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Linux Development Statistics, Linux Foundation News, and Technical Changes Explained

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Linux
  • Twelve Collabora Developers Have Contributed 72 Patches to the Linux 4.13 Kernel

    Now that the Linux 4.13 kernel series is out, and it's ready for production use, it's time to look at the contributions made by some of Collabora's developers, which always bring goodies during each development cycle.

    Linus Torvalds unveiled the Linux 4.13 kernel branch last week, a release that brought support for Intel's Cannon Lake and Coffee Lake processor family, among lots of other improvements. For the Linux kernel 4.13 cycle, it looks like a total of twelve Collabora developers have contributed no less than 72 patches, reviewed 25 patches, tested 10 patches, and signed-off 83 patches.

  • Development statistics for the 4.13 kernel

    As of this writing, the 4.13 kernel appears headed toward release on September 3, after a nine-week development cycle. It must, therefore, be about time for a look at the statistics for this development cycle. The picture that results shows a fairly typical kernel cycle with, as usual, few surprises.

    Midway between 4.13-rc6 and 4.13-rc7, 12,677 non-merge changesets had found their way into the mainline. That makes 4.13 the smallest cycle since 4.7, which finished with 12,283 changesets. Chances are, though, that this cycle will surpass 4.11 (12,724) by the time it is done. So, while there may be signs of a (northern hemisphere) summer slowdown, 4.13 remains generally comparable with its predecessors with respect to patch volume.

  • Samsung Joins EdgeX Foundry to Accelerate Open Source Development of Industrial IoT Edge Platform

    EdgeX Foundry, an open source project building a common framework for Internet of Things (IoT) edge computing, today announced Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has joined as a Platinum member. Participating in EdgeX Foundry will support Samsung's emerging efforts in the industrial sector while expanding the market of EdgeX compatible components and devices.

    [...]

    EdgeX Foundry is a collaborative project of The Linux Foundation that is building an open interoperability framework hosted within a full hardware- and OS-agnostic reference software platform to enable an ecosystem of plug-and-play components that unifies the marketplace and accelerates the deployment of IoT solutions. Designed to run on any hardware or operating system and with any combination of application environments, EdgeX can quickly and easily deliver interoperability between connected devices, applications, and services, across a wide range of use cases.

  • The Linux Foundation Releases Open Source Guides for the Enterprise

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, has released the first six in a series of Open Source Guides for the Enterprise, created to help executives, open source program managers, developers, attorneys and other decision makers learn how to best leverage open source.

  • printk() and KERN_CONT [Ed: these three LWN articles (more below) no longer behind paywall]
  • Goodbye to GFP_TEMPORARY and dma_alloc_noncoherent()

BakAndImgCD 23.0 Data Backup & Disk Cloning Live CD Released Based on 4MLinux 23

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GNU
Linux

4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki‏ has informed us about the release and immediate availability of BakAndImgCD 23.0 data backup and disk cloning/imaging live system based on the latest 4MLinux Backup Scripts.

Based on 4MLinux Backup Scripts 23.0, the BakAndImgCD 23.0 release is here to add support for the latest GNU/Linux and Open Source technologies that have been implemented so far in the upcoming 4MLinux 23.0 operating system release, which is expected to launch this fall.

"BakAndImgCD is an official 4MLinux fork, which has been designed to perform the following two tasks: data backup (the supported filesystems are: btrfs, ext2, ext3, ext4, f2fs, fat16, fat32, hfs, hfs+, jfs, nilfs2, ntfs, reiser4, reiserfs, and xfs) and disk imaging (using Partimage, Partclone, and GNU ddrescue)," said Zbigniew Konojacki‏.

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Why Mobile Linux Fails

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Linux

Mobile Linux is, to be sure, a challenged sector. Over the past few years we've seen a few attempts at bringing a "proper Linux experience" over to the mobile space. Sadly, these efforts haven't met with the success we had hoped for.

