Last week NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 960, a great $200 GPU for Linux gamers that is based on their new power-efficient Maxwell architecture. On launch-day I delivered some initial performance figures of the full GeForce GTX 900 series line-up along with other graphics cards and following that I did many new NVIDIA Linux GPU tests going back to the GeForce GTX 400 (Fermi) series. Not part of those tests were any AMD Radeon graphics cards while in this article are such numbers in making a new 18-way graphics card comparison with the latest Linux graphics drivers.
In the last two years, the Linux desktop has settled into a period of quiet diversity. The user revolts of 2008-2012 are safely in the past, and users are scattered among at least seven major desktops -- Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE,LXDE, MATE, Unity, and Xfce -- and likely to stay that way.
So what comes next? What will the next innovations on the desktop be? Where will they come from? Prediction is as safe as investing in penny mining stocks, but some major trends for the next couple of years seem obvious without the bother of a tarot reading.
The latest work landing in the DRM-Next code-base for the Linux 3.20 kernel merge window is the Tegra DRM driver updates.
The Tegra DRM driver is primarily designed to support the Tegra 4 and older SoCs while the Tegra K1 and newer is supported by the Nouveau DRM driver due to the graphics core now being common with their mainline desktop architecture. The Tegra K1's GK20A graphics core is derived directly from Kepler while the brand new Tegra X1 is derived from Maxwell. Regardless, the Tegra DRM driver continues to be actively developed by NVIDIA stakeholders.
The Embedded Linux Conference + Android Builders Summit on Mar. 23-25 in San Jose is about “Drones, Things, and Automobiles,” but drones get the most love.
Maybe it’s just our imagination, but the Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference seems to be getting more interesting than ever. The program increasingly reflects new opportunities for Linux in areas such as drones, robots, automotive computers, IoT gizmos, 3D sensing, modular phones, and much more. For those of you worried that ELC North America is skimping on the basics as it explores the more colorful sides of Linux, rest your mind at ease. There are still plenty of sessions on booting, trace analysis, NAND support, PHY frameworks, power management, defragmenting, systemd, device tree, and toolchain. Geeks still rule!
Variscite unveiled a Linux-friendly, SODIMM-style COM based on TI’s Sitara AM437x, supporting the updated SoC’s quad-core Programmable Real-time Unit (PRU).
The VAR-SOM-AM43 is the first computer-on-module we’ve seen to use the Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x, a single-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip that clocks to 1GHz. Last month, Adeneo announced an Android 4.4 BSP for TI’s Sitara AM437x development platform. Variscite is supporting its VAR-SOM-AM43 with a Yocto Linux, and soon, Android-ready hardware/software development kit of its own, which includes a VAR-AM43 CustomBoard development board, touchscreens, cables, and more
They said in working up hardware, they carefully designed the laptop "chip by chip" to work with open source software. The 4.4-pound laptop runs Linux. This is a GNU-based distribution, more specifically, the Trisquel GNU/Linux, "the strictest of distributions and strips all binary blobs from the Linux kernel." At the same time, they said laptop owners, if they want, can easily install anything less strict, such as Debian and Ubuntu. The machine has a 15.6" display in either 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 with a 60Hz refresh rate, 720p camera and HD Audio. It has a CD/DVD ROM drive. They used Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200. It has a 48 Wh lithium polymer battery with about eight hours of usage.
Researchers at cloud security company Qualys have discovered a major security hole, GHOST (CVE-2015-0235), in the Linux GNU C Library (glbibc). This vulnerability enables hackers to remotely take control of systems without even knowing any system IDs or passwords.
Qualys alerted the major Linux distributors about the security hole quickly and most have now released patches for it. Josh Bressers, manager of the Red Hat product security team said in an interview that, "Red Hat got word of this about a week ago. Updates to fix GHOST on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5, 6, and 7 are now available via the Red Hat Network."
This hole exists in any Linux system that was built with glibc-2.2, which was released on November 10, 2000. Qualys found that the bug had actually been patched with a minor bug fix released on May 21, 2013 between the releases of glibc-2.17 and glibc-2.18.
Smart Electronics is prepping a tiny $26 open-source “Black Swift” SBC that runs OpenWRT on an Atheros AR9331 and offers WiFi, dual micro-USB, and header I/O.
The Black Swift, which is set to launch on Kickstarter on Jan. 27, comes from Russian firm Smart Electronics LLC, the new name for Virt2real Ltd. This is the same company that brought us the Linux-based Virt2real WiFi controller board and robotic “Bond Car,” which is controlled by the board.