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Hands-On with Ubuntu's Brand New Welcome Screen in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Filed under
Ubuntu

With only three days left before Canonical's highly anticipated Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system hits the streets, today we're taking a first look at one of its newest features.

As the headline implies, the next Ubuntu release will ship with a brand new Welcome screen, for the first time in the history of the Linux-based operating system. After installing Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on your personal computer, you'll be greeted by a welcome screen to help you set up a few things.

Welcome screens have been used before in the Ubuntu world, by the Ubuntu MATE and Ubuntu Budgie official flavors for example, and are also being used by numerous other GNU/Linux distributions out there to provide a one-stop solution for setting up your freshly installed operating system.

Ubuntu itself never used a welcome screen, but with the forthcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release things change in this regard. The new welcome screen in Bionic Beaver will help new and returning users better understand how the brand-new GNOME user interface works, as well as to set up things like Canonical Livepatch.

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Games Leftovers

Filed under
Gaming

Security Stunts From Microsoft and Crash Reporting

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

Software: Liberation of Code, GNU Parallel, Devhelp

Filed under
Software
  • When should you open source your software?

    It’s 20 years this this since the term ‘Open Source’ was coined. In that time the movement for free and open software has gone from a niche to a common method of distribution and a normal way of operating for businesses.

    Major technology shifts are now driven by open source technologies: Big Data (Hadoop, Spark), AI (TensorFlow, Caffe), and Containers (Docker, Kubernetes) are all open projects. Massive companies including Google, Facebook, and even Lyft regularly release Open Source tools for the world to use. Microsoft – whose former CEO once described Linux as a cancer – now embraces the concept.

  • GNU Parallel 20180422 ('Tiangong-1') released

    Quote of the month:

    Today I discovered GNU Parallel, and I don’t know what to do with all this spare time.
    --Ryan Booker

  • Devhelp news

    For more context, I started to contribute to Devhelp in 2015 to fix some annoying bugs (it’s an application that I use almost every day). Then I got hooked, I contributed more, became a co-maintainer last year, etc. Devhelp is a nice little project, I would like it to be better known and used more outside of GNOME development, for example for the Linux kernel now that they have a good API documentation infrastructure (it’s just a matter of generating *.devhelp2 index files alongside the HTML pages).

University students create award-winning open source projects

Filed under
OSS

In my short time working for Clarkson University, I've realized what a huge impact this small university is making on the open source world. Our 4,300 student-strong science and technology-focused institution, located just south of the Canadian border in Potsdam, New York, hosts the Clarkson Open Source Institute (COSI), dedicated to promoting open source software and providing equipment and support for student projects.

While many universities offer opportunities for students to get involved in open source projects, it's rare to have an entire institute dedicated to promoting open source development. COSI is part of Clarkson's Applied Computer Science Labs within the computer science department. It, along with the Internet Teaching Lab and the Virtual Reality Lab, is run by students (supported by faculty advisers), allowing them to gain experience in managing both facilities and projects while still undergraduates.

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Linux 4.17-rc2

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Linux

So rc2 is out, and things look fairly normal.

The diff looks a bit unusual, with the tools subdirectory dominating,
with 30%+ of the whole diff. Mostly perf and test scripts.

But if you ignore that, the rest looks fairly usual. Arch updates
(s390 and x86 dominate) and drivers (networking, gpu, HID, mmc, misc)
are the bulk of it, with misc other changes all over (filesystems,
core kernel, networking, docs).

We've still got some known fallout from the merge window, but it
shouldn't affect most normal configurations, so go out and test.

Linus

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Also: Upstream Linux support for new NXP i.MX8

Review: Chakra GNU/Linux 2017.10

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Reviews

Chakra is an unusual distribution for a few reasons. It is a rare semi-rolling project, which tries to maintain a fairly stable base system while providing up to date applications. This is an interesting compromise between full rolling and static operating systems. The semi-rolling concept is an idea I like and I was curious to see how well the approach would work dealing with around six months of updates. I was pleased to find Chakra handled the massive upgrade well.

Chakra was once also considered unusual for being very KDE-focused. There are more KDE distribution these days (KaOS, Kubuntu and KDE neon come readily to mind) and I think Chakra may have lost some of its appeal as more competition has established itself in the KDE-centric arena.

I found the distribution to be easy to set up and pretty straight forward to use, but there were a few characteristics which bothered me during my trial with Chakra. One was that while updates installed cleanly, once Plasma 5.12 was installed, I experienced slow login times and reduced performance on the desktop. It could be argued that this is a Plasma problem, not a Chakra problem, but the distribution's rolling release nature means any regressions in new versions of software end up in the user's lap.

Something that tends to bother me about distributions which focus on one desktop toolkit or another is that this approach to selecting software means we are sometimes using less capable tools in the name of toolkit purity. This is not a trade-off I like as I'd rather be using more polished applications over ones which a particular affiliation.

Finally, Chakra includes a number of command line aliases which got in my way. This seems to be a problem I have been running into more often recently. Developers are trying to be helpful by aliasing common commands, but it means that for some tasks I need to change my habits or undefine the provided aliases and the feature ends up being a nuisance instead of a convenience.

