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March 2019

LLVM Clang 9.0 Adds "-ftime-trace" To Produce Useful Time Trace Profiling Data

Filed under
Development
BSD

LLVM has merged a very useful feature for the Clang 9.0 release this autumn: the -ftime-trace feature allows producing time trace profiling data in a friendly format that is useful for developers to better understand where the compiler is spending most of its time and other areas for improvement.

Clang has already supported -ftime-report for printing time summaries for each stage of the compilation process while -ftime-trace yields much more useful data. The output of -ftime-trace is JSON-based profiling outputs that can be loaded into Chrome's chrome://tracing visualizer. This data shows how much time LLVM/Clang is spending on compiling each file, down to the function granularity.

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SDDM v0.18.1

Filed under
KDE

We are happy to release a new SDDM version.

SDDM is a Qt based graphical login manager developed in a collaborative fashion by people from Liri, KDE and LXQt.

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Linux Lite 4.4 is ready to replace Microsoft Windows on your aging PC

Filed under
Linux

One of the best things about operating systems based on the Linux kernel is they can sometimes be very lightweight. Why is this important? Well, when an OS uses very few resources, it can breathe new life into an aging PC. In other words, just because Windows 7 or Windows 10 run like molasses on your old computer, that doesn't mean you have to buy a new one. The right Linux distribution can make your older PC feel fast and new.

One of the most popular lightweight Linux-based operating systems is Linux Lite. Heck, the name of the distribution tells you that it is designed to use few resources! Version 4.4 is now available, and as per usual, it is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS -- 18.04. The Xfce desktop environment will feel familiar to those switching from Windows. Those new to Linux will also appreciate the easy access to many popular programs, such as Skype, Steam, and Spotify. Even the excellent Microsoft Office alternative, LibreOffice, is included.

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Openness, Open Data and Open Hardware

Filed under
OSS
  • Open-source seeds: protecting new crops from privitisation

    From the green grass of England to the tropical forests of the Amazon basin and the semi-arid plains of North Africa, when it comes to food, no one crop can suit every soil type, or withstand the challenges of climate change. It is therefore vitally important that humans seek to preserve and increase the biological diversity of crops.

    In pursuit of this goal, Dr Johannes Kotschi from the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology, along with researchers from the University of Göttingen, has developed an open-source seed (OSS) licence that can be applied to new crop varieties. The OSS licence prevents seeds and their derivatives from being privatised, patented or otherwise protected in a way that would limit their sale or further modification. In doing so, it ensures that new varieties are available to everyone. Alongside the licence, the organisation OpenSourceSeeds supports breeders and seed producers who use it.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Automated Vehicle Data Set

    Aptiv has released a comprehensive set of automated driving training data including camera, radar and lidar signals that has been fully annotated and labeled.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Dataset for Autonomous Driving

    Global auto parts supplier Aptiv, formally known as Delphi Automotive, announced today the full release of nuScenes, an open-source autonomous vehicle (AV) dataset. The dataset will help developers improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.

  • MIPS R6 Architecture Now Available for Open Use

    Asked if any other MIPS cores – beyond R6 – will be available in the future, Swift said additional announcements are in the offing, indicating that Thursday’s offering is only the first set of MIPS Open’s release.  

    “Remember, this is a journey, not a destination,” Swift reminded.

    Other pending announcements include MIPS Open’s certification partners and MIPS Open Advisory Board. Names of individuals or companies for those initiatives are not yet public.

  • Wave Computing launches MIPS Open, provides royalty-free access to chip design data

    A few months after announcing plans to “open source its MIPS instruction set architecture,” the folks at Wave Computing are following through. Mostly.

    The company has launched the MIPS Open program and released the first components, offering developers royalty and license fee-free access to the latest versions of its 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture.

    But it’s questionable whether this is truly an “open source” initiative, so much as an “open use” project designed encourage developers to work with the company’s chips.

DragonFlyBSD Receives Initial FUSE Port For File-Systems In User-Space

Filed under
BSD

Tomohiro Kusumi has contributed an initial FUSE implementation to DragonFlyBSD for implementing file-systems in user-space support.

The design is based roughly on FreeBSD code but is a cleanly written implementation for allowing user-space file-systems to work on this BSD. This initial FUSE support isn't designed to be API/ABI compatible with the FreeBSD code due to different sysctls and other factors.

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Nate Graham's KDE Usability & Productivity Weekly Report

Filed under
KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 64

    Week 64 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative has arrived, and I think you’ll see why this week needed two posts.

