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Audiocasts/Shows: Full Circle Weekly News, Juno Computers, Kali Linux 2021.3

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GNU
Linux

2021 Is the Year of Linux on the Desktop

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GNU
Linux

It's the year of Linux on the desktop! Thirty years into the life of Linux, it seems like people have said that every year. But now it's really true, and it's true because Linux found its real niche—not as a political statement about "free software," but as a practical way to enable capable, low-cost machines for millions.

Linux was founded on the desktop, as one man's project to create an alternative OS for his Intel-based PC. So it's understandable that Linux fans have been focused on desktops and laptops as a sign of success—and not, say, servers, or IoT, or drones. They can finally rest easy. Walk into any school now, and you'll see millions of Linux machines. They're called Chromebooks.

Chrome OS and Android are both based on the Linux kernel. They don't have the extra GNU software that distributions like Ubuntu have, but they're descended from Linus Torvalds' original work. Chromebooks are the fastest growing segment of the traditional PC market, according to Canalys. IDC points out that Canalys' estimates of 12 million Chromebooks shipped in Q1 2021 are only a fraction of the 63 million notebooks sold that quarter, but once again, they're where the growth is. Much of that is driven by schools, where Chromebooks dominate now.

Schoolkids don't generally need a million apps' worth of generic computing power. They need inexpensive, rugged ways to log into Google Classroom. Linux came to the rescue, enabling cheap, light, easy-to-manage PCs that don't have the Swiss Army Knife cruft of Windows or the premium price of Macs.

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Also: Someone Made Ubuntu Look Just Like Windows 11

The Best Linux Gaming Laptop? Juno Neptune 15 Review

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Linux
Reviews
Gaming

If I had to pinpoint something to criticize, it's not something related to the actual hardware, but rather the operating system.

Offering Ubuntu 20.04 pre-installed is certainly a safe and sane choice, but other Linux PC companies like Star Labs, Slimbook and TUXEDO Computers offer a handful of distro options.

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Kernel: FWUPD/LVFS, Intel/DG1, and More

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Linux
  • LVFS Serves Up 2+ Million Firmware Downloads In The Past Month - Phoronix

    The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) in conjunction with FWUPD for offering easy-to-deploy firmware updates on Linux continues its meteoric rise.

    The past few years LVFS/FWUPD has enjoyed growing adoption by hardware vendors for providing firmware updates to Linux users from various peripherals to motherboard UEFI firmware updates. LVFS/FWUPD has been instrumental in establishing the firmware updating ecosystem on Linux.

  • The Current State Of Intel Discrete Graphics On Linux: Almost "Fully Functional" - Phoronix

    Along with bringing up DG2/Alchemist graphics card support on Linux, Intel engineers have been working to square away their support for the DG1 developer graphics card. This week thanks to XDC2021 is a fresh status update about what is working with this initial Intel graphics card on their open-source driver and what remains in the works.

  • The Increasing Importance Of ACPI Platform Profiles With Today's Throttle-Happy Hardware - Phoronix

    As covered several times going back to the end of last year, ACPI Platform Profile support has materialized in recent versions of the Linux kernel for the core infrastructure and implementations that work with the latest laptops from the likes of Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, and HP. This platform profile support is becoming increasingly important with expressing your power/cooling/performance preference so that your laptop behaves as one would expect.

    While it would be nice to have a modern, slim notebook that can run at full-speed without throttling so quickly, that unfortunately is increasingly rare with today's processors and vendors going for increasingly thin designs that means compromising thermals. Plus with today's increasingly complicated processors and Intel SoCs requiring Thermald and now with ACPI platform profiles becoming necessary, it has rather complicated the Linux support.

  • Intel's PSH ISHTP Driver Readied On Linux For Systems Wanting To Forego A Traditional EC - Phoronix

    It looks like Intel's ISHTP_ECLITE driver will be ready for mainlining in Linux 5.16 as a driver for newer systems skipping out on a traditional embedded control (EC) and instead using this EC-like IP as part of their Programmable Service Engine subsystem.

    This driver allows accessing the Intel Programmable Service Engine (PSE) using the Integrated Sensor Hub Transport Protocol (ISHTP) beginning with Intel's Elkhart Lake platform.

i.MX8M Plus comes to Qseven form factor

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Android
Linux

Congatec’s Qseven form-factor “Conga-QMX8-Plus” module runs Linux or Android on the NPU-equipped i.MX8M Plus with up to 6GB LPDDR4, up to 128MB eMMC, a microSD slot, GbE with TSN, and optional -40 to 85°C support.

