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GNU/FSF: LibrePlanet, Respects Your Freedom (RYF) and GNU Binutils

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  • LibrePlanet returns in 2020 to Free the Future! March 14-15, Boston area

    LibrePlanet provides an opportunity for community activists, domain experts, and people seeking solutions for themselves to come together in order to discuss current issues in technology and ethics.

    "LibrePlanet attendees and speakers will be discussing the hot button issues we've all been reading about every day, and their connection to the free software movement. How do you fight Facebook? How do we make software-driven cars safe? How do we stop algorithms from making terrible, unreviewable decisions? How do we enjoy the convenience of mobile phones and digital home assistants without being constantly under surveillance? What is the future of digital currency? Can we have an Internet that facilitates respectful dialogue?" said FSF's executive director, John Sullivan.

    The free software community has continuously demanded that users and developers be permitted to understand, study, and alter the software they use, offering hope and solutions for a free technological future. LibrePlanet speakers will display their unique combination of digital knowledge and educational skills in the two day conference, as well as give more insights into their ethical dedication to envision a future rich with free "as in freedom" software and without network services that mistreat their users. The FSF's LibrePlanet 2020 edition is therefore aptly named "Free the Future."

  • New RYF Web site: It's now easier to support companies selling devices that Respect Your Freedom

    The Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification program helps to connect users with retailers who respect their rights. Retailers in the program sell devices that come with freedom inside, and promise to always ensure that their users are not directed to proprietary software at any point in the sale or ownership of the device. When we launched the program in 2010, we had no idea how quickly the program would grow.

    In 2012, when we announced the first certification, we hosted information about the program and retailers as a simple page on the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Web site. With only one retailer selling one device, this was certainly satisfactory. As the program grew, we added each new device chronologically to that page, highlighting the newest certifications. We are now in a place where eight different retailers have gained nearly fifty certifications, including the recently announced Talos II and Talos II Lite mainboards from Raptor Computing Systems, LLC. With so many devices available, across so many different device categories, it was getting more difficult for users to find what they were looking for in just a plain chronological list.

  • Talos II Mainboard and Talos II Lite Mainboard now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

    Thursday, November 7th, 2019 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the Talos II and Talos II Lite mainboards from Raptor Computing Systems, LLC. The RYF certification mark means that these products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy.

    While these are the first devices from Raptor Computing Systems to receive RYF certification, the FSF has supported their work since 2015, starting with the original Talos crowdfunding effort. Raptor Computing Systems has worked very hard to protect the rights of users.

    "From our very first products through our latest offerings, we have always placed a strong emphasis on returning control of computing to the owner of computing devices -- not retaining it for the vendor or the vendor's partners. We hope that with the addition of our modern, powerful, owner-controlled systems to the RYF family, we will help spur on industry adoption of a similar stance from the many silicon vendors required to support modern computing," said Timothy Pearson, Chief Technology Officer, Raptor Computing Systems, LLC.

  • GNU Binutils Adds Bits For AMD Zen 2's RDPRU + MCOMMIT Instructions

    GNU Binutils with its "Gas" assembler has now added the rest of the instructions supported by the AMD Zen 2 microarchitecture that previously were unsupported by this piece of the GNU toolchain.

    RDPRU and MCOMMIT are the two instructions for Zen 2 added to Binutils by SUSE's Jan Beulich. RDPRU has been covered multiple times on Phoronix and is for reading a processor register typically limited to privilege level zero. This allows for registers like MPERF/APERF to be easily read at user-level.

Phoronix also

  • Free Software Foundation Certifies Talos II With Respecting Your Freedom

    The Free Software Foundation's "Respect Your Freedom" program has tended to mostly endorse products like old motherboards re-flashed with Coreboot/Libreboot along with dated networking products and obscure products like USB microphones and USB to parallel printer port cables. But today comes the Free Software Foundation's most prominent RYF endorsement.

Late coverage by LWN of RYF site

  • FSF: New Respects Your Freedom website

    The Free Software Foundation's Respects Your Freedom program provides a certification for hardware that supports your freedom. A new website listing certified products has been launched. "In 2012, when we announced the first certification, we hosted information about the program and retailers as a simple page on the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Web site.

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Supercomputing Articles

  • Exascale meets hyperscale: How high-performance computing is transitioning to cloud-like environments

    Twice a year the high-performance computing (HPC) community anxiously awaits the announcement of the latest edition of the Top500 list, cataloging the most powerful computers on the planet. The excitement of a supercomputer breaking the coveted exascale barrier and moving into the top position typically overshadows the question of which country will hold the record. As it turned out, the top 10 systems on the November 2019 Top500 list are unchanged from the previous revision with Summit and Sierra still holding #1 and #2 positions, respectively. Despite the natural uncertainty around the composition of the Top500 list, there is little doubt about software technologies that are helping to reshape the HPC landscape. Starting at the International Supercomputing conference earlier this year, one of the technologies leading this charge is containerization, lending further credence to how traditional enterprise technologies are influencing the next generation of supercomputing applications. Containers are borne out of Linux, the operating system underpinning Top500 systems. Because of that, the adoption of container technologies has gained momentum and many supercomputing sites already have some portion of their workflows containerized. As more supercomputers are being used to run artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications to solve complex problems in science-- including disciplines like astrophysics, materials science, systems biology, weather modeling and cancer research, the focus of the research is transitioning from using purely computational methods to AI-accelerated approaches. This often requires the repackaging of applications and restaging the data for easier consumption, where containerized deployments are becoming more and more important.

