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Real life experiences thanks to Google Summer of Code projects

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Linux
Google

While the open source community is filled with some of the most talented minds in the world, fresh perspectives from the next generation of developers is essential to the continued pioneering spirit of open source projects. Such an injection of youthful enthusiasm lends new creative blood to the open source community, allowing projects to stay cutting edge and in keeping with current trends.

To that end, the seeds of progress are often planted in the summertime as enterprising college students participate in the annual Google Summer of Code. The global program offers student developers stipends to write code for various free, open source software projects.

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Inspired by Lego, fuelled by creativity: Linux-based Kano kit wants to get kids hacking again

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Linux

Both OS X and Windows 8 are fairly closed operating systems, merely allowing coders to run commands and pulling a veil over the internals of the software powering the machine. The same goes for hardware: all-in-ones, laptops, and tablets alike aren't easy for curious types to take apart and see what's inside.

It's a situation that's creating a generation of individuals that merely use their PCs, instead of using them to create.

A small British company with an Israeli founder, Yonatan Raz-Fridman, and strong Israeli ties, is trying to change that. Kano is offering a 'do it yourself' computer kit based on the popular Raspberry Pi $35 Linux PC, and designed to encourage users of all ages to explore and create with technology.

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SCSI Multi-Queue Performance Appears Great For Linux 3.17

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Linux

Building upon the major blk-mq work for the multi-queue block layer, the SCSI multi-queue code is now in good shape according to its developers, is delivering very promising performance results, and should be merged into the Linux 3.17 kernel cycle.

SCSI-mq is too late for Linux 3.16, but it was already anticipated it would come with Linux 3.17. SCSI-mq is about plugging the SCSI kernel code to take advantage of the multi-queue block layer code. "This patch adds support for an alternate I/O path in the scsi midlayer which uses the blk-mq infrastructure instead of the legacy request code. Use of blk-mq is fully transparent to drivers." The multi-queue block layer was first introduced in Linux 3.14 and is now fairly complete with Linux 3.16. The multi-queue block layer allows balancing I/O workload across multiple CPU cores and supports multiple hardware queues along with other performance optimizations.

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Linux Kernel 3.14 Breaks Wine for 16-bit Windows Applications

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Linux
Microsoft

Linux users need Wine to run applications from the Windows platform, but the bulk of apps accessed in this way is actually quite old. Sure enough, it's possible to run newer software as well, but most users need Wine for much older stuff.

One of the latest updates for Linux kernel 3.14.x brought some modifications and users found out that they couldn’t run Wine configured as Windows 9x, which is actually an important option.

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ALSA 1.0.28 Released

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Linux

ALSA 1.0.28 features various small updates to the alsa-oss and alsa-tools components, adds new sound firmware files for the Cirrus Logic CS46xx, boasts small changes to alsa-plugins, and as usual most of the work happened within the alsa-lib and alsa-utils components. Within the ALSA library for 1.0.28 are many API updates while within the ALSA utilities area are many updates to ALSA Control and Speaker Test.

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Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?

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Linux
OSS

Marc Cohn, senior director of market development at Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and chair of the ONF market education committee, kicked off the discussion and highlighted the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Network Functions Virtualization ISG's decision to start its own open source project, called Open Platform for NFV, or OPN, with the Linux Foundation , which already runs OpenDaylight .

The idea, Cohn said after the panel, is to develop a framework for an open NFV platform in a similar way that OpenDaylight has created an open source approach to an SDN controller. Participation in the OPN requires a financial buy-in for both network operators and industry hardware and software vendors, and if it follows the Open Daylight model, would also require the contribution of code.

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Zukimac Is a Flawless Mac Theme for Ubuntu (If You Like that Sort of Thing)

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GNU
Linux
Mac

Unlike other attempts at aping the appearance of Cupertino’s finest OS, this one actually looks and feels like it was made for Linux and not the half-hearted mish-mash of OS X assets laid over basic theming that other themes of this ilk tend to resemble. If Apple made a GTK3 theme chances are it would look like Zukimac.

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What is the best Linux filesystem for MariaDB?

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

The short answer to the question of which is the best filesystem for a MariaDB server is ext4, XFS, or Btrfs. Why those three? All are solid enterprise journaling filesystems that scale nicely from small to very large files and very large storage volumes.

