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Linux 4.9-rc6

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Linux

We're getting further in the rc series, and while things have stayed
pretty calm, I'm not sure if we're quite there yet. There's a few
outstanding issues that just shouldn't be issues at rc6 time, so we'll
just have to see. This may be one of those releases that have an rc8,
which considering the size of 4.9 is perhaps not that unusual.

That said, nothing particular is bothering me all that much, but we've
had some of the VMALLOC_STACK fixups continue to trickle in, so I
worry that we're not quite done there yet. And let's see what
Thorsten's regression list looks like next week. So no decision yet,
it could still go either way.

Read more

Also: Linus Torvalds Announces the Sixth RC of Linux Kernel 4.9, Only Two More to Go

Linux 4.9-rc6 Released, Final Might Be Pushed Back By Another Week

Early Benchmarks Of AMDGPU

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Early Benchmarks Of AMDGPU DRM-Next Code For Linux 4.10

    For those curious if the AMDGPU DRM driver changes that are queued in DRM-Next for Linux 4.10 will bring any performance changes, here are some early numbers.

    This week I carried out some fresh benchmarks using Linux 4.8.7 stable, Linux 4.9 Git as of this week, and the DRM-Next kernel as of this week that carries the AMDGPU changes queued so far for the next kernel version. In terms of the AMDGPU changes for Linux 4.10, see AMDGPU In Linux 4.10 To Have Better Power Management, New VM Manager.

  • Linux 4.9 Has Tear-Free PRIME Offloading Between Intel & AMDGPU

    Quietly landing last week into the mainline Linux kernel as part of the AMDGPU fixes is support for tear-free PRIME offloading between Intel and AMDGPU.

    The drm/amdgpu: Attach exclusive fence to prime exported bo's. (v5) patch was merged fairly late into the Linux 4.9 kernel merge window.

Distributions News

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • This Week In Solus - Install #39

    We recently announced our partnership with Unixstickers to provide high-quality Solus stickers for our community and fans. If you have yet to read about it, click here.

  • Solus Announces Partnership With Unixstickers

    The Solus project is happy to announce a partnership with Unixstickers, providers of high quality apparel and accessories for operating systems, programming languages, and software. This quality craftsmanship and their continuous support of the open source community made it the obvious choice for us while determining the best provider for Solus-related merchandise.

  • Storing files with NAS4Free 10.3.0.3

    A phrase I find myself repeating over and over, to family, friends and clients is "Make backups of your data." If a file is not backed up then it is one electrical storm, hardware failure or accidental key press away from no longer existing. This naturally leads people to wonder where copies of their data should be stored. There are any number of solutions from optical media to external hard drives, cloud storage to backup tapes. This week I want to talk about a network attached storage (NAS) solution which uses the NAS4Free operating system to manage disks.

    [...]

    Most of the NAS operating systems I have used in the past were built around useful features. Some focused on making storage easy to set up and manage, others focused on services, such as making files available over multiple protocols or managing torrents. Some strive to be very easy to set up. NAS4Free does pretty well in each of the above categories. It may not be the easiest platform to set up, but it's probably a close second. It may not have the prettiest interface for managing settings, but it is quite easy to navigate. NAS4Free may not have the most add-on services and access protocols, but I suspect there are more than enough of both for most people.

    Where NAS4Free does better than most other solutions I have looked at is security. I don't think the project's website or documentation particularly focuses on security as a feature, but there are plenty of little security features that I liked. NAS4Free makes it very easy to lock the text console, which is good because we do not all keep our NAS boxes behind locked doors. The system is fairly easy to upgrade and appears to publish regular security updates in the form of new firmware. NAS4Free makes it fairly easy to set up user accounts, handle permissions and manage home directories. It's also pretty straight forward to switch from HTTP to HTTPS and to block people not on the local network from accessing the NAS's web interface.

    All in all, I like NAS4Free. It's a good, general purpose NAS operating system. While I did not feel the project did anything really amazing in any one category, nor did I run into any serious issues. The NAS ran as expected, was fairly straight forward to set up and easy to manage. This strikes me as an especially good platform for home or small business users who want an easy set up, some basic security and a solid collection of features.

  • [manjaro] [Stable Update] 2016-11-19 – Mesa, LibDRM, Kernels, KDE Framework, Grub, Firefox

    With KDE Freamework 5.28.0 for example syntax-highlighting got introduced. Also the Wayland support got enhanced with this framework update. For our xorg-stack we updated libdrm and pushed some more updated haskell packages out. Since we are on the move to use alpm hooks also for our kernels, we updated grub to do the same. Additionally we have a lot of rebuilds, some newer kernels, updated Mesa, php and Eric plus the latest Firefox to check out.

  • openSUSE Leap 42.2 And Zorin OS 12 Released With Linux Kernel 4.4
  • [Slackware] Java 7 (openjdk) gets a security update

    Many people who have a need for Java, will already have switched to Java 8. Nevertheless there are still many places where Java 7 is preferred or even required. So, I am riding on the Q4 security updates for OpenJDK and used the recently released icedtea 2.6.8 to compile OpenJDK 7u121_b00 or “Java 7 Update 121 Build 00”. As always, there is a JDK and a JRE package.

Linux Devices

Filed under
Linux
  • N900: 2016 Week 47

    On November 8, 2016, the proto_v2 schematics were updated to the current version. We finished the last few improvements and our layouter is scheduling the layout to start in one week. We repeat our invitation to give the schematics a peer review: it's your last chance to peel your eyes on these schematics and be picky about details that our engineering team might have missed.

  • A Glimpse at Nodio, the Blockchain-Based Router

    A new device called Nodio has been recently announced that can run multiple decentralized applications (dApps), a Tor node, and other functionalities. Nodio is a blockchain router that aims to give users a chance to create decentralized solutions.

  • Packet.net strong-ARMs cloud for $0.005 per core per hour

    Packet.net, a bare-metal cloud aimed at developers, has flicked the switch on cloud-running servers powered by a pair of Cavium's 48-core ARMv8-A ThunderX processors.

    CEO Zachary Smith told The Register that the company's cooked up the cloud for a few reasons. Price is one: Packet will offer ARM cores at a tenth of the price it charges for Intel cores, at US$0.50 per hour per server, or $0.005 per core per hour. Smith thinks that will be a head-turner by itself.

  • Samsung Offers Developers $10,000 Per App Via Tizen Mobile App Incentive Program

    In the first half of 2014, Samsung released the Samsung Gear S2 smart watch running on Tizen, an open source, Linux-based operating system. Early in 2015, Samsung released the Samsung Z1 smartphone, which also ran on Tizen, in India for approximately $127. It was followed by the Z3 that got rolled out in Oct. 2015.

Microsoft 'Loves' Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Linux Kernel News

Filed under
Linux
  • Portable system services

    In the refereed track of the 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference, Lennart Poettering presented a new type of service for systemd that he calls a "portable system service". It is a relatively new idea that he had not talked about publicly until the systemd.conf in late September. Portable system services borrow some ideas from various container managers and projects like Docker, but are targeting a more secure environment than most services (and containers) run in today.

    There is no real agreement on what a "container" is, Poettering said, but most accept that they combine a way to bundle up resources and to isolate the programs in the bundle from the rest of the system. There is also typically a delivery mechanism for getting those bundles running in various locations. There may be wildly different implementations, but they generally share those traits.

  • Kernel 4.8.7 fixes Realtek card disconnects!

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the day worth remembering. The long outstanding problem with the disconnects on a variety of Realtek Wireless devices, my RTL8723BE included, which has shown problems time and again in pretty much every single distro out there, has been finally resolved. Word.

    A reader emailed me a few days back and said the new kernel 4.8.7 fixes the issue. I decided to test this, and completed a long and arduous set of checks in Manjaro 16.10, which has the kernel 4.8.7 available in its repos. One of the perks of bleeding-edge Arch-based distros. The Manjaro review is still a few weeks away, but we can at least focus on this burning issue. Let me proudly and happily elaborate.

  • Making WiFi fast

    The result of all this work is WiFi latencies that are less than 40ms, down from a peak of 1-2 seconds before they started, and much better handling of multiple stations running at full rate. Before the changes, a test involving 100 flows all starting together collapsed entirely, with at most five flows getting going; all the rest failed due to TCP timeouts caused by excessive buffering latency. Afterward, all 100 could start and run with reasonable latency and bandwidth. All this work, in the end, comes down to a patch that removes a net 200 lines of code.

    There are some open issues, of course. The elimination of the queuing discipline layer took away a number of useful network statistics. Some of these have been replaced with information in the debugfs filesystem. There is, he said, some sort of unfortunate interaction with TCP small queues; Eric Dumazet has some ideas for fixing this problem, which only arises in single-station tests. There is an opportunity to add better air-time fairness to keep slow stations from using too much transmission time. Some future improvements, he said, might come at a cost: latency improvements might reduce the peak bandwidth slightly. But latency is what almost all users actually care about, so that bandwidth will not be missed — except by Ham the monkey.

  • Enhanced File Stats Being Worked On For The Linux Kernel

    Red Hat has been working on a new statx system call for the Linux kernel to provide "enhanced" file information.

