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4G-equipped dual dashcam can tap into telematics

The VIA Mobile360 D700 Drive Recorder is a fleet management dashcam system with interior and exterior HD cameras, CANBus telematics monitoring, 4G, and GPS that runs Linux on a dual -A53 Novatek NT96685T. VIA Technologies has launched a Linux-driven camera and telematics system for fleet management that joins other Mobile360 branded systems such as its Android-based VIA Mobile360 Surround View Sample Kit. While the Surround View system has four cameras, a 7-inch touchscreen, ruggedization features, and optional ADAS, the new VIA Mobile360 D700 Drive Recorder is a smaller, simpler affair with dual cameras and a dashcam form factor. The system “enables fleet operators to achieve greater asset efficiency, reduce operational costs, and improve driver safety,” says VIA. Read more

5 of the Best Linux Distros for Beginners

If you’re considering giving Linux a try, you might be put off by the risk of a steep learning curve. Not every Linux distro is as hard to get your head around as Arch, however. A number of Linux distros are perfectly well-suited to beginners. Let’s take a closer look at five ideal Linux distros for beginners taking their first steps into the Linux world. Read more

Debian: Debian Installer Buster RC 2, Matrix, Hackerspace and DPL Sam Hartman

  • Debian Installer Buster RC2 Released

    With Debian 10 "Buster" aiming to be released in early July, a second release candidate of the Debian Installer has been made available.

  • Debian Installer Buster RC 2 release

    The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the second release candidate of the installer for Debian 10 "Buster".

  • June 2019 Matrix on Debian update

    Unfortunately, the recently published Synapse 1.0 didn’t make it into Debian Buster, which is due to be released next week, so if you install 0.99.2 from Buster, you need to update to a newer version which will be available from backports shortly after the release. Originally, 0.99 was meant to be the last version before 1.0, but due to a bunch of issues discovered since then, some of them security-related, new incompatible room format was introduced in 0.99.5. This means 0.99.2 currently in Debian Buster is going to only see limited usefulness, since rooms are being upgraded to the new format as 1.0 is being deployed across the network. For those of you running forever unstable Sid, good news: Synapse 1.0 is now available in unstable! ACME support has not yet been enabled, since it requires a few packages not yet in Debian (they’re currently in the NEW queue). We hope it will be available soon after Buster is released.

  • Support your local Hackerspace

    My first Hackerspace was Noisebridge. It was full of smart and interesting people and I never felt like I belonged, but I had just moved to San Francisco and it had interesting events, like 5MoF, and provided access to basic stuff I hadn’t moved with me, like a soldering iron. While I was never a heavy user of the space I very much appreciated its presence, and availability even to non-members. People were generally welcoming, it was a well stocked space and there was always something going on. These days my local hackerspace is Farset Labs. I don’t have a need for tooling in the same way, being lucky enough to have space at home and access to all the things I didn’t move to the US, but it’s still a space full of smart and interesting people that has interesting events. And mostly that’s how I make use of the space - I attend events there. It’s one of many venues in Belfast that are part of the regular Meetup scene, and for a while I was just another meetup attendee. A couple of things changed the way I looked at. Firstly, for whatever reason, I have more of a sense of belonging. It could be because the tech scene in Belfast is small enough that you’ll bump into the same people at wildly different events, but I think that’s true of the tech scene in most places. Secondly, I had the realisation (and this is obvious once you say it, but still) that Farset was the only non-commercial venue that was hosting these events. It’s predominantly funded by members fees; it’s not getting Invest NI or government subsidies (though I believe Weavers Court is a pretty supportive landlord).