  • KDE's Konsole Now Supports Splitting, Plasma Vault Integration In Dolphin

    KDE contributor Nate Graham has continued his weekly blog posts outlining some of the notable improvements made in the world of KDE. One of the notable changes this week is the Konsole terminal emulator allowing arbitrary grid-like splits of a single window. That honors a ten year old bug report about wanting to restore support for "Quadkonsole" for allowing several consoles to render within a single window. That support is finally in place for the KDE Applications 19.08 release due out this summer.

Software: Python IDEs, Kodi, Best alternatives to Skype

Filed under
Software
  • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments (Updated 2019)

    Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

    One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

    Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

  • Are free VPNs any good for Kodi?

    Before we get to the VPNs, let's start with Kodi, which is a free and open source media player.

  • What Is Kodi and How Does It Work?

    What is Kodi? Imagine your own version of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but one that is completely free? Sounds too good to be true, right?

  • Best alternatives to Skype 2019: paid and free

    If you're looking for the best Skype alternatives, then you've come to the right place. For many years, Skype has been one of the most popular VoIP (Voice over IP) services, with home and business users alike using it to video and voice call friends and family over the world.

    However, in 2011 Microsoft acquired Skype, and since then it has been tweaking the interface and adding (and removing features) which has not been too popular.

    So, if you're looking to move from Skype to another VoIP service, then this guide to the best Skype alternatives will help you make the leap. We look at both free alternatives to Skype, as well as packages you need to pay for, which is good for large companies with employees around the world.

Linux laptops alive in South Africa

Filed under
Linux

While it may serve a small niche in South Africa, Dell has been offering laptops that run Ubuntu Linux for years.

This is according to Chris Buchanan, client solutions director at Dell EMC in South Africa.

Dell and Canonical recently announced the new version of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop, offering up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSB. Since then, a 2TB version has become available.

Like other Developer Edition variants of the Dell XPS 13, the 2018 model comes with Ubuntu Linux rather than Windows. At the time, the latest long-term support release: Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver”.

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More in Tux Machines

Videos/Audio: Rust, Screenlockers, and mintCast

  • Rust Programs Every Linux User Should Know About

    It seems like every new program is written in Rust these days. In fact, many older programs are being rewritten in Rust, including a lot of the standard shell utilities. Today, I wanted to briefly mention seven Rust programs that I have installed that I think you should know about.

  • Linux Lock Screens Are Fundamentally Flawed

    Screen locking is fundamentally an OS level problem however on Linux this is not how they are handled and this leads to some very simple exploits causing massive security holes on seemingly secure systems.

  • mintCast 353 – Brave New WWW

    First up, in our Wanderings, I have second thoughts about Kubuntu, Moss has a new toy, Joe has been playing with watches, Tony has been editing audio, Josh hasn’t broken Arch, Bo survived the pandemic! Then, our news we talk RPi Pico, Ubuntu’s Booting on an Apple M1, Flatpak is faster, Project Linux turns into Alma Linux, and more In security, the InterPlanetary File System

Lilbits: A new Linux-based tablet OS, and the latest Bond villain is… product placement?

A Chinese company has been teasing a new Linux-based operating system designed for tablets for the past few weeks, promising to release JingOS, “the world’s first iPadOS-style Linux distro” on January 31. But it looks like the operating system may not only be for tablets – the company’s latest tease shows the operating system running on an 8 inch convertible mini-laptop that looks a lot like the Chuwi MiniBook. Read more

Games: Unvanquished, Raft, Transport Fever 2, FreeSpace 2 and More

  • Unvanquished Open-Source Game Still Pushing Slowly Ahead In 2021 - Phoronix

    Nearly a decade ago we were intrigued by Unvanquished as one of the most interesting open-source game/engine projects of the time. It was peculiar in going through dozens of alpha releases prior to drying up a few years ago. There hasn't been any major release yet past the prior alpha state but the project is in fact still moving along and issued their first new (point) release of the year as well as rolling out a new online updater.

  • How to play Raft on Linux

    Raft is a first-person survival video game developed by Redbeet Interactive and published by Axolot Games. The game was released in 2018 for Microsoft Windows. Raft does not have a native Linux version, and currently, there are no plans to release one. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up Raft on Linux.

  • Google open sources VR painting app Tilt Brush | GamingOnLinux

    Tilt Brush, a popular VR app that lets users paint in a 3D space. Originally from Skillman & Hackett, it was later acquired by Google and now they've open sourced it. In an announcement post, Google mentioned it is no longer actively developed and so they are putting it out into the open fully into users hands and so it's now on GitHub under the Apache license. A few systems did get adjusted for the open source release due to licensing but nothing major.

