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Mozilla: Rust Compiler, Firefox Updates and Docker

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • The Rust compiler is getting faster

    As changes are made to the Rust compiler, a suite of benchmarks measuring compile time is run regularly on the development version. The data is viewable at http://perf.rust-lang.org. The default view is graphical, showing data from the past month.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 38
  • Scaling Firefox Development Workflows

    One of the central themes of my time at Mozilla has been my pursuit of making it easier to contribute to and hack on Firefox.

    I vividly remember my first day at Mozilla in 2011 when I went to build Firefox for the first time. I thought the entire experience - from obtaining the source code, installing build dependencies, building, running tests, submitting patches for review, etc was quite... lacking. When I asked others if they thought this was an issue, many rightfully identified problems (like the build system being slow). But there was a significant population who seemed to be naive and/or apathetic to the breadth of the user experience shortcomings. This is totally understandable: the scope of the problem is immense and various people don't have the perspective, are blinded/biased by personal experience, and/or don't have the product design or UX experience necessary to comprehend the problem.

  • Release of python-zstandard 0.9

    Zstandard is a highly tunable and therefore flexible compression algorithm with support for modern features such as multi-threaded compression and dictionaries. Its performance is remarkable and if you use it as a drop-in replacement for zlib, bzip2, or other common algorithms, you'll frequently see more than a doubling in performance.

  • Revisiting Using Docker

    When Docker was taking off like wildfire in 2013, I was caught up in the excitement like everyone else. I remember knowing of the existence of LXC and container technologies in Linux at the time. But Docker seemed to be the first open source tool to actually make that technology usable (a terrific example of how user experience matters).

    At Mozilla, Docker was adopted all around me and by me for various utilities. Taskcluster - Mozilla's task execution framework geared for running complex CI systems - adopted Docker as a mechanism to run processes in self-contained images. Various groups in Mozilla adopted Docker for running services in production. I adopted Docker for integration testing of complex systems.

Coverage From 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM)

Filed under
Linux
  • Is it time to remove ZONE_DMA?

    The DMA zone (ZONE_DMA) is a memory-management holdover from the distant past. Once upon a time, many devices (those on the ISA bus in particular) could only use 24 bits for DMA addresses, and were thus limited to the bottom 16MB of memory. Such devices are hard to find on contemporary computers. Luis Rodriguez scheduled the last memory-management-track session of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit to discuss whether the time has come to remove ZONE_DMA altogether.

  • Zone-lock and mmap_sem scalability

    The memory-management subsystem is a central point that handles all of the system's memory, so it is naturally subject to scalability problems as systems grow larger. Two sessions during the memory-management track of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit looked at specific contention points: the zone locks and the mmap_sem semaphore.

  • Hotplugging and poisoning

    Memory hotplugging is one of the least-loved areas of the memory-management subsystem; there are many use cases for it, but nobody has taken ownership of it. A similar situation exists for hardware page poisoning, a somewhat neglected mechanism for dealing with memory errors. At the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management summit, Michal Hocko and Mike Kravetz dedicated a pair of brief memory-management track sessions to problems that have been encountered in these subsystems, one of which seems more likely to get the attention it needs than the other.

  • Reworking page-table traversal

    A system's page tables are organized into a tree that is as many as five levels deep. In many ways those levels are all similar, but the kernel treats them all as being different, with the result that page-table manipulations include a fair amount of repetitive code. During the memory-management track of the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Kirill Shutemov proposed reworking how page tables are maintained. The idea was popular, but the implementation is likely to be tricky.

  • get_user_pages() continued

    At a plenary session held relatively early during the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, the developers discussed a number of problems with the kernel's get_user_pages() interface. During the waning hours of LSFMM, a tired (but dedicated) set of developers convened again in the memory-management track to continue the discussion and try to push it toward a real solution.

    Jan Kara and Dan Williams scheduled the session to try to settle on a way to deal with the issues associated with get_user_pages() — in particular, the fact that code that has pinned pages in this way can modify those pages in ways that will surprise other users, such as filesystems. During the first session, Jérôme Glisse had suggested using the MMU notifier mechanism as a way to solve these problems. Rather than pin pages with get_user_pages(), kernel code could leave the pages unpinned and respond to notifications when the status of those pages changes. Kara said he had thought about the idea, and it seemed to make some sense.

