Monthly Archives: January 2016

Release Notes for siduction 2015.1 Dev-Release for Plasma5, GNOME and LXQt

 

We present to you today the second part of the dev-release 2015.1, which, with it’s final release in a couple of weeks will be named siduction 2016.1. siduction is a distribution based on Debian’s unstable branch. With a heavy heart we dedicate this release to the memory of the founder of Debian, Ian Murdock, who passed away on Dec. 28 2015, aged 42. We will try to keep his vision alive.

Important for testing in VirtualBox: Due to a bug in VirtualBox 3D-acceleration has to be disabled prior to booting the image.

The missing flavours of the first batch of dev releases are Plasma 5, GNOME and LXQt, which we present to you today. Before looking into the changes of our three released flavours, here are some changes to our infrastructure that you should be aware of:

First of all, 32-Bit versions will be shipped with the final release only. If you need one now, come see us at #siduction on IRC and we will build one for you.

After long discussions that go back as far as two years, we have finaly made the decision to ship with contrib and nonfree enabled and most of the nonfree-firmware preinstalled to enable the user to use his wifi chip or graphics card right from the start without the need to aquire software without being able to have an internet connection on the device you are installing on. Because of this, save settings are not needed anymore for AMD graphic cards. The menu item will be moved from Syslinux for the final release.

The following nonfree packages are installed as default:

amd64-microcode – Processor microcode firmware for AMD CPUs
firmware-amd-graphics – Binary firmware for AMD/ATI graphics chips
firmware-atheros – Binary firmware for Atheros wireless cards
firmware-bnx2 – Binary firmware for Broadcom NetXtremeII
firmware-bnx2x – Binary firmware for Broadcom NetXtreme II 10Gb
firmware-brcm80211 – Binary firmware for Broadcom 802.11 wireless card
firmware-crystalhd – Crystal HD Video Decoder (firmware)
firmware-intelwimax – Binary firmware for Intel WiMAX Connection
firmware-iwlwifi – Binary firmware for Intel Wireless cards
firmware-liberta – Binary firmware for Marvell Libertas 8xxx wireless car
firmware-linux-nonfree – Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel
firmware-misc-nonfree – Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel
firmware-myricom – Binary firmware for Myri-10G Ethernet adapters
firmware-netxen – Binary firmware for QLogic Intelligent Ethernet (3000)
firmware-qlogic – Binary firmware for QLogic HBAs
firmware-realtek – Binary firmware for Realtek wired/wifi/BT adapters
firmware-ti-connectivity – Binary firmware for TI Connectivity wireless network
firmware-zd1211 – binary firmware for the zd1211rw wireless driver
intel-microcode – Processor microcode firmware for Intel CPUs

Contrib packages installed as default:

b43-fwcutter – utility for extracting Broadcom 43xx firmware
firmware-b43-installer – firmware installer for the b43 driver
firmware-b43legacy-installer – firmware installer for the b43legacy driver
iucode-tool – Intel processor microcode tool
virtualbox-guest-dkms – x86 virtualization solution – guest addition module source for dkms
virtualbox-guest-source – x86 virtualization solution – guest addition module source
virtualbox-guest-utils – x86 virtualization solution – non-X11 guest utilities
virtualbox-guest-x11 – x86 virtualization solution – X11 guest utilities

Disclaimer

You need to be aware that this new behaviour is not in accordance with the Debian Free Software Guide (DFSG). We offer an opt-out from this to go back to a DFSG-compliant installation in the installer.

Changes to our release model

Besides that, we will slightly alter our release model. During 2015 we learned that with as many flavours as we ship and with the ressources we can use, we find it very hard to release all flavours together in one release. That resulted in no release at all for 2015, which leaves new users with growing first upgrades as the year moves on. To prevent that from happening again, in the future we will release flavours as soon as they are ready and benefit the user. We will still try to release more than one at a time, but not wait for a chance to release all of them together.

SDDM

Another change over all flavours is the use of SDDM as Display- and Login-Manager, which is the new default for LXQt and KDE, but suits the other flavours fine as well. KDE has a module for SDDM in the system settings. For the other flavours, find the config file in /etc/sddm.conf. The manpages to sddm and sddm.conf are also quite helpful.

UEFI

Also the images released today have very basic support for UEFI. You can boot with it and install with it. Prerequisites are a partition layout with GPT and a boot partition formatted with Fat32 and marked as efi partition. Grub with UEFI still needs some love, so this functionality is still highly experimental. Find out more here

A brief look at the flavours

The released images are a snapshot of Debian unstable, that also goes by the name of Sid, from 2016-01-16. They are enhanced with some useful packages and scripts, our own installer and a custom patched version of the linux-kernel 4.4, accompanied by X-Server 1.17.3, Mesa 11.1.1-2 and systemd 228.4

Plasma 5

Friends of KDE will be happy to see our first release of the fifth iteration of the project. People will keep calling it KDE5, but that will prove to be not saying much about the contained parts. As we have done now for siduction, KDE has decided some time ago that the KDE Software Collection is getting much to unwieldy to release in one piece. To bring new code to the users as fast as possible, KDE was broken up into three parts that are developed and released independently from now on. These are KDE Frameworks, Plasma and KDE Applications. The part that the user actualy is in touch with is Plasma and so we will call the latest KDE Plasma 5. KDE Applications is shipped in version 15.08

We were hoping to be able to ship Plasma 5.5 or even 5.6, but the holidays delayed things to the point where we decided to ship Plasma 5.4.3 with the dev release and probably 5.6, which will have a lot more fine tuning to it, with our final release.

