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Linux

Linux Kernel, Linux Foundation and Graphics

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • The final step for huge-page swapping

    For many years, Linux system administrators have gone out of their way to avoid swapping. The advent of nonvolatile memory is changing the equation, though, and swapping is starting to look interesting again — if it can perform well enough. That is not the case in current kernels, but a longstanding project to allow the swapping of transparent huge pages promises to improve that situation considerably. That work is reaching its final stage and might just enter the mainline soon.

    The use of huge pages can improve the performance of the system significantly, so the kernel works hard to make them available. The transparent huge pages mechanism collects application data into huge pages behind the scenes, and the memory-management subsystem as a whole works hard to ensure that appropriately sized pages are available. When it comes time to swap out a process's pages, though, all of that work is discarded, and a huge page is split back into hundreds of normal pages to be written out. When swapping was slow and generally avoided, that didn't matter much, but it is a bigger problem if one wants to swap to a fast device and maintain performance.

  • Revisiting the MAP_SHARED_VALIDATE hack

    One of the the most commonly repeated mistakes in system-call design is a failure to check for unknown flags wherever flags are accepted. If there is ever a point where callers can get away with setting unknown flags, then adding new flags becomes a hazardous act. In the case of mmap(), though, developers found a clever way around this problem. A recent discussion has briefly called that approach into question, though, and raised the issue of what constitutes a kernel regression. No changes are forthcoming as a result, but the discussion does provide an opportunity to look at both the specific hack and how the kernel community decides whether a change is a regression or not.

    Back in 2017, several developers were trying to figure out a way to safely allow direct user-space access to files stored on nonvolatile memory devices. The hardware allows this memory to be addressed directly by the processor, but any changes could go astray if the filesystem were to move blocks around at the same time. The solution that arose was a new mmap() flag called MAP_SYNC. When a file is mapped with this flag set (and the file is stored on a nonvolatile memory device), the kernel will take extra care to ensure that access to the mapping and filesystem-level changes will not conflict with each other. As far as applications are concerned, using this flag solves the problem.

  • Take Our Survey on Open Source Programs

    Please take eight minutes to complete this survey. The results will be shared publicly on The New Stack, and The Linux Foundation’s GitHub page.

  • Mesa 18.1.4 release candidate

    Mesa 18.1.4 is planned for release this Friday, July 13th, at or around 10 AM PDT.

  • Mesa 18.1.4 Being Prepared With Intel Fixes & A Couple For Radeon

    Another routine Mesa 18.1. point release is being prepared while waiting for the August debut of the Mesa 18.2 feature update.

    Dylan Baker, the Mesa 18.1 release manager and his first stab at the task, has announced the Mesa 18.1.4 release candidate today. In its current form, Mesa 18.1.4 is comprised of just over two dozen patches.

  • Pre-AMDGPU xf86-video-ati X.Org Driver Sees A Round Of Improvements

    It's rare in recent years to have anything to report on xf86-video-ati, the X.Org driver for the display/2D experience for pre-GCN Radeon graphics cards. But this week has been a large batch of fixes and improvements for those using this DDX driver with pre-HD7000 series hardware.

    Longtime Radeon Linux driver developer Michel Dänzer has landed a number of commits already this week of various fixes/cleanups, some of which were inspired by the xf86-video-amdgpu DDX driver that is used for current-generation hardware with the AMDGPU kernel driver (unless using xf86-video-modesetting...).

Stable kernels 4.17.6, 4.14.55, 4.9.112, 4.4.140 and 3.18.115

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Linux

CAN-based passive telematics software hitches ride on the Raspberry Pi

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Linux

On Indiegogo, Network Sorcery is pitching “UCAN” software for a CAN-equipped Raspberry Pi board that enables passive, real-time decoding of automotive telematics data over the CAN Bus. UCAN initially supports GM, Infiniti, and Nissan cars.

