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Google

Google moves to Debian for in-house Linux desktop

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Linux
Google
Debian

Google has officially confirmed the company is shifting its in-house Linux desktop from the Ubuntu-based Goobuntu to a new Linux distro, the DebianTesting-based gLinux.

Margarita Manterola, a Google Engineer, quietly announced Google would move from Ubuntu to Debian-testing for its desktop Linux at DebConf17 in a lightning talk. Manterola explained that Google was moving to gLinux, a rolling release based on Debian Testing.

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Google's Debian Move and Promotion of DRM Inside Linux

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Linux
Google
  • Google moves internal systems from Ubuntu to Debian

    Google has begun the process of transitioning its internal machines’ operating systems from Ubuntu to Debian after announcing last year it would make the switch.

    Google’s engineers have been using a customised version of Ubuntu called Goobuntu, naturally, for years, but according to Spanish website MuyLinux, the tech giant is now moving from a "light-skinned" distro which it has no contribution to, to gLinux, based on Debian Testing.

  • Open-Source HDCP Support Gets Extended To More Platforms

    With the Linux 4.17 kernel (not the upcoming 4.16 cycle) there is likely to be added initial HDCP support to Intel's Direct Rendering Manager driver. Ahead of that this High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection support continues getting improved upon.

    While Google developers working on Chrome/Chromium OS were the ones originally working on the patches and proposing this HDCP functionality be upstreamed into the mainline i915 DRM Linux driver, coming out today are patches from an Intel developer for extending the HDCP content protection coverage.

Google’s Fuchsia OS on the Pixelbook: It works! It actually works!

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OS
Google
Reviews

Google currently has two OSes on the market: Android and Chrome OS. The company is never one to leave a successful product alone in the marketplace, though, so it's also developing a third operating system called "Fuchsia." When we last checked in on the experimental OS in May 2017, calling it an "OS" was a bit of a stretch. We only got the system UI up and running on top of Android, where it then functioned like an app. The UI offered a neat multi-window system, but mostly it was just a bunch of placeholder graphics. Nothing worked.

It has been hard to check in on Fuchsia since. The Fuchsia system UI, which was written with a cross-platform SDK called "Flutter," quickly shut down the Android (and iOS) compatible builds. Fuchsia has a Vulkan-based graphics stack, and no emulator supports the new-ish graphics API. The only way to get Fuchsia up and running again was with actual hardware, and the only supported devices were Intel NUC PCs from 2015 and the Acer Switch Alpha 12 laptop.

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SUSE: GCC and GSoC in OpenSUSE/SLES

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Google
SUSE
  • SLES 12 Toolchain Update Brings new Developer Tools
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Updates Its Developer Toolchain to GCC 7

    SUSE's Andreas Jaeger writes in a blog post about the updated toolchain of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 operating system and the new developer tools it brings.

    The article notes the fact that with the release of GNU Compiler Collection 7, the GCC team brought numerous improvements for developers, including better diagnostics, DWARF 5 support, as well as support for the C++ 17 standard.

    GCC 7 also contains improved optimization passes and takes advantage of some of the features of modern processors, and now it is available to all SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 customers with an active subscription.

  • Become a Google Summer of Code Mentor for openSUSE

    The application period for organizations wanting to participate in the Google Summer of Code is now and the openSUSE project is once again looking for mentors who are willing to put forth projects to mentor GSoC students.

Browsers: Mozilla Firefox and Bromite

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox 60 Product Integrity Requests Report

    Late last year I was putting out weekly reports on the number of requests Mozilla’s Product Integrity group was receiving and how well we were tracking toward our self-imposed service-level agreement (respond to 90% within 48 hours).

    The initial system we set up was only ever intended to be minimally viable and has not scaled well, although that’s probably to be expected. There’s been quite a lot of growing pains so I’ve been tasked with taking it to the next level.

  • Tab Warming: How Firefox Will Improve Web Browsing Experience? How To Get It Now?

    Mozilla developer Mike Conley described the details about Tab Warming in a post on his personal blog. It will improve tab switching by pre-loading the contents of a tab before it gets displayed in front of the users.

