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Munich's U-turn, Fedora 27 on Halloween, Back to Linux

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In the story that wouldn't die, Munich's Linux reversal in in the news again as the city's administrative committee recommended moving to a uniform Windows-based deployment throughout city government by 2020. Elsewhere, Fedora 27 is scheduled for release on October 31, 2017 and kde.org got a new look. Former Linux user Paul Cutler has returned to the fold and Blogger Dedoimedo compared Fedora's Xorg to Wayland.

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Linux 5.9: close_range(), Keem Bay, and FSGSBASE

  • Linux 5.9 Set To Bring "Close_Range" System Call - Coordinated With FreeBSD Developers

    The close_range() system call is intended to allow efficiently closing a range of file descriptors (or all file descriptors) of the calling task. This system call was devised in cooperation with FreeBSD developers.  FreeBSD developers merged their compatible close_range system call all the way back in April 2019 while now for Linux 5.9 in August 2020 this system call is deemed ready for inclusion. 

  • Linux 5.9 Adds Intel "Keem Bay" Support, 8 Snapdragon Smartphones, AMD EthanolX BMC, Old Tegra Tablets

    There are many ARM changes coming to Linux 5.9, including support for Intel's Keem Bay.  Keem Bay is the Intel SoC by way of their Movidius acquisition that is built for edge AI computing. Keem Bay is a SoC built with Arm Cortex A53 processors and an Intel Movidius VPU. Intel acquired Movidius in 2016 and has continued advancing their low-power, computer vision hardware. Intel published a DRM driver for Keem Bay and other driver changes while the pull request being talked about today is the actual ARM platform enablement.  Along with Keem Bay, new Arm SoC families being supported by the mainline Linux 5.9 kernel are Microchip SparX5 and Mediatek Infinity3 / Mercury5. 

  • After 5 Years, FSGSBASE Support Finally Ready For Linux To Enhance AMD/Intel Performance

    The Linux kernel work for making use of the x86_64 FSGSBASE instruction since Intel Ivy Bridge and since then AMD CPUs also is set to finally land with the in-development Linux 5.9 kernel. The FSGSBASE support has the possibility of helping Intel/AMD CPU performance especially in areas like context switching that had been hurt badly by Spectre/Meltdown and other CPU vulnerability mitigations largely on the Intel side.  Intel developers started the FSGSBASE Linux support around five years ago but never got through in getting it mainlined. Microsoft's Linux kernel engineer then a few months back decided to take up the work to try to get it mainlined as even Microsoft found value in the performance benefits. 

Today in Techrights

Games: xoreos, Vulkan, Poly Bridge 2, Unrailed! and More

  • xoreos, the FLOSS game engine for titles like Knights of the Old Republic has a new update

    xoreos is an in-development effort to create a free and open source game engine reimplementation of the BioWare Aurora Engine that powers games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It's finally had a new release with xoreos 0.0.6 and it still seems like quite early days for games being playable. This release appears to have laid the groundwork for more improvements to come. The biggest change is that the original Knights of the Old Republic now has a partially working tutorial, it doesn't sound like a lot but for a reimplementation project it's quite a big step forwards to show what it can be capable of.

  • Vulkan API gains new extension to aid translation layers

    Today, the Vulkan API 1.2.149 spec update went out and it includes another extension that's aimed at helping translation layers like DXVK. While we don't usually comment on such minor specification updates to Vulkan, we do pick it up in cases like this where it may directly benefit compatibility layers for Linux gaming. VK_EXT_4444_formats is the new extension, which was worked on by Joshua Ashton (original creator of D9VK, now part of DXVK) for Valve and Jason Ekstrand for Intel. This is actually Ashton's second extension, following on from the release of Vulkan 1.2.140 back in May.

  • The fab physics bridge-builder Poly Bridge 2 gets a huge free content update

    Already finished Poly Bridge 2? Looks like it's time to jump back in as Dry Cactus have just released a huge free content upgrade with lots of new goodies to play with. What is Poly Bridge 2? The sequel to the hit bridge-building physics puzzler from 2016, it brings with it new levels, new mechanics, a custom physics engine, workshop campaigns, and much more. It was already fun and it's constantly improved since release with all sorts of tweaks and little extras but this update released on August 2 is on a whole different level. World 5 has been added, bringing with it the Serenity Valley location with 16 brand new levels and challenges, along with new achievements to hunt down. If that's not enough for you the Sandbox Mode was also expanded with: a new theme and vehicle type, support for duplicating multiple selected items, accurate selection for boats and planes, undo support for multiple changes and a custom shape option.

  • Unrailed! is gearing up for launch with a discount before the price goes up

    Unrailed! is an absolutely fantastic co-op game from Indoor Astronaut and Daedalic Entertainment that has you frantically build a train track to keep your train going as far as possible. It entered Early Access back in September 2019, with Linux support arriving in February 2020 and now they're looking to the near-future with a full release approaching. They've not said exactly when but they have confirmed the price will be rising, so they've put it on a reasonably big discount (42%) until August 17.

  • Community Game Night - Rexuiz - LIVE

    This is another Community Game Night stream where you guys can join me in a game for some fun and laughs. You can also join me in my Discord channel's voice chat. Tonight, I'm trying out a new (for me) first person shooter called Rexuiz. It is a fork of the old Nexuiz game, which was great (Xonotic is also forked from Nexuiz). Rexuiz is available on Linux, Mac and Windows.

  • How to Install Itch on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

    Itch is a platform for independent digital creators with main focus on indie games. It was actually started as website to host, sell and download indie video games but these days, Itch also provides books, comics, tools, board games, soundtracks and more digital content from indie creators. As a user, you can download these digital content either for free or for a price set by the creator. All your downloads and purchases are synced to your account so that you can download them whenever you want.

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