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Linux 5.5+ Development

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  • GRUB Now Supports Btrfs 3/4-Copy RAID1 Profiles (RAID1C3 / RAID1C4 On Linux 5.5+)

    When it comes to the storage/file-system changes with the in-development Linux 5.5 kernel one of the most prominent end-user-facing changes is more robust RAID1 for Btrfs with the ability to have three or four copies of the data rather than just two copies, should data safety be of utmost importance and concerned over the possibility of two disks in an array failing.

    The Btrfs "RAID1C3" mode was merged last week for this three/four-copy RAID1 while now the GRUB boot-loader has adapted support for these new profiles in order to be able to boot to said arrays.

  • Linux 5.5 Adds NFS Client Support For Cross-Device Offloaded Copies (Server To Server)

    With NFSv4.2 is the server-side copy (SSC) functionality with the Linux 5.5 kernel's NFS client-side support for that support in allowing "inter" copy offloads between different NFS servers.

    This support allows for server-to-server efficient file copies with NFSv4.2 SSC rather than first having to copy to the client system. The NFS client changes also introduce new RDMA tracepoints for debugging congestion control and various other fixes.

  • Linux 5.5 KVM Adds POWER Support For Secure Guests/VMs

    IBM's work from over a year ago in working towards secure virtual machines on POWER hardware is finally coming to fruition with Linux 5.5 due out early next year.

    After those original Secure Virtual Machine POWER9 patches were posted last year, the ultravisor / secure bits landed in Linux 5.4 in preparing the foundation. As explained in that earlier article, "The Ultravisor / SVM support is part of IBM's approach for protected computing that is akin to the approaches of Intel SGX and AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). IBM's Ultravisor code runs with higher privileges than the virtualization hypervisor and in turn the virtual machines rely upon IBM Protected Execution for verifying the behavior of the hypervisor/ultravisor."

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XanMod-ing Ubuntu To Perform Closer To Intel's Clear Linux

Earlier this month many Phoronix readers were interested in our fresh tests of the XanMod-patched Linux kernel for boosting the desktop and workstation performance compared to Ubuntu's default Linux kernel. Among many patches, XanMod does pull in some kernel patches from Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux, so we figured it would be interesting to see how the XanMod'ed Ubuntu compares to Clear Linux performance. As covered more in the earlier article, the XanMod Linux kernel flavor makes use of the BFQ I/O scheduler, offers CPU scaling governor improvements, makes use of preemptive full tickless kernel settings, and has a variety of other patches from leveraging Clear Linux optimizations to the BMQ process scheduler to the Proton FSYNC patches to much more. This round of testing was using a daily snapshot of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with its current Linux 5.4 default kernel and then re-tested using the same Ubuntu 20.04 LTS installation but running on the 4.1.10-xanmod6 kernel at the time. Additionally, the same CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS as Clear Linux defaults to were also utilized. Read more

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User Guide to Pantheon Desktop of elementary OS

Unlike Windows, user interface in elementary OS has a name, and it is Pantheon Desktop. It is a beautifully designed and easy to use desktop environment. This article wants to be a user guide to Pantheon Desktop that is simple to read and practice. You will learn about basic concepts of Pantheon and then practice to use it for daily tasks. You will see here how to use Wingpanel (top panel), Slingshot (start menu), Plank (taskbar), Switchboard (system settings), plus understand Headerbars and Multitasking mode. Of course I also include frequently used Keyboard Shortcuts so you can work more quickly. For your information, I use elementary OS 5.0 Juno as basis of this tutorial. I hope everybody could take benefit from this article and next time I could refer here if I write again about elementary. Enjoy! Read more

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