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Friday, 19 Jan 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Typesort icon Title Author Replies Last Post
Blog entry Gstreamer Conference 2010 Videos and Slides uploaded raseel 16/11/2010 - 4:43am
Blog entry Maintenance Release - pclinuxos gnome 2010.11 Texstar 13/11/2010 - 2:32am
Blog entry PCLinuxOS Enlightenment (E-17) Desktop updated. Texstar 13/11/2010 - 2:29am
Blog entry Maintenance Release - pclinuxos kde 2010.10 Texstar 06/11/2010 - 3:46am
Blog entry Maintenance Release - pclinuxos lxde 2010.10 Texstar 05/11/2010 - 11:35pm
Blog entry Maintenance Release - pclinuxos phoenix xfce 2010.10 Texstar 05/11/2010 - 11:32pm
Blog entry 5 most interesting linux commands linkin47 02/07/2010 - 3:10pm
Blog entry Tomboy and Dropbox, the Dynamic Duo bigbearomaha 08/12/2011 - 1:44pm
Blog entry Is Mark Shuttleworth the new Steve Jobs? fieldyweb 24/11/2011 - 11:48pm
Blog entry How I customized my Android.. fieldyweb 24/11/2011 - 11:46pm

Graphics: Weston, Trends and Benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Some Of What's Coming For Wayland's Weston 4.0 Compositor

    Earlier this week ongoing Wayland/Weston release manager Bryce Harrington at Samsung laid out plans for Wayland 1.15 and Weston 4.0. There's been some push-back on the proposed dates to try to allow some more work to land in these upcoming six month releases to Wayland/Weston, but long story short, these next releases will be here in the near future.

    With Wayland itself quite mature, there isn't much that's exciting for end-users about Wayland 1.15. In fact, not many changes at all unless there's a last-minute rush of new work to land. As is the case these days, most of the interesting work is happening within the Weston compositor space as developers flesh out new functionality and prototype features that will hopefully be picked up by the other Wayland compositors that are becoming widely used on the Linux desktop.

  • Linux Graphics Trends Over The Past Five Years

    Yesterday I posted some Linux hardware statistics going back to 2011 using data collected by the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org. Those yearly metrics hadn't contained any GPU/driver data, but here are those numbers.

    The graphics numbers were omitted from yesterday's article as I had to make some tweaks to its parser and post-processor due to the wide assortment of graphics driver/hardware combinations, joining the ATI and AMD data, etc compared to the statistics collection on more basic/uniform hardware components. The sample set used was a maximum of 100,000 systems per year with the data being collected through the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 7.8 M2 Released As "Folldal" Development Heats Up

    Just one week after Phoronix Test Suite 7.8 Milestone 1, the second development release of 7.8-Folldal is now available for testing.

    Phoronix Test Suite 7.8 M2 is heavier on the end-user facing changes as this quarterly development cycle heats up and also initial planning underway for Phoronix Test Suite 8.0 that in turn will ship this summer.

Benchmarking Ubuntu's Low-Latency Kernel & Liquorix Post-Meltdown

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Security
Ubuntu

The Ubuntu low-latency kernel is designed for, well, low-latency workloads like audio processing/recording. The lowlatency kernel compared to the generic Linux x86_64 kernel enables IRQ_FORCED_THREADING_DEFAULT, disables TREE_RCU in favor of PREEMPT_RCU, disables OPTPROBES, enables UNINLINE_SPIN_UNLOCK while disables the INLINE_*_UNLOCK tunables, enables PREEMPT support, changes to 1000Hz tick from 250Hz, and enables LATENCYTOP support.

The Liquorix kernel continues to be a bit more unique and among its alterations compared to a generic kernel is Zen interactive tuning, making use of the MuQSS process scheduler, hard kernel preemption, BFQ I/O scheduler by default, network optimizations, and more as outlined at Liquorix.net. Liquorix also defaults to CPUFreq on Intel CPUs and uses the ondemand governor rather than the other tested kernels defaulting to P_State powersave.

For these tests were benchmarks of 4.13.0-25-generic (the current default Ubuntu 17.10 kernel with KPTI patched), 4.14.13-041413-generic as the latest upstream stable kernel from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA, 4.14.13-041413-lowlatency as the equivalent low-latency Ubuntu kernel, and then 4.14.0-13.1-liquorix as the latest Liquorix kernel via its Launchpad PPA. All of these kernels had KPTI protection present and enabled, none of them currently have the (currently out-of-tree) Retpoline support.

