Another seven days has whizzed by, carrying a varied set of Linux releases in its wing.
Below is a concise digest of the most notable releases that didn’t get the full article treatment here, on omg! As always, the content for these roundups comes (mostly) from you, the reader, and the “tips” that you feed my insatiable contact form — so please do keep them coming, they are appreciated it!
This week we take in the new Google Chrome stable release, look at improvements in the Plasma Browser Integration and Lightworks, and gorge on some overdue garnish to disk manager GParted.
Google Chrome 88
But despite once running a Chrome blog I find Chrome a tricky thing to write about. Google is pretty vague about what actually changes release-to-release, while mainstream tech sites (seem to) report on every nut twist in Chrome’s development branches that I lose track of what’s where!
Still, there is one thing we do know: it no-longer includes Adobe Flash. Oh, I know: groundbreaking stuff — you can see why I rushed to tell you about it! As with the recent Firefox 85 release, this change has been a longtime coming, but is notable given Chrome used to come with a (safer) version of the Flash plugin preinstalled.
Elsewhere the browser adds some new password-protecting features, drops the remnants of FTP support, and introduces a few new experimental flags, including a tab search one — go to
chrome://flags/#enable-tab-search in a new tab to enable it.
Lightworks is the professional-grade video editor that is no longer going open source Don’t let that put you off; it recently issued its first major update of the year.
New features and capabilities in Lightworks 2021 include:
- Frame-rate independent projects
- Sequence Playback Format
- 4k/8k clips can be viewed at correct size
- Social media templates (square, portrait)
- Appearance tweaks
- macOS Big Sur support
See the release notes for a more thorough (and I really do mean thorough) list of what’s new.
Lightworks isn’t my go-to video editor — I only make two videos a year, so don’t place too much stock in that opinion — but it remains a competitive and capable video editor. If you’re looking to step up your video editing game you could do worse than to try it out.
And can you do that? Well, Lightworks can be downloaded for free (though some features require a license or sign-up) from the Lightworks website for most major Linux distros, Ubuntu included, as well as macOS and Windows systems. Recommended specs ask for an Intel i7 chipset or better, and at least 3GB RAM.
Plasma Browser Integration 1.8
Use KDE Plasma as your default desktop? Chances are you also use the Plasma Browser Integration plugin. This small but smart browser bolt-on integrates web activity in Firefox, Chrome or Edge with the KDE desktop experience.
New capabilities include a new KRunner module (only available in Plasma 5.21) to search through browser history; quick reply support in (some, alas not all) Chromium Service Worker notifications; and the ability to differentiate between stable/beta/unstable versions of browsers.
Plus, KDE Connect users can now right click a tab in Firefox to send it to a connected device.
Ah, GParted. It’s nice to write about an app that’s been going longer than I’ve been blogging (which is now officially an eternity, in case you were wondering).
GParted 1.2.0 is a pretty exciting update for one key reason: it adds exFAT support through the exfatprogs userspace utility. This maeans that GPartted is not just a solid tool for managing Linux disk partitions but (assuming you’re using it on Linux 5.7 or later) exFAT too.
You can expect to see GParted in the Ubuntu 21.04 archives this spring, but you can download Gparted 1.20 source code if you want to try it sooner.
The latest stable release of open-source virtualization software VirtualBox adds support for the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel on both guests and hosts, fixes bugs with its Shared Folder feature on Linux guests, and makes a plethora of smaller tweaks to ensure the tech runs as it should, where it should.
You can download VirtualBox for Linux from the project website.