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Gadgets

“What Librem 5 batch am I in?”

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets

Previously we’ve indicated that we would contact people as their particular batch is being prepared for shipping. For instance, we have started sending out emails to backers who will receive Birch in the coming days and weeks.

As we mentioned in our post Supplying the Demand, we were surprised at the demand for our early batches. We also expect that some customers will change their mind one (or more) times about which batch they’d prefer as each batch comes out and more videos, pictures, and articles are posted. For these and other reasons we’ve been reluctant to notify people which batch they are likely to be in, as it could change as people change their minds and slots open up.

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This Linux-Based Smartphone Will Keep You Completely Anonymous

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

We are being constantly monitored through the devices and apps we use on a regular basis. One of the biggest ways of surveillance is our smartphone and the majority of users are divided between two — Android and iOS.

But there is a new Linux-based smartphone dubbed Volla Phone on Kickstarter, that rethinks the entire approach to how we use our smartphones and all its features are based around protecting user anonymity.

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Leaving Apple & Google – /e/ mobile OS next steps: a Roadmap for 2020

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OS
Gadgets

As the /e/ OS remains quite complex to install, we have partnered with a refurbisher to offer a range of smartphones pre-installed with /e/OS. It’s been available since summer 2019 in the EU, and with Australia/New Zealand coming very shortly. Arrangements for offering this in the US are also underway.

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Database of 200+ smartphones that can run Linux (unofficially)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The vast majority of smartphones in the world ship with some version of Google’s Android operating system. And most of them are only supported by their manufacturers for a few years.

Have a phone that’s 3-4 years old? Then you’re probably not getting any Android updates anymore. No more security patches. No new features.

Of course, some folks can run custom ROMs such as LineageOS, which lets you install updates indefinitely… but want to break out of Android altogether? There are a handful of other GNU/Linux-based operating systems including Ubuntu Touch, postmarketOS, and Maemo Leste that are designed to, among other things, help give your phone a longer lifespan.

One tricky thing can be figuring out which phones are supported. That’s where a new Can My Phone Run Linux database from TuxPhones comes in.

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PinePhone: Everything You Need to Know About This Linux Smartphone

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

The PinePhone specs, price and design are all tailored towards keeping it a super low $149 price point.

Pitched as a cheap alternative to Android and iOS devices, the PinePhone is built for Linux enthusiasts and developers who will appreciate its privacy-minded open source software and its hardware kill switches.

But let’s be totally clear: the Pinephone isn’t out to one-up Samsung’s latest handset or rival flagship devices from other OEMs. It’s has more humble ambitions: provide a reliable, open, hackable (and potentially upgradeable) smartphone platform, powered by Linux.

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Sailfish OS Torronsuo is now available

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OS
Gadgets

Sailfish OS 3.2.0 Torronsuo is a substantial release introducing updated hardware adaptation support, which enables us to bring Sailfish X to newer generation devices like the Sony Xperia 10. The Xperia 10 is also the first device to come with user data encryption enabled by default, and with SELinux, Security-Enhanced Linux, access control framework enabled. We’ll be rolling out SELinux policies in phases. For now Torronsuo introduces SELinux policies for display control (MCE), device startup and background services (systemd), and more will follow in upcoming releases. We have a few details of the Xperia 10 support to finalise, and will announce Sailfish X for the Sony Xperia 10 within the upcoming weeks.

Torronsuo National Park is in the Tavastia Proper region of Finland. This park is valuable for its birdlife and butterfly species. Roughly a hundred species nest in the area. Part of the birds and insects are species that typically live in the northern areas, and they aren’t seen much elsewhere in southern Finland.

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UBports's Ubuntu Touch Release

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

  • Ubuntu Touch Q&A 62

    Unity8 from 2017 (plus many patches) and Mir 1.x have arrived in Ubuntu Touch releases on the devel channel. Read more at What's this Edge merge anyway?

    OTA-12 is off to a great start even without these changes, with fixes to private mode coming in this week.

    Ubports Installer 0.4 has been released

    After months of effort to refactor and re-implement parts of the installer, Jan was pleased to announce the release of the UBports Installer 0.4. This release features a new task-based config file format that allows the Installer to act on many types of Android or Android-like devices. It also makes the Installer far more versatile, now able to install custom Android distributions and Ubuntu Touch alike. It can even boot AsteroidOS on a smartwatch.

