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Wednesday, 19 Feb 20 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and a half and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Graphics: Nouveau, Wayland, Mesa and RADV

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Nouveau Gallium3D Finally Seeing Mesa Shader Disk Cache For Faster Game Load Times

    While the open-source Intel and Radeon OpenGL drivers within Mesa have long employed an on-disk shader cache to help with game load times by being able to load previously compiled shaders from disk, the Nouveau "NVC0" Gallium3D driver is on the heels of finally seeing similar support.

    Nouveau saw a TGSI shader cache a few years ago while now it's finally seeing support for caching the compiled shaders.

  • LavaLauncher 1.6 Released As A Simple Dock/Launcher For Wayland

    If you have been looking for a simple dock/launcher that natively supports Wayland, LavaLauncher 1.6 is available as one such solution.

    LavaLauncher is a simple Wayland-only launcher that allows placing the dynamically sized bar against any screen edge. Unlike most launchers, LavaLauncher doesn't rely upon .desktop files but allows specifying a path to an arbitrary image and the associated shell command to run, allowing for it to be quite extensible than just showing .desktop files for launch applications.

  • Lima Gallium3D Driver Picks Up Multi-Submit Optimization In Mesa 20.1

    Lima in Mesa 20.1-devel now can handle multi-submit support for greater efficiency in handling of multiple OpenGL frame-buffer objects (FBOs). This should allow for greater efficiency/performance in the likes of the X.Org Server or Wayland compositors and avoiding flush-reload costs when switching between FBOs. No hard numbers, however, were provided for the multi-submit benefits to expect.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Makes A Few More Improvements For GCN 1.0/1.1 Hardware

    Valve open-source driver developer Samuel Pitoiset has contributed some improvements to Mesa 20.1's Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver benefiting GCN 1.0/1.1 graphics cards.

    These original GCN graphics cards are compatible with the RADV driver but require first switching the kernel driver from the default Radeon DRM driver over to the AMDGPU driver, normally via the radeon.si_support=0 radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1 amdgpu.cik_support=1 kernel flags. After doing so, RADV has tended to work well with these aging GCN graphics cards -- especially more recently with the RADV ACO back-end now working back to GCN 1.0 for offering better performance.

Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian

Special editions of Sparky 2020.02 “Po Tolo” of the (semi-)rolling line: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue have been released. It is based on the testing branch of Debian “Bullseye”.

GameOver Edition features a very large number of preinstalled games, useful tools and scripts. It’s targeted to gamers.

Multimedia Edition features a large set of tools for creating and editing graphics, audio, video and HTML pages.

The live system of Rescue Edition contains a large set of tools for scanning and fixing files, partitions and operating systems installed on hard drives.

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Games: Aquamarine, Humble Store, Paradox

Filed under
Gaming
  • Do a little quiet ocean exploration in the new 'Aquamarine' demo

    Now fully funded on Kickstarter with 8 days to go, Aquamarine has a demo out so you can have a go at this quiet survival adventure about perception and discovery in an alien ocean.

    A small-scale, story-driven game inspired largely by the psychedelic sci-fi of the '70s and '80s, Aquamarine combines old-school roguelikes and the survival genre with the exploration and puzzle solving of classic point-and-click adventures.

  • Humble Store has a big sale going on some top indie games

    Another week, another sale begins. Humble Store are running a third edition of their Indie Hits Sale with some really popular titles with big discounts.

  • Paradox have updated their handy launcher - should help Linux gamers too

    Paradox have released a new version of their game launcher, the screen that appears when you load most of their modern games to give a few little handy features.

    Not to be confused with the standalone Paradox Launcher you can download from their store (Paradox need a better naming scheme…), this is the application you see when you load up Stellaris, Cities: Skylines, Prison Architect and so on. Today "2020.2 - The Palindromic Version" was released.

