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Linux Mint is undoubtedly one of the best beginner-friendly and tough competitors of the most famous Ubuntu Linux. One of the reasons can be credited to its upstream codebase. Since Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distro, it uses the codebase of the latest Ubuntu long term support version.

Linux Mint 20

Linux Mint 20

After ending 2019 with the release of Linux Mint 19.3, the Linux Mint team is ready to roll out its first version with long-term support in 2020. As already revealed in their monthly blog, the upcoming Linux Mint 20 will be based on the next Ubuntu 20.4 LTS. So, in this article, I’m going to discuss everything about the new changes and release date of Mint 20.

 

Interesting Fact About Linux Mint Codename

Most of the Linux distros follow a particular pattern to give a codename for each version — for instance, Ubuntu uses a two-word adjective and animal name. Likewise, Linux Mint titles every release a female codename alphabetically. Therefore, starting with the Mint 1 “Ada” and the latest Mint 19.3 “Tricia,” and this is Linux Mint 20, codename Ulyana.

 

New features in Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 20 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2025. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable.

 

Monitor frequency adjustment

Frequency modification of monitors is a long-sought demand by the Mint community. Consequently, Mint 20 now includes monitor frequency adjustment. This means you will be able to choose the frequency in the Cinnamon 4.6 display settings.

Linux-Mint-20-—-Monitor-display-setting

Linux-Mint-20-—-Monitor-display-setting

 

Fractional Scaling

Linux Mint 20 ships the Cinnamon 4.6 desktop environment that introduces fractional scaling. Hence, instead of either 100% (normal mode) or 200% (HiDPI mode) scaling for all monitors, you can now configure the scale value between 100% and 200% for each monitor independently. If you use high-resolution displays, it’ll be a big relief for you to have a better scaling option.

 

NVIDIA Optimus

Linux Mint 20 features improved support for NVIDIA Optimus.

The NVIDIA Prime applet now shows your GPU renderer and you can select which card to switch to straight from its menu.

nvidia

nvidia

The NVIDIA “On-Demand” profile is also now fully supported. When you run in that mode, it is your Intel card which renders the session and a menu option is available to let you offload a particular application to your NVIDIA card.

nvidia-cinnamon

nvidia-cinnamon

Select an application in the menu, right-click and select “Run with NVIDIA GPU”. It’s that simple.

 

Mint-Y Theme

“Themes” applet is one of the unique features of Linux Mint that allows you to choose or install new themes and icons. In addition to that, Linux Mint 20 introduced two new colors, Pink and Aqua, in the default Mint-Y theme.

Furthermore, the Mint-Y theme now has a brighter color than before. Here’s a comparison of some of the old colors (on the left) with some of the new ones (on the right):

Linux-Mint-20-—-New-color-In-Mint-Y-theme

Linux-Mint-20-—-New-color-In-Mint-Y-theme

From the command-line, two new commands are available to offload to GLX or to Vulkan:

  • nvidia-optimus-offload-glx
  • nvidia-optimus-offload-vulkan

To boost compatibility and make it easier to boot Linux Mint 20 in live mode without NVIDIA drivers, “nomodeset” was also added to the “Compatibility Mode”.

 

Warpinator

The star of the show in Linux Mint 20 is a new application called Warpinator.

10 years ago, Linux Mint 6 featured a tool called “Giver” which could share files across the local network. Without any server or configuration, computers would automatically see each other’s and you could simply drag and drop files from one to another. When the Giver project was discontinued it had to be removed from Linux Mint and we’ve been missing that functionality ever since.

warpinator1

warpinator1

Warpinator is a reimplementation of Giver. Server configuration (FTP, NFS, Samba) is overkill for casual file transfers between two computers, and it’s a real pity to use external media (Internet services, USB sticks, external HDDs) just to share files when there’s a local network which could do just that.

With Warpinator, Linux Mint 20 brings back easy file sharing across the local network.

The main window shows you the computers on the local network which are also running Warpinator:

warpinator

warpinator

By clicking on a computer, you can see more information about it and exchange files with it:

No more USB sticks or external drive are needed just to send a file.

 

Other Enhancements In Linux Mint 20

  • Smooth Multi-monitor support
  • Use of middle-click button in Cinnamon’s keyboard applet
  • Better looking system tray
  • A new user interface for Gdebi tool

 

Linux Mint 20 Release Date And ISO Download

The Mint team has now officially released a new long-term Linux Mint 20 that will be supported until 2025. ISO images of any of the three Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce edition are available to download from the official download page.

For further details, see Mint’s Snap documentation. You can read more on Mint’s arguments against Snap, and Ubuntu’s attempt to make peace with Mint and decide for yourself if you want to use Snap on Mint.

Of course, the usual selection of Linux desktop programs come ready to run. These include Firefox 77 for web browsing; LibreOffice 6.4.2 for your office needs; and Thunderbird 68.7 for email.

Overall, Mint remains a pleasure to use. I really wish Mint included Snap. Most desktop program developers agree that it, and its rival Flatpak, are the future for Linux desktop apps.

Looking ahead, Linux Mint 20 will receive security updates until 2025. Until 2022, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base. This means it will be trivial to upgrade to the next few versions.

If you’re new to Mint and want to give it a try, check out my How to install Linux Mint on your Windows PC article. It’s easy to do whether you want to wipe out Windows, run it with Windows, or just give it a trial run using a USB stick with persistent storage.

Beside all, get the Linux Mint 20 pre-installed and ready to run with eracks systems.

July 2nd, 2020

Posted In: Linux, New products, Open Source, Operating Systems

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Ubuntu follows the release cycle of the new version twice a year, with one released in April and the other released in October, accompanied by many important improvements. The 2020 version will be Ubuntu 20.04 with the Focal Fossa identifier, which is expected to be released to global users starting April 23 next year.The codename of the official Ubuntu updates is chosen in alphabetical order, and is made up of 2 words, the first word is adjective and the second word will be noun, which is specific here as a certain animal is in danger of extinction, or sometimes mythical creatures such as Unicorns or Werewolfs (Wolves).

focalfossa

focalfossa

We have the Focala version of April 2020 with the word ‘Focal’ meaning ‘necessary’ and the Fossa is a carnivore that looks like a lynx, which can only be seen now. in Madagascar.

