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GameMode 1.5

Filed under
Software
Gaming
  • Feral's GameMode 1.5 Now Supports Changing The CPU Governor Differently For iGPUs

    With Feral's GameMode 1.5 the big change facing users is for those running integrated graphics. In a change led by an Intel open-source graphics driver developer, GameMode now supports setting an alternative CPU frequency scaling governor for integrated graphics use-cases. Up to now GameMode has defaulted to always using the "performance" CPU frequency scaling governor for normally delivering the best performance, but for integrated graphics that in some situations can lead to lower performance. Due to the integrated graphics and CPU cores sharing the same power envelope, ramping up the CPU performance can throw the graphics performance out of balance and at least for some games lead to lower performance. So with GameMode 1.5, the user can now opt for "powersave" or an alternative governor instead when using an iGPU.

  • Feral Interactive's open source 'GameMode' system performance booster has a new release

    Feral Interactive don't just port a lot of games to Linux, they also work on some open source bits here and there. One of their projects is GameMode, which just got a new release.

    GameMode is a "daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS and/or a game process". In simple terms, it can help ensure your Linux PC is giving the game all it can to run smoothly. Looks like someone new is handling the project too, with Alex Smith having left Feral Interactive.

s-tui CPU Monitoring And Stress Testing Tool Sees Its First Stable (1.0.0) Release

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Software

s-tui, a terminal-based CPU monitoring and stress testing tool for Linux, has reached version 1.0.0 stable after being in development for almost 3 years.

s-tui monitors the CPU frequency, utilization, temperature, fan speeds and power using colored graphs, while also showing performance dips caused by thermal throttling.

The tool also has built-in options for stress testing the CPU using third party tools like stress or stress-ng.

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Get your RSS feeds and podcasts in one place with this open source tool

Filed under
Software
HowTos

RSS news feeds are an exceptionally handy way to keep up to date on various websites. In addition to Opensource.com, I follow the annual SysAdvent sysadmin tools feed, some of my favorite authors, and several webcomics. RSS readers allow me to "batch up" my reading, so I'm not spending every day on a bunch of different websites.

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Wine 5.0 Released

Filed under
Software
Gaming

  • Wine 5.0 Released

    The Wine team is proud to announce that the stable release Wine 5.0 is now available.

    This release represents a year of development effort and over 7,400 individual changes. It contains a large number of improvements that are listed in the release notes below. The main highlights are:

    - Builtin modules in PE format.
    - Multi-monitor support.
    - XAudio2 reimplementation.
    - Vulkan 1.1 support.

    This release is dedicated to the memory of Józef Kucia, who passed away in August 2019 at the young age of 30. Józef was a major contributor to Wine's Direct3D implementation, and the lead developer of the vkd3d project. His skills and his kindness are sorely missed by all of us.

  • Wine release 5.0
    What's new in Wine 5.0
    ======================
    
    
    *** PE modules
    
    - Most modules are built in PE format (Portable Executable, the
      Windows binary format) instead of ELF when the MinGW compiler is
      available. This helps various copy protection schemes that check
      that the on-disk and in-memory contents of system modules are
      identical.
    
    - The actual PE binaries are copied into the Wine prefix instead of
      the fake DLL files. This makes the prefix look more like a real
      Windows installation, at the cost of some extra disk space.
    
    - Modules that have been converted to PE can use standard wide-char C
      functions, as well as wide-char character constants like L"abc".
      This makes the code easier to read.
    
    - Not all modules have been converted to PE yet; this is an ongoing
      process that will continue during the Wine 5.x development series.
    
    - The Wine C runtime is updated to support linking to MinGW-compiled
      binaries; it is used by default instead of the MinGW runtime when
      building DLLs.
    
    
    *** Graphics
    
    - Multiple display adapters and monitors are properly supported,
      including dynamic configuration changes.
    
    - The Vulkan driver supports up to version 1.1.126 of the Vulkan spec.
    
    - The WindowsCodecs library is able to convert more bitmap formats,
      including palette-indexed formats.
    
    
    *** Direct3D
    
    - Fullscreen Direct3D applications inhibit the screensaver.
    
    - DXGI swapchain presents inform the application when the
      corresponding window is minimized. This typically allows
      applications to reduce CPU usage while minimized, and is in some
      cases required to allow the application window to be restored again.
    
    - Switching between fullscreen and windowed modes using the standard
      Alt+Enter combination is implemented for DXGI applications.
    
    - The following features are implemented for Direct3D 12 applications:
      - Switching between fullscreen and windowed.
      - Changing display modes.
      - Scaled presents.
      - Swap intervals.
      These features were previously already implemented for earlier
      versions of the Direct3D API.
    
    - The handling of various edge cases is improved. Among others:
      - Out of range reference values for the alpha and stencil tests.
      - Sampling 2D resources with 3D samplers and vice versa.
      - Drawing with mapped textures and buffers.
      - Usage of invalid DirectDraw clipper objects.
      - Creating Direct3D devices on invalid Windows, like the desktop
        window.
      - Viewports with a minimum Z larger than or equal to the maximum Z.
      - Resources bound through both shader-resource views and
        render-target or depth-stencil views at the same time.
      - Blits between formats with and without alpha components.
      Since well-behaved applications don't rely on these edge cases, they
      typically only affect one or two applications each. There are
      nevertheless quite a number of them.
    
    - Dirty texture regions are tracked more accurately for Direct3D 8 and 9
      texture uploads.
    
    - Uploads of S3TC-compressed 3D textures require less address space.
      Since 3D textures can be potentially large, and address space
      exhaustion is a concern for 32-bit applications, S3TC-compressed 3D
      textures are uploaded per-slice, instead of in a single upload.
    
    - The ID3D11Multithread interface is implemented.
    
    - Various lighting calculation fixes and improvements for older
      DirectDraw applications have been made.
    
    - Limited support for blits across swapchains is implemented.
    
    - More shader reflection APIs are implemented.
    
    - The wined3d CPU blitter can handle compressed source resources.
      Support for compressed destination resources was already implemented
      in a previous release.
    
  • Wine 5.0 Released With Big Improvements For Gaming, Countless Application Fixes

    Wine 5.0 has been released as stable as the annual timed release of this software for running Windows games and applications on Linux, macOS, and other platforms.

    Wine 5.0 is another big step forward in allowing modern Windows applications to run well particularly on Linux and macOS. Thanks to CodeWeavers and funding by Valve for their work on the Wine-based Proton downstream, there are many game fixes that have been incorporated over the past year especially. So Windows games are in better shape plus there is Vulkan 1.1 support, FAudio integration, and countless other improvements.

  • The bottle for Wine 5.0 has officially been popped open as it's out now

    The day has arrived, the official stable release of Wine 5.0 has arrived bringing thousands of improvements and a bunch of new features.

    [...]

    Wine 5.0 as a release is also being dedicated to the memory of Józef Kucia, a major contributor to Wine's Direct3D implementation and he lead developer of the vkd3d project who sadly passed away in August 2019.

bandwhich Shows What's Taking Up Your Network Bandwidth On Linux And macOS

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Software

This tool's main purpose is to shows what is taking up your bandwidth. It was originally called "what", but its name was changed to bandwhich about 3 weeks ago.

bandwhich is able to show the current network utilization by process, connection and remote IP/hostname by sniffing a given network interface and recording the IP packet size, cross-referencing it with the /proc filesystem on Linux and lsof on macOS. Also, the tool attempts to resolve the IP addresses to their host names in the background, using reverse DNS "on a best effort basis"; this can be disabled using the -n / --no-resolve option.

By default, bandwhich runs in interactive mode and it has 3 panes that show: network utilization by process name, utilization by connection, and utilization by remote address. Because bandwhich has a responsive terminal user interface, the terminal window in which you run bandwhich must be large enough for these 3 panes to be displayed - depending on the window width and/or height, only one or two of these panes may be shown.

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Need a distraction-free art application on Linux? Try out MyPaint

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Software

If you have a Wacom-style graphic tablet and you need a simple and distraction-free painting program, MyPaint seems like it could be a really good fit.

