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April 2018

Third RC of Linux 4.17

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  • Linux 4.17-rc3

    You all know the drill by now, and everything looks pretty normal. As
    usual, we have an rc3 that is noticeably bigger than rc2 was. Whatever the
    reason for the pattern (whether it just be "people have had time to find
    bugs" or "people took a breather after the merge window"), the pattern is
    alive and well.

    And by now, I think we've fixed all the nastiest fall-out from the merge
    window. In particular, the PTI large-page fallout that hit some people with
    particular configurations should all be good.

    But another marker of "things look normal" is that almost 60% of the patch
    is driver fixes all over: networking, gpu, sound, scsi, usb, you name it.

    Outside of drivers, we've got the usual architecture suspects: x86, arm64,
    powerpc. Some generic networking fixes, and misc tooling (perf and
    selftests). With some core kernel fixes in there too (mainly timers and
    tracing, the first mainly because we sadly had to revert the nice
    CLOCK_{MONOTONIC,BOOTTIME} unification because it turns out people really
    do care about the differences).

    Shortlog appended for the details.

    Go out and test,


  • Linux 4.17-rc3 Released As Another "Pretty Normal" Weekly Test Release

    Linus Torvalds announced just now the latest installment of the "Fearless Coyote"... The Linux 4.17-rc3 kernel is now available.

Kernel and Graphics: Linux 4.17 Udpate, Libplacebo, AMDVLK, and WebP

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  • Linux 4.17 Getting A Fix That May Help AMD Systems Conserve Power When Idling

    Besides other promising Linux 4.17 power saving improvements, a separate fix was queued today for potentially helping AMD systems conserve power.

    An AMD engineer noticed that with the existing Linux kernel code, using the MWAIT instruction is supported and used but on AMD CPUs but does not allow deeper c-states than C1 with current-generation hardware. The MWAIT x86 instruction is used as a hint for letting the processor enter a CPU-specific optimized state.

  • Libplacebo: Punting MPV's GPU Video/Image Rendering Into A Library

    Libplacebo is an effort to shift the MPlayer2-forked MPV media player's core rendering code into a reusable library. The libplacebo library can allow for cleaning up MPV's APIs in the process as well as providing a standard library for GPU-accelerated video and image processing.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Exposes More Extensions, Optimizations & More Fixes

    On Saturday was the latest code drop for the XGL component update to the AMDVLK open-source Linux Vulkan driver, which incorporates the work done internally by AMD developers on their official Vulkan driver code-base over the past number of days.

    With this latest open-source driver update there is now AMD_shader_ballot and AMD_gpu_shader_half_float being exposed - both extensions being quite interesting and the shader ballot having been a work-in-progress for a while now on this driver.

  • WebP 1.0 Image Format Released

    Google's WebP image format officially reached version 1.0 to seemingly no fanfare.

    WebP hit the big 1.0 milestone last week on 20 April but surprisingly only this morning was the first time I heard of the WebP 1.0 release after a Phoronix reader noticed it and tipped us off to its availability.

UBOS Beta 14: support for data disks and more

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Just in time for the Let’s Self-host Installathon at Linuxfest NorthWest in Bellingham, WA, UBOS beta 14 is out!

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Comparison of Memory Consumptions of 7 Bionic Systems from Beta 2

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I have installed and reviewed seven versions of beta 2 of Ubuntu and six Flavors 18.04 LTS. In each review, I took memory consumption information at idle time at first login time. I accumulate them in a table (LibreOffice Calc) and make a chart of them. Here's the result chart comparing all Ubuntu original, and Kubuntu up to Ubuntu Budgie, including the new generation Lubuntu Next with my data. The result could give you a rough information of which systems take more and which other systems take less memory. This comparison is not precise in benchmarking sense and you should not rely on this for scientific purpose.

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today's leftovers

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  • Netflix Open Sources Its Container Management Platform "Titus"

    Netflix announced the open source release of their container management platform called Titus. Titus is built on top of Apache Mesos and runs on AWS EC2.

    Netflix, which runs its services on virtual machines on AWS, started moving parts of its systems to containers to take advantage of the benefits of a container-based development and deployment model. Netflix's unique challlenges included an already-existing cloud-native infrastructure, which meant that moving to a container model should not involve too many changes. Hybrid deployments of both VMs and containers, a mix of microservices and batch jobs, and ensuring reliability with the additional layer that containers would introduce were some of the technical challenges.

    These challenges led to the development of its own container management platform called Titus. Currently, Netflix runs video streaming, recommendations and machine learning (ML), big data, content encoding, studio technology, and internal engineering tools in containers, which add up to half-a-million containers and 200,000 clusters per day.

