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Kernel: LWN's Latest (SACK etc.) and Phoronix on Saitek R440 Force Racing Wheel Support Coming to Linux

Filed under
Linux
  • The TCP SACK panic

    Selective acknowledgment (SACK) is a technique used by TCP to help alleviate congestion that can arise due to the retransmission of dropped packets. It allows the endpoints to describe which pieces of the data they have received, so that only the missing pieces need to be retransmitted. However, a bug was recently found in the Linux implementation of SACK that allows remote attackers to panic the system by sending crafted SACK information.

    Data sent via TCP is broken up into multiple segments based on the maximum segment size (MSS) specified by the other endpoint—or some other network hardware in the path it traversed. Those segments are transmitted to that endpoint, which acknowledges that it has received them. Originally, those acknowledgments (ACKs) could only indicate that it had received segments up to the first gap; so if one early segment was lost (e.g. dropped due to congestion), the endpoint could only ACK those up to the lost one. The originating endpoint would have to retransmit many segments that had actually been received in order to ensure the data gets there; the status of the later segments is unknown, so they have to be resent.

    In simplified form, sender A might send segments 20-50, with segments 23 and 37 getting dropped along the way. Receiver B can only ACK segments 20-22, so A must send 23-50 again. As might be guessed, if the link is congested such that segments are being dropped, sending a bunch of potentially redundant traffic is not going to help things.

  • Short waits with umwait

    If a user-space process needs to wait for some event to happen, there is a whole range of mechanisms provided by the kernel to make that easy. But calling into the kernel tends not to work well for the shortest of waits — those measured in small numbers of microseconds. For delays of this magnitude, developers often resort to busy loops, which have a much smaller potential for turning a small delay into a larger one. Needless to say, busy waiting has its own disadvantages, so Intel has come up with a set of instructions to support short delays. A patch set from Fenghua Yu to support these instructions is currently working its way through the review process.

    The problem with busy waiting, of course, is that it occupies the processor with work that is even more useless than cryptocoin mining. It generates heat and uses power to no useful end. On hyperthreaded CPUs, a busy-waiting process could prevent the sibling thread from running and doing something of actual value. For all of these reasons, it would be a lot nicer to ask the CPU to simply wait for a brief period until something interesting happens.

    To that end, Intel is providing three new instructions. umonitor provides an address and a size to the CPU, informing it that the currently running application is interested in any writes to that range of memory. A umwait instruction tells the processor to stop executing until such a write occurs; the CPU is free to go into a low-power state or switch to a hyperthreaded sibling during that time. This instruction provides a timeout value in a pair of registers; the CPU will only wait until the timestamp counter (TSC) value exceeds the given timeout value. For code that is only interested in the timeout aspect, the tpause instruction will stop execution without monitoring any addresses.

  • Dueling memory-management performance regressions

    The 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit included a detailed discussion about a memory-management fix that addressed one performance regression while causing another. That fix, which was promptly reverted, is still believed by most memory-management developers to implement the correct behavior, so a patch posted by Andrea Arcangeli in early May has relatively broad support. That patch remains unapplied as of this writing, but the discussion surrounding it has continued at a slow pace over the last month. Memory-management subsystem maintainer Andrew Morton is faced with a choice: which performance regression is more important?

    The behavior in question relates to the intersection of transparent huge pages and NUMA policy. Ever since this commit from Aneesh Kumar in 2015, the kernel will, for memory areas where madvise(MADV_HUGEPAGE) has been called, attempt to allocate huge pages exclusively on the current NUMA node. It turns out that the kernel will try so hard that it will go into aggressive reclaim and compaction on that node, forcing out other pages, even if free memory exists on other nodes in the system. In essence, enabling transparent huge pages for a range of memory has become an equivalent to binding that memory to a single NUMA node. The result, as observed by many, can be severe swap storms and a dramatic loss of performance.

    In an attempt to fix this problem, Arcangeli applied a patch in November 2018 that loosened the tight binding to the current node. But, it turned out, some workloads want that binding behavior. Local huge pages will perform better than huge pages on a remote node; even local small pages tend to be better than remote huge pages. For some tasks, the performance penalty for using remote pages is high enough that it is worth going to great lengths — even enduring a swap storm at application startup — to avoid it. No such workload has been publicly posted, but the patch was reverted by David Rientjes in December after a huge discussion.