  • XFS parent pointers

    At the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Allison Henderson led a session to discuss an XFS feature she has been working on: parent pointers. These would be pointers stored in extended attributes (xattrs) that would allow various tools to reconstruct the path for a file from its inode. In XFS repair scenarios, that path will help with reconstruction as well as provide users with better information about where the problems lie.

  • Shared memory mappings for devices

    In a short filesystem-only discussion at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Jérôme Glisse wanted to talk about some (more) changes to support GPUs, FPGAs, and RDMA devices. In other talks at LSFMM, he discussed changes to struct page in support of these kinds of devices, but here he was looking to discuss other changes to support mapping a device's memory into multiple processes. It should be noted that I had a hard time following the discussion in this session, so there may be significant gaps in what follows.

  • A new API for mounting filesystems

    The mount() system call suffers from a number of different shortcomings that has led some to consider a different API. At last year's Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), that someone was Miklos Szeredi, who led a session to discuss his ideas for a new filesystem mounting API. Since then, David Howells has been working with Szeredi and VFS maintainer Al Viro on this API; at the 2018 LSFMM, he presented that work.

    He began by noting some of the downsides of the current mounting API. For one thing, you can pass a data page to the mount() call, but it is limited to a single page; if too many options are needed, or simply options with too many long parameters, they won't fit. The error messages and information on what went wrong could be better. There are also filesystems that have a bug where an invalid option will fail the mount() call but leave the superblock in an inconsistent state due to earlier options having been applied. Several in the audience were quick to note that both ext4 and XFS had fixed the latter bug along the way, though there may still be filesystems that have that behavior.

  • Controlling block-I/O latency

    Chris Mason and Josef Bacik led a brief discussion on the block-I/O controller for control groups (cgroups) in the filesystem track at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. Mostly they were just aiming to get feedback on the approach they have taken. They are trying to address the needs of their employer, Facebook, with regard to the latency of I/O operations.

    Mason said that the goal is to strictly control the latency of block I/O operations, but that the filesystems themselves have priority inversions that make that difficult. For Btrfs and XFS, they have patches to tag the I/O requests, which mostly deals with the problem. They have changes for ext4 as well, but those are not quite working yet.

  • A mapping layer for filesystems

    In a plenary session on the second day of the Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Dave Chinner described his ideas for a virtual block address-space layer. It would allow "space accounting to be shared and managed at various layers in the storage stack". One of the targets for this work is for filesystems on thin-provisioned devices, where the filesystem is larger than the storage devices holding it (and administrators are expected to add storage as needed); in current systems, running out of space causes huge problems for filesystems and users because the filesystem cannot communicate that error in a usable fashion.

    His talk is not about block devices, he said; it is about a layer that provides a managed logical-block address (LBA) space. It will allow user space to make fallocate() calls that truly reserve the space requested. Currently, a filesystem will tell a caller that the space was reserved even though the underlying block device may not actually have that space (or won't when user space goes to use it), as in a thin-provisioned scenario. He also said that he would not be talking about his ideas for a snapshottable subvolume for XFS that was the subject of his talk at linux.conf.au 2018.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • The desktop belongs to Electron

    I’ve been using a Pixelbook over the past week, checking out the new Linux application functionality. It’s not ready for prime time, but it’s a billion times better than the last time I tried to run Linux apps on Chrome OS.

  • P-State Powersave Improvements May Help Boost I/O Performance

    Those running Intel Skylake servers may soon see better I/O performance if using the P-State powersave governor that is often the default on many Linux distributions.

  • Free Webinar on Community-Driven Governance for Open Source Projects

    Topics such as licensing and governance are complex but nonetheless critical considerations for open source projects. And, understanding and implementing the requirements in a strategic way are key to a project’s long-term health and success. In an upcoming webinar — “Governance Models of Community-Driven Open Source Projects” — The Linux Foundation’s Scott Nicholas will examine various approaches for structuring open source projects with these requirements in mind.

