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March 2019

LLVM Clang 9.0 Adds "-ftime-trace" To Produce Useful Time Trace Profiling Data

Filed under
Development
BSD

LLVM has merged a very useful feature for the Clang 9.0 release this autumn: the -ftime-trace feature allows producing time trace profiling data in a friendly format that is useful for developers to better understand where the compiler is spending most of its time and other areas for improvement.

Clang has already supported -ftime-report for printing time summaries for each stage of the compilation process while -ftime-trace yields much more useful data. The output of -ftime-trace is JSON-based profiling outputs that can be loaded into Chrome's chrome://tracing visualizer. This data shows how much time LLVM/Clang is spending on compiling each file, down to the function granularity.

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SDDM v0.18.1

Filed under
KDE

We are happy to release a new SDDM version.

SDDM is a Qt based graphical login manager developed in a collaborative fashion by people from Liri, KDE and LXQt.

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Linux Lite 4.4 is ready to replace Microsoft Windows on your aging PC

Filed under
Linux

One of the best things about operating systems based on the Linux kernel is they can sometimes be very lightweight. Why is this important? Well, when an OS uses very few resources, it can breathe new life into an aging PC. In other words, just because Windows 7 or Windows 10 run like molasses on your old computer, that doesn't mean you have to buy a new one. The right Linux distribution can make your older PC feel fast and new.

One of the most popular lightweight Linux-based operating systems is Linux Lite. Heck, the name of the distribution tells you that it is designed to use few resources! Version 4.4 is now available, and as per usual, it is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS -- 18.04. The Xfce desktop environment will feel familiar to those switching from Windows. Those new to Linux will also appreciate the easy access to many popular programs, such as Skype, Steam, and Spotify. Even the excellent Microsoft Office alternative, LibreOffice, is included.

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Openness, Open Data and Open Hardware

Filed under
OSS
  • Open-source seeds: protecting new crops from privitisation

    From the green grass of England to the tropical forests of the Amazon basin and the semi-arid plains of North Africa, when it comes to food, no one crop can suit every soil type, or withstand the challenges of climate change. It is therefore vitally important that humans seek to preserve and increase the biological diversity of crops.

    In pursuit of this goal, Dr Johannes Kotschi from the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology, along with researchers from the University of Göttingen, has developed an open-source seed (OSS) licence that can be applied to new crop varieties. The OSS licence prevents seeds and their derivatives from being privatised, patented or otherwise protected in a way that would limit their sale or further modification. In doing so, it ensures that new varieties are available to everyone. Alongside the licence, the organisation OpenSourceSeeds supports breeders and seed producers who use it.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Automated Vehicle Data Set

    Aptiv has released a comprehensive set of automated driving training data including camera, radar and lidar signals that has been fully annotated and labeled.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Dataset for Autonomous Driving

    Global auto parts supplier Aptiv, formally known as Delphi Automotive, announced today the full release of nuScenes, an open-source autonomous vehicle (AV) dataset. The dataset will help developers improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.

  • MIPS R6 Architecture Now Available for Open Use

    Asked if any other MIPS cores – beyond R6 – will be available in the future, Swift said additional announcements are in the offing, indicating that Thursday’s offering is only the first set of MIPS Open’s release.  

    “Remember, this is a journey, not a destination,” Swift reminded.

    Other pending announcements include MIPS Open’s certification partners and MIPS Open Advisory Board. Names of individuals or companies for those initiatives are not yet public.

  • Wave Computing launches MIPS Open, provides royalty-free access to chip design data

    A few months after announcing plans to “open source its MIPS instruction set architecture,” the folks at Wave Computing are following through. Mostly.

    The company has launched the MIPS Open program and released the first components, offering developers royalty and license fee-free access to the latest versions of its 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture.

    But it’s questionable whether this is truly an “open source” initiative, so much as an “open use” project designed encourage developers to work with the company’s chips.

DragonFlyBSD Receives Initial FUSE Port For File-Systems In User-Space

Filed under
BSD

Tomohiro Kusumi has contributed an initial FUSE implementation to DragonFlyBSD for implementing file-systems in user-space support.

The design is based roughly on FreeBSD code but is a cleanly written implementation for allowing user-space file-systems to work on this BSD. This initial FUSE support isn't designed to be API/ABI compatible with the FreeBSD code due to different sysctls and other factors.

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Nate Graham's KDE Usability & Productivity Weekly Report

Filed under
KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 64

    Week 64 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative has arrived, and I think you’ll see why this week needed two posts.