[...]

Trying to figure out which filesystem gives the best performance may be fun, but the filesystem won't make a large difference in the performance of your MariaDB server. Your hardware is the most crucial factor in eking out the most speed. Fast hard drives, discrete drive controllers, lots of fast RAM, a multi-core processor, and a fast network have a larger impact on performance than the filesystem. You can also tailor your MariaDB configuration options for best performance for your workloads.

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What other people are saying about Lubuntu 14.04

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

Personally I think Lubuntu is great, especially for low end computers short of RAM. Lubuntu lends itself perfectly to netbooks and I wrote an article when Lubuntu 13.10 was released explaining why.

Shortly I will be showing how to try Lubuntu out without messing up your current Windows XP installation. Before I do though I thought I would list a few alternative reviews so that you can get a fully balanced opinion.

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Linux 3.16 Won't Land On Ubuntu 14.10 Quite Yet

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Linux
Ubuntu

Developers are planning for Linux 3.16 to be the kernel of Ubuntu 14.10 but they're holding off on shipping any early release candidates to testers currently on Ubuntu 14.10, the Utopic Unicorn.

Today's Ubuntu kernel team meeting minutes note, "We have rebased our Utopic kernel to v3.15 final and uploaded (3.15.0-6.11). As noted in previous meetings, we are planning on converging on the v3.16 kernel for Utopic. We have started tracking v3.16-rc1 in our 'unstable' ubuntu-utopic branch. We’ll let this marinate and bake for a bit before we do an official v3.16 based upload to the archive."

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icons and Themes: Vamox , Ashes, and DamaDamas

  • Vamox Icons Offers Three Color Variants for Linux Desktop
    Vamox icons were designed as a university thesis project by Emiliano Luciani and Darío Badagnani in 2008. The objective was to design a interface of a distro that the university could use for learning about design thin free software, From start these icons were developed for Ubuntu. Now these icons has three variants blue, orange and red, which are compatible with most of the Linux desktop environments such as: Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce and so on. We have added these icons to our PPA for Ubuntu/Linux Mint and other related distributions, If you are using distribution other than Ubuntu/Linux Mint/its derivatives then download icons and install it in one of these "~/.icons" or "/usr/share/icons/" location. If you find any missing icons or problem with this icon set then report it to creator via linked page and hopefully it will get fixed soon.
  • Ashes Is A Light Theme For Your Linux Desktop
    Ashes theme is based on Adapta and Flat-Plat theme but it includes the mixture of blue and pink color scheme with gray search entity. Usually derived themes always try to make better and enhanced version by the person who forked it, to make desktop much perfect and elegant, same thing goes for this theme, it looks and feels great on almost every desktop. Mainly it is designed to work in Unity and Gnome desktop but it can also work in other desktops such as Cinnamon, Mate, and so on. For the Gnome desktop creator have added the dark title-bar/header-bar support, so you can enable Global-Dark-Theme using Gnome-Tweak-Tool, if you prefer dark title-bars. If you are using distribution other than Ubuntu/Linux Mint/its derivatives then download theme from here and install it "~/.themes" or "/usr/share/themes/" location. If you find any kind of bug or issue within this theme then report it to creator and since this theme is in active development hopefully it will be fixed soon.
  • DamaDamas Icons Looks Great And At The Same Time Give Windows Flavor
    If you have been searching for Windows icons for your Linux desktop then you are at the right place. The DamaDamas icons are from Pisi GNU/Linux and available for every Linux distribution, these icons give Windows look and feel to your desktop. There isn't much information available for these icons but the icons are SVG format and there are almost 4000+ icons packed in very fairly sized archive. We have added these icons to our PPA and these icons are compatible with almost every desktop environment such as: Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, Xfce, Mate, KDE Plasma and so on. If you find any missing icons or problem with this icon set then report it to creator via linked page and hopefully it will get fixed soon.

