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Thursday, 15 Apr 21 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and a half and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Pop!_OS Announced GNOME Based COSMIC Desktop. Here's how it looks. arindam1989 15/04/2021 - 6:40am
Story Proprietary Software Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 15/04/2021 - 5:39am
Story Linux Foundation Copies Microsoft, Rebrands Marketing as "Research" Roy Schestowitz 1 15/04/2021 - 4:59am
Story Linux on Apple M1 silicon is right around the corner Roy Schestowitz 15 15/04/2021 - 4:56am
Blog entry 150,000th Article Rianne Schestowitz 14/04/2021 - 9:36pm
Story Mozilla Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 14/04/2021 - 9:26pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 14/04/2021 - 9:14pm
Story Metro Exodus Is Out Now on Steam for Linux Marius Nestor 2 14/04/2021 - 9:09pm
Story Nvidia GPU Passthrough To Windows VM From Linux Host Roy Schestowitz 14/04/2021 - 8:59pm
Story Graphics: AOMP, X.Org Server, Mesa Roy Schestowitz 2 14/04/2021 - 8:48pm

Pop!_OS Announced GNOME Based COSMIC Desktop. Here's how it looks.

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A stunning and revamped GNOME-based desktop announced by the Pop OS team - named COSMIC. Let's take a look.
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Proprietary Software Leftovers

  • Ireland launches inquiry into Facebook after reports of data leak

    Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) said on Wednesday it had launched an inquiry into Facebook Inc, after a dataset reported to contain personal data relating to some 533 million Facebook users worldwide was made public.

    Facebook said in a blog post last week that "malicious actors" had obtained the data prior to September 2019 by "scraping" profiles using a vulnerability in the platform's tool for synching contacts.

    The DPC said that having considered information provided by Facebook, it was of the opinion that one or more provisions of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation's (GDPR) and/or the Data Protection Act 2018 "may have been, and/or are being, infringed in relation to Facebook Users' personal data."

  • Dell Will Spin Off VMware, Unwind Part of Biggest Tech Deal

    The spinoff will unwind, at least in part, a consolidation created five years ago in Dell’s $67 billion acquisition of VMware’s parent, EMC Corp. The spending spree helped Dell branch out from its origins as a personal computer maker, but left the company saddled with debt.

    VMware will distribute a special cash dividend of $11.5 billion to $12 billion to shareholders at the close of the deal, which is expected by the fourth quarter, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said Wednesday in a statement. Dell, which owns 81% of VMware, will receive a payout of as much as $9.7 billion.

  • Sony Invests $200M More in Epic Games as Part of $1B Funding Round

    The deal comes after Sony last year acquired a $250 million minority stake in Epic Games. Sony "has made an additional strategic investment of 200 million U.S. dollars in Epic through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sony Corporation of America," the conglomerate said in a regulatory filing. "By strengthening the already close relationship between the two companies through this additional investment, Sony will further promote efforts across the Sony Group’s businesses to explore collaborative opportunities leading to new value creation, and strive to accelerate business expansion in the area of entertainment."

  • Pentagon acting CIO pushes on with cybersecurity, software development

    The U.S. Department of Defense is forging ahead with IT projects despite the absence of a Senate-confirmed chief information officer, grappling with cybersecurity after a government hack and a cloud infrastructure with an uncertain future.

    Leading the efforts in an acting capacity until President Joe Biden settles on the next CIO is John Sherman, the principal deputy under former DoD CIO Dana Deasy. He told C4ISRNET that he’s “not just keeping the seat warm here.”

    Though it’s uncertain how long he’ll hold the job, cybersecurity is his top priority in the aftermath of the SolarWinds breach discovered in December that infected networks across the federal government, he said.

  • Unpatched Microsoft Exchange Servers hit with cryptojacking

    Nation-state [attackers] and criminals have been rushing to take advantage of the Microsoft flaws since the company announced their existence last month, with security experts warning against an onslaught of webshell, ransomware and cryptojacking attacks. And although organizations have been working to patch against attacks, the Sophos research is a reminder that patching does not necessarily kick out [crackers] if they’ve already exploited the flaws.