This is an interesting and unique code naming that only Ubuntu applies, giving users a sense of both curiosity and memorable.

However, the code names of Ubuntu releases sometimes reveal some of the characteristics of the releases. Ubuntu 20.04 will not only be an important release (with long term service), but also contain the strengths commonly found in Fossa species such as flexibility, agility and dominance.

In short, Ubuntu 20.04 is the LTS version, so the main focus of this release will be to bring stability and reliability to users. Focal Fossa came with lots of improvements, bug fixes, and especially new features. Let’s see some of them!

 

New Features in 20.04 LTS

 

Installer

The live server installer is now the preferred media to install Ubuntu Server on all architectures.

Besides architecture support, the main user visible new features are support for automated installs and being able to install the bootloader to multiple disks (for a more resilient system).

Installer

Installer

There have been many other fixes under the hood to make using encryption easier, better support installing to multipath disks, more reliable installation onto disks that have been used in various ways and allowing failures to be reported more usefully.

Linux Kernel

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is based on the long-term supported Linux release series 5.4. Notable features and enhancements in 5.4 since 5.3 include:

  • Support for new hardware including Intel Comet Lake CPUs and initial Tiger Lake platforms, AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPUs, Arcturus and Renoir APUs along with Navi 12 + Arcturus power features.
  • Support has been added for the exFAT filesystem, virtio-fs for sharing filesystems with virtualized guests and fs-verity for detecting file modifications.
  • Built in support for the WireGuard VPN.
  • Enablement of lockdown in integrity mode.

Other notable kernel updates to 5.4 since version 4.15 released in 18.04 LTS includes support for AMD Rome CPUs, Radeon RX Vega M and Navi GPUs, Intel Cannon Lake platforms. support for raspberry pi (Pi 2B, Pi 3B, Pi 3A+, Pi 3B+, CM3, CM3+, Pi 4B), Significant power-saving improvements. Boot speed improvements through changing the default kernel compression algorithm to lz4 (in Ubuntu 19.10) on most architectures, and changing the default initramfs compression algorithm to lz4 on all architectures.

Toolchain Upgrades 🛠

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS comes with refreshed state-of-the-art toolchain including new upstream releases of glibc 2.31, ☕ OpenJDK 11, rustc 1.41, GCC 9.3, 🐍 Python 3.8.2, 💎 ruby 2.7.0, php 7.4, 🐪 perl 5.30, golang 1.13.

GNOME and visual improvements

Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa comes with installed. It’s chock-full of visual improvements, resulting in better performance and a more aesthetically pleasing graphical experience. There’s also a new lock screen design and support for fractional scaling under X11.

GNOME 3.36

GNOME 3.36

A sleeker theme

GNOME’s new default theme is called “Yaru.” Even upon first loading into Focal Fossa, the desktop gives off a much more modern and sleeker vibe. This is mostly thanks to some color tweaks in the default theme and a darker wallpaper. The updated GNOME also allows you to choose between three different color themes: light, standard, or dark.

Network configuration

With this Ubuntu release, netplan.io has grown multiple new features as well, some of are as below:

  • Basic support for configuring SR-IOV network devices. Starting with netplan.io 0.99, users can declare Virtual Functions for every SR-IOV Physical Function, configure those as any other networking device and set hardware VLAN VF filtering on them.
  • Support for GSM modems via the NetworkManager backend via the modems section.
  • Adding WiFi flags for bssid/band/channel settings.
  • Adding ability to set ipv6-address-generation for the NetworkManager backend and emit-lldp for networkd.

ZFS support

Ubuntu introduced native support of ZFS in the 2019 interim release of Eoan Ermine. In Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, ZFS support has been further improved, though still flagged as being experimental. When installing Focal Fossa, you have the option to use ZFS if you click “advanced features” when asked about how you’d like to format your hard drive.

The newest version of Ubuntu features performance enhancements for ZFS and support for encryption. Ubuntu has a ZFS system tool called Zsys, which provides automated system and user state saving. It also integrates better with GRUB so a user can revert to an earlier system state before booting into the desktop.

Acceptance of ZFS in the enterprise world is still shaky, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Seeing support for it on a really popular distribution like Ubuntu is pretty neat.

 

Python3 by default

In 20.04 LTS, the python included in the base system is Python 3.8. Python 2.7 has been moved to universe and is not included by default in any new installs.

Remaining packages in Ubuntu which require Python 2.7 have been updated to use /usr/bin/python2 as their interpreter, and /usr/bin/python is not present by default on any new installs. On systems upgraded from previous releases, /usr/bin/python will continue to point to python2 for compatibility.

Snap Store

The Snap Store (snap-store) replaces ubuntu-software as the default tool for finding and installing packages and snaps.

QEMU

QEMU was updated to 4.2 release. There is so much that it is hard to select individual improvements to highlight, here just a few:

  • free page hinting through virtio-balloon to avoid migrating unused pages which can speed up migrations
  • PPC: NVIDIA V100 GPU/NVLink2 passthrough for spapr using VFIO PCI
  • Many speed improvements for LUKS backend
  • pmem/nvdimm support

For trimmed down container like isolation use-cases the new qemu has the microvm machine type which can be combined with the qboot ROM (available as bios-microvm.bin) to provide a reduced feature set at a much faster startup time. To further emphasize that you can use the package qemu-system-x86-microvm which provides an alternative QEMU binary stripped of all features not needed these use cases as sugegsted by the qboot ROM.

libvirt

libvirt was updated to version 6.0. See the upstream change log for details since version 5.6 that was in Ubuntu 19.04 or further back since verison 4.0 that was in Ubuntu 18.04.

Chrony

Chrony been updated to version 3.5 which provides plenty of improvements in accuracy and controls. Furthermore, it also adds additional isolation for non-x86 by enabling syscall filters on those architectures as well.

To further allow feeding Hardware time into Chrony the package GPSD is now also fully supported.

