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Linux

Desktop Linux and Open Source in 2014: Looking Back

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Clichéd though they may be, year-in-review pieces about desktop Linux—by which I mean Linux distributions designed for end users working on desktops, PCs and, perhaps, large-form mobile devices—are a tradition here at The VAR Guy (and, before that, at our late, great sister-site, WorksWithU, a blog dedicated to Ubuntu Linux). But at the end of 2014, there's not much to say about desktop Linux other than that it's now so mature, and open source momentum so focused on other niches, that the Linux desktop has seen little major action over the past 12 months.

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Anonabox Gets Kicked from Kickstarter, Shows Up on Indiegogo with Updated Specs

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

The online community tore the project apart and discovered that the makers of Anonabox were disingenuous when they were saying that it was something original, custom built. As it turned out, it was actually a repurposed Chinese device with a slightly better memory. Also, the operating system used was OpenWRT, which is basically Linux distro for routers and other such devices. Most, if not all of the information provided on Kickstarter was a lie. Eventually, the Kickstarter project was suspended and no one got hurt, financially.

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The Best Linux Software

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Linux is full of awesome apps, both open source and proprietary. People new to Linux might be used to Windows or Mac OS X apps that aren’t available on Linux, and don’t know about available alternatives. Even seasoned Linux users tend to find new and useful software quite often.

Linux apps are also very easy to install. In most cases, they’re in your distribution’s repositories so all it takes is a quick search through your Software Center or a single command in the terminal. Speaking of terminals, there are plenty of apps that can help you avoid the terminal, if that’s your preference.

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Intel Haswell Linux OpenGL Driver Catching Up To The Intel Windows Driver

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Past Intel Windows vs. Linux graphics driver benchmarks have shown that for Haswell the OpenGL performance on Linux generally comes up short of the proprietary Windows driver. Fortunately, the Intel open-source Linux driver improved a lot this year and is now more competitive to the Windows driver.

My latest end-of-year testing was comparing the Intel Linux graphics performance over the past year to Microsoft Windows with the latest proprietary driver (v10.18.10.3960).

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2015: If wishes were penguins, everyone would fly

Filed under
GNU
Linux

It's the end of yet another year. I'm not going to go on record to say that 2015 will finally, finally, finally be the year of Linux! It may, but it may not. What I will go on the record for is to say what my personal Linux and open-source wishes for Linux are in the coming year. They aren't many, and they aren't tilting at any given windmill ... they just are.

I've already made my "predictions" for Linux in my post "2015 will be the year Linux takes over the enterprise (and other predictions)". This time, however, I want to take a look at what might be necessary for some of those predictions to actually come true.

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Raspberry Pi: Raspbian and NOOBS releases

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Linux

What better way to spend the holidays, and prepare for the New Year, than with a new release of Raspbian (Debian GNU/Linux specifically for the Raspberry Pi), and a new NOOBS package?

For those who don't have a Raspberry Pi (or more than one) already, or might have just gotten one for Christmas, the foundation has posted a Got a new Pi article. I also wrote a number of Hands-On with Raspberry Pi posts last Christmas, which include a lot more detail and lots of screen shots.

The new Raspbian release (2014-12-24) and a new NOOBS package (1.3.11) are available for download in the usual ZIP format on the Raspberry Pi downloads page. The NOOBS image also includes Pidora, Arch Linux, openELEC, RaspBMC and RiscOS.

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Chromebooks can now run Linux in a window

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Despite Rumors, Xfce Alive & Kicking

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Rumors: They exist, for better or worse, and there’s not much you can do about them. In addition, rumors are the starting blocks for the old Churchill adage that “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Three times this month, Xfce came up in conversation — online, of course, and in the realm of social media and in forum discussions — and the context in which each conversation came up had the desktop on the brink of closure, with one unwitting person saying that Xfce was dead.

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Scarlett Johansson's Lucy Prefers Debian with Xfce – Video

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Movies

Linux systems have been spotted in all sorts of interesting places, but they don't usually make their ways into the movies. Well, from the looks of it, a Linux system has been used in Luc Besson's Lucy.

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Chapter 21. Release 14.12 (“Caterpillar”, 2014/12/30)

Filed under
GNU
Linux

In addition to numerous new and upgraded packages, this release has the following highlights:

Systemd has been updated to version 217, which has numerous improvements.

Nix has been updated to 1.8.

NixOS is now based on Glibc 2.20.

KDE has been updated to 4.14.

The default Linux kernel has been updated to 3.14.

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More in Tux Machines

Microsoft EEE

  • Why the Windows Subsystem for Linux Matters to You – Even if You Don’t Use it [Ed: Microsoft pulling an EEE on GNU/Linux matters. Sure it does... while suing GNU/Linux with software patents Microsoft says it "loves Linux".]
  • Canonical Teams Up with Microsoft to Enable New Azure Tailored Ubuntu Kernel
    In a joint collaboration with Microsoft's Azure team, Canonical managed to enable a new Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel in the Ubuntu Cloud Images for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on Azure starting today, September 21, 2017. The Azure tailored Ubuntu kernel is now enabled by default for the Ubuntu Cloud images running the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform, and Canonical vows to offer the same level of support as the rest of its Ubuntu kernels until the operating system reaches end of life.

