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Article from Issue 225/2019

Updates on technologies, trends, and tools

Chromium-Based Browsers Will Ignore Google's Ad-Blocking Ban

Commercial web browsers including Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi won't be disabling ad blocker extensions as desired by Google. These browsers are based on the same open source codebase that is used with Google Chrome. Google maintains an open source project called Chromium as the base of its Chrome browsers.

According to ZDNet, "At the end of May, Google made a new announcement in which it said that the old technology that ad blockers were relying on would only be available for Chrome enterprise users, but not for regular users."

Chromium has become standard for web browsers; except for Safari and Firefox, almost everyone is using Chromium – including Microsoft Edge. Chromium derivates Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi have said they will not follow Google into crippling ad blocking.

Zorin OS 15 Released

Artyom Zorin, chief executive officer of Zorin OS, has announced the release of Zorin OS 15, the latest version of the Linux-based distribution.

Zorin OS 15 is based on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS with the Hardware Enablement (HWE) stack. The LTS base enables Zorin OS developers to focus on making incremental improvements to the distro without having to chase the always moving target, since new versions of Ubuntu are released every six months.

According to a Zorin blog, speed has been a top focus in Zorin OS 15, so the desktop runs dramatically smoother on a wide range of hardware, old and new. "With the introduction of Gnome Shell 3.30 and the Linux kernel 4.18, performance optimizations have been made at every level of the operating system," said the blog post.

Zorin OS also packs Nvidia drivers in the ISO, so users don't need Internet in order to install such drivers.

Zorin OS includes the adaptive desktop, which changes the background to adapt to the brightness of the environment. The new Zorin Auto Theme feature automatically switches the desktop theme into dark mode at sunset and back to light mode after sunrise.

Zorin is targeted at Windows and macOS users who want to switch to desktop Linux.

Zorin OS is available in different editions: https://zorinos.com/download/

Ubuntu to Package Proprietary Nvidia Driver

According to reports, Ubuntu developers are planning to add the proprietary Nvidia drivers to the ISO of the next Ubuntu release (19.10).

However, these drivers will not be activated/enabled by default.

The reason for backing these drivers is simple. As mentioned in the Launchpad bug report, "On Ubuntu desktop, without a network connection, the user can elect to install 3rd party drivers (which states that it'll install graphics driver) but even if the user selects this option, Nvidia proprietary drivers won't be installed because they are not on the pool of the ISO."

With drivers backed into the ISO, users can install these drivers without Internet. To ensure that there won't be any licensing issues, Will Cooke of Canonical said that they have worked with Nvidia to ensure that they are allowed to distribute the drivers on the ISO. Depending on user feedback, Canonical might also backport this to earlier Ubuntu releases.

Canonical will continue to offer open source nouveau drivers as the default driver for Nvidia cards.

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