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Linux

Orange Pi SBC tempts Raspberry Pi clone fans

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Linux

“Orange Pi,” a new hacker SBC and RPi clone, is available in two models using Allwinner’s dual-core A20 SoC, and a third model that’s based on the quad-core A31.

Just in time for our upcoming year-end hacker SBC roundup, Shenzhen Xunlong Software unveiled an Orange Pi board that shares a number of characteristics with the Raspberry Pi Model B+, and many more with the $50 Banana Pi RPi clone.

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Linux bloated? Think again

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GNU
Linux

When I first started using Linux, back in the mid-late nineties, a typical Linux installation was roughly four to five CDs and wound up installing applications geared toward scientists, programmers, HAM radio operators, and more. The kernel was built for a small sub-section of hardware it actually had support for (which included a lot of hardware most people didn't have). The typical resources needed to run Linux were quite small. The first machine I ran Linux on was a Pentium II 75 Mhz processor with 56 MB of RAM and an unsupported WinModem (which was eventually swapped out for a US Robotics 36.6 external modem).

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China’s ‘home-made’ operating system isn’t home made at all, but maybe that’s OK

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GNU
Linux

Like most governments, China’s has long been concerned about the security vulnerabilities that may come with using software developed in other countries. The biggest problem: PC operating systems in government buildings are almost universally run on Windows. For years, China has been trying to create a domestic alternative. Yesterday, the latest alpha build of its decade-in-the-making Kylin operating system went up for download.

According to Techweb, this latest version of Ubuntu Kylin – the version of Kylin that’s being designed for use by the public – still contains serious bugs, and important parts of the OS have not been translated into Chinese.

In fact, whether Kylin is even a Chinese operating system at all is debatable, although the Chinese media continues to describe the project as “home-grown.”

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The Curious Case of the Disappearing Distros

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GNU
Linux

"Linux is a big game now, with billions of dollars of profit, and it's the best thing since sliced bread, but corporations are taking control, and slowly but systematically, community distros are being killed," said Google+ blogger Alessandro Ebersol. "Linux is slowly becoming just like BSD, where companies use and abuse it and give very little in return."

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Come On! The Year Of GNU/Linux On The Desktop Was Ages Ago. Now We’re Mopping Up.

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GNU
Linux

Chromebooks are killing iPads and Wintel PCs in USAian education. Even PhotoShop ships for them. Every major OEM of PCs is shipping ChromeOS which is Chrome browser embedded on GNU/Linux. There are moves to integrate the rampant Android/Linux, too, with ChromeOS. We’ve won, beyond our wildest dreams and rather quickly too. It was only 7 years ago that Android was a gleam in Google’s eyes but they sold a billion copies last year.

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Mozilla and KDDI Launch First Firefox OS Smartphone in Japan

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Linux
Moz/FF

Mozilla, the mission-based organization dedicated to promoting openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web, is excited to announce that KDDI will release the first Firefox OS smartphone in Japan, just in time for the holidays.

KDDI announced at a press conference in Tokyo today that the newest Firefox OS smartphone, Fx0, goes on sale in Japan on Dec. 25. Fx0 is the first high-spec Firefox OS smartphone with the latest Firefox OS update inside.

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Teaching Linux in the Dark

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GNU
Linux

Did I tell him it was Linux? Did I give him the party line on freedom-as-in-beer-and-code? No. I didn’t tell him anything except I was going to fix his computer.

When the install was done, I imported his IE bookmarks into Firefox and loaded his music and pictures into the appropriate directories. I did not set him up with multiple desktops, nor did I blingify his desktop. He wanted to play his online games with his friends, he wanted to check his bank account from time to time and he wanted to access his Yahoo email account. That’s all. Oh…and he wanted to play World of Goo. It’s his new and favorite obsession.

It took me all of one and a half hours to get him fixed and out the door.

In the years I’ve been doing this, it’s only been recently that I’ve learned an extremely important lesson. Not everyone needs to be saved from one entity and changed to another. Not everyone wants or needs to know the important philosophical truths about free open source software. Sometimes, people just want their computers to do what they tell them to do and in the shortest and most simple way possible. The end result was a happy friend and a neighborhood computer I will not have to fix for a long time.

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Quadcopter drone packs first all-Linux APM autopilot

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Linux

Erle Robotics launched a ROS-enabled, open source “Erie-brain” autopilot that runs APM directly on Linux. The device also powers an “Erle-copter” drone.

Over the last year, Spanish firm Erle Robotics S.L. has been working with 3DRobotics to develop an open source BeaglePilot autopilot for drones that can run Linux on 3DR’s popular, Arduino-based APM (ArduPilot Mega) platform. The APM Linux port was developed by both companies, as well as several academic institutions. The BeagleBone-based “Erle-brain” autopilot is built into the $490-and-up Erle-copter quadcopter.

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Linux Deepin 2014.2 RC Is Simply a Mind-Blowing OS – Screenshot Tour

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Linux

Deepin, a Linux distribution that tries to provide users with a unique, stable, fast, safe, and user-friendly desktop experience based on the latest HTML5 technologies, has been upgraded to version 2014.2 RC and is ready for testing.

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Why You Should Switch to Ubuntu MATE Edition

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

When I first came to Linux, I gravitated to KDE and then later on, early GNOME. Back then, these desktop environments were designed mostly to provide a usable X environment from which to use Linux compatible applications. Today, however, our need for a desktop environment is more varied. Some individuals prefer to have a desktop experience that is rich, full of nice effects and looks great. Others still, prefer a desktop experience that provides a simple, hassle free interface.

My own desktop needs, reflecting on the ideas above, have also evolved. I went from wanting a fancy, slick GUI desktop over to leaning with a lighter weight desktop. XFCE started off as my go-to lightweight desktop preference, while keeping Gnome 3 around on another machine because it was fun to use.

After a lot of recent thought and reflection, I have decided to commit full time to a "no frills" desktop environment. My desktop of choice: MATE on Ubuntu.

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Ryzen 7 2700X CPUFreq Scaling Governor Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

With this week's Ryzen 5 2600X + Ryzen 7 2700X benchmarks some thought the CPUFreq scaling driver or rather its governors may have been limiting the performance of these Zen+ CPUs, so I ran some additional benchmarks this weekend. Those launch-day Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X Ubuntu Linux benchmarks were using the "performance" governor, but some have alleged that the performance governor may now actually hurt AMD systems... Ondemand, of course, is the default CPUFreq governor on Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions. Some also have said the "schedutil" governor that makes use of the kernel's scheduler utilization data may do better on AMD. So I ran some extra benchmarks while changing between CPUFreq's ondemand (default), performance (normally the best for performance, and what was used in our CPU tests), schedutil (the newest option), and powersave (if you really just care about conserving power). Read more