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Performance Tweaks & Tips

Filed under
Howtos

Has your system seemed to have slowed down lately or perhaps it never performed the way you thought it should. Do you ever exclaim, seems my friend's computer is much faster than mine... or the dreaded, my XP is faster than linux? Bite your tongue and check out a few things on your gentoo install.

I don my asbestos house robe and share a few things I've learned from my time with gentoo. Actually these principals can be applied to any linux installation, but I had gentoo in mind when writing them.

New Logo

Filed under
Site News

Just wanted to post a big THANK YOU to jrangels for donating his time and wonderful talent to make us a great new logo and header background image here at tuxmachines.org. You might know his work from being offered on kde-look.org or from being the primary graphic artist for pclinuxos. His newest work for that distro is on display in the tuxgallery. Mosey on by and take a look before you leave.

Thanks again Jose.

Mini Distro Round-Up

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Reviews

Distributions that can fit on a mini-cd are today's answer to the floppy distros of yesteryear. Those floppy distros were so handy for those quick repairs, setting up a filesystem on a new harddrive, or just killing a Saturday night. Nothing like the satisfaction of overcoming the difficulties getting MuLinux to dial up to the internet or even boot into a mini X. Hal was my favorite though. I still have my Hal floppy. They were just plain fun!

Today we have our mini-distros too, some as small as 50MB. There isn't much of a challenge these days though, just boot and go. With a weekend off from work, I thought I'd get reacquainted with an old friend and hopefully make some new ones. I test drove 5 of the smallest distros I could find and I'll tell you what I discovered.

gentoo's april fools

Filed under
Humor

Gentoo's April Fools Joke? Imagine my surprize when I logged into the gentoo forum and saw this! I actually kinda like it, if you forget how hard it is to read. I have to get like 6 inches from the monitor. Big Grin Well, there's a bit of a discussion whether this is actually a real theme or just a joke. hmmm. Big Grin

A Month With Fluxbox - Part 1

Filed under
Howtos

In anticipation of the April Gentoo Monthly Screenshots thread on my favorite forum, I've been working on beautifying my desktop for the last several days.

I've used KDE forever it seems, but this month I wanted to post something a little different. And in keeping with the spirit of the thread, I'm going to run fluxbox all April long and post my thoughts on using it here at tuxmachines at the end. Today I'd like to share of the things I've done so far to "purty it up".

Diversity in PC cases

Filed under
Humor

I saw this thread on gentoo forum about cardboard pc cases and thought I'd pass along some of the fun.

Re-install

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News

Well I messed around this afternoon and managed to totally break my menus so after messing around for a few hours, I backed everything up and did a new install of Preview 81a then updated everything including unstable. I total of 211 packages and Im back in business. I still need to copy my backup stuff back over but man everything is running so much better. I had been using this partition since I converted it from Mandrake 9.2 to PCLinuxOS preview 4 and been updating all this time. So all in all something good came out of something bad. Everything is snappy again. I'll probably be moving everything from unstable tomorrow into updates. I didnt run into any conflicts updating my p81a install from unstable so I'll get to rocking with new packages again.

A Peak at MDK 10.2-b2 AMD64

Filed under
Reviews
Submitted by Anonymous

Anonymous writes, "It took about 10-12 minutes to install. I selected the default installation. You need all 3 cd's if you are doing the default install though it appears to only need 3-4 packages from the 3rd cd.

Boot up speed was about the same as the x86 version. The noticable difference came after logging into the desktop. This is where you begin to notice the speed difference from accessing the menus to launching applications.

slashdot effect

Filed under
Site News

I can only apologize for the slowness and inaccessibility of the site past coupla days and that one other occurrence last month I guess it was. I was /.'d last month and osnews'd yesterday (continuing today). I can't really do much about it right now. I subscribe to bellsouth's largest business pipe in our area, but it's still quite limited upstream. The only way I can think of to alleviate this condition is to perhaps consider off-site hosting. I don't really want to do this for several reasons, but the main one is the financial considerations. Fortunately (or unfortunately - depending upon how you look at it) this only happens once in a while, so I guess I'll (we'll?) have to just live with it for now. If this issue continues to come up, I'll look at my alternatives more closely.

Some folks have joked that my site had been taken down, and for now this hasn't been true. As my logs will testify, my server continued to function at all times, saddly I ran out of pipe. I have a fair amount of confidence in apache (and drupal) to handle large loads and hopefully we won't have to deal with that issue.

Anyway, all that to say, thanks so much for visiting my little corner of the web. It's gratifying to receive so many hits on my original work, yet it's kinda a double-edge blade, and you, the visitor, bear the brunt. I'm sorry I don't have the bandwidth to handle those large loads so no one is denied access or their visit is painfully slow. I can't thank you enough for visiting and your comments. And of course, special thanks to pclinuxonline, Slashdot, osnews, userlocal and all the others for carrying my stories.

