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Oracle announced the release of Java 17 as the new Long-Term Support (LTS) release.

Java 17 LTS comes with thousands of performance, stability, and security updates, as well as 14 JEPs (JDK Enhancement Proposals). And Oracle will provide 8-year support for the release with security, performance, and bug-fix updates until 2029.

According to the release note, the next LTS will be Java 21 planned for September 2023, which changes the LTS release circle for every three years to two years.

What’s New in Oracle Java 17:

JDK 17 includes new language enhancements, updates to the libraries, support for new Apple computers, removals and deprecations of legacy features, and work to ensure Java code written today will continue working without change in future JDK versions. It also offers a language feature preview and incubating APIs to gather feedback from the Java community.

Updates in the release include:

  • Sealed classes and interfaces restrict which other classes or interfaces may extend or implement them.
  • Restore Always-Strict Floating-Point Semantics
  • New interface types and implementations for Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNGs), including jumpable PRNGs and an additional class of splittable PRNG algorithms (LXM).
  • Implement a Java 2D pipeline for macOS using the Apple Metal API.
  • New Arm 64-based Apple Silicon computers support.
  • Deprecate the Applet API for removal
  • Remove the Remote Method Invocation (RMI) Activation mechanism
  • Remove the Experimental AOT and JIT Compiler
  • Deprecate the Security Manager for removal
  • Strongly encapsulate all internal elements of the JDK, except for critical internal APIs such as sun.misc.Unsafe.
  • Pattern matching for switch expressions and statements, along with extensions to the language of patterns.
  • Improves Foreign Function and Memory API and Vector API.

How to Install Oracle Java 17 in Ubuntu:

Thanks to the “Linux Uprising” team ppa, an installer script has been created to automatically downloads and installs Oracle JDK 17 package, and sets Java 17 as the default Java version (setting JAVA_HOME, etc.) on 64-bit PC and arm64 devices, e.g., Rasperry Pi and Microsoft HoloLens 2.

1.) Firstly, open terminal either from system start menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxuprising/java

Type user password when it asks (no asterisk feedback) and hit Enter to continue.

2.) Refresh system package cache. The PPA provides packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, as well as two old Ubuntu LTS (14.04 and 16.04). And old Ubuntu releases need to manually update system cache by running the command below in terminal:

sudo apt-get update

3.) Finally install the script package via command:

sudo apt-get install oracle-java17-installer

Once the script starts, it brings you to the screen for the license. Press Tab key on keyboard to select OK and hit Enter.

Then answer “Yes” via arrow keys and hit Enter to start downloading Java 17 package from oracle website.

Terminal will indicate the downloading and installing process for you. When everything’s done successfully, use java --version or javac --version command to verify the installation.

That’s all. Enjoy!

Mozilla Firefox 92.0 was released today with new features and various security fixes.

The release will use HTTPS resource record (HTTPS RR) as Alt-Svc headers to make connections more secure.

The full-range color (0-255) levels are now supported for video playback. Though the limited color range (16-235) is ideal for movies and TV, the source can be switched to full-range color to match PC monitor.

For Mac, users can now access the macOS share options from the Firefox File menu. And it enables support for images containing ICC v4 profiles.

Other changes include:

  • Firefox performance with screen readers and other accessibility tools is no longer severely degraded if Mozilla Thunderbird is installed or updated after Firefox.
  • macOS VoiceOver now correctly reports buttons and links marked as ‘expanded’ using the aria-expanded attribute.
  • An open alert in a tab no longer causes performance issues in other tabs using the same process.
  • The bookmark toolbar menus on macOS now follow Firefox visual styles.
  • Certificate error pages have been redesigned for a better user experience.

How to Install Firefox 92:

Usually, Ubuntu will publish the new Firefox package in next few days. The best choice is just wait!

You’ll see the packages in Software Updater once published:

Or see the release note & download the Linux portable package from this page.

HPLIP, Hewlett-Packard’s Linux imaging and printing software, released version 3.21.8 with new printers support.

The open-source HP printer and scanner driver add some new devices support. They are:

  • HP Smart Tank 500 series
  • HP Smart Tank 530 series
  • HP Smart Tank Plus 570 series
  • HP Smart Tank 7600
  • HP Smart Tank 750
  • HP Smart Tank 790
  • HP Smart Tank Plus 710-720
  • HP Smart Tank Plus 7000
  • HP Smart Tank Plus 660-670
  • HP Smart Tank Plus 6000
  • HP DeskJet Ink Advantage Ultra 4800 All-in-One Printer series

And Linux Mint 20.2, RHEL 8.4 and Manjaro 21.0.7 are officially supported according to the release note.

How to Install HPLIP 3.21.8 in Ubuntu:

The official installer package, “hplip-3.21.8.run“, is available to download at the link below:

After downloaded the file, open the Downloads folder in terminal by right-clicking on blank area in that directory and choose ‘Open in Terminal.’

