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Linux Plumbers Conference and Kernel Developments in METRICFS, FS-Cache, HWMON

Filed under
Linux
  • Application Ecosystem Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Application Ecosystem Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference!

    The Linux kernel is the foundation of the Linux systems, but it is not much use without applications that run on top of it. The application experience relies on the kernel for performance, stability and responsiveness. Plumbers is the perfect venue to have the kernel and app ecosystems under one roof to discuss and learn together and make a better application experience on the Linux platform.

  • Google Opens Patches For "METRICFS" That They Have Used Since 2012 For Telemetry Data

    The METRICFS file-system has been in use internally at Google since 2012 for exporting system statistics to their telemetry systems with around 200 statistics being exported per machine. They are now posting the METRICFS patches as open-source for review and possible upstreaming.

    A "request for comments" on METRICFS was sent out today on the Linux kernel mailing list. Their motives for now finally publishing these patches is as a result of the recent Statsfs proposal by a Red Hat engineer for a RAM-based file-system for exposing kernel statistics to user-space. METRICFS has a similar aim to Statsfs.

  • FS-Cache Rewritten But Even Its Developers Are Hesitant About Landing It For Linux 5.9

    FS-Cache provides the Linux kernel with a general purpose cache for network file-systems like NFS and AFS but also other special use-cases like ISO9660 file-systems. FS-Cache has been rewritten for better performance and reliability, among other benefits, and while it has been sent in as a pull request for Linux 5.9 even its own developers provide some caution over landing it this cycle.

    FS-Cache has seen work to "massively overhaul" it with a variety of improvements. The new and improved FS-Cache will now use async direct I/O in place of snooping for updated pages that in turn means less virtual memory overhead. The new FS-Cache implementation has simpler object management, changes to object invalidation, and a variety of other work.

  • Corsair Commander Pro Driver Sent In To Linux 5.9

    The hardware monitoring (HWMON) subsystem has a new driver that is likely to excite some enthusiasts wanting greater control over thermal monitoring and fan control for their systems.

    The previously covered Corsair Commander Pro Linux driver is now coming with Linux 5.9. The Commander Pro offers six 4-pin fan ports with PWM controls, two RGB LED channels, and four thermal sensors. An interested user/developer created this Linux driver without the support from Corsair. The thermal and fan control support is in place with this new HWMON driver while the RGB lighting controls are available from OpenRGB.

Audiocasts/Shows: Destination Linux, FLOSS Weekly, CrowPi and Linux Headlines

Filed under
GNU
Linux

           

  • Destination Linux 185: Let’s Fix Linux Tech Support

    On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re transitioning from the topic of Bug Reporting last week to Tech Support in Linux this week. We’re going to check in on Wayland’s progress with Plasma’s new release, we have an sandbox MMO for gaming, and our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

  •                 

  • FLOSS Weekly 590: Rensselaer Center for Open Software - A Community of Open Source Developers

    RCOS is a group of RPI students who work on open-source projects. The goal of RCOS is to empower students to develop open-source solutions to real-world problems. They have created 300+ open source projects over the years. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk with Wes Turner, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source. They discuss teaching open source and the hardships that come along with that, especially with e-learning. They also discuss what the future could look like if we could have more open-source programs like RCOS in other universities.

  •        

  • The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review

    The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review of the kit, usage, and examples. 

  •        

  • 2020-08-05 | Linux Headlines

    LibreOffice 7 dodges its rebranding controversy, the Pinta bitmap editor sees its first new version in 5 years, Red Hat accommodates certification seekers with new pandemic-friendly rules, and ownCloud 10.5 brings background sync changes to the platform.

Forget Windows, I just installed Elementary OS on my Chromebook and it’s awesome

Filed under
GNU
Linux

In my path to Chrome OS enlightenment, I’ve explored many method with which users can run non-native applications and even alternative operating systems. My most recent endeavor involved installing a full-blown version of Windows 10 inside the Linux container on Chrome OS. While I have absolutely no use for such a monstrosity, the path that brought me there was fun and I believe a lot of users were excited about the premise of running Windows alongside Chrome OS. All of this was made possible thanks to an update to the Linux kernel that is available to some users inside the Chrome OS Linux container. My first theory was that this was being tested exclusively on ‘Hatch’ devices that are equipped with the Comet Lake family of processors. After some input from some colleagues, it appears that the ability to run qemu/kvm in a nested environment is more widely available than I presumed. I have seen reports that users have successfully installed Windows on devices ranging from a Core i5 Pixel Slate to the aging Dell Chromebook 13 that has a Broadwell CPU. Perhaps it is the Core i CPU that is the key. Who knows?

[...]

Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based OS but make no mistake, it stands out as its own operating system. Many have called the the macOS of Linux but as you can read in a blog post from the Elementary CEO, the OS design and function are very intentional and quite unique in its own right. All of that is neither here nor there. Elementary OS caught my eye as a distinct and very different distro that I had never used and I wanted to give it a try and see how it ran on Chrome OS. My Windows experiment was a success, for the most part, but Windows is chunky and often times I found the OS struggling to work well inside the VM. Elementary OS is a “pay what’s fair” platform which means exactly what you’d think. While you can technically download the .iso image for free, a donation of your choosing is recommended and I’m sure, well appreciated as it is open-source software.

Read more

AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – Gaming – Week 5

Filed under
Linux
Gaming

This is a weekly blog chronicling my experiences of running the AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC on Linux.

I’ve already touched on the graphics capabilities of the AWOW AK41. To recap, this Mini PC uses the Intel UHD Graphics 605, an integrated processor graphics unit from the Gemini Lake generation. Performance of the graphics unit is widely reported as in the low-end segment and rarely sufficient for modern games.

It’s often touted that integrated graphics are not meant for gaming. But what does that really mean? There are tons of free games available for Linux. Many of them aren’t that graphically demanding.

Read more

Stable Kernels: 5.7.13, 5.4.56, 4.19.137, and 4.14.192

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 5.7.13

    I'm announcing the release of the 5.7.13 kernel.

    All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade.

    The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at:
    git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.7.y
    and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
    https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 5.4.56
  • Linux 4.19.137
  • Linux 4.14.192

Here’s the glaring potential flaw in Windows 10X devices as Chromebook competitors

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Imagine an operating system that’s focused on using the web browser and you can’t install traditional desktop apps on. No, I’m actually not talking about Chromebooks, and if I was, that would be an outdated thought experiment since you can install full desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS. I’m talking about upcoming devices running Microsoft Windows 10X, a “lite” software platform that is reportedly debuting in roughly 9 months.

You may not recall that Microsoft tried a similar approach in 2012 with Windows RT and the first Surface device.

Read more

Also: Linux Marketshare Dipped in July – But Not By Much! [Ed: No, it is wrong to base one's assessment on a Microsoft partner that pretends Android, ChromeOS etc. don't even exist]

Kernel and Graphics: Another Attack on the GPL, Power Management and Thermal Control Microconference, Intel and AMD

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

  • Wrap it before you tap it? No, say Linux developers: 'GPL condom' for Nvidia driver is laughed out of the kernel

    Linux devs have dismissed a proposed patch to the kernel that would only work with a Nvidia driver, motivating a second patch that will prevent disguised use of proprietary code in GPL modules.

    The Linux Kernel licensing rules make provision for proprietary third-party modules but state that they must be tagged as such.

    This "cannot be used for modules with source code in the kernel tree. Modules tagged that way are tainting the kernel with the 'P' flag when loaded and the kernel module loader refuses to link such modules against symbols which are exported with EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL()."

    Facebook developer Jonathan Lemon put forward an RFC (Request for Comments) on a proposal to implement DMA (Direct Memory Access) zero-copy between a network card and a GPU to enhance network performance, while keeping the protocol processing on the CPU. The use case is for "GPUs used for machine learning, which are located near the NICs, and have a high bandwidth PCI connection between the GPU/NIC," states the RFC.

    The code relies on Nvidia's proprietary driver for Linux, noticed by kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, who observed: "OK, now you are just trolling us. Nice job, I shouldn't have read the previous patches. Please, go get a lawyer to sign-off on this patch, with their corporate email address on it. That's the only way we could possibly consider something like this."

  • Power Management and Thermal Control Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Power Management and Thermal Control Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference!

    Power management and thermal control is an important area in the Linux ecosystem to help with the global environment. Optimizing the amount of work that is achieved while having long battery life and keeping the box from overheating is critical in today’s world. This meeting will focus on continuing to have Linux be an efficient operating system while still lowering the cost of running a data center.

    Last year’s meetup at Linux Plumbers resulted in the introduction of thermal pressure support into the CPU scheduler as well as several improvements to the thermal framework, such as a netlink implementation of thermal notification and improvements to CPU cooling. Discussions from last year also helped to improve systems-wide suspend testing tools.

  • Intel Tiger Lake OpenCL Support On Linux Now Considered Production Ready

    With all the recent work on Intel's open-source compute stack around the vector back-end and GPU code generation with their ISPC compiler there was another significant milestone achieved that went unnoticed until spotting the change a few days ago. 

    The open-source Intel Compute Runtime in the past two weeks now has "production" ready OpenCL support for the forthcoming Gen12 Tiger Lake graphics. That's good news with Tiger Lake laptops expected to market soon. 

