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OMG! Ubuntu!

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An online Ubuntu magazine bringing you the latest Ubuntu news, apps, interview and reviews. Daily.
Updated: 1 hour 32 min ago

Ubuntu 19.10 Will Feature a Bright New Look

Tuesday 10th of September 2019 01:46:24 PM

A light yaru theme ships as part of Ubuntu 19.10, replacing the old Yaru gtk theme's dark header bars with lighter ones aimed at improving usability.

This post, Ubuntu 19.10 Will Feature a Bright New Look, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Vertical Option in Development for Dash to Panel

Monday 9th of September 2019 04:14:34 PM

If you long for a Dash to Panel vertical option I've some seriously good news: one is in currently in development on Github and working!

This post, Vertical Option in Development for Dash to Panel, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

The Vivaldi Browser is Now Available on Android

Monday 9th of September 2019 04:05:18 PM

A Vivaldi browser Android app is now available on the Google Play Store. Vivaldi's Android app is currently in beta with some unique features.

This post, The Vivaldi Browser is Now Available on Android, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Mumble Chat App Get First Major Update in 10 Years

Monday 9th of September 2019 02:48:43 PM

A new version of Mumble, an open source VoIP often regarded as a viable alternative to services like Skype and Discord, is now available for download.

This post, Mumble Chat App Get First Major Update in 10 Years, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

This Handy Nvidia Optimus Linux Tool Makes Switching Between GPUs Easy

Sunday 8th of September 2019 04:24:08 PM

If you’re using Nvidia Optimus on Linux you switch between discrete and integrated graphics using the ‘mate-optimus’ utility. This panel-based applet even supports the Nvidia PRIME offloading feature included in the latest NVIDIA 435.x Linux […]

This post, This Handy Nvidia Optimus Linux Tool Makes Switching Between GPUs Easy, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Telegram Update Adds Message Scheduling, Personal Reminders & New Theme Options

Friday 6th of September 2019 01:43:06 PM

Messaging scheduling is among the new features added to the hugely popular Telegram messaging service. Telegram 1.8.3 (v5.11 on mobile) introduces the ability to schedule messages. This feature could prove particularly useful for Telegram group […]

This post, Telegram Update Adds Message Scheduling, Personal Reminders & New Theme Options, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

You can now use Apple Music on Linux without any hacks

Friday 6th of September 2019 03:30:34 AM

Apple Music is now available through a web browser, which means I'm pleased/obligated to report that you can now use the service on Linux!

This post, You can now use Apple Music on Linux without any hacks, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

FreeOffice Update Adds .ODT File Saving, Dark Mode

Thursday 5th of September 2019 11:58:01 PM

An updated version of FreeOffice, the free Microsoft alternative for Windows, macOS and Linux, is now available to download and it includes a dark mode.

This post, FreeOffice Update Adds .ODT File Saving, Dark Mode, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Dell Makes It Easier to Find Its Growing Linux Range

Thursday 5th of September 2019 09:01:31 PM

Dell. Blessed Dell. The computer giant is passionate about meeting the needs of Linux loving users with its “Project Sputnik” derived line of devices — and we love them for it! But while Dell might […]

This post, Dell Makes It Easier to Find Its Growing Linux Range, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Librem 5 Ships This Month, But Buyers May Want to Wait

Thursday 5th of September 2019 03:00:19 PM

The Librem 5 Linux phone WILL begin shipping to customers in late September as planned, Purism has confirmed. But not all of those who backed the privacy-focused smartphone during its crowdfunding campaign in 2017 will […]

This post, Librem 5 Ships This Month, But Buyers May Want to Wait, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Ubuntu Dock Might Start Showing Trash and Removable Device Icons

Wednesday 4th of September 2019 03:16:52 PM

An Ubuntu Dock trash icon and support for listing removable devices are among the improvements headed to the desktop dock in Ubuntu 19.10.

