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Phoronix on Graphics

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  • Getting Started With Mesa Development This Weekend

    It seems more and more independent developers are interested in getting involved in Mesa open-source graphics driver development, but aren't really sure where to start or what are some easy tasks to get started.

  • Here's An Ubuntu Kernel Build If You Want To Help Test Nouveau Boost Support

    If you have a NVIDIA GeForce 600/700 "Kepler" graphics card and wish to help out the Nouveau driver developers by testing out the experimental "boost" re-clocking patches covered yesterday on Phoronix thanks to the work by Karol Herbst, here's a 4.5-based Ubuntu kernel build to try out this weekend.

  • Nouveau "Boost" Patches Show Much Performance Potential

    Karol Herbst has been one of the independent developers leading the charge to improve Nouveau re-clocking support. Within his Git tree he's been queuing up re-clocking and voltage handling improvements for this reverse-engineered NVIDIA Linux driver. He's hoping the improved re-clocking code will be ready for the Linux 4.7~4.8 kernel, but I decided to try out his Git tree this week for some benchmarking of this experimental support.

Leftovers: Kernel

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  • Why Zephyr?

    When the Zephyr project was announced in February, many members of the Linux community seemed to find it puzzling. Although Zephyr is hosted by the Linux Foundation, it is an entirely separate operating system that incorporates no Linux code. It also targets small hardware devices—from Arduinos to ARM system-on-chips (SoCs)—even though there are several other open-source OS projects (including Linux for many ARM SoCs) that also address that device class. At the 2016 Embedded Linux Conference in San Diego, the Zephyr team was on hand to make the case for why the new project is necessary and, hopefully, interesting to developers.

  • Highlights from the Embedded Linux Conference

    The annual Embedded Linux Conference happened last Monday through Wednesday (April 4th-6th) in San Diego, with high-level corporate sponsors on the order of Qualcomm and Intel. It is one of the biggest annual Linux conferences in North America, with over 100 different speakers offering technical presentations this year. Let’s look at a couple of the notable aspects of this year’s conference.

  • Is The Linux Kernel Scheduler Worse Than People Realize?

    A number of Phoronix readers have been pointing out material to indicate that the Linux kernel scheduler isn't as good as most people would assume.

    There is this paper entitled The Linux Scheduler: a Decade of Wasted Cores that covers the research done on the Linux kernel's scheduler to indicate it's suboptimal.

The Ars guide to building a Linux router from scratch

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After finally reaching the tipping point with off-the-shelf solutions that can't match increasing speeds available, we recently took the plunge. Building a homebrew router turned out to be a better proposition than we could've ever imagined. With nearly any speed metric we analyzed, our little DIY kit outpaced routers whether they were of the $90- or $250-variety.

Naturally, many readers asked the obvious follow-up—"How exactly can we put that together?" Today it's time to finally pull back the curtain and offer that walkthrough. By taking a closer look at the actual build itself (hardware and software), the testing processes we used, and why we used them, hopefully any Ars readers of average technical abilities will be able to put together their own DIY speed machine. And the good news? Everything is as open source as it gets—the equipment, the processes, and the setup. If you want the DIY router we used, you can absolutely have it. This will be the guide to lead you, step-by-step.

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Linux on Servers

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  • Several CAPI-Enabled Accelerators for OpenPOWER Servers Revealed

    To work, CAPI has to be supported by the hardware, the operating system and the application in use. At present, IBM’s POWER8 CPUs, a number of accelerators, RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.2 LE (and higher), and Ubuntu LE, as well as select programs, support CAPI.

  • Inside The Future Google Rackspace Power9 System

    The OpenPower effort to create an alternative to the Xeon architecture in the datacenter just got a whole lot more real now that hyperscaler Google and cloud builder Rackspace Hosting have agreed to partner on a future server design based on IBM’s future Power9 processor that both companies intend to deploy in their datacenters.


    This is not the first time that Google has ported its software stack to alternative platforms, of course, and McKean was very clear with us last year that Google is always testing out its software on alternative architectures to prevent “bit rot” and keep its options open. But what seems very clear now is that for certain workloads at least, Google is now in position to actually start rolling out its applications on Power. The fun bit about this is that we, as Google users, will never know if it does.

