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Updated: 24 min 52 sec ago

GNU/Linux Skills, Raspberry Pi and FUD

37 min 5 sec ago
  • Raspberry Pi's potential is wider than you think

    What do you get for the techie who has everything? How about giving them a Raspberry Pi and letting them make pretty much anything. Or better yet, do it for yourself with the Ultimate Raspberry Pi eBook Bundle.

  • Systems Engineer Salary Rises Even Higher with Linux Experience

    Some companies treat “systems engineer” and “systems administrator” almost interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two positions. In broadest terms, systems engineers must design and implement a company’s system (comprising the network, servers, devices, etc.), whereas systems administrators are largely charged with keeping everything running.

    To frame it another way, system administration is a very reactive role, with sysadmins constantly monitoring networks for issues. Systems engineers, on the other hand, can build a system that anticipates users’ needs (and potential problems). In certain cases, they must integrate existing technology stacks (e.g., following the merger of two companies), and prototype different aspects of the network before it goes “live.”

  • New Linux-Targeting Crypto-Mining Malware Combines Hiding and Upgrading Capabilities [Ed: When your system gets cracked anything can happen afterwards; does not matter whether there's an upgrade or not? No.]

    Japanese multinational cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has detected a new strain of crypto-mining malware that targets PCs running Linux, according to a report published Nov. 8.
    The new strain is reportedly able to hide the malicious process of unauthorized cryptocurrency-mining through users’ CPU by implementing a rootkit component. The malware itself, detected by Trend Micro as Coinminer.Linux.KORKERDS.AB, is also reportedly capable of updating itself.

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Samsung Linux on DeX beta hands-on: do almost everything on your phone

44 min 35 sec ago

Among the various Linux on Android implementations, Samsung’s Linux on DeX definitely looks the most polished ready to use solution, even if it’s still in beta form. Although it uses a two-year-old version of Ubuntu, there is already a lot that can be done from that. Plus, just like Android users, Linux users can be pretty creative and only time will tell if they’ll be able to use Linux on DeX to make almost any Linux distro work.

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A Look At The GCC 9 Performance On Intel Skylake Against GCC 8, LLVM Clang 7/8

1 hour 32 min ago

With GCC 9 embarking upon its third stage of development where the focus ships to working on bug/regression fixes in preparation for releasing the GCC 9.1 stable compiler likely around the end of Q1'2019, here is a fresh look at the GCC 9 performance with its latest development code as of this week compared to GCC 8.2.0 stable while using an Intel Core i9 7980XE test system running Ubuntu Linux. For good measure are also fresh results from LLVM Clang 7.0 stable as well as LLVM Clang 8.0 SVN for the latest development state of that competing C/C++ open-source compiler.

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This under-$6 SBC runs Linux on RISC-V based C-SKY chip

1 hour 36 min ago

Hangzhou C-SKY has launched a “C-SKY Linux Development Board” for $5.60 and up, featuring a RISC-V derived, 574MHz C-SKY GX6605S CK610M SoC, 64MB DDR2, an HDMI port, and 2x USB 2.0 ports.

Last month, Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems Co. announced Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel support for its new RISC-V based C-SKY CK810 SoC design. Now, Hangzhou C-SKY has launched a development board that runs Linux on a similar CK610M SoC. The C-SKY Linux Development Board sells for 39-40 Yuan ($5.60 to $7.05) on Taobao and $19.50 to $21.50 on AliExpress.

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Ubuntu: 8 Reasons Why You Should Stick With Ubuntu Linux, Canonical Promotes Juju, Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 553

1 hour 57 min ago
  • 8 Reasons Why You Should Stick With Ubuntu Linux

    Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system remains the most popular version of desktop Linux. But once the company stopped developing its own Unity interface, its focus moved elsewhere. Canonical’s eyes are now set more on the cloud than the device you’re reading this on.

    If Canonical no longer seems to care all that much about the Ubuntu desktop, why should you? Turns out there are plenty of reasons to stick with this particular version of Linux.

  • Using Juju to manage evolving complex software

    With developers increasingly moving towards microservices – and with the growing prevalence of the cloud as the default platform – software has become more complex than ever.

