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Thursday, 21 Jun 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

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

Games: Total War Saga: THRONES OF BRITANNIA, Chroma Blast and Membrane

Filed under
Gaming
  • 25-Way NVIDIA/AMD Linux Graphics Comparison For Vulkan-Powered Thrones Of Britannia

    This week Mac/Linux game porting company released the Linux port of A Total War Saga: THRONES OF BRITANNIA, just two months after this game was released for Windows. With the Linux port of this strategy game the Vulkan API is being used for graphics rendering, which makes it interesting for benchmarking. Here is our extensive look at the performance of this major Linux game port when testing twenty-five different AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards to see how this game is performing on Ubuntu Linux.

  • Chroma Blast is a rather nice & free twin-stick shooter that's now on Linux

    It's completely free as well, no micro-transactions or any of that rubbish. They said they couldn't test the Linux version themselves, but in my testing it seemed to work great! If you use a Steam Controller, you will need to set the right pad into Joystick Camera to allow for constant shooting (how it's supposed to be).

  • FPS 'Membrane' follows a protagonist who has been surgically attached to an alien organism

    That's quite a title for an article isn't it! Membrane, currently crowdfunding on IndieGoGo is a GZDoom-powered 90's inspired FPS that will support Linux.

    The developers have already worked on it for years, but they're now wanting to have a bigger push and work on it full time. They're seeking $4K from their crowdfunding campaign, although it's using a flexible goal so they will receive any funds pledged even if they do not hit their goal.

Tails 3.7.1 is out

Filed under
Security
Debian

This release fixes many security issues and users should upgrade as soon as possible.

Read more

Also:

5 Github Alternatives

Filed under
Linux

Although GitHub is the most used platform for storing open source projects on the Internet but being acquired by Microsoft, the open source community may like to prefer the alternatives. So we have other very interesting options that we recommend to know in order to decide which one to publish and store your own creations and adaptations in the cloud.

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Games Leftover

Filed under
Gaming

KDE: KDE Discover, Usability and Productivity initiative, Plasma Tips

Filed under
KDE
  • GSoC Fwupd Integration in KDE Discover (Phase – Sleepy
  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 22

    This has been another strong week for KDE’s Usability and Productivity initiative!

  • How to recover a completely dead Plasma desktop

    Dead desktops are never a pretty sight. Irrecoverable desktops even more so. I really wonder what can go so horribly wrong that even if you fully reinstall and move away all the desktop-related settings, things are still awfully bad. No matter, in this tutorial, I've shown you how you can regain control over your Plasma desktop even if things are seemingly lost.

    True, you can always boot into any which live CD session and copy your data or install a different desktop environment. But what if your home rests on the same partition and you cannot afford formats? Or if you actually want to continue using Plasma? Well, it comes down to managing the login session, and then creating a new user that will take over the fiasco. Technically, we cheated, but then, if you date twins, and you can't tell them apart, is it your fault for using the wrong name? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that no matter how seemingly bad things are, it's never a lost cause. And remember, always have backups. Take care.

Red Hat Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat

AsteroidOS 1.0 is a promising open-source smartwatch OS with plenty of room for improvement

Filed under
OS
GNU
Linux

Built entirely on GNU/Linux technologies, AsteroidOS offers a very basic, spartan experience. It features notification mirroring and a few apps like a calendar, calculator, and weather to get you by. In its current state, it's a neat project, but the best I can say for real-world use is that it works. When compared to watchOS, Wear OS, and Tizen, it has a very, very long way to go. Luckily, the developer knows this and has a few additions planned for future updates.

I've spent the better part of two weeks with AsteroidOS on my LG Watch Urbane as my primary smartwatch — the absolutely horrendous LG Watch Style battery life and being unable to pair my Gear S3 with my Pixel 2 XL on Android P DP2 certainly helped this period not feel so bad (no, I haven't tried DP3 yet). I don't mean to imply that AsteroidOS is a negative experience; it's just that it feels like several large steps backwards after what I've grown accustomed to in recent years.

