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You Can Now Transform Your Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ into a Home Theatre System

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OSMC (Open Source Media Center), the free and open-source media player operating system based on the Linux kernel and designed for single-board computers received March 2018's update with dozens of changes, including support for the latest Raspberry Pi model.

Raspberry Pi Foundation announced last week on Pi Day, March 14, 2018, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ single-board computer (SBC), which features updated hardware, including a 1.4GHz 64-bit Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2, Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN, and PoE support.

The developers of the OSMC Linux OS (formerly RaspBMC) received some pre-production units from Raspberry Pi Foundation to prepare their upcoming release for the new SBC, and March's update is now live with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ support, allowing you to transform it into a versatile home theatre system.

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LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.4 MR

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Team LibreELEC celebrates its second birthday (and international Pi-Day) with the release of LibreELEC (Krypton) v8.2.4 which brings minor bug-fixes and new firmware to support the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ hardware announced this morning.

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Kodi 18 Leia Alpha

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  • Kodi v18 Leia - Alpha 1

    A new hope dawns and it is finally time to start heading towards a final release. Today we are happy to announce that we are bringing you the first official pre-release Alpha build to a galaxy near you.

  • Kodi v18 Leia Alpha, BleachBit Version 2.0, Use an RPi 3 to Build Your Own Cheap Car Head Unit and More

    Kodi v18 Leia Alpha was released today with "more than 6140 (code chunks changed)", with great improvements to the HTPC software's music library, Live TV and video player. See the changelog for more details.

  • Kodi 18 "Leia" Enters Alpha With Thousands Of Changes

    Kodi, the popular HTPC software formerly known as XBMC, has put out the first alpha release of their upcoming 18 Leia milestone.

    Kodi 18 is a big update coming later in 2018 with RetroPlayer gaming support, Wayland support improvements, Google Assistant support, better live TV support, and much more. While there are new features, stability and usability improvements were also a main focus during Kodi 18 development.

Patent Troll MPEG LA Wants People to Stay With MPEG

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  • Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

    It's almost of historical interest only, but everywhere except the Philippines and Malaysia, the last MPEG-2 video encoder/decoder patents have expired.

    As *nixcraft noted, what it means is that there will never again be the risk of an MPEG-2 decoder being bombed in the libre operating system world.

    The company that had the patents wrapped up for licensing, MPEG LA, told the world the last US patent expired on 13 February here .

  • Race on to bring AV1 open source codec to market, as code freezes

    The long-heralded open source AV1 codec is now set for development of commercial product, with the code complete and ready to be frozen over the next few weeks. This has been confirmed by contributors to the standard such as Austrian transcoding software developer Bitmovin, which hopes to be among the first to bring out a product. That will happen once members of the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) that developed the codec sign off its performance.

Movie Monad – A GTK Video Player Built with Haskell

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Yes, guys – another video player! “What’s special about this one?”, you ask. Well, for starters, it began as a (blog post project) for Haskell programmers interested in functional programming and who also have an interest in building GTK UI apps.

Movie Monad is a free, simple, and open-source GTK video player written in Haskell. If features a UI reminiscent of VLC Media Player, keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to play both local and remote files.

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Additional VLC Coverage

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VLC 3.0 Vetinari

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  • VLC 3.0 Vetinari

    VLC 3.0.0 is the first version of "Vetinari" branch of our popular media player.

  • VLC 3.0 Released

    As expected, the VLC 3.0 media player is now available!

  • The 5 Coolest Things About VLC 3.0

    VLC Chromecast support arrives in VLC 3.0, as do many other features! In this post we take a look at 5 changes that make this VLC release worth downloading.

  • VLC 3.0, PostgreSQL 10.2, Sylabs, Zerodium Bounty and More

    PostgreSQL 10.2 was released yesterday, which includes numerous bug and security fixes: "This release fixes two security issues" as well as "issues found with VACUUM, GIN and hash indexes, parallel query, logical replication, and other bugs reported over the past three months. All users using the affected versions of PostgreSQL should update as soon as possible."

MythTV 29.1 Released

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  • MythTV 29.1 Released

    Last July marked the release of MythTV 29 as the latest release of this once super popular Linux DVR/PVR software. Today marks the availability of MythTV 29.1.

  • Happy Release Day!

    The MythTV Team is pleased to announce the release of MythTV version v29.1

Video Acceleration in Fedora 28 and the Rotting of MPEG Due to Software Patents

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Red Hat
  • Fedora 28 Planning For VA-API 1.0 Support

    The latest work by Fedora developers on feature work for Fedora 28 is shipping with VA-API 1.0 support for updated capabilities around the Video Acceleration API.