Congatec announced the first Qseven-form-factor module we have seen build around NXP’s i.MX8M Plus, which it has already deployed in its Conga-SMX8-Plus SMARC module. The Conga-QMX8-Plus, which follows earlier i.MX8 family Qseven modules, including the i.MX8X based Conga-QMX8X, runs Linux, Yocto, or Android on the 14nm 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A53 SoC.

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Ampere Altra 80-core Arm Server for GNU/Linux (and Cautionary Tale About DRM-Like Servers)

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GNU
Linux
Server

A couple of big features for Thunar

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GNU
Linux
Software

Welcome to my first post-GSoC blogpost. Google Summer of Code might have ended but I'm continuing my daily work on Thunar and Xfce Terminal (more on that later). This blog-post is accompanied by a video that showcases what is written here.

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Linux Kernel and Linux Foundation Leftovers

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Linux

  • Linux 5.16 To Add Quirk For The Steam Deck, Other DRM-Misc-Next Changes - Phoronix

    With the Linux 5.15 merge window out of the way, the first drm-misc-next pull request has been sent in to DRM-Next for staging until the Linux 5.16 merge window opens up about two months from now.

    With this initial drm-misc-next pull the material is rather light considering the brief time since the merge window. There are some DMA-BUF updates, new macros, a number of new device quirks, documentation improvements, the V3D driver has a fix for a Vulkan CTS failure, new PCI IDs for the Bochs driver, VirtIO now supports mapping exported vRAM, and the ZTE driver has been removed for being obsolete.

  • Running Linux 5.15-rc1 Causing A New Slowdown... Here's A Look - Phoronix

    Linux 5.15-rc1 performance overall has been looking good at the assortment of systems I have tested so far this week. The performance overall has been inline with expectations and jiving well with the many new Linux 5.15 features. But it quickly became apparent that something was wrong with compiler performance when running on Linux 5.15... Not the speed to compile the kernel, but rather the performance of building other codebases while the system is running Linux 5.15-rc1. This slowdown for build tests was happening for multiple codebases of very real-world and relevant projects and on multiple systems, making it an interesting regression to look at and worth bisecting for an article.

  • OpenZFS 2.1.1 Arrives As A Big Point Release - Phoronix

    Following the big OpenZFS 2.1 release from July that brought Distributed SPARE RAID, a compatibility property for pools, and other new features, OpenZFS 2.1.1 is available today as a follow-up release for this open-source ZFS file-system implementation for Linux and FreeBSD systems.

  • The Linux Foundation and Fintech Open Source Foundation Announce Keynote Speakers for Open Source Strategy Forum London 2021
  • The Linux Foundation and Fintech Open Source Foundation Announce Keynote Speakers for Open Source Strategy Forum London 2021

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, along with co-host Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate adoption of open source software, standards and best practices in financial services, today announced keynote speakers for Open Source Strategy Forum London (OSSF). The event takes place October 5, preceded by a FINOS Member event on October 4, in London, England. The schedule can be viewed here and the keynote speakers can be viewed here.

Videos/Shows: Command Line Heroes, New in Invidious (YouTube), BSDNow, and Ubuntu Podcast

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GNU
Linux
BSD
  • Command Line Heroes: Season 8: Robot as Servant

    The 1980s promised robotic servants were in reach. They’d clean up our houses. Bring us drinks. Usher in an era of leisure. We didn’t get robot butlers. But if we look around, we’ll find an army of robotic servants already automating away domestic drudgery.

  • No The Steam Deck Won't Play Every Game - Invidious

    Due to some early information floating around some outlets reported that the Steam Deck will play every single game out there but anyone who has played games on Linux knows that would be impossible, proton is frankly not at this state.

  • JC's Linux Notes - Invidious

    A screencast in which we take a look at notes about Linux I have saved over the last few years.

  • GNOME redesign, Manjaro Cinnamon goes Vivaldi, and Steam Deck hype deflation - Linux news - Invidious
  • BSDNow 420: OpenBSD makes life better

    Choosing The Right ZFS Pool Layout, changes in OpenBSD that make life better, GhostBSD 21.09.06 ISO's now available, Fair Internet bandwidth management with OpenBSD, NetBSD wifi router project update, NetBSD on the Apple M1, HardenedBSD August Status Report, FreeBSD Journal on Wireless and Desktop, and more.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E28 – Tanks Rewarding Gender [Ed: Ubuntu Podcast will end soon. So they decided to push proprietary software like Windows and DRM like Steam.]

    This week we’ve been playing with Steam and the Windows Terminal. We look back at how Ubuntu and evolved over the years, bring you some command line love and go over all your feedback.