  • Sam Hartman: AH/DAM/DPL Meet Up

    All the members of the Antiharassment team met with the Debian Account Managers and the DPL in that other Cambridge— the one with proper behaviour, not the one where pounds are weight and not money. I was nervous. I was not part of decision making earlier this year around code of conduct issues. I was worried that my concerns would be taken as insensitive judgment applied by someone who wasn’t there. I was worried about whether I would find my values aligned with the others. I care about treating people with respect. I also care about freedom of expression. I value a lot of feminist principles and fighting oppression. Yet I’m happy with my masculinity. I acknowledge my privilege and have some understanding of the inequities in the world. Yet I find some arguments based on privilege problematic and find almost all uses of the phrase “check your privilege” to be dismissive and to deny any attempt at building empathy and understanding. And Joerg was there. He can be amazingly compassionate and helpful. He can also be gruff at times. He values brevity, which I’m not good at. I was bracing myself for a sharp, brief, gruff rebuke delivered in response to my feedback. I know there would be something compassionate under such a rebuke, but it might take work to find.

Graphics: GNOME Meets Panfrost, Rob Clark, and More on Radeon Navi

  • GNOME meets Panfrost
  • GNOME Meets Panfrost

    Bring-up of GNOME required improving the driver’s robustness and performance, focused on Mali’s tiled architecture. Typically found in mobile devices, tiling GPU architectures divide the screen into many small tiles, like a kitchen floor, rendering each tile separately. This allows for unique optimizations but also poses unique challenges. One natural question is: how big should tiles be? If the tiles are too big, there’s no point to tiling, but if the tiles are too small, the GPU will repeat unnecessary work. Mali offers a hybrid answer: allow lots of different sizes! Mali’s technique of “hierarchical tiling” allows the GPU to use tiles as small as 16x16 pixels all the way up to 2048x2048 pixels. This “sliding scale” allows different types of content to be optimized in different ways. The tiling needs of a 3D game like SuperTuxKart are different from those of a user interface like GNOME Shell, so this technique gets us the best of both worlds! Although primarily handled in hardware, hierarchical tiling is configured by the driver; I researched this configuration mechanism in order to understand it and improve our configuration with respect to performance and memory usage. Tiled architectures additionally present an optimization opportunity: if the driver can figure out a priori which 16x16 tiles will definitely not change, those tiles can be culled from rendering entirely, saving both read and write bandwidth. As a conceptual example, if the GPU composites your entire desktop while you’re writing an email, there’s no need to re-render your web browser in the other window, since that hasn’t changed. I implemented an initial version of this optimization in Panfrost, accumulating the scissor state across draws within a frame, rendering only to the largest bounding box of the scissors. This optimization is particularly helpful for desktop composition, ideally improving performance on workloads like GNOME, Sway, and Weston.

  • MSM DRM Adding Snapdragon 835 / Adreno 540 Support In Linux 5.3

    Freedreno founder Rob Clark, who is now employed by Google to work on open-source graphics, has sent in the batch of MSM Direct Rendering Manager driver changes to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.3 kernel cycle.  Notable to this feature update is Adreno 540 / Snapdragon 835 support. The Snapdragon 835 has been out since 2016 and has also been found in some of the Snapdragon laptops. The Adreno 540 supports Vulkan 1.1, OpenGL ES 3.2, and its quad-core GPU runs at 710/670MHz with 512 ALUs, 16 TMUs, and 12 ROPs. 

  • Radeon Navi Support Pending For RadeonSI OpenGL Driver With 47k Line Worth Of Changes

    Last week AMD posted more than 400 patches providing the AMD Navi support within their AMDGPU DRM kernel driver while this week has brought dozens of patches amounting to 4,293 lines as a patch for their RadeonSI Gallium3D driver in order to provide OpenGL support on these next-gen GPUs being introduced next month as the Radeon RX 5700 series.  Well known AMD open-source developer Marek Olšák posted the Mesa patches yesterday for providing this initial Navi (10) support to Mesa. As is the case, AMD's Navi enablement is focused on the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver and not the unofficial/community driven RADV Radeon Vulkan driver also within Mesa. The RADV Navi support will be left up to those "community" contributors from the likes of Red Hat, Google, and yes the independent community members.