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Linux

5 Raspberry Pi Alternatives to Build Your Own Small Computer

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Linux

A single board computer (SBC) is a complete computer built on a single circuit board. These tiny PCs were designed to be low cost and energy efficient. As such, SBCs proved to be popular with hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts and educational institutions.

Upon the release of the Raspberry Pi, SBCs gained far greater attention. The Raspberry Pi was initially designed to teach basic computer science. The first-generation Raspberry Pi was released in 2012 and quickly surpassed expectations. It has since gone on to become the best-selling British computer of all time with over eleven million units sold.

Despite its popularity, the Raspberry Pi family of computers are not the only SBCs on the market. In fact there are a number of manufacturers making SBCs at lower price points and with more powerful hardware. If you’re looking for a Raspberry Pi alternative, consider the SBCs below.

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Top Linux Distros for Media Creation

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Linux

I find it interesting how many existing Linux users don't realize there are specialized distributions just for media creation. These distributions come with a bundle of special media-centric applications, a real-time kernel and other tweaks provided by default.

This article will provide a tour of these top Linux distros for media creation. I'm confident that even if you've heard of some of these distros, you might not be aware of what makes them unique when compared to a standard desktop Linux distribution.

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Kernel: Next Linux kernel 4.13 RC, the Linux Foundation and Graphics News

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Development of Linux Kernel 4.14, the Next LTS Release

    A day early than expected, Linux creator Linus Torvalds cautiously kicked off the development of the Linux 4.14 kernel series, which looks to be the next LTS (Long Term Support) branch, with the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone.

    That's right, two weeks after the release of Linux kernel 4.13, which is currently the most stable and advanced kernel series, being adopted by more and more GNU/Linux distributions each day, the first RC development snapshot of Linux kernel 4.14 is ready for public testing, officially closing the merge window. And it looks like some core new functionality will be implemented in this release.

  • Linux Foundation wants to promote sustainable open source development with new initiatives

    During last week’s Open Source Summit North America in Los Angeles, the Linux Foundation announced a series of projects designed to promote sustainability and growth in open source development.

    We wrote last week about their “Open Source Guides for the Enterprise,” which will see a series of guides by professionals from many different organizations released over the next few months.

    Following that, the foundation announced the Community Health Analytics for Open Source Software, or CHAOSS, project. With CHAOSS, the Linux Foundation wants to provide a platform for measuring and analyzing open source projects.

    The foundation also announced that it has granted a CII security badge to 100 projects through a voluntary process for open source projects to prove their security measures stack up professionally.

  • Intel ANV Lands New Vulkan 1.0.61 Extensions, Android Prep Support
  • AMDGPU Increasing Fragment Size For Performance

    Christian König of AMD yesterday sent out an AMDGPU kernel patch for boosting the default fragment size for GCN graphics cards pre-Vega.

    The patch is quite trivial and is for boosting the default fragment size from 64KB to 2MB, similar to the move made with the latest Vega GPUs. This change is for GFX6/GFX7/GFX8 graphics processors or basically all the GCN cards prior to Vega "GFX9".

Devices/Hardware: Embedded/Boards, CODESYS, and EPYC Linux Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux friendly IoT gateway runs on 3.5-inch Bay Trail SBC

    While the MB-80580 SBC lists SATA II, the gateway indicates SATA III. Also, the gateway datasheet notes that the RS232 ports can all be redirected to RS232/422/485. Software includes Windows IoT Core and Server, as well as Yocto, Ubuntu Snappy Core, and CentOS Linux distributions.

  • Rugged panel PC scales up to a 19-inch touchscreen

    The fanless, IP65-rated WinSystems “PPC65B-1x” panel PC runs Linux or Win 10 on a quad-core Atom E3845, and offers 10.4 to 19-inch resistive touchscreens.

  • CODESYS announces CODESYS-compatible SoftPLC for open Linux device platforms
  • EPYC Linux performance from AMD

    Phoronix have been hard at work testing out AMD's new server chip, specifically the 2.2/2.7/3.2GHz EPYC 7601 with 32 physical cores.  The frequency numbers now have a third member which is the top frequency all 32 cores can hit simultaneously, for this processor that would be 2.7GHz.  Benchmarking server processors is somewhat different from testing consumer CPUs, gaming performance is not as important as dealing with specific productivity applications.   Phoronix started their testing of EPYC, in both NUMA and non-NUMA configurations, comparing against several Xeon models and the performance delta is quite impressive, sometimes leaving even a system with dual Xeon Gold 6138's in the dust.  They also followed up with a look at how EPYC compares to Opteron, AMD's last server offerings.  The evolution is something to behold.

