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Texstar's blog

PCLinuxOS Enlightenment (E-17) Desktop updated.

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Linux

We’re excited to announce the PCLinuxOS Enlightenment Desktop packages have been updated to the second beta release of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries.

Maintenance Release - pclinuxos kde 2010.10

Release Date: 10-28-2010
Size: 698 MB
Md5Sum:43b81b9c2334acaa55959f89ec6a5d5d
Produced by: Texstar
User Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Release Date: 10-28-2010
KDE-minime
Size: 436 MB
Md5Sum:bbff5cb76f5b7683e692c5f6e83abd70
User Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Maintenance Release - pclinuxos lxde 2010.10

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Linux

Release Date: 10-28-2010
Size: 587MB
Md5Sum: 8ed461087f8e360d0fc1268217f36bc1
Produced by: Neal Brooks
User Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Mini Version
Size: 494MB
Md5sum: 74953c3b58963ee31d3d194e87152a6f

Maintenance Release - pclinuxos phoenix xfce 2010.10

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Linux

Release Date: 10-28-2010
Size: 640 MB
MD5Sum: 50cf18f74a22ce491d65e92d13736665
Produced by: Joble
User Level: Intermediate, Advanced

PCLinuxOS Phoenix Xfce Edition features the lightweight but fully functional Xfce desktop environment. Is it designed for productivity. It load and executes applications fast while conserving system resources.

Features:

Maintenance Release - pclinuxos zen mini 2010.10

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Linux

Release Date: 10-28-2010
Size: 330 MB
Md5Sum: 1d53cf500db02eab4bbc1e0df79e3440
Produced by: Siamer
User Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Distribution Release - pclinuxos enlightenment 2010.11

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Linux

Release Date: 11-01-2010
Size: 700 MB
Md5Sum: fd5095e8490da12e09ee0b4afaaec336
Produced by: Texstar and Associates
Artwork Theme by: Agust
User Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Light/Mini Version
Size: 483MB
Md5Sum: b6647443b972d9c6d7ff6b5e56183bac
Produced by: smurflover

Here we go again with the XGL

First it was Novell announcing its contribution of the Xgl graphics subsystem and the 'Compiz ' compositing manager to the X.org project. These enhancements open up a whole world of hardware acceleration, fancy animation, separating hardware resolution from software resolution, and more. As a result, Linux desktops will become more usable, end-user productivity will increase, and Linux is firmly positioned at the forefront of client computing technology.

Now Fedora jumps in and is doing something totally different than Novell. AIGLX is a project that aims to enable GL-accelerated effects on a standard desktop. We have a lightly modified X server (that includes a couple of extensions), an updated Mesa package that adds some new protocol support and a version of metacity with a composite manager.

PCLinuxOS .92 Test 01 ISO Available

Houston, TX, October 27, 2005: PCLinuxOS .92 Test 01 is available at the following location:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/texstar/pclinuxos/live-cd/english/preview/

Please note this is not a final release iso. We will not answer support questions concerning this test release. Feedback however can be sent to pclinuxos-dev at sbcglobal.net.

PCLinuxOS .92 features an updated 2.6.12-oci5 kernel, hotplug has been moved to udev to provide faster boot times. The fabulous kde has been updated to verison 3.4.3. Koffice replaces Openoffice on the livecd. Openoffice 2.0 can be installed after a hard drive install. xorg has been updated to xorg.cvs. Approx 400 package update brings PCLinuxOS .92 up to date with the latest open source applications.

PCLinuxOS Preview 9.1 updated and released.

PCLinuxOS Preview 9.1 is now posted up on the bittorrent tracker located at http://www.pclinuxonline.com/tracker. This is an update for the livecd with fixes for various issues found after the release of preview 9.

Preview 9 Delayed

I have all the packages updated that I want to go into Preview 9 but the mklivecd scripts need a small update for the hardware detection for monitors and setting the screen resolution. Unfortunately no one is available from the mklivecd development team at this time to take a peek at the perl code which really puts a kink in getting Preview 9 out the door.

Almost time.

I've just about got everything ready to cut another iso. Ocilent is going to work up a new oci5 kernel using a different kernel scheduler so that usb hd drives can be booted. Ikrekes sent me a patch to the livecd-install to properly create the initrd for usb hd boot support. I plan on testing this today.


I ported drakxtools and a new drakconf from Mandriva and it seems to be working good. Scott Greeding will be back in 4-5 days and will help me get synaptic in, the menu structure better intergrated and a more sane layout.


Mozilla-Firefox was updated today to version 1.0.3. Im hoping it will fix dialup users problems with dns. I cant reproduce the problem so it is hard to fix something that isnt broken

Printer Updates

I updated some more of the printer rpms today. I found the gimp-print rpms have many of the missing printer drivers and also a minor bug fix to hplip rpms so hopefully these new printer rpms will finally fix everyones printer problems. I also updated kdelibs-3.4.0-7tex rpms to fix a security problem that was posted here on tuxmachines yesterday. Jrangles and Ocilent sent me some kdm login manager themes which I need to check into.

