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Red Hat underpins the growing importance of Linux and open source

Filed under
Linux
Red Hat
OSS

While you may not spend a lot of time thinking about this, the role Linux plays in the technology that we all use everyday is growing quite significantly. In an effort to more fully appreciate this, I had an opportunity to speak with the new vice resident and general manager of Red Hat's RHEL Business Unit — Dr. Stefanie Chiras — and ask about her vision for RHEL and Linux in general. She was very enthusiastic — not just for Red Hat, but for the open source movement overall and the rising importance of Linux.

Chiras started with Red Hat in July — not quite four months ago — and already describes herself as a “true Red Hatter.” She explained that she has had a serious focus on Linux for the last six years or more. As she points out, we all do development differently these days because of the open source movement. The changes in just the last five years have moved us to very different ways of doing things whether we're working on public or private clouds, containers, or bare metal.

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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Linux Gaming Benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

Last week following the launch of the RTX 2070 Turing graphics cards, I carried out some initial RTX 2070 compute benchmarks including of TensorFlow and more common OpenCL/CUDA workloads. The GPU compute performance for this $499+ Turing GPU was quite good and especially for INT16 test cases often beating the GTX 1080 Ti. Available now are the Linux gaming benchmarks for the GeForce RTX 2070 compared to an assortment of other NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards on Ubuntu 18.10.

As a quick recap, the GeForce RTX 2070 has 2304 CUDA cores, 1410MHz base clock, 1620MHz boost clock, and is capable of 42T RTX-OPS and 6 Giga Rays/s for ray-tracing, granted it will likely be some time before seeing any serious Linux games with RTX/ray-tracing support. The GeForce RTX 2070 graphics cards rely upon 8GB of GDDR6 video memory yielding 448GB/s of memory bandwidth.

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Review: System76 Oryx Pro Laptop

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

I should start by saying that although I'm definitely no newbie to Linux, I'm new to the world of dedicated Linux laptops. I started with Linux in 1996, when Red Hat 4.0 had just adopted the 2.0 kernel and Debian 1.3 hadn't yet been released. I've run a variety of distros with varying degrees of satisfaction ever since, always looking for the Holy Grail of a desktop UNIX that just plain worked.

About 15 years ago after becoming frustrated with the state of Linux on laptop hardware (in a phrase, "nonexistent hardware support"), I switched my laptops over to Macs and didn't look back. It was a true-blue UNIX that just plain worked, and I was happy. But I increasingly found myself frustrated by things I expected from Linux that weren't available on macOS, and which things like Homebrew and MacPorts and Fink could only partly address.

My last MacBook Pro is now four years old, so it was time to shop around again. After being underwhelmed by this generation of MacBooks, I decided to take the risk on a Linux laptop again.

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GNU Gets Its Own 'CoC'

Filed under
GNU
  • Announcing the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines

    Announcing the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines

    The GNU Kind Communication Guidelines, initial version, have been
    published in https://gnu.org/philosophy/kind-communication.html. On
    behalf of the GNU Project, I ask all GNU contributors to make their
    best efforts to follow these guidelines in GNU Project discuaaions.

    In August, a discussion started among GNU package maintainers about
    the problem that GNU development often pushes women away.1 Clearly this is
    not a good thing.2

    Some maintainers advocated adopting a "code of conduct" with strict
    rules. Some other free software projects have done this, generating
    some resistance.3 Several GNU package maintainers responded that they
    would quit immediately. I myself did not like the punitive spirit of
    that approach, and decided against it.

    I did not, however, wish to make that an excuse to ignore the problem.
    So I decided to try a different approach: to guide participants to
    encourage and help each other to avoid harsh patterns of
    communication. I identified various patterns of our conversation
    (which is almost entirely textual, not vocal) that seem likely to
    chase women away -- and some men, too. Some patterns came from events
    that happened in the discussion itself. Then I wrote suggestions for
    how to avoid them and how to help others avoid them. I received
    feedback from many of the participants, including some women. I
    practiced some of these suggestions personally and found that they had
    a good effect. That list is now the GNU Kind Communication
    Guidelines.

    The current version not set in stone; I welcome comments and
    suggestions for future revision.

    The difference between kind communication guidelines and a code of
    conduct is a matter of the basic overall approach.

