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Linspire 8.0 and Freespire 4.0 Slated for Release in mid-December 2018

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OS
Linux

If you think the release of Linspire 7.0 and Freespire 3.0 were just a one-off, think again because we're now in possession of the release roadmap for both operating systems, and it looks like we should be able to get our hands on the next major releases at the end of the year. But, in the meanwhile, we'll be able to test a lot of the beta versions for both Freespire 4.0 and Linspire 8.0, as well as to enjoy new incremental versions of current releases.

"Today we are releasing the release schedule and roadmap for Linspire and Freespire. These dates are not set in stone and there may be some alterations due to holidays and development mishaps. While the Freespire beta's will be available publicly the Linspire beta's will be available to subscription holders and insiders," says Roberto J. Dohnert in today's announcement.

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Tiny solderable quad Cortex-A17 module has 4GB RAM and HDMI 2.0

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Android
Linux

Sudo’s solderable, 65 x 40mm “SudoProc” module features a 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A17 SoC with 4GB LPDDR3, up to 512GB eMMC, a GbE controller, HDMI 2.0, and -25 to 85°C support.

Slovenia-based startup Sudo Sistemi reached out to us with news of an upcoming SudoProc computer-on-module touted for being solderable and compact (65 x 40 x 4.3mm). Sudo has yet to get back to our request for confirmation that the module’s 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A17 SoC is a Rockchip RK3288, although we can’t imagine what else it might be.

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Linux, Linux Foundation, and Graphics

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Freedreno's MSM DRM Driver Wires In DEVFREQ Re-Clocking Support

    Freedreno open-source Qualcomm Adreno driver creator Rob Clark has sent in the set of updates for the MSM DRM driver targeting the Linux 4.16 kernel.

    The MSM Direct Rendering Manager updates for DRM-Next to go into Linux 4.16 are a bit late for the DRM staging, but these changes are mostly small. Besides some bug fixes and other minor code changes, the main feature addition for MSM in Linux 4.16 is DEVFREQ support for controlling the GPU clock frequency.

  • The Linux Foundation Announces New Linux on Azure Training Course [Ed: The Linux Foundation works for Microsoft now. Corrupted by the money. Microsoft meanwhile attacks Linux with patents.]
  • Automotive Grade Linux gets support from Toyota and Amazon as it eyes autonomous driving

    Open-source software was once something that large businesses shied away from, but over the course of the last few years, it’s made inroads into virtually every enterprise company. With Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), the Linux Foundation hosts a project that aims to bring open source to the car industry. As the AGL group announced at CES in Las Vegas today, Toyota and Amazon have now signed up to support the project, as well.

    Toyota, which is using AGL in the 2018 Camry, is joining as a platinum member, while Amazon opted for the silver level. Indeed, you may have seen another Toyota and Amazon mashup today, which is probably no coincidence.

  • R600 Gallium3D Gets More Fixes, Experimental SB Tessellation Support

    If you are still running with a pre-GCN AMD graphics card, a number of R600 Gallium3D commits landed in Mesa Git over night as well as an interesting patch series on the Mesa mailing list.

    Hitting Mesa 17.4-dev Git a few hours ago were a number of R600 Gallium3D fixes. This time around the various fixes come courtesy of VMware's Roland Scheidegger, a long time Mesa developer. They are a variety of minor fixes. It's nice to see nevertheless as R600g doesn't get too much action these days.

  • xf86-video-intel Gets Coffee Lake Support

    The xf86-video-intel DDX driver now has support for the first "Coffee Lake" processors.

  • The Current CPU Driver Usage Difference Between RADV/RadeonSI & NVIDIA

    Yesterday I posted some fresh GPU/driver benchmark results for discrete AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. These were some of the most competitive numbers yet we've seen out of the open-source RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV drivers while using the latest Linux 4.15 kernel, especially for the GTX 1060 vs. RX 580 battle. In the comments were requests to see some CPU utilization numbers, including from one of the Radeon Linux developers, so here is a look at how the CPU usage compares.

