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Linux Hardware Reviews & News
Updated: 2 hours 6 min ago

How Linux Performance Changed In 2017 With Clear Linux & Ubuntu

Thursday 28th of December 2017 07:30:00 PM
The latest in our streak of year-end benchmarking is seeing how Linux performance has evolved over the course of 2017. For that we tested Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux distribution as well as Ubuntu using releases from the start of the year to their current state for seeing how the performance compares using the same system.

Wlroots Is A New, Modular Wayland Compositor Library

Thursday 28th of December 2017 06:26:29 PM
Drew DeVault who is the lead developer of the i3-compatible Sway Wayland compositor has introduced wlroots as a new modular Wayland compositor library...

GCC 8 vs. LLVM Clang 6 Performance At End Of Year 2017

Thursday 28th of December 2017 04:19:30 PM
For those wondering how the LLVM Clang vs. GCC C/C++ compiler performance is comparing as we end out 2017, here are some recent benchmarks using the latest Clang 6.0 SVN and GCC 8.0.0 compilers in a range of benchmarks.

AMD Pushes Out Their First Post-Release Update Of AMDVLK/XGL

Thursday 28th of December 2017 02:22:50 PM
AMD developers working on the newly open-sourced AMDVLK Vulkan driver have pushed out their first post-release code update synced against the latest changes in their internal AMD driver tree...

Syzbot: Google Continuously Fuzzing The Linux Kernel

Thursday 28th of December 2017 12:38:58 PM
On the Linux kernel mailing list over the past week has been a discussion about Syzbot, an effort by Google for continuously fuzzing the mainline Linux kernel and its branches with automatic bug reporting...

A Proposal To Update Ubuntu's Kernel/Mesa/GNOME Components On A Monthly Basis

Thursday 28th of December 2017 12:08:47 PM
It's not quite the Ubuntu rolling-release process that some have proposed over the years, but a new proposal is being formulated for shipping updates to key Ubuntu system components on a monthly basis rather than having to wait six months for updates to the Linux kernel, Mesa, etc...

Jailhouse v0.8 Linux Hypervisor Released

Thursday 28th of December 2017 11:13:27 AM
The past few years Siemens has been working on Jailhouse as a Linux-based partitioning hypervisor that has aimed to be a lighter alternative to KVM. It's been seven months since the last update, but now Jailhouse 0.8 is now available...

Cannonlake/Icelake Desktop CPUs Won't Have PKU Memory Protection Support

Thursday 28th of December 2017 11:02:40 AM
Support for Memory Protection Keys (a.k.a. PKU / PKEYs) was finished up this year in the Linux kernel, glibc, and related components. This memory protection feature premiered with Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs and is said to be coming to future desktop CPUs, but it doesn't look like that's happening for the Cannonlake or Icelake generations...

NetBSD 7.1.1 Released

Thursday 28th of December 2017 10:38:51 AM
The first point release to NetBSD 7.1 is now available as this BSD operating system ends out 2017...

Btrfs Gets A RAID1/10 Speed Patch, Helping Out SSDs

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 11:38:35 PM
A new Btrfs file-system kernel driver patch is now available to improve its RAID1/RAID10 read performance, particularly for SSDs...

A Closer Look At The AMDVLK vs. RADV vs. AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan Performance

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 06:00:00 PM
Back on Christmas Eve I posted our initial AMDVLK Radeon Linux driver benchmarks for this newly open-sourced official Radeon Vulkan driver. Complementing those earlier Vulkan Linux gaming numbers are some more performance metrics for AMDVLK compared to the Mesa-based RADV driver and then the closed-source AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan driver.

Ubuntu 17.10's Laptop Issue Appears To Be Under Control, Fixable

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 03:50:00 PM
A week ago Ubuntu 17.10's ISO was pulled due to a show-stopping laptop bug whereby some UEFI-enabled laptops from multiple vendors were running into "BIOS corruption" where BIOS settings could no longer be changed, USB booting becoming non-functional, and similar UEFI-related issues. Fortunately, a fixed kernel is now available and some affected users are reporting a successful workaround for making their laptops full-functioning once again...

LLVM 6.0 Is Being Branched In One Week, LLVM 7.0 Development To Begin

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 03:27:19 PM
LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg is moving ahead with plans to branch the LLVM 6.0 code and its components earlier than anticipated...

Intel's Linux & Open-Source Advancements In 2017

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 01:57:13 PM
With yesterday having looked at the AMD/Radeon popular Linux/open-source achievements of the year, the tables have turned to now look at the Intel Linux/FLOSS activity...

Unigine 2.6.1 Pushes The Jaw-Dropping Visuals With This Cross-Platform Game/Sim Engine

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 12:42:22 PM
While Unigine Engine 2 has yet to be picked up by any major games besides Dual Universe, this highly advanced game engine continues advancing and its effort for industrial simulators appears to be paying off as well. Unigine Corp is ending out 2017 by having released Unigine 2.6.1...

