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today's leftovers

  • Five Tips For The Openbox Window Manager

    Openbox has always been my favorite floating window manager. It holds a special place in my heart due it being the first window manager that I used when I switched to Linux. And I still find it so darn comfy to use!

  • The Waybig Machine | LINUX Unplugged 395

    It's our worst idea yet. We share the password to our brand-new server and see who can own the box first. Whoever wins gets a special prize. Plus how Archive.org uses Linux, and more.

  • Tachyum Delivers First Software Emulation Systems

    Native Tachyum Linux 5.10

  • Big Gains for Open Aerospace: Interview with Open Research Institute

    The Open Research Institute (ORI) is an OSI Affiliate project that works to facilitate worldwide collaboration in the development of technology. The past year has been a particularly exciting one -- achieving some groundbreaking wins for open source in aerospace. ORI’s co-founder and CEO, Michelle Thompson took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with me about their recent regulatory initiatives. DN: Can you tell us a little bit about the Open Research Institute's history and mission? MT: Open Research Institute's mission is to provide a friendly, safe, and accessible place to do open source research and development for amateur radio and beyond. We have been fully operational since March 2019 and have contributed technical and regulatory work central to the mission of the international amateur radio service. This work is useful outside of the amateur community because it allows a wide variety of organizations to use open source communications technology where they would otherwise have to reinvent a wheel, or restrict the work to US persons only. DN: It was a big year for ORI, with the determination that "Open Source Satellite Work" is free of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR.) What prompted ORI to draft a commodity jurisdiction request? MT: We were able to do this work due to the generous support of YASME Foundation, ARRL Foundation, and ARDC Foundation. Without their generous financial support and guidance, the technical and regulatory victories over the past 18 months would simply not have happened.

  • Sparky System

    There is a new, small application available for Sparkers: Sparky System

  • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 118

    You may know that both the SUSE and openSUSE families of operating systems include container-oriented members, namely openSUSE MicroOS and SLE Micro. In order to make them even more awesome, we got the request to make possible to propose and configure the usage of Security-Enhanced Linux, more widely known as SELinux, during the (auto)installation. This is a complex change affecting several parts of YaST and various versions of (open)SUSE, but you can get a good overview in the description of this pull request which includes some screenshots that may be worth a thousand words. Right now, the feature may look different on each one of the distributions due to the different state of SELinux on them. While in SLE Micro the new setting is visible during installation and activated at its more restrictive level, in others it may look more permisive or even not be presented at all. We expect things to consolidate during the upcoming weeks. And talking about things that take their time, for a long time we had wanted to improve the usability of the configuration of wireless network adapters. Finally we found the time to reorganize the corresponding tab in the YaST Network module, improving the mechanism to select a wireless network and automatically pre-filling as much information as possible. You can see the result in the following animation and in the detailed pull request with the usual before-and-after screenshots.

  • Steam On Linux In February Still Residing Below 1% - Phoronix

    Valve has released their updated Steam Survey figures for February 2021. For January, the reported Steam Linux usage hit 0.91%, similar to where it was in November of last year. With the ongoing success of Steam Play (Proton + DXVK/VKD3D-Proton) for running many modern Windows games well under Linux, Steam on Linux has been enjoying the upper sub-1% space on a monthly basis -- normally 0.8~0.9%.

  • Try the demo of Dashing Dodgems, a frantic and hilarious bumper cars party game

    In development by Yellowcake Games, it's all about last driver remaining and it's really fun. When a match starts to take too long, the world will start to crumble around you with tiles vanishing into the water. You cars can annihilate the environment too, which you need to do to get power-ups hidden inside buildings - which is quite satisfying when you bump your way through a town. [...] You can follow it on Steam and try the Linux demo on itch.io.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Adds Option To Force Smart Access Memory Behavior

    The latest "Smart Access Memory" work by the open-source AMD Radeon graphics driver stack is an option for the RADV Vulkan driver to force the "SAM" behavior even if the system is not advertising all the video RAM as visible or even if using APU graphics.

