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GCC: Optimizing Linux, the Internet, and Everything

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GNU

Software is useless if computers can't run it. Even the most talented developer is at the mercy of the compiler when it comes to run-time performance - if you don’t have a reliable compiler toolchain you can’t build anything serious. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) provides a robust, mature and high performance partner to help you get the most out of your software. With decades of development by thousands of people GCC is one of the most respected compilers in the world. If you are building applications and not using GCC, you are missing out on the best possible solution.

GCC is the “de facto-standard open source compiler today” [1] according to LLVM.org and the foundation used to build complete systems - from the kernel upwards. GCC supports over 60 hardware platforms, including ARM, Intel, AMD, IBM POWER, SPARC, HP PA-RISC, and IBM Z, as well as a variety of operating environments, including GNU, Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and RTEMS. It offers highly compliant C/C++ compilers and support for popular C libraries, such as GNU C Library (glibc), Newlib, musl, and the C libraries included with various BSD operating systems, as well as front-ends for Fortran, Ada, and GO languages. GCC also functions as a cross compiler, creating executable code for a platform other than the one on which the compiler is running. GCC is the core component of the tightly integrated GNU toolchain, produced by the GNU Project, that includes glibc, Binutils, and the GNU Debugger (GDB).

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Also: AMDGPU Developer Proposes Array Register Files For LLVM - Would Help Performance

LLVM Lands Support For ARMv8.5's Branch Target Identification

  • LLVM Lands Support For ARMv8.5's Branch Target Identification (BTI)

    A bulk of the Linux/open-source enablement we have seen taking place for ARM's new ARMv8.5 architecture revision is around its new Spectre defenses to help SoCs that will begin shipping later in 2019.

    Back in September the first of the ARMv8.5 support began landing in the LLVM/Clang compiler and it's work to battle Spectre-style vulnerabilities. That work included speculation restriction system registers, a new speculation barrier, prediction invalidation instructions, and SSBB/PSSBB speculation barriers. ARMv8.5 also brings some additions outside of the Spectre/security space like new persistent memory instructions and random number instructions.

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GNOME: Restyling, Geoclue and Outreachy

  • Restyling apps at scale
    Over the past few months we’ve had a lively debate about “theming” in GNOME, and how it affects our ecosystem. In this discussion I’ve found that there is a divide between people who design and/or develop apps, and people who don’t. I have yet to see an app developer who thinks the current approach to “theming” can work, while many people who aren’t app developers are arguing that it can. After a few long discussions I started to realize that part of the reason why there’s so little agreement and so much drama around this issue is that we don’t agree what the problem is. Those who don’t work on apps often can’t see the issues with theming and think we want to remove things for no reason, while those who do are very frustrated that the other side doesn’t want to acknowledge how broken everything is.
  • Geoclue 2.5 & repeating call for help
    Also, while I'm at it, I wanted to highlight the "call for help" at the end of that post by repeating it here again. I apologize of repeating to those who already read it but a friend pointed out that it's likely going to be missed by many folks: The future of Mozilla Location Service When Mozilla announced their location service in late 2013, Geoclue became one of its first users as it was our only hope for a reliable WiFi-geolocation source. We couldn't use Google's service as their ToC don't allow it to be used in an open source project (I recall some clause that it can only be used with Google Maps and not any other Map software). Mozilla Location Service (MLS) was a huge success in terms of people contributing WiFi data to it. I've been to quite a few places around Europe and North America in the last few years and I haven't been to any location, that is not already covered by MLS.
  • Making a first contribution in Outreachy usability testing
    If you want to join us in GNOME usability testing as part of the upcoming cycle in Outreachy, you'll need to make a first contribution as part of your application process. Every project in Outreachy asks for a first contribution; this is a requirement in Outreachy. Don't make too big of a deal about your first contribution in usability testing. We don't expect interns to know much about usability testing as they enter the internship. Throughout the internship, you'll learn about usability testing. So for this first contribution, we set a low bar.

Kali Linux: What You Must Know Before Using it

Kali Linux is the industry’s leading Linux distribution in penetration testing and ethical hacking. It is a distribution that comes shipped with tons and tons of hacking and penetration tools and software by default, and is widely recognized in all parts of the world, even among Windows users who may not even know what Linux is. Because of the latter, many people are trying to get alone with Kali Linux although they don’t even understand the basics of a Linux system. The reasons may vary from having fun, faking being a hacker to impress a girlfriend or simply trying to hack the neighbors’ WiFi network to get a free Internet, all of which is a bad thing to do if you are planning to use Kali Linux. Read more

Kernel: Qualcomm/Atheros "Ath10k", FUSE and Code of Conduct

  • Linux's Qualcomm Ath10k Driver Getting WoWLAN, WCN3990 Support
    The Qualcomm/Atheros "Ath10k" Linux driver coming up in the Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel merge window is picking up two prominent features. First up, the Ath10k driver is finally having WoWLAN support -- Wake on Wireless LAN. WoWLAN has been supported by the kernel for years and more recently is getting picked up by Linux networking user-space configuration utilities. Ath10k is becoming the latest Linux wireless driver supporting WoWLAN (WIPHY_WOWLAN_NET_DETECT) for automatically waking up the system when within range of an a known SSID.
  • FUSE File-Systems Pick Up Another Performance Boost With Symlink Caching
    FUSE file-systems in user-space are set to be running faster with the upcoming Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel thanks to several performance optimizations. The FUSE kernel code for this next Linux kernel cycle already has a hash table optimization and separately is copy file range support for efficient file copy operations. Staged today into the FUSE tree for the next cycle was yet another performance-boosting patch.
  • Another Change Proposed For Linux's Code of Conduct
    With the Linux 4.19-rc8 kernel release overnight, one change not to be found in this latest Linux 4.19 release candidate are any alterations to the new Code of Conduct. The latest proposal forbids discussing off-topic matters while protecting any sentient being in the universe. While some immediate changes to the Linux kernel Code of Conduct have been talked about by upstream kernel developers, for 4.19-rc8 there are no changes yet. We'll presumably see some basic changes land this week ahead of Linux 4.19.0 expected next Sunday as not to have an unenforceable or flawed CoC found in a released kernel version.

Plasma 5.14 – Phasers on stun

Linux is much like the stock market. Moments of happiness broken by crises. Or is the other way around? Never mind. Today shall hopefully be a day of joy, for I am about to test Plasma 5.14, the latest version of this neat desktop environment. Recently, I’ve had a nice streak of good energy with Linux, mostly thanks to my experience with Slimbook Pro2, which I configured with Kubuntu Beaver. Let’s see if we can keep the momentum. Now, before we begin, there are more good news woven into this announcement. As you can imagine, you do need some kind of demonstrator to test the new desktop. Usually, it’s KDE neon, which offers a clean, lean, mean KDE-focused testing environment. You can boot into the live session, try the desktop, and if you like it, you can even install it. Indeed, neon is an integral part of my eight-boot setup on the Lenovo G50 machine. But what makes things really interesting is that neon has also switched to the latest Ubuntu LTS base. It now comes aligned to the 18.04 family, adorned with this brand new Plasma. Proceed. Read more