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Friday, 19 Jan 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Software: VirtualBox, Dillinger, FBReader, KDE Discover Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 5:17pm
Story Mozilla Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 5:12pm
Story GNU: GCC 7.3 and LibrePlanet 2018 Keynote Speakers Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 5:10pm
Story Open Source in 3-D Printing Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 5:08pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 4:13pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 4:07pm
Story Graphics: RadeonSI NIR Backend, RADV Vulkan Driver, Direct Rendering Manager Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 4:04pm
Story Will 2018 Be the Year of the Linux Desktop Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 4:00pm
Story Google Ditches Goobuntu Linux For Debian-Based gLinux Rianne Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 4:00pm
Story Games: RUINER, Remnants of Naezith, Rise to Ruins, Super Cane Magic ZERO, Dead Island Roy Schestowitz 17/01/2018 - 3:33pm

KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS Enters Beta, Brings Unified Look and Phone Integration

Filed under
KDE

Designed as the next long-term support (LTS) version of the popular desktop environment, replacing the KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS on users' computers when it will be out early next month, KDE Plasma 5.12 is an important milestone that introduces numerous stability and reliability improvements, along with a bunch of new and long-anticipated features.

One of the most important changes in KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS is the greatly improved support for the next-generation Wayland display server, with a long-term support promise as the KDE Project will continue to patch bugs and other issues until the end of life of the desktop environment next year.

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Also: KDE Plasma 5.12 Reaches Beta With Faster Start-Up Time, Better Wayland Support

How To Create Or Increase Swap Space In Linux

Filed under
Linux

The operating system makes use of swap space when its available physical memory (RAM) is running out due to ever demanding applications. In this situation, the operating system moves the inactive pages in physical memory to swap space.

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Flatpak Support Getting More Mature in KDE Plasma's Discover Package Manager

Filed under
KDE

Those interesting in installing Flatpak universal Linux apps on their KDE Plasma-based GNU/Linux distros, should know that Flatpak support in the Plasma Discover package manager is now more mature and ready for production. It can handle multiple Flatpak repos, as well as installing of packages from the Flathub repository.

With the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS desktop environment, Plasma Discover will support different backends, including Flatpak and Snappy, allowing users to search, download and install Flatpak and Snap apps. However, such a backend doesn't come installed by default, so you'll have to add it manually.

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KDE Frameworks 5.42 Open-Source Software Suite Released for KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS

Filed under
KDE
OSS

KDE Frameworks 5.42.0 is out now just in time for the soon-to-be-released KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS Beta desktop environment, and includes numerous improvements and bug fixes for various components like Baloo, Breeze icons, KActivities, KCoreAddons, KDeclarative, KDED, KDBusAddons, KConfig, KDocTools, KHTML, KEmoticons, KFileMetaData, KI18n, KIO, KInit, Kirigami, and KJobWidgets.

It also improves things like KNewStuff, KNotification, KRunner, KWayland, KTextEditor, KWallet Framework, KWidgetsAddons, KXMLGUI, NetworkManagerQt, Plasma Framework, Prison, QQC2StyleBridge, Sonnet, syntax highlighting, KPackage Framework, as well as KDELibs 4 support and extra CMake modules. The complete changelog is available below for more details on the new fixes.

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Retpoline Backported and a New Benchmark

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Retpoline Backported To Linux 4.9, Linux 4.14 Kernels

    Retpoline support for mitigating the Spectre vulnerabilities will soon be present in the Linux 4.9 and 4.14 stable kernels.

    Greg Kroah-Hartman has sent out the latest patches for the Linux 4.9 and 4.14 point releases, which now include the Retpoline support.

  • ADATA XPG SX6000: Benchmarking A ~$50 USD 128GB NVMe SSD On Linux

    While solid-state drives have generally been quite reliable in recent years and even with all the benchmarking I put them through have had less than a handful fail out of dozens, whenever there's a bargain on NVMe SSDs, it's hard to resist. The speed of NVMe SSDs has generally been great and while it's not a key focus on Phoronix (and thus generally not receiving review samples of them), I upgrade some of the server room test systems when finding a deal. The latest is trying an ADATA XPG SX6000 NVMe SSD I managed to get for $49.99 USD.

New Raspberry Pi: Zero

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Debugging and Compiling

Filed under
Development
GNU
  • How debuggers really work

    A debugger is one of those pieces of software that most, if not every, developer uses at least once during their software engineering career, but how many of you know how they actually work? During my talk at linux.conf.au 2018 in Sydney, I will be talking about writing a debugger from scratch... in Rust!

