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Linux Top 3: GNOME 3.8 Moves Forward, Consort Falls Back

Linux Top 3: GNOME 3.8 Moves Forward, Consort Falls Back

January 21, 2013

One constant on the Linux Planet is that there is almost always an abundance of choice and opinion for any given piece of technology. This past week, that truism was reflected in a pair of Linux desktop efforts and a pair of Enterprise Linux releases.

1) GNOME 3.7.4

Work continues on the GNOME 3.8 development branch under the guise of the 3.7.x development tree. GNOME 3.7.4 was officially released on Sunday January 20th providing Linux desktop users will a solid view into the future of GNOME.

Among the improvements landing in GNOME 3.8 is a dramatic overhaul of the Search system.There is now a settings panel for search option configuration

"The panel allows to control the presence of each application individually among the returned results, as well as toggling on and off application results from the Shell entirely; it also makes it possible to configure the order in which they are presented by the Shell," GNOME Developer Cosimo Cecchi, wrote in a blog post.

Overall, GNOME 3.8 is shaping up to have a massive overhaul of multiple settings windows.

"In total, we have produced designs for four new panels (search, notifications, privacy, and sharing) and we have redesigned four of the existing panels (power, network, display, and date & time)," GNOME Developer, Allan Day blogged.


2) Consort

Though the GNOME Foundation continues to push forward on the GNOME 3.x branch and its associated Shell, there are more than a few people that have gone a different route. Ubuntu has Unity and now multiple distributions are including the MATE and Cinnamon variants of GNOME now as well.

As of last week, we can now add one more GNOME offshoot to the list: Consort.

Consort is the brainchild of the SolusOS development team and is building the desktop environment as a fork of the GNOME 3.X Fallback mode.

"With our forks, we can maintain an experience virtually identical to GNOME 2, but vastly improve it with no need for hardware acceleration such as with GNOME Shell or Cinnamon," the release announcement states. " Despite the fact these desktops can be used with software rendering via llvmpipe, it is meant only for debugging purposes.

"We’re restoring the GNOME 2 experience and building on it."

3) Oracle 5.9 / CentOS 5.9

Technically speaking, Oracle and CentOS are not forks of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), they are clones. That is, they are based on the same code with the Red Hat trademarks removed.
RHEL 5.9 was released on January 8th of this year and both Oracle CentOS have followed closely behind with their clones.

With the Oracle Linux 5.9 release, the difference is a bit more dramatic than simply a trademark change. Oracle Linux 5.9 also includes a different Linux kernel than the one Red Hat uses.

"Oracle Linux 5.9 includes both a 32 bit and a 64 bit Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. Both Unbreakable Enterprise kernel and Red Hat compatible kernel are installed and the system boots with Unbreakable Enterprise kernel by default," the Oracle Linux 5.9 release notes state. " If needed /etc/grub.conf can be modified to make the system boot with Red Hat compatible kernel by default.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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