  • Roboggled: A Puzzle Game Developed on Linux: Review

    Roboggled is a puzzle game, where you play as a robot that moves crates around. The game is presented in a 3D, top-down manner. The goal is to move the crate(s) in the level to an opening vault on the floor. Then, you’ll move on to the next level. Note: review copy sent to our curator. If you’re a game developer and want us to test your game, send it our way via Steam! Controls are very simple: just use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the analog stick/D-pad on your gamepad to move the robot around. If it’s pressing against a crate, simply moving in the direction of the crate will cause it to move. The robot will move one square at a time, but if it’s on ice, it won’t stop until it hits a wall or gets back on solid ground. So, at times, moving the crate towards its goal will require some strategy. If you made a mistake, you can go back one move by clicking the double-arrow icon on the top-right corner of the screen or pressing the left-shoulder button, or to restart entirely, click the single arrow at the top-left or press BACK on your controller. [...] I mentioned earlier the game is presented in top-down view. The background is this greenish color with white rectangles moving about. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I think it would be pretty cool if there was an option to change the green color to something else. The soundtrack is hit or miss. While it has some good tunes, others are a little more…creepy, if you will. If there was an option or hotkey to change tracks, that would be great. Also, I think it would be of benefit of the music had a slider volume; right now there’s just an on and off toggle. The built-in level editor is pretty nice, but it’s a bit wonky. For instance, there are certain blocks on the grid that can’t have an item on it, particularly the blocks along the edge of the grid. For a price of $2, you really can’t go wrong here, though. Roboggled is a pretty decent puzzle game, and a plus is that there’s a Linux version and replayability value due to the in-game level editor.

  • How to Play Windows Games on Linux - LinuxLinks

    Windows is undoubtedly the most popular operating system for gaming. But it lacks various security measures. More and more people are switching to Linux because it has a very user-friendly interface and is more stable after updates than Windows. However, some are reluctant to try Linux out. It is namely because of a widespread notion that video games are unplayable on this operating system. Linux can run the same software like Windows, including web browsers, word processors, etc. There are far fewer games created exclusively for Linux. This operating system has witnessed major advances in recent years. Gaming enthusiasts can play the latest titles on their Linux OS with emulators and compatibility layers. So let’s explore this further and learn how you can play Windows games on Linux.

  • Dead Cells: Fatal Falls gives us more good excuses for another run

    Dead Cells: Fatal Falls is the latest DLC out now for the supremely stylish mix of action-platforming and metroidvania elements in Dead Cells. This new small expansion will enable the developer to continue expanding the game for everyone, with plenty of free updates like they have done in the past. Much like the previous DLC with The Bad Seed, it's not huge but it does nicely expand on what's already good with more excellent combat encounters. You can expect to find two extra mid-game biomes with new enemies, weapons, traps, lore rooms and a green-fingered boss!

  • How to play Monster Hunter: World on Linux

    Monster Hunter: World is an action RPG developed and published by Capcom. It is the fifth entry in the franchise. It was released in 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. However, there are currently no plans for an official Linux release.

  • Transport Fever 2 to release Vulkan API support on February 23

    More Vulkan API goodness is coming with Urban Games announcing that Transport Fever 2 will release the big Vulkan update on February 23 along with a macOS version. It's positively rated by users overall so they've done well with it and a major graphics API change is no small thing to do. Great to see though, especially as another developer opting for an open graphics API rather than a closed one like DirectX. Hopefully, this will lay out the foundation for continued support and give Urban Games more wiggle room to make it an ever bigger game, or perhaps work towards a third game in the series. Currently the Vulkan API support is available in a Beta (Steam only until release) and so you can join in, to ensure the Linux version is nicely polished up and let them know of any issues found. You can find more info on the dedicated Steam Group they setup especially to gather feedback on the testing.

  • FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project releases version 21.0.0

    FreeSpace and FreeSpace 2 are two of the absolute best space shooters around, and thankfully FreeSpace 2 continues living on very nicely with the FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project. A new release is up after another year of work with version 21.0.0 going up today, January 27 2021. There's some big stuff included in this release too!

KDE: Krita and Systemd Plasma Applet

  • How to install Krita 4.4 on Linux Mint 20.1

    In this video, we are looking at how to install Krita 4.4 on Linux Mint 20.1. 

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  • Short film made with Krita

    My name is Lucija Oroz and I am a professional animator from Croatia. In my spare time I love to read about the human mind and human behavior. The film 45” is my master’s degree project, the largest project I ever did. While working on it, I was so afraid that something would go wrong that I was unable to finish it, so I decided to something to cheer myself up. I got the chance to experience a tandem parachute jump. I was so impressed: it was both scary and beautiful. That was how the idea was born to combine my film with emotions that people usually experience during good or bad moments in their life.

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  • Systemd Plasma Applet

    Just a short announcement that I pushed some commits to github https://github.com/jansenm/systemd-plasmoid and tagged a release 2.0.1. The first ever with a tag. Unfortunately I am not that sure I did that right so in case someone out there packages this and needs more just complain.