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With Linux, You Don't Get One Kernel of Truth... You Get Many

Filed under
GNU
Linux

As much as I love to poke at the inner workings of my computer, I'll admit that until recently, I didn't give much thought to which version of the Linux kernel my desktop system was running.

For most desktop users, this isn't all that odd. Compatibility of kernel modules is often critical for servers and production systems, but day-to-day desktop usage doesn't change much from update to update.

Two things motivated me to scrutinize the kernel version more closely: considerations for specific hardware; and a very scary bug recently identified in the Ubuntu distribution's latest release.

Having picked up a lot of useful tips in exploring different kernel versions, I decided to share what I've learned so far.

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Linux, the Linux Foundation, and Graphics

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Linux 4.17 To Likely Include Intel DRM Driver's HDCP Support

    Back in November a Google developer proposed HDCP content protection support for the Intel Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) Linux driver that is based upon their code from Chrome OS / Chromium OS. It looks like that High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection support in the i915 DRM driver will come for Linux 4.17.

    It's too late to happen for Linux 4.16 considering it would be too tardy for it to be comfortably added to DRM-Next. Google developer Sean Paul who has been spearheading this HDMI/DisplayPort HDCP support for the open-source Intel DRM driver believes the code is now ready for merging.

  • Linux Foundation LFCS and LFCE: Miltos Tsatsakis

    The Linux Foundation offers many resources for developers, users, and administrators of Linux systems. One of the most important offerings is its Linux Certification Program, which is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a job market that's hungry for your skills.

    How well does the certification prepare you for the real world? To illustrate that, we will be highlighting some of those who have recently passed the certification examinations. These testimonials should help you decide if either the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer certification is right for you.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 Release Notes / January 8, 2018

    Mesa 17.3.2 is a bug fix release which fixes bugs found since the 17.3.1 release.

    Mesa 17.3.2 implements the OpenGL 4.5 API, but the version reported by glGetString(GL_VERSION) or glGetIntegerv(GL_MAJOR_VERSION) / glGetIntegerv(GL_MINOR_VERSION) depends on the particular driver being used. Some drivers don't support all the features required in OpenGL 4.5. OpenGL 4.5 is only available if requested at context creation because compatibility contexts are not supported.

  • Mesa 17.3.2 Released With The Latest Stable Fixes

    While Mesa 18.0 will premiere later this quarter as the first feature update of 2018, Mesa 17.3.2 is now available as the second bug-fix release for last quarter's Mesa 17.3 series.

  • NVIDIA Rolls Out New Vulkan Beta Driver With Conservative Rasterization Support

    NVIDIA is sticking to their pledge of being quick with delivering support for new revisions of Vulkan support in their Windows and Linux drivers.

    Vulkan 1.0.67 was released on Friday and while it's mostly a mundane maintenance update, it does include one new extension: VK_EXT_conservative_rasterization. This extension adds a conservative rasterization mode to Vulkan and is similar to the GL_NV_conservative_raster OpenGL extension (more details on conservative rasterization here).

  • VC5 Gallium3D Driver Is Onto Pushing More Triangles In Simulator

    The VC5 open-source Gallium3D driver designed to support the next generation of Broadcom VideoCore graphics hardware is onto rendering more triangles, at least with the hardware simulator.

Debian vs. Linux Mint: The Winner Is?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian
Ubuntu

Linux Mint is on track to becoming the most popular desktop distro available. This isn't to suggest that it's already happened, rather that it's on track to happen if Linux Mint continues to find its fans among Windows converts. By contrast, Debian has received almost no credit for this success whatsoever. Worse, neither does Ubuntu, which uses Debian as a base.

So are Linux Mint and Debian really all that different? After all, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian. One might surmise that the these distros are more similar than different. Fact is stranger than fiction. Linux Mint and Debian may share a common heritage, but that's where the similarities end.

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Also:

  • Security notice: Meltdown and Spectre

    If you haven’t already done so, please read “Meltdown and Spectre“.

    These vulnerabilities are critical. They expose all memory data present on the computer to any application running locally (including to scripts run by your web browser).

    Note: Meltdown and Spectre also affect smart phones and tablets. Please seek information on how to protect your mobile devices.

  • Linux Mint Devs Respond to Meltdown and Spectre Security Vulnerabilities

    Linux Mint developers have published today a statement regarding the recently unearthed Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, informing users on how to keep their PCs secure.

    Last week, two of the most severe security flaws were publicly disclosed as Meltdown and Spectre, affecting billions of devices powered by a modern processor from Intel, AMD, ARM, or Qualcomm. To mitigate these vulnerabilities, OEMs and OS vendors started a two and half months long battle to redesign software and kernels.

