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MX Tools - A year later, the toolbox got better

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Roughly fourteen full phases of the moon ago, I wrote an article on MX Tools, a unique and useful bunch of dedicated utilities packaged with the MX Linux distribution. This toolbox offered the ordinary (or new) MX Linux user a chance to perform some common configuration tasks with easy and elegance.

In general, MX-16 was a great player, and the recent MX-17 is even better - and at a first glance, so is the new version of MX Tools bundled with the system. Good stuff. So I set about testing, to see what has changed, and in what way this set of utilities has improved, if at all. But I'm positive. Let us commence.

[...]

MX Tools turned out to be a predictable gem, just as I'd expected. Well, I'm cheating, because I wrote this article after some rather thorough testing. But then, if you look across the wider spectrum of Linux home distributions, there aren't that many unique players with distinctive features. Quite often, it's the rehash of old and familiar with some extra color, polish and rebranding. MX Linux goes the extra mile (or kilometer, if you will) in making the newbie experience meaningfully different.

Future improvements could potentially include an interactive walkthrough - so users will be actively prompted and helped along in their tasks. Then of course, there's the matter of visual appearance, in the UI itself. But in general, MX Tools TNG is better than we had before. More elegant, more streamlined, better looking, and most importantly, more practical. This is a good and useful toolbox, and it makes a solid distro even more appealing. Well worth testing. So do it. And take care.

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Thunderbolt Networking Now Supported in Linux's NetworkManager Tool

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Linux

Implemented by Intel developer Mika Westerberg last year during the development of the Linux 4.15 kernel series, Thunderbolt networking arrived for Linux-based operating systems to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) network connections where you connect two computers directly via a certified Thunderbolt cable to transfer files.

But while the implementation was there in the Linux kernel, the userspace bits were missing to make Thunderbolt networking work on a standard installation of a GNU/Linux distribution. By adding a new udev rule in the NetworkManager the two developers managed to load the thunderbolt-net kernel module.

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More Dell Laptops With GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Welcome the new Dell Precision developer editions!

    Today I’m proud to announce the new the Linux-based Dell Precision Mobile workstation line: the 3530, 5530, 7530 and the 7730. These systems, which represent the fourth generation of the Precision developer editions, come preloaded with Ubuntu and have been RHEL certified.

    These new thinner, lighter, premium-built Precision mobile workstations feature the latest Intel Core and Xeon processors, blazing-fast memory and professional graphics.

  • Dell Launches New Precision Mobile Workstation Line-Up Powered by Ubuntu Linux

    Dell has launched a new Dell Precision Mobile Workstation line-up powered by the Ubuntu Linux operating system, featuting thinner and lighter designs with premium builds and using the latest technologies.

    Targeted mostly at developers, the new Dell Precision Mobile Workstation "Developer Edition" line-up consists of the Dell Precision 3530 Mobile Workstation, Dell Precision 5530 Mobile Workstation, Dell Precision 7530 Mobile Workstation, and Dell Precision 7730 Mobile Workstation, which come with a much lighter and thinner design, and offer a premium build.

  • Dell Unveils New Ubuntu Laptops

    Thinner, lighter and more powerful — three ways to describe the latest Ubuntu powered laptops from Dell.

    Everyone’s favourite Linux laptop vendor has lifted the veil on a fresh set of Linux-powered laptops.

    Their all-new Dell Precision Mobile Workstation ‘developer editions’ combine the latest Intel Core and Xeon processors, memory options and discrete graphics with the steady and stable Ubuntu operating system.

Elive Brings Enlightenment to the Linux Desktop

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Linux

For the longest time, Enlightenment was my Linux desktop of choice. It was incredibly fast, highly configurable, and gorgeous. Since that time, I’ve migrated to desktops that veer toward being simpler, more efficient to work with… but I always consider my years with E16 and E17 with great fondness. Fortunately, at least two outstanding distributions focus on either Enlightenment E17 or a fork of E17. Bodhi Linux is a darling distribution (that I looked at previously) that uses a fork of E17, called Moksha Desktop. The developers of Bodhi have done some remarkable work with Enlightenment, but this article isn’t about Bodhi. Instead, I want to focus on a distribution that uses straight up Enlightenment E17. That distribution of Linux is Elive.

