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Wednesday, 17 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

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 4:44pm
Story KDE: KStars, Nextcloud Talk, Akademy, Krita, Qt, Kdenlive Roy Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 4:43pm
Story KPTI + Retpoline Linux Benchmarking On Old Laptops Rianne Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 4:38pm
Story Multimedia Apps for the Linux Console Rianne Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 4:36pm
Story A Look at Ubuntu Unity Remix Roy Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 4:34pm
Story GeckoLinux: A Polished Distro Just Got Smoother Rianne Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 4:30pm
Story Games: Opus Magnum, Killing Floor 2, Where The Water Tastes Like Wine Roy Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 1:16pm
Story A Science Project: “Make The 486 Great Again!” – Modern Linux In An Ancient PC Roy Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 1:13pm
Story FUD Firms Versus Free Software (Licensing, Security, Gender) Roy Schestowitz 11/01/2018 - 1:11pm
Story Ubuntu 17.04 EoL and Patches Roy Schestowitz 2 11/01/2018 - 12:30pm

Linux KPTI Tests Using Linux 4.14 vs. 4.9 vs. 4.4

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Yet another one of the avenues we have been exploring with our Linux Page Table Isolation (KPTI) testing has been looking at any impact of this security feature in the wake of the Meltdown vulnerability when testing with an older Linux Long Term Support (LTS) release. In particular, when using a kernel prior to the PCID (Process Context Identifier) support in the Linux kernel that is used to lessen the impact of KPTI.

Read more

An interview with the developer of space sim Helium Rain who says ‘Linux gaming is alive and well’

Filed under
Interviews
Gaming

I love space, I love how mysterious and dangerous it is and to be able to fly around in a game like Helium Rain [Steam] is fantastic. I decided to have a chat with the developer and they’re very positive about Linux gaming.

We’ve covered Helium Rain here a few times before, so hopefully some of you will be familiar with it. Without further rambling, let's begin!

Read more

What Every Linux Users Must Know About Meltdown and Spectre Bugs

Filed under
News

Meltdown and Spectre are two vulnerabilities that impact almost all computers, tablets and smartphones on the earth. Does it mean you can be hacked? What can you, a Linux user, do about it?
Read more

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Houston-based Linux Journal is rescued and reborn

    Linux Journal, the Houston-based publication that covered and championed the open-source computer operating system for 23 years, won't shut down after all.

    Publisher Carlie Fairchild said Monday in a post to the Linux Journal website that the online magazine has been "rescued" by Private Internet Access VPN, a company owned by London Trust Media of Denver.

  • Dell Rolls Out New XPS 13 Laptop For 2018

    Just ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Dell has unveiled a new XPS 13 high-end laptop.

    The new XPS 13 makes use of Intel's 8th Gen CPUs, the laptop chassis has been improved upon, and the battery life is said to be better than last year's model. From a far the laptop looks similar to the previous XPS 13 but is now a little bit thinner and lighter with a 2.68 pound weight and measures in at 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.46 inches. The bezel on this new laptop comes in at just 4mm.

  • Amazon changes cloud computing strategy with launch of Linux 2

    Amazon has released its own version of the open-source Linux operating system for enterprise customers who use its cloud offering – Amazon Web Services – which will run both on clients’ computers as well as in the cloud.

    This marks a shift in Amazon’s cloud computing strategy as it earlier did not allow similar operating systems to run on its clients’ servers, but rather on Amazon-owned data centres. Reports suggest the company will allow its cloud customers to rent access to its new operating system, which it calls Linux 2, but will also allow clients to install the new OS on its own servers.

  • [Podcast] PodCTL Basics – Understanding Service Meshes

    We’re back and excited about all the cool new innovation happening around microservice architectures. We kick off 2018 with an introductory discussion about “Service Mesh” technologies, such as Istio, Envoy and Linkerd, and how they apply to modern application architectures.