  • Google Summer of Code, Porting Keyboard KCM to Qt Quick!

    I am Gun Park, and I’m excited to finally join the wonderful KDE community through this amazing opportunity called Google Summer of Code 2018. Thanks for all the people that have supported and led me to this journey!

  • Google Summer of Code with KDE
  • Announcing Board of Directors Elections 2018

    From 2016 to 2017, I was a director on the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors. This is a great opportunity for anyone working on the GNOME project. And because Board elections are coming up, I wanted to share the news.

  • How to connect Ubuntu 18.04 to your Google account
  • Have a Release Party, Promote openSUSE’s Newest Version

    There are just 9 days left for the release of openSUSE Leap 15 and the community can help spread the word of the release by having a release party and promoting the newest version of Leap.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, April 2018

    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

  • Truth is More Important Than Harmony

    Today I did a very silly thing, because it was the right moment and the right audience…

    No, it probably wasn’t! But I figured it was probably as close as it would get to one. Of course it will brand me further as a troublemaker, but that’s not entirely fair– I really wasn’t the one who started the trouble.

    Devuan’s structure is clearly built on the bazaar– when they find something unofficial that can help Devuan more than hurt it, they just offer the opportunity to be official.

    This is based on observation and it may not be true as a solid rule, but it happened with Devuan-live (and it’s one the best moves Devuan made– it helped me to believe they can make timely, great decisions) and it appeared to be happening eventually with vdev (unfortunately abandoned by its author) and it appears to have happened with the now-official Devuan forum: https://devuan.org/

  • Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 32 released

    We've just released Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 32. It's available from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2045311.1, or via 'pkg update' from the support repository at https://pkg.oracle.com/solaris/support .

  • Solaris 11.3 SRU 32 Released With Package Updates

    While waiting for Solaris 11.4 to be released, Oracle has today rolled out its thirty-second stable release update to Solaris 11.3.

    With this latest SRU to the two-year-old Solaris 11.3 is now Apache 2.4.33, OpenSSL 1.0.2o, Wireshark 2.4.6, Perl 5.22, Python 2.7.14, and a wealth of other package updates. There are also some new system calls for yielding better network performance, netstat providing more UDP socket statistics, and various other minor enhancements.

  • Telenav Open Sources Its AI Map-Making Technology to Improve OpenStreetMap and Announces $10,000-Prize Contest
  • Open source HarperDB database solution studio launched

    “With the release of the HarperDB studio, we are providing tools that the industry expects while at the same time taking it a step further and including analytical capabilities to shorten the data value chain and provide accessible, real-time actionability on big data for IoT and HTAP use cases,” said HarperDB CEO Stephen Goldberg.

Software and Games Leftovers

Filed under
Software
Gaming
  • How to speak Linux [Ed: she actually means GNU]

    I didn’t even stop to imagine that people pronounced Linux commands differently until many years ago when I heard a co-worker use the word “vie” (as in "The teams will vie for the title") for what I’d always pronounced “vee I.” It was a moment I’ll never forget.

  • Ksnip And Flameshot: Qt5 Shutter Screenshot Tool Alternatives

    Shutter is a great application for taking screenshots in Linux, but it has only received bug fixes for years. The application continues to use Gtk+ 2 and doesn't seem to be getting anywhere as far as Gtk+ 3 is concerned.

    Furthermore, the Shutter image editor (which allows adding text, annotations, etc.) now requires installing old libraries to get it to work in recent Linux distributions.

    This article presents 2 Shutter alternatives for taking screenshots on Linux desktops, that are actively developed: Ksnip and Flameshot. Both applications use Qt 5.

    As a side note, I considered the following features to be required in order to compete with Shutter: the ability to upload an image directly from the screenshot tool to some image host, and support for drawing / annotations.

  • Will ‘Htop’ Replace Default ‘Top’ Monitoring Tool in Linux?

    top is a traditional command-line tool for monitoring real-time processes in a Unix/Linux systems, it’s comes preinstalled on most if not all Linux distributions and shows a useful summary of system information including uptime, total number of processes (and number of: running, sleeping, stopped and zombie processes), CPU and RAM usage, and a list of processes or threads currently being managed by the kernel.

