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September 2016

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

Filed under
Software

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

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

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

Filed under
Linux
HowTos

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

Filed under
Linux

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

Filed under
Linux
OSS

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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Linux

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

Filed under
Software

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

Filed under
OSS
  • 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

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • 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

Kernel: Kernelci.org, Tripwire, Linux Foundation, R600 Gallium3D

  • Kernelci.org automated bisection
    The kernelci.org project aims at continuously testing the mainline Linux kernel, from stable branches to linux-next on a variety of platforms. When a revision fails to build or boot, kernel developers get informed via email reports. A summary of all the results can also be found directly on the website.
  • Securing the Linux filesystem with Tripwire
    While Linux is considered to be the most secure operating system (ahead of Windows and MacOS), it is still vulnerable to rootkits and other variants of malware. Thus, Linux users need to know how to protect their servers or personal computers from destruction, and the first step they need to take is to protect the filesystem. In this article, we'll look at Tripwire, an excellent tool for protecting Linux filesystems. Tripwire is an integrity checking tool that enables system administrators, security engineers, and others to detect alterations to system files. Although it's not the only option available (AIDE and Samhain offer similar features), Tripwire is arguably the most commonly used integrity checker for Linux system files, and it is available as open source under GPLv2.
  • Open Source Networking and a Vision of Fully Automated Networks
    Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed open source networking trends at Open Source Summit Europe. Ever since the birth of local area networks, open source tools and components have driven faster and more capable network technologies forward. At the recent Open Source Summit event in Europe, Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed his vision of open source networks and how they are being driven by full automation. “Networking is cool again,” he said, opening his keynote address with observations on software-defined networks, virtualization, and more. Joshipura is no stranger to network trends. He has led major technology deployments across enterprises, carriers, and cloud architectures, and has been a steady proponent of open source. “This is an extremely important time for our industry,” he said. “There are more than 23 million open source developers, and we are in an environment where everyone is asking for faster and more reliable services.”
  • R600 Gallium3D Gets Some Last Minute Improvements In Mesa 18.0
    These days when Dave Airlie isn't busy managing the DRM subsystem or hacking on the RADV Vulkan driver, he's been spending a fair amount of time on some OpenGL improvements to the aging R600 Gallium3D driver. That's happened again and he's landed some more improvements just ahead of the imminent Mesa 18.0 feature freeze.

OSS Leftovers

  • Reliance Jio and global tech leaders come together to push Open Source in India
    The India Digital Open Summit which will be held tomorrow at the Reliance Corporate Park campus in Navi Mumbai -is a must-attend event for industry leaders, policymakers, technologists, academia, and developer communities working towards India’s digital leadership through Open Source platforms. The summit is hosted by Reliance Jio in partnership with the Linux Foundation and supported by Cisco Systems.
  • Open-source software simulates river and runoff resources
    Freshwater resources are finite, unevenly distributed, and changing through time. The demand—and competition—for water is expected to grow both in the United States and in the developing/developed world. To examine the connection between supply and demand and resulting regional and global water stresses, a team developed Xanthos. The open-source hydrologic model is available for free and helps researchers explore the details and analyze global water availability. Researchers can use Xanthos to examine the implications of different climate, socioeconomic, and/or energy scenarios over the 21st century. They can then assess the effects of the scenarios on regional and global water availability. Xanthos can be used in three different ways. It can operate as an independent hydrologic model, driven, for example, by scenarios. It can serve as the core freshwater supply component of the Global Change Assessment Model, where multiple sectors and natural systems are modeled simultaneously as part of an interconnected, complex system. Further, it can be used by other integrated models and multi-model frameworks that focus on energy-water-land interactions.
  • “The Apache Way” — Open source done well
    I was at an industry conference and was happy to see many people stopping by the Apache booth. I was pleased that they were familiar with the Apache brand, yet puzzled to learn that so many were unfamiliar with The Apache Software Foundation (ASF). For this special issue, “All Eyes On Open Source”, it’s important to recognize not just Apache’s diverse projects and communities, but also the entity behind their success. Gone are the days when software and technology, in general, were developed privately for the benefit of the few. As technology evolves, the challenges we face become more complex, and the only way to effectively move forward to create the technology of the future is to collaborate and work together. Open Source is a perfect framework for that, and organizations like the ASF carry out a decisive role in protecting its spirit and principles.
  • ​Learn how to run Linux on Microsoft's Azure cloud
  • LLVM 6.0-RC1 Makes Its Belated Debut
    While LLVM/Clang 6.0 was branched earlier this month and under a feature freeze with master/trunk moving to LLVM 7.0, two weeks later the first release candidate is now available. Normally the first release candidate comes immediately following the branching / feature freeze, but not this time due to the shifted schedule with a slow start to satisfy an unnamed company seeking to align their internal testing with LLVM 6.0.
  • Hackers can’t dig into latest Xiaomi phone due to GPL violations
     

    Yet another Android OEM is dragging its feet with its GPL compliance. This time, it's Xiaomi with the Mi A1 Android One device, which still hasn't seen a kernel source code release.  