The developer, Martin Renold, says it's a "fast and dead-simple painting app for artists" and I can certainly appreciate the ease of use to it. Very handy for doing any kind of art really. Perhaps if you're in the mood for some sketching, mockups or you're designing art for a game it's pretty sweet.

A big new version is currently in testing, with a Beta that was released back in December. This brings with it great AppImage support to run it (hopefully) out of the box on any modern Linux distribution, along with tons of new features for artists like Spectral Paint/Pigment layer and brush mode, Linear blending for non-pigment layers and brush modes, Smudge enhancements, Fullscreen improvements, "fake inputs" for pressure and barrel rotation (allowing on-the-fly expressive adjustments to your brush even while using a mouse) and loads more.

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Syncthing: Open Source P2P File Syncing Tool

Filed under
Software
Gadgets

Syncthing is an open-source peer-to-peer file synchronization tool that you can use for syncing files between multiple devices (including an Android phone).

Usually, we have a cloud sync solution like MEGA or Dropbox to have a backup of our files on the cloud while making it easier to share it.

But, what do you do if you want to sync your files across multiple devices without storing them on the cloud?

That is where Syncthing comes to the rescue.

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Comparison: Snap vs Flatpack vs AppImage

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Software

New packaging formats like Snap, Flatpak and AppImage are providing distribution agnostic packages that work on most Linux distributions. This solves packaging problems faced by app developers who want to distribute their apps on multiple Linux distributions. Now they can focus on one build that works everywhere instead of going through different packaging standards.
This article will list the main differences between these three packaging formats from end users’ perspective. Differences in packaging architecture and ease of packaging from developers’ point of view won’t be covered here.

The table below summarizes the main differences between Snap, Flatpak and AppImage file formats. Most of them are self-explanatory, other points have been explained below the comparison table.

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Evernote’s Official Linux Client is Coming Soon

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

If you are an Evernote fan, you probably have been missing it on Linux desktop. There is the web version available but you cannot use it offline if you are not a premium user.

Linux (almost) always has a way around. So, there are some third party applications that let you use Evernote on Linux. There are also some alternative applications to Evernote available on Linux.

A native Linux client for Evernote has been requested for a long time and the good news is that it should finally be coming to Linux in the year 2020.

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OpenShot - If you have to ... shot, shot, don't talk

Filed under
Software
Movies

As you probably know, my go-to video editor is Kdenlive, which I've used many times before, to great success, creating dozens of unfunny clips, all of them available on my Youtube channel. But then, I've recently had less luck with the program, having tested both 2018's beta and last year's 19.08 stable edition, and neither really impressed me.

I came across bugs and crashes, and overall, it felt like the application has taken a nosedive. While older versions ought to keep working fine for quite a while longer, I wouldn't like to be in a position where my artistic spread of majestic wings is curtailed for any reasons. Hence, alternatives, hence testing. And thus, I came across an old-new title, OpenShot, a free, cross-platform video editor. Funnily, I've seen it many times before, but never really used in properly. This article shall remedy that.

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GameMode 1.5

  • Feral's GameMode 1.5 Now Supports Changing The CPU Governor Differently For iGPUs

    With Feral's GameMode 1.5 the big change facing users is for those running integrated graphics. In a change led by an Intel open-source graphics driver developer, GameMode now supports setting an alternative CPU frequency scaling governor for integrated graphics use-cases. Up to now GameMode has defaulted to always using the "performance" CPU frequency scaling governor for normally delivering the best performance, but for integrated graphics that in some situations can lead to lower performance. Due to the integrated graphics and CPU cores sharing the same power envelope, ramping up the CPU performance can throw the graphics performance out of balance and at least for some games lead to lower performance. So with GameMode 1.5, the user can now opt for "powersave" or an alternative governor instead when using an iGPU.

  • Feral Interactive's open source 'GameMode' system performance booster has a new release

    Feral Interactive don't just port a lot of games to Linux, they also work on some open source bits here and there. One of their projects is GameMode, which just got a new release. GameMode is a "daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS and/or a game process". In simple terms, it can help ensure your Linux PC is giving the game all it can to run smoothly. Looks like someone new is handling the project too, with Alex Smith having left Feral Interactive.