  • Opteron vs. EPYC Benchmarks & Performance-Per-Watt: How AMD Server Performance Evolved Over 10 Years

    By now you have likely seen our initial AMD EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarks. If you haven't, check them out, EPYC does really deliver on being competitive with current Intel hardware in the highly threaded space. If you have been curious to see some power numbers on EPYC, here they are from the Tyan Transport SX TN70A-B8026 2U server. Making things more interesting are some comparison benchmarks showing how the AMD EPYC performance compares to AMD Opteron processors from about ten years ago.

postmarketOS: An Ultimate Linux Distro For Your Smartphones Is Coming

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OS
Linux

One of the key strengths of Linux-based operating systems is their ability to run on a variety of hardware, ranging from a decade old computers to the latest generation Intel chips. The kernel developers work day and night to keep our devices breathing running. In the past, we have also prepared a list of Linux distributions that are best suited for older computers with limited hardware requirements.

This brings us to the question — Why aren’t tons of Linux operating system options available for mobile devices? The mobile ecosystem is chiefly dominated by Android and iOS, with Android enjoying a presence on a wide range of devices. But, on the fronts of updates, even Android fails to deliver. Very often the top-of-the-line flagship devices are deprived of the latest updates just after 2-3 years. To solve this question, postmarketOS has appeared on the horizon.

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Jim Zemlin and Linus Torvalds

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Linux
  • Linux Foundation President uses Apple OS

    Jim Zemlin, President of the Linux Foundation, appears to have hit levels of fail unprecedented in the open saucy world.

    At the Open Source Summit 2017 not only did Zemlin do the usual comedy “this is the year of the Linux desktop” speech he did it using a comedy laptop with a joke operating system designed for those who know nothing about computers.

  • Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds

    Linus Torvalds has unsentimentally loosed release candidate one of Linux 4.14 a day before the 26th anniversary of the Linux-0.01 release, and told penguinistas to expect a few big changes this time around.

    “This has been an 'interesting' merge window,” Torvalds wrote on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. “It's not actually all that unusual in size - I think it's shaping to be a pretty regular release after 4.13 that was smallish. But unlike 4.13 it also wasn't a completely smooth merge window, and honestly, I _really_ didn't want to wait for any possible straggling pull requests.”

    Hence the Saturday release, instead of his usual Sunday.

    Torvalds also says this merge window included “some unusual activity.”

  • First Linux 4.14 release adds "very core" features, arrives in time for kernel's 26th birthday

    Linus Torvalds has announced the first release candidate (rc) for Linux 4.14, the next long term stable release of the Linux kernel.

    This release introduces several new core memory management features, a host of device driver updates, and changes to documentation, architecture, filesystems, networking and tooling.

    It's the first of a likely seven release candidates before the new kernel reaches stable release around November.

Seven things about Linux you may not have known so far

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Linux

One of the coolest parts about using Linux is the knowledge you gain over time. Each day, you’re likely to come across a new utility or maybe just an unfamiliar flag that does something helpful. These bits and pieces aren’t always life-changing, but they are the building blocks for expertise.

Even experts don’t know that all, though. No matter how much experience you might have, there is always more to learn, so we’ve put together this list of seven things about Linux you may not have known.

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Linux Mint 18.3 to Be Dubbed "Sylvia," Enables HiDPI by Default in Cinnamon 3.6

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Linux

Linux Mint project leader and creator Clement Lefebvre published today a new monthly newsletter to inform us all about some of the upcoming features coming to the Linux Mint 18.3 operating system later this fall.

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Also: Monthly News – September 2017

Linux Mint 18.3 Ubuntu-based operating system is named 'Sylvia'

Linux Mint Continues Working On HiDPI Improvements

LinuxKit Helps Extend Linux Container Functionality Beyond Linux

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Linux

It's often been mentioned in this column that containers are — or at least are perceived to be — less secure than virtual machines. Why? Because they offer less isolation from the underlying host operating system. But LinuxKit changes the calculus significantly. Here's why.