Windows 10 vs. Eight Linux Distributions On The Threadripper 3970X

Filed under
GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

When taking the geometric mean of all these benchmark results, the Windows 10 Professional performance was the same as Windows 10 Enterprise for this Threadripper 3970X testing, unlike the Enterprise advantage we've seen on the larger Threadripper 3990X. The slowest of the eight Linux distributions tested was the Ubuntu 20.04 development snapshot, but that still came out to be 9.5% faster than Windows 10. The fastest Linux distribution was Clear Linux on the Threadripper 3970X with a 19% over Windows in these cross-platform benchmarks. Following Clear Linux with a strong showing was the new rolling-release CentOS Stream.

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GNU Social Contract version 1.0

Filed under
GNU

just a public heads-up on progress on the GNU Social Contract. Following our initially announced timeline, we had put online the first draft at the end of January. The goal of the document is to formulate a common core set of values for the GNU Project, on which we can jointly build to form a stronger community. It is both an agreement among us, GNU contributors, and a pledge to the broader free software community. Additionally, we think it can be a first step towards formalising a transparent and collective governance of the GNU Project.

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Best Wallpaper Slideshow Apps for Linux

Filed under
Software

Many Linux users love to customize and personalize their desktop environment. Linux offers plenty of choices to customize almost every part of the desktop including automatic switching of desktop background at periodic intervals. This article will list some wallpaper slideshow apps that can find and apply desktop backgrounds automatically based on your interests.

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Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Hover a mouse over a link - just don't trust the results

    This appears to be a link to a good website. When the mouse hovers over this link, it will appear that it goes to www.somegoodplace.com. Click it. I dare you Smile

    The link really goes to guce.advertising.com. JavaScript is used to dynamically change the link just as it is clicked. Pretty cool, eh?

  • Goodbye Joyent

    But as any software veteran knows, projects often don’t survive the whims of management. No one is fired for picking Linux (these days), but they might be for picking something else. I already experienced this once before, as a core developer of the Riak database. We were rigorous, paying homage to the theoretics of distributed systems, but with a focus on bringing that theory to the masses. So much so that our last CEO said we had to stop doing so much “computer science”. He meant it as an insult, but we wore it as a badge of honor. But hey, MongoDB had a sweet API and BJSON, who cares if it lost your data occasionally [1]. I understand that people like to stick with what is popular. I respect that decision — it is theirs to make. But I’ll never be a part of that crowd. I want to use software that speaks to me, software that solves the problems I have, software guided by similar values to my own. For me, no project does this more than SmartOS and the illumos kernel. It is my Shawshank Redemption in a sea of MCU.

  • Continuous integration with GDB Buildbot

    Continuous integration is a hot topic these days, and the GNU Project Debugger is keeping up with the trend. Who better to serve as a role model for tracking and exterminating bugs than a debugger?

    The GDB Buildbot started as a pet project back in 2014 but is now an integral part of the development process. It provides an infrastructure to test new commits pushed to the official repository, as well as a service (which we call try builds) for developers to submit their proposed changes. In this article, I share the story of our Buildbot instance, where we are right now in terms of functionality, and the plans (and challenges) for the future.

    [...]

    Back in 2014, the GDB project did not have a continuous integration tool. Developers kindly provided testsuite results and reported regressions in the code, often using their own machines. However, these developers had limited resources and could not test various architectures simultaneously. Compilation failures were often not caught in systems that are not widely used. Ultimately, this issue caused delays and annoyances during the release process (or in the worst cases) after GDB was released.

    In an attempt to mitigate this problem, the GDB Buildbot was set up. Only GNU/Linux running on Intel/AMD 32 and 64-bit was supported at the beginning, but the community quickly started to contribute toward support other machines and architectures. The initial setup compiled and tested the code using common configure flags, but developers still needed to consult the web page in order to know the results.

    Over time, the instance has been improved and new features were added, including email notifications whenever a commit introduced a compilation failure, and email notifications to the gdb-testers mailing list containing the results of each testsuite run.

    Perhaps one of the most useful features was the try build system.

  • Automating unit tests in test-driven development

    DevOps is a software engineering discipline focused on minimizing the lead time to achieve a desired business impact. While business stakeholders and sponsors have ideas on how to optimize business operations, those ideas need to be validated in the field. This means business automation (i.e., software products) must be placed in front of end users and paying customers. Only then will the business confirm whether the initial idea for improvement was fruitful or not.