    The VA-API 1.0.0 API/ABI is provided by the libva 2.0 video acceleration library. Libva 2.0 was released last October with H.264 FEI support in its API, deprecating older parts of the API, fixing a race condition with the Wayland support, renaming some parts of the API, improving the logging capabilities, and various other changes. Libva 2.0 broke API/ABI compatibility with older versions of this Intel-developed Video Acceleration API.

  • A crisis, the causes and a solution [Ed: LWN says "this blog posting from Leonardo Chiariglione, the founder and chair of MPEG, on how (in his view) the group is being destroyed by free codecs and patent trolls."]

    Because there are rumours spreading about a presumed “MPEG-Video collapse” and Brownian motion-like initiatives trying to remedy – in some cases by the very people who have contributed to creating the “crisis”.


    In its 30 years of operation MPEG has created digital media standards that have enabled the birth and continue promoting the growth of digital media products, services and applications. Here are a few, out of close to 180 standards: MP3 for digital music (1992), MPEG-2 for digital television (1994), MPEG-4 Visual for video on internet (1998), MP4 file format for mobile handsets (2001), AVC for reduced bitrate video (2003), DASH for internet streaming (2013), MMT for IP broadcasting (2013) and more. In other words, MPEG standards have had and keep on having an impact on the lives of billions of people.


    In 2013 MPEG approved the HEVC standard which provides the same quality as AVC at half the bitrate. The licensing situation is depicted by the picture below (courtesy of Jonathan Samuelsson of Divideon): there are 3 patent pools, one of which has not published their licence and a significant number of patent holders that have not joined any pool (and not published their licences either).

     I saw the threat coming and one year ago I tried to bring the matter to the attention of the higher layers in ISO. My attempts were thwarted by a handful of NPEs.

    Alliance for Open Media (AOM) has occupied the void created by MPEG’s outdated video compression standard (AVC), absence of competitive Options 1 standards (IVC) and unusable modern standard (HEVC). AOM’s AV1 codec, due to be released soon, is claimed to perform better than HEVC and will be offered royalty free.


    The work of patent pools would be greatly simplified because they could define profiles with technologies that are “available” because they would know who owns which tools. Users could switch on tools once they become usable, e.g. because the relevant owner has joined a patent pool.

    These are just examples of how the MPEG standard development process can be adapted to better match the needs of entities developing licences and without becoming part – God forbid – of a licence definition process.


    Companies will slash their video compression technology investments, thousands of jobs will go and millions of USD of funding to universities will be cut. A successful “access technology at no cost” model will spread to other fields.

    So don’t expect that in the future you will see the progress in video compression technology that we have seen in the past 30 years.

LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.3 MR

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LibreELEC 8.2.3 is released to change our embedded pastebin provider from (RIP) to (working) so users can continue to submit logs to the forums through a URL without copy/pasting text or direct uploading log files. This is our preferred way to receive and read your log files so if you are not familiar with using the paste function please read this wiki article to find out how. The 8.2.3 release also solves an issue with continuity errors on USB DVB adaptors that has been troubling some 8.2 users for some time; kudos to user @jahutchi for tracking down the problem kernel commit. We also address a long-running crashing issue with Intel BayTrail hardware that needed some users to force max_cstate in kernel boot parameters, and for bonus credit users with an Intel NUC equipped with an LED can fiddle with the colours, as we backported the LED driver from our master branch.