  • KDE's Konsole Now Supports Splitting, Plasma Vault Integration In Dolphin

    KDE contributor Nate Graham has continued his weekly blog posts outlining some of the notable improvements made in the world of KDE. One of the notable changes this week is the Konsole terminal emulator allowing arbitrary grid-like splits of a single window. That honors a ten year old bug report about wanting to restore support for "Quadkonsole" for allowing several consoles to render within a single window. That support is finally in place for the KDE Applications 19.08 release due out this summer.

Software: Python IDEs, Kodi, Best alternatives to Skype

Filed under
Software
  • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments (Updated 2019)

    Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

    One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

    Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

  • Are free VPNs any good for Kodi?

    Before we get to the VPNs, let's start with Kodi, which is a free and open source media player.

  • What Is Kodi and How Does It Work?

    What is Kodi? Imagine your own version of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but one that is completely free? Sounds too good to be true, right?

  • Best alternatives to Skype 2019: paid and free

    If you're looking for the best Skype alternatives, then you've come to the right place. For many years, Skype has been one of the most popular VoIP (Voice over IP) services, with home and business users alike using it to video and voice call friends and family over the world.

    However, in 2011 Microsoft acquired Skype, and since then it has been tweaking the interface and adding (and removing features) which has not been too popular.

    So, if you're looking to move from Skype to another VoIP service, then this guide to the best Skype alternatives will help you make the leap. We look at both free alternatives to Skype, as well as packages you need to pay for, which is good for large companies with employees around the world.

Linux laptops alive in South Africa

Filed under
Linux

While it may serve a small niche in South Africa, Dell has been offering laptops that run Ubuntu Linux for years.

This is according to Chris Buchanan, client solutions director at Dell EMC in South Africa.

Dell and Canonical recently announced the new version of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop, offering up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSB. Since then, a 2TB version has become available.

Like other Developer Edition variants of the Dell XPS 13, the 2018 model comes with Ubuntu Linux rather than Windows. At the time, the latest long-term support release: Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver”.

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More in Tux Machines

myMPD – standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client

My favorite pastime is to see an eclectic range of bands, solo artists, and orchestras live. It’s such a life-changing and exhilarating experience to be present. It’s one thing to be sitting at home listening to a CD or watching music videos on TV or on YouTube, but being with an audience, packed out in a stadium or music hall, takes it to another level. But it’s an expensive pastime, and still on hold given the coronavirus pandemic. I’m therefore listening to music from my CD collection which I’ve encoded to FLAC, a lossless audio format, and stored locally. Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem. MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis. myMPD is a standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client. Its developer claims myMPD is designed for minimal resource usage and requires only very few dependencies. Read more

Games: CLI, Tristam Island, GamerOS and Much More

  • Best Command Line Games for Linux – Linux Hint

    This article will list various command line games available for Linux. These games do not require you to commit a lot of time and can be played in short bursts. If you are using a lightweight Linux distribution with minimal UI elements or using a headless OS based on Linux, this list should be useful for you.

  • Tristam Island is a Infocom-inspired text adventure available on over 30 platforms | GamingOnLinux

    Okay, now this is quite impressive. Tristam Island is a text adventure designed like old Infocom works and it's playable across more platforms than you might expect. Developed by Hugo Labrande using modern, open source tools on Linux naturally it has first-class Linux support. However, it's also available on over 30 other platforms too. From Linux to Windows, Amiga to Spectrum and even some calculators can run it. The technical details of it are just as impressive as the adventure you go on. The developer also supplies the plain ".z3" file to run in your favourite interactive fiction interpreter. It could run pretty much anywhere. "After crashing your plane at sea, you end up drifting to a small island, with not much to survive. You explore, and find out the island was inhabited, years ago. But why did the people leave? And why is there a fence around the white house at the top of the hill?"

  • SteamOS-like couch gaming Linux distribution GamerOS expands with a new release | GamingOnLinux

    Need an up to date Linux distribution for your living room big screen experience? GamerOS can fill that gap for you while Valve sit on SteamOS. GamerOS is one of the easiest ways to get a full-screen Steam experience on a big screen, with no-fuss updates and a whole bunch of special tweaks to make it run as nicely as possible. Not only that, it has a bunch of extras to support other stores and platforms too. With the release of GamerOS 21 the standard components included have been upgraded like the Linux Kernel 5.9.9, Mesa 20.2.2, NVIDIA 455.38, RetroArch 1.9 and updates to their Steam Tweaks and Steam Buddy apps too. Their Steam Buddy is web-based tool you use to manage non-Steam stuff, with these release it expanded to support the Atari Jaguar and PlayStation Portable through emulators. It also now has audio controls, it will generate banner images based on game titles when one isn't available, fixes gamepads not working with the Epic Games Store and more fixes.

  • Cloud Gaming Services: Explained and Tested on Linux - Boiling Steam

    Here’s a quick test run of some of these game streaming services, and I’ll explain what they do. In particular, we’ll see how well each service fares on the desktop Linux side.

