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Tuesday, 17 Oct 17 - 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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Linux Kernel: Linux 4.15, F2FS, Block Layer

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Linux
  • Linux 4.15 Is Shaping Up To be An Exciting Kernel, Especially For AMD Users

    There still is a few weeks to go until the Linux 4.14 kernel will be released, but following that the Linux 4.15 kernel is shaping up to be a very exciting cycle.

  • F2FS Tools 1.9 Released With Encryption & More

    An updated version of the user-space F2FS (Flash Friendly File-System) utilities was quietly released a few weeks back.

    The f2fs-tools 1.9 update is a fairly big update for adding the bits for recent additions to the F2FS kernel driver. Now handled by f2fs-tools is dealing with encryption support, sparse support, inode checksum support, no-heap allocation is enabled by default, and support for the CP_TRIMMED_FLAG.

  • Improvements in the block layer

    Jens Axboe is the maintainer of the block layer of the kernel. In this capacity, he spoke at Kernel Recipes 2017 on what's new in the storage world for Linux, with a particular focus on the new block-multiqueue subsystem: the degree to which it's been adopted, a number of optimizations that have recently been made, and a bit of speculation about how it will further improve in the future.

    Back in 2011, Intel published a Linux driver for NVM Express (or NVMe, where NVM is the Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface), which was its new bus for accessing solid-state storage devices (SSDs). This driver was incorporated into the mainline kernel in 2012, first appearing in 3.3. It allowed new, fast SSD devices to be run at speed, but that gave no improvement if the block subsystem continued to treat them as pedestrian hard drives. So a new, scalable block layer known as blk-mq (for block-multiqueue) was developed to take better advantage of these fast devices; it was merged for 3.13 in 2014. It was introduced with the understanding that all of the old drivers would be ported to blk-mq over time; this continues, even though most of the mainstream block storage devices have by now been successfully ported. Axboe's first focus was a status update on this process.

Events: LibreOffice Conference 2017 and Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC)

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LibO
Linux
  • LibreOffice Conference 2017

    This week the annual LibreOffice conference was held in Rome and I had the pleasure to attend. The city of Rome is migrating their IT infrastructure to open software and standards and the city council was kind enough to provide the awesome venue for the event, the Campidoglio.

  • More from the testing and fuzzing microconference

    A lot was discussed and presented in the three hours allotted to the Testing and Fuzzing microconference at this year's Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), but some spilled out of that slot. We have already looked at some discussions on kernel testing that occurred both before and during the microconference. Much of the rest of the discussion will be summarized below. As it turns out, a discussion on the efforts by Intel to do continuous-integration (CI) testing of graphics hardware and drivers continued several hundred miles north the following week at the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC); that will be covered in a separate article.

  • The NumWorks graphing calculator

    As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes ever more populous, there is no shortage of people warning us that the continual infusion into our lives of hard-to-patch proprietary devices running hard-to-maintain proprietary code is a bit of a problem. It is an act of faith for some, myself included, that open devices running free software (whether IoT devices or not) are easier to maintain than proprietary, closed ones. So it's always of interest when freedom (or something close to it) makes its way into a class of devices that were not previously so blessed.

    In this case, the device is the humble scientific calculator. Many people now use their smartphones when they need to do sums, but others still find a calculator a useful thing to have at hand. Recently, NumWorks, a new scientific graphing calculator with an open-design ethos was released. Although it is far from fully free at this point, it is a major step forward from the user-hostile position most calculator manufacturers have taken, and it is interesting to see to what extent it fulfills its promise.

    [...]

    It also would not require NumWorks to try to make the in-browser support work on all the browsers that people use on their many Linux distributions; so Linux support may get better soon. For readers who want to get up and running now, the toolchain isn't all that painful to assemble.

Newbie's Guide to Ubuntu 17.10 Part 2

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Reviews
Ubuntu

This is Part 2 of the newbie's guide to operate Ubuntu 17.10. Here you'll learn how to operate the Nautilus File Manager. You'll do most of daily activities in Nautilus because it is your file manager, like Finder in Mac OS X or Explorer in Windows. You'll learn basic skills such as selecting & navigating, creating & deleting, searching & sorting files/folders, and also basic knowledge for keyboard shortcuts and the user interface. I wish this article helps you best to run Ubuntu 17.10 easily and happily.