Thank you sincerely,
Susan

Problems Problems Problems

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News

I'm not a big fan of Gnome but I decided to work up 2.10 as some of the pclinuxos users do use that desktop enviroment. Right off the bat I hit a snag. Seems the GTK2 linux-fb build has been broken since 2.50! I've been using 2.4.9 all this time as it works so well with ALL of my GTK2 applications including a bought and paid for FTP client (iglooftp pro). Needless to say without the linux-fb backend, Iglooftp is pretty useless and many GTK2 applications will have to be re-worked. The really bad part is not a single person is maintaining this code in the GTK2 tree. I tried my best to get it to build but it was just beyond my coding experience. I tried to work up gnome using GTK 2.4.9 but it is so old that gnome 2.10 wouldnt build against it. So for now I've put the new gnome build on the back burner until I can get kde 3.4 offical release out the door.

KDE 3.4 Out?

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News

Well, no, not officially, but distro developers are beginning to leak them. They appeared in this morning's gentoo portage (masked) and PLD mirrors.

Scheduled to be officially released Wednesday, March 16, the natives are getting restless. Myself? Definitely. I'm debating whether to start the download now or wait. I'm also debating whether to use ebuilds or tarballs. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Interesting Application

Filed under
Humor

Welcome to DaNa
It Does Nothing for Everybody

Enjoy the new NaDa™ 0.5 !


NaDa™ is a new concept. A thought, really. It is very light : 1 byte. It doesn't take long to fetch. It doesn't take long to understand. It doesn't disturb your habits nor does it makes you feel insecure. It is a reassuring piece of software that does nothing, and does it very well. That's a lot !

Compatible with all Mac OSs, including OS X Panther, all Windows™ versions, all flavors of UNIX/Linux, Amiga, BeOS, everything you can think of, because we strongly believe that NaDa™ does nothing for everybody.

Link.

pclo news feed

Filed under
Site News

I do apologize for the missing pclinuxonline news feed. Seems there is a story with a bad character in it causing a little problem for drupal to pull in. It should be cleared up and return to the news block in a few days when that story rotates out of the feed. Didn't want anyone to think I removed my best supporter from my site. No way, no how, na uh.

Just my luck too, right when I got a story they were kind enough to carry. Tongue

KDE user's look at Gnome-2.10

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Reviews

I guess it's no secret that I'm a KDE user. But every once in a while I like to login to others to see what's new. As such, this will be a newbie's look at gnome.

Cooker (Mandrake 10.2b3) Woes

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Reviews

Since my not-so-kind review of Mandrake's latest beta release, I've been trying in vain to update to the latest cooker in hopes of putting out a more positive review for them given their popularity and loyalty of users. The issues I mentioned were not isolated to my install and I've been hoping for some fixes.

Slackware 10.1

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Reviews

On February 7 Slackware released its 10.1 version of its famous linux distribution. With the death of one of my harddrives the other night and the resulting loss of 10.0, I finally found the time to give it a try.

Mdk 10.2 beta 3

Filed under
Reviews

I lost my hdb night before last and with it went my installs of Sorcerer, Fedora, Vector, One Base, SUSE, a couple older PCLOS, a couple older gentoos, mdk cooker, and most hurtful my Slackware 10.0.

Having a spare coupla partitions on hda I thought I just had to replace my cooker and slack. So, I set off to download the latest of each.

Upon returning home from work last night I wanted to set up mandrake and take screenshots, thinking that'd make a good story for my fledgling site.

It took like no time to install and I noticed some new features in the installer, but nothing earth shattering. I was anxious to login to my new install and look around and take my screenshots.

Weird *ss Weather

Filed under
Just talk

You'd think after living in TN for 25 years, no make that 35 years, I'd be used to this weird weather. One saying that's become cliche around here is 'If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes - it'll change'. Yet it never seems to cease to amaze me. It's been raining here for several days now, it was raining when I went to bed last night and a thunderstorm awoke me this morning. This thunderstorm was a little spookier than most because the sky had taken on this eerie greenish-yellowish cast. Well, we practically-native Tennesseans know that's one of the warning signs of tornado activity, another thing we should be used to by now.

Big rpm update

Filed under
News

I've been a busy bee the past couple of days generating a big pack of rpm updates. udev is about fixed for the printers so I'm happy about that. There is a problem with cd symlinks especially for cdrw devices but the udev mailing list shows this is being addressed and a new version of udev will be out shortly.

Cybercfo is building an Amarok livecd based on a stripped down version of pclinuxos. I updated all the gstreamer rpms as well as amorak from their cvs build last night so he would have some new packages to work with for his project. You can find out more information about this exciting project at:

2-10-05

Filed under
News

Im still having some printer, network printer and usb issues with pclinuxos updates. I've been digging into hotplug and udev and have gotten a few more printers functional now. Usbkeys are still dead and I know it is related to udev and hotplug. Im hoping these issues will clear out in the next few days and I am able to cut an updated iso.