  • Rebasing and merging in kernel repositories

    What follows is a kernel document I have been working on for the last month in the hope of reducing the number of subsystem maintainers who run into trouble during the merge window. If all goes according to plan, this text will show up in 5.3 as Documentation/maintainer/rebasing-and-merging.txt. On the off chance that some potentially interested readers might not be monitoring additions to the nascent kernel maintainer's handbook, I'm publishing the text here as well.
    Maintaining a subsystem, as a general rule, requires a familiarity with the Git source-code management system. Git is a powerful tool with a lot of features; as is often the case with such tools, there are right and wrong ways to use those features. This document looks in particular at the use of rebasing and merging. Maintainers often get in trouble when they use those tools incorrectly, but avoiding problems is not actually all that hard.

    One thing to be aware of in general is that, unlike many other projects, the kernel community is not scared by seeing merge commits in its development history. Indeed, given the scale of the project, avoiding merges would be nearly impossible. Some problems encountered by maintainers result from a desire to avoid merges, while others come from merging a little too often.

  • Years Late But Saitek R440 Force Racing Wheel Support Is On The Way For Linux

    If you happen to have a Saitek R440 Force Wheel or looking to purchase a cheap and used racing wheel for enjoying the various Linux racing game ports or even the number of games working under Steam Play like F1 2018 and DiRT Rally 2.0, Linux support is on the way.

    The Saitek R440 Force Wheel can still be found from the likes of eBay for those wanting a cheap/used PC game racing wheel. Now coming soon to the Linux kernel is support for this once popular gaming wheel -- which was originally released back in 2004. The Linux kernel patch originally adding the Saitek R440 was sent last year only to be resent out recently in an attempt for mainline acceptance.

More frequent Python releases?

Filed under
Development

Python has followed an 18-month release cycle for many years now; each new 3.x release comes at that frequency. It has worked well, overall, but there is interest in having a shorter cycle, which would mean that new features get into users' hands more quickly. But changing that longstanding cycle has implications in many different places, some of which have come up as part of a discussion on switching to a cycle of a different length.

Łukasz Langa, who is the release manager for the upcoming 3.8 release, as well as the manager for the date-to-be-determined release of 3.9, has proposed PEP 596 ("Python 3.9 Release Schedule (doubling the release cadence)"). As its name would imply, the PEP proposes halving the current release cycle to nine months, which would make the 3.9 release happen in June 2020. As described in PEP 569 ("Python 3.8 Release Schedule"), the Python 3.8 release is slated for October of this year; it is in beta at this point, so no new features can be added. The beta release also marks the start of development for the next release, so work on 3.9 has already begun. With that overlap, a nine-month cycle would actually allow seven or eight months for feature development and four or five months for shaking out the bugs from the first beta release on.

Read more

Also: 7 Python Function Examples with Parameters, Return and Data Types

CNCF outlines its technical oversight goals

Filed under
Linux
Server

At KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2019 there was a public meeting of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Technical Oversight Committee (TOC); its members outlined the current state of the CNCF and where things are headed. What emerged was a picture of how the CNCF's governance is evolving as it brings in more projects, launches a new special interest group mechanism, and contemplates what to do with projects that go dormant.

The CNCF has several levels in its organizational structure with the Governing Board handling the overall operation, budget, and finances, while the TOC handles the technical vision and direction, as well as approving new project additions. Though the TOC currently acts as a sort of gatekeeper for admitting projects into the CNCF, there is more that TOC member Joe Beda, the developer who made the first commit to Kubernetes, said can be done. "The TOC helps to decide which projects come in, but I think we could do an expanded role to actually make sure that we're serving those projects better and that we're creating a great value proposition for projects, so that it's a really great two-way street between the CNCF and the projects to really build some sustainability," he said.

Jeff Brewer had a different perspective on how the TOC can help projects, based on his role, which is as an end user of CNCF projects. He is excited about the fact that end users of Kubernetes are talking with one another and helping to bring a customer focus to the TOC. By having that focus, the TOC can help to ensure that the projects it takes in aren't just cool projects that nobody actually uses, but rather are efforts that have practical utility. "We have over 80 end-user organization members and we look for them to really help us lead the way with the technical direction of the CNCF," he said.

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Servers: SUSE, Ubuntu, Red Hat, OpenStack and Raspberry Digital Sigange

Filed under
Red Hat
Server
SUSE
Ubuntu
  • A Native Kubernetes Operator Tailored for Cloud Foundry

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit in Philadephia, Troy Topnik of SUSE and Enrique Encalada of IBM discussed the progress being made on cf-operator, a project that’s part of the CF Containerization proposal. They show what the operator can do and how Cloud Foundry deployments can be managed with it. They also delve deeper, and talk about implementation techniques, Kubernetes Controllers and Custom Resources. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Cloud Foundry can work flawlessly on top of Kubernetes.