    A code of conduct states rules, with punishments for anyone that
    violates them. It is the heavy-handed way of teaching people to
    behave differently, and since it only comes into action when people do
    something against the rules, it doesn't try to teach people to do
    better than what the rules require. To be sure, the appointed
    maintainer(s) of a GNU package can, if necessary, tell a contributor
    to go away; but we do not want to need to have recourse to that.

    The idea of the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines is to start guiding
    people towards kinder communication at a point well before one would
    even think of saying, "You are breaking the rules." The way we do
    this, rather than ordering people to be kind or else, is try to help
    people learn to make their communication more kind.

    I hope that kind communication guidelines will provide a kinder
    and less strict way of leading a project's discussions to be calmer,
    more welcoming to all participants of good will, and more effective.

    1. I read that the fraction of women in the free software community
    overall is around 3%, whereas in the software field overall it is over
    10%.

    2. I disagree with making "diversity" a goal. If the developers in a
    specific free software project do not include demographic D, I don't
    think that the lack of them as a problem that requires action; there
    is no need to scramble desperately to recruit some Ds. Rather, the
    problem is that if we make demographic D feel unwelcome, we lose out
    on possible contributors. And very likely also others that are not in
    demographic D.

    There is a kind of diversity that would benefit many free software
    projects: diversity of users in regard to skill levels and kinds of
    usage. However, that is not what people usually mean by "diversity".

    3. I'm not involved in those projects, even if in some cases I use the
    software they release, so I am not directly concerned about whatever
    internal arrangements they make. They are pertinent here only as
    more-or-less comparable situations.

  • Richard Stallman Announces GNU Kind Communication Guidelines

    Richard Stallman has announced the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines. The GNU founder hopes these guidelines will encourage women to get involved in free software development and be more kind in project discussions.

    The GNU Kind Communication Guidelines is an effort to "to start guiding people towards kinder communication."

    The GNU Kind Communication Guidelines differ from a Code of Conduct in that it's trying to be proactive about kindness around free software development over being rules with possible actions when breaking them.

Linus Torvalds is Back

Filed under
Linux
  • ​Linus Torvalds is back in charge of Linux

    At Open Source Summit Europe in Scotland, Linus Torvalds is meeting with Linux's top 40 or so developers at the Maintainers' Summit. This is his first step back in taking over Linux's reins.

    A little over a month ago, Torvalds stepped back from running the Linux development community. In a note to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Torvalds said, "I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely. I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people's emotions and respond appropriately."

  • Linus Torvalds is back in charge as Linux kernel 4.19 is released

    After taking some time out from the Linux community to "change some of [his] behavior", Linux Torvalds is back. In a post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.19, Greg Kroah-Hartman -- his temporary replacement -- handed back the reins.

    After writing about the changes to be found in the latest release, Kroah-Hartman signed off by saying: "Linus, I'm handing the kernel tree back to you. You can have the joy of dealing with the merge window :)".

  • Linux Kernel 4.19 “People’s Front” Released; Linus Torvalds Back For 4.20 Development

    The incidents that preceded (and accompanied) the Linux kernel 4.19 development cycle have has been one of the most critical ones faced by the Linux community. In order to bring some major changes to the community, Linus Torvalds took a break from kernel development and passed the baton to Greg Kroah-Hartman. A new Code of Conduct was also adopted.

    Now, after eight release candidates, Greg has released the Linux kernel 4.19. Underlining the ongoing challenges, he wrote in the release post: “It’s been a long strange journey for this kernel release…”

  • [Old] With Linux’s founder stepping back, will the community change its culture? [Ed: Bill Gates-connected site really sticking it in to Torvalds. Just watch carefully who wants him out and why. LF kicked community members out of the Board, gave seats there to Microsoft. So Microsoft now has more influence over the future/direction of Linux than community members (i.e. not large corporations).]
  • Intel's IWD Linux Wireless Daemon Out With Version 0.10

    IWD continues maintaining a very small footprint in order to be suitable for embedded/IoT use-cases with having minimal dependencies though supporting networkd/NetworkManager/ConnMan if present on the system. With the new IWD 0.10 release is support for using an external Embedded Linux Library (ELL). The ELL library is another open-source Intel project providing low-level functionality for Linux system daemons and having no dependencies in turn other than the Linux kernel and C standard library. ELL can scale up from embedded to desktop systems and more while providing a lot of features around D-Bus, signal handling, crypto, and other tasks.

