Another week, another set of notable new Linux releases — including a brand new version of the Linux Kernel.

Dive on down for a digestible dose of the latest happenings. Don’t forget you can read other recent Linux Release Roundups via the #LRR tag.

Linux Kernel 5.1

The latest stable release of the Linux kernel is a modest upgrade, bringing improved support for Intel Fastboot, support for Intel 22260 Wi-Fi, mainline kernel support for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ and the ability to use persistent memory as system RAM.

A bunch of AMD Vega GPU work also feature, including better support for Raven Ridge hardware, and with Linux 5.1 users can set their own Zstd compression level on Btrfs FS.

The most notable addition is of the io_uring, a super-fast interface for asynchronous I/O.

Linus Torvalds announced the release thus: ”On the whole, 5.1 looks very normal with just over 13k commits (plus another 1k+ if you count merges). Which is pretty much our normal size these days“.

Although the latest Linux kernel release may be a bit more modest than others in recent memory, there are a glut of new features in Linux 5.2, due this spring.

More details on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) announcement.

Google Chrome 74

New releases of Google Chrome aren’t exactly a surprise, thanks to the predictable “every 6 weeks a new version rolls out” release schedule it adheres to.

And while the latest Google Chrome 74 release brings a handful of interesting new features to Windows and macOS desktop — including dark mode support for the former — the Linux build is a little less showy.

Chrome’s picture-in-picture mode is available to more users by default and should work a little more reliably than in earlier builds, and there’s (albeit experimental) support for improved blocking in Incognito modes.

There are also a few interesting developer improvements, including support for ‘prefer-reduced-motion‘ media queries (bu-bye motion sickness), CSS transition events, plus the usual buffing of Chrome’s WebRTC implementation.

New to Linux? We have a simple guide that shows you how to install Google Chrome on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and above.

Tilix 1.9.3

Tilix is a fantastic tiling terminal emulator for Linux that’s packed full of features. Having added support for GNOME 3.32 (and introduced a new icon) back in March, a new version is out with bug fixes for the session sidebar.

You can download the latest release of Tilix from Github.

Qmmp 1.3.2

A minor update to the qmmp music player is now available composed (mostly) of bug fixes, particularly when used on Wayland. The Qt-based audio tool is now available to use album cover art embedded inside music files.

Downloads pf the latest release of qmmp can be found on the project website. An official PPA is available for Ubuntu, KDE Neon and Linux Mint.

GSConnect 23

A new version of the neat GNOME Shell extension that lets you connect Android to the Linux desktop is out.

GSconnect 23 adds SFTP error messages and drops support for password authentication. It also introduces support for ‘actions’ in Android notifications (though there may be bugs) and fixes keyboard shortcuts on the latest version of GNOME Shell.

Get the latest version from Github, or wait for it to appear on the GNOME Extensions website.

Desktop Icons 19.01.3

the 'desktop icons' GNOME Shell extension

A brand new version of the ‘Desktop Icons’ extension for GNOME Shell — aka the band-aid placed over the wound left when desktop icons functionality was removed from Nautilus — is available to download.

Does it restore drag and drop behaviour between file manager windows and the desktop? No — but there is some other worthwhile work on offer, including:

  • “Open in Terminal” menu item now works
  • New files/folders appear top to bottom, left to right
  • Empty clipboard behaviour tweak
  • Rubberband effect no longer appears over windows
  • Ctrl + Shift can group several rubberband selections

The ‘desktop icons’ extension is a lot of people’s least favourite thing about the Ubuntu 19.04 release. I won’t pretend that this update makes the desktop icons extension perfect, but they’re steps in the direction signposted ‘functional’.

To get update the Desktop Icons extension in GNOME Shell you can side-load the tarball (i.e. effort) or install the update from the GNOME Extensions website (i.e. easy).

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