  • Cockpit 168

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 168.

  • FOSS game community slump and question about getting images in palepeli

    There is a thread in freegamedev.net which I have been following for the past few weeks.

    In the back-and-forth argument, there I believe most of the arguments shared were somewhat wrong.

    While we have AAA projects like 0ad and others, the mainstay of our games should be ones which doesn’t need any high-quality textures and still does the work.

    I have been looking at a Let’s play playlist of an indie gem called ‘Dead in Vinland’

  • Release GCompris 0.91

    Here is GCompris 0.91, a new bugfix release to correct some issues in previous version and improve a few things.

    Every GNU/Linux distribution shipping 0.90 should update to 0.91.

Red Hat and Fedora

Filed under
Red Hat

Audiocasts/Shows: Cooking with Linux and This Week in Linux

Filed under
Misc
  • Cooking with Linux (Without a Net)

    It's Tuesday, and it's time for Cooking With Linux (without a net) where I do some live Linuxy and open source stuff, live, on camera, and without the benefit of post video editing therefore providing a high probability of falling flat on my face. Today, we're going back to WSL and trying to run X Windows and we're going to take a Linux distribution most people have never heard of out for a spin.

  • Episode 28 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, check out some big distro release news from Fedora, CentOS, CoreOS, KaOS and more. There’s new versions of Firefox, Kdenlive, GNOME and Cinnamon available. Lubuntu announces their switch to LXQt by default. If you’re interested in learning Python, Humble Bundle has a great Python Development bundle available. Ubuntu 18.10’s codename was announced and some of the Ubuntu Flavours might be dropping support for 32bit ISOs in the 18.10 cycle. Google confirmed that Linux Apps are coming to ChromeOS. Then later in the show we’ll look at some gaming news from Atari and Valve, also some mobile news from Puri.sm and Android. All that and much more!

Gadgets With Linux or Modding

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Open-source WearOS alternative “AsteroidOS” now available for several smartwatches
  • AsteroidOS 1.0 released: Open source smartwatch operating system (for Wear OS devices)
  • AsteroidOS 1.0, an open source smartwatch OS, released for certain Android Wear watches
  • Building a DIY amp kit that's great for vinyl records

    About a week after I wrapped up my last article where I talked about needing another stage of amplification to take advantage of my new 0.4mV phono cartridge, all the remaining bits and pieces I had ordered online to build the Muffsy phono head amplifier kit arrived. I had the amplifier kit, the power supply kit, the back-panel kit (all from Muffsy), the case (from a very efficient supplier in China), the temperature-controlled soldering station, and the wall wart (from a very efficient supplier in California).

    I watched the entertaining "how to solder" videos linked on Muffsy's site and realized I needed a few more things—like the thin solder mentioned on those videos and some solder wick. So, on an unusually bright and sunny Saturday morning, I visited a local electronics supply store, picked up the last items, and started building.

    [...]

    I contacted "the person behind Muffsy," Håvard Skrodahl, with some questions. He responded very quickly, and we ended up having a most delightful conversation. Moreover, it turns out Håvard is a system administrator and does this "kit thing" as a side gig. We discussed (or maybe lamented) that "back in the good old days" it was possible to buy all sorts of electronics kits, from Heathkit, Dynaco, David Hafler, and others. Today, there are still audio kits available, but it seems to be of lesser interest. Too bad! I am very grateful to Håvard for open sourcing so much of his materials.

  • UP Core SBC begins shipments

    Aaeon has begun shipping its community-backed “UP Core” SBC starting at $99, featuring a quad-core Atom x5-Z8350, up to 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, plus WiFi, BT, HDMI, USB 3.0, and RPi HAT compatibility.

    Aaeon has achieved volume production for its UP Core SBC, a smaller (66 x 56.5mm) version of the UP board. The UP Core supports the same OSes as the UP — Android 6.0, Ubuntu, Ubilinux, and Yocto based Linux, as well as Windows 10 and Windows IoT Core — running on the same quad-core, up to 1.84GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 from the Cherry Trail family.