  • Debian/TeX Live 2017.20180103-1

    The new year has arrived, but in the TeX world not much has changed – we still get daily updates in upstream TeX Live, and once a month I push them out to Debian. So here is roughly the last month of changes.

KDE and GNOME

Filed under
KDE
GNOME
  • Qt Cloud Messaging API Available for Embedded Systems

    Challenges with cloud messaging for embedded devices has inspired the Kaltiot & SnowGrains teams to create a cross-platform Qt API which enables easy push messaging from and to embedded devices. The API is called the Qt Cloud Messaging API and it is built with flexibility and extensibility in mind.

    We have decided to target other Qt areas, too, and make the API easily extensible to any service provider instead of being for embedded only. This enables developers to use the same API for both mobile and desktop development.

  • Zanshin 0.5.0 is out: 2018 will be organized!

    We are happy and proud to announce the immediate availability of Zanshin 0.5.0.

    After 0.4.0 one year and a half ago and 0.4.1 last year (which wasn't publicly announced), this new release introduce new features. The 0.4 series was mostly about the Qt 5 port and stabilization, now we can be a bit more ambitious again.

  • GNOME 3.28 Removes Option to Put Icons on the Desktop

    If you’re among the many GNOME Shell users who like to put icons on the desktop, brace yourself for change

    Developers working on the next major release of the GNOME desktop environment have removed the ‘desktop’ feature currently used to display and manage files, folders and attached drives kept on the desktop workspace.

Devices: Linux Conference, Tizen and Android

Filed under
Android
Linux

OSS: Mapzen, Gentoo at FOSDEM, Mozilla and Hortonworks

Filed under
OSS
  • An Open Source Startup Dies as Mapping Gets Hotter Than Ever

    For at least one startup, 2018 opened with a thud. On Tuesday, the open source mapping company Mapzen announced it would shut down at the end of the month, with its hosted APIs and support services going dark on February 1.

    That’s a real pain for Mapzen users, whose ranks include civic tech organizations like Code for America, app developers, and government agencies like the Portland-area transportation agency TriMet. And it’s a bummer for those who contributed to Mapzen’s wide-ranging data sets, which included detailed info on public transportation.

  • Gentoo News: FOSDEM 2018

    Put on your cow bells and follow the herd of Gentoo developers to Université libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium. This year FOSDEM 2018 will be held on February 3rd and 4th.

    Our developers will be ready to candidly greet all open source enthusiasts at the Gentoo stand in building K. Visit this year’s wiki page to see which developer will be running the stand during the different visitation time slots. So far seven developers have specified their attendance, with most-likely more on the way!

  • New flexbox guides on MDN

    In preparation for CSS Grid shipping in browsers in March 2017, I worked on a number of guides and reference materials for the CSS Grid specification, which were published on MDN. With that material updated, we thought it would be nice to complete the documentation with similar guides for Flexbox, and so I updated the existing material to reflect the core use cases of Flexbox.

  • January’s Featured Extensions
  • Open source’s security scalability and flexibility [Ed: Hortonworks, which is NSA-connected, continues to pay this NSA-friendly site for sponsored puff pieces like this one]

    In order to stop sophisticated modern threats, organizations need to be flexible and scalable with the way they handle their data. Network flows and data need to be collected and examined at cloud scale in order to let defenders identify anomalous behavior, but getting to that stage is a heavy lift.

    Henry Sowell, technical director for Hortonworks, spoke with CyberScoop on how open source systems allow for that flexibility and scalability, especially at a time where the onslaught of threats has never been greater.

Meltdown/Spectre 'Damage Control'

Filed under
Hardware
Security
  • Meltdown and Spectre: ‘worst ever’ CPU bugs affect virtually all computers
  • Massive Intel Chip Security Flaw Threatens Computers

    A design flaw in all Intel chips produced in the last decade is responsible for a vulnerability that puts Linux, Windows and macOS-powered computers at risk, according to multiple press reports. The flaw reportedly is in the kernel that controls the chip performance, allowing commonly used programs to access the contents and layout of a computer's protected kernel memory areas. The Linux kernel community, Microsoft and Apple have been working on patches to their operating systems to prevent the vulnerability.

