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Friday, 15 Feb 19 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Programming: Arduino, Ansible, Scrum, GCC vs. Clang, Lots of Python and Qt 5.13 Alpha Released Roy Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 8:03pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 8:01pm
Story Graphics: VK9, NVIDIA, AMD and Mesa Roy Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 7:47pm
Story Games: Arcade Spirits, Rocket League, Ancient Warfare 3 and Tannenberg Roy Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 7:42pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 7:23pm
Story Linux on DeX: Turn Your Samsung into a Computer Roy Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 7:18pm
Story 24 Excellent GNOME Extensions (Updated) Roy Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 7:07pm
Story Sitting in the Linux Cockpit Rianne Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 5:27pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 13/02/2019 - 5:22pm
Story OSS and Sharing Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 1 13/02/2019 - 3:11pm

Open source project aims to make Ubuntu usable on Arm-powered Windows laptops

Filed under
OSS
Ubuntu

Back in December 2017, Microsoft and Qualcomm announced a partnership to pair Windows 10 and Snapdragon Arm processors for ultra-thin LTE-connected netbooks with a 20+ hour battery life. This Windows-on-Arm initiative has faced several stumbling blocks, with the the first-generation HP Envy x2 and Asus NovaGo criticized for poor performance and app compatibility in Windows 10, due in large part to an inline x86 emulator for apps written for Windows on Intel or AMD processors.

Now, a group of programmers and device hackers are working to bring proper support for Ubuntu to Arm-powered Windows laptops, starting with first-generation Snapdragon 835 systems, like the HP Envy x2 and Asus NovaGo. The aarch64-laptops project on GitHub provides prebuilt images for the aforementioned notebook PCs, as well as the Lenovo Miix 630.

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KDE Frameworks 5.55 Released for KDE Plasma 5.15, Improves Android Notifications

Filed under
KDE

Just in time for the February 12 release of the highly anticipated KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environment, the KDE Frameworks 5.55.0 open-source software suite is now available with dozens of improvements, updates, new features, and countless bug fixes. First and foremost, the Breeze icon theme received lots of new icons, so you should see a pleasing refresh after updating your KDE Plasma desktop to KDE Frameworks 5.55.

Moreover, the exiv2extractor utility received support for BMP, GIF, WebP, and TGA image formats, taglibwriter received support for additional mimetypes, the KIconThemes, KService, KXMLGUI, and Solid components are now built without D-Bus on Android, KNotification received Android notification channel support and support for Android API level < 23, and KTextEditor got a bunch of improvements too.

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Also: KDE Frameworks 5.55 Released With Android Notifications, KWayland Fixes

PyPy 7.0.0

Filed under
Development
  • PyPy 7.0.0 released

    All the interpreters are based on much the same codebase, thus the triple
    release.

    Until we can work with downstream providers to distribute builds with PyPy,
    we
    have made packages for some common packages `available as wheels`_.

    The `GC hooks`_ , which can be used to gain more insights into its
    performance, has been improved and it is now possible to manually manage the
    GC by using a combination of ``gc.disable`` and ``gc.collect_step``. See the
    `GC blog post`_.

  • PyPy 7.0 Released - The Alternative Python Interpreter Now With Alpha 3.6 Support

    PyPy, the popular Python implementation alternative to the de facto CPython and often faster thanks to its JIT compiler, is up to version 7.0 as of this morning.

    PyPy 7.0 continues offering Python 2.7 support via its Python2 interpreter and there is still PyPy3.5 as the Python 3.5 support target. New to the game is an alpha of PyPy3.6 that provides Python 3.6 features but not yet considered a stable release.

First i.MX8M Mini SBC has PCIe and optional PoE

Filed under
Linux

Boundary Devices is prepping a “Nitrogen8M-Mini” SBC that runs Linux on an up to 2GHz, quad -A53 i.MX8M Mini, and offers 2GB RAM, up to 128GB eMMC, PCIe, MIPI CSI/DSI, GbE, and optional WiFi/BT and PoE.

The Nitrogen8M-Mini is the first SBC we’ve seen that’s based on NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini SoC, and the second embedded board after Variscite’s DART-MX8M-Mini module, which was pre-announced back in September. In keeping with the Mini meme, this is a smaller, less feature rich board than Boundary Devices’ i.MX8M based Nitrogen8M SBC, with a footprint of 114.3 x 88.9mm instead of 136.7 x 87mm.

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Games: OpenRA, OpenMW, Electric Sleep and More

Filed under
Gaming

Ubuntu 14.04 is Reaching the End of Life. Here are Your Options!

Filed under
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.04 is reaching its end of lie on April 30, 2019. This means there will be no security updates for Ubuntu 14.04 users beyond this date. Here’s what you can do if you are still using Ubuntu 14.04.
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What's the right amount of swap space for a modern Linux system?

Filed under
Linux
HowTos

Many years ago, the rule of thumb for the amount of swap space that should be allocated was 2X the amount of RAM installed in the computer. Of course that was when a typical computer's RAM was measured in KB or MB. So if a computer had 64KB of RAM, a swap partition of 128KB would be an optimum size.
This took into account the fact that RAM memory sizes were typically quite small, and allocating more than 2X RAM for swap space did not improve performance. With more than twice RAM for swap, most systems spent more time thrashing than performing useful work.

RAM memory has become quite inexpensive and many computers now have RAM in the tens of gigabytes. Most of my newer computers have at least 4GB or 8GB of RAM, two have 32GB, and my main workstation has 64GB. When dealing with computers with huge amounts of RAM, the limiting performance factor for swap space is far lower than the 2X multiplier. As a consequence, recommended swap space is considered a function of system memory workload, not system memory.

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Programming: Tryton Unconference, Argonne Looks to Singularity for HPC Code Portability, Mitogen v0.2.4 and More Python Bits

Filed under
Development
  • Tryton Unconference 2019: In Marseille on the 6th & 7th of June

    We will go in the sunny city of Marseille in south of France on the 6th and 7th of June. Contrary to previous editions of the Tryton Unconferences the coding sprint will be organized during the two days preceding the conference.

  • Argonne Looks to Singularity for HPC Code Portability

    Scaling code for massively parallel architectures is a common challenge the scientific community faces. When moving from a system used for development—a personal laptop, for instance, or even a university’s computing cluster—to a large-scale supercomputer like those housed at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, researchers traditionally would only migrate the target application: the underlying software stack would be left behind.

    To help alleviate this problem, the ALCF has deployed the service Singularity. Singularity, an open-source framework originally developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and now supported by Sylabs Inc., is a tool for creating and running containers (platforms designed to package code and its dependencies so as to facilitate fast and reliable switching between computing environments)—albeit one intended specifically for scientific workflows and high-performance computing resources.

  • Mitogen v0.2.4 released

    Mitogen for Ansible v0.2.4 has been released. This version is noteworthy as it contains major refinements to the core libary and Ansible extension to improve its behaviour during larger Ansible runs.

    Work on scalability is far from complete, as it progresses towards inclusion of a patch held back since last summer to introduce per-CPU multiplexers. The current idea is to exhaust profiling gains from a single process before landing it, as all single-CPU gains continue to apply in that case, and there is much less risk of inefficiency being hidden in noise created by multiple multiplexer processes.

  • Introducing kids to computational thinking with Python
  • The Factory Method Pattern and Its Implementation in Python
  • PyDev of the Week: Paolo Melchiorre
  • Create a filter for the audio and image files with python
  • Some simple CodeWars problems

An Everyday Linux User Review Of Debian 9

Filed under
Reviews
Debian

Over the past few months I have been working my way through the top Linux distributions and writing a review for each one.

Thus far I have covered Manjaro, Linux Mint, Elementary, MX Linux and Ubuntu. These reviews are based on the top 5 distributions as listed at Distrowatch. Number 6 on that list is Debian which is the distribution I am reviewing here.

The list of distributions at Distrowatch include every distribution that you may or may or not have heard of and it is worth pointing out that not every distribution on the list is suitable for everybody’s needs. For example Kali is very popular with penetration testers and security experts because it comes with a whole range of tools for testing networks and for searching for vulnerabilities. Kali however is not suitable for the average Joe who primarily uses their system for web browsing and casual gaming.

