Article from Issue 238/2020

In the news: Purism Launches a Mini PC; openSUSE Leap 15.2 Adds AI and Machine Learning; Google's Nearby Sharing Could Work with Linux; System76 Launches Ryzen-Powered Laptop; Fedora 33 Desktop Defaults to Btrfs; and SUSE Acquires Rancher Labs.

Purism Launches the Librem Mini

For anyone looking to deploy small form factor PCs and wanting them powered by Linux, Purism might have what you're looking for. The Librem Mini ( is a tiny device that packs plenty of features. The form factor is smaller than a Mac Mini, bigger than a Raspberry Pi, and includes everything you need to work with Linux.

The specs for the device are: CPU – Quad-Core i7 (Whiskey Lake) with 4 cores, 8 threads, and up to 4.6GHz; RAM – Up to 64GB; Storage – 250GB SATA M.2; Graphics – Intel UHD 620; and Networking – Gigabit ethernet (with optional WiFi).

On the front of the device you'll find a power button, a headphone jack, and 4 USB 3.0 ports. On the back of the device, you'll find a standard ethernet jack, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB-C port, a 4K HDMI 2.0 port, and a Display port.

Inside, however, is where the Librem Mini shines. Purism has boosted security by disabling and neutralizing the Intel Management Engine, using Coreboot-based OSS firmware and boot process validation (with the help of PureBoot and a Librem Key), and (of course) the Librem version of Linux, Pure OS.

The cost of the Librem Mini starts at $699 for the 8GB model, but can be specced out to nearly $3,000. When the units were listed, Purism said they wouldn't ship until they received $50,000 worth of pre-orders. That goal was met on April 5, 2020, so the units are now available for shipping from the Purism Store (

openSUSE Leap 15.2 Adds AI and Machine Learning

For openSUSE users, there's some very exciting news for the release of the latest iteration, 15.2. This new take on the platform includes several new packages in the mix that add both artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The packages that bring these two new features include Tensorflow (a framework for deep learning), PyTorch (a machine learning library), and ONNX (an open format for machine learning models that provides interoperability in the AI tool space).

Other new features to openSUSE Leap 15.2 include Grafana and Prometheus packages for analytical experts. The latest release also has a real time kernel available (which is beneficial for systems that need to process tasks in a given time, else the task may fail). For container administrators, there's finally an official Kubernetes package available. On top of the official Kubernetes package, the Helm Kubernetes package manager has been added to give a boost to container orchestration capabilities. To help make container orchestration more efficient, Container Runtime Interface using Open Container Initiative conformant runtimes has been included and serves as a lightweight alternative to the Docker runtime. For network and security admins, Cilium can aid in transparently securing network connectivity and load balancing between application containers.

openSUSE Leap 15.2 also offers Server and Transactional Server system roles. The Server role includes a small set of packages best suited for GUI-less servers, while the Transactional Server role is similar to the Server system role, only it makes use of a read-only filesystem for atomic and automatic updates.

Get your copy of openSUSE Leap 15.2 from the official download page (

Google's Nearby Sharing Could Work with Linux

For Linux users, one of the big frustrations with Android is transferring files to and from a mobile device. You could certainly set up an SMB share and install an Android file manager that includes Samba connectivity, or configure an FTP or sFTP server on your Linux machine and use a supporting app on Android.

That necessity could be coming to an end.

If the rumors are true, Android will soon be bringing a new feature to the mobile platform that will allow you to easily share things to nearby devices. That feature is aptly named, Nearby Sharing. Originally this feature was to be used for sharing links, photos, and more between Android devices. However, Google has brought the feature to the latest Chrome OS Canary builds. And although the feature has yet to actually do anything, the description of Nearby Sharing for Android is the same found in the Chrome ( file, which indicates the feature will be coming to the Chrome browser on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Yes, that mean Nearby Sharing wouldn't technically work natively on Linux, but requires the use of Chrome on the open source platform. Even so, it would be an important step forward for any Linux user who depends on Android and needs an efficient way to transfer files back and forth between Google's mobile OS and their desktop of choice.

Read the original commit for the Chrome browser file here:

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More