  • Exploring AMD’s Ambitious ROCm Initiative

    Three years ago, AMD released the innovative ROCm hardware-accelerated, parallel-computing environment [1] [2]. Since then, the company has continued to refine its bold vision for an open source, multiplatform, high-performance computing (HPC) environment. Over the past three years, ROCm developers have contributed many new features and components to the ROCm open software platform. ROCm is a universal platform for GPU-accelerated computing. A modular design lets any hardware vendor build drivers that support the ROCm stack [3]. ROCm also integrates multiple programming languages and makes it easy to add support for other languages. ROCm even provides tools for porting vendor-specific CUDA code into a vendor-neutral ROCm format, which makes the massive body of source code written for CUDA available to AMD hardware and other hardware environments.

  • High-Performance Python – GPUs

    When GPUs became available, C code via CUDA, a parallel computing platform and programming model developed by Nvidia for GPUs, was the logical language of choice. Since then, Python has become the tool of choice for machine learning, deep learning, and, to some degree, scientific code in general. Not long after the release of CUDA, the Python world quickly created tools for use with GPUs. As with new technologies, a plethora of tools emerged to integrate Python with GPUs. For some time, the tools and libraries were adequate, but soon they started to show their age. The biggest problem was incompatibility. If you used a tool to write code for the GPU, no other tools could read or use the data on the GPU. After making computations on the GPU with one tool, the data had to be copied back to the CPU. Then a second tool had to copy the data from the CPU to the GPU before commencing its computations. The data movement between the CPU and the GPU really affected overall performance. However, these tools and libraries allowed people to write functions that worked with Python. In this article, I discuss the Python GPU tools that are being actively developed and, more importantly, likely to interoperate. Some tools don’t need to know CUDA for GPU code, and other tools do need to know CUDA for custom Python kernels.

  • Porting CUDA to HIP

    You’ve invested money and time in writing GPU-optimized software with CUDA, and you’re wondering if your efforts will have a life beyond the narrow, proprietary hardware environment supported by the CUDA language. Welcome to the world of HIP, the HPC-ready universal language at the core of AMD’s all-open ROCm platform [1]. You can use HIP to write code once and compile it for either the Nvidia or AMD hardware environment. HIP is the native format for AMD’s ROCm platform, and you can compile it seamlessly using the open source HIP/​Clang compiler. Just add CUDA header files, and you can also build the program with CUDA and the NVCC compiler stack (Figure 1).

  • OpenMP – Coding Habits and GPUs

    When first using a new programming tool or programming language, it’s always good to develop some good general habits. Everyone who codes with OpenMP directives develops their own habits – some good and some perhaps not so good. As this three-part OpenMP series finishes, I highlight best practices from the previous articles that can lead to good habits. Enamored with new things, especially those that drive performance and scalability, I can’t resist throwing a couple more new directives and clauses into the mix. After covering these new directives and clauses, I will briefly discuss OpenMP and GPUs. This pairing is fairly recent, and compilers are still catching up to the newer OpenMP standards, but it is important for you to understand that you can run OpenMP code on targeted offload devices (e.g., GPUs).

  • News and views on the GPU revolution in HPC and Big Data:

    Exploring AMD's Ambitious ROCm Initiative Porting CUDA to HIP Python with GPUs OpenMP – Coding Habits and GPUs

IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 138 released

Just days after the last one, we are releasing IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 138. It addresses and mitigates recently announced vulnerabilities in Intel processors. Read more

today's howtos

Games: The Fertile Crescent, GOG and More

  • Free indie RTS game The Fertile Crescent adds team game support for online play

    While you've been able to play 1 on 1 in single-player against the AI and online multi-player for a while with The Fertile Crescent, it was missing team games which have now been added. This currently free indie retro Age of Empires-like game is an absolute gem, already quite polished too. The addition of team games is awesome, although only currently available for online play. You can pick all sorts of combinations too like a free for all, 2on2 and 3v1 across a new larger map. Online play is easy though, as they already have a nice working lobby system.

  • Half-Life: Alyx is rumoured to be the name of Valve's new VR game, apparently being unveiled soon

    Valve did say they were working on three VR titles some time ago and it looks like one is almost ready to be shown off, with Half-Life: Alyx. The information is all speculation and rumours right now though, so take it all with a heavy truckload of salt. We know a Half-Life VR game is pretty much a thing though, ValveNewsNetwork even had a video going over various details on it back in October so it's not like this is suddenly coming out of nowhere. Now though, we have more apparent leaks. Spotted by PC Gamer, they linked to a pastebin and in a later update a Google Document (update: contents now removed, so link removed) apparently showing snippets from an interview between Geoff Keighley of The Game Awards, Robin Walker and someone else they presume to be Gabe Newell.

  • The surprisingly good deck-builder Fate Hunters has arrived on GOG

    Releasing originally back in July, Fate Hunters is another deck-building roguelike filled with random encounters and just recently it was released DRM-free on GOG. As a massive fan of Slay the Spire, I'm always in the mood for more deck-builders like this. While it is another game where you build a deck and battle through random locations, the actual gameplay feels nothing really like Slay the Spire.

  • Start your week off with a new game, here's a few for Linux going cheap

    Another week, another sale of course. Let's have a little look over what's going cheap for Linux gamers across this week. First up on Steam we have Company of Heroes 2. Although the time to grab it free has ended, they've decided to now give it a big discount for anyone who missed it. You can get it on Steam with 75% off until November 24, plus a bunch of the DLC is also on sale.

  • Confessing my continued love for Jupiter Hell, the super slick roguelike

    Regular readers won't be surprised by my love for Jupiter Hell, I've written about it a few times now and the latest update just continues to allow me to gush about it. Note: I personally supported it during the Kickstarter. It's a roguelike, it's turn-based like the classics and depends upon tiles yet it feels so vastly different to anything else it's crazy. It feels like a proper action game, complete with a thick atmosphere and all. Absolutely gorgeous too, the lighting is absolutely fantastic and the barrel explosions sending everything flying looks excellent as well.