The Vulkan Moments Of 2017: More Games, Better Drivers & Continued Open-Source Adoption

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 12:21:24 PM
This year on Phoronix were more than 290 news articles on Phoronix about the Vulkan graphics API, not counting our dozens of Vulkan benchmarking articles, etc. Here's a look at the most popular Vulkan moments of the year...

Intel Icelake Support Gets Further Into Shape For LLVM Clang 6.0

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 11:06:09 AM
LLVM's Clang compiler support for the Intel Icelake processors that succeed Cannonlake is getting into better shape ahead of the LLVM/Clang 6.0 feature freeze in January...

BlueZ 5.48 Brings New Features

Wednesday 27th of December 2017 10:48:35 AM
The BlueZ Linux Bluetooth stack is out with a new feature update before ending out the year...

Porting Of Changes/Fixes From AMDVLK To RADV Vulkan Driver Begins

Tuesday 26th of December 2017 10:50:00 PM
RADV Vulkan driver co-founder David Airlie has begun digging through AMD's newly-opened AMDVLK official Vulkan driver in order to gain some insight and port some fixes/changes to this unofficial Mesa-based open-source Vulkan driver...

A Decade Of Phoronix Article Statistics From 2007 To 2017

Tuesday 26th of December 2017 10:27:10 PM
This year on Phoronix there has been more than 3,700 original Linux/FLOSS news posts, benchmarks, hardware reviews and more. Here's how that compares to prior years...

More in Tux Machines

Command Line Heroes Launched

  • Red Hat launches new podcast series, Command Line Heroes
    Technology has become so integrated into our daily lives that it can be easy to take it for granted. But we’ve only gotten to where we are today because of the command line heroes that shaped the industry - and continue to do so. Command line hero. What does that really mean? To us it’s the developers, programmers, hackers, geeks and open source rebels - the people who are on the front line, transforming technology from the command line up. The biggest technology advancements and innovations didn’t happen by accident. They were made possible through the passion, creativity and persistence of technologists around the world.
  • Command Line Heroes
    I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while, ever since it was announced: today, the first two episodes of Command Line Heroes were published. Command Line Heroes, or CLH for short, is a series of podcasts that tells the stories of open source. It’s hosted by Saron Yitbarek, of CodeNewbie fame, and sponsored by Red Hat.

NethServer, Red Hat, and Fedora

  • Why building a community is worth the extra effort
    Building the NethServer community was risky. But we've learned so much about the power of working with passionate people.
  • Risk Malaise Alert in Option Market: Red Hat Inc Implied Price Swing Hits A Deteriorated Level
  • Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) Receives “Neutral” Rating from Credit Suisse Group
  • Sit Investment Associates Inc. Takes $1.22 Million Position in Red Hat Inc (RHT)
  • Fixing flatpak startup times
    A lot of people have noticed that flatpak apps sometimes start very slowly. Upon closer inspection you notice this only happens the first time you run the application. Still, it gives a very poor first time impression. So, what is causing this, and can we fix it? The short answer to this is font-cache generation, and yes, I landed a fix today. For the longer version we have to take a detour into how flatpak and fontconfig works.
  • Fedora 28 wallpaper contest now open -- submit your image to the Linux distro!
    One of the first things I do after installing a new Linux distribution is set a different wallpaper. Why? Desktop pictures really inspire me -- my mood can be positively altered by a beautiful image. The default wallpaper is often boring. For the most part, I prefer images of nature with bright colors. After all, if I am stuck indoors working on my computer, a wallpaper of the beach, mountains, or a colorful bird, for instance, can transport me to the outdoors -- in my mind. Sadly, not every distro has beautiful high-quality images. Fedora, however, often does -- thanks to its "supplemental" wallpapers. What is particularly cool  about that operating system, is that it regularly accepts wallpaper submissions from the community as part of a contest. In other words, anybody can potentially contribute to a new version of the distro by simply uploading a photo, drawing, or other picture. Fedora 28 is the upcoming version of the OS, and the developers are now calling for wallpaper submissions for it. Will you submit an entry to the contest?