Servers: Kubernetes, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and Sysadmin 101

  • Kubernetes Snaps: The Quick Version
    When we built the Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes (CDK), one of our goals was to provide snap packages for the various Kubernetes clients and services: kubectl, kube-apiserver, kubelet, etc. While we mainly built the snaps for use in CDK, they are freely available to use for other purposes as well. Let’s have a quick look at how to install and configure the Kubernetes snaps directly.
  • Kubernetes is Transforming Operations in the Enterprise
    At many organizations, managing containerized applications at scale is the order of the day (or soon will be). And few open source projects are having the impact in this arena that Kubernetes is. Above all, Kubernetes is ushering in “operations transformation” and helping organizations make the transition to cloud-native computing, says Craig McLuckie co-founder and CEO of Heptio and a co-founder of Kubernetes at Google, in a recent free webinar, ‘Getting to Know Kubernetes.’ Kubernetes was created at Google, which donated the open source project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
  • Kubernetes gains momentum as big-name vendors flock to Cloud Native Computing Foundation
    Like a train gaining speed as it leaves the station, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is quickly gathering momentum, attracting some of the biggest names in tech. In the last month and a half alone AWS, Oracle, Microsoft, VMware and Pivotal have all joined. It’s not every day you see this group of companies agree on anything, but as Kubernetes has developed into an essential industry tool, each of these companies sees it as a necessity to join the CNCF and support its mission. This is partly driven by customer demand and partly by the desire to simply have a say in how Kubernetes and other related cloud-native technologies are developed.
  • The Cloud-Native Architecture: One Stack, Many Options
    As the chief technology officer of a company specialized in cloud native storage, I have a first hand view of the massive transformation happening right now in enterprise IT. In short, two things are happening in parallel right now that make it radically simpler to build, deploy and run sophisticated applications. The first is the move to the cloud. This topic has been discussed so much that I won’t try to add anything new. We all know it’s happening, and we all know that its impact is huge.
  • Sysadmin 101: Leveling Up
    I hope this description of levels in systems administration has been helpful as you plan your own career. When it comes to gaining experience, nothing quite beats making your own mistakes and having to recover from them yourself. At the same time, it sure is a lot easier to invite battle-hardened senior sysadmins to beers and learn from their war stories. I hope this series in Sysadmin 101 fundamentals has been helpful for those of you new to the sysadmin trenches, and also I hope it helps save you from having to learn from your own mistakes as you move forward in your career.

Databases: PostgreSQL 10 RC1 and Greenplum

  • PostgreSQL 10 RC1 Released
    The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces today that the first release candidate of version 10 is available for download. As a release candidate, 10 RC 1 should be identical to the final release of the new version. It contains fixes for all known issues found during testing, so users should test and report any issues that they find.
  • PostgreSQL 10 Release Candidate 1 Arrives
    PostgreSQL 10 has been queuing up improvements to declarative partitioning, logical replication support, an improved parallel query system, SCRAM authentication, performance speed-ups, hash indexes are now WAL, extended statistics, new integrity checking tools, smart connection handling, and many other promising improvements. Our earlier performance tests of Postgre 10 during its beta phase showed some speed-ups over PostgreSQL 9.
  • Pivotal Greenplum Analytic Database Adds Multicloud Support
    Pivotal’s latest release of its Greenplum analytic database includes multicloud support and, for the first time, is based entirely on open source code. In 2015, the company open sourced the core of Pivotal Greenplum as the Greenplum Database project. “This is the first commercially available release that we are shipping with the open source project truly at its core,” said Elisabeth Hendrickson, VP of data research and development at Pivotal.

Graphics: NVIDIA Progress, VC4/VC5, Intel's Linux Driver & Mesa

  • NVIDIA 384.90 Linux Driver Brings Fixes, Quadro P5200 Support
    One day after releasing updated GeForce Linux legacy drivers, NVIDIA is now out with an update to their long-lived 384 branch. The NVIDIA 384 Linux series is the current latest series for their proprietary driver. Coming out today is the 384.90 update that is primarily comprised of bug fixes but also includes Quadro P5200 support.
  • NVIDIA Continues Prepping The Linux Desktop Stack For HDR Display Support
    Besides working on the new Unix device memory allocator project, they have also been engaged with upstream open-source Linux developers over preparing the Linux desktop for HDR display support. Alex Goins of the NVIDIA Linux team presented on their HDR ambitions for the Linux desktop and the work they are still doing for prepping the X.Org stack for dealing with these next-generation computer displays. This is a project they have also been looking at for more than one year: NVIDIA Is Working Towards HDR Display Support For Linux, But The Desktop Isn't Ready.
  • The State Of The VC4 Driver Stack, Early Work On VC5
    ric Anholt of Broadcom just finished presenting at XDC2017 Mountain View on the state of the VC4 driver stack most notably used by the Raspberry Pi devices. Additionally, he also shared about his early work on the VC5 driver for next-generation Broadcom graphics.
  • Intel's Linux Driver & Mesa Have Hit Amazing Milestones This Year
    Kaveh Nasri, the manager of Intel's Mesa driver team within the Open-Source Technology Center since 2011, spoke this morning at XDC2017 about the accomplishments of his team and more broadly the Mesa community. Particularly over the past year there has been amazing milestones accomplished for this open-source driver stack.