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New Debian Mans, 10 Reasons to Cinnamon, Anatomy of Linux

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What is Linux? Blogger Locutus posted a series of articles going over the structure of Linux. From the kernel, modules, directories, to files he explained the "anatomy of Linux." David Both plugged Cinnamon over at OpenSource.com saying KDE Plasma was too unstable to use. He narrowed down his decision to 10 reasons. Michael Stapelberg blogged about the new Debian manpages, or "modernized." The now static site is said to be "blazingly fast." Derrik Diener highlighted the best distros to watch in 2017 and Bruce Byfield opined on the security lacking in Linux installers. He said with the growing concern over security, installers need to take a step back from easy and put some security features back.

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Debian Isn't Difficult, Fedora Elections Winners, Fav Distro

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Prospective users still avoid Debian initially because it's difficult to install, or so they believe. It turns out they're not basing their opinions on real life. Keith Curtis wrote up his experience installing Arch on his new Lenovo laptop, after a fairly complete hardware review as well. Jamie Watson got a new notebook too and today shared a bit on getting it ready for Linux. Part of that was booting Mint 18.1 which gave him something to smile about. Elsewhere, the Fedora committee elections results are in and Dominique Leuenberger posted a review of this week in Tumbleweed. Gary Newell test drove Elementary OS 0.4 and OpenSource.com asked, "What is your favorite Linux distribution?"

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Debian Updated, Mint KDE Beta, GIMP Preview

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Debian 8.7 was made available this last weekend to address the security and major bugs since 8.6 announced August 2016. As usual, those updating regularly don't need to do anything as they're already current. Elsewhere, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre announced a beta for Mint 18.1 KDE, something I'm looking forward to testing. Alexandre Prokoudine, graphics engineer known for Inkscape and GIMP, posted a preview of new features coming in GIMP 2.10. Dominic Humphries recently revelled in the joy of Linux that just works and Jiri Eischmann compiled a list of the latest Fedora accolades, some I've missed.

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New User Distros, Powered By Linux, No Opera for You

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There are many companies who use or offer Linux and today Linux and Ubuntu rounded up 10 of the biggest. Elsewhere, Jack Wallen offered his suggestions for which distros might suite particular users of certain other operating systems. From Windows 7 to Mac, he found an Ubuntu-derivative for each. Yep, "there's a distribution for everyone," as long as it's Ubuntu. OMG!Ubuntu! reported today that Opera won't be providing new conceptual browser to Linux users, because they claim it's being developed "just for fun." Remember who else once said that? In other news, Canonical today plugged Dell's new Ubuntu laptops, Ubuntu Budgie announced a wallpaper contest, and MakeUseOf made use of Linux versus Windows today to illustrate how easy it can be to switch.

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More Raspberry Pi, Linux Pressure, Plasma 5.9

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Jonathan Riddell announced the latest KDE Plasma today to "kick off 2017 in style." While announcing Plasma 5.9 Beta, Riddell assured users that 5.8 LTS would continue to receive bug fixes. Weird thing to say for a developmental release. Relatedly, neon 20170112 was uploaded but not announced. In other news, Mint 18.1 took another one on the chin today at The Reg mainly for it's old base and Update Manager. Jamie Watson tested other distributions on his Raspberry Pis, this time Fedora, Manjaro, and Ubuntu MATE and Robin "Roblimo" Miller said Windows users should be grateful to Linux. That followed a similar themed story from the other day where a developer claims Valve Linux choice forced Microsoft to beef up Windows gaming support. It was another interesting day in the land of The Penguin.

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Why Mint's Not Best, Tumbling Tumbleweed, Fedora Elections

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It's that time of year again when all good blue hatters rush to the virtual polls to vote for their trusted leaders. The 2017 January Fedora elections are in full swing and Fedora account holders are urge to vote in the three categories this term. Elsewhere, Scott Gilbertson felt the need to explain his best distribution of the year choice and Douglas DeMaio is back from holiday with a report from Tumbleweed development. M.Hanny Sabbagh summarized Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical today and VAR Guy contributor Christopher Tozzi concluded that the lines between Windows and Linux are blurring. Cynthia Harvey points out areas in everyday life that are already run by artificial intelligence and a cookie campaign convinced developers to bring Civilization 6 to Linux.

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SUSE Pi, Newest Linuxes, openSUSE on GPD Win

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There were several articles on portable Linux and devices today. Jamie Watson test drove the openSUSE, SUSE, and Tumbleweed for the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, he didn't have as much fun as anticipated with those tests. Speaking of openSUSE, Adrien Plazas is working on getting openSUSE installed and operative on the GPD Win gaming handheld that looks like a tiny laptop. Joey Sneddon reported today on the availability and price of the newest Dell Ubuntu mobile workstation and Scott Gilbertson reviewed the XPS 13. Finally, Brian Fagioli reported on System76's latest Superfan contest where users can win a trip to company headquarters in Denver.

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Polished Elementary, neon Goes Wayland, Most Popular OS

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Bertel King, Jr. tried to accentuate the positive over at MakeUseOf today in his review of Elementary OS, but rough edges did show through. Elsewhere, Jesse Smith liked SimpleMEPIS-based MX Linux 16, even if it isn't recommended for newbies, and Neil Rickert found Solus OS to be "congenial." Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols discussed operating system market share based on Website usage and Gary Newell summarized the top distros of 2016.