Read more

Also: Ubuntu 17.10.1 ISOs available with corrupting BIOS fix

Linux 4.15-rc8 Bringing BPF Security Improvements For Fending Speculative Attacks

Filed under
Linux

With the Linux 4.15-rc8 kernel that is expected for release today as the final step before Linux 4.15, it's still seeing continued security improvements in the wake of the Spectre CPU vulnerabilities.

Landing in the mainline Git tree at this stage of the Linux 4.15 kernel cycle were some security features around BPF, the Berkeley Packet Filter and the related and popular Extended BPF (eBPF) virtual machine for the Linux kernel.

Read more

Software: uGet, GNU/Linux Media Players, Opera 51

Filed under
Software
  • uGet 2.2.0 and uGet for Android 1.4.8 Now Available!

    After almost a year of development, we are excited to announce the immediate availability of the latest stable version of uGet, version 2.2.0 and the latest version of uGet for Android, version 1.4.8. These releases include a LOT of improvements such as bug fixes, maintenance improvements and many highly requested features like support for Downloading from YouTube.

  • 7 Best Open Source Linux Media Players You Need To Try In 2018

    Honestly speaking, I have started using media player software less often. That’s probably because of the online streaming boom in the last couple of years. It’s hard to remember the last time I slid a DVD into my computer. Most of the time, I find myself binge-watching TV shows on Prime Video (it even has a free trial in India), or some random stuff on YouTube.

  • Opera 51 Browser Enters Beta with Support for AppleScript and Many New Features

    The upcoming Opera 51 web browser was promoted on Thursday to the beta channel, giving users a more in-depth look at what to expect from the final release, which will be available next month.

Programming: Continuous Integration, JavaScript Frameworks, Visualizing Molecules with Python

Filed under
Development
  • Librsvg gets Continuous Integration

    One nice thing about gitlab.gnome.org is that we can now have Continuous Integration (CI) enabled for projects there. After every commit, the CI machinery can build the project, run the tests, and tell you if something goes wrong.

    Carlos Soriano posted a "tips of the week" mail to desktop-devel-list, and a link to how Nautilus implements CI in Gitlab. It turns out that it's reasonably easy to set up: you just create a .gitlab-ci.yml file in the toplevel of your project, and that has the configuration for what to run on every commit.

  • The Brutal Lifecycle of JavaScript Frameworks

    Using the Stack Overflow Trends tool and some of our internal traffic data, we decided to take a look at some of the more prominent UI frameworks: Angular, React, Vue.js, Backbone, Knockout, and Ember.
     

  • Visualizing Molecules with Python

    The PyMOL Wiki also hosts a script library, and it's a good place to look before you start down the road of creating your own script, as someone else may have run into the same issue and may have found a solution you can use. If nothing else, you may be able to find a script that could serve as a starting point for your own particular problem.

    When you're are done working with PyMOL, there are many different ways to end the session. If there is work you are likely to pick up again and continue with, click File→Save Session to save all of the work you just did, including all of the transitions applied to the view. If the changes you made were actually structural, rather than just superficial changes to the way the molecule looked, you can save those structural changes by selecting File→Save Molecule. This allows you to write out the new molecule to a chemical file format, such as a PDB file.

    If you need output for publications or presentations, a few different options are available. Clicking File→Save Image As allows you to select from saving a regular image file in PNG format or writing out data in a POVRay or VRML 3D file format. If you are doing a fancier presentation, you even can export a movie of your molecule by clicking File→Save Movie As. This lets you generate an MPEG movie file that can be used either on a web-based journal or within a slide deck for a presentation.

Security: KPTI, Kaspersky, FUD, and Yet More Promises From WPA

Filed under
Security
  • KPTI Support For 64-bit ARM Getting Buttoned Up Ahead Of Linux 4.16

    Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) landed at the start of the year for x86/x86_64 systems for fending off the much talked about CPU attacks while the AMD64 / 64-bit ARM code is still a work-in-progress but looks like it will be squared away for the upcoming Linux 4.16 kernel cycle.

    There is this Git branch and the base work for those wishing to track the last minute alterations. There is currently the latest KPTI page table isolation patches for ARM64 and does include a return trampoline, a new HARDEN_BRANCH_PREDICTOR Kconfig switch, branch predictor hardening for Falkor and Cortex-A CPUs, and other security hardening improvements.

  • 'Very high level of confidence' Russia used Kaspersky software for devastating NSA leaks

    Three months after U.S. officials asserted that Russian intelligence used popular antivirus company Kaspersky to steal U.S. classified information, there are indications that the alleged espionage is related to a public campaign of highly damaging NSA leaks by a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers.

