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Sabayon logo The Sabayon Linux developers recently released their GNOME and KDE variants of version 4.2 of Sabayon. Sabayon 4.2 is based on the 2.6.29 Linux Kernel and, in addition to 7.4, includes support for the latest graphics chip-sets from AMD and NVIDIA. The GNOME release is based on version 2.26.2 of the GNOME desktop (the more recent version 2.26.3 was released on July 2nd) and the KDE edition uses version 4.2.4 of the K Desktop Environment. Both versions use Ext4 as the default file system and include a Media Center Mode that uses the XBMC Media Center. The developers are now focusing on the release of version 5.0, which is expected to be available on the 9th of August.


Following the availability of two release candidates, the Turkish distribution Pardus is currently working its way even closer to releasing Pardus 2009. The distribution is sponsored by The National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEKAE) and includes several unique features. Pardus features PiSi (Packages Installed Successfully, as Intended), an efficient and small package management system for installing and managing software implemented using Python, and COMAR, their own COnfiguration MAnageR that includes the Mudar init system for Pardus. Since its inception in 2005, Pardus has used the KDE desktop environment and the 2009 release will feature KDE 4.2.4.


KDE logo Two release candidates have already been made available for KDE 4.3, which is expected to be released at the end of this month. Using the new openDesktop Plasmod, KDE 4.3 uses integrated geolocation functions to display nearby friends and other Linux users, representing a first step towards the "Social Desktop". The new default theme for version 4.3 of KDE is called "Air" and replaces the previous default theme, named Oxygen. The new desktop release will also include PolicyKit, a new authorisation framework.


The new GNOME Shell.
Zoom The new GNOME Shell.
The GNOME developers aren't twiddling their thumbs either. With the imminent development release of 2.27.4 on the 15th of July to be followed by version 2.27.5 scheduled for the 29th of July, the upcoming 2.28 final release is gradually taking shape. Later this month the release team will reach a Feature and Module Freeze point, where they will finalise the new modules and functionality for GNOME 2.28. Major updates will include the GNOME Shell to redefine user interaction with the GNOME desktop and Mutter, a new window manager (a Metacity fork with Cluster support). Both of these new features will be optional in GNOME 2.28, scheduled for release at the end of September, and will become standard in GNOME 2.30, which will be re-numbered as 3.0.0.


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