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fx_cast Adds Chromecast Support To Firefox

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF

While Firefox doesn't natively support Chromecast on desktop, there's a new third party tool called fx_cast, that adds Chromecast support to Firefox, on Windows, macOS and Linux.

fx_cast is currently "very work in progress". Its developers say it's currently incomplete and likely buggy.

fx_cast is made of two parts: a Firefox extension and a companion application that needs to run in the background. To work around Google's proprietary protocol, fx_cast needs a companion bridge application that uses Electron (a bit of an inception here) to be installed on the computer, which then connects with the receiver devices. Right now there are bridge companion app binaries for Linux (RPM and DEB) and macOS only. While Windows is supported, there are no Windows binaries for now because the fx_cast developer doesn't use Windows.

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How to create an automated calendar with Google Apps Script with open source on top

Filed under
Google
OSS
HowTos

Speaking at conferences can be hard. This tutorial aims to help you better manage the "administrivia" of submitting to calls for proposals (CFPs) and speaking at conferences.

I primarily speak about open source tools or open organization concepts, and I think it's really important to share with others. If you're interested in speaking, check out some of the conferences mentioned in this article, read this awesome resource, and feel free to contact me if you need any tips or help. It also might help to read some of these great tips for organizers, as they may help you better formulate a proposal that can get accepted.

In addition to being a speaker, I'm on the CFP review board for DevOpsDays KC, so I know a little bit about the topic curation side of the CFP process. Pro tip: We found this past year that someone was A/B testing their titles with us, and our ratings were affected by the title. The descriptions were identical.

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GNU/Linux on Chromebooks: the Latest

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • GPU Acceleration Enabled For Linux Apps on Pixelbook and Handful of Other Chromebooks

    According to a recent report over at About Chromebooks, Google’s Pixelbook and devices based on the ‘Nami’ baseboard are getting a very early taste of GPU acceleration for Linux Apps.

    We’ve talked about all this a bit more in-depth in the past, but here’s the reason this is important: GPU acceleration allows applications to fully leverage the GPU (graphics processing unit) present in all Chromebooks to better run graphic-intensive tasks like image editing, video editing, and gaming.

  • Testing the Linux virtual machine on Chrome OS

    As part of my ongoing quest to assess the feasibility of alternative (i.e. non-Windows or –macOS-based) computing platforms, regular readers may remember that I've so far published two posts on my experiences using a Chrome OS-based Google Pixelbook (its predecessor, a Toshiba Chromebook 2 2014 edition, still doesn't have long-promised Android support, by the way ... and if you'd like to follow in my footsteps, Pixelbook refurbs are on sale at Best Buy). In my most recent writeup, I discussed how the ability to run Android apps on top of Chrome OS significantly enhanced its viability as a mainstream operating system alternative. However, I also commented "these are [Android] apps originally intended for use on comparatively resource-poor smartphones and tablets." While they may have "light memory and CPU horsepower demands (versus, say, a full-blown macOS or Windows app equivalent)," this means that they also tend to be feature-deficient compared to a full-blown macOS or Windows app equivalent.

  • Snapdragon Chromebook ‘Cheza’ Ushers In Updated Linux Kernel

    Currently, the most recent version of the Linux kernel that can be found in a Chromebook is 4.4 and that only includes a relatively small percentage of all the Chrome devices on the market.

    With the exception of older Baytrail devices, kernel version 4.4 is found exclusively in Kaby Lake, Apollo Lake and OP1(RockChip RK3399) machines. These Linux kernels are at the core of what makes an operating system a functioning thing. The central nervous system, if you will.

Android-x86 8.1 Officially Released, Lets You Run Android 8.1 Oreo on Your PC

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Google

The Android-x86 Project announced the general availability of the Android-x86 8.1-r1 stable release, a GNU/Linux distribution that lets you run Google's Android mobile operating system on your PC.
After entering development last year in June, the Android-x86 8.1 release, which is based on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo mobile operating system, saw two RC (Release Candidate) builds that allowed testers to try the upcoming OS on their PCs. Three months after the last RC build, the Android-x86 8.1 release is now finally stable and ready for mass adoption.

Software rendering is also possible on unsupported GPU devices with OpenGL ES 2.0 support via SwiftShader, and Android-x86 8.1 also comes with support for hardware accelerated codecs on devices powered by Intel HD and Intel G45 graphics cards series. For newer Intel and AMD GPUs, this release adds experimental Vulkan support available via Advanced options on the boot menu.