  • RADV ACO Back-End Begins Tackling Navi 2 / GFX10.3 Support

    With the "Sienna Cichlid" and "Navy Flounder" open-source driver support as what appear to be the first "Navi 2" GPUs and the first of the "GFX10.3" generation on the graphics engine side there is the initial kernel support with Linux 5.9 and the initial Mesa support for 20.2. That Mesa support has been focused on RadeonSI as the official OpenGL driver as well as Mesa's RADV driver as the Radeon Vulkan driver in-tree but not officially supported by AMD. That RADV support is currently un-tested. Both drivers currently depend upon the "AMDGPU" back-end found in the forthcoming LLVM 11.0 with its initial GFX10.3 support. But now on the RADV driver side there is preliminary GFX10.3 bits landing for the popular "ACO" back-end. 

    ACO is the back-end worked on by Valve and other stakeholders like open-source graphics driver engineers from Google and Red Hat. But as ACO isn't officially supported by AMD, there hasn't been any patches from them in wiring up the Navi 2 / GFX10.3 support for this AMDGPU LLVM alternative. Rhys Perry as part of Valve's Linux driver efforts though has worked out what should be the initial changes needed for this yet-to-be-released hardware with ACO. 

Audiocasts/Shows: mintCast, This Week in Linux and LINUX Unplugged

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • mintCast 340.5 – Will It Blend?

    1:41 Interview with Jason van Gumster
    1:01:48 Feedback
    1:11:03 Check This Out
    1:15:27 Outro

    In our Innards section, we become blender experts with Jason van Gumster’s help.

    And finally, the feedback and a few suggestions.

  • This Week in Linux 111: Linux 5.8, BootHole & GRUB2 Flaws, Firefox 79, JellyFin, Nitrux, & More

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some really cool hardware news, we’ve finally got some Linux laptops equipped with an AMD Ryzen 4000H series processor. These laptops are thanks to Tuxedo Computers and KDE Slimbook. Cooler Master has launched a kickstarter campaign to make a pretty slick Case for the Raspberry Pi 4. We’ve also got a LOT of App News this week with the latest release of the most popular open source email client, Thunderbird 78 from Mozilla. KDE has released version 7.0.0 of digiKam. If you’ve been wanting an open source way to control your RGB lights on your devices then OpenRGB may be the tool for you. And finally, PeerTube has announced the 2.3.0 release that comes with the much anticipated Global Search feature! All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • There’s a Hole in my Boot! | LINUX Unplugged 365

    We explain why BootHole is getting so much attention and break down the key issues. Then we review our favorite Linux-compatible headsets.

Meet The Beautiful Linux App You Need In Your Terminal

Filed under
Linux

There’s no shortage of apps to monitor your PC’s system resources, regardless of the operating system you’re running. But it’s less common to stumble across a piece of software that looks this gorgeous running in a terminal window. Seeing is believing, and I dare you not to fall in love with the unique beauty of Bashtop.

Bashtop is a cross-platform resource monitor for Linux, macOS and FreeBSD. It tracks your PC’s CPU core usage (and per-core temps!), RAM and disk usage (including current read/write speeds), bandwidth consumption and running processes. You can also filter processes and send various kill signals.

It does everything you’d expect a resource monitor to do, and a few things you don’t.

Read more

Flash ISOs to Multiple USB Sticks on Linux with Popsicle

Filed under
Linux

This handy tool, which is written in Rust, lets you write an .iso (or other compatible image file) to more than one USB stick, SD card, or external drive at the same time.

If you’ve been tasked with preparing multiple flash drives for your favorite OS to hand out to attendees at an event or the like then this would certainly be useful.

But even if your needs aren’t as demanding as that being able to prep two installers, e.g., an SD card and a USB stick, to work with two different devices is made easier by this tool.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Plumbers Conference and Kernel Developments in METRICFS, FS-Cache, HWMON

  • Application Ecosystem Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Application Ecosystem Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference! The Linux kernel is the foundation of the Linux systems, but it is not much use without applications that run on top of it. The application experience relies on the kernel for performance, stability and responsiveness. Plumbers is the perfect venue to have the kernel and app ecosystems under one roof to discuss and learn together and make a better application experience on the Linux platform.

  • Google Opens Patches For "METRICFS" That They Have Used Since 2012 For Telemetry Data

    The METRICFS file-system has been in use internally at Google since 2012 for exporting system statistics to their telemetry systems with around 200 statistics being exported per machine. They are now posting the METRICFS patches as open-source for review and possible upstreaming. A "request for comments" on METRICFS was sent out today on the Linux kernel mailing list. Their motives for now finally publishing these patches is as a result of the recent Statsfs proposal by a Red Hat engineer for a RAM-based file-system for exposing kernel statistics to user-space. METRICFS has a similar aim to Statsfs.

