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Kernel and Graphics: Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Intel teases 'software-defined silicon' with Linux kernel contribution – and won't say why

    Intel has teased a new tech it calls "Software Defined Silicon" (SDSi) but is saying almost nothing about it – and has told The Register it could amount to nothing.

    SDSi popped up around three weeks ago in a post to the Linux Kernel mailing list, in which an Intel Linux software engineer named David Box described it as "a post-manufacturing mechanism for activating additional silicon features".

  • RadeonSI Lands Another "Very Large" Optimization To Further Boost SPECViewPerf - Phoronix

    In recent months we have seen a lot of RadeonSI optimizations focused on SPECViewPerf with AMD seemingly trying to get this open-source OpenGL driver into very capable shape moving forward for workstation GL workloads. Hitting Mesa 22.0-devel today is yet another round of patches for tuning SPECViewPerf.

  • Vendors Including NVIDIA Talk Up New OpenCL Extensions For Vulkan Interop, NN Inference - Phoronix

    Last Friday night we spotted OpenCL 3.0.9 with several new extensions included. Today The Khronos Group is formally announcing these latest OpenCL additions focused on Vulkan interoperability as well as neural network inferencing.

    These new extensions for OpenCL 3.0 include an integer dot product extension for neural network inferencing (cl_khr_integer_dot_product) with a focus on 8-bit integer support.

  • RadeonSI Enables NGG Shader Culling For Navi 1x Consumer GPUs - Phoronix

    As another possible performance win for RadeonSI Gallium3D as AMD's open-source Radeon OpenGL driver on Linux systems is enabling of NGG culling for Navi 1x consumer graphics processors rather than limiting it only to newer Navi 2x (RDNA2) GPUs.

    Merged on Monday was a patch to enable shader culling for Navi 1x consumer SKUs with no longer limiting it to Navi 2x / GFX10.3 or when using various debug options. This culling was also enabled for Navi 1x GPUs but only for the "Pro" graphics SKUs.

VirtualBox 6.1.28 Released with Initial Support for Linux 5.14 and 5.15 Kernels

Filed under
Linux
News
Software

VirtualBox 6.1.28 is here about three months after VirtualBox 6.1.26 to introduce initial guest and host support for the Linux 5.14 and 5.15 kernel series. This means that you can now use VirtualBox on GNU/Linux systems powered by Linux kernels 5.14 or 5.15, as well as to run distributions powered by Linux 5.14 or 5.15 kernels inside virtual machines.

In addition, this release introduces initial support for the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 operating system, improves the detection of kernel modules in Linux hosts to prevent unnecessary rebuilds, fixes a display corruption on Linux Mint systems, and adds bindings support for Python 3.9.

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Raspberry Pi LEGO HAT taps RP2040

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Raspberry Pi has launched a $25 “LEGO Build HAT” for STEAM education based on its RP2040 MCU. The HAT can control up to 4x LEGO Technic motors and sensors and comes with Python library and an optional $15 power supply.

When Raspberry Pi launched its dual Cortex-M0+ based RP2040 MCU and RP2040-based Raspberry Pi Pico module, we speculated that one or both might show up in a Raspberry Pi HAT. Today, Raspberry Pi and Lego Education announced an official LEGO Build HAT based on the RP2040 designed for any 40-pin Raspberry Pi. The $25 HAT is designed for STEAM education and hobbyist hacking for anyone who owns the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime or SPIKE Prime Expansion sets, or other LEGO devices such as the LEGO Mindstorms Robot Inventor kit.

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KDE Plasma 5.23 Gets First Point Release, Plasma Wayland Sees More Improvements

Filed under
KDE
Linux
News

Last week on October 14th, the KDE Project celebrated its 25th anniversary with the launch of the KDE Plasma 5.23 desktop environment series, a major update that introduced numerous new features and improvements.

Now, the first point release is already here, addressing several issues with the Plasma Wayland session like a crash that occurred immediately after login when using the Right Alt never chooses 3rd level advanced keyboard setting.

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Best Linux distro for power users in 2021

Filed under
Linux

The Linux power user is a celebrated breed, and one that does not simply burst fully-formed from the earth. All newbies must toil long and hard with their Linux installations before they can describe themselves as one.

At the very least, the power user will have a great degree of skill concerning all things Linux, whether it's the kernel, Bash or package management systems – and they won’t be afraid to get their hands dirty in the name of configuring the system.

It seems, in many ways, that power users are a dying breed. Almost all modern Linux distributions require little effort to get up and running, or to install new software or configure basic functionality. By definition, no power user will want to run any of these distros. This is why, despite their popularity, the likes of Ubuntu and Mint are not featured here.

On the other hand, control and flexibility are the hallmark of any distro meant for power users. The ones in this feature are user-driven, not guided. This gives them much greater adaptability, as well as allowing them to perform a diverse range of tasks.

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Get memory use statistics with this Linux command-line tool

Filed under
GNU
Linux

In my programming work, I often need to know the memory used by web applications. A rough estimate is usually enough before getting down to details and browser profiling tools.

To interrogate memory use on Linux or macOS, people typically use top or htop. I'd love to see a single number: How much RAM did a process take. But statistics shown by these utilities can be hard to understand. With web browsers, it's even more complicated because they often run many separate processes. They all show up in top output as a long list, each with its own individual metrics.

