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The Top 10 Linux Distros You Never Heard About

Filed under
GNU
Linux
BSD

As I have mentioned in previous articles, the open-source community is littered with many distributions – some of which you might never get to hear about if you’re not connected to an affiliated party or happen to come across a reference ad.

Plus, it’s a new year and we have been dropping Top 10 (and sometimes higher) titles since it began so you shouldn’t be surprised that we are here with another one.

In case you missed it, we recently published an article on The Top 10 Linux Desktop Distros of 2017, and I thought it will be nice if we checked out a couple of distros that might not have made it to the limelight in 2017 but are still significant and will probably be of great use to our readers.

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OPNsense® 18.1 Release Candidate 1

Filed under
Security
BSD

For more than 3 years now, OPNsense is driving innovation through modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, HardenedBSD security, fast adoption of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing.

We humbly present to you the sum of another major iteration of the OPNsense firewall. Over the second half of 2017 well over 500 changes have made it into this first release candidate. Most notably, the firewall NAT rules have been reworked to be more flexible and usable via plugins, which is going to pave the way for subsequent API works on the core firewall functionality. For more details please find the attached list of changes below.

Meltdown and Spectre patches are currently being worked on in FreeBSD[1], but there is no reliable timeline. We will keep you up to date through the usual channels as more news become available. Hang in there!

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BSD: LLVM and OpenBSD

Filed under
BSD
  • LLVM Clang Is Moving Closer To Full OpenMP 4.5 Support

    While it took LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler initially a long time to supporting OpenMP, the code continues to mature in supporting the latest updates to this parallel programming specification.

    As it stands now Clang has full support for OpenMP 3.1 and only partial support for OpenMP 4.5, but they continue moving closer to supporting OMP 4.5 on CPUs and eventually to NVIDIA GPUs with their CUDA back-end.

  • SPIR-V Support For Upstream LLVM Is Back To Being Discussed

    Next month the Vulkan 1.0 API will turn two years old but a goal that has remained elusive to date has been getting SPIR-V -- the intermediate representation shared by Vulkan and OpenCL -- into upstream LLVM.

    The goal would be upstream support for going between SPIR-V and LLVM IR. There's been various projects working on this SPIR-V and LLVM IR to/from translation support, but nothing has been upstreamed yet in LLVM itself for easier maintenance and focusing on a concerted effort.

  • OpenBSD-current now has 'smtpctl spf walk'

     

    This feature is still in need of testing, so please grab a snapshot and test!  

LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of TrueOS A Unix Based OS

Filed under
Reviews
BSD

Trust me, the name TrueOS takes me back to 1990s when Tru64 UNIX operating system made its presence. TrueOS is PC-BSD’s new unified brand built upon FreeBSD-CURRENT code base. Note that TrueOS is not a Linux distro but is BSD Unix.

​FreeBSD is known for its cutting-edge features, security, scalability, and ability to work both as a server and desktop operating system. TrueOS aims at having user-friendliness with the power of FreeBSD OS. Let us start with going into details of different aspects of the TrueOS.

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GhostBSD 11.1 - FreeBSD for the desktop

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Reviews
BSD

GhostBSD is a desktop oriented operating system which is based on FreeBSD. The project takes the FreeBSD operating system and adds a desktop environment, some popular applications, a graphical package manager and Linux binary compatibility. GhostBSD is available in two flavours, MATE and Xfce, and is currently available for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. I downloaded the MATE edition which is available as a 2.3GB ISO file.

Booting from the installation media brings up a graphical login screen where we can sign into the live desktop environment using "ghostbsd" as the account name with no password. The live MATE desktop is presented with a two panel layout. At the top of the screen we find the Applications, Places and System menus. The top panel also plays host to the system tray. The bottom panel features a task switcher and a widget for switching between virtual desktops. On the desktop we find icons for launching the Caja file manager and the GhostBSD system installer. There is also an icon which launches the HexChat IRC client and automatically connects us with the project's chat room.

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LLVM: LLVMpipe and LLVM Clang 6.0 Benchmark

Filed under
Development
Graphics/Benchmarks
BSD
  • Even With An Intel Core i9 7980XE, LLVMpipe Is Still Slow

    During the recent holidays when running light on benchmarks to run, I was toying around with LLVMpipe in not having run this LLVM-accelerated software rasterizer in some time. I also ran some fresh tests of Intel's OpenSWR OpenGL software rasterizer that has also been living within Mesa.

    In showing the potential best case, an Intel Core i9 7980XE was used with its 18 cores / 36 threads configuration with 2.6GHz base frequency and 4.2GHz turbo for this ~$2,000 USD CPU with a 165 Watt TDP.

  • LLVM Clang 6.0 Benchmarks On AMD's EPYC Yield Some Performance Benefits

    With LLVM 6.0 being branched this week and that marking the end of feature development on this next compiler update before its stable debut in February, here are some benchmarks of the very latest LLVM Clang 6.0 compiler on AMD's EPYC 7601 32-core / 64-thread processor as we see how well the AMD Zen "znver1" tuning is working out.

CIB Introduced, LLVM Clang 6.0 Coming Soon

Filed under
Development
BSD
  • CIB: Getting The Clang Compiler To Run In A Web Browser

    CIB is a new hobby project getting the full-blown Clang C/C++ compiler to run within a web browser as a technical feat.

