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Linux Hardware Reviews & News
Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

LibreOffice 7.0 Beta 2 Released For This Open-Source, Vulkan-Supported Office Suite

Monday 22nd of June 2020 12:50:13 PM
LibreOffice 7.0 is aiming for release in early August but for that release to be a success they need help in testing...

GNOME Shell Continues Eyeing Improvements As It Approaches 10 Years Old

Monday 22nd of June 2020 12:33:56 PM
While GNOME 3.0 didn't debut until early 2011, GNOME 3.0 and GNOME Shell have now been in development for a decade. While GNOME Shell has come a long way over the past ten years, the UI/UX folks are still eyeing further enhancements to this widely used Linux desktop...

GNOME's Window Rendering Culling Was Broken Leading To Wasted Performance

Monday 22nd of June 2020 11:03:17 AM
It turns out for the GNOME 3.34 and 3.36 series, Mutter's window rendering culling code was broken and that led to extra rendering of windows not even visible... A fix is in the works and can lead to the performance doubling or more...

OmniOS Updates Bring Microcode Mitigation For CrossTalk/SRBDS

Monday 22nd of June 2020 10:51:16 AM
New OmniOS Community Edition releases for this open-source Solaris/Illumos-based operating system are now available that principally bring updated Intel CPU microcode for mitigating the CrossTalk / SRBDS vulnerability...

NVIDIA A100 PCIe Accelerator Now Shipping For Servers

Monday 22nd of June 2020 10:32:36 AM
After announcing the NVIDIA Ampere architecture at last month's virtual keynote, beginning today the NVIDIA A100 PCI Express accelerator is now shipping in GPU compute servers...

Linux 5.8-rc2 Released For This Big Summer 2020 Kernel

Sunday 21st of June 2020 11:15:33 PM
Linus Torvalds as the father of the Linux kernel marked Father's Day 2020 with the release of Linux 5.8-rc2, right on schedule following last week's big 5.8-rc1 kernel with this cycle being one of the largest ever for this open-source kernel...

WireGuard Support Merged Into Upstream OpenBSD

Sunday 21st of June 2020 07:34:40 PM
Following WireGuard being merged into Linux 5.6, the attention turned in recent months by WireGuard developers onto seeing their kernel port upstreamed in OpenBSD. As of this weekend, the WireGuard upstreaming in OpenBSD is their latest accomplishment...

Perl 5.32 Released With Unicode 13.0 Support, Performance Enhancements

Sunday 21st of June 2020 06:02:05 PM
Perl is out this weekend with Perl 5.32 as the latest version of this interpreted programming language...

dav1d 0.7.1 AV1 Decoder Boosts 32-bit Arm Performance By ~28%

Sunday 21st of June 2020 01:44:45 PM
For those trying to carry out AV1 video decoding on a 32-bit Arm environment, the new dav1d 0.7.1 decoder should be a heck of a lot faster...

AMDGPU Patches Revived For Better Hot Device Unplug / External GPU Handling

Sunday 21st of June 2020 12:59:26 PM
More than one month ago we reported on AMDGPU patches proposed for better hot unplug handling, mainly for the use-case of external GPU solutions if disconnecting them while the system is still running to avoid a range of show-stopping problems. It's been a quiet few weeks but that work has now seen a new revision...

Vulkan 1.2.145 Released With VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state

Sunday 21st of June 2020 11:06:36 AM
There have been a few Vulkan spec updates without any new extensions introduced but this weekend's Vulkan 1.2.145 revision does bring new functionality...

LLVM Is Looking At Establishing An "Incubator" Process For Encouraging New Sub-Projects

Sunday 21st of June 2020 04:13:00 AM
In addition to changing the acceptable language within the LLVM project, another topic this week sure to be interesting is on the establishing of an "incubator" process similar to that of Apache Incubator projects...

FSGSBASE Testing Is Encouraged Ahead Of Linux 5.9

Saturday 20th of June 2020 11:36:16 PM
A few days ago I mentioned that it looked like the FSGSBASE patches could finally land for Linux 5.9 and indeed this performance-sensitive x86_64 feature is on track for premiering the next kernel cycle. But additional testing is encouraged...

Radeon ROCm 3.5.1 Open-Source Compute Stack Released

Saturday 20th of June 2020 04:00:00 PM
Two weeks after ROCm 3.5, the AMD Radeon team has now issued a patch update to this Radeon Open Compute stack...

A NVIDIA Engineer In His Spare Time Wrote A Vulkan Driver That Works On Older Raspberry Pi

Saturday 20th of June 2020 12:45:01 PM
The Raspberry Pi 1 through Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and even the Raspberry Pi Zero can now see Vulkan support via a new unofficial "RPi-VK-Driver" that is offering even better performance than the Broadcom OpenGL driver...

