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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

Filed under
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

today's leftovers

  • How Software Is Helping Big Companies Dominate
    Antitrust deserves the attention it’s getting, and the tech platforms raise important questions. But the rise of big companies — and the resulting concentration of industries, profits, and wages — goes well beyond tech firms and is about far more than antitrust policy. In fact, research suggests that big firms are dominating through their use of software. In 2011, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen declared that “software is eating the world.” Its appetizer seems to have been smaller companies. [...] This model, where proprietary software pairs with other strengths to form competitive advantage, is only becoming more common. Years ago, one of us (James) started a company that sold publishing software. The business model was to write the software and then sell licenses to publishers. That model still exists, including in online publishing where companies like Automattic, maker of the open source content management system WordPress, sell hosting and related services to publishers. One-off licenses have given way to monthly software-as-a-service subscriptions, but this model still fits with Carr’s original thesis: software companies make technology that other companies pay for, but from which they seldom derive unique advantage. That’s not how Vox Media does it. Vox is a digital publishing company known, in part, for its proprietary content management system. Vox does license its software to some other companies (so far, mostly non-competitors), but it is itself a publisher. Its primary business model is to create content and sell ads. It pairs proprietary publishing software with quality editorial to create competitive advantage. Venture capitalist Chris Dixon has called this approach the “full-stack startup.” “The old approach startups took was to sell or license their new technology to incumbents,” says Dixon. “The new, ‘full stack’ approach is to build a complete, end-to-end product or service that bypasses incumbents and other competitors.” Vox is one example of the full-stack model. The switch from the software vendor model to the full-stack model is seen in government statistics. Since 1998, the share of firm spending on software that goes to pre-packaged software (the vendor model) has been declining. Over 70% of the firms’ software budgets goes to code developed in-house or under custom contracts. And the amount they spend on proprietary software is huge — $250 billion in 2016, nearly as much as they invested in physical capital net of depreciation.
  • Metsä Wood - Open Source Wood Winner: ClipHut Structural Building System
  • Shutting the open sauce bottle
    While open source software has revolutionised the enterprise software world, a few people are starting to wonder if its very nature will survive the age of the cloud. The concept that software can be used by pretty much anyone for pretty much anything is causing its developers big problems in the era of distributed cloud computing services. Two open-source software companies have decided to alter the licences under which some of their software is distributed, with the expressed intent of making it harder -- or impossible -- for cloud computing providers to offer a service based around that software.
  • How do we handle and use such enormous amounts of data?
    How many gigabytes of data did we (the people of Earth) create yesterday? ...brain. is. thinking... More than 2.5 billion! And it's growing. Yes, it's hard for us to wrap our human brains around it. So, the question the Command Line Heros podcast deals with this week is: How do we handle and use such enormous amounts of data?
  • Security updates for Tuesday

Linux Leftovers

  • Sorry, Linux. Kubernetes is now the OS that matters [Ed: Mac Asay does't know what an operating system is. This is what happens when people with a law degree write about technology. And he trolls Linux for clicks.]
  • Clear Linux Making Progress With Encrypted Installations
    One of the features I've personally been looking forward to is the official support for encrypted installations with Clear Linux. While many don't view it as a particular desktop distribution, it does have all of the packages I personally need for my main production system. So I've been wanting to see how well it could work out as my main desktop OS and to chronicle that experience. Having official support for encrypted installations has been one of the last blockers for my requirements. You can currently setup Clear on an encrypted installation manually, but for simplicity and wanting to keep to the "official" installation routes, I've been waiting for them to officially support encrypted installs... Especially in this day and age, anyone installing a desktop Linux distribution particularly on a mobile/laptop/ultrabook should really be doing a full-disk encryption.
  • The Linux Throwie: A Non-Spacefaring Satellite
    Throwies occupy a special place in hardware culture — a coin cell battery, LED, and a magnet that can be thrown into an inaccessible place and stick there as a little beacon of colored light. Many of us will fondly remember this as a first project. Alas, time marches inevitably on, and launching cheerful lights no longer teaches me new skills. With a nod to those simpler times, I’ve been working on the unusual idea of building a fully functional server that can be left in remote places and remain functional, like a throwie (please don’t actually throw it). It’s a little kooky, yet should still deliver a few years of occasional remote access if you leave it somewhere with sunlight.
  • OnePlus To Launch 5G Phone In 2019; $100 Costlier Than OnePlus 6T
  • OnePlus Releases OxygenOS Open Beta 7, OnePlus Roaming Launched
    Chinese company OnePlus has released the new OxygenOS Open Beta 7 for its OnePlus 6 smartphone, which has introduced several updates and features.

OSS: Development and Conferences

  • Give your students edit access to their course syllabus
    I wanted to give students more agency in their learning. So I let them make pull requests against the syllabus. [...] This exercise was a learning experience for both my students and me, as we clearly had different visions of what constituted a "disruption." While we all agreed that students should pay attention to the instructor and engage in all classroom activities, students thought they should be able to take "important" calls during class time and that texting during class was acceptable. I thought that cell phones should be turned off entirely during class. Students also thought that leaving the classroom to get a drink without asking permission was acceptable, while I thought that they should handle thirst needs before or after class. This resulted in a discussion about professionalism and the expectations associated with college-level work. We discussed what constituted a distraction and agreed that making sounds, whispering, and talking in class all counted as distractions. This in turn led to a discussion of the impacts distractions can have on a learning environment and the importance of paying attention in class. We also explored the impact various learning technologies can have on a classroom—for example, the tools students with disabilities require to fully participate in class, such as a screen reader—and agreed that noise generated by these was acceptable under the policy we intended to construct.
  • Open source tools to consider for your RESTful APIs
    At the start of a RESTful API development project, a software team might be tempted to buy an expensive commercial API management tool when an open source tool can just as easily do the trick. In fact, there are plenty of open source tools that can help with each stage of the API lifecycle and help get an API development program off the ground at low cost.
  • London Perl Workshop

    As london.pm celebrates its 20th anniversary, join Katherine Spice in conversation with a panel of the group's former leaders.

  • GNOME at Capitole du Libre 2018
    Last Saturday and Sunday I went to the Capitole du Libre 2018 to animate the GNOME booth and help on the Purism one.
  • Find Out the Visa Requirements to Attend oSC19
    For people planning on attending the openSUSE Conference 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany, from May 24 – 26, there are certain requirements necessary to receive a visa for those who are not a citizen of a Schengen country.

Red Hat/IBM: OpenShift and Ansible, RHEL Updates