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Almost open: BIOS and firmware update tips for Linux users

Filed under
Linux
Red Hat

I suppose I'm lucky in that for more than 10 years my primary work environment has been Linux-based, yet all to often I've been forced to dig out a DOS or Windows image because I need to patch some BIOS device firmware. These days I don't own anything than has a valid Windows license, and even my 2008 white MacBook has spent most of its life running either Ubuntu or Fedora. Luckily most hardware manufacturers have started to provide bootable images for patching system firmware, and for enterprise-grade hardware they even provide Linux-ready tools. In this article, I'll walk through my recent firmware update on Linux, and I'll share a few recommendations based on that experience.

In the consumer/prosumer landscape there has been a shift toward UEFI-based systems for desktops and laptops, and along the way many manufacturers appear to have removed the option for the BIOS to update from a USB Stick. Historically we'd only see firmware updates for enterprise-class spinning rust (hard drives), but many SSD manufacturers are also providing regular firmware updates for consumer-class devices. Whilst we often should stand by the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," I'm a strong believer when standing up a new environment to make sure all my firmware is current. So begins my journey...

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Also: THE BIG LIE About Operating Systems

Linux Kernel News

Filed under
Linux

Linux rules the world. Where to next?

Filed under
Linux

From Android phones to supercomputers to clouds to car, it's all Linux all the time. Linux is the poster child for the open-source revolution.

The latest Linux kernel report, Linux kernel development - How fast it is going, who is doing it, what they are doing, and who is sponsoring it, details just how quickly Linux changes. In the last 15 months, more than 3 million lines of code have been added to the Linux kernel. For those of you coding at home, that's 7.8 changes per hour.

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The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft

This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles

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Latest Slackware Version Doesn't Cut Newbies any Slack

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

Slackware is a throwback to the early days of the Linux OS, and it may not have much relevance to anyone but diehard Slackware fans. Still, experienced Linux users looking for a change of pace might enjoy setting up a Slackware system.

The documentation and user guides are fairly detailed, but they are heavy reads that will frustrate the typical new user. Those without a strong technical background will see a big disconnect in going from the live session "Slackware demo" to a functioning Slackware installation.

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NVMe over Fabrics Support Coming to the Linux 4.8 Kernel

Filed under
Linux

The Flash Memory Summit recently wrapped up its conferences in Santa Clara, California, and only one type of Flash technology stole the show: NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeF). From the many presentations and company announcements, it was obvious NVMeF was the topic that most interested the attendees.

With the first industry specifications announced in 2011, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) quickly rose to the forefront of Solid State Drive (SSD) technologies. Historically, SSDs were built on top of Serial ATA (SATA), Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Fibre Channel buses. These interfaces worked well for the maturing Flash memory technology, but with all the protocol overhead and bus speed limitations, it did not take long for these drives to experience performance bottlenecks. Today, modern SAS drives operate at 12 Gbit/s, while modern SATA drives operate at 6 Gbit/s. This is why the technology shifted its focus to PCI Express (PCIe). With the bus closer to the CPU and PCIe capable of performing at increasingly stellar speeds, SSDs seemed to fit right in. Using PCIe 3.0, modern drives can achieve speeds as high as 40 Gbit/s. Leveraging the benefits of PCIe, it was then that the NVMe was conceived. Support for NVMe drives was integrated into the Linux 3.3 mainline kernel (2012).

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Linux 4.4.19

Filed under
Linux

I'm announcing the release of the 4.4.19 kernel.

All users of the 4.4 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 4.4.y git tree can be found at:
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.4.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...

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Linux Messengers For Facebook

Filed under
Linux

Hi Guys, Today I am going to discuss messengers that you have in Windows but have you ever wondered that they have a version for Linux too. One of my friends asked me today if we have a Linux messenger for Facebook. There are several Linux messengers for Facebook but two messengers are that I used and I am very much satisfied.

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Linux Graphics

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Intel Skylake Multi-Screen Issues On Linux Still Happening
  • Skylake EDAC Driver Is A Late Addition To Linux 4.8 Kernel
  • AMD Launches Open Source Ray Traced VR Audio Tech “TrueAudio Next”

    AMD has announced TrueAudio Next a “scalable” physics-based audio rendering engine for generating environmentally accurate, GPU accelerated audio for virtual reality.

    AMD has announced a set of key technologies to bolster its open source technology arsenal represented by GPUOpen, this time in the field of immersive VR audio. TrueAudio Next, AMD claim, provides “real-time dynamic physics-based audio acoustics rendering” and that any soundscape can now be modelled physically, taking into account reflection and occlusion.

    With GPUOpen and LiquidVR, AMD continues to pitch its tent in the open source camp, a reaction to its main rival NVIDIA’s approach which focuses largely on proprietary, GPU hardware and driver locked Gameworks VR (now known as VRWorks) initiatives and technologies – i.e. things that will only work if you develop for and buy their graphics cards.

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