    The config file format has enabled us to bring support for the Sony Xperia X and Oneplus 3 (and 3T) to the installer as well. Both of these devices have very advanced (but not yet perfect!) hardware support and installing is easy with only a few clicks. For more information, please see the respective threads for the Sony Xperia X and Oneplus 3(T).

  • UBports Begins Offering Ubuntu Touch 64-Bit ARM Images

    While Ubuntu Touch has run on AArch64 hardware, to date their builds have been focused on 32-bit mode support. Fortunately, for select devices, they are now spinning 64-bit images.

    Besides being able to support more than 4GB of RAM with ease, the 64-bit images have resulted in applications launching faster and perform better thans to the ARMv8 architecture.

  • Ubuntu Touch Is Now Finally Available as 64-Bit ARM Images for Ubuntu Phones

    The UBports community has announced today that its Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for Ubuntu Phones is now finally available to download as 64-bit ARM images.

    After announcing last week an updated Ubuntu Touch Installer that adds support for the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and Sony Xperia X Android smartphones as Ubuntu Phones, UBports has released today 64-bit ARM images of Ubuntu Touch for the Sony Xperia X and OnePlus 3 and 3T phones for a faster and more optimized experience.

SUSI.AI Smart Speaker release 20191105

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

SUSI.AI aims at bringing a privacy aware personal assistant onto all of your devices. It runs on Android phones, desktop computers, and RaspberryPi based smart speakers. With the switch to Debian/buster, a lot of problems creeped in and the main application became extremely unstable, crashing in libportaudio2 with very unclear symptoms. Thanks to hint by Felix Yan we were able to fix libportaudio2 locally, and finally got a working and stable image.

During the last summer, a great team of GSoC students have worked on SUSI.AI in general, and on the smart speaker in particular. At the moment SUSI.AI can be installed onto RaspberryPi as well as any Debian based distribution (in particular Debian/buster and Ubuntu 19.04 upward).

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Linux Phone, Librem 5

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Gadgets

How often do we hear of phones that offer digital privacy and security? Librem 5 is a Linux powered smartphone that is built on PureOS, an open-source operating system that is completely free, secure and privacy focused.

PureOS: What is it and how is it built?

PureOS, developed by the company Purism is a general-purpose operating system based on Debian. It is a GNU/Linux based distribution that can be used either as live media or in the form of an operating system on a hard disk. PureOS is fully free for any purpose you want to use it for. The best part about the software is that it allows you to encrypt your data and entire operating system with your own password or encryption keys. It also helps you surf the web or use software apps without the fear of being tracked or controlled.

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Ten years of Nokia N900

Filed under
Debian
Gadgets

Nokia had been falling behind with Symbian development and was being taken over by the iPhone and the new Android phones.

The N900 would be the first and basically the last smartphone using the Maemo operating system. It wasn’t the fastest smartphone at the time, it didn’t have the most memory, it wasn’t the smallest or the lightest. But it was the only one that ran a full desktop OS.

The operating system is based on Debian, it doesn’t require rooting or unlocking. It just ships with a terminal application pre-installed and having a root shell is just one command away.

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Also: Edgewater Wireless Accepted to the Upstream OpenWrt Repository, A Linux Operating System Targeting Embedded Devices

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More in Tux Machines

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Linux Performance

AMD today is shipping the Radeon RX 5500 XT as the new sub-$200 Navi graphics card. This 7nm graphics card offers 22 compute units, 1408 stream processors, up to 5.6 TFLOPS of compute power, 4GB or 8GB GDDR6 video memory options, and built atop their modern RDNA architecture and supporting features in common with the RX 5700 series like PCIe 4.0 support. Here is a look at the initial Linux gaming performance of the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT with various gaming benchmarks and Steam Play tests as well. The Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB version is launching at $169 USD while the Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB version will command $199 USD. These price points put them comparable to the current Radeon RX 580 / 590 retail cards. AMD markets the RX 5500 XT as offering 1.6x the performance-per-Watt of the original Polaris Radeon RX 480 and designed for 1080p gaming to go up against NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER graphics card. Read more