    In this article, the terms debugger/tracer are interchangeably. "Tracee" refers to the process being traced by the tracer.

  • GCC 8.0 Moves On To Only Regression/Documentation Fixes

    The GCC 8 compiler is on to its last stage of development

Security: Meltdown and Spectre, GPG and SSH, Mageia Updates

Filed under
Security
  • Beware! Fake Spectre & Meltdown Patches Are Infecting PCs With “Smoke Loader” Malware [Ed: Welcome to Microsoft Windows]

    One of the most common tactics employed by notorious cybercriminals involves taking advantage of the popular trends and creating fraudulent websites/apps to trick users. It looks like some of the players have tried to exploit the confusion surrounding Meltdown and Sprectre CPU bugs.

    Forget buggy updates which are causing numerous problems to the users, Malwarebytes has spotted a fake update package that installs malware on your computer. The firm has identified a new domain that’s full of material on how Meltdown and Spectre affect CPUs.

    [...]

    The fake file in the archive is Intel-AMD-SecurityPatch-10-1-v1.exe.

  • An update on ongoing Meltdown and Spectre work

    Last week, a series of critical vulnerabilities called Spectre and Meltdown were announced. Because of the nature of these issues, the solutions are complex and requires fixing delicate code. The fixes for Meltdown are mostly underway. The Meltdown fix for x86 is KPTI. KPTI has been merged into the mainline Linux tree and many stable trees, including the ones Fedora uses. Fixes for other arches are close to being done and should be available soon. Fixing Spectre is more difficult and requires fixes across multiple areas.

    Similarly to Meltdown, Spectre takes advantage of speculation done by CPUs. Part of the fix for Spectre is disallowing the CPU to speculate in particular vulnerable sequences. One solution developed by Google and others is to introduce “retpolines” which do not allow speculation. A sequence of code that might allow dangerous speculation is replaced with a “retpoline” which will not speculate. The difficult part of this solution is that the compiler needs to be aware of where to place a retpoline. This means a complete solution involves the compiler as well.

  • CPU microcode update code for amd64
  • Using a Yubikey for GPG and SSH
  • Inspect curl’s TLS traffic

    Since a long time back, the venerable network analyzer tool Wireshark (screenshot above) has provided a way to decrypt and inspect TLS traffic when sent and received by Firefox and Chrome.

  • Mageia Weekly Roundup 2018 – Week 2

    The year is definitely under way, with an astonishing 412 packages coming through commits – mostly for cauldron, but a few are the last remaining updates for Mageia 5, as well as important security updates for Mageia 6.

    Among those updates are all the kernel and microcode updates – our thanks to tmb and our untiring devs for these – to begin hitting Meltdown and Spectre on the head.

    A big hand for the upstream kernel team, as well as our own packagers, QA testers and everyone else that was involved in getting this tested and released.

Games: CRYENGINE, Epic Car Factory, Godot, Depth of Extinction, Yuzu, GPD

Filed under
Gaming

Graphics: Mir, Vulkan, Mesa

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Experimental XDG-Shell Support For Mir's Wayland Support

    Mir's Wayland support continues being hacked on and now being tackled is support for the XDG-Shell protocol.

    A proof of concept implementation for the XDG Shell protocol has been posted for Mir. The XDG-Shell protocol as a reminder is used for managing surfaces under Wayland compositors for dealing with window dragging, resizing, stacking, and other actions.

  • Vulkan 1.0.68 Published

    Coming just over one week since Vulkan 1.0.67 is now the Vulkan 1.0.68 graphics/compute programming specification update.

    Given the short time from Vulkan 1.0.67 to 1.0.68, this updated version does not introduce any new extensions. Vulkan 1.0.68 just has documentation fixes: correcting some typos and making other clarifications for helping developers understand expected behavior of some elements of Vulkan.

  • Intel's Mesa Driver Is A Step Closer To ARB_gl_spirv Support

    Igalia has sent out the fourth version of their patches for wiring in ARB_gl_spirv support into the Mesa OpenGL driver. This extension is the last main blocker from Intel having OpenGL 4.6 support and allows for SPIR-V ingestion support for better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan.

  • Mesa Gets Patches For EGL_ANDROID_blob_cache

    An Intel open-source developer has sent out a set of patches implementing the EGL ANDROID_blob_cache extension for Mesa.