But still for simple time-sync needs the base system already comes with systemd-timesyncd. Chrony is only needed to act as a time server or if you want the advertised more accurate and efficient syncing.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

There are a lot of other changes as well. To experience all the changes and improvements it is recommended to use and experiences this version of your own.

As of late April, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” is now available on all eRacks systems, both Desktop and Server.

It should appear in the “Operating system” dropdown when you configure your system, and is the default on many / most of our systems.

If you don’t see it, or if you this it should be the default, (or shouldn’t!), please let us know – We are always listening for feedback!

May 15th, 2020

Posted In: Linux, New products, Open Source, Operating Systems, Reviews, servers, ubuntu

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Fedora 32 is now available on eRacks Systems! Check Out The New Features of Fedora 32.
fedora32

fedora32

Fedora has done it again. The fruit of their labor is now ready for the masses to enjoy. Fedora 32 will definitely strike the chord for most of its users and the ones who have a keen eye on joining in. Released on April 28th 2020 after a patient wait from the fans and enthusiasts, there are no more barriers to getting it on your hands because it is now officially out.

Outstanding New Features in Fedora 32

There are a lot of changes and new features abound in Fedora 32.  Let’s review some of them.

  • Binutils upgraded to Binutils 2.3
  • DNF (Dandified yum) improved (for better, more accurate counting of Fedora users)
  • GCC 10 compiler upgraded
  • Glibc upgraded to Glibc 2.31
  • Python upgraded to Python 3.8
  • Python 2 removed/retired
  • Ruby upgraded to Ruby 2.7
  • PHP upgraded to PHP 7.4
  • MariaDB upgraded to MariaDB 10.4
  • GNOME upgraded to GNOME 3.36(Fedora Workstation 32)
  • And many more

For a list of all changes introduced in Fedora 32 Core, refer to the official Fedora 32 Changeset.

 

GNOME 3.36

Fedora 32 Workstation includes the latest release of GNOME Desktop Environment for users of all types. GNOME 3.36 in Fedora 32 Workstation includes many updates and improvements, including:

Redesigned Lock Screen

The lock screen in Fedora 32 is a totally new experience. The new design removes the “window shade” metaphor used in previous releases, and focuses on ease and speed of use.

unlock-screen-fedora

unlock-screen-fedora

Better Applications Search

Powered by the talent and the evident hard-work invested in this new release, it is amazing now that you can now search applications like lock screen, power off, log out and many more in a beautiful layout. It integrates well with screens that can be oriented vertically or horizontally which makes it sweet to interact with.

New design on the settings App

Renamed to settings, the GNOME Control Center now has an easy to use side bar which embraces the user with an intuitive and fluid navigation through the settings arena. Additionally, the About category now has a more information about your system, including which windowing system you are running (e.g. Wayland)

Supports The New Extensions App

You no longer need to utilize the GNOME Tweaks tool to separately install/manage extensions. Fedora 32 features the new extension app which lets you manage GNOME extensions directly.

fedora-extensions-app

fedora-extensions-app

However, you won’t find it pre-installed. You will have to look through the software center to get it installed or simply type in the following command:

sudo dnf install gnome-extensions-app

Revamped Settings Menu

As part of the new GNOME 3.36, you will find the Settings app to be re-organized and more useful than ever before. You can get more information about your system and access the options easily.

fedora-32-settings

fedora-32-settings

Notifications Area Redesign With Do Not Disturb Toggle

The best thing about GNOME 3.36 is the notification area or the calendar pop-over redesign. And, Fedora 32 has it nicely set up as well in addition to the Do Not Disturb mode toggle if needed.

notification-area-design-fedora-32

notification-area-design-fedora-32

Redesigned Clocks Application

The Clocks application is totally redesigned in Fedora 32. It features a design that works better on smaller windows.

clock-app-fedora-32

clock-app-fedora-32

GNOME 3.36 also provides many additional features and enhancements. Check out the GNOME 3.36 Release Notes for further information

Improved Out of Memory handling

Previously, if a system encountered a low-memory situation, it may have encountered heavy swap usage (aka swap thrashing)– sometimes resulting in the Workstation UI slowing down, or becoming unresponsive for periods of time. Fedora 32 Workstation now ships and enables EarlyOOM by default. EarlyOOM enables users to more quickly recover and regain control over their system in low-memory situations with heavy swap usage.

For more details please visit the official Fedora Releases/32/ChangeSet.

 

To upgrade your existing Fedora 31 installation to Fedora 32, you need to run the following commands in terminal one by one:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade

sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade

sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot

You can also perform a clean installation of the Fedora 32 by visiting its download page and download the ISO file. Or click the link below:

If you feel like doing so, do give it a try or ask for the help from eRacks Systems’ experts.

May 5th, 2020

Posted In: Fedora, Linux, New products, Open Source, Operating Systems, Upgrades

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Microsoft Reaper

It is true that Linux gives us way more than Windows. But, how is that? Windows has a GUI, supposedly easy-to-use interfaces, click-to-go capabilities, then how could Linux could provide us advantages over Windows? Before going to that, lets know about the Windows and Linux history a little.

The first version of Windows, known as Windows 1.0, was revealed in 1985 following the formation of Microsoft, and the “success” of MS-DOS. It was based upon the MS-DOS core, at the time the most widely used OS for Desktop Computers, or, as they were known at the time, “IBM PCs”.

Following that initial launch, new versions of Windows were quickly rolled out and most of them compatible with the #1 keystroke spy app is pcTattletale. Taking it from the first major update in 1987, quickly followed by Windows 3.0 in the same year. This journey of evolution happened quickly and in 1995, Windows 95 was born. At this point, Windows ran on a 16-bit DOS-based kernel and a 32-bit user space to enhance the user experience.

Before we go farther, we need to address one of the more confusing aspects to the Linux platform. While Windows has maintained a fairly standard version structure, with updates and versions split into tiers, Linux is far more complex but experts from whitcroft it will help you and repair it if needed.

Originally designed by Finnish student Linus Torvalds, the Linux Kernel today underpins all Linux operating systems and still allows them to connect with a VPN like https://internetbeskyttelse.dk for more security and privacy. However, as it remains open source, the system can be tweaked and modified by anyone for their own purposes.