    Cloud Foundry Foundation has posted all recorded talks form CF Summit on YouTube. Check them out if you want to learn more about what is happening in the Cloud Foundry world! I’ll be posting more SUSE Cloud Application Platform talks here over the coming days. Watch Troy and Enrique’s talk below:

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 26 June 2019

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list or visit the Ubuntu Server discourse hub for more discussion.

  • Redefining RHEL: Introduction to Red Hat Insights

    At Red Hat Summit we redefined what is included in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription, and part of that is announcing that every RHEL subscription will include Red Hat Insights. The Insights team is very excited about this, and we wanted to take an opportunity to expand on what this means to you, and to share some of the basics of Red Hat Insights.

    We wanted to make RHEL easier than ever to adopt, and give our customers the control, confidence and freedom to help scale their environments through intelligent management. Insights is an important component in giving organizations the ability to predict, prevent, and remediate problems before they occur.

  • Red Hat Shares ― Special edition: Red Hat Summit recap
  • OpenShift Commons Briefing: OKD4 Release and Road Map Update with Clayton Coleman (Red Hat)

    In this briefing, Red Hat’s Clayton Coleman, Lead Architect, Containerized Application Infrastructure (OpenShift, Atomic, and Kubernetes) leads a discussion about the current development efforts for OKD4, Fedora CoreOS and Kubernetes in general as well as the philosophy guiding OKD 4 develpoment efforts. The briefing includes discussion of shared community goals for OKD4 and beyond and Q/A with some of the engineers currently working on OKD.
    The proposed goal/vision for OKD 4 is to be the perfect Kubernetes distribution for those who want to continuously be on the latest Kubernetes and ecosystem components combining an up-to-date OS, the Kubernetes control plane, and a large number of ecosystem operators to provide an easy-to-extend distribution of Kubernetes that is always on the latest released version of ecosystem tools.

  • OpenStack Foundation Joins Open Source Initiative as Affiliate Member

    The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), steward of the Open Source Definition and internationally recognized body for approving Open Source Software licenses, today announces the affiliate membership of The OpenStack Foundation (OSF).

    Since 2012, the OSF has been the home for the OpenStack cloud software project, working to promote the global development, distribution and adoption of open infrastructure. Today, with five active projects and more than 100,000 community members from 187 countries, the OSF is recognized across industries as both a leader in open source development and an exemplar in open source practices.

    The affiliate membership provides both organizations a unique opportunity to work together to identify and share resources that foster community and facilitate collaboration to support the awareness and integration of open source technologies. While Open Source Software is now embraced and often touted by organizations large and small, for many just engaging with the community—and even some longtime participants—challenges remain. Community-based support and resources remain vital, ensuring those new to the ecosystem understand the norms and expectations, while those seeking to differentiate themselves remain authentically engaged. The combined efforts of the OSI and the OSF will compliment one another and contribute to these efforts.

  • Raspberry Digital Sigange details

    system starts in digital signage mode with the saved settings; the admin interface is always displayed after the machine bootstrap (interface can be password-protected in the donors’ build) and if not used for a few seconds, it will auto-launch the kiosk mode; the web interface can be also used remotely;

    SSH remote management is available: you can login as pi or root user with the same password set for the admin interface. Operating system can be completely customized by the administrator using this feature (donors version only);
    screen can be rotated via the graphical admin interface: normal, inverted, left, right (donors version only);

OSS: Databases Microconference, Overview of SELF 2019, Linux Security Summit North America, EuroPython

Filed under
OSS
  • Databases Microconference Accepted into 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Databases Microconference has been accepted into the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference! Linux plumbing is heavily important to those who implement databases and their users who expect fast and durable data handling.

    Durability is a promise never to lose data after advising a user of a successful update, even in the face of power loss. It requires a full-stack solution from the application to the database, then to Linux (filesystem, VFS, block interface, driver), and on to the hardware.

    Fast means getting a database user a response in less that tens of milliseconds, which requires that Linux filesystems, memory and CPU management, and the networking stack do everything with the utmost effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Ten Years of "Linux in the GNU/South": an Overview of SELF 2019

    The tenth annual SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) was held on the weekend of June 14–16 at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. Still running strong, SELF serves partially as a replacement for the Atlanta Linux Showcase, a former conference for all things Linux in the southeastern United States. Since 2009, the conference has provided a venue for those living in the southeastern United States to come and listen to talks by speakers who all share a passion for using Linux-based operating systems and free and open-source software (FOSS). Although some of my praises of the conference are not exclusive to SELF, the presence of such a conference in the "GNU/South" has the long-term potential to have a significant effect on the Linux and FOSS community.

