New Gnome Desktop Stands Tall

The Gnome Foundation today released a new version of its popular Linux desktop. The new release, Gnome version 2.8, boosts speed and usability and offers several new features, the foundation said in a statement.

Gnome is one of two primary open-source projects for the Linux desktop. The other is KDE. Gnome is the default desktop on the Red Hat distribution, among others, and is available as an option on most other Linux distributions.

Gnome’s Evolution

It has been six months since the last Gnome release. The lastest KDE desktop has been available for a month.

“Once again, Gnome has delivered more features and usability, on a predictable schedule,” said Nat Friedman, chairman of the Gnome Foundation. “Gnome 2.8 provides a comfortable environment in which users can achievetheir everyday goals.”

The company highlighted several new features, including automatic detection of both removable devices and local servers. The release also includes the Evolution 2.0 e-mail client, calendar and address book.

Administrators and Developers

For system administrators, version 2.8 offers remote control of users’ desktops via the VNC (virtual network computing) server. A Remote Desktop Preferences control panel allows users to determine remote access rights.

Developers may appreciate incremental backwards-compatible API additions, as well as the ability to develop Gnome software in C++, Java, Perl and Python as well as C.

“These features will have immediate value for our users, and long-term value for application developers who will be able to integrate important user data such as contacts and calendaring into their applications,” said Jeff Waugh, Gnome release team manager, in a statement.

“This release demonstrates Gnome’s major steps toward ‘just works’hardware support, system configuration and deep collaborationintegration.”

Gnome is supported on a variety of platforms, including GNU/Linux, Solaris (TM) Operating Environment,HP-UX, Unix, BSD and Apple’s Darwin.

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