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Security: Kaspersky, Grafeas, Schneier Book

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Security

Debian 9.2.1, New Kernel, Debian Installer Git Repository

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Debian
  • Debian 9.2.1 is out
  • A New Debian/Ubuntu Kernel Build With The Latest AMDGPU DC Patches

    For those wanting to run the very latest bleeding-edge AMDGPU DC display code on an Ubuntu/Debian-based box, here is a fresh x86_64 kernel build of the latest DC kernel patches as of today.

    It was on Friday that more AMDGPU DC patches were pushed out as AMD works to have this code all tidied up and prepped for the upcoming Linux 4.15 cycle.

  • Debian Installer git repository

    While dealing with d-i’s translation last month in FOSScamp, I was kinda surprised it’s still on SVN. While reviewing PO files from others, I couldn’t select specific parts to commit.

    Debian does have a git server, and many DDs (Debian Developers) use it for their Debian work, but it’s not as public as I wish it to be. Meaning I lack the pull / merge request abilities as well as the review process.

Pi-Top: This Raspberry Pi And Linux-powered Laptop Is For New

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Linux

In late 2014, Pi-Top, U.K.’s education startup raised about $200,000 on Indiegogo to fund its first DIY laptop. It was followed by pi-topCEED, a cheap desktop computer that’s powered by Raspberry Pi.

Their latest offering, the new Pi-Top, is a new tinkering machine that you can assemble on your own using modular approach. Compared to the past offerings, the number of steps needed to assemble the computer and start working are much less.

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Catching up with RawTherapee 5.x

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Software

Free-software raw photo editor RawTherapee released a major new revision earlier this year, followed by a string of incremental updates. The 5.x series, released at a rapid pace, marks a significant improvement in the RawTherapee's development tempo — the project's preceding update had landed in 2014. Regardless of the speed of the releases themselves, however, the improved RawTherapee offers users a lot of added functionality and may shake up the raw-photo-processing workflow for many photographers.

It has been quite some time since we last examined the program during the run-up to the 3.0 series in 2010. In the intervening years, the scope of the project has grown considerably: macOS is now supported in addition to Windows and various flavors of Linux, and the application has seen substantial additions to the tool set it provides.

The competitive landscape that RawTherapee inhabits has also changed; 2010-era competitors Rawstudio and UFRaw are not seeing much active development these days (not to mention the death of proprietary competitors like Apple's Aperture), while darktable has amassed a significant following — particularly among photographers interested in a rich set of effects and retouching tools. At the other end of the spectrum, raw-file support improved in the "consumer" desktop photo-management tools (such as Shotwell) in the same time period, thus offering casual users some options with a less intimidating learning curve than darktable's. Where RawTherapee sits amid all of the current offerings can be a bit hard to define.

The 5.0 release landed on January 22, 5.1 then arrived on May 15, and 5.2 was unleashed (in the words of the announcement) on July 23. The project also migrated its source-code repository and issue tracking to GitHub, launched a new discussion forum, and has assembled a wiki-style documentation site called RawPedia.

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Kubuntu Artful Aardvark (17.10) final RC images now available

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KDE

Artful Aardvark (17.10) final Release Candidate (RC) images are now available for testing. Help us make 17.10 the best release yet!

The Kubuntu team will be releasing 17.10 on October 19, 2017.

