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Linux news: Systemd for Debian 8, Linux 6.7 Beta from Red Hat and more

Natali Vlatko
Penguin image via Shutterstock

More systemd adoption, more from Red Hat Linux, more from the Linux world. The latest in Linux news is rounded up with the sad recognition of a milestone death in the world of Linux gaming.

After reporting on Ubuntu’s switch to systemd recently, the newest instalment from Debian has officially joined the systemd adoption party. Debian 8, codename “Jessie”, is the latest stable offering of the OS, with the jump replacing the previously used SystemV init system.

Debian 8 will have five years of support and ships with faster boot times, cgroups for services, and the possibility of isolating part of the services together with the systemd espousal. However, sysvinit will still be an option for those hesitant of the change. This means that systemd can be disabled at install, but some incompatibilities will exist, such as:

  • By default, System V services are not permitted to acquire realtime scheduling, even with root privileges
  • Early boot runlevels as they are used by some distributions are no longer supported
  • Services are executed in completely clean execution contexts, no context of the invoking user session is inherited. Not even $HOME or similar are set. init scripts depending on these will not work correctly has the entire list for those interested.

Of course, the whole systemd adoption thing was extremely controversial and seen as ‘anti-freedom’ by some in the Linux community, forcing the init software purists to create a new, systemd-free fork of Debian, known as Devuan. While the option to opt out of systemd is there, the incompatibilities that tag along might still get Linux devs heading for the fork.

SEE ALSO: Ubuntu switching to Systemd

Other improvements with this latest Debian shipment include greatly improved UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) support, workarounds for many known firmware bugs, support for UEFI on 32-bit systems, and support for 64-bit kernels with 32-bit UEFI firmware (with the latter being included only on the amd64/i386 multi-arch installation media).

Another great feature that’s been introduced is part of Debian’s beefed up supporting services. All source code present in Debian is now available to look via, with search functions for individual source packages introduced through Debian Code Search. Debian states that “both services are complemented by a completely rewritten and more responsive package tracking system”.

The Debian 8 release notes are available here.

First public beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7

The new update to Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux platform comes with better security, stability and systems management/monitoring capabilities, on top of embracing the latest in Linux innovations.

The Red Hat blog recently spilled the beans about the beta’s increased interoperability with Active Directory and Identity Management servers to preserve investments in existing infrastructure. To that end, there’s also Clufter, included as a ‘Technology Preview’, which is a tool for analysing and transforming cluster configuration formats.

SEE ALSO: Red Hat becomes strategic member of the Eclipse Foundation

Red Hatters tell us that the security and stability improvements can all be commended thanks to the ability to specify allowed mount options in udev rules, the inclusion of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) Workbench and an update of Performance Co-Pilot (PCP).

Finally, LVM Cache has been ticked off as a fully supported feature, which allows users to create logical volumes with a small, fast storage device performing as a cache for a larger, slower device. “This essentially maximizes the benefits associated with using expensive (fast) storage while helping to limit costs”.

Linux Game Publishing: 1 year death-versary

Around this time last year, Linux Game Publishing (LGP) vanished from the internet when they were supposed to be migrating their servers. The group made the announcement via their Facebook page, with the assumption that their return would be imminent:

As part of improving our infrastructure and leading towards some exciting new developments LGP will be migrating hosts and servers over the next few days. We will, of course, attempt to keep downtime to an absolute minimum but there will be downtime. The absolute priority must be our game servers so that everyone can continue playing games. These will be up on the new platform first, followed by the website and other services.

One year later and there’s still no word on what has happened or whether the service will be returning. With their migration scheduled due to past server problems, the group would have hoped for minimal downtime on account of their internet-based game copy protection system that requires communication with their servers. This effects games such as Sacred: Gold (which is a cracker of an RPG).

LGP’s website no longer works, whereas it previously housed a “Linux Game Publishing will be back soon” static message. Their Facebook page contains no new updates, and users have started noticing their absence. Michael Larabel of believes it’s a pity to see LGP go this way “considering they had been porting games from Windows to Linux for more than a decade before the Valve/Steam Linux push” which saw more high-profile Linux games being ported over.

With more and more game studios porting to Linux themselves and offering their ports via Steam, Linux gamers no longer need to buy Linux-specific versions of their games, even if they owned Windows copies of the same game in the past.

Originally founded in 2001, LGP’s mission was to provide a good flow of new top quality games for Linux.

RIP, dudes.

Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for (S&S Media Group).

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