11# Weekly Linux and Tech Update

  • A proposal was made to change the default desktop environment of Fedora 42 to KDE Plasma from GNOME.
    • The proposal was made by Joshua Strobl, the lead for the Budgie desktop, and was submitted on April 1st.
    • The justification for the change is that KDE Plasma provides a more flexible experience for users, supports more standards, and has better Wayland support.
    • The proposal argues that KDE Plasma has pushed for more advancements to the Linux desktop than GNOME recently.
    • The proposal also mentions that KDE Plasma is used on the Steam Deck, Pine 64 products, and by Linux manufacturers like Tuxedo.
    • The proposal suggests that having KDE Plasma as the default would make Fedora more appealing to users and would make Linux as a whole more popular.
    • The proposal has been met with skepticism and the discussion has devolved into arguments about which desktop environment is better.
  • The repercussions of the backdoor in the popular XZ library continue, causing Canonical to delay the beta of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.
    • The backdoor has pushed other distributions, like openSUSE Tumbleweed and Debian 12.6, to postpone their next releases to fix the problem.
    • Systemd is considering reducing its dependencies to limit the surface of attack for the init system.
  • A scanner called “binarly” has been created to detect the specific backdoor in any file that might implement it.
  • One of Germany’s federal states, Schleswig-Holstein, is moving from Windows and Microsoft Office to Linux and LibreOffice.
    • The move will transition 30,000 computers to open-source software and is part of recent European moves for more digital sovereignty.
    • The transition will also move them to things like Nextcloud, Thunderbird, and Open-Xchange, and will replace Microsoft Active Directory.
    • The move to Linux is mandatory for every computer affected, but they are willing to take their time and allow for possible delays and exceptions.
  • Linux Mint 22 will move to PipeWire as its main sound server, undo recent changes to distribute Thunderbird as a snap, and bring two new applications.
    • Mint 22 will also start changing how they distribute kernel updates, automatically distributing all Hardware Enablement updates to the kernel version they ship.
  • AMD is opening up more portions of their software stack to the community, including the documentation and source code for their microcontroller scheduler.
  • Thunderbird is making progress on the addition of Exchange support natively in the email client, implementing Exchange Auto Discovery and OAuth compatibility in the account setup.
    • Thunderbird will also take control of their snap package, which will be the default format used for Thunderbird in Ubuntu 22.04 instead of using a deb package.
    • The snap package has been added to Thunderbird’s built-in infrastructure to make sure everything is always nice and up to date whenever a new version is pushed to the Thunderbird snap GitHub repo.

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