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April 2015

The 11th Release of OpenStack, Kilo, Debuts

Filed under
OSS

The 11th release of OpenStack is available for download today, and the event is being billed as "a turning point" for the open source project with contributions from nearly 1,500 developers and 169 organizations worldwide. Indeed, it's only been a few short years since there was early media coverage of the cloud computing platform.

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Also a death: Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) End of Life reached on April 30, 2015

Plasma 5.4 Plans and Plasma 5.3 for Fedora

Filed under
KDE
  • Plasma 5.4 Kicked Off

    Plasma 5.4 is scheduled for August, it’ll be a great addition to Kubuntu 15.10.

  • Plasma 5.3 for Fedora

    Plasma 5.3, new feature release of KDE workspace, has been released on Tuesday and you can get it now on Fedora.

    Plasma 5.3 brings new features, improvements and almost 400 bug fixes for basically all of its components ranging from power management to various applets.

  • KDE 5_15.04 for Slackware-current: back to work

    An update to my KDE 5 packages was overdue. Ever since the “big upgrade” in Slackware-current a week ago on 21 April 2015, there have been some stability issues in the Plasma 5 desktop. The instability was caused by the version bumps of various libraries that the KDE software is depending on – you can not dynamically link to a software library that’s no longer there because it has been replaced with a library bearing a new version number. I felt I had to recompile everything just to be sure there was no hidden “breakage” left, and so I took the opportunity to wait for the newest Plasna release and present you wilth all-new packages.

µQseven COM aims Allwinner A31 SoC at industrial apps

Filed under
Android
Linux

Theobroma’s Allwinner A31 based µQseven COM offers a re-engineered Linux/Android BSP, and adds a security module, SATA, GbE, CAN, eMMC, a USB hub, and more.

Austrian engineering design firm Theobroma Systems has begun selling a “A31 µQ7″ module that expands upon the quad-core, Cortex-A7 Allwinner A31 system-on-chip using a half-size µQseven form-factor. The 70 x 40mm module supports Linux and Android, and offers optional -20 to 70ºC extended temperature support.

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What's what in Debian Jessie

Filed under
Debian

Debian is arguably the most important Linux distribution. From it springs such popular Linux distributions as Mint and Ubuntu. Outside Linux's inner circles, it's not that well known because it's purely a community operating system. There is no company behind it, as there is with Red Hat and CentOS, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Without fanfare, Debian is more than just the foundation for other better known Linux distros, it is a powerful desktop and server Linux in its own right.

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Taking Ubuntu’s Monkey for a Ride

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

That seems to be the response from desktop users and reviewers of Ubuntu’s latest and greatest, 15.04 or Vivid Vervet. The server and cloud crowd are all abuzz, tearing this baby down to see what it can do. But for the desktop folks — not so much. About all you read is that the new desktop is mainly cosmetic changes: that Unity’s color scheme is now purple, which isn’t quite true — to my eyes, there’s some orange in there too — and that a few things have been moved back to where they used to be. Other than that, everyone complains that this vervet is nothing more than lipstick on a unicorn, as Utopic Unicorn was Ubuntu’s last release.

What this means, of course, is absolutely nothing. The folks at Ubuntu have made it clear that this is mostly a server/cloud release, so it’s not surprising that it offers desktop users little reason to upgrade. Besides, except for those few users who insist on living on the bleeding edge, most desktop users should be using 14.04, Trusty Tahr, anyway, because it’ll be supported until 2019, and our vervet friend will only see support through January.

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Ubuntu Ditches Upstart

Filed under
Ubuntu

Ubuntu is not the first distro to use systemd. Debian (Ubuntu's daddy) recently made the switch too. Other distros have experienced bugs as a result of the switch. For instance, service managers, which configure the boot config files, must be changed to work with the new init system.

Ubuntu cleverly sidestepped this problem by keeping its old init config file formats in place alongside the new format used by systemd. The version of systemd used in Ubuntu can read both. So old tools that work with the Upstart config settings still work.

systemd does provide a boost in boot performance over Upstart, but some members of the community are concerned that the way systemd handles messages to services will reduce performance and even open the door to denial-of-service attacks.

Clearly, Canonical must have a lot of faith in systemd to abandon Upstart (its own project) in its favor. As time passes, we will see whether this was a wise decision.

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The Companies That Support Linux: Fox Technologies

Filed under
Linux

Linux has long been regarded as a stable and secure platform for enterprise applications. And the recent explosion of container technology presents yet another way for developers to build securely on top of Linux, says Mark Lambiase, CTO of Fox Technologies, Inc.

The Linux container model “will provide for the opportunity to separate and segment applications from a shared OS model, which can provide both security and performance/configuration advantages,” Lambiase said.

Fox Technologies, which helps companies manage and maintain Unix and Linux systems with its BoKS ServerControl application, is contributing to such growth and innovation in the Linux ecosystem, in part, by becoming new corporate members of the Linux Foundation. (See the full announcement.)