  • What Linux Users Must Know About Meltdown and Spectre Bugs Impacting CPUs

    While these bugs impact a huge number of devices, there has been no widespread attacks so far. This is because it’s not straightforward to get the sensitive data from the kernel memory. It’s a possibility but not a certainty. So you should not start panicking just yet.

  • Loose threads about Spectre mitigation

    KPTI patches are out from most vendors now. If you haven't applied them yet, you should; even my phone updated today (the benefits of running a Nexus phone, I guess). This makes Meltdown essentially like any other localroot security hole (ie., easy to mitigate if you just update, although of course a lot won't do that), except for the annoying slowdown of some workloads. Sorry, that's life.

    Spectre is more difficult. There are two variants; one abuses indirect jumps and one normal branches. There's no good mitigation for the last one that I know of at this point, so I won't talk about it, but it's also probably the hardest to pull off. But the indirect one is more interesting, as there are mitigations popping up. Here's my understanding of the situation, based on random browsing of LKML (anything in here may be wrong, so draw your own conclusions at the end):

    Intel has issued microcode patches that they claim will make most of their newer CPUs (90% of the ones shipped in the last years) “immune from Spectre and Meltdown”. The cornerstone seems to be a new feature called IBRS, which allows you to flush the branch predictor or possibly turn it off entirely (it's not entirely clear to me which one it is). There's also something called IBPB (indirect branch prediction barrier), which seems to be most useful for AMD processors (which don't support IBRS at the moment, except some do sort-of anyway, and also Intel supports it), and it works somewhat differently from IBRS, so I don't know much about it.

  • The disclosure on the processor bugs

    The rumored bugs in Intel (and beyond) processors have now been disclosed: they are called Meltdown and Spectre, and have the requisite cute logos. Stay tuned for more.

    See also: this Project Zero blog post. "Variants of this issue are known to affect many modern processors, including certain processors by Intel, AMD and ARM. For a few Intel and AMD CPU models, we have exploits that work against real software. We reported this issue to Intel, AMD and ARM on 2017-06-01."

    See also: this Google blog posting on how it affects users of Google products in particular. "[Android] devices with the latest security update are protected. Furthermore, we are unaware of any successful reproduction of this vulnerability that would allow unauthorized information disclosure on ARM-based Android devices. Supported Nexus and Pixel devices with the latest security update are protected."

  • How the Meltdown Vulnerability Fix Was Invented

    A major security flaw has surfaced that’s thought to affect all Intel microprocessors since at least 2011, some ARM processors and, according to Intel, perhaps those of others. Unusually, the exploit, called Meltdown, takes advantage of the processors’ hardware rather than a software flaw, so it circumvents security schemes built into major operating systems.

  • Why Intel x86 must die: Our cloud-centric future depends on open source chips

    Two highly publicized security flaws in the Intel x86 chip architecture have now emerged. They appear to affect other microprocessors made by AMD and designs licensed by ARM.

    And they may be some of the worst computer bugs in history -- if not the worst -- because they exist in hardware, not software, and in systems that number in the billions.

    These flaws, known as Meltdown and Spectre, are real doozies. They are so serious and far-reaching that the only potential fix in the immediate future is a software workaround that, when implemented, may slow down certain types of workloads as much as 30 percent.

  • Intel Acknowledges Chip-Level Security Vulnerability In Processors

    Security researchers have found serious vulnerabilities in chips made by Intel and other companies that, if exploited, could leave passwords and other sensitive data exposed.