The Everyday Linux User blog is about looking at Linux distributions from the point of view of an average computer user. What this means is that it isn’t specifically for developers, for hackers, for artists, musicians or video bloggers. The reviews are aimed at showing off a standard desktop operating system that by and large should be easy to install, easy to use and should either provide a good variety of applications or the ability to easily install those applications.

With this in mind whilst reviewing certain distributions I will state where that distribution is or isn’t necessarily suitable for the Everyday Linux User.

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21 Excellent KDE Plasma Widgets

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KDE

After desktop hopping for many years, I’m fairly settled on KDE Plasma 5. It’s a lightweight and responsive desktop which is full-featured and beguiling to the eye. In my opinion, one of the aspects that stands KDE Plasma head and shoulders above its desktop peers is extensibility. Plasma lets you configure the desktop to your specific preferences.

KDE Plasma widgets (also known as plasmoids) are a smart way of customizing the desktop. There’s an abundance of widgets available that act like building blocks, constructing a desktop that’s perfect for your needs and requirements. I’ve tried the vast majority of KDE Plasma widgets. In this article, I recommend 21 of them. There should be something for everyone. And there’s a few fun widgets along the way!

The vast majority of my recommendations can be installed using the Plasma Add-On Installer (see image below). There’s a few that need a bit of effort to install, but I’ll provide details to get them working. This can involve downloading the widget’s source code, compiling that code, and installing it. Widgets can also be installed from a local file.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • How to Watch Netflix on Raspberry Pi: A Step-By-Step Guide
  • Only a Few Days Left to Cast Your Ballot in the Board Elections

    With only a few days left to go in the Board Elections, openSUSE enthusiast Ahmad Romadhon would like to urge all openSUSE Members who have not yet voted to cast their ballots before voting closes Friday, February 15, 2019 at 12h00 UTC.

    The Gajah Mada University Indonesian Literature student from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, has contributed a new Poster for the openSUSE Elections with this goal in mind, as a healthy Community depends entirely on the active participation of its Members.

    The ballots were sent out last week for the voting process to choose three Board Members in the 2018-2019 openSUSE Board Elections from a total of seven top quality Candidates in the running.

  • Printing Industry Leader Heidelberg Joins the OIN Community in Support of its Digital Future

    Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today that Heidelberger Drucksmachinen (Heidelberg) has joined as a community member. As a global leader in prepress, printing and finishing, service and consumables, and software solutions, with a strong focus on a digital future, Heidelberg is demonstrating its commitment to open source software as an enabler of innovation across the printing industry.

    ?Heidelberg?s decision to join OIN is indicative of the global trend towards increased value creation through software, not only in the printing industry but across all industrials. Forward looking industrial companies realize that open source software is the most efficient way to transform their business through software,? said Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN. ?We?ve clearly seen this in the automotive industry with Automotive Grade Linux, and there is promise in energy via LF Energy. We are pleased that an industry thought leader such as Heidelberg, which is driving the digital transformation of the printing industry, is joining OIN.?

  • Heidelberg Joins the Open Invention Network in Support of its Digital Future

    Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced that Heidelberger Drucksmachinen (Heidelberg) has joined as a community member. As a global leader in prepress, printing and finishing, service and consumables, and software solutions, with a strong focus on a digital future, Heidelberg is demonstrating its commitment to open source software as an enabler of innovation across the printing industry.

  • Why Apple is Patenting Swift Features, Even Though It’s Open Source

    Many think of ‘open source’ the same way they do free software: totally free and open for everyone to use. And Swift is indeed open and free. Released under the Apache license, Swift is also gaining LSP support, which will give it the ability to compile in just about any IDE you’d want to use (and even some you don’t).

    Apple still drives Swift’s progress. Swift.org, the site dedicated to Swift’s open-source roadmap and release history, is owned and managed by Apple. Those who contribute most to the language’s success are typically Apple staffers, or were (Swift creator Chris Lattner, who is now at Google, is still heavily involved with the language).

