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How Google Does Open Source

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Marc Merlin has been working as an engineer at Google since 2002 and has seen (and done) a lot of open source and Linux work during that time. Speaking at the LinuxCon North America event this week, Merlin provided a standing room only audience with an overview how Google uses and contributes to open source.

"Google wouldn't be around today without open source software," Merlin said.

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Android/Google Leftovers

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Google's FOSS

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  • Google updates Santa Tracker open source code with changes from last Christmas

    Is it Christmas time already? Not quite, but we don't have long before kids start counting down the days to Santa's visit. When they ask, Google is again ready to provide an answer.

    Last April, Google open sourced Santa Tracker and its various components. Then it developed new experiences to show off around Christmas time. Eight months later, that code is now open source as well.

  • More News Arrives on Fuchsia, Google's Mystery Open Source OS

    Everyone loves a mystery and if you're a mystery fan you have to be paying attention to Google's mysterious new open source operating system, which is dubbed "fuchsia," alluding to what you get when you mix purple with pink. While you'll read many reports saying that nothing has been said about fuchsia officially, Google engineers actually have popped up in various online forums descrbing the new OS.

Top five 2016 Chromebooks for school and everywhere else

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Chromebooks are now the most popular school laptops of them all. If your school doesn't supply them, here are your best choices.

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Also: How to pick the best Chromebook for school

How to Install Ubuntu on a Chromebook Pixel

Trying to Make Sense of Fuchsia

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  • Is Fuschsia Google’s answer to Samsung’s Tizen?

    Google is prepping an open source “Fuchsia” OS that can target IoT, handhelds, and laptops. It uses a new “Magenta” kernel, based on the “LK” project.

    Google has posted GitHub code for an emerging operating system called Fuchsia, designed for a wide range of devices. Like Google’s Android, Chrome OS, and IoT-focused Brillo, Fuchsia is open source — but unlike those platforms, it’s not based on the Linux kernel. Instead, it taps an independent, MIT licensed kernel project called “Little Kernel” (LK), which has been under development for several years.

  • Will Google replace Android with Fuchsia?

    Android is one of the most widely used operating systems in the world. But never let it be said that Google is content to rest on past achievements. The company has been hard at work on a new operating system call Fuchsia, and some are wondering if it will eventually replace Android.

  • Google May Paint IoT Fuchsia

    A team at Google is working on a new operating system called "Fuchsia," but details are sparse. Fuchsia "is a new open source project that is not at all related to Android or Chrome OS," said Google spokesperson Joshua Cruz. He declined to provide further details about Fuchsia, saying only that "we have many revolving open source projects at Google." Fuchsia reportedly already has undergone some testing, and it is booting "reasonably well" on NUCs based on Intel's Skylake and Broadwell processors.

  • Why Google’s new Linux-less Fuchsia operating system is a huge deal

    Google has release all the components of the new operating system in a much more permissible MIT license. The community can try it, contribute to it and reuse it.

    Raspberry Pi 3 users will soon be able to play with Fuchsia, according to Google developer Travis Geiselbrecht, who is working on the project.

Go 1.7 is released

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Today we are happy to announce the release of Go 1.7. You can get it from the download page. There are several significant changes in this release: a port for Linux on IBM z Systems (s390x), compiler improvements, the addition of the context package, and support for hierarchical tests and benchmarks.

A new compiler back end, based on static single-assignment form (SSA), has been under development for the past year. By representing a program in SSA form, a compiler may perform advanced optimizations more easily. This new back end generates more compact, more efficient code that includes optimizations like bounds check elimination and common subexpression elimination. We observed a 5–35% speedup across our benchmarks. For now, the new backend is only available for the 64-bit x86 platform ("amd64"), but we’re planning to convert more architecture backends to SSA in future releases.

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Also: Go 1.7 Brings s390x Support, Compiler Improvements

Google Fuschia To Run On Magenta Kernel Instead Of Linux

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Fuschia, the brand new operating system of Goggle, is currently in the works with a promising Magenta Kernel. While rumors spread that this latest OS from Google might combine Android and Chrome OS into one, we dig deeper on Fuschia’s potential benefits and drawbacks.

Google Source reveals the latest information and GitHub leaks it as "Pink+Purple=Fuchsia (a new Operating System)." The code repository does not discuss further details, though.

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Also: Google waves goodbye to Linux for new IoT OS Fuchsia - coming soon to Raspberry Pi

Desktop News

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  • Business users force Microsoft to back off Windows 10 PC kill plan

    Microsoft has backed down on its plan to hustle owners of certain PCs to Windows 10 by crimping support options.