  • ​How Linux is dealing with Meltdown and Spectre

    He's not the only one unhappy with Intel. A Linux security expert is irked at both Google and Intel. He told me that Google Project Zero informed Intel about the security problems in April. But neither Google nor Intel bothered to tell the operating system vendors until months later. In addition, word began to leak out about the patches for these problems. This forced Apple, the Linux developers, and Microsoft to scramble to deliver patches to fundamental CPU security problems.

    The result has been fixes that degrade system performance in many instances. While we don't know yet how badly macOS and Windows will be affected, Michael Larabel, a Linux performance expert and founder of the Linux Phoronix website, has ran benchmarks on Linux 4.15-rc6, a Linux 4.15 release candidate, which includes Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) for Intel's Meltdown flaw.

  • [Fedora] Protect your Fedora system against Meltdown

    You may have heard about Meltdown, an exploit that can be used against modern processors (CPUs) to maliciously gain access to sensitive data in memory. This vulnerability is serious, and can expose your secret data such as passwords. Here’s how to protect your Fedora system against the attack.

  • Today's CPU vulnerability: what you need to know

    The Project Zero researcher, Jann Horn, demonstrated that malicious actors could take advantage of speculative execution to read system memory that should have been inaccessible. For example, an unauthorized party may read sensitive information in the system’s memory such as passwords, encryption keys, or sensitive information open in applications. Testing also showed that an attack running on one virtual machine was able to access the physical memory of the host machine, and through that, gain read-access to the memory of a different virtual machine on the same host.

  • Apple says Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities affect all Mac and iOS devices

    Technology companies are working to protect their customers after researchers revealed that major security flaws affecting nearly every modern computer processor could allow hackers to steal stored data — including passwords and other sensitive information — on desktops, laptops, mobile phones and cloud networks around the globe.

    The scramble to harden a broad array of devices comes after researchers found two significant vulnerabilities within modern computing hardware, one of which cannot be fully resolved as of yet. Experts say the disclosure of the critical flaws underscores the need to keep up with software updates and security patches and highlights the role independent research plays in prodding tech companies to minimize security weaknesses.

  • Intel CEO Sold $24 Million In Stocks After Google Exposed 10 Year Old Vulnerabilities

    In the month of November last year, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off a big chunk of his company stocks worth $24 million (245,743 shares). The stocks were valued at $11 million back then. Now, the CEO is left with just 250,000 shares which fulfill the minimum requirement to continue his job.

  • “Meltdown” And “Spectre” Flaws: Affecting Almost All Devices With Intel, AMD, & ARM CPUs

    Just yesterday, a report from The Register disclosed a massive security screwup on behalf of Intel, which impacted nearly all chips manufactured in the past ten years. It was also reported that future patches released by the developers of Windows and Linux kernel could reduce the performance of devices up to 5-30%. That’s a lot.

  • Security updates for Thursday

    As might be guessed, a fair number of these updates are for the kernel and microcode changes to mitigate Meltdown and Spectre. More undoubtedly coming over the next weeks.

  • A collection of Meltdown/Spectre postings
  • Mitigations landing for new class of timing attack

    Several recently-published research articles have demonstrated a new class of timing attacks (Meltdown and Spectre) that work on modern CPUs. Our internal experiments confirm that it is possible to use similar techniques from Web content to read private information between different origins. The full extent of this class of attack is still under investigation and we are working with security researchers and other browser vendors to fully understand the threat and fixes. Since this new class of attacks involves measuring precise time intervals, as a partial, short-term, mitigation we are disabling or reducing the precision of several time sources in Firefox. This includes both explicit sources, like performance.now(), and implicit sources that allow building high-resolution timers, viz., SharedArrayBuffer.

  • Is PowerPC susceptible to Spectre? Yep.