    Software engineering is a budding discipline, and it can get difficult to ship products that are defect-free. For that reason, DevOps resorts to maximizing automation. Any repeatable chore, such as testing implemented changes to the source code, should be automated by DevOps engineers.

    This article looks at how to automate unit tests. These tests are focused on what I like to call "programming in the small." Much more important test automation (the so-called "programming in the large") must use a different discipline—integration testing. But that's a topic for another article.

  • Create web user interfaces with Qt WebAssembly instead of JavaScript

    When I first heard about WebAssembly and the possibility of creating web user interfaces with Qt, just like I would in ordinary C++, I decided to take a deeper look at the technology.

    My open source project Pythonic is completely Python-based (PyQt), and I use C++ at work; therefore, this minimal, straightforward WebAssembly tutorial uses Python on the backend and C++ Qt WebAssembly for the frontend. It is aimed at programmers who, like me, are not familiar with web development.

  • GCC 8.4 Status Report (2020-02-17)
    Status
    ======
    
    
    
    
    It has been almost a year since GCC 8.3 has been released and GCC 8.4
    release should have been released already, so we should concentrate on
    getting it out soon.  Unfortunately we have two P1s, one of them is
    waiting for reporter's input, so we might as well just ignore it unless
    the input is provided, but the other, C++ FE one, looks something that
    should be fixed.  If we get rid of the P1s, I'd like to create
    8.4-rc1 on Wednesday, Feb 26th and release 8.4 the week afterwards.
    If you have any queued backports, please commit them to 8 branch
    (and 9 branch too, we'd like to release 9.3 soon too).
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Quality Data
    ============
    
    
    
    
    Priority          #   Change from last report
    --------        ---   -----------------------
    P1                2   +   2
    P2              284   +  75
    P3               38   +   4
    P4              151   -  11
    P5               22   -   2
    --------        ---   -----------------------
    Total P1-P3     324   +  81
    Total           497   +  68
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Previous Report
    ===============
    
    
    
    
    https://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc/2019-02/msg00122.html
    
  • GCC 8.4 + GCC 9.3 Compilers Coming Soon

    GCC 8.4 is already past due for release while Red Hat's Jakub Jelinek is trying to get its release organized in the coming weeks along with GCC 9.3. It's been nearly one year since GCC 8.3 and thus many fixes in tow for GCC 8.4. But two "P1" regressions of the highest priority are left to be addressed or demoted before the 8.4 release can happen. Jakub is hoping to create a release candidate of GCC 8.4 on 26 February and to then officially release the GCC 8.4 stable compiler the first week of March. A similar GCC 9.3 release is also expected soon for those on this current GCC 9 stable series. 

Python Programming

Filed under
Development
  • Refactoring and asking for forgiveness

    Recently, I had a great interaction with one of my coworkers that I think is worth sharing, with the hope you may learn a bit about refactoring and python.

    My colleague came to me to help him think through a problem that surfaced with a change to a project. The code in question sends a file to a remote storage service.

  • A Guide to the Newer Python String Format Techniques

    In the previous tutorial in this introductory series, you learned how to format string data using the string modulo operator. The string modulo operator is useful, and it’s good for you to be familiar with it because you’re likely to encounter it in older Python code. However, there are two newer ways that you can use Python to format strings that are arguably more preferable.

  • Python 101 2nd Edition Kickstarter is Live!

    I am excited to announce that my newest book, Python 101, 2nd Edition is launching on Kickstarter today!

  • February PyLadies Pune workshop

    It was the time for “learning Python with harware” in February, 2020 with PyLadies in Pune. Coding in Python becomes fun when one can see the changes it makes in the hardware.

    Selecting a place for work is always a difficult task as any organizer. College Of Engineering Pune (COEP) has always been supportive of PyLadies Pune. When I approached Abhijit for the venue he readily agreed. My sincere gratitude to him, Women Engineers Group and the FOSSMeet Pune team enough for that.

    Once I reached the venue it was already a full house and still people were coming in. We had more than 55 students of 1st to 3rd year, attending the workshop. The first year students already knew Python. Around 12-14 people were writing Python for the first time.

