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September 2016

ownCloud Desktop Client 2.2.4 Released with Updated Dolphin Plugin, Bug Fixes

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ownCloud is still alive and kicking, and they've recently released a new maintenance update of the ownCloud Desktop Client, version 2.2.4, bringing some much-needed improvements and patching various annoying issues.

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Early Benchmarks Of The Linux 4.9 DRM-Next Radeon/AMDGPU Drivers

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While Linux 4.9 will not officially open for development until next week, the DRM-Next code is ready to roll with all major feature work having been committed by the different open-source Direct Rendering Manager drivers. In this article is some preliminary testing of this DRM-Next code as of 29 September when testing various AMD GPUs with the Radeon and AMDGPU DRM drivers.

Linux 4.9 does bring compile-time-offered experimental support for the AMD Southern Islands GCN 1.0 hardware on AMDGPU, but that isn't the focus of this article. A follow-up comparison is being done with GCN 1.0/1.1 experimental support enabled to see the Radeon vs. AMDGPU performance difference on that hardware. For today's testing was a Radeon R7 370 to look at the Radeon DRM performance and for AMDGPU testing was the Radeon R9 285, R9 Fury, and RX 480. Benchmarks were done from the Linux 4.8 Git and Linux DRM-Next kernels as of 29 September.

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How to Effectively and Efficiently Edit Configuration Files in Linux

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Every Linux administrator has to eventually (and manually) edit a configuration file. Whether you are setting up a web server, configuring a service to connect to a database, tweaking a bash script, or troubleshooting a network connection, you cannot avoid a dive deep into the heart of one or more configuration files. To some, the prospect of manually editing configuration files is akin to a nightmare. Wading through what seems like countless lines of options and comments can put you on the fast track for hair and sanity loss.

Which, of course, isn’t true. In fact, most Linux administrators enjoy a good debugging or configuration challenge. Sifting through the minutiae of how a server or software functions is a great way to pass time. But this process doesn’t have to be an exercise in ineffective inefficiency. In fact, tools are available to you that go a very long way to make the editing of config files much, much easier. I’m going to introduce you to a few such tools, to ease some of the burden of your Linux admin duties. I’ll first discuss the command-line tools that are invaluable to the task of making configuration more efficient.

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Why Good Linux Sysadmins Use Markdown

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The Markdown markup language is perfect for writing system administrator documentation: it is lightweight, versatile, and easy to learn, so you spend your time writing instead of fighting with formatting.

The life of a Linux system administrator is complex and varied, and you know that documenting your work is a big time-saver. A documentation web server shared by you and your colleagues is a wonderful productivity tool. Most of us know simple HTML, and can whack up a web page as easily as writing plain text. But using Markdown is better.

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Purism’s next product could be a smartphone that runs Linux/free software

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Purism is a company that’s been developing laptops and tablets that run Linux-based, free and open source software for a few years.

Now Purism is considering building a smartphone and the company is soliciting feedback from potential customers.

The idea would be to release a Librem Phone that runs GNU/Linux rather than Android, and which offers security and privacy features to help set it apart from most other phones on the market.

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Cinnamon 3.2 in Linux Mint 18.1 Supports Vertical Panels, Better Accelerometers

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After informing the community a few days ago about the Mintbox Mini Pro PC and the upcoming improvements and new features shipping with the XApps software projects in Linux Mint 18.1, Clement Lefebvre just published the monthly Linux Mint newsletter.

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Blender 2.78 Open-Source 3D Graphics Software Released with Spherical Stereo VR

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Today, September 30, 2016, the Blender Foundation is proud to release Blender 2.78, the latest stable and most advanced version of the popular, open-source, free, and cross-platform Blender 3D modelling software.

Blender 2.78 comes six months after the release of Blender 2.77, and it's a major update that adds numerous new features and improvements, among which we can mention rendering of spherical stereo images for VR (Virtual Reality), viewport rendering improvements, as well as brand new freehand curves drawing over surfaces.

Moreover, the Grease Pencil received awesome improvements and it now doubles as both an animation and drawing tool, powerful new options have been added for B-Bones, it's now possible to import and export basic operators in the Alembic support, and the Cloth Physics feature received new Simulation Speed option and Dynamic Base Mesh support.