FPC 3.2 Pascal Compiler Released In 2020 - Even Adds Windows 3.0 16-bit Support

Saturday 20th of June 2020 11:18:47 AM
The Pascal programming language is 50 years old this year. The Free Pascal Compiler for Pascal / Object Pascal is out with version 3.2 to celebrate, five years since FPC's previous 3.0 stable series. Somewhat amusing. this FPC 3.2 compiler update adds a Windows 16-bit target support for building Pascal code for Windows 3.0+...

KDE Plasma 5.19 Sees Many Regression Fixes, Other Work For Plasma 5.20

Saturday 20th of June 2020 10:53:40 AM
KDE developers continue making much progress on enhancing their desktop through this pandemic and the nice summer weather...

Wine-Staging 5.11 Is Down To Just Over 700 Patches

Saturday 20th of June 2020 10:29:34 AM
Wine-Staging has traditionally been around 800~850 patches over upstream while with Wine-Staging 5.11 this experimental/testing flavor of Wine has ticked down to just a 702 patch delta...

The First Batch Of DRM-Misc-Next Changes For Linux 5.9 Sent In

Saturday 20th of June 2020 06:45:07 AM
The first batch of "drm-misc-next" changes have been sent in for DRM-Next that is targeting the Linux 5.9 merge window later this summer...

Xfce's Xfdesktop 4.15 Released

Saturday 20th of June 2020 04:00:17 AM
Xfce's "xfdesktop" desktop manager rolled out version 4.15 this week as the newest albeit unstable update...

More in Tux Machines

Devices: Coral mPCIe, Zynq, and ESPHome

  • Using Google Coral mPCIe Card into a Compact Marvell Octeon TX Linux SBC

    Google launched Coral mPCIe and M.2 cards at the very beginning of the year. The cards integrate the company’s 4 TOPS Edge TPU used for low power edge AI applications to bring the solutions to boards with mPCIe or M.2 sockets. Those are just hardware sockets that are optionally connected to USB, PCIe, I2C, etc… so you have to make sure the socket on your board exposes PCIe Gen2 x1. If you worry about compatibility, it’s good to get a board that’s known to work, and one of those is Gateworks Newport GW6903 SBC that offers two mPCIe sockets and features Marvell Octeon TX dual or quad-core Armv8 processor coupled with up to 4GB RAM.

  • Zynq UltraScale+ Arm FPGA FZ3 Deep Learning Accelerator Card Supports Baidu Brain AI Tools

    FZ3 card runs PetaLinux, and supports Baidu PaddlePaddle deep learning AI framework, as well as Baidu Brain AI tools such as EasyDL, AI Studio, and EasyEdge. Those enable the development of deep learning applications such as smart cameras, AI Edge embedded PCs, AI robots, smart cars, intelligent electronic scale, autonomous UAV, and more.

  • Simple IoT Devices using ESPHome

    ESPHome is a build and deployment system that takes all of the manual coding work out of integrating custom Internet of Things (IoT) devices with Home Assistant. It advertises support for not only the ESP8266, but also its big-brother the ESP32 and even various ESP8266-based off-the-shelf consumer devices from Sonoff. ESPHome achieves a code-free integration by implementing the auto-discovery protocols necessary for Home Assistant to pull the features of the device into the hub with just a few clicks. Wiring up an ESP8266 to the desired hardware, and defining that hardware properly in the configuration, is all that is needed to enable it in the hub. For hardware wired to an ESP8266 to be used with ESPHome, it must first be supported by an ESPHome component. The ESPHome project's website lists the various hardware it understands how to work with, from sensors to displays. While the collection of IoT device components is not as comprehensive as one could imagine, ESPHome does offer many of the common ones used in smart homes. The project's last release, v1.14.0 in November 2019, included 24 new components. [...] The ESPHome project has a healthy community supporting it with 132 contributors and 67 releases to date, including the latest v1.14.0 release. The project itself operates under a dual licensing model where the C++ code is released under GPLv3 and the Python code is released under an MIT license. Those interested in contributing (both documentation or code) can review the contributor guidelines for how best to get involved. There doesn't appear to be a mailing list for the project, but there is a Discord channel available.

