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GNU/Linux Gains on Laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Writing With a Linux Laptop

    Open source solutions like Linux provide for greater productivity; check out our screencast highlighting how a Linux Laptop functions.

  • Google Updates: Security in motion, Linux in launcher and Ethereum in the sin bin

    Back to Google proper, and Chrome OS. After wowing us with a promise of Linux compatibility, it has now emerged that the integration could run deeper than we thought. The latest news out of Mountain View is that Linux apps will be treated like any others - that means you'll be able to launch them from the app launcher, which is cooler than we even expected.

  • Pixelbook and “Nami” Chromebooks the first to get Linux GPU acceleration in Project Crostini

    I don’t have a Pixelbook for testing right now, otherwise, I’d pop it into Developer Mode and jump on the Canary channel. However, I do still have a loaner Acer Chromebook Spin 13, so I’ll give it a go later today and see if the newly added code from early this morning is there in the Canary Channel; if it is, I’ll circle back with observations on how well it does or doesn’t work for the Android emulator in Android Studio and possibly a game or two using Steam.

  • Pixelbook and 'Nami' Chromebooks the First To Get Linux GPU Acceleration in Project Crostini

    I've been following the bug report that tracks progress on adding GPU acceleration for the Linux container in Chrome OS and there's good news today. The first two Chrome OS boards should now, or very soon, be able to try GPU hardware acceleration with the new startup parameter found last month. The bug report says the -enable-gpu argument was added to the Eve and Nami boards.

  • Chrome OS to test early GPU support for Linux apps soon

    If you’ve kept up with Chrome OS in the past six months or so, you’ll know that one of the more interesting new features to launch is Linux apps support. While this has potential to introduce all sorts of new applications to Chrome OS, there are some features missing that hold it back, in this early stage. One of the most anticipated features, graphics acceleration (or GPU support), necessary for running Linux games and some other apps, will be available to test soon on Chrome OS.

Software, apps are surveillance tools: Privacy activist Richard M Stallman

Filed under
GNU

Richard M Stallman, a US-based free software and privacy activist, said on Friday that modern mobile phones are a dream tool that Joseph Stalin would have loved to have, as they allow indiscriminate surveillance of every user.
Delivering a public lecture at RV College of Engineering here, Stallman said: “They never go off. There is no button to switch them off. At best, they pretend to turn off but they are always listening and sending back information to servers owned by the manufacturers of the operating systems. They would’ve been (Joseph) Stalin’s dream, but unfortunately for him the technology didn’t exist then, but sadly for us, it does now.”
He warned students from uploading his photographs or videos from the lecture on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram—all social messaging/networking sites/applications—claiming that they were “the three big mouths of the surveillance monster.”

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Clear Linux's make-fmv-patch Eases The Creation Of GCC FMV-Enabled Code Paths

Filed under
Development
GNU

One of the GCC compiler features unfortunately not taken advantage of by most Linux distributions is FMV - Function Multi-Versioning. FMV is what allows for the compilation of different tuned code paths depending upon the processor and for the particular code-path to be chosen at run-time, i.e. optimizing to your heart's content with AVX, SSE4, and other instruction set extensions and compiling all of that into a single binary and for the preferred code path to be taken depending upon the CPU running the binary so it will still run on older CPUs as well as today's most powerful processors.

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Wikipedia cofounder: How and why I transitioned to Linux—how you can, too

