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5 Operating Systems Making Big Waves This Week

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OS

It's been a busy week for operating systems (OSes). Here's a rundown of what happened and the implications.

1. QNX to Power BlackBerry Tablets

It's not often an embedded OS that controls Las Vegas hotel fountains, car audio units and air traffic control systems makes the news, and this time last week you'd have been hard pressed to find more than a handful of people who had ever heard of QNX.

That is until Research in Motion announced it will be basing its BlackBerry Tablet OS on QNX, which it acquired earlier this year (and promptly made closed source). QNX will thus be at the heart of the highly specced BlackBerry PlayBook tablet aimed at enterprise users when it is released in 2011.

The QNX OS is a far cry from anything RIM has used in its BlackBerry mobile devices before: It's a POSIX OS based on a microkernel architecture, with device drivers, networking stack and file system all running in memory-protected user space. It also features an adaptive partitioning scheduling system, which has an effect similar to Windows SQL Server 2008's Resource Governor: It aims to guarantee applications a set percentage of processor resources, ensuring real-time applications keep running even when the OS is doing a significant amount of multitasking.

2. Anti-malware to Be Built Into Windows?




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VS Vision Systems has launched a trio of embedded systems that run Debian or OpenWrt on a TI AM3352. and offer mini-PCIe wireless options and optional VPN. VS Vision Systems GmbH has tapped the tried-but-true, low-power Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352 SoC for its new line of fanless, Linux-driven Baltos iR embedded computers. The 154 × 104 × 50mm Baltos iR 5221 has two more Fast Ethernet ports than the Baltos iR 3220, and adds a USB 2.0 OTG port and CANBus port, but is otherwise identical. The 115 × 73 × 25mm Baltos iR 2110 is a more stripped down version that lacks the other devices’ mini-PCIe and SIM card slots, among other features. The systems are said to support remote monitoring and control applications, as well as general embedded computing. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Mesa's Shader Cache Will Now Occupy Less Disk Space
    Mesa previously had a hard-coded limit to not take up more than 10% of your HDD/SSD storage, but now that limit has been halved. In a change to Mesa 17.2-dev Git and primed for back-porting to Mesa 17.1, Timothy Arceri has lowered the cache size limit to 5% of the disk space. He noted in the commit, "Modern disks are extremely large and are only going to get bigger. Usage has shown frequent Mesa upgrades can result in the cache growing very fast i.e. wasting a lot of disk space unnecessarily. 5% seems like a more reasonable default."
  • Amazon EC2 Cloud Benchmarks vs. AMD Ryzen, Various AMD/Intel Systems
  • Epiphany 3.25.1 Released, Ported To Meson
    Epiphany 3.25.1 has been released as the latest update for GNOME's Web Browser in what will be part of GNOME 3.26 this September. Epiphany 3.25.1 has continued the trend by other GNOME components in porting to the Meson build system. With Epiphany 3.25.1, Meson is present and its Autotools build system has been removed.
  • Tumbleweed Snapshots Update Fonts, Perl, Python Packages
    openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week gave many newer versions of Perl and Python packages, but several other packages were updated in the repositories including some open fonts. Google and Adobe fonts were updated in snapshots 20170424 and 20170420 with google-croscore-fonts and adobe-sourcehansans-fonts being added to the repositories respectively.
  • 3 cool features in Ubuntu 17.04
    April showers bring May flowers, and fresh versions of Ubuntu too. Canonical’s latest official Ubuntu release—17.04—arrived this month after news of the death of Unity 8 and the return to the GNOME desktop in 2018. For now, Ubuntu is still shipping with its Unity desktop. I wrote earlier that most users who need stability and support over new features will probably want to stick with Ubuntu 16.04, which was released last April, until Ubuntu 18.04 arrives a year from now. However, there are a few small things in Ubuntu 17.04 that will appeal to users who are keen to get all the newest updates.
  • Linux Security and Isolation APIs course in Munich (17-19 July 2017)
    I've scheduled the first public instance of my "Linux Security and Isolation APIs" course to take place in Munich, Germany on 17-19 July 2017. (I've already run the course a few times very successfully in non-public settings.) This three-day course provides a deep understanding of the low-level Linux features (set-UID/set-GID programs, capabilities, namespaces, cgroups, and seccomp) used to build container, virtualization, and sandboxing technologies. The course format is a mixture of theory and practical.

more of today's howtos

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing