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Home automation hub runs Linux, offers cloud services

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Linux

Cloud Media launched a Kickstarter campaign for a Linux-based “Stack Box” home automation hub with cloud services and Raspberry Pi expansion compatibility.

Do we really need yet another crowdfunded Linux-based home automation hub? Of course we do! The Stack Box is now vying for Kickstarter funds through Sept. 17 at prices starting at $79 in black, with shipments due in December.

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Linux 3.17 Lands Memfd, A KDBUS Prerequisite

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Linux

Memfd is a mechanism similar to Android's Ashmem that allows zero-copy message passing in KDBUS. Memfd effectively comes down to just a chunk of memory with a file descriptor attached that can be passed to mmap(). The memfd_create() function returns a raw shmem file and there's optional support for sealing.

Memfd is needed by KDBUS for message passing and now the code -- after being public but out-of-tree for several months -- is finally mainline. As a result, the KDBUS code has been updated to take advantage of the mainline Linux 3.17 state.

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About the use of linux for normal people

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Linux

I was trying to write this blog post for quite a long time, and it become so, so big that I’ll have to split it in three posts, It is like a ‘people of kde’ but different, the focus is not to show someone that works for KDE, but someone that tried to use KDE to work – being it a non-tech person. Since I spend most of my days helping people that is struggling with Free Software to pass the hate feeling, I feel that I have lots of things to say being that I’m activelly maintaining over 5 laptops from different friends that lives on different states.

I also like to study humans, this very strange animal that has so many different ways of expressing himself that it’s so, so hard to get it right.

First case of study:

Cléo Martins, Professional Chef, Vegan and “Wanted to try linux because she liked the concept”, That’s a bold move.

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The Connected Car, Part 3: No Shortcuts to Security

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Android
Linux
OSS

The Linux Foundation wants an open source platform in the pole position. The nonprofit consortium already has a fully functional Linux distribution, called "Automotive Grade Linux," or AGL. It is a customizable, open source automotive software stack with Linux at its core.

Google has its own plan for connecting cars to mobile devices and the Internet. Google's Android Auto is a dashboard navigation and entertainment system powered by an Android smartphone. It is very similar in concept to competing designs from Apple and Microsoft.

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Ditching Linux for Windows? The truth isn't that simple, says Munich

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Munich city council demonstrated to the world that an organisation employing thousands could ditch Windows and move to Linux and free software.

When the project finished late last year about 15,000 staff at the German authority had been migrated to using Limux, a custom-version of Ubuntu, and OpenOffice.

But is the council's move to open source about to be scrapped in favour or returning to Microsoft?

No says the council, in spite of numerous reports to the contrary. Suggestions the council has decided to back away from Linux are wrong, according to council spokesman Stefan Hauf.

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Alienware: Steam Machine owners will "sacrifice content" for the sake of Linux

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

It’s been tough to parse Alienware’s position on the Linux-based SteamOS. At E3 they told us that the Steam Machine will increase Linux gamers by “20, 30 fold, overnight”. But with the first Steam Machines delayed into 2015, they’ve upstaged their own Linux box with a Windows-based living room PC: the Alienware Alpha.

So who would win in a fight, Alienware? A living room PC running Windows, or the same PC running SteamOS?

“It depends on what you’re looking for; there’s advantages to both,” said Alienware general manager Frank Azor. “[With] the Linux version I do think you’re going to sacrifice a little bit of content.”

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The Justice League of Linux: If Distros Were Superheroes Ubuntu Would Be Superman

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

It’s an obvious comparison: both Ubuntu and Superman are leaders, they are dependable, and they are arguably the most well known of their kind. Both are security minded and concerned with privacy, while Canonical’s laser-like focus in pursuit of convergence is nearly as intense as the red-hot beam fired out of Superman’s eyes!

Powerful, upfront and well intentioned (sometimes to a fault) the famous Linux distribution has much in common with the most famous superhero of all time.

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Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs

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Linux
Google

This week at LinuxCon North America in Chicago is a presentation by Google's Marc Merlin that's entitled "Why you should consider using btrfs, real COW snapshots and file level incremental server OS upgrades like Google does." The presentation does a good job at looking at the state of Btrfs on Linux and comparing it to ZFS.

Marc Merlin, a Linux admin at Google for more than one decade, is presenting on Thursday at LinuxCon Chicago about Btrfs. His slides are already available for those that can't make it to the windy city or are looking for an overview of what he'll be discussing.

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Kids Are Learning to Code With a Slice of Raspberry Pi

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Development
Linux

Raspberry Pi is a credit card-size computer that can function like a basic PC when plugged into a monitor and keyboard. It can record videos and power drones, but developer Eben Upton says his goal was to teach basic programming skills to students as young as 8.

The small computer, sold by the nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation, is a small green board covered in metal ports. It’s light, delicate, and fits in the palm of your hand. Once it’s plugged into a keyboard and monitor, a user can write and tweak code as with any PC. The latest model, B+, has 10 operating systems to choose from, with varying learning curves.

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Need a Cheap Chromebook? Here’s How to Pick One

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GNU
Linux
Google

Instead of running Windows, these lightweight, inexpensive notebooks are based entirely on Google’s Chrome web browser. So while you can’t install traditional programs such as Office and Photoshop, you can use web-based substitutes like the free Office Online and Pixlr. In exchange, you’ll get a computer that boots up quickly, is safe from viruses, doesn’t have any obnoxious bloatware and is optimized for browsing the web.

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Preview: AMD's FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux

Since last year AMD's had the FX-9590 as the top-end Vishera CPU that can top out at 5.0GHz with its Turbo Frequency, but initially this processor was only available to OEM system builds. Over time the OEM version of the FX-9590 became available to consumers while earlier this summer AMD launched a retail version of the FX-9590 that included the eight-core CPU with a closed-loop water cooling solution. Today we're reviewing this highest-end Vishera CPU to see how it compares to other AMD and Intel processors on Ubuntu Linux. Read more

Ultimate Linux Mint 1.4 Looks Much Better than Its Linux Mint Cinnamon Base – Gallery

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Matching databases to Linux distros

Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) aren’t the sort of thing to get most folk out of bed in the morning – unless, of course, you happen to think they’re one of the most brilliant concepts ever dreamed up. These days you can’t sneeze without someone turning it into a table value in a database somewhere - and in combination with the freely available Linux operating system, there’s no end to them. Most Linux distros make it almost trivial to add popular DBMSs to your system, such as MySQL and MariaDB, by bundling them in for free in their online app stores. But how do you tell which combination - which Linux distro and which DBMS - will give you the best performance? This week we've revved up the Labs servers to ask the question: what level of performance do you get from OS repository-sourced DBMSs? Read more

The Curious Case of Raspberry Pi Consumerism

I find the attitude of many within the Raspberry Pi community to be strange and offensive. I first discovered this odd phenomenon (odd because it contradicts the ethos of the project's academic foundations) back when it first started, as many within the Raspberry Pi community took an extremely hostile attitude toward academic freedom, apparently in defence of various parties' highly dubious intellectual monopolies (Broadcom and MPEG-LA, for example). I pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of their attitude at the time, explaining that they were more than happy to leech Free (as in freedom) Software for their own benefit, but then balked at the prospect of freely sharing the results, and in particular this contradicted their stated academic goal of facilitating better computer education in UK schools, an environment that rightly demands open access to knowledge. Read more