Filed under
GNU
Linux

My first introduction to the command line was in the 80s when I first started learning about computers and, like many geeky kids of the time, wrote my first BASIC computer programs. But it wasn’t until my job starting Nupedia (and then Wikipedia) that I spent much time on the Bash command line.
(Let me explain. “Bash” means “Bourne-again shell,” a rewrite of the class Unix shell “sh.” A “shell” is a program for interacting with the computer by processing terse commands to do basic stuff like find and manipulate files; a terminal, or terminal emulator, is a program that runs a shell. The terminal is what shows you that command line, where you type your commands like “move this file there” and “download that file from this web address” and “inject this virus into that database”. The default terminal used by Linux Ubuntu, for example, is called Gnome Terminal–which runs Bash, the standard Linux shell.)
Even then (and in the following years when I got into programming again), I didn’t learn much beyond things like cd (switch directory) and ls (list directory contents).
It was then, around 2002, that I first decided to install Linux. Back then, maybe the biggest “distro” (flavor of Linux) was Red Hat Linux, so that’s what I installed. I remember making a partition (dividing the hard disk into parts, basically) and dual-booting (installing and making it possible to use both) Linux and Windows. It was OK, but it was also rather clunky and much rougher and much less user-friendly than the Windows of the day. So I didn’t use it much.

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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp pose privacy risks, warns free software guru Richard Stallman

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GNU

Think twice before posting anyone’s photo on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, says free software guru Richard Stallman. As a few among the strongest centralised surveillance mechanisms in the world, even with a picture of the back of head, they would be able to track where you go and what you do, he added.
The software guru’s lecture titled Education Freedom Day lecture, organised by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software and Society for Promotion of Alternate Computing and Employment (SPACE) in Thiruvananthapuram, had first bewildered information technology professionals and academicians when he asked them to “switch-off the geo-location feature of your smartphone, if you are taking my photos”.
He said that 90% of the 1,000 free applications in Google Play stores can spy, according to the latest studies and asked why should the fleshlight application be linked to the server. Even the data on the sex toy go to the server, with its thermometer readings sharing the time of contact. He argued that owners of the firms who spy on a user’s personal data should be jailed. Richard Matthew Stallman, according to Wikipedia, “is an Amercian freedom activist and a computer programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in such a manner that a user receiving it, likewise receives with it the freedom to use, study, distribute and modify that software”.

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Desktop: Google Chromebook, Distros, Coin Mining and What We Should Expect From Linux in 2019

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • What is a Google Chromebook?

    You’ve probably seen the term Chromebook mentioned on the internet, and you might be wondering what they are, and how they differ from regular laptops.

    In this guide we’ll explain what a Chromebook is, list the pros and cons of the devices, and help you decide whether or not a Chromebook is right for you.

    If you’re after in-depth buying advice on specific models, check out our Should I Buy a Chromebook? and Best Chromebook guides.

  • What's your favorite desktop Linux distribution?

    So, for our annual poll, we pulled the top 15 distributions according to DistroWatch over the past 12 months. It's not scientific—but it's something to start with, and we had to cull it down somehow.

    Did your favorite distribution fall short of the cut-off point? Let us know what it is in the comments. And no matter what distro you choose, be sure to let us know why it's your favorite. What's so great that makes it your distribution of choice?

  • The Top 4 Ways Your Linux Computer Can Earn You Money

    Computers, whether they run Linux or not, as a rule, don't tend to be cheap. However, what if I was to tell you that you can offset at least some of that cost by using the machine itself? Well, you can, and below you can find out exactly how to do this.

  • What Should We Expect from Linux in 2019?

    There are a lot more questions about what the open source community will do this year like would Ubuntu finally have stable support for fractional scaling? Will snap apps finally blend in perfectly with the UI of the distros they run on by default? Which distros will be the most innovative?

    Which features will you like to see any Linux distros and open source apps this year? Do you have any hints or inside information on the cool improvements to come? Tell us all about it below in the comments section.

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

Some More Attacks on the GPL and Latest Compliance Story

Filed under
GNU
Legal
  • GPL Cooperation Commitment: Promise of Collaborative Interpretation [Ed: IP Kat perpetuates the Microsoft-connected (and funded) lie that GPL "popularity has dropped dramatically during the past decade," citing Jono Bacon and Microsoft-funded 'analysts', proxies like Black Duck. To this date, in light of the GitHub takeover, Microsoft managers are badmouthing the GPL and many anti-GPL 'studies' are based on this Microsoft site alone.]

