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Cinnamon Desktop Spices Up RoboLinux Raptor

Filed under
GNU
Linux

RoboLinux is a unique distro that focuses on incorporating Windows versions XP through 10 within a fully functional Linux operating system. You might never need the Stealth VM features that let you easily install and run Microsoft Windows within most any Linux distro. Still, RoboLinux is a topnotch general purpose Linux computing platform that comes with a choice of leading desktop environments. RoboLinux creates a cloned Drive C from a Windows partition and installs your favorite Windows version with all of your costly Windows software running in a virtual machine.

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GCC 9 Drops Support For Older ARM Microarchitecture Versions

Filed under
Development
GNU

Next year's GCC 9 compiler release will be eliminating support for older ARM versions.

Fortunately, ARMv7 and newer is still in great shape given they are still common and even ARMv6 support is also still supported by the GNU Compiler Collection. But as of Friday they dropped support for ARMv3 and older followed by dropping ARMv5 and ARMv5E.

The dropping of ARMv3 and older even includes finally eliminating the support for ARM2. The ARM2 target in GCC is finally no more.

This doesn't come as too much of a surprise though with pre-ARMv4T support being deprecated since GCC 6 and the ARMv5 support being deprecated since GCC 7 last year.

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Also: Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.0 beta 3

Linux fragmentation - The Sum of All Egos

Filed under
GNU
Linux

If Tom Clancy had been a technophile of the software kind, he'd have used this title instead of the familiar one for one of his iconic blockbuster thrillers. The thing is, Linux accounts for a tiny percentage of the overall desktop market share. The perennial 1% has been around roughly since 2005, and even if the actual share is higher than that, it's still a small and largely insignificant fraction. And yet, there are hundreds of Linux distributions populating this narrow, crowded arena. Why? Well, ego, of course.

One might say: open source. Ah, well, the open-source nature of Linux has been the chief excuse to the colorful abundance of replication and duplication of the Linux desktop world, while at the same time serving as the main catalyst to the expansion of Linux in the commercial space, which makes for a dubious cause. I believe the reason is different. Let me tell you what it is.

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Purism/PureOS Development Updates

Filed under
GNU
Linux
GNOME
  • virtual-keyboard: Add new virtual keyboard protocol
  • Purism Is Proposing A Virtual Keyboard Protocol For Wayland

    Purism's Dorota Czaplejewicz has been active within the Wayland community recently as they work on their Librem 5 phone Wayland compositor and Phosh shell for this software stack and iMX8 hardware they hope to begin shipping next year.

    On behalf of Purism, Dorota's latest Wayland work is proposing a new virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland. This allows for the emulation of keyboards by applications and complements the existing input-method protocol. The new virtual-keyboard protocol is based upon the Wayland keyboard specification but with support for seat bindings and dropping serials.

  • Introducing Calls

    Arguably the most critical functionality in a phone is the ability to make and receive calls through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), that is normal cellular calls using phone numbers. While at Purism we are eager to implement communication systems that enable much greater privacy and security than one can expect from PSTN calls, the PSTN is still the most ubiquitous network and for the time being we can’t very well go around selling a phone that isn’t able to make PSTN calls.⁰

    My task has been to develop a dialer and call handler for PSTN calls. Like all of our work on the Librem 5, this is intended to make use of existing code wherever possible and also target the GNOME platform which our PureOS defaults to. There is currently no GNOME PSTN dialer so we intend to contribute our program to the GNOME project.

  • Purism Introduces Its Telepathy-Using GTK3-Based Phone Dialer Plans

    Purism has formally introduced "Calls", its GTK3-based PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone dialing application that it hopes will be accepted into the upstream GNOME project. Purism plans to develop this phone dialer using GNOME's Telepathy framework but for now is using a simple oFono back-end.

    Calls is the new program Purism is developing to make and receive conventional telephone calls for supporting their default GNOME-based software stack being developed for the Purism 5 smartphone.

    While Telepathy is controversial among even GNOME developers, they are pursuing this framework for their phone call application as it will also support SIP calls and other features provided by the GNOME framework.

Starting With GNU/Linux and GNU/Linux on Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • A beginner’s guide to Linux

    The key difference is that Linux is open source. In the most simple terms, it just means that no one single person or corporation controls the code. Instead, the operating system is maintained by a dedicated group of developers from around the world. Anyone who is interested can contribute to the code and help check for errors. Linux is more than an operating system; it is a community.

  • Why Linux apps on Chromebooks are a really big deal (really!)

    It may have gotten lost in the shuffle of all the Android P news at Google's I/O conference last week, but fear not, dear friends: Chrome OS has definitely not been forgotten.

    Google's been making steady progress in advancing its Chromebook operating system over the past several months, particularly around its efforts to further align Android and Chrome OS and turn Chromebooks into all-purpose productivity machines and Android tablet replacements. Practically every week, in fact, there's some new and noteworthy feature being added into the platform (something we've talked about a great deal in my weekly newsletter as of late).

    And though it wasn't in the keynote, a massive new development did sneak its way into Chrome OS during I/O: the quietly announced ability for Chromebooks to run Linux apps as if they were native applications, without the need for any complex and security-defeating configurations. Linux app support is on its way to the Pixelbook to start — currently in that device's developer channel and likely becoming available much more broadly before long.

Is GIMP’s 2.10 Release Catching up with Photoshop?

Filed under
GNU
Reviews

Of the many notable new features, GIMP 2.10 has ported most of its image processing capabilities to GEGL, a data flow based image processing framework that is free software (its source code is in GNOME git).

GEGL provides floating point processing and non-destructive image processing capabilities, “allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more”.

GIMP’s lack of multi-core processing has historically caused performance issues, which is a true deterrent in the graphics processing world.

Moreover, the program can now utilise parallel processing, which is a big deal for various reasons, namely, more efficient processor usage through use of multiple cores.

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Talos II Lite

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Raptor Launching Talos II Lite POWER9 Computer System At A Lower Cost

    For those that have been interested in the Talos II POWER-based system that is fully open-source down to the firmware but have been put off by its cost, Raptor Computer Systems today announced the Talos II Lite that is a slightly cut-down version of the Talos II Workstation.

    The Talos II Lite is still a very competent beast of a system and features a single POWER9 CPU socket, EATX chassis, 500W ATX power supply, and is sold as a barebones package. The Talos II Lite motherboard supports up to the 22-core POWER9 CPU, eight DDR4 ECC RAM slots, one PCI Express 4.0 x16 slot, one PCI Express 4.0 x8 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port.

  • A little Talos of your very own

    Overall, that $3300 really does translate into greatly improved expandability in addition to the beefier power supplies, and thus it was never really an option for my needs personally. Maybe my mini:Quad analogy wasn't so off base. But if you want to join the POWER9 revolution on a budget and give Chipzilla the finger, as all right-thinking nerds should, you've now got an option that only requires passing a kidneystone of just half the size or less. It ships starting in July.

GNU: guix, gnucash, and glibc

Filed under
GNU
  • Tarballs, the ultimate container image format

    The tarball format is plain and simple, it’s the one we know and love, and it’s been there “forever” as its name suggests. The tarball that guix pack produces can be readily extracted on another machine, one that doesn’t run Guix, and you’re done. The problem though, is that you’ll need to either unpack the tarball in the root file system or to play tricks with the unshare command, as we saw in the previous post. Why can’t we just extract such a tarball in our home directory and directly run ./opt/gnu/bin/guile for instance?

  • Using GnuCash as a Freelancer to Track Finances and Prepare Taxes

    I don't own a credit card (by choice), so keeping a close eye on my finances is really important, but I think whether or not you have a credit card, it’s a good idea to track all of your financial transactions.
    It’s really the only way you’ll know what’s coming in and what’s going out. This is a great habit to do even if you don’t have any problems keeping a positive balance – and I would say it's essential to do if you struggle with debt.
    Luckily I have no debt but I've seen a number of people turn around their whole financial situations just by starting to keep a ledger of all of their transactions.

  • Who controls glibc?

    The removal of an old joke from the GNU C Library manual might not seem like the sort of topic that would inspire a heated debate. At times, though, a small action can serve as an inadvertent proxy for a more significant question, one which is relevant to both the developers and the users of the project. In this case, that question would be: how is the project governed and who makes decisions about which patches are applied?

    Toward the end of April, Raymond Nicholson posted a patch to the glibc manual removing a joke that he didn't think was useful to readers. The joke played on the documentation for abort() to make a statement about US government policy on providing information about abortions. As Nicholson noted: "The joke does not provide any useful information about the abort() function so removing it will not hinder use of glibc". On April 30, Zack Weinberg applied the patch to the glibc repository.