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Kernel: AMD, Concurrency Cheat Sheet, Habana Labs, and Mesa

Filed under
Linux

  • AMD Secure Memory Encryption Has a Flaw, Now Disabled by Default in Linux Kernel

    According to a report from Phoronix, the Linux 5.15 kernel is receiving a new fix that involves disabling AMD's Secure Memory Encryption, or SME. This feature is normally enabled by default, but due to unexpected boot failures on some AMD machines, SME will now be disabled by default. Devs will update the Linux 5.15 kernel first, but the change will also move to prior kernels.

    AMD Secure Memory Encryption is a feature exposed to AMD's EPYC and Ryzen Pro processors that allows the CPUs to encrypt the memory at a hardware level. AMD says the feature offers no significant impact on system performance and works with any OS and application because it's hardware-accelerated and doesn't rely upon software.

  • [Older] Linux Kernel Concurrency Cheat Sheet

    Navigating Linux kernel APIs can be very time-consuming, so Linux ksplice guru Vegard Nossum put together a very handy time-saving cheat sheet to help traversing Linux kernel concurrency primitives.

    As a child, I spent countless hours playing games on my Nintendo Game Boy. As I grew older and started programming in QBasic on MS-DOS, I also got curious about how Game Boy games worked.

  • Habana Labs For Linux 5.16 To Bring Peer-To-Peer Support With DMA-BUF - Phoronix

    The drama around DMA-BUF code for the Habana Labs AI driver appears to be wrapping up with the Linux 5.16 cycle that is coming up.

    The Habana Labs driver changes were mailed out today for queuing in char/misc ahead of next month's Linux 5.16 merge window. This driver for supporting the AI inference and training accelerators at the Intel-owned company has some exciting updates for this next kernel release.

  • mesa recompiled with gallium drivers

    The guys have been reporting slow Nvidia performance, for example a report from forum member Keef here:

    https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewtopic.php?p=39261#p39261

    I had compiled all of the packages in OpenEmbedded without libllvm, as it is a hug library, about 60MB. However, it meant had to leave out some drivers in the 'mesa' package.

  • Mesa 22.0 Lands Some Patches Toward OpenCL Image Support - Phoronix

    Mesa 22.0-devel is one step closer to having OpenCL image support that is sought after by many individuals for allowing more OpenCL-enabled desktop software to work nicely with this open-source OpenCL component in Mesa.

    For nearly a year there has been the work-in-progress merge request implementing OpenCL 1.2 image support. That work was started by Red Hat's Karol Herbst.

Audiocasts/Shows: WordPress, Linux Action News, Scams, and Fake Security

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • WP Briefing: Episode 18: The Economics of WordPress

    In episode 18 of WP Briefing, Josepha Haden Chomphosy reflects on a recent lecture that she gave to students at Hendrix College in which she explored the economics of WordPress and the principles that sustain the project’s ecosystem.

  • Linux Action News 211

    We cover what's special about Plasma's 25th-anniversary edition, chat with CloudLinux's CEO, and detail why Apple supporting Blender is good for all of us.

  • These Open Source SCAMMERS are getting out of control! - Invidious

    No, Inkscape isn't a scam. In fact, it's the best vector illustration tool on the planet. But, much like Krita just a few weeks ago, scammers have registered official-looking domains that are meant to trick people into downloading and installing ransomware. It's sad to see and I can't think of many ways we can combat this besides raising awareness.

  • Josh Bressers: Episode 293 – Scoring OpenSSF Security Scoring

    Josh and Kurt talk about the release of OpenSSF Security Scorecards version 3. This is a great project that will probably make a huge difference. Most of the things the scorecards are measuring are no brainier activities. We go through the list of metrics being measured. There are only a few that we don’t think are fantastic.

Gentoo-Based Porteus Kiosk 5.3 Released with Hardware Video Decoding, Virtual Keyboard

Filed under
Linux
News
Gentoo

Porteus Kiosk 5.3 is here about six months after Porteus Kiosk 5.2 to add several new features, including experimental hardware video decoding support and virtual keyboard for both Mozilla Firefox ESR and Google Chrome web browsers.

While the hardware decoding feature can be enabled in remote config with the hardware_video_decode parameter, the virtual keyboard feature comes as an extension and will pop-up automatically when clicking an input field on a web page. Users can control the virtual keyboard in remote config with the virtual_keyboard parameter.

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Juno’s Linux laptops now available with Intel Tiger Lake-H or AMD Ryzen 5000H

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

Juno Computers sells a line of desktop and laptop computers that ship with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed, and this month the company updated its lineup with several new high performance models sporting 11th-gen Intel Core “Tiger Lake H” or AMD Ryzen 5000H processors.

They don’t come cheap, with starting prices ranging from $1,150 to $2,250. But the new laptops pack a lot of horsepower.

The most affordable, least powerful of the bunch is the Juno Nyx 15″ AMD V2, a 3.64 pound laptop with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor, a 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, a 49 Wh battery, support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, and a selection of ports including HDMI, Ethernet, and USB Type-C and Type-A.

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