Best Linux desktop of 2018

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Best Linux desktop of 2018

    The desktop is a critical aspect of your Linux experience, providing you with a user-friendly way to interact with your computer. Unlike Windows or Mac, Linux doesn't tie you to a single desktop. Switching desktop environments is incredibly straightforward – just install a new one, log out and choose it from the login screen. You can install as many desktop environments as you like, although you can only use one at a time.

    In this guide, we've rounded up seven of the most popular desktops, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Before you dive in, however, take some time to think about what you want from your desktop.

    A desktop environment is more than the wallpaper which appears when you log in. It also includes a window manager and usually a set of utilities. It may come in the form of a pre-assembled package, such as Gnome or KDE, or it may be assembled by the distro maintainer, such as CrunchBang++'s Openbox or Puppy's JWM.

  • Best Linux distros 2018: the finest open source operating systems around

    Linux is widely-regarded as the discerning techie's operating system of choice, and with good reason. The open source OS has an awful lot to recommend it, and it's every bit as capable as Windows or macOS.

    One of the reasons Linux has proved to be so popular with developers, engineers and technical professionals is that it's almost infinitely versatile, with a wealth of customisation options. It's also got a reputation as being extremely secure.

    Linux doesn't just cater to traditional desktop PCs, either. There are also distros designed to run enterprise-grade applications and servers as well as desktop clients.

How To Boot Into Linux Command Line

Filed under
Linux

There may be times where you need or want to boot up a Linux system without using a GUI, that is with no X, but rather opt for the command line. Whatever the reason, fortunately, booting straight into the Linux command-line is very simple. It requires a simple change to the boot parameter after the other kernel options. This change specifies the runlevel to boot the system into.

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more

Barcelona and GNU/Linux (Now in Corporate Media)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source software

    THE SPANISH CITY OF BARCELONA plans to replace its Microsoft software with open source alternatives including Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange.

    Barcelona plans to invest 70 per cent of its annual software budget in open source this year, according to El Pais, with the aim of completing the transformation by spring 2019.

    Microsoft's Outlook and Exchange Server email software is to be replaced by Open-Xchange, Microsoft Office will be ditched in favour of Libre Office, and Mozilla's Firefox will be made the default browser across systems.

  • Barcelona becomes the poster child for Linux

    The City of Barcelona is migrating its computer systems away from Windows making it the poster child for Open Source rather than Munich which is frantically trying to migrate back.

    According to the Spanish newspaper El País, the City's strategy is first to replace all user applications with open-source alternatives until the underlying Windows operating system is the only proprietary software remaining. Then the operating system will be replaced with Linux.

    Commissioner of Technology and Digital Innovation at Barcelona City Council, Francesca Bria, said the transition would be completed before the current administration's mandate ends in spring 2019.

  • Barcelona gives Microsoft the boot in move to open source

    With this move Barcelona becomes the first city to join an initiative by Free Software Foundation Europe dubbed 'Public code, public money' which calls on public bodies to invest tax revenues in free reusable systems that are open to local businesses rather than proprietary licensed software.

  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source Linux software

    Catalan capital Barcelona is planning to ditch proprietary software products from Microsoft in favour of free, open source alternatives such as Open-Xchange email.

    That’s according to a report by Spain's national paper El Pais, which reports that Barcelona plans to invest 70% of its annual software budget in open source this year.

Dr. Lovesource: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the open

Filed under
OSS

I used to write code. I don't anymore. There are lots of reasons for this, including the fact that I wasn't very good at it. To clarify, I was, I think, good at writing code,1 but I wasn't very good at writing code.2 It turns out that I'm quite good at a variety of other things, so my career3 moved in a different direction—or, in fact, a variety of different directions. After a number of roles ranging from "Electronic Information Controller" to "Product and Programme4 Manager" through software engineering and pre-sales, I finally settled into something called "architecture." Which means that I mainly draw boxes and lines on whiteboards and expect people who are very good at writing code to make the boxes "real."

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2 scientific calculators for the Linux desktop

Filed under
Linux

Every Linux desktop environment comes with at least a simple desktop calculator, but most of those simple calculators are just that: a simple tool for simple calculations.

Fortunately, there are exceptions; programs that go far beyond square roots and a couple of trigonometric functions, yet are still easy to use. Here are two powerful calculator tools for Linux, plus a couple of bonus options.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Freedreno Gallium3D Lands A5xx Texture Tiling For Better Performance

    Freedreno lead developer Rob Clark has landed initial support for texture tiling with Qualcomm Adreno A5xx graphics hardware.