Read more

Software: Formiko, Zstandard, RcppDE, Codelobster

Filed under
Software
  • Formiko, a reStructuredText Editor for Python Documentation

    Today, we are going to take a quick look at little editor built with Python that I recently became aware of.

  • zstd – A Fast Data Compression Algorithm Used By Facebook

    When required, it can trade compression speed for stronger compression ratios (compression speed vs compression ratio trade-off can be configured by small increments), vice versa. It has a special mode for small data compression, known as dictionary compression, and can build dictionaries from any sample set provided. It comes with a command line utility for creating and decoding .zst, .gz, .xz and .lz4 files. 

    [...]

    Importantly, Zstandard has a rich collection of APIs, supports almost all popular programming languages including Python, Java, JavaScript, Nodejs, Perl, Ruby, C#, Go, Rust, PHP, Switft, and lots more.

  • RcppDE 0.1.6

    Another maintenance release, now at version 0.1.6, of our RcppDE package is now on CRAN. It follows the most recent (unblogged, my bad) 0.1.5 release in January 2016 and the 0.1.4 release in September 2015.

    RcppDE is a "port" of DEoptim, a popular package for derivative-free optimisation using differential evolution optimization, to C++. By using RcppArmadillo, the code becomes a lot shorter and more legible. Our other main contribution is to leverage some of the excellence we get for free from using Rcpp, in particular the ability to optimise user-supplied compiled objective functions which can make things a lot faster than repeatedly evaluating interpreted objective functions as DEoptim (and, in fairness, just like most other optimisers) does.

  • FOSS Project Spotlight: the Codelobster IDE--a Free PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript Editor [Ed: Sad to see Linux Journal back to pushing proprietary software which mostly targets Windows]

    The Codelobster free web language editor has been available for quite some time and has attracted many fans. It allows you to edit PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript files, and it highlights the syntax and provides hints for tags, functions and their parameters. This editor deals with files that contain mixed content easily as well.

today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

AMD and Linux 4.18

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Ships Latest Fixes, Optimizations

    The AMD Radeon driver developers maintaining the open-source AMDVLK Vulkan Linux driver have pushed out their latest week's worth of changes.

    On Friday was their usual push of the latest LLVM/XGL/PAL code-bases making up this Radeon Vulkan open-source driver that is an alternative to the Mesa-based RADV driver.

  • Linux 4.18 Gets AMD Patches For Speculative Store Bypass / Spectre V4

    Linux 4.17 landed the initial Spectre V4 mitigation as "Speculative Store Bypass Disable" (SSBD) while primarily focused on Intel CPUs and for Linux 4.18 the SSBD code has been updated for AMD processors.

    The in-development Linux 4.18 kernel will receive the patches for making use of the SPEC_CTRL / VIRT_SPEC MSRs to be provided by future AMD CPUs / firmware updates. The AMD SSBD work done by Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk of Oracle was previously covered here. The AMD SSBD whitepaper can be read here.

  • Linux 4.18 Landing Restartable Sequences System Call, Yields Performance Benefits

    Adding to the list of new features for Linux 4.18 is the long-in-development work on the restartable sequences system call.

    The new RSEQ system call allows for faster user-space operations on per-CPU data by providing a shared data structure ABI between each user-space thread and the kernel. This allows update operations on per-CPU data without needing expensive atomic operations. The restartable sequences ABI can make faster querying the current CPU number, incrementing per-CPU counters, modifying data protected by per-CPU spinlocks, writing/reading per-CPU ring buffers, and more.

FreeBSD 11.2 RC2

Filed under
BSD
  • FreeBSD 11.2-RC2 Now Available

    The second RC build of the 11.2-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

  • FreeBSD 11.2-RC2 Ships This Weekend With Various Fixes

    The second release candidate of FreeBSD 11.2 is now available for testing.

    FreeBSD 11.2 has been baking Spectre and Meltdown protection, various kernel improvements, and a wide variety of minor driver updates over 2017's FreeBSD 11.1 release. The bulk of the development work though has been heading into FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT for release next year or so.