I also found xorg 6.8.2 released today so I built a set of binaries and uploaded them to the premuim server and ibiblio.org. Tonight I noticed in the forums a person who has the unichrome video card that will only go 800x600 so I downloaded the r30 unichrome driver release and added to my next build of xorg 6.8.2-2tex which I will post tomorrow. Hopefully his video will be able to go to a higher resolution.

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

  • Linux kernel bug delivers corrupt TCP/IP data to Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker containers
    The Linux Kernel has a bug that causes containers that use veth devices for network routing (such as Docker on IPv6, Kubernetes, Google Container Engine, and Mesos) to not check TCP checksums. This results in applications incorrectly receiving corrupt data in a number of situations, such as with bad networking hardware. The bug dates back at least three years and is present in kernels as far back as we’ve tested. Our patch has been reviewed and accepted into the kernel, and is currently being backported to -stable releases back to 3.14 in different distributions (such as Suse, and Canonical). If you use containers in your setup, I recommend you apply this patch or deploy a kernel with this patch when it becomes available. Note: Docker’s default NAT networking is not affected and, in practice, Google Container Engine is likely protected from hardware errors by its virtualized network.
  • Performance problems
    Just over a year ago I implemented an optimization to the SPI core code in Linux that avoids some needless context switches to a worker thread in the main data path that most clients use. This was really nice, it was simple to do but saved a bunch of work for most drivers using SPI and made things noticeably faster. The code got merged in v4.0 and that was that, I kept on kicking a few more ideas for optimizations in this area around but that was that until the past month.
  • Compute Shader Code Begins Landing For Gallium3D
    Samuel Pitoiset began pushing his Gallium3D Mesa state tracker changes this morning for supporting compute shaders via the GL_ARB_compute_shader extension. Before getting too excited, the hardware drivers haven't yet implemented the support. It was back in December that core Mesa received its treatment for compute shader support and came with Intel's i965 driver implementing CS.
  • Libav Finally Lands VDPAU Support For Accelerated HEVC Decoding
    While FFmpeg has offered hardware-accelerated HEVC decoding using NVIDIA's VDPAU API since last summer, this support for the FFmpeg-forked libav landed just today. In June was when FFmpeg added support to its libavcodec for handling HEVC/H.265 video decoding via NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix interface. Around that same time, developer Philip Langdale who had done the FFmpeg patch, also submitted the patch for Libav for decoding HEVC content through VDPAU where supported.

Unixstickers, Linux goes to Washington, Why Linux?

  • Unixstickers sent me a package!
    There's an old, popular saying, beware geeks bearing gifts. But in this case, I was pleased to see an email in my inbox, from unixstickers.com, asking me if I was interested in reviewing their products. I said ye, and a quick few days later, there was a surprise courier-delivered envelope waiting for me in the post. Coincidentally - or not - the whole thing happened close enough to the 2015 end-of-the-year holidays to classify as poetic justice. On a slightly more serious note, Unixstickers is a company shipping T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, posters, pins, and stickers to UNIX and Linux aficionados worldwide. Having been identified one and acquired on the company's PR radar, I am now doing a first-of-a-kind Dedoimedo non-technical technical review of merchandise related to our favorite software. So not sure how it's gonna work out, but let's see.
  • Linux goes to Washington: How the White House/Linux Foundation collaboration will work
    No doubt by now you've heard about the Obama Administration's newly announced Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP). You can read more about it on CIO.com here and here. But what you may not know is that the White House is actively working with the Linux and open source community for CNAP. In a blog post Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation said, “In the proposal, the White House announced collaboration with The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to better secure Internet 'utilities' such as open-source software, protocols and standards.”
  • Why Linux?
    Linux may inspire you to think of coders hunched over their desks (that are littered with Mountain Dew cans) while looking at lines of codes, faintly lit by the yellow glow of old CRT monitors. Maybe Linux sounds like some kind of a wild cat and you have never heard the term before. Maybe you have use it every day. It is an operating system loved by a few and misrepresented to many.

RebeccaBlackOS 2016-02-08 Review. Why? Because it’s Friday.

These are the types of problems found in an independent distro build from scratch. I cannot understand how a system built on Debian could be this buggy and apparently have zero VM support which Debian comes with by default. I can take some solace in the fact that it was built by one person and that one person is a Rebecca Black fan but as far as a Linux Distribution is concerned there is not much here. Some could say “Well its not supposed to be taken as a serious Distribution.” True except it is listed and kept up with on DistroWatch therefor it should be held as a system ready distribution especially when it was not released as a beta or an RC. If this distribution is ever going to be considered a real platform it has a long way to go. I give it about as many thumbs down as the Rebecca Black Friday video. Read more

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