TheDarb got the premium server up and running and I just rsync'd everything up that was posted today. I will start emailing users who donated funds tomorrow after a few tests of the server.

Kernel updated 2.6.11-oci4

Yesterday I got to experience Ocilent's world. We had a problem with the oci3 kernel where if a user yanked out his usbkey without unmounting it the desktop would crash. I spent all of yesterday evening trying different config options and finally found a fix. I must have built 20 kernels until I hit the magic fix which turned out to be the preemption option that was affecting the usb port. Go figure. Anyway I have a new respect for kernel developers. I think I'm gonna stick with packaging from now on!

Re-install

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News

Well I messed around this afternoon and managed to totally break my menus so after messing around for a few hours, I backed everything up and did a new install of Preview 81a then updated everything including unstable. I total of 211 packages and Im back in business. I still need to copy my backup stuff back over but man everything is running so much better. I had been using this partition since I converted it from Mandrake 9.2 to PCLinuxOS preview 4 and been updating all this time. So all in all something good came out of something bad. Everything is snappy again. I'll probably be moving everything from unstable tomorrow into updates. I didnt run into any conflicts updating my p81a install from unstable so I'll get to rocking with new packages again.

Problems Problems Problems

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News

I'm not a big fan of Gnome but I decided to work up 2.10 as some of the pclinuxos users do use that desktop enviroment. Right off the bat I hit a snag. Seems the GTK2 linux-fb build has been broken since 2.50! I've been using 2.4.9 all this time as it works so well with ALL of my GTK2 applications including a bought and paid for FTP client (iglooftp pro). Needless to say without the linux-fb backend, Iglooftp is pretty useless and many GTK2 applications will have to be re-worked. The really bad part is not a single person is maintaining this code in the GTK2 tree. I tried my best to get it to build but it was just beyond my coding experience. I tried to work up gnome using GTK 2.4.9 but it is so old that gnome 2.10 wouldnt build against it. So for now I've put the new gnome build on the back burner until I can get kde 3.4 offical release out the door.

Big rpm update

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News

I've been a busy bee the past couple of days generating a big pack of rpm updates. udev is about fixed for the printers so I'm happy about that. There is a problem with cd symlinks especially for cdrw devices but the udev mailing list shows this is being addressed and a new version of udev will be out shortly.

Cybercfo is building an Amarok livecd based on a stripped down version of pclinuxos. I updated all the gstreamer rpms as well as amorak from their cvs build last night so he would have some new packages to work with for his project. You can find out more information about this exciting project at:

2-10-05

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News

Im still having some printer, network printer and usb issues with pclinuxos updates. I've been digging into hotplug and udev and have gotten a few more printers functional now. Usbkeys are still dead and I know it is related to udev and hotplug. Im hoping these issues will clear out in the next few days and I am able to cut an updated iso.

I also found xorg 6.8.2 released today so I built a set of binaries and uploaded them to the premuim server and ibiblio.org. Tonight I noticed in the forums a person who has the unichrome video card that will only go 800x600 so I downloaded the r30 unichrome driver release and added to my next build of xorg 6.8.2-2tex which I will post tomorrow. Hopefully his video will be able to go to a higher resolution.

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LWN's Latest (Today Outside Paywall) Articles About the Kernel, Linux