Linux 4.19

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.19

    Hi everyone!

    It's been a long strange journey for this kernel release...

    While it was not the largest kernel release every by number of commits,
    it was larger than the last 3 releases, which is a non-trivial thing to
    do. After the original -rc1 bumps, things settled down on the code side
    and it looks like stuff came nicely together to make a solid kernel for
    everyone to use for a while. And given that this is going to be one of
    the "Long Term" kernels I end up maintaining for a few years, that's
    good news for everyone.

    A small trickle of good bugfixes came in this week, showing that waiting
    an extra week was a wise choice. However odds are that linux-next is
    just bursting so the next -rc1 merge window is going to be bigger than
    "normal", if there is such a thing as "normal" for our rate of
    development.

    And speaking of development, there's that other thing that happened this
    release cycle, that ended up making it such that I'm the one writing
    this instead of Linus. Allow me the guilty pleasure of taking a few
    minutes to talk about that....

    I've been giving my "How the kernel is developed" talk all around the
    world for over a decade now. After the first year or so, I was amazed
    that it kept needing to be given as surely everyone knew how we did this
    type of thing, right? But my wife, someone much smarter than I, then
    told me, "Every year there is a new kindergarten class."

    And we all need to remember that, every year new people enter our
    community with the goal, or requirement, to get stuff done for their
    job, their hobby, or just because they want to help contribute to the
    tool that has taken over the world and enabled everyone to have a solid
    operating system base on which to build their dreams.

    And when they come into our community, they don't have the built-in
    knowledge of years of experience that thousands of us already do.
    Without that experience they make mistakes and fumble and have to learn
    how this all works. Part of learning how things work is dealing with
    the interaction between people, and trying to understand the basic
    social norms and goals that we all share. By providing a document in
    the kernel source tree that shows that all people, developers and
    maintainers alike, will be treated with respect and dignity while
    working together, we help to create a more welcome community to those
    newcomers, which our very future depends on if we all wish to see this
    project succeed at its goals.

    And that goal we all share is the key here. We _ALL_ want to create the
    best kernel that we possibly can. We can disagree on lots of different
    things in other parts of our lives, but we do share this one thing. And
    we should focus on that shared goal as it has pulled us all together in
    a way that has enabled us to create something that no other company or
    group of people has ever been able to accomplish.

    We used to joke that our goal was "Total World Domination", but it
    really wasn't a joke. We achieved that goal, Linux really does rule the
    world. All companies use it, contribute to it, and it has ended up
    making the world a much better place because of all of us working on it.

    In these talks I give, I also say that "the only thing that can stop us
    is ourselves, it is up to us to mess this up." And that's truer now
    than when I first started saying that a decade ago. There is no other
    operating system out there that competes against us at this time. It
    would be nice to have something to compete against, as competition is
    good, and that drives us to do better, but we can live with this
    situation for the moment Smile

    These past few months has been a tough one for our community, as it is
    our community that is fighting from within itself, with prodding from
    others outside of it. Don't fall into the cycle of arguing about those
    "others" in the "Judean People's Front" when we are the "We're the
    People's Front of Judea!" That is the trap that countless communities
    have fallen into over the centuries. We all share the same goal, let us
    never loose sight of that.

    So here is my plea to everyone out there. Let's take a day or two off,
    rest, relax with friends by sharing a meal, recharge, and then get back
    to work, to help continue to create a system that the world has never
    seen the likes of, together.

    Personally, I'm going to take my own advice. I'll be enjoying this week
    in Edinburgh with many other kernel developers, drinking some good
    whiskey, and taking some time off of reading email, by spending it with
    the great friends I have made in this community.

    And with that, Linus, I'm handing the kernel tree back to you. You can
    have the joy of dealing with the merge window Smile

    thanks,

    greg k-h

  • The 4.19 kernel is out

    Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the 4.19 kernel. Headline features in this release include the new AIO-based polling interface, L1TF vulnerability mitigations, the block I/O latency controller, time-based packet transmission, the CAKE queuing discipline, and much more.

  • Greg KH Releases Big Linux 4.19 Kernel, Codenamed "People's Front"

    Greg Kroah-Hartman went ahead and released the Linux 4.19 kernel.

    When releasing the Linux 4.19 kernel, he quietly changed the codename to "People's Front" -- a nod to the Code of Conduct happenings and more that have shook the kernel community the past several weeks.

