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D.I.Y. Linux

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Linux

If you are a tech tinkerer at heart, have some free time on your hands, and embrace the sweat and tears that accompany a challenging project, perhaps you've contemplated setting up a Linux system at home.

You're not alone. Countless PC Magazine readers have told us they're curious about the Windows-free, open-source way of computing. But turning an old PC into a Linux box from scratch can be daunting, and the benefits of having one are debatable.

On the plus side, Linux appeals to those tired of the security woes that plague Microsoft Windows and, of course, to those interested in sampling thousands of free apps. As Linux is free, you won't be encumbered by potential software-licensing frustrations. It attracts developers in particular because of the plentiful development tools that are both powerful and free.

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Graphics: NVIDIA, Nouveau, X.Org Server

  • NVIDIA Making Progress On Server-Side GLVND: Different Drivers For Different X Screens
    While NVIDIA isn't doing much to help out Nouveau, at least the company is contributing to the open-source Linux graphics ecosystem in other ways. In addition to presenting at XDC2017 this week on the Unix device memory allocator API and DeepColor / HDR support, they also presented on server-side GLVND. Server-side GLVND is separate from the client-side GLVND (OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch Library) that evolved over the past few years and with modern Linux systems is supported both by Mesa and the NVIDIA binary driver. Server-side GLVND can help PRIME laptops and other use-cases like XWayland where potentially dealing with multiple GPU drivers touching X.
  • Nouveau Developers Remain Blocked By NVIDIA From Advancing Open-Source Driver
    Longtime Nouveau contributors Martin Peres and Karol Herbst presented at this week's XDC2017 X.Org conference at the Googleplex in Mountain View. It was a quick talk as they didn't have a whole lot to report on due to their open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver efforts largely being restricted by NVIDIA Corp.
  • X.Org Server 1.20 Expected Around January With New Features
    X.Org Server 1.19 is already almsot one year old and while X.Org is currently well off its six month release cadence, version 1.20 is being figured out for an early 2018 release. Adam Jackson of Red Hat who has been serving as the xorg-server release manager held a quick session on Friday at XDC2017 to figure out what's needed for X.Org Server 1.20. His goal is to see X.Org Server 1.20 released in time for making the Fedora 28 version. For that to happen nicely, he's hoping to see xorg-server 1.20 released in January. The Fedora 28 beta freeze is the middle of March so there is still time for the 1.20 release to slip while making the F28 Linux distribution update.

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