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5 Best GNOME Shell Extensions for Your Linux Desktop

Not satisfied with the default GNOME functionality? Here are 5 of the best GNOME Shell extensions to make your Linux desktop shine.

By default, GNOME Shell has a set of features that are determined by the developers. However, with the addition of GNOME Shell extensions, it’s possible to go beyond the default feature set.

As the name suggests, GNOME Shell extensions extend the functionality of GNOME Shell desktop. They allow you to customize the default GNOME Shell interface and its parts, such as window management and application launching. You can think of extensions as browser add-ons that perform a specific task.

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GNU/Linux on Desktop/Laptop Miscellany

  • What Is a Physical Kill Switch, and Does Your PC Need One?

    Purism is a company founded on the idea of having strict privacy and security features built into its computers. The Librem 14 is a prime example of this philosophy, and its hardware, firmware, and operating system have been designed with a significantly higher level of paranoia than typical computers. The Librem 14 Linux laptop features multiple physical kill switches, which the company claims absolutely disables the related hardware. There are switches for the webcam and microphone as well as WiFi and Bluetooth. When it comes to the Librem 14 in particular, there are so many additional privacy features that the kill switches really are the least of it, but there are examples of such kill switches in regular laptops that don’t go to such extremes. All the way back in 2018, HP was already shipping laptops with physical kill switches for the webcam. Their Specter laptops included these switches, so hopefully the chances of a hacked webcam recording you when you don’t want it to are virtually zero. Kill switches may not always take the form of a traditional sliding switch on the side of a laptop. It’s entirely possible to integrate the kill switch with a physical, built-in camera shutter.

  • Partaker Intel Core i3-8130U fanless mini PC Win 10 Linux supported $423

    Partaker have created a new fanless mini PC equipped with a wealth of connectivity and capable of supporting both the Microsoft Windows 10 and operating system most Linux distributions depending on your preference. Pricing starts from $423 for the Intel Core i3-8130U processor version although a more affordable Intel Celeron 3865u/3867u/3965u processor version is also available with prices starting from $246. Both are barebone systems meaning that you will need to provide your own memory, storage and operating system, enabling you to tailor the system to your exact requirements.

  • IGEL Releases Support for VMware Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub for Linux

Kernel and Graphics: Kuiper Linux, Rust, Apple, Mesa, and XWayland

  • Custom Linux allows Raspberry Pi to drive ADI peripherals

    Called Kuiper Linux, it incorporates Linux device drivers for ADI products, and supports other hardware including Digilent Zedboard, TerASIC DE10-Nano and Digilent Cora “The reasoning behind creating this distribution is to minimise the barriers to integrating ADI hardware devices into a Linux-based system,” according to the company. “When starting with a generic Linux distribution, the kernel typically would have to be rebuilt with the desired drivers enabled. While this is not difficult for an engineer that is familiar with the process, it can be a daunting task even when everything goes right. ADI Kuiper Linux solves this problem, and includes a host of additional applications, software libraries, and utilities.”

  • Rust takes a major step forward as Linux's second official language | ZDNet

    It wasn't that long ago that the very idea that another language besides C would be used in the Linux kernel would have been laughed at. Things have changed. Today, not only is Rust, the high-level system language moving closer to Linux, it's closer than ever with the next "patch series to add support for Rust as a second language to the Linux kernel."

  • Apple SoC PMGR driver for 5.17
    Hi SoC folks,
    
    Please merge the new PMGR driver for 5.17.
    
    This should not have any hard deps with the previous pulls. The 
    MAINTAINERS change already rode along the DT pull, for simplicity.
    
  • More Apple Silicon M1 Bring-Up On The Way For Linux 5.17 - Phoronix

    The enablement work for supporting Apple's M1 SoC under Linux continues and with the v5.17 kernel next year will be yet more additions. Among the new driver activity for Linux 5.17 is an Apple PMGR driver for controlling the power states. The Apple PMGR block on their SoC has high-level power state controls for SoC devices. At the moment not all features are supported but important step forward for power management with Apple Silicon on Linux.

  • Intel's SWR Removed From Mainline Mesa, More Classic Code Cleaning Continues - Phoronix

    Last Friday Mesa classic drivers were removed from the mainline code-base and punted off to an "Amber" code branch where they will receive whatever attention moving forward. With that classic Mesa code removed, more code cleaning is now happening on top of the tens of thousands of lines of code already removed. Intel's OpenSWR driver has also now been removed from mainline. Since the original classic Mesa drivers consisting of Radeon R100/R200, original Nouveau, and Intel i915 / i965 drivers were removed, more code cleaning can now happen on mainline for code that was just sticking around for these old, rather unmaintained drivers.