  • 340 or so days later and I am still lost in The Longing | GamingOnLinux

    Remember the unique mix of point and click adventuring with an idle game in The Longing? It's supposed to have taken people 400 days to finish and it released back in March 2020 - to which I was impressed with it. This is because when you start, a big timer at the top of your screen will count down from 400 real-time days. It's a painfully slow game, and one that's very much the anti-AAA shot some readers might be needing. It's all about loneliness, and the longing to know more and have more. It's such a thoroughly strange experience. The Longing sits between a point and click adventure with an idle game. You can walk around, interact with things and explore for a while. However, certain parts of it force you to wait. You might need something to grow or get broken before you can pass, or even just opening a big door might take an hour or two. You can just quit and come back, and time will continue on so you don't need to have it open.

  • Jedi: Fallen Order arrives on Stadia, six new free games for Stadia Pro for December | GamingOnLinux

    Google continues to boost their game selection with many fan favourites continuing to arrive on their Stadia game streaming service. They also have big plans. As of right now, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available to buy on Stadia and it's 60% off at $23.99 / €27.99 / £23.99. The sale on that will end on December 3. They're also offering a free Stadia Premiere Edition (Controller + Chromecast Ultra) with pre-orders of Cyberpunk 2077 and I do have to admit I love the feel of my own Stadia Controller.

  • Re-live the experience of Half-Life with Black Mesa: Definitive Edition out now | GamingOnLinux

    Black Mesa: Definitive Edition is the final big update to the re-imagined fan-made Half-Life game, and it's looking pretty awesome. Easily the best way to experience the first part of Half-Life. Don't get me wrong, the original from Valve still has plenty of true charm but for modern audiences it's not the ideal way to try and get into it. Black Mesa (especially now with the Definitive Edition) makes it easier for a new generation to get invested into the crazy world that is Half-Life and experience the adventure of Dr. Gordon Freeman.

  • NVIDIA plan to support Linux with GeForce NOW using Chrome | GamingOnLinux

    For a while now you've been able to stream games using NVIDIA GeForce NOW in your browser, however it looks like NVIDIA will be making that a bit more official for Linux. Currently on certain platforms like Windows and macOS, NVIDIA have a dedicated downloadable application for their GeForce NOW streaming service. They expanded support into the browser for ChromeOS / Chromebooks in the Summer, which initially needed other platforms to spoof their browser string to ChromeOS but that hasn't been needed for a while.

  • Radeon RX 6800 Series 1440p Linux Gaming Benchmarks With 15 GPUs - Phoronix

    While the new Radeon RX 6800 series is suited for 4K gaming, a number of premium readers inquired about seeing 1440p gaming benchmarks for the cards. Now that all the initial launch coverage is out of the way, here is a look at the Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT with 15 graphics cards in total for this round of Linux gaming benchmarks focused at 1440p. Up for this comparison based on the cards I had available were the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 , RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080, RTX 2080 SUPER, TITAN RTX, RTX 2080 Ti, and the RTX 3080 (unfortunately, the RTX 3080 remains my lone Ampere card at the moment with NVIDIA not yet sending out the RTX 3090/3070 for Linux testing). On the Radeon side is the RX 5600 XT, RX 5700, RX 5700 XT, Radeon VII, RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT. The very latest open-source Radeon Linux graphics drivers were used for this testing, which does incorporate the recent driver optimizations. Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of OpenGL and Vulkan test cases were conducted. The GPU power consumption and GPU core temperatures were also monitored on a per-test basis.

Sysmon – A Graphical System Activity Monitor for Linux

Sysmon is a Linux activity monitoring tool similar to Windows task manager, was written in Python and released under GPL-3.0 License. This is a Graphical visualization tool that visualizes the following data. By default distribution like Ubuntu comes with a system monitor tool, but the drawback with the default monitor tool is it does not display HDD, SSD, and GPU loads. Sysmon adds all the features to a single place similar to the Windows Task Manager. Read more

Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Review: The Familiar Operating System

Here's my review on Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. Two years ago I call it friendly computing, now in 2020, I call it familiar operating system for everyone. We have so many good news with Kubuntu today and let's go, I hope you enjoy my review. Kubuntu 20.04 has a lot of benefits and a little of issues. I believe it is a familiar operating system most computer users can afford, by purchasing real Kubuntu laptops or by installing manually, you can push your computing for daily purposes, teaching and graphic designing quickly and comfortably. To complete everything, let's not forget it is a Long Term Support edition which will receive Ubuntu-based updates for five years until 2025 and desktop-based updates until 2023. Win-win solution, nice to everybody, that's Kubuntu Focal for you. That's my review. Read more