  • Update on tender for a built-in UNO object inspection tool in LibreOffice

    In July last year, we launched a tender to implement a dedicated, built-in UNO object inspection tool in LibreOffice. UNO refers to Unified Network Objects, the component model used by the software. Tomaž Vajngerl was assigned to work on the tender, and has blogged about his progress. He discusses the point-and-click functionality to inspect selected objects in the document, and his next steps.

  • PRESS: Hardware hacker and academic Nadya Peek to keynote LibrePlanet 2021

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced digital fabrication expert and University of Washington assistant professor Nadya Peek as a keynote speaker for LibrePlanet 2021. The annual technology and social justice conference will be held online on March 20 and 21, 2021, with the theme "Empowering Users." [...] At this year's LibrePlanet conference, Peek will discuss the increasingly ambiguous dividing line between hardware and software, and how everyone can ensure that the physical tools created by digital fabrication methods are as hackable and reconfigurable as free software tools. On Peek's announcement as LibrePlanet 2021's third keynote speaker announcement, FSF program manager Zoë Kooyman stated, "Her work in human-centered design is exactly that: human-centered. Nadya Peek's research and work is guided by the powerful belief that machines, as well as the concept of automation itself, can be approached in a different way. By giving users access to all the pieces they could need to build a machine, she gives individuals the creative freedom to make or automate almost anything. It's empowering to the core and we're excited to learn more about her work." Asked to comment on being selected to keynote at the LibrePlanet conference, Peek stated, "LibrePlanet has an amazing community. I like it when I'm the person in the room who knows the fewest FFmpeg [a popular free software multimedia encoder] flags by heart. I'm very excited to spend time together, albeit virtually during an extremely strange time."

  • Intel Looking To Upstream A Proper SPIR-V Compute Back-End For LLVM

    It's been talked about many times from various parties but so far has remained elusive from the mainline LLVM code-base: a SPIR-V back-end for LLVM that would go from LLVM into this Khronos intermediate representation most notably used by OpenCL and Vulkan drivers. Intel engineers are stepping up and hope to help get a proper SPIR-V back-end upstreamed into LLVM. There have been various out-of-tree efforts and plans talked about by different companies/developers for having a SPIR-V back-end in LLVM as this key IR supported by the modern Khronos APIs. With Intel's latest push and "request for comments", they are looking to have a proper back-end in LLVM for targeting SPIR-V -- initially with a compute focus but the possibility of extending to 3D shader support for Vulkan later on.

  • Python For Loop Examples - nixCraft

    ow and when do I use for loops under Python programming language? How can I use the break and continue statements to alter the flow of a Python loop? A for loop is a Python statement which repeats a group of statements a specified number of times. You can use any object (such as strings, arrays, lists, tuples, dict and so on) in a for loop in Python. This page explains the basics of the Python for loop in including break and continue statements.

Proprietary Software on GNU/Linux

  • Updating Snap Bases

    This is a bit of a dayjob post, but as I maintain a bunch of snaps in my own time, I figured it’s not out of place here. Typically when I (or indeed any developer) uses snapcraft to build a snap, a snapcraft.yaml drives the process. I’ll integrate some kind of CI or build system, and start publishing to the Snap Store. Usually, once created, the yaml doesn’t need much in the way of changes. Back when we first started building snaps, we were using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS systems. At runtime the snap would leverage the base of core. The core snap is a super minimal Ubuntu 16.04 LTS runtime environment. Since then we’ve had releases of core18 based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and more recently, core20 based off Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The observant will note the original base core isn’t called core16 which is a shame, but hey-ho. In the early days it wasn’t necessary to specify a base in the snapcraft.yaml because it was assumed to always be core. Indeed I don’t think early releases of snapcraft even had a base option. [...] Other snaps will certainly require more invasive changes, but I thought this would be a good example of a simple snap which only needed a few updates to bring it up to spec.

  • AJA Desktop Software v16 Brings HDR over SDI, Expands IP Video Functions, and More

    Desktop Software v16 includes compatibility updates for the latest macOS, Windows and Linux operating systems, including support for macOS 11.x Big Sur, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Redhat/CentOS 8 and continuing support for Windows 10 updates.

  • ONLYOFFICE Docs 6.2: Main updates and a quick installation guide for Ubuntu [Ed: This is misleading. ONLYOFFICE is proprietary software with an openwashing edition]

    ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source office suite distributed under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPLv3) which is composed of online editors for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. ONLYOFFICE Docs is fully compatible with the OOXML formats (DOCX, XLSX and PPTX) and can be integrated with multiple cloud storage platforms and services such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, Alfresco, Confluence, Nuxeo, SharePoint, etc. Apart from this, you can embed it into your own application using API.

ABI checking

There is no day so wasted that you can’t take notes about what didn’t work, so here’s some talk about ABI-compliance-checking. ABI-compliance, or ABI-compatibility, is roughly when a shared library can be changed (to a different version, usually an update and upgrade) and users of that shared library (applications, or other libraries) just work with the new version. This requires some discipline, and there are tools to help out. [...] One way to help maintain binary compatibility is to use tools that check the ABI: figure out the shape of the ABI in one version, the shape in another version, and compare those shapes. KDE Frameworks have checks in place, like this one (that link assumes openSUSE and Qt 5.15 are still in use and that there was a recent successful build). Generally, an ABI-shape getting bigger is not a problem (from a technical perspective, although you can have all kinds of semantic mix-ups). Things that go away – functions, variables, etc. – those are problematic. Calamares is a Linux system installer – it can be customized by Linux distro’s to act as the installer for their ISO images. It’s a C++ program offering modules for all kinds of system-installation services. It also offers an ABI: the modules use the ABI of the Calamares libraries to talk to the main program. Calamares supports “third-party” modules, e.g. modules specific to one distro or otherwise customized, and for those third-party modules, ABI compatibility suddenly becomes an issue: it would be nice if they didn’t have to be recompiled when a new Calamares library comes out. That can only happen if the Calamares libraries commit to ABI compatibility. Read more

Devices: Jetson, Aaeon, Raspberry Pi

     
  • Jetson TX2 NX module offers TX2 power in a Nano footprint

    Nvidia has launched a 260-pin “Jetson TX2 NX” variant of the TX2 with 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, and slightly reduced camera, display, and PCIe Gen2 support. Nvidia has introduced a spin-down of the Jetson TX2 compute module that falls between the TX2 and the lower-end Jetson Nano. The Jetson TX2 NX runs Linux on the same hexa-core CPU and 256-core Pascal GPU with 1.33-TOPS AI performance as the TX2, and it supplies the same 4GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC as the lower-end 4GB TX2 module. However, it moves from a 400-pin board-to-board edge connector to the 260-pin connector found on the Nano and higher-end Jetson Xavier NX, and has fewer PCIe Gen2, MIPI-CSI, MIPI-DSI, and other interfaces.

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  • Net appliance boasts four 10GbE ports and up to three wireless links

    Aaeon’s “FWS-2365” net appliance runs on an up to 16-core Atom C3000 with up to 6x GbE and 4x 10GbE SFP+ ports plus 2x SATA, 2x USB, 2x mini-PCIe, M.2, and eMMC. Aaeon announced a desktop network appliance for white box uCPE and SD-WAN applications with VPN support and NFV functions such as firewall and router deployment. The FWS-2365 follows earlier FWS branded appliances such as the FWS-2360 and FWS-7360, which similarly feature Intel’s 4x to 16x core Atom C3000 (“Denverton”) networking SoC. No OS support was listed, but the FWS-2360 supports Linux.

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  • Raspberry Pi RP2040 boards are coming with... HDMI?

    We’ve already seen Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU can support VGA output using the microcontroller’s programmable I/O blocks.  But yesterday, I saw two upcoming RP2040 boards with an HDMI connector. How is that supposed to work? The first one is Olimex RP2040-PICO-PC that’s indeed like a pico PC board with an HDMI connector for video, a micro SD card for storage, a standard 3.5mm audio jack for speaker or headphone, and a USB host for a keyboard.