  • XWayland Lands DRM Leasing Support To Handle VR Headsets - Phoronix

    Along with XWayland touchpad gestures, another shiny feature was merged this week into X.Org Server Git for XWayland: DRM leasing support! XWayland now has mainline support for the DRM leasing (drm-lease-v1) protocol for allowing X11 clients running through XWayland to lease non-desktop connectors/outputs from the underlying Wayland compositor. This is particularly useful and designed around the needs of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays.

Open Hardware/Modding: Raspberry Pi, RISC-V, HiFiBerry, and More

  • Retro Reproduction Captures The Style Of The Sol-20 | Hackaday

    In the early years of the computer revolution, a machine like the Sol-20 really stood out. Where most hobbyist machines had front panels that bristled with toggle switches and LEDs, the Sol-20 was a sleek, all-in-one that looked like an electric typewriter in a walnut-trimmed box. Unfortunately, it was also quite expensive, so not that many were sold. This makes them hard enough to find 40 years later that building his own reproduction Sol-20 is about the only way for [Michael Gardi] to have one of his own.

  • Imagination Catapults into RISC-V

    Imagination unveiled four RISC-V-based “Catapult” CPU cores: two 32-bit MCU cores and two 64-bit designs that run Linux, including an automotive functional safety core. The big news on the first day of the RISC-V Summit in San Francisco was the announcement from Imagination Technologies that it was launching four RISC-V core designs under a Catapult brand. This summer, Imagination revealed it was building RISC-V CPU cores, and it has now announced four Catapult CPU designs. The in-order cores include two 32-bit MCU-like cores and two 64-bit models that run Linux. The UK-based company refers to the four core categories as “dynamic microcontrollers; real-time embedded CPUs; high-performance application CPUs; and functionally safe automotive CPUs.”

  • Adding Optical Audio to the Raspberry Pi with One Chip

    In the home theater space most people would tell you the age of optical audio, known officially as TOSLINK, is over. While at one time they were the standard for surround sound systems, the fiber cables with their glowing red tips have now been largely supplanted by the all-in-one capabilities of HDMI on new TVs and audio receivers. But of course, that doesn’t mean all that TOSLINK-compatible hardware that’s in the field simply disappears. If you’re looking to connect a Raspberry Pi to the optical port of your AV system, [Nick Sayer] has you covered. His “TOSLINK Transceiver Hat” utilizes a WM8804 chip from Cirrus Logic to go from the Pi’s I2S audio output to S/PDIF. From there the signal goes directly into the TOSLINK input and output modules, which have the appropriate fiber optic hardware and drivers built-in. All you have to do from a software standpoint is enable a boot overlay intended for a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) from HiFiBerry.

  • Guitar Pickguard Adds MIDI Capabilities

    For a standard that has been in use since the 1980s, MIDI is still one of the most dominant forces on the musical scene even today. It’s fast, flexible, and offers a standard recognized industry-wide over many different types of electronic instruments. Even things which aren’t instruments can be turned into musical devices like the infamous banana keyboard via the magic of MIDI, and it also allows augmentation of standard instruments with other capabilities like this guitar with a MIDI interface built into the pick guard. [Ezra] is the creator of this unique musical instrument which adds quite a few capabilities to his guitar. The setup is fairly straightforward: twelve wires run to the pick guard which are set up as capacitive sensors and correspond with a note on the chromatic scale. Instead of using touchpads, using wires allows him to bend away the “notes” that he doesn’t need for any particular piece of music. The wires are tied back to an Adafruit Feather 32u4 microcontroller behind the neck of the guitar which also has a few selectors for changing the way that the device creates tones. He can set the interface to emit single notes or continuously play notes, change the style, can change their octave, and plenty of other features as well.

Firefox 96 Enters Public Beta Testing with More Performance and Security Improvements

Firefox 96 isn’t a major update, but it’s the first release of the open-source web browser in 2022 and it introduces several performance and security improvements to make your browsing experience more enjoyable, more reliable, and much safer. For example, the upcoming Firefox release significantly reduces the main thread load, significantly improves noise-suppression and auto-gain-control, slightly improves echo-cancellation, and enforces the Cookie Policy: Same-Site=lax option by default to protect users against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks. Read more