    While installing all of the interconnected applications that make up a modern software stack is becoming easier, the real sting in the tail comes on day two and beyond – when it is time to maintain, upgrade, and scale the deployment.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 553

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Michael Howard: Embrace of open source is destroying 'artificial definitions' of legacy vendors

2 hours 17 sec ago

Michael Howard, Berkley grad and alumnus of Oracle and EMC, took the helm at open-source biz MariaDB almost three years ago. Reflecting on how things have changed, he reckons the biggest shift is in how both investors and enterprise have embrace open-source. Now, he has an IPO on his mind.

In an interview with El Reg, Howard – who, as noted at the time of his appointment, has worked for a number of companies who were slurped up by bigger businesses – said the end of 2018 will see the end of the first year of a three-year plan he devised for the firm.

Broadly, Howard sets out an overall roadmap of three pieces for the firm. Unsurprisingly, cloud native technology is first up. The other two are adaptive scalability, with the aim of supporting “mom and pop shops all the way to planet-scale processing for the largest social platforms”, and boosting the quality of service by professionalising people and technology, for instance through machine learning.

But in addition to these technical goals, there’s the business side of things, and the boss said the plan “is being able to go public; to be able to get the company buttoned up at the right revenue level to go public”.

“We have a voracious appetite for getting to our strategic goals, and part of that is revenue and going public.”

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The Linux desktop: With great success comes great failure

2 hours 13 min ago

And what do roughly 95.6% of all websites run on? With the exception of Microsoft sites, the answer is Linux. Facebook? Linux. Google? Linux. Yahoo? Linux. Netflix? Linux. I can go on and on. You may use Windows on your desktop, but it’s effectively just a front end to Linux-based services and data. You might as well be using a Chromebook (running on Linux-based Chrome OS, by the way).

But as a matter of fact, Windows is no longer the top end-user operating system. Oh yes, it does still dominate the desktop, but the desktop hasn’t been king of the end-user hill for some time. By StatCounter’s reckoning, the most popular end-user operating system as of September 2018, with 40.85% market share, was — drum roll, please — Android. Which — guess what — is based on Linux.

So, in several senses, Linux has been the top end-user operating system for some time.

But not on the desktop, where Windows still reigns.

Why? There are many reasons.

Back when desktop Linux got its start, Microsoft kept it a niche operating system by using strong-arm tactics with PC vendors. For instance, when Linux-powered netbooks gave Microsoft serious competition on low-end laptops in the late ’00s, Microsoft dug XP Home up from the graveyard to stop it in its tracks.

But Microsoft’s avid competitiveness is only part of the story. In fact, Microsoft has gotten quite chummy with Linux lately. It’s fair to say that it’s no longer trying to stop the Linux desktop from gaining ground.

Also: Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

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Security: Reproducible Builds, D-Link, Kaspersky

2 hours 20 min ago

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BSD: Capsicum Project in FreeBSD and Elisa in FreeBSD

2 hours 24 min ago
  • Capsicum

    I spent a couple of years evangelizing about Capsicum. I wrote many articles about it. So, it is very natural that I would also like to update you on this blog about the progress of the Capsicum project in FreeBSD, because this is what I’m doing in my free time. That said I feel that this blog wouldn’t be completed without some introduction to what Capsicum is. This post should fill this gap. Over the next weeks and months we will extend this topic and discuss different parts of Capsicum. Without further introduction let’s jump into the topic

  • Elisa in FreeBSD

    Elisa (product page, release announcements blog) is a music player designer for excellent integration into the KDE Plasma desktop (but of course it runs everywhere, including some non-Free platforms). I had used it a few times, but had not gotten around to packaging it. So today I threw together a FreeBSD port of Elisa, and you’ll be able to install it from official packages whenever the package cluster gets around to it.

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Spanish GNU/Linux Distribution Void Linux: New images now available!

2 hours 27 min ago

Void also comes in musl C flavors, which use the musl C library, a lightweight alternative to the popular glibc library.

Did you know you can run Void in the cloud? We provide ready to upload images for Google Cloud Platform that are compatible with the always free tier! You can also easily build images for other cloud providers from our ready to run x64 tarballs.

Our rootfs tarballs can also be used anywhere you want a Void Linux chroot and are available for all architectures we currently compile for.

You can find all images and rootfs tarballs at https://alpha.de.repo.voidlinux.org/live/current, or in the /live/current directory on any mirror near you.

