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Solus 3 Released Here Is What's New in Solus 3

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OS
Linux

The newest Solus releases are ready for download from here for installation on most modern Intel and AMD based personal computers. Remember that you can choose between Budgie, GNOME, and MATE desktop options. Thanks for reading and share your thoughts and comments with us.

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Kernel and Graphics: Gentoo Removes Hardened Linux, Linux 4.14 Changes and More

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Gentoo

Kernel: NOVA, Genpool Subsystem, Automotive Grade Linux

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Linux
  • [Older] The NOVA filesystem [Ed: used to be behind paywall]

    Nonvolatile memory offers the promise of fast, byte-addressable storage that persists over power cycles. Taking advantage of that promise requires the imposition of some sort of directory structure so that the persistent data can be found. There are a few approaches to the implementation of such structures, but the usual answer is to employ a filesystem, since managing access to persistent data is what filesystems were created to do. But traditional filesystems are not a perfect match to nonvolatile memory, so there is a natural interest in new filesystems that were designed for this media from the beginning. The recently posted NOVA filesystem is a new entry in this race.

    The filesystems that are currently in use were designed with a specific set of assumptions in mind. Storage is slow, so it is worth expending a considerable amount of CPU power and memory to minimize accesses to the underlying device. Rotational storage imposes a huge performance penalty on non-sequential operations, so there is great value in laying out data consecutively. Sector I/O is atomic; either an entire sector will be written, or it will be unchanged. All of these assumptions (and more) are wired deeply into most filesystems, but they are all incorrect for nonvolatile memory devices. As a result, while filesystems like XFS or ext4 can be sped up considerably on such devices, the chances are good that a filesystem designed from the beginning with nonvolatile memory in mind will perform better and be more resistant to data corruption.

    NOVA is intended to be such a filesystem. It is not just unsuited for regular block devices, it cannot use them at all, since it does not use the kernel's block layer. Instead, it works directly with storage mapped into the kernel's address space. A filesystem implementation gives up a lot if it avoids the block layer: request coalescing, queue management, prioritization of requests, and more. On the other hand, it saves the overhead imposed by the block layer and, when it comes to nonvolatile memory performance, cutting down on CPU overhead is a key part of performing well.

  • [Older] The kernel's genpool subsystem

    The kernel is a huge program; among other things, that means that many problems encountered by a kernel developer have already been solved somewhere else in the tree. But those solutions are not always well known or documented. Recently, a seasoned developer confessed to having never encountered the "genpool" memory allocator. This little subsystem does not appear in the kernel documentation, and is likely to be unknown to others as well. In the interest of fixing both of those problems, here is an overview of genpool (or "genalloc") and what it does.

    There are a number of memory-allocation subsystems in the kernel, each aimed at a specific need. Sometimes, however, a kernel developer needs to implement a new allocator for a specific range of special-purpose memory; often that memory is located on a device somewhere. The author of the driver for that device can certainly write a little allocator to get the job done, but that is the way to fill the kernel with dozens of poorly tested allocators. Back in 2005, Jes Sorensen lifted one of those allocators from the sym53c8xx_2 driver and posted it as a generic module for the creation of ad hoc memory allocators. This code was merged for the 2.6.13 release; it has been modified considerably since then.

  • Advancing Connected-Car Technology Through Linux

    Automotive Grade Linux—which just launched its UCB 4.0 platform—and GENIVI take somewhat different paths to accelerate the development and adoption of an open software stack for IVI systems.

Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W: Linux computing in an even smaller package

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Linux
Hardware

When the original Raspberry Pi (Rpi) became available in 2012, it was amazing that a Linux computer could fit in the palm of your hand for the low, low price of $35. On the other hand, if you’re a student without a real job, for which these boards were in part intended, $35 can still be a lot of money. To bring this cost down even further, the RPi team announced the RPi Zero in late 2015, which is available for $5, and even came as a “gift” on the cover of that December’s MagPi magazine.

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Linux Mint-Based feren OS Gets Upgraded to Linux Mint 18.2, USB Boot Improved

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Linux

The developers of the feren OS GNU/Linux distribution based on the popular Linux Mint operating system announced the release of August 2017's snapshot ISO with many enhancements and updated components.

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SBC expands on 2GHz Rockchip RK3399 with eye-popping feature list

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Android
Linux

Videostrong’s new SBC runs Android 7.1 or Ubuntu on the RK3399 with 2GB RAM plus GbE, WiFi, BT, HDMI 2.0, DP 1.2, MIPI-CSI, USB 3.0, and mini-PCIe.

Shenzhen-based Android set-top box maker Videostrong has released a “VS-RD-RK3399” development kit built around the Rockchip RK3399. The OEM focused single-board computer sells for $250 individually, but can be had for $149 in 1,000+ OEM volumes. The kit is available in otherwise identical Android 7.1 and Ubuntu with Linux 4.4.55 SKUs, with the latter drawing on Rockchip’s increasingly capable Linux support.

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Linux Foundation's Dronecode, Ethereum Blockchain, and Kernel Changes

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Linux

Chakra Linux: Its Own Beast, Its Own Beauty

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Linux

There are so many Linux distributions available—so many, in fact, that it can become a bit of a challenge to find the one right for you. After you’ve looked at them enough, it seems the variations tend to blur together, such that one flavor of Linux is only a slight shift away from another.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: FOSS Updates, More on Marcus Hutchins

Development: DragonEgg, GCC, LLVM, and Java EE

Kernel and Graphics: Android Kernels, Mesa, and Vulkan 1.0.59

  • Android kernels: does upstream matter?
    There is this false narrative floating around in the dev community on how upstreaming breaks drivers and OEM code. Upstreaming breaking drivers and OEM code is not universally true- in contrast, it defies the very definition of a stable kernel. You see, each and every Android device out there runs a version of the Linux Kernel– and it doesn’t have to be the latest version all the time.
  • Mesa 17.2-RC5 Released, Final Should Come Within One Week
    The fifth and final planned release candidate of Mesa 17.2 is now available for testing.
  • Vulkan 1.0.59 Released With Shader Stencil Export
    Vulkan 1.0.59 is now available this weekend as the latest minor update to this high-performance graphics API. As usual, the bulk of this Vulkan 1.0.x point release is made up of document clarification/fixes to the text. Of those changes, nothing too notable stands out for Vulkan 1.0.59 but there is one new extension.

Games: Pillars of Eternity, Ryan "Icculus" Gordon, Paradox Interactive and HTC Vive