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Games: Zachtronics, Valve, SuperTuxKart/Wayland, and Blobs From Canonical

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Gaming
  • All Zachtronics games are now available on itch.io

    Some good news for fans of high quality puzzle games, as Zachtronics entire library is now available to purchase on itch.io.

  • Valve has launched "Steam Labs", a place where Valve will show off new experiments

    Valve emailed in today to let us know about the new Steam Labs, a dedicated section on Steam for Valve to show off some experiments they're doing and for you to test and break them.

  • Valve Rolls Out Steam Labs

    Steam Labs was announced today with three initial experiments: Micro Trailers, The Interactive Recommender, and The Automated Show. Micro Trailers are six-second game trailers, The Interactive Recommender uses machine learning to show game titles you might like, and The Automated Show is a showpiece for secondary displays for highlighting different games.

  • Network transparency with Wayland

    I've managed to get hardware video encoding and decoding using VAAPI working with waypipe, although of course the hardware codecs are less flexible and introduce additional restrictions on the image formats and dimensions. For example, buffers currently need to have an XRGB8888 pixel format (or a standard permutation thereof), as the Intel/AMD VAAPI implementations otherwise do not appear to support hardware conversions from the RGB color space to the YUV color space used by video formats, and in the other direction. It's also best if the buffers have 64-byte aligned strides, and 16-pixel aligned widths and heights. The result of this can run significantly faster than encoding with libx264, although to maintain the same level of visual quality the bitrate must be increased.

    For games, using video compression with waypipe is probably worth the tradeoffs now. In some instances, it can even be faster. A 1024 by 768 SuperTuxKart window during a race, running with linear-format DMABUFs, losslessly replicated without compression via ssh on localhost, requires about 130MB/s of bandwidth and runs at about 40 FPS. (Using LZ4 or Zstd for compression would reduce bandwidth, but on localhost or a very fast network would take more time than would be saved by the bandwidth reduction.)

  • Ubuntu LTS releases (and so derivatives too) to get updated NVIDIA drivers without PPAs

    Good news everyone! Canonical will now be offering NVIDIA users up to date graphics drivers without the need to resort to a PPA or anything else.

    Since this will be for the Ubuntu LTS releases, this means other Linux distributions based on Ubuntu like Linux Mint, elementary OS, Zorin OS and probably many others will also get these updated NVIDIA drivers too—hooray!

    This is really great, as PPAs are not exactly user friendly and sometimes they don't get the testing they truly need when serving so many people. Having the Ubuntu team push out NVIDIA driver updates via an SRU (Stable Release Update), which is the same procedure they use to get you newer Firefox version, is a good way to do it.

Ubuntu Now Offers Latest Nvidia Graphics Drivers to LTS Users

  • Ubuntu Now Offers the Latest Nvidia Graphics Drivers to LTS Users

    Until now, anyone that has wanted to install Nvidia binary driver updates on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS has needed to make use of a separate PPA, futz around with random packages distributed online, or install the driver manually, by hand, the old-fashioned way.

    But not any more.

    Word on the street is that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users can now install the latest releases of the proprietary Nvidia driver through the regular Ubuntu updates channel.

    The magic is made possible by the SRU (Stable Release Update) initiative. It’s this endeavour that keeps other apps, like Mozilla Firefox and Chromium, up to date on long-term support releases.

Steam Labs lets you peek into Valve’s experimental projects

  • Steam Labs lets you peek into Valve’s experimental projects

    Like most companies, much of what Valve (the company behind the hugely popular Steam game store) tinkers with behind the scenes never sees the light of day. Concepts are born, torn apart and rebuilt, and sometimes tossed away without anyone outside the company ever seeing a hint of it.

    Seems Valve is trying to change that, giving users an opportunity to provide feedback on potential new features before they’re fully baked. The company has just debuted a new project it calls “Steam Labs,” which will give super-early adopters an early peek at concepts that may or may not eventually make it into Valve’s Steam game store.

Ubuntu Will Make it Easier to Install Nvidia Drivers

  • Ubuntu Will Make it Easier to Install Nvidia Drivers

    It's about to get easier for Ubuntu LTS users to stay up-to-date with Nvidia's stable graphics drivers. The Linux Experiment said via YouTube yesterday that Ubuntu plans to make these drivers part of its Stable Release Updates (SRU) program, which means users won't have to rely on fiddly workarounds to install the latest drivers themselves.
    Ubuntu confirmed The Linux Experiment's report on Twitter. (The company said it didn't make an official announcement because it "decided it better to share an awesome video from a member of the wider community.") It also said the change is "coming in an update, to your computer... [s]oon!" in response to another user.
    Ubuntu LTS typically doesn't offer recent updates to apps, drivers and other software. The operating system is more focused on making sure everything remains as stable as possible than on providing access to the latest-and-greatest features. SRU offers a compromise by making it easy to install new versions of popular apps.

Excellent! Ubuntu LTS Users Will Now Get the Latest Driver

  • Excellent! Ubuntu LTS Users Will Now Get the Latest Nvidia Driver Updates [No PPA Needed Anymore]

    You might be aware of the troubles to install the latest and greatest Nvidia binary driver updates on Ubuntu.

    By default, Ubuntu provides the open source Nvidia Nouveau drivers that some time result in Ubuntu being stuck at boot screen.

    You can also install the proprietary Nvidia driver in Ubuntu easily. The problem is that the Nvidia drivers in the default Ubuntu repositories are not the latest one. To solve this problem, Ubuntu introduced a dedicated PPA a few years back.

Ubuntu LTS Linux Distributions Will Now Get The Latest Nvidia

  • Ubuntu LTS Linux Distributions Will Now Get The Latest Nvidia Drivers Installed Automatically

    The Linux Experiment dropped the news on YouTube, reporting that Ubuntu LTS installs will now automatically include the latest proprietary Nvidia graphics driver in its standard system updates. The newest stable Nvidia driver, version 430, is already in the bionic-proposed repository for testing and should land on your Ubuntu 18.04 system soon.

    [...]

    The only oddity surrounding this announcement? Well, it's a very impactful change but was seeded through a community YouTuber (albeit an excellent one), and not via a Canonical-penned blog or press release. The company responded to this on Twitter, saying "We decided it better to share an awesome video from a member of the wider community. Ubuntu is all about community, after all."

Ubuntu To Provide NVIDIA Drivers Updates To Ubuntu LTS Users

  • Ubuntu To Provide NVIDIA Drivers Updates To Ubuntu LTS Users

    Ubuntu has been a good choice to switch to Linux from other operating systems. The only thing that has stopped people is the hardware updates. Though there were NVIDIA drivers updates available but through third-party PPAs.

    But no more installation of third-party PPAs in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Ubuntu is now going to provide the latest NVIDIA drivers updates to its long term release users starting from its latest LTS release Ubuntu 18.04.

    The big news was announced through Ubuntu’s twitter account posting a Youtube video describing how Ubuntu is already testing the feature and will release to the public very soon.

    Let me tell you, updating Nvidia drivers were not difficult but required the installation of third-party PPAs or run several scripts to update NVIDIA drivers.

    As explained in the video, Ubuntu will now provide the latest proprietary drivers updates from its repositories in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and also Ubuntu 16.04 in the near future.

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