    Almost all known operating systems are affected, and all web browsers. Linux Mint is one of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions out there with millions of users, but it hasn't yet been patched against Meltdown and Spectre because it still relies on updates from the Ubuntu operating system.

Parted Magic Disk Partitioning, Cloning and Rescue Linux OS Has a New Release

Filed under
OS
Linux

Coming four months after version 2017_09_05, which was the most successful release to date, Parted Magic 2018_01_08 ships with Linux kernel 4.14.11, a version that includes patches for the newly discovered Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, as well as better support for newer graphics cards.

"The 2017_09_05 release was our most successful release to date with very little complaints. Instead of changing a bunch of stuff for the sake of changing a bunch of stuff, we basically kept it the way it was," says developer Patrick Verner in the release announcement. "We only addressed the little issues and updated relevant software."

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Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.11.5, KDE Applications 17.12 and Qt 5.10

Filed under
KDE
Linux

If you're using Chakra GNU/Linux, which is a rolling release computer operating system where you install once and receive updates forever, chances are you can upgrade its components to the recently released KDE Plasma 5.11.5 desktop environment, as well as KDE Applications 17.12.0 and KDE Frameworks 5.41.0 software suits, all built against the latest Qt 5.10.0 application framework.

"You can now upgrade to the latest versions of KDE’s Plasma, Applications and Frameworks series, built against the brand new Qt 5.10.0," says Neofytos Kolokotronis in the forum announcement. "[KDE] Applications 17.12 is the first release of a new series that focuses on introducing enhancements and new features. As always with stability updates, Plasma 5.11.53 and Frameworks 5.41.02 include a month’s worth of bug fixes and improvements."

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Best Linux Screenshot & Screencasting Tools

Filed under
Linux

There comes a time you want to capture an error on your screen and send it to the developers or want help from Stack Overflow, you need the right tools to take that screenshot and save it or send it. There are tools in the form of programs and others as shell extensions for GNOME. Not to worry, here are the best Linux Screenshot taking tools that you can use to take those screenshots or make a screencast.

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9 Best Linux Distros For Programming And Developers (2018 Edition)

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Linux-based operating systems are often used by developers to get their work done and create something new. Their major concerns while choosing a Linux distro for programming are compatibility, power, stability, and flexibility. Distros like Ubuntu and Debian have managed to establish themselves as the top picks. Some of the other great choices are openSUSE, Arch Linux, etc. If you intend to buy a Raspberry Pi and start with it, Raspbian is the perfect way to start.

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IPFire Open Source Firewall Linux Distro Gets Huge Number of Security Fixes

Filed under
Linux
OSS
Security

IPFire 2.19 Core Update 117 is now available to download and comes with the latest OpenSSL 1.0.2n TLS/SSL and crypto library, as well as an updated OpenVPN implementation that makes it easier to route OpenVPN Roadwarrior Clients to IPsec VPN networks by allowing users to choose routes in each client’s configuration.

The update also improves the IPsec implementation by allowing users to define the inactivity timeout time of an idle IPsec VPN tunnel that's being closed and updating the strongSwan IPsec-based VPN solution to version 5.6.1. It also disabled the compression by default and removed support for MODP groups with subgroups.

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The 5 best Linux distros for the enterprise: Red Hat, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and more

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Three of the five Linux distributions discussed offer reliable and professional-grade support, all have frequent updates to ensure that security exploits are addressed in a timely manner, and all have at least some level of corporate connectivity baked in. In addition, all of them can run Windows programs through virtual machines or subsystems such as Wine. That ability might appeal to executives, but it raises the question of whether it’s really necessary or even a good idea.

There’s also a big cost difference between deploying Linux and Windows: Linux itself is free, so it’s the distributor’s support that you’ll pay for. And, yes, you will want to do that. The price for proper enterprise-ready support still makes Linux desktop a much less expensive option.

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Asus Tinker Board S adds 16GB eMMC and more

Filed under
Android
Linux

Asus announced a “Tinker Board S” SBC that has the same Rockchip RK3288 as the original, but adds 16GB eMMC, HDMI-CEC support, a smart audio jack, and improved power management features.

Asus unveiled a minor upgrade to its open-spec Tinker Board SBC, which was originally unveiled a year ago. Like the original, the Tinker Board S combines a quad-core, Cortex-A53 Rockchip RK3288 SoC with a 40-pin Raspberry Pi-style expansion connector. The upgrade is primarily notable for the addition of 16GB of eMMC storage. No pricing was indicated.