    Meltdown is specific to x86 processors made by Intel; it does not appear to affect AMD. But virtually every CPU going back decades that has a feature called speculative execution is vulnerable to a variety of the Spectre attack. In short, for those processors that execute "future" code downstream in anticipation of what the results of certain branching operations will be, Spectre exploits the timing differences that occur when certain kinds of speculatively executed code changes what's in the processor cache. The attacker may not be able to read the memory directly, but (s)he can find out if it's in the cache by looking at those differences (in broad strokes, stuff in the cache is accessed more quickly), and/or exploit those timing changes as a way of signaling the attacking software with the actual data itself. Although only certain kinds of code can be vulnerable to this technique, an attacker could trick the processor into mistakenly speculatively executing code it wouldn't ordinarily run. These side effects are intrinsic to the processor's internal implementation of this feature, though it is made easier if you have the source code of the victim process, which is increasingly common.

Programming: Rust 1.23, Machine Learning, Agile, PHP on Fedora/Red Hat, Perl

Filed under
Development
  • Announcing Rust 1.23

    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.23.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

  • Source{d} Applies Machine Learning to Help Companies Manage Their Code Bases

    If you go to GitHub, the most popular developer platform today, and search for a piece of code, it is a plain-text search.

    “It’s like how we used to search on the web in 1996,” said Eiso Kant, CEO and co-founder at source{d}, a startup focused on applying machine learning on top of source code.

    “We have been writing trillions of lines of source code across the world, but none of the systems or developer tools or programming languages we’ve designed actually learn from all the source code we have written.”

  • What is agile methodology? Modern software development explained

    Every software development organization today seems to practice the agile software development methodology, or a version of it. Or at least they believe they do. Whether you are new to application development or learned about software development decades ago using the waterfall software development methodology, today your work is at least influenced by the agile methodology.

    But what exactly is agile methodology, and how should it be practiced in software development?

  • PHP version 5.6.33, 7.0.27, 7.1.13 and 7.2.1

    RPM of PHP version 7.2.1 are available in the remi-php72 repository for Fedora 25-27 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS) and as Software Collection in the remi-safe repository.

  • What is Perl?

    Perl is a bit battle-scarred, but it’s battle-tested, too. If you want to experiment with the latest, flashiest technologies, Perl may not be your first choice. However, if your business depends on having solid software with a track record of getting things done, Perl’s often a great choice.

Graphics: Etnaviv, RADV, NVIDIA and Mesa

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Etnaviv DRM Updates Roll Out For Linux 4.16

    Lucas Stach has submitted the DRM driver updates for Etnaviv that are requested to be pulled for Linux 4.16.

    This open-source, reverse-engineered Vivante graphics driver continues getting better. Besides some basic fixes, the Etnaviv-Next 4.16 changes include occlusion query buffer support in their command stream validator, fixes/cleanups needed to turn on GPU performance profiling, and prep work for hooking in to the DRM GPU scheduler.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Picks Up Support For ETC2 Textures

    RADV developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen has wired in support for ETC2 texture compression to this Mesa-based, open-source Radeon Vulkan driver.

    The textureCompressionETC2 device feature is now supported by the RADV driver with the latest patches. This ETC2 lossy texture compression support is handled by Radeon GPU hardware with Stoney Ridge APUs or Vega "GFX9" GPUs and newer, including Raven Ridge.

  • Solus Experimenting With Qt Wayland Compositor, NVIDIA EGLStreams Support

    Solus taking a break from their Steam Linux integration improvements and their other open-source desktop innovations has been experimenting with their own Qt Wayland compositor over the holiday period.

    The Solus team shared some holiday experiments they were doing with a QtWayland-based Wayland compositor with their Budgie 11 desktop environment. Interestingly, they made use of NVIDIA proprietary driver support with EGLStreams.

  • NVIDIA Gaming Performance Minimally Impacted By KPTI Patches

    Earlier this week when news was still emerging on the "Intel CPU bug" now known as Spectre and Meltdown I ran some Radeon gaming tests with the preliminary Linux kernel patches providing Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) support. Contrary to the hysteria, the gaming performance was minimally impacted with those open-source Radeon driver tests while today are some tests using the latest NVIDIA driver paired with a KPTI-enabled kernel.

