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Monday, 22 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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Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage" Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:18pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:11pm
Story Revisited: Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 6:00pm
Story darktable 2.4 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Gets First Point Release Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 5:58pm
Story openSUSE Leap 42.2 Linux Distribution Reaches End of Life on January 26, 2018 Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 5:56pm
Story Raspberry Pi Alternatives Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 5:55pm
Story Matrix Voice RPi add-on with 7-mic array relaunches Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 5:49pm
Story Programming: Donald Knuth’s 80th Birthday and More Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 5:13pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 9:55am
Story Security: Updates and Botched Updates Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 9:30am

Linus Torvalds Calls Linux Patch for Intel CPUs "Complete and Utter Garbage"

Filed under
Linux

The patch submitted by David Woodhouse, ex-Intel kernel engineer that now works for Amazon described a so-called new feature for Intel processors to address Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS) by creating macros that would restrict or unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation based on if the Intel CPU will advertise "I am able to be not broken."

The "x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation" feature implies that the IBRS (Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation) bit needed to be set at boot time to "ask" the processor not to be broken. Linus Torvalds immediately reacted to the patch calling it "complete and utter garbage" despite the developer's efforts to explain why he implemented the nasty hack.

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Original: [RFC 09/10] x86/enter: Create macros to restrict/unrestrict Indirect Branch Speculation

Revisited: Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" KDE

Filed under
KDE
Linux
Reviews

Long-time readers of the Linux distribution reviews on this blog know that I am a fan of Linux Mint, but I have had somewhat mixed experiences with KDE. When I've reviewed a new release of Linux Mint, I have occasionally reviewed its KDE edition in addition to its GNOME/MATE/Cinnamon and Xfce editions, generally finding that the KDE edition has too many minor bugs and not enough compelling features compared to the more mainstream editions. Apparently the Linux Mint developers feel similarly, as this is the last release of a KDE edition for Linux Mint; henceforth, they are only releasing MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce editions for a tighter focus on GTK-based DEs and applications. With that in mind, I figured it was worth reviewing a KDE edition of Linux Mint one final time. I tested it on a live USB system made with the "dd" command. Follow the jump to see what it's like.

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darktable 2.4 Open-Source RAW Image Editor Gets First Point Release

Filed under
OSS

darktable 2.4 arrived last Christmas with numerous new features and improvements, and now users can update to darktable 2.4.1, a minor maintenance release adding support for new digital cameras, including the Panasonic DC-G9 (4:3), Paralenz Dive Camera, Pentax KP, and Sjcam SJ6 LEGEND.

It also adds a new filter rule to the Collect module to allow users to more easily find locally copied images, enables blending and masking in the Hot Pixels module, adds a speed boost to the Grain module, implements a debug print when compiling OpenCL kernels, and supports stdout handling on Windows systems.

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openSUSE Leap 42.2 Linux Distribution Reaches End of Life on January 26, 2018

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SUSE

Announced two years ago on November 16, OpenSuSE Leap 42.2 is a minor release of openSUSE Leap 42 operating system series, which brought the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel and KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment, as well as many other improvements and up-to-date components. openSUSE Leap 42.2 was based on SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 2, but it will reach end of life this week on January 26.

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Raspberry Pi Alternatives

Filed under
Linux

The phenomenon behind the Raspberry Pi computer series has been pretty amazing. It's obvious why it has become so popular for Linux projects—it's a low-cost computer that's actually quite capable for the price, and the GPIO pins allow you to use it in a number of electronics projects such that it starts to cross over into Arduino territory in some cases. Its overall popularity has spawned many different add-ons and accessories, not to mention step-by-step guides on how to use the platform. I've personally written about Raspberry Pis often in this space, and in my own home, I use one to control a beer fermentation fridge, one as my media PC, one to control my 3D printer and one as a handheld gaming device.

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Matrix Voice RPi add-on with 7-mic array relaunches

Filed under
Linux

Matrix Labs has publicly relaunched its FPGA-driven “Matrix Voice” voice input add-on board for the Raspberry Pi and Up board for $55, or $65 for a standalone model equipped with an ESP32.