This post, Ubuntu Dock Might Start Showing Trash and Removable Device Icons, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

GNOME 3.34: The 10 Best Changes & Features

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019 05:55:22 PM

The new GNOME 3.34 release brings a sizeable set of new features and changes with it, and in this post we look at the best. GNOME 3.34 is a substantial yet iterative upgrade that rounds off […]

This post, GNOME 3.34: The 10 Best Changes & Features, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Firefox 69 is Now Available to Download

Tuesday 3rd of September 2019 03:03:21 PM

A brand new version of Mozilla Firefox, the famed open source web browser, is available to download from Mozilla’s FTP server. Firefox 69 is a modest release on the features front, with its most notable […]

This post, Firefox 69 is Now Available to Download, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

How to Check Ubuntu Version Number [Quick Tip]

Sunday 1st of September 2019 02:18:57 PM

Need to check which Ubuntu version you’re on? There are a couple of different ways you can find out, and in this post we detail them. Remember to check Ubuntu version before you follow any […]

This post, How to Check Ubuntu Version Number [Quick Tip], was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Microsoft is Bringing exFAT to the Linux Kernel (And No-One’s Getting Sued)

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 09:18:32 PM

Microsoft has announced that it’s bringing exFAT support to the Linux kernel, with code contributed licensed under GPLv2. This is huge, unexpected, yet very welcome #opensource news. Microsoft’s exFAT file system is prevalent throughout a […]

This post, Microsoft is Bringing exFAT to the Linux Kernel (And No-One’s Getting Sued), was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Thunderbird 68 Released with New App Menu, Other UI Changes

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 08:46:11 PM

Thunderbird 68, a major update to the popular open source desktop email client, is now available. Features include an improved app menu.

This post, Thunderbird 68 Released with New App Menu, Other UI Changes, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

New App Makes Linux Firmware Management MUCH Easier (Updated)

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 03:01:01 PM

It’s trivial to update firmware on Linux these days thanks to the LVFS, the fwupd tool, and integration within the GNOME Software app (aka Ubuntu Software on Ubuntu). But there are times when a user […]

This post, New App Makes Linux Firmware Management MUCH Easier (Updated), was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Xfce 4.16 Gets Underway, Plans New Release Next Year

Tuesday 27th of August 2019 02:57:40 PM

Following on from the warmly received release Xfce 4.14 the Xfce development team is turning its attention to the next major update. And there’s some good news: it will arrive much sooner than you, I, […]

This post, Xfce 4.16 Gets Underway, Plans New Release Next Year, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Install Chromium on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS & Linux Mint

Monday 26th of August 2019 04:52:05 PM

Here's how to install Chromium on Ubuntu the easy way, without using source code downloads, on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and above, as well as Linux Mint.

This post, Install Chromium on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS & Linux Mint, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

You Can Buy the $199 Pinebook Pro Linux Laptop Right Now (Updated)

Sunday 25th of August 2019 11:16:40 PM

Pinebook Pro, the hotly-anticipated $199 Linux laptop from Pine64, is now available to order. Members of the Pine64 messaging board have been able to buy the ARM-based 14-inch notebook over the course of the past […]

This post, You Can Buy the $199 Pinebook Pro Linux Laptop Right Now (Updated), was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

More in Tux Machines

Three-course professional specialization aims to close the gap between the use and understanding of open source in business

Even though open source software (OSS) is pervasive in IT, many people in business don't understand what open source is and how it differs from proprietary software. According to Brandeis University, "open source software now accounts for between 78% and 98% of all core digital infrastructure, yet few organizational managers understand the business behind it." In an effort to close the gap between open source usage and understanding, Brandeis and the Open Source Initiative (OSI) have launched a three-course specialization in Open Source Technology Management. After attending an information session about the new program at All Things Open 2019, I was eager to learn more about it and how it will be delivered and assessed, so I reached out to the leadership at Brandeis and the OSI over email for more information. (The interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity.) Read more