Open Downloads folder in terminal

When terminal opens, add executable permission to the file by running command:

chmod u+x hplip-3.21.8.run

Then run the installer and follow terminal output to start installing the driver:

./hplip-3.21.8.run

For the python-pyqt5 dependency issue, see this how to tutorial. Or, you can manually install the dependencies via command:

sudo apt-get install libcups2 cups libcups2-dev cups-bsd cups-client libcupsimage2-dev libdbus-1-dev build-essential ghostscript openssl libjpeg-dev libsnmp-dev libtool-bin libusb-1.0-0-dev wget python3-pil policykit-1 policykit-1-gnome python3-pyqt5 python3-dbus.mainloop.pyqt5 python-gi-dev python3-dev python3-notify2 python3 python3-reportlab libsane libsane-dev sane-utils xsane libavahi-client-dev libavahi-core-dev

And compile it from source folder (generated automatically once you run the .run file) via configure, make, sudo make install.

Uninstall HPLIP 3.21.8:

While installing the driver, it creates a source folder that contains an uninstall script. Until you remove that folder, you can run the script to remove HPLIP:

cd ~/Downloads/hplip-3.21.8/ && sudo ./uninstall.py

The popular kart racing game SuperTuxKart 1.3 finally goes stable! Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 21.04.

After a year of development, the game now is ported to Switch though you need to have Homebrew installed. So the 3D open-source arcade racer now works on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS (beta), and Nintendo Switch.

photo via erik mclean (edited)

Thanks to SDL2 and Mary, there’s an option to enable force feedback. You can find it in ‘Options -> Controls’ if you have a controller that support the feature.

The graphics settings now provides “render resolution” option. With it, the resolution can be lowered by up to 50% to get better frame rates.

Other changes in SuperTuxKart 1.3 include:

  • URLs in text on STK UI are now clickable.
  • Lap line extensions to make sure the lap counting still takes place even if you drive a little bit off the road.
  • New high scores selection screen
  • updated SuperTuxKart Blender scripts
  • New Arenas and Karts:
    • Ancient Colosseum Labyrinth – new battle arena in a dark environment inspired by the Rome colosseum.
    • Alien Signal – arena based on a real location of the SETI program.
    • Sara the Racer replaced by the cute Pepper from Pepper&Carrot.
    • Gnu has got a new look, Adiumy and Emule also got a makeover.

See SuperTuxKart 1.3 in video:

How to Get SuperTuxKart 1.3 RC:

Linux Tarball:

Users can grab the Linux tar bar from the github release page (under assets):

Then extract, right-click on the “run_game.sh” file and select Run to launch the game.

Ubuntu PPA:

The racing game has an official Ubuntu PPA that contains packages for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 21.10, and their based systems, e.g., Linux Mint 20 and Zorin OS 16.

1.) To add the PPA. Open terminal by either pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard or searching from the activities overview screen. When it opens, run command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stk/dev

2.) Next, update the system package cache. This is done automatically in Ubuntu 20.04 and higher, though Ubuntu 18.04 and some Ubuntu based systems need to run this command manually:

sudo apt update

3.) Finally, install the game package via apt command:

sudo apt install supertuxkart

How to Remove SuperTuxkart:

To remove kart racing game, simply run the apt command with remove flag in terminal window:

sudo apt remove --autoremove supertuxkart supertuxkart-data

And remove the Ubuntu PPA using command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:stk/dev

Giara, the Reddit app for Gnome, released version 1.0. It’s now based on GTK4.

Giara is a free and open-source client for Reddit that runs on Linux. The software is written in Python 3 programming language. With GTK framework and libadwaita (formerly libhandy), it has a modern and adaptive user interface works on both desktop and Linux mobile devices.

What’s New in Giara 1.0:

The new release moves to GTK4 and libadwaita (the GTK 4 port of libhandy), makes the UI more modern. However, due to outdated system libraries the PPA package (unofficial) will not update until Ubuntu 22.04 (maybe).

With built-in image viewer, the 1.0 release has new and improved picture view, adds support for picture galleries. The NSFW (not safe for work) images that involve nudity, sexual content, and so forth are now blurred.

Other changes include optimized post lists based on ListView, custom emojis in post flairs, many improvements and bug-fixes.

How to Install Giara:

For Arch Linux only, an AUR repository is available, while other Linux can install the app via Flatpak package.

Flatpak is an universal Linux package format runs in sandbox. It’s supported out-of-the-box in some distributins, e.g., CentOS, Fedora, Linux Mint, though it needs a separate daemon for running the apps.

And below will show you how to install Giara Flatpak in Ubuntu 20.04 and higher:

1.) Firstly, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to install the daemon if you don’t have it:

sudo apt install flatpak

Flatpak supports Ubuntu 18.04 and even Ubuntu 16.04, though you have to add the Ubuntu PPA first!

2.) Then add the flathub repository, the preferred place to get Flatpak apps.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

3.) Finally, install the Reddit App via command:

flatpak install flathub org.gabmus.giara

Like normal apps, open it by searching from start menu and enjoy!

Uninstall Giara:

To remove the app, simply use command:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.gabmus.giara

Remove the --delete-data if you want to keep the personal data for the app. And run command to run unused runtime which may free up more disk spaces.

flatpak uninstall --unused