As night follows the day, so too do Linux Mint launches follow Ubuntu releases. Linux Mint is a project which puts together a desktop-oriented distribution based on Ubuntu packages. The Linux Mint project tends to take a more practical and conservative approach to crafting a desktop operating system when compared to Ubuntu. While Ubuntu experiments with the Unity desktop, servers, cloud computing and mobile devices, the Mint team stays focused on producing a familiar, user-friendly, multimedia-enabled desktop solution. Starting with their most recent release, Linux Mint 17, the Mint team has announced they will be adjusting their release cycle, basing all Linux Mint releases on the most recent Ubuntu long term support release. This should make for a more stable platform and a more relaxed release cycle.
In today's open source roundup: Linux Mint 17 Xfce and KDE RC released. Plus: Deepin 2014 RC released, and a review of Linux Mint 17 MATE by DistroWatch
Where Windows has utilities, Linux has tweak tools. And whether you're a Linux pro or a recent refugee from Windows XP, they can help you makeA Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" (the latest and greatest offering from Linux distro pioneer Canonical) really start to feel like home.
Customizability has long been one of Linux's most compelling features--particularly when compared with proprietary alternatives such as Windows and OS X--but the tweak tools out there today let you refine the OS even further. And if you're making the migration to Linux on your workplace PCs, tweak tools can help ease the transition.
At the end of 2013 I've spend 2 full months working on getting XHCI streams support and the UAS driver in the Linux kernel, which uses streams into shape. With the release of the 3.15 kernel this work now is available for end users to use.
This is good news for anyone who cares about performance of USB connected harddisks / ssds. The old usb mass-storage protocol is well known for its poor performance. UAS however allows NCQ and thus allows effectively using the full USB-3 bandwidth. If you've an UAS capable harddisk enclosure then all you need is a 3.15 kernel build with the UAS driver enabled and you should instantly get better performance. Note that most harddisk enclosures, including USB-3 enclosures do not support UAS, so if you want to use UAS double check before buying a harddisk enclosure.
Cubicle OS is a rather new operating system and it shows, especially from the way it's built. The developer chose to implement GNOME as the default desktop environment, but it looks like he didn't bother to customize it too much.
In fact, this is a rather odd operating system and it even seems that the developer is planning to make some money with it in the near future. At least this is what we can determine from his website.
With the Linux 3.16 kernel comes the ability to re-clock select NVIDIA GeForce GPUs when using the open-source, reverse-engineered Nouveau driver. Here's my first impressions with trying out this option to maximize the performance of NVIDIA graphics cards on open-source drivers.
As explained previously, the GPUs where Nouveau in Linux 3.16 will support re-clocking are the NV40, NVAA, and NVE0 GPU series. The NV40 chip family is the GeForce 6 and 7 series. The NVAA series meanwhile is part of the NV50 family but consists of just the GeForce 8100/8200/8300 mobile GPUs / nForce 700a series and 8200M G. NVE0 meanwhile is the most interesting of the bunch and consists of the Kepler (GeForce 600/700 series) GPUs. Re-clocking support for other graphics processor generations is still a work-in-progress.
A “Steamboy” handheld gaming console teased in a video appears to be the first portable Steam Machine to emerge for Valve’s Linux-based Steam OS platform.
A Steamboy Project site registered under a Steamboy Machine copyright posted a teaser video of what looks to be the first handheld console form-factor Steam Machine (see farther below). The video shows a handheld device with a screen in the middle that resembles a cross between the now-delayed Valve Steam Controller and a Sony PlayStation Vita device.
The IFC6410 Pico-ITX board is a tiny computer-on-a-board powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One M7 smartphones. It sells for $149 and it’s aimed at developers, hobbyists, and others interested in testing their hardware or software designs… but thanks to a few recent developments, you can also use the IFC6410 as a small, inexpensive desktop computer.
It’s now possible to run Ubuntu 14.04, Fedora 20, or other desktop operating systems based on Linux on the little developer board.
The new KDE Plasma 5 Beta 2 that was released only a few days ago can be tested in Kubuntu 14.04 LTS with a just a minimum of effort.
The KDE developers are preparing to release the final version of Pasma 5, the replacement of the current desktop that is being used by KDE. It's still in the Beta stages, but the final version is close. The good news is that you can now test it in Kubuntu 14.04 LTS.
Last week, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced its plan to build a revolutionary new type of computer called The Machine. And here's what makes it truly revolutionary, in all senses of the word: The Machine will run an open source operating system developed in universities, as well as Linux and Android.
So it's been two weeks since the merge window opened, and rc1 is out
there and thus the merge window is closed.
It may have been a slightly unusual two week merge window, in that
it's only one week since the release of 3.15 and the first week
overlapped with the last -rc for that previous release, but that
doesn't seem to have affected development much. Things look normal,
and if anything, this is one of the bigger release windows rather than
on the smaller side. It's not quite as big as the merge window for
3.15, but it's actually not that far off.