    This new statx() system call would be able to return the file's creation time, data version number, and other new attributes not currently provided. These new attributes wouldn't work for all file-systems, but would work for a subset of them such as CIFS, NFS, and others that track such information.

  • Btrfs Heatmap - visualize your filesystem
  • RAID5/6 scrub race fix
  • Intel Vulkan Linux Driver Now Has Patches For Fast Clears

    Building off the input attachments work earlier this week for the Intel open-source Vulkan driver (covered in More Intel ANV Vulkan Code Hits Mesa Git, Other Patches Pending), there are now patches up for review to implement support for fast clears.

    Jason Ekstrand at the Intel Open-Source Technology Center who has been leading the "ANV" Vulkan driver effort wrote this Saturday, "This little series builds on top of the input attachment series I sent out earlier this week and adds support for fast clears in Vulkan. I've tested it on both Sky Lake and Haswell and it has no regressions over the input attachments series."

Under the (Linux) Hood

Filed under
Linux

We’ve often heard that you don’t need to know how an engine works to drive a car, but you can bet that professional race car drivers know. By analogy, you can build lots of systems with off-the-shelf boards like Raspberry Pis and program that using Python or some other high-level abstraction. The most competent hackers, though, know what’s going on inside that Pi and what Python is doing under the hood down to some low level.

If you’ve been using Linux “under the hood” often means understanding what happens inside the kernel–the heart of the Linux OS that manages and controls everything. It can be a bit daunting; the kernel is simple in concept, but has grown over the years and is now a big chunk of software to approach.

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Linux 4.8.9

Filed under
Linux

I'm announcing the release of the 4.8.9 kernel.

All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at:
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...

Read more

Also: Linux 4.4.33

[PATCH 4.8 00/49] 4.8.10-stable review

[PATCH 4.4 00/37] 4.4.34-stable review

Linux and Graphics

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • It Turns Out The Btrfs RAID 5/6 Issue Isn't Completely Fixed

    Earlier this week we reported on the Btrfs RAID5/RAID6 code being fixed, well, it appeared to. However, now the Btrfs developers have clarified that the situation isn't entirely resolved.

  • New Heterogeneous Memory Management For Linux, Will Be Supported By NVIDIA/Nouveau

    Jerome Glisse has sent out the latest version of his patches now for Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM), which he's been working on the Linux kernel since 2014.

    It's been a while since hearing anything about Heterogeneous Memory Management and frankly I even forgot about these pending HMM patches or for seeing any new work from Jerome Glisse at Red Hat. For those that forgot, Jerome was one of the early contributors to the open-souce AMD driver work going back to the xf86-video-avivo (pre-RadeonHD) days when wanting to make an open-source R500 graphics driver.

  • Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan Hits New Milestone

    A developer's effort to implement Direct3D 9 (D3D9) over the Vulkan API has now reached its "fourth milestone" but a lot of work remains.

  • EGL_ANDROID_native_fence_sync Patches For Mesa

    Rob Clark on Friday sent out the patches for implementing the EGL_ANDROID_native_fence_sync extension within Mesa's EGL and Gallium3D code.

Tails 3.0 Anonymous Live OS to Be Based on Debian 9 "Stretch", Require 64-bit PC

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Debian

A few days after the announcement of Tails 2.7, the development team behind the popular amnesic incognito live system based on Debian GNU/Linux unveiled a few technical details about the next major release.

Yes, we're talking about Tails 3.0, which is now in development and appears to be the next major update of the anonymous live OS that ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden used to protect his identity online. Tails is a Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution built around the popular Tor anonymity network and Tor Browser anonymous browser.

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More in Tux Machines

Best KDE/Plasma distro of 2016

The end is near. I mean, 2016 has less than a month left on its credit. We should now step back and contemplate. Which distribution merits our highest regard, most excitement, best praise, prolonged use? However, before we can declare the final result, we need to do it step by step. First, Plasma. Overall, Year 2016 was a fairly tough one for us Linux users. Whether you like it or not, Ubuntu plays a very big part in how the world of distros turns. The pendulum of fortune sways heavily toward the gravitational pull of what Canonical does, and when Ubuntu mis-delivers, a large number of other distributions suffers for it, both directly as they be based on Ubuntu, and also indirectly, through the erosion of hope and good karma. Still, despite these challenges, we can sift through all the trouble and search for the nuggets of happiness. The desktop environment candidate for this article is Plasma, and to some extent, KDE. Read more

Android and Google Leftovers

Today in Techrights

Linux Lite 3.2 Users Get New Versions of Lite Software and Tweaks, Update Now

Jerry Bezencon, the creator of the Ubuntu-based Linux Lite operating system for personal computers, kindly informs Softpedia today about an updated version of the in-house built Lite Software app. Read more