    Independent developer Todd Fleming has been working on "CIB" that is short for "Clang In Browser." This comes down to Clang itself being compiled to WebAssembly (WASM) for then running in web-browsers.

  • Features To Look Forward To With LLVM / Clang 6.0

    With the LLVM Clang 6.0 code branching and feature freeze coming up on 3 January, here's a recap of some of the most interesting new features and changes to find with the LLVM 6.0 compiler infrastructure and Clang 6.0 C/C++ front-end.

BSD: LLVM 6 is Near, NetBSD 7.1.1 Released

Filed under
BSD
  • LLVM 6.0 Is Being Branched In One Week, LLVM 7.0 Development To Begin

    LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg is moving ahead with plans to branch the LLVM 6.0 code and its components earlier than anticipated.

    In early December the LLVM 6.0 release proposal was laid out and it included branching two weeks earlier than is traditionally done, due to an unnamed large LLVM consumer of the code requesting the change to better align with that company's internal testing. So now the LLVM 6.0 branching will happen on 3 January, but it will be treated as a "slow start" with no release candidates coming for the first two weeks but developers can begin testing and nominating patches.

  • NetBSD 7.1.1 Released

    The first point release to NetBSD 7.1 is now available as this BSD operating system ends out 2017.

  • NetBSD 7.1.1 released

    The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 7.1.1, the first security/critical update of the NetBSD 7.1 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons.

    Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 7.1.1 are available for download at many sites around the world. A list of download sites providing FTP, AnonCVS, SUP, and other services may be found at https://www.NetBSD.org/mirrors/. We encourage users who wish to install via ISO or USB disk images to download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the images area. A list of hashes for the NetBSD 7.1.1 distribution has been signed with the well-connected PGP key for the NetBSD Security Officer: https://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/security/hashes/NetBSD-7.1.1_hashes.asc

FreeBSD Looks At Making Wayland Support Available By Default

Filed under
BSD

There's an active discussion this week about making Wayland support available by default on FreeBSD.

FreeBSD has working Wayland support -- well, assuming you have working Intel / Radeon graphics -- and do have Weston and some other Wayland components available via FreeBSD Ports. FreeBSD has offered working Wayland support that is "quite usable" for more than one year. But, it's not too easy to get going with Wayland on FreeBSD.

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FreeBSD-Based TrueOS 17.12 Released

Filed under
OS
BSD

The FreeBSD-based operating system TrueOS that's formerly known as PC-BSD has put out their last stable update of 2017.

TrueOS 17.12 is now available as the latest six-month stable update for this desktop-focused FreeBSD distribution that also offers a server flavor. TrueOS continues using OpenRC as its init system and this cycle they have continued improving their Qt5-based Lumina desktop environment, the Bhyve hypervisor is now supported in the TrueOS server install, improved removable device support, and more.

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openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Receive Important Mesa Linux Graphics Stack Update

Four snapshots were released this week for OpenSuSE Tumbleweed, which is a rolling release GNU/Linux distribution where users install once and receive updates forever. Probably the most important change added in these snapshots was related to the graphics stack, which was updated to Mesa 17.3.2, a release that neede to be split into two parts to improve the build performance of the distribution. "In order to improve the distro build performance, Mesa was split into two parts to be built. Users that updated their system using “–no-recommends” did not get Mesa-dri auto-installed, resulting in the graphical system possibly not starting up. Simply install Mesa-dri for now manually (dependency chain fixes are underway)," said Dominique Leuenberger in the mailing list announcement. Read more

EXT4 vs. XFS vs. Btrfs vs. F2FS With Linux 4.15 Comparing KPTI/Retpoline

The latest in our benchmarking with KPTI and Retpoline for Meltdown and Spectre mitigation is comparing the performance of the EXT4, XFS, Btrfs and F2FS file-systems with and without these features enabled while using the Linux 4.15 development kernel. Read more

Raspberry Pi HAT connects up to three Pmod modules at once

Digilent and RS Components have launched a $15, Python supported “Pmod HAT Adapter” for the Raspberry Pi that can connect up to three Digilent Pmod peripheral modules at a time while also extending the 40-pin adapter. Digilent has joined with distributor RS Components to co-launch a $15 DesignSpark Raspberry Pi Pmod HAT Adapter board that brings Digilent’s Pmod peripheral boards to the Raspberry Pi. The 65 x 56.5mm HAT compliant board offers three 2×6-pin Pmod ports with support for I2C, SPI, UART and GPIO interfaces. The Raspberry Pi’s 40-pin adapter is extended to make full use of the SBC’s interfaces. Read more

KaOS 2018.01 KDE-focused Linux distro now available with Spectre and Meltdown fixes

It can be difficult to find a quality Linux distribution that meets your needs. This is partly because there are just too many operating systems from which to choose. My suggestion is to first find a desktop environment that you prefer, and then narrow down your distro search to one that focuses on that DE. For instance, if you like KDE, both Kubuntu and Netrunner are solid choices. With all of that said, there is another KDE-focused Linux distro that I highly recommend. Called "KaOS," it is rolling release, meaning you can alway be confident that your computer is running modern packages. Today, KaOS gets its first updated ISO for 2018, and you should definitely use it to upgrade your install media. Why? Because version 2018.01 has fixes for Spectre and Meltdown thanks to Linux kernel 4.14.14 with both AMD and Intel ucode. Read more