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Linux Top 3: Xfce, Quirky and Tails 1.3

  • March 3, 2015
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

1) Xfce 4.12

After nearly three years of development Xfce 4.12 was released on February 28, marking the first official major version update since the Xfce 4.10 release.

This long period can only be explained by how awesome Xfce 4.10 was. But as all things, it needed some refreshing - and for that we saw lots of new contributors providing valuable feedback, features and bugfixes. As always, Xfce follows its steady pace of evolution without revolution that seems to match our users' needs.

Among the improvements in Xfce 4.12 are:

  • Eyes plugin uses 3D coordinates to calculate its eye position, so even more sometimes scary, sometimes funny eyes will spy on you!
  • Netload plugin works with the new udev net interface names and can be configured to show transfer rates in the panel.
  • Clipboard manager plugin optionally displays a QR code.
  • Cpufreq plugin now supports the intel pstate driver and can adapt better for different panel sizes and information displayed.
  • Nearly all plugins have been improved to give the same look and feel and to support the new deskbar panel mode.

2) TAILS 1.3

The Amensic Incognito Live System (TAILS) debuted its 1.3 release on February 24, fixing at least 18 different security issues. All of those issues are upstream issues in Debian, which is the base on which TAILS is built and the Tor Browser, which itself is based on Mozilla's Firefox.

Tails is a privacy focused Linux operating system, loaded with multiple types of tools to help users stay private.

Aside from the security updates, Tails 1.3 includes the Electrum bitcoin wallet

There is also an interesting update to support even more privacy on Tor. According to the release notes:

The obfs4 pluggable transport is now available to connect to Tor bridges. Pluggable transports transform the Tor traffic between the client and the bridge to help disguise Tor traffic from censors.

3) Quirky 7

Puppy Linux originally started out as a small-footprint Linux distribution in 2003. Over the years it has evolved in different ways, with the latest evolution being the Quirky 7.0 release which debuted on February 27

Puppy Linux creator Berry Kauler wrote in his release notes:

As usual, Quirky has most applications that a user needs, "out of the box". This includes SeaMonkey, Abiword, Gnumeric, Planner, Xine, Osmo, NoteCase, Grisbi, mtPaint, InkscapeLite, Xsane, plus just about all required drivers and firmware. All of this in a remarkably small size!

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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