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Trident: Void Linux Alpha Image Available

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GNU
Linux

Project Trident is pleased to announce a new Alpha-quality image of the new version based on Void Linux is now available on the download page.

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GNU/FSF: LibrePlanet, Respects Your Freedom (RYF) and GNU Binutils

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GNU
  • LibrePlanet returns in 2020 to Free the Future! March 14-15, Boston area

    LibrePlanet provides an opportunity for community activists, domain experts, and people seeking solutions for themselves to come together in order to discuss current issues in technology and ethics.

    "LibrePlanet attendees and speakers will be discussing the hot button issues we've all been reading about every day, and their connection to the free software movement. How do you fight Facebook? How do we make software-driven cars safe? How do we stop algorithms from making terrible, unreviewable decisions? How do we enjoy the convenience of mobile phones and digital home assistants without being constantly under surveillance? What is the future of digital currency? Can we have an Internet that facilitates respectful dialogue?" said FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

    The free software community has continuously demanded that users and developers be permitted to understand, study, and alter the software they use, offering hope and solutions for a free technological future. LibrePlanet speakers will display their unique combination of digital knowledge and educational skills in the two day conference, as well as give more insights into their ethical dedication to envision a future rich with free "as in freedom" software and without network services that mistreat their users. The FSF's LibrePlanet 2020 edition is therefore aptly named "Free the Future."

  • New RYF Web site: It's now easier to support companies selling devices that Respect Your Freedom

    The Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification program helps to connect users with retailers who respect their rights. Retailers in the program sell devices that come with freedom inside, and promise to always ensure that their users are not directed to proprietary software at any point in the sale or ownership of the device. When we launched the program in 2010, we had no idea how quickly the program would grow.

    In 2012, when we announced the first certification, we hosted information about the program and retailers as a simple page on the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Web site. With only one retailer selling one device, this was certainly satisfactory. As the program grew, we added each new device chronologically to that page, highlighting the newest certifications. We are now in a place where eight different retailers have gained nearly fifty certifications, including the recently announced Talos II and Talos II Lite mainboards from Raptor Computing Systems, LLC. With so many devices available, across so many different device categories, it was getting more difficult for users to find what they were looking for in just a plain chronological list.

  • Talos II Mainboard and Talos II Lite Mainboard now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

    Thursday, November 7th, 2019 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the Talos II and Talos II Lite mainboards from Raptor Computing Systems, LLC. The RYF certification mark means that these products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy.

    While these are the first devices from Raptor Computing Systems to receive RYF certification, the FSF has supported their work since 2015, starting with the original Talos crowdfunding effort. Raptor Computing Systems has worked very hard to protect the rights of users.

    "From our very first products through our latest offerings, we have always placed a strong emphasis on returning control of computing to the owner of computing devices -- not retaining it for the vendor or the vendor's partners. We hope that with the addition of our modern, powerful, owner-controlled systems to the RYF family, we will help spur on industry adoption of a similar stance from the many silicon vendors required to support modern computing," said Timothy Pearson, Chief Technology Officer, Raptor Computing Systems, LLC.

  • GNU Binutils Adds Bits For AMD Zen 2's RDPRU + MCOMMIT Instructions

    GNU Binutils with its "Gas" assembler has now added the rest of the instructions supported by the AMD Zen 2 microarchitecture that previously were unsupported by this piece of the GNU toolchain.

    RDPRU and MCOMMIT are the two instructions for Zen 2 added to Binutils by SUSE's Jan Beulich. RDPRU has been covered multiple times on Phoronix and is for reading a processor register typically limited to privilege level zero. This allows for registers like MPERF/APERF to be easily read at user-level.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: GhostBSD 19.09, BSD Now and Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo

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GNU
Linux
BSD
Ubuntu
  • GhostBSD 19.09 – Based on FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE and Using MATE Desktop 1.22

    GhostBSD 19.09 is the latest release of GhostBSD. This release based on FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE while also pulling in TrueOS packages, GhostBSD 19.09 also has an updated OpenRC init system, a lot of unnecessary software was removed, AMDGPU and Radeon KMS is now valid xconfig options and a variety of other improvements and fixes.

    GhostBSD 19.09 continues using the MATE desktop 1.22 by default, but also providing a community Xfce desktop image. GhostBSD 19.09 switches to LightDM as its display/log-in manager, supports ZFS now when using the MBR mode in the installer, drops gksu, and has a number of bug fixes especially to its installer among other packages.