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Helping enterprises adapt to open source switching

    Enterprise adoption of open source switching hasn't kept pace with cloud providers and telcos. What are some of the barriers blocking the use of disaggregation?

    [...]

    Today, there are a number of NOSes available from vendors both large and small -- suitable for use in a variety of ways, including top of rack, where the Open Compute Project (OCP) has provided the underlying open source switching design standard.

    [...]

    Disaggregated NOS often requires Linux knowledge, rather than the familiar command-line interfaces known by conventional network engineers. Its deployment may rely on an automation-based Agile process, such as NetOps, which differs from predictable IT processes, like IT service management.

  • Summer of Code: Quick Update

    I noticed that my blog posting frequency is substantially higher than last year. For that reason I’ll try to keep this post shorter.

    Yesterday I implemented my first prototype code to encrypt and decrypt XEP-0374 messages! It can process incoming PubkeyElements (the published OpenPGP keys of other users) and create SigncryptElements which contain a signed and encrypted payload. On the receiving side it can also decrypt those messages and verify the signature.

    I’m still puzzled about why I’m unable to dump the keys I generate using pgpdump. David Hook from Bouncycastle used my code to generate a key and it worked flawlessly on his machine, so I’m stumped for an answer…

    I created a bug report about the issue on the pgpdump repository. I hope that we will get to the cause of the issue soon.

  • BCE Panel: Open Source Makes Telcos 'Nimble'

    Big Communications Event -- Open source can help telcos become "nimble," and shed their history of "wait and see," James Feger, CenturyLink VP of network virtualization, said here Tuesday at Light Reading's Big Communications Event (BCE).

    "The power of open source is it allows telcos to be more nimble, rather than the wait-and-see attitude we've traditionally been viewed with," CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)'s Feger said, speaking on a panel about open source in telecom.

    Indeed, innovation rather than cost savings are the main reason to adopt open source, noted Csaba Kiss Kallo, head of connectivity, mobility and security portfolio at Vodafone Ireland. "'Free' is not the main reason we go after open source. The reason is agility -- the benefits you get from an ecosystem and development, those thousands of software developers who've put their knowledge together and developed something that can be used by everyone in the community," he said. (See Vodafone Prioritizes Automation as Efficiency Bolsters Margins.)

  • OpenFin contributes FCD3 program to Fintech Open Source Foundation

    The Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), a nonprofit foundation promoting open innovation in financial services, together with OpenFin, the operating system powering digital transformation on financial desktops, today announced the contribution by OpenFin of the FCD3 program into the Foundation’s open source governance framework.

    Financial applications are often difficult or impossible to connect to one another, requiring users to continuously re-key information, hampering productivity and creating operational risk. The Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium (FDC3) solves the problem by providing industry standards for desktop application interoperability.

  • App development tool provider Fuse joins open source community

    Fuse is joining the open-source world with the release of Fuse Open. Fuse is a cross platform mobile app development tool suite that supports Android and iOS applications. that aims to reduce development times and resources.

  • Ceph Day London 2018 Recap

    Some days since the Ceph and CloudStack Day in London last month now. It was a great event, great presentations and a lot of networking with the local community.

  • New in Firefox 61: Developer Edition

    Firefox 61: Developer Edition is available now, and contains a ton of great new features and under-the-hood improvements.

  • Zerocat Chipflasher "board-edition-1" now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

    This is the first device under The Zerocat Label to receive RYF certification. The Chipflasher enables users to flash devices such as laptops, allowing them to replace proprietary software with free software like Libreboot. While users are able to purchase RYF-certified laptops that already come with Libreboot pre-loaded, for the first time ever they are capable of freeing their own laptops using an RYF-certified device. The Zerocat Chipflasher board-edition-1 is now available for purchase as a limited edition at http://www.zerocat.org/shop-en.html. These first ten limited edition boards are signed by Kai Mertens, chief developer of The Zerocat Label, and will help to fund additional production and future development of RYF-certified devices.

