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December 2019

One Of The Reasons Why Linux 5.5 Can Be Running Slower

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Going back to the start of December with the Linux 5.5 merge window we have encountered several significant performance regressions. Over the weeks since we've reproduced the behavior on both Intel and AMD systems along with large and small CPUs. Following some holiday weekend bisecting fun, here is the cause at least partially for the Linux 5.5 slowdowns.

On a number of different systems this month we've seen several regressions in real-world workloads like NPB and Parboil, PostgreSQL, Memcached, RocksDB, and also synthetic tests like the Hackbench scheduler benchmark. Worth noting, as to be explained, all these systems were running Ubuntu Linux.

But even with hitting these regressions on multiple systems, we're now past mid-way through the Linux 5.5 cycle without any solution in place or much fuss on the kernel mailing list... So perhaps it's something not reproducible by the configurations of many upstream developers. Ultimately, yes, that is partially the cause as to be explained. Yet all the Ubuntu daily kernel images have seemingly been affected by the Linux 5.5 lower performance on these multiple systems.

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Freedb is shutting down

Filed under
OSS
  • Urgent notice

    freedb.org and its services will be shut down on March 31st of 2020.

  • freedb is shutting down in March, 2020 (free music database)

    Freedb is a free online database of track listings for millions of CDs. Without this type of database, you’d either end up with a bunch of nameless files, or you’d have to manually type the album names, artist info, song titles, and other data into your computer.

    While FreeDB isn’t the only game in town, it’s been one of the most prominent services providing track listing data for nearly two decades — and according to a note at the freedb website, it’ll shut down at the end of March, 2020.

    Freedb data was originally based on information from the CDDB (Compact Disc Database), which eventually became proprietary software and which prohibited unlicensed applications from using that data. So freedb, which is a free service operated under a GPL license, now consists of user-generated data.

Audiocasts/Shows: Open Source Security Podcast, GNU World Order and Linux Action News

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Linux 5.5-rc4

Filed under
Linux

To absolutely nobody's surprise, last week was very quiet indeed. It's
hardly even worth making an rc release, but there are _some_ fixes in
here, so here's the usual weekly Sunday afternoon rc.

It's drivers (gpio, i915, scsi, libata), some cifs fixes, and io_uring
fixes. And some kunit/selftest updates. And one or two other random
small things.

Go test it, you still have some time before the New Year's Eve
celebrations commence. Let's all hope for a happy new year, but I
suspect the next rc is going to be on the small side too as most
people are probably still in holiday mode..

Linus

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Also: Linux 5.5-rc4 Released Following A Light Christmas Week

Your Full Guide on Migrating from Windows 7 to Linux

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Windows 7 was released a decade ago in 2009. A lot of people consider it to be the best Windows version Microsoft has ever made. Sadly Microsoft announced that Windows 7 will be disconnected in 14th of January, 2020. Being disconnected means that your OS will no longer receive updates, including security updates, at all. Which puts you in danger and under the pressure of switching to another OS as a lot of other apps will gradually stop working on Windows 7 too.

According to NetMarketShare (which is a very horrible source btw), 26% of desktop users are still using Windows 7, which is really huge considering that the OS will become out of service in few days. So, where to go from here? You could pay $100 to upgrade to Windows 10, which is very much heavier, full of data-collection mechanisms and adware. Or, you know, you could switch into using Linux, which is miles ahead of Windows in terms of almost everything.

This article will take you in detailed tour on why you should switch to Linux from Windows 7 (if you still haven’t), how to do it and everything else you may need to know.

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Early Experiences With PinePhone

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Talking about Pine

    At GNU Health Con (now more than two weeks ago) I gave a talk on saturday afternoon about Pine. Thanks to TLLim for providing me we slides (we caught up at Linux App Summit) to start off the talk. I dove down a little more into the products that are available, saying “this is not a sales talk” but ..

    At the end of the day there were lots of people seriously interested in Pine hardware. If I can’t even not sell devices, what am I to do?