  • Kevin Fenzi: A critique of google chat

    I’m not usually one to say bad things about… well, anything, but more and more people I interact with lately have been using google chat at their preferred communication medium and I have been asked a few times why I dislike it, so I thought I would do a blog post on it and can then just point people here.


    So, all in all, I will use google chat if I have to, but it’s going to be my least favorite chat method and I wish everyone would switch to something else. Matrix perhaps?

150,000th Article

150,000 Articles: Yay!! We have reached 150,000 articles. Another milestone, time to celebrate

2021 is no different from 2020, as we are still fighting the pandemic, but this won't stop or prevent us from running the Web site with solid focus on GNU/Linux and Free Software news. Tux Machines is here to stay. Better and Stronger.

Mozilla Leftovers

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  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 91
  • Phabricator Etiquette Part 1: The Reviewer

    In the next two posts we will examine the etiquette of using Phabricator. This post will examine tips from the reviewer’s perspective, and next week will focus on the author’s point of view. While the social aspects of etiquette are incredibly important, we should all be polite and considerate, these posts will focus more on the mechanics of using Phabricator. In other words, how to make the review process as smooth as possible without wasting anyone’s time.

  • Robert O'Callahan: Visualizing Control Flow In Pernosco

    In traditional debuggers, developers often single-step through the execution of a function to discover its control flow. One of Pernosco's main themes is avoiding single-stepping by visualizing state over time "all at once". Therefore, presenting control flow through a function "at a glance" is an important Pernosco feature and we've recently made significant improvements in this area.

    This is a surprisingly hard problem. Pernosco records control flow at the instruction level. Compiler-generated debuginfo maps instructions to source lines, but lacks other potentially useful information such as the static control flow graph. We think developers want to understand control flow in the context of their source code (so approaches taken by, e.g., reverse engineering tools are not optimal for Pernosco). However, mapping potentially complex control flow onto the simple top-to-bottom source code view is inherently lossy or confusing or both.

    For functions without loops there is a simple, obvious and good solution: highlight the lines executed, and let the user jump in time to that line's execution when clicked on. In the example below, we can see immediately where the function took an early exit.

  • Marco Castelluccio: On code coverage and regressions

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to code coverage: those who think it is a useless metric and those who think the opposite (OK, I’m a bit exaggerating, there are people in the middle…).

    I belong to the second “school”: I have always thought, intuitively, that patches without tests are more likely to cause postrelease regressions, and so having test coverage decreases risk.

    A few days ago, I set out to confirm this intuition, and I found this interesting study: Code Coverage and Postrelease Defects: A Large-Scale Study on Open Source Projects.

    The authors showed (on projects that are very different from Firefox, but still…) that there was no correlation between project coverage and the amount of bugs that are introduced in the project and, more importantly, there was no correlation between file coverage and the amount of bugs that are introduced in the file.

today's howtos

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Nvidia GPU Passthrough To Windows VM From Linux Host

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Nvidia has now officially enabled GPU passthrough support for Windows virtual machines on GeForce graphics cards.

In other words, this effectively means it?s possible to run a Linux machine and then run a virtual Windows machine within it, and hand that unfettered access to a graphics card. This is a big win for those wanting to run Windows games from within a virtual machine on your Linux desktop. They will be able to play Windows-based games using a virtual machine with GPU passthrough enabled.

Read more

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Red Hat Satellite 6.8.6 has been released [Ed: They have unpublised this since.]

    We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.8.6 is generally available as of April 13, 2021.

  • A brief intro to Red Hat OpenShift for Node.js developers – IBM Developer

    Container-based deployment models are the modern way to develop and deliver your applications. The most common tool for building with containers is Kubernetes, an open-source container-orchestration system for automating computer application deployment, scaling, and management.

    Kubernetes has helped usher in a standardized way to deploy and manage applications at scale, but it can be a sprawling, difficult beast to manage when your application becomes more mature and more complex. A company will need to have a robust DevOps team to manage a full-fledged Kubernetes-based production system.


    My colleague, JJ Asghar summed it up nicely: “OpenShift provides creature comforts to talk to the Kubernetes “API”—at the same level of robustness—as long as you’re willing to use the opinions OpenShift brings.”

    The good news? Those opinions are tried and tested, enterprise-ready choices with the backing and support of Red Hat.