  • Nintendo Switch 'Yuzu' Emulator Announced for PC, Mac, Linux

    A new emulator that aims to open up the doors to Nintendo Switch-exclusive games has just been announced for computers. Named Yuzu, the emulator was created by the same team that designed Citra, a similar 3DS emulator. Yuzu's official website calls it an "experimental" open-source emulator, and has builds ready and maintained for PC, Mac, and Linux. The project is "in its infancy" for now, but has some pretty big goals on the horizon.

  • I pushed an implementation of myself to GitHub

    Roughly 4 years ago, I mentioned that there appears to be an esotieric programming language which shares my full name.

    I know, it is really late, but two days ago, I discovered Racket. As a Lisp person, I immediately felt at home. And realizing how the language dispatch mechanism works, I couldn't resist and write a Racket implementation of MarioLANG. A nice play on words and a good toy project to get my feet wet.

  • digest 0.6.14

    Another small maintenance release, version 0.6.14, of the digest package arrived on CRAN and in Debian today.

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat
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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Mesa and AMDGPU

  • Mesa 17.3.3 Released With RADV & ANV Vulkan Driver Fixes
    Mesa 17.3.3 is now available as the latest point release for the Mesa 17.3 stable series. This bi-weekly point release to Mesa presents several RADV Vega/GFX9 fixes, various Intel ANV Vulkan driver fixes, a DRI3 fix, and random fixes to the OpenGL drivers like RadeonSI, Etnaviv, and even Swrast.
  • R600g "Soft" FP64 Shows Signs Of Life, Enabling Older GPUs To Have OpenGL 4 In 2018
    Most pre-GCN AMD graphics cards are still limited to OpenGL 3.3 support at this time due to not supporting FP64. Only the HD 5800/6900 series on R600g currently have real double-precision floating-point support working right now so at present they are on OpenGL 4.3 rather than 3.3, but those other generations may be catching up soon thanks to the "soft" FP64 code.
  • AMDGPU DC Gets More Raven Ridge Improvements, Audio Fixes
    Harry Wentland of AMD has sent out the latest batch of patches for the AMDGPU DC display code stack. Fortunately it lightens up the DRM driver by about six thousand lines thanks to removing some unused code. Besides gutting out a chunk of unused code, the DC code has a few audio fixes (no word yet on supporting newer audio formats with DC), fixes on driver unload, a "bunch" of continued Raven Ridge display updates, and various other code clean-ups.
  • AMDGPU Firmware Blobs Updated For Video Encode/Decode
    There are updated AMDGPU microcode/firmware files now available for recent Radeon GPUs. The updated firmware files now available via the main linux-firmware.git repository are centered around the video blocks: UVD video decoding, VCE video encode, and the new VCN video encode/decode block with Raven Ridge.

Games: DRAG, Geneshift, Balloonatics and More

Tumbleweed Update

  • Tumbleweed Rolls Forward with New versions of Mesa, Squid, Xen
    This week provided a pretty healthy amount of package updates for openSUSE’s rolling distribution Tumbleweed. There were three snapshots released since the last blog and some of the top packages highlighted this week are from Mesa, Squid, Xen and OpenSSH. The Mesa update from version 17.2.6 to 17.3.2 in snapshot 20180116 provided multiple fixes in the RADV Vulkan driver and improvements of the GLSL shader cache. The Linux Kernel provides some fixes for the security vulnerabilities of Meltdown in version 4.14.13 and added a prevent buffer overrun on memory hotplug during migration for KVM with s390. The snapshot had many more package updates like openssh 7.6p1, which tightened configuration access rights. A critical fix when updating Flatpak packages live was made with the gnome-software version 3.26.4 update. File systems package btrfsprogs 4.14.1 provided cleanups and some refactoring while wireshark 2.4.4 made some fixes for dissector crashes. Xen 4.10.0_10 added a few patches. Rounding out the snapshot, ModemManager 1.6.12 fixed connection state machine when built against libqmi and blacklisted a few devices to include some Pycom devices.
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed Rolls To Mesa 17.3, Linux 4.14.13
    OpenSUSE has continued rolling in the new year with several key package updates in January. Exciting us a lot is that openSUSE Tumbleweed has migrated from Mesa 17.2 to now Mesa 17.3. Mesa 17.3.2 is the version currently in openSUSE's rolling-release.

India Digital Open Summit 2018