    Greg did note that Linux 4.19 is larger than the past three kernel releases. In terms of why it's so big, see our Linux 4.19 feature overview.

Games: Depth of Extinction Scandal, BATTLETECH, Das Geisterschiff, Entangled, Red Embrace: Hollywood, Rogue Bit and Lutris

Filed under
Gaming

DistroWatch Weekly and For The Record Look at elementary OS 5.0

Filed under
Reviews
  • Review: elementary OS 5.0

    I found a lot to like about Juno. The release announcement is detailed and shows lots of examples and screen shots. The operating system is easy to install, thanks to Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer and there is a nice collection of default software that will likely appeal to inexperienced users.

    The Pantheon desktop and icons are beautiful. I sometimes ran into sluggish moments with the desktop, but usually only when the disk was under load or I had a video playing. I was really impressed by how Pantheon was put together and I like a lot of the little convenience features. The picture-in-picture preview and the shared edge window resizing are great. I also love that tapping the meta key will show a list of desktop short-cuts. It is little details like these which give the distribution a polished, friendly feel.

    I already mentioned the icons look good and it bears repeating. Minimal icon design drives me mildly mad. I don't like functions represented by vague dots or arrows, I want a detailed icon and (preferably) text to let me know what a button does. elementary does a good job of making icons distinct, clear in purpose and typically accompanied by a text label or tooltip.

    There were a few problems. Some of them were fairly minor, like Epiphany using high CPU load, especially in the virtual machine, or X11 gobbling CPU cycles on my workstation. There were other little touches like the release notes link in the installer not working, that are perhaps only worth mentioning because the rest of the experience was generally so polished and showed a lot of attention to detail.

    My few serious complaints were with user accounts. Specifically, there appears to be a guest account enabled, but I could not find any way to sign into it. It is not a big deal to set up another account for guests, but it makes me wonder if the enabled (and hidden) account could be exploited. I also found it disappointing the parental controls did not work to block application access or forbidden websites.

    On the other hand, I think Pantheon includes some great features and I like that it is fairly flexible in its look and behaviour. The flexible notification area and the quick switching between application menu styles were welcome features.

    Generally speaking, I think elementary OS looks and feels professional. I hope it gets picked up by more hardware sellers, like System76, as I think Juno feels polished and looks good. I think it will especially appeal to less experienced users, but many of the features and the Code tool will likely be useful to more advanced users and developers too.

  • elementary os 5 Juno – For The Record

    elementary os 5 Juno first look. What’s working, what’s not and what happens to be brand new with elementary os. This first look at elementary os 5 Juno includes some things to make upgrading a little easier, suggestions for the next release and list of features I think are simply fantastic.

Windows 10 October Update Once Again Plagued By Another File Management Bug

Filed under
Microsoft

Since the announcement of Windows 10 October update 2018, things have been going pretty bad for Windows users. At first, it was the file deletion which caused a lot of inconvenience to Windows users, and later the driver issues.

Now, people have come across another Windows 1809 bug which appears to be another File Explorer issue. Several users on Reddit and Ask Woody have reported an unusual activity while extracting files.

The primary issue revolves around the prompt which should technically appear during the process of un-zipping a file on Windows 10; however, it does not, leading to data loss.

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Linspire 8.0 RC1 Released

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Today we are pleased to release RC1 of Linspire 8. As we approach our December release, huge strides in stability and functionality have been made with the release candidate. Even so, it should be used for testing only, not on production systems

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5 tips for choosing the right open source database

Filed under
OSS

So, your company has a directive to adopt more open source database technologies, and they've recruited you to select the right direction. Whether you are an open source technology veteran or a newcomer, this is a daunting and overwhelming task.

Over the past several years, open source technology adoption has steadily increased in the enterprise space. With its popularity comes a crowded marketplace with open source software companies promising that their solution will solve every problem and fit every workload. Be wary of these promises. Choosing the right open source technology—especially a database—is an important and difficult decision you can't make lightly.

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Security: Cracking, Elections and Apache

Filed under
Security
  • Hack [sic] on 8 adult websites exposes oodles of intimate user data

    A recent [crack] of eight poorly secured adult websites has exposed megabytes of personal data that could be damaging to the people who shared pictures and other highly intimate information on the online message boards. Included in the leaked file are (1) IP addresses that connected to the sites, (2) user passwords protected by a four-decade-old cryptographic scheme, (3) names, and (4) 1.2 million unique email addresses, although it’s not clear how many of the addresses legitimately belonged to actual users.