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As Moore's Law Turns 50, Processor Market Keeps On Innovating

Filed under
Linux

The bottom line, according to TI is that the 66AK2L06 can do almost everything FPGAs can do in data acquisition, but can do it in a way that is cheaper, faster, and more power efficient. The SoC is also claimed to be easier to work with than using FPGAs.

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Simplicity Linux 15.4 Is Based on LXPup and Is Ready for Download

Filed under
Linux

Simplicity Linux, a Linux distribution based on LXPup and that uses the LXDE desktop, has been upgraded to version 15.4 and is now available for download and testing.

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More in Tux Machines

The best free alternatives to Windows and Microsoft Office

Many people don’t realise that there is high-quality, free software available that can compete with Microsoft Office and the Windows operating system. While you might feel comfortable using traditional programs and be hesitant to change, you could save thousands of rand just by choosing high-quality freeware over paid software. With the right products, it is possible to run a suite of useful programs on your computer without spending a cent. Read more

How to compile a Linux kernel in the 21st century

In computing, a kernel is the low-level software that handles communication with hardware and general system coordination. Aside from some initial firmware built into your computer's motherboard, when you start your computer, the kernel is what provides awareness that it has a hard drive and a screen and a keyboard and a network card. It's also the kernel's job to ensure equal time (more or less) is given to each component so that your graphics and audio and filesystem and network all run smoothly, even though they're running concurrently. The quest for hardware support, however, is ongoing, because the more hardware that gets released, the more stuff a kernel must adopt into its code to make the hardware work as expected. It's difficult to get accurate numbers, but the Linux kernel is certainly among the top kernels for hardware compatibility. Linux operates innumerable computers and mobile phones, embedded system on a chip (SoC) boards for hobbyist and industrial uses, RAID cards, sewing machines, and much more. Read more

Life with an offline laptop

When I think about an offline laptop, I immediately think I will miss IRC, mails, file synchronization, Mastodon and remote ssh to my servers. But do I really need it _all the time_?

As I started thinking about preparing an old laptop for the experiment, differents ideas with theirs pros and cons came to my mind.

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today's leftovers

  • Huawei mulls open-source chip design if US ban continues

    Huawei Technologies Co said Friday that it would consider using RISC-V, an open-source chip architecture, if the US government continues restricting its access to the latest technologies from the UK firm ARM Holdings for a long time. Xu Zhijun, rotating chairman of Huawei, said in an interview in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, that the company has already obtained the perpetual license to ARM's V8 architecture technology, so the US government ban does not affect its current launch schedule of chips. "If ARM's new technologies are not available in the future, we can also use RISC-V, an architecture which is open to all companies. The challenge is not insurmountable," Xu said.

  • From Spark To Airflow And Presto: Demystifying The Fast-Moving Cloud Data Stack

    Putting data to work starts with exploration, or inspecting data so that you know what you have to work with and its characteristics. Presto is excellent for exploring large, unstructured data sets because it uses storage efficiently, which keeps costs down, and it’s compatible with SQL, a language data analysts are familiar with.  Spark, on the other hand, is great for exploring data sets when programming is required, such as being able to manipulate data for use in data science or machine learning. It has good support for non-SQL interfaces.

  • Databricks launches AutoML Toolkit for model building and deployment

    Databricks today introduced its AutoML Toolkit, an automated end-to-end machine learning service made to accommodate developers with a range of experience.

  • DigitalOcean Managed Databases add MySQL, Redis support

    DigitalOcean Managed Databases introduced support for open source relational database MySQL and in-memory database Redis to eliminate the complexity involved in managing, scaling and securing database infrastructure. DigitalOcean, a cloud computing vendor offering infrastructure-as-a-service platforms for software developers, intends its new managed database offerings to enable developers to focus more exclusively on building apps and boosting productivity.

  • How Storj Is Building a Storage Cloud Without Owning a Single Disk

    Led by Docker's former CEO, the startup is crowdsourcing empty disk space from desktops and data centers around the world.

  • HPC Computing Is Replacing Supercomputers In Enterprise: Jeff Reser

    Jeff Reser – Global Product and Solutions Marketing Manager of SUSE talks about High-Performance Computing.

  • Mable & The Wood is a fairly unusual Metroidvania out now with Linux support

    Featuring a sweet fairy-powered protagonist wielding a sword so big they can hardly move, Mable & The Wood certainly presents a healthy amount of charm. Developed by Triplevision Games, a solo outfit from the UK, with publishing from Graffiti Games. "Mable is a passion project for me and for so long I worked on it by myself," said Andrew Stewart, Founder of Triplevision Games. “Thanks to Graffiti, I was able to have additional support to release the game sooner and on multiple platforms. Players on Steam can finally get their hands on the brilliant title today, and fear not Switch and Xbox One players, that version will be releasing very soon."