Linux Release Roundup: OBS, Microsoft Edge, and Pop!_OS Beta
Are you an budding open-source music producer, a standout content streamer, or a fanatical follower of System76? If you are then this week’s Linux Release Roundup is sure to be of interest.
As always, the aim of these recaps is to group together some recent app and distro releases that I wouldn’t have otherwise written about (usually because I’m late to noticing they were released at all).
If a software project you’re passionate about doesn’t get featured on omg! as much as you’d like it’s probably because no-one has told me about it — don’t assume I know about it. I rely on readers like you to let me know what’s happening. Indeed, some of this roundup come courtesy of other readers keeping me in the loop.
On we go!
OBS Studio 27.0
OBS is a hugely popular open source content streaming and recording program for Windows, macOS and Linux. This week it received a sizeable update.
OBS Studio 27.0’s headline change is support for Wayland on Linux. This, notably, also includes support for PipeWire capture source when using Wayland. While neither Wayland or Pipewire is in use everywhere (on Ubuntu you need 21.04 to take advantage of the latter) OBS adding support for both is a big deal.
Other changes in this release:
Other changes in this release:
- Ability to capture displays cross-GPU
- Added a missing files warning when loading scene collections
- Added source visibility transitions
- Added service integration and browser dock support to macOS and Linux
- NVIDIA Noise Removal (Windows only)
- Support for SRGB texture formats
Download the latest version of OBS from the official OBS project website linked below, though if you’re on Linux (and chances are you are) you may want to use the official Flatpak app on Flathub, or avail yourself of the official OBS PPA for Ubuntu (which includes browser docking support).
Ardour, the digital audio workstation with serious pedigree, recently put out a new release..
The big ticket addition in the Ardour 6.7 release is the new dedicated Recorder tab/window. This provides a compact yet detailed overview of recording and monitor status, and provides audio enthusiast with a ‘simplified timeline that keeps everything in view at once’.
But it doesn’t stop there. The new recording viewport also allows hardware inputs to be renamed (e.g., “Vocal mic”, “Bass mic”, etc) and kits each input out with “…a high-precision meter with peak-hold, a scrolling waveform history so you can recognize your source signals, and a PFL solo button to listen to that signal”.
To keep pace with wider changes in the music industry there are new ‘streaming’ export presets to provide the “correct defaults” for streaming services like Amazon Music and SoundCloud. Plus, scores of bug fixes, tons of performance tweaks, and many other miscellaneous improvements also feature.
Microsoft Edge Dev 92
The Microsoft Edge Dev channel has been updated to v92 for Windows, macOS and Linux — and no, it never feels any less weird to write that!
What’s new? A ton of bug fixes and performance refinements including an improved “Extensions” menu in the main toolbar (this populated when right-clicking on an extension’s toolbar icon and choosing to hide it). If you tried Edge’s sync features and found them lacking, you weren’t alone. This release fixes several issues with the Sync feature on Linux specifically.
There’s also a new experimental flag to automatically enter Immersive Mode when visiting a compatible web page (like a blog post), and users of Progressive Web Apps (like Twitter and Telegram Web) can access a greatly improved “…” menu.
The Edge team is also scouting feedback from Linux users using the browser in an enterprise settings. See our guide to find out how to install Microsoft Edge on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and related Linux distros, or hop over the Edge Insider website to learn more.
Pop!_OS 21.04 Beta
If you don’t mind battling bugs in the name of testing you can go on with the Pop!_OS 21.04 beta, which is available to download from the distro’s home on GitHub.
This update to Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu 21.04. It includes a newer kernel, a raft of updated apps, and a stellar new addition in COSMIC — and no, that’s not me shouting; the name is stylised uppercase .
What is COSMIC? It’s essentially an enhanced GNOME 3.38 desktop that better complements the keyboard-driven UX provided by the Pop Shell extension. COSMIC adds a visible desktop dock, unpairs the application grid and workspace switcher to act as two separate spaces, and adds a new keyboard-based quick-launch tool (think Ulauncher, or macOS Spotlight).
Placeholders for planned changes are present in this beta, including spots for changing hot corner preferences, setting workspace picker placement, and modifying multi-monitor behaviour.
In short, COSMIC is an encouraging creation; System76 is building out a bespoke experience that, they say, meets the needs of their current user base. Based on my play with beta, I reckon COSMIC will see that group grow considerably.