    Richard Stallman, who added the joke sometime in the 1990s, asked that it not be removed. The resulting discussion touched on a number of issues. Carlos O'Donell, who has been trying hard to resolve the issue with some degree of consensus, suggested that the joke could hurt people who have had bad experiences associated with abortion. He proposed a couple of possible alternatives, including avoiding jokes entirely or discussing such issues in a different forum. Stallman, however, replied that "a GNU manual, like a course in history, is not meant to be a 'safe space'". He suggested the possibility of adding a trigger warning about functions that create child processes, since childbirth is "far more traumatic than having an abortion".

Linspire Server 2018 Released

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Linspire Server 2018 to the public. Linspire Server 2018 is based on Ubuntu Server 16.04. Linspire Server 2018 is a solution for medium to small businesses as well as education facilities. Linspire Server 2018 is available today and will be free to download and use under a self support license. Commercial support is available for customers who want that piece of mind.

Linspire Server 2018 boots by default into a customized XFCE environment for a GUI environment to ease the complexity for customers coming from Windows Server or macOS Server. We use DWM as a secondary window manager and users can use the server as a command line only environment as well.

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AsteroidOS, an open-source Wear OS alternative, now available as a stable release

Filed under
GNU
Linux

A few years ago, a French computer science student named Florent Revest undertook a project to keep Android Wear smartwatches from dying of obsolescence. That project is called AsteroidOS, built entirely on GNU/Linux libraries and technologies, and in its current state, it's fairly basic. Even so, for all fans of open source software out there, this is pretty damn great.

This is the stable release of v1.0 and it works on a few select watches: Asus ZenWatch, Asus ZenWatch 2, Asus ZenWatch 3, LG G Watch, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, and Sony Smartwatch 3. Each has a different level of support – e.g. the Urbane's sensors aren't working at time of writing – but AsteroidOS is a mostly fully-functioning smartwatch operating system.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • ‘Crush Them’: An Oral History of the Lawsuit That Upended Silicon Valley

    The then-23-year-old giant, which ruled the personal computer market with a despotic zeal, stood accused of using monopoly power to bully collaborators and squelch competitors. Its most famous victim was Netscape, the pioneering web browser, but everyone from Apple to American Airlines felt threatened by late-’90s Microsoft. The company was big enough to be crowned America’s most valuable firm, bold enough to compare attacks on its domain to Pearl Harbor, and, eventually, bad enough to be portrayed as a (semifictionalized) cadre of hypercapitalist murderers in a major motion picture. The “don’t be evil” optics that colored the rise of today’s tech giants (and have recently lost their efficacy) were a direct response to Microsoft’s tyrannical rule.

