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Linux goes to CES

Filed under
GNU
Linux

CONSUMER electronic devices are the star of the yearly International CES but this year’s show saw Linux playing a strong supporting role.

Many people don’t know it, but they’re already using Linux in their day-to-day lives by way of one of the most ubiquitous devices—the smart phone. If you use an Android phone, then you’re already using a specialized version of Linux—along with about 1.1 billion other folk who bought an Android device in 2014. (That, says market research company Gartner, compares to 262,615 iPads and iPhones sold in the same year.)

A number of products and developments at this month’s CES, however, extended the reach of Linux even further.

In Las Vegas, Panasonic unveiled the first smart TV to use the Linux-based Firefox OS as a platform for smart TV apps that users will be able to download from Mozilla’s Firefox Marketplace. Firefox OS isn’t the only Linux kid on the TV block, however, going up against LG’s webOS, Samsung’s Tizen and Google’s Android TV platform, which will be used by Philips, Sharp and Sony.

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9 Linux distros to watch in 2015

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GNU
Linux

A list of the most interesting Linux distros to keep up with in 2015.

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3 ways to run 'normal' Linux on a Chromebook

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GNU
Linux
Google
HowTos

I’ve had the good fortune of having a Chromebook Pixel to work on for the last few months. And, despite what my preconceived notions told me, I’ve actually quite enjoyed working and living in ChromeOS on a day-to-day basis.

But, I’m a nerd. And nerds need to tinker, which means that I needed to try every possible method of running “traditional” (i.e. “not ChromeOS”) Linux distributions on this laptop as humanly possible. Here are the three methods currently available and my experiences with them.

First and foremost: Installing Linux directly on a Chromebook and wiping out ChromeOS.

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Gen-2 SmartThings hub migrates to Linux

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Linux
Hardware

SmartThings debuted a 2nd generation home automation hub that moves to Linux, and adds new sensors, battery backup, optional cellular, and premium services.

Prior to Samsung’s acquisition of SmartThings last August, the company told us its next-generation home automation hub would likely move from an embedded RTOS (real-time operating system) to Linux. A SmartThings rep now tells us the newly announced second-generation SmartThings Hub does indeed run Linux. Not so surprisingly, consider the Samsung acquisition, the rep also said “We will be moving to Tizen over time.”

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Native WhatsApp Shown Running on Samsung's Z1 Tizen Smartphone

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Linux

Samsung first-ever Tizen smartphone, the Z1 has gained a mythical status. The handset has been announced, delayed, cancelled, brought back from the dead only to make itself scarce again.

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The 4 Best New Linux Distributions to Watch in 2015

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GNU
Linux

There was a time when new Linux distributions popped up on what seemed like a daily basis. They came and went so fast, you might have completely missed their short lives. That’s not so much the case these days. Linux distributions arrive a bit less frequently and, when they do finally arrive, tend to have a bit more staying power.

Why is that? My guess would be that the stable of standard distributions has become so strong, it’s hard for competition to stand up to the likes of Ubuntu, Arch, Mint, Fedora, SUSE, and Debian. That doesn’t mean, however, that new distributions don’t try to take down the mighty standard bearers. In fact, there are a few distributions that could give those kings and queens of Linux a run for their money this year. Which ones, you ask? Let’s take a look at what I believe will be the distributions to watch in 2015.

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Systemd and Upstart Comparison and Usage on Ubuntu 15.04 Detailed in Great New Wiki

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Linux
Ubuntu

The adoption of systemd in Debian has caused quite a ruckus, but it has other ramifications. For example, Ubuntu will soon use systemd by default, most likely in Ubuntu 15.04. The community has put together a great wiki page that explains the differences between upstart and systemd and how you use it right now.

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Audio in Linux becomes annoying again

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Linux

At the moment I seem to be having more audio problems than usual. Last month I blogged about having to fix the ALSA Speaker volume level resetting to zero at boot, and recently two other audio problems have cropped up (again): Thunderbird's system sound, and Skype.

Awesome Window Manager v3.5.6 Debuts

Filed under
GNU
Linux

This highly-configurable GPLv2 window manager is out with a new version, but it mostly comes down to fixes and smaller work items. Awesome is still dependent on X11 and it doesn't appear there's any visible work at this point in porting it to become a Wayland compositor, etc.

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Government’s Boss move: Now a homegrown system to run computers

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GNU
Linux

In keeping with its larger ‘Make in India’ pitch, the government has asked states to deploy an open source Linux-based operating system — meant to run official computers — called BOSS, an acronym for Bharat Operating System Solutions. This is being proposed as a ‘homegrown’ alternative to the Microsoft Windows operating system, which is the predominant OS in use across Central and state government computer systems, alongside other Linux variants such as Redhat and Ubuntu, as well as Android and Unix systems.

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