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Happy birthday ROS: A decade of open-source robotics

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OS
OSS

It all started ten years ago. ROS grew out of several early open-source robotic software frameworks, including switchyard by the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

The same year, legendary research lab and technology incubator Willow Garage hired its first employees: Jonathan Stark, Melonee Wise, Curt Meyers, and John Hsu. You can point to a lot of seminal moments in robotics history, but this is a top contender for the year modern robotics was born.

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OS: OpenIndiana and ROS

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OS
  • OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.10 Released With MATE 1.18 Desktop

    OpenIndiana "Hipster" 2017.10 is now available as the OpenSolaris-derived operating system using the Illumos kernel build.

    OpenIndiana 2017.10 pulls in the MATE 1.18 desktop environment, upgrades to the X.Org Server 1.19.5 display server, their text-based installer can now support installing to an existing ZFS pool, the cluster suite was updated, there is ABI compatibility with Solaris 10 Update 10 binaries, and they have begun removing GNOME 2 packages in favor of MATE.

  • The Origin Story of ROS, the Linux of Robotics

    Ten years ago, while struggling to bring the vision of the “Linux of Robotics” to reality, I was inspired by the origin stories of other transformative endeavors. In this post I want to share some untold parts of the early story of the Robot Operating System, or ROS, to hopefully inspire those of you currently pursuing your “crazy” ideas.

OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.10 Released with Latest X.Org Server, MATE 1.18 Desktop

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OS

The latest release, OpenIndiana Hipster 2017.10 arrived today with numerous changes and up-to-date components, including the latest X.Org Server 1.19.5 display server and corresponding libraries and drivers, ABI compatibility for using Solaris 10u10 binaries, as well as updated cluster suite and text installer.

"Text installer now can perform basic OpenIndiana installation to existing ZFS pool," reads today's announcement. "The option is considered advanced and should be used with care, but allows you to install minimal OI system to existing pool. To use it, press F5 on 'Welcome' screen."

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Solus 4 Linux OS to Bring Back Wayland Support, MATE Edition Will Get Some Love

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OS

First off, it looks like the Solus devs plan to re-implement support for the next-generation Wayland display server in their GNU/Linux distribution, though the ISO images will come with the 2D X.Org graphics driver enabled by default and use open source drivers for Nvidia GPUs as they want to further improve Nvidia Optimus.

"We're working to improve the NVIDIA situation and investigating a switch to libglvnd, enabling of wayland-egl/eglstreams, etc.," reads today's announcement. "We've moved back to open drivers to allow Ikey to further research NVIDIA Optimus. [...] We have no timeline on this but we're actively looking into it!"

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Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

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OS
Linux

The Linux OS is flexible. If one Linux distro is an unfriendly fit, you can replace it with another one that has a more appealing options list on the desktop environment or user interface front.

Debian-based Q4OS, developed by a team of software designers in Germany, has a lightweight design that allows it to run on nearly any hardware config. I have run it on ageing computers from the early days of Windows Vista.

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ReactOS 0.4.7-RC1 Is The Latest As "Open-Source Windows"

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OS

Less than two months after the ReactOS 0.4.6 release, ReactOS 0.4.7-RC1 is available for testing.

This first release candidate for ReactOS 0.4.7 comes with many bug fixes but also some new features.

ReactOS 0.4.7 is introducing quick launch support, hotplug / power / sound icons, made progress on their filter dirver, started work on a "storport" driver to enable plug-and-play for many drivers and AHCI driver support, re-enabled support for deleting to Recycle Bin, enabled the application compatibility framework, support for enabling a theme by command, an fsutil command was added, and many other updates -- including syncing the user-mode DLLs against Wine Staging 2.16.

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Latest Exton|OS Light Release Rebases the Linux OS on Ubuntu 17.10, Linux 4.13

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OS
Linux

Exton|OS Light Live DVD Build 170918 is, in fact, one of the first GNU/Linux distributions to have been rebased on Ubuntu 17.10, which was officially released on October 19, 2017, as the first Ubuntu release in seven years to replace the Unity user interface with the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

However, Exton|OS Light doesn't use GNOME, but, instead, it deploys the ultra lightweight and low on resources Openbox window manager, which the developer customized to look as modern as possible. Not to mention that Exton|OS Light ships with only a minimum of packages pre-installed.

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Google Pixelbook review: Prepared today for the possible reality of tomorrow

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Google
Reviews

Chromebooks may be most popular in the classroom, but Google wants to ride that train out of schools and into the next phase of students' lives. The Pixelbook is the manifestation of that idea, the piece of hardware that combines Google's revamped design aesthetic and Internet-based software with the needs and wants of a younger generation.

Google stopped selling the original Chromebook Pixel, but seemingly only because the company wants to shine the spotlight on its new Chrome OS laptop. No distractions, no other (potentially) cheaper options: if you're someone who grew up using Chrome OS in school, this $999 convertible is the one you should get if you want to continue using Chrome OS later in life.