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OSS Leftovers

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  • Tools for writing the next best seller

    I am using bibisco in conjunction with LibreOffice on my Ubuntu 16.04 Asus laptop that I converted over from Windows 7 to develop my characters, scenes, and plot. I tried Manuskript, but find that I like bibisco better, although the results are similar. For one, it gives helpful prompts.

  • GNOME Calendar App to Feature a New Sidebar, Week View & Attendees in GNOME 3.24

    GNOME developer Georges Stavracas wrote an in-depth blog post the other day to inform the GNOME, Linux, and Open Source communities about the upcoming improvements and new features coming to the GNOME Calendar apps.

    Now that some of us are already enjoying the recently released GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, the GNOME developers are hard at work to improve the GNOME apps and core components by either adding new exciting features and technologies or improving existing ones.

  • PHP version 5.6.27RC1 and 7.0.12RC1
  • Kubernetes Arrives in New Flavors

    Kubernetes has taken center stage in recent days, and, as we’ve been noting in recent posts, the open source container cluster manager is heading in new directions. Google has just announced the release of Kubernetes 1.4, which makes the tool much easier to install.

    Meanwhile, Canonical has now launched its own distribution of Kubernetes, with enterprise support, across a range of public clouds and private infrastructure. It's Kubernetes at the core, but features a number of extra bells and whistles.

  • 2016 Women in Open Source Award Winners

    We hope you enjoy and are inspired by this short video celebrating Preeti Murthy and Jessica McKellar, the winners of this year’s Red Hat Women in Open Source Awards.

  • Tech, talent and tools: The secret to monetizing open-source

    “In California during the gold rush, you didn’t make money digging for gold; you made money selling shovels,” said Mehta. A fitting metaphor for the idea that investing in talent and tools, especially tools, is how to turn a profit. The actual data, databases, algorithms and so on would be open source. Money would come from the tools to use that technology to benefit specific areas, such as automation of healthcare.

    And healthcare is a good place to start. “Big Data is all about making life cheaper, better. … If we forget about how to solve problems for humans, we’ve lost. We want to be known for enriching life,” said Mehta.

  • Changing the way we design for the web

    On the one hand, open source should mean lower cost of entry for people from poorer communities (like me, growing up). But on the other, I feel it is hard to contribute when under- or unemployed. I had a grant to work on the Web Animations API documentation, but I can't do as much as I'd like with other animation features (motion paths, advanced timing functions) because I need to spend a lot of time working on my own business, getting paid.

    Essentially this leads to an awkward model where the only contributors are employed programmers—and when it comes to open source animation or design APIs, platforms, etc, this lack of user input really starts to show. Or, the only products with thriving open source development teams are those that have financially lucrative futures, turning the open source software (OSS) model into a capitalist one.

  • Leaders in Data Management and Open Source Innovation to Gather for Postgres Vision 2016
  • CloudReady by neverware

    I thought I would put together a quick “installation” review of a product called CloudReady by neverware. What is CloudReady? CloudReady is basically a project to bring Chromium OS to those who would like to convert traditional laptops into Chromebook-like devices. I stumbled on them several months ago and finally decided to see how hard it was to install Chromium OS and how functional it actually was as a Chromebook-like device. I have a few low end (netbook-like) devices and I have been trying to figure out how I could make them functional for my boys, I thought this might be the solution.

  • Mozilla tells Firefox OS devs to fork off if they want to chase open web apps vision

    The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox development team has decided enough is enough and will stop supporting Windows XP and Vista in March 2017 and also bin Firefox OS.

    The OS first. In this post Mozillans Ari Jaaksi and David Bryant, respectively the head of connected devices and veep for platform engineering, write that “By the end of 2015 Mozilla leadership had come to the conclusion that our then Firefox OS initiative of shipping phones with commercial partners would not bring Mozilla the returns we sought.”

    That decision means that “as of the end of July 2016 have stopped all commercial development on Firefox OS.”

  • Cloudera Delivers Release Built on Apache Spark 2.0, and Advances Kudu

    Cloudera, focused on Apache Hadoop and other open source technologies,has announced its release built on the Apache Spark 2.0 (Beta), with enhancements to the API experience, performance improvements, and enhanced machine learning capabilities.

    The company is also working with the community to continue developing Apache Kudu 1.0, recently released by the Apache Software Foundation, which we covered here. Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. Taken together, Cloudera's new tools are giving it more diverse kinds of presence on the Big Data scene.

