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I’m pleased to announce the release of Xen Project Hypervisor 4.6. This release focused on improving code quality, security hardening, enablement of security appliances, and release cycle predictability — this is the most punctual release we have ever had. We had a significant amount of contributions from cloud providers, software vendors, hardware vendors, academic researchers and individuals to help with this release. We continue to strive to make Xen Project Hypervisor the most secure open source hypervisor to match the security challenges in cloud computing, and for embedded and IoT use-cases. We are also continuing to improve upon the performance and scalability for our users, and aim to continuously bring many new features to our users in a timely manor.
Recently there were a number of requests about testing the latest state of Liquorix, the self-prcolaimed "better distro kernel" that is an optimized version of the Linux kernel with extra patches that makes it optimal for desktop, multimedia, and gaming workloads. Here's some fresh Liquorix vs. mainline Linux kernel performance benchmarks.
Working as a senior software engineer at Red Hat on the GNOME Project, I was very impressed by the talent of the project contributors, by how rewarding it is to work on free software, and by the feeling of connectedness one gets when collaborating with people all over the world. Yet, at GUADEC 2009, of approximately 170 attendees, I believe I was one of only eight women. Of the software developers working on the entire GNOME project at the time, I was one of only three.
Having just passed its thirtieth birthday, the Free Software Foundation has plenty to celebrate. Having begun as a fringe movement, free and open source software has become the backbone of the Internet, transforming business as a side-effect. Yet for all is accomplishments, the one thing it has not done is capture the popular imagination. As a result, I find myself wondering how free and open source software might present itself in the next thirty years to overcome this problem.
If you have ever done some statistics, it is possible that you have encountered the language R. If you have not, I really recommend this open source programming language which is tailored for statistics and data mining. Coming from a coding background, you might be thrown off a bit by the syntax, but hopefully you will get seduced by the speed of its vector operations. In short, try it. And to do so, what better way to start with an IDE? R being a cross platform language, there are a bunch of good IDEs which make data analysis in R far more pleasurable. If you are very attached to a particular editor, there are also some very good plugins to turn that editor into a fully-fledged R IDE.
What’s the best thing about Linux? Security, stability, performance or freedom? It does a cracking job in all of those areas, but another feature we’d highlight is its modularity. As an operating system deeply influenced by Unix, GNU/Linux is designed to be easy to pull apart – and, all being well, easy to put back together again. Major parts of the system are built up from smaller components that can be omitted or replaced, which is one of the reasons why we have so many different Linux distributions.
Sure, this modularity adds complexity at times. But it also adds reliability, as components are designed to work independently, and if one crashes or suffers from some kind of bug, the other parts will (ideally) keep chugging along. So you can replace Bash with another shell, or switch to an alternative SSL library, or even replace your entire init system – as we’ve seen with the migration of major distros to Systemd.
ONOS, a carrier-grade open source software-defined networking (SDN) operating system, received a big endorsement this week from the Linux Foundation. Starting today, the two organizations will partner to develop open source SDN and NFV software.
Wayland has been ported to DragonFlyBSD along with its Weston compositor!
In the past we've seen some minor experiments by BSD developers with Wayland/Weston, but for the most part all of the BSDs are still focused on X.Org Server support -- need I remind Phoronix readers that DRM/KMS support is in varying stages across the BSD distributions too as one of the support stepping stones. Just a few days ago I ran into the DragonFly Radeon kernel module failing to properly mode-set with a several year old (pre-GCN) graphics card while meanwhile FreeBSD's Radeon KMS port worked. It's still rather a mine field when it comes to open-source graphics acceleration and support on the BSDs while slowly but surely their catching up with the kernel code.
Over time, memory can become more and more fragmented on a system, making it difficult to find contiguous blocks of RAM to satisfy ongoing allocation requests. At certain times the running system may compact regions of memory together to free up larger blocks, but Vlastimil Babka recently pointed out that this wasn't done regularly enough to avoid latency problems for code that made larger memory requests.
Some LastPass users were clearly not pleased to find out last week that the password management app had been acquired by LogMeIn. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to choose from.
Sure, there are premium options like Dashlane, Keeper, Passpack, 1Password, and RoboForm, but there are also free password management systems that anyone can inspect and even contribute to. No matter what you use, the idea is to be more secure than you would be if you were to just use “password” as the password for every app you sign up for.
One of the many benefits of open source software is that it offers some protection from having programs disappear or stop working. If part of a platform changes in a non-compatible way, users are free to modify the program so that it continues to work in the new environment. At a level above the software, open standards protect the information itself. Everybody expects to be able to open a JPEG image they took with their digital camera 5 years ago. And, it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to open that same image decades from now. For example, an ASCII text file written 40 years ago can be easily viewed today.
Alexandre Courbot, a developer at NVIDIA who has been working on the Tegra open-source graphics support a lot for Nouveau, presented last week at LinuxCon Europe 2015.
Thanks to the work by Courbot and others at NVIDIA, the Tegra K1 with its Kepler GPU has mainline Nouveau graphics support while the open-source graphics enablement for the Tegra X1 with Maxwell GPU continues to be upstreamed.
If you’re looking for a smartwatch that delivers a “next-generation” experience, the 2nd generation Moto 360 isn’t it. In fact, none of the Android Wear watches really move the platform forward in a significant way—perhaps because Google is largely in the driver’s seat for software development.
But if you want a smartwatch that delivers a great experience for everything Android Wear can do, this is the one. Numerous hardware refinements and a year of software development have made the new Moto 360 everything the first one should have been.
The ONOS community hopes to expedite the advantages service providers can get from software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) by collaborating with the Linux Foundation in a strategic partnership.
The partnership will help ON.Lab/ONOS "transform service providers' infrastructure for increased monetization by achieving high capex and opex efficiencies and creating new innovative services using the power of open source SDN and NFV," according to a press release. The Linux Foundation will assist ONOS to "organize, grow and harness the power" of a global community to take ONOS and the solutions enabled by it to the next level of production and readiness.
Among the diverse things I found to read about was a relatively new but fast-growing computer operating system called Linux. It sounded fascinating: invented by a college student, developed by volunteers, used mainly by experts but available to amateurs; it appeared to defy not only the conventional business model, but the very concept of commercial software.