Keeping the Blockchain Open in the Shadow of Tech Giants

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You’ll find it parroted most in the open source community, particularly when Microsoft pulls stunts like their recent “partnering” with canonical to implement an Ubuntu-like Posix environment in Windows Ten. The phrase originates from the DOJ’s findings during the United States v. Microsoft Corp. antitrust case in 2003, as an internal standard for their technology development. Examples of Microsoft’s attempts at this methodology are pervasive in their offerings, including ActiveX and DirectX in the web and graphics software ecosystems, and recently, their involvement with the Linux community.

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Kernel Space: Graphics

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Linux and FOSS Events

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  • Will North Carolina’s HB2 Affect State’s Open Source Conferences?

    At this point, how much effect the continuing economic backlash caused by the North Carolina General Assembly’s passage HB2, otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill,” will have on the state’s two major open source conferences is anybody’s guess. Certainly, the past three weeks have not been good for operators of event venues in North Carolina, nor have they been good for the state’s bean counters, whose job is to make what the General Assembly spends balance with incoming tax revenue, which is certainly taking a hit in at least some counties.

  • Listen to ASF’s Rich Bowen Interview Speakers Before ApacheCon Next Month

    ApacheCon is just a few weeks away, and I, for one, am really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be the best yet. I think that every time, and so far, I've been right.

    We've been doing ApacheCon for more than 15 years now, and it just keeps getting better. This year it will take place May 9-13 in Vancouver, Canada.

  • LinuxFest Northwest 2016 Takes Place April 23-24, in Bellingham, WA, US

    We have some great news for our Linux readers living in the US, as the upcoming LinuxFest Northwest 2016 event is taking place next week, between April 23-24, in Bellingham, WA.

    For those of you not in the known, LinuxFest Northwest is an annual event, targeted at novice, intermediate, and advanced Open Source and Linux enthusiasts, that usually takes place on the last weekend of the month of April, in Bellingham, Washington, United States of America (USA).

Linux Filesystems

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  • My assessment of “btrfs”

    In short: Novelist Stephen Elliott (James Franco) find himself drawn to the high-profile Hans Reiser (Christian Slater) murder trial - a case that brings him closer to his own troubled past with father (Ed Harris). Amber Heard, Wilmer Valderrama and Cynthia Nixon also star. (Watch the trailer)

  • The Adderall Diaries

    While Romanowsky gamely tries to negotiate the same structural tricks as the book, which employed the Reiser case as a base camp from which the author could depart and return, in the film it feels more like a subplot despite the cinematic tricks -- the cross-cutting and slo-mo flashbacks -- that the director uses to try to connect the stories. At times it feels flat, other times risible, and only occasionally do the stories resonate in any kind of harmony.

  • My assessment of “btrfs”

    Short version — I will continue to use “ext4” in future installs.

    Note that this a personal view, not a recommendation. My own choice depends on how I use computers and my practices for backup, recovery, etc. Your practices are likely different. Much of this post will be about my considerations in deciding against “btrfs” for my own use.

[via Susan]

rm -rf {foo}/{bar}

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  • Man accidentally 'deletes his entire company' with one line of bad code

    A man appears to have deleted his entire company with one mistaken piece of code.

    By accidentally telling his computer to delete everything in his servers, hosting provider Marco Marsala has seemingly removed all trace of his company and the websites that he looks after for his customers.

    Mr Marsala wrote on a forum for server experts called Server Fault that he was now stuck after having accidentally run destructive code on his own computers. But far from advising them how to fix it, most experts informed him that he had just accidentally deleted the data of his company and its clients, and in so doing had probably destroyed his entire company with just one line of code.

  • Linux command line mistake nukes web boss' biz

    The owner of a web host has unwittingly deleted his customers data after executing a powerful line of code on his servers.

    Marco Marsala has appealed for help to recover his punters' info after accidentally running a Bash script on his Linux servers via Ansible.

Linux Devices

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  • How To Make A Pocket-sized DIY Linux Computer?

    Raspberry Pi is one of the most loved devices used by electronics DIY-enthusiasts. People have used their Pi to create amazing things like PiPhone, a smart temperature controller, Pirate FM Radio Station and more.

    While OEMs like Apple and Samsung are busy making their notebooks thinner, you can go one step ahead and create a Linux computer packaged into the size of a Nintendo DS.

