OS

Various bits of news about operating systems

How open sourcing Android made it a mobile market leader

Filed under
Android
Linux
OSS

About 10 years ago, when I got my first mobile phone, I hardly knew anything about its operating system or its processor. Even its screen size didn’t matter. I was just happy to have a 'mobile' phone.

Today, the mobile phone paradigm has shifted from feature phones to smart phones. When people consider purchasing a new mobile phone, they examine its operating system, its configuration, and its screen size. Increased attention to these details can be attributed to technological advancements—and, more importantly, to the slew of new mobile operating systems available today. In this highly competitive market, Android has obtained about 80 percent of the global market share, making it the clear leader among mobile operating systems.

What makes Android so popular? Why has the mobile market swung toward Android lately? Let's take a quick look at how Android has achieved this, as well as the role of open source in the Android story.

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Linux Foundation SysAdmin Eric Searcy Lives By Regex

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Interviews

Eric Searcy is the IT Infrastructure Manager at the Linux Foundation. Here he tells us how he got started as a sysadmin and at the Linux Foundation, describes his typical day at work, and shares his favorite sysadmin tools, among other things.

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Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS released

Filed under
Ubuntu

The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS
(Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products,
as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.

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Raspberry Pi Model B+ review – a new evolution

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

Over the past two years we’ve come to really grow fond of the design of the Raspberry Pi. It’s almost iconic in a way, and we don’t think we’re the only ones to believe this: as you can have see with the Banana Pi review on the previous page the layout is almost identical to the standard model B.

With the brand new model B+, an enhanced version of the model B revision two, some of hardware has been relocated into a more logical and tidier layout. This is the first thing anyone will notice about the device and it’s probably got a lot to do with the new USB ports being very prominent and drawing a critical eye over the rest of the board.

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Chromebooks Emerge as Major New Linux Force on Notebooks

Filed under
Linux
Google

The Linux faithful have mixed opinions on the success of Google's Linux- and Chrome browser based Chrome OS. The lightweight OS came along years after Fedora, Ubuntu and other Linux distros, and shares relatively little of their mainstream Linux codebase. Some dismiss it as a limited, browser-only platform -- a complaint often applied to Firefox OS -- while others warn that Google is co-opting and subjugating Linux, a process already begun with Android.

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Raspberry Pi-based signage player sips 7 Watts

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

TinyGreenPC launched a Raspberry Pi and Linux based digital signage player that runs on just 7 Watts, and offers optional WiFi and an OPS interface.

The Pi Media Player is one of the most power-efficient signage players on the market, according to TinyGreenPC, a subsidiary of UK-based embedded manufacturer and distributor AndersDX. It helps that the 7 Watt, Raspian Linux-enabled signage player runs on a Raspberry Pi.

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Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN

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Development
Linux

Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project.

Boyan Ivanov, CEO, Boyan Krosnov, chief product officer, and Yank Yankulov, the chief tech officer, started the firm in November 2011 with $261,600 seed funding. In February this year they raised an undisclosed amount of cash in an A-round. We’d guess it’s in the $1m - $2.5m area.

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Linux Developers Jump Quickly On ACPI 5.1, Helps Out ARM

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM.

While accessing the ACPI/UEFI specifications still require jumping through some hoops, the ACPI 5.1 update is reported to fix major gaps in supporting ACPI on ARM. Hanjun Guo has already laid out patches for providing Linux ARM64 support compliant with the ACPI 5.1 specification. ACPI 5.1 has "major changes" to the MADT, FADT, GTDT, and _DSD for bettering up this non-x86 platform support.

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Pkg 1.3.0 Released To Improve Package Management On FreeBSD

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BSD

After more than a half-year in development and working on tens of thousands of lines of code, Pkg 1.3.0 has been released by FreeBSD developers.

Pkg 1.3.0 introduces a new solver to automatically handle conflicts and dynamically discover them, pkg install can now install local files and resolve their dependencies via remote repositories, sandboxing of the code has happened, improved portability of the code took place, the pkg API has been simplified, improvements to the multi-repository mode, and a ton of other changes and fixes took place.

More on the pkg 1.3.0 release for improved package management on FreeBSD can be found via this mailing list post.

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GOG.com Now Supports Linux!

Filed under
Linux
Gaming

A while ago, we've announced our plans to add Linux support as one of the features of our digital platform, with 100 games on the launch day sometime this fall. We've put much time and effort into this project and now we've found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by, and absolutely no reason to wait until October or November. We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. It's not about them, after all, it's about you. So, one of the most popular site feature requests on our community wishlist is granted today: Linux support has officially arrived on GOG.com!

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Distro Watch: The Best Linux Distributions For 2014

Filed under
GNU
Linux

We’re halfway through 2014, and a handful of Linux distributions have already made a big splash in the community. Which distributions are the best ones for this year? Let’s take a look.

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Why Chromebook Sales Are Surging in Schools, Enterprises

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Chromebook sales have risen sharply over the past several months, according to a recent report from research firm NPD. Chromebook sales in the commercial channel increased 250 percent compared with the prior year and accounted for 35 percent of all U.S. channel notebook sales during the January-May period. Chromebooks, in other words, were extremely popular during the period and continue to be so. Exactly why and how Chromebooks have been achieving such sales success, however, are not so readily known. When the devices, which run Google's Chrome OS Web-based operating system, were first announced, many market observers believed that they had little chance of winning a significant share of the PC market. And that seemed to hold true in the first couple of years after Chromebooks hit the market in mid-2011. But the latest data shows that Chromebook sales are adding to the competitive headwinds that Windows notebooks are experiencing these days. This eWEEK slide show looks at the impact that rising Chromebook sales is having on the U.S. PC market.

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Unity 8 and Mir Updates Promoted by Ubuntu Developers

Filed under
Ubuntu

Canonical is working on the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 (Utopic Unicorn), but its developers are also trying to improve some technologies that haven't made it just yet to the desktop version, such as Unity 8 and the Mir display server.

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Fedora 21 Has Been Delayed By Three Weeks

Filed under
Red Hat

Due to many of the Fedora 21 changes/features not being ready in time, the release schedule has been pushed back by three weeks.

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Elections Results for Summer 2014 FESCo Special Election

Filed under
Red Hat

The elections for the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) Summer 2014 Special Election have concluded, and the results are shown below.

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The ARM Arc

Filed under
Red Hat
Hardware

Beginning in 2011, Red Hat began providing assistance to the fledgling Fedora ARM distribution. I was Red Hat’s project manager for this initiative. Back then it was a humble secondary architecture under the stewardship of Seneca College. Seneca was working on an OS distribution for the Raspberry Pi, a promising educational tool. Red Hat partnered with Seneca, provided resources to advance development and helped build a community, the open source way. Though Linux had been used on ARM for many years, kernel ports tended to exist in different source trees. Likewise, many userspace packages had been written without multi-core, thread-safe ARM code, so there was a lot of work to be done.

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Microsoft imitates Ubuntu, will create one Windows to run on all screens

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, for long pursued a single dream — that of acheiving a unified family of experiences on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs through one operating system and one interface, Unity, which will adopt to the connected device. As Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu’s founder said at last year’s OSCon, “Convergence is the core story. Each device is great, but they should be part of one family. On any device you’ll know what you’re doing. One device should be able to give you all the experiences you can get from any one of them.”

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diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development

Filed under
Development
Linux

Once in a while someone points out a POSIX violation in Linux. Often the answer is to fix the violation, but sometimes Linus Torvalds decides that the POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior, but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if that layer is slower and less efficient.

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Two Years With Debian GNU/Linux - An Average Guy’s Verdict

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian

I used to be quite the Linux enthusiast, trying new distributions almost daily, keeping up to date with news and software versions, just generally participating in the whole scene, though as a technical know-nothing really. I kinda got tired of it after a while and decided to settle on one distribution that would be low on bandwidth needs, extremely stable, and able to do all the things, admittedly a rather limited array of things, that I need it to do. I had been playing with Debian GNU/Linux’s Wheezy iteration (yes, they use “Toy Story” character names) since late 2011, when it was still the “testing” version, and noticed after a year or so that it was in a frozen state, largely set for final release, which ultimately happened, in typical molasses-slow Debian fashion, in early May of 2013. So I guess I’ve been using it as my one and only OS for the better part of two years, rarely if ever booting into any of the dozen or so other distributions I still have installed or into Windows 7. I have it fine tuned to my liking and it does every single thing I need it to do. It’s been reliable and stable, exactly as expected.

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Quelitu 14.04 Devs Think Their OS Can Replace Windows XP or Windows Vista

Filed under
Microsoft
Ubuntu

Quelitu, a multilingual operating system based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Lubuntu LTS, which aims to power antique computers and to replace all the recent Windows releases, is now at version 14.04.

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