  • Bromite Is the New NoChromo — Open Source Chrome Port with Ad Blocking

    A while back, we told you about NoChromo, a no-root ad-blocking browser based on Google Chrome's open source code base, Chromium. That browser was wildly successful, as it offered an identical interface to regular Chrome, but without any ads. Sadly, the developer abandoned NoChromo, but a new ad-blocking Chromium port called Bromite has been released to fill its void.

Android Things and Google Assistant appear in new smart speakers, smart displays, and modules

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Android
Google

Google announced third-party products that run Android Things, Google Assistant, and Cast, including smart speakers from LG and iHome. There are also embedded modules from Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Rockchip that will drive speakers and smart displays from JBL, Lenovo, Sony, and others.

Google has avoided the CES show in recent years, but has shown up big in 2018 to counter-attack Amazon’s voice assistant juggernaut Alexa with news about its rival, second place Google Assistant agent. We’ll focus here on new products that combine the Assistant voice agent with Google’s lightweight Android Things distribution. These include the LG ThinQ WK7 and iHome iGV1 smart speakers, and three new computer-on-modules: the Qualcomm SD212 Home Hub Platform, MediaTek MT8516, and Rockchip RK3229 SoM. The modules will drive speaker and smart displays from JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony, as well as smart speaker reference designs from three ODMs: Tymphany, Goertek, and Tonly.

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Chrome and Mozilla (Robert O'Callahan Unlocks Secrets)

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Google
Moz/FF
  • Robert O'Callahan: Ancient Browser-Wars History: MD5-Hashed Posts Declassified

    Another lesson: in 2007-2008 I was overly focused on toppling IE (and Flash and WPF), and thought having all the open-source browsers sharing a single engine implementation wouldn't be a big problem for the Web. I've changed my mind completely; the more code engines share, the more de facto standardization of bugs we would see, so having genuinely separate implementations is very important.

    I'm very grateful to Brendan and others for disregarding my opinions and not letting me lead Mozilla down the wrong path. It would have been a disaster for everyone.

    To let off steam, and leave a paper trail for the future, I wrote four blog posts during 2007-2008 describing some of my thoughts, and published their MD5 hashes. The aftermath of the successful Firefox 57 release seems like an appropriate time to harmlessly declassify those posts. Please keep in mind that my opinions have changed.

  • On Keeping Secrets

    Once upon a time I was at a dinner at a computer science conference. At that time the existence of Chrome was a deeply guarded secret; I knew of it, but I was sworn to secrecy. Out of the blue, one of my dinner companions turned to me and asked "is Google working on a browser?"

    [...]

    One thing I really enjoyed about working at Mozilla was that we didn't have many secrets to keep. Most of the secrets I had to protect were about other companies. Minimizing one's secrecy burden generally seems like a good idea, although I can't eliminate it because it's often helpful to other people for them to be able to share secrets with me in confidence.

  • Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6

     

    Chrome, in other words, is being used in the same way that Internet Explorer 6 was back in the day — with web developers primarily optimizing for Chrome and tweaking for rivals later. To understand how we even got to this stage, here’s a little (a lot) of browser history. If you want to know why saying "Chrome is the new Internet Explorer 6" is so damning, you have to know why IE6 was a damnable problem in the early ‘00s.

Syzbot: Google Continuously Fuzzing The Linux Kernel

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Linux
Google

On the Linux kernel mailing list over the past week has been a discussion about Syzbot, an effort by Google for continuously fuzzing the mainline Linux kernel and its branches with automatic bug reporting.

Syzbot is the automation bot around Syzkaller, the Google-developed unsupervised kernel fuzzer that has since been extended to support FreeBSD, Fuchsia, NetBSD, and Windows. For those curious how the Syzkaller fuzzer works, it's documented via their GitHub documentation and the main project site. Syzkaller has been heavily developed over the past nearly two years while Syzbot is the more recent effort.

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Linux-driven IoT gateway hooks up to Google Cloud analytics

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Linux
Google
Hardware

SolidRun’s “ClearCloud 8K” IoT gateway runs Linux on its quad -A72 MacchiatoBIN SBC with 1-, 2.5-, and 10GbE ports, and links to Google Cloud IoT Core.