  • It's Time for the Personal Datasphere (Finally!)

    When it comes to the blockchain, most people fall into one of two camps: the hand-wavers that think the blockchain will disrupt and benefit the world as profoundly as the Internet, and those who are scratching their heads and just can't see how that could be possible. I confess that I fall more into the second camp than the first, but I do recognize that blockchain technology can provide a far superior tool to tackle some challenges than any that we've had to work with before.

    I identified just such a challenge many years ago when the Internet was really taking off, and suggested that individuals needed to seize control of their personal information before commercial interests ran off with it instead, locking it away inside proprietary databases. The date of that article? February 2004, the same month that a little Web site called Facebook went live. Back then the problem was (and it still is) that the critical keys to avoiding data lock in are standards, and the process that develops those standards wasn't (and still isn't) controlled by end users.

  • AMD AOCC 1.2 Compiler Released For Zen Systems, Brings FLANG & Retpolines

    AMD has released a new update to their AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler (AOCC).

    AOCC 1.2 is their second major update since debuting this LLVM Clang downstream compiler one year ago following the launch of the Ryzen/EPYC processors. AMD AOCC continues carrying various patches atop the LLVM/Clang compiler tool-chain to cater towards the performance of these "znver1" CPUs.

Software: Kubernetes, Nageru, GNOME Shell, Mahapatra

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  • Kubernetes And The Open Service Broker Make Multi-Cloud A Reality
  • Nageru 1.7.2 released

    The main new feature this time round is the ability to use sound from video inputs. This was originally intended for IP camera inputs from Android, but I suppose you could also it for playout if you're brave. Smile A/V sync keeps being a hard problem (it's easy to make something that feels reasonable and works 99% of the time, but fails miserably the last percent), so I don't recommend running your cameras over IP if you can avoid it, but sometimes lugging SDI around really is too inconvenient.

    Apart from that, the git log this time is dominated by a lot of small tweaks and bugfixes; things are getting increasingly refined as we get more experience with the larger setups. I wondered for a bit whether I should give it a version bump to 1.8.0, but in the end, I didn't consider IP inputs (nor the support for assisting Cubemap with HLS output) important enough. So 1.7.2 it is.

  • More Memory, More Problems

    In GJS we recently committed a patch that has been making waves. Thanks to GJS contributor Georges Basile “Feaneron” Stavracas Neto, some infamous memory problems with GNOME Shell 3.28 have been mitigated. (What’s the link between GNOME Shell and GJS? GNOME Shell uses GJS as its internal Javascript engine, in which some of the UI and all of the extensions are implemented.)

    There is a technical explanation, having to do with toggle-refs, a GObject concept which we use to interface the JS engine’s garbage collector with GObject’s reference counting system. Georges has already provided a fantastic introduction to the technical details so I will not do another one here. This post will be more about social issues, future plans, and answers to some myths I’ve seen in various comments recently. To read this post, you only need to know that the problem has to do with toggle-refs and that toggle-refs are difficult to reason about.

  • Mahapatra: Summer, Code and Fedora

    Fedora has an android app which lets a user browse Fedora Magazine, Ask Fedora, FedoCal etc within it.


    In the current form, most of the functions in the app rely on an in-app browser to render content. This project aims to improve the existing Fedora App for Android for speed, utility and responsiveness, introduce a deeper native integration and make the app more personal for the user.

Microsoft's Decline, NSA Back Doors, and Google's Patches for Chrome OS

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  • Microsoft Windows adapts as its business importance declines [Ed: Calling everything "cloud" to simulate 'growth']
  • PyRoMine Uses NSA Exploit for Monero Mining and Backdoors

    The ShadowBrokers leaked a whole treasure chest of hacking tools and zero-day exploits in 2017, attributed to the Equation Group, which is believed to be an arm of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit. They target Windows XP/Vista/8.1/7/10 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016, taking advantage of a pair of vulnerabilities, CVE-2017-0144 and CVE-2017-0145. Microsoft patched these very quickly after the tools were made public.

  • Google Releases Major Chrome OS Update for Chromebooks with New Meltdown Patches

    Google has released on Friday a new stable Chrome OS update for Chromebooks, adding new mitigations for the Meltdown security vulnerability, as well as numerous new features and improvements.

    Google updated its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks to version 66.0.3359.137, a major release that introduces KPTI (Kernel page-table isolation) mitigation patches against the Meltdown security vulnerability for Intel-powered Chromebooks running on Linux kernel 3.8.

