the ground, but I’ll let the mainstream tech folks tell you about that. This is the FOSS roundup, after all…

Fedora logoBetter Fedora laptop support on the way: Red Hat has made an announcement that should eventually have a positive effect throughout all Linux distros. Today we learned from our good friends at Phoronix (I don’t actually know anyone there, but Larabel seems like a nice enough guy) that Red Hat is looking to hire a few good men…or women. They’re needed as an addition to the Red Hat Desktop Team, specifically to test laptops to make sure they’re all supported by Fedora and Red Hat. This is good news, because as far as giant corporations go, Red Hat is a pretty good open source citizen and I’m reasonably sure we can count on them to pass what they learn on to the greater community.

The new hires will be addressing desktop issues as well. “What we are looking for is people to help us ensure that Fedora and RHEL runs great on various desktop hardware, with a focus on laptops,” Red Hat’s Christian Schaller wrote in his blog.

Among the issues to be addressed, he mentions “driver bugs, battery life issues, implementing new stacks, biometric login and enabling existing features in the kernel or in low level libraries in the user interface.”

Anyone interested will need to be able to work in Munich, Germany. There’s complete information on a Red Hat Jobs page.

Lithuania goes LibreOffice: On Thursday we learned from our friends on the European Commission (I don’t know them either, but they run Europe so I might as well stay on their good side) that the Lithuanian police have made the switch to LibreOffice and already have it up and running on over 8,000 workstations. Evidently the switch from MS Office went smoothly, with very little push back from the rank and file.

“Once staff members realized the huge amounts of money we saved, they became open to change, and quickly adapted to using the LibreOffice word processor, spreadsheet, presentation application, its mathematics tool and database solution,” said Deputy Police Commissioner General D. Malaškevičius, who was in charge of the switch.

This story isn’t over yet. They’ve also started testing workstations running Ubuntu and might do away with Windows altogether.

Another day, another distro: ExLight Linux, a Live GNU/Linux distro based on Debian/Ubuntu and using the Enlightenment desktop has released build 160810 using a new kernel, 4.6.0-10-exlight, which is evidently based on the Linux 4.6.5 kernel.

Quick takes: It appears that SUSE and the OpenStack company Mirantis have teamed up to pull a play from the Oracle playbook. The deal brings full enterprise Linux support to Mirantis’s OpenStack customers which is not limited to SLED but includes full support for RHEL and CentOS. Maybe that plan will work better for them than it did for Oracle.

Parting shot: Our friends at the All Things Open conference (I do know these folks, and they are friends) have told us that they’s got v 1.0 of the 2016 schedule ready for viewing. It’s not set in stone yet and “will absolutely change as we move forward.” If what’s online now is any indication, there’s going to be quite a show in Raleigh this fall. It’s also going to be bigger than ever. Todd Lewis, the conference’s head honcho, told me this morning, “We have expanded the number of tracks we’re hosting this year, and the number of sessions.” Mark your calendar for October 26-27 and plan to be at the Raleigh Convention Center if you can.

That’s it for another week. ‘Til next time, may the FOSS be with you…

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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