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Also: The 15-minute Chromebook tune-up

CTL Announces $300 Rugged Chromebook Tablet for the Education Market

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

The Chromebook Tablet (seriously though, why can’t get rid of the “book” in that title?) education revolution is here. Acer started it, ASUS got in on it, and now CTL is getting in the game. Here’s the skinny.

You’d be forgiven if your first thought was “…who is CTL?,” because honestly, they’re not as well known as some of the other companies that are active in the Chrome OS market. Still, they make some fantastic Chromebooks and Chromeboxes (see, we don’t say “Chromebook Desktop,” so why aren’t they called Chrometabs?) designed to be more robust than the average Chrome OS device.

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Chrome OS Gets More Closely-Knit With GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Chrome OS will soon let you search for and install Linux apps from the launcher

    We’ve talked a lot about Chrome OS‘ ability to install various Linux applications. From supporting the ability to install Debian packages to some kernel modules being backported so that older Chrome OS devices can support Linux apps. There has been a lot of activity in this area in the last 12 months. This added support is a big deal for a lot of people with some saying it’s the biggest change to Chrome OS since the added support of Android apps. Now, some new details have been discovered that suggest Chrome OS will soon let you search for and install these supported Linux apps directly from the launcher.

  • Chrome OS Launcher May Soon Be Able To Search For And Install Linux Apps

    The entire Crostini (Linux apps on Chromebooks) effort has moved along quite quickly when you think about it. In just 6 short months, we’ve gone from not having an official option for Linux apps (though Crouton is and was an amazing effort) to seeing a majority of Chromebooks gain baked-in access to Linux on Chrome OS.

    While we’re still eagerly awaiting a few big, missing features (audio and GPU acceleration), the core pieces are falling into place quite nicely and many users are already finding great workflows with their favorite Linux apps on Chrome OS.

  • Chrome OS may let users find new Linux apps from the App Launcher

    Chrome OS has always been based on Linux, but with its new beta support for Linux apps, the system has been opened to a wealth of powerful new applications otherwise inaccessible. The problem is, unless you’re already a Linux guru, you likely have no idea what those Linux apps are. Google is looking to fix this by making Linux apps you can install discoverable from the Chrome OS app launcher.

    In a new commit posted last night to Chromium’s Gerrit source code management, we see our first signs of returning behavior for Chrome OS’s app launcher. From the handy search tool, you will be able to search for Linux apps beyond just the ones you already have installed.

  • Chrome OS may allow Linux software to be installed from the launcher

    Chrome Story discovered a commit on the Chromium repo which adds the ability to search for and install Linux packages from the Chrome OS launcher. The bug tracker description reads, "Add APT search into Chrome OS App Launcher, so that uninstalled Linux packages and Apps can be searched for and installed via the App launcher." The feature doesn't appear to be live on Chrome OS Canary yet, but the flag will be called #crostini-app-search.

‘Linux for Chromebooks’ May Let Chromebook Owners Choose Which Distro to Use

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Last year Google wowed Linux geeks the world over with a feature that lets Chromebook users run desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS.

The feature, dubbed ‘Crostini’ at the time, but now known by the catching title “Linux (beta) for Chromebooks”, continues to improve with each new dev update to Chrome OS (for instance, it will soon add graphics acceleration).

But Google isn’t stopping there.

The search giant now plans to extend the Linux (beta) for Chromebook feature to allow device managers to choose a Linux distro on which it runs.

As one distro does not fit all, this is an important development for developers in particular.

Someone working in the worlds of Red Hat want or prefer a set of tools, setups or distro-specific software configured in a certain way. Similarly, someone working with Snap apps on Ubuntu may prefer having an Ubuntu more beneficial while hacking around with Ubuntu specific technologies.

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Also: Global PC shipments fell for seventh straight year in 2018

Chrome OS may soon let companies choose their own distro for Linux apps

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Midway through last year, Google launched one of my favorite features of Chrome OS, Linux app support. As it stands, this support works through a virtualized Linux, based on Debian. However, there’s many, many flavors of Linux out there, each with their own pros and cons. Google seems to be accounting for that with the ability for companies to choose their own Linux distro for Chrome OS’s Linux apps support.

Some companies are very particular about which operating systems their employees run company programs on, usually in an effort to keep their secrets safely in-house. Google is no exception to this, having their own “gLinux”, a modified Linux distro based on Debian, with Google-specific enhancements. Using this distro is a requirement for many work-related tasks Googlers need to accomplish on a daily basis.