This is what it's like using only open-source software on Android

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Technically speaking, Android is open-source. This means anyone can look at the operating system's code, or change it - this is how OEMs like HTC and Samsung add their own tweaks. That openness has often been a rallying cry for hardcore Android enthusiasts. Why use a closed platform like iOS, when you can have a free and open-source platform?

But even from the beginning, there were components of Android that were closed-source. The Gmail app, Maps, Google Talk, and the Play Store were some of the earliest examples. To combat the always-present fragmentation of Android, Google offers many APIs through the Play Services Framework. As more and more apps switch to these proprietary APIs, they become less functional (or break entirely) on devices without the Play Store.

Four years ago, Ars Technica wrote a detailed analysis of using Android without all the proprietary Google software. It wasn't a great experience, as you can probably guess. But plenty can change in four years, so is the situation any better in 2018? That's what I wanted to find out.

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Also: 8 Free & Best Android Scanner Apps Of 2018 To Save Documents In High Quality

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

The OpenStack Train keeps chugging on

SUSE, formerly a Platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation, may have left the open-source, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) OpenStack cloud, but the project is going to move forward with the forthcoming 20th release of OpenStack: Train. That's because while SUSE may no longer find OpenStack profitable, others are finding it works well for them and for their customers. "OpenStack is the market's leading choice of open-source infrastructure for containers, VMs and bare metal in private cloud," said Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation in a statement. Read more

Events: Akademy, Gnome-shell Hackfest, LibreOffice Conference, .NEXT Copenhagen and GStreamer Conference

  • Akademy 2019 Talks Videos

    We now have the Akademy 2019 videos ready for you to enjoy, see the previous summary of talks on the dot for some inspiration on what to watch. The talk schedule has the full list We had keynotes on Developers Italia and the New Guidelines: Let the Open Source Revolution Start! by Leonardo Favario and Towards Qt 6 by Lars Knoll We also got updates on KDE Community's goals

  • Gnome-shell Hackfest 2019 – Day 1

    There’s a decent number of attendants from multiple parties (Red Hat, Canonical, Endless, Purism, …). We all brought various items and future plans for discussion, and have a number of merge requests in various states to go through. Some exciting keywords are Graphene, YUV, mixed DPI, Xwayland-on-demand, … But that is not all! Our finest designers also got together here, and I overheard they are discussing usability of the lock screen between other topics. [...] This event wouldn’t have been possible without the Revspace hackerspace people and specially our host Hans de Goede. They kindly provided the venue and necessary material, I am deeply thankful for that.

  • LibreOffice Conference 2019: Meet the Engineering Steering Committee

    Who makes the big technical decisions in the LibreOffice project? In this video from our recent LibreOffice Conference in Spain, the Engineering Steering Committee (ESC) introduces itself and provides an update on the latest updates...

  • Hello from Nutanix .NEXT Copenhagen

    Nutanix is, of course, a fast growing software company that works with many of the same Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) as SUSE to deliver solutions in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) space. Nutanix pioneered the HCI market and they position themselves as a key element to making it easier than ever before to design, build, and manage datacenter IT. They were originally a single source for turnkey HCI infrastructure, leveraging a close partnership with SuperMicro. They’ve since branched out become more hardware agnostic, supporting a variety of specialized HCI hardware from other vendors, including IBM, Lenovo, Dell, HPE, and Fujitsu.

  • GStreamer Conference 2019: Full Schedule, Talks Abstracts and Speakers Biographies now available

    The GStreamer Conference team is pleased to announce that the full conference schedule including talk abstracts and speaker biographies is now available for this year's lineup of talks and speakers, covering again an exciting range of topics! The GStreamer Conference 2019 will take place on 31 October - 1 November 2019 in Lyon, France just after the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE).

Release of PyPy 7.2

  • PyPy v7.2 released

    As always, this release is 100% compatible with the previous one and fixed several issues and bugs raised by the growing community of PyPy users. We strongly recommend updating. Many of the fixes are the direct result of end-user bug reports, so please continue reporting issues as they crop up.

  • PyPy 7.2 released

    Version 7.2 of PyPy, an implementation of the Python language, is out.

  • PyPy 7.2 Released With Full 64-bit AArch64 Support, PyPy 3.6 Beyond Beta

    PyPy 7.2 is out today as a big update for this alternative Python implementation that currently provides interpreters for compatibility with Python 2.7 and Python 3.6. In cooperation with Arm and, PyPy developers have been working on complete 64-bit ARM (AArch64) support and this summer they achieved getting the PyPy JIT running on 64-bit ARM. PyPy 7.2 is the first release with this 64-bit ARM support now in good standing.