Mozilla: Firefox for ALSA, OverbiteNX, Scripts on GitHub

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Building Firefox for ALSA (non PulseAudio) Sound

    I did the work to built my own Firefox primarily to fix a couple of serious regressions that couldn't be fixed any other way. I'll start with the one that's probably more common (at least, there are many people complaining about it in many different web forums): the fact that Firefox won't play sound on Linux machines that don't use PulseAudio.

    There's a bug with a long discussion of the problem, Bug 1345661 - PulseAudio requirement breaks Firefox on ALSA-only systems; and the discussion in the bug links to another discussion of the Firefox/PulseAudio problem). Some comments in those discussions suggest that some near-future version of Firefox may restore ALSA sound for non-Pulse systems; but most of those comments are six months old, yet it's still not fixed in the version Mozilla is distributing now.

  • Let's kill kittens with native messaging (or, introducing OverbiteNX: if WebExtensions can't do it, we will)

    WebExtensions (there is no XUL) took over with a thud seven months ago, which was felt as a great disturbance in the Force by most of us who wrote Firefox add-ons that, you know, actually did stuff. Many promises were made for APIs to allow us to do the stuff we did before. Some of these promises were kept and these APIs have actually been implemented, and credit where credit is due. But there are many that have not (that metabug is not exhaustive). More to the point, there are many for which people have offered to write code and are motivated to write code, but we have no parameters for what would be acceptable, possibly because any spec would end up stuck in a "boil the ocean" problem, possibly because it's low priority, or possibly because someone gave other someones the impression such an API would be acceptable and hasn't actually told them it isn't. The best way to get contribution is to allow people to scratch their own itches, but the urgency to overcome the (largely unintentional) institutional roadblocks has faded now that there is somewhat less outrage, and we are still left with a disordered collection of APIs that extends Firefox relatively little and a very slow road to do otherwise.

    Or perhaps we don't have to actually rely on what's in Firefox to scratch our itch, at least in many cases. In a potentially strategically unwise decision, WebExtensions allows native code execution in the form of "native messaging" -- that is, you can write a native component, tell Firefox about it and who can talk to it, and then have that native component do what Firefox don't. At that point, the problem then becomes more one of packaging. If the functionality you require isn't primarily limited by the browser UI, then this might be a way around the La Brea triage tarpit.

  • Fixing Content Scripts on GitHub.com

    Content scripts ordinarily reload for each new page visited but, on GitHub, they don’t. This is because links on GitHub mutate the DOM and use the history.pushState API instead of loading pages the standard way, which would create an entirely new DOM per page.

Linux 4.18 Drops The Lustre File-System

Filed under
Linux

There are a lot of staging changes for the busy Linux 4.18 kernel merge window.

The staging area of the kernel where premature/incomplete kernel code goes has seen over one thousand patches this cycle that amount to 168 thousand lines of new code and 227 thousand lines of code removed. In part for the staging area coming in lighter is the Lustre file-system has been removed.

Read more

KDE Frameworks 5.47.0

Filed under
KDE
  • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.47.0

    KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.47.0.

    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 5.47 Released With Various Improvements

    The latest monthly update is now available to the KDE Frameworks that complements the capabilities of the Qt5 tool-kit.

Cisco Continues to Advance Snort 3 Network Security Development

Filed under
OSS
Security

The open-source Snort intrusion detection and prevention system (IPS/IDS) is gearing up for a major update that will influence the future of Cisco's next generation security appliances.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Marty Roesch vice-president and Chief Architect of Cisco's Security Business Group discusses the current state of the Snort 3.0 project. Roesch is the original author of Snort, which became the foundation of his company Sourcefire, that Cisco acquired for $2.7 billion in October 2013. Work on Snort 3 has been ongoing since at least December 2014, and since the effort got underway has been viewed as a re-thinking of how IPS/IDS works. Roesch said that Snort 3 is largely feature complete at this point and is now going though its beta development cycle.

Read more

Linux: Wacom, Linux 4.18, RADV Vulkan, X.Org Moving To GitLab

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Coming Soon: Wacom Firmware Updates on Linux

    Red Hat’s Richard Hughes shares word on work he’s done with Wacom engineers to support Wacom’s custom update protocol on Linux.

