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Netrunner Rolling and Ubuntu Upgrades

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  • Netrunner Rolling Is Back After One and a Half Years, It's Based on Arch Linux

    After one and a half years of silence, the Netrunner Rolling series make a comeback today with the release of version 2017.07, based on Arch Linux and Manjaro operating systems.

    By our count, Netrunner Rolling 2017.07 is here sixteen months after the Netrunner Rolling 2016.01 release, which was unveiled on February 27, 2016, and it's an up-to-date version with all the latest GNU/Linux technologies. The good news is that it's here to stay, and will receive regular updates 3 or 4 for times a year.

  • Clarification and changes to release upgrades

    I’ve recently made some changes to how do-release-upgrade, called by update-manager when you choose to upgrade releases, behaves and thought it’d be a good time to clarify how things work and the changes made.

    When do-release-upgrade is called it reads a meta-release file from to determine what releases are supported and to which release to upgrade. The exact meta-release file changes depending on what arguments, –proposed or –devel-release, are passed to do-release-upgrade. The meta-release file is used to determine which tarball to download and use to actually perform the upgrade. So if you are upgrading from Ubuntu 17.04 to Artful then you are actually using the the ubuntu-release-upgrader code from Artful.


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While the rest of the Linux World is wrangling over fast changing paradigms and the plethora of new Linux Distributions that are popping up everywhere, Linux Mint just keeps on plodding along. They keep change to a minimum and endeavor to maintain a consistent user experience while still improving it. The latest version, Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” was officially released just days before this writing and it’s very good, indeed. The best Linux Mint yet.

I didn’t choose to support Linux Mint exclusively through the EzeeLinux Project. It chooses me. So many folks have asked for help getting started with Linux Mint over the last couple of years that I finally decided to focus on it and promote it for new users. It has proven itself to be a great place for newcomers to Linux to start and it also offers the kind of stability that people who want to use a computer to get stuff done. I keep close tabs on the Mint project’s progress and I downloaded and installed the ISO for 18.2 as soon it as it was announced. I was blown away by how polished it was in this very early form and the final release is rock solid. I have already upgraded most of my personal machines and I also have helped many EzeeLinux community members to upgrade… No one has reported any major issues thus far.

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GNU/Linux Distribution Quirky 8.2 Released

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  • Quirky Xerus64 8.2 final

    This is it, the final official version 8.2 release of Quirky Linux Xerus series. This is for PCs with x86_64 (64-bit) CPUs.

  • Puppy Linux Fork Quirky 8.2 Out with Linux Kernel 4.11, Ubuntu 16.04.2 Packages

    Puppy Linux developer Barry Kauler announced today the release and immediate availability for download of Quirky Linux 8.2 "Xerus" operating system that uses Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) binary packages.

    Built using the woofQ Quirky Linux build system and binary packages from the Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, Quirky Linux 8.2 is fully compatible with all of the software repositories of Ubuntu Linux. The system is now powered by the Linux 4.11.11 kernel that's patched with AUFS support.

Pop! OS Linux from System76 is a rare DIY distro from a hardware vendor

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Pop! OS is more than just another Linux distro. Many Linux OSes borrow from other OSes in one way or another but add their own spin to the OS in question--like a different desktop environment, for example. Pop! OS is not much different in this respect, except that it's developed by System76, a company that sells laptops and desktops preloaded with Ubuntu. Well, for now. System76 recently released an Alpha version of its own Ubuntu-based operating system, dubbed Pop! OS. The company has set the first official release for Pop! OS for October 19.

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GNU/Linux Hardware: Purism Phone, Raptor Engineering Desktop

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  • It Looks Like Purism Might Be Soon Launching Their Libre Linux Phone

    Purism, the company that started out with the Librem laptops that are Linux-friendly and now pre-loaded with Coreboot, has long had ambitions for expanding into tablets, smartphones, and other devices. It looks like the first Purism Phone might soon be announced.

    Slipping (presumably, mistakenly) on their RSS feed a few minutes ago was "Protected: Phone Campaign Temporary Page" and linked here. Albeit it's a password-protected page and thus no information besides the title.

  • Raptor Is Going To Launch A New POWER9 Linux System

    Raptor Engineering who does Coreboot development work and is known for their previous Talos Secure Workstation system to provide a fast and fully libre workstation is going to be launching a new POWER-based workstation.

    Meet the Talos II. Raptor Engineering is teasing the Talos II workstation, which they say will not rely upon crowdfunding unlike the earlier effort and will also cost "far less" than the original Talos. Pre-orders are to open next month while they say this POWER9 system should be shipping in Q4. Details shared so far are dual IBM POWER9 CPUs, five PCI-E slots, fully owner controllable, and workstation performance at competitive pricing.

Moving From "Mac" PC to GNU/Linux and a Praise for Linux Users

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  • The Linux Migration: July 2017 Progress Report

    I’m now roughly six months into using Linux as my primary laptop OS, and it’s been a few months since my last progress report. If you’re just now picking up this thread, I encourage you to go back and read my initial progress report, see which Linux distribution I selected, or check how I chose to handle corporate collaboration (see here, here, and here). In this post, I’ll share where things currently stand.

    My configuration is unchanged from the last progress report. I’m still running Fedora 25, and may consider upgrading to Fedora 26 when it releases (due to be released tomorrow, I believe). I’m still using the Dell Latitude E7370, which continues—from a hardware perspective—to perform admirably. CPU power is a bit limited, but that’s to be expected from a mobile-focused chip. My line-up of applications also remains largely unchanged as well.

  • Linux users are more valuable customers according to COO of Hiri

    When it comes to Linux, the community has a tendency to be branded as 'cheapskates' mainly due to the fact that they usually do not pay for the software they use. However, according to Hiri COO David Founder, this couldn't be further from the truth.

  • Why Linux Users Are Often the Most Valuable Customers

    re Linux users are the most valuable customers you can have? It might sound like a bit of an ego rub, but we think so — and we’re going to tell you why. Over the years we’ve spoken to a lot of software developers, developers making both free and paid-for software.

Debian vs. Linux Mint

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Linux Mint is an independent distribution, but it continues to have close links with Debian. Since 2015, Mint and Debian have had the largest number of page hits on Distrowatch, with Ubuntu closely behind them. However, although both have a similar record for stability and software choice, small differences between the two may make you prefer one over the other.

Because of its history, Debian has a reputation for being an expert's distribution. Increasingly, this reputation is undeserved -- at least if you can follow instructions during installation. Today, Debian's home page labels it "the universal operating system," hinting at its efforts to support as many different types of hardware and levels of user as possible.

By contrast, Linux Mint is intended more at new users. Its About page summarizes this focus by stating that "The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use."

However, these statements give only the broadest overviews of the differences between the two distributions. Installation, desktop environments, administration and package management all combine to make using Linux Mint a different experience from booting up Debian.

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A brief history of GnuPG: vital to online security but free and underfunded

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Most people have never heard of the software that makes up the machinery of the internet. Outside developer circles, its authors receive little reward for their efforts, in terms of either money or public recognition.

One example is the encryption software GNU Privacy Guard (also known as GnuPG and GPG), and its authors are regularly forced to fundraise to continue the project.

GnuPG is part of the GNU collection of free and open source software, but its story is an interesting one, and it begins with software engineer Phil Zimmermann.

We do not know exactly what Zimmermann felt on January 11, 1996, but relief is probably a good guess. The United States government had just ended its investigation into him and his encryption software, PGP or “Pretty Good Privacy”.

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​The ultimate Linux workstation: The Dell 5720 AIO

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Want a cheap Linux desktop? Look elsewhere. But, if you want a kick-rump-and-take-names desktop for serious graphics or development work, you want the Dell 5720 AIO workstation.

This take-no-prisoners workstation starts at $1,699, but the model I looked at costs over $3,200. It's worth it.

This model came with a Quad Core 3.8Ghz Intel Xeon Processor E3-1275. In a word, it's fast.

It also comes with 64GB of 2133MHz DDR4 ECC RAM. That's fast, too. The main memory is backed by a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD and a pair of 1TB 2.5-inch SATA (7,200 RPM) hard drives. Yes, they're really fast, too.

