Borderlands 2, the popular action RPG video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games, is now available on Linux / Steam OS.
GNOME 3.14 has been released, and if you head over to webupd8 you can See What’s New.
A while ago, we’ve announced our plans to add Linux support as one of the features of our digital platform, with 100 games on the launch day sometime this fall. We’ve put much time and effort into this project and now we’ve found ourselves with over 50 titles, classic and new, prepared for distribution, site infrastructure ready, support team trained and standing by, and absolutely no reason to wait until October or November. We’re still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we’ve decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press. It’s not about them, after all, it’s about you. So, one of the most popular site feature requests on our community wishlist is granted today: Linux support has officially arrived on GOG.com!
Sadly open source isn’t invulnerable to security bugs either, even with source code seen by hundreds of eyes. A Critical crypto bug leaves Linux, hundreds of apps open to eavesdropping since 2005:
The bug is the result of commands in a section of the GnuTLS code that verify the authenticity of TLS certificates, which are often known simply as X509 certificates. The coding error, which may have been present in the code since 2005, causes critical verification checks to be terminated, drawing ironic parallels to the extremely critical “goto fail” flaw that for months put users of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems at risk of surreptitious eavesdropping attacks. Apple developers have since patched the bug.
However, fixes have started rolling out already.
This release includes are nftables, the successor of iptables, a revamp of the block layer designed for high-performance SSDs, a power capping framework to cap power consumption in Intel RAPL devices […]
Via OSNews. LKML notes here.
Getting back to some “light” linux programming this holiday season? Check out Ben Collins 5 part series on Writing an ALSA driver. It’s all there, and if you’re interested in a jump start to kernel and deep linux programming, this is an excellent start.
See What’s New In GNOME 3.10 at webupd8.
The release of the Linux desktop suite Luna from the Elementary OS team has prompted a nice article entitled The Road to Luna on their blog:
In April of 2011, a small group of high school and college kids released an Ubuntu 10.10 remaster that we called elementary OS “Jupiter”. And for us, it was huge. It was a demonstration of a desire to create a Linux-based OS that championed consistency and great design. It featured several home-grown apps and heavy patches to the UI of others.
Woe is Linux writes John C. Dvorak in PCMag, proclaiming the death of Linux (well, at least on the desktop) and running through what the community did and didn’t do to make Linux the success it turned out to be (for good or bad).
It boils down to the marketing. The Open Source community, as a whole, doesn’t believe in the idea that sales and marketing is actually important. All that ever passed for marketing with that bunch was the gimmicky but cute “Tux” the Linux penguin.
He concludes with:
With Linux never catching on and the rise of the cloud-centric operating systems alongside the weak phone/tablet OS taking over, everyone is back where they started: pre-1975. Centralized control wins out. I guess that is what the public wanted all along and the “personal” computer movement was actually a fad. Who knew?
I can’t say I disagree. I believe that linux is a better OS at it’s core than Windows and somewhat (due to toolkit availability) Mac (which is Unix at the core already). However, it really depends on what you define as “better”. A 1000% better OS that doesn’t have the apps I use (Lightroom, Photoshop) isn’t actually better. A 1000% better OS that is super secure and super stable but only has a command line interface (like DOS?) may not actually be better.
I’ve always thought that the success and failure with Linux has been with the community. Not only the supportive community, but the community that will proclaim they’ve “never even touched a Mac” while proclaiming that Mac’s suck. Or the community which values choice (a good thing), but uses it to create 18 half baked audio players instead of one or two that are full featured (a bad thing, in my opinion).
Will this article have any effect on the community? Nope. No investors are there to pull out (well, in theory) and the coders who slave day and night to produce code will most likely continue on as before. Same with the users. If you use Linux as your desktop, or go to the trouble of finding a linux laptop for sale, you’ll continue on just fine.
A big X.Org Security Advisory yesterday:
Ilja van Sprundel, a security researcher with IOActive, has discovered a large number of issues in the way various X client libraries handle the responses they receive from servers, and has worked with X.Org’s security team to analyze, confirm, and fix these issues.
Fixes are underway already, and it sounds like (to someone not hugely versed in deep x.org code) the issues aren’t going to affect the normal linux user running behind a firewall, but if you run unchecked code from untrusted sources locally (or allow other users to connect to the X.org port remotely), be careful. Keep up to date with updates and make sure your system is patched over the next week or two.
Half-Life 2 Games Available For Linux (Steam) via Web Upd8:
Like the other two titles Valve has made available for Linux last week: Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal, the Half-Life 2 games are in beta for now and they don’t show up in the Linux section on Steam but if you didn’t purchase them already, you can simply search for them in the All Items section and they should install on Linux. Or you can click the links below[…]
The GNOME 3.8 Release Notes have all the details.
Great job GNOME team!
“Patches accepted.” It’s one of the most offensive things you can say to people who genuinely want to help with your project.
This guy gets it. I’ve bitched about this more than once, as to the end user it translates as “screw you”, in my humble opinion.
“LibreOffice 4.0 is a milestone in interoperability and an excellent foundation for our continued work to improve the User Interface,” says Florian Effenberger, Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Document Foundation - the hands steering the project.
MyPaint 1.1.0 Release with a bunch of new tools.
MyPaint is especially designed to create images from scratch and it’s not intended to be an image manipulation application (like GIMP), although you can still do many such operations using it. The application features a simple interface, unlimited canvas, extensive brush creation, basic layer support and more and is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OSX.
If you’re into painting and not the heavy graphics that something like the gimp is designed for, this looks nice.
If you thought not having the world end a few days ago was a miracle, you didn’t see this coming: Enlightenment 0.17 released.
E16 is old, but technically, so is its successor whose release we celebrate today. The first bit of code for Enlightenment 0.17 (yes, 0.17) was committed to cvs a long, long time ago. “The first wave of files were committed to CVS on Friday the 8th of December  at 22:52:54 UTC. More will certainly follow in the next couple of weeks and months,” Martin Geisler wrote 12 years ago.
Saw on OSNews that 386 support has been removed from Linux, meaning your computer from the early ‘90’s won’t boot linux anymore.
I wonder how long before the forks and petitions come out? I agree with Linus. Good riddance.
The (as noted in the title of the site, NSFW) site Terrible Linux Wallpaper is a great collection of some of the worst examples of wallpaper for linux. I know I might be a bit of a design snob, but come on guys really? (Lets ignore my own work from long ago in this area).
From the NVidia press release: NVIDIA Delivers Massive Performance Boost to Linux Gaming
NVIDIA today announced the latest NVIDIA® GeForce® drivers — R310 — double the performance(1) and dramatically reduce game loading times for those gaming on the Linux operating system.
Can’t wait to give this a try and see if it fixes my Desktop Ubuntu performance issues and crashes too :)
If you’re a Ubuntu user you can grab the drivers from the x-swat PPA.