San Diego based Network Sorcery, which publishes information about network communication protocols, including the RFC Sourcebook, has gone to Indiegogo to launch a telematics program that runs on a Raspberry Pi 3 equipped with a CAN adapter board. The Linux-based UCAN software passively extracts and decodes telematics data in real time via the CAN Bus, offering “more detail and up to 50 times the volume of data than OBD2 (or OBD-II) based systems can provide,” says Network Sorcery.

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Oracle wants to improve Linux load balancing and failover

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Linux

Oracle reckons Linux remote direct memory access (RDMA) implementations need features like high availability and load balancing, and hopes to sling code into the kernel to do exactly that.

The problem, as Oracle Linux kernel developer Sudhakar Dindukurti explained in this post, is that performance and security considerations mean RDMA adapters tie hardware to a “specific port and path”.

A standard network interface card, on the other hand, can choose which netdev (network device) to use to send a packet. Failover and load balancing is native.

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Kernel Space, Linux Foundation, and NVIDIA

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Linux
  • Linux Kernel Port Revised To China's C-SKY CPU Architecture

    In addition to the AMD-licensed Chengdu Haiguang x86 server processors and Zhaoxin x86-compatible CPUs from VIA Centaur lineage, another CPU effort within China has been C-SKY.

    C-SKY is a 32-bit embedded CPU core out of Hangzhou, China. C-SKY is working on RISC-V designs too, but this current C-SKY embedded processor appears to be an original CPU design. Back in March they posted the original C-SKY Linux kernel patches while this past week they sent out a revised version.

  • Another Big Pull Of Intel DRM Updates Submitted For Linux 4.19

    One month ago Intel was quick following the Linux 4.18 merge material to begin sending in new feature work for Linux 4.19 by means of the DRM-Next repository. They've already done a few rounds of updates while now another serving of Direct Rendering Manager patches were served up.

    Sent out on Tuesday is likely their last "big pull" targeting the Linux 4.19 kernel, but Intel developer Rodrigo Vivi commented that another one or two smaller pulls are still expected in the days or week ahead to DRM-Next for 4.19.

  • Xen Hypervisor 4.11 Released, New Browsh Text-Based Browser, Finney Cryptocurrency Phone, GNOME Hiring and More

    The Xen Hypervisor 4.11 was released yesterday. In this release "PVH Dom0 support is now available as experimental feature and support for running unmodified PV guests in a PVH Container has been added. In addition, significant chunks of the ARM port have been rewritten." Xen 4.11 also contains mitigations for Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. For detailed download and build instructions, go here.

  • Certification Plays Big Role in Open Source Hiring

    Employers increasingly want vendor neutrality in their training providers, with 77 percent of hiring managers rating this as important, up from 68 percent last year and 63 percent in 2016. Almost all types of training have increased this year, with online/virtual courses being the most popular. Sixty-six percent of employers report offering this benefit, compared to 63 percent in 2017 and 49 percent in 2016. Forty percent of hiring managers say they are providing onsite training, up from 39 percent last year and 31 percent in 2016; and 49 percent provide individual training courses, the same as last year.

  • NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit: Under 30 Watts, 8-Core ARMv8.2, 512 Core Volta

    The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit is pretty darn exciting with having eight ARMv8.2 cores, a 512-core Volta GPU, 16GB of LPDDR4, and under 30 Watt power use.

    Last month NVIDIA announced the Jetson Xavier with plans to ship in August at a $1,299 USD price-tag. More details on this NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit have now been announced.

'Cloud-Native'

Filed under
Linux
Server
  • What are cloud-native applications?

    As cloud computing was starting to hit its stride six or seven years ago, one of the important questions people were struggling with was: "What do my apps have to look like if I want to run them in a public, private, or hybrid cloud?"

    There were a number of takes at answering this question at the time.

    One popular metaphor came from a presentation by Bill Baker, then at Microsoft. He contrasted traditional application "pets" with cloud apps "cattle." In the first case, you name your pets and nurse them back to health if they get sick. In the latter case, you give them numbers and, if something happens to one of them, you eat hamburger and get a new one.

  • KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Copenhagen

    I attended KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2018, Europe that took place from 2nd to 4th of May. It was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. I know it’s quite late since I attended it, but still I wanted to share my motivating experiences at the conference, so here it is!

    I got scholarship from the Linux Foundation which gave me a wonderful opportunity to attend this conference. This was my first developer conference aboard and I was super-excited to attend it. I got the chance to learn more about containers, straight from the best people out there.

Best Bug Bounty Programs On Internet

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Linux

​The software revolution brought many opportunities for programmers. The modern software industry is not just limited to development. The developed software or service might have backdoors or glitches. These can cause vulnerabilities that hackers use to their benefit by exploiting such services.

Read<br />
more

Building hearing aids with a Linux-based open hardware board

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Linux

Since Opensource.com first published the story of the GNU/Linux hearing aid research platform in 2010, there has been an explosion in the availability of miniature system boards, including the original BeagleBone in 2011 and the Raspberry Pi in 2012. These ARM processor devices built from cellphone chips differ from the embedded system reference boards of the past—not only by being far less expensive and more widely available—but also because they are powerful enough to run familiar GNU/Linux distributions and desktop applications.

What took a laptop to accomplish in 2010 can now be achieved with a pocket-sized board costing a fraction as much. Because a hearing aid does not need a screen and a small ARM board's power consumption is far less than a typical laptop's, field trials can potentially run all day. Additionally, the system's lower weight is easier for the end user to wear.

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5 open source racing and flying games for Linux

Filed under
Linux
OSS

Gaming has traditionally been one of Linux's weak points. That has changed somewhat in recent years thanks to Steam, GOG, and other efforts to bring commercial games to multiple operating systems, but those games often are not open source. Sure, the games can be played on an open source operating system, but that is not good enough for an open source purist.

So, can someone who uses only free and open source software find games that are polished enough to present a solid gaming experience without compromising their open source ideals? Absolutely. While open source games are unlikely to ever rival some of the AAA commercial games developed with massive budgets, there are plenty of open source games, in many genres, that are fun to play and can be installed from the repositories of most major Linux distributions. Even if a particular game is not packaged for a particular distribution, it is usually easy to download the game from the project's website to install and play it.

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Linux Foundation: Xen 4.11 and Hyperledger Global Forum

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Linux
  • Xen 4.11 Improves Server Virtualization with PVH

    The open source Xen Project, which is hosted as a Linux Foundation effort, issued its first major release of 2018 on July 10.

    The Xen Project Hypervisor 4.11 release comes after months of development, and follows the 4.10 update that became available at the end of 2017. Xen 4.10 included some initial support for PVH (Paravirtualization Hardware), which has been further extended in the 4.11 update.

  • ​Re-engineering Xen: The important open-source hypervisor gets remodeled

    Xen is open-source royalty. This hypervisor, which runs and manages virtual machines (VMs), powers some of the largest clouds. You know their names: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Tencent, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM SoftLayer. It's also the foundation for VM products from Citrix, Huawei, Inspur, and Oracle. But, with the release of its latest edition, Xen Project Hypervisor 4.11, there are major changes under the hood.

  • Xen 4.11 debuts new ‘PVH’ guest type, for the sake of security

    The Xen Project has released version 4.11 of its hypervisor.

    As we reported last week, it’s more than a month late, but the projects leaders thinks it is worth the wait because this release delivers on an ambition to “create a cleaner architecture for core technology, less code and a smaller computing base for security and performance.”

    A big part of delivering on that is increased use of PVH – a type of virtualization that Xen reckons blends the best of paravirtualization (PV) and Hardware Virtual Machines (HVM). PV virtualizes hardware so a guest can offer kit not found on its host, but doesn’t use virtualization extensions in silicon. HVM can use those extensions and therefore offers each VM isolated emulated hardware.

  • Last Chance to Speak at Hyperledger Global Forum | Deadline is This Friday

    Hyperledger Global Forum is the premier event showcasing the real uses of distributed ledger technologies for businesses and how these innovative technologies run live in production networks today. Hyperledger Global Forum unites the industry’s most respected thought leaders, domain experts, and key maintainers behind popular frameworks and tools like Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth, Indy, Iroha, Composer, Explorer, and more.

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today's leftovers

  • Chromebook Users Will Soon Be Able to Install Debian Packages via the Files App
    Google continues to work on the Linux app support implementation for its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks by adding initial support for installing Debian packages via the Files app. Linux app support in Chrome OS is here, but it's currently in beta testing as Google wants to make it ready for the masses in an upcoming stable Chrome OS release. Meanwhile, Google's Chrome OS team details in a recent Chromium Gerrit commit initial support for installing Linux packages in the .deb file format used by Debian-based operating systems directly from the Files app.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.2 Milestone 1 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking
    The first development snapshot of Phoronix Test Suite 8.2 is now available as what will be the next quarterly feature update to our open-source Linux / BSD / macOS / Windows automated benchmarking software and framework.
  • How To Install Plex Media Server on CentOS 7
  • How to Recover Files from Corrupted or Damaged ReiserFS File Systems? DiskInternals Has the Answer
  • DXVK 0.63 Released With Support For NVIDIA's Latest Driver
    For those planning to enjoy their favorite Direct3D 11 games under Wine this weekend and utilizing the DXVK D3D11-over-Vulkan layer for greater performance, DXVK 0.63 is now available. First up with DXVK 0.63 is compatibility with the newly-released NVIDIA 396.45 stable driver release due to Vulkan driver changes.
  • Northgard introduces the Clan of the Snake in a new DLC
    Thriving in the harsh northern lands in Northgard isn’t particularly easy and the new Snake Clan faction adds a few twists to the enjoyable Viking experience. An update that released alongside the DLC also adds several bells and whistles to all players for free.
  • Meg Ford: GUADEC 2018
    I was particularly interested in and disappointed by Michael Catanzaro's talk "Migrating from JHBuild to BuildStream". I appreciate all the time and effort the Release Team has put into maintaining and developing the build systems, so I'm including my experience here as an example, not as a criticism. Over time I've gotten used to JHBuild and become adept at searching for and fixing its sometimes bizarre error messages. A few months ago, after running into some modules that failed on JHBuild, I read the announcement about GNOME's modulesets moving to BuildStream. I spent a couple days removing JHBuild and rebuilding everything in BuildStream. Except I ran out of disk space. So I removed as much as I could and started over. Except then PulseAudio wouldn't work. Luckily I'd occasionally run into the same errors caused by an unavailable PulseAudio daemon when I was using JHBuild. I tried restarting the daemon, etc, and looked for info on the subject. In the end it turned out that PulseAudio wasn't available within the sandbox, so I scrapped BuildStream and went back to JHBuild. Going forward, I'm planning to move from JHBuild to using FlatPak, Builder, and GNOME's nightly runtime build. I'm happy that the community is providing solutions, and, while things are still in a confusing state, at least they are moving quickly in interesting and promising directions.
  • On Flatpak Nightlies
    As far as I know, it was not possible to run any nightly applications during this two week period, except developer applications like Builder that depend on org.gnome.Sdk instead of the normal org.gnome.Platform. If you used Epiphany Technology Preview and wanted a functioning web browser, you had to run arcane commands to revert to the last good runtime version. This multi-week response time is fairly typical for us. We need to improve our workflow somehow. It would be nice to be able to immediately revert to the last good build once a problem has been identified, for instance. Meanwhile, even when the runtime is working fine, some apps have been broken for months without anyone noticing or caring. Perhaps it’s time for a rethink on how we handle nightly apps. It seems likely that only a few apps, like Builder and Epiphany, are actually being regularly used. The release team has some hazy future plans to take over responsibility for the nightly apps (but we have to take over the runtimes first, since those are more important), and we’ll need to somehow avoid these issues when we do so. Having some form of notifications for failed builds would be a good first step.
  • TLS 1.3 Via GnuTLS Is Planned For Fedora 29
    The feature list for Fedora 29 continues growing and the latest is about shipping GnuTLS with TLS 1.3 support enabled. TLS 1.3 was approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force earlier this year as the newest version of this protocol for making secure web connections that is key to HTTPS. TLS 1.3 offers various security and performance improvements over TLS 1.2 as well as lower-latency, better handling of long-running sessions, etc.
  • Xubuntu 17.10 EOL
    On Thursday 19th July 2018, Xubuntu 17.10 goes End of Life (EOL). For more information please see the Ubuntu 17.10 EOL Notice.
  • Linux Mint developers planning big Cinnamon 4.0 improvements
    Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems for a reason -- it’s really good. By leveraging the excellent Ubuntu for its base, and offering a top-notch user experience, success is pretty much a guarantee. While the distribution primarily focuses on two desktop environments -- Mate and Cinnamon -- the latter is really the star of the show. Cinnamon is great because it uses a classic WIMP interface that users love, while also feeling modern. With Cinnamon 3.8, the Linux Mint Team focused on improving the DE's performance, and today, the team shares that it is continuing that mission with the upcoming 4.0. In particular, the team is focusing on Vsync.

OSS and Sharing Leftovers

  • Crowdfunding for extension management in GIMP (and other improvements)
    Well that’s the big question! Let’s be clear: currently security of plug-ins in GIMP sucks. So the first thing is that our upload website should make basic file type checks and compare them with the metadata listing. If your metadata announces you ship brushes, and we find executables in there, we would block it. Also all executables (i.e. plug-ins or scripts) would be held for manual review. That also means we’ll need to find people in the community to do the review. I predict that it will require some time for things to set up smoothly and the road may be bumpy at first. Finally we won’t accept built-files immediately. If code is being compiled, we would need to compile it ourselves on our servers. This is obviously a whole new layer of complexity (even more because GIMP can run on Linux, Windows, macOS, BSDs…). So at first, we will probably not allow C and C++ extensions on our repository. But WAIT! I know that some very famous and well-maintained extensions exist and are compiled. We all think of G’Mic of course! We may make exceptions for trustworthy plug-in creators (with a well-known track record), to allow them to upload their compiled plug-ins as extensions. But these will be really exceptional. Obviously this will be a difficult path. We all know how security is a big deal, and GIMP is not so good here. At some point, we should even run every extension in a sandbox for instance. Well some say: the trip is long, but the way is clear.
  • Python's founder steps down, India's new net neutrality regulations, and more open source news
    The head of one of the most popular free software/open source software projects is stepping down. Guido van Rossum announced that he's giving up leadership of the project he founded, effective immediately. van Rossum, affectionately known as Python's "benevolent dictator for life," made the move after the bruising process of approving a recent enhancement proposal to the scripting language. He also cited some undisclosed medical problems as another factor in his resignation. van Rossum stated that he "doesn't want to think as hard about his creation and is switching to being an 'ordinary core developer'," according to The Inquirer. van Rossum, who "has confirmed he won't be involved in appointing his replacement. In fact, it sounds very much like he doesn't think there should be one," believes that Python's group of committers can do his job.
  • FLIR Creates Open-Source Dataset for Driving Assistance
    Sensor systems developer FLIR Systems Inc. has announced an open-source machine learning thermal dataset designed for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving vehicle researchers, developers, and auto manufacturers, featuring a compilation of more than 10,000 annotated thermal images of day and nighttime scenarios. The first of its kind to include annotations for cars, other vehicles, people, bicycles, and dogs, the starter thermal dataset enables developers to begin testing and evolving convolutional neural networks with the FLIR Automotive Development Kit (ADKTM). The dataset empowers the automotive community to quickly evaluate thermal sensors on next-generation algorithms. When combined with visible light cameras, lidar, and radar, thermal sensor data paired with machine learning helps create a more comprehensive and redundant system for identifying and classifying roadway objects, especially pedestrians and other living things.
  • Open-source map of accessible restaurants in Calgary growing into something beautiful
    A call on Twitter for a list of accessible restaurants has led to an online mapping movement to plot out user-friendly restaurants around the city. On Monday, Calgary-based tech entrepreneur Travis Martin saw a tweet from Natasha Gibson (@ktash) asking Councillor Druh Farrell if she knew of some accessible restaurants for her senior parents.
  • Universities in Germany and Sweden Lose Access to Elsevier Journals [iophk: "sci-hub to the rescue"]