  • Professors discuss election security, voting systems at panel

    Amid questions of election security and potential system hacking in the upcoming midterm elections, Engineering prof. J. Alex Halderman spoke at the University of Michigan Alumni Center Thursday night about vulnerabilities in U.S. voting systems. Last June, Halderman appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to testify about such.

    [...]

    “If an attack takes place, we won’t necessarily see the physical evidence," Halderman said. "The physical evidence that it took place is a discrepancy between what’s written on a piece of paper and what a computer total of that paper says. Because elections are so complicated, they’re so noisy, because the [crackers] can hide their traces in various ways, we won’t necessarily see when something like this happen for the first time. We've got to be ready.”

  • Apache Access Vulnerability Could Affect Thousands of Applications

    A recently discovered issue with a common file access method could be a major new attack surface for malware authors.
    Vulnerabilities in Apache functions have been at the root of significant breaches, including the one suffered by Equifax. Now new research indicates that another such vulnerability may be putting thousands of applications at risk.

    Lawrence Cashdollar, a vulnerability researcher and member of Akamai's Security Incident Response Team, found an issue with the way that thousands of code projects are using Apache .htaccess, leaving them vulnerable to unauthorized access and a subsequent file upload attack in which auto-executing code is uploaded to an application.

Colibri - A Browser Without Tabs

Filed under
Software

Almost all browsers are competing with each other in terms of functionality, speed, and performance. Though I did recently settle for Firefox as my default browser, I am still looking for better options. And this quest of mine took me to Colibri - A Browser without Tabs. And I was really interested in finding out what this meant. How could a browser be without tabs? It’s like a car without wheels. So here is a review of Colibri.

Read<br />
more

Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Screenshot Tour and Statistics

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Screenshot Tour | What’s New

    Here we are going to take a screenshot tour of the latest release Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish). Let’s go through the recent changes since the earlier long term support release Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver).

    Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) introduces major user interface changes and more mature interface since Canonical decided ditching Unity desktop environment. Cosmic release ships with Gnome Shell 3.30.1 desktop environment for its main Desktop release and there are more variants of desktop environments you could choose from, check the release notes for further information.

    The default desktop and login screen “GDM” features the Cuttlefish background with the usual color scheme for Ubuntu desktop releases. It comes with multiple colorful and cheering desktop backgrounds. I will leave a link down below if you are interested to download the default Wallpapers for Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish).

  • Canonical and Ubuntu – user statistics

    Then you arrive at the story of Canonical and Ubuntu and things aren’t quite so clear anymore, lines are blurred. Ubuntu appears everywhere, sometimes accompanied by Canonical, but frequently not. Then sometimes Canonical tries to make an appearance alone and everyone is left asking ‘what is Canonical?’
    Well, no more. No more shall wondering what Canonical is be akin to a quiz question of who was the fourth Destiny’s Child. (Answer at the end)
    We all know Ubuntu, it’s the most popular open source operating system (OS) in the world, loved by developers for a multitude of reasons, it’s where innovation happens, and it’s everywhere.
    Canonical is described by Wikipedia (let’s face it that’s where your Google search takes you) as a UK-based, “privately held computer software company founded and funded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth to market commercial support and related services for Ubuntu and related projects.”
    Well, that’s pretty accurate, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. You see, Canonical is passionate about Ubuntu. We love it. We all use it and we want everyone else to use the OS because we think it’s the best around and it’ll make your lives a lot easier.
    Canonical is full of people working on improving and adding to Ubuntu, from the OS to things that rely on the OS at the core but are more related to things such as Kubernetes, yes we really do Kubernetes, or OpenStack, AI/ML, and a whole host of technologies related to the internet of things (IoT).

Licensing in Kate and Other KDE News/Changes

Filed under
KDE
  • MIT licensed KSyntaxHighlighting usage

    With the KDE Frameworks 5.50 release, the KSyntaxHighlighting framework was re-licensed to the MIT license.

    This re-licensing only covers the actual code in the library and the bundled themes but not all of the syntax highlighting definition data files.

    One of the main motivation points was to get QtCreator to use this, if possible, instead of their own implementation of the Kate highlighting they needed to create in the past due to the incompatible licensing of KatePart at that time (and the impossibility to do a quick split/re-licensing of the parts in question).