    "The certification of the Zerocat Chipflasher is a big step forward for the Respects Your Freedom program. Replacing proprietary boot firmware is one of the first tasks for creating a laptop that meets RYF's criteria, and now anyone can do so for their own devices with a flasher that is itself RYF-certified," said the FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

    An RYF-certified flashing device could also help to grow the number of laptops available via the RYF program.

    "When someone sets out to start their own business selling RYF-certified devices, they now have a piece of hardware they can trust to help them with that process. We hope to see even more laptops made available under the program, and having those laptops flashed with a freedom-respecting device will help to set those retailers on the right path from the start," said the FSF's licensing & compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.

  • Searching Open Source Material in the Age of Information

    Intelligence analysts are thought to be commensurate experts in writing, research, and analysis, but does the next generation of analysts have the skills necessary to be successful in the intelligence field? One of the greatest challenges for an analyst today is that the amount of information—as well as the means in which it’s shared—is growing exponentially.

    Intelligence analysts must be able to gather, correlate, analyze, and evaluate information from a wide variety of sources. These sources can include law enforcement portals and databases, surveillance systems, intelligence networks (various disciplines), geographic information systems (GIS), and private data-mining databases (subscription-based).

  • Global Nonprofit Patientory Stiftung Unveils And Launches Open-Source Blockchain Network, 'HealthNet,' At Inagural Blockchain In Healthcare Summit
  • Lemonade launches an open source insurance policy that anyone can edit

    According to a news release, the policy is open to editing from the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, turning the traditional way of crafting an insurance policy on its head. Because the policy is open source, it’s not copyrighted, which means the community can edit it on Github it and all of Lemonade’s competitors have access to it. The policy is also written in English and is intended for US renters, but the company plans to expand it to cover other lines, languages, and legal jurisdictions.

  • Lemonade Launches World’s First ‘Open Source’ Insurance Policy
  • Lemonade wants to rewrite the insurance policy itself
  • Insurtech Lemonade Posts “Open Source Insurance Policy,” Seeks Feedback on Github
  • Lemonade unveils open source policies

Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Beta Available

Filed under
Development
  • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Beta Available

    We are getting close to releasing the Qt 3D Studio 2.0 and the first Beta is released today. First beta packages are now available through the Qt online installer & Qt download. Let’s have a quick summary of the changes & new features we are introducing. For detailed information about the Qt 3D Studio please visit our web pages at: https://www.qt.io/3d-studio

  • Qt 3D Studio 2.0 Reaches Beta

    Qt 3D Studio, the 3D focused user-interface IDE born out of NVIDIA's big code contribution to Qt, is now in beta for its version 2.0 update.

    The big focus for Qt 3D Studio 2.0 has been on developing a new runtime based upon Qt 3D. That is happening and Qt 3D Studio is still on track for releasing around June while the Qt 3D Studio 2.1 release is expected in September and Qt 3D Studio 2.2 in December, per earlier communication.

GNOME: Endless OS 3.4, Flatpak 1.8 and Lots of Hackfesting

Filed under
GNOME
  • Endless OS 3.4 Released With New Features, Linux 4.15, And Phone Companion App

    Founded in 2011, Endless Mobile, Inc. develops Linux-based Endless OS and hardware running the same. The firm has recently shipped Endless OS 3.4, the latest and major release of the operating system.

  • Flatpak 1.8 FreeDesktop.org Runtime Is Yocto-Free, Powered By BuildStream

    The current Flatpak runtimes are based upon the 1.6 FreeDesktop.org runtime but a major new version is in the works.

    Unlike the current Freedesktop runtime where the lower-layer is built using Yocto and the upper-layer built with Flatpak-Builder, the new 1.8 Freedesktop runtime is making use of BuildStream.

  • Introducing the 1.8 freedesktop runtime in the gnome nightly builds

    All the current Flatpak runtimes in wide use are based on the 1.6 Freedesktop runtime. This is a two-layered beast where the lower layer is built using Yocto and the upper layer is built using flatpak-builder.

  • GNOME's 2018 Performance Hackfest Wraps Up In Cambridge

    GNOME's 2018 Performance Hackfest is wrapping up today in Cambridge, UK after spending the past few days focusing on how to better optimize the desktop stack for RAM/CPU/GPU/power efficiency. The fruits of this hackfest will hopefully become apparent with the GNOME 3.30 release due out this September.