  • NVIDIA 390.12 Linux Driver Reaches Beta

    NVIDIA has released their first beta driver in the long-awaited 390 series.

    This driver update is notable in that it should have a workaround for the recent vRAM memory leakage. Additionally, the 390 series will be the last supporting 32-bit.

  • 10-bit Color Visual Support Lands In Mesa

    Mario Kleiner's work on plumbing Mesa for handling 10-bit colors has landed in Mesa 17.4-dev Git.

    These patches have been floating around for a few months for getting Mesa/Gallium3D ready for 10-bit color visuals that go from 256 luminosity levels per color/channel with 8-bit color to 1024 levels with 10-bit. Many GPUs support 10-bit color while the number of monitors so far supporting 10-bit color isn't too common, at least not yet.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 Being Prepped With Fixes For RADV Vulkan, Unreal Engine 4 Games

    For those of you riding the Mesa 17.3 stable train, the second point release is expected for release this weekend with many fixes.

    The release candidate for Mesa 17.3.2 was issued today by Collabora's Emil Velikov who continues serving as Mesa's primary release manager. So far there is just over one dozen patches queued up but over one dozen more still being reviewed.

  • RADV Supports Android Native Buffer, Increasing Likelihood Of Chrome/Android AMD Device

    The open-source Mesa RADV Vulkan driver, RADV, now has patches for supporting VK_ANDROID_native_buffer.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 release candidate

Games: SteamOS, Jackbox Party Pack 2, Ultraball, Streets of Rogue, Jagged Alliance 2, Stellar Interface, RPCS3, Xenomarine

Filed under
Gaming

Software: Flameshot, GhostWriter, Tablao, Opera 50

Filed under
Software
  • Flameshot is the Linux Screenshot Tool I’ve Been Longing for

    As a blogger I take a lot of screenshots and annotate a lot of screenshots. Any app that can help to speed up my workflow is super appreciated.

  • GhostWriter is a gorgeous distraction-free markdown editor for Windows and Linux

    Writers are fiercely loyal to the tools they use. For years, I swore by the ultra-slimline markdown editor iA Writer. Sadly, this hugely popular app is a macOS exclusive, and when I ditched my MacBook Pro to join the PC world, I had to leave it behind.

    For ages now, I’ve searched for a successor to iA Writer, and nothing has ever come close. That is, until I stumbled upon GhostWriter, which is available for Linux and Windows.

    For the past month, I’ve used it as my daily driver on Ubuntu 17.10. I compose almost all of my articles in it. Rather quickly, I’ve become an enthusiastic fan.

  • 20 Free Open Source Applications I Found in Year 2017

    It is time to share a list of the best 20 Free and Open Source Software I found during the year 2017. Some of these programs may not be new in that they weren’t released for the first time in 2017, but they are new and have been helpful to me. It is in the spirit of sharing that I’m writing this article hoping you find some of these programs useful as well.

  • Tablao – The Easiest Way to Create HTML Tables

    Tablao is a cross-platform table editor with which you can easily create tables in HTML the way you would create tables in Excel.

    You no more need to write cumbersome HTML-tags, Markdown- or ASCII tables. But unlike Excel, Tablao creates correct HTML tables without any style information and very easy to use in your own HTML documents.

  • Opera 50 Browser Now Available for Windows, macOS, Linux With Anti-Cryptocurrency Mining Feature and More

    Opera Software has released the latest Opera 50 version desktop browser for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Opera includes numerous new features such as a new anti-cryptomining feature and Chromecast & VR 360 support for the Oculus VR headset. These features were initially available on the beta RC version of Opera 50.

Red Hat: Government, DeployHub, Amazon and More

Filed under
Red Hat

IPFire 2.19 - Core Update 117 released

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

The first Core Update is ready to be released today and it comes withh a huge number of various bug and security fixes.