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Red Hat and Fedora News Leftovers

2 hours 41 min ago

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Programming: Compilers and Perl

2 hours 56 min ago
  • ARMv8.5 Support Lands In GCC Compiler With Latest Spectre Protection

    Landing just in time with the GCC 9 branching being imminent is ARMv8.5-A support in the GNU Compiler Collection's ARM64/AArch64 back-end.

    This ARMv8.5-A support is an incremental upgrade over the existing ARMv8 support. The ARMv8.5 additions are similar to what we already saw land for LLVM / Clang.

  • Comparing The Quality Of Debug Information Produced By Clang And Gcc

    I've had an intuition that clang produces generally worse debuginfo than gcc for optimized C++ code. It seems that clang builds have more variables "optimized out" — i.e. when stopped inside a function where a variable is in scope, the compiler's generated debuginfo does not describe the value of the variable. This makes debuggers less effective, so I've attempted some qualitative analysis of the issue.

    I chose to measure, for each parameter and local variable, the range of instruction bytes within its function over which the debuginfo can produce a value for this variable, and also the range of instruction bytes over which the debuginfo says the variable is in scope (i.e. the number of instruction bytes in the enclosing lexical block or function). I add those up over all variables, and compute the ratio of variable-defined-bytes to variable-in-scope-bytes. The higher this "definition coverage" ratio, the better.

  • Quo vadis, Perl?

    By losing the sight of the strategies in play, I feel the discussion degenerated very early in personal accusations that certainly leave scars while not resulting in even a hint of progress. We are not unique in this situation, see the recent example of the toll it took on Guido van Rossum. I can only sympathize with Larry is feeling these days.

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Mozilla: Price Wise and New Council Members

3 hours 28 sec ago
  • Track Prices and Send One-Step Email Links With Firefox’s New Test Pilot Experiments

    Firefox Test Pilot is Mozilla’s way to test out interesting new features. Some of these features see the light of the day, and others just vanish into thin air. However, that doesn’t stop the Firefox Pilot team from experimenting with browser.

    Today, Firefox announced two new such experiments — namely Price Wise and Email Tabs. Both are ridiculously useful for a user who would like to crack tedious work in mere seconds.

  • Shop intelligently with Price Wise

    Tell Price Wise to keep an eye on a product, and it’s added to your watch list.
    Price Wise will automatically monitor the prices of products on your watch list. When they drop, we’ll let you know:

    When the price drops, Price Wise alerts you with a colorful heads-up.
    Price checks are done locally, so your shopping data never leaves Firefox. We’re particularly excited about that; Price Wise is the first Firefox feature designed around Fathom, a toolkit for understanding the content of webpages you browse.
    Existing software like this works by tracking you across the web, and it’s often run by advertisers and social networks seeking to learn more about you. Your browser can do these checks for you, while making sure the gathered information never leaves your computer. We know it’s possible to deliver great utility while protecting your privacy, and want you to get a great deal without getting a raw deal.

  • Mozilla Reps Community: New Council Members – Fall 2018 Elections

    We are very happy to announce that our 2 new Council members Monica Bonilla and Yofie Setiawan are fully on-boarded and already working moving the Mozilla Reps program forward. A warm welcome from all of us. We we are very excited to have you and can’t wait to build the program together.

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Servers: Amazon, HPC and Red Hat/IBM

3 hours 3 min ago
  • Stay classy: Amazon's Jassy gets sassy with Larry

    Amazon’s consumer business has switched off its Oracle data warehouse and will be almost Big Red-free by Christmas – at least according to AWS boss Andy Jassy.

    The claims – made over Twitter, so it must be true – were then doubled down on by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, who said that the database was one of the largest in the world, adding “RIP”.

    It’s the latest in a long-running war of words between the rival tech giants that normally sees Oracle CTO Larry Ellison smack-talking the online marketplace-cum-cloud vendor.

  • U.S Supercomputers Lead Top500 Performance Ranking

    The IBM POWER9 based Summit system has retained its crown that it first achieved in the June 2018 ranking. Summit is installed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and now has performance of 143.5 petaflops per second, up from the 122.3 petaflops the system had when it first came online.

    [...]

