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Linux Foundation LFCE: Hugues Clouâtre

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Linux
Interviews

I started using Linux and open source software professionally at the beginning of my IT career while attending university. I found the simplicity and flexibility of Linux quite interesting, especially compared to the mainstream operating systems at that time (2004). Red Hat and Debian were the first Linux distributions I used in a business environment. Linux gives you the freedom to experiment -- it got me interested right away.

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GNU/Linux vs. Unix: What's the difference?

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OS
GNU
Linux

If you are a software developer in your 20s or 30s, you've grown up in a world dominated by Linux. It has been a significant player in the data center for decades, and while it's hard to find definitive operating system market share reports, Linux's share of data center operating systems could be as high as 70%, with Windows variants carrying nearly all the remaining percentage. Developers using any major public cloud can expect the target system will run Linux. Evidence that Linux is everywhere has grown in recent years when you add in Android and Linux-based embedded systems in smartphones, TVs, automobiles, and many other devices.

Even so, most software developers, even those who have grown up during this venerable "Linux revolution" have at least heard of Unix. It sounds similar to Linux, and you've probably heard people use these terms interchangeably. Or maybe you've heard Linux called a "Unix-like" operating system.

So, what is this Unix? The caricatures speak of wizard-like "graybeards" sitting behind glowing green screens, writing C code and shell scripts, powered by old-fashioned, drip-brewed coffee. But Unix has a much richer history beyond those bearded C programmers from the 1970s. While articles detailing the history of Unix and "Unix vs. Linux" comparisons abound, this article will offer a high-level background and a list of major differences between these complementary worlds.

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Linux 4.17 RC6

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Linux
  • Linux 4.17-rc6

    Things continue to be fairly calm. There's a couple of commits in here that
    aren't "trivial few-liners", but most of it really is pretty small. And in
    fact, a quarter of the full patch for the week is tooling - and the bulk of
    that is the testing subdirectory.

    In fact, drivers are in the minority here, because another 30% is arch
    updates (arm, s390, x86), and we even have more lines of filesystem fixes
    than we have driver fixes (admittedly mostly due to a few of the
    more-than-a-few-liner patches being to filesystems: afs and btrfs).

    We do have a few driver fixes (all over - hwmon, usb, sound, acpi, gpu),
    but it's all really small.

    So nothing special to report. Go read the shortlog, pull the changes,
    build, and test. It should all be good and pretty stable by this point.

    Linus

  • Linux 4.17-rc6 Kernel Released As Another "Fairly Calm" Release

    Linux 4.17 is up to its sixth weekly release candidate ahead of the official release expected by mid-June.

Raspberry Pi Series Part 4: Ten Raspberry Pi Linux Distributions To Get You Going In 2018

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Linux

The Raspberry Pi informs you everything you need to know about the Raspberry Pi. In this article, we feature Ten Linux distributions for your Raspberry Pi in 2018. If you thought it is only Raspbian we have for Pi, take a look.

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Linux 4.16.10, 4.14.42, and 4.9.101

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Linux

Steam Controller Kernel Driver Is Landing In The Linux 4.18 Kernel

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Linux

The Linux 4.18 kernel will feature the initial Steam Controller kernel driver that works without having to use the Steam client or using third-party user-space applications like the SC-Controller application.

A few months back we reported on a kernel driver being worked on for the Steam Controller by an independent user/developer outside of the gates of Valve. In part through reverse-engineering, Rodrigo Rivas Costa has been working on this native Steam Controller Linux kernel driver that works for both USB cable and wireless modes of the Steam Controller and is a proper HID driver.

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Video of AsteroidOS

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OS
Android
Linux

Cinnamon Desktop Spices Up RoboLinux Raptor

Filed under
GNU
Linux

RoboLinux is a unique distro that focuses on incorporating Windows versions XP through 10 within a fully functional Linux operating system. You might never need the Stealth VM features that let you easily install and run Microsoft Windows within most any Linux distro. Still, RoboLinux is a topnotch general purpose Linux computing platform that comes with a choice of leading desktop environments. RoboLinux creates a cloned Drive C from a Windows partition and installs your favorite Windows version with all of your costly Windows software running in a virtual machine.

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Linux fragmentation - The Sum of All Egos

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GNU
Linux

If Tom Clancy had been a technophile of the software kind, he'd have used this title instead of the familiar one for one of his iconic blockbuster thrillers. The thing is, Linux accounts for a tiny percentage of the overall desktop market share. The perennial 1% has been around roughly since 2005, and even if the actual share is higher than that, it's still a small and largely insignificant fraction. And yet, there are hundreds of Linux distributions populating this narrow, crowded arena. Why? Well, ego, of course.