    The GNOME Foundation and Raspberry Pi Foundation put on this latest developer gathering to focus on improving GNOME's performance. Among their work was looking at how to improve the graphics performance of GNOME Shell, reducing system memory usage, looking at slow I/O issues, and more.

  • Fractal Hackfest in Strasbourg

    Last week we had an intense 4-day hackfest in Strasbourg to map out the future of Fractal, a native GNOME Matrix messaging app. The event was held at Epitech in Strasbourg’s old town, and organized by Alexandre Franke. Among the attendees were core Fractal contributors Daniel, Alexandre, Eisha, and Julian, as well as Dorota, Adrien, and Francois from Purism. Special thanks go to Matthew from the Matrix core team for joining us on the first two days.

  • Internationalization of Fractal (part 2)

    For my investigations, I first tried to write a textual program that works with gettext. I spent quite some time to figure out how all of this works but I finally was able to make it work. And that means that we should be able to implement i18n for Fractal using gettext!

  • GNOME Performance Hackfest

    We’re about to finish the three days long first GNOME Performance Hackfest here in Cambridge.

    We started covering a few topics, there are three major areas we’ve covered and in each one of those there has been a bunch of initiatives.

  • GIMP 2.10.0 is out!

    So we are a bit late to announce it, since this happened on April 27, during Libre Graphics Meeting 2018 (by the way, can you spot ZeMarmot team, Aryeom and Jehan, in the goodbye photo of the meeting?), but yeah after 6 years of hard work, GIMP 2.10.0 is finally out!

    This is a huge release. You can read the release notes which are scrolling like forever and that is still not actually the full deal. We had so many awesome changes and cool new features in this release that we had to cut down the release notes contents when writing it.

Security: Updates, Russia, RHEL, Thunderbird and More

Filed under
Security

Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Review: The Perfect Blend of Ubuntu and Budgie Desktop

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

Solus Linux is loved for many reasons. Its flagship desktop environment Budgie, in my opinion, is the biggest reason to love Solus. While there was no shortage of desktop environments in the Linux domain, the arrival and the acceptance of Budgie desktop environment by a widespread audience, clearly showed that there was a huge scope (or even a need?) for a modern, intuitive and non-intrusive desktop environment.

But all is not well in Solus land. Solus unlike a majority of Linux distros is not based on any other parent distro. Solus is written from scratch and has it’s own package management system and software repository. I loved Solus 3. But as an ardent Linux user, I need the latest packages and support from newer software, which, at the moment is not that good on Solus. The software repository is not as vast as that of Ubuntu. Also, the package manager itself needs to evolve.

Read more

Benchmarks and Phoronix Test Suite

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver - Middle ground

Filed under
Reviews

Year 2016 was the year of Xfce. Year 2017 belongs to Plasma. This year, so far, it seems MATE is the innovative beast, and Xfce is sort of stagnated, without pushing the initiative. I think secretly the projects are afraid to make things better, because that will break the neverending cycle of development. After all, for devs, the only thing that matters is coding. User experience is an alien concept. And inside this gap, Xubuntu 18.04 fits perfectly. Which means not that well.

The distro did the basics okay - media, phones, apps. Package management can be better, battery life can be better, network support can be better, the visual side of things can be a whole lot better. There were way too many inconsistencies, and the distro lacks the love and fun that it used to have only a year ago. Is it apathy, exhaustion, mere luck? I don't know. But Xubuntu Beaver feels like a product of habit rather than love and passion. And it is not LTS solid. Plus very little actual innovation, which can sort of be excused, but then why all them bugs? Overall, Bionic behaves something like 6.5/10. Worth checking, but for the time being, the other lightweight option - Ubuntu MATE - seems more mature and fun ready. It will be quite interesting to see how things evolve over the coming months. Check it, don't expect any miracles.

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Also:

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 15 May 2018
  • Top Snaps in April 2018

    In case you missed it, here are some of the snaps we featured during April 2018. Here you’ll find snaps to enhance your productivity, tools for creatives, IDEs for developers and games for the weekend.

