Monthly Archives: January 2022

Linux User Group of Mauritius meets LuboŇ° Kocman

We had a meetup in the conference room of Flying Dodo, Bagatelle, on Saturday 22 Junuary 2022. Luboš Kocman, the Release Manager for openSUSE, who came to Mauritius on vacation was kind enough to spare a few hours and meet us.

Nirvan Pagooah, the Secretary of the Linux User Group of Mauritius, made the announcement of the meetup on the LUGM discussion list. Due to sanitary restrictions imposed by the government we could not make the meetup public. We had to keep it a private event with a limited number of attendees.

Grateful to everyone who made it despite the short notice

Luboš told us about some new things that will be coming to Leap in the future. He explained his role as a Release Manager for openSUSE and how the community as a whole is regarded as a SUSE partner. He explained the relationship between SUSE and the openSUSE community. He also talked about SUSE Liberty Linux, a new offering by SUSE which offers support for mixed Linux environment, like RHEL, CentOS and SLES.

Luboš showed us code.opensuse.org/leap/features/issues where community members can request the features they want most in openSUSE Leap. Hence, contributing to making openSUSE distributions better.

I asked whether the feature requests for Leap won't make it such that Leap and Tumbleweed will have different features. Luboš opened opensource.suse.com/legal/policy and explained that the contributions land in Factory first. He talked about the binary compatibility between Leap & SLES and users can test on Leap then migrate to SLES at total ease.

We talked about contributing to open source. Luboš mentioned non-code contributions and how easy it is to contribute to openSUSE. Ajay Ramjatan, one of the founders and the current President of LUGM, mentioned that years ago this is what he's been telling Linux & FOSS enthusiasts, that contributions can be in any form, like designs, translations, etc.

On that note Avinash Meetoo added that the Mauritian Creole (kreol morisien) can be an interesting FOSS project if we would consider adding Kreol support to openSUSE. He mentioned that there are people who are well versed on the topic but might not be techie, that is where we can work together and make this happen.

Renghen Pajanilingum shot a few tech questions, from containers to programming languages & having to compile software using different versions of packages. I know Renghen does not like to spend time fixing the distro problems because he'd rather spend that on actual work. However, he is one of the several Linux people that I have tried to lure to the green side. 😁 Not there yet but I am hopeful that we'll paint his laptop green one day.

I cannot end this blog without thanking Joffrey Michaïe for sponsoring a round of beer (and other drinks) for everyone.

At around 5 p.m the meetup ended.

Some of us stayed at Flying Dodo for more beer and to have dinner. Finally, we went to Mugg & Bean for a coffee and continued chatting about work, life and the balance. At 8:30 p.m, the hotel's taxi came for Luboš.

Hoping to be able to meet and greet geekos again.

Linux Mint partners with Mozilla and makes some changes to the Firefox package it ships with its distribution

Yesterday, in a post, the Linux Mint project leader, Clément Lefebvre (Clem), announced a partnership with Mozilla. In a small set of FAQs, Clem tried to address most of the immediately raising questions. He even answered questions in the comments section to make things as clear as possible.

However, I saw two articles that I would say have misleading titles. One of from betanews.com and the other published by omgubuntu.co.uk. I'm not judging the article authors but I believe the titles should have portrayed the actual Linux Mint announcement.

betanews.com screenshot taken on 12 Jan 2022
betanews.com screenshot taken on 12 Jan 2022
OMG! Ubuntu! post on Facebook
OMG! Ubuntu! post on Facebook

OMG! Ubuntu! says big changes coming to Firefox on Linux Mint, while the actual changes mean:

  • The default start page no longer points to https://www.linuxmint.com/start/
  • The default search engines no longer include Linux Mint search partners (Yahoo, DuckDuckGo…) but Mozilla search partners (Google, Amazon, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ebay…)
  • The default configuration switches from Mint defaults to Mozilla defaults.
  • Firefox no longer includes code changes or patches from Linux Mint, Debian or Ubuntu.

The above list of changes are the exact ones posted by Clément Lefebvre and let's be honest these do not look like big changes. Anyone not liking the Firefox defaults can still change them to what they prefer and those who had made changes to the Firefox config previously, their preferences will be preserved and not overwritten.

Firefox 96.0 released

Yesterday, Firefox 96.0 was released and in an article, Phoronix talks about the browser's performance. In the same article, the author, Michael Larabel mentioned the Linux Mint/Mozilla partnership announcement without any ambiguity. I quote:

[...] Linux Mint announced on Monday they signed a partnership with Mozilla. Financial details were not disclosed but Linux Mint's Firefox build will be changing its default start page, the default search engines will change to Mozilla search partners, and other modifications for Mozilla.