Release Notes - 3 Juno
Distro Astro 3 is released, codenamed Juno. Distro Astro is now available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Past releases were 32-bit only.
Previous versions were oriented towards professional astronomy. This time we finally caught up on the amateur side. Juno has features for astronomy educators, astrophotographers, stargazers, and armchair astronomers.
For a detailed list of what's new, see the Full Change Log.
Download It Now
Distro Astro 3 Juno is available for download as a LiveDVD ISO, which can be burned into a DVD or a USB drive. If you wish to download now, you may proceed to the Download Section and follow the instructions in that page.
Features of Juno
The following are the major features in Distro Astro 3 Juno.
Astronomers move from place to place. They travel to witness astronomical phenomena, conduct an outreach program in a faraway place, or simply journey in search of darker skies. In any case, every astronomical app opened would need to have its settings updated to their new location.
Distro Astro takes care of this for them. Distro Astro keeps track of the user's changing location via GeoIP or GPS, and keeps astronomy programs updated as well. Of course, users can turn it off or even set the location manually, but in most cases you can just let it work in the background and forget about it.
Astrophotography has long been one of Linux's weak points, but not anymore. Ekos is a wonderful Linux-based tool that provides autoguiding, autofocus, polar alignment, video capture, and filter wheel support. It is integrated into KStars, a full-featured planetarium software. The INDI library provides driver support for astronomy hardware, and Astrometry.net analyzes your images. Working together, KEIA (short for KStars, Ekos, INDI, and Astrometry.net) is a tightly-integrated solution that will turn your computer into an astrophotography tool.
One Million Deep Sky Objects
The Million Objects List (MOL) is a database of over a million deep-sky objects. It integrates the largest catalogs of every object type with Corwin's corrected NGC/IC and sorts out the duplicates into a single master list. This database is now part of Distro Astro and integrated into Cartes du Ciel. With this full-featured planetarium program, observers can use Distro Astro to query information about almost any known DSO.
More Fancy Stuff
For eye candy lovers, Compiz support has been added in version 3.0.1. To enable it, select "Desktop Effects" in Startup Applications at the Control Center.
Default settings have Desktop Cube, Wobbly Windows, and Animations. To change the default settings, install ccsm. Note that ccsm is an advanced tool and may mess up your system, so use it at your own risk.
The following are the known issues with this release:
DS9 cannot open some FITS images
The version of DS9 included in Distro Astro 3.0 and 3.0.1 cannot open some FITS images. If you are experiencing this issue, you can fix it by replacing your copy of DS9 to version 7.2 which you can download here.
Distro Astro 3.0.2 has reverted DS9 from 7.3.2 to 7.2.
Iris and Registax cannot open some videos
Iris and Registax require Intel Video (Indeo) codecs to open some videos. To fix this, download the Codec Installer and run it to install the Indeo codecs.
Some cameras are not detected by V4L
Capture programs like wxAstroCapture are unable to detect some cameras. The detection is done by Video4Linux (V4L) and may require some third-party software to make it work.
The Bluetooth, System Information, and Character Map applets are missing.
Blueman has been added in 3.0.1.
System Information and Character Map have been added in 3.0.2.
What did NOT make it?
The following features were planned but did not make it into 3 Juno:
MYRaf is a graphical frontend to IRAF by Yücel Kılıç. As soon as a compatible package is done, it will be added to Distro Astro via the one-click install.
In the works
The following tasks are currently ongoing:
Building our Repository
Source code repositories like Sourceforge and Github have many good astronomy apps. We want to create packages for them and add them to our repositories. This is a huge task and we need volunteers to do it. Contact us if you are interested, and tell us which application you are volunteering to package.
The look and feel is important to us. We believe it is just as important as the functionality. If you wish to contribute wallpapers, screensavers, icons, or suggest redesigns of our logo or website, feel free to get in touch with us.
The Distro Astro team is working with some users who volunteered to do translations into their language. We are looking forward to have better language support in the next releases. Stay tuned!
Distro Astro is still a work in progress, so let us plan for an even better Distro Astro 4.0 Vesta! If you are interested to improve the distro, join our team!