    This month, approximately 300 academic institutions in Germany and Sweden lost access to new papers published in Elsevier’s journals due to a standstill in negotiations for nationwide subscription contracts. While Elsevier’s papers remain inaccessible, academics are turning to alternative means of obtaining them, such as using inter-library loan services, emailing authors, finding earlier versions on preprint servers, or buying individual papers.

  • Open Source Laboratory Rocker is Super Smooth
    Lab equipment is often expensive, but budgets can be tight and not always up to getting small labs or researchers what they need. That’s why [akshay_d21] designed an Open Source Lab Rocker with a modular tray that uses commonly available hardware and 3D printed parts. The device generates precisely controlled, smooth motion to perform automated mild to moderately aggressive mixing of samples by tilting the attached tray in a see-saw motion. It can accommodate either a beaker or test tubes, but since the tray is modular, different trays can be designed to fit specific needs.
  • Update on our planned move from Azure to Google Cloud Platform
    Improving the performance and reliability of GitLab.com has been a top priority for us. On this front we've made some incremental gains while we've been planning for a large change with the potential to net significant results: running GitLab as a cloud native application on Kubernetes. The next incremental step on our cloud native journey is a big one: migrating from Azure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). While Azure has been a great provider for us, GCP has the best Kubernetes support and we believe will the best provider for our long-term plans. In the short term, our users will see some immediate benefits once we cut over from Azure to GCP including encrypted data at rest on by default and faster caching due to GCP's tight integration with our existing CDN.

Openwashing Examples

  • Ripple’s Evan Schwartz says Codius might pave the way for open-source services
    The Creator of Codius, Evan Schwartz, spoke about the technology recently at CSAIL Initiative Launch. Codius is a smart contract and distributed applications hosting platform developed jointly by Stefan Thomas, the Founder of Coil, and Evan Schwartz. Schwartz started off by saying that Codius is much more flexible in hosting decentralized applications when compared to the blockchain. The reason for many developers to choose the blockchain is mainly security and redundancy.
  • Nish Tech Simplifies eCommerce Integrations With the Launch of Open-Source Framework for Sitecore Commerce
    Nish Tech, a leader in Sitecore and eCommerce implementations, released a framework to the user community to accelerate and simplify development and integration for ecommerce sites. Nish Tech, a Gold Sitecore Implementation Partner with a specialization in eCommerce, initially unveiled a preview at the European Sitecore User Group summit in Berlin, Germany earlier this year. Today marks the official launch of this framework. In most online ecommerce implementations, integration with backend systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and PIM (Product Information Management) play an important role. Most companies spend significant time/effort building connections to these systems. Customers using a modern ecommerce platform, like Sitecore Experience Commerce in the digital commerce space need a communication link to the backend systems to complete ecommerce transactions.
  • Appareo offers open source on fourth-generation Stratus receiver
    Appareo released a new addition to its Stratus family of pilot-friendly affordable avionics this week. Stratus 3 is the latest model in the line of industry-leading ADS-B receivers first introduced in 2012. The company will exhibit Stratus 3 as part of its full line of Stratus products next week at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 fly-in and expo.