    Cloudera claims it was the first Hadoop big data analytics vendor to deliver a commercially supported version of Spark, and has participated actively in the open source community to enhance Spark for the enterprise through its One Platform Initiative. "With Spark 2.0, organizations are better able to take advantage of streaming data, develop richer machine learning models, and deploy them in real time, enabling more workloads to go into production," the company reports.

  • Cloudera Delivers Enterprise-Grade Real-Time Streaming and Machine Learning with Apache Spark 2.0 and Drives Community Innovation with Apache Kudu 1.0
  • INSIDE Secure and Marvell Deliver Open Source Open Data Plane Security VPN Solution [Ed: “open source Open Data Plane (ODP) security API” sounds like nonsensical openwashing]

    INSIDE Secure (Paris:INSD), at the heart of security solutions for mobile and connected devices and network equipment, today announced the Marvell-INSIDE Secure solution, a collaboration that provides open source Open Data Plane (ODP) security API support on Marvell’s ARMADA® 8K and ARMADA 7K System-on-Chip (SoC) families with embedded INSIDE Secure Security Protocol Accelerator IP technology. The Marvell-INSIDE Secure solution provides customers with an easy and efficient way to secure their high-speed networking applications with access to all of the ARM ecosystem’s software support.

  • GE, Bosch Combine Resources to Bolster IoT
  • OpenBSD 6.0 Limited Edition CD set (signed by developers)

    Five OpenBSD 6.0 CD-ROM copies were signed by 40 developers during the g2k16 Hackathon in Cambridge, UK.

    Those copies are being auctioned sequentially on ebay.

    All proceeds will be donated to the OpenBSD Foundation to support and further the development of free software based on the OpenBSD operating system.

  • Friday Working together for Free Software Directory IRC meetup: September 30th
  • Machine Learning with Python

    I first heard the term “machine learning” a few years ago, and to be honest, I basically ignored it that time. I knew that it was a powerful technique, and I knew that it was in vogue, but I didn’t know what it really was— what problems it was designed to solve, how it solved them and how it related to the other sorts of issues I was working on in my professional (consulting) life and in my graduate-school research.

    But in the past few years, machine learning has become a topic that most will avoid at their professional peril. Despite the scary-sounding name, the ideas behind machine learning aren’t that difficult to understand. Moreover, a great deal of open-source software makes it possible for anyone to use machine learning in their own work or research. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that machine learning already is having a huge impact on the computer industry and on our day-to-day lives.

Linux Graphics

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  • Libinput X.Org Driver Updated For X.Org Server 1.19

    Peter Hutterer has announced the release of a new version of xf86-input-libinput, the X.Org DDX driver that makes use of libinput for input handling on the X.Org Server.

  • xf86-input-libinput 0.20.0

    Most important fix is the use of input_lock() instead of the old SIGIO stuff to handle the input thread in server 1.19.

  • Mesa 13.0 Planning For Release At End Of October, Might Include RADV Vulkan

    Following the mailing list talk over the past two days about doing the next Mesa release, plans are being discussed for releasing at the end of October and it might have just got a whole lot more exciting.

    Emil Velikov, Collabora developer and Mesa release manager for the past several release series, has commented on that previously discussed mailing list thread. He mentioned he was secretly waiting in hopes of seeing the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver merged for this next release! He said he'd even be willing to see it merged even if it's "not perfect/feature complete."

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu: Logic Supply and Linux 4.15/Linux 4.16