    Despite facing several challenges along the way, SELF's current success is the result of what is now ten years of hard work by the conference organizers, who currently are led by Jeremy Sands, one of the founding members of the conference. Scanning through the materials for SELF 2019, however, there is no mention that this year's conference marked a decade of "Linux in the GNU/South". It actually wasn't until the conference already was over that I realized this marked SELF's decennial anniversary. I initially asked myself why this wasn't front and center on event advertisements, but looking back on SELF, neglecting questions such as "how long have we been going?" and instead focusing on "what is going on now?" and "where do we go from here?" speaks to the admirable spirit and focus of the conference and its attendees. This focus on the content of SELF rather than SELF itself shows the true passion for the Linux community rather than any particular organization or institution that benefits off the community.

    Another element worthy of praise is SELF's "all are welcome" atmosphere. Whether attendees were met with feelings of excitement to return to an event they waited 362 days for or a sense of apprehension as they stepped down the L-shaped hall of conference rooms for the first time, it took little time for the contagious, positive energy to take its effect. People of all ages and all skill levels could be seen intermingling and enthusiastically inviting anybody who was willing into their conversations and activities. The conference talks, which took all kinds of approaches to thinking about and using Linux, proved that everybody is welcome to attend and participate at the event.

  • Linux Security Summit North America 2019: Schedule Published

    This year, there are some changes to the format of LSS-NA. The summit runs for three days instead of two, which allows us to relax the schedule somewhat while also adding new session types. In addition to refereed talks, short topics, BoF sessions, and subsystem updates, there are now also tutorials (one each day), unconference sessions, and lightning talks.

  • EuroPython 2019: Mobile Conference App available
  • Invitation to the EuroPython Society General Assembly 2019

    We would like to invite all EuroPython attendees and EuroPython Society (EPS) members to attend this year’s EPS General Assembly (GA), which we will run as in-person meeting at the upcoming EuroPython 2019, held in Basel, Switzerland from July 8 - 14.

LibreOffice: “Tip-Of-The-Day” (Design), LibreOffice Quality Assurance and LibreOffice Appliances

Filed under
LibO
  • Easyhacking: How to create a new “Tip-Of-The-Day” dialog

    LibreOffice is an application with a large number of expert features, and though aimed to be easy to use there are always surprising shortcuts to achieve a goal. We post every day a tip on Twitter, and with the upcoming release 6.3 there will be also a tip-of-the-day messagebox when you start the program. This post aims to show how such a simple messagebox can be implemented (the complete patch is here).

  • bibisect-win64-6.4 is available for cloning!

    The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce the bisect repository from libreoffice-6-3-branch-point to latest master for Windows is available for cloning at Gerrit. As a novelty, it’s the first time the bisect repository for Windows is built for 64 bits instead of 32 as in previous repositories. Future repositories will be built for 64 bits as well.

  • LibreOffice Appliances project (GSoC 2019)

    So I finally managed to build LibreOffice for armv7 and I have LibreOfficeDev on my TV screen right now. There’s a link to build instructions above and I’ll update it with the autogen flags I used. They’re somewhat arbitrary but yeah.

Andy Wingo: fibs, lies, and benchmarks

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

I collected these numbers on my i7-7500U CPU @ 2.70GHz 2-core laptop, with no particular performance tuning, running each benchmark 10 times, waiting 2 seconds between measurements. The bar value indicates the median elapsed time, and above each bar is an overlayed histogram of all results for that scenario. Note that the y axis is on a log scale. The 2.9.3* version corresponds to unreleased Guile from git.

Good news: Guile has been getting significantly faster over time! Over decades, true, but I'm pleased.

where are we? static edition

How good are Guile's numbers on an absolute level? It's hard to say because there's no absolute performance oracle out there. However there are relative performance oracles, so we can try out perhaps some other language implementations.

First up would be the industrial C compilers, GCC and LLVM. We can throw in a few more "static" language implementations as well: compilers that completely translate to machine code ahead-of-time, with no type feedback, and a minimal run-time.

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21 Best Free Linux Financial Software (Updated 2019)

Filed under
Software

We have all read stories about people who have experimented living without spending any money whatsoever. By growing their own food, washing in the river, using a solar panel to provide electricity, and bartering for certain goods and services, these adventures have met with limited success. However, for us mere mortals the simple fact is that we need money. Money to buy food, to purchase clothes, to pay our bills, as well as indulging in our other infinite wants and desires.

