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Audiocasts/Shows: Ubuntu Podcast, Linux Headlines and 'Talk Python to Me'

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Development
GNU
Linux
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E32 – Dungeon Keeper

    This week we’ve become addicted to Sedna SSD to PCIe controller cards. We discuss why distro hoppers are the worst, bring you some GUI love and round up our listener feedback.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 32 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • I.T. Phone Home | TechSNAP 416

    Ubiquiti’s troublesome new telemetry, Jim’s take on the modern Microsoft, and why Project Silica just might be the future of long term storage.

  • 2019-11-14 | Linux Headlines

    Mirantis acquires Docker, WordPress brings a big new feature to Jetpack, GitHub has a plan for archiving the world's open source code, and a new developer hub is available for Go.

  • Talk Python to Me: #238 Collaborative data science with Gigantum

    Collaborative data science has a few challenges. First of all, those who you are collaborating with might not be savvy enough in the computer science techniques (for example, git and source control or docker and Linux). Second, seeing the work and changes others have made is a challenge too.

6 Best Arch Linux Based User Friendly Distributions of 2019

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GNU
Linux

If you’re an avid Linux user you probably know by now that it is no Operating System for the weak at heart (well sometimes). The chances of you getting crushed when trying to install a Linux-based Operating System or learning the usual curves in your first week are pretty high.

On the other hand, if you’re starting your trip into the world of Linux you will probably be using one of the mainstream distros out there – Ubuntu and Linux Mint, for example. Yes, these are excellent distro choices as is suggested by the Google results of the typical keyword search, but if you are explorative enough, you would have already started craving for something that is radically different from what the mainstream has to offer and this is when Arch Linux comes to the rescue.

Arch Linux is a lightweight rolling release Linux distribution for x86-64 architecture-based computers. It is open-source and contains both libre and proprietary software because of its flexibility-based philosophy. As much loved as Arch Linux is, word on the blog streets is that it has a steep learning curve and new users end up searching for derivatives that are less developer-centric or switch to trying out a different Linux distro line completely.

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A technical comparison between the snap and the Flatpak formats

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

Since we’ve already discussed the snap layout and architecture in greater details in the previous weeks, let’s start with a quick overview of Flatpak. Much like snaps, Flatpak packages come with necessary components contained inside standalone archives, so they can be deployed and maintained with simplicity on a range of Linux distributions. Runtime and image components are bundled into a single file using the OCI format.

In general, Flatpak applications are built against runtimes, but they can also contain additional libraries inside their own bundles. A Linux system with the Flatpak binary (primary command) installed and configured can then run Flatpak applications. At the moment, there are 21 distributions that offer Flatpak support.

Furthermore, applications are sandboxed using Bubblewrap, which utilises kernel security and namespace features to set up unprivileged containers. Communication outside the sandbox is possible through a mechanism of portals, which allows granular access to system resources.

Flatpak packages are available to end users primarily through Flathub, an app store and build service that is (semi)-officially associated with the Flatpak project. Submissions to Flathub are done as pull requests through GitHub, and require approval from the store admins. Similarly, publishers of proprietary software have to manually request inclusion of their applications. Flatpak applications are also sometimes available as manual download links. There is no automatic update mechanism available by default.

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Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

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Linux

There are some specific linux distros out there that specially target the new and casual Linux users, most notably, Linux Mint and Zorin OS. In this article we will compare them.

Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

Both of these distros have earned a solid reputation from the community for being two of the most user-friendly distros of all. Both of them use Ubuntu as the core. Thus, both of them offer similar functionality at the core. However, the real magic is how each of them builds up on top of it. Both Linux Mint and Zorin OS comes up with different feel and vibe.

While both of them are extremely user-friendly and robust, there are some key differences between them. That’s the beauty of Linux.

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fwupd and bolt power struggles

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GNU
Linux

As readers of this blog might remember, there is a mode where the firmware (BIOS) is responsible for powering the Thunderbolt controller. This means that if no device is connected to the USB type C port the controller will be physically powered down. The obvious upside is battery savings. The downside is that, for a system in that state, we cannot tell if it has a Thunderbolt controller, nor determine any of its properties, like firmware version. Luckily, there is an interface to tell the firmware (BIOS) to "force-power" the controller. The interface is a write only sysfs attribute. The writes are not reference counted, i.e. two separate commands to enable the force-power state followed by a single disable, will indeed disable the controller. For some time boltd and the firmware update daemon both directly poked that interface. This lead to some interference, leading in turn to strange timing bugs. The canonical example goes like this: fwupd force-powers the controller, uevents will be triggered and Thunderbolt entries appear in sysfs. The boltd daemon will be started via udev+systemd activation. The daemon initializes itself and starts enumerating and probing the Thunderbolt controller. Meanwhile fwupd is done with its thing and cuts the power to the controller. That makes boltd and the controller sad because they were still in the middle of getting to know each other.

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GCC 7.5 Released

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Development
GNU

The GNU Compiler Collection version 7.5 has been released.

GCC 7.5 is a bug-fix release from the GCC 7 branch
containing important fixes for regressions and serious bugs in
GCC 7.4 with more than 215 bugs fixed since the previous release.

This is also the last release from the GCC 7 branch which will receive
no further fixes from now on.  GCC continues to be maintained on
the GCC 8 and GCC 9 branches and the development trunk.

This release is available from the FTP servers listed at:

  http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html

Please do not contact me directly regarding questions or comments
about this release.  Instead, use the resources available from
http://gcc.gnu.org.

As always, a vast number of people contributed to this GCC release
-- far too many to thank them individually!

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Also: GCC 7.5 Released With 215+ Bug Fixes As The Last Update To GCC7

Audiocasts/Shows: Choose Linux, BSD Now and The Linux Link Tech Show (TLLTS)

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Linux

Desktop GNU/Linux: Ubuntu 20.04, Slackware Live Plasma5 edition ISO and Latest ZDNet Clickbait

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Linux

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

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GNU
  • 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.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: mintCast, Linux Headlines, LINUX Unplugged, This Week in Linux, Full Circle Weekly News, OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha 1 Run Through

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GNU
Linux
  • mintCast 321.5 – Wololo

    In our Innards section, we decide when it’s the right time to suggest switching to Linux.

  • 2019-11-12 | Linux Headlines

    Python’s package manager looks forward to some much-needed love, PeerTube and Termshark both have major releases, and Mozilla joins forces to push WebAssembly outside the browser.

  • Distro Disco | LINUX Unplugged 327

    Get to know our Linux Users Group a little better and learn why they love their Linux distros of choice, and the one thing they’d change to make them perfect.

  • Episode 87 | This Week in Linux

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, Pine64 announces the pre-orders for the PinePhone are coming this week! AMD Announces Latest Threadripper & Ryzen 9 CPUs. We’ve got the results from the openSUSE Name Change vote. In Distro News, Ubuntu pledges support for Raspberry Pis, elementary OS Adds Flatpak Support, and we got new releases from KaOS and Chrome OS. Microsoft confirms that their Edge browser is coming to Linux. Linus Torvalds was interviewed recently where he declared he is ‘Not a Programmer Anymore’, we’ll take a closer look at that. In Linux Gaming News, Steam releases beta support for Containers in Steam for Linux. Google Reveals Stadia Launch Games and further info on the service. We also got some really interesting news from Valve where they might launch their own Stadia competitor called “Steam Cloud Gaming”. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #153
  • OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha 1 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha 1. Enjoy!

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