  • OSI Burrito Guy | BSD Now 323

    The earliest Unix code, how to replace fail2ban with blacklistd, OpenBSD crossed 400k commits, how to install Bolt CMS on FreeBSD, optimized hammer2, appeasing the OSI 7-layer burrito guys, and more.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E31 – Ikari Warriors

    This week we’ve been moonlighting on all the podcasts and live streaming to share Ubuntu bug reporting skills. We discuss Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi 4, Debian’s new homepage, elementary updates and Fedora 31. We also round up some events and our picks from the tech news.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 31 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

Shirish Agarwal: A tale of unfortunate coincidences and incidents

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GNU
Linux
Debian

I went back to the vendor with my old stock SMPS and it worked but found that grub2 menu was missing. It was just plain booting to windows 10. I started a thread at debian-user trying to figure out if there was some issue at my end, maybe some grub variable had got lost or something but the responses seemed to suggest that something else had happened. I also read through some of the UEFI documentation on wikipedia and web, I didn’t go to much depth as that would have been distracting as the specification itself is evolving and is subject to change. I did find some interesting bits and pieces but that is for a later date perhaps. One of the things I remembered from my previous run-ins with grub2 issues is that supergrub2 had been immensely useful. Sadly though, the version which I tried as stable was dumping me to grub rescue instead of the grub menu when I used the ISO image on a thumb drive. I could have tried to make a go for it but was too lazy. On an off-chance I looked at supergrub2 support and did find that somebody else also have had the same exact issue and it was reported. I chimed in and tried one of the beta versions and it worked which made me breathe easier. After getting into debian, I tried the old $ sudo update-grub which usually fixed the issues. I again tried to boot without using the help of the usb disk but failed as it again booted me into MS-Windows environment.

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HLK-7688A OpenWrt Development Board Comes with an Audio Jack

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

We first tested MediaTek MT7688 MIPS processor in Mediatek Labs’ LinkIt Smart 7688 / 7688 Duo hardware development kits running OpenWrt in 2015 with the boards having a focus on IoT applications. A year later, Widora NEO board launched with an audio jack for connected audio applications, but AFAIK it’s not available anymore.

There’s now another OpenWrt audio board based on the processor with HLK-7688A board featuring Hi-Link HLK-7688A module which we previously found in MatchBox LoRaWAN gateway.

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Laptops With GNU/Linux: HP Envy and Librem 13

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • HP Envy x360 15 2500u - One year later

    A year passed since owning HP Envy x360 15 2500u now running mainly on Fedora Design Suite now on its 31 release. The Design Suite is based on Fedora Workstation running on Gnome Wayland by default.

    The touchscreen works as intended and feel more responsive. Tweaking Firefox 70.0 However, due to a bug related to the GTK toolkit, using a stylus can cause crash on some applications. The fix is available and will be a matter of the time of an update . Sometimes, the touchscreen failed to work due to an issue related to ACPI only HP can address. The current workaround is to reboot the laptop.

  • The Librem 13 reviewed by Unbox Therapy

    He loved the ease and convenience of our hardware kill switches and how they could be used to seamlessly toggle the WiFi/Bluetooth and the Camera and mic on and off without restarting the system – in Lewis’s own words, “That’s pretty cool, you have to admit that!”

    We are very proud of our kill switches, they are the most secure way to disable components of a laptop that can be used to spy on you — as they physically disconnect the circuitry, like removing the light socket from the wall.

Rethinking the governance of the GNU Project

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GNU

The GNU Project was created by Richard Stallman in 1983 to further his goal of developing an entirely free operating system — a goal that seemed impossibly ambitious at the time. Stallman has recently resigned from some of his roles, but as of this writing his personal site still leads off with this proclamation: "I continue to be the Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project. I do not intend to stop any time soon". Within the project itself, though, it has become clear that this intention lacks universal support. We appear to be seeing the beginning of a governance transition for this venerable project.
To many, Stallman's departure from the Free Software Foundation and MIT appears to be an abrupt development based on behavior outside of the technical or project-management areas. Those reasons are mostly out of scope for this article (and for any comments), but there is one thing that is worth pointing out: the concerns that led to these changes have existed for many years. As is often the case, they came to a climax quickly, but the situation had been developing for years.

While these concerns certainly play into why there is pressure for change from within the GNU Project, there is more to it than that. Some recent events highlight the fact that some maintainers feel that change is needed; they have more to do with Stallman's leadership within the project than his behavior outside of it.

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GNU Health 3.6RC3 available at community server & demo database

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GNU

The Release Candidate 3 (RC3) for the upcoming GNU Health 3.6 has been installed in the community server.

You can download the latest GTK client, either using pip (from pypi test repository) or the source tarball as explained in the developer's corner chapter.

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AI accelerator for the Raspberry Pi claims to get more out of Myriad X

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Luxonis’ $99, Intel Myriad X based “DepthAI” module for robotics is available on CrowdSupply along with DepthAI-based Raspberry Pi HAT, USB adapter, and RPi CM3 B+ equipped boards. DepthAI provides up to 25.5 fps object detection frame-rates.

Luxonis has gone to Crowd Supply to pitch a neural accelerator module for the Raspberry Pi based on the up to 4-TOPs Movidius Myriad X Vision Processor Unit (VPU). The company claims its DepthAI can offload far more processing from the Raspberry Pi than a Pi mated with Intel’s Myriad X based Intel Neural Compute Stick 2 (NCS2) USB stick accelerator. That’s particularly notable since Intel owns Movidius.