Automated Radiosonde Tracking Via Open Source

Filed under
OSS

Meteorological organisations across the world launch weather balloons on a regular basis as a part of their work in predicting whether or not it will rain on the weekend. Their payloads are called radiosondes, and these balloons deliver both telemetry and location data throughout their flightpath. Hobbyists around the globe have devoted time and effort to tracking and decoding these signals, and now it’s possible to do it all automatically, thanks to Radiosonde Auto RX.

The basis of the project is the RTL-SDR, everyone’s favourite low-cost software defined radio receiver. In this case, software is used to first hunt for potential radiosonde signals, before then decoding them and uploading the results to a variety of online services. Some of these are designed for simple tracking, while others are designed for live chase and recovery operations. Currently, the software only covers 3 varieties of radiosonde, but the team are eager to expand the project and have requested donations of other radiosondes for research purposes.

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Programming and Software Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Why is cross-language cooperation so hard?

    My previous blog post on the future of Meson was a smashing hit (with up to five(!) replies on Twitter), so I figured I'd write a bit more in depth article about the issue. I'd like to emphasize that like previously, this article only mentions Rust by name, but the issues raised are identical for all new programming languages such as D, Go, Nim, and all the others whose names I don't even know.

  • Riccardo Padovani: Glasnost: yet another Gitlab's client.

    Among the others features, I’d like to highlight support for multiple Gitlab hosts (so you can work both on your company’s Gitlab and on Gitlab.com at the same time), two different themes (a light one and a dark one), a lite version for when your data connection is stuck on edge, and support for fingerprint authentication.

    The application is still in an early phase of development, but it already has enough features to be used daily. I am sure Giovanni would love some feedback and suggestions, so please go on the Glasnost’s issues tracker or leave a feedback on the PlayStore.

    If you feel a bit more adventurous, you can contribute to the application itself: it is written in React+Redux with Expo: the code is hosted on Gitlab (of course).

  • Python, For The love of It - part 1
  • Sparky Play & Sparky Player

    There are two new, small tools available for Sparkers: Sparky Play MP3 and Sparky Player.

Review: First impressions of Project Trident 18.12

Filed under
Reviews
BSD

I have a lot of mixed feelings and impressions when it comes to Trident. On the one hand, the operating system has some great technology under the hook. It has cutting edge packages from the FreeBSD ecosystem, we have easy access to ZFS, boot environments, and lots of open source packages. Hardware support, at least on my physical workstation, was solid and the Lumina desktop is flexible.

However, there were a lot of problems I ran into during this trial. Some of them are matters of taste or style. The installer looks unusually crude, for example, and the mixed icon styles weren't appealing. Similarly, switching themes made some icons in toolbars disappear. These are not functional issues, just presentation ones. There were some functional problems too though. For example, needing to close and re-open AppCafe to see available packages, or the desktop not resizing when running Trident in a virtual machine, which required that I change the display settings at each login.

Lumina has come a long way and is highly flexible and I like the available alternative widgets for desktop elements. This is useful because Lumina's weakest link on Trident seems to be its defaults as I had some trouble with the "Start" application menu and I think some work to polish the initial impression would be helpful.

The biggest issues though were with security. Trident ships with some extra security features in place, but most of them can be easily bypassed by any user by simply opening the Control Panel to view or kill processes or even add or remove packages. Some systems intentionally give the user full access by running everything as root, but in those cases at least the administrator knows they have complete access. This situation seems worse since Trident gives the illusion of security and limited access, but any curious user can run administrator tools. I think the project needs time to mature before I would recommend using it.

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Audiocasts: Open Source Security Podcast, SMLR, This Week in Linux and GNU World Order

Filed under
Interviews
  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 133 - Smart locks and the government hacking devices

    Josh and Kurt talk about the fiasco hacks4pancakes described on Twitter and what the future of smart locks will look like. We then discuss what it means if the Japanese government starts hacking consumer IoT gear, is it ethical? Will it make anything better?