Chakra seems to be a capable and useful distribution and I am sure there are people who will appreciate the rolling release nature. Many people will likely also like having lots of KDE applications, and I can see the appeal of this combination. However, one thing which makes me hesitate to recommend Chakra is that the distribution does not appear to bring any special features to the ecosystem. It's a useful operating system and, to be completely fair, users can install non-KDE alternatives if they want to use LibreOffice instead of Calligra or GIMP instead of KolourPaint. But I'm not sure Chakra brings anything unique which makes it stand apart from openSUSE's Tumbleweed or KaOS's polished Plasma offering. Chakra used to be special in its semi-rolling, KDE-focused niche, but these days the distribution has a more competition and I'm not sure the project has any special sauce to set it apart from the crowd.

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Terminal app appears in Chome OS Dev, hints at future Linux application support

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Back in February, some commits to the Chromium codebase revealed that Chrome OS would soon run Linux applications using a container. While it has been possible for years to run Linux applications on top of Chrome OS using crouton, it's a hacky solution that only works in Developer Mode. Google's solution would presumably work better, and perhaps not require Dev Mode to be enabled.

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​What's the most popular Linux of them all?

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux

Let's cut to the chase. Android is the most popular of all Linux distributions. Period. End of statement. But that's not the entire story.

Still it must be said, according to StatCounter, Android is the most popular of all operating systems. By a score of 39.49 percent to 36.63 percent, Android beats out Windows for global personal device supremacy. Sorry Windows, you had a nice run, but between your smartphone failures and the PC decline, your day is done.

But, setting Android aside, what's the most popular Linux? It's impossible to work that out. The website-based analysis tools, such as those used by StatCounter, NetMarketShare, and the Federal government's Digital Analytics Program (DAP), can't tell the difference between Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

DAP does give one insightful measurement the others sites don't give us. While not nearly as popular as Android, Chrome OS is more popular than all the other Linux-based desktops combined by a score, in April 2018, of 1.3 percent to 0.6 percent of end users.

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Android/ChromeOS/Google Leftovers

Filed under
Android
Google

Games: SC-Controller 0.4.2, Campo Santo, Last Epoch and More

Filed under
Gaming

Ryzen 7 2700X CPUFreq Scaling Governor Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

With this week's Ryzen 5 2600X + Ryzen 7 2700X benchmarks some thought the CPUFreq scaling driver or rather its governors may have been limiting the performance of these Zen+ CPUs, so I ran some additional benchmarks this weekend.

Those launch-day Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X Ubuntu Linux benchmarks were using the "performance" governor, but some have alleged that the performance governor may now actually hurt AMD systems... Ondemand, of course, is the default CPUFreq governor on Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions. Some also have said the "schedutil" governor that makes use of the kernel's scheduler utilization data may do better on AMD. So I ran some extra benchmarks while changing between CPUFreq's ondemand (default), performance (normally the best for performance, and what was used in our CPU tests), schedutil (the newest option), and powersave (if you really just care about conserving power).

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OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Libjpeg-Turbo 2.0 Beta Brings More AVX2 SIMD, Improved CMake Build System

    A Phoronix reader recently pointed out that LibJPEG 2.0 Beta quietly shipped last month as working towards the next big update for this speed-focused JPEG library.

    Libjpeg-Turbo 2.0 beta is available for testing and it brings AVX2 SIMD support for colorspace conversion, chroma downsampling/upsampling, integer quantization and sample conversion, and integer DCT/IDCT algorithms. These AVX2 SIMD accelerated paths are generally bringing gains anywhere from 9% to 36% faster depending upon the operation. This version is also bringing SIMD acceleration for Huffman encoding on SSE2 CPUs and Loongson MMI SIMD implementations for more functions.

  • A look at Rancher 2.0

    Last December, we announced a Kubernetes Cloud Native Platform in partnership with Rancher Labs. Built on Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes and Rancher 2.0, the Cloud Native Platform will simplify enterprise usage of Kubernetes with seamless user management, access control, and cluster administration. Join our webinar to get a tour of the platform!

  • Mozilla's Common Voice Project, Red Hat Announces Vault Operator, VirtualBox 5.2.10 Released and More

    Participate in Mozilla's open-source Common Voice Project, an initiative to help teach machines how real people speak: "Now you can donate your voice to help us build an open-source voice database that anyone can use to make innovative apps for devices and the web."

  • Collabora Online 3.2 Supports Chart Creation, Other Features

    A new version of Collabora Online is now available, the web-based open-source office suite derived from the cloud version of LibreOffice.

  • DragonFlyBSD Kernel Gets Some SMP Improvements

    It looks like the DragonFlyBSD 5.4 release will be delivering at least a few kernel-level performance improvements.

    It turns out just hours after wrapping up the latest BSD vs. Linux benchmarks, Matthew Dillon pushed a few performance tweaks to the Git tree for DragonFly.