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Mint 18.1 Xfce Nearing, Weird Names, Die Linux Myths

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Clement Lefebvre today announced a beta release of Mint 18.1 Xfce with updated software, refinements, and "many new features." MakeUseOf chuckled at some of the crazy names folks pin on Linux distributions and Jan Vermeulen picked up on a Reddit conversation discussing Linux myths that "need to die." Elsewhere in Linux news, Bruce Byfield compared and contrasted Debian and Ubuntu while Mark Shuttleworth discussed Snappy vs. Flatpak.

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Not a OpenMandriva Review, Integrated Steam, Endless Linux PCs

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Neil Rickert today shared his experiences with OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 leading to another account indicating 3.01 wasn't quite soup yet. Elsewhere, Rajat Kabade reported that "Intel is all set to integrate Steam into its Clear Linux to make the existing gaming experience even better." Endless Computers is bringing its Mission One and Mini Linux boxes to the US market and Michael Larabel reported today on the latest on DRM moving to user space.

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PlayOnLinux For Easier Use Of Wine

PlayOnLinux is a free program that helps to install, run, and manage Windows software on Linux. It can also manage virtual C: drives (known as Wine prefixes), and download and install certain Windows libraries for getting some software to run on Wine properly. Creating different drives using different Wine versions is also possible. It is very handy because what runs well in one version may not run as well (if at all) on a newer version. There is PlayOnMac for macOS and PlayOnBSD for FreeBSD. Read
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Linux Kernel: KPTI, SEV, CBS

  • Experimental KPTI Support For x86 32-bit Linux
    For the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) support currently within the Linux kernel for addressing the Meltdown CPU vulnerability it's currently limited to 64-bit on the x86 side, but for the unfortunate souls still running x86 32-bit operating systems, SUSE is working on such support.
  • AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization Is Ready To Roll With Linux 4.16
    With the Linux 4.16 kernel cycle that is expected to begin immediately following the Linux 4.15 kernel debut on Sunday, AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology supported by their new EPYC processors will be mainline. Going back to the end of 2016 have been Linux patches for Secure Encrypted Virtualization while with Linux 4.16 it will finally be part of the mainline kernel and supported with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization.
  • Deadline scheduler part 2 — details and usage
    Linux’s deadline scheduler is a global early deadline first scheduler for sporadic tasks with constrained deadlines. These terms were defined in the first part of this series. In this installment, the details of the Linux deadline scheduler and how it can be used will be examined. The deadline scheduler prioritizes the tasks according to the task’s job deadline: the earliest absolute deadline first. For a system with M processors, the M earliest deadline jobs will be selected to run on the M processors. The Linux deadline scheduler also implements the constant bandwidth server (CBS) algorithm, which is a resource-reservation protocol. CBS is used to guarantee that each task will receive its full run time during every period. At every activation of a task, the CBS replenishes the task’s run time. As the job runs, it consumes that time; if the task runs out, it will be throttled and descheduled. In this case, the task will be able to run only after the next replenishment at the beginning of the next period. Therefore, CBS is used to both guarantee each task’s CPU time based on its timing requirements and to prevent a misbehaving task from running for more than its run time and causing problems to other jobs.

Graphics: Mesa and AMDGPU

  • Mesa 17.3.3 Released With RADV & ANV Vulkan Driver Fixes
    Mesa 17.3.3 is now available as the latest point release for the Mesa 17.3 stable series. This bi-weekly point release to Mesa presents several RADV Vega/GFX9 fixes, various Intel ANV Vulkan driver fixes, a DRI3 fix, and random fixes to the OpenGL drivers like RadeonSI, Etnaviv, and even Swrast.
  • R600g "Soft" FP64 Shows Signs Of Life, Enabling Older GPUs To Have OpenGL 4 In 2018
    Most pre-GCN AMD graphics cards are still limited to OpenGL 3.3 support at this time due to not supporting FP64. Only the HD 5800/6900 series on R600g currently have real double-precision floating-point support working right now so at present they are on OpenGL 4.3 rather than 3.3, but those other generations may be catching up soon thanks to the "soft" FP64 code.
  • AMDGPU DC Gets More Raven Ridge Improvements, Audio Fixes
    Harry Wentland of AMD has sent out the latest batch of patches for the AMDGPU DC display code stack. Fortunately it lightens up the DRM driver by about six thousand lines thanks to removing some unused code. Besides gutting out a chunk of unused code, the DC code has a few audio fixes (no word yet on supporting newer audio formats with DC), fixes on driver unload, a "bunch" of continued Raven Ridge display updates, and various other code clean-ups.
  • AMDGPU Firmware Blobs Updated For Video Encode/Decode
    There are updated AMDGPU microcode/firmware files now available for recent Radeon GPUs. The updated firmware files now available via the main linux-firmware.git repository are centered around the video blocks: UVD video decoding, VCE video encode, and the new VCN video encode/decode block with Raven Ridge.

Games: DRAG, Geneshift, Balloonatics and More