    It’s Season 14 Episode 28 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

Linux Mint’s New Website is Live (And Yes, It Looks Fresh

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GNU
Linux

A brand-new Linux Mint website has gone live.

Mint devs said that a revamped homepage was in the work, even inviting the community to get involved in shaping the form and function of it. All of that hardwork has paid off as the new Linux Mint website is online.

And it’s looking great...

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Programming Leftovers

  • Announcement : An AArch64 (Arm64) Darwin port is planned for GCC12

    As many of you know, Apple has now released an AArch64-based version of macOS and desktop/laptop platforms using the ‘M1’ chip to support it. This is in addition to the existing iOS mobile platforms (but shares some of their constraints). There is considerable interest in the user-base for a GCC port (starting with https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=96168) - and, of great kudos to the gfortran team, one of the main drivers is folks using Fortran. Fortunately, I was able to obtain access to one of the DTKs, courtesy of the OSS folks, and using that managed to draft an initial attempt at the port last year (however, nowhere near ready for presentation in GCC11). Nevertheless (as an aside) despite being a prototype, the port is in use with many via hombrew, macports or self-builds - which has shaken out some of the fixable bugs. The work done in the prototype identified three issues that could not be coded around without work on generic parts of the compiler. I am very happy to say that two of our colleagues, Andrew Burgess and Maxim Blinov (both from embecosm) have joined me in drafting a postable version of the port and we are seeking sponsorship to finish this in the GCC12 timeframe. Maxim has a lightning talk on the GNU tools track at LPC (right after the steering committee session) that will focus on the two generic issues that we’re tackling (1 and 2 below). Here is a short summary of the issues and proposed solutions (detailed discussion of any of the parts below would better be in new threads).

  • Apple Silicon / M1 Port Planned For GCC 12 - Phoronix

    Developers are hoping for next year's GCC 12 release they will have Apple AArch64 support on Darwin in place for being able to support Apple Silicon -- initially the M1 SoC -- on macOS with GCC. LLVM/Clang has long been supporting AArch64 on macOS given that Apple leverages LLVM/Clang as part of their official Xcode toolchain as the basis for their compiler across macOS to iOS and other products. While the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) supports AArch64 and macOS/Darwin, it hasn't supported the two of them together but there is a port in progress to change it.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tidyCpp 0.0.5 on CRAN: More Protect’ion

    Another small release of the tidyCpp package arrived on CRAN overnight. The packages offers a clean C++ layer (as well as one small C++ helper class) on top of the C API for R which aims to make use of this robust (if awkward) C API a little easier and more consistent. See the vignette for motivating examples. The Protect class now uses the default methods for copy and move constructors and assignment allowing for wide use of the class. The small NumVec class now uses it for its data member.

  • QML Modules in Qt 6.2

    With Qt 6.2 there is, for the first time, a comprehensive build system API that allows you to specify a QML module as a complete, encapsulated unit. This is a significant improvement, but as the concept of QML modules was rather under-developed in Qt 5, even seasoned QML developers might now ask "What exactly is a QML module". In our previous post we have scratched the surface by introducing the CMake API used to define them. We'll take a closer look in this post.

  • Santiago Zarate: So you want to recover and old git branch because it has been overwritten?
  • Start using YAML now | Opensource.com

    YAML (YAML Ain't Markup Language) is a human-readable data serialization language. Its syntax is simple and human-readable. It does not contain quotation marks, opening and closing tags, or braces. It does not contain anything which might make it harder for humans to parse nesting rules. You can scan your YAML document and immediately know what's going on. [...] At this point, you know enough YAML to get started. You can play around with the online YAML parser to test yourself. If you work with YAML daily, then this handy cheatsheet will be helpful.

  • 40 C programming examples

    C programming language is one of the popular programming languages for novice programmers. It is a structured programming language that was mainly developed for UNIX operating system. It supports different types of operating systems, and it is very easy to learn. 40 useful C programming examples have been shown in this tutorial for the users who want to learn C programming from the beginning.

Devices/Embedded: Asus Tinker Board 2 and More

  • Asus Tinker Board 2 single-board computer now available for $94 and up - Liliputing

    The Asus Tinker Board 2 is a Raspberry Pi-shaped single-board computer powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and featuring 2GB to 4GB of RAM. First announced almost a year ago, the Tinker Board 2 is finally available for $99 and up. Asus also offers a Tinker Board 2S model that’s pretty similar except that it has 16GB of eMMC storage. Prices for that model start at about $120.

  • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #371 - Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940 – 2021

    This week ended with the incredibly sad news of the passing of Sir Clive Sinclair. He was one of the founding fathers of home computing and got many of us at Raspberry Pi hooked on programming as kids. Join us in sharing your Sinclair computing memories with us on Twitter and our blog, and we’ll see you next week.