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Qubes OS 4.0-rc2 has been released!

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There were two primary reasons for the substantial delay of this release. The first was our discovery of the security issue that would come to be known as XSA-237. As part of our coordination with the Xen Project Security Team, we had to wait through the embargo period until XSA-237 was publicly released before integrating various PCI passthrough fixes.

The second reason for the delay was the last-minute discovery of a bug related to resizing the root filesystem of a qube. We faced a choice between (1) keeping the partition layout the same at the cost of increasing maintenance complexity in the future or (2) changing the partition layout to simplify the code at the cost of rebuilding all the templates and delaying the release. We chose the second option, which resulted in an additional one week delay, but we’re confident that this is the most prudent move in the long run.

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PC-MOS/386 is the latest obsolete operating system to open source on Github

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OSS

PC-MOS/386 was first announced by The Software Link in 1986 and was released in early 1987. It was capable of working on any x86 computer (though the Intel 80386 was its target market). However, some later chips became incompatible because they didn't have the necessary memory management unit.

It had a dedicated following but also contained a couple of design flaws that made it slow and/or expensive to run. Add to that the fact it had a Y2K bug that manifested on 31 July 2012, after which any files created wouldn't work, and it's not surprising that it didn't become the gold standard. The last copyright date listed is 1992, although some users have claimed to be using it far longer.

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Linux 4.18 RC2 Released From China

  • Linux 4.18-rc2
    Another week, another -rc. I'm still traveling - now in China - but at least I'm doing this rc Sunday _evening_ local time rather than _morning_. And next rc I'll be back home and over rmy jetlag (knock wood) so everything should be back to the traditional schedule. Anyway, it's early in the rc series yet, but things look fairly normal. About a third of the patch is drivers (drm and s390 stand out, but here's networking and block updates too, and misc noise all over). We also had some of the core dma files move from drivers/base/dma-* (and lib/dma-*) to kernel/dma/*. We sometimes do code movement (and other "renaming" things) after the merge window simply because it tends to be less disruptive that way. Another 20% is under "tools" - mainly due to some selftest updates for rseq, but there's some turbostat and perf tooling work too. We also had some noticeable filesystem updates, particularly to cifs. I'm going to point those out, because some of them probably shouldn't have been in rc2. They were "fixes" not in the "regressions" sense, but in the "missing features" sense. So please, people, the "fixes" during the rc series really should be things that are _regressions_. If it used to work, and it no longer does, then fixing that is a good and proper fix. Or if something oopses or has a security implication, then the fix for that is a real fix. But if it's something that has never worked, even if it "fixes" some behavior, then it's new development, and that should come in during the merge window. Just because you think it's a "fix" doesn't mean that it really is one, at least in the "during the rc series" sense. Anyway, with that small rant out of the way, the rest is mostly arch updates (x86, powerpc, arm64, mips), and core networking. Go forth and test. Things look fairly sane, it's not really all that scary. Shortlog appended for people who want to scan through what changed. Linus
  • Linux 4.18-rc2 Released With A Normal Week's Worth Of Changes
    Due to traveling in China, Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 4.18-rc2 kernel a half-day ahead of schedule, but overall things are looking good for Linux 4.18.

A GTK+ 3 update

  • A GTK+ 3 update
    When we started development towards GTK+ 4, we laid out a plan that said GTK+ 3.22 would be the final, stable branch of GTK+ 3. And we’ve stuck to this for a while. I has served us reasonably well — GTK+ 3 stopped changing in drastic ways, which was well-received, and we are finally seeing applications moving from GTK+ 2.
  • GTK+ 3.24 To Deliver Some New Features While Waiting For GTK4
    While the GNOME tool-kit developers have been hard at work on GTK4 roughly the past two years and have kept GTK3 frozen at GTK+ 3.22, a GTK+ 3.24 release is now being worked on to deliver some new features until GTK+ 4.0 is ready to be released. While GTK+ 4.0 is shaping up well and GTK+ 3.22 was planned to be the last GTK3 stable release, the developers have had second thoughts due to GTK+ 4 taking time to mature. Some limited new features are being offered up in the GTK+ 3.24 release to debut this September.

Finally: First stable release of KBibTeX for KDE Frameworks 5

After almost exactly two years of being work-in-progress, the first stable release of KBibTeX for KDE Frameworks 5 has been published! You can grab the sources at your local KDE mirror. Some distributions like ArchLinux already ship binary packages. After one beta and one release candidate, now comes the final release. You may wonder why this release gets version number 0.8.1 but not 0.8 as expected. This is simply due to the fact that I noticed a bug in CMakeLists.txt when computing version numbers which did not work if the version number just had two fields, i. e. no ‘patch’ version. As the code and the tag of 0.8 was already pushed, I had no alternative than to fix the problem and increase the version number. Otherwise, the ChangeLog (alternative view) is virtually unchanged compared to the last pre-release. Read more

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