    At present, Wacom advise their customers to upgrade firmware on their graphics tablets using a dedicated desktop app which is only available for Windows and macOS.

    But no longer will open source creatives need to keep a dual-boot handy for this purpose.

  • A Look At The Features Merged So Far For The Linux 4.18 Kernel

    We are about half-way through the Linux 4.18 kernel merge window, so here is a look at the most interesting work that's been merged so far for this next kernel release that should debut as stable around mid-August.

    In the first week of the Linux 4.18 merge window, highlights include:

    - The big platter of DRM graphics driver updates always has us most excited and it's no different with Linux 4.18 from AMDGPU improvements to Intel Icelake work to NVIDIA Volta open-source enablement.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Should Now Work Much Better With DXVK For Direct3D 11 Wine Gaming

    For those relying upon DXVK for running Direct3D 11 games over Vulkan with Wine, the RADV Vulkan driver from Mesa Git should now be working out much better for this fast-developing graphics translation layer.

    DXVK continues making great strides for delivering a performant D3D11-over-Vulkan implementation for Wine games/applications. For those using the open-source Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver in Mesa 17.2-dev, the experience should be much more pleasant.

  • X.Org To Proceed Migrating Their Code & Bugs To GitLab

    Red Hat's Adam Jackson has announced the X.Org plans for the GitLab migration. X.Org will make use of GitLab for the Git repositories and bug tracking, as a replacement to Cgit and Bugzilla.

A Closer Look At The GeForce GTX 1060 vs. Radeon RX 580 In Thrones of Britannia

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

As it stands right now the most competitive graphics card battle on the Linux gaming front is the Radeon RX 580 against the GeForce GTX 1060. NVIDIA continues with their first-rate performant drivers while the Polaris hardware on the open-source RADV/RadeonSI drivers is mature enough now that it's competing with the GTX 1060 like it should be and in some cases even performing much better than the NVIDIA Pascal part. With this week's release of Thrones of Britannia and powered by Vulkan, here is an extensive look at the two competing GPUs and their performance.

Read more

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Flatpak 1.0 Linux Application Sandboxing & Distribution Framework Is Almost Here

While it's becoming very popular among Linux users as it is more and more adopted by Linux OS vendors, Flatpak is still considered an "under development" technology, and so it's not yet promoted on a mass scale as its rival Snap is by Ubuntu's mother company Canonical. However, Flatpak as it is right now, it's very usable, but it is yet to achieve the 1.0 version milestone, which usually marks a project as mature and ready for mass deployment. And it's now more closer than ever as the development team announced today the availability of the first Flatpak 1.0 pre-release version. Read more Also: Flatpak 1.0 Nears With Today's 0.99.1 Release

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Now Certified on Intel's NUC Mini PCs and IoT Boards

Released on April 21, 2016, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) is a long-term supported release that will receive security and software updates for five years, until April 2021, as well as a total of five point releases ending with Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS, which is expected to arrive in early August 2018. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is Canonical's 6th LTS release and the last to use the Unity desktop environment by default. The operating system is compatible with a wide-range of hardware components, including Intel's NUC mini PCs, but now, after a partnership between Intel and Canonical, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is officially certified for NUC devices. Read more

6 Open Source AI Tools to Know

In open source, no matter how original your own idea seems, it is always wise to see if someone else has already executed the concept. For organizations and individuals interested in leveraging the growing power of artificial intelligence (AI), many of the best tools are not only free and open source, but, in many cases, have already been hardened and tested. At leading companies and non-profit organizations, AI is a huge priority, and many of these companies and organizations are open sourcing valuable tools. Here is a sampling of free, open source AI tools available to anyone. Read more

Skylake module aces OSADL’s real-time Linux tests

Congatec has joined the Open Source Automation Development Lab, which has certified that the real-time Linux stack for the Skylake Xeon-E3 based Conga-TS170 COM Express module offers “excellent response times.” The Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) has certified Congatec’s implementation of real-time Linux (RTL), and has accepted Congatec as a member. Congatec will continued to collaborate with OSADL to optimize board support for RTL and showcase it in the OSADL test racks, says the company. Read more