While it can be a struggle to make ends meet, it is possible to make life easier through better money management. Financial management is about planning income and expenditure and making informed decisions that enable you to survive financially. With austerity still with us, it’s even more important to look after your finances, if only to make sure there are no nasty surprises when you receive your next bank statement.

Linux offers a number of really good financial applications that are more than capable of handling both personal and small-business accounting operations. We feature the finest personal finance software.

We also recommend software that helps individuals keep track of stock market movements, analyze the markets, and identify stock worth buying.

There’s software for organizations with excellent open source business software, a couple of Bitcoin clients, and a calculator.

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4G-equipped dual dashcam can tap into telematics

Filed under
Linux

The VIA Mobile360 D700 Drive Recorder is a fleet management dashcam system with interior and exterior HD cameras, CANBus telematics monitoring, 4G, and GPS that runs Linux on a dual -A53 Novatek NT96685T.

VIA Technologies has launched a Linux-driven camera and telematics system for fleet management that joins other Mobile360 branded systems such as its Android-based VIA Mobile360 Surround View Sample Kit. While the Surround View system has four cameras, a 7-inch touchscreen, ruggedization features, and optional ADAS, the new VIA Mobile360 D700 Drive Recorder is a smaller, simpler affair with dual cameras and a dashcam form factor. The system “enables fleet operators to achieve greater asset efficiency, reduce operational costs, and improve driver safety,” says VIA.

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5 of the Best Linux Distros for Beginners

Filed under
GNU
Linux

If you’re considering giving Linux a try, you might be put off by the risk of a steep learning curve. Not every Linux distro is as hard to get your head around as Arch, however. A number of Linux distros are perfectly well-suited to beginners.

Let’s take a closer look at five ideal Linux distros for beginners taking their first steps into the Linux world.

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Debian: Debian Installer Buster RC 2, Matrix, Hackerspace and DPL Sam Hartman

Filed under
Debian
  • Debian Installer Buster RC2 Released

    With Debian 10 "Buster" aiming to be released in early July, a second release candidate of the Debian Installer has been made available.

  • Debian Installer Buster RC 2 release

    The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the second release candidate of the installer for Debian 10 "Buster".

  • June 2019 Matrix on Debian update

    Unfortunately, the recently published Synapse 1.0 didn’t make it into Debian Buster, which is due to be released next week, so if you install 0.99.2 from Buster, you need to update to a newer version which will be available from backports shortly after the release.

    Originally, 0.99 was meant to be the last version before 1.0, but due to a bunch of issues discovered since then, some of them security-related, new incompatible room format was introduced in 0.99.5. This means 0.99.2 currently in Debian Buster is going to only see limited usefulness, since rooms are being upgraded to the new format as 1.0 is being deployed across the network.

    For those of you running forever unstable Sid, good news: Synapse 1.0 is now available in unstable! ACME support has not yet been enabled, since it requires a few packages not yet in Debian (they’re currently in the NEW queue). We hope it will be available soon after Buster is released.

  • Support your local Hackerspace

    My first Hackerspace was Noisebridge. It was full of smart and interesting people and I never felt like I belonged, but I had just moved to San Francisco and it had interesting events, like 5MoF, and provided access to basic stuff I hadn’t moved with me, like a soldering iron. While I was never a heavy user of the space I very much appreciated its presence, and availability even to non-members. People were generally welcoming, it was a well stocked space and there was always something going on.

    These days my local hackerspace is Farset Labs. I don’t have a need for tooling in the same way, being lucky enough to have space at home and access to all the things I didn’t move to the US, but it’s still a space full of smart and interesting people that has interesting events. And mostly that’s how I make use of the space - I attend events there. It’s one of many venues in Belfast that are part of the regular Meetup scene, and for a while I was just another meetup attendee. A couple of things changed the way I looked at. Firstly, for whatever reason, I have more of a sense of belonging. It could be because the tech scene in Belfast is small enough that you’ll bump into the same people at wildly different events, but I think that’s true of the tech scene in most places. Secondly, I had the realisation (and this is obvious once you say it, but still) that Farset was the only non-commercial venue that was hosting these events. It’s predominantly funded by members fees; it’s not getting Invest NI or government subsidies (though I believe Weavers Court is a pretty supportive landlord).

  • Sam Hartman: AH/DAM/DPL Meet Up

    All the members of the Antiharassment team met with the Debian Account Managers and the DPL in that other Cambridge— the one with proper behaviour, not the one where pounds are weight and not money.

    I was nervous. I was not part of decision making earlier this year around code of conduct issues. I was worried that my concerns would be taken as insensitive judgment applied by someone who wasn’t there.