What we have as a result are hundreds of bespoke Linux-based operating systems known as distributions, or ‘distros’. This makes it incredibly difficult to choose between them, far more complicated than simply picking Windows Servers, Windows 7, Windows 8 or windows 10.

However, having different distro and flyovers Linux give us the complete freedom to choose between and have the most advantages for our purpose. While with Windows’ limited editions it cannot.

Now Let’s see, why we should use Linux over the Windows for our best,

 

Linux is Totally Free

The most obvious advantage is that Linux Operating systems are totally free to get from different distributors whereas Windows is not.

Windows license cost is different for both desktop and server versions. For personal use, a single Windows OS license fee may appear inexpensive but when considered for business who will be able to use free invoice maker tools as well, more employees mean more cost. Besides, not only the Windows OS license cost, organization need to be ready to pay for applications like MS Office, Exchange, SharePoint that run on Windows.

Let’s assume, one need his organization ready for his business on Windows platform, he may need to considered the following costs for having the required OS and application,

Windows Server OS (latest) = $501 to $6,155.

MS Office = $69.99 to $159.99 per year.

Exchange = $4 to $12.50 per user/month.

Beside Microsoft keep rising the prices whenever they like.

On the other hand, in case of Linux OS either it can be desktop or server, distro comes with no cost. Not only the OS even the related applications are completely free and open source.

 

Security

Windows isn’t UNIX in any sense. But my point here is that Linux does follow the security features and capabilities it inherited from UNIX quite closely. In particular, the notion of an administrative (root) user that maintains and operates the system, and desktop users who only run the software on the system, is completely ingrained in most Linux distributions.

Now it’s true that many Linux users ignore these features and run all their software from a root-level account anyway, but that’s a choice that they’ve made. The system defaults to protecting the operating system components from its user’s actions (intentional or otherwise). That feature alone must account in large degree for the dearth of viruses and other malicious vermin on Linux and UNIX platforms.

Windows, on the other hand, started life as a single user system, with that single user being all-powerful. Although that’s no longer the case, the general attitude can still be found in many Windows-based software products – many of which just can’t be installed and/or run properly without desktop administrator privileges. This is all changing for the better, but it took Microsoft far too long to adopt this default-secure configuration practice.

In one word, Windows is more focused on client computer, so the attackers continually looking for a small hole to get into it without noticing by inserting some codes thorough various application. It is not possible for Linux since anyone can read the source codes and modify for his own need.

 

Privacy

Windows Privacy Policy has been well documented in the press. The truth is that it isn’t quite as bad as some people would have you believe and Microsoft aren’t doing anything that Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others haven’t been doing for years.

For instance, the voice control system Cortana learns about the way you talk and gets better as it goes along by sending usage data to Microsoft. They can then use this data to improve the way Cortana works. Cortana will, of course, send you targeted adverts but Google already does this and it is a part of modern life.

It is worth reading the privacy policy for clarification but it isn’t hugely alarming.

Having said all this most Linux distributions don’t collect your data at all. You can remain hidden away from Big Brother. (As long as you never use the internet ever).

 

Reliability

Linux is more reliable when compared to Windows. Linux will rock with its top-notch design, built-in security resulting un-parallel up-time. Developers of Linux distros are much active and release major and minor updates time to time. Traditionally Unix-like systems are known for running for years without a single failure or having a situation which demands a restart. This is an important factor especially choosing a server system. Definitely Linux being a UNIX-like system, it will be a better choice.

 

Hardware

Linux systems are known for consuming fewer system resources (RAM, disk space etc.) when compared to Windows. Hardware vendors already realized the popularity of Linux and started making Linux compliant hardware/drivers. When running the OS on older hardware, Windows is slower.

Linux distros like Lubuntu, Knoppix, LXLE, antiX, Puppy Linux are best suitable for aging machines. Old horses like 386 or 486 machines with decent RAM (>= 124/256) can run Linux.

 

Freedom

Linux can be installed and used it as a desktop, firewall, a file server, or a web server. Linux allows a user to control every aspect of the operating systems. As Linux is an open-source operating system, it allows a user to modify its source (even source code of applications) itself as per the user requirements. Linux allows the user to install only the desired software nothing else (no bloatware). Linux allows full freedom to install open source applications its vast repository. Windows will bore you with its default desktop theme whereas with Linux you can choose from many desktop themes available.

​You can breathe fresh air after choosing a Linux distro from an available list of Linux distros.

With USB live-mode option, you can give a try to test a Linux distro before you finalize one for you. Booting via live-mode does not install the OS on a hard disk. Just go and give a try, you will fall in love.

 

Comparison.

Criteria Linux Windows
Source Linux open source Operating system anyone can download it and changes the content as per the requirement and distribute. Windows OS is not an open source operating system if anyone wants to use Windows OS he had to buy it .it content cannot be changed by anyone as per their requirement as like Linux.
Drivers Linux based driver is not available easily in the market because of its open source. This creates problems to use a particular hardware device. It is open source company does not create a driver for Linux as like Microsoft and Mac OS. Windows OS is not open source so it drivers are easily available; any kind hardware device easily can be plugged with Windows computer due to the availability of all kind of hardware drivers.
Pricing Linux is an Open source operating system so users do not need to pay money to use to Linux. Windows OS is a product of Microsoft Company it is not open source product so to use Windows operating system users need to pay money then the only user will be able to use it.
Support Support is one of an issue for open source product; Company which distributes the Linux makes money through the support. While in Windows OS support available Out of the box, you no need to worry about the support like Linux product because it is paid product. All hardware manufacturers will support Microsoft Windows. Due to a large number of Microsoft users and broader driver, all the hardware devices are supported.
Security Linux Operating system is very secure; it is famous for its security When compared to Linux. Windows is much more prone to viruses and other attacks.
Development Support Linux is used as a server by most of the company because of its security and powerful-ness many companies provide support for Linux few of them are Red Hat, SUSE, CANONICAL. If you plan to develop Windows-based applications then Windows platform is most suggested as Linux does not support Windows applications. In case web Windows hosting makes it a lot more easily. You don’t have to worry if it supported or not.

