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Article from Issue 244/2021
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In the news: Mozilla VPN Now Available for Linux; KDE Wayland Support and Kickoff Redesign; Deepin 20.1 Released; CloudLinux Commits over One Million Dollars to CentOS Replacement; Linux Mint 20.1 Beta Released; and Manjaro Linux 20.2 Unleashed.

Mozilla VPN Now Available for Linux

Back in July 2020, Mozilla launched a subscription-based VPN service and made it immediately available for Android, iOS, and Windows. Linux and macOS users, however, were left in the lurch. That has officially changed, with Mozilla making their VPN available for the two operating systems missing in the original mix.

The new VPN service isn't free. In fact, it's a bit pricier than a number of other options on the market. What do you get for your $4.99/month? Users can enjoy the service on up to five different devices (desktops, laptops, phones, or tablets), and with over 280 servers available in six countries (with zero bandwidth restrictions), Mozilla claims their VPN is one of the fastest available. This is achieved with the use of high-speed, low-level cryptographic algorithms.

The current country list for the Mozilla VPN is the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia. According to Mozilla, there will be more regions coming soon.

As for encryption and IP address obfuscation, the Mozilla VPN uses WireGuard, and zero network activity is logged to servers. So if speed and security are priorities to you, the $4.99/month might be reasonable.

To sign up for Mozilla's VPN server, head over to https://vpn.mozilla.org/.

KDE Wayland Support and Kickoff Redesign

If you're a fan of KDE, 2021 is going to be an exciting year for you. If you're not a fan of KDE, this year might change that.

The most important 2021 KDE roadmap plan is Wayland support. In fact, according to KDE developer Nate Graham, "I expect the trend of serious, concentrated Wayland work to continue in 2021, and finally make Plasma Wayland session usable for an increasing number of people's production workflows."

Look for Wayland to be production-ready sometime this year.

Other KDE features coming in 2021 include a redesign for Kickoff, KDE's application launcher. This will hit Plasma 5.21 and, as Graham said, will be "super modern and awesome." For a sneak peek at what the Kickoff replacement might look like, check out the Kickoff redesign page (https://invent.kde.org/plasma/plasma-desktop/-/merge_requests/258). Another exciting development will be full stack support for fingerprint authentication. This will include the lock screen KAuth, Polkit, and more. The Breeze theme (https://phabricator.kde.org/T10891) will also be undergoing an evolution. This change will not be fundamental, but more a modernization of the look.

Other, smaller, changes coming to KDE this year might include power/session actions in the lock screen and reflowing text in the Konsole terminal app.

Beyond software, KDE also hopes to find more hardware partnerships, closer coordination with various Linux distributions, and more effort put forth on the Neon distribution.

Read the full KDE roadmap here: https://pointieststick.com/2021/01/01/kde-roadmap-for-2021/.

Deepin 20.1 Released

In typical fashion, the developers of Deepin Linux have opted to take the road less traveled and release a version of their Linux distribution that shuns the typical and offers up a release that will turn heads and have some open source enthusiasts shaking their heads in wonder.

Whether that's a good or a bad thing is up to the beholder.

Outside of the usual, shiny new things, such as being based on Debian 10 and including kernel 5.8 (and the regular bits of Linux under the hood), Deepin has decided to create their own takes on the web browser, email client, disk manager, and a few other pieces of software. So now Deepin users will get the chance to experience Deepin Browser and Deepin Mail.

Of course, the improvements and new features don't end with Deepin's own applications. Added to Deepin 20.1 is touch gesture support, a number of new elements in the Deepin Control Center, full text search in the Deepin File Manager, restriction rules for share names, ability to preview DJVU images, a number of new features for the voice notes application, as well as numerous bug fixes and optimizations.

Naturally, because this is Linux, if you're not happy with using Deepin's take on the web browser and email client, you can always install the tools you prefer.

Download Deepin 20.1 from the official repositories now: https://www.deepin.org/en/download/.

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