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August 2014

today's leftovers

Filed under
Software
Gaming
HowTos

Ubuntu 14.10's Lack Of X.Org Server 1.16 Gets Blamed On AMD

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Yesterday I wrote about Ubuntu 14.10 not yet having X.Org Server 1.16 even though the first beta was issued this week and there's been a testing package repository for more than one month. This lack of X.Org Server 1.16 thus far is apparently due to AMD with not yet having a supportive Catalyst driver.

In the comments to yesterday's story, Timo Aaltonen of Canonical and part of their X/graphics team responded. "no fglrx, can't force people to switch to radeon and likely regress, on newer hw at least."

So Canonical is keeping away from using the latest X.Org code since the Catalyst (fglrx) driver doesn't yet support it and they don't want to regress users by forcing them to use the improving but still less than perfect open-source driver. Canonical's effectively bowing down to a binary blob.

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The state of Android updates: Who’s fast, who’s slow, and why

Filed under
Android
Linux

Android 4.4, KitKat was released on October 31, 2013, or at least, that's what you can say about one device: the Nexus 5. For the rest of the ecosystem, the date you got KitKat—if you got KitKat—varied wildly depending on your device, OEM, and carrier.

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Akademy 2014: Navigating the tracks

Filed under
KDE

I meant to write a post about the upcoming Akademy for a while now. Since I submitted quite a few sessions (obviously requiring preparation) and I had to prepare for the KDE Frameworks BoF, I never quite found the time... until now! I'm all done! Actually I just have to pack my bags and hit the road at that point. It's probably the first Akademy where I'm ready four days before the first flight of my journey.

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Low-Spec Hardware? Try these Desktop Environments

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Popular Linux distributions for beginners typically default to one of two desktop environments, KDE or GNOME. Both of these environments provide users with an intuitive and attractive desktop, as well as offering all the applications users love, ranging from multimedia software, games, administration programs, network tools, educational applications, utilities, artwork, web development tools and more. However, these two desktops focus more on providing users with a modern computing environment with all the bells and whistles, rather than minimising the amount of system resources they use.

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OpenELEC 4.2 Beta 5 Is Now Out with New Linux Kernel and NVIDIA Drivers

Filed under
OS
OSS

The OpenELEC devs have released yet another Beta version of their embedded operating systems and they are getting really close to get a new stable version out the door. Some of the major components have been updated as well and the Raspberry Pi users should be really thrilled about this latest upgrade, as it includes some interesting changes for them as well.

"This release includes some bugfixes, security fixes and improvements since OpenELEC-4.1.4. Besides the usual bugfixes and package updates we updated XBMC to XBMC Gotham 13.2 final, FFmpeg to ffmpeg-2.3.3, Mesa to Mesa-10.3-rc1and systemd to systemd-216. We fixed crashes while playing FLAC files with ID3v2 tags, optimized some software packages and updated the RaspberryPi firmware to include the last fixes and features," said the devs in the official announcement.

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MSI Motherboard BIOS Updating Remains A Pain For Linux Users

Filed under
Hardware

In recent years with more motherboard vendors enabling the updating of the BIOS/UEFI from within the setup utility itself and support loading the BIOS file off a USB thumb drive or other storage, it's generally easier for Linux users and all around a smoother process than the days of having to make a MS-DOS start-up floppy disk or similar. For most of these BIOS updates, Windows is generally not required as you can just head on over to the vendor's web-site, download a zipped up copy of the BIOS, transfer it to a USB drive, and reboot into the UEFI setup utility and flash away.

Some vendors will package their BIOS file inside an EXE that has to be executed that will then extract the file right away, but fortunately there's many programs capable of straightaway extracting the files from the EXE or the worst case scenario is generally just running the EXE under Wine. As a Linux user, with MSI motherboards their BIOS packaging takes it to an additional level of annoying and for some Linux users could be show-stopping.

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Linux Kernel 3.12.27 LTS Now Available for Download

Filed under
Linux

This branch of the Linux kernel is LTS (long term support) and it doesn't usually gathers too many changes, but this latest update is a little bit different and it's quite consistent.

“I'm announcing the release of the 3.12.27 kernel. All users of the 3.12 kernel series must upgrade.”

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Chromebook Pixel revisited: 18 months with Google's luxury laptop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

When you stop and think about it, it's kind of astonishing how far Chromebooks have come.

