Recent Clear Linux updates - mind the wet paint!

Over the last couple of months, we’ve been doing some house cleaning. Most notable has been our implementation of Pypi name spaces – something we’ve had for a while for other languages like R, PHP and Perl.

As we continue to streamline Clear Linux, we’ve deprecated some of the desktop windows manager environments – Awesome, Enlightenment, i3 (and Sway, the i3 implementation for Wayland), LXQt. We’ve also retired the software defined cockpit bundle which was targeted for automotive applications.

The Azure CLI bundle has been deprecated - This package has been very challenging to update, since it depends on many pinned versions of other azure-* packages, and the pinning is not refreshed very often. We now recommend installing it with pip install azure-cli instead. Similarly, Dlang and TensorFlow have been removed due to packaging difficulties, and the Tilix terminal emulator (which was the only package in Clear Linux using Dlang) has also been removed.

There are several bundles that are being deprecated due to the upstream projects becoming stale and / or unmaintained, such as the Extension library for the XFree86-Misc X extension. fwupdate is being retired as fwupd encompasses much the same functionality, and the bundle devpkg-network-manager-applet is being deprecated in favor of libnma for similar reasons. We are not shipping a telnet client currently as netkit-telnet hasn’t been updated in years and version 0.17 has known exploits. We are exploring whether including telnet from Inetutils might make a good alternative after that project emerged from a ~10 year hiatus. We also deprecated older versions of Mozilla’s JavaScript engine (60 and 68) as we’re now shipping newer versions (78 and 91). Python2 is marked as deprecated, but we’re going to keep shipping it for compatibility until any CVEs require that we remove it, but we do encourage users to move to Python 3 wherever possible.

And as several people have noted, the telemetry client has been removed. This was done partly because we were not being actively reviewing the data on a regular basis, and it makes no sense to collect the data if we’re not using it, but also because the telemetry server is currently offline, which caused error messages in the logs. Telemetry data has been very useful to us in the past, helping us quickly see when systematic crashes were affecting multiple machines, and it is possible that we may make this capability available again at some point in the future, for those who want to opt-in.

As always, if you have feedback about packages that are obsolete, or need updating, please drop us a note in GitHub.