    The workshop started with the very basics of the language on the terminal.

    [...]

    We started with blinking the first LED of the board. When the students lit their first LED the smile and light in their eyes were precious Smile. Following that we spend some time with the simple codes. We tried our hands on different modules of Circuit Python. We took the help from the tutorial provided in Adafruit website. The students were enjoying and indulged into creativity. So I decided to give them problem statements instead of showing them code. I was happy to see how fast they were solving it and experimenting with different patterns, colours.

  • PyDev of the Week: Martin Fitzpatrick

    This week we welcome Martin Fitzpatrick (@mfitzp) as our PyDev of the Week! Martin is the author of “Create Simple GUI Applications with Python and Qt 5” and the creator of the LearnPyQt website. You can also check out his personal site or see what he’s up to by visiting his Github profile. Let’s spend some time getting to know Martin better!

Plasma 5.18 LTS review - The good, the bad ... and yeah

Filed under
KDE
Reviews

Here we go. The KDE team has released the latest version of Plasma, numbered 5.18. This also happens to be a Long Term Support (LTS) release, which in Plasma parlance means two years of support. Since I'm an avid user, and even have Plasma deployed in my production setup via Kubuntu 18.04 running on a Slimbook Pro2, it's time to set scopes on the future, and see what gives.

I did my testing on Lenovo G50, which happens to be my hardware scapegoat de jour. Also, I have KDE neon installed there, Developer Edition (Stable), so I get to see all the little changes and fixes and whatnot almost as soon as they are introduced. This means I had a chance to sample Plasma 5.18 since the earliest build, and now that we have the official release, I must share me experience. Avanti.

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postmarketOS in 2020-02

Filed under
OS

Long time readers may ask themselves: what's with the strange title? Where's the traditional "xyz days of postmarketOS" post? Truth is, that this is a low-key update post, one that is rather "rushed out" in a few hours instead of spending a whole week on adding all the fancy photos and gifs webm animations and so on. Consider this the minimal effort of making the project not look dead on the homepage, while not getting too distracted from the deep development lands that our minds are sunken into.

We are on track with our project direction 2020 plans. In a nutshell, we will create a stable releases of postmarketOS based on Alpine stable, while still having the development channel based on Alpine edge. Furthermore, the status of supported devices will become clearer. The PinePhone, possibly the Librem 5 and few more will be labeled as officially supported in their deviceinfo and in the wiki. postmarketOS should be usable as daily driver on these. All other devices will be categorized further, depending on active maintainer count and what is working. Think of it like the AUR: still useful, but sometimes broken and you need to know what you are doing when using these. The devices will get split into their own git repository, so one can use the device packages with both the "edge" and "latest" (stable!) channel of all other packages. @ollieparanoid and @Minecrell are evolving pmbootstrap as needed.

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Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android

KDE: Cutelyst 2.10.0 and SimpleMail 2, Okular Examined, FOSDEM & Plasma Mobile Sprint

Filed under
KDE
  • Cutelyst 2.10.0 and SimpleMail v2 released!

    Cutelyst the C++/Qt Web framework and SimpleMailQt just got new releases.

    Cutelyst received many important bugfixes and if you are compiling it with View::Email it also requires SimpleMail 2, the latter got an Async API which is on production for a few months, allowing for a non-blocking send mail experience.

  • Okular is an open source universal document viewer for Windows, Linux and macOS

    Wouldn't it be nice if you had one program to view them all? That's exactly what Okular does. It's an open source universal document viewer for Windows, Linux and macOS. The program is made by KDE, a name Linux users should be familiar with, among other creations they are the ones behind the popular Kubuntu (Ubuntu + KDE Software) distro.

    Let's begin touring the interface. The sidepanel on the left can be used to jump to the Contents, Thumbnails, Reviews and Bookmarks sections. Select one of the options and the list of corresponding items are displayed in the panel to the right of the sidebar.