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 41
  • KDE Will Now Set Scale Factor For GTK Apps, Plasma Gets Other Scaling & UI Polishing Too

    KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his weekly recap of interesting development activities impacting Plasma, Frameworks, and the Applications stack.

    When the display scaling factor for KDE is set to an integer, KDE will now export that as well to the GNOME/GTK environment variables of GDK_SCALE/GDK_DPI_SCALE, for helping out GTK applications running on the KDE desktop so they should still scale appropriately. The Wayland behavior was already correct while this should help out GTK X11 applications. The GNOME/GTK scaling though only supports scaling by integer numbers.

Graphics: NVIDIA, Kazan, Sway and Panfrost

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA Developers Express Interest In Helping Out libc++/libstdc++ Parallel Algorithms

    NVIDIA developers have expressed interest in helping the open-source GCC libstdc++ and LLVM Clang libc++ standard libraries in bringing up support for the standardized parallel algorithms.

    C++17 brings parallelized versions for some of the algorithms exposed by the C++ standard library, but sadly GCC's libstdc++ and LLVM's libc++ do not yet support these parallel algorithms while the rest of their C++17 support is in great shape. Going back over a year Intel has been interested in contributing parallel support code to these C++ standard libraries that could be shared by both projects. The Intel path builds in abstractions for supporting different underlying thread/parallelism APIs.

  • The Rust-Written Kazan Vulkan Driver Lights Up Its Shader Compiler

    This week the Kazan project (formerly known as "Vulkan-CPU") celebrated a small but important milestone in its trek to having a CPU-based Vulkan software implementation.

    As a refresher, Kazan is the project born as Vulkan-CPU during the 2017 Google Summer of Code. The work was started by student developer Jacob Lifshay and he made good progress last summer on the foundation of the project and continued contributing past the conclusion of that Google-funded program. By the end of the summer he was able to run some simple Vulkan compute tests. He also renamed Vulkan-CPU to Kazan (Japanese for "volcano").

  • Sway 1.0 Beta Released - Offers 100% Compatibility With i3 Window Manager

    The Sway Wayland compositor inspired by X11's i3 window manager is now up to its beta ahead of the big 1.0 release.

    Sway 1.0 Beta offers "100%" compatibility with the i3 window manager. The Sway 1.0 release has also been working on many other changes including improved window handling, multi-GPU support, virtual keyboard protocol, real-time video capture, tablet support, and many other changes.

  • Panfrost Open-Source GPU Driver Continues Advancing For Mali GPUs

    The Panfrost open-source, community-driven, reverse-engineered graphics driver for ARM Mali graphics processors continues panning out pretty well.

    Alyssa Rosenzweig has provided an update this weekend on the state of Panfrost for open-source Mali 3D support. The developers involved have been working out some texture issues, various OpenGL / GLES issues around GLMark2, and support now for running Wayland's Weston reference compositor.

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More in Tux Machines

Raspberry Pi lookalike offers HDMI 2.0 and optional M.2

Geniatech’s “XPI-S905X” is a new Raspberry Pi pseudo clone with a quad -A53 Amlogic S905X plus 2GB RAM, up to 16GB eMMC, 4K-ready HDMI 2.0, LAN, 4x USB, touch-enabled LVDS, and optional M.2. Geniatech, which is known for Qualcomm based SBCs such as the Snapdragon 410 based, 96Boards-like Development Board IV and Snapdragon 820E based Development Board 8, has posted specs for a Raspberry Pi form factor board with a quad -A53, Amlogic S905X with 1/6GHz to 2GHz performance. No pricing is available for the XPI-S905X, which appears to be aimed at the OEM market. Read more

​Linus Torvalds talks about coming back to work on Linux

"'I'm starting the usual merge window activity now," said Torvalds. But it's not going to be kernel development as usual. "We did talk about the fact that now Greg [Kroah-Hartman] has write rights to my kernel tree, and if will be easier to just share the load if we want to, and maybe we'll add another maintainer after further discussion." So, Kroah-Hartman, who runs the stable kernel, will have a say on Linus' cutting-edge kernel. Will someone else get write permission to Torvalds' kernel code tree to help lighten the load? Stay tuned. Read more Also: Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board election call for nominations