    So, what do Node.js developers need to know about OpenShift deployment? This blog post covers the “what” and “how” of deploying your Node.js application in an OpenShift environment.

  • Fedora Community Blog: Community Blog monthly update: March 2021

    In March, we published 21 posts. The site had 5,520 visits from 3,652 unique viewers. 888 visits came from search engines, while 450 came from the WordPress Android app, and 386 came from Twitter and 208 from Reddit.

  • How Red Hat data scientists use and contribute to Open Data Hub

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) drive much of the world around us, from the apps on our phones to electric cars on the highway. Allowing such things to run as accurately as possible takes huge amounts of data to be collected and understood. At the helm of that critical information are data scientists. So, what’s a day on the job look like for data scientists at Red Hat?

    Don Chesworth, Principal Data Scientist, gives you a glimpse into his day-to-day in a short video (aptly named "A Day in the Life of a Red Hat Data Scientist") that’s now available on our website. Isabel Zimmerman, Data Science Intern, provides a look at some of the tools she uses on the job in "Using Open Data Hub as a Red Hat Data Scientist." We’ll cover some of the highlights in this post.

  • IBM Brings COBOL Capabilities to the Linux on x86 Environment

    IBM has announced COBOL for Linux on x86 1.1, bringing IBM's COBOL compilation technologies and capabilities to the Linux on x86 environment.

    According to the IBM announcement, COBOL for Linux on x86 can help modernize, integrate, and manage existing applications, data, and skill sets to ease an organization’s transformation into a more flexible business. To connect business components with suppliers, partners, employees, and clients, and to position organizations to quickly take advantage of opportunities and respond to challenges in real time, COBOL for Linux on x86 can help meet these challenges and enable use of existing COBOL code while upgrading applications with the newest technologies.

  • <./ul>

today’s leftovers

  • SiFive RISC-V Proven in 5nm Silicon

    Today, I am pleased to see OpenFive, a SiFive business unit that is the leading provider of customizable, silicon-focused solutions with differentiated IP, is continuing to make progress with AI design solutions with the creation of a reference design chiplet architecture using OpenFive Die-to-Die interface, OpenFive HBM3 IP subsystem, and SiFive 7-Series processor IP, for 2.5D-based SoCs. More details on the full announcement can be found on OpenFive’s announcement here, but today I want to call out the SiFive milestone of our first RISC-V processor core in 5nm.

  • SiFive Tapes Out Their First 5nm RISC-V Processor Core

    SiFive's OpenFive business unit announced today they have completed their first tape out of a RISC-V processor core using TSMC's 5nm process.

    This 5nm RISC-V SoC will be for "advanced AI/HPC" solutions using a chiplet architecture with SiFive 7-Series processor IP and OpenFive HBM3 IP subsystem.

  • SUSE Update Infrastructure Setup Guide for Cloud Service Providers

    Not too long ago, my colleagues Jona Apelbaum (CSP Cloud Architect) and Mike Friesenegger (Solution Architect) published a new SUSE Best Practices document targeting Cloud Service Providers.

  • Netrunner 21.01 overview Promo #Shorts
  • 30 Years of Tux Earns You 30% Discount on all Linux Foundation Training Programs [Ed: They say "TUX turns 30" because they know GNU/Linux is 38 years old...]
  • Linux 5.13 To Allow For OpenBMC Development With A Lower-Cost ASRock Rack Motherboard - Phoronix

    The Linux Foundation's OpenBMC project to provide an open-source BMC firmware stack is quite exciting for freeing this low-level aspect of servers, but finding a supported motherboard that works well with OpenBMC can be a challenge at this stage. Fortunately, Linux 5.13 is set to support a lower-cost motherboard option in hopes of boosting OpenBMC development/usage.

    Queued into the SoC "for-next" Git tree is support for the baseboard management controller on the ASRock Rack E3C246D4I motherboard.

  • Blog: kube-state-metrics goes v2.0

    kube-state-metrics, a project under the Kubernetes organization, generates Prometheus format metrics based on the current state of the Kubernetes native resources. It does this by listening to the Kubernetes API and gathering information about resources and objects, e.g. Deployments, Pods, Services, and StatefulSets. A full list of resources is available in the documentation of kube-state-metrics.

