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Fedora, Red Hat and IBM Updates

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Red Hat
  • Laura Abbott: Kernel numbering and Fedora

    By now it's made the news that the kernel version has jumped to version 5.0. Once again, this numbering jump means nothing except Linus decide that he wanted to change it. We've been through versioning jumps before (2.6 -> 3.x, 3.x -> 4.x) so practically we know how to deal with this by now. It still takes a bit of hacking on the kernel packaging side though.

    Fedora works off of a package git (pkg-git) model. This means that the primary trees are not git trees of the actual source code but git trees of a spec file, patches, and any other scripts. The sources get uploaded in compressed archive format. For a stable fedora release (F28/F29 as of this writing), the sources are a base tarball (linux-4.19.tar.xz) and a stable patch on top of that (patch-4.19.14.xz). Rawhide is built off of Linus' master branch. Using 4.20 as an example, start with the last base release (linux-4.19.tar.xz), apply an -rc patch on top (patch-4.20-rc6.xz) and then another patch containing the diff from the rc to master on that day (patch-4.20-rc6-git2.xz). We have scripts to take care of grabbing from kernel.org and generating snapshots automatically so kernel maintainers don't usually think too much about this.

  • Better loop mounts with NBD. Take your loop mounts to the next level with nbdkit

    I’ve been working at Red Hat for 12 years, on a whole variety of different things, all relating to free and open source software. Most recently I’ve been concentrating on virtualization and how we inspect and modify the disk images used by virtual machines. I’ve written a whole load of tools for this, such as guestfish, virt-builder and nbdkit.

    Before I started at Red Hat I was involved in three start-ups, respectively in: high-performance networking; schools & online communities; and online marketing.

  • Kernel 4.20 Test Day 2019-01-15
  • In science and in space: Red Hat leads the way for supercomputing

    The computation capabilities and scale of supercomputers have grown and are expected to continue growing. The next big trend we’re likely to see is exascale computing, where supercomputers will be able to perform at least one billion billion (quintillion) floating point operations per second. At the moment, teams in the United States, Europe, Japan and China are all racing to build and deliver exascale systems in the next 3-5 years. It is no coincidence that this new generation of systems is referred to as “intelligent” supercomputers, as they have nearly enough processing power to simulate a human brain in software.

    We recently attended SC18, the leading supercomputing conference, and have several takeaways on what the future looks like for high performance computing (HPC).

    Originally projected to arrive this year, based on Moore's law, exascale class systems are now expected to appear by 2021, largely based on innovative approaches in hardware design, system-level optimizations and workload-specific acceleration. Several years ago, HPC visionaries determined that we can no longer rely on commodity Central Processing Unit (CPU) technologies alone to achieve exascale computing and became vigorously involved in innovation around other parts of the system.

  • Report: Investor drops lawsuit over $34B IBM-Red Hat merger

    An investor in Raleigh-based Red Hat on Tuesday filed a lawsuit seeking to block a shareholder vote on the firm’s $34 billion merger with IBM.

    The investor identified as Charles Orgel had filed the suit in federal court in Delaware.

  • Open Outlook: Global Services

    As we enter the fourth quarter of our fiscal year, I would like to take some time to reflect on the trends we are learning from our customers in the Red Hat Global Services Organization and what the next year holds for us.

    Looking back at 2018, I am most proud of the success we have seen as our role in the business increased. Services played a more prominent part in sales conversations, as more complex deals demanding solution approaches, adoption roadmaps, and return on investment emerged. As a result, we have seen training and services revenue growth of more than 25 percent in fiscal year 2018.