    Redmond revealed the plan last January, when it decreed that PCs running 6th-generation Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs and Windows 7 would only get limited security and stability support until mid-2017. By March it backed off a little, extending support for another year and promising critical patches would flow until end of life.

  • People Demand Control Of Their PCs

    You can no longer dictate to the world what folks will do with the hardware they own.

  • The Best Chromebook You Can Buy Right Now (Aug. 2016)
  • Attention, College Students: Chromebooks Are About to Get Awesome

    Here’s some unhelpful back-to-school advice: Don’t buy a laptop. Borrow one, steal one from a family member, buy a piece of junk for 40 bucks on Craigslist. If you can find a way to wait a couple of months before dropping serious coin on a new clamshell, you’ll be glad you did.

    Later this fall, Apple’s almost certainly going to release a new MacBook Pro, which is desperately in need of a revamp. And there will be Windows PCs practically falling from the ceiling—maybe even a few made by Microsoft itself. But the real reason to hold off on your purchase is to wait for the new breed of Chromebooks that are on their way.


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More in Tux Machines

KNOPPIX 7.7.1 Distro Officially Released with Debian Goodies, Linux Kernel 4.7.9

Believe it or not, Klaus Knopper is still doing his thing with the KNOPPIX GNU/Linux distribution, which was just updated to version 7.7.1 to offer users the latest open source software and technologies. Read more

CentOS 6 Linux Servers Receive Important Kernel Security Patch, Update Now

We reported a couple of days ago that Johnny Hughes from the CentOS Linux team published an important kernel security advisory for users of the CentOS 7 operating system. Read more

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU/Linux ports can be less performant, a more in-depth answer
    When it comes to data handling, or rather data manipulation, different APIs can perform it in different ways. In one, you might simply be able to modify some memory and all is ok. In another, you might have to point to a copy and say "use that when you can instead and free the original then". This is not a one way is better than the other discussion - it's important only that they require different methods of handling it. Actually, OpenGL can have a lot of different methods, and knowing the "best" way for a particular scenario takes some experience to get right. When dealing with porting a game across though, there may not be a lot of options: the engine does things a certain way, so that way has to be faked if there's no exact translation. Guess what? That can affect OpenGL state, and require re-validation of an entire rendering pipeline, stalling command submission to the GPU, a.k.a less performance than the original game. It's again not really feasible to rip apart an entire game engine and redesign it just for that: take the performance hit and carry on. Note that some decisions are based around _porting_ a game. If one could design from the ground up with OpenGL, then OpenGL would likely give better performance...but it might also be more difficult to develop and test for. So there's a bit of a trade-off there, and most developers are probably going to be concerned with getting it running on Windows first, GNU/Linux second. This includes engine developers.
  • Why Linux games often perform worse than on Windows
    Drivers on Windows are tweaked rather often for specific games. You often see a "Game Ready" (or whatever term they use now) driver from Nvidia and AMD where they often state "increased performance in x game by x%". This happens for most major game releases on Windows. Nvidia and AMD have teams of people to specifically tweak the drivers for games on Windows. Looking at Nvidia specifically, in the last three months they have released six new drivers to improve performance in specific games.
  • Thoughts on 'Stellaris' with the 'Leviathans Story Pack' and latest patch, a better game that still needs work
  • Linux community has been sending their love to Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media
    This is awesome to see, people in the community have sent both Feral Interactive & Aspyr Media some little care packages full of treats. Since Aspyr Media have yet to bring us the new Civilization game, it looks like Linux users have been guilt-tripping the porters into speeding up, or just sending them into a sugar coma.
  • Feral Interactive's Linux ports may come with Vulkan sooner than we thought
  • Using Nvidia's NVENC with OBS Studio makes Linux game recording really great
    I had been meaning to try out Nvidia's NVENC for a while, but I never really bothered as I didn't think it would make such a drastic difference in recording gaming videos, but wow does it ever! I was trying to record a game recently and all other methods I tried made the game performance utterly dive, making it impossible to record it. So I asked for advice and eventually came to this way.

Leftovers: Software

  • DocKnot 1.00
    I'm a bit of a perfectionist about package documentation, and I'm also a huge fan of consistency. As I've slowly accumulated more open source software packages (alas, fewer new ones these days since I have less day-job time to work on them), I've developed a standard format for package documentation files, particularly the README in the package and the web pages I publish. I've iterated on these, tweaking them and messing with them, trying to incorporate all my accumulated wisdom about what information people need.
  • Shotwell moving along
    A new feature that was included is a contrast slider in the enhancement tool, moving on with integrating patches hanging around on Bugzilla for quite some time.
  • GObject and SVG
    GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification. GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice. SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.
  • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes
    Today, October 27, 2016, we've been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite. You're reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.