Mozilla on Privacy Badger, Rust and Digital ID Systems

  • Firefox Extension Spotlight: Privacy Badger

    People can't be expected to understand all of the technically complex ways their online behavior is tracked by hidden entities. As you casually surf the web, there are countless techniques different third party actors use to secretly track your online movement. So how are we supposed to protect our privacy online if we don't even understand how the game works? To help answer this, the good folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (a non-profit devoted to defending digital privacy) built Privacy Badger--a browser extension designed to give you highly advanced tracking protection, while requiring you to do nothing more than install it on Firefox. No configuration, no advanced settings, no fuss. Once you have Privacy Badger installed, it automatically scours every website you visit in its relentless hunt for hidden trackers. And when it finds them, blocks them.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 322
  • What could an “Open” ID system look like?: Recommendations and Guardrails for National Biometric ID Projects

    Digital ID systems are increasingly the battlefield where the fight for privacy, security, competition, and social inclusion is playing out. In our ever more connected world, some form of identity is almost always mediating our interactions online and offline. From the corporate giants that dominate our online lives using services like Apple ID and Facebook and Google’s login systems to government IDs which are increasingly required to vote, get access to welfare benefits, loans, pay taxes, get on transportation or access medical care. Part of the push to adopt digital ID comes from the international development community who argue that this is necessary in order to expand access to legal ID. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for “providing legal identity for all, including birth registration” by 2030. Possessing legal identity is increasingly a precondition to accessing basic services and entitlements from both state and private services. For the most marginalised communities, using digital ID systems to access essential services and entitlements from both state and private services are often one of their first interactions with digital technologies. Without these commonly recognized forms of official identification, individuals are at risk of exclusion and denial of services. However, the conflation of digital identity as the same as (or an extension of) “legal identity”, especially by the international development community, has led to an often uncritical embrace of digital ID projects. In this white paper, we survey the landscape around government digital ID projects and biometric systems in particular. We recommend several policy prescriptions and guardrails for these systems, drawing heavily from our experiences in India and Kenya, among other countries. In designing, implementing, and operating digital ID systems, governments must make a series of technical and policy choices. It is these choices that largely determine if an ID system will be empowering or exploitative and exclusionary. While several organizations have published principles around digital identity, too often they don’t act as a meaningful constraint on the relentless push to expand digital identity around the world. In this paper, we propose that openness provides a useful framework to guide and critique these choices and to ensure that identity systems put people first. Specifically, we examine and make recommendations around five elements of openness: multiplicity of choices, decentralization, accountability, inclusion, and participation.

Red Hat/IBM: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, OpenShift 4.3 and OpenSCAP

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for SAP Solutions on IBM POWER9: An open foundation to power intelligent business decisions

    At Red Hat Summit 2019, we unveiled Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the next generation of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, which provides the scale, flexibility and innovation to drive enterprise workloads across the hybrid cloud. Even with the advancements across the platform, we recognize that there’s no singular panacea to overcome every unique IT challenge. To meet these needs, Red Hat delivers specialized offerings built around Red Hat Enterprise Linux to address specific hardware, applications and environment requirements, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 continues this strategy with the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for SAP Solutions on IBM Power Systems (POWER9).

  • OpenShift 4.3: Quay Container Security Integration

    In the Red Hat OpenShift 4.2 Web UI Console, we introduced a new Cluster Overview Dashboard as the landing page when users first log in. The dashboard is there to help users resolve issues more efficiently and maintain a healthy cluster. With the latest 4.3 release, we added an image security section to the cluster health dashboard card. This section will appear on the dashboard when the Container Security Operator gets installed.

  • Deploying OpenSCAP on Satellite using Ansible

    In many environments today, security is one of the top priorities. New information security vulnerabilities are discovered regularly, and these incidents can have a significant impact on businesses and their customers. Red Hat customers I talk to are frequently looking for tools they can use to help evaluate and secure their environments. One of these tools is OpenSCAP, which is included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and can perform compliance and vulnerability scanning on RHEL servers. Satellite makes OpenSCAP easier to use by allowing you to deploy the OpenSCAP agent to hosts, manage the OpenSCAP policies centrally, and to view OpenSCAP reports from the Satellite web interface.