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More in Tux Machines

Intel's "Utter Garbage" Code Bricks and Delays Linux, Torvalds Furious

today's leftovers

  • 20 Years of LWN
    Back in mid-1997, your editor (Jonathan Corbet) and Liz Coolbaugh were engaged in a long-running discussion on how to trade our nice, stable, reliably paying jobs for a life of uncertainty, poverty, and around-the-clock work. Not that we thought of it in those terms, naturally. We eventually settled on joining Red Hat's nascent "support partner" program; while we were waiting for it to get started, we decided to start a weekly newsletter as a side project — not big and professional like the real press — to establish ourselves in the community. Thus began an amazing journey that has just completed its 20th year. After some time thinking about what we wanted to do and arguing about formats, we published our first edition on January 22, 1998. It covered a number of topics, including the devfs controversy, the pesky 2GB file-size limit on the ext2 filesystem, the use of Linux on Alpha to render scenes in the film "Titanic", the fact that Red Hat had finally hired a full-time quality-assurance person and launched the Red Hat Advanced Development Labs, and more. We got almost no feedback on this issue, though, perhaps because we didn't tell anybody that we had created it.
  •  
  • EzeeLinux Show 18.4 | Ubuntu 17.10 Revisited
    Canonical revised Ubuntu 17.10 with the new 17.10.1. Time to take another look…
  • PodCTL #22 – Highway to Helm
    One of the reasons that Kubernetes has gained so much traction in the marketplace is because it is flexible enough to allow innovation to happen all around the core APIs. One area where that has happened is in application package management, specifically with the Helm project.
  • LibreELEC Linux OS Will Get Meltdown and Spectre Patches with Next Major Release
    The development team behind the Kodi-based LibreELEC (Libre Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) open-source HTPC operating system for embedded systems and PCs released LibreELEC 8.2.3. LibreELEC 8.2.3 is the third maintenance update to the LibreELEC 8.2 "Krypton" series of the Just enough Operating System (JeOS), which is based on the Kodi 17 "Krypton" open-source and cross-platform media center. It's here a month after the LibreELEC 8.2.2 point release to address a few issues.
  • openSUSE 42.2 to Reach End-of-Life This Week
    The minor release of openSUSE Leap 42.2 will reach its End-of-Life (EOL) this week on Jan. 26. The EOL phase ends the updates to the operating system, and those who continue to use EOL versions will be exposed to vulnerabilities because these discontinued versions no longer receive security and maintenance updates; this is why users need to upgrade to the newer minor; openSUSE Leap 42.3. “We are very pleased with the reliability, performance and longevity of Leap,” said openSUSE member Marcus Meissner. “Both the openSUSE community and SUSE engineers have done a fantastic job with security and maintenance of the Leap 42 distribution; users can be confident that their openSUSE operating system is, and will continue to be, receiving bug fixes and maintenance updates until its End-of-Life.”
  • French Gender-Neutral Translation for Roundcube
    Here's a quick blog post to tell the world I'm now doing a French gender-neutral translation for Roundcube.
  •  
  • This Oil Major Has a Supercomputer the Size of a Soccer Field
    Big Oil is now Big Tech. So big, in fact, that Eni SpA’s new supercomputer is the size of a soccer field. In the multimillion-dollar pursuit of the world’s most powerful computers, the Italian explorer says it’s taken the lead. Its new machine, located outside Milan, will scan for oil and gas reservoirs deep below the Earth over thousands of miles. “This is where the company’s heart is, where we hold our most delicate data and proprietary technology,” Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi said in an interview on Thursday.

Compilers and CLI: LLVM, GCC and Bash

KDE/GNOME: Usability and Productivity, Krita Interview, GNOME Builder

  • This week in Usability and Productivity, part 2
    This is your weekly status update for the KDE community’s progress in the Usability and Productivity initiative. KDE contributors have been busy, and here’s a sampling of features, improvements, and bugfixes relevant to the initiative that KDE developers landed over the past week-and-a-half...
  • Interview with Baukje Jagersma
    How and when did you get to try digital painting for the first time? Probably when I first discovered Deviantart. I was already familiar with GIMP, which I used to create photo-manipulations with. But seeing all the amazingly talented artists on there made me want to try out digital painting for myself.
  • Builder happenings for January
    I’ve been very busy with Builder since returning from the holidays. As mentioned previously, we’ve moved to gitlab. I’m very happy about it. I can see how this is going to improve the engagement and communication between our existing community and help us keep new contributors. I made two releases of Builder so far this month. That included both a new stable build (which flatpak users are already using) and a new snapshot for those on developer operating systems like Fedora Rawhide.