Games: Top Titles, MergeGames, Best Racing Games for Android

  • Our quick-picks of the best Linux games of 2020 so far

    We're halfway through the year already? Madness. Even with all the craziness of 2020 going on, lots of games still managed to get out of the door. I know, I can't believe 2020 isn't over yet either. Thankfully there's plenty of games to take our minds off everything from murder hornets to COVID19 and more. Now we're at the halfway point, let's think about some of the top Linux releases of 2020 so far. This list is extremely subjective of course, this is just my personal pick on the top 15. Think of it as a starting point for good games to look at if you're stuck for something. In no particular order, going up to June 30 and I'm cheating just a little bit by including some Early Access titles too.

  • Action-adventure 'Sparklite' adds Linux support in a big update

    MergeGames, together with developers Red Blue Games have now released their action-adventure Sparklite on Linux along with a fresh content update. Originally released towards the end of 2019, Sparklite is an action-adventure set in the whimsical and ever-changing land of Geodia. With gorgeous pixel art and a top-down perspective, you battle foes using an arsenal of gadgets, guns, and gear. If you played and enjoyed Moonlighter, you would probably feel right at home with Sparklite too.

  • Best Racing Games for Android

    When it comes to video gaming, racing is the most popular genre, whether it is mobile gaming, pc gaming, or on any other gaming console. Racing games on Android have so much competition between them and the genre is crowded with tons of racing games. Every racing game has its own unique features and every gamer has his or her own preferences. In this genre, there is a large number of excellent free-to-play and paid games available for mobile users. This article covers the best racing games, in a variety of settings and with many different features for each unique user’s needs.

Programming Leftovers

  • GnuCOBOL 3.1rc-1 on alpha.gnu.org

    While this version is a release-randidate (with an expected full release within 3 months) it is the most stable and complete free COBOL compiler ever available.

  • 6 best practices for managing Git repos

    This is arguably Rule Zero for a secure Git repository. As a project maintainer, whether you started it yourself or you’ve adopted it from someone else, it’s your job to know the contents of your own repository. You might not have a memorized list of every file in your codebase, but you need to know the basic components of what you’re managing. Should a stray file appear after a few dozen merges, you’ll be able to spot it easily because you won’t know what it’s for, and you’ll need to inspect it to refresh your memory. When that happens, review the file and make sure you understand exactly why it’s necessary. [...] Third-party libraries are no exception to this rule. While it’s one of the many benefits of open source that you can freely re-use and re-distribute code you didn’t write, there are many good reasons not to house a third-party library in your own repository. First of all, you can’t exactly vouch for a third party, unless you’ve reviewed all of its code (and future merges) yourself. Secondly, when you copy third party libraries into your Git repo, it splinters focus away from the true upstream source. Someone confident in the library is technically only confident in the master copy of the library, not in a copy lying around in a random repo. If you need to lock into a specific version of a library, either provide developers with a reasonable URL the release your project needs or else use Git Submodule.

  • Scala contributor: Open source and diversity key to tackling dev skills shortage

    Diversity and open source can help fix the software developer skills gap, argued Scala contributor and Carnegie Mellon Assistant Professor Heather Miller in a keynote talk at the virtual Open Source Summit North America. Miller examined the IT and computer-related skills shortage from a US perspective. "The Department of Labor statistics show that in 2017 there were over 500,000 computing-related jobs open in the US that were not filled. They project that this number is going to get a lot higher. If this trend continues, it's obvious that there's no way these posts can be filled by computer science graduates." There are, however, many new people coming into the profession, not necessarily computer science graduates, and a notable point of recent StackOverflow research is the large number of respondents who consider themselves professional and have been coding for less than five years – 39.6 per cent in the latest survey. "The years of experience of professional software engineers, that is going down," said Miller.

  • Evgeni Golov: Automatically renaming the default git branch to "devel"

    It seems GitHub is planning to rename the default brach for newly created repositories from "master" to "main". It's incredible how much positive PR you can get with a one line configuration change, while still working together with the ICE. However, this post is not about bashing GitHub. Changing the default branch for newly created repositories is good. And you also should do that for the ones you create with git init locally. But what about all the repositories out there? GitHub surely won't force-rename those branches, but we can! Ian will do this as he touches the individual repositories, but I tend to forget things unless I do them immediately…

