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New Debian Mans, 10 Reasons to Cinnamon, Anatomy of Linux

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What is Linux? Blogger Locutus posted a series of articles going over the structure of Linux. From the kernel, modules, directories, to files he explained the "anatomy of Linux." David Both plugged Cinnamon over at OpenSource.com saying KDE Plasma was too unstable to use. He narrowed down his decision to 10 reasons. Michael Stapelberg blogged about the new Debian manpages, or "modernized." The now static site is said to be "blazingly fast." Derrik Diener highlighted the best distros to watch in 2017 and Bruce Byfield opined on the security lacking in Linux installers. He said with the growing concern over security, installers need to take a step back from easy and put some security features back.

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Debian Isn't Difficult, Fedora Elections Winners, Fav Distro

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Prospective users still avoid Debian initially because it's difficult to install, or so they believe. It turns out they're not basing their opinions on real life. Keith Curtis wrote up his experience installing Arch on his new Lenovo laptop, after a fairly complete hardware review as well. Jamie Watson got a new notebook too and today shared a bit on getting it ready for Linux. Part of that was booting Mint 18.1 which gave him something to smile about. Elsewhere, the Fedora committee elections results are in and Dominique Leuenberger posted a review of this week in Tumbleweed. Gary Newell test drove Elementary OS 0.4 and OpenSource.com asked, "What is your favorite Linux distribution?"

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Debian Updated, Mint KDE Beta, GIMP Preview

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Debian 8.7 was made available this last weekend to address the security and major bugs since 8.6 announced August 2016. As usual, those updating regularly don't need to do anything as they're already current. Elsewhere, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre announced a beta for Mint 18.1 KDE, something I'm looking forward to testing. Alexandre Prokoudine, graphics engineer known for Inkscape and GIMP, posted a preview of new features coming in GIMP 2.10. Dominic Humphries recently revelled in the joy of Linux that just works and Jiri Eischmann compiled a list of the latest Fedora accolades, some I've missed.

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New User Distros, Powered By Linux, No Opera for You

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There are many companies who use or offer Linux and today Linux and Ubuntu rounded up 10 of the biggest. Elsewhere, Jack Wallen offered his suggestions for which distros might suite particular users of certain other operating systems. From Windows 7 to Mac, he found an Ubuntu-derivative for each. Yep, "there's a distribution for everyone," as long as it's Ubuntu. OMG!Ubuntu! reported today that Opera won't be providing new conceptual browser to Linux users, because they claim it's being developed "just for fun." Remember who else once said that? In other news, Canonical today plugged Dell's new Ubuntu laptops, Ubuntu Budgie announced a wallpaper contest, and MakeUseOf made use of Linux versus Windows today to illustrate how easy it can be to switch.

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More Raspberry Pi, Linux Pressure, Plasma 5.9

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Jonathan Riddell announced the latest KDE Plasma today to "kick off 2017 in style." While announcing Plasma 5.9 Beta, Riddell assured users that 5.8 LTS would continue to receive bug fixes. Weird thing to say for a developmental release. Relatedly, neon 20170112 was uploaded but not announced. In other news, Mint 18.1 took another one on the chin today at The Reg mainly for it's old base and Update Manager. Jamie Watson tested other distributions on his Raspberry Pis, this time Fedora, Manjaro, and Ubuntu MATE and Robin "Roblimo" Miller said Windows users should be grateful to Linux. That followed a similar themed story from the other day where a developer claims Valve Linux choice forced Microsoft to beef up Windows gaming support. It was another interesting day in the land of The Penguin.

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Why Mint's Not Best, Tumbling Tumbleweed, Fedora Elections

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It's that time of year again when all good blue hatters rush to the virtual polls to vote for their trusted leaders. The 2017 January Fedora elections are in full swing and Fedora account holders are urge to vote in the three categories this term. Elsewhere, Scott Gilbertson felt the need to explain his best distribution of the year choice and Douglas DeMaio is back from holiday with a report from Tumbleweed development. M.Hanny Sabbagh summarized Red Hat, SUSE, and Canonical today and VAR Guy contributor Christopher Tozzi concluded that the lines between Windows and Linux are blurring. Cynthia Harvey points out areas in everyday life that are already run by artificial intelligence and a cookie campaign convinced developers to bring Civilization 6 to Linux.

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SUSE Pi, Newest Linuxes, openSUSE on GPD Win

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There were several articles on portable Linux and devices today. Jamie Watson test drove the openSUSE, SUSE, and Tumbleweed for the Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, he didn't have as much fun as anticipated with those tests. Speaking of openSUSE, Adrien Plazas is working on getting openSUSE installed and operative on the GPD Win gaming handheld that looks like a tiny laptop. Joey Sneddon reported today on the availability and price of the newest Dell Ubuntu mobile workstation and Scott Gilbertson reviewed the XPS 13. Finally, Brian Fagioli reported on System76's latest Superfan contest where users can win a trip to company headquarters in Denver.

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Polished Elementary, neon Goes Wayland, Most Popular OS

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Bertel King, Jr. tried to accentuate the positive over at MakeUseOf today in his review of Elementary OS, but rough edges did show through. Elsewhere, Jesse Smith liked SimpleMEPIS-based MX Linux 16, even if it isn't recommended for newbies, and Neil Rickert found Solus OS to be "congenial." Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols discussed operating system market share based on Website usage and Gary Newell summarized the top distros of 2016.

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Mint 18.1 Xfce Nearing, Weird Names, Die Linux Myths

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Clement Lefebvre today announced a beta release of Mint 18.1 Xfce with updated software, refinements, and "many new features." MakeUseOf chuckled at some of the crazy names folks pin on Linux distributions and Jan Vermeulen picked up on a Reddit conversation discussing Linux myths that "need to die." Elsewhere in Linux news, Bruce Byfield compared and contrasted Debian and Ubuntu while Mark Shuttleworth discussed Snappy vs. Flatpak.

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Not a OpenMandriva Review, Integrated Steam, Endless Linux PCs

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Neil Rickert today shared his experiences with OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 leading to another account indicating 3.01 wasn't quite soup yet. Elsewhere, Rajat Kabade reported that "Intel is all set to integrate Steam into its Clear Linux to make the existing gaming experience even better." Endless Computers is bringing its Mission One and Mini Linux boxes to the US market and Michael Larabel reported today on the latest on DRM moving to user space.

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today's howtos

Graphics: VC4 and AMDVLK Driver

  • VC4 display, VC5 kernel submitted
    For VC5, I renamed the kernel driver to “v3d” and submitted it to the kernel. Daniel Vetter came back right away with a bunch of useful feedback, and next week I’m resolving that feedback and continuing to work on the GMP support. On the vc4 front, I did the investigation of the HDL to determine that the OLED matrix applies before the gamma tables, so we can expose it in the DRM for Android’s color correction. Stefan was also interested in reworking his fencing patches to use syncobjs, so hopefully we can merge those and get DRM HWC support in mainline soon. I also pushed Gustavo’s patch for using the new core DRM infrastructure for async cursor updates. This doesn’t simplify our code much yet, but Boris has a series he’s working on that gets rid of a lot of custom vc4 display code by switching more code over to the new async support.
  • V3D DRM Driver Revised As It Works To Get Into The Mainline Kernel
    Eric Anholt of Broadcom has sent out his revised patches for the "V3D" DRM driver, which up until last week was known as the VC5 DRM driver. As explained last week, the VC5 driver components are being renamed to V3D since it ends up supporting more than just VC5 with Broadcom VC6 hardware already being supported too. Eric is making preparations to get this VideoCore driver into the mainline Linux kernel and he will then also rename the VC5 Gallium3D driver to V3D Gallium3D.
  • AMDVLK Driver Gets Fixed For Rise of the Tomb Raider Using Application Profiles
    With last week's release of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Linux ported by Feral Interactive, when it came to Radeon GPU support for this Vulkan-only Linux game port the Mesa RADV driver was supported while the official AMDVLK driver would lead to GPU hangs. That's now been fixed. With the latest AMDVLK/XGL source code as of today, the GPU hang issue for Rise of the Tomb Raider should now be resolved.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Linux Performance Boosted By Updated BIOS/AGESA

With last week's initial launch-day Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 2600X / Ryzen 7 2700X some found the Linux performance to be lower than Windows. While the root cause is undetermined, a BIOS/AGESA update does appear to help the Linux performance significantly at least with the motherboard where I've been doing most of my tests with the Ryzen 7 2700X. Here are the latest benchmark numbers. Read more

GNU: The GNU C Library 2.28 and Guix on Android

  • Glibc 2.28 Upstream Will Build/Run Cleanly On GNU Hurd
    While Linux distributions are still migrating to Glibc 2.27, in the two months since the release changes have continued building up for what will eventually become the GNU C Library 2.28. The Glibc 2.28 work queued thus far isn't nearly as exciting as all the performance optimizations and more introduced with Glibc 2.27, but it's a start. Most notable at this point for Glibc 2.28 is that it will now build and run cleanly on GNU/Hurd without requiring any out-of-tree patches. There has been a ton of Hurd-related commits to Glibc over the past month.
  • Guix on Android!
    Last year I thought to myself: since my phone is just a computer running an operating system called Android (or Replicant!), and that Android is based on a Linux kernel, it's just another foreign distribution I could install GNU Guix on, right? It turned out it was absolutely the case. Today I was reminded on IRC of my attempt last year at installing GNU Guix on my phone. Hence this blog post. I'll try to give you all the knowledge and commands required to install it on your own Android device.
  • GNU Guix Wrangled To Run On Android
    The GNU Guix transactional package manager can be made to run on Android smartphones/tablets, but not without lots of hoops to jump through first.