With these tight restrictions in place, some enterprise users won’t be able to make the most of Chrome OS’s new Linux app support for their work needs. To that end, Google is creating a way for companies to provide an alternative Linux distro for managed Chrome OS devices, using device policy.

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Also: Is System76 Hardware Reliable? My Lemur Laptop 3, Years Later

Chrome 73 Enabling The Mojo Video Decoders For Linux

Filed under
Google
Web

The upcoming Chrome 72 release enables the "Mojo Video Decoders" by default on Windows while that milestone is set to be realized for Linux systems with the following Chrome 73 web-browser update.

Mojo Video Decoders? This work hasn't been talked about by Google as much as many of their other web browser efforts. In fact, I wasn't even familiar with it until a Phoronix reader (h/t Tim R) pointed out a patch enabling this next-gen video decode code for Linux desktop systems. Since just before the holidays, the Chrome/Chromium code enabled Mojo Video Decoders by default on Linux systems.

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New Cheap Chromebook and Recycled Computers With GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Acer’s New Chromebook is Cheap, Big, And One of the First to Run an AMD Processor

    At CES 2019 Acer took the wraps off a new Chromebook, and it’s one of the first to use an AMD processor. Like so many of the company’s other Chromebooks, it’s an entry-level model.

    At first blush, there isn’t really anything remarkable about the Chromebook 315, but a quick peek under the hood reveals its AMD A-Series processor. While that chip on its own is nothing to write home about, its inclusion in a Chromebook is, since most Chromebooks use either Intel or ARM-based silicon.

    Acer makes the second company to announce an AMD-powered Chromebook at CES (HP also announced one), proving that AMD is looking to start edging its way into the Chromebook market. While both of the current AMD ‘books are very much entry-level machines, more options are never going to be a bad thing.

  • Ten Years After - Part 1

    2008 was a pivotal year for me. For those who do not know, my project places repaired computers into the homes of financially disadvantaged students.

    In 2008, The HeliOS Project was invited to become an affiliate of Software in the Public Interest. That was a huge deal for us in that it allowed us to offer tax receipts for donations. I never fully realized just how important this is until I was able to provide this documentation to donors. It tripled our hardware donations within 90 days of becoming part of SPI.

    It was also the year that HeliOS began our work in earnest. We had potentially stacks and stacks of computers then, as opposed to the half dozen or so out in my garage on any given day. With that growth, we were able to get down to business, the way I had always planned this project to grow. In 2008, we places 291 computers into the homes of disadvantaged kids in and around the Austin area.

  • Computer buffs flock to Ubuntu group to learn more about free OS

    Rochester Hills resident Scott Bicknell got his hands on an older laptop that was headed for the trash.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux 5.2 + Mesa 19.2 Performance With Polaris/Vega/Vega20 vs. NVIDIA On Ubuntu 19.04

With last week having delivered fresh benchmarks of the mid-range NVIDIA/AMD graphics cards using the very latest drivers, particularly the in-development Linux 5.2 and Mesa 19.2 components with the Radeon graphics cards tested, here is a similar comparison when moving up the spectrum and focusing on the higher-end graphics cards. Here's a look at how the RX 590, RX Vega 56, RX Vega 64, and Radeon VII are performing with the newest open-source AMD driver code compared to the NVIDIA Turing line-up backed by their latest binary driver. While next month will be Radeon RX 5700 series Linux benchmarking using the newest code (DRM-Next / Linux 5.3), this article is offering a fresh look at how the Linux 5.2 kernel performance is shaping up on the higher-end graphics cards as complementary to last week's numbers. The four Radeon cards tested were using the Linux 5.2 Git kernel and Mesa 19.2-devel using the Oibaf PPA. The NVIDIA Pascal and Turing cards benchmarked were using their latest driver available, version 430.26. Read more

Android Leftovers

Introducing GNOME Usage’s Storage panel

GNOME Usage is a new GNOME application to visualize system resources such as memory consumption and disk space. It has been developed by Petr Stetka, a high school intern in our Red Hat office in Brno. Petr is an outstanding coder for such a young fellow and has done a great job with Usage! Usage is powered by libgtop, the same library used by GNOME System Monitor. One is not a replacement for the other, they complement our user experience by offering two different use cases: Usage is for the everyday user that wants to check which application is eating their resources, and System Monitor is for the expert that knows a bit of operating system internals and wants more technical information being displayed. Besides, Usage has a bit of Baobab too. It contains a Storage panel that allows for a quick analysis of disk space. Read more

Android Leftovers