  • Toward better handling of hardware vulnerabilities
    From the kernel development community's point of view, hardware vulnerabilities are not much different from the software variety: either way, there is a bug that must be fixed in software. But hardware vendors tend to take a different view of things. This divergence has been reflected in the response to vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre which was seen by many as being severely mismanaged. A recent discussion on the Kernel Summit discussion list has shed some more light on how things went wrong, and what the development community would like to see happen when the next hardware vulnerability comes around. The definitive story of the response to Meltdown and Spectre has not yet been written, but a fair amount of information has shown up in bits and pieces. Intel was first notified of the problem in July 2017, but didn't get around to telling anybody in the the Linux community about it until the end of October. When that disclosure happened, Intel did not allow the community to work together to fix it; instead each distributor (or other vendor) was mostly left on its own and not allowed to talk to the others. Only at the end of December, right before the disclosure (and the year-end holidays), were members of the community allowed to talk to each other. The results of this approach were many, and few were good. The developers charged with responding to these problems were isolated and under heavy stress for two months; they still have not been adequately thanked for the effort they put in. Many important stakeholders, including distributions like Debian and the "tier-two" cloud providers, were not informed at all prior to the general disclosure and found themselves scrambling. Different distributors shipped different fixes, many of which had to be massively revised before entry into the mainline kernel. When the dust settled, there was a lot of anger left simmering in its wake.
  • Writing network flow dissectors in BPF
    Network packet headers contain a great deal of information, but the kernel often only needs a subset of that information to be able to perform filtering or associate any given packet with a flow. The piece of code that follows the different layers of packet encapsulation to find the important data is called a flow dissector. In current Linux kernels, the flow dissector is written in C. A patch set has been proposed recently to implement it in BPF with the clear goal of improving security, flexibility, and maybe even performance.
  • Coscheduling: simultaneous scheduling in control groups
    The kernel's CPU scheduler must, as its primary task, determine which process should be executing in each of a system's processors at any given time. Making an optimal decision involves juggling a number of factors, including the priority (and scheduling classes) of the runnable processes, NUMA locality, cache locality, latency minimization, control-group policies, power management, overall fairness, and more. One might think that throwing another variable into the mix — and a complex one at that — would not be something anybody would want to attempt. The recent coscheduling patch set from Jan Schönherr does exactly that, though, by introducing the concept of processes that should be run simultaneously. The core idea behind coscheduling is the marking of one or more control groups as containing processes that should be run together. If one process in a coscheduled group is running on a specific set of CPUs (more on that below), only processes from that group will be allowed to run on those CPUs. This rule holds even to the point of forcing some of the CPUs to go idle if the given control group lacks runnable processes, regardless of whether processes outside the group are runnable. Why might one want to do such a thing? Schönherr lists four motivations for this work, the first of which is virtualization. That may indeed be the primary motivation, given that Schönherr is posting from an Amazon address, and Amazon is rumored to be running a virtualized workload or two. A virtual machine usually contains multiple processes that interact with each other; these machines will run more efficiently (and with lower latencies) if those processes can run simultaneously. Coscheduling would ensure that all of a virtual machine's processes are run together, maximizing locality and minimizing the latencies of the interactions between them.
  • Machine learning and stable kernels
    There are ways to get fixes into the stable kernel trees, but they require humans to identify which patches should go there. Sasha Levin and Julia Lawall have taken a different approach: use machine learning to distinguish patches that fix bugs from others. That way, all bug-fix patches could potentially make their way into the stable kernels. Levin and Lawall gave a talk describing their work at the 2018 Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, Canada. Levin began with a quick introduction to the stable tree and how patches get into it. When a developer fixes a bug in a patch they can add a "stable tag" to the commit or send a mail to the stable mailing list; Greg Kroah-Hartman will then pick up the fix, evaluate it, and add it to the stable tree. But that means that the stable tree is only getting the fixes that are pointed out to the stable maintainers. No one has time to check all of the commits to the kernel for bug fixes but, in an ideal world, all of the bug fixes would go into the stable kernels. Missing out on some fixes means that the stable trees will have more security vulnerabilities because the fixes often close those holes—even if the fixer doesn't realize it.
  • Trying to get STACKLEAK into the kernel
    The STACKLEAK kernel security feature has been in the works for quite some time now, but has not, as yet, made its way into the mainline. That is not for lack of trying, as Alexander Popov has posted 15 separate versions of the patch set since May 2017. He described STACKLEAK and its tortuous path toward the mainline in a talk [YouTube video] at the 2018 Linux Security Summit. STACKLEAK is "an awesome security feature" that was originally developed by The PaX Team as part of the PaX/grsecurity patches. The last public version of the patch set was released in April 2017 for the 4.9 kernel. Popov set himself on the goal of getting STACKLEAK into the kernel shortly after that; he thanked both his employer (Positive Technologies) and his family for giving him working and free time to push STACKLEAK. The first step was to extract STACKLEAK from the more than 200K lines of code in the grsecurity/PaX patch set. He then "carefully learned" about the patch and what it does "bit by bit". He followed the usual path: post the patch, get feedback, update the patch based on the feedback, and then post it again. He has posted 15 versions and "it is still in progress", he said.

PostgreSQL 11: something for everyone

PostgreSQL 11 had its third beta release on August 9; a fourth beta (or possibly a release candidate) is scheduled for mid-September. While the final release of the relational database-management system (currently slated for late September) will have something new for many users, its development cycle was notable for being a period when the community hit its stride in two strategic areas: partitioning and parallelism. Partitioning and parallelism are touchstones for major relational database systems. Proprietary database vendors manage to extract a premium from a minority of users by upselling features in these areas. While PostgreSQL has had some of these "high-tier" items for many years (e.g., CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY, advanced replication functionality), the upcoming release expands the number considerably. I may be biased as a PostgreSQL major contributor and committer, but it seems to me that the belief that community-run database system projects are not competitive with their proprietary cousins when it comes to scaling enterprise workloads has become just about untenable. Read more