Mozilla: Firefox 65 Plans and Firefox 63 Analysis

  • Firefox 65 Will Block Tracking Cookies By Default
    Mozilla today released Firefox 63, which includes an experimental option to block third-party tracking cookies, protecting against cross-site tracking. You can test this out today, but Mozilla wants to enable it for everyone by default in Firefox 65.
  • The Path to Enhanced Tracking Protection
    As a leader of Firefox’s product management team, I am often asked how Mozilla decides on which privacy features we will build and launch in Firefox. In this post I’d like to tell you about some key aspects of our process, using our recent Enhanced Tracking Protection functionality as an example.
  • Firefox 63 Lets Users Block Tracking Cookies
    As announced in August, Firefox is changing its approach to addressing tracking on the web. As part of that plan, we signaled our intent to prevent cross-site tracking for all Firefox users and made our initial prototype available for testing. Starting with Firefox 63, all desktop versions of Firefox include an experimental cookie policy that blocks cookies and other site data from third-party tracking resources. This new policy provides protection against cross-site tracking while minimizing site breakage associated with traditional cookie blocking.
  • Firefox 63 – Tricks and Treats!
  • Firefox 63 Released, Red Hat Collaborating with NVIDIA, Virtual Box 6.0 Beta Now Available, ODROID Launching a New Intel-Powered SBC and Richard Stallman Announces the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines
    Firefox 63.0 was released this morning. With this new version, "users can opt to block third-party tracking cookies or block all trackers and create exceptions for trusted sites that don't work correctly with content blocking enabled". In addition, WebExtensions now run in their own process on Linux, and Firefox also now warns if you have multiple windows and tabs open when you quit via the main menu. You can download it from here.
  • Changes to how Mozilla Readability extracts article metadata in Firefox 63
    Mozilla Readability will now extract document metadata from Dublin Core and Open Graph Protocol meta tags instead of trying to guess article titles. Earlier this year, I documented how reader mode in web browsers extract metadata about articles. After learning about the messy state of metadata extraction for reader mode, I sought to improve the extraction logic used in Mozilla Readability. Mozilla Readability was one of the first reader mode parsers and it’s used in Firefox as well as other web browsers.

Security: Cross-Hyperthread Spectre V2 Mitigation Ready For Linux, Targeted vs General-Purpose Security and More

  • Cross-Hyperthread Spectre V2 Mitigation Ready For Linux With STIBP
    On the Spectre front for the recently-started Linux 4.20~5.0 kernel is STIBP support for cross-hyperthread Spectre Variant Two mitigation. Going back to the end of the summer was the patch work for this cross-hyperthread Spectre V2 mitigation with STIBP while now it's being merged to mainline.
  • Targeted vs General purpose security
    There seems to be a lot of questions going around lately about how to best give out simple security advice that is actionable. Goodness knows I’ve talked about this more than I can even remember at this point. The security industry is really bad at giving out actionable advice. It’s common someone will ask what’s good advice. They’ll get a few morsels, them someone will point out whatever corner case makes that advice bad and the conversation will spiral into nonsense where we find ourselves trying to defend someone mostly concerned about cat pictures from being kidnapped by a foreign nation. Eventually whoever asked for help quit listening a long time ago and decided to just keep their passwords written on a sticky note under the keyboard. I’m pretty sure the fundamental flaw in all this thinking is we never differentiate between a targeted attack and general purpose security. They are not the same thing. They’re incredibly different in fact. General purpose advice can be reasonable, simple, and good. If you are a target you’ve already lost, most advice won’t help you. General purpose security is just basic hygiene. These are the really easy concepts. Ideas like using a password manager, multi-factor-auth, install updates on your system. These are the activities anyone and everyone should be doing. One could argue these should be the default settings for any given computer or service (that’s a post for another day though). You don’t need to be a security genius to take these steps. You just have to restrain yourself from acting like a crazy person so whoever asked for help can actually get the advice they need.
  • Oracle Moves to Gen 2 Cloud, Promising More Automation and Security [Ed: Ellison wants people to blindly trust proprietary blobs for security (a bad thing to do, never mind the CIA past of Oracle and severe flaws in its DBs)].
    A primary message from Ellison is that the Gen 2 Oracle cloud is more secure, with autonomous capabilities to help protect against attacks. Ellison also emphasized the segmentation and isolation of workloads on the Gen 2 Oracle cloud, providing improved security.
  • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #182
    Here’s what happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday October 14 and Saturday October 20 2018...