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A Look At The Windows 10 vs. Linux Power Consumption On A Dell XPS 13 Laptop

Filed under
GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

With the current-generation Dell XPS 13 XPS9370-7002SLV currently being tested at Phoronix, one of the areas I was most anxious to benchmark was the power consumption... For years it has been a problem of Linux on laptops generally leading to less battery life than on Windows, but in the past ~2+ years there has been some nice improvements within the Linux kernel and a renewed effort by developers at Red Hat and elsewhere on improving the Linux laptop battery life. Here are some initial power consumption numbers for this Dell XPS 13 under Windows 10 and then various Linux distributions.

The Dell XPS 13.3-inch laptop for testing features the Intel Core i7 8550U (quad-core + HT) CPU with UHD Graphics 620, 2 x 4GB RAM, 256GB PM961 NVMe Samsung SSD, and its panel is a 1920 x 1080 resolution. For some initial basic tests I ran Windows 10 out-of-the-box and compared that to fresh installs of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Fedora Workstation 28, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Clear Linux.

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How ProPublica Illinois Uses GNU Make to Load 1.4GB of Data Every Day

Filed under
GNU
Misc

I avoided using GNU Make in my data journalism work for a long time, partly because the documentation was so obtuse that I couldn’t see how Make, one of many extract-transform-load (ETL) processes, could help my day-to-day data reporting. But this year, to build The Money Game, I needed to load 1.4GB of Illinois political contribution and spending data every day, and the ETL process was taking hours, so I gave Make another chance.

Now the same process takes less than 30 minutes.

Here’s how it all works, but if you want to skip directly to the code, we’ve open-sourced it here.

[...]

GNU Make is well-suited to this task. Make’s model is built around describing the output files your ETL process should produce and the operations required to go from a set of original source files to a set of output files.

As with any ETL process, the goal is to preserve your original data, keep operations atomic and provide a simple and repeatable process that can be run over and over.

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Watch Desktop Linux Apps (like GIMP) Running on Chrome OS [Video]

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Linux fans enthusiastic about Google’s effort to bring desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS owe to themselves to watch the following video.

In it, technology YouTuber Lon Seidman demos the current state of the Crostini project (‘Crostini’ is the codename for the “run desktop and CLI Linux apps on Chrome OS” feature we keep gushing about) on both an Intel Chromebox and an ARM-based Chromebook.

This latter demo, of ARM support, is of particular interest.

I had (wrongly, it turns out) assumed Google would restrict Crostini to running on its higher-end Chromebooks, like the pricey Google Pixelbook and the ‘spensive Samsung Chromebook Plus.

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Interview with Andrea Buso

Filed under
GNU
KDE
Linux
Interviews

In 2000, my brother, a computer programmer, made me try OpenSuse. I used Gimp, and I felt good because I could draw what I wanted and how I wanted. Since then, I have abandoned Windows for Linux and I have discovered a series of wonderful programs which allow me to work professionally, giving me the advantage of digital.

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UserLAnd, a Turnkey Linux in Your Pocket

Filed under
GNU
Linux

UserLAnd offers a quick and easy way to run an entire Linux distribution, or even just a Linux application or game, from your pocket. It installs as an Android app and is available for download from the Android Google Play Store. The best part is that because it operates from a typical chroot environment, you don't need to root your device.

I was fortunate enough to have a chance to spin up one of the early beta builds of UserLAnd. This beta build was limited only to SSH and VNC local connections from my Android mobile device, but it was more than enough to establish a sound sense of how things are and where things will progress.

To handle the SSH connection, UserLAnd leverages ConnectBot while using bVNC for anything graphical. The beta build I used supported only TWM. Future updates will add additional window managers and a desktop environment. Both ConnectBot and bVNC are installed when you create and launch your session (see below).

Immediately after installation and upon launching the application, you are greeted with a clean environment—that is, no root filesystems and no sessions defined.

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GNU: GIMP, GCC and RISC-V

Filed under
GNU
  • GIMP 2.10.4 Moves To Asynchronous Font Loading, Horizon Straightening

    GIMP 2.10.4 was quietly released earlier this week as the latest stable release in the GIMP 2.10 series.

    While GIMP 2.10.4 is primarily comprised of bug fixes, there are also a few new features. The feature work that made it into this release includes simple horizon straightening, asynchronous font loading, fonts tagging, dashboard updates, Adobe PSD loader improvements, and GEGL/babl improvements.

  • RISC-V: Initial riscv linux Ada port

    I was asked about Ada support, so I tried cross building a native RISC-V Linux Ada compiler, and it turned out to be possible with a little bit of work.  I just started with the MIPS support, and then fixed everything that was obviously wrong: endianness, error numbers, signal numbers, struct_sigaction offsets, etc.

    The result is good enough to bootstrap natively and seems to give reasonable native testsuite results for a first attempt.  The machine I'm running on has broken icache flushing, so trampolines won't work, and I suspect that is causing a lot of the testsuite failures.  Here are the Ada testsuite results I'm getting at the moment.

  • Ada Language Support For RISC-V With Latest GCC Patches

    While the GCC compiler merged its RISC-V port last year, among its limitations have been not supporting the Ada compiler. That's now changing thanks to new patches posted today.

GNU: Guix and GNU C Library

Filed under
GNU
  • GNU Guix/GuixSD 0.15 Released, Closing In On v1.0

    GNU Guix 0.15 is out today as the latest feature update to this transactional package manager and is joined by an updated Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) release too as the GNU Linux-libre distribution built around it.

    The Guix 0.15 package manager update overhauls/improvements many common sub-commands, introduces some new user options, and more. The Guix Daemon also now supports ARMv7 builds from an AArch64 host, ships with an SELinux policy, and has various other updates.

  • GNU Guix and GuixSD 0.15.0 released

    We are pleased to announce the new release of GNU Guix and GuixSD, version 0.15.0! This release brings us close to what we wanted to have for 1.0, so it’s probably one of the last zero-dot-something releases.

    The release comes with GuixSD ISO-9660 installation images, a virtual machine image of GuixSD, and with tarballs to install the package manager on top of your GNU/Linux distro, either from source or from binaries.GNU Guix and GuixSD 0.15.0 released

  • Glibc 2.28 Adds Unicode 11.0 Support, RenameAt2

    In addition to working on statx() for glibc, landing in the GNU C Library this week was Unicode 11.0 support along with a renameat2() function.

    First up, Unicode 11.0 is now supported by Glibc. Unicode 11.0 was released last month with new emojis (66 new ones in total), 684 new code points, and more.

Anarchy Linux – A User-Friendly Alternative to Arch Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Anarchy Linux, compared to other Linux distributions like Manjaro and Antergos because it is actually NOT a Linux distribution.

Anarchy Linux is a free and open source package containing a set of automated scripts designed to facilitate the easier installation and configuration setup of Arch Linux.

To define Anarchy Linux in the simplest of terms, it’s an Arch Linux wrapper and it offers users a close replica of an Arch Linux experience since that is what it runs under the hood.

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D-Link and the GPL

Filed under
GNU
Legal

It tells me to go to D-Link’s page for GPL licensed software to get the source code. It also lets me write a request the source code on physical media for a nominal fee for the media and handling. Something I naturally did (being an engineer on vacation).

While waiting for a reply, let’s have a look at the online version. When entering the URL provided you have to click through an agreement that I understand what GPL and LGPL means and that the files distributed comes with no warranties (they spend more words saying this – read it if you want the details). Clicking “I Agree” I get a popup (back to the 90’s) asking me to register my product to enjoy all the benefits of doing so. At the same time the main window continues to a list of all D-Link products containing (L)GPL software – very nice.

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GIMP 2.10.4 Released

Filed under
GNU

The latest update of GIMP’s new stable series delivers bugfixes, simple horizon straightening, async fonts loading, fonts tagging, and more new features.

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KDE Applications 18.08 Software Suite Enters Beta, Adds Apple Wallet Pass Reader

With KDE Applications 18.04 reached end of life with the third and last point release, the KDE Project started working earlier this month on the next release of their open-source software suite, KDE Applications 18.08. KDE Applications is an open-source software suite designed as part of the KDE ecosystem, but can also be used independently on any Linux-based operating system. To fully enjoy the KDE Plasma desktop environment, users will also need to install various of the apps that are distributed as part of the KDE Applications initiative. KDE Applications 18.08 is the next major version of the open-source software suite slated for release on August 16, 2018. As of yesterday, July 20, the KDE Applications 18.08 software suite entered beta testing as version 18.07.80, introducing two new libraries, KPkPass and KItinerary. Read more

NetBSD 8.0 Released

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    The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 8.0, the sixteenth major release of the NetBSD operating system.
  • NetBSD 8.0 Officially Released With USB3 Support, Security Improvements & UEFI
    While it's been on mirrors for a few days, NetBSD 8.0 was officially released this weekend. NetBSD 8.0 represents this BSD operating system project's 16th major release and introduces USB 3.0 support, an in-kernel audio mixer, a new socket layer, Meltdown/Spectre mitigation, eager FPU support, SMAP support, UEFI boot-loader support for x86/x86_64 hardware, and a variety of long sought after improvements -- many of which are improving the security of NetBSD.
  • NetBSD 8.0 Released with Spectre V2/V4, Meltdown, and Lazy FPU Mitigations
    The NetBSD open-source operating system has been updated this week to version 8.0, a major release that finally brings mitigations for all the Spectre variants, Meltdown, and Lazy FPU security vulnerabilities, as well as many stability improvements and bug fixes. Coming seven months after the first and last point release of the NetBSD 7 series, NetBSD 8.0 is here with mitigations for both the Spectre Variant 2 (CVE-2017-5715) and Spectre Variant 4 (CVE-2018-3639) security vulnerabilities, as well as for the Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754) and Lazy FPU State Save/Restore (CVE-2018-3665) vulnerabilities.

Neptune 5.4

We are proud to announce version 5.4 of Neptune . This update represents the current state of Neptune 5 and renews the ISO file so if you install Neptune you don't have to download tons of Updates. In this update we introduce a new look and feel package called Neptune Dark. This comes together with an modified icon theme optimized for dark themes called Faenza Dark. We improved hardware support further by providing Linux Kernel 4.16.16 with improved drivers and bugfixes. Read more

Plasma 5.14 Wallpaper “Cluster”

The time for a new Plasma wallpaper is here, so for 5.14 I’m excited to offer up “Cluster”. But first, please allow me to gush for a moment. In tandem with Inkscape, this is the first wallpaper for KDE produced using the ever excellent Krita. For graphic design my computer has a bit of beef to it, but when I work with Inkscape or GIMP things always chug just a bit more than I feel they should. Whenever I’ve had the distinct pleasure of opening Krita, even on my lesser powered laptop, it’s always been productive, rewarding, and performant. I’m looking forward to using Krita more in future wallpapers. *claps for Krita* Read more