This article will take a hard look at why mobile Linux has failed and whether or not it will ever be something relevant for the masses.

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Stackable Raspberry Pi add-on card aims for maximum I/O

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Linux

On Kickstarter: a stackable “Raspberry Pi Mega-IO Expansion Card” for home automation offers a 12-bit DAC, 8x ADC, 8x relays, 8x opto-inputs, and 6x GPIO.

A startup by Mihai Beffa called Sequent Microsystems has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a Raspberry Pi add-on card that is loaded with inputs, outputs, and relays designed for home automation. The stackable Raspberry Pi Mega-IO Expansion Card is an attempt to “integrate as many Home Automation functions as possible into a Raspberry Pi platform,” says the KS page.

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Mobile Devices: Purism 5 Linux Phone, New in Tizen

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Hardware

Hands On: Keeping a very old laptop useful with Linux

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GNU
Linux

About four years ago (Nov 2013) I bought a used, refurbished Lenovo T400 laptop computer and docking station. It was already about four years old at that time (most of the original product announcements and hands-on reviews I can find are from 2009), and another four years have gone by now, so I think it would be useful to have another look at it and see how it is holding up.

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Manjaro Linux Now Has Its Very Own Laptop

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Linux

Linux users who’ve dreamed of buying a laptop that runs Manjaro Linux can wake up happy — one has just been announced. The ‘Station X Spitfire Manjaro Special Edition’ is the first Manjaro-based laptop from UK-based computer sellers Station X.

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Linux 4.13.1, 4.12.12, and 4.9.49

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Laptops/Desktops With GNU/Linux Preinstalled: Talos II, Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
  • Support the Talos II, a candidate for Respects Your Freedom certification, by pre-ordering by September 15

    We've previously supported the work of the folks at Raptor Engineering. This time, rather than a crowdfunding effort, we are asking you to support their work by pre-ordering the Talos II. The system comes in a variety of forms to meet your needs, from a workstation to rack-mounted to the board by itself. Raptor Engineering has put in a great deal of effort researching and prototyping this system, and now it is ready for prime time. The Talos II is great for any hacker who needs a powerful machine, perfect for developing even more free software.

  • FSF To Look At RYF Certification For The POWER9 Talos II

    Last month Raptor Engineering announced the Talos II POWER9-powered workstation that is cheaper than the original Talos Workstation while still aiming to be very free software friendly. The Free Software Foundation will be exploring the possibility of "Respect Your Freedom" certification on this hardware when it's ready to ship.

  • Chrome OS Will Soon Allow All Chromebook Owners to Rename USB Flash Drives

    Google's Chromium evangelist François Beaufort is back with more goodies for Chromebook owners, recently revealing the fact that future versions of Chrome OS will allow users to rename attached USB flash drives.

    A new "Rename" option has been added to the right-click context menu of the Files app on Chrome OS, which allows you to rename an attached USB flash storage devices, be it either a USB stick or an external drive. The renaming feature, which is currently available on the Chrome Canary experimental channel, can also be enabled using the CTRL+Enter keyboard shortcut on your Chromebook.

Kernel: Linux 4.14 and Jente Hidskes Becomes Maintainer

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Oracle: New VirtualBox 5.2 Beta, SPARC M8 Processors Launched

  • VirtualBox 5.2 to Let Users Enable or Disable Audio Input and Output On-the-Fly
    Oracle announced new updates for its popular, cross-platform and open-source virtualization software, the third Beta of the upcoming VirtualBox 5.2 major release and VirtualBox 5.1.28 stable maintenance update. We'll start with the stable update, VirtualBox 5.1.28, as it's more important for our readers using Oracle VM VirtualBox for all of their virtualization needs. The VirtualBox 5.1 maintenance release 28 is here to improve audio support by fixing various issues with both the ALSA and OSS backends, as well as an accidental crash with AC'97.
  • SPARC M8 Processors Launched
    While Oracle recently let go of some of their SPARC team, today marks the launch of the SPARC M8. The initial SPARC M8 line-up includes the T8-1, T8-2, T8-4. M8-8, and SuperCluster M8-8 servers.

