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What Happened in Mobile is Happening in Desktops

Filed under
Linux

Free software everywhere

Touchscreen computer
Photo by Barney Livingston from Brighton, UK

Summary: Tablets and smartphones, where Linux is the standard platform, are not the only form factors where freedom-respecting software is good enough for everyone

GNU/Linux is no underdog anymore. HP currently pre-installs GNU/Linux and it does not charge "Microsoft tax" [1]. As one who uses an HP laptop to write this, the feeling of saying it is pretty good, putting aside some of the negative sides of HP (no company is perfect). Almost any bit of hardware can run GNU/Linux [2], so excuses like technical difficulties (e.g. drivers) no longer pass muster and demand from the public is definitely growing (Google and its hardware partners sell many machines with GNU/Linux pre-installed). In this age of GNU/Linux with Steam and Android with Play, even gaming is hardly a valid excuse [3] (neither for game developers nor gamers). There are plenty of decent (user-friendly) desktop front ends, and even the notorious Unity is liked by some [4]. Some would go as far as saying that "Linux [became] too easy" [5,6] for the shrinking market which is desktops [7,8]. It is safe to say "shrinking" because even Intel, the company which cashed in on desktops, is feeling the pinch [9] as hardware becomes smaller and more efficient in the ours rooms and the back rooms also [10]. Tablets and smartphones, suffice to say, are an area dominated by Linux already. That is a growth area.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Workstation Computers From HP

    They do supply that other OS pre-installed but you can see the price difference between that and installing GNU/Linux.

  2. Create custom Linux-based systems regardless of the hardware

    Jeff Osier-Mixon is a community manager at Intel for The Yocto Project, an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. Basically: The Yocto Project allows development to happen without the worries of what hardware the code will run on.

  3. Windows 8.1, Linux, Android, and "The Next Big Thing"™

    Slightly off-topic from typical gaming related news, but I thought I would start a conversation since many devs and gamers I talk with often discuss this OS or that OS as “The Next Big Thing”™. The general consensus I get from the public is that Windows 8 got off to a rocky start given the changes they’ve made to the interface. From a gaming perspective Microsoft has only added incremental updates to DirectX 11 since the release of Windows 8.0. Microsoft today has released Windows 8.1 RTM and it comes with DX 11.2 (IMO nothing big, but some convenient updates). Despite public backlash against tiles and Windows apps, Microsoft decided to release the update via the Windows Store app (oh the irony). They also forgot to mention that you need a special update for Windows 8.0 in order to download 8.1. Not off to a good start. So I just finished the update and after waiting just a little over an whole hour for it to finish, I’m regretting it big time. My standard desktop account was replaced and I’m now logged in using my online Microsoft account. Seriously?

  4. The Linux Setup - Tynan, SETT Developer

    I just use the default Unity interface. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t do anything egregiously bad like Windows does. I don’t like the launcher (I rely on Synapse instead), but I love the top bar with the unified messaging/audio/etc. The indicators on the sidebar are great, too.

  5. "Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy?"
  6. Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

    It's hard to believe, looking at the modern computing world, but there is still more to life than Windows or Unix… and today, most of the alternatives run on vanilla x86 hardware and are free.

  7. The PC Industry Is Thriving

    Tablets and smartphones are PCs! The real problem, for some companies, is that they have been producing what Wintel wanted and not what consumers wanted, small cheap computers. Naturally, if you’re trying to sell these people big expensive computers, they won’t be buying. The market for personal computers is thriving, according Statista. Look at shipments per annum (millions):

  8. PC sales in spiralling death dive
  9. Intel to Play Fab for an ARM Chipmaker: Understanding What the Altera Deal Means

    Decision is puzzling given Intel's potential to catch up in the tablet market

  10. New supercomputer uses SSDs as alternative to DRAM, hard drives

    A new supercomputer being deployed this month in the U.S. is using solid-state drive storage as an alternative to DRAM and hard drives, which could help speed up internal data transfers.

