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This Week in AOSC OS Development

Happy Valentines Day! Hey, kudos to you if you do have a date tonight - we won't take this day off, however. As usual, we push weekly updates to the Stable branch, including security, bug-fix, patch-level version updates (e.g. 2.3.1 => 2.3.2), and major updates included as Exceptions.

Here below is a breakdown of what we've done this week.

Stable Branch Updates

Multiple security updates have now been made available for Stable branch users (AMD64-only for now, we are working to sync other architectures):

  • Firefox (firefox) v72.0.2 => v73.0.
    • This version is now built with Clang and enables three-tier profile-guided optimisation (PGO), with a new build script adapted from Arch Linux.
  • LibEXIF (libexif, libexif+32) v0.6.21-4 => v0.6.21-5.
  • Thunderbird (thunderbird) v68.4.2 => v68.5.0.

AOSC OS Core has received two patch releases, containing updates to the core runtime and toolchains on which AOSC OS is built upon:

  • Bash v5.0.11-1 => v5.0.16.
  • Binutils v2.33.1-1 => v2.33.1-2.
  • GCC v9.2.1-1 => v9.2.1-2.
  • Glibc v1:2.30-1 => v1:2.30-2.
  • ISL v1:0.22 => v1:0.22.1.
  • Linux API Headers v2:5.4.5 => v2:5.4.19.
  • Ncurses v6.1+20191214 => v6.1+20200118.
  • Readline v8.0.1 => v8.0.4.

With these updates, AOSC OS Core is updated from v7.0.2 to v7.0.4.

Other notable updates:

  • Go v1.13.5-1 => v1.13.8.
    • All Go-based packages have been rebuilt using the new Go compiler.
  • Linux Kernels...
    • Mainline (linux+kernel) v5.5.2 => v5.5.3.
    • Long-Term Support (linux+kernel+lts) v5.4.17 => v5.4.19.
  • LLVM (llvm, llvm+32) v9.0.0-2 => v9.0.1.
    • This version re-enables binary hardening.
  • LMMS (lmms) v2:1.2.0rc8-2 => v2:1.2.1.
  • Rust (rustc) v1:1.39.0 => v1:1.41.0.
    • This version re-enables binary stripping and the resulting package should be much smaller.
  • Telegram Desktop (telegram-desktop) v1.9.9 => v1.9.13.
  • VirtualBox (virtualbox, virtualbox-guest) v6.1.0 => v6.1.2.
  • Vivaldi Browser (vivaldi) v2.10.1745.27 => v2.11.1811.33.

Linux Kernel 5.6

As you may be aware, Linux Kernel 5.6 is quite possibly one of the most exciting Kernel releases in years, as a large amount of new features made it into the new release:

  • SATA temperature sensors are now exposed from the Linux Kernel, that said, with a due update to lm-sensors (which provides the sensors command), you should now be able to monitor your storage devices which are connected via SATA.
  • WireGuard has finally been merged into the Kernel for a secure VPN tunnel.
  • The ZoneFS from Western Digital has been merged into the Kernel.
  • AMD Zen/Zen2 (Ryzen 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Generation) thermal and power monitoring has been improved.
  • ...

It seems that Whiskey Lake-based laptops could now suspend more reliably too, but this remains to be seen with further testing (I personally use a Panasonic Let's Note CF-SV8R, which did not suspend well with Kernels 5.4 - 5.5).

With this exciting news, we have also decided to open a new repository called rckernel for those who want to get in the testing game. To obtain Linux Kernel 5.6-rc1, or any future Kernel release candidates, please invoke the following command:

# apt-gen-list b rckernel

If you are using the Testing or Testing-Proposed branch, please run the following command:

# apt-gen-list b testing


# apt-gen-list b testing-proposed

And rckernel will be enabled automatically. Simply update your system after the above command is run:

# apt update && apt full-upgrade

And you should receive Kernel 5.6-rc1 as a system update.

Looking Ahead

On the Testing-Proposed front, we have mainly focused on desktop environment updates and update survey (that is, checking for available updates and recording them on our Iteration Plan for Winter 2020).

Desktop environment updates made available for testing this week:

  • MATE Desktop and Applications (groups/mate) v1.22 => 1.24.
  • Plasma Desktop (groups/plasma) v5.17.90 => 5.18.0.
    • KDE Frameworks (groups/kf5) v5.66.0 => v5.67.0.

Other notable updates:

  • Racket (racket) v7.5 => v7.6.
  • Visual Studio Code, or Code - OSS (vscode) v1.14.1 => v1.42.0
  • Wine (wine, with Wine-Staging patch set) v2:5.0 => v2:5.1.

In the coming week, we are expecting to update to Python 3.8, and with this, a large amount of packages will be updated and rebuilt. Otherwise, we will continue to package updates that we've found from our surveys.

This will conclude our development update for the week of February 10th.

— Mingcong Bai