Wikileaks Releases Spy Files Russia, CCleaner Infected, Equifax Has a Dirty Little Secret

  • Spy Files Russia
    This publication continues WikiLeaks' Spy Files series with releases about surveillance contractors in Russia. While the surveillance of communication traffic is a global phenomena, the legal and technological framework of its operation is different for each country. Russia's laws - especially the new Yarovaya Law - make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities (SIAs) without court orders. Russian communication providers are required by Russian law to install the so-called SORM ( Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий) components for surveillance provided by the FSB at their own expense. The SORM infrastructure is developed and deployed in Russia with close cooperation between the FSB, the Interior Ministry of Russia and Russian surveillance contractors.
  • Malware-Infected CCleaner Installer Distributed to Users Via Official Servers for a Month
    Hackers have managed to embed malware into the installer of CCleaner, a popular Windows system optimization tool with over 2 billion downloads to date. The rogue package was distributed through official channels for almost a month. CCleaner is a utilities program that is used to delete temporary internet files such as cookies, empty the Recycling Bin, correct problems with the Windows Registry, among other tasks. First released in 2003, it has become hugely popular; up to 20 million people download it per month. Users who downloaded and installed CCleaner or CCleaner Cloud between Aug. 15 and Sept. 12 should scan their computers for malware and update their apps. The 32-bit versions of CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 were affected.
  • Equifax Suffered a Hack [sic] Almost Five Months Earlier Than the Date It Disclosed
  • This is why you shouldn’t use texts for two-factor authentication

    For a long time, security experts have warned that text messages are vulnerable to hijacking — and this morning, they showed what it looks like in practice.

Amazon Changes Rental ('Cloud') Model on GNU/Linux

Devices/Hardware: Embedded/Boards, CODESYS, and EPYC Linux Performance

  • Linux friendly IoT gateway runs on 3.5-inch Bay Trail SBC
    While the MB-80580 SBC lists SATA II, the gateway indicates SATA III. Also, the gateway datasheet notes that the RS232 ports can all be redirected to RS232/422/485. Software includes Windows IoT Core and Server, as well as Yocto, Ubuntu Snappy Core, and CentOS Linux distributions.
  • Rugged panel PC scales up to a 19-inch touchscreen
    The fanless, IP65-rated WinSystems “PPC65B-1x” panel PC runs Linux or Win 10 on a quad-core Atom E3845, and offers 10.4 to 19-inch resistive touchscreens.
  • CODESYS announces CODESYS-compatible SoftPLC for open Linux device platforms
  • EPYC Linux performance from AMD
    Phoronix have been hard at work testing out AMD's new server chip, specifically the 2.2/2.7/3.2GHz EPYC 7601 with 32 physical cores.  The frequency numbers now have a third member which is the top frequency all 32 cores can hit simultaneously, for this processor that would be 2.7GHz.  Benchmarking server processors is somewhat different from testing consumer CPUs, gaming performance is not as important as dealing with specific productivity applications.   Phoronix started their testing of EPYC, in both NUMA and non-NUMA configurations, comparing against several Xeon models and the performance delta is quite impressive, sometimes leaving even a system with dual Xeon Gold 6138's in the dust.  They also followed up with a look at how EPYC compares to Opteron, AMD's last server offerings.  The evolution is something to behold.
  • Opteron vs. EPYC Benchmarks & Performance-Per-Watt: How AMD Server Performance Evolved Over 10 Years
    By now you have likely seen our initial AMD EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarks. If you haven't, check them out, EPYC does really deliver on being competitive with current Intel hardware in the highly threaded space. If you have been curious to see some power numbers on EPYC, here they are from the Tyan Transport SX TN70A-B8026 2U server. Making things more interesting are some comparison benchmarks showing how the AMD EPYC performance compares to AMD Opteron processors from about ten years ago.