  • Web-augmented graphics overlay broadcasting with WPE and GStreamer

    To address the first point, WPE founding engineer, Žan Doberšek enabled software rasterizing support in WPE and its FDO backend. This is great because it allows WPE to run on machines without GPU (like continuous integration builders, test bots) but also “in the cloud” where machines with GPU are less affordable than bare metal! Following up, I enabled this feature in GstWPE. The source element caps template now has video/x-raw, in addition to video/x-raw(memory:GLMemory). To force swrast, you need to set the LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=true environment variable. The downside of swrast is that you need a good CPU. Of course it depends on the video resolution and framerate you want to target. On the latency front, I decided to switch from RTMP to WebRTC! This W3C spec isn’t only about video chat! With WebRTC, sub-second live one-to-many broadcasting can be achieved, without much efforts, given you have a good SFU. For this demo I chose Janus, because its APIs are well documented, and it’s a cool project! I’m not sure it would scale very well in large deployments, but for my modest use-case, it fits very well. Janus has a plugin called video-room which allows multiple participants to chat. But then imagine a participant only publishing its video stream and multiple “clients” connecting to that room, without sharing any video or audio stream, one-to-many broadcasting. As it turns out, GStreamer applications can already connect to this video-room plugin using GstWebRTC! A demo was developed by tobiasfriden and saket424 in Python, it recently moved to the gst-examples repository. As I kind of prefer to use Rust nowadays (whenever I can anyway) I ported this demo to Rust, it was upstreamed in gst-examples as well. This specific demo streams the video test pattern to a Janus instance. Adapting this Janus demo was then quite trivial. By relying on a similar video mixer approach I used for the first GstWPE demo, I had a GstWPE-powered WebView streaming to Janus.

  • PHP releases and support

    PHP is used extensively on the web. How new features, security fixes, and bug fixes make their way into a release is important to understand. Likewise, understanding what can be expected in community support for previous releases is even more important. Since PHP-based sites are typically exposed to the Internet, keeping up-to-date is not something a security-minded administrator can afford to ignore. PHP has not always had a formal release process and corresponding time frame for support; the official policy the project has now wasn't adopted until 2011. Before then, the decisions of when to make releases and how long to support them were both made less formally by key members of the community. Let's start with PHP versioning, where the project is more or less dependable. The versioning of PHP releases aims to follow Semantic Versioning. Major releases such as 3.0 and 4.0 always come with backward-compatibility breaks. Minor versions, such as 4.1 and 4.2, fix bugs and add new features that are backward-compatible in relation to the major release. Patch releases, such as 4.1.1, tend to be strictly for important bug fixes and should never break backward compatibility.

  • Intel AMX Support Begins Landing In LLVM

    Following Intel publishing the initial Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) documentation at the end of June, the open-source/Linux bring-up has continued for these new CPU instruction set extensions set to premiere with Sapphire Rapids next year.

  • Intel oneDNN 2.0 Deep Neural Network Library Working On More Performance Tuning

    Intel's open-source oneDNN library, which was formerly known as MKL-DNN and DNNL for this deep neural network library now living under the oneAPI umbrella, continues working on some big performance advancements for its 2.0 release. Intel on Thursday released oneDNN 2.0 Beta 7 and with it comes more Intel CPU performance optimizations around convolutional neural networks, binary primitive performance for the broadcast case, BFloat16 and FP32 weights gradient convolutions, INT8 convolutions with 1x1 kernel and spatial strides, and a variety of other specific areas within this deep learning library seeing optimizations.

Ubuntu: Make Ubuntu 20.4 Look Like MacOS, Shutter, Ceph and dmesg

  • Make Ubuntu 20.4 Look Like MacOS [You Won't Believe the End Result]

    A step by step, detailed video tutorial showing how to make Ubuntu look like macOS. Perfect example of the customization power of Linux desktop.

  • A blast from the past – Shutter

    The wheel of software turns, and apps come and go. But the end of development does not always mean the end of usefulness. Sometimes, programs stubbornly remain around, offering a complete experience that can withstand the test of time. Several weeks ago, we talked about how you can preserve old applications with snaps. Today, we would like to expand on this concept and talk about Shutter, a feature-rich screenshot application that was rather popular several years ago. Its development has stalled in recent years, and it has become more difficult to install and run it on newer versions of various Linux distributions. But Shutter has gained a new life as a snap.

  • Encryption at rest with Ceph

    Do you have a big data center? Do you have terabytes of confidential data stored in that data center? Are you worried that your data might be exposed to malicious attacks? One of the most prominent security features of storage solutions is encryption at rest. This blog will explain this in more detail and how it is implemented in Charmed Ceph, Canonical’s software-defined storage solution.

  • Ubuntu 20.10 Moving Ahead In Restricting Access To dmesg

    Following the discussions last month over restricting access to dmesg / kernel logs on Ubuntu in matching the behavior of other Linux distributions for better security practices, Ubuntu 20.10 indeed is moving forward with these plans where dmesg access would require root privileges. In recent times more Linux distributions have been restricting access to dmesg over the possibility of kernel addresses being leaked or other potentially sensitive bits while as it stands now on Ubuntu there is free reign on multi-user systems to have unprivileged users read dmesg output.