    GNU General Public Licence version 2 (GPLv2) was written in the early nineties to ensure compliant distribution of copyleft-licensed software. Even though its popularity has dropped dramatically during the past decade, it nevertheless continues to be one of the most widely used and important open source licences.

    Notedly, GPLv2 was drafted by non-legal free (as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”) software enthusiasts and yet it has necessitated legal interpretation and application in accordance with IP and contract law principles. For nearly two decades, compliance and enforceability of the licence by its users has had to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty with respect to its terms.

  • HMD releases source code for Nokia 8 Sirocco

    HMD has released the source code for Nokia 8 Sirocco and it is now available for download on the official Nokia website.

Events: SUSECON, Richard Stallman in Montana, ELC Shows in San Diego and Lyon

Filed under
GNU
OSS
  • SUSECON: The Best Open Source Conference Value in the World!
  • Richard Stallman to speak at MSU-Bozeman
  • 2019 Linux Foundation events include ELC shows in San Diego and Lyon

    The Linux Foundation announced its 2019 schedule of events, including new events about Ceph and gRPC. The Embedded Linux Conference will co-locate with the Open Source Summit in San Diego on Aug. 21-23.

    Now’s the time to schedule your plans for Linux events, most of which occur under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. The LF has revealed its 2019 calendar for conferences, including two new events: Cephalocon, which will explore the world of the Ceph storage standard and gRPC Conf, which covers gPRC Remote Procedure Call technology. In 2018, Linux Foundation events attracted more than 32,000 attendees from more than 11,000 organizations across 113 countries. The LF expects 35,000 participants in 2019.

Steam Play and More From Valve for GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gaming
  • Valve put out a new Steam beta client, plenty of Linux fixes and no more Steam Play zero-byte downloads

    Valve have put out their second beta update to the Steam client this year and this is actually a rather nice one.

    Firstly, the big annoyance of Steam Play titles always having a zero-byte download when you first load the Steam client has been solved. It will still do it once but when you update them again now, it won't happen again (confirmed that myself). While in reality it was a really minor issue, it was damn annoying so it's great to see it fixed.

    On top of that, Steam now supports ipv6 for "connections to download servers", DPI and screen size changes bugs were fixed, a new force quit option in the normal Steam Overlay if a game is frozen but the overlay still works that will be handy.

  • Steam Client Beta Updated With Many Linux Fixes, Vulkan Caching Updates

    Valve has just released their biggest Steam client beta update of the year so far for Linux gamers.

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How to Integrate Dropbox in Ubuntu Using Nautilus File Manager

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Security: Cincoze Back Doors (ME), Windows 10 Mobile Killed (No More Patches), New FUD About 'Linux Servers'

  • Industrial Apollo Lake mini-PC features dual GbE with PoE
    Cincoze announced a compact, rugged “DA-1100” embedded PC with an Apollo Lake SoC, triple display support, dual GbE ports with PoE, 4x USB 3.0 ports, SATA, and expansion via mini-PCIe and homegrown add-on modules. Cincoze has updated its “entry level” Intel Bay Trail based DA-1000 industrial mini-PC, which is sold under the same name in the U.S. by Logic Supply. The new Apollo Lake based DA-1100, which is now referred to as an edge computer is not only a bit faster, but offers a few key enhancements, including PoE and triple displays. No pricing was listed by Taiwan-based Cincoze, but Logic Supply sold the earlier DA-1000 at $569 and up including a 32GB SATA SSD. It’s possible the new model will end up at Logic Supply as well.
  • Microsoft is Ending Windows 10 Mobile Support on December 10th, 2019
    After the end of support, Windows Phones will continue to work, but some features will eventually shut down. Automatic and manual backups for settings and apps will cease after March 10, 2020. And services like photo upload and device restore will stop December 2020.
  • Linux-Targeting Cryptojacking Malware Disables Cloud-Based Security Measures: Report [Ed: They make it sound like GNU/Linux is the problem; but it relies on already-compromised GNU/Linux systems]
    A new cryptojacking malware has the ability to disable cloud-based security measures to avoid detection on Linux servers, research by information security company Palo Alto Networks Jan. 17 reveals. The malware in question mines Monero (XMR) and is reportedly a modified version of one used by the so-called “Rocke” group, originally discovered by cybersecurity firm Talos in August last year. According to the research, one of the first things that the malware does is check for other cryptocurrency mining processes and add firewall rules to block any other cryptojacking malware.

