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Linux

A web browser for the Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Linux
Web

As I previously mentioned, Collabora has been working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation on various projects including a web browser optimised for the Raspberry Pi.
Since the first beta release we have made huge improvements; now the browser is more responsive, it’s faster, and videos work much better (the first beta could play 640×360 videos at 0.5fps, now we can play 25fps 1280×720 videos smoothly). Some web sites are still a bit slow (if they are heavy on the JavaScript side), but there’s not much we can do for web sites that, even on my laptop with an Intel Core i7, use 100% of one of the cores for more than ten seconds.

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Black Lab Linux 5.1 Released

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Linux

Today we are pleased to release the next in the 5 series of Black Lab Linux. Black Lab Linux 5.1 contains many updates, new features and enhancements to the Black Lab Linux distribution.

Since this is an incremental release we are also making it available for download immediately instead of waiting the 30 day period in where we normally deliver it.

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Ten Linux Desktops Showing Just How Far Behind Mac OS X and Windows Designs Are

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Linux doesn't have any kind of PR, and in the collective mind of the people, there is still an impression that Linux users spend their time inside the terminal and in dreary desktops. In fact, most of the current Linux desktops are much better than anything made by Apple of Microsoft.

When a new operating system is launched from Microsoft or Apple, it stays pretty much the same as long as it's supported, and even when updates are released, the desktops change very little. On the other hand, Linux developers are pushing the boundaries of what can be done in an operating system every day, and new ideas and applications that enhance the desktop experience are popping up all the time, regardless of the OS devs are doing on their front.

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Matching databases to Linux distros

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server

Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) aren’t the sort of thing to get most folk out of bed in the morning – unless, of course, you happen to think they’re one of the most brilliant concepts ever dreamed up.

These days you can’t sneeze without someone turning it into a table value in a database somewhere - and in combination with the freely available Linux operating system, there’s no end to them.

Most Linux distros make it almost trivial to add popular DBMSs to your system, such as MySQL and MariaDB, by bundling them in for free in their online app stores. But how do you tell which combination - which Linux distro and which DBMS - will give you the best performance?

This week we've revved up the Labs servers to ask the question: what level of performance do you get from OS repository-sourced DBMSs?

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The Curious Case of Raspberry Pi Consumerism

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

I find the attitude of many within the Raspberry Pi community to be strange and offensive.

I first discovered this odd phenomenon (odd because it contradicts the ethos of the project's academic foundations) back when it first started, as many within the Raspberry Pi community took an extremely hostile attitude toward academic freedom, apparently in defence of various parties' highly dubious intellectual monopolies (Broadcom and MPEG-LA, for example).

I pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of their attitude at the time, explaining that they were more than happy to leech Free (as in freedom) Software for their own benefit, but then balked at the prospect of freely sharing the results, and in particular this contradicted their stated academic goal of facilitating better computer education in UK schools, an environment that rightly demands open access to knowledge.

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Google Chrome 38 Beta Brings New Guest Mode and Easier Incognito Mode Switching

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The developers have explained that the user switching feature has been redesigned and it will make changing profiles and into the incognito mode a lot simple. They have also added a new experimental Guest mode, a new experimental UI for Chrome supervised users has been implemented, and numerous under-the-hood changes have been made for stability and performance.

"This release adds support for the new
element thanks to the hard work of community contributor Yoav Weiss, who was able to dedicate his time to implementing this feature in multiple rendering engines because of a successful crowd-funding campaign that raised more than 50% of its funding goal."

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Linux 3.17-rc3

Filed under
Linux

I'm back to the usual Sunday release schedule, and -rc3 is out there
now. As expected, it is larger than rc2, since people are clearly
getting back from their Kernel Summit travels etc. But happily, it's
not *much* larger than rc2 was, and there's nothing particularly odd
going on, so I'm going to just ignore the whole "it's summer"
argument, and hope that things are just going that well.

Please don't prove me wrong,

Linus

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Revisiting How We Put Together Linux Systems

Filed under
Linux

Traditional Linux distributions are built around packaging systems like RPM or dpkg, and an organization model where upstream developers and downstream packagers are relatively clearly separated: an upstream developer writes code, and puts it somewhere online, in a tarball. A packager than grabs it and turns it into RPMs/DEBs. The user then grabs these RPMs/DEBs and installs them locally on the system. For a variety of uses this is a fantastic scheme: users have a large selection of readily packaged software available, in mostly uniform packaging, from a single source they can trust. In this scheme the distribution vets all software it packages, and as long as the user trusts the distribution all should be good. The distribution takes the responsibility of ensuring the software is not malicious, of timely fixing security problems and helping the user if something is wrong.

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Linux has run out of time - I looked into the trap, Jim

Filed under
Linux

Is Word better than LibreOffice Writer or is LibreOffice Writer better than Word? Is Android better than Apple? Were Nirvana better than Pearl Jam? Which were better "The Beatles" or "The Rolling Stones"?

Microsoft Word has a lot of flaws that people seem to gloss over. Bullets and numbering for instance are just random. The fonts change, the numbering changes, the indentation changes and for no apparent reason.

The Microsoft ribbon bars have surely just been added to sell training courses because there is no way they are better than menus, toolbars and keyboard shortcuts. Everything we have been used to for 20 years all switched around for no seemingly good reason. I don't like it when my local supermarket rearranges all the shelves for no apparent reason either. If you want a ribbon bar then there is always Kingsoft Office.

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The state of Android updates: Who’s fast, who’s slow, and why

Filed under
Android
Linux

Android 4.4, KitKat was released on October 31, 2013, or at least, that's what you can say about one device: the Nexus 5. For the rest of the ecosystem, the date you got KitKat—if you got KitKat—varied wildly depending on your device, OEM, and carrier.

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Android Leftovers

GNOME Shell vs. KDE Plasma Graphics Tests On Wayland vs. X.Org Server

A premium member this week had requested some benchmarks of openSUSE Tumbleweed when looking at the performance of KDE Plasma vs. GNOME Shell in some open-source graphics/gaming tests while also looking at the Wayland vs. X.Org Server performance. With KDE Plasma 5.12 that openSUSE Tumbleweed has picked up, there is much better Wayland session support compared to previous releases. While KDE developers aren't yet ready to declare their Wayland session the default, in my experience so far it's been working out very well but still routinely will find application crashes in Kate and the like when testing under the KWin's Wayland compositor. Read more

Stable kernels 4.15.6, 4.14.22, 4.9.84, 4.4.118 and 3.18.96

Android Leftovers