Mozilla: Firefox Extension Spotlight and Rust in Purism and Rav1e

  • Firefox Extension Spotlight: Image Search Options

    Let’s say you stumble upon an interesting image on the web and you want to learn more about it, like… where did it come from? Who are the people in it? Is there a backstory? Are there others like it? There are a number of dedicated image search engines that can help you learn more, but if you do a lot of reverse image searching (dubbed “reverse” because instead of using text to search images, you start this search process with an image), it quickly becomes cumbersome to always copy the image, navigate to your preferred image search site, paste in the pic, sift through results, etc. Naturally, there are browser extensions designed to streamline this distinct form of search. One of the most capable is Image Search Options. It makes reverse image searching simple and fast. Once installed on Firefox, just right-click on any image you find to pull up a context menu offering 11 image search engines. That search engine variety should be enough to satisfy most folks, but if not, Image Search Options allows you to customize the list of search providers by adding your own or removing others. You can even set it to automatically search across multiple engines simultaneously.

  • Oxidizing Squeekboard

    The experiment relies entirely on Squeekboard as the subject. It has been chosen due to the need to redesign it for a new process (X.org to Wayland), and due to being relatively easy to separate. Because Rust is an element belonging to the programming language group, this analysis ignores all other constituents of Squeekboard. Squeekboard’s programming languages are almost exclusively Rust and C, with some shell and Meson impurities, which are subsequently ignored, as replacing them with Rust is not expected to yield useful results. [...] Oxidation is a process of adding oxygen to a chemical compound. Some examples are burning, and rusting. This experiment concerns the Rusting of a compound called Squeekboard: a derivative of Eekboard, originally containing high quantities of C, and reacting eagerly with GObject, GTK, and the X windowing system. The goal of the ongoing experiment is to measure properties of Rust and the consequences of its application in real-world conditions. Due to safety and time concerns, the widely popular approach of Rewrite it in Rust (RiiR) was dismissed in favor of a gradual oxidation process.

  • Rav1e Squeezes Out More Performance For This Rust-Written AV1 Encoder

    Intel's SVT-AV1 video encoder for AV1 is currently the fastest AV1 CPU-based encoder we have seen but it's looking like in due time Rav1e could be closing in on it if they continue with their current trajectory. Recently we've seen this Rust-written AV1 encoder making impressive gains in performance. There has been x86 hand-tuned Assembly and more instruction set extensions now being exploited by rav1e and other performance improvements. It's been enough that earlier this month marked the first release of rav1e.

Pinebook Pro Review: A $200 laptop that’s only for cool people.

There’s a $200 laptop out in the wild now that has been getting a lot of buzz in the Fediverse. It’s called the Pinebook Pro and it ships with a customized version of Debian Stretch with the Mate desktop. If you don’t know what that means, it’s Linux. This is a Linux laptop. But that’s not all… it also has a few other tricks up its sleeve, like a bootable MicroSD card slot so you can easily run other operating systems off a cheap memory card whenever you feel like it. Now, this is being sold at cost mainly as a gift to the Free (as in Freedom) Open Source Software (FOSS) community so it’s not really meant for normal people. If you just want to open web pages like Facebook or Google Docs, you’re probably better off with a Chromebook or Macbook. If you believe in freedom and like to seriously learn about technology, keep reading… The Pinebook Pro is serious fun! Read more

Kernel: LWN's Latest Free Articles and Linux Support for "Data Streaming Accelerator" (DSA)

  • The 2019 Automated Testing Summit

    As with the first ATS, this edition was organized by Tim Bird and Kevin Hilman. Bird welcomed everyone to the conference then turned things over to Hilman for something of an overview of the "kernel testing landscape". Hilman started by noting that there were some gatherings and discussions at the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) in September, which he described in an email to the automated-testing mailing list. There were some themes that came out of those discussions, he said, which led to the title of his talk (slides [PDF]): "The bugs are too fast (and why we can't catch them)". He gave a brief summary of the new kernel unit-testing frameworks that were discussed at LPC in order to bring attendees up to date on what kernel developers have been up to. The existing kernel test efforts, including kselftest, Linux Test Project (LTP), syzbot, and others, are likely pretty familiar to attendees, he said. The KUnit framework (LWN article from March) has been merged into linux-next; it is a fast way to test kernel functionality in an architecture-independent way and can be run in user space with user-mode Linux (UML). The Kernel Test Framework (KTF) is another unit-test framework that has been posted for comments. Since KUnit is headed for the mainline, though, the KTF project will need to figure out how to add its functionality to KUnit, Hilman said, since there won't be multiple unit-test frameworks in the mainline. He then turned to the various testing initiatives that are currently active. The Intel 0-Day test service is probably the longest running; it is "mostly Intel focused". The Linaro Linux kernel functional testing (LKFT) has "quite a bit of in-depth testing but on a narrower set of hardware". The Red Hat continuous kernel integration (CKI) project has been around for a while, but has only recently been seen more publicly, he said; it is focused on testing stable kernels. And, of course, there is KernelCI that he cofounded; it was officially announced as a Linux Foundation project earlier in the week.