Read more

GNOME: GtkSourceView, Friends of GNOME, GIMP, OpenType

Filed under
GNOME
  • GtkSourceView fundraising – November/December report

    I prefer to set expectations, I haven’t worked hard on GtkSourceView and Tepl this time around, because the fundraising is not as successful as I would like. Since I’m paid less than one hour per week for that project, I don’t feel forced to work > 10 times more, I think it’s understandable.

  • A (more) random act of kindness

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who became Friends of GNOME, whether they chose me or someone else for the postcard, or even if they opted out. Your donation to the GNOME Foundation helps us a lot. And if you’re not already a donor, consider becoming one!

  • New “mypaint-brushes” package

    Since January 1st, GIMP depends on the “mypaint-brushes” repository which I am maintaining until MyPaint project finally takes it alongside its other repositories.

    I am hoping that I won’t have to maintain this for long and am looking forward for the MyPaint developers to take care of it (and last I heard of it, in the bug report, they wanted to). So this blog post is also to say that I am not trying to fork MyPaint or anything. I am just taking a little advance because we cannot wait much longer unfortunately since GIMP now uses libmypaint and we are really looking into releasing GIMP 2.10 as soon as we can.

  • More fun with fonts

    As you may remember from my last post on fonts, our goal was to support OpenType font variations. The Linux text rendering stack has multiple components: freetype, fontconfig, harfbuzz, cairo, pango. Achieving our goal required a number of features and fixes in all these components.

    Getting all the required changes in place is a bit time-consuming, but the results are finally starting to come together. If you use the master branches of freetype, fontconfig, harfbuzz, cairo, pango and GTK+, you can try this out today.

GNU/Linux on Desktops: Dell, New York Times, Pros and cons of Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Dell XPS 13 with 8th-gen Intel Core now available (with Windows or Ubuntu)

    Dell’s new XPS 13 laptop is thinner than its predecessors, features slimmer bezels, and adds a Windows Hello-compatible infrared camera. There’s also a brand new white model if you prefer that to the black and silver version Dell’s been offering for the past few years.

  • Taking a Look at Linux

    Linux, the open-source operating system project first developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991, is now used by millions of people on desktop computers, mobile devices and servers; Google’s Android and Chrome OS even have Linux roots. Because the software has been free and open for developers to enhance and improve for years, Linux is now available in many versions (typically called “distributions”) that vary in complexity and user interface.

    In terms of being able to do everything a Windows desktop can do, a Linux system is certainly capable of most common tasks, like browsing the web, sending and receiving email, creating documents and spreadsheets, streaming music and editing photos. Many Linux distributions include all the basic programs you need, and you can install others from Linux software repositories online, but make a list of everything you need to do on the computer and make sure you have a Linux solution for it.

  • Pros and cons of Linux

    Windows today beats almost all the markets thanks to its simplicity and large number of programs and games in a free access. We are used to Windows since there are no compatible systems like Windows. However, it is not true. Only a small number of people might have heard about Linux. This operating system started at the beginning of 90th and quickly gained popularity for supercomputers and huge server rooms. Today, you will actually be able to compare all the advantages and disadvantages of Linux operating system to understand whether it is worth your attention or not. Maybe, you will be even convinced of switching over to Linux after all. So let's start with advantages and disadvantages and then a small summary that I hope will help you to process all the newly acquainted information.

The inventor of Linux is furious at Intel

Filed under
Security

Linux inventor and founder Linus Torvalds is not known for holding back strong opinions he has about computers, which is why he's become one of the loudest voices critical of Intel's handling of the so-called Meltdown bug, which was revealed on Wednesday and could enable an attacker to steal confidential information, including passwords.

"I think somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look at their CPU's, and actually admit that they have issues instead of writing PR blurbs that say that everything works as designed," Torvalds wrote in a sharply-worded email sent on to a Linux list on Wednesday.