Matrix Labs has shipped its “mostly open source” Matrix Voice Raspberry Pi add-on board for Linux-compatible voice recognition and voice assistant technologies such as Alexa and Google Assistant. The circular board launched in February on Indiegogo, and earned over $130,000 in pledges. The Matrix Voice is now available from the Matrix Labs website for only $10 over the original $45 early bird price.

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Programming: Donald Knuth’s 80th Birthday and More

Filed under
Development
  • Octogenarianhood

    2018 began for me with an absolutely incredible 80th birthday celebration called Knuth80, held in the delightful city of Piteå in northern Sweden. It's impossible for me to thank adequately all of the wonderful people who contributed their time to making this event such a stunning success, certainly one of the greatest highlights of my life. Many of the happenings were also captured digitally in state-of-the-art audio and video, so that others will be able to share some of this joy. I'll link to that data when it becomes available.

  • Celebrating Donald Knuth’s 80th Birthday

    Don suggests that some of the participants who have a little free time might like to look at a few conjectures about set partitions and generating functions that he has put online at http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/caspagf.txt

  • Tidyverse and data.table, sitting side by side ... (Part 1)
  • Rcpp 0.12.15: Numerous tweaks and enhancements

    The fifteenth release in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp landed on CRAN today after just a few days of gestation in incoming/.

    This release follows the 0.12.0 release from July 2016, the 0.12.1 release in September 2016, the 0.12.2 release in November 2016, the 0.12.3 release in January 2017, the 0.12.4 release in March 2016, the 0.12.5 release in May 2016, the 0.12.6 release in July 2016, the 0.12.7 release in September 2016, the 0.12.8 release in November 2016, the 0.12.9 release in January 2017, the 0.12.10.release in March 2017, the 0.12.11.release in May 2017, the 0.12.12 release in July 2017, the 0.12.13.release in late September 2017, and the 0.12.14.release in November 2017 making it the nineteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.

    Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing GNU R with C or C++ code. As of today, 1288 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further, along with another 91 in BioConductor.

Security: Updates and Botched Updates

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Monday
  • RedHat reverts patches to mitigate Spectre Variant 2

    RedHat previously released patches to mitigate this issue, however, in a rather controversial move, has decided to roll back these changes after complaints about systems failing to boot with the new patches, and instead is now recommending that, "subscribers contact their CPU OEM vendor to download the latest microcode/firmware for their processor."

  • Red Hat dumps Spectre CPU patches that brick servers

    Enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat will no longer distribute microcode patches to mitigate against the Spectre processor flaw after bugs in the patches stopped user systems from booting up.

    The company advised of its decision late last week after being alerted by its customers to problems with the patches.

    Red Hat is now reverting the microcode_ctl and linux-firmware packages it includes with its enterprise Linux distribution to older versions that are known to be stable.

    Microcode, also known as millicode and firmware, is software distributed by vendors to correct specific errors for processors.

OSS: 'IoT', Ellcrys, Genode OS

Filed under
OSS
  • This is Why you Must Consider Open-Source IoT Solutions

    The Internet of things is growing exponentially. Its applications are unique and that is one of the reasons that this technology has become renowned. Organizations are finding ways to utilize this technology for improving their workforce, while AI impacts IoT to create smarter applications. Making use of IoT seems to be costlier for companies who are still in their infancy phase. For companies like these, open-source IoT solutions have been created so that they too can reap the benefits of IoT as a technology.

  • Ellcrys is a Breath of Fresh Air for Open Source Collaborators

    Ellcrys is an up and coming blockchain network that aims to revolutionize the way developers work together. In addition to trying to revitalize collaborative efforts, the company has an ICO that promises to make the mining and distribution of its native cryptocurrency fairer and more accessible.

  • Genode OS Framework Making Plans For 2018

    The Genode open-source operating system framework project has shared some of their planned goals for 2018.