    “That’s a Russian intelligence operation,” a former senior intelligence official, who requested anonymity to speak bluntly, told Yahoo Finance. “They’ve gotten a lot noisier than they used to be.”

  • FOSS Community Struggles to Patch Against Spectre, Meltdown Flaws [Ed: Unlike what? The proprietary software 'community'? Microsoft is bricking Windows-running PCs.]

    Many in the open source community worked feverishly this week to respond to heightened fears that software updates to fix the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities would put millions of computers at risk of slowdowns or even total disability.

  • WPA3 – The Promise of Security

KDE: Flatpak support in Discover, KDE Frameworks 5.42.0, digiKam 5.8.0, KDE in Trisquel 8, Activity in Elisa

Filed under
KDE
  • Flatpak support in Discover

    People often ask about the state of Flatpak in Discover, so today I’m going to write about that. Thew good news is that Discover’s Flatpak support is very good and getting better all the time. It’s fully production ready and we encourage you to use it!

  • Flatpak Support Is Now "Production Ready" In KDE Discover

    It seems to be a busy weekend for KDE news... The latest is that the Flatpak app sandboxing support formerly known as XDG-App is considered production ready within KDE Discover.

    KDE Discover, the closest thing currently to an "app store" on the KDE desktop and for managing add-ons and installing other packages, now has vetted Flatpak support. Going back a year KDE Discover has been working on Flatpak support as well as Ubuntu Snap/Snappy support but now the Flatpak support is in good standing.

  • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.42.0

    KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.42.0.

    KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.

    This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

  • KDE Frameworks 5.42 Brings Wayland Improvements, Plasma & KIO Activity

    KDE Frameworks 5.42.0 was released today as the latest monthly feature update to this collection of add-on KDE libraries complementing Qt5.

    With KDE Frameworks 5.42.0 there is some new icons/support to the Breeze icon set, a number of KIO changes, continued work on Kirigami, experimental RCC file support in KPackage, various KWayland improvements, and more refining to the Plasma Framework.

  • digiKam 5.8.0 is released

    Following the release of 5.7.0 published in September 2017, the digiKam team is proud to announce the new release 5.8.0 of the digiKam Software Collection. In this version a lot of work has happened behind the scenes and in fixing bugs as usual, which does not mean there are no enhancements: a new tool to export collections to UPNP/DLNA compatible devices has been introduced.

  • DigiKam 5.8 Released With Export Support To UPnP/DLNA Devices

    The KDE-developed, Qt-powered digiKam photo management software is out with its first feature update of 2018.

    DigiKam 5.8.0 is the new release out this weekend. Most of the digiKam 5.8 development work the past quarter was focused on under-the-hood type improvements, but there is also many bug fixes, improved AppImage support with now handling Firejail sandboxing, MySQL support improvements, the ability to export to UPnP/DLNA compatible devices, DropBox exporting now supports OAuth2, and various other enhancements.

  • KSuperkey, Plasma, and Trisquel 8

    This short tutorial explains how to enable pressing Win key to open menu at Plasma 5.5 on Trisquel 8. For that purpose, you need KSuperkey program, which needs git and make programs to obtain the source code and install it onto your Trisquel system. Fortunately, the KSuperkey program is small, the process is very easy and quick, and it needs only less than 3 minutes. Follow instructions below.

  • Last Weeks Activity in Elisa

    Elisa is a music player designed to be simple and nice to use. It allows to browse music by album, artist or all tracks. You can build and play your own playlist. We aim to build a fluid interface that is easy to use.

    We are preparing for the next alpha release when the following features will be done. Alexander is working on a metadata view for tracks. I am working on cleaning the different grid views into a generic one.

    Diego Gangl did several modifications of the interface as part of the interactions with KDE VDG.

Hands on With System76’s Beautiful Linux Distro Pop!_OS

Filed under
Reviews

Linux system manufacturer System76 introduced a beautiful looking Linux distribution called Pop!_OS. But is Pop OS worth an install? Read the Pop OS review and find out yourself.
Read more

8 KDE Plasma Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Productivity

Filed under
KDE

KDE’s Plasma is easily one of the most powerful desktop environments available for Linux. It’s highly configurable, and it looks pretty good, too. That doesn’t amount to a whole lot unless you can actually get things done.

You can easily configure Plasma and make use of a lot of its convenient and time-saving features to boost your productivity and have a desktop that empowers you, rather than getting in your way.

Read more

Are Linux GUI Software Centers Any Good? Let’s Find Out!

Filed under
Linux

Over the years, Linux has made impressive strides towards being friendlier to new and non-technical users. One of the more common efforts is the creation of graphical software centers. Imagine what a boost having something akin to the Play Store would be on Linux. It’s a great idea, but do the GNOME and KDE Plasma actually pull it off?