Ubuntu MATE 17.10 Alpha 2, Solus 3, OpenMandriva Lx 3.02, and More

KDE: QtWebEngine on FreeBSD, KDE PIM, Akademy 2017, Craft, Accessibility, Comics Manager for Krita, Progress on Kube

  • QtWebEngine on FreeBSD
    Tobias and Raphael pushed the button today to push QtWebEngine into FreeBSD ports. This has been a monumental effort, because the codebase is just .. ugh. Not meant for third-party consumption, let’s say. There are 76 patches needed to get it to compile at all. Lots of annoying changes to make, like explaining that pkg-config is not a Linux-only technology. Nor is NSS, or Mesa, while #include is, in fact, Linux-only. Lots of patches can be shared with the Chromium browser, but it’s a terrible time-sink nonetheless.
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  • KDE PIM in Randa 2017
    Randa Meetings is an annual meeting of KDE developers in a small village in Swiss Alps. The Randa Meetings is the most productive event I ever attended (since there’s nothing much else to do but hack from morning until night and eat Mario’s chocolate :-)) and it’s very focused – this year main topic is making KDE more accessible. Several KDE PIM developers will be present as well – and while we will certainly want to hear other’s input regarding accessibility of Kontact, our main goal in Randa will be to port away from KDateTime (the KDE4 way of handling date and time in software) to QDateTime (the Qt way of handling date and time). This does not sound very interesting, but it’s a very important step for us, as afterward, we will finally be free of all legacy KDE4 code. It is no simple task, but we are confident we can finish the port during the hackfest. If everything goes smoothly, we might even have time for some more cool improvements and fixes in Kontact ;-)
  • Services Collaborating Openly at Akademy 2017
    At the recently concluded Akademy 2017 in the incredibly hot but lovely Almería, yours truly went and did something a little silly: Submitted both a talk (which got accepted) and hosted a BoF, both about Open Collaboration Services, and the software stack which KDE builds to support that API in the software we produce. The whole thing was amazing. A great deal of work, very tiring, but all 'round amazing. I even managed to find time to hack a little bit on Calligra Gemini, which was really nice. This blog entry collects the results from the presentation and the BoF. I realise this is quite long, but i hope that you stick with it. In the BoF rundown, i have highlighted the specific results, so hopefully you'll be able to skim-and-detail-read your specific interest areas ;)
  • Akademy 2017 - A wonderful experience
    Akademy 2017 was such a great experience, that I would love to share with you all in this post.
  • Akademy 2017 - Recap
    Last month I had opportunity to visit the Almería, Spain for Akademy 2017. Akademy 2017 is KDE’s annual world summit. Akademy makes it possible to meet the felow KDE contributors, some of whom you only know with their IRC nicknames (Yes, I am not old enough to know every contributors yet :p). Here is few things I did at the Akademy 2017.
  • My Adventures on Crafting part III – Craft Atelier
    Once upon a time, I start o use Craft, an amazing tool inside KDE that does almost all the hard work to compile KDE Applications on Windows and MacOS. Thanks to the great work of Hannah since last year Randa Meetings, Craft is becoming a great tool. Using all the power of Python, I started to be able to work on the deploy of AtCore for Windows.
  • Why YOU care about accessibility, and can help!
    Accessibility (a11y for short) seems like a niche area of concern for many people. I was thinking about this recently on a hot morning in Spain, walking to the bus station with my wheeled luggage. The sidewalks are thoughtfully cut out for wheelchairs -- and those with luggage! and the kids riding skateboards, and...... the rest of us.
  • Writing a comics manager for Krita
    Those who know me, or at the least know my history with Krita is that one of the prime things I personally want to use Krita for is making comics. So back in the day one of the things I did was make a big forum post discussing the different parts of making a comic and how different software solves it. One of the things about making a comic is that is a project. Meaning, it is big and unwieldy, with multiple files and multiple disciplines. You need to be able to write, to draw, to ink, to color. And you need to be able to do this consistently.
  • Progress on Kube
    We’ve been mostly focusing on ironing out UX problems all over the place. It turns out, when writing desktop applications using QtQuick you’ll be ending up with a lot of details to figure out for yourself.