  • Local Storage: Storage Capacity Tracking, Distributed Provisioning and Generic Ephemeral Volumes hit Beta

    The "generic ephemeral volumes" and "storage capacity tracking" features in Kubernetes are getting promoted to beta in Kubernetes 1.21. Together with the distributed provisioning support in the CSI external-provisioner, development and deployment of Container Storage Interface (CSI) drivers which manage storage locally on a node become a lot easier.

    This blog post explains how such drivers worked before and how these features can be used to make drivers simpler.


    The first problem is volume provisioning: it is handled through the Kubernetes control plane. Some component must react to PersistentVolumeClaims (PVCs) and create volumes. Usually, that is handled by a central deployment of the CSI external-provisioner and a CSI driver component that then connects to the storage backplane. But for local storage, there is no such backplane.

    TopoLVM solved this by having its different components communicate with each other through the Kubernetes API server by creating and reacting to custom resources. So although TopoLVM is based on CSI, a standard that is independent of a particular container orchestrator, TopoLVM only works on Kubernetes.

Programming Leftovers

  • Kushal Das: Workshop on writing Python modules in Rust April 2020

    I am conducting 2 repeat sessions for a workshop on "Writing Python modules in Rust".

    The first session is on 16th April, 1500 UTC onwards, and the repeat session will be on 18th April 0900 UTC. More details can be found in this issue.

  • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Brainstorming Async Rust's Shiny Future

    On March 18th, we announced the start of the Async Vision Doc process. Since then, we've landed 24 "status quo" stories and we have 4 more stories in open PRs; Ryan Levick and I have also hosted more than ten collaborative writing sessions over the course of the last few weeks, and we have more scheduled for this week.


    When writing "shiny future" stories, the goal is to focus on the experience of Rust's users first and foremost, and not so much on the specific technical details. In fact, you don't even have to know exactly how the experience will be achieved. We have a few years to figure that out, after all.

  • Using Web Assembly Written in Rust on the Server-Side

    WebAssembly allows you to write code in a low-level programming language such as Rust, that gets compiled into a transportable binary. That binary can then be run on the client-side in the WebAssembly virtual machine that is standard in today’s web browsers. Or, the binary can be used on the server-side, as a component consumed by another programming framework — such as Node.js or Deno.

    WebAssembly combines the efficiency inherent in low-level code programming with the ease of component transportability typically found in Linux containers. The result is a development paradigm specifically geared toward doing computationally intensive work at scale — for example, artificial intelligence and complex machine learning tasks.

  • Reimagining perl5-porters email list for 2021 and beyond

    Let's examine if in 2021 an email redistribution list, i.e. perl5-porters@ (p5p) is still the best model for collaborating on the perl language. This is a discussion so comment below!

  • Key Perl Core developer quits, says he was bullied for daring to suggest programming language contained 'cruft'

    On Monday, the Perl Core developer known as Sawyer X announced his intention to leave the three-person Perl Steering Committee, or Council, and the Perl Core group because of what he described as community hostility.

    Sawyer X, who became "pumpking" – manager of the core Perl 5 language – in 2016 when he took over that role from Ricardo Signes, explained his rationale for departing in a post to a Perl discussion list.

    "Due to the continuous abusive behavior by prominent Perl community members and just about anyone else who also feels entitled to harass me (and unfortunately, other Core developers), I am stepping down from the Steering Council, from the Perl security list, and from the Perl Core," Sawyer said, adding that he is stepping down from the Perl Foundation's Grants Committee and that he will not be speaking at or attending the next Perl conference.

  • 4 tips for context switching in Git

    Anyone who spends a lot of time working with Git will eventually need to do some form of context switching. Sometimes this adds very little overhead to your workflow, but other times, it can be a real pain.


    Like with most other Git commands, you need to be inside a repository when issuing this command. Once the worktrees are created, you have isolated work environments. The Git repository tracks where the worktrees live on disk. If Git hooks are already set up in the parent repository, they will also be available in the worktrees.

    Don't overlook that each worktree uses only a fraction of the parent repository's disk space. In this case, the worktree requires about one-third of the original's disk space. This can scale very well. Once your repositories are measured in the gigabytes, you'll really come to appreciate these savings.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppArmadillo on CRAN: New Upstream ‘Plus’

    Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 852 other packages on CRAN.