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How CERN Is Using Linux and Open Source

Filed under
Linux
OSS

CERN really needs no introduction. Among other things, the European Organization for Nuclear Research created the World Wide Web and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator, which was used in discovery of the Higgs boson. Tim Bell, who is responsible for the organization’s IT Operating Systems and Infrastructure group, says the goal of his team is “to provide the compute facility for 13,000 physicists around the world to analyze those collisions, understand what the universe is made of and how it works.”

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Devices: Ibase, OpenWatch, Purism

Filed under
OS
Linux
Hardware
  • 3.5-inch Apollo Lake SBC supports industrial temperatures

    Ibase’s Linux-compatible, 3.5-inch “IB818” SBC provides a dual- or quad-core Apollo Lake SoC, plus 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, 2x SATA, 2x mini-PCIe, triple display support, wide-range power, and -40 to 85°C support.

  • AsteroidOS and OpenWatch offer open alternatives to smartwatch stacks

    The open source, Linux based “AsteroidOS” alternative to Wear OS arrives in a stable 1.0 release, and Block spins off some of its Android smartwatch stack as an open source OpenWatch Project.

    The AsteroidOS project has released version 1.0 of its open source, Linux-based smartwatch distribution. Designed for after-market installation on “Wear OS by Google” (formerly Android Wear) watches, AsteroidOS can now be dual booted on seven different models. The release follows the late March announcement of an OpenWatch Project for building Android based open source custom ROMs on Wear OS watches.

  • Purism Publishes Librem 5 Dev Kit Details, Small Batch Order Going In Soon

    Purism has published their nearly final specifications on their limited-run Librem 5 Dev Kit. The cutoff for ordering a developer kit is next week as they are placing their hardware order and planning on only this single, limited run of the developer kit prior to the phones becoming available next year.

    Their deadline for ordering a developer kit is the end of the month and the kit price has raised to $399 USD. In the process, Purism believes they are still on track for their January 2019 for coming up with having the phone's actual hardware ready.

Linux Foundation: New Members, Certifications and Microsoft Entryism

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Linux

ETSI/GNU/Linux-based MANO

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • ETSI Open Source MANO announces Release FOUR, moving faster than ever

    ETSI is pleased to announce the availability of OSM Release FOUR. Bringing a large set of new features and enhancements, this version is the most ambitious and innovative OSM Release to date and constitutes a huge leap forward in terms of functionality, user experience and maturity.

    This new Release brings substantial progress thanks to a number of architectural improvements, which result in a more efficient behaviour and much leaner footprint – up to 75% less RAM consumption. Additionally, its new northbound interface, aligned with ETSI NFV work, and the brand-new cloud-native setup, facilitate OSM’s installation and operation, while making OSM more open and simpler to integrate with pluggable modules and external systems, such as the existing OSS.

  • Open Source MANO Release FOUR lands

    In monitoring, ETSI says OSM Release FOUR's alarm and metric settings are easier to use, and a new policy manager adds push notifications and reactive policy configuration, which the standards body says “opens the door to closed-loop operations”.

    The monitoring module uses Apache Kafka as its message passing bus, and the module also implements a flexible plugin model so sysadmins can BYO monitoring environment.

Linux Mint tools - That which makes the distro unique

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Creating Linux distro spins is relatively easy. A few string replacements, some branding, and you're done. Creating unique, independent and self-sufficient projects, that's another matter entirely. The latter category is reserved to only a small number of distros that manage to balance their parenthood and individual identity while still providing users with a sensible and meaningful setup for work and fun. Linux Mint is one of such rare examples.

For many years, Mint has successfully paddles its gray-green look and feel, topped with good and easy access to everyday needs. This hasn't always been easy, as Ubuntu changes a lot, and this has often affected Mint in unpredictable ways. Still, overall, it managed to retain an edge of worth that goes beyond being yet another bland clone. Staying with the LTS releases as the baseline is one such manifest. A set of unique tools is another. We explore.

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Schedutil CPU Frequency Scaling Governor Improvements Coming To Linux 4.18

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Linux

Adding to the list of changes coming to Linux 4.18 are updates to CPUFreq's "Schedutil" CPU frequency scaling governor.

Schedutil is the newest CPUFreq governor introduced back during Linux 4.7 as an alternative to ondemand, performance, and others. What makes Schedutil different and interesting is that it makes use of CPU scheduler utilization data for its decisions about CPU frequency control.