SolidRun has launched a MacchiatoBIN ClearCloud 8K IoT gateway appliance with built-in software for connecting to Google’s beta-level Cloud IoT Core analytics service (see farther below). The $399 box is built around SolidRun’s open-spec, $349 Marvell MacchiatoBIN Mini-ITX networking SBC, which features 2.5GbE and 2x 10GbE SFP+ ports, along with a standard Gigabit Ethernet port. The ClearCloud 8K is intended for evaluation use only, and lacks FCC resale compliance for resale.

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More on Chrome 63

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Google
Software
Web
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More in Tux Machines

PlayOnLinux For Easier Use Of Wine

PlayOnLinux is a free program that helps to install, run, and manage Windows software on Linux. It can also manage virtual C: drives (known as Wine prefixes), and download and install certain Windows libraries for getting some software to run on Wine properly. Creating different drives using different Wine versions is also possible. It is very handy because what runs well in one version may not run as well (if at all) on a newer version. There is PlayOnMac for macOS and PlayOnBSD for FreeBSD. Read
more

Linux Kernel: KPTI, SEV, CBS

  • Experimental KPTI Support For x86 32-bit Linux
    For the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) support currently within the Linux kernel for addressing the Meltdown CPU vulnerability it's currently limited to 64-bit on the x86 side, but for the unfortunate souls still running x86 32-bit operating systems, SUSE is working on such support.
  • AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization Is Ready To Roll With Linux 4.16
    With the Linux 4.16 kernel cycle that is expected to begin immediately following the Linux 4.15 kernel debut on Sunday, AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology supported by their new EPYC processors will be mainline. Going back to the end of 2016 have been Linux patches for Secure Encrypted Virtualization while with Linux 4.16 it will finally be part of the mainline kernel and supported with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization.
  • Deadline scheduler part 2 — details and usage
    Linux’s deadline scheduler is a global early deadline first scheduler for sporadic tasks with constrained deadlines. These terms were defined in the first part of this series. In this installment, the details of the Linux deadline scheduler and how it can be used will be examined. The deadline scheduler prioritizes the tasks according to the task’s job deadline: the earliest absolute deadline first. For a system with M processors, the M earliest deadline jobs will be selected to run on the M processors. The Linux deadline scheduler also implements the constant bandwidth server (CBS) algorithm, which is a resource-reservation protocol. CBS is used to guarantee that each task will receive its full run time during every period. At every activation of a task, the CBS replenishes the task’s run time. As the job runs, it consumes that time; if the task runs out, it will be throttled and descheduled. In this case, the task will be able to run only after the next replenishment at the beginning of the next period. Therefore, CBS is used to both guarantee each task’s CPU time based on its timing requirements and to prevent a misbehaving task from running for more than its run time and causing problems to other jobs.

Graphics: Mesa and AMDGPU

  • Mesa 17.3.3 Released With RADV & ANV Vulkan Driver Fixes
    Mesa 17.3.3 is now available as the latest point release for the Mesa 17.3 stable series. This bi-weekly point release to Mesa presents several RADV Vega/GFX9 fixes, various Intel ANV Vulkan driver fixes, a DRI3 fix, and random fixes to the OpenGL drivers like RadeonSI, Etnaviv, and even Swrast.
  • R600g "Soft" FP64 Shows Signs Of Life, Enabling Older GPUs To Have OpenGL 4 In 2018
    Most pre-GCN AMD graphics cards are still limited to OpenGL 3.3 support at this time due to not supporting FP64. Only the HD 5800/6900 series on R600g currently have real double-precision floating-point support working right now so at present they are on OpenGL 4.3 rather than 3.3, but those other generations may be catching up soon thanks to the "soft" FP64 code.
  • AMDGPU DC Gets More Raven Ridge Improvements, Audio Fixes
    Harry Wentland of AMD has sent out the latest batch of patches for the AMDGPU DC display code stack. Fortunately it lightens up the DRM driver by about six thousand lines thanks to removing some unused code. Besides gutting out a chunk of unused code, the DC code has a few audio fixes (no word yet on supporting newer audio formats with DC), fixes on driver unload, a "bunch" of continued Raven Ridge display updates, and various other code clean-ups.
  • AMDGPU Firmware Blobs Updated For Video Encode/Decode
    There are updated AMDGPU microcode/firmware files now available for recent Radeon GPUs. The updated firmware files now available via the main linux-firmware.git repository are centered around the video blocks: UVD video decoding, VCE video encode, and the new VCN video encode/decode block with Raven Ridge.

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