It also looks fairly usual from a statistics standpoint: about two
thirds of the changes are to drivers (and one third of *that* is to
staging), and half of the remainder is architecture updates (with arm
dominating, dts files leading - but there's mips, powerpc, x86 and
arm64 there too).
Outside of drivers and architecture updates, there's the usual mixture
of changes elsewhere: filesystems (mainly reiserfs, xfs, btrfs, nfs),
networking, "core" kernel (mm, locking, scheduler, tracing), and
tooling (perf and power, also new self-tests).
Also as usual, the shortlog is much too big to be generally useful and
posted as part of this announcement, but you can obviously look at the
details in git. I'm posting the "mergelog" as usual, which I think is
a slightly better way to see the high-level picture. And as usual, it
credits not the people who necessarily wrote the code, but the
submaintainers that sent it to me. For real credits, see the git tree.
Go forth and test,
Android has been with us in one form or another for more than six years. During that time, we've seen an absolutely breathtaking rate of change unlike any other development cycle that has ever existed. When it came time for Google to dive in to the smartphone wars, the company took its rapid-iteration, Web-style update cycle and applied it to an operating system, and the result has been an onslaught of continual improvement. Lately, Android has even been running on a previously unheard of six-month development cycle, and that's slower than it used to be. For the first year of Android’s commercial existence, Google was putting out a new version every two-and-a-half months.
It is hard to keep up with the weather at times. If you are living in a place where the weather is unpredictable, knowing if it is going to rain or not makes a huge difference to you. That's why you need to keep yourself updated about the weather from time to time.
If you are using Ubuntu or other Linux distro, this isn't hard to do. Linux offers a plethora of options for users to keep an eye on the weather. Here is a selection of some of the best weather applications for your Linux desktop.
Windows XP is dead. Some people may not be aware of this fact but I'm telling you now "That parrot is dead".
Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8th 2014 but what does end of support mean? Does it mean it doesn't work anymore?
Actually, Windows XP will continue to work perfectly well for quite some time but the trouble is that any remaining security holes will remain unplugged and that leaves a huge opportunity for the cyber criminals to exploit any individual or organisation that remains on that platform.
Also: Announcing Lubuntu Week
For some tests the performance doesn't deviate much between Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD given that both have a similar user-land. For our many source-based computational tests, the main factor to point out is that both GNU/Linux and GNU/kFreeBSD versions of 7.5 Wheezy have GCC 4.7 while the latest testing versions of these open-source operating systems are using the GCC 4.8 stable series.
One area on the Linux desktop that remains surprisingly conservative is email – email clients and webmail alike. While most if not all of the formats and protocols used are true open standards, you would think there could be a broad range of clients and webmails for Linux out there. Let me correct that: webmails are in a league of their own and I will not enter the webmail vs. email clients discussion. Many things are changing in that field, but one must differentiate between the actual email service, like GMail, your corporate mail, the webmail software (Roundcube, Horde, Citadel, Squirrel, etc.), the groupware platform (Kolab, Blue Mind, OBM, eGroupWare, and many others) and what lands and gets edited, if you’ve chosen so, in your email client, meaning the actual software program running distinctly from your web browser and handling anything from emails to calendars and contacts. Today I will focus on the email clients on the Linux desktop. I do not pretend that my list is exhaustive; it is but a personal selection; I have also excluded email client such as Mutt, mu4e, VM, RMail, Ner, Wanderlust, etc. as I will only be speaking of graphical email clients on Linux, at least the ones I’ve tried.
While users were uncertain at first about the concept of using a Web-based operating system, Chrome OS morphed into something far more usable and appealing to the average computer user since it was first released in 2009. Not only are computer users more comfortable with accessing cloud applications and storing their data in the cloud, but Google has added a number of features that make it convenient to use Chrome OS productively.
Two years ago, Samsung made the first great Chromebook. It was thin, and light, and had good battery life, but most of all it was a different kind of computer. Chrome OS wasn’t like Windows, which can do absolutely everything on earth including a laundry list of things that only confuse and overwhelm most users. It was designed to be simple, functional, and focused. “It’s just a web browser” wasn’t a problem, it was progress.
As Samsung releases its successor, the Chromebook 2, things have changed. Cheap laptops can be even thinner, even faster, even more powerful, even longer-lasting; the Chromebook 2 is all four. The opportunity has grown, too: these 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch laptops enter a market in which most of what most people do all day lives inside a web browser anyway. We can do basic word processing and number-crunching with Google Docs or Office Online; we store all our files in Dropbox or OneDrive. Chrome OS feels more native than ever, but in a very real way we’ve caught up to Google’s vision more than it’s caught up to us.