  • Best Open Source 3D Printers

    In simplest terms, an open source 3D printer refers to a 3D printer whose hardware and software information are available to the public, typically under a license. The information can be used by anyone to build, modify, or improve the 3D printer.

    If you’re looking for real open source 3D printers, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we introduce you to completely open source 3D printers. The hardware and software information of all the products listed here can be easily found on the internet.

Microsoft Linuxwashing and Research Openwashing

Filed under
Microsoft
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More in Tux Machines

Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone will run Ubuntu Touch, as well as PureOS

Purism has partnered up with UBports to offer Ubuntu Touch as a supported operating system on its Librem 5 smartphone. The crowd-sourced, open-source smartphone runs Purism’s PureOS, by default. Purism is also working with GNOME for a version of PureOS with the KDE Plasma Mobile environment, giving users a choice between three OSes. Read more

Core i7 8700K vs. Ryzen 7 2700X With Rise of The Tomb Raider On Linux

Here are our latest Linux gaming benchmarks comparing the Intel Core i7 8700K to the newly-released Ryzen 7 2700X. The focus in this article is on the Rise of the Tomb Raider Linux port released last week by Feral Interactive and powered by Vulkan. Read more

Stable kernels 4.16.5 and 4.14.37

today's leftovers

  • Heptio Debuts Gimbal Kubernetes Load Balancer Project
    Kubernetes startup Heptio has added another project to its roster of open-source efforts that provide expanded capabilities for container orchestration users.
  • Heptio Launches Kubernetes Load Balancing Application
  • The Role of Site Reliability Engineering in Microservices
    You can always spot the hot jobs in technology: they’re the ones that didn’t exist 10 years ago. While Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) did definitely exist a decade ago, they were mostly inside Google and a handful of other Valley innovators. Today, however, the SRE role exists everywhere, from Uber to Goldman Sachs, everyone is now in the business of keeping their sites online and stable. While SREs are hotshots in the industry, their role in a microservices environment is not just a natural fit that goes hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly. Instead, while SREs and microservices evolved in parallel inside the world’s software companies, the former actually makes life far more difficult for the latter.
  • Lying with statistics, distributions, and popularity contests on Cooking With Linux (without a net)
    It's Tuesday and that means it's time for Cooking With Linux (without a net), sponsored and supported by Linux Journal. Today, I'm courting controversy by discussing numbers, OS popularity, and how to pick the right Linux distribution if you want to be where are the beautiful people hang out. And yes, I'll do it all live, without a net, and with a high probability of falling flat on my face.
  • Voyage open sources its approach to autonomous vehicle safety
    In an effort to improve autonomous vehicle safety, Voyage is open sourcing its Open Autonomous Safety (OAS) library that contains the company’s internal safety procedures, materials, and test code that is intended to supplement the existing safety programs at autonomous vehicle startups. Voyage is the self-driving business from the educational organization Udacity.
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to KubeCon Europe
    The cloud native community is gathering in Copenhagen next week for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe! Here’s your guide to the talks and events you won’t want to miss. Meet the Red Hat and CoreOS team members all week long, May 1-4 at booth D-E01.
  • Event - "GNU Health Con 2018" (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)
    GNU Health is this year holding the III International GNU Health Conference, GNU Health Con 2018. This conference will gather the community of activists and developers who have been working on the project during the past 10 years.
  • ONNX: the Open Neural Network Exchange Format
    The good news is that the battleground is Free and Open. None of the big players are pushing closed-source solutions. Whether it is Keras and Tensorflow backed by Google, MXNet by Apache endorsed by Amazon, or Caffe2 or PyTorch supported by Facebook, all solutions are open-source software. Unfortunately, while these projects are open, they are not interoperable. Each framework constitutes a complete stack that until recently could not interface in any way with any other framework. A new industry-backed standard, the Open Neural Network Exchange format, could change that.
  • L.A. Lawmakers Looking To Take Legal Action Against Google For Not Solving Long-Running City Traffic Problems
    The city's government believes the traffic/mapping app has made Los Angeles' congestion worse. That the very body tasked with finding solutions to this omnipresent L.A. problem is looking to hold a private third party company responsible for its own shortcomings isn't surprising. If a third-party app can't create better traffic flow, what chance do city planners have? But beyond the buck-passing on congestion, the city may have a point about Waze making driving around Los Angeles a bit more hazardous. For several months, it's been noted that Waze has been sending drivers careening down the steepest grade in the city -- Baxter Street. Drivers seeking routes around Glendale Ave. traffic choke points have been routed to a street with a 32% grade, increasing the number of accidents located there and generally resulting in barely-controlled mayhem. When any sort of precipitation falls from the sky, the city goes insane. Drivers bypassing Glendale are now hurtling down a steep, water-covered hill, compounding the problem.
  • Even Microsoft's lost interest in Windows Phone: Skype and Yammer apps killed
    Microsoft’s given users of its collaboration apps on Windows Phone under a month’s warning of their demise. A support note from late last week advises that “Windows phone apps for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer are retiring on May 20, 2018.” “Retiring” means all three will vanish from the Microsoft store on May 20, with differing results.
  • Should You Build Your Own DIY Security System?