    I was worried about whether I would find my values aligned with the others. I care about treating people with respect. I also care about freedom of expression. I value a lot of feminist principles and fighting oppression. Yet I’m happy with my masculinity. I acknowledge my privilege and have some understanding of the inequities in the world. Yet I find some arguments based on privilege problematic and find almost all uses of the phrase “check your privilege” to be dismissive and to deny any attempt at building empathy and understanding.

    And Joerg was there. He can be amazingly compassionate and helpful. He can also be gruff at times. He values brevity, which I’m not good at. I was bracing myself for a sharp, brief, gruff rebuke delivered in response to my feedback. I know there would be something compassionate under such a rebuke, but it might take work to find.

Graphics: GNOME Meets Panfrost, Rob Clark, and More on Radeon Navi

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • GNOME meets Panfrost
  • GNOME Meets Panfrost

    Bring-up of GNOME required improving the driver’s robustness and performance, focused on Mali’s tiled architecture. Typically found in mobile devices, tiling GPU architectures divide the screen into many small tiles, like a kitchen floor, rendering each tile separately. This allows for unique optimizations but also poses unique challenges.

    One natural question is: how big should tiles be? If the tiles are too big, there’s no point to tiling, but if the tiles are too small, the GPU will repeat unnecessary work. Mali offers a hybrid answer: allow lots of different sizes! Mali’s technique of “hierarchical tiling” allows the GPU to use tiles as small as 16x16 pixels all the way up to 2048x2048 pixels. This “sliding scale” allows different types of content to be optimized in different ways. The tiling needs of a 3D game like SuperTuxKart are different from those of a user interface like GNOME Shell, so this technique gets us the best of both worlds!

    Although primarily handled in hardware, hierarchical tiling is configured by the driver; I researched this configuration mechanism in order to understand it and improve our configuration with respect to performance and memory usage.

    Tiled architectures additionally present an optimization opportunity: if the driver can figure out a priori which 16x16 tiles will definitely not change, those tiles can be culled from rendering entirely, saving both read and write bandwidth. As a conceptual example, if the GPU composites your entire desktop while you’re writing an email, there’s no need to re-render your web browser in the other window, since that hasn’t changed. I implemented an initial version of this optimization in Panfrost, accumulating the scissor state across draws within a frame, rendering only to the largest bounding box of the scissors. This optimization is particularly helpful for desktop composition, ideally improving performance on workloads like GNOME, Sway, and Weston.

  • MSM DRM Adding Snapdragon 835 / Adreno 540 Support In Linux 5.3

    Freedreno founder Rob Clark, who is now employed by Google to work on open-source graphics, has sent in the batch of MSM Direct Rendering Manager driver changes to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.3 kernel cycle. 

    Notable to this feature update is Adreno 540 / Snapdragon 835 support. The Snapdragon 835 has been out since 2016 and has also been found in some of the Snapdragon laptops. The Adreno 540 supports Vulkan 1.1, OpenGL ES 3.2, and its quad-core GPU runs at 710/670MHz with 512 ALUs, 16 TMUs, and 12 ROPs. 

  • Radeon Navi Support Pending For RadeonSI OpenGL Driver With 47k Line Worth Of Changes

    Last week AMD posted more than 400 patches providing the AMD Navi support within their AMDGPU DRM kernel driver while this week has brought dozens of patches amounting to 4,293 lines as a patch for their RadeonSI Gallium3D driver in order to provide OpenGL support on these next-gen GPUs being introduced next month as the Radeon RX 5700 series. 

    Well known AMD open-source developer Marek Olšák posted the Mesa patches yesterday for providing this initial Navi (10) support to Mesa. As is the case, AMD's Navi enablement is focused on the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver and not the unofficial/community driven RADV Radeon Vulkan driver also within Mesa. The RADV Navi support will be left up to those "community" contributors from the likes of Red Hat, Google, and yes the independent community members. 

Security: Updates, Devices With Default Credentials and Open Ports, Regulatory Compliance and Red Hat Security and More

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • This Malware Created By A 14-Yr-Old Is Bricking Thousands Of Devices [Ed: "It's targeting any Unix-like system with default login credentials," the original source says.]

    A new malware called Silex is on its way to brick thousands of IoT devices. The malware has been developed by a 14-year old teenager known by the pseudonym Light Leafon. The malware strain is inspired by the infamous malware called BrickerBot, which is notorious for bricking millions of IoT devices way back in 2017.