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Microsoft Breaks Privacy Law, Adds Back Doors, Then Blames North Korea

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Microsoft

LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" Xfce

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Reviews

The mission for a swap Linux conveyance for Linux Mint 13 LTS "Maya" Xfce proceeds. With this post comes a review of the most recent MATE version of Linux Mint. Particularly for consistent perusers of this blog, I will simply say that with the most recent point discharge, it appears like the designers have put cleaner into the conveyance, including their new arrangement of "X-applications" intended to work crosswise over MATE, Cinnamon, Xfce, and GNOME, keeping away from the entanglements of more DE-particular applications. I need to perceive what has changed since my last review and to see whether this would be reasonable for the establishment and everyday use on my portable workstation. With that in mind, I made a live USB framework (once more, on my new SanDisk Cruzer USB streak drive) utilizing the "dd" order. Take after the bounce to perceive what it resembles. Note that I'll often refer to past review, noticing just changes and general imperative focuses as required.

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KDE: KWave and Plasma in Slackware

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KDE
Slack
  • Replacing Audacity with KWave

    KWave has been developed since 1998, yet few have heard of it. I only recently heard of it myself from writer and podcaster Marcel Gagné while I was setting up to do how-to-videos. Part of the reason for its obscurity might be that, despite its name, it only recently become an official KDE project in the last release. However, the major reason for its obscurity is probably that it has been overshadowed by the better-known Audacity — which is a pity, because in most ways, KWave is every bit as useful as an audio editor.

    Why would anyone want an Audacity substitute? For one thing, while Audacity is cross-platform, it is not well-integrated into Linux. Audacity handles its own resources, as you can tell by its lengthy load time. Often, Audacity frequently gives confusing options for input and playback sources, giving several names to the same device and offering irrelevant front and back options for mono devices, so that users can only find the one they need through trial and error. Sometimes, the necessary option for a particular source can change for no apparent each time Audacity starts.

  • October updates for the Slackware Plasma5 desktop

    There’s been updates to all the major components of the KDE Software Collection (I know they stopped using that name but I think it is still fitting). So I tasked my build box to compile hundreds of new packages and today I have for you the October ’17 set of Plasma 5 packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current. KDE 5_17.10 contains: KDE Frameworks 5.39.0, Plasma 5.11.0 and Applications 17.08.2. All based on Qt 5.9.2 for Slackware-current and Qt 5.7.1 for Slackware 14.2.

Games: OpenRA, Hell Warders, Ubuntu, Fedora and Wine

Filed under
Gaming

Korora 26 Bloat - More is less or less is more?

Filed under
Red Hat
Reviews

Korora 26 Bloat is a noble concept, but it does not solve the fundamental problem it aims to solve: make Fedora usable. It tries to minimize the wreck that is Fedora 26 and fails to do so. Additionally, it introduces problems that the original did not have, making an even bigger mess.
Korora comes with a slew of ergonomics issues, flaking hardware support, too much actual bloat, tons of niggles and issues that are technically Fedora's legacy, and then the horrible Nvidia support that is just embarrassing in 2017. To answer my own question, more is less in this case, and there isn't a justifiable reason why you should prefer Korora over Fedora, nor why you should use it against the likes of Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Mint. Alas, this is not a good release, 2/10. Unusable, which is a shame, because I did like what Korora managed to do in the past. But it just shows how fragile the Linux world is. Proper distro release QA is a joke, regressions are nothing but a silent excuse to move on and churn out more bad code, almost like industrial protein, and this is so depressing I sometimes wonder why I even bother.

Anyway, to sum it up, Fedora 26 is worse than its predecessors, and Korora 26 is both worse than its own forefathers and the original article it seeks to tame, with appalling support for proprietary graphics drivers and other distros in a multi-boot setup that I really cannot recommend it. The cosmetic issues are also important, but in the end, the real deal breaker is the hardware side. Waiting for Korora 27. Peace.

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KDE Celebrates 21st Anniversary with New Updates of KDE Applications, Frameworks

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KDE

Today, the KDE Project celebrates the 21st anniversary of the well-known and widely used desktop environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-like operating systems with new releases of its KDE Frameworks and KDE Applications software stacks.

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Linux 4.13.7

Filed under
Android

I'm announcing the release of the 4.13.7 kernel.

All users of the 4.13 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 4.13.y git tree can be found at:
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.13.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...

