2018 was an incredible year for Linux and the open source community as a whole. We saw more evidence that Microsoft loves Linux given that the Redmond giant has increased the open source project count under its belt, gamers got a lot more titles to choose from, and many applications got revamped UIs.
Billions in Sales
Open SUSE is now SUSE Linux following its purchase by the British software company, Micro Focus for $2.5 billion. IBM is set to buy Red Hat for $34 billion, and Microsoft will probably NOT buy Canonical.
Microsoft did buy GitHub for $7.5 billion to add to their list of other big names e.g. Minecraft, Nokia, and LinkedIn. I am eager to see the next series of purchases in the tech and open source world.
GNOME Reverts Back to Brown for Folder Icons
GNOME designers have reverted to using brown-coloured folders instead of the recently adopted pale-blue theme. It is rumoured that most Linux distros will switch to using light-brown colours as default because it is less distractive and gives room for designers to be more creative.
GSConnect: Wirelessly Connect Android to Ubuntu
Ubuntu 19.04 will ship with significant improvements including the ability to connect to Android devices wirelessly. We’re not clear on how it will work yet but it will not require extra dependencies and that sure is exciting news (except for iPhone users, of course 😬).
GSConnect will also allow users to see and reply to their Android notifications directly, monitor its battery level, and browse its file system like its a connected SD card.
Linux Kernel 5.0
Expect the greatest security, speed, and performance from Linux distros with the release of Linux 5.0. Like everyone else, I expect its codebase to be slimmer but yet more complex, and new support for ARM, among other features.
An Updated Alt + Tab Shortcut
Expect a cooler
Alt + Tab command feature in Ubuntu, where while within an app with more than one window open,
Alt + Tab will switch between the array of open windows. But in the Disco Dingo environment,
Alt + Tab will switch between individual apps.
I imagine this will require some getting used to for some but it’s necessary because it is more memory friendly. And maybe users will have the option to set the command’s behaviour.
An Improved GNOME Shell
In 2018, GNOME improved its design guidelines fundamentally, switched to using the Adwaita GTK theme, and boasted a cooler login screen.
Ubuntu will ship with GNOME 3.32 in April so expect I expect a bunch of more changes in the Desktop Environment. 2019 isn’t for jokes.
Many applications and games adopted Snap packaging for multi-distro distribution including big names like Visual Studio Code, Spotify, IDEA Community, Live for Speed, and Dark Table, to mention a few.
Reportedly, the KDE Plasma desktop can be run as a Snap app in its entirety – evidence supporting the notion that Snaps might just take over 2019 as virtually all applications adopt the platform. We will see how that goes.
There are a lot more questions about what the open source community will do this year like would Ubuntu finally have stable support for fractional scaling? Will snap apps finally blend in perfectly with the UI of the distros they run on by default? Which distros will be the most innovative?
Which features will you like to see any Linux distros and open source apps this year? Do you have any hints or inside information on the cool improvements to come? Tell us all about it below in the comments section.
Credit to Joey Sneddon of OMG!UBUNTU! for his research in 5 Linux Predictions for 2019. They inspired this article.