GNU/Linux Gains on Laptops

  • Writing With a Linux Laptop
    Open source solutions like Linux provide for greater productivity; check out our screencast highlighting how a Linux Laptop functions.
  • Google Updates: Security in motion, Linux in launcher and Ethereum in the sin bin
    Back to Google proper, and Chrome OS. After wowing us with a promise of Linux compatibility, it has now emerged that the integration could run deeper than we thought. The latest news out of Mountain View is that Linux apps will be treated like any others - that means you'll be able to launch them from the app launcher, which is cooler than we even expected.
  • Pixelbook and “Nami” Chromebooks the first to get Linux GPU acceleration in Project Crostini
    I don’t have a Pixelbook for testing right now, otherwise, I’d pop it into Developer Mode and jump on the Canary channel. However, I do still have a loaner Acer Chromebook Spin 13, so I’ll give it a go later today and see if the newly added code from early this morning is there in the Canary Channel; if it is, I’ll circle back with observations on how well it does or doesn’t work for the Android emulator in Android Studio and possibly a game or two using Steam.
  • Pixelbook and 'Nami' Chromebooks the First To Get Linux GPU Acceleration in Project Crostini
    I've been following the bug report that tracks progress on adding GPU acceleration for the Linux container in Chrome OS and there's good news today. The first two Chrome OS boards should now, or very soon, be able to try GPU hardware acceleration with the new startup parameter found last month. The bug report says the -enable-gpu argument was added to the Eve and Nami boards.
  • Chrome OS to test early GPU support for Linux apps soon
    If you’ve kept up with Chrome OS in the past six months or so, you’ll know that one of the more interesting new features to launch is Linux apps support. While this has potential to introduce all sorts of new applications to Chrome OS, there are some features missing that hold it back, in this early stage. One of the most anticipated features, graphics acceleration (or GPU support), necessary for running Linux games and some other apps, will be available to test soon on Chrome OS.

Second Godot 3.1 Beta

  • Godot 3.1 Beta 2
    We entered the release freeze last week with Godot 3.1 beta 1, and many high priority bug reports have been fixed since then. We're now publishing a new beta 2 snapshot for testers to work with. This new release fixes various crash scenarios, as well as a performance regression in the GLES backend. We're still aiming for a release by the end of the month, so we're under a tight schedule. From now on dev focus is on release-critical issues that would seriously hamper Godot 3.1's usability and features. Contrarily to our 3.0.x maintenance releases, which include only thoroughly reviewed and backwards-compatible bug fixes, the 3.1 version includes all the new features (and subsequent bugs!) merged in the master branch since January 2018, and especially all those showcased on our past devblogs. It's been almost a year since the 3.0 release and close to 6,000 commits, so expect a lot of nice things in the final 3.1 version!
  • Godot 3.1 Beta 2 Released With OpenGL ES Performance Fix
    The developers behind Godot, one of the leading open-source game engines, have announced their second beta release for the upcoming Godot 3.1 feature release. Godot 3.1 initially entered beta earlier this month as stepping towards the first major release of this cross-platform game engine since Godot 3.0 last year. Godot 3.1 is preparing OpenGL ES 2.0 rendering support, continued work around virtual reality (VR) support, 3D soft body physics capabilities, constructive solid geometry, BPTC texture compression, a new visual shader editor, WebSockets support, and various game developer/editor improvements.