It’s 2021 already, but it is evident that we can’t forget the year 2020. Not just limited to the pandemic but it was so much more overall.

In the Linux world (or the open-source world), a lot happened in 2020 as well. Hence, with this article, let me just recall some of the biggest Linux stories of 2020 that you potentially missed or might want to re-visit.

Top 10 Linux Stories of 2020

You may agree or disagree but here are the most popular Linux news stories that we covered on It’s FOSS in 2020.

1. IBM’s Red Hat Just Killed CentOS as we Know it

It is one of the biggest disappointing news of 2020. CentOS, will no longer be a perfect pick for system administrators and enterprises. IBM’s Red Hat decided to stop funding the CentOS project and focus on CentOS stream instead.

CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will reach the end of life at the end of 2021. So, you will end up opting for CentOS alternatives.

If you want to test early builds of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, feel free to test CentOS stream.

For more information on the story, you can check out our complete coverage.

2. Microsoft GitHub Takes Down youtube-dl Project

youtube-dl is unquestionably one of the most popular and useful open-source projects that lets you download and save YouTube videos to your system.

A DMCA takedown request against the project was initially followed by GitHub resulting in disabling the repository, which was not a justified decision.

However, many people took a stand against the decision and GitHub finally reversed the takedown request on youtube-dl project. This encouraged a lot of other open-source projects to switch to GitHub alternatives as well.

You can take a look at our coverage to know more.

3. LibreOffice Wants Apache to Drop the Ailing OpenOffice and Support LibreOffice Instead

While not everyone agrees but LibreOffice wanted Apache to drop OpenOffice and help LibreOffice instead. They published an open letter to mention their thoughts.

Personally, I think they both should separately exist but considering the development progress of OpenOffice, I might have to agree with what LibreOffice had to say.

To know more, have a look at our original coverage.

4. GNOME 3.38 Released With Customizable App Grid & Tons of Changes

GNOME 3.38 was one of the most exciting desktop environment release in 2020. With a customizable app drawer and performance improvements, a lot of things were improved with GNOME 3.38.

It also introduced the “Restart” button finally. For more information on the story, browse through our coverage.

5. MX Linux Launches KDE Edition

MX Linux is a quite popular Linux distribution with Xfce desktop environment providing a snappy experience.

In 2020, they released a KDE edition as well. Considering that KDE desktop environment is arguably the fastest, it will be an amazing addition to the MX Linux family.

You can learn more about it in our original story coverage.

6. Linux Kernel 5.8 Proved to be the Biggest Release of All Time

Linus Torvalds mentioned that even without any major overhaul or out of the ordinary, Linux Kernel 5.8 was the biggest release of all time.

It included many driver updates and new hardware support along with a bunch of improvements. If you’re curious, you learn more about Linux Kernel 5.8 in our original story.

7. BLM Effect: Linux Kernel to Adopt an Inclusive Code Language, Blocks Terms like Blacklist-Whitelist and Master-Slave

If you’re aware of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that started in the US, you’ve probably read about this.

In case you haven’t, the Linux Kernel development team will block terms like blacklist-whitelist, which is offensive to color and potentially biased/racist in a way. Instead, inclusive terms like denylist, responder, secondary, subordinate, and so on.

To get all the relevant details of what happened during the BLM, you might want to check our complete coverage.

8. Inkscape 1.0 Release After 3+ Years of Development

Inkscape is a quite popular open-source vector graphics editor that also comes pre-installed on many Linux distributions.

After more than 3 years of development, Inkscape 1.0 was released with major additions and several improvements. You will find new feature additions, macOS native support, and a lot of good stuff.

You can read our original coverage to know more about the exciting story.

9. LibreOffice and The Personal Edition Controversy

The LibreOffice team initially planned to have a personal edition branding for LibreOffice while trying to separate the enterprise edition for better marketing plans.

However, the idea wasn’t received well by the community. Hence, they had to drop the idea and mentioned that they will re-evaluate their strategy to promote the enterprise edition (which was technically the same version with enterprise-level support).

It was one of the most trending controversies of 2020 in the open-source world. You can read the original story to find out more about it.

10. David vs Goliath! Microsoft and an Obscure KDE Project Fight Over “MAUI”

The MauiKit (a.k.a MAUI) is an acronym for Multi-Adaptable User Interfaces. Not everyone knows about it, but it is an innovative open-source framework for developing cross-platform applications. It’s been in development since 2018, and it is now a part of KDE’s incubation program KDE Invent.

That was all good until Microsoft renamed one of their projects bringing .NET Core and Mono/Xamarin together and introducing it as .NET Multi-platform App UI, which was a.k.a MAUI in short.

Hence, the confusion and controversy. There were some heated debate on GitHub among the community which was followed by some official responses from Microsoft.

You can learn more about it in our complete coverage.

Wrapping Up

Some say that a new year is a blank slate, and we’re hopeful for a better 2021 with more developments in the open-source world and the Linux multi-verse.

We at It’s FOSS wish you a happy new year and hope you enjoyed all our story coverages!

In your opinion, which of the above stories made the biggest impact?


Ankush Das

A passionate technophile who also happens to be a Computer Science graduate. You will usually see cats dancing to the beautiful tunes sung by him.