One might say: open source. Ah, well, the open-source nature of Linux has been the chief excuse to the colorful abundance of replication and duplication of the Linux desktop world, while at the same time serving as the main catalyst to the expansion of Linux in the commercial space, which makes for a dubious cause. I believe the reason is different. Let me tell you what it is.

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Purism/PureOS Development Updates

Filed under
GNU
Linux
GNOME
  • virtual-keyboard: Add new virtual keyboard protocol
  • Purism Is Proposing A Virtual Keyboard Protocol For Wayland

    Purism's Dorota Czaplejewicz has been active within the Wayland community recently as they work on their Librem 5 phone Wayland compositor and Phosh shell for this software stack and iMX8 hardware they hope to begin shipping next year.

    On behalf of Purism, Dorota's latest Wayland work is proposing a new virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland. This allows for the emulation of keyboards by applications and complements the existing input-method protocol. The new virtual-keyboard protocol is based upon the Wayland keyboard specification but with support for seat bindings and dropping serials.

  • Introducing Calls

    Arguably the most critical functionality in a phone is the ability to make and receive calls through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), that is normal cellular calls using phone numbers. While at Purism we are eager to implement communication systems that enable much greater privacy and security than one can expect from PSTN calls, the PSTN is still the most ubiquitous network and for the time being we can’t very well go around selling a phone that isn’t able to make PSTN calls.⁰

    My task has been to develop a dialer and call handler for PSTN calls. Like all of our work on the Librem 5, this is intended to make use of existing code wherever possible and also target the GNOME platform which our PureOS defaults to. There is currently no GNOME PSTN dialer so we intend to contribute our program to the GNOME project.

  • Purism Introduces Its Telepathy-Using GTK3-Based Phone Dialer Plans

    Purism has formally introduced "Calls", its GTK3-based PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone dialing application that it hopes will be accepted into the upstream GNOME project. Purism plans to develop this phone dialer using GNOME's Telepathy framework but for now is using a simple oFono back-end.

    Calls is the new program Purism is developing to make and receive conventional telephone calls for supporting their default GNOME-based software stack being developed for the Purism 5 smartphone.

    While Telepathy is controversial among even GNOME developers, they are pursuing this framework for their phone call application as it will also support SIP calls and other features provided by the GNOME framework.

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Android Leftovers

Graphics: XWayland and Mesa

  • XWayland Gets Patches For Better EGLStreams Handling
    While the recently released X.Org Server 1.20 has initial support for XWayland with EGLStreams so X11 applications/games on Wayland can still benefit from hardware acceleration, in its current state it doesn't integrate too well with Wayland desktop compositors wishing to support it. That's changing with a new patch series.
  • Intel Mesa Driver Finally Supports Threaded OpenGL
    Based off the Gallium3D "mesa_glthread" work for threaded OpenGL that can provide a measurable win in some scenarios, the Intel i965 Mesa driver has implemented this support now too. Following the work squared away last year led in the RadeonSI driver, the Intel i965 OpenGL driver supports threaded OpenGL when the mesa_glthread=true environment variable is set.
  • Geometry & Tessellation Shaders For Mesa's OpenGL Compatibility Context
    With the recent Mesa 18.1 release there is OpenGL 3.1 support with the ARB_compatibility context for the key Gallium3D drivers, but Marek Olšák at AMD continues working on extending that functionality under the OpenGL compatibility context mode.
  • Mesa Begins Its Transition To Gitlab
    Following the news from earlier this month that FreeDesktop.org would move its infrastructure to Gitlab, the Mesa3D project has begun the process of adopting this Git-centered software.

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04: Make yourself at GNOME. Cup of data-slurping dispute, anyone?

Comment Ubuntu 18.04, launched last month, included a new Welcome application that runs the first time you boot into your new install. The Welcome app does several things, including offering to opt you out of Canonical's new data collection tool. The tool also provides a quick overview of the new GNOME interface, and offers to set up Livepatch (for kernel patching without a reboot). In my review I called the opt-out a ham-fisted decision, but did note that if Canonical wanted to actually gather data, opt-out was probably the best choice. Read more

How CERN Is Using Linux and Open Source

CERN really needs no introduction. Among other things, the European Organization for Nuclear Research created the World Wide Web and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator, which was used in discovery of the Higgs boson. Tim Bell, who is responsible for the organization’s IT Operating Systems and Infrastructure group, says the goal of his team is “to provide the compute facility for 13,000 physicists around the world to analyze those collisions, understand what the universe is made of and how it works.” Read more