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Screencasts/Audiocasts/Shows: SparkyLinux 2019.11 Run Through, Full Circle Magazine, Linux Headlines and Python

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Development
GNU
Linux
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More in Tux Machines

Open Source Firmware updates for the masses! (Part 1)

Thanks to the Linux Vendor Firmware Service it's now much easier to update firmware on Linux. The LVFS supports a huge amount of devices, brings it's own firmware database, has a nice UI and periodically checks if new firmware updates are available. Hardware vendors can upload their firmware to LVFS, which charges no cost for hosting or distribution. Read more Also: Coreboot Support Is Being Worked On For Fwupd/LVFS

GNU: GCC, GNU Assembler and Spring Internships at the FSF

  • AMD GCN OpenMP/OpenACC Offloading Patches For The GCC 10 Compiler

    Over the past year Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics has been working extensively on the new AMD Radeon "GCN" back-end for the GCC code compiler. With the code that is found in GCC 9 and up to now in GCC 10 hasn't supported OpenMP/OpenACC parallel programming interfaces but that could soon change with patches under review. The Radeon GPU support in GCC up to now hasn't supported OpenMP or OpenACC for offloading to the graphics processor and thus its practicality has been limited.

  • GNU Assembler Patches Sent Out For Optimizing The Intel Jump Conditional Code Erratum

    Now that Intel lifted its embargo on the "Jump Conditional Code" erratum affecting Skylake through Cascade Lake processors, while Intel's own Clear Linux was first to carry these patches they have now been sent out on the Binutils mailing list for trying to get the JCC optimization patches into the upstream Binutils/GAS code-base. Well known Intel compiler toolchain expert H.J. Lu sent out the five patches on Tuesday for optimizing around the JCC Erratum. The GNU Assembler (GAS) patches aim to mitigate the performance by aligning branches within 32-byte boundaries for various instructions. The behavior is activated via the -mbranches-within-32B-boundaries command line switch.

  • Spring internships at the FSF! Apply by Nov. 29

    Do you believe that free software is crucial to a free society? Do you want to help people learn why free software matters, and how to use it? Do you want to dig deep into software freedom issues like copyleft, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), or surveillance and encryption? Or, do you want to learn systems administration, design, or other tasks using only free software? The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is looking for interns to spend the summer contributing to work in one of three areas: campaigns, licensing, or technical. These positions are unpaid, but the FSF will provide any appropriate documentation you might need to receive funding and school credit from outside sources. We also provide lunch expense reimbursement and a monthly transportation pass that will give you free access to local subways and buses (MBTA). We place an emphasis on providing hands-on educational opportunities for interns, in which they work closely with staff mentors on projects that match their skills and interest.

Games: Parkitect Taste of Adventure and CodeWeavers Working on Steam Play

  • Theme park building sim Parkitect is getting a Taste of Adventure expansion

    Releasing on November 20, Texel Raptor just announced the first big expansion to their incredibly fun theme park building game Parkitect and I couldn't be more excited. I remember being completely absorbed by the classic Theme Park from Bullfrog in my youth, to which Parkitect firmly filled the hole it left in my adult life. Parkitect doesn't necessarily need an expansion, it already has everything that makes it a great game. However, I will gladly take this expansion so I can happily play even more of it.

  • CodeWeavers Is Hiring Another Graphics Developer To Help With Wine D3D / Steam Play

    CodeWeavers is looking to hire another developer to work on Wine's graphics stack and in particular the WineD3D code while having an emphasis that it's part of Valve's Steam Play (Proton) efforts.

  • CodeWeavers are after a Graphics Developer for Steam Play Proton and Wine

    CodeWeavers, the company that helps to support development of Wine and are currently partnered up with Valve to help with Steam Play/Proton have a new Graphics Developer position open. This is a completely different position to the one we posted about before, which is a more generalised role. Instead, their new Graphics Developer position would have you working on Wine's Direct3D implementation. Quite a complicated role, involving early DirectDraw up until modern Direct3D 12 in addition to Vulkan and OpenGL.

Removals From Linux 5.4

  • VirtualBox SF Driver Ejected From The Linux 5.4 Kernel

    Merged to the mainline Linux kernel last week was a driver providing VirtualBox guest shared folder support with the driver up to now being out-of-tree but important for sharing files between the host and guest VM(s). While the driver was part of Linux 5.4-rc7, Linus Torvalds decided to delete this driver on Tuesday. The VirtualBox Shared Folder (VBOXSF) driver will not be part of the mainline Linux 5.4 kernel. Linus was unhappy that it didn't have the necessary sign-offs plus that it's coming late in the cycle and not appearing to meet quality expectations.

  • The Linux Kernel Disabling HPET For Intel Coffee Lake

    Another Intel change being sent off for Linux 5.4 and to be back-ported to current stable series is disabling of HPET for Coffee Lake systems. Due to bug reports going back at least a half-year and workarounds not panning out, kernel developers have decided to blacklist the High Precision Event Timer (HPET) on Coffee Lake systems. Some Coffee Lake systems have a skewed HPET timer when entering the PC10 power state and that in turn marks the time stamp counter (TSC) as unstable.