‘Steam for Linux’ Beta Released, but only to a subset of beta testers. Still, can’t wait till this goes live for everyone.
Great post that my buddy Gavin pointed me to on how To understand the command line on linux.
Unix was invented in the 60s. It’s considered arcane, complicated, inconsistent and unfriendly by many. And yet it, and its derivatives, are absolutely everywhere today - BSD, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android; it’s on PCs, iPhones, and servers - whereas many ‘friendlier’ and allegedly-better alternatives have appeared and died out in the meantime leaving barely a trace. Why is that? And why does it have such weird names and jargon?
Well worth the read if you have any interest in Linux and didn’t grow up at a time when Linux didn’t have a GUI.
Great interview with Linus Torvalds on Linux and Git. Great stuff in there.
Congrats to the GNOME team for another great looking release! You can check out the GNOME 3.6 Release Notes for details of what’s changed since 3.5.
GNOME 3.6 is the latest update to GNOME 3 and represents 6 months of work by the GNOME Project. It delivers a number of major new features, including a reworked Activities Overview, updated message tray and notifications, an enhanced Files application, as well as improved accessibility support and integrated input sources for using different languages. It also incorporates a host of smaller enhancements. Together, these changes make GNOME 3 better than ever before.
You can get GNOME 3.6 here, either in a live CD or the details for your existing linux distro.
The Left 4 Dead Blog has some juicy bits about Steam Workshop coming to Left 4 Dead as Linux.
All of this will also be available not just on the PC and Mac, but also for Linux users as well starting in the middle of next month and rolling out from there. We will have more details as we get closer to launch.
I’m honestly not a L4D player, so I wholly admit that I could be reading this wrong (though where I saw it posted said “Steam coming to linux confirmed”), as I don’t really know what the Steam Workshop is or how that relates, but anything that’s Steam related that is coming to Linux is a good thing, and does follow previous rumors about Valve working on a Linux port.
Neat write up from a guy who went from a Linux desktop to OS/X, his From Linux to OSX - 1 Year Later blog.
Am I happier now without Linux? Definitely! Is OSX a better OS than Linux? Absolutely not! It does have a much better desktop experience and since I spend most of the time on a computer interacting with the desktop - that’s a big win for me. Of course I wouldn’t mind seeing Linux achieve this level of desktop maturity and stability.
I have to mostly agree with what he’s found, the good, bad and ugly mostly mirror my own experiences (though I continue to use both Linux and OS/X as my daily work and home desktops respectively), with the exception that I use Vim, the One True Editor, and don’t care about the missing right control key at all :)
Interesting to go through the comments on both the site and the OSNews story to see some of the differing views, as well as their level of, well, aggressiveness (why is it when someone who is not an Apple fan hears any story about someone liking Apple they are convinced that the review can in no way be objective and the person is either a shill, or that any complaints you had about whatever it is that isn’t Apple in the comparison are in fact your fault or “they work fine for me therefore you are wrong”. I suppose this isn’t Apple specific, but more than a few of the comments that aren’t reasonable discourse seem to go in this direction. The level of passive-aggressive insults in the comments are pretty high in some places too, for example this from “ix” in response to his assertions that the hardware support and coupling of Mac hardware and software results in some superior aspects such as power management:
” I think that Macs are good for people who don’t want to tinker with their PC & OS and who don’t mind throwing money away, I think I could buy two normal laptops with the same specs for the price of one Macbook. Plus, I don’t think Macs are good for games.”
Congrats to everyone over at the new GIMP Magazine for their release of GIMP Magazine - Issue 1! Looks fantastic, and free!
Interesting look at Ubuntu vs Windows 8.
But as a desktop OS, Windows 8 got a universal thumbs down from our testers. They didn’t like being forced to use an OS designed primarily for touchscreen devices with limited real estate, such as a tablet or phone, on their multi-core desktops with wide-screen FullHD displays. Ubuntu’s Unity had pretty much the same criticisms in its early incarnations, but they have evolved since. In fact, much to our surprise, existing Ubuntu users had a much smoother experience with Windows 8 than existing Windows users!
Linus Torvalds responded to Icaza’s claims on Google+, claiming that suggestions that the Linux kernel were responsible for instilling developers with an attitude that resulted in problems for GNOME were ’laughable’.
There’s a lot of talk about what “the desktop” is and what “dead” is, and many, many comments related to this. I believe that Miguel’s original post mostly stands however, in terms of the “people moved to OS/X because they don’t want to screw with their audio setup every six weeks just to get sound” part anyway. But that’s just me.
Interesting read: GNOME Founder Says Desktop Linux is Dead
Miguel de Icaza, one of the founders of the GNOME project, has said that OS X has ‘killed the Linux desktop’.
Definitely some stuff to think on in there, and as someone who was a full on Linux fanboy from 1994 to 2008 or so, it’s sad but (in a way, and IMHO), true. There will always be a Linux Desktop, and I think that everyone will agree that the “Year of the Linux Desktop” is mostly a joke right now, and this is just someone enumerating why the Linux Desktop failed.
All is not lost. Apple is getting some interesting blow back for being too big (after years of getting blow back for being too small), Windows is… well, Windows, and Microsoft is the company everyone loves to hate, so Linux really is the OS to go to for a lot of people. Thing that has to happen is the default install on say, an 8 core, 6G modern machine, shouldn’t peg the RAM and CPU for the first 5 minutes of use, at least, based on my Ubuntu 12.04 install on a modern and fast laptop.
Regardless of my bitching about Ubuntu, Miguel has some good points about the alienation of third party software developers, seen in the lack of a stable standard for things like audio and video and the massive number of available linux distributions.
Listened this morning to the excellent Linux Outlaws podcast #271 where there was a lot of talk about the Linux community’s handwringing about Microsoft’s Secure Boot from both Canonical and Fedora, and a lot of it really sounds to me like this:
Linux: Microsoft security sucks, why don’t they do something about it, stupid Microsoft anyone can get a boot sector virus running Windows!
Microsoft: Ok, we’ve improved our security and have implemented very secure code signing for our hardware to specifically prevent any sort of boot sector viruses from getting in because you can’t run arbitrary code on boot.
Linux: Waaaaaaahhhhhh! Stupid Microsoft makes it impossible to boot our arbitrary code and it’s too secure so we can’t install other Operating Systems on the hardware!
(Sorry, I’m in a bit of a ranty mood this morning).
KDE has released KDE Release 4.9.
Not my cup of tea, but good to see another release from the KDE team.
Alex Cabal has a great post Dear Gnome devs: Please stop trashing Gnome! talking about some of the recent issues with GNOME and the Linux desktop environment. I personally picked out the personal entreaty to the gnome developers
Simplicity is not the same as slashing-and-burning features that you personally never use. I know that 37signal’s web 3.0 siren song of “simple and beautiful” is tempting, but it’s done more damage than good: Developers get sucked in to this “people only understand simple” fantasy world and forget that they’re developers, not designers, and not only that but in this case they don’t even represent their own target market.
I think that the ‘perfect is the enemy of good’ quote is appropriate here as well, and that while I love Linux, it’s time to face certain realities and start aiming at
The GIMP (a free and open source image editor) has it’s own magazine in the works. The First Issue Of GIMP Magazine is Coming.
GIMP Magazine features the amazing works created from this world wide community. Photography, digital arts, graphic arts, design, tips & tricks, step by step tutorials, master classes, help desk questions, book and product reviews and so much more are showcased and explored in this quarterly publication. This publication is available for free and is licensed Creative Commons CC-AT-SA 2.5.
A neat idea for sure, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out!
Linux 3.5 is presented to the world.
Summary: This release includes support for metadata checksums in ext4, userspace probes for performance profiling with tools like Systemtap or perf, a sandboxing mechanism that allows to filters syscalls, a new network queue management algorithm designed to fight bufferbloat, support for checkpointing and restoring TCP connections, support for TCP Early Retransmit (RFC 5827), support for Android-style opportunistic suspend, btrfs I/O failure statistics, and SCSI over Firewire and USB. Many small features and new drivers and fixes are also available.
Sadly not as exciting as it used to be back in the 1.0 and 2.0 days, but still, progress is progress :)
For some time, Gabe has been interested in the possibility of moving Steam and the Source game engine to Linux. At the time, the company was already using Linux by supporting Linux-based servers for Source-based games and also by maintaining several internal servers (running a 64-bit version of Ubuntu server) for various projects. In 2011, based on the success of those efforts and conversations in the hallway, we decided to take the next step and form a new team. At that time, the team only consisted of a few people whose main purpose was investigating the possibility of moving the Steam client and Left 4 Dead 2 over to Ubuntu.
Yay (at least if you use said system).
Here’s a link to the download page.
The The Humble Indie Bundle V is out! 14 days left to pay what you want and help charity. They’ve already sold 150,600 (and counting) bundles and there’s a nice list of games available:
All games are cross platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), you can pay what you want, and you support charity. How much more awesome could it be?
This is a bit of a rant, but after reading the last reply to the bug #2939 Blocking does not work properly on MSN I’ve really almost had it with Linux and the Open Source folks.
The short story is this. Using the default IM client in Ubuntu (arguably one of, if not the, most popular Linux distribution) you cannot block contacts. This is a bug that’s been around since (at least) 2007 and the last reply (a year ago) to the bug was “Patches welcome”.
I appreciate that this is free software. I understand that I can get the source and fix it myself. But if you’re a “real company” making a linux distro you’d think that after 5 years someone would have done something more than “patches welcome.
The scenario is this. Every morning I put my IM client online. Immediately I get 3-5 messages of “hey hows it going” or “I’m bored, what are you up to” from firstname.lastname@example.org like addresses. I go to the contact menu, select block, and close the window. Sometimes the contact is already blocked. The next day, or the next time I go online, I get the same messages, from the same (or similar) contacts. I block them all. It does nothing.
There’s Bug 551911, reported 2008, last update a few days ago (2012-05-07) with someone with the same issue. There’s also Ticket 2939, reported 2007, reporting a similar issue, with the last update being 12 months ago with this update:
Changed 12 months ago by salinasv milestone set to Plugin Suggested Discarding messages form a blacklist can be done in a plugin. If you prefer a privacy option, “Patches welcome”.
Most of the replies regarding the issue in both bugs seem to be either:
I don’t have this problem on any IM I use on the Mac or Windows. I appreciate that it’s hard to get it right, but the end result is that the end user (me) is getting spam, getting annoyed, and my overall Linux desktop experience is diminished by this. I echo the sentiment of a comment from 13 months ago by “cydon”:
Seriously now, I appreciate very much the effort open source developers put into programs with no compensation whatsoever but this has been ignored for 4 years. I have been waiting for this to be fixed for 3. The only reason I was not impatient is that I very rarely use the block function. So, the question is this. Are you ever going to fix this or will I have to (regrettably) change my client? To hell with winks, handwritten messages and voice clips. We are talking about basic functionality here that creates huge privacy problems when its not implemented and you only find out when you test it. Are you serious about creating a client for the MSN as well or not?
The…. “challenge” that open source software has, and has always had, is that doing things like implementing contact blocking isn’t sexy. Making an IM whiteboard is sexy. Voice chat is sexy. Implementing a complete new desktop paradigm is sexy. Squashing bugs isn’t. Making the whole new desktop paradigm more usable isn’t.
I love linux, I really do, I’ve been a user since 1993 and an advocate of the “Year of The Linux Desktop”, but it seems more apparent that lately Linux is doing what the Mac did in the 90’s when Apple stopped innovating and let Windows beat them. Linux was equal, if not ahead, of the Mac and Windows desktops in terms of features, speed, usability, and other areas up until the GNOME 2 timeframe, but then it wallowed in a world of looking like a really great rip off of the Windows 95/98 look and feel when the rest of the world moved on. Linux advocates (and I put myself in this category) seem to have an aversion to looking at or using anything but, perhaps because it looks far cooler to laugh at “Micro$loth” and “CrApple” than it is to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, someone else has a better system than [Insert your Favorite Thing Here].
I’ve heard Linux advocates proudly proclaim “I’ve never even seen MacOS” right after telling you that it’s crap. It’s this same attitude that I believe is holding Linux back from the desktop (ignoring of course that Linux is Android and Android is used by a ton of people, probably more than Linux on the desktop). I’m not saying that Linux desktop developers should blindly follow Windows and Mac desktops, but ignoring them completely, or worse ignoring what makes them popular (ie: attention to detail, easy developer tools to use, etc). It’s not all like this, Ubuntu’s desktop has definitely borrowed from MacOS with some of their UI elements, and they’ve also gone a completely different direction with Unity, which I give them full kudos for doing something different, same as I do for Microsoft for going their own direction with Windows Phone.
Anyway, long rant which is a roundabout way of saying “gosh I really wish I could block MSN spam on my Linux desktop”.
Nice tip for Ubuntu 12.04: How To Remove Media Players From The Ubuntu Sound Menu. Definitely a handy tip to keep Rhythmbox out of there if you’re an Amarok guy!
How To Cut Your Linux PC’s Boot Time in Half With E4rat, via How-To Geek.
Anyone else brave enough to try this?
Ok, I admit I’m biased towards the Photoshop world for my image manipulation, but this Cage tool screencast of the new tool in GIMP 2.8 looks pretty awesome. Hard to describe, so I’ve embedded it below.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Beta 2 Released and webupd8.org has screenshots and a screencast showing the new features.
Hit the GNOME 3.4 Release Notes for all that’s new and improved.
Codeweavers, makers of Crossover, an app that allows you to seamlessly run Windows apps on either Linux or Mac (through Wine) has announced Crossover XI. The new version boasts running more apps (including Office 2010) and a huge number of bug fixes and updates behind the scenes.
The first beta release of Ubuntu 12.04, Precise Pangolin has been released to the world. Tons of features and updates to this new LTS release.
Day explains that the beta release marks the beginning of the UI freeze, so “now seems like a good time to check out the cool stuff that’s coming in 3.4.” Day begins his tour stating that applications are “where many of the big changes can be found for this release.” Documents and Contact will now be joined by Boxes but more importantly, they will sport a sleeker new look.
Focus here is on polish, which is a good place to be (though I personally haven’t spent enough time in GNOME 3 to say if I like it or not). More details on the blog post.
Adobe will no longer provide new releases of Flash Player for Linux after version 11.2, the company has today announced.
No word on how the flash baked into Chrome on Linux will be affected though.
Ubuntu in your pocket is the latest initiative from Ubuntu.
We’ll show Ubuntu neatly integrated into Android at Mobile World Congress next week. Carry just the phone, and connect it to any monitor to get a full Ubuntu desktop with all the native apps you want, running on the same device at the same time as Android. Magic. Everything important is shared across the desktop and the phone in real time.
Basically it’s a way to extend desktop functionality to a tethered android smartphone. Incoming call alerts through GNOME notifications, contacts/calendar/data integrated from the phone into the desktop and a raft of other interesting stuff. Requirements are an Android 2.3 and HDMI out.
More info over at:
Even though I have some questions about this (ie: tethering? why not Bluetooth?) I think that this is very cool and is the sort of innovation that is great to see from the open source world.
Update: It seems I might have been a bit off in what I thought that the Ubuntu on Android app was actually doing. This video demo shows it’s more of a desktop view (using the standard unity desktop) of the phone. IE: Instead of the ubuntu running on your phone, when docked it runs ubuntu on your computer screen, from the phone. I think. Just watch the video, you’ll get it.
Based on Ubuntu 11.10, the spin ships with a host of ‘corporate-focused’ software, such as VMware View, Adobe Flash and OpenJDK, by default, whilst removing packages businesses aren’t likely to need, e.g. Gwibber, games, file-sharing apps, etc.
The €200 KDE Tablet looks pretty interesting, some interesting user interaction elements in there that seem like they could work nicely for multitasking and general interaction.
Nvidia Optimus GPU Switching For Linux has been released.
Nvidia Optimus is a technology available for notebooks, used to increases battery life by switching the dedicated GPU off when it’s not needed and then switching it on again when it’s needed. When the dedicated GPU is off, the integrated graphics chip is used.
Nvidia Optimus GPU switching is officially only supported on Windows 7, but it’s also unofficially available on Linux thanks to the Bumblebee project.
Cool to see that the program Corel 'AfterShot Pro' Brings Lightroom Competitor to Linux. If you aren't enthralled by Dark Table this might be worth a shot.
I hadn't heard about u1db before reading about it in the Linux Hater's Blog. I have to say that even as a linux lover I agree with the sentiment that this seems like something that is solving a problem that isn't really there and is going to take away productive programmers from fixing the actual issues that are present in the latest Ubuntu. For example, here is my list.
Somehow managed to miss that Fedora 16 Verne was Released. Lots of updates, GNOME 3.2, a new "trusted boot" (basically what Windows 8 has built in), and all the expected app updates.
Here's the official announcement.
The gist is to move all binaries to /usr/bin, and all libraries to /usr/lib and /user/lib64.
I remember when the LSB came out and was an essentially a HIG for the filesystem, defining what /usr, /var, /etc, etc were all set to be used for across all distros. I personally applaud this move towards a bit of simplification, if they can do it right. I hate not remembering if things are in /usr/lib, /var/lib/cache, /var/cache, etc, but jamming everything into /usr/lib/ and /usr/bin/ might not be the best solution.
Big day as Linux Kernel 3.1 is released. Notable changes include NFC chip support, a new iSCSI implementation, userspace power management and Wii controller support. In short, lots of techie stuff, but not a whole lot that one could write bit banners about. This isn't a bad thing, Linux is a mature kernel that I don't see a lot of "big" changes coming to any time soon.
... and I have to agree with him. Back in the day, having
Staroffice OpenOffice LibreOffice and Gimp and the few others was awesome, but that situation hasn't really changed. The apps have gotten better, but they are the same apps. Yup, InkScape is amazing, free and open source, but it's been around since 2003, where are the new apps? In the Mac and Windows world new great apps are popping up all the time, less often the great of course, but even a couple of new, truly great apps a year is great, and needed for a vibrant ecosystem, and the Linux desktop feels like it's just re-polishing the same set of 10 or 20 great apps (and of course all the other less great ones) every year.
I put part of the blame on the distros, as if it's not in the latest Ubuntu/Fedora/etc chances are it's not going to get the mass appeal that other apps get, plus the attention, bug reports, and polish. But still, maybe the fact that you're not charging $34 a license for your app means you don't get something high quality, like the linked FTP client for the Mac.
Anyway, that's my take on a story I haven't even linked to yet! Check out
Linux has Only 10 Great Desktop Apps linked from OSNews to the full story at PcPro.co.uk. The OSNews comments are interesting too.
But what Microsoft are not doing is asking OEMs to prevent Secure Boot being disabled by the user: -
"...such decisions are left to the OEM. There may be good reasons why certain enterprises may not want PCs that can be configured in such a way, and there may be good reasons why an OEM or white box retailer may choose to allow that flexiblity (sic) for their customers. It's all about choice and flexibility."
Interesting. Personally I think that throwing your hands up in the air and screaming about injustice is not the thing to do right, especially since (as I understand) this whole thing started with a Redhat employee wondering out loud if the new UEFI support in Windows8 could be used to lock out Linux. Also Windows 8 supports the new (modern, and built after 1981) BIOS standard, and if this is used to lock out other OSs it'll be done by OEMs, not Microsoft. Still to get the Windows 8 hardware certification OEMs do have to use this (as I understand it). I recommend listening to this week's Windows Weekly where Paul Thurrott addresses some of this (somewhere around the 28:22 minute mark).
Up and coming task management software Wunderlist is now available for linux! Kudos to the guys at Wunderkinder for supporting almost every platform under the sun (Web, Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, Android and now Linux (64 and 32 bit)). The only platform they don't currently have a version for is Windows Phone 7 phones, but I expect that either there's no demand or they are working on a version.
I have to say I'm impressed and happy to see this, honestly. I wonder how much of the Linux port had to do with the Android port?
Update: Forgot to mention that Wunderlist also includes full cloud sync as well, all for free.
If you're one of the lucky few who got an HP Touchpad for $99 (or the unlucky even-fewer who paid $499) and want to do something different with it, here are some step-by-step instructions (not for the non-geek) on How To Install Ubuntu On Your HP Touchpad.
Very cool, an award winning video editor 'Lightworks' To Land On Linux In December.
Both a completely awesome and useless programming project: kernel rickrolling.
Sadly even though it's a big new number, as Linus Torvalds announced this is a release that's just about getting to that 3.0 number.
CentOS 6 Released. About says it all dontcha think? :)
Nothing to see here, just Linux Kernel 3.0, that's all. Sadly (I guess) it is nothing all that special, just a "we should go to 3.x from 2.x" from Linus, with a few fairly minor changes.
Good job! Webupd8 points out that just today Fedora 15 was Released, GNOME3 integration, Firefox 4, Evolution 3.0, and a bunch of other nice (and up to date) bits.
Want to give the new Natty Narwhal version of Ubuntu Linux before it's out? Using some cool remote desktop stuff you can now Try Ubuntu online before you download. Not 100% with the 3D stuff, and it's only a 15 minute session, but it definitely is neat to check things out first. Kudos for the test drive guys for setting this all up.
Before you ask, yes, I am going through a backlog of RSS on OMG Ubuntu :) Here's some nifty stuff from the last few days:
Good news if you want to check out the latest goodies that are coming out in the GNOME world.... Gnome-Shell gets a Live CD, so you can safely try what will be coming out in the not-so-far future in Linux GNOME based distros.
The ethX naming scheme works fine as long as the system has only one Ethernet port. However if there are more than one Ethernet ports, a sort of race condition develops at every system boot and the ports may get their names in an arbitrary order. Suppose we have two Ethernet devices - eth0 and eth1. It cannot be ensured that eth0 will remain as eth0 and eth1 will remain as eth1 after the next system boot. The names will be allocated arbitrarily. This is generally not a problem in personal computers because there is only one port. However, some servers have multiple Ethernet ports and this naming scheme creates problems in such cases.
Makes sense, but not sure I like it. Kudos to OSNews for the original link.
The big question is will other distros adopt this as well.
Interesting project.... ESFS, the encrypted steganography filesystem, implemented (currently) entirely in Python.
A fast and sexy program launcher called Synapse Launcher is out. This is a re-do of Gnome-Do, or if you're more familiar with the Windows or Mac world, think QuickSilver, LaunchBar or Launchy. Looks good for sure, looking forward to playing with this one.
Some mad linux hacker got a Kinect open source driver working only after a few hours in a completely clean-room manner. Awesome. Wonder what stuff people are going to use this for. Home security? Linux desktop face recognition logins? Skynet?
Slashdot declares that
this is the year of the linux desktop! Desktop Linux Is Dead... wait what?
I still use a linux desktop for my development work, and while there are still issues compared to the integration of Mac OS or the support in the software and hardware world of Windows, I don't really think that it's "dead". The author is more saying that:
Ultimately, Linux is doomed on the desktop because of a critical lack of content. And that lack of content owes its existence to two key factors: the fragmentation of the Linux platform, and the fierce ideology of the open-source community at large."
That all said, Linux and the Linux Desktop and Linux fanboys are going nowhere soon. GNOME 3.0 is in the horizon, and even without the critical acceptance from the world in general (what we all dreamed about in the mid-90s), the people who use Linux on the desktop will continue to rally and support it for a long time. I do agree that I don't think that the Linux community believes they'll overtake Mac or Windows any time soon.
Well, the RC for the latest version of the Ubuntu Linux distro is available! You can get Ubuntu 10.10 RC (Maverick Meerkat) now. You may want to check out the known issues first though. They do consider this a stable RC ready for all though.
[...] we formally announce Ubuntu 10.10 Release Candidate. Codenamed "Maverick Meerkat", 10.10 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.
We consider this release candidate to be complete, stable, and suitable
for testing by any user.
Here's the announcement email.
I'm not sure exactly how, but apparently Direct3D 10/11 Is Now Natively Implemented On Linux! Big news as this will let Linux drive forward games through WINE (which has limited DirectX support now).
Prost to Gallium3D and the open-source Mesa developers for making this milestone possible! Hopefully soon we can finally see an OpenGL 3.x/4.0 state tracker too. Implementing Direct3D 10/11 on Linux required around 26,000 lines of code to be added to Mesa.
Thanks for Aryk to sending me the link.
A 32bit download of µTorrent for linux is available. Basically it's a remote controlable server that you can add downloads to from somewhere else. Not a client sadly, but no doubt using the uTorrent core under the hood.
Nice collection of 211 free Wine-compatible Games in one download found by OMG Ubuntu, so you can play them on your Linux system (speaking of Linux and Gaming). The list of games in the download can be found here. See the OMG Ubuntu article for details and direct download and torrent links.
I won't lie and say I didn't see this coming, but according to the official page, GNOME 3.0 is Rescheduled for March 2011 Release.
GNOME is driven by its goals to provide a quality free software desktop, and we feel that our users and downstream community are better served by holding the GNOME 3.0 release until March 2011. This gives adequate time not only for feature development, but user feedback and testing.
Having 3.0 ready for the "next" GNOME release was a pretty aggressive goal, especially with no "real" alphas or test releases out, and the only real evidence that the great "3.0" milestone being a hodgepodge of software released. Still, I'd rather 3.0 come out fully baked and ready for the world than a thrown together mix of software, paradigms and APIs. Still, it is a bit of sad news for those of us who were looking forward to 3.0 to come out this year.
The awesome guys over at CodeWeavers have released Crossover 9.1 and Crossover Games 9.1. The official announcement is here. Both have lots of fixes, work with WINE 1.2, and Games now official supports Starcraft 2 (yay!), Modern Warfare 2, and a bunch of others.
Not sure how "new" this is, but the F.Lux app that I use on Windows and Mac now works in Ubuntu. F.Lux automatically adjusts the lighting of your screen to be more natural which (in theory) will help your body go to sleep more easily after using the computer late into the night.
For those Linux users in a area that geographically supports Spotify, you'll be happy to see that there's an alpha of Spotify for Linux available. I understand the 'real' client works ok under WINE as well though.
A cool project seen over at OMG Ubuntu to get people to Help Hunt down geeky app descriptions in the software centre to translate application descriptions into "human", to help with that whole "software for human beings" thing they are trying to do.
Slashdot notes that the Compiz Project has Released C++ Based v0.9.0. The announcement has more details, including that it's had a complete rewrite for the API in C++, major architectural changes, etc.
A great look at the future of Nautilus, the GNOME file browser. Nice to see some cleanup coming down the pipe in future versions.
After all the Apple news today (you may have heard they released some iPhone thing), you'll be happy to know I'm getting back to "real" news and present to you a story from OSNews on a Native ZFS Port for Linux.
Details over at TorrentFreak. Woo! Though I have to say I've been perfectly happy with Transmission lately....
So a cool Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Video Review over at OMG! UBUNTU! By a girl. Who likes Linux. You may pick your jaws up from the floor now nerdy guys. It's a nice overview of the OS and the newest features, hitting both the high and low points of some of the more prominent UI issues.
OMG Ubuntu has the opera 10.6 alpha for Linux as the fastest yet. Looking forward to playing with the new version to check out the updated UI, etc.
Great news! Valve Releasing Steam, Source Engine For Linux!
We have confirmed that Valve's latest and popular titles like Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, and Team Fortress 2 are among the first of the Steam Linux titles, similar to the Mac OS X support. The released Linux client should be available by the end of summer.
The controversial decision by Ubuntu for moving the window control icons from the right to the left might become a bit more interesting now that some of the documents about what's to be done is coming to light. Mark Shuttleworth has posted some mockup drawings of the things that will be able to be done in the next version of Ubuntu now that the right side of the window border is freed up.
The Zeitgeist Project (the GNOME information logger, not the conspiracy theory nuts) has announced 0.3.3 which ads a bunch of fixes and magic. Looks like a nifty upgrade for folks running some of the GNOME 3.0 beta stuff.
Very cool! The Lightworks Oscar winning video editor goes open-source to allow the program to release it's full potential.
Great Real Time Earth Wallpaper 'GloboCarbon' showcased (with install instructions) over at OMG Ubuntu. Not really polished, but if the screenshot on the site is any indication, it's pretty damn cool looking. Linux only.
Got the press release that CodeWeavers have released Crossover 9.0 (Snow Mallard), the first ground up revamp of their software since version 1.0. Crossover, if you don't know, is a commercial wrapper around Wine to allow you easily run windows software on Linux.
Great look at what some people's ideas of The Future Of Nautilus. A nice look at some of the horrible UI that's in the current version, and some very sexy mockups of what it could look like. Fingers crossed for something like this in Lucid.
Nice HOWTO article on Setting up virtualization on Ubuntu with KVM for anyone who was thinking about it but a bit intimidated.
Some new hotness in Banshee 1.5.3 the fantastic Linux media player written in Mono. Among the new stuff is something I'd love for iTunes on my Mac to have, folder watching:
A long requested feature - already present in Rhythmbox - has been the ability for Banshee to watch your libraries' folders for added, renamed, or deleted files and updating Banshee accordingly. Well - it's here! (Although you have to enable it via the Extensions menu).
As the title says comes from this slashdot story.
This came up today in conversation with someone, and I had to post THE classic Unix horror story, originally posted in 1986 regarding what to do if you accidentally rm -rf / on your unix system. Great classic story.
Took me a while to find it, I ended up using keywords of ksh, rm -rf, and echo to find it :)
Gotta thank a post from last year on Chu-Cheng's Public Note on how to make the "ls --color" lighter and more readable. Works like a charm and fixes the issue where you have the almost unreadable default dark blue color against a black terminal screen. This tweaks it just a bit lighter and perfectly readable. Yay!
OMG Ubuntu has info on how to Get An Animated & Themed GRUB Menu Using BURG. The screen shots and embedded video look very nice. It is new software and does muck with your bootloader, so be very careful if you're going to install this on any production machines, and make sure you have a boot disk available just in case (tm).
The Fedora 12 one page release notes for those wanting the latest goodness.
CIO.com.au has a feature on the as-yet-unreleased (but to be released in 2010) KDE 4.4. KDE took some critique when it released version 4.0 a few years back and basically called it a beta. Well, it's gotten much better since then, and the new 4.4 has some very interesting looking stuff coming to it.
Personally I've had no issues with it, so far anyway. There are a couple of minor issues, neither of which I don't think is related to the distro. One is my hard drive seems to be having some errors, but smartctl says there are none, and the other was it took some magic when I swapped video cards, trading an nVidia for an ATI. I documented how to do this here though.
OMG actual Linux news? From OMG Ubuntu, an excellent site I discovered recently, it sounds like Gnome 3.0 Will Be Delayed Until September 2010 simply because of the state of the project (beta quality) and the GNOME release timetable. Personally I'd rather wait and get something good instead of having something unstable. Course, I'd also like to have the new GNOME 3.0 shell to play with, cause it looks like this'll make GNOME take a revolutionary step forward instead of the evolutionary ones that the last few 2.x releases have been.
Technology Blog has a great look at what you need to know about Ubuntu 9.10, which is in RC now, and scheduled for release on Oct 29.
Perl 5.11.0 is now available. Link has details of the release and how development releases will be handled going forwards. Not sure what the actual differences are.
Ubuntu has released a 9.10 Beta. Full details in the link. Congrats to the Ubuntu team!
So I've known forever that the 'vimdiff' program does a diff with two files in Vim, but it's always annoyed me that I have to run that as a new editor instance. The Daily Vim tipped me off that you could run ":vert diffsplit filename" from inside your currently running vim instance. Pretty cool.
Grumpy Old Man pointed me to this Linux Anatomy poster which looks really cool.
OSNews points out that Kubuntu Gets Some Love in the latest "Karmic" Alpha 5 that was just released. It's up to KDE 4.3.1, lots of improvements all around, etc.
Who'da thunk it, the ADF built a Linux-Based Flight Simulator costing $1.7 million and running on a cluster of SUSE systems. Wonder what sort of system I'd have to have to get that running at home?
Wow, this was about, well, 18 years in the making.... Aug. 25, 1991 is when Linus first posted about Linux, so happy birthday Linux!!
1991: Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old university student from Finland, writes a post to a user group asking for feedback on a little project he's working on. He's built a simple kernel for a Unix-like operating system that runs on an Intel 386 processor, and he wants to develop it further. The kernel eventually becomes Linux, which is released in 1994 and distributed over the internet for free.
Awesome tip tip at shell-fu for Linux/UNIX users using BASH... putting a "\" in front of a command runs the un-aliased version of the command.
On OSNews: Editorial: X Could Learn a Lot from Vista, Windows 7. Basically what we all know, X sucks and while it's mostly rock solid, having all the good bits built on top of something that can fairly easily bring you back to a console, or dump you back to a GDM login screen is kinda a sucky thing.
I love it when a good idea comes to life. In this case, the Dilbert cartoon where Wally programs his IM to randomly send messages to his boss.... well, someone built it using python and dbus. That is super-awesome.
My buddy Len pointed out that there was a new alpha refresh of Flash Player 10 for 64bit linux. He also noted that (on ubuntu) running:
sudo apt-get remove swfdec-mozilla libswfdec-0.8-0
Sometimes it takes something like this to truly show one of the major faults in the Linux world. I'm as big a fan as the next guy (well, unless the next guy isn't a Linux fan), but sometimes the.... "focus" of the community isn't quite where I think it should be :) I want my John Stewart smooth too!
Looks like I finally have fixed the error I've had since the install of the new server running on Ubuntu (8.10, but not relevant for this IMHO). I put some of the details here. Basically tons of segfaults in the apache2 log showed up after moving from Gentoo to Ubuntu. I found what looks like the answer here.
Basically in sysctl, the setting for fs.epoll.max_user_instances defaults to 128, which means that it restricts the number of child processes an application can have. Ergo, apache was being limited to 128 children, but in my /etc/apache2/apache2.conf the setting for MaxClients was the default of 150. This means, I think, that when apache tried to spawn more children, as it is want to do on this fairly busy server, the kernel would deny them.
I followed the instructions and set the sysctl variable to 4092, and so far, no errors! I'll see what happens when I try to post this :) Assuming you see it, it looks like it worked!
Cool project that has produced an Android LiveCD for those wanting to see what the Linux-based phone distro looks like running on your laptop (or VM).
Those gnarly GNOME hackers have displayed some mockups for a (much needed) streamlined Nautilus (the GNOME file manager).
Via the Full Disclosure mailing list, looks like there's a exploitable hole in Linux 2.6.30 /SELinux/RHEL5 test kernel. I'm not 100% familiar with this, but being it's called "test kernel", I'm assuming this isn't properly released or in use in the real world yet. Link has more details.
Banshee, the excellent Linux media player on the road to version 2.0, has gotten some cool netbook focused UI changes. Aaron Bockover has details of project "Cubano" as well as some other news from the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit.
John Gruber over at Daring Fireball puts What Little We Actually Know About Chrome OS Into Context.
The last couple of Ubuntu releases have been.... well..... "evolutionary" (read: kinda boring). Looks like the next release, 9.10, Karmic Koala has some really neat stuff (other than the awesome codename). Pin Stack has a good list detailing the changes.
OSNews passes on the info that Linux will Be the First to Support USB 3.0. Yea, it's still a bit hacky to get it done, but it is cool that Linux is the first OS with USB 3.0 support (at least publicly, who knows what MS and Apple are doing behind closed doors).
Saw on OSNews that Linux has Native Multitouch Support. Not hugely important to the average desktop or server user, but people using Linux in embedded systems, kiosks, and the like, cool stuff.
Yes, it's YAMTFL (Yet Another Mac Theme For Linux), and no, it's not going to give you the "real" mac experience (which IMHO Is more about UI and consistency than wallpaper and icon themes. Still, if you want to check it out, Phoenix: Mac4Lin ver.1.0 has been released.
KDE has news of the KDE 4.3 Beta 2 Release Announcement. New technologies like geolocation, new animation effects, and bugfixes are the highlights.
Slashdot has an article on Harsh Words From Google On Linux Development. I've been saying something like this for a while, that Linux's greatest asset (choice) is also it's greatest challenge (nothing is consistant / uniform).
Course, to be fair, the exemplar of the opposite of this, Apple, who has a consistent UI toolkit, HIG, etc, also is no closer to having a native Chrome browser running either :(
The fine fine video and audio player Banshee 1.5.0 was released. Some nice improvements, including an automatic scoring feature I'd love to see in other players.
Even I have sort of stopped the sillyness of "Linux on the (Mass Consumer) Desktop", as I write this from my Linux desktop however, I found Information Week's Windows 7 Vs. Linux: OS Face-Off. Definitely an interesting comparison in terms of what each OS has going for itself, and it does bring up a couple of things I hadn't thought about (ie: 32 vs 64bit issues).
Just discovered the Ubuntu Dust Theme Artwork page, with some nice extras, including a Firefox theme that fixes the annoying "black on black" in the awesomebar if you are just using the main "Dust" theme. Here's a shot of my desktop to show the awesomeness (new window).
Not fake code :)
Free Software Magazine has some of the new changes coming in The X Window system. They call it innovation, but from my read of it, it really sounds like "making the video drivers not suck". Though, on some systems, that would be a miracle and an innovation!
Great question found on Stack Overflow is someone challenging folks to give as many "dark corner" Vim Tricks your mom never told you about. Some really awesome ones in there that even myself, a user of vi since the early 90's, has never heard of.
Sadly doesn't work for me on Firefox 3.5b4 on Jaunty, but meh....
While the GNOME desktop plods on with more evolutionary than revolutionary changes, the video I just watched: Social Desktop Starts to Arrive shows that KDE isn't standing still either. They have created a social "engine" which gives user space applications (IE: applets) access to all sorts of interesting social website information. Friends, locations, etc. The big win here is that because the information is extracted out of the browser and into it's own standalone engine, suddenly all parts of the desktop will have access to (theoretically anyway) your facebook, twitter, myspace, etc data.
Yes this can be done now, and it's not like there aren't twitter clients for the Linux desktop, but in a very KDE move they have made a single data engine for this so the wheel doesn't have to be re-invented all the time, and applet/app developers can move faster to get cooler programs out to the world. Check out the video anyway, it's a nice demonstration of what those rascally KDE guys are up to!
Press Release: Canonical Announces Availability of Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop Edition. Lots of tweaks here and there, press release has all the details.
Congrats to the Ubuntu team, as well as the OO.o, and GNOME teams and everyone else whose contributions made this new release possible.
Looking forward to seeing how much of a big deal it will be to upgrade the new UFies server to it :)
Back In Time is a time-machine like interface and system for Linux, with KDE and GNOME frontends.
Another neat one from OSNews, xPUD: Linux with an XUL Interface, 10 Second Boot Time is a neat idea in terms of doing something different with the Linux UI.
Of course, it looks like a lot of the reduction of boot time is the post-X-starting time, which is really saying that GNOME and KDE do a lot of stuff after they get started up and before the desktop is usable. While I applaud the new UI, I'm wondering if another desktop interface, regardless of how fast starting, is going to be useful if it sacrifices things like session information and other "modern" capabilities. Still, innovation is always a good thing.
Canonical Strikes Back at Microsoft's Linux 'FUD' regarding Linux on netbooks and how (Microsoft claims) that XP is trumping them.
More of a clarification than anything, as with most OS/Phone/Editor/etc religious wars, it's all in the details as to if your "side" wins or loses. In this case the clarification was that people return netbooks of the same build quality an equal amount for windows and linux, vs tons of returns for Linux (which was what was claimed before). IE: people return crappy hardware regardless of the OS on it.
A cool DropBox hack to let you get your IP and control Your Home Computer From Anywhere With VNC.
The Pidgin multi-provider instant messanger now has (as the blog post is titled) Voice! Video!. Great features to have, wonder if it'll work properly with other services that use voice and video (ie: google talk).
Tombuntu found that there is a Pre-Alpha Chromium Browser Now Available. Even better? It actually contains a working browser!
NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE
This is very very very pre-alpha and should be almost called an Omega version (for me so pre-alpha it won't run :) and running probably isn't a good idea, as most likely it'll blow up and give you a bad impression. It is nice to know that things are progressing towards Linux and Mac builds though!
Red Hat Sets Its Virtualization Agenda over at OSNews.
Slasdot says that BASH 4.0 has been Released. New features are arrays, the ** syntax (matching everything recursively), and a bunch of other stuff.
