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The most popular Linux desktop programs are...

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Linux

LinuxQuestions, one of the largest internet Linux groups with 550,000 members, has just posted the results from its latest survey of desktop Linux users. With approximately 10,000 voters in the survey, the desktop Linux distribution pick was: Ubuntu.

While Ubuntu has long a been popular Linux distro, it hasn't been flying as high as it once was. Now it seems to be gathering more fans again. For years, people never warmed up to Ubuntu's default Unity desktop. Then, in April 2017, Ubuntu returned to GNOME for its default desktop. It appears this move has brought back some old friends and added some new ones.

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Add-on board brings BACnet building control to the Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Hardware

Contemporary Controls is launching a “BASpi” Raspberry Pi add-on that supports the BACnet building control standard and Sedona Framework, and provides 6x relay outputs and 6x inputs, including analog, temp, contact closure, pulse, and resistance inputs.

Home automation is a new phenomenon compared to more established building automation technology, which largely follows the BACnet (Building Automation Control network) standard. We have seen various Linux-ready IoT products that offer some BACnet support, including Echelon’s IzoT Router. However, Contemporary Controls’ new BASpi Raspberry Pi 3 add-on board is the first product we’ve seen that is specifically designed for the standard.

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You Can Now Run Android 8.1 on Your PC with Apps from Google Play Store

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Android
GNU
Linux

A new update of the AndEX Oreo 8.1 computer operating system, a clone of the Android-x86 project, has been released, promising to let users install Android apps from the Google Play Store.

Previous releases of AndEX Oreo 8.1, which lets you install Google's latest Android 8.1 Oreo mobile operating system on your personal computer, didn't actually let users install Android apps from Google Play Store, but using a third-party package manager called Aptoide App Manager.

Developer Arne Exton has recently informed us about the availability of a new AndEX Oreo 8.1, build 180202, which apparently makes the Google Play store works as intended, allowing users to install their favorite Android apps without relying on a third-party application management tool.

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19-Way CPU Comparison On Ubuntu With Linux 4.15

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Ubuntu

Following the release of the Linux 4.15 kernel with KPTI and Retpoline introduction, many Phoronix readers were interested in seeing a fresh Linux CPU performance comparison. For those reasons plus in preparing for the Raven Ridge testing, here are benchmarks of 19 different systems when using Ubuntu x86_64 with the Linux 4.15 stable kernel.

An assortment of 19 different systems from old to new and from low-end to high-end were tested, ranging from old AMD A10 Kaveri APUs to the high-end AMD EPYC 7601 server processor, with a similar breadth of CPUs tested on the Intel side. Again, these tests are mostly being done for reference purposes. And in the days ahead will be a larger low-end-focused CPU comparison for the upcoming Ryzen 3 2200G / Ryzen 5 2400G Linux benchmarking.

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Also: Ryzen 3 2200G + Ryzen 5 2400G Linux Benchmarks Coming Tomorrow

Oracle Still Working On DTrace For Linux In 2018

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Linux

A decade ago Linux users were clamoring for Sun Microsystems to bring Solaris' DTrace and ZFS to Linux. While there are still petitions for Oracle to more liberally license ZFS so it could see mainline Linux support, it's been years since hearing much interest in DTrace for Linux. Over time other dynamic tracing implementations have come about and improved in comparison to DTrace, but for those still wanting this dynamic tracing framework that originated at Sun Microsystems, Oracle remains working on the Linux port.

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Also: Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Linux 4.16 Development with More Spectre/Meltdown Fixes

Security: Cryptomining, Catalin Cimpanu's Latest Scaremongering, and Tegra Flaw Helps Linux

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Linux
Security

Confessions of a Linux lover

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GNU
Linux

As a French teacher, my best find was Verbiste, the offline French verb conjugation tool. As a cooking enthusiast, the Gourmet Recipe Manager was an adorable little perk.

And a must-do: download Wine, which runs Windows stuff on Linux.