Read more

Also: SUSE Responds to Meltdown and Spectre CPU Vulnerabilities in SLE and openSUSE

Plasma 5.11.5 bugfix release available in backports PPA for Artful Aardvark 17.10

Filed under
KDE

The 5th and final bugfix update (5.11.5) of the Plasma 5.11 series is now available for users of Kubuntu Artful Aardvark 17.10 to install via our Backports PPA.

This update also includes an upgrade of KDE Frameworks to version 5.41.

Read more

Also: Kubuntu 17.10 Users Can Now Update to the KDE Plasma 5.11.5 Desktop Environment

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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla Leftovers

  • This Week in Rust
    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.
  • My trip in Cuba
    Olemis Lang is one of the founders and very active in promoting open source in Cuba. We’ve had some similar experiences in running user groups (I founded the Python french one a decade ago), and were excited about sharing our experience.
  • Mozilla Files Suit Against FCC to Protect Net Neutrality
    Today, Mozilla filed a petition in federal court in Washington, DC against the Federal Communications Commission for its recent decision to overturn the 2015 Open Internet Order.

GNU: GCC 7.3 and LibrePlanet 2018 Keynote Speakers

  • GCC 7.3 Preparing For Release To Ship Spectre Patches
    GNU developers are preparing to quickly ship GCC 7.3 now in order to get out the Spectre patches, a.k.a. the compiler side bits for Retpoline with -mindirect-branch=thunk and friends. It was just this past weekend that the back-ported patches landed in GCC 7 while now GCC 7.3 is being prepared as the branch's next bug-fix point release.
  • Announcing LibrePlanet 2018 keynote speakers
    The keynote speakers for the tenth annual LibrePlanet conference will be anthropologist and author Gabriella Coleman, free software policy expert and community advocate Deb Nicholson, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) senior staff technologist Seth Schoen, and FSF founder and president Richard Stallman. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. The theme of this year's conference is Freedom. Embedded. In a society reliant on embedded systems -- in cars, digital watches, traffic lights, and even within our bodies -- how do we defend computer user freedom, protect ourselves against corporate and government surveillance, and move toward a freer world? LibrePlanet 2018 will explore these topics in sessions for all ages and experience levels.

Open Source in 3-D Printing

  • 17,000% Cost Reduction with Open Source 3D Printing: Michigan Tech Study Showcases Parametric 3D Printed Slot Die System
    We often cover the work of prolific Dr. Joshua Pearce, an Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech); he also runs the university’s Open Sustainability Technology (MOST) Research Group. Dr. Pearce, a major proponent for sustainability and open source technology, has previously taught an undergraduate engineering course on how to build open source 3D printers, and four of his former students, in an effort to promote environmental sustainability in 3D printing, launched a business to manufacture and sell recycled and biodegradable filaments.
  • Open Source 3D printing cuts cost from $4,000 to only $0.25 says new study
    Slot die coating is a means of adding a thin, uniform film of material to a substrate. It is a widely used method for the manufacturing of electronic devices – including flat screen televisions, printed electronics, lithium-ion batteries and sensors. Up until recently, slot die components were only machined from stainless steel, restricting development and making the process expensive. Now slot dies for in-lab experimental use can be made on a 3D printer at a fraction of the cost.
  • Dutch firm unveils world's first 3-D-printed propeller
    Three-dimensional (3-D) printing technology has caught the logistics world's attention for its potential to save on warehouse and shipping costs by producing items on demand at any location. In the past two years, for example, UPS Inc. announced plans to partner with software developer SAP SE to build a nationwide network of 3-D printers for use by its customers, and General Electric Co. spent nearly $600 million to buy a three-quarters stake in the German 3-D printing firm Concept Laser GmbH. Recently, transportation companies have begun turning to the same technology for another application, creating the actual hardware used in vehicles that move the freight. For instance, in late 2016, global aircraft maker Airbus S.A.S. contracted with manufacturing firm Arconic Inc. to supply 3-D printed metal parts for its commercial aircraft.

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