    The Contents option lists each section/chapter in a document, along with the sub-items, page numbers, etc. The Thumbnail mode pane displays a preview of each page in the document, you can scroll through it and click to go to the selected page. The Reviews pane contain the annotations that have been made on the document. If you don't have any, you can add some by hitting the F6 key or from the Tools menu > Review. Bookmarks are custom links that you have added, i.e., if you bookmark a page it will be displayed in the side-panel for future reference. Hit Ctrl + B to bookmark a page.

  • FOSDEM & Plasma Mobile Sprint

    Last week I decided to take KDE Itinerary for a test tour. Between the train rides there was also time for some KDE stuff.

    FOSDEM

    After writing an exam on Friday afternoon I took a train to Frankfurt. I did so not to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area around Frankfurt central station at night but to be able to catch an early train towards Bruxelles for my first time at FOSDEM.

    It has been a great experience to meet so many people interested in what KDE does at the KDE booth. It also was awesome to meet all the folks that are working hard on making Linux on the phone become a thing.

Want to be an innovative company? Adopt enterprise open source

Filed under
Red Hat
OSS

Nearly all IT professionals (95%) agree that enterprise open source is important, with 75% of professionals citing it as "extremely important," a Red Hat report found. Enterprise open source isn't just a trend, but a growing movement, as 77% of respondents expect their organizations to increase open source use in the next 12 months.

"Historically, open source was seen [mainly] in web infrastructure," said Gordon Haff, Red Hat technology evangelist. "What you're seeing today is how open source is becoming a space where companies and individuals come together to collaborate in new areas of technology."

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Linux distro review: Intel’s own Clear Linux OS

Filed under
OS
Linux
Reviews

Intel's Clear Linux distribution has been getting a lot of attention lately, due to its incongruously high benchmark performance. Although the distribution was created and is managed by Intel, even AMD recommends running benchmarks of its new CPUs under Clear Linux in order to get the highest scores.

Recently at Phoronix, Michael Larabel tested a Threadripper 3990X system using nine different Linux distros, one of which was Clear Linux—and Intel's distribution got three times as many first-place results as any other distro tested. When attempting to conglomerate all test results into a single geometric mean, Larabel found that the distribution's results were, on average, 14% faster than the slowest distributions tested (CentOS 8 and Ubuntu 18.04.3).

There's not much question that Clear Linux is your best bet if you want to turn in the best possible benchmark numbers. The question not addressed here is, what's it like to run Clear Linux as a daily driver? We were curious, so we took it for a spin.

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Games: Vintage Story, RimWorld, Julius, Faeria, Hive Time

Filed under
Gaming
  • The latest update and brand new trailer for 'Vintage Story' look fantastic

    With a survival experience that's so crammed full of features you're likely to get lost for weeks, Vintage Story has always looked pretty good. Recently though? They turned it up a notch or two.

    Version 1.12 went out this month as a major update focused on adding more visual flair including new animations, more reflective surfaces, a new personal-damage overlay effect, a rework of clouds (and they sure do look pretty), cold regions will see an aurora borealis effect, armour stands, performance improvements and various other tweaks to really make it something quite special.

  • If you think you were done with RimWorld think again - the 1.1 update is in Beta

    Adding in a ton of new content, adjustments and fixed - RimWorld 1.1 is now available in Beta to suck you back into building a colony. While RimWorld was done and released in full back in 2018, they're clearly not done with it.

    One big improvement will be for players that have high resolution monitors, as the UI should now look good even at 4K. There's a new Quests tab to give you info on available, active and previous quests as well to help you not get lost. Modding sees improvements too with "a new data-driven quests generation and management system" so apparently modders can add or change quests "without programming" and there's also improvements done to clean up the mod management interface.

  • Open source modern Caesar III game engine 'Julius' has a fresh release up

    Get ready to build a city with the classic Caesar III, as the developer behind the open source game engine Julius tagged a big new release.

    Some nice new features were added this time with a new full-city screenshot feature set to Ctrl+F12, it will be a big file of course but it's such a fun feature. A good way to show off all that time you spent. You can also now enable a monthly auto-save, to ensure no lost progress.

  • Unique deck-builder 'Faeria' has a huge patch out with gamepad support

    A few bits of interesting news to talk about for Faeria, a deck-builder with a unique board-building mechanic as it just got a huge update.

