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GNU

Neptune 5.4

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GNU
Linux

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.

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How to install Linux on your PC

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GNU
Linux

If you are building a new system or upgrading an existing PC, installing Linux as the OS may not be the first option you considered.

Linux is the underlying structure used to power operating system distributions which are similar to the software most users are familiar with – Windows.

It is open source and prevalent in a number of software distributions, from smart IoT platforms and Android smartphones to server operating systems.

Installing a Linux distribution instead of Microsoft Windows on a new or existing machine can be great for reducing overhead and saving costs.

While certain video games and applications may not run correctly on Linux desktop distributions, most common tasks can be conducted with the same level of convenience as “standard operating” systems.

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A Forbes Writer Spent 2 Weeks Using Ubuntu, This is What He Thought…

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GNU
Linux

A classic love story — one Hollywood has yet to adapt in to major motion picture/musical starring Robert Downey Jr (I swear he’s in everything).

The latest case in point? That comes courtesy of online magazine Forbes.com and its tech contributor Jason Evangelho.

Jason shares his experience of using Ubuntu for a solid fortnight on a swanky Dell XPS 13 laptop. He says he was spurred into “ditching” Windows by yet another ill-timed and infuriating wait while the OS opted to install updates.

“After two decades of relying on Windows I finally decided it was time for the nuclear option,” he writes.

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A Fresh Look At The PGO Performance With GCC 8

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Development
GNU

It's been a while since we last ran some GCC PGO benchmarks, the Profile Guided Optimizations or feedback-directed optimization technique that makes use of profiling data at run-time to improve performance of re-compiled binaries. Here are some fresh benchmarks of GCC PGO impact on a Xeon Scalable server while using the newly-released GCC 8.2 release candidate.

With it being a while since our last roundabout with GCC PGO benchmarking and also a reader recently inquiring about PTS PGO testing, I ran some new tests. For those not familiar with PGO, it basically involves first compiling the code with the relevant PGO/profiling flags, running the workload under test to generate the profiling data, and then re-compiling the software while feeding that profiling data into the compiler so it can make better optimization choices. This profile-guided feedback can be quite beneficial to the compiler for making wiser code generation choices based upon that run-time data. Firefox, Chrome, and other popular software packages have been relying upon PGO-optimized release binaries for a while to offer greater performance.

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Also: A 3.3x Performance Improvement For FLAC Audio Encoding On POWER 64-bit

How Linux Makes Your Life Easier

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GNU
Linux

There is a popular myth that Linux is complicated and hard to use by a non-techie. While there are distros and advanced Linux functionality that do require tech skills, this doesn’t mean Linux is hard to use. On the contrary, there are lots of things in the philosophy and functionality of Linux that make a user’s life easier.

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Linux Mint Updates

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GNU
Linux
  • [Linux Mint] Monthly News – July 2018

    A mistimed MESA update in Xenial temporarily broke Ubuntu and Linux Mint upgrades. We were able to block it on the 7th of July, and ask people to revert the upgrade with Timeshift. On the 9th, everything was resolved, and the upgrade path was fixed and re-opened.

    More recently, a grub update triggered an issue in one of our own packages. That issue could only be triggered by a new grub update and so it had gone undetected during QA and the BETA test. Although it was fixed in a matter of hours in the repositories, it still affects our installation ISO images and it breaks EFI installations when the live session is connected to the Internet. The release notes were updated to ask people to install offline. New 64-bit ISO images for Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce were produced with the fixed package and they passed QA yesterday. These new ISOs will replace the current images in the days to come.

    Be careful with Kernel 4.15.0-24. A critical issue causes some computers to boot really slowly, or not to boot at all. Ubuntu is aware of it and working on a fix. We’ve also received negative feedback from the 4.15 kernel series in Mint 18.x (based on Ubuntu Xenial). Although Ubuntu decided to switch the HWE series towards it, the 4.15 series doesn’t appear to support some proprietary drivers yet (nvidia-3.04 and nvidia-340 among them).

    We’re also aware of regressions in the Bionic base affecting VPN, Samba, Wine (recently fixed). Ubuntu 18.04 is a brand new base and we’re sure it will settle, receive bug fixes and get more mature with time.

    Of course our attention is mostly focused on the problems and we quickly forget about all the improvements. We had a great Linux Mint 19 release, we also received a huge amount of positive feedback and we’ve seen many great changes when moving from 16.04 to 18.04.

  • Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 Is On The Way, Cinnamon 4.0 Working On Speed

    The Linux Mint team has shared a routine status update about the work they have been engaged in over the past month, including dealing with some nasty package updates and readying the beta of Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 (LMDE 3).

    This month they had to deal with some headaches causing issues stemming from Ubuntu stable release updates around Mesa and GRUB in particular. There's also been a kernel problem to deal with, among other regressions. But for those that are fans of Linux Mint Debian Edition whereby the distribution uses a Debian based over Ubuntu LTS, the LMDE 3 release is on the way. The developers believe the LMDE 3 Beta should surface by the end of July. Additionally, they plan to ship LMDE 3 both with their own live installer as well as a Calamares-based installer option.

  • Free eBook from Packt - Linux Mint Essentials

GNU/Linux Desktops/Laptops and Windows Spying

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GNU
Linux
  • Changes [Pop!_OS]

    For the last 12 years, my main development machine has been a Mac. As of last week, it’s a Dell XPS 13 running Pop!_OS 18.04.

    [...]

    Take note: this is the first operating system I’ve used that is simpler, more elegant, and does certain things better than macOS.

  • System76 Opens Manufacturing Facility to Build Linux Laptops

    As it turns out, System76 is making the transition from a Linux-based computer seller, into a complete Linux-based computer manufacturer. The Twitter photos are from their new manufacturing facility. This means that System76 will no longer be slapping their logo on other company’s laptops and shipping them out, but making their own in-house laptops for consumers.

  • Extension adding Windows Timeline support to third-party browsers should have raised more privacy questions

    Windows Timeline is a unified activity history explorer that received a prominent placement next to the Start menu button in Windows 10 earlier this year. You can see all your activities including your web browser history and app activity across all your Windows devices in one place; and pickup and resume activities you were doing on other devices. This is a useful and cool feature, but it’s also a privacy nightmare.

    You may have read about a cool new browser extension that adds your web browsing history from third-party web browsers — including Firefox, Google Chrome, Vivaldi, and others — to Windows Timeline. The extension attracted some media attention from outlets like MSPoweruser, Neowin, The Verge, and Windows Central.

Best Tools to Access Remote Linux Desktop

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GNU
Linux

Nowadays, you can’t carry your system or laptop everywhere. So to make the things more manageable, there is a service of remote access that gives you full access to your system from anywhere. It is made possible by the Microsoft that developed a remote desktop protocol (RDP), which offers a graphical interface to connect to a remote system over a network connection.

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New Facilities for System76

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GNU
Linux
  • System76 Linux computer maker offers a sneak peek into its new manufacturing facility

    System76 has long been a Linux computer seller, but recently, it has transitioned into a Linux computer maker. What's the difference, you ask? Well, currently, the company doesn't really make its own computers. System76's laptops, for instance, are made by other manufacturers, which it re-brands as its own.

    No, System76 doesn't just slap its name on other company's laptops and ship them out the door. Actually, it works closely with the manufacturers, tweaks firmware, and verifies that both Ubuntu and its Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS will work well on the hardware. System76 then offers top-notch support too. In other words, the company isn't just selling a computer, but an experience too.

  • System76 New Manufacturing Facility
  • System76 Moves Ahead With Preparing To Manufacture Their Own Desktop Linux PCs

    Back in April 2017 was the announcement that System76 would begin designing and manufacturing their own systems beginning with desktops and to be followed at a later date by their own laptops, rather than relying upon whitebox designs that they currently retail with their Ubuntu/Pop!_OS-loaded PCs. The Colorado-based company is inching closer to fully realizing their goal.

    For a while now the System76 folks have been posting various pictures of their in-progress manufacturing facility while today they have shared more images on their blog.

A Proposal To Allow Python Scripting Within The GCC Compiler, Replacing AWK

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Development
GNU

A SUSE developer is seeking feedback and interest on the possibility of allowing a scripting language -- most likely Python -- to be used within the GCC compiler code-base. This would primarily be used for replacing existing AWK scripts.

GCC developer Martin Liška at SUSE is seeking comments on the possibility of adding Python as an accepted language within the GCC code-base. This isn't anything along the likes of replacing existing GCC C compiler code into a scripting language or anything to that effect, but is targeting at replacing current AWK scripts that are hard to maintain.

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