  • FS-Cache Rewritten But Even Its Developers Are Hesitant About Landing It For Linux 5.9

    FS-Cache provides the Linux kernel with a general purpose cache for network file-systems like NFS and AFS but also other special use-cases like ISO9660 file-systems. FS-Cache has been rewritten for better performance and reliability, among other benefits, and while it has been sent in as a pull request for Linux 5.9 even its own developers provide some caution over landing it this cycle. FS-Cache has seen work to "massively overhaul" it with a variety of improvements. The new and improved FS-Cache will now use async direct I/O in place of snooping for updated pages that in turn means less virtual memory overhead. The new FS-Cache implementation has simpler object management, changes to object invalidation, and a variety of other work.

  • Corsair Commander Pro Driver Sent In To Linux 5.9

    The hardware monitoring (HWMON) subsystem has a new driver that is likely to excite some enthusiasts wanting greater control over thermal monitoring and fan control for their systems. The previously covered Corsair Commander Pro Linux driver is now coming with Linux 5.9. The Commander Pro offers six 4-pin fan ports with PWM controls, two RGB LED channels, and four thermal sensors. An interested user/developer created this Linux driver without the support from Corsair. The thermal and fan control support is in place with this new HWMON driver while the RGB lighting controls are available from OpenRGB.

Graphics: Mesa 20.1.5, Intel and AMD

  • mesa 20.1.5
    Hi all,
    
    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.5, the fifth bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.
    
    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-08-19.
    
    Cheers,
    Eric
    
    
  • Mesa 20.1.5 Released For The Latest Stable Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.5 provides the latest stable open-source Vulkan/OpenGL graphics drivers for the Linux desktop as the newest bi-weekly milestone. Mesa 20.2 remains under development as this quarter's feature release due out in about one month's time. Mesa 20.2 is running behind schedule as it should have been branched around the end of July but has yet to happen. In any case, more Mesa 20.2 feature work continues to land and more than likely will ship sometime in September. But until that occurs, Mesa 20.1 is the latest stable series.

  • Intel Workaround For Graphics Driver Regression: "The Platform Problem Going Crazy"

    Sent out over the weekend was a patch series for the Intel Linux kernel graphics driver entitled "Time, where did it go?" This set of 42 patches aims to provide incremental improvements to the driver to offset a performance regression in Linux 5.7 that Intel hasn't been able to track down. This increased complication of the driver to offset the regression is now under the microscope. The set of 42 patches by longtime Intel open-source developer Chris Wilson provides incremental improvements to reduce the execution latency. He was upfront that the intent of these improvements are to "basically offsets the small regressions incurred when compared to [Linux kernel] 5.7."

  • RadeonSI Resorts To Disabling SDMA For GFX9/Vega Due To APU Issues

    AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has resorted to disabling SDMA (System DMA) async DMA engine support for all GFX9/Vega hardware due to issues plaguing some APUs. While SDMA has the potential of helping performance, GFX9 (Vega) is now seeing the support disabled due to bugs seeming to only affect APUs. Though it's not entirely surprising as the open-source AMD Radeon Linux driver also is not enabling SDMA at this point for GFX8 (Polaris) or GFX10 (Navi) hardware either. Opened three months ago was the merge request for disabling SDMA on GFX9 and to back-port it to the stable series as well. Longtime AMD open-source developer Marek Olsak noted, "This is somewhat a radical step. All opinions welcome."

Audiocasts/Shows: Destination Linux, FLOSS Weekly, CrowPi and Linux Headlines

           
  • Destination Linux 185: Let’s Fix Linux Tech Support

    On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re transitioning from the topic of Bug Reporting last week to Tech Support in Linux this week. We’re going to check in on Wayland’s progress with Plasma’s new release, we have an sandbox MMO for gaming, and our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

  •                 
  • FLOSS Weekly 590: Rensselaer Center for Open Software - A Community of Open Source Developers

    RCOS is a group of RPI students who work on open-source projects. The goal of RCOS is to empower students to develop open-source solutions to real-world problems. They have created 300+ open source projects over the years. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk with Wes Turner, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source. They discuss teaching open source and the hardships that come along with that, especially with e-learning. They also discuss what the future could look like if we could have more open-source programs like RCOS in other universities.

  •        
  • The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review

    The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review of the kit, usage, and examples. 

  •        
  • 2020-08-05 | Linux Headlines

    LibreOffice 7 dodges its rebranding controversy, the Pinta bitmap editor sees its first new version in 5 years, Red Hat accommodates certification seekers with new pandemic-friendly rules, and ownCloud 10.5 brings background sync changes to the platform.

Gaming on Linux in 2020: Way Better Than You Think

Linux has always been seen as a rather rigid operating system for gaming. Many games used to be unavailable on Linux, and the ones that you could play used to have all sorts of bugs. However, the situation’s not the same anymore with Ubuntu 20.04. The OS is way better for gaming than you may think. In certain situations, games even run better on Linux than on Windows. This is quite impressive so let’s see what lead to Linux’s improvements. Read more Also: Narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory has new teaser trailer