OSS: Thankful For Free Software Developers, Mastodon Size, foss-gbg and More

  • People Should Really Be Thankful For Free Software Developers
    Users don’t usually realize the value of free software they get for free. Things like Linux, LibreOffice, Inkscape, GIMP and a lot of other free software may be essential in the daily life of each of us. However, we may not actually feel “pleasure” for those software developers who provided us with all of this. They may not feel the value of what they have. If you ask an engineer, a doctor, a professor, a teacher or a farmer to give you one of the products they do for free, probably they will just refuse. You won’t find a professor working full time in a university for free. You won’t find a civil engineer working on building houses for free. You won’t find a farmer giving you vegetables for free. However, you do find software developers giving it for you for free. Software are not developed by magic. Developing good software requires investing hundreds of hours in it. And although of all of that, we find a huge number of software developers who are ready to create free software for us. Investing just 100 hours in developing a small tool should worth $1500 (with a minimum wage of $15 per hour). So imagine how much it really costs to invest thousands of hours in such processes. Let’s make a small comparison.
  • Mastodon is big in Japan. The reason why is… uncomfortable
    It’s hard to say how fast Mastodon is growing, because it’s hard to say how big Mastodon is. The Mastodon Network Monitoring Project does its best to keep up, but servers come online and go down all the time. If you’re running a Mastodon server and don’t register or federate it (perfectly reasonable if you want a community just for people you invite) it won’t register on the project’s dashboard. So we might think of the 1.5 million registered users on ~2400 servers as the network’s minimum size. [...] Our team at the MIT Media Lab – Chelsea Barabas, Neha Narula and myself – are releasing a new report today on distributed publishing, titled “Back to the Future: the Decentralized Web” We end up speculating that the main barriers to adoption of decentralized platforms aren’t technical, but around usability. Most distributed publishing tools are simply too complex for most users to adopt. Mastodon may have overcome that problem, borrowing design ideas from a successful commercial product. But the example of lolicon may challenge our theories in two directions. One, if you’re unable to share content on the sites you’re used to using – Twitter, in this case – you may be more willing to adopt a new tool, even if its interface is initially unfamiliar. Second, an additional barrier to adoption for decentralized publishing may be that its first large userbase is a population that cannot use centralized social networks. Any stigma associated with this community may make it harder for users with other interests to adopt these new tools.
  • foss-gbg gets going again
    foss-gbg is a local group sharing ideas and knowledge around Free and Open Source Software in the Gothenburg area.
  • Chrome/Chromium Seems To Perform Better And Here Are Some Useful Extensions
    Since its launch in 2008, Google Chrome has now become the most popular web browser, leaving the competition way behind. Google Chrome is available for various operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Linux is the most popular open source operating system, used by millions worldwide. Aside from being open source software, Linux is also customizable, which means users can fit it for specific purposes. Installing Chrome on Linux is not a direct process, but it is worth it. For one thing, Chrome is a very fast browser as compare to other browsers. It is also easy to access. Unlike in other operating systems, a straightforward installation of Google Chrome is not possible in Linux because it is not available via Software Manager in any Linux distribution, in order to install it you must download it from its official website. For example, if you wish to install Google Chrome in Ubuntu/Linux Mint, which are both most popular Linux distributions, you would have to open the terminal and run some specific commands one by one, or alternatively you can download deb file and double click to open it via installer.
  • Sercos announces availability of open source Sercos SoftMaster Ethernet master software
    Bosch Rexroth has made the Sercos SoftMaster available as free open source software on SourceForge.net. They also offer a free Sercos-on-a-Stick livesystem--a complete stand-alone demo Sercos driver package on a USB thumb drive. This includes the SoftMaster based on Intime Distributed RTOS from TenAsys Corporation, and a test application.
  • Streamlio Launches with $7.5M in Funding to Advance Real Time Applications
    New startup unifies open-source technologies including Apache Pulsar and Heron into an enterprise-grade platform. Building a full platform for real-time data analytics often involved cobbling together multiple open-source projects to get all the requirement components. Typically enterprise don't want to build their own platform, but tend to prefer integrated solution that have already done the heavy lifting of putting all the pieces together.
  • EU-Funded Open Source Service Helps You Sell Data And Protect Privacy
    OPERANDO consortium allows users to have more power over what data of theirs gets shared with online service providers. For instance, when you use the Login with Facebook or Google button on various websites. The control is offered through an open source service called PlusPrivacy which helps users with a one-stop solution, a dashboard where they can manage all their privacy settings from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. For those who want simple solutions, there is a “single-click privacy” button which sets the settings for all the social networks to their most privacy-friendly values.
  • cron.weekly issue #93: Debian, Git, Jerakia, Lighthouse, hey, load, compression, OpenVPN & more
  • GNOME turns 20, a call for open source voting machines, and more news