    This new release brings us the just release Armadillo 10.4.0. Upstream moves at a speed that is a little faster than the cadence CRAN likes. We release RcppArmadillo on March 9; and upstream 10.3.0 came out shortly thereafter. We aim to accomodate CRAN with (roughly) monthly (or less frequent) releases) so by the time we were ready 10.4.0 had just come out.

  • Qt Installer Framework 4.1 Released

    Qt Installer Framework (IFW) 4.1 has been released today. We have also released Qt Online Installer 4.1 and Qt Maintenance Tool 4.1, which now use the new IFW.

  • The Qt Company expands offering into quality assurance tools with acquisition of froglogic GmbH

    We are excited to announce that The Qt Company has acquired a long time Qt partner froglogic. froglogic GmbH is a global leader in the software test automation market, providing state-of-the-art solutions to enhance software quality in any industry context. They have been a cornerstone in the Qt ecosystem for a long time, and we are happy to join forces with them and welcome their team in Hamburg & globally joining the Qt team!

  • Qt Creator 4.15 RC1 released

    We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.15 RC1 !

    Please have a look at the Beta blog post and our change log for a summary of what is new and improved in Qt Creator 4.15.

  • 10 Essential Skills For DevOps Engineers To Have A Successful Career

    DevOps is a mixture of cultural philosophies, processes, and resources that improve an organization’s ability to produce high-volume applications and services. Evolving and raising products at a quicker pace is what DevOps does. Organizations’ ancient package development and infrastructure management processes are mainstream now. The speed provided by DevOps permits companies to serve their customers well and compete with other companies effectively in the market. However, to do well in DevOps’ competitive world, you need to have some special skills. These DevOps skills will help you to boost up your career and become successful in this field.

Security: SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release and More Patches

  • Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release Fixes Two Potentially Aggravating Bugs

    Apache SpamAssassin is a mature, widely-deployed open-source project that serves as a mail filter to identify spam. SpamAssassin leverages a combination of mail header and text analysis, Bayesian filtering, DNS blocklists, and collaborative filtering databases. SpamAssassin’s flexible modular architecture makes the framework compatible with a wide array of other technologies

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (screen), Debian (clamav, courier-authlib, and tomcat9), Red Hat (thunderbird), SUSE (clamav, glibc, kernel, open-iscsi, opensc, spamassassin, thunderbird, wpa_supplicant, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.6, nettle, and xorg-server, xorg-server-hwe-16.04, xorg-server-hwe-18.04).

9 Best Email Client Apps for Linux distros such as Ubuntu in 2021

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We already have instant chat applications to run in a browser, however, still, email is the indispensable medium of communication. And that’s why Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and other such services are so popular. However, the one thing that is common between most email service providers is they all provide a web-based client to let users use their services with the help of the internet and browser. Hence, you cannot surf your email offline until you are not using some Email client that fetches and store emails for offline view. Furthermore, organizations that are using their in-house or cloud-based mail server, their employees, or users also require mail client software to access emails such as Outlook and Thunderbird which are common ones.

Another thing why Email clients are still the best choice because when it comes to managing email across multiple accounts popular mail service provider’s webmail clients running in the browser usually only support a single email account and do not allow the management of mail accounts from other providers.

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Linux Foundation Copies Microsoft, Rebrands Marketing as "Research"

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Raspberry Pi CM3+ based gateway combines BACnet and LoRaWAN

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Innovelec’s “Dingo LoRaWAN BACnet” gateway runs a Linux-based Dingo stack on an RPi CM3+ and can control up to 2,000 LoRaWAN end nodes as virtual BACnet building control devices.

UK-based Innovelec has announced a Dingo LoRaWAN BACnet Advanced Gateway/Server that combines a LoRaWAN gateway with local I/O features compatible with the BACnet building automation standard. The 2-station gateway runs Innovelec’s BACnet-compatible Dingo Stack along with its Dingo Stack LoRaWAN Server software on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+. The gateway can integrate LoRaWAN equipped edge nodes into a BACnet network as virtual BACnet devices and supports applications ranging from building and campus management systems to smart agriculture to environmental monitoring.