    With having some spare cycles this morning on that Core i7 8700K "Coffee Lake" desktop, I ran a CPU usage comparison with various Linux games when using the Radeon RX 580 (on Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev + LLVM 6.0 SVN) vs. the comparable GeForce GTX 1060 (on Linux 4.15 + NVIDIA 390.12) for showing the latest CPU utilization difference for both OpenGL and Vulkan games.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Now Supports VK_EXT_discard_rectangles

    RADV co-founder Bas Nieuwenhuizen has landed support for the Vulkan VK_EXT_discard_rectangles extension within Mesa 17.4-dev.

  • RADV Gets Another Optimization For Micro-Benchmarks

    David Airlie and Bas Nieuwenhuizen's work on the RADV open-source Vulkan driver is quite relentless. David has posted yet another patch working on further optimizing the performance of this unofficial Radeon Vulkan driver living within Mesa.

  • The NVIDIA 390 Driver Is Playing Nicely With Linux 4.15 Kernel

    For those NVIDIA Linux users reliant upon the proprietary driver and wanting to upgrade to the Linux 4.15 kernel that will be officially released within the next two weeks, the 390.12 driver is playing nicely.

    Earlier NVIDIA driver releases ran into compatibility issues with the Linux 4.15 interfaces following the merge window (not due to KPTI, as some other FUD previously passed around by others). But with last week's NVIDIA 390.12 beta it has been working fine atop the Linux 4.15 Git kernel, including when Kernel Page Table Isolation is enabled for Meltdown prevention. (Retpoline support has yet to be mainlined, haven't tested the NVIDIA driver there yet to formally confirm if any breakage may happen.)

  • AMDGPU Queues More Fixes For Linux 4.16

    AMD sent in a fair number of AMDGPU updates slated for Linux 4.16 but now hitting the cut-off for major feature updates for DRM-Next code looking to make it into 4.16, AMD has submitted some fixes.

PiTalk, Gemini PDA, and Eelo take different paths to the Linux phone

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Linux
Hardware

The PiTalk is an RPi phone add-on board. The Gemini PDA is a clamshell re-spin of the Psion. Eelo is a privacy-oriented phone ROM. Samsung is planning to load Ubuntu desktops on Galaxy phones. They all want to reinvent the Linux phone concept.

Since our September story surveying a new crop of Linux smartphone contenders, including the Raspberry Pi based ZeroPhone and Purism’s Librem 5, we’ve seen several more Linux phone projects pop into view. New entries covered here include a successfully Kickstarted PiTalk phone add-on for the Raspberry Pi. There’s also a Gemini PDA with 4G support that dual-boots Linux and Android. It won Indiegogo funding last year and has now opened for additional orders.

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Also: Tiny solderable quad Cortex-A17 module has 4GB RAM and HDMI 2.0

Multimedia Apps for the Linux Console

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Linux

When last we met, we learned that the Linux console supports multimedia. Yes, really! You can enjoy music, movies, photos, and even read PDF files without being in an X session with MPlayer, fbi, and fbgs. And, as a bonus, you can enjoy a Matrix-style screensaver for the console, CMatrix.

You will probably have make some tweaks to your system to make this work. The examples used here are for Ubuntu Linux 16.04.

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GeckoLinux: A Polished Distro Just Got Smoother

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Linux
Reviews

I was disappointed in GeckoLinux in only one situation. The practice of including a password for the live session demo mode was a new feature promised in this release. The product description hawks the convenience of not having to enter passwords for the live session user account.

Yet the brief documentation for the ISO download mentions the user password for the live session as "linux." I was hoping that the developer merely forgot to update the download information.

Alas, the new version still needs a password. Oh well, maybe the next release.

Otherwise, GeckoLinux 423 is a worthy release that provides improvements over the standard openSuse mindset.

