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Screenshots/Screencasts: 10 GNU/Linux Distros (Screenshots) and New Screencast/Video of Endeavour OS 2019.08.17

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GNU
Linux
  • 10 Linux distros: From different to dangerous

    One of the great benefits of Linux is the ability to roll your own. Throughout the years, individuals, organizations, and even nation states have done just that. In this gallery, we're going to showcase some of those distros. Be careful, though. You may not want to load these, or if you do, put them in isolated VMs. We're not kidding when we say they could be dangerous.

  • Endeavour OS 2019.08.17 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Endeavour OS 2019.08.17.

Google brings Linux app support to some older Chromebooks (including Chromebook Pixel 2015)

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Linux
Google

Chrome OS started out as a browser-based operating system that could run web apps only. Eventually Google added support for Android apps, and then for Linux apps, making Chromebooks more useful as general-purpose laptops.

But while most new Chromebooks feature out-of-the-box support for Android and Linux apps, many older models do not… and it looked like they never would.

It turns out that may not be true after all: 9to5Google reports that Google seems to be testing an update that would bring Linux app support to the 2015 Chromebook Pixel, along with a number of other models released that year.

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Devices With Linux

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Linux
Hardware

Linux Candy: WallGen – image generator tool

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GNU
Linux
Software

Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

Linux Candy is a new series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We’re only going to feature open-source software in this series.

I’m not going to harp on about the tired proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. But there’s a certain element of truth here. If you spend all day coding neural networks, mastering a new programming language, sit in meetings feeling bored witless, you’ll need some relief at the end of the day. And what better way by making your desktop environment a bit more memorable.

Let’s start our candy adventure with WallGen. It’s a small command-line utility that generates HQ poly wallpapers with only a few text arguments for inputs. Depending on these arguments, you can create shape-based patterns, randomly filled surfaces, and even image-based patterns.

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An introduction to bpftrace for Linux

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Linux

Bpftrace is a new open source tracer for Linux for analyzing production performance problems and troubleshooting software. Its users and contributors include Netflix, Facebook, Red Hat, Shopify, and others, and it was created by Alastair Robertson, a talented UK-based developer who has won various coding competitions.

Linux already has many performance tools, but they are often counter-based and have limited visibility. For example, iostat(1) or a monitoring agent may tell you your average disk latency, but not the distribution of this latency. Distributions can reveal multiple modes or outliers, either of which may be the real cause of your performance problems. Bpftrace is suited for this kind of analysis: decomposing metrics into distributions or per-event logs and creating new metrics for visibility into blind spots.

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Review: AcademiX GNU/Linux 2.2

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

What sets AcademiX apart from other distributions is the EDU software manager. This package manager provides curated lists of educational software, which are grouped by subject and by age range. This package manager makes finding educational software really easy. There is software for astronomy, biology, geography, foreign languages, and many other subjects. While there are gaps in the availability of applications covering various subjects, that is a gap in the broader open source application ecosystem, not something specific to AcademiX. While some of the rough edges I noted with the installation process and the desktop customization make me a hesitant to recommend AcademiX to new Linux users, Educational Technology professionals should perhaps try out AcademiX just to use the EDU package manager to explore various open source applications.

While installing and updating software was easy and basically the same experience as any other modern, Debian-based distribution, the fact that some of the packages come from servers in Romania means that some package downloads can be much slower than downloading from the world-wide network of Debian mirrors. For individual packages and small collections of packages this is not too noticeable, but it is still an issue. The frustrating part is the fact that the speeds are not consistent. Sometimes I was downloading at only 40kbps, but other times it was much faster. I experienced the same issue when trying to download the ISO. One download took about 20 minutes for the 1.7GB image but some other attempts took 4 hours.

Final thoughts

AcademiX GNU/Linux is an interesting distribution, but it has some rough edges that need to be cleaned up. Honestly, I really, really wanted to like this distribution (good distributions aimed at the educational market are always needed), but found it to be merely okay. AcademiX has a lot of potential, but it is just not there yet. DebianEdu/Skolelinux is far more polished while serving almost the exact same niche. However, if the AcademiX team cleans up some of the issues I noted above, especially the installer issues, I think future versions of AcademiX might turn out to be worthwhile. The EDU software installer is well organized and aids in discovering educational software, so that is one solid advantage AcademiX offers, but overall the distribution needs more work and polish before I could move it from "this distribution is okay" to "you should give this distribution a try".

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Linux 5.3-rc5

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Linux

Another week, another -rc.

It's been calm, and nothing here stands out, except perhaps some of
the VM noise where we un-reverted some changes wrt node-local vs
hugepage allocations.

The rest is the usual driver fixes (usb, sound, nvme, habanalabs,
rdma..) some arch updates (arm64 and x86) along with some filesystem
fixes (afs and btrfs).

But all of it is really quite small.

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Also: Linux 5.3-rc5 Released Following A Calm Week

The ClockworkPi GameShell is a super fun DIY spin on portable gaming

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GNU
Linux
Gaming
Gadgets

Portable consoles are hardly new, and thanks to the Switch, they’re basically the most popular gaming devices in the world. But ClockworkPi’s GameShell is something totally unique, and entirely refreshing when it comes to gaming on the go. This clever DIY console kit provides everything you need to assemble your own pocket gaming machine at home, running Linux-based open-source software and using an open-source hardware design that welcomes future customization.

The GameShell is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, which began shipping to its backers last year and is now available to buy either direct from the company or from Amazon. The $159.99 ( on sale for $139.99 as of this writing) includes everything you need to build the console, like the ClockworkPi quad-core Cortex A7 motherboard with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 1GB of DDR3 RAM — but it comes unassembled.

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Linux 5.3 Kernel Yielding The Best Performance Yet For AMD EPYC "Rome" CPU Performance

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Among many different Linux/open-source benchmarks being worked on for the AMD EPYC "Rome" processors now that our initial launch benchmarks are out of the way are Linux distribution comparisons, checking out the BSD compatibility, and more. Some tests I wrapped up this weekend were seeing how recent Linux kernel releases perform on the AMD EPYC 7742 64-core / 128-thread processors.

For some weekend analysis, here are benchmarks of Linux 4.18 through Linux 5.3 in its current development form. All tests were done on the same AMD EPYC 7742 2P server running Ubuntu 19.04 and using the latest kernels in each series via the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA.

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Neptune 6.0 Released, Which is based on Debian 10 (Buster)

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GNU
Linux
Debian

Leszek has pleased to announce the release of the new stable release of Neptune 6.0 on 1th Aug, 2019.

It’s first stable release of Neptune 6.0 based on Debian 10 “Buster”, featuring the KDE Plasma desktop with the typical Neptune tweaks and configurations.

The base of the system is Linux Kernel in version 4.19.37 which provides the necessary hardware support.

Plasma 5.14.5 features the stable and flexible KDE made desktop that is loved by millions.

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