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The Linux Setup – Göktuğ Kayaalp, Student

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Linux is my main operating system these days. My workstation computer has been running GNU/Linux almost uninterruptedly since 2012, save for a year I—quite happily—used FreeBSD as my main operating system. I originally started playing with Linux as a kid, mostly out of curiosity, but what captivated me and made me a permanent user was how free and open source systems were way more stable and configurable compared to other operating systems, and readily receptive of my (or anyone else’s, for that matter) peculiar use cases and workflows.

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Alpine 3.13.5, 3.10.9, 3.11.11 and 3.12.7

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  • Alpine 3.13.5 released

    The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.13.5 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

    This release includes a fix for apk-tools CVE-2021-30139.

  • Alpine 3.10.9, 3.11.11 and 3.12.7 released

    The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.10.9, 3.11.11 and 3.12.7 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

    Those releases include fixes for apk-tools CVE-2021-30139.

Stable Kernels: 5.11.14, 5.10.30, 5.4.112, and 4.19.187

I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.14 kernel.

All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
	git:// linux-5.11.y
and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


greg k-h

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Also: Linux 5.10.30

Linux 5.4.112

Linux 4.19.187

Games: Godot, Forgotten Fields, Victorian Clambake

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  • Release candidate: Godot 3.3 RC 9

    In case you missed the recent news, we decided to change our versioning for Godot 3.x and rename the upcoming version 3.2.4 to Godot 3.3, thereby starting a new stable branch. Check the dedicated blog post for details.

    Here's another Release Candidate for Godot 3.3! Keeping this post short as there wasn't much change, just a handful of fixes - refer to the 3.3 RC 7 post for details on new features.

    We're pretty confident about this candidate (Famous Last Words™) so if no new regression is found, the next build should hopefully be the stable release (yes, we said that for RC8 too)! If you haven't tried 3.3 RC builds yet, now would be a great time to do it to help us ensure everything upgrades smoothly from 3.2.3 to 3.3.

    As usual, you can try it live with the online version of the Godot editor updated for this release.

  • Relaxed narrative-adventure about a struggling writer Forgotten Fields is out now

    Forgotten Fields from Frostwood Interactive and Dino Digital, a casual and quite relaxing adventure about a struggling writer is out now with Linux support. In Forgotten Fields you assume the role of Sid, as you travel towards your childhood home to say goodbye and try to beat writers block at the same time while working against a deadline.

  • Shell Shuffle offers a different take on tile-matching from the dev of The Caribbean Sail | GamingOnLinux

    Victorian Clambake, developer of the clever The Caribbean Sail has recently released Shell Shuffle into Early Access. A tile-matching puzzle game that does things a little differently. Note: key provided by the developer.

    Like most similar matching puzzle games, the idea is to line up everything how you want it by moving things around. In Shell Shuffle though, you're not swapping two tiles. Instead, you're moving entire rows and columns to slot things into place to remove an entire line. When you wipe a line you get a pearl and if you wipe a line of pearls, you get given special power-ups.

Desktop Icons NG - Get some icons onto your Gnome desktop

Desktop Icons NG is a handy tool. It's versatile, it comes with a lot of nice options, and it allows people to be efficient. Compared to the original versions, it definitely has more features. A useful, even necessary addition to the Gnome desktop. Ironically, these various third-party bits and pieces actually help Gnome, because without them, I really would have zero reason in using it.

The extension can benefit from some small improvements, though. It would be nice to save the default layout, so if one changes too much, they can easily go back. Icons spacing is another feature. Icons sorting? Yes please. Finally, I wonder if this extension could allow the creation of new files (of any type) so it's aligned to what Files does, now that the desktop is a usable workspace. Anyway, not bad at all. I can't imagine Picard saying not bad at all, so instead here's a tug on the uniform and a gruff hmm. We're done. WARP 9.

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FSF India Defends RMS, Guix (RMS Foe) Adds Hardware Support

  • FSF India Board Statement

    The recent statement by some members of the wider free software and open source community to RMS re-joining the board of FSF as a member have led to some unnecessary friction in the community. Unfortunately many of the arguments made against him were based on misunderstanding and half truths. More dangerous is concerted attack on RMS vilifying him and trying to isolate him. FSF India condemns this action. There is no freedom more important than freedom of thought and expression.