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Raspberry Pi 3 based laptop features DIY hacking bay

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Linux

Pi-top has revised its RPi based laptop with a 14-inch HD screen and a slide-off keyboard that reveals a cooling unit and DIY space for a breadboard kit.

Pi-top’s Raspberry Pi driven laptop has received a major upgrade with a new model with a slightly larger 14-inch, HD screen and a 6 to 8 hour battery. The 2017 edition of the education-focused Pi-top features a modular design with a larger keyboard that slides forward to reveal a Raspberry Pi 3 with a new heatsink. It also includes an empty bay for DIY hacking, which can be filled with components from a free Inventor’s Kit. This DIY kit includes a breadboard, a motion sensor, LEDs, and a microphone, all mounted on a magnetic sliding rail.

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today's leftovers

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Misc
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More in Tux Machines

Bloomberg's big move on machine learning and open source

With its orange text on black interface and colour coded keyboard, the Bloomberg professional services terminal – known simply as ‘The Terminal’ – doesn’t appear to have changed much since it was launched in the early ’80s. But behind the retro (Bloomberg prefers ‘modern icon’) stylings, its delivery of financial markets data news, and trading tools has advanced rapidly. The terminal’s 315,000 subscribers globally are now able to leverage on machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing techniques developed by the company, as they seek an edge in their investment decisions. Bloomberg is also applying those same techniques to its internal processes. Leading the company’s efforts in the area is Bloomberg’s head of data science Gideon Mann, who spoke with CIO Australia earlier this month. [...] Behind much of Bloomberg’s recent builds has been an open source ethic. Mann says there has been a sea change within the company about open source. "When the company started in 1981 and there really wasn't a whole lot of open source. And so there was a mentality of you know if it's not invented here we're not interested,” Mann says. [...] The organisation took some convincing, but, championed by the CTO, there has been a “huge culture change” towards open source. “There are two groups you got to convince: you’ve got to convince management that using open source is going to be safe and lead to better software, and then you also have to convince engineers that using open source is going to increase their skillset, will lead to software that’s easier to maintain and is less buggy and it's going to be a more beautiful system. Once you can kind of convince those two then you're set,” Mann says. The company is an active contributor to projects including Solr, Hadoop, Apache Spark and Open Stack. Read more Also: Uber Open Sources AthenaX, Its Streaming Analytics Platform

Firefox 57 - Trick or Treat?

The best way to describe Firefox 57 is too little, too late, but better later than never. In a way, it's a pointless release, because it brings us back roughly where Firefox was and should have been years ago. Only all this time in between was wasted losing user base. WebExtensions will be the thing that makes or breaks the browser, and with insufficient quality in the available replacements for those that don't make the culling list, there will be no real incentive for people to stay around. Firefox 57 is better than earlier versions in terms of looks and performance, but that's like saying you get 50% discount on a price that is twice what it should be. Ultimately unnecessary, just like graduating from university by the age of 68. There aren't any major advantages over Chrome. This is essentially a Firefox that sucks less. So yes, on the positive side, if you do want to continue using Firefox, version 57 makes much more sense than the previous 53 releases. It has an almost normal look, some of the sorely needed security & privacy addons are available, and it offers a passable user experience in terms of speed and responsiveness. Bottom line, I will stick with Firefox for now. As long as my extensions keep working. Take care. Read more

Android Leftovers

The origin and evolution of FreeDOS

Over the years, developers have shared with me how they use FreeDOS to run embedded systems. My all-time favorite example is a developer who used FreeDOS to power a pinball machine. FreeDOS ran an application that controlled the board, tallied the score, and updated the back display. I don't know exactly how it was built, but one way such a system could work is to have every bumper register a "key" on a keyboard bus and the application simply read from that input. I thought it was cool. People sometimes forget about legacy software, but it pops up in unexpected places. I used to be campus CIO of a small university, and once a faculty member brought in some floppy disks with old research data on them. The data wasn't stored in plaintext files, rather as DOS application data. None of our modern systems would read the old data files, so we booted a spare PC with FreeDOS, downloaded a shareware DOS program that could read the application data, and exported the data to plaintext. Read more