    Though China doesn't hold the top spot on the list, it now has more supercomputers than any other other nation with 227. In contrast, there are now only 109 systems on the Top500 list that are located in the U.S., which is an all-time low.

    That said, thanks to the enormous power of Summit and Sierra at the top, the U.S. is home to 38 percent of the total aggregate supercomputing power on the top500 list, while China's systems account for 31 percent.

  • Introducing Red Hat virtual central office solution: An open pathway to modern telecommunications services

    Digital transformation and technology modernization aren’t trends that are limited just to the enterprise world. Behind the walls of proprietary stacks, many telecommunications service providers also want to use open innovation to evolve their infrastructure and services in an agile, flexible fashion. But these closed stacks are a problem and one that extends from the core datacenter all the way to the central offices.

    Central offices are the local “hubs” of many telecommunications networks, often handling “last-mile” operations like telephone switching, copper, and optical terminations. These operations lean on purpose-built equipment that can be rigid and complex. Coupled with a lack of open standards, these devices can struggle to interact with each other, making the life of operations teams in central offices harder, especially in the face of demand for modern services expected from 5G. These differentiated services increasingly require virtualized environments and computing power at the network edge, leading to substantial demand for resources, flexibility and operational simplicity.

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Events: Jesień Linuksowa 2018, Sustain OSS 2018, Hacktoberfest Celebrates 5th Anniversary

3 hours 6 min ago
  • Jesień Linuksowa 2018

    Last weekend I participated in the conference Jesień Linuksowa 2018 in Krakow, Poland. It was my first time in a country with so much tragic historical experiences.

    On the hand, I was impressed by the community members and the organization of the event. We celebrated another edition of Linux Autumn in the hotel Gwarek and my post-event wrap up will take into consideration seven basic points:

    Organizers

    This time I was accompanied by my friend Ana Garcia, who is a student at the University of Edinburgh and the members of the organization were supportive and kind all the time with us. We felt a warm environment since we arrive at night in the middle of the fog at midnight. They helped us with our talks and workshops we offer related to parallelization.

    We meet new friends! Thanks to Dominik, Rafal, Filip, Linter and Matej from Red Hat.

  • Sustain OSS 2018: quick rewind

    This year, I attended the second edition of the Sustain Open Source Summit (a.k.a. Sustain OSS) on October 25th, 2018 in London. Sustain OSS is a one-day discussion on various topics about sustainability in open source ecosystems. It’s also a collection of diverse roles across the world of open source. From small project maintainers to open source program managers at the largest tech companies in the world, designers to government employees, there is a mix of backgrounds in the room. Yet there is a shared context around the most systemic problems faced by open source projects, communities, and people around the world.

    The shared context is the most valuable piece of the conference. As a first-time attendee, I was blown away by the depth and range of topics covered by attendees. This blog post covers a narrow perspective of Sustain OSS through the sessions I participated and co-facilitated in.

  • A Review of Hacktoberfest Year 5!
  • Hacktoberfest Celebrates 5th Anniversary

    Five years ago the community team at DigitalOcean wanted to create a program to inspire open source contributions. That first year, in 2014, the first Hacktoberfest participants were asked for 50 commits, and those who completed the challenge received a reward of swag. 676 people signed up and 505 forged ahead to the finish line, earning stickers and a custom limited-edition T-shirt.

    This year that number is an astounding 46,088 completions out of 106,582 sign-ups. We’ve seen it become an entry point to developers contributing to open source projects: much more than a program, it’s clear that Hacktoberfest has become a global community movement with a shared set of values and passion for giving back.

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Xfce Support For "Primary Display" Output Handling Finally Being Squared Away

3 hours 16 min ago

The latest feature on deck for the long overdue Xfce 4.14 desktop update is support for the RandR primary display/output functionality.

The X11 Resize and Rotate (RandR) protocol has long had baked into it the concept of a primary output/display, which is intended to be where the desktop panel(s), icons, notifications and other central functionality of the desktop would reside. Basically, of a multi-monitor configuration, the display head that is most important for your workflow.

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Games: Latest Titles Available for GNU/Linux

3 hours 28 min ago

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Graphics: Vulkan, Wayland, AMD, Mesa and Vulkan

3 hours 56 min ago
  • Vulkan 1.1.92 Released, Finally Allows For Chunked HTML Documentation

    Vulkan 1.1.92 is out today to mark the newest specification update to this high-performance graphics/compute API.