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A Science Project: “Make The 486 Great Again!” – Modern Linux In An Ancient PC

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GNU
Linux

I asked the above quiz question during the Geekcamp tech conference in Nov 2017 during my emcee role. The theoretical answer as you can glean from the title of this post is the 486 which was first released in 1989. I determined that fact from this article where support for the 386 was dropped in Dec 2012.

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Linux Kernel: Linux 4.14.13, Linux 4.9.76 and Linux 4.4.111

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Linux

Hands-on: Raspberry Pi Zero 3-Port USB Hub with Ethernet

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Linux

The Raspberry Pi Zero has been a wonder since it was first introduced. So much power (and so much fun!) in such a small package. Ah, but there was the problem, too -- such a small package, that it didn't have room for very many connectors, and the ones that it had were smaller than the standard-sized connectors on the full-sized Pi models.

The biggest of these problems was with USB connections. The Pi Zero has only one USB port (yeah, I know it looks like there are two, but the other one is the power connection and you can't hijack it), and it is not even a standard Type-A port, it is a microUSB (also known as OTG or 'on the go'). That means that Pi Zero owners who needed to connect USB devices and dongles (who doesn't?) had to buy some kind of micro-to-TypeA adapter cable.

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Rugged mobile gateway runs Linux

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Linux

Artila’s “Matrix-713” mobile IoT gateway runs Linux on a Cortex-A5 ATSAMA5D35, and provides Fast and Gigabit Ethernet, 2x CAN, 2x mini-PCIe, GPS, and an IMU, and supports -20 to 80°C temperatures.

Artila’s Mobile IoT Gateway Matrix-713 follows a similarly headless Matrix-710 embedded computer announced last May, which also runs Linux 4.9 on a 536MHz, Cortex-A5 Atmel ATSAMA5D35 SoC, and shares many of the same features. It’s not a replacement, however, but rather a more advanced, mobile-friendly alternative. (Separately, Artila announced a new Aport-213 (PDF) serial-to-WiFi gateway.)

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Super Blood Hockey, Starship Titanic and More

Software: MenuLibre, Speech Recognition, "Just TODO It", Slack

  • MenuLibre 2.1.4 Released
    The wait is over. MenuLibre 2.1.4 is now available for public testing and translations! With well over 100 commits, numerous bug fixes, and a lot of polish, the best menu editing solution for Linux is ready for primetime.
  • Speech Recognition For Linux Gets A Little Closer
    t has become commonplace to yell out commands to a little box and have it answer you. However, voice input for the desktop has never really gone mainstream. This is particularly slow for Linux users whose options are shockingly limited, although decent speech support is baked into recent versions of Windows and OS X Yosemite and beyond. There are four well-known open speech recognition engines: CMU Sphinx, Julius, Kaldi, and the recent release of Mozilla’s DeepSpeech (part of their Common Voice initiative). The trick for Linux users is successfully setting them up and using them in applications. [Michael Sheldon] aims to fix that — at least for DeepSpeech. He’s created an IBus plugin that lets DeepSpeech work with nearly any X application. He’s also provided PPAs that should make it easy to install for Ubuntu or related distributions.
  • Announcing "Just TODO It"
    Recently, I wished to use a trivially-simple TODO-list application whilst working on a project. I had a look through what was available to me in the "GNOME Software" application and was surprised to find nothing suitable. In particular I just wanted to capture a list of actions that I could tick off; I didn't want anything more sophisticated than that (and indeed, more sophistication would mean a learning curve I couldn't afford at the time). I then remembered that I'd written one myself, twelve years ago. So I found the old code, dusted it off, made some small adjustments so it would work on modern systems and published it.
  • Linux users can now get Slack as a snap package
    Canonical has announced the general availability of the collaboration platform Slack, as a snap package. The move will allow Linux users to get setup with the platform and begin collaborating on their work more easily. Any Linux distribution with snap support can head over to the snapcraft website, download the package, and begin using it.

Security: Back Doors, Bugs in Chips, Botnets, and Windows in Hospitals

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