End of an era: Linux distributions will soon stop supporting 32-bit PCs

AMD and Intel released the first 64-bit CPUs for consumers back in 2003 and 2004. Now, more than a decade later, Linux distributions are looking at winding down support for 32-bit hardware.

Google already took this leap back in 2015, dumping 32-bit versions of Chrome for Linux.

Ubuntu is just the latest distro to plan for this

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Sony agrees to pay millions for removing Linux support from the PlayStation 3

Sony may finally pay the price for ripping the “Other OS” feature away from PlayStation 3 owners. Under a proposed settlement that must still be accepted by a judge, Sony will pay $55 to gamers who provide proof that they used the Other OS functionality. Gamers who bought the PS3 based on its Other OS feature but never got around to using it will be eligible for $9.

The sorry history of Other OS support

When Sony launched the PlayStation 3 in 2006, it included an Other OS feature that allowed you to install and use another operating system on its PowerPC hardware. Yellow Dog Linux was the first Linux distribution to support the PS3, and was followed by Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu.

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How Android apps transformed my Asus Chromebook Flip into an entirely new device

Android apps on Chrome OS are here today if you have an Asus Chromebook Flip. Switch your Chromebook Flip to Chrome’s Dev channel and you’ll get full access to the entire Google Play Store on your device. Android apps will arrive on other eligible Chromebooks in the future.

Chromebooks gain access to Google Play

Once you put your Asus Chromebook Flip onto the Dev channel and update it, you’ll get a Google Play Store icon on your taskbar. Click or tap the icon and the Play Store—itself an Android app—will open in a window on your Chromebook’s desktop. You can browse the store and install apps, just like you would on an Android device. The Play Store treats your Chromebook as an Android 6 tablet, so you’ll get the tablet interface in these apps. Apps you install appear in your app launcher and on your taskbar as applications in their own windows. They’re not restricted to some weird separate interface, as Microsoft’s Metro apps were on Windows 8.

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Fedora 24 arrives with GNOME 3.20 and under-the-hood improvements

Fedora 24 is scheduled to arrive today after several delays. Once again, the Fedora Project has done a lot of work behind the scenes to integrate the latest and greatest versions of software, including the spiffy new GNOME 3.20 desktop environment .

What’s new on the desktop

The latest version of GNOME brings a lot of polish and improvements across the main Fedora Workstation desktop, including media-player controls in the notification panel and better search in the Files application. When you upgrade from Fedora 24 to Fedora 25 in the future, you’ll be able to do it right from GNOME’s Software application. It will use the DNF upgrade system, which was introduced in Fedora 23, under the hood.

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Ubuntu’s 'Snap' packages may be the future of software installation on every Linux PC

The new “Snap” package format in Ubuntu 16.04 isn’t just for Ubuntu. Snap packages can now be installed on many different Linux distributions. Snaps aim to provide a single, self-contained software package format that works on every Linux distribution.

The dream of universal, self-contained packages

As of Canonical’s announcement, Snaps already work on Arch, Debian, and Fedora, as well as the Ubuntu-based Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Unity, and Xubuntu systems. Snaps are “currently being validated” on CentOS, Elementary, Gentoo, Mint, OpenSUSE, OpenWrt, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The underlying “snapd” tool, which enables the installation and running of Snaps, can be easily ported to other Linux distributions.

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Linux Mint 18 'Sarah' is now in beta, with a final release expected soon

Linux Mint 18 is now in beta, and you can try it yourself. The stable version of this popular Ubuntu-based Linux distribution should be available soon.

It’s now based on Ubuntu 16.04

Linux Mint’s 17.x series focused on polish and refinement atop a stable Ubuntu 14.04 LTS base. With Linux Mint 18, the project is upgrading to an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS base. This means a much more modern Linux kernel, newer drivers, and improved hardware support. More hardware should work better, and the software available in the repositories will be much newer.

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Tails, the anonymity-focused Linux distribution with deep Tor integration, reaches version 2.4

Tails is a Linux distribution most famously used by Edward Snowden. Boot Tails from a live DVD, USB drive, or SD card and it will turn any PC into a more private and anonymous system. Tails forces all network activity to go through the Tor network, preserving anonymity and bypassing Internet censorship. Shut down your computer and the memory will be wiped, with no trace of the Tails activity left on the system.

This important Linux distribution has been advancing steadily with release after release since I last covered it with the release of Tails 1.4. The project just released Tails 2.4 on June 7, 2016.

What’s new in Tails 2.4

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