    Genode in 2018 is looking to advance their "Sculpt" general purpose system scenario for the operating system. Back during the Genode OS 17.11 release they described Sculpt as "the approach to start with a minimalistic generic live system that can be interactively shaped into a desktop scenario by the user without any reboot. This is made possible by combining Genode's unique dynamic reconfiguration concept with the recently introduced package management, our custom GUI stack, and the many ready-to-use device-driver components that we developed over the past years."

Intel Graphics On Ubuntu: GNOME vs. KDE vs. Xfce vs. Unity vs. LXDE

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

For those wondering how the Intel (U)HD Graphics compare for games and other graphical benchmarks between desktop environments in 2018, here are some fresh benchmarks using GNOME Shell on X.Org/Wayland, KDE Plasma 5, Xfce, Unity 7, and LXDE.

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Linux Kernel 4.15 Delayed Until Next Week as Linus Torvalds Announces Ninth RC

Filed under
Linux

It's not every day that you see a ninth Release Candidate in the development cycle of a new Linux kernel branch, but here we go, and we can only blame it on those pesky Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities that affect us all, putting billions of devices at risk of attacks.

That, and the fact that things haven't calmed down since last week's eight Release Candidate, which was supposed to be the last for the upcoming series. According to Linus Torvalds, there are still has some networking fixes pending, and there's also a very subtle boot bug that was discovered the other day.

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Also: Linux 4.15 Goes Further Into Overtime: Linux 4.15-rc9

Review: Ubuntu MATE 17.10

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE 17.10 is a solid release with a few minor caveats about the Mutiny layout. The Traditional MATE layout is very nice, but Mutiny still needs some work. For users who want the classic GNOME 2 look-and-feel, Ubuntu MATE is an excellent choice. However, Unity users looking for a Unity-like experience should still give Ubuntu MATE with the Mutiny layout a try, but need to be aware that it does have some issues and it won't work exactly like Unity. The Contemporary layout is also an option for Unity users, but is even further removed from the Unity experience than Mutiny is.

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Our Favourite Apps for Ubuntu

Filed under
Ubuntu

We enjoy using Ubuntu mainly for gaming, writing, listening to music and browsing the web. (Lots and lots of browsing the web.) There are other apps that we would love to have on Ubuntu like Affinity Photo, a stunning image editor that’s on par with Adobe’s Photoshop that’s available on Windows and Mac as well as Bear, a beautifully designed note taking app that we do most of our writing on that’s only available for macOS.

However, the Ubuntu platform has moved forward in leaps and bounds in recent years when it comes to the official availability of popular apps and we are confident that this trend will continue.

What’s your favourite Ubuntu apps?

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Kernel Space: Plans for Linux 4.16, 4.15 Likely Out Shortly

Filed under
Linux

Some FreeBSD Users Are Still Running Into Random Lock-Ups With Ryzen

Filed under
BSD

While Linux has been playing happily with Ryzen CPUs as long as you weren't affected by the performance marginality problem where you had to swap out for a newer CPU (and Threadripper and EPYC CPUs have been running splendid in all of my testing with not having any worries), it seems the BSDs (at least FreeBSD) are still having some quirks to address.

This week on the FreeBSD mailing list has been another thread about Ryzen issues on FreeBSD. Some users are still encountering random lockups that do not correspond to any apparent load/activity on the system.

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PC desktop build, Intel, spectre issues etc.

Filed under
Hardware
Security

Apart from the initial system bought, most of my systems when being changed were in the INR 20-25k/- budget including all and any accessories I bought later.

The only real expensive parts I purchased have been external hdd ( 1 TB WD passport) and then a Viewsonic 17″ LCD which together sent me back by around INR 10k/- but both seem to give me adequate performance (both have outlived the warranty years) with the monitor being used almost 24×7 over 6 years or so, of course over GNU/Linux specifically Debian. Both have been extremely well value for the money.

As I had been exposed to both the motherboards I had been following those and other motherboards as well. What was and has been interesting to observe what Asus did later was to focus more on the high-end gaming market while Gigabyte continued to dilute it energy both in the mid and high-end motherboards.

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