KDE-Next

From now on the base of our KDE releases is Debian unstable. We had to close down our KDE-Next repository, because it is not maintained anymore. Our thanks go to Santa, who packaged KDE for siduction in the past and will from now on work directly with upstream. We wish him the best of luck on his way.

With Plasma 5.4.3 we believe we have the most elegant KDE of all times. More importantly, it is ready to be used in production for most users. There will be some tidying over the next few months still, but basicaly it is ready to rock.

Plasma Dash

One of the novelties of Plasma5 is not easily discovered on first sight. That’s why I like to introduce it here. Plasma5 gained a third menu, which is accessible if you right click K-Menu and hit Alternatives. There you find a fullscreen dash with integrated desktop search, which is fully usable just with a keyboard.

LXQt

A lot has also happened regarding LXQt. As you might know, our own Alf Gaida is involved in the developement of LXQt. In the course of that in 2015 he became official Debian Maintainer to be able to easier get LXQt into Debian and maintain it there. As a result of these efforts, LXQt is now in Debian Unstable and Testing, the current version being a freshly released, hot off the plates 0.10.

GNOME

Last but by no means least with GNOME we have the antidote to KDE. GNOME is shipped in a well matured version 3.18. One of the highlights is that you can run a Wayland session from the login page of the display manager. There is still a few crashes and glitches involved, but mostly, Wayland runs quite stable with GNOME.

Our Resources

siduction Forum
siduction Blog
Git Archive

Distro News
Bug-Tracker
siduction-Map

Support can be obtained on our forum as well as on IRC. The relevant channels on
OFTC-Network are #siduction for english support or #siduction-core, if
you like to join in and participate. On your desktop you also find an icon that takes
you to the right channel for support, depending on the chosen language.

To be able to act as a testbed for Debian, we are making us of our own bug-tracker.
Let me explain how you can help us and Debian by submitting bugreports for broken
packages. Weathered users will know how to file bugs directly with the Debian BTS
(Bug Tracking System). For users not so comfortable with the system we have
reportbug-ng preinstalled.

If you think, you found a bug in a Debian package,
please start reportbug-ng and put the name of the package in the adressline on
top. The app will now search through the already filed bugs for that package and show
those. Now it’s up to you to determine, if “your” bug has already been reported. If
it is, ask yourself if you have anything relevant to add to this report or maybe even a
patch. If not, you are done for this time. If the bug has not been reported yet
and you are not familiar with the BTS yet, you may report the bug in our

Bug-Tracker.

That obviously goes for siduction packages as well. We will sort the bugs for you
and file them in the appropriate place, if it’s reproducible. Please look out for
a forum post with more detailed info on the bug-tracker soon. If all this seems
to complicated for now, feel free to use the bugs-thread on the forum for now,
it will keep working until final release.

As we are always looking for contributors, here is what to do: Come to IRC to
channel #siduction-core and talk to us about what you would like to do within
the project, or where you think you could help. As you will notice if you scroll down, we have no art-team at the moment. If you are willing and capable, talk to us.

Hardware Tips

If you should own a ATI Radeon graphics accelerator, please use the failsafe option, when booting the Live-ISO. This option will add the cheatcodes radeon.modeset=0 xmodule=vesa to the Kernel bootline, so that you can boot to X.

Last but not least a hint for users of the kernel based virtual machine KVM. The developement of a frontend for the kernelbased virtual machine (kvm) has begun as a fork of qemu with the name qemu-kvm or short “kvm”. Since qemu version 1.4 all patches of the kvm fork have been integrated back into the qemu source. Also there has been much progress in the field of virtualization. So there is a lot of outdated documentation around. We have a current worksheet for Qemu in our wiki.

Credits for siduction dev-release 2015.1

Core Team:

Alf Gaida (agaida)
Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
Axel Beu (ab)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Tom Wroblewski (GoingEasy 9)
Torsten Wohlfarth (towo)
J. Theede (musca)

Maintainers of the siduction Desktop Environments:

GNOME: Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
KDE: Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
LXDE: Alf Gaida (agaida)
LXQt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
XFCE: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)
Cinnamon: J. Theede (musca)
noX: Alf Gaida (agaida)
MATE: J. Theede (musca), Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)

We need contributors for siduction release art!

Code, ideas and support:

ayla
bluelupo
der_bud
dibl
hendrikl
J. Hamatoma (hama)
Markus Schimpf (arno911)
piper

Thank you!

Also thank you very much to all testers and all the people giving us support
in any possible way. This is also your achievement.

We also want to thank Debian, as we are using their base.

And now enjoy!

On behalf of the siduction team:
Ferdinand Thommes