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More in Tux Machines

GNU/Linux on the Desktop Versus Proprietary Forms

  • Why I use a Mac computer, but an Android phone
    Yes, you could use a flavour of Linux on cheaper hardware, but then you trade the great Mac graphical interface with the ones available to Linux. You can fight me in the comments, but deep down you know I’m right. MacOS comes with Bash, and many of the tools those familiar with Linux would expect to have by default in their favourite distribution, including basics like “whois”, which aren’t installed in Windows by default.
  • Everything you knew about Chromebooks is wrong
    The original assumed vision of the Chromebook platform was a laptop and operating system capable of running only the Chrome web browser. You could do anything you wanted, as long as you wanted to stay on the web at all times. Today, the best new Chromebooks can runs apps from three additional operating systems. Not only do Chromebooks run apps, but they run more apps without dual- or multi-booting than any other computing platform. Chromebooks can run apps from Android, Linux and Windows concurrently in the same session.
  • Games, Tests and GitLab CI
    We are getting midterm of the GNOME 3.30 development cycle and many things already happened in the Games world. I will spare the user facing news for later as today I want to tell you about development features we desperatly needed as maintainers: tests and continuous integration. TL;DR: GLib, Meson, Flatpak and GitLab CI make writing and running tests super easy!

Graphics: Vulkan and Vega M

  • Vulkan Virgl Has Kicked Off For Supporting This Graphics/Compute API Within VMs
    Of the hundreds of projects for this year's Google Summer of Code, there are many interesting GSoC 2018 projects but one of those that I am most excited for is Vulkan-Virgl for getting this modern API supported with hardware acceleration by guest virtual machines. As implied by the name, this effort is based upon the Virgl project started by David Airlie and originally tasked with getting OpenGL acceleration to guest VMs using a fully open-source Linux driver stack. Virgl has been in good shape for a while now with OpenGL, while this summer the hope is to get the Vulkan API support going for opening up VMs to using this high-performance graphics and compute API.
  • AMDVLK Driver Lands Half-Float Additions, Many Other Improvements
    There's been another weekly-ish public code push to the AMDVLK open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver stack and this time around it's heavy on feature work. There has been a fair amount of changes pertaining to half-float (FP16) support including support for the AMD_gpu_shader_half_float extension, prepping for VK_AMD_gpu_shader_half_float_fetch, FP16 interpolation intrinsics and register settings, and more.
  • Vega M Graphics On Intel Kabylake G CPUs Are Beginning To Work Under Linux
    We have been covering the Linux driver upbringing of "Vega M" for the Vega/Polaris graphics found in select newer Intel "Kabylake G" processors. The code is still in flight before it will work in all released versions of the Linux driver components, but for those willing to build the code or rely upon third party repositories, Vega M is now working on Linux. As I have covered in various past articles, the open-source driver support for Radeon Vega M is queued into DRM-Next for the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel cycle, Mesa 18.1 albeit with new hardware I always recommend using the latest Git (current Mesa 18.2), and there are also binary GPU microcode files needed too.

Plasma 5.13 – Amazing Tux, How Sweet Plasma

Plasma 5.13 is (going to be) a very nice release. It builds on the solid foundation that is the LTS edition, and adds cool, smart touches. The emphasis is on seamless integration of elements, which is what separates professionals from amateurs. It’s all around how the WHOLE desktop behaves, and not individual programs in isolation. And Plasma is making great strides, offering a polished version of an already mature and handsome product, with extra focus on fonts, media and browser connectivity and good performance. There are some rough patches. Apart from the obvious beta issues, those goes without saying, KDE Connect ought to be a true multi-phone product, the network stack really needs to be spotless, and that means full Microsoft Windows inter-operability, Spectacle should allow for configurable shadows and alpha channel, and I want to see if the decorative backend has been cleaned up, i.e. can you search and install new themes and icons without encountering useless errors and inconsistencies. But all in all, I’m quite impressed. The changes are big and noticeable, and above all, meaningful. You don’t just get features for the sake of it, you get things that improve the quality and consistency of the desktop, that maximize fun and productivity, and there’s deep thought in orchestrating it all together. It ain’t just a random bunch of options that happen to work. I like seeing patterns in things, and I’m happy when there’s functional harmony. This spring season of distro testing hasn’t been fun, and Plasma 5.13 is balm for my weary wrists, so hurting from all that angry typing. More than worth a spin, and highly recommended. Full steam on, Tuxers. Read more Also: This week in Usability & Productivity, part 20

Sad News! Development Stopped for Korora and BackSlash Linux

It seems more and more small distributions are facing a had time. Recently we saw the crisis at Void Linux. Now we have two more small Linux distributions calling it quit, albeit temporarily. Read more