  • New Silex malware is bricking IoT devices, has scary plans
  • Regulatory Compliance and Red Hat Security

    In today’s interconnected world, data security has never been more important. Virtually every industry, from healthcare to banking and everything in between, has rules for how businesses handle data. Failure to meet regulatory compliance spells serious trouble for your business. Depending on the severity of the infraction, you could end up with fines, loss of reputation/revenue, or jail time.

    Fortunately, these consequences are avoidable with a few proactive steps. By training your IT staff to keep your systems secure, you can prevent harmful or costly data breaches.

  • Using Quay.io to find vulnerabilities in your container images

    You’ve created a container image that has all the packages that you and your team need to do something useful, or maybe you’ve built a public image that anybody can use. But, what if that image contains packages with known security vulnerabilities? Regardless of the severity of those vulnerabilities, you’ll want to learn more and take steps to mitigate them as soon as possible.

    Fortunately, your team uses Quay.io* as your registry. When you push an image to Quay.io, it automatically runs a security scan against that image.

Valve release an official statement about the future of Linux support, they "remain committed" to Linux gaming

Filed under
Gaming

After the recent upset caused by Canonical's plan to drop 32bit support in Ubuntu, then to turn around and change their plan due to the uproar caused by it, Valve now have a full statement out about their future support of Linux gaming.

Firstly, to get it out of the way, there's nothing to worry about here. Valve said they "remain committed to supporting Linux as a gaming platform", they're also "continuing to drive numerous driver and feature development efforts that we expect will help improve the gaming and desktop experience across all distributions" which they plan to talk more about later.

On the subject of Canonical's newer plan for Ubuntu 19.10 and onwards in regards to 32bit support, Valve said they're "not particularly excited about the removal of any existing functionality, but such a change to the plan is extremely welcome" and that it "seems likely that we will be able to continue to officially support Steam on Ubuntu".

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Also: Steam Play updated as Proton 4.2-8 is out, DXVK also sees a new release with 1.2.3

Audio and Video: TLLTS, FLOSS Weekly, ArchBang, Ubuntu and Dirk Hohndel

Filed under
Interviews

Programming: GCC, Rust, Python and More

Filed under
Development
  • The Effort To Parallelize GCC With Threads Is Starting To Take Shape

    Back in April we wrote about a proposal for providing better parallelization within GCC itself to address use-cases such as very large source files. That effort was accepted as part of this year's Google Summer of Code and the student developer pursing this parallelization with threads has issued his first progress report.

    Giuliano Belinassi is the student developer working on parallelizing GCC with threads for GSoC 2019. He has been refactoring code needed to make this effort work out and so far is on track with his planned objectives for the period.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 292

    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

  • Developer-led Sales for Startups

    This blog post contains the slides along with a loose transcript from my talk on the promises and perils of developer-led sales as an early-stage company strategy for acquiring customers.

    I gave this talk remotely to Ubiquity.VC portfolio company founders and the Extended Team on June 26, 2019.

  • Logistic Regression In Python | Python For Data Science

    Logistic regression in Python is a predictive analysis technique. It is also used in Machine Learning for binary classification problems. In this blog we will go through the following topics to understand logistic regression in Python...

  • Programming language Python's 'existential threat' is app distribution: Is this the answer?

    Python might soon be the most popular programming language in the world, but it does have a weakness: there's no easy way to distribute Python apps as a simple executable or a program that people can run on their computers without knowing anything about Python.

    Szorc, who's been improving Firefox and Mozilla tools for the past decade, may have solved this distribution problem, which Australian programmer Russell Keith-Magee recently described as Python's potential "black swan" – a theory built around the idea that the realization of completely unexpected and extreme events can have an outsized impact on the future, yet seem obvious in hindsight.

    Besides the actual black swan discovered in Western Australia in the 17th century, the PC's popularity supposedly was not predicted by IBM's CEO in the 1940s, making it one too.

  • Episode #136: A Python kernel rather than cleaning the batteries?
  • Python is still not there yet