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GNU: GCC Benchmark, Glibc 2.26

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  • GCC vs. Clang Compilers On The Intel Core i9 With Clear Linux

    For those curious about the GCC versus LLVM Clang compilers with Intel's new Core i9 7900X, earlier this month I had ran some compiler benchmarks on this high-end processor.

    I simply forgot to post these GCC vs. Clang i9-7900X benchmark results earlier, but here they are for those interested. The tests were done with the performance-oriented Clear Linux distribution.

  • New Features Coming For Glibc 2.26

    Given our recent articles of Glibc enabling a per-thread cache for malloc and Fedora 27 will use glibc 2.26, you may be curious about some of the other features coming to this next version of the GNU C Library.

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Funding for Dremio and

BSD: OpenBSD, Benchmarking LLVM/Clang, and AMD Zen Scheduler Model Lands In LLVM

  • Blog about my blog

    I want to try it again, and this time I decided to create a self-hosted blog. Something that runs on my own server and with httpd, the web server that I wrote for OpenBSD.  


    i That's why I decided to write my articles, including this one, in Markdown and use another tool such as lowdown to generate the XML pages for sblg.

  • Benchmarking LLVM/Clang's New AMD Zen Scheduler Model
    Just prior to LLVM 5.0 being branched yesterday, the AMD Zen scheduler model finally landed in LLVM and has the potential of boosting the performance of generated binaries targeting AMD's Zen "znver1" architecture. Here are some benchmarks of LLVM Clang 4.0 compared to the latest LLVM Clang compiler code when testing with both generic x86-64 optimizations and then optimized builds for the first-generation Zen CPUs, tested on a Ryzen 7 processor.
  • AMD Zen Scheduler Model Lands In LLVM, Makes It For LLVM 5.0
    It was coming down to the wire for the new AMD Zen scheduler model in LLVM 5.0 but now it's managed to land just hours before the LLVM 5.0 branching. The new Zen "znver1" scheduler model for LLVM was published by AMD in patch form last week and now this morning it's been merged to mainline LLVM. Funny enough, thanks to an Intel developer with commit rights to LLVM due to the AMD contributor not having access.

OSS: VirtualBox, AMD EPYC Platform Letdown, Choosing FOSS, Open Source Blockchain Project, and RcppAPT 0.0.4

  • VirtualBox 5.1.24 Brings a Better Support for AMD Ryzen CPUs
    VirtualBox is a free and an open-source application for virtualization on x86 platforms. VirtualBox development team has announced a new maintenance release VirtualBox 5.1.24. The recent release of VirtualBox brought more support for AMD Ryzen processors to run certain guests such as Microsoft Windows XP. Emulating more SSE2 instructions. Fixing multiple issues with the graphical user interface for KDE Plasma, and black screen on reboot for multi-screen setup under certain conditions.
  • AMD EPYC Platform Security Processor Code Will Not Be Open Source
    AMD EPYC has been getting some bad word of mouth due to what Intel has been trying to portray but much has been cleared out in the official presentation. Many users that are worried about security have asked AMD to open source the AMD EPYC Platform security processor code. That will not be the case according to AMD. AMD EPYC Platform security processor is designed to keep the user safe from attacks because the OS can’t see what the PSP or IME is doing. Similarly, the user will also not know what the chips are doing. That is all great if the chip is keeping the user safe but it also means that if the defenses are breached then the user will not realize that as well.
  • Open Source: To Use Or Not To Use (And How To Choose)
    You'd like to use open source software, but you're not sure what criteria you should use when deciding whether to rely on it for a specific project or not. I have a long, complicated history with open source software.
  • Japanese Online Giant GMO Launches Open Source Blockchain Project
    Internet giant GMO Internet Inc. of Japan today announced the launch of the GMO Blockchain Open Source Software Project (GMO Blockchain OSS). The system will allow users to develop programs using blockchain as open source. In a first attempt by the company using this platform, the company has developed an open source medical record sharing system and launched it on July 6th, 2017.
  • RcppAPT 0.0.4