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Google outlines plans for mainline Linux kernel support in Android

This is an extremely long journey that results in every device shipping millions of lines of out-of-tree kernel code. Every shipping device kernel is different and device specific—basically no device kernel from one phone will work on another phone. The mainline kernel version for a device is locked in at the beginning of an SoC's initial development, so it's typical for a brand-new device to ship with a Linux kernel that is two years old. Even Google's latest and, uh, greatest device, the Pixel 4, shipped in October 2019 with Linux kernel 4.14, an LTS release from November 2017. It will be stuck on kernel 4.14 forever, too. Android devices do not get kernel updates, probably thanks to the incredible amount of work needed to produce just a single device kernel, and the chain of companies that would need to cooperate to do it. Thanks to kernel updates never happening, this means every new release of Android usually has to support the last three years of LTS kernel releases (the minimum for Android 10 is 4.9, a 2016 release). Google's commitments to support older versions of Android with security patches means the company is still supporting kernel 3.18, which is five years old now. Google's band-aid solution for this so far has been to team up with the Linux community and support mainline Linux LTS releases for longer, and they're now up to six years of support. Last year, at Linux Plumbers Conference 2018, Google announced its initial investigation into bringing the Android kernel closer to mainline Linux. This year it shared a bit more detail on its progress so far, but it's definitely still a work in progress. "Today, we don't know what it takes to be added to the kernel to run on a [specific] Android device," Android Kernel Team lead Sandeep Patil told the group at LPC 2019. "We know what it takes to run Android but not necessarily on any given hardware. So our goal is to basically find all of that out, then upstream it and try to be as close to mainline as possible." Read more

Thin clients showcase new Gemini Lake Refresh chips

The Futro S9010, S7010, and S5010, which we saw on Fanless Tech, are intended to run the proprietary, Linux-based eLux RP 6.7.0 CR, although they also support Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. Read more

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Linux in the Ham Shack, Linux Headlines, LibreOffice 6.4 Alpha Quick Look and OpenIndiana 2019.10 Overview

Announcing coreboot 4.11

The coreboot project is proud to announce to have released coreboot 4.11. This release cycle was a bit shorter to get closer to our regular schedule of releasing in spring and autumn. Since 4.10 there were 1630 new commits by over 130 developers. Of these, about 30 contributed to coreboot for the first time. Thank you to all contributors who made 4.11 what it is and welcome to the project to all new contributors! Read more Also: Coreboot 4.11 Brings Many Intel Improvements, New Support For Supermicro / Lenovo Boards