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Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Purchased a PlayStation 3 Between 2006 and 2010? You May Be Entitled to $65
    PS3 owners first qualified to receive compensation from Sony following the settlement of a lawsuit in 2016. That case dealt with the "OtherOS" feature that came with the console when it debuted. With OtherOS, Sony promised a new PlayStation that would operate like a computer, allowing users to partition their hard drive and install third-party operating systems like the open-source Linux software.
  • Moro – A Command Line Productivity Tool For Tracking Work Hours
    Keeping track of your work hours will give you an insight about the amount of work you get done in a specific time frame. There are plenty of GUI-based productivity tools available on the Internet for tracking work hours. However, I couldn’t find a good CLI-based tool. Today, I stumbled upon a a simple, yet useful tool named “Moro” for tracking work hours. Moro is a Finnish word which means “Hello”. Using Moro, you can find how much time you take to complete a specific task. It is free, open source and written using NodeJS.
  • Twenty years, 1998 – 2018
    curl 4.0 was just a little more than 2000 lines of C code. It featured 23 command line options. curl 4.0 introduced support for the FTP PORT command and now it could do ftp uploads that append to the remote file. The version number was bumped up from the 3.12 which was the last version number used by the tool under the old name, urlget.
  • What’s New in ArchLabs 2018.03
    ArchLabs 2018.03 is the latest release of Linux distribution based on Arch Linux featuring the Openbox window manager as the primary desktop interface. The project’s latest release ArchLabs 2018.03 brings a few fixes and improvements and improve the user. Powered by Linux kernel 4.15 series and based-on latest version of Arch Linux. LUKS and encryption is now working, for those security concious users out there you should be all go on the encryption side. There have been a few installer updates, base-devel is included at install time. Also the mirrorlist is optimised at the same time.
  • [Older] openSUSE.Asia Summit 2018: Call for Host
    The openSUSE.Asia organization committee is accepting proposals to host the openSUSE.Asia Summit during the second half of 2018. The openSUSE.Asia Summit is the largest annual openSUSE conference in Asia, attended by contributors and enthusiasts from all over Asia.
  • TidalScale Software-Defined Servers Now Support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    TidalScale, the leader in Software-Defined Servers, announced today that working in partnership with SUSE, the world’s first provider of Enterprise Linux, TidalScale has achieved SUSE Ready certification to ensure full compatibility with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. TidalScale’s breakthrough scaling platform allows multiple industry standard servers to be combined into a single Software-Defined Server running a single instance of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
  • 8 Best Radio Apps For Android To Stream Online Music In 2018

Kernel and Graphics: Torvalds, Linux Foundation, Nouveau and libinput

  • Which Linux Distribution Does Linus Torvalds Use in 2018?
    We know a sizeable amount of his views on Linux distros, thanks to an interview he took long ago in 2007, but who knows – could he have changed his mind? In a 2007 interview, Linus professed that he didn’t use Debian because he found it hard to install, a statement I find interesting because he’s the guy who wrote GIT in C. Anyway, he buttressed his reason for not using Debian in a later interview from 2014, when he explained that because he is responsible for maintaining his computer and all the computers used by his household, he likes to use an OS with virtually no installation hassle. [...] As far as I know, he uses Fedora on most of his computers because of its fairly good support for PowerPC. He mentioned that he used OpenSuse at one point in time and complimented Ubuntu for making Debian accessible to the mass. So most of the flak on the internet about Linus disliking Ubuntu isn’t factual.
  • Linux Foundation, Intel launch open source IoT hypervisor
    The Linux Foundation has unveiled plans for a new open source project to provide streamlined embedded hypervisors for IoT devices. Called Acrn, the project has been assisted by Intel, which contributed code and engineering. The main thrust of the project is to create small, flexible virtual machines. ACRN comprises two main components: the hypervisor and its device model, complete with I/O mediators. The Linux-based hypervisor can run many ‘guest’ operating systems at the same time.
  • Nouveau NIR Support Appears Almost Baked, NV50 Support Added
    Karol Herbst at Red Hat started off this week by publishing his latest patches around Nouveau NIR support as part of the company's effort for getting SPIR-V/compute support up and running on this open-source NVIDIA driver. Red Hat's grand vision around open-source GPGPU compute still isn't entirely clear especially with Nouveau re-clocking not being suitable for delivering high performance at this point, but it must be grand given the number of developers they have working on improving the Linux GPU compute stack at the moment.
  • xf86-input-libinput 0.27.0 Released
    Aside from a few touchpad issues and other minor random issues with select hardware, libinput these days is mostly in great shape for being a generic input handling library that is working out well for both X.Org and Wayland users.

KDE: KDE Applications 18.04, KDE Connect, KMyMoney 5.0.1 and Qt Quick

  • KDE Applications 18.04 branches created
    Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.04 release to them :)
  • KDE Connect – State of the union
    We haven’t blogged about KDE Connect in a long time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been lazy. Some new people have joined the project and together we have implemented some exciting features. Our last post was about version 1.0, but recently we released version 1.8 of the Android app and 1.2.1 of the desktop component some time ago, which we did not blog about yet. Until now!
  • KMyMoney 5.0.1 released
    The KMyMoney development team is proud to present the first maintenance version 5.0.1 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Although several members of the development team had been using the new version 5.0.0 in production for some time, a number of bugs and regressions slipped through testing, mainly in areas and features not used by them.
  • Qt Quick without a GPU: i.MX6 ULL
    With the introduction of the Qt Quick software renderer it became possible to use Qt Quick on devices without a GPU. We investigated how viable this option is on a lower end device, particularly the NXP i.MX6 ULL. It turns out that with some (partially not yet integrated) patches developed by KDAB and The Qt Company, the performance is very competitive. Even smooth video playback (with at least half-size VGA resolution) can be done by using the PXP engine on the i.MX6 ULL.