More in Tux Machines

MellowPlayer – multi-platform cloud music integration

With my CD collection spiraling out of control, I’m spending more time listening to music with a number of popular streaming services. Linux offers a great range of excellent open source music players. But I’m always on the look out for fresh and innovative streaming players. Step forward MellowPlayer. MellowPlayer offers a web view of various music streaming services with integration with your desktop. It was developed to provide a Qt alternative to Nuvola Player. The software is written in C++ and QML. Read more

Some Thoughts on Open Core

Nothing is inherently anti-business about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). In fact, a number of different business models are built on top of FOSS. The best models are those that continue to further FOSS by internal code contributions and that advance the principles of Free Software in general. For instance, there's the support model, where a company develops free software but sells expert support for it. Here, I'd like to talk a bit about one of the more problematic models out there, the open core model, because it's much more prevalent, and it creates some perverse incentives that run counter to Free Software principles. If you haven't heard about it, the open core business model is one where a company develops free software (often a network service intended to be run on a server) and builds a base set of users and contributors of that free code base. Once there is a critical mass of features, the company then starts developing an "enterprise" version of the product that contains additional features aimed at corporate use. These enterprise features might include things like extra scalability, login features like LDAP/Active Directory support or Single Sign-On (SSO) or third-party integrations, or it might just be an overall improved version of the product with more code optimizations and speed. Because such a company wants to charge customers to use the enterprise version, it creates a closed fork of the free software code base, or it might provide the additional proprietary features as modules so it has fewer problems with violating its free software license. Read more

Linux 4.20 Allows Overclockers To Increase The Radeon TDP Power Limit

The AMDGPU Linux kernel driver for a while has now offered command-line-driven OverDrive overclocking for recent generations of Radeon GPUs. This has allowed manipulating the core and memory clock speeds as well as tweaking the voltage but has not supported increasing the TDP limit of the graphics card: that's in place with Linux 4.20 Up until now with the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver there hasn't been support for increasing the TDP power limit beyond its default, but has allowed for reducing that limit should you be trying to conserve power / allow your GPU to run cooler. A change was quietly added to the Linux 4.20 kernel to allow increasing the power limit when in the OverDrive mode. This change wasn't prominently advertised but fortunately a Phoronix reader happened to run across it today and tipped us off. Read more

Games: Zombie Panic! Source, Dicey Dungeon, NVIDIA RTX, Steam Play, Battle Motion, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, Feudal Alloy

  • The Beta of Zombie Panic! Source was updated recently, should work better on Linux
    Zombie Panic! Source is currently going through an overhaul, as part of this it's coming to Linux with a version now in beta and the latest update should make it a better experience. [...] I personally haven't been able to make any of the events yet, so I have no real thoughts on the game. Once it's out of beta and all servers are updated, I will be taking a proper look as it looks fun. No idea when this version will leave beta, might be a while yet.
  • Dicey Dungeons, the new unique roguelike from Terry Cavanagh and co introduces quests
    We have a lot of roguelikes available on Linux (seriously, we do) yet Dicey Dungeons from Terry Cavanagh, Marlowe Dobbe, and Chipzel still remains fresh due to the rather unique game mechanics. I still can't get over how fun the dice mechanic is, as you slot dice into cards to perform actions. It's different, clever and works really well.
  • Quake 2 now has real-time path tracing with Vulkan
    If you have one of the more recent NVIDIA RTX graphics cards, here's an interesting project for you to try. Q2VKPT from developer Christoph Schied implements some really quite advanced techniques.
  • Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts
    Now that Steam has the ability officially to override a Linux game and run it through Steam Play instead, let's take a quick look at some differences in performance. Before I begin, let's make something clear. I absolutely value the effort developers put into Linux games, I do think cross-platform development is incredibly important so we don't end up with more lock-in. However, let's be realistic for a moment. Technology moves on and it's not financially worth it to keep updating old games, they just don't sell as well as newer games (with exceptions of course). As the years go on, there will be more ways to run older games better and better, of that I've no doubt.
  • Battle Motion, a really silly massive fantasy battle game will have Linux support
    Sometimes when looking around for new games I come across something that really catches my eye, Battle Motion is one such game as it looks completely silly.
  • Ravva and the Cyclops Curse looks like a rather nice NES-inspired platformer
    Another lovely looking retro-inspired platformer! Ravva and the Cyclops Curse from developer Galope just released this week with Linux support.
  • Become a fish inside a robot in Feudal Alloy, out now with Linux support
    We've seen plenty of robots and we've seen a fair amount of fish, but have you seen a fish controlling a robot with a sword? Say hello to Feudal Alloy.