    This amazing tutorial was originally shared by Chris Robinson from NODE who basically built a miniature laptop with the help of Raspberry Pi 2, QWERTY keyboard, color LCD display, and a battery.

  • Raspberry Pi's VC4 DRM Driver In Linux 4.7 Will Bring DPI Panel Support

    For those making use of DPI panels with the Raspberry Pi but haven't been able to try out the open-source VC4 driver stack rather than the binary blob due to its lack of DPI support, that is changing in Linux 4.7.

    Eric Anholt at Broadcom mailed out his latest DRM-VC4-Next changes for the DRM-Next tree that in turn is being queued up for Linux 4.7. The most prominent change with this -next tree is adding DPI panel support for the VC4 driver. There is also minor bug fixes.

  • Udoo spins $89 quad-core Intel Braswell hacker SBC

    Udoo has surpassed its Kickstarter goal for a “Udoo X86” hacker SBC with a quad-core Braswell SoC, 4GB RAM, and Arduino compatibility via a Curie module.

    Seco’s project has won Kickstarter funding for the Udoo X86, the third community-backed, x86 based hacker-friendly single board computer we’ve seen that’s not backed by Intel or AMD. With its Intel Braswell processor, it appears to also be the fastest x86 hacker board around. Like the Intel MinnowBoard Max and AMD Gizmo 2 boards, but unlike the third-party Jaguar Electronics JaguarBoard and the newly updated UP board from Aaeon, it comes with promises of fully open spec hardware.

  • Fanless Mini-ITX SBC packs high-end Intel Skylake SoCs
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More in Tux Machines

DragonBox Pyra

  • DragonBox Pyra Goes Up For Pre-Order
    It's been a while since last hearing anything about the DragonBox Pyra as an open-source gaming handheld system and successor to OpenPandora...
  • Bitcoin is Now Accepted For DragonBox Pyra Pre-orders
    It is always good to see new merchants accepting Bitcoin payments, as it goes to show businesses want to attract an international clientele. DragonBox, a ship based in Germany, recently started accepting Bitcoin payments for their Pyra computer. A neat little device, which packs quite the punch.
  • DragonBox Pyra pre-orders begin (open Source handheld gaming PC)
    The DragonBox Pyra is a portable computer that looks like a cross between a tiny laptop and a Nintendo DX game console… and it kind of works like a cross between those devices as well. It’s got a 5 inch display, a QWERTY keyboard, the Debian Linux operating system that can handle desktop apps as well as games, and physical gaming buttons.

DragonBox Pyra pre-orders begin (open Source handheld gaming PC)

The DragonBox Pyra is a portable computer that looks like a cross between a tiny laptop and a Nintendo DX game console… and it kind of works like a cross between those devices as well. It’s got a 5 inch display, a QWERTY keyboard, the Debian Linux operating system that can handle desktop apps as well as games, and physical gaming buttons. It’s been under development for several years, and it’s expected to be available for purchase soon for about 500 Euros (plus VAT). But if you want to help fund the developers you can now place a pre-order for 330 Euros and up. Read more