  • cuplTag battery-powered NFC tag logs temperature and humidity (Crowdfunding) - CNX Software

    Temperature and humidity sensors would normally connect to a gateway sending data to the cloud, the coin-cell battery-powered cuplTag NFC tag instead sends data to your smartphone after a tap. CulpTag is controlled by an MSP430 16-bit microcontroller from Texas Instruments which reads and stores sensor data regularly into an EEPROM, and the data can then be read over NFC with the tag returning an URL with the data from the sensor and battery, then display everything on the phone’s web browser (no app needed).

  • A first look at Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle RISC-V development board - CNX Software

    Formally launched on Crowd Supply a little over a year ago, Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle (codenamed MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) was one of the first Linux & FreeBSD capable RISC-V development boards. The system is equipped with PolarFire SoC FPGA comprised a RISC-V CPU subsystem with four 64-bit RISC-V (RV64GC) application cores, one 64-bit RISC-V real-time core (RV64IMAC), as well as FPGA fabric. Backers of the board have been able to play with it for several months ago, but Microchip is now sending the board to more people for evaluation/review, and I got one of my own to experiment with. That’s good to have a higher-end development board instead of the usual hobbyist-grade board. Today, I’ll just have a look at the kit content and main components on the board before playing with Linux and FPGA development tools in an upcoming or two posts.

  • What is IoT device management?

    Smart devices are everywhere around us. We carry one in our pocket, watch movies on another while a third cooks us dinner. Every day there are thousands of new devices connecting to the Internet. Research shows that by 2025, more than 150,000 IoT devices will come online every minute. With such vast numbers it is impossible to keep everything in working order just on your own. This brings the need for IoT device management. But what is IoT device management? To answer this question we first need to understand what the Internet of Things (IoT) is.

  • Beelink U59 mini PC with Intel Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake coming soon - Liliputing

    Beelink says the system ships with Windows 10, but it should also supports Linux.

  • Beelink U59 Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake mini PC to ship with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD - CNX Software

    Beelink U59 is an upcoming Jasper Lake mini PC based on the Intel Celeron N5095 15W quad-core processor that will ship with up to 16GB RAM, and 512 GB M.2 SSD storage. The mini PC will also offer two 4K HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 5, as well as four USB 3.0 ports, and support for 2.5-inch SATA drives up to 7mm thick.

Graphics: Mesa, KWinFT, and RADV

  • Experimenting Is Underway For Rust Code Within Mesa - Phoronix

    Longtime Mesa developer Karol Herbst who has worked extensively on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver as well as the OpenCL/compute stack while being employed by Red Hat is now toying with the idea of Rust code inside Mesa.  Karol Herbst has begun investigating how Rust code, which is known for its memory safety and concurrency benefits, could be used within Mesa. Ultimately he's evaluating how Rust could be used inside Mesa as an API implementation as well as for leveraging existing Mesa code by Rust. 

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  • KWinFT Continues Working On WLROOTS Render, Library Split

    KWinFT as a fork of KDE's KWin X11/Wayland compositor code continues making progress on driving fundamental display improvements and ironing out the Wayland support.  KWinFT has been transitioning to use WLROOTS for its Wayland heavy-lifting and that process remains ongoing. KWinFT has also been working on splitting up its library code to make it more manageable and robust.  Among the features still desired by KWinFT and to be worked on include input methods, graphical tablet support, and PipeWire video stream integration. Currently there are two full-time developers working on the project but they hope to scale up to four to five full-time developers. 

  • Raytracing Starting to Come Together – Bas Nieuwenhuizen – Open Source GPU Drivers

    I am back with another status update on raytracing in RADV. And the good news is that things are finally starting to come together. After ~9 months of on and off work we’re now having games working with raytracing.

  • Multiple Games Are Now Working With RADV's Ray-Tracing Code - Phoronix

    Not only is Intel progressing with its open-source ray-tracing driver support but the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been rounding out its RT code too and now has multiple games correctly rendering. Bas Nieuwenhuizen has been spearheading the RADV work on Vulkan ray-tracing support and after more than a half-year tackling it things are starting to fall into place nicely.Games such as Quake II RTX with native Vulkan ray-tracing are working along with the game control via VKD3D-Proton for going from Direct3D 12 DXR to Vulkan RT. Metro Exodus is also working while Ghostrunner and Doom Eternal are two games tested that are not yet working.

Audiocasts/Shows: Full Circle Weekly News, Juno Computers, Kali Linux 2021.3