    I have been blogging about Python programming language for a while since 2017, the reason which I continue to write about this programing language is due to the popularity of this language in the programming languages world! At the moment Python is ranked mostly in the top three positions beginning at 2019 at both TIOBE Index and The PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language Index. Those impressive statistic figures from the above sites certainly suggest that Python is already the world number 1, and indeed there are a few reasons that will further solidify that claim. 1) The uncertainty of Java, which now requires the Java developer to pay for using the Java programming language. My Java knowledge has been stopped at Java 7 and goes no further than that because I simply can?t afford to pay such an expensive amount of fees just to use Java to create a free application or game for the computer users. Recently I have started to pick up Kotlin which is based on Java just in case I can?t use Java to develop Android application anymore without paying a fee in the future, but will Java ask for the fee from the Kotlin developer in the future as well? I have a feeling that the Android OS will see more issues in the near future. 2) The future of the C series languages depends on the windows application developer as well as the game developer. Just like Java, C type of programming language can run in all OS, ranging from Linux to Mac to Windows. But I have spotted 2 problems for series C, 1) for a game developer who uses the famous game engines such as Unity or Unreal, it will usually take a very long time to compile his c# or c++ programming code even with just a small changes, for those of you who have used C# to develop your Unity game before, how long will it takes for the Unity engine to recompile the C# code even just for a very small changes in your game code before you can see your game in action? After a few times using Unity to develop the game, I have now switched to Godot where the compile time is indeed very fast as compared to Unity. 2) pointer is not a good idea in c++, even the experienced programmer will make a silly mistake by pointing a variable to one of the rubbish address, c++ is the world most difficult to debug programming language, it is really hard for me to spot the bug within the c++ program because sometime the bug will not appear during the compilation time. So there you have it, with Java and the series C out of the path, Python is now ready to become the world number 1. All the Python supporters certainly will be very happy about that after they have spent thousands of hour learning and creating an application for Python and now it is time to harvest their Soya Bean! But not too fast, because I think there are a few areas Python still needs to improve before Python can rule the world! Here are those parts that I think Python.org needs to work on if it really has the ambition to become world number 1!

  • Real Python: Python Community Interview With Katrina Durance

    With PyCon US 2019 over, I decided to catch up with a PyCon first-timer, Katrina Durance. I was curious to see how she found the experience and what her highlights were. I also wanted to understand how attending a conference like PyCon influenced her programming chops.

  • Book review – Python for Programmers, by Paul Deitel and Harvey Deitel
  • PyCon: PyCon 2019 Code of Conduct Transparency Report [Ed: “Transparency Report” that does not mention PyCon was 'sold' to Microsoft? What have these events become? The Code of Conduct places emphasis on social justice, but not justice itself (or corruption), for example bribery and crimes of corporations, which is perhaps why they like it so much.]

    The PyCon Code of Conduct sets standards for how our community interacts with others during the conference. A Code of Conduct without appropriate reporting and response procedures is difficult to enforce transparently, and furthermore a lack of transparency in the outcomes of Code of Conduct incidents leaves the community without knowledge of how or if the organizers worked to resolve incidents.

    In our efforts to continue to improve how PyCon handles CoC incidents, staff, volunteers and community members participated in a CoC training prior to PyCon 2019. In having more people trained we provided a more thorough process for reporting and responses.
    With that in mind, we have prepared the following to help the community understand what kind of incidents we received reports about and how the PyCon staff responded.

PHP 7.4.0 alpha 2 Released

Filed under
Development

PHP team is glad to announce the release of the second PHP 7.4.0 version, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha 2. This continues the PHP 7.4 release cycle, the rough outline of which is specified in the PHP Wiki.

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Also: PHP 7.4 Alpha 2 Adds Support For Reading TGA Files, SQLite3 Online Backup API Support

Plasma 5.16 review - A tidal wave of goodness

Filed under
KDE

Plasma 5.16 is almost a boring release, in that it is predictable, stable, robust, a continuation of an excellent line of desktops that are fun, elegant and smart to run and use. But this is exactly what you want from a tool you use everyday. Excitement is only good in small doses. You want something solid for real work, and Plasma definitely nails it in general, and with its 5.16 guise in particular.

The volume of changes and new features isn't massive, but it is still delivered with flair, plus stability, plus improvements. There were a few small issues here and there, and some things warrant visual polish while others require philosophical introspection vis-a-vis taste and appeal, but these are relatively small, innocent niggles. The Plasma desktop is definitely making great strides, and if you want to explore the latest and greatest, grab yourself KDE neon, and start enjoying.

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Linux Directory Structure Explained for Beginners

Filed under
HowTos

This tutorial explains the Linux directory structure. You’ll learn the Linux filesystem hierarchy along with the purpose of the various directories on a Linux system.
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Top 20 Best Computer Algebra Systems for Linux in 2019

Filed under
Software
Sci/Tech

Solving computational problems was the first inspiration behind the invention of computers. Although modern computers have come a long way since its inception, it continues to play the de-facto role in solving complex computations. A Computer Algebra System (CAS) is a software environment that allows tackling modern-day, complex computational problems without having to manipulate complicated equations or computational systems manually. These computer algebra systems can manipulate mathematical formulae in a manner similar to traditional mathematicians and thwarts away potential errors effectively. There are a wide variety of computer algebra systems for Linux, both general-purpose and specialized.

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