  • Tiny Apollo Lake based mini-PCs run Ubuntu
    Logic Supply unveiled two 116 x 83 x 34mm mini-PCs built around a Celeron N3350: a CL200 with 3x USB ports and a CL210 that doubles memory to 2GB LPDDR4 and 32GB eMMC, and adds a second mini-DP and GbE port. Logic Supply announced its smallest mini-PCs to date with CL200 and CL210 models that measure just 116 x 83 x 34mm. The CL200 ships with Ubuntu 16.04 while the more advanced CL210 also offers Windows 10 IoT. Both of these “IoT Edge Device” mini-PCs tap Intel’s dual-core, 1.1GHz Celeron N3350 with 6W TDP from the Apollo Lake generation, and support digital media, data acquisition, automation, and network gateway applications.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Continues Prepping With The Linux 4.15 Kernel
    There were various calls by independent end-users voicing their two cents that Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver" should ship with Linux 4.16 instead of Linux 4.15, but that isn't going to happen. In several different places the past few weeks I've seen various remarks made of how "Ubuntu 18.04 should ship with Linux 4.16" on the basis of either better Spectre/Meltdown support, Linux 4.16 will be out in time and neither 4.15 or 4.16 are even LTS releases, better hardware support, or users simply wanting all the goodies in Linux 4.16. But that's simply foolish given Ubuntu 18.04 is being a Long Term Support release and how close the timing ends up being as is.
  • Kernel Team summary: March 21, 2018
    On the road to 18.04 we have a 4.15 based kernel in the Bionic repository.

Graphics: mesa 17.3.7, mesa 18.0.0-rc5, VGA_Switcheroo and More

  • mesa 17.3.7
    Mesa 17.3.7 is now available.
  • Mesa 17.3.7 Released With A Bunch Of Fixes
    While Mesa 18.0 should finally be out on Friday as the major quarterly update to the Mesa 3D drivers, Mesa 17.3.7 is out today and it's a rather big update for being just another point release to last month's 17.3 series. Last week marked the release candidate of Mesa 17.3.7 with 50+ changes and then on Monday came a second release candidate given all the extra patches.
  • mesa 18.0.0-rc5
    The fifth and final release candidate for Mesa 18.0.0 is now available.
  • Mesa 18.0-RC5 Released, Mesa 18.0 Should Finally Be Out On Friday
    Nearly one and a half months since Mesa 18.0-RC4 and nearly one month since last seeing any Git activity on the "18.0" Mesa Git branch, it's finally been updated today with the availability of Mesa 18.0-RC5. Mesa release manager Emil Velikov announced this long-awaited release candidate today. He says this is the fifth and final release candidate. Given the month plus since the last RC, there are many fixes/changes in this release: In fact, more than 80 changes in total for Mesa 18.0-RC5.
  • Improved VGA_Switcheroo Going Into Linux 4.17
    Google's Sean Paul has sent in the final drm-misc-next pull request to DRM-Next of new feature material for the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel cycle. Most notable with this final drm-misc-next update is the recent VGA_Switcheroo improvements by Lukas Wunner. This is the device link
  • AMD Posts Open-Source Driver Patches For Vega 12
    It's been a while since last hearing anything about the rumored "Vega 12" GPU but coming out this morning are a set of 42 patches providing support for this unreleased GPU within the mainline Linux kernel. Alex Deucher of AMD's Linux driver team sent out the 42 patches this morning providing initial support for Vega 12 within the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver.
  • DXVK Now Has An On-Disk Shader Cache
    DXVK, the exciting project implementing the Direct3D 11 API over Vulkan for Wine gamers, now has an on-disk shader cache.
  • Freedreno's MSM DRM Driver Continues Prepping For Adreno 600 Series Support
    Rob Clark has submitted the MSM DRM driver changes to DRM-Next for the Linux 4.17 kernel for benefiting Qualcomm SoC owners. Changes this cycle for the open-source MSM DRM driver include DSI updates, fixing some race conditions, DebugFS enhancements, MDP5 fixes, and refactoring/prep work for the Adreno 600 series support.
  • NVIDIA's Jetson TK1 Is Being EOL'ed Next Month
    Easily one of our favorite ARM single-board computers ever, the Jetson TK1 from NVIDIA, will be facing retirement next month. A Phoronix reader has tipped us off that NVIDIA has sent out their EOL notice that shipments of the Jetson TK1 developer kits will be ending by the end of April. Following that, it will just live on until distributors run out of their inventory.

Slax Linux Distribution Begins Planning For Its First 2018 Release

Arriving last Christmas was a rejuvenated release of Slax, the long-running, lightweight Linux distribution with its development restarting last year and having shifted from being a Slackware derivative to Debian and moving from KDE to Fluxbox+Compton. Those involved are working on a new Slax release for 2018. Slax lead developer Tomas Matejicek has announced work is underway on the next version of this modern Slax OS with Debian+Fluxbox. Read more Original: Work in progress on next version

Games: The Pillars of the Earth, Steam, Mighty Fight Federation, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall