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SUSE/OpenSUSE Development Report

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/47

    Another week, in which openQA did block some of the snapshots – and some issues it was unfortunately not able to see. Anyway, during the week 2019/47 we have released three snapshot into the wild (1116, 1118 and 1119), containing those changes: Mesa 19.2.4: fixes critical rendering issues from earlier Mesa 19.2.3. As this rendering issue did not happen on all graphics adapters, openQA had no chance of spotting it Linux kernel 5.3.11 KDE Plasma 5.17.3 Subversion 1.13.0 binutils 2.33.1

  • YaST Team: Highlights of YaST Development Sprints 88 and 89

    A few weeks ago, we wrote about the new ItemSelector widget that is finding its way into YaST user interfaces. It turned out that just a simple on/off status is not enough in some cases, so we had to extend that concept. For example, software modules may have dependencies, and we want to show the difference between one that was explicitly selected by the user and one that was auto-selected because some other software module requires it. This kind of shook the foundations of the underlying classes; all of a sudden a bit is no longer just a bit, but it needs to be broken down into even smaller pieces. Well, we cheated; we now use integer values instead. Most of the class hierarchy still only uses 0 and 1, but the new YCustomStatusItemSelector also supports using higher numbers for application-defined purposes. For each possible status value, the application defines the name of the icon to be displayed (for graphical UIs like the Qt UI), the text equivalent (for text mode / the NCurses UI), and an optional nextStatus which tells the widget what status to cycle to when the user changes the status of an item with a mouse click or with the keyboard. A value of -1 lets the application handle this. So this is not a one-trick-pony that is useful only for that one use case (the software modules), but a generic tool that might find good uses in other places all over YaST as well.

KDE's Plasma Mobile Now Supports Phone Calls on the PinePhone Linux Smartphone

As we reported earlier this month, KDE Plasma Mobile is already running well on the PinePhone, but not all things are working properly, such as phone calls, which the Plasma Mobile team reports that they managed to add multiple patches to integrate telephony functions with the graphical UI. "Bhushan Shah submitted multiple patches in postmarketOS to integrate telephony functions with user interface. Using which PINE64 Pinephone can connect calls from user interface. Currently audio is a work in progress however, and we hope to have this resolved soon," said the Plasma Mobile team. Read more

Chromium and Mozilla: ARM, TenFourFox and Firefox Engineers

  • Arm Has Been Working To Boost The Chrome/Chromium Browser Performance

    Arm engineers have been working to speed-up the open-source Chromium web browser on 64-bit ARM (AArch64) and ultimately to flow back into Google's Chrome releases. Their focus has been around Windows-on-Arm with the growing number of Windows Arm laptops coming to market, but the Chromium optimizations also benefit the browser on Linux too. Arm has been focusing on Chromium optimizations not only for the Chromium/Chrome browsers itself but also for software leveraging the likes of CEF and Electron that rely upon Chromium code for rendering.

  • TenFourFox FPR17b1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 17 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). SourceForge seems to have fixed whatever was making TenFourFox barf on its end which now might actually be an issue over key exchange. For a variety of reasons, but most importantly backwards compatibility, my preference has been to patch up the NSS security library in TenFourFox to support new crypto and ciphers rather than just drop in a later version. We will see if the issue recurs. This release fixes the "infinite loop" issue on Github with a trivial "hack" mitigation. This mitigation makes JavaScript slightly faster as a side-effect but it's because it relaxes some syntax constraints in the runtime, so I don't consider this a win really. It also gets rid of some debug-specific functions that are web-observable and clashed on a few pages, an error Firefox corrected some time ago but missed my notice. Additionally, since 68ESR newly adds the ability to generate and click on links without embedding them in the DOM, I backported that patch so that we can do that now too (a 4-year-old bug only recently addressed in Firefox 70). Apparently this functionality is required for certain sites' download features and evidently this was important enough to merit putting in an extended support release, so we will follow suit. I also did an update to cookie security, with more to come, and cleared my backlog of some old performance patches I had been meaning to backport. The most important of these substantially reduces the amount of junk strings JavaScript has hanging around, which in turn reduces memory pressure (important on our 32-bit systems) and garbage collection frequency. Another enables a fast path for layout frames with no properties so we don't have to check the hash tables as frequently.

  • Week notes - 2019 w47 - worklog

    Week Notes. I'm not sure I will be able to commit to this. But they have a bit of revival around my blogging reading echo chamber. Per revival, I mean I see them again. The Open Data Institute just started one with a round about them. I subscribed again to the feed of Brian Suda and his own week notes. Alice Bartlett has also a very cool personal, down to earth and simple summary of her week. I love that she calls them weaknotes She's on week 63 by now.

  • Marco Zehe: My extended advent calendar

    This year, I have a special treat for my readers. On Monday, November 25, at 12 PM UTC, I will start a 30 day series about everything and anything. Could be an accessibility tip, an how-to about using a feature in an app I use frequently, some personal opinion on something, a link to something great I came across on the web… I am totally not certain yet. I have ideas about some things I want to blog about, but by far not 30 of them yet.

Cleverly Reimagined Slax Distro Pushes Portable Linux's Limits

Slax runs on a wide range of different file systems, including EXT (ext2,ext3,ext4), btrfs, and even FAT and NTFS. It took me about one hour to download the must-have computing applications and accessory tools that fit my needs. The installation of each program takes longer than a distro installed to a hard drive. USB drives are much slower than an internal hard drive. Once I had all of my needed software up and running, I generally was pleased with how Slax Linux performed. Slax is not a perfect Linux platform, at least not yet -- but for me its convenience and flexibility outweigh its current shortcomings. Read more