  • Emulated iopl()

    Operating systems and computing hardware both carry a lot of their history with them. The x86 I/O-port mechanism is one piece of that history; it is rarely used by hardware designed in the last 20 years, but it must still be supported. That doesn't mean that this support can't be cleaned up and improved, though, especially when the old implementation turns out to have some unpleasant properties. An example can be seen in the iopl() patch set from Thomas Gleixner. On most architectures, I/O is handled through memory-mapped I/O (MMIO) regions. A peripheral device will make a set of registers available as a range of memory; that range is then mapped into the processor's address space. Device drivers can then interact with the device by reading from and writing to those registers using normal memory accesses (or something close to that). This mechanism is flexible and it allows, for example, a set of registers to be mapped into a user-space process if the need arises; user-space drivers generally depend on this capability. Back in the early days of the x86 architecture, though, things were done a little differently. A separate address space was created for up to 65536 I/O ports, which have to be accessed via special instructions. Even devices that could map memory ranges for other purposes would use I/O ports for their control interfaces. The instructions for accessing I/O ports are necessarily privileged, so user-space code cannot normally use them.

  • Statistics from the 5.4 development cycle

    As of this writing, just over 14,000 non-merge changesets have found their way into the mainline repository for the 5.4 release; that is a bit less than we saw for 5.3, but more than most of the other recent kernels. The final 5.4 release is approaching, so it must be time for our usual look at where the code merged in this development cycle came from. It's mostly business as usual in the kernel community, modulo an appearance from none other than Hulk Robot. Those 14,000 changesets were contributed by 1,802 developers, which is just short of the 1,846 who contributed to 5.3; there is still time, though, for 5.4 to set a new record for the number of contributors — a surprising number of developers wait until the end of the release cycle to fix something. Of the developers seen so far, 266 made their first contribution to the kernel in this cycle. The combined work from these developers increased the size of the kernel by 393,000 lines.

  • Analyzing kernel email

    Digging into the email that provides the cornerstone of Linux kernel development is an endeavor that has become more popular over the last few years. There are some practical reasons for analyzing the kernel mailing lists and for correlating that information with the patches that actually reach the mainline, including tracking the path that patches take—or don't take. Three researchers reported on some efforts they have made on kernel email analysis at the 2019 Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE), held in late October in Lyon, France. The presentation (slides [PDF]) actually listed four speakers, though one could not make it to ELCE. The three present were Ralf Ramsauer, from the Technical University of Applied Sciences Regensburg, Sebastian Duda, of Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg, and Wolfgang Mauerer, of Siemens AG in Munich. Lukas Bulwahn, who is a hobbyist active in the Linux Foundation ELISA Project and employed at BMW AG, was unable to attend. In the introduction, Mauerer jokingly suggested that the goal of the research was to understand more "than the NSA already knows" about the behavior of kernel developers. Really, though, the presentation was meant partly as a request for comments; the researchers have been observing the kernel community for some time and have been pulling out pieces they find interesting, but they would be happy to hear other ideas on the kinds of analysis that would be useful to the community.

  • Intel Details New Data Streaming Accelerator For Future CPUs - Linux Support Started

    The "Data Streaming Accelerator" (DSA) is a new block on future Intel CPUs that hasn't been talked about much publicly... Until now. Intel's open-source crew has begun detailing DSA for future Intel CPUs that will offer high-performance data movement and transformation operations. The Linux driver enablement has begun.