SimplyMEPIS 6.0 beta3 Release: Fixes, Biometrics, i18n, Power Management, and more

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MEPIS LLC has released beta3 of SimplyMEPIS 6.0 Linux with many fixes, better international support, enhanced laptop power management , and biometric pam authentication for Lenovo computers and UPEK fingerprint readers.

MEPIS has released beta3 of SimplyMEPIS 6.0. The ISO image is available for download and test in the mepis 'testing' subdirectory at the MEPIS Subscriber's Site and public mirrors. For up to 7 days, please send feedback to dev@mepis.org

New in this release, cpu speed management is enabled automatically. Suspend-to-ram is known to work out-of-the-box with some HP and Lenovo laptops--more testing is required. A Bluetooth mouse can be enabled from the commandline, but the configuration UI is not yet available. More file associations are preconfigured, especially for graphics. Firefox was tweaked to have print and download buttons in the main toolbar.

i18n support has been repaired. Languauge/keyboard selection works during CD boot and after installation. Translators are needed immediately, for the grub messages and help. If you would like to help, please contact erin@mepis.com.

Also integrated for testing is biometric pam authentication via the UPEK fingerprint reader available on some Lenovo laptops and as a separate USB device. At this time, users may be enrolled and managed via the commandline using apps developed by Michael Crusoe for pam_bioapi. A management utility is in development. Warren Woodford of MEPIS said "We were able to implement biometric pam authentication quickly because of the excellent work of the Linux community and the support provided by Lenovo US."

In response to user requests, gFTP has been reinstated on the SimplyMEPIS CD. The KDE menus have been further adjusted to make the most common apps easier to find. Kuickview was removed because it is no longer supported in the Ubuntu pools and showFoto was already available as an alternative. Konserve was replaced with Keep for local backups because it was very easy to lockup konserve.

Bugs were fixed for MicroSolution CD drives and for old Thinkpads with Cirrus Logic sound. A shortcoming in kde-systemsettings was worked around by making FileSharing a top-level function.

There are about a hundred package updates in beta3 which was synchronized with the Ubuntu Dapper pools on May 12. All new MEPIS package updates are available from the MEPIS pool.

Warren explains "About 75% of the packages that are pre-installed with SimplyMEPIS 6.0 come from the Ubuntu supported pool, that is the Dapper main pool. As they tweak packages for the final release of Dapper, we use some of those packages in MEPIS. Then our community of testers are encouraged to offer fixes and feedback that may improve those packages."

SimplyMEPIS 6.0 is scheduled for final release early in June 2006. A beta4 may be released approximately May 21.

About MEPIS

MEPIS LLC was founded in 2003 by computer industry veteran Warren Woodford, to realize his personal vision for a computer environment that was complete and secure, while also being easy to try, easy to install, and easy to use. Today MEPIS offers commercial Linux solutions for home users, businesses, hardware vendors, and vertical market early adopters. MEPIS products are also available free of charge to not-for-profits, K-12 schools, and private users not requiring support.

About Lenovo Group Ltd.

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building the world's most innovative personal computers. Lenovo's business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group's acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable high-quality, secure, and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide.

About Ubuntu/Canonical

Ubuntu is a free software GNU/Linux distribution that aims to provide a high quality desktop featuring the best of the free software application universe. The project is primarily funded by Canonical, Ltd, which also runs Launchpad.net, a free software web collaboration site. Canonical, Ltd is headquartered in Douglas on the Isle of Man.

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Erin Melbert
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