It’s interesting, to consider what constitutes a power user of an operating system. For most people in the wider world a power user is someone who knows their way around Windows and Microsoft Office a lot, and can help them get their print jobs to come out right. For those of us in our community, and in particular Linux users though it’s a more difficult thing to nail down. If you’re a LibreOffice power user like your Windows counterpart, you’ve only really scratched the surface. Even if you’ve made your Raspberry Pi do all sorts of tricks in Python from the command line, or spent a career shepherding websites onto virtual Linux machines loaded with Apache and MySQL, are you then a power user compared to the person who knows their way around the system at the lower level and has an understanding of the kernel? Probably not. It’s like climbing a mountain with false summits, there are so many layers to power usership.
So while some of you readers will be au fait with your OS at its very lowest level, most of us will be somewhere intermediate. We’ll know our way around our OS in terms of the things we do with it, and while those things might be quite advanced we’ll rely on our distribution packager to take care of the vast majority of the hard work.
In this presentation, kernel hacker Jan Lübbe will explain why apparently reasonable approaches to long-term maintenance fail and how to establish a sustainable workflow instead.
Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman confirmed today, January 19, 2017, in a short message, on his Google+ page, that the Linux 4.9 branch is now marked as "longterm," or as some of you know as LTS (Long-Term Support).
The story behind Linux kernel 4.9 becoming the next long-term supported series dates from way before it's launch last month, on December 11, when Linus Torvalds officially announced the new branch. It all started back on August 12, 2016, when Greg Kroah-Hartman dropped a quick Google+ post to say "4.9 == next LTS kernel."
First let’s look at how the kernel community works, and how a change gets merged into Linus Torvalds’ repository. Changes are submitted as patches to mailing list, then get some review and eventually get applied by a maintainer to that maintainer’s git tree. Each maintainer then sends pull request, often directly to Linus. With a few big subsystems (networking, graphics and ARM-SoC are the major ones) there’s a second or third level of sub-maintainers in. 80% of the patches get merged this way, only 20% are committed by a maintainer directly.
Most maintainers are just that, a single person, and often responsible for a bunch of different areas in the kernel with corresponding different git branches and repositories. To my knowledge there are only three subsystems that have embraced group maintainership models of different kinds: TIP (x86 and core kernel), ARM-SoC and the graphics subsystem (DRM).
After informing Softpedia about the availability of the Linux AIO Ubuntu 16.10 and Linux AIO Ubuntu 14.04.5 Live DVDs, Željko Popivoda from the Linux AIO team is announcing the initial release of Linux AIO Ubuntu Mixture 2017.01.
What's Linux AIO Ubuntu Mixture 2017.01, you may wonder? Well, let us tell you that it's something special, something that you've never experienced before. If until now Linux AIO provided the community with unique Live ISO images containing the essential flavors of a single GNU/Linux distribution, this changes today.
At the beginning of 2017 Valve released a Steam client beta with noteworthy Linux improvements. With today's Steam stable client update, all of those changes are included.
The big winner with this stable client update is improved interaction between the Steam runtime and host distribution libraries. This should let those using open-source graphics drivers on modern distributions work nicely with Steam without needing to remove any files or set extra environment variables. The old behavior can be restored though for older Linux distributions or if encountering any problems.
The good old days when security breaches only happened to Windows folk are fading fast. Malware hackers and denial of service specialists are increasingly targeting out of date embedded Linux devices, and fixing Linux security vulnerabilities was the topic of several presentations at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) in October.
One of the best attended was “Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years” by Pengutronix kernel hacker Jan Lübbe. After summarizing the growing security threats in embedded Linux, Lübbe laid out a plan to keep long-life devices secure and fully functional. “We need to move to newer, more stable kernels and do continuous maintenance to fix critical vulnerabilities,” said Lübbe. “We need to do the upstreaming and automate processes, and put in place a sustainable workflow. We don’t have any more excuses for leaving systems in the field with outdated software.”
Our friends and Linux-friendly PC vendor, CompuLab, have announced a new "IPC" line-up of their small form factor computers now with Intel Kabylake processors.
In the past on Phoronix we tested CompuLab's Intense-PC (IPC) and then the IPC2 with Haswell processors, among other innovative PCs from CompuLab. Now they are rolling out the IPC3 with Intel's latest Kabylake processors.
Compulab launched a rugged “IPC3” mini-PC that runs Linux on dual-core, 7th Gen Core i7/i5 CPUs, and also debuted three GbE-equipped FACE expansion modules.
Compulab has opened pre-orders starting at $693 for the first mini-PCs we’ve seen to offer the latest, 14nm-fabricated 7th Generation Intel Core “Kaby Lake” processors. The passively cooled, 190 x 160 x 40mm IPC3 (Intense PC 3), which is available in up to industrial temperature ranges, follows two generations of similarly sized IPC2 mini-PCs. There’s the still available, 4th Gen “Haswell” based IPC2 from 2014 and the apparently discontinued 5th Gen “Broadwell” equipped IPC2 from 2015.
Compulab is an Israeli company that makes small, fanless computers for home or commercial use. The company’s latest mini PC aimed at enterprise/industrial usage is called the IPC3, and it has a die-cast aluminum case with built-in heat sinks for passive cooling and measures about 7.4″ x 6.3″ x 1.6″.
The developers of the Robolinux GNU/Linux distribution have announced today, January 18, 2017, the release and immediate availability of a new stable update based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" operating system series.
Still offering a free installer, the Robolinux 8.7.1 "Raptor" edition is now available for download with the usual Cinnamon, MATE 3D, Xfce 3D, and LXDE flavors. It's based on the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 8.7.1 "Jessie" operating system, which means that it ships with its newest Linux 3.16 kernel and over 170 bug fixes and security patches. The GRUB bootloader and login screens have been refreshed too.
Twenty years ago, the cost of building a studio for the creation of electronic music was pricey, to say the least. The cost of a computer that was suitable for multimedia production could cost the average musician between $1,000 and $2,000. Add in the cost of recording software, additional instruments and equipment, and one could easily spend between $5,000 and $10,000 just to get started.
In 2016 Linux made modest gains in the desktop market. There is a lot of speculation out there from many people as to why Linux had a good year. Some of this is attributed to the lukewarm reception of the new Macbook Pro and the overall decline in usage of Mac OS. Others say it’s the natural evolution of Linux and that the operating system is bound to see gains eventually.
Regardless of the reason, because Linux saw a tiny uptick in users in 2016, many new and lesser-known Linux distributions gained a lot more attention. In 2017 we expect these same Linux distributions to make even more gains in popularity.
Below are the distros Linux fans should keep an eye on in 2017.