today's leftovers

  • How Linux Frustrated Me Into Loving It
    I have been very interested in Linux since my entry into the Wonderful World of Unix in 2006. I found Ubuntu and installed it on a crappy Dell desktop computer I was given when I was doing online schooling. The computer originally came with Windows, and one day while I was browsing, I decided to search for “alternative to Windows.” Linux popped up right away. I had never heard of Linux before, but after voraciously reading article after article, I decided Linux was the path for my future.
  • HP Chromebook 13 is a business-focused Chrome OS laptop with USB-C
    In the grand scheme of things, Chrome OS is hardly a major player from a desktop market share perspective -- for now. With that said, the Linux-based operating system has captured the hearts and minds of many consumers. It has matured quite a bit too, becoming a viable Windows alternative for home users. Actually, it is a great choice for some businesses too -- depending on needs, of course.
  • Summary: Linux Scheduler: A decade of wasted cores - Part 1 - What is NUMA ?
    Last month, a research paper with title 'The Linux Scheduler: a Decade of Wasted Cores' was trending on the front page of HN. As an individual who is interested in Systems, I thought it would be good idea to read this 16 page research paper. I spent a good amount of time learning about different topics which were involved in it. This is the first post in the series in which I will try to summarize the paper.
  • Vulkan 1.0.12 Specification Update Adds VK_AMD_rasterization_order
  • GTK+ 3.22 Is Working On An OpenGL Renderer & Scene Graph
    Matthias Clasen of Red Hat has written an update about changes to GNOME's GTK+ tool-kit for the 3.20 cycle but he also mentions some of the exciting work that's brewing for GNOME/GTK+ 3.22. Clasen's latest blog post covers some of the recent internal changes to GTK+ CSS, theme changes, various changes facing application developers, and more. Those interested about the GTK+ tooling changes can read the blog post.
  • Bunsenlabs Rc2
  • April is almost gone
    The second one was the release of pre-release isos of Mageia 6 and OpenMandriva Lx 3. I must say that both distros are doing a great job; the systems performed so well that they did not seem beta versions to me. I did not like Plasma 5, though... I am sure the KDE team is doing a great work, but I truly do not see what the point of this tablet-ready interface is. After all, KDE missed the tablet train (the Vivaldi tablet never saw the light of the day) and tablets are already in decline...
  • New BlackArch Linux version released, now provides 1400 pentesting tools
    BlackArch Linux version 2016.04.28 released for ethical hackers and security researchers with 1400 pentesting tools
  • Manjaro 16.06 - third preview released
    It took us almost another month to prepare this third preview of our upcoming stable release we call Daniella. The Xfce edition remains our flagship offering and has received the attention it deserves. Few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience. We ship Xfce 4.12 with this release of Manjaro. We mainly focused on polishing the user experience on the desktop and window manager, and on updating some components to take advantage of newly available technologies such as switching to a new theme called Maia, we already using for our KDE edition.
  • IoT Past and Present: The History of IoT, and Where It's Headed Today [Ed: just devices with a network stack. Nothing new.]
  • 1btn – an Open Source Dash
    The availability of cheap radios, omni-present WiFi and powerful web services means the IoT wave is here to stay. Amazon got into the act with its “do only one thing” Dash button. But a more interesting solution would be an IoT “do it all” button.
  • No Time to Panic as One Quarter Shows Minor Dip in Smartphone Sales - Total Smartphone Market Will Grow This Year (and here's why)
    We now have the Q1 numbers from Strategy Analytics and IDC, the two last remaining of the classic four big smartphone industry analyst houses we used on this blog to calculate the industry average of the total market size, back when the 'smartphone bloodbath' started six years ago. And both SA and IDC are in exceptional, near-perfect agreement on the exact size of the market, we get a total smartphone market for Q1 at 334.8 Million units. That is down 18% from the Christmas sales Quarter (normal that Q1 is down) but for the first time ever in this industry, the YEAR-ON-YEAR comparison of Q1, so the January-March quarter last year 2015 vs now, is down. This has not happened in the smartphone industry in any YoY period. And some are now talking about 'peak smartphone'. That number COULD be a signal that smartphone industry growth has stalled and now peaked and smartphone sales will either plateau flat, or decline into the next year(s).
  • GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha Released With ZFS File-System Support, MATE 1.12
    The first alpha release was made available this weekend of GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha 1, a desktop focused operating system built atop FreeBSD 10.3.
  • 3D Printer Crowdfunding projects
    Like every Kickstarter project, there is a risk. But I think that Trinus appears to be a good project, we need to wait to the launch and review a real machine to know if it worth it. Also, the Youtube Channel Maker’s Muse, made a review of the project and the company Konama, creators of Trinus, sent him a the 3d printer and he currently makes the review of this printer that pledged more then 1 million dollars on KickStarter.
  • Refactoring the open-source photography community
    Generally speaking, most free-software communities tend to form around specific projects: a distribution, an application, a tightly linked suite of applications, and so on. Those are the functional units in which developers work, so it is a natural extension from there to focused mailing lists, web sites, IRC channels, and other forms of interaction with each other and users. But there are alternatives. At Libre Graphics Meeting 2016 in London, Pat David spoke about his recent experience bringing together a new online community centered around photographers who use open-source software. That community crosses over between several applications and libraries, and it has been successful enough that multiple photography-related projects have shut down their independent user forums and migrated to the new site, PIXLS.US.
  • DIY recycling, UCONN's open source chemistry book, and more news

Leftovers: Software