It’s been nearly three months without any posting on the Portal - these have certainly been three busy months for us. Our community is still alive - just check out our GitHub Organisation… A more detailed “what’s-up” post will be made on a later date.
But anyways, let’s get to the subject.
Unfortunately, AOSCC 2018 will not be held in Wuhan as promised from our last AOSCC Re-cap due to some reasons out of our hands - and for this particular reason, we were unable to obtain any viable venues for our annual gathering/conference. Therefore, we will be doing this online instead - (hopefully) same discussions, same community-wide polls, and same fun.
AOSCC 2018 will take place on an open Telegram Group, which is synchronised with an IRC channel (which we will have to make another post about, since we are not yet ready with that). While another Telegram Group will be made available to attendees to cast their votes.
As most participants and contributors to AOSC projects are Chinese speakers, we will limit our discussion languages to Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional - while English could certainly be viable, it may still hinder your ability to participate in our discussions, as we would have to switch back and forth between languages.
The 2018 online gathering and conferences will take place across two weekends, the weekend of July 21st, and the weekend of July 28th. A detailed schedule could be found on the event read-me file linked below - though be advised that all discussion sessions are organised according to the China Standard Time (UTC+8) considering the geographic distribution of community members, so do convert and plan ahead of time if you do not reside in this particular timezone.
For more details about the organisation, scheduling, and rules of the gathering and conferences, please take a read at our AOSCC 2018 README. We look forward to see you this weekend!
As per tradition, we will be voting community-wide on a (meme-worthy) codename for the next AOSC OS Core release series, and also for a default wallpaper for the AOSC OS releases of the coming year. Here’s how you could participate…
This year’s AOSC OS Core codename will be named after a word or two-word phrase headed by the letter “F” (as natural succession to Core 3’s “Cyanflame”, Core 4’s “Duang-Duang”, and the current Core 5’s “eMMC”). With additonal constraints…
While we do not necessarily block nominations, any codename submitted that violates any of the four rules above will be invalidated - and of course, you will be notified. You are free to nominate more than one codename.
Otherwise, please submit your codename nomination by July 21st (UTC) at email@example.com.
Next year’s (from this July to the next) AOSC OS system releases/distributions will apply a new set of wallpapers, and one that will be used as the default for all releases. If you would like to submit and compete for the “default” status…
If you would like to submit your work to be a part of the default wallpapers collection…
Any submission that violates any of the rules above will be invalidated, and you will be notified of this incident, along with our evaluation.
Otherwise, please submit your wallpaper(s) by July 28th (UTC) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns, please file an issue at our AOSCC GitHub repository.
— Mingcong Bai
I know… We are supposed to push out waves of updates every month, however, with a new constraint added to our already high workload-per-capita, a monthly wave was simply too difficult for our development capacity. However, there are certainly enough changes made to AOSC OS for you to be excited about.
Several quick statistics on package addition and removal…
Most of the new packages were not, unfortunately, added from user requests, but to serve new features added to AOSC OS - some of which new functions, some of which dependencies. I will get into more details… Now.
Most of the package changes made in this Wave are to catch up with upstream versions, and to ensure all architectures could enjoy as much of the new updates as possible. However, changes are also made to the desktop experience and system base in general.
Various MATE components have been updated and ported from Ubuntu MATE to further enhance desktop functionalities and user experience. Most notably of which was the introduction of MATE Tweak, which allows for easy management of desktop layouts, window manager alternatives, and individual enhancements like the MATE HUD (a keyboard-driven menu browsing system) and global application menu (as found with macOS and Unity 7).
MATE Tweak, showing possible customisations with desktop layouts and extra panel features.
Package for GNU C Library (Glibc,
glibc) now generates all locales at compile-time. Users should experience significantly faster update times, especially on performance constrained devices like older PowerPC hardware, ARM-based devices, etc. as the package will no longer generate locales as a post-installation configuration procedure - saving up to an hour.
With Fontconfig updated to 2.13.0 and Michal Srb’s performance tweaks (https://github.com/michalsrb/fontconfig) rebased to our Fontconfig package, applications like LibreOffice should see visible improvement to UI responsiveness. The new update also significantly improved efficiency of font cache generation (fc-cache), especially with larger font packages installed (Noto CJK Fonts, for instance), generation time reduced from several minutes to seconds - also avoiding freezing issues with GNOME when updating the Fontconfig package.
We have also removed an old patch for Pixman which introduces gamma correction, as it caused larger LibreOffice Calc to become unresponsive when scrolling through larger spreadsheets.
As mentioned in our last Wave’s announcement in January, we were working on re-synchronising package updates between our various architectural ports. We are happy to report that this wave of updates are now available for all of our currently active ports:
armel) and AArch64 (
Apple iBook G4, freshly updated to the Spring Wave.
And so says “active”, as in this news, we regret to announce an indefinite freeze to our MIPS/Loongson ports due to lack of developer commitment and the software repositories for both 32 and 64 bit ports are now off-line. We will report back if we gain any more development support for these two ports.
Oops, almost forgot, we have now started an experimental port to the RISC-V 64-bit architecture (specifically,
rv64gc). We have now compiled all packages contained in a “Container” distribution variant - that is, a “Base” variant minus bootloader and Linux Kernel. Due to the lack of hardware available to our developers, we currently have no plan to expand this particular repository. Also, due to the experimental nature of this port, we have not yet differentiated stable and testing repositories for this port. The packaging architecture is denoted as
We are looking to release new tarballs for all architectures in the coming month, along with updated ARM device images.