Read more

Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds 40-pin GPIO header to Zero W

Filed under
Linux

The $18 Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds a soldered 40-pin GPIO header to the Zero W for easier prototyping or taking advantage of the new GPIO Expander tool, which lets you access your Pi’s GPIO pins from a PC running Debian Stretch.

Raspberry Pi Trading has launched a variation on the Raspberry Pi Zero W that makes it more like a regular Raspberry Pi SBC and less like a computer-on-module. Designed for those who would prefer not to solder, the new Raspberry Pi Zero W adds a “professionally soldered” 40-pin GPIO header, enabling easier prototyping or a better fit for temporary projects that need the Zero W’s small size and wireless radios, but don’t require the permanence of soldered connections.

Read more

LittleFS: A New File-System For ARM Embedded Devices

Filed under
Linux

LittleFS is a lightweight file-system that's being developed for embedded systems.

LittleFS as implied by the name is intended to be a "little" file-system for embedded devices, in particular "Internet of Things" style platforms. LittleFS strives to be a fail-safe file-system that can work with minimal amounts of RAM/ROM, power-loss resilient, and supports wear-leveling for flash memory.

Read more

MX Linux MX-17 Horizon - Shaping up beautifully

Filed under
Reviews

From an underdog to a kennel master. That's probably the best, most succinct way to describe MX Linux. While you still may be confused about its heritage, with words like Mepis and AntiX slipping in, it's one of the more refined Xfce distros around, and I have been thoroughly impressed by the last version, MX-16. As it turns out, I proudly crowned it the Best of Xfce 2017 distro. It also notched very high on the overall annual best-of competition.

Now, there's a new version out. I will first conduct the test on the old LG laptop, but now that I've managed to fix the read-only UEFI on my Lenovo G50 machine, I will conduct a second test on that laptop - provided everything works fine in this first review. So we have ancient hardware, Nvidia graphics, dual boot. Commence.

Read more

Tweaking Ubuntu 17.10 To Try To Run Like Clear Linux

Filed under
Ubuntu

Even with the overhead of having both KPTI and Retpoline kernel support in place, our recent Linux distribution benchmarks have shown Intel's Clear Linux generally outperforming the more popular distributions. But if applying some basic performance tweaks, can Ubuntu 17.10 perform like Clear Linux? Here are some benchmarks looking at a few factors.

In our forums there were recently some users attributing the Clear performance benefit to their CFLAGS and the distribution defaulting to the P-State "performance" governor rather than the "powersave" governor. It's true those are two of the ways this Intel open-source platform tries to deliver better out-of-the-box performance, but that is not all. Explained at ClearLinux.org, they also apply automatic feedback-driven optimizations (GCC FDO), function multi-versioning (FMV) to deliver optimized functions selected at run-time based upon the CPU micro-architecture being used, and various other approaches for trying to deliver the best out-of-the-box Linux performance that does include backporting various patches, etc. And, yes, hopefully this article can provide some motivation for Ubuntu and other distributions to become a bit more aggressive with their defaults to deliver a more optimized experience on installation.

Read more

Also: Ubuntu Unity Remix Day 3: Unity Tweak Tool

Mozilla Development and Developers

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox 59 Is Dropping GTK2 Support

    Now that Firefox's GTK3 support is finally into shape, Firefox 59 will be doing away with GTK2 tool-kit support.

  • Review of Igalia's Web Platform activities (H2 2017)

    Last september, I published a first blog post to let people know a bit more about Igalia’s activities around the Web platform, with a plan to repeat such a review each semester. The present blog post focuses on the activity of the second semester of 2017.

  • News flash: encrypted.google.com is not special in any way

    Once upon a time, Google dared to experiment with HTTPS encryption for their search instead of allowing all search data to go unencrypted through the wire. For this experiment, they created a new subdomain: encrypted.google.com was the address where your could get some extra privacy. What some people apparently didn’t notice: the experiment was successful, and Google rolled out HTTPS encryption to all of their domains. I don’t know why encrypted.google.com is still around, but there doesn’t seem to be anything special about it any more. Which doesn’t stop some people from imagining that there is.

Hands on With System76’s Beautiful Linux Distro Pop!_OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux

When I saw that System 76 launched their #TryPopOS campaign last month I knew this was the perfect opportunity to really put Pop!_OS through its paces. I am a proud owner of the Galago Pro, which I purchased the day they launched pre-orders this Spring and it has been my primary computer since then. I use it for everything from writing articles, to browsing the internet, to light gaming, and though the machine as its quirks I am beyond happy with it.