  • SMLR Episode 300 “Linux is Obsolete” ?
  • Episode 54 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, the new Radeon VII beast from AMD is out and we’ll check out some benchmarks from our friends at Phoronix. A new version of KDE Plasma is coming out soon, in just a couple of days, so we will have a look at what is coming in KDE Plasma 5.15. We got some new app releases from LibreOffice and Flowblade and there was a bunch of Distro News this week from Fedora, SystemRescueCd, Redcore Linux, and some new distros or at least new to me with Linux Kodachi & Refracta. Later in the show, we’ll cover some Gaming Sales from Humble Bundle and Steam. All that and much more!

  • GNU World Order 13x7

A Look at Xubuntu 18.04

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews
Ubuntu

I finally got around to looking at Xubuntu 18.04… It’s nice!

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GreenWithEnvy 0.11 Released For More Overclocking Potential Of NVIDIA GPUs On Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

GreenWithEnvy v0.11 has been released, the latest version of this third-party, open-source utility for altering the power limits of NVIDIA graphics cards on Linux as well as more overclocking information/controls than what is exposed through the NVIDIA Settings panel with the NVIDIA proprietary driver.

GreenWithEnvy depends upon the proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver as well as the CoolBits extension for doing the actual overclocking, but allows overclockers to make more informed choices thanks to historical charts of the thermal/power/clock data and other information not otherwise readily exposed from Linux GUI utilities for NVIDIA graphics processors. GreenWithEnvy also allows manipulating the fan curve and more.

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postmarketOS at FOSDEM 2019

Filed under
OS
Android

Last weekend was FOSDEM 2019, Europe's biggest event for open-source and free software developers to meet, share ideas and collaborate. A few postmarketOS developers and community members attended, as well as several other Linux phone project members. Of course, besides just walking around and attending several interesting talks, we also took this opportunity to do some work!

The PINE64 company was present with their own stand, and a PINE64 community meeting in the evening. They showed off their almost ready PinePhone development kits, and some other neat hardware like a fully open-source IP camera, their new Pinebook Pro and PineTablet. Since @z3ntu, @MartijnBraam and @PureTryOut took their Pine A64-LTS kits with them (which uses basically the same hardware as will be in the PinePhone), we decided to do some work improving our port, and we got the screen working for the first time!

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVMe Linux SSD Benchmarks

Announced at the end of January was the Samsung 970 EVO Plus as the first consumer-grade solid-state drive with 96-layer 3D NAND memory. The Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs are now shipping and in this review are the first Linux benchmarks of these new SSDs in the form of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB MZ-V7S500B/AM compared to several other SSDs on Linux. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus uses the same Phoenix controller as in their existing SSDs but the big upgrade with the EVO Plus is the shift to the 96-layer 3D NAND memory. Available now through Internet retailers are the 250GB / 500GB / 1TB versions of the 970 EVO Plus at a new low of just $130 USD for the 500GB model or $250 USD for the 1TB version. A 2GB model is expected to ship this spring. Read more

elementary 5 "Juno"

In the spring of 2014 (nearly five years ago), I was preparing a regular presentation I give most years—where I look at the bad side (and the good side) of the greater Linux world. As I had done in years prior, I was preparing a graph showing the market share of various Linux distributions changing over time. But, this year, something was different. In the span of less than two years, a tiny little Linux distro came out of nowhere to become one of the most watched and talked about systems available. In the blink of an eye, it went from nothing to passing several grand-daddies of Linux flavors that had been around for decades. This was elementary. Needless to say, it caught my attention. Read more

Audiophile Linux Promises Aural Nirvana

Linux isn’t just for developers. I know that might come as a surprise for you, but the types of users that work with the open source platform are as varied as the available distributions. Take yours truly for example. Although I once studied programming, I am not a developer. The creating I do with Linux is with words, sounds, and visuals. I write books, I record audio, and a create digital images and video. And even though I don’t choose to work with distributions geared toward those specific tasks, they do exist. I also listen to a lot of music. I tend to listen to most of my music via vinyl. But sometimes I want to listen to music not available in my format of choice. That’s when I turn to digital music. Read more