KDE's December 2019 Apps Update

The release of new versions for KDE applications is part of KDE’s continued effort to bring you a complete and up-to-date catalog of fully-featured, beautiful and useful programs for your system. Available now are new versions of KDE’s file browser Dolphin; Kdenlive, one of the most complete open source video editors; the document viewer Okular; KDE’s image viewer, Gwenview; and all of your other favorite KDE apps and utilities. All of these applications have been improved, making them faster and more stable and they boast exciting new features. The new versions of KDE applications let you be productive and creative, while at the same time making use of KDE software easy and fun. We hope you enjoy all the novel features and improvements worked into all of KDE’s apps! Read more Also: KDE Applications 19.12 Open-Source Software Suite Released, Here's What's New KDE Applications 19.12 Released With Big Improvements To Kdenlive + Other KDE Programs

Games: Feral Interactive, Fantasy Strike, GNU/Linux as Gaming Platform

  • Seems like Feral Interactive may have a few surprises for Linux in 2020

    Porting studio Feral Interactive [Official Site] have already given Linux a lot of games and it sounds like more are coming. While this year they've already released Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, a Vulkan beta for Shadow of Mordor, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and DiRT 4 plus plus big updates/expansions to Company of Heroes 2 and Total War: WARHAMMER II. Still to come is Life is Strange 2, which Feral previously teased to arrive sometime soon.

  • Fighting game Fantasy Strike adds full cross-platform online play with PC and Consoles

    The very pretty fighting game Fantasy Strike from Sirlin Games just got a great update, enabling cross-platform online play between Linux/macOS/Windows and the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 consoles. Apply to all online modes including Casual and Ranked, find a match should be a lot easier now. You can also challenge or spectate others from your in-game friends list, which also works across all platforms too as you can add people from any platform based on tags.

  • Looking towards other operating systems

    Learning a new operating system from scratch is a daunting experience for many people. Fortunately, there are a few Linux distributions that come with a Windows-like desktop environment such as a form of a star bar at the bottom. However, Windows and Linux operating on vastly different philosophies, to the way that they are organized to the way that the files are handled. Linux employs the traditional monolithic kernel and it provides a hierarchical view of the files. Because it is modular, most of the necessary drivers can be loaded and unloaded dynamically. One of the major appeals of Linux is that it is open-source, compared to Microsoft which is a closed and inaccessible environment. Windows is made for simple and out of the box use and directed toward inexperienced users, a reason why the OS has been adopted by so many people. Linux puts more emphasis on the user, who has the possibility of customizing the desktop environment to suit their needs. Windows also offer a few, but fairly limited customization options. The main reason why people avoid switching to Linux is their gaming habits. Linux is known for not playing well with most PC games. Most PC games are being developed with Windows as the main platforms with some companies providing Linux support sometime after the original release. Games that do not have a Linux release require third party compatibility applications to run Windows games. The major application that is used to play Windows games on Linux is Wine. The developers of Wine have specified that the software is not an emulator but more of a compatibility layer for Linux to run Windows programs, not just games. In the world of programming, Wine is considered a masterpiece and one of the greatest feats of open source development that allows most Windows binaries to run on Linux without relying on any of Microsoft’s dependencies. Most of the Wine resources are dedicated to running the complicated frameworks of various DirectX components. [...] Many people prefer to enjoy online gaming, especially casino games. The beauty of these games is that most are available and can be played directly in the browser. The default browser that Linux uses is Mozilla Firefox, which itself, is a powerful browser. Because online casinos are played directly in the browser, there is almost no difference between playing them on Linux and playing them in Windows. There are also casino games that can be downloaded with most of them being made to run only on Windows due to a large number of people using the OS. As mentioned before, to run most Windows software, players have the option to use WINE. However, since because playing the casinos using the browser, most people are better off sticking with that version. Many games from online roulette to poker, and other table games are available online. Almost all online casinos found online have the option to play instantly with no download required, which is why any OS that can run a browser is perfectly capable to run casino games. Linux has been around for a long time, but it was only in the last 10 years that people have started noticing the operating system becoming more friendlier and easy to learn. Besides the many desktop environments, customizability, community and growing compatibility of games, as well as more security, many have started the transition from Windows to Linux.

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