It was only last February, after all, that Google's Chromebook Pixel came crashing into our lives and made us realize how good of an experience Chrome OS could provide.

At the time, the Pixel was light-years ahead of any other Chromebook in almost every possible way: From build quality to display and performance, the system was just in a league of its own. And its price reflected that status: The Pixel sold for a cool $1300, or $1450 if you wanted a higher-storage model with built-in LTE support.

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Why I Hate Non-Free Software

Filed under
OSS

I know why authours of software include such restrictions, to make sure they get paid per whatever. On the other hand, we should not have to enslave ourselves and our families in order to use a smooth, convenient application on our PCs. That’s like selling our children or self-flagellation before having any fun at all to nullify evil. It’s just evil to accept such restrictions. The licence began with “PLEASE READ THIS LICENCE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS SOFTWARE. IF YOU USE THIS SOFTWARE THEN YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS LICENCE AGREEMENT.” Sweet, eh? I did not agree and purged the .deb from my system. I am not a slave. I do not agree to be bound in slavery to the authours of software. To add insult to injury, the authours presume to enslave us while we perform them the free service of testing their beta-software.

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More in Tux Machines

Qt Speech (Text to Speech) is here

I’m happy that with Qt 5.8.0 we’ll have Qt Speech added as a new tech preview module. It took a while to get it in shape since the poor thing sometimes did not get the attention it deserved. We had trouble with some Android builds before that backend received proper care. Luckily there’s always the great Qt community to help out. Read more

Flatpak 0.8.1 Lets Users Update Apps by Installing Newer Bundles, Fixes Bugs

It's been a month since Flatpak 0.8 major release hit the streets for GNU/Linux distribution that want to offer their users fast and easy access to various third-party apps that aren't available in the official repositories of the respective OS. Read more

Canonical Patches Nvidia Graphics Drivers Vulnerability in All Ubuntu Releases

It's time to update your Ubuntu Linux operating system if you have a Nvidia graphics card running the Nvidia Legacy 340 or 304 binary X.Org drivers provided on the official software repositories. Read more

Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance andd New Device From CompuLab

  • Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance Made Easier
    The good old days when security breaches only happened to Windows folk are fading fast. Malware hackers and denial of service specialists are increasingly targeting out of date embedded Linux devices, and fixing Linux security vulnerabilities was the topic of several presentations at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) in October. One of the best attended was “Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years” by Pengutronix kernel hacker Jan Lübbe. After summarizing the growing security threats in embedded Linux, Lübbe laid out a plan to keep long-life devices secure and fully functional. “We need to move to newer, more stable kernels and do continuous maintenance to fix critical vulnerabilities,” said Lübbe. “We need to do the upstreaming and automate processes, and put in place a sustainable workflow. We don’t have any more excuses for leaving systems in the field with outdated software.”
  • CompuLab Has Upgraded Their Small Form Factor "IPC" Line To Kabylake
    HARDWARE -- Our friends and Linux-friendly PC vendor, CompuLab, have announced a new "IPC" line-up of their small form factor computers now with Intel Kabylake processors. In the past on Phoronix we tested CompuLab's Intense-PC (IPC) and then the IPC2 with Haswell processors, among other innovative PCs from CompuLab. Now they are rolling out the IPC3 with Intel's latest Kabylake processors.
  • Fanless mini-PC runs Linux Mint on Kaby Lake
    Compulab launched a rugged “IPC3” mini-PC that runs Linux on dual-core, 7th Gen Core i7/i5 CPUs, and also debuted three GbE-equipped FACE expansion modules. Compulab has opened pre-orders starting at $693 for the first mini-PCs we’ve seen to offer the latest, 14nm-fabricated 7th Generation Intel Core “Kaby Lake” processors. The passively cooled, 190 x 160 x 40mm IPC3 (Intense PC 3), which is available in up to industrial temperature ranges, follows two generations of similarly sized IPC2 mini-PCs. There’s the still available, 4th Gen “Haswell” based IPC2 from 2014 and the apparently discontinued 5th Gen “Broadwell” equipped IPC2 from 2015.
  • Compulab IPC3 is a tiny, fanless PC with Intel Kaby Lake CPU
    Compulab is an Israeli company that makes small, fanless computers for home or commercial use. The company’s latest mini PC aimed at enterprise/industrial usage is called the IPC3, and it has a die-cast aluminum case with built-in heat sinks for passive cooling and measures about 7.4″ x 6.3″ x 1.6″.