Back when I ordered the laptop Pop!_OS wasn’t announced yet so my laptop came with stock Ubuntu, which I promptly replaced with Ubuntu GNOME. Since then I have tried a couple different options including Elementary OS, Manjaro GNOME Edition, and most recently I have settled on KDE Neon.

Everything I have thrown at it has worked great on it so far, but now it is time to try something different. Here is my experience with System 76’s Pop!_OS.

Read more

GCC 8.0 vs. LLVM Clang 6.0 On AMD EPYC

Filed under
Development
Graphics/Benchmarks

At the beginning of January I posted some early LLVM Clang 6.0 benchmarks on AMD EPYC while in this article is comparing the tentative Clang 6.0 performance to that of the in-development GCC 8.0. Both compilers are now into their feature freeze and this testing looked at the performance of generated binaries both for generic x86_64 as well as being tuned for AMD's Zen "znver1" microarchitecture.

Read more

Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android
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More in Tux Machines

Meltdown and Spectre Linux Kernel Status - Update

I keep getting a lot of private emails about my previous post previous post about the latest status of the Linux kernel patches to resolve both the Meltdown and Spectre issues. These questions all seem to break down into two different categories, “What is the state of the Spectre kernel patches?”, and “Is my machine vunlerable?” Read more

today's leftovers

OSS: Jio, VMware Openwashing, and Testing Jobs

  • Jio is committed to use open source technology: Akash Ambani
    Speaking at the India Digital Open Summit 2018, Akash Ambani, Director of Reliance Jio Infocomm, said that open source is very important for his company. “The year 2017 was the tipping point for AR and VR globally. In India, AR and VR are in the initial stages of adoption but at Jio, we believe it will grow at a 50 percent compounded rate for the next five years,” Akash said. He also spoke on the evolution of artificial intelligence and blockchain.
  • VMware and Pivotal’s PKS Distribution Marries Kubernetes with BOSH [Ed: It looks like the author has been reduced to Microsoft propaganda and other openwashing puff pieces sponsored by proprietary software giants. We have given up on several writers who used to support GNU/Linux. Seeing their activity, it seems as though they ended up with neither gigs nor credibility (used to get far more writing assignments from LF, often for Microsoft openwashing).]
  • Hehe, still writing code for a living? It's 2018. You could be earning x3 as a bug bounty hunter
    Ethical hacking to find security flaws appears to pay better, albeit less regularly, than general software engineering. And while payment remains one of the top rationales for breaking code, hackers have begun citing more civic-minded reasons for their activities. A survey of 1,700 bug bounty hunters from more than 195 countries and territories by security biz HackerOne, augmented by the company's data on 900 bug bounty programs, has found that white-hat hackers earn a median salary that's 2.7 times that of typical software engineers in their home countries. In some places, the gap is far more pronounced. In India, for example, hackers make as much as 16 times the median programmer salary. In the US, they earn 2.4 times the median.

Security: Spectre and Meltdown, Industrial System Sabotage, VDP, Windows in Healthcare

  • Some thoughts on Spectre and Meltdown
     

    Contrast that with what happened this time around. Google discovered a problem and reported it to Intel, AMD, and ARM on June 1st. Did they then go around contacting all of the operating systems which would need to work on fixes for this? Not even close. FreeBSD was notified the week before Christmas, over six months after the vulnerabilities were discovered. Now, FreeBSD can occasionally respond very quickly to security vulnerabilities, even when they arise at inconvenient times — on November 30th 2009 a vulnerability was reported at 22:12 UTC, and on December 1st I provided a patch at 01:20 UTC, barely over 3 hours later — but that was an extremely simple bug which needed only a few lines of code to fix; the Spectre and Meltdown issues are orders of magnitude more complex.  

  • Menacing Malware Shows the Dangers of Industrial System Sabotage
     

    At the S4 security conference on Thursday, researchers from the industrial control company Schneider Electric, whose equipment Triton targeted, presented deep analysis of the malware—only the third recorded cyberattack against industrial equipment. Hackers [sic] were initially able to introduce malware into the plant because of flaws in its security procedures that allowed access to some of its stations, as well as its safety control network.

  • 25 per cent of hackers don't report bugs due to lack of disclosure policies
     

    One of the standout discoveries was that almost 25 per cent of respondents said they were unable to disclose a security flaw because the bug-ridden company in question lacked a vulnerability disclosure policy (VDP).

  • 'Professional' hack [sic] on Norwegian health authority compromises data of three million patients [iophk: "Windows TCO"]