    One of the major new systems introduced is a player reporting mechanic, so you can report naughty people. You will find this as an option in-game in the friends list, as recent players appear there. There's also new music, a dynamic music system was added so during battles music will change depending on what's happening too which is quite cool and spices it up a little. There's also in-game leaderboards, new special PvP maps, in-game DLC display and controller support.

  • Bee-themed management sim 'Hive Time' has a new amusing trailer

    Released back in December, Hive Time is the rather sweet Bee hive building and management sim from our contributor Cheeseness and it has a new trailer out.

    Telling a short tale of a busy hive while introducing a worker Bee named Penelope, it's actually quite an amusing little trailer that would have sold me on the game if I wasn't already enjoying it.

Education With Moodle and Open-Source Textbooks (Open Access)

Filed under
OSS
  • Transforming the traditional classroom with Open Education

    The Tamarind Tree school in Dahanu, India, encourages self-learning through open educational resources and open technology

    At Tamarind Tree, the traditional classroom and traditional teacher role do not exist. Using open source software and open educational resources, the school has developed an entire digital ecosystem, with their LMS built on Moodle “My Big Campus” in the centre.

    Each day, students access the learning content and go through activities independently, nurturing their curiosity and self-assurance. In this setting, the role of the teacher is not as someone who delivers content, but more like a facilitator who mentors the children during their learning journey. As well as guiding the children through what they’re learning, when a teacher detects that a student is having difficulties with a topic or concept, or requires help, they will schedule one-on-one meetings where they both research and learn together.

  • Beaufort County Community College saves students over $50,000 on new textbooks

    New textbooks, called Open-Source Textbooks, are saving students more than $50,000 per semester at Beaufort County Community College (BCCC).

    Open-Source Textbooks are licensed under an open copyright license and made available online to be freely used by students and teachers.

    Some professors at BCCC are using Open-Source Textbooks to decrease the cost of student's education and help them stretch financial aid or scholarships.

    Professors seek out Open-Source Textbooks from a curated online library developed by academics from all over the country, then add additional material.

Microsoft Warning Issued For Millions Of Windows 10 Users

Filed under
Microsoft

Proactive users can also download the Windows Update troubleshooter, which will allow you to hide problematic updates and prevent them from reinstalling. As things stand, it is fast becoming essential software for all Windows 10 users.

This week Microsoft demonstrated the future of Windows updates. The advances target a new generation of dual-screen devices and are not meant for the millions of existing Windows 10 PCs and laptops. Meanwhile, long-overdue Windows 10 update improvements were suddenly shelved.

Microsoft, it is time to prioritize the present.

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Android Leftovers

Canonical Outs New Major Kernel Update for All Supported Ubuntu Releases

Available for the Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series, the new Linux kernel security update is here to fix a vulnerability (CVE-2019-14615) affecting systems with Intel Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), which could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information. It also addresses a race condition (CVE-2019-18683) discovered in the Virtual Video Test Driver (VIVID), which could allow an attacker with write access to /dev/video0 to gain administrative privileges, as well as a flaw (CVE-2019-19241) in Linux kernel’s IO uring implementation that could also allow a local attacker to gain administrative privileges. Another race condition (CVE-2019-19602) was fixed on x86 platforms, which could let a local attacker to cause a denial of service (memory corruption) or gain administrative privileges. Moreover, issues (CVE-2019-18786 and CVE-2019-19947) discovered in the Renesas Digital Radio Interface (DRIF) and Kvaser CAN/USB drivers could allow local attackers to expose sensitive information (kernel memory). Read more

10 Best Linux Terminal Emulators [2020 Edition]

Do you prefer terminal emulators over GUI? But there are times when the terminal’s decent styling seems boring. In such cases, you look for more options to customize the terminal just like we do while choosing Linux distros. If that’s the case, your wait is over as we bring the list of best terminal emulators for Linux that you can use to refresh your monotonous daily work. Along with the styling, you can also turn the single terminal into a multigrid, observing the activity of each terminal simultaneously. Read more