    We welcome and encourage the efforts of FSF to improve their governance process and hope that the larger free software community will also support them in this process.

    FSF India is an independent and autonomous non-profit organisation. It continues to stand and work for the cause of free software. It is committed to making all its forums and programs inclusive and promoting diversity while standing firm on the ideals set out by the GNU project.

  • FSF India Board Statement On RMS Re-joining The FSF Board

    The Free Software Foundation of India has released a statement in support of Richard Stallman and his return to the FSF's board. They call the recent attempts at vilifying Richard Stallman "dangerous".

  • GNU Guix: New Supported Platform: powerpc64le-linux

    This is important because it means that GNU Guix now works on the Talos II, Talos II Lite, and Blackbird mainboards sold by Raptor Computing Systems. This modern, performant hardware uses IBM POWER9 processors, and it is designed to respect your freedom. The Talos II and Talos II Lite have recently received Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification from the FSF, and Raptor Computing Systems is currently pursuing RYF certification for the more affordable Blackbird, too. All of this hardware can run without any non-free code, even the bootloader and firmware. In other words, this is a freedom-friendly hardware platform that aligns well with GNU Guix's commitment to software freedom.

    How is this any different from existing RYF hardware, you might ask? One reason is performance. The existing RYF laptops, mainboards, and workstations can only really be used with Intel Core Duo or AMD Opteron processors. Those processors were released over 15 years ago. Since then, processor performance has increased drastically. People should not have to choose between performance and freedom, but for many years that is exactly what we were forced to do. However, the POWER9 machines sold by Raptor Computing Systems have changed this: the free software community now has an RYF-certified option that can compete with the performance of modern Intel and AMD systems.

    Although the performance of POWER9 processors is competitive with modern Intel and AMD processors, the real advantage of the Talos II, Talos II Lite, and Blackbird is that they were designed from the start to respect your freedom. Modern processors from both Intel and AMD include back doors over which you are given no control. Even though the back doors can be removed with significant effort on older hardware in some cases, this is an obstacle that nobody should have to overcome just to control their own computer. Many of the existing RYF-certified options (e.g., the venerable Lenovo x200) use hardware that can only be considered RYF-certified after someone has gone through the extra effort of removing those back doors. No such obstacles exist when using the Talos II, Talos II Lite, or Blackbird. In fact, although Intel and AMD both go out of their way to keep you from understanding what is going on in your own computer, Raptor Computing Systems releases all of the software and firmware used in their boards as free software. They even include circuit diagrams when they ship you the machine!

    Compared to the existing options, the Talos II, Talos II Lite, and Blackbird are a breath of fresh air that the free software community really deserves. Raptor Computing Systems' commitment to software freedom and owner control is an inspiring reminder that it is possible to ship a great product while still respecting the freedom of your customers. And going forward, the future looks bright for the open, royalty-free Power ISA stewarded by the OpenPOWER Foundation, which is now a Linux Foundation project (see also: the same announcement from the OpenPOWER Foundation.

    In the rest of this blog post, we will discuss the steps we took to port Guix to powerpc64le-linux, the issues we encountered, and the steps we can take going forward to further solidify support for this exciting new platform.


    Very early in the porting process, there were some other problems that stymied our work.

    First, we actually thought we would try to port to powerpc64-linux (big-endian). However, this did not prove to be any easier than the little-endian port. In addition, other distributions (e.g., Debian and Fedora) have recently dropped their big-endian powerpc64 ports, so the little-endian variant is more likely to be tested and supported in the community. For these reasons, we decided to focus our efforts on the little-endian variant, and so far we haven't looked back.

    In both the big-endian and little-endian case, we were saddened to discover that the bootstrap binaries are not entirely reproducible. This fact is documented in bug 41669, along with our extensive investigations.

    In short, if you build the bootstrap binaries on two separate machines without using any substitutes, you will find that the derivation which cross-compiles %gcc-static (the bootstrap GCC, version 5.5.0) produces different output on the two systems. However, if you build %gcc-static twice on the same system, it builds reproducibly. This suggests that something in the transitive closure of inputs of %gcc-static is perhaps contributing to its non-reproducibility.

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