  • Michał Górny: Empty directories, *into, dodir, keepdir and tmpfiles.d
  • FRAMED Collection, a noir-styled spy adventure where you rearrange comic tiles is now out
    It's actually a compilation of FRAMED and FRAMED 2, games that have been widely praised and previously only available on mobile platforms. It has you moving around slices of an animated comic book, to put the noir-styled spy adventure story together. It actually sounds hilarious, as it's not a basic "this one has to go here" type of game, as it changes what happens based on where you put the tiles creating some amusing sounding failures:
  • Paradox’s grand strategy titles will be getting more content soon
    At their annual convention, Paradox Interactive have announced new expansions for their current grand strategy titles. There’s a little bit of everything for fans of these games.
  • Why OpenShift Is The New OpenStack For Red Hat
  • Help the Debian kernel team to help you
    I gave the first talk this morning at Mini-DebConf Hamburg, titled "Help the kernel team to help you". I briefly described several ways that Debian users and developers can make it easier (or harder) for us to deal with their requests. The slides are up in on my talks page, and video should be available soon.
  • UbuCon Europe 2018: Analysing a dream [English|Spanish]
    The idea of organising the Ubucon in Xixon, Asturies was set two years ago, while participating in the European Ubucon in Essen (germany). The Paris Ubucon took place and in those days we uderstood that there was a group enough of people with the capacities and the will to hold an European Congress for Ubuntu lovers. We had learnt a lot from German and French colleagues thanks to their respective amazing organizations and, at the same time, our handicap was the lack of s consolidated group in Spain.
  • 19-year-old Developer at the Forefront of TRON (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp
  • 19-years-old German developer Spearheads TRON (TRX) Opensource Wallet DApp
    No doubt that Tron community is preparing for mainnet launch, with different ideas coming in from all roads. As part of its readiness, Tron has unveiled its Opensource Wallet DApp developed by 19-year old German developer, Marius Gill, who has been programming since 13 years old. The DApp is an outcome of Project Genesis, which was launched in March 2018 purposely to encourage TRON’s community engagement in bringing in new things into Tron ecosystem. The project provides a bonus pool of 2 billion dollars for active members around the world have lent their hands in implementing ideas for the community.
  • Collabora and GStreamer spring in Sweden
    Earlier this month, a few of us from Collabora, Olivier Crête, Nicolas Dufresne, George Kiagiadakis and I attended the GStreamer Spring Hackfest in Lund, Sweden. Hosted by Axis Communications (who uses GStreamer in their surveillance cameras for many years now), it was a great opportunity for the GStreamer community to touch base and work on open bugs and pet projects. [...] As for myself, I mainly worked on (or rather started to work on) split-field interlacing support in GStreamer, adding relevant formats and modes in the GStreamer video library. In addition, as a Meson developer (Nirbheek Chauhan) was present, I took the opportunity to discuss with him the last bit of porting build system of Geoclue to Meson, a side project I've been working on. It helped me get it done faster but also helped Nirbheek find some issues in Meson and fix them! All in all, my first GStreamer hackfest was an awesome experience (even though I was not feeling well). It was also very nice to hangout and socialize with old and new friends in the GStreamer community after a long time. Many thanks again to Axis for hosting us in their offices! See you at the GStreamer Conference this fall!
  • Reality Redrawn Opens At The Tech
    The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose was filled on Thursday with visitors experiencing new takes on the issue of fake news by artists using mixed reality, card games and even scratch and sniff cards. These installations were the results of Mozilla’ Reality Redrawn challenge. We launched the competition last December to make the power of misinformation and its potential impacts visible and visceral. Winners were announced in February.
  • Tangerine UI problems
    I've been a big fan of Tangerine for a while, it's a bank that doesn't charge fees and does what I need to do. They used to have a great app and website and then it all went a bit wrong. It's now a HTML app for Desktop and mobile. This isn't the fault of the tools used, but there's some terrible choices in the app across both. [...] The overall feel of the app is that its full of spinners, far too cluttered and just to confusing. Hey not everything I've built is perfect, but even I can spot some real problems with this app. I pretty sure Tangerine can do better than this. And yes, I'm writing this while drinking a beer I recently bought, as shown on my transaction page.
  • Majority of software plagued by vulnerabilities as open source adoption soars [Ed: More of Black Duck's FUD]
  • SiFive Releases 'Expansion Board' to Build Interest in RISC-V Processor
  • FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 2 Available For Testing, Brings PTI Optimization
    The second beta release of FreeBSD 11.2 is now available for weekend testing. FreeBSD 11.2-BETA2 is now available with a variety of bug fixes, a fix to restore boot support for the Banana Pi ARM board, a context switch optimization for page table isolation (PTI), DTrace improvements, various build fixes, and a range of other system fixes.
  • Sony Is Working On AMD Ryzen LLVM Compiler Improvements - Possibly For The PlayStation 5
    One of Sony's compiler experts has taken to working on some tuning for the AMD Ryzen "znver1" microarchitecture support within the LLVM compiler stack. This begs the question why Sony is working on Ryzen improvements if not for a future product.
  • Popular YouTuber Says Apple Won't Fix His iMac Pro Damaged While Disassembled

    The damage resulted when they dropped the display while attempting to reattach it to the aluminum chassis. Towards the end of the video, Sebastian also says the iMac Pro requires a new logic board and power supply unit, suggesting there may have been a short circuit that caused damage to internal components as well.

  • Most dangerous new cyber security threats [iophk: "Windows TCO, yet neither Microsoft nor Windows get a mention"]

Steam Controller Kernel Driver Is Landing In The Linux 4.18 Kernel

The Linux 4.18 kernel will feature the initial Steam Controller kernel driver that works without having to use the Steam client or using third-party user-space applications like the SC-Controller application. A few months back we reported on a kernel driver being worked on for the Steam Controller by an independent user/developer outside of the gates of Valve. In part through reverse-engineering, Rodrigo Rivas Costa has been working on this native Steam Controller Linux kernel driver that works for both USB cable and wireless modes of the Steam Controller and is a proper HID driver. Read more

Video of AsteroidOS

KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 released

KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3 released We today provide a stabilization and bugfix release with version 5.2.2 and 5.2.3. 5.2.2 was tagged 6 weeks ago, but we never managed to release it because we did not have the patience to fix the Windows installers in time due to a broken CI. Windows installers are provided for 5.2.3 again. We'll only provide source tarballs for 5.2.2 and we encourage everyone to just skip this release and use 5.2.3 which contains a few more bug fixes. This is a bugfix-only release, which introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using KDevelop 5.2.1. Read more Also: This week in Usability & Productivity, part 19