Every piece of Microsoft software has a Linux doppelganger. I opened a text document and started typing, as usual... easy-peasy! The good part? The word count and character count appear automatically on the bottom left in the tiny bar at the base of the page, updating with each word I type. Confession: I’ve never liked Times New Roman, somehow. LibreOffice’s Century Schoolbook is much larger, clearer, and just so much more official-looking.

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Also: Microsoft loves Linux. NBN Co? Not so much

ZFS for Linux

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Linux

ZFS remains one of the most technically advanced and feature-complete filesystems since it appeared in October 2005. Code for Sun's original Zettabyte File System was released under the CDDL open-source license, and it has since become a standard component of FreeBSD and slowly migrated to various BSD brethren, while maintaining a strong hold over the descendants of OpenSolaris, including OpenIndiana and SmartOS.

Oracle is the owner and custodian of ZFS, and it's in a peculiar position with respect to Linux filesystems. Btrfs, the main challenger to ZFS, began development at Oracle, where it is a core component of Oracle Linux, despite stability issues Red Hat's recent decision to deprecate Btrfs likely introduces compatibility and support challenges for Oracle's Linux road map. Oracle obviously has deep familiarity with the Linux filesystem landscape, having recently released "dedup" patches for XFS. ZFS is the only filesystem option that is stable, protects your data, is proven to survive in most hostile environments and has a lengthy usage history with well understood strengths and weaknesses.

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Canonical Invites Ubuntu Linux Users to Test Video Playback in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

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Linux
Ubuntu

While Canonical already implemented hardware-accelerated video playback support for Intel CPUs in the current release of the operating system, Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), it would appear that plan on extending it to other types of processors, display servers, and video players.

In a recent call for testing, Canonical urges those who are already running the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system on their personal computers to test the video playback performance with apps like MPV or Totem (GNOME Videos), as well as the Wayland or Xorg display servers, and report any issues.

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IoT prototyping board for Raspberry Pi has a mobile/cloud IFTTT app

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Linux

GraspIO’s “Cloudio” IoT prototyping add-on board for the Raspberry Pi includes a 1-inch OLED display, sensors, 6x I/Os, and a servo, and is controlled using a mobile/cloud-based drag-and-drop app with IFTTT and voice support.

Bangalore (Bengaluru), India based GraspIO (Grasp IO Innovations) has partnered with Premier Farnell to manufacturer and distribute its new Cloudio prototyping add-on board for the Raspberry Pi 1/2/3/0/0W. Available at Newark Element14 for $40 among other Farnell venues, the Cloudio showcases GraspIO’s IoT Cloud service and drag-and-drop Studio mobile development app, which runs on Android devices as well as the Apple iPhone and iPad.

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Canonical Ubuntu 2017 milestones, a year in the rulebook

So has Canonical been breaking rules with Ubuntu is 2017, or has it in been writing its own rulebook? Back in April we saw an AWS-tuned kernel of Ubuntu launched, the move to cloud is unstoppable, clearly. We also saw Ubuntu version 17.04 released, with Unity 7 as the default desktop environment. This release included optimisations for environments with low powered graphics hardware. Read more Also: Ubuntu will let upgraders ‘opt-in’ to data collection in 18.04

The npm Bug

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    Are you a developer who uses npm as the package manager for your JavaScript or Node.js code? If so, do not -- I repeat do not -- upgrade to npm 5.7.0. Nothing good can come of it. As one user reported, "This destroyed 3 production servers after a single deploy!" So, what happened here? According to the npm GitHub bug report, "By running sudo npm under a non-root user (root users do not have the same effect), filesystem permissions are being heavily modified. For example, if I run sudo npm --help or sudo npm update -g, both commands cause my filesystem to change ownership of directories such as /etc, /usr, /boot, and other directories needed for running the system. It appears that the ownership is recursively changed to the user currently running npm."
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Windows 10 WSL vs. Linux Performance For Early 2018

Back in December was our most recent round of Windows Subsystem for Linux benchmarking with Windows 10 while since then both Linux and Windows have received new stable updates, most notably for mitigating the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities. For your viewing pleasure today are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Windows 10 WSL performance against Linux using the latest updates as of this week while also running some comparison tests too against Docker on Windows and Oracle VM VirtualBox. Read more