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You Can Run ExTiX Linux with LXQt 0.10.0 and Kernel 4.8 on Intel Compute Stick

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GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton announced the availability of a new build of his ExTiX distribution, which has been designed to run on the Intel Compute Stick device.

ExTiX Build 161119 is the new version of the Linux-based operating system, powered by the latest Linux 4.8 kernel and using the lightweight LXQt 0.10.0 desktop environment as default graphical interface. However, the most important change in this release is that it ships with a kernel engineered to support the Intel Compute Stick mini computer.

"I have made a new version of ExTiX – The Ultimate Linux System. I call it ExTiX 16.5 LXQt for the Intel Compute Stick. Build 161119 is only for Intel Compute Sticks. i.e. you can’t run the system on other computers," said Arne Exton in the announcement. "Build 161119 uses 'my' kernel 4.8.0-26-exton-IntelAtom with special patches."

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Linux 4.9-rc6

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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.

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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

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  • 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

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  • 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

    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

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  • 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.

  • strong-ARMs cloud for $0.005 per core per hour, 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

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Linux Kernel News

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  • 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

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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

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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:// linux-4.8.y
and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:

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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

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  • 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.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat News

  • Improving Storage Performance with Ceph and Flash
    Ceph is a storage system designed to be used at scale, with clusters of Ceph in deployment in excess of 40 petabytes today. At LinuxCon Europe, Allen Samuels, Engineering Fellow at Western Digital, says that Ceph has been proven to scale out reasonably well. Samuels says, “the most important thing that a storage management system does in the clustered world is to give you availability and durability,” and much of the technology in Ceph focuses on controlling the availability and the durability of your data. In his presentation, Samuels talks not just about some of the performance advantages to deploying Ceph on Flash, but he also goes into detail about what they are doing to optimize Ceph in future releases.
  • Ceph and Flash by Allen Samuels, Western Digital
  • Red Hat Opens Up OpenShift Dedicated to Google Cloud Platform
    When businesses and enterprises begin adopting data center platforms that utilize containerization, then and only then can we finally say that the container trend is sweeping the planet. Red Hat’s starter option for containerization platforms is OpenShift Dedicated — a public cloud-based, mostly preconfigured solution, which launched at this time last year on Amazon AWS.
  • Volatility Numbers in View for Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Rhizome is working on an open-source tool to help archive digital content
    "The stability of this kind of easy archiving for document storage, review and revision is a great possibility, but the workflow for journalists is very specific, so the grant will allow us to figure out how it could function." Another feature of Webrecorder that journalists might find appealing, and one of the software's core purposes, is to preserve material that might be deleted or become unavailable in time. However, the tool is currently operated under a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown policy. This means any individual can ask for a record of their web presence or materials to be removed, so Rhizome will be working to "answer the more complicated questions and figure out policies" around privacy and copyright with the latest round of funding.
  • An ode to releasing software
    There is one particular moment in every Free and Open Source Software project: it’s the time when the software is about to get released. The software has been totally frozen of course, QA tests have been made, all the lights are green; the website still needs to be updated with the release notes, perhaps some new content and of course the stable builds have to be uploaded. The release time is always a special one. The very day of the release, there is some excitement and often a bit of stress. The release manager(s), as well as everyone working on the project’s infrastructure are busy making sure everything is ready when the upload of the stable version of the software, binaries and source, has been completed. In many cases, some attention is paid to the main project’s mirror servers so that the downloads are fluid and work (mostly) flawlessly as soon as the release has been pushed and published.
  • Diversity Scholarship Series: My Time at CloudNativeCon 2016
    CloudNativeCon 2016 was a wonderful first conference for me and although the whirlwind of a conference is tiring, I left feeling motivated and inspired. The conference made me feel like I was a part of the community and technology I have been working with daily.
  • WordPress 4.7 Content Management System Provides New Design Options
    WordPress is among the most widely used open-source technologies in the world, powering more than 70 million websites. WordPress 4.7 was released Dec. 6, providing a new milestone update including new features for both users and developers. As is typically the case with new WordPress releases, there is also a new default theme in the 4.7 update. The 2017 theme provides users with a number of interesting attributes including the large feature image as well as the ability to have a video as part of the header image. The Theme Customizer feature enables users to more intuitively adjust various elements of a theme, to fit the needs of websites that use will upgrade to WordPress 4.7. In addition, the new custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) feature within a theme preview lets users quickly see how style changes will change the look of a site. As an open-source project, WordPress benefits from participation of independent contributors and for the 4.7 release there were 482 contributors. In this slideshow eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the WordPress 4.7 release.
  • Psychology Professor Releases Free, Open-Source, Preprint Software
    The Center for Open Science, directed by University of Virginia psychology professor Brian Nosek, has launched three new services to more quickly share research data as the center continues its mission to press for openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research. Typically, researchers send preprint manuscripts detailing their research findings to peer-reviewed academic journals, such as Nature and Science. The review process can take months or even years before publication – if the research is published at all. By contrast, “preprinting,” or sharing non-peer-reviewed research results online, enables crucial data to get out to the community the moment it is completed. That, said Nosek, is critical.
  • Integral Ad Science Launches Open Source SDK to Drive Mobile Innovation for the Advertising Industry
  • Tullett Prebon Information, Quaternion and Columbia University form open source risk collaboration
  • Tullett Prebon Information And Quaternion Risk Management Partner To Enhance Transparency And Standardisation In Risk Modelling – Partnership Fuels Columbia University Research To Improve Understanding Of Systemic Risk
  • Integral Ad Science Partners with Google, Others for Open Source Viewability
  • DoomRL creator makes free roguelike open-source to try and counter Zenimax legal threat
  • DoomRL Goes Open-Source in Face of Copyright Claims
    Earlier this week, ZeniMax Medi hit DoomRL, a popular roguelike version of the original first-person shooter, with a cease-and-desist order. This order instructed producer ChaosForge to remove the free downloadable game to prevent further legal action. Instead of taking it down, co-creator Kornel Kisielewicz turned the game open-source.
  • This Indian software company just partnered with the world’s biggest open source community
    In what can be called a major motivation for Indian tech firms, Amrut Software, an end-to-end Software, BPO services and solutions provider has become a GitHub distributor for India region. GitHub hosts world’s biggest open source community along with the most popular version control systems, configuration management and collaboration tools for software developers. It has some of the largest installations of repositories in the world.
  • Python 3.6 released with many new improvements and features
    Python,the high-level interpreted programming language is now one of the most preferred programming language by beginners and professional-level developers.So,here Python 3.6 is now available with many changes,improvements and of course the ease of Python was not left in the work list.

Security Leftovers