    You can stay up to date with our editorial picks by following @snapcraftio on Twitter where we share three new and interesting snaps a week. We’d also love to hear what your favourite snaps are, perhaps you’ve found something we’ve missed.

Creating Virtual Disks Using Linux Command Line

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Linux

​Linux is indeed a great system with excellent tools at our disposal. There are lots of things that can be achieved using the terminal. One such activity is creating virtual hard drives. Your Linux system should already have the tools required to do this without the need for virtual machine software.

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Red Hat: 'Serverless' and Women

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Red Hat Summit: Functions as a Service with OpenWhisk and OpenShift

    Serverless computing (often called Functions-as-a-Service, or FaaS) is one of the hottest emerging technologies today. The OpenWhisk project, currently in incubation at Apache, is an open-source implementation of FaaS that lets you create functions that are invoked in response to events. Our own Brendan McAdams gave a presentation and demo that explained the basics of serverless, how the OpenWhisk project works, and how to run OpenWhisk in OpenShift.

  • Next DevNation Live: Serverless and Servicefull Applications: Where Microservices Complements Serverless, May 17th, 12pm EDT
  • CRN names four Red Hat leaders to its 2018 Women of the Channel list

    We are excited to share that four of Red Hat’s channel leaders have been named to CRN’s 2018 Women of the Channel list. Margaret-Ann Bolton, senior director of Global Partner Marketing; Terri Hall, vice president of Global Cloud and ISV Partners and Alliances; Petra Heinrich, vice president of EMEA Partners and Alliances; and Kim Leavitt, director of Global Partner Marketing, were recognized by CRN for their outstanding work in the channel. Their dedication, leadership and effort has helped to lead to another year of partner successes and innovation for Red Hat. This is the sixth consecutive year that Margaret-Ann has been recognized, third consecutive year for Terri, and the first time for both Petra and Kim.

  • Video: Women and Open Source

    In this video from the Red Hat Summit, Mary Cochran from Red Hat leads a panel discussion on Women in Open Source.

DOSBox Part 1: Introduction, Startup Scripts and The Keymapper

Filed under
Linux

DOSBox is a great piece of software that allows users to run a huge collection of very old PC software dating back to the 1980s and 1990s on your Linux system. Versions for Windows, MacOS, and others exist as well.

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More in Tux Machines

Here Is What's New In Fedora 28

For those who don't know about this Linux distro, Fedora is one of those Linux distributions that comes released with cutting-edge software rather than staying on the same boat with other distributions that prefers stability. Fedora comes in three flavors: Workstation, Server, and Atomic. I'll be reviewing Fedora Workstation; used by many developers and users as their general purpose computing platform. Read
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Stable kernels 4.16.11, 4.14.43 and 4.9.102

today's leftovers

Software: Grafana, Heaptrack, Vim

  • Grafana – An Open Source Software for Analytics and Monitoring
    Grafana is an open source, feature rich, powerful, elegant and highly-extensible analytics and monitoring software that runs on Linux, Windows and MacOS. It is a de facto software for data analytics, being used at Stack Overflow, eBay, PayPal, Uber and Digital Ocean – just to mention but a few. It supports 30+ open source as well as commercial databases/data sources including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Graphite, Elasticsearch, OpenTSDB, Prometheus and InfluxDB. It allows you to dig deeply into large volumes of real-time, operational data; visualize, query, set alerts and get insights from your metrics from differen
  • Heaptrack v1.1.0 release
    Better memory profiling on Linux After more than a year of work, I’m pleased to release another version of heaptrack, the Linux memory profiler! The new version 1.1.0 comes with some new features, significant performance improvements and – most importantly – much improved stability and correctness. If you have tried version v1.0 in the past and encountered problems, update to the new v1.1 and try again!
  • Ten Years of Vim
     

    The philosophy behind Vim takes a while to sink in: While other editors focus on writing as the central part of working with text, Vim thinks it's editing.

     

    You see, most of the time I don't spend writing new text; instead, I edit existing text.

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