OSS Leftovers

  • Google's Kelsey Hightower talks Kubernetes and community
    Google developer advocate Kelsey Hightower says that he always figured that the (now wildly successful) Kubernetes container orchestration platform "would get big on its own at some point." He shared some of the reasons he sees for Kubernetes' success in a podcast recorded in December at CloudNativeCon in Austin. The first is that Kubernetes is an effective platform on which to do other things. It provides "better primitives than I had before" as Hightower puts it. At the same time, he says that this is something people misunderstand about Kubernetes. "It's not the end game," he says. Rather, at some point, it increasingly becomes "the new platform for building other platforms."
  • A FOSS Year Resolution
    It’s that time of year again. The time when some people are taking a long hard look at their lives and trying to decide what they want to change about themselves over the course of the next year. Some of us want to lose weight, or exercise more, or spend more time with our kids. The trouble is only about 9% of these resolutions actually happen.
  • Do not limit yourself
    The motto of Learn yourself, teach others is still very strong among us. We try to break any such stupid limits others try to force on our lives. We dream, we try to enjoying talking about that book someone just finished. We discuss about our favorite food. I will end this post saying one thing again. Do not bound yourself in some non existing limits. Always remember, What a great teacher, failure is (I hope I quoted Master Yoda properly). Not everything we will try in life will be a super successful thing, but we can always try to learn from those incidents. You don’t have to bow down in front of anyone, you can do things you love in your life without asking for others’ permissions.
  • Benjamin Mako Hill: OpenSym 2017 Program Postmortem
    The International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym, formerly WikiSym) is the premier academic venue exclusively focused on scholarly research into open collaboration. OpenSym is an ACM conference which means that, like conferences in computer science, it’s really more like a journal that gets published once a year than it is like most social science conferences. The “journal”, in iithis case, is called the Proceedings of the International Symposium on Open Collaboration and it consists of final copies of papers which are typically also presented at the conference. Like journal articles, papers that are published in the proceedings are not typically published elsewhere.
  • NVDA and Firefox 58 – The team is regaining strength
    A week before the Firefox 57 “Quantum” release in November, I published an Article detailing some bits to be aware of when using Firefox and the NVDA screen reader together. In Firefox 58, due on January 23, 2018, the reliable team is regaining strength in playing well together and offering you good and fast web accessibility. After the Firefox 57 release, due to many changes under the hood, NVDA and Firefox temporarily lapsed in performance. Statistics quickly showed that about two thirds of the NVDA user base stayed with us despite of this. So to all of you who stuck with us on this difficult release: Thank you! Many of the others moved to the extended support release of Firefox 52. Thank you to those of you as well, you decided to stick with Firefox! Also, statistics show that barely any of those of you who stuck with 57 decided to turn off multi-process Firefox, but instead used the new technology, and some of you even reported problems to us.
  • Retpoline-enabled GCC
    There will be upstream backports at least to GCC 7, but probably pretty far back (I've seen people talk about all the way to 4.3). So you won't have to run my crappy home-grown build for very long—it's a temporary measure. :-) Oh, and it made Stockfish 3% faster than with GCC 6.3! Hooray.
  • Payara Services to Embed Secure, Stable Open Source Java Runtime from Azul SystemsPayara Server 2018 Update Includes Azul Zulu Enterprise Builds of OpenJDK
  • Eclipse Che – A Next-Generation Cloud IDE and Workspace Server
    We have a couple of posts on developer workspaces and cloud IDEs but in my opinion, none of them has the combined features of beauty, flexibility, and efficiency while being free. That is why it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the (arguably) best cloud-based IDE you will ever need, Eclipse Che. Eclipse Che is a beautiful and customizable open-source developer workspace and cloud Integrated Development Environment.

Security: Hospital With Windows, Reproducible Builds, Intel, Transmission and More

  • Hospital [sic] sent offline as hackers infect systems with ransomware, demand payment [iophk: "Windows"]
  • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #142
  • Spectre and Meltdown patches causing trouble as realistic attacks get closer
    Applications, operating systems, and firmware all need to be updated to defeat Meltdown and protect against Spectre, two attacks that exploit features of high-performance processors to leak information and undermine system security. The computing industry has been scrambling to respond after news of the problem broke early a few days into the new year. But that patching is proving problematic. The Meltdown protection is revealing bugs or otherwise undesirable behavior in various drivers, and Intel is currently recommending that people cease installing a microcode update it issued to help tackle the Spectre problem. This comes as researchers are digging into the papers describing the issues and getting closer to weaponizing the research to turn it into a practical attack. With the bad guys sure to be doing the same, real-world attacks using this research are sure to follow soon.
  • Finnish firm detects new Intel security flaw
    new security flaw has been found in Intel hardware which could enable hackers to access corporate laptops remotely, Finnish cybersecurity specialist F-Secure said on Friday. F-Secure said in a statement that the flaw had nothing to do with the "Spectre" and "Meltdown" vulnerabilities recently found in the micro-chips that are used in almost all computers, tablets and smartphones today. Rather, it was an issue within Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), "which is commonly found in most corporate laptops, (and) allows an attacker to take complete control over a user's device in a matter of seconds," the cybersecurity firm said.
  • What is RubyMiner? New malware found targeting Windows and Linux servers to mine cryptocurrency
  • BitTorrent flaw could let hackers take control of Windows, Linux PCs
    According to Project Zero, the client is vulnerable to a DNS re-binding attack that effectively tricks the PC into accepting requests via port 9091 from malicious websites that it would (and should) ordinarily ignore.
  • BitTorrent critical flaw allows hackers to remotely control users' computers
    A critical flaw in the popular Transmission BitTorrent app could allow hackers to remotely control users' computers. The flaw, uncovered by Google Project Zero security researchers, allows websites to execute malicious code on users' devices. Researchers also warned that BitTorrent clients could be susceptible to attacks as well if the flaw is leveraged.