A sneak-peek at our new project device, Nokia N900, running on mainline Linux Kernel.
Assuming that the current development workload continues, you should expect the next wave of update before July - though still in debate, our update cycle may lengthen to a season (that is, normally, three months) instead of a monthly update.
In the coming cycle, we will return our focus on user requests and further enhancement of user experience (or usability in general) on non-AMD64 ports, especially for users of ARM-based devices.
Thanks for your continued support for AOSC OS, and we wish you productivity and enjoyment with AOSC OS.
— Mingcong Bai
Now that April is in full swing, we have some news that should be taken notice by our friends here in this community…
Recall the message sent out in a similar time last year:
"Since 2014, our community repository has been growing in size due to our (essentially) permissive policy on keeping all old versions of all our packages.
“As we stand today, the repository is roughly 500GiB in size. This is abnormal even when considering all of our architectural ports, as Debian, the largest binary-based *nix distribution requires just over 1TiB in size. This continuing growth in repository size has brought storage challenges to both our mirror hosts and our own repository server.”
Another year has passed since the announcement was made, and unfortunately, our repository size has again skyrocketed to the point that we can no longer maintain a reasonable way to keep them there. In order to make the system more future-proof and robust to accommodate all users with all bandwidth limitations as well as our rapid-growing repository size, we have to make the tough decision to remove it entirely from the Internet, and use the more robust Sneakernet in lieu of it.
The Sneakernet, backed up by the Anthon Optical Storage Center funded also in last year, would unlock the unprecedented experience of data transfer. If you are located within the US, the strong and robust Sneakernet would offer a maximum of 27.7 Mbps, improved to 57.9 Mbps in the upcoming month, at a cost of only USD 0.081/GiB - less than 1/10 of the price comparing to our closest competitor. If you are really in a deep budget, we also offer the lowest cost option of USD 0.044/GiB at a bandwidth of 3.97 Mbps. If you are unfortunately located outside of the US, a roaming charge would have to be applied to it, thus raising the cost slightly. The maximum bandwidth of 9.26 Mbps would come with a charge of 0.298/GiB, and the budget bandwidth of 1.98 Mbps would only come with a cost of USD 0.77/GiB - still cheaper than our closest competitor’s domestic rate.
However in order to use the next-generation of Sneakernet-based repository distribution system, you would also need some new hardware requirement. The baseline system requirement would include a Blu-Ray Disc drive, in which you may easily find at anywhere at a price of less than USD 75, and it would be a one-time purchase that you can also use it with your Blu-ray HD Movies.
In favor of the new Sneakernet-based repository, the legacy Internet-based repository would run for another month to allow a smooth transition for our users, and become part of the archive offered by the Anthon Optical Storage Center followed by its official closure date of 20180501T0000Z. While we appreciate the development and support of the Internet over the whole course of the AOSC, there are things we had to give up for others to work better, and unfortunately an Internet-based repository is one that has to go…
Now, if you would like to purchase a subscription of our software repository and many additions that will enhance your software installation/update experience - you could do so here.
Thank you for your continued support for our community and many of its projects.
— Anthon Operation: Sneakernet Committee Chair Staph. O. aureus
A long over due batch of updates is now available for the AMD64 architecture, with a date of 20180128. With the last batch of tarballs released almost a year ago, this update should provide quite some convenience for new users, and old users trying to reinstall.
Finally, some new looks!
Apart from updating the system releases, we have also made a series of changes to the tarballs - from how they were made, to the content of the tarballs:
aoscuser, or the
usersgroup occupying the 1000 UID and GID, respectively. You would have to create your own user, as discussed in the Wiki.
In more detail, here are some of the changes we have made to specific variants:
You may ask, where is the variant for the Deepin Desktop Environment? We have decided not to ship this variant, as we recently discovered a “feature” in the DDE Daemon that changes the system GRUB (bootloader) theme without noticing the users. We are working on a method to remove or disable this feature by default, after which the tarballs could be generated with the next batch of updates.
Speaking of the next batch, we do recognise that a year-long gap between updates has brought quite some inconvenience for new and old users a like - we do apologise for procrastinating. With automatic generation made available by Ciel, we are considering a fixed schedule for updating and releasing tarballs (say, monthly, or even weekly) to incorporate latest updates, bug fixes, and security updates. A news post will be made on this topic.
As for other architectural ports of AOSC OS, we are still working on syncing package versions on these architectures, we are aiming for tarball releases in Mid-February.
Thank you for choosing AOSC OS and we wish you enjoy the new releases!
Since our last progress report, the following progress has been accomplished in our effort to mitigate the “Meltdown” and “Spectre” vulnerabilities for our users:
intel-ucode. On the other hand, if you haven’t installed this package yet, please do so - though it should install automatically if you have
Please update your AOSC OS as soon as possible.
— Mingcong Bai
Brutally simplified rolling Linux distribution.
Install AOSC OS on your Windows machine.
Localization improvements made by the community.
A catalog of packages available for AOSC OS.
Our community repository server, where AOSC OS installation medias, tarballs, packages, project documentation, etc. are stored.
Take a look at current mirror synchronization and availability information.
Community mailing lists for discussions, advisories, and announcements.
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Learn about newest news and happenings in and around AOSC.
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