But first, a quick detour: what is LinuxKit? Well, it was something that was announced by Docker back in April, and its purpose is to allow platforms such as Windows to run Linux containers. Essentially, it is a "lean and portable Linux subsystem that can provide Linux container functionality as a component of a container platform," as Docker describes it, and it was developed by a group of companies that includes HPE, Intel, Microsoft and IBM, along with the Linux Foundation.

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More in Tux Machines

XFree KWin, Plasma, KDE, and Qt/GTK

  • Announcing the XFree KWin project
    Over the last weeks I concentrated my work on KWin on what I call the XFree KWin project. The idea is to be able to start KWin/Wayland without XWayland support. While most of the changes required for it are already in Plasma 5.11, not everything got ready in time, but now everything is under review on phabricator, so it’s a good point in time to talk about this project.
  • Adapta Theme is Now Available for the #KDE Plasma Desktop
    A new port brings the Adapta GTK theme to the KDE Plasma 5 desktop for the first time, news that will please fans of its famous flat stylings.
  • A New Project To Let You Run Qt Apps With GTK+ Windowing System Integration
    A Norwegian developer has developed a new Qt platform abstraction plug-in to let Qt applications make use of GTK+ for windowing system integration. The Qt apps rely upon GTK+ as a host toolkit to provide GTK menus, GTK for input, and other integration bits.
  • Ant is a Flat GTK Theme with a Bloody Bite
    Between Arc, Adapta and Numix it kind of feels like Linux has the whole flat GTK theme thing covered. But proving their’s always room for one more is Ant.

Android Leftovers

Development: Blockchain for Good Hackathon, ASUS Tinker Board, React License, JavaScript, Pascal, Python

  • Blockchain for Good Hackathon, Saturday, 30 September and Sunday, 1 October
    The Blockchain for Good Hackathon takes place Saturday, 30 September and Sunday, 1 October. Full agenda can be found here.
  • ASUS Tinker Board Is An Interesting ARM SBC For About $60 USD
    Earlier this year ASUS announced the Tinker Board as their first step into the ARM single board computer world. Earlier this month I finally received a Tinker Board for testing and it has been quite interesting to say the least. The Tinker Board with its Rockchip SoC has been among the most competitive ARM SBCs we have tested to date in its price range and the form factor is compatible with the Raspberry Pi.
  • Configure Thunderbird to send patch friendly
  • Facebook to Relicense React Under MIT [Ed: as we hoped [1, 2]]
    Facebook has decided to change the React license from BSD+Patents to MIT to make it possible for companies to include React in Apache projects, and to avoid uncertain relationship with the open source community. Adam Wolff, an Engineering Director at Facebook, has announced that a number of projects - React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js – will soon start using the more standard MIT License instead of BSD+Patents. The reason provided is "because React is the foundation of a broad ecosystem of open source software for the web, and we don't want to hold back forward progress for nontechnical reasons." While aware that the React’s BSD+Patents license has created "uncertainty" among users of the library, prompting some to select an alternative solution, Facebook does not "expect to win these teams back" but they still hope some will reconsider the issue. The change in license will become effective when React 16 will be released next week. Regarding other projects, Wolff said that "many of our popular projects will keep the BSD + Patents license for now", while they are "evaluating those projects' licenses too, but each project is different and alternative licensing options will depend on a variety of factors." It seems from this clause that Facebook plans to get rid of the BSD+Patents license entirely, but they need to figure out the best option for each project. [...] Facebook’s plan to switch to a standard license MIT, supported by Apache, completely solves this problem with React and several other projects. It remains to see what happens with the license of other Facebook projects, and how much this license issue has affected how React is perceived by the community.
  • To type or not to type: quantifying detectable bugs in JavaScript
  • Plug For PASCAL
  • V. Anton Spraul's Think Like a Programmer, Python Edition

New Manjaro Release

What a week we had. With this update we have removed most of our EOL tagged kernels. Please adopt to newer series of each, when still be used. PulseAudio and Gstreamer got renewed. Also most of our kernels got newer point-releases. Series v4.12 is now marked as EOL. Guillaume worked on Pamac to solve reported issues within our v6 series. The user experience should be much better now. Latest NetworkManager, Python and Haskell updates complete this update-pack. Please report back and give us feedback for given changes made to our repositories. Read more