    Android vendors are required to release their kernel sources thanks to the Linux kernel's GPLv2 licensing. The Mi A1 has been out for about three months now, and there's still no source code release on Xiaomi's official github account.

  • 2017 - The Year in Which Copyright Went Beyond Source Code
    2017 was a big year for raising the profile of copyright in protecting computer programs. Two cases in particular helped bring attention to a myth that was addressed and dispelled some time ago but persists in some circles nonetheless. Many lawyers hold on to the notion that copyright protection for software is weak because such protection inheres in the source code of computer programs. Because most companies that generate code take extensive (and often successful) measures to keep source code out of the hands of third parties, the utility of copyright protection for code is often viewed as limited. However, copyright also extends to the “non-literal elements” of computer programs, such as their sequence, structure and organization, as well as to things such as screen displays and certain user interfaces. In other words, copyright infringement can occur when copying certain outputs of the code without there ever having been access to the underlying code itself.
  • Announcing WebBook Level 1, a new Web-based format for electronic books
    Eons ago, at a time BlueGriffon was only a Wysiwyg editor for the Web, my friend Mohamed Zergaoui asked why I was not turning BlueGriffon into an EPUB editor... I had been observing the electronic book market since the early days of Cytale and its Cybook but I was not involved into it on a daily basis. That seemed not only an excellent idea, but also a fairly workable one. EPUB is based on flavors of HTML so I would not have to reinvent the wheel. I started diving into the EPUB specs the very same day, EPUB 2.0.1 (released in 2009) at that time. I immediately discovered a technology that was not far away from the Web but that was also clearly not the Web. In particular, I immediately saw that two crucial features were missing: it was impossible to aggregate a set of Web pages into a EPUB book through a trivial zip, and it was impossible to unzip a EPUB book and make it trivially readable inside a Web browser even with graceful degradation. When the IDPF started working on EPUB 3.0 (with its 3.0.1 revision) and 3.1, I said this was coming too fast, and that the lack of Test Suites with interoperable implementations as we often have in W3C exit criteria was a critical issue. More importantly, the market was, in my opinion, not ready to absorb so quickly two major and one minor revisions of EPUB given the huge cost on both publishing chains and existing ebook bases. I also thought - and said - the EPUB 3.x specifications were suffering from clear technical issues, including the two missing features quoted above.
  • Firefox 58 Bringing Faster WebAssembly Compilation With Two-Tiered Compiler
    With the launch of Mozilla Firefox 58 slated for next week, WebAssembly will become even faster thanks to a new two-tiered compiler.
  • New Kernel Releases, Net Neutrality, Thunderbird Survey and More
    In an effort to protect Net Neutrality (and the internet), Mozilla filed a petition in federal court yesterday against the FCC. The idea behind Net Neutrality is to treat all internet traffic equally and without discrimination against content or type. Make your opinions heard: Monterail and the Thunderbird email client development team are asking for your assistance to help improve the user interface in the redesign of the Thunderbird application. Be sure to take the survey.

IBM code grandmaster: what Java does next

Reports of Java’s death have been greatly exaggerated — said, well, pretty much every Java engineer that there is. The Java language and platform may have been (in some people’s view) somewhat unceremoniously shunted into a side ally by the self-proclaimed aggressive corporate acquisition strategists (their words, not ours) at Oracle… but Java still enjoys widespread adoption and, in some strains, growing use and development. Read more

Programming/Development: Git 2.16, Node.js, Testing/Bug Hunting

  • Git v2.16.0
    The latest feature release Git v2.16.0 is now available at the usual places. It is comprised of 509 non-merge commits since v2.15.0, contributed by 91 people, 26 of which are new faces.
  • Git 2.16 Released
    Git maintainer Junio Hamano has released version 2.16.0 of this distributed revision control system.
  • Announcing The Node.js Application Showcase
    The stats around Node.js are pretty staggering. There were 25 million downloads of Node.js in 2017, with over one million of them happening on a single day. And these stats are just the users. On the community side, the numbers are equally exceptional. What explains this immense popularity? What we hear over and over is that, because Node.js is JavaScript, anyone who knows JS can apply that knowledge to build powerful apps — every kind of app. Node.js empowers everyone from hobbyists to the largest enterprise teams to bring their dreams to life faster than ever before.
  • Google AutoML Cloud: Now Build Machine Learning Models Without Coding Experience
    Google has been offering pre-trained neural networks for a long time. To lower the barrier of entry and make the AI available to all the developers and businesses around, Google has now introduced Cloud AutoML. With the help of Cloud AutoML, businesses will be able to build machine learning models with the help of a drag-and-drop interface. In other words, if your company doesn’t have expert machine-learning programmers, Google is here to fulfill your needs.
  • Re-imagining beta testing in the ever-changing world of automation
    Fundamentally, beta testing is a test of a product performed by real users in the real environment. There are a number of names for this type of testing—user acceptance testing (UAT), customer acceptance testing (CAT), customer validation and field testing (common in Europe)—but the basic components are more or less the same. All involve user testing of the front-end user interface (UI) and the user experience (UX) to find and resolve potential issues. Testing happens across iterations in the software development lifecycle (SDLC), from when an idea transforms into a design, across the development phases, to after unit and integration testing.