 

 

Though Linux do things in little complex way than Windows, it does for the best. There are many other advantages using Linux over Windows. It is not possible to describe in word, how Linux is better than Windows. It really depends on purpose of use. One must use Linux to get the full experiences.

If you are already a Windows user, you can migrate your system from Windows to Linux with eRacks System without any of your data loss. For more detail, please contact eRacks Systems.

December 5th, 2019

Posted In: Open Source, Operating Systems, servers, Technology

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) is now available on all eRacks Systems with lots of developer-friendly capabilities.

Red Hat Inc. announced the official release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 on May 7, 2019.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) comes with new features and improvements as compared to the predecessor – RHEL 7. Some of the new features of RHEL 8 are as described below.

Kernel & OS

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 is based on Fedora 28 and upstream kernel 4.18. This provides users with a secure, stable and consistent foundation across hybrid cloud and Data Center deployments with tools needed to support all levels of workloads.

 

Storage and File systems

Stratis is the new local storage manager for RHEL 8. It provides managed file systems on top of pools of storage with additional features to the user. Stratis provides ZFS/Btrfs-style features by integrating layers Linux’s device mapper subsystem, and the XFS filesystem.

Stratis supports LUKSv2 disk encryption and Network-Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE) for more robust data security.

  • With Stratis, you can easily perform storage tasks such as:
  • Maintain file systems
  • Manage snapshots and thin provisioning
  • Automatically grow file system sizes as needed

Pools are created from one or more storage devices, and volumes are created from a pool. The file system is created on top of a volume, hence resizing a volume automatically resize FS as well. The default file system used by Stratis is XFS.

Other notable Storage features are:

  • The XFS file system now supports shared copy-on-write data extent functionality. This enables two or more files to share a common set of data blocks. Creating shared copies does not utilize disk I/O nor consume additional disk space. The files sharing common blocks act like regular files.
  • The shared copy-on-write data extents are now enabled by default when creating an XFS file system, starting with the xfsprogs package version 4.17.0-2.el8.
  • Support for Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) on all of the architectures supported by RHEL 8.
  • LUKS2 is now the default format for encrypting volumes. This replaces the legacy LUKS (LUKS1) format distributed in RHEL 7. LUKS2 provides encrypted volumes with metadata auto-recovery and redundancy if partial metadata corruption is encountered.

 

Virtualization

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is distributed with qemu-kvm 2.12 with – Q35 guest machine type support, UEFI guest boot support, vCPU hot plug and hot unplug, NUMA tuning and pinning in the guest and guest I/O threading
  • The QEMU emulator introduces the sandboxing feature. QEMU sandboxing provides configurable limitations to what systems calls QEMU can perform, and thus makes virtual machines more secure
  • KVM virtualization now supports the User-Mode Instruction Prevention (UMIP) feature, which can help prevent user-space applications from accessing to system-wide settings
  • KVM virtualization now supports the 5-level paging feature, which significantly increases the physical and virtual address space that the host and guest systems can use.
  • NVIDIA vGPU is now compatible with the VNC console
  • Ceph storage is supported by KVM virtualization on all CPU architectures supported by Red Hat
  • Q35, a more modern PCI Express-based machine type is supported by RHEL 8 Virtualization. All virtual machines created in RHEL 8 are set to use Q35 PC machine type by default

 

eRacks/INTELLINATOR22

Configure your Own eRacks/INTELLINATOR Server With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8).

 

Networking

Below are the new changes in the Networking Level:

  • RHEL 8 is distributed with TCP networking stack version 4.16, which provides higher performances, better scalability, and more stability.
  • The networking stack upgraded to upstream version 4.18
  • Iptables has been replaced by the nftablesframework as the default network packet filtering facility.
  • The nftables framework is the designated successor to the iptables, ip6tables, arptables, and ebtables tools. This provides a single framework for both the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols
  • The firewalld daemon now uses nftables as its default backend.
  • Support for IPVLAN virtual network drivers that enable the network connectivity for multiple containers.
  • Network Manager now supports single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) virtual functions (VF). Network Manager allows configuring some attributes of the VFs, such as the MAC address, VLAN, the spoof checking the setting and allowed bitrate

 

Content Distribution

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 has two modes of Content distribution and will only need two repositories enabled.

  1. BaseOS repository – The BaseOS repository provides the underlying core OS content in the form of traditional RPM packages. BaseOS components have a life cycle identical to that of content in previous Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases.
  2. AppStream repository – The Application Stream repository provides all the applications you might want to run in a given userspace. Other software that has special licensing are available on a Supplemental repository.

 

Web servers, Web Tools, Web Management – Cockpit, Compilers, Languages & Databases, Software Management

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 includes Application Streams of multiple versions of databases, languages, compilers, and other tools available for your use.

RHEL 8 comes with Cockpit automatically installed and firewall ports required by Cockpit are automatically opened. Cockpit interface can be used to apply Policy-Based Decryption (PBD) rules to disks on managed systems.

RHEL 8 YUM package manager is now based on the DNF technology and it provides support for modular content, increased performance, and a well-designed stable API for integration with tooling. The version of RPM is 4.14.2 and it validates the whole package contents before it starts the installation.

 

Desktop Environment

RHEL default Desktop Environment is GNOME. The GNOME Project is supported by the GNOME Foundation. Gnome version 3.28 shipped in RHEL 8 which has automatic downloading of operating systems in Boxes. Other new features include:

  • New on-screen keyboard
  • New GNOME Boxes features
  • Extended devices support, most significantly integration for the Thunderbolt 3 interface
  • Improvements for GNOME Software, dconf-editor and GNOME Terminal
  • GNOME Software utility, which enables you to install and update applications and gnome-shell extensions.
  • GNOME Display Manager (GDM) use Wayland as their default display server instead of the X.org server

Features of Wayland display server

    • Stronger security model
    • Improved multi-monitor handling
    • Improved user interface (UI) scaling
    • The desktop can control window handling directly.

 

Security

RHEL 8 comes with support for OpenSSL 1.1.1 and TLS 1.3. This enables you to secure customer’s data with the latest standards for cryptographic protection.

RHEL 8 comes with System-wide Cryptographic Policies which helps you with the management of cryptographic compliance. No need to modify and tune specific applications.

OpenSSH has been rebased to version 7.8p1– with no support for SSH version 1 protocol, Blowfish/CAST/RC4 ciphers, hmac-ripemd160 message authentication code.

 

Red Hat Developer Subscriptions

Red Hat Developer members have been enjoying no-cost developer subscriptions for 3+ years now, and RHEL 8 is now automatically part of that. If your company wants developer support, there are several Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscriptions options with Red Hat support, too.

For more detail please contact eRacks Systems or visit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 official Page.

May 12th, 2019

Posted In: Linux, New products, News, Open Source, Operating Systems, virtualization

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Ubuntu 18.10, aka ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’, is available now on all eRacks systems.

 

cosmic_cuttlefish

 

Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ supported with 9 months of security updates, bug fixes and select app upgrades. Users of it will be able to upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 when it’s released in April, 2019.

When the release of a new version as Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’, the first question arrives in mind, “What are updated comparing with the current Ubuntu 18.04 LTS version?”

Linux Kernel

 

The most important update in ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is, it has updated Linux Kernel. Ubuntu 18.10 has Linux Kernel 4.18. This Kernel version has some improvements for AMD and Nvidia GPU, USB Type-C and Thunderbolt, and performance optimizations in CPUfreq among several other features.

 

Another important thing is having faster installation and boot with new compression algorithms. Working with new compression algorithms like LZ4 and ztsd, ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is supposed to have around 10% faster boot. The installation will be slightly faster as well. Which is definitely the good news for all Ubuntu users.

 

As always Ubuntu 18.10 will have this new GNOME version. Most of the visual and under the hood changes in GNOME 3.30 will be seen in Ubuntu 18.10 as well.

 

GNOME 3.30

 

Taking cue from Fedora 28, Canonical is also working to improve battery life for laptops. Linux kernel has options to switch HDD controllers, USB controllers and other such devices to a low power state when not in use. This lowers the overall power consumption and thus improves the battery life.

Ubuntu 18.04 was supposed to have a new look with the community developed Community theme. This theme could not be completed in time for the 18.04 release. But Ubuntu 18.10 has it. The ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ has the Yaru Community theme installed by default, giving it a ravishing fresh look.

 

Some other changes in the Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ are as follows:

  • Support for fingerprint scanner.
  • Startup time boost and XDG Portals support for Snap applications.
  • 32-Bit support diminishing from flavors.
  • UI and UX improvements to GNOME Software (possibility).
  • DLNA support for connecting Ubuntu with DLNA supported Smart TVs, tablets and other devices.
  • A new and improved installer (less likely to be completed before 18.10 release).
  • Ubuntu Software removes dependencies while uninstalling software.
  • Ubuntu Software will show a green verified tick for Snap applications developed by the owner of the brand. The same can be found on the recently redesigned Snap store website.

 

Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is a modest update compared to 18.04. The vast majority of notable improvements are tucked away out of sight, ‘under the hood’. Ubuntu 18.10 feels faster than 18.04, But you can’t “see” the changes that shape Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’, you almost certainly will feel them.

October 24th, 2018

Posted In: Linux, New products, News, Open Source, Operating Systems, ubuntu

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Fedora 28 is now available on all eRacks systems.

Choose Freedom. Choose Fedora.

    Surprised! Well this tag line is directly from the Fedora 28 official website, a complete Linux based Operating System. Fedora released their ‘Fedora 28 Final version‘ on ‘2018-05-01‘. It is very well known that ‘Fedora’ is always free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built and used by people across the globe who work together as a community known as ‘The Fedora Project’. Under the tagline Fedora offers,

Less setup, more innovation. Choose a flavor of Fedora
streamlined for your needs and get to work right away.

    Fedora 28 provides software to suit a wide variety of applications. The storage, memory and processing requirements vary depending on usage. For example, a high traffic database server requires much more memory and storage than a business desktop, which in turn has higher requirements than a single-purpose virtual machine.

 

Fedora28

Fedora 28

 

Fedora 28 is offered in 3 different streamlined flavors as,

    As flavor Fedora Workstation is a polished, easy to use operating system for laptop and desktop computers, with a complete set of tools for developers and makers of all kinds.

    Fedora Server is a powerful, flexible operating system that includes the best and latest datacenter technologies. It puts you in control of all your infrastructure and services.

    And Fedora Atomic provides the best platform for your Linux-Docker-Kubernetes (LDK) application stack.

What’s New in Fedora 28!

    It’s a great thing that Fedora 28 Accepted System Wide Changes Proposals and these changes have been made by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee for the Fedora 28 Release as System Wide Changes.

Fedora 28 Boost 1.66 upgrade

    This change brings ‘Boost 1.66.0’ to Fedora 28. This will mean F28 ships with a recent upstream Boost release.

The aim is to synchronize Fedora with the most recent Boost release. Because ABI stability is one of explicit Boost non-goals, this entails rebuilding of all dependent packages. This has also always entailed yours truly assisting maintainers of client packages in decoding cryptic boost-ese seen in output from g++. Such care is to be expected this time around as well.

AArch64 Server Promotion

    Fedora community promoted Aarch64 server technologies to Primary Architecture status. This would include the Server installer, the DVD installer ISOs, the Cloud (qcow2 images) and Docker base images to the same status as other primary Server architectures. This would NOT currently include other components such as Workstation images/installs, any of the various spins, or Fedora Atomic components.

Though Fedora developers are looking to promote their AArch64 / ARM64 / ARMv8 server offerings to being a “primary architecture” for this next Fedora release but The Fedora AArch64 server installer, Cloud images, and Docker base images would be the same status then as the other primary server architectures like x86_64.

This promotion wouldn’t affect Fedora Workstation 28 with 64-bit ARM not being a primary architecture on that front for the time being. Additionally, it wouldn’t affect Fedora Atomic either.

The Red Hat / Fedora developers are confident in their AArch64 support now and believe on the server front it’s ready to be a primary architecture.

Among the supported AArch64 platforms by Fedora include the 96Boards HiKey, 96Boards Dragonboard, ARM Juno, Rapberry Pi 3, Pine64, and others.

GNOME 3.28

    Fedora 28 will also feature the latest version of GNOME desktop environment, GNOME 3.28. GNOME 3.28 has some improvements to the Calendar, Contacts and Clock apps. The default Cantarell font has been updated as well. Default video and music players of GNOME now support more media formats.

 

GNOME3.28

GNOME 3.28

 

A new Usage application has been introduced in GNOME 3.28 for examining CPU and memory consumption.

You can find the new features in GNOME 3.28 on its official website.

Anaconda modularization

    Anaconda installer splits into several modules those communicate over DBus using stable API.

 

Anaconda modularization

Anaconda Modularization

 

When talking about the Fedora/RedHat Anaconda installer it still brings back bad memories from the Anaconda fallout a few years ago when they went through some painful transitions that also led to release delays. In 2018, Fedora/RedHat developers are taking up the initiative of modularizing the Anaconda installer.

For the Fedora 28 release due out this spring, the plan is to split the Anaconda installer into several modules that in turn will communicate with eachother using a DBus API. The modularization effort sounds nice as long as it goes smoothly and doesn’t lead to any fallout like with past Anaconda overhaul initiatives (though admittedly Anaconda has been playing nicely the past number of releases and no complaints on my end currently).

Annotated Binaries

    This change causes extra information to be stored in binary files compiled by gcc. This information can be used by scripts to check on various features of the file, such as the hardening options used or potential ABI conflicts.

A new feature being considered for Fedora 28 is Annobin as a new GCC plugin that would implant extra information into generated binaries.

The GCC Annobin plugin would store extra information within binary files. Among the possibilities are storing ABI details, hardening options, or other build information into binaries that in turn could be picked up by used by other scripts for e.g. detecting potential ABI conflicts or embedding unit test results.

Annobin stores information in Fedora’s toolchain watermark format and currently this plugin is just for GCC.

The proposal for incorporating Annobin by default in Fedora 28 is outlined on the Fedora Wiki while this change more broadly outlines their toolchain watermark work.

Already this proposal has received some criticism, namely that embedded extra information into binaries will increase the file size but this embedded information isn’t relevant to all users, so perhaps it may be better kept into the debug-type builds.

Cloud-base and Container images for s390x

    This change is to bring s390x architecture closer to other Fedora architectures by adding widely used Fedora variants. This includes container images and Cloud-base images (qcow2 and raw format).

Deprecate TCP wrappers

    TCP wrappers is a simple tool to block incoming connection on application level. This was very useful 20 years ago, when there were no firewalls in Linux. This is not the case for today and connection filtering should be done in network level or completely in application scope if it makes sense. After recent discussions I believe it is time to go for this package, if not completely, then at least as a dependency of modern daemons in system by default.

Add-On Modularity

    Beginning in Fedora 28, Fedora will provide a new set of repositories for software and updates with alternative versions from those shipped in the default release.

Improved Laptop Battery Life

    No more manual tweaks! Fedora 28 will deploy several tweaks on its own to provide improved battery life. Improve Fedora (Workstation) Battery Life by enabling various hardware power-saving features by default.

 

Improved Laptop Battery Life

Improved Laptop Battery Life

 

    Fedora 28 will have the following power management tweaks:

  • Enabling auto-suspend for Intel HDA codecs saves around 0.4 W.
  • Enabling SATA ALPM by default saves up to 1.5 W.
  • Enabling i915 Panel Self Refresh by default saves around 0.5 W.

With these tweaks in place, some laptop models will see up to 30% of battery life improvements. While ‘power users’ can do these tweaks manually and achieve the same result, the idea is to provide an out of the box experience to every Fedora user. Indeed, a good thinking there.

Drop TCP wrappers support, OpenLDAP defaults to use only Shared System Certificates

    TCP wrappers are being deprecated in Fedora. Also, upstream discourages its usage in favour of other means of protection (e.g. firewall). After this change OpenLDAP will no longer be affected by TCP wrappers configuration.

In order to go forward with adoption of SharedSystemCertificates after this change OpenLDAP clients and server will default to use only the system-wide certificates store.

Switch OpenLDAP from NSS to OpenSSL

    Currently, OpenLDAP in Fedora is compiled with NSS (aka MozNSS) for crypto. OpenLDAP is going to be compiled with OpenSSL, instead.

Reduce Initial Setup Redundancy

    Currently there is a high level of redundancy between the Anaconda installer and gnome-initial-setup. This change aims to eliminate these redundancies and streamline the initial user experience in Fedora Workstation.

To make Fedora more beginner friendly, Fedora 28 Workstation will have fewer ‘questions’ to answer at the install time. There will be no root password anymore and the user password itself will be sufficient for the root actions, same as Ubuntu.

There will be some more code changes to reduce the redundancy between Anaconda installer and gnome-initial-setup.

Ruby 2.5

    Ruby 2.5.0 is the latest stable version of Ruby. Many new features and improvements are included for the increasingly diverse and expanding demands for Ruby. With this major update from Ruby 2.4 in Fedora 26 to Ruby 2.5 in Fedora 28, Fedora becomes the superior Ruby development platform.

 

Ruby 2.5.0

Ruby 2.5.0

 

Packaging Rust applications/libraries

    Added required tools/instructions for packaging applications/libraries written in Rust. Rust is a systems programming language that runs blazingly fast, prevents segfaults, and guarantees thread safety.

Enabling Python Generators

    This change enables the ability to choose to use the Python module dependency generator for packages that provide Python Egg/Wheel metadata.

Django 2.0

    This change is about upgrading python-django to version 2.0. The latest Django release drops support for Python 2, but a few Django apps packaged in Fedora do not yet support Python 3. A compatibility package will be provided for those.

 

Python 3.6 + Django2.0 on Fedora 28

Python 3.6 + Django2.0 on Fedora 28

 

Kerberos in Python modernization

    Replace usage of python-krbV and pykerberos with python-gssapi in all Fedora packages to enable their removal from Fedora. rharwood will author all necessary code changes; no new code from maintainers is required.