  • Yet Another Librem 5 and PinePhone comparison

    Let's start off with mentioning that both these new phones are great steps forward for Linux. While they will probably not beat Android and iOS in popularity, they will at least give Linux power users a device that can be called a Linux phone instead of the usual "technically it's running Linux because that's only a kernel". These phones not only run the latest, mainline Linux kernel, they also have the desktop stacks people are already familiar with.

  • PinePhone review

    Holy shit! This is the phone I have always wanted. I have never been this excited about the mobile sector before. However: the software side is totally absent — phone calls are very dubious, SMS is somewhat dubious, LTE requires some hacks, and everything will have to be written from the ground up.

    I have a PinePhone developer edition model, which I paid for out of pocket1 and which took an excruciatingly long time to arrive. When it finally arrived, it came with no SIM or microSD card (expected), and the eMMC had some half-assed version of Android on it which just boot looped without POSTing to anything useful2. This didn’t bother me in the slightest — like any other computer I’ve purchased, I planned on immediately flashing my own OS on it. My Linux distribution of choice for it is postmarketOS, which is basically the mobile OS I’d build if I wanted to build a mobile OS.

Libre RISC-V Accelerator Secures 300k EUR In Grants, Still Undecided About The ISA

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Libre RISC-V, the project aiming to create an open-source accelerator that would run a Vulkan software renderer in being an "open-source GPU" aiming for just 25 FPS @ 720p or 5~6 GFLOPS, has managed to secure 300k EUR in grants for their work.

Last year they already secured a 50k EUR grant for working on this low-end chip that initially was envisioned to be an open-source RISC-V SoC. Though more recently Libre RISC-V is seriously looking at using an OpenPOWER architecture design rather than RISC-V.

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10 Best Webcams for Ubuntu in 2020

Filed under
Hardware
Ubuntu

If you have Ubuntu installed on desktop computer then you need to install Webcam externally for making work related video conferencing, connecting with loved ones or broadcasting your video gaming skills to the world. In recent years developers have made much advancement in Ubuntu OS to support more webcams in the market but before buying one for Ubuntu you must make sure it integrates well with Ubuntu drivers.

There are many reliable and high on quality webcams available in market from makers like Logitech, Pro Stream and LOETAD. But there are some things you must consider buying one for your Ubuntu. So before starting with list of webcams for Ubuntu, let’s have a roundup of things you must consider before buying a webcam.

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5 Reasons Why This Linux Gaming OS Is Great For Your Living Room

Valve’s Steam Machines initiative has been retired and SteamOS is on hiatus, but Steam Big Picture mode is still an awesome way to transform your PC into a living room console experience. For those of us who like the idea of having a computer dedicated to couch gaming (read: not your daily driver OS), a boutique Linux distribution called GamerOS is worth checking out. Especially since it picks up the baton where Valve left off and adds substantial tweaks and improvements. In a nutshell, GamerOS is an Arch Linux-based operating system that’s streamlined to do one thing very well: run Steam Big Picture. In fact, that’s all it does. There is no desktop environment. Your first boot places you directly into Steam Big Picture and that’s where you’ll live on GamerOS. Read more

Linux Mint 20 Release Date & Features

Well, that’s what this post is here to tell you. We will keep this roundup of Linux Mint 20 features and updates up-to-date as development happens until June, its expected release month. What do we about Linux Mint 20 so far? Read more Also: Linux Mint 20 Doing Away With 32-Bit Support

KDE Plasma 5.18.4 LTS Desktop Environment Brings More Than 40 Fixes

Coming three weeks after the Plasma 5.18.3 point release, which introduced a bunch of Flatpak improvements and more than 60 fixes, the KDE Plasma 5.18.4 LTS release is here to add more than 40 bug fixes to various of the desktop environments core components. Among the changes, there’s improved support for the upcoming Qt 5.15 application framework for Breeze and libksysguard components and better support for the fwupd open-source daemon for installing firmware updates on devices in the Discover package manager. Flatpak support in Discover was also improved by fixing two issues. Moreover, XSettingsd was added as a runtime dependency to KDE GTK Config, kwallet-pam now works with pam_fscrypt, and KWin now allow the creation of more than one row on the “Virtual Desktops” settings page. Read more