More in Tux Machines

Security: Uber Sued, Intel ‘Damage Control’, ZDNet FUD, and XFRM Privilege Escalation

  • Uber hit with 2 lawsuits over gigantic 2016 data breach
    In the 48 hours since the explosive revelations that Uber sustained a massive data breach in 2016, two separate proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed in different federal courts across California. The cases allege substantial negligence on Uber’s part: plaintiffs say the company failed to keep safe the data of the affected 50 million customers and 7 million drivers. Uber reportedly paid $100,000 to delete the stolen data and keep news of the breach quiet. On Tuesday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote: “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it.”
  • Intel Releases Linux-Compatible Tool For Confirming ME Vulnerabilities [Ed: ‘Damage control’ strategy is to make it look like just a bug.]
    While Intel ME security issues have been talked about for months, confirming fears that have been present about it for years, this week Intel published the SA-00086 security advisory following their own internal review of ME/TXE/SPS components. The impact is someone could crash or cause instability issues, load and execute arbitrary code outside the visibility of the user and operating system, and other possible issues.
  • Open source's big weak spot? Flawed libraries lurking in key apps [Ed: Linux basher Liam Tung entertains FUD firm Snyk and Microsoft because it suits the employer's agenda]
  • SSD Advisory – Linux Kernel XFRM Privilege Escalation

gThumb 3.6 GNOME Image Viewer Released with Better Wayland and HiDPI Support

gThumb, the open-source image viewer for the GNOME desktop environment, has been updated this week to version 3.6, a new stable branch that introduces numerous new features and improvements. gThumb 3.6 comes with better support for the next-generation Wayland display server as the built-in video player, color profiles, and application icon received Wayland support. The video player component received a "Loop" button to allow you to loop videos, and there's now support for HiDPI displays. The app also ships with a color picker, a new option to open files in full-screen, a zoom popover that offers different zoom commands and a zoom slider, support for double-click activation, faster image loading, aspect ratio filtering, and the ability to display the description of the color profile in the property view. Read more Also: Many Broadway HTML5 Backend Improvements Land In GTK4

ExTiX 18.0, 64bit, with Deepin Desktop 15.5 (made in China!) and Refracta Tools – Create your own ExTiX/Ubuntu/Deepin system in minutes!

I’ve made a new extra version of ExTiX with Deepin 15.5 Desktop (made in China!). Deepin is devoted to providing a beautiful, easy to use, safe and reliable system for global users. Only a minimum of packages are installed in ExTiX Deepin. You can of course install all packages you want. Even while running ExTiX Deepin live. I.e. from a DVD or USB stick. Study all installed packages in ExTiX Deepin. Read more Also: ExTiX, the Ultimate Linux System, Now Has a Deepin Edition Based on Ubuntu 17.10 Kali Linux 2017.3 Brings New Hacking Tools — Download ISO And Torrent Files Here

Graphics: Greenfield, Polaris, Ryzen

  • Greenfield: An In-Browser HTML5 Wayland Compositor
    Earlier this year we covered the Westfield project as Wayland for HTML5/JavaScript by providing a Wayland protocol parser and generator for JavaScript. Now that code has morphed into Greenfield to provide a working, in-browser HTML5 Wayland compositor.
  • New Polaris Firmware Blobs Hit Linux-Firmware.Git
    Updated firmware files for the command processor (CP) on AMD Polaris graphics cards have landed in linux-firmware.git. These updated firmware files for Polaris GPUs are light on details besides being for the CP and from their internal 577de7b1 Git state.
  • Report: Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APU Not Using HBM2 Memory
    Instead of the Vega graphics on Raven Ridge using HBM2 memory, it appears at least for some models they are just using onboard DDR4 memory. FUDZilla is reporting today that there is just 256MB of onboard DDR4 memory being used by the new APU, at least for the Ryzen 5 APU found on the HP Envy x360 that was the first Raven APU system to market.