    With it just being one week since Vulkan 1.1.91 that brought some new/improved extensions, there isn't any new extensions to find with Vulkan 1.1.92. But there are a number of documentation/specification corrections and clarifications.

  • Wayland Protocols 1.17 Brings Explicit Synchronization & Primary Selection

    Jonas Ådahl of Red Hat today released a new version of Wayland-Protocols, the collection of stable and unstable protocols for extending Wayland functionality.

    With the Wayland-Protocols 1.17 release the big new feature is the initial (unstable) version of linux-explicit-synchronization. The Wayland explicit synchronization protocol provides a means of explicit per-surface buffer synchronization. This synchronization protocol is based on Google Chromium's extension (zcr_linux_explicit_synchronization_v1) and lets clients request this explicit synchronization on a per-surface basis. Google, Intel, and Collabora were involved in the formation of this extension.

  • The Radeon GCN Backend Is Still Being Worked On For GCC, GCC 9 Deadline Looms

    Back in September Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics posted their new Radeon GCN port for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). Two months later this port is still being worked on but not yet ready for mainline.

    This Radeon GCN back-end for GCC is being done with a focus on GPU computing with eventually a goal of allowing OpenMP / OpenACC offloading to newer AMD GPUs. At this current stage, single-threaded C and Fortran programs can be built for Radeon GPUs with this compiler but the multi-threading API offloading bits are still coming about. This back-end has been focused on Fiji/Tonga support and newer.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Sees Its First Tagged Release

    In the nearly one year that the AMDVLK official Vulkan driver has been open-source there hasn't been any "releases" but rather new code drops on a weekly basis that is pushed out of their internal development repositories. But surprisingly this morning is now a v2018.4.1 release tag for this open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver.

    The AMDVLK public source repositories have just been perpetual Git while AMD pulls from their internal repositories when building out their official closed-source Windows/Linux Radeon Software driver releases (that also use their closed-source shader compiler currently rather than the open-source AMDGPU LLVM back-end, as used by the public AMDVLK sources). Waking up this morning there is now the first release tag in AMDVLK as v2018.4.1.

  • Mesa Drops Support For AMD Zen L3 Thread Pinning, Will Develop New Approach

    It was just a few months back that the Mesa/RadeonSI open-source AMD Linux driver stack received Zen tuning for that CPU microarchitecture's characteristics. But now AMD's Marek Olšák is going back to the drawing board to work on a new approach for Zen tuning.

    Just a few days ago I wrote about another developer wanting to toggle the support around L3 thread pinning as it was found to hurt the RadeonSI Gallium3D performance in at least some Linux games. At that point the goal was to allow making it a DriConf tunable that could then be adjusted a per-game/app basis, but it turns out the gains aren't there to keep it around.

  • Mesa Gets Testing Patches For New Zen Optimization Around Thread Pinning

    It was just yesterday that the AMD Zen L3 thread pinning was dropped from Mesa due to that optimization not panning out as intended for benefiting the new AMD processors with the open-source Linux graphics driver stack. Lead Mesa hacker Marek Olšák is already out with a new Zen tuning implementation that may deliver on the original optimization goal.

    The first patch posted by Marek as part of his new tuning effort is to regularly re-pin the driver threads to the core complex (CCX) where the application thread is. Basically, when Mesa is being used without the glthread (OpenGL threading) behavior, keep chasing the application/game thread on the processor so it will be part of the same CCX and share a cache. This chasing is done rather than explicitly pinning the application thread.

  • The Shiny New Features Of Mesa 18.3 For Open-Source Intel / Radeon Graphics Drivers

    Being well into the Mesa 18.3 feature freeze and that quarterly update to these open-source OpenGL/Vulkan drivers due out in about two weeks, here is a look at all of the new features and changes you can expect to find with this big update.

  • NVIDIA released a new 415.13 beta driver recently for Linux

    One I completely forgot to post about here, NVIDIA recently released the 415.13 beta driver for Linux.

    Released on the 8th of November, it includes a number of interesting fixes, including an issue fixed with WINE where it might crash on recent distribution releases. Nice to see WINE get some focus, since things like this can affect Valve's Steam Play.

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