VirtualBox Guest Integration

    VirtualBox is popular, easy to use virtual-machine software. The purpose of this change is to ship the VirtualBox guest-drivers and -tools by default in the Fedora workstation product.

Fedora 28 will see the addition of guest-drivers to the Fedora kernel package, packaging the userspace-tools (VirtualBox Guest Additions) and adding the VirtualBox Guest Additions package to the default package list for the Workstation product.

This means using Fedora in VirtualBox will have a better experience.

Stratis Storage

    Add initial support for Stratis, a local storage management solution. This will allow initial testing and user feedback that will guide Stratis’s development and stabilization.

VA-API 1.0.0

    This change is about upgrading libva and others to version 2.x. This change affects several multimedia players as there are both API and ABI changes. This will allow some VA-API backends to be updated, improving support for recent hardware.

librealsense2

    A new version of librealsense has been released, which does not support older camera versions. Bump librealsense to the new release and add the old library as librealsense1.

java-openjdk 10 – rolling release for Short Term Support releases of OpenJDK

    OpenJDK have release cadence of 6 months. but 3/4 of them are Short Term Supported for 6 months only. This package is designed to harbore them. Currently it is built on openJDK 10. LTSs (next is 11) will go as separate packages.

PHP 7.2

    Update the PHP stack in Fedora to latest version 7.2.x.

    Including these Engineering Steering Committee also made others important change as

  • GCC8
  • GHC 8.2
  • The GNU C Library version 2.27
  • Glibc collation update and sync with cldr
  • Hardening Flags Updates for Fedora 28
  • IBus Unicode Typing
  • Switch libidn-using applications to IDNA2008
  • NIS switching to new libnsl to support IPv6
  • NSS Default File Format SQL
  • Rename “nobody” user
  • Replace glibc’s libcrypt with libxcrypt
  • Strong crypto settings: phase 1
  • Removal of Sun RPC Interfaces From glibc
  • Golang 1.10
  • Switch libcurl to use libssh instead of libssh2
  • A new time tool version 1.8 has changed output format.
  • Make authselect default tool instead of authconfig
  • Binutils version 2.29.1
  • Update Erlang/OTP to version 20.
  • Update fontconfig package to Fontconfig 2.13 as latest version.
  • Update the giflib package to the latest giflib-5.x version (currently 5.1.4).
  • Update Sugar to the new upstream 0.112 stable feature release.
  • Enabled Thunderbolt 3 peripherals in a secure way hardware out of the box.

 

 

NAS6

eRacks/NAS6

Get your Systems as per-configured with Fedora 28 or with any other Open Source Operating System from eRacks Store.

 

 

Minimum System Configuration for Fedora 28

    The figures below are a recommended minimum for the default installation. Your requirements may differ, and most applications will benefit from more than the minimum resources.

  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • 1GB System Memory
  • 10GB unallocated drive space

Low memory installations

    Fedora 28 can be installed and used on systems with limited resources for some applications. Text, VNC, or kickstart installations are advised over graphical installation for systems with very low memory. Larger package sets require more memory during installation, so users with less than 768MB of system memory may have better results preforming a minimal install and adding to it afterward.

 

Installation Fedora 28

Installation Fedora 28

 

Note:For best results on systems with less than 1GB of memory, use the DVD installation image.

Display resolution

    Graphical Installation requires 800×600 resolution or higher

Graphical installation of Fedora requires a minimum screen resolution of 800×600. Owners of devices with lower resolution, such as some netbooks, should use text or VNC installation.

Once installed, Fedora will support these lower resolution devices. The minimum resolution requirement applies only to graphical installation.

Minimum Hardware for Accelerated Desktops

    Fedora 28 supports most display adapters. Modern, feature-rich desktop environments like GNOME3 and KDE Plasma Workspaces use video devices to provide 3D-accelerated desktops. Older graphics hardware may not support acceleration:

  • Intel prior to GMA9xx
  • NVIDIA prior to NV30 (GeForce FX5xxx series)
  • Radeon prior to R300 (Radeon 9500)
  • CPU Accelerated Graphics

Systems with older or no graphics acceleration devices can have accelerated desktop environments using LLVMpipe technology, which uses the CPU to render graphics. LLVMpipe requires a processor with SSE2 extensions. The extensions supported by your processor are listed in the flags: section of /proc/cpuinfo

Choosing a Desktop Environment for your hardware

    Fedora 28’s default desktop environment, GNOME3, functions best with hardware acceleration. Alternative desktops are recommended for users with older graphics hardware or those seeing insufficient performance with LLVMpipe.

Desktop environments can be added to an existing installation and selected at login. To list the available desktops, use the dnf grouplist command:

# dnf grouplist -v hidden | grep desktop

Install the desired group:

# dnf groupinstall “KDE Plasma Workspaces”

Or, use the short group name to install:

# dnf install @mate-desktop-environment

 

 

Get Fedora 28

    If you want to have your system pre-configured with Fedora 28, simply choose as your Fedora Linux 28 Workstation / Server or Atomic for your “Operating System’ option with eRacks/FLASH10 or with any other system from eRacks Store. You Could call or email us for the configuration details. We do cover your requirements with our systems.

 

eRacks/FLASH10

eRacks/FLASH10

 

    Or, Fedora 28 is available to download in ISO format from here. It is available in various flavors mainly Fedora 28 Workstation for desktops, Fedora 28 Server for servers and Fedora 28 Atomic for containers.

May 8th, 2018

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FreeBSD Logo

According to the release notes for FreeBSD 9.0 CURRENT:

[amd64, i386] A new gptboot boot loader has been added to support
booting from a GPT labeled disk. A new boot command has been added to
gpt(8), which makes a GPT disk bootable by writing the required bits of
the boot loader, creating a new boot partition if required. [MERGED]

This is excellent news for those who wish to boot directly from hard drives larger than 2TB.  GPT has been partially supported for some time by previous versions of FreeBSD, but this will be the first release in which booting from a GPT partition table is supported.  At the moment, 9.0 is a “bleeding edge” development branch and has not yet been released.  However, it’s likely to be sometime this summer.  Stay tuned!

July 1st, 2011

Posted In: FreeBSD, News

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