IBM Developerworks has a nice article on the Anatomy of ext4, which is the up and coming new "standard" file system for Linux distros.
A bit late, but interesting nonetheless. Linux.com's review of Six Twitter clients for the Linux desktop and one for the road. For those wanting to use the Adobe Air apps under Linux (and amd64) check out this link. This will help you install Twhirl which is my twitter client of choice :)
Adobe has announced over at Penguin.SWF is it now Supporting 16 Exabytes, that is, runs on 64bit CPUs. This will hopefully bring less pain to Linux people on 64bit systems, where flash is currently flakey at best :)
Anyone had any success with this?
I found some good instructions for Ubuntu (intrepid, the latest) on this thread. Basically apt-get remove the libflash-nonfree package and put the downloaded .so file into your ~/.mozilla/plugins directory.
Well, check out this guy: Ubuntero Gets Inked - Ubuntu Style. Nice tattoo, and if/when Ubuntu goes out of style, is found to eat babies, gets replaced with something else, it's a nice generic shape. Looks pretty cool actually. Not to draw comparisons or anything, but Zune Tattoo Guy doesn't hold up :)
Not bad... check out Booting Linux in five seconds at LWN.net. The caveat is that it is on the eeepc, but still, that's damn impressive.
Cool article on Improving boot time on a general Linux distribution, a good read. That said, I haven't booted my linux system for a couple of months, so in this new world of always on computing a fast(er) boot isn't nearly as important as it used to be. That said, the machines I work with at work are servers with what feels like 10 or 15 separate bios modules that take forever to start up. A boot takes in the range of 5-10 minutes, 90% of that being the system booting up the ILOM bios, SATA controller BIOS, other controllers, and then it boots up linux (which is fast enough).
Via digg: Learn 10 good UNIX usage habits. Good stuff in there, lots of stuff known already by your standard unix hacker, but most likely there's something in there that you've just never gotten around to putting into your daily arsenal (for me it's the xargs tricks).
Saw on kerneltrap that Btrfs 0.16 was available.
Btrfs is a new copy on write filesystem for Linux aimed at implementing advanced features while focusing on fault tolerance, repair and easy administration. Initially developed by Oracle, Btrfs is licensed under the GPL and open for contribution from anyone.
Today, in "Useless uses of technology" we present to you:Tetris written in... sed (via reddit.com).
Note: To play this:
In a shocking break from Apple and iPhone news, how about a preview of What's new in GIMP 2.6? They've mucked with the UI, improved the free selection tool (think the wand in photoshop) and a bunch of other stuff. Hit the link for details.
Miguel announces that Banshee 1.0 is out. Banshee is an itunes-like audio/video player for linux that is similar-but-different from Rhythmbox, the other itunes-like software out for the GNOME environment. Banshee has gone through many changes from the first 1.0-like release, going from audio player to super-fast (the searching of the song db is now immensely scalable) and fully manages your video collection as well.
Looking forward to checking this out!
Haven't seen this before (I think)... the Gentoo Wiki has instructions on how to Use memory on video card as swap. Gentoo specific, but should be easy enough to do on other distros as well.
DD-WRT is updated to version 24. Hit the link for the new highlights.
LWN has a nice article entitled Debian, OpenSSL, and a lack of cooperation.
Back in April 2006, a Debian user reported a problem using the OpenSSL library with valgrind, a tool that can check programs for memory access problems. It was reporting that OpenSSL was using uninitialized memory in parts of the random number generator (RNG) code. Using memory before it is initialized to a known value is a well known way to create hard-to-find bugs, so it is not surprising that the valgrind report caused some consternation.
Read the full thing, it's very interesting to see how it's maybe not a cut and dry issue of someone deleting something they shouldn't have.
Great Twitter + Bash hack. So evil, yet so perfect :)
Saw that a flaw in Debian with a fix: New openssl packages fix predictable random number generator. Update quickly, keep yourself safe.
How to Install VMware Tools on Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 under VMware Fusion managed to help me get my vmware tools running on my laptop. Finally found the right combination of magic to get it all working!
Nice post at content consumer entitled The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment. Simple premise... using the new Ubuntu, assign a set of tasks to your girlfriend (computer related you perverts!) and see how she does. Click the link for the results.
Enlightenment 0.17, the big, long awaited new release of the Enlightenment project, has been in the making for a long time now - since December 2000, to be precise. E17, as it became known, is a complete rewrite of Enlightenment, complete with a set of base libraries (the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries) turning it into a full-fledged desktop environment, complete with its own set of base libraries for building applications.
Finally Ubuntu 8.04 has been released. This is the LTS (Long Term Support) release which means that Ubuntu will continue to support the package for... uhm.... a long term. Check out the What's new in 8.04 for a full list along with lots of pretty screenshots.
Via OSNews: Linux 2.6.25 Released. Sadly not a huge amount of "exciting" features, but I suppose with a mature system that's to be expected.
Gentoo users out there, the new baselayout package is coming soon, converting from a lot of bash scripts into baselayout-2 which uses OpenRC. These changes are fairly major, so you'll want to check out the Baselayout and OpenRC Migration Guide to make sure your system isn't rendered unbootable!
If you're not interested in baselayout-2, check out these bootchart values and get a bit more excited. Note that these stats don't mean all that much if you hardly ever reboot your machine :)
The cute and linux-based Chumby (still would love one to play with) is designed to be open and hackable. There's a wired article about how Programmers and DIY Types are Embracing the Soft, Hackable Chumby.
I'm just waiting for someone to put a self-controlled chumby into that unmanned car land race thing.
Found a nice review of Linux image browsers. Not sure I agree with the gqview assessment, but that's just cause I have been using that image viewer forever so I'm used to it.
Banshee 1.0 Alpha 1 has been let loose.... Looks like the main media player for the suse platform has gotten some nice tweaks... looking forward to playing with this when I get home.
Ars Technica reviews KDE 4.0. 'Nuff said.
Ars has a look at the KDE 4.0 release... ready, but rough they say. Looking forward to checking it out.
The Fox And The Penguin is a good post from a summer intern working on the Linux visuals part of Firefox 3... just cause I love visual integration on Linux :)
Craigslist post on: Help me keep the shell people alive.
I am part of a dying breed of people known as "shell users." We are an old-fashioned bunch, preferring the warm glow of a green screen full of text over the cold blockiness of a graphical interface. We use ssh, scp, and even occassionally ftp. Back in the days before high-speed connections ("broadband"), we would dial up during off-hours to avoid being slammed with huge phone bills. The whole "Microsoft Windows" fad will fade away sooner or later, but in the interim, our kind is facing extinction.
This is mostly for my own reference. Found a good page of IPtables Examples and programs including a very handy (for me right now) script that will convert the save format from iptables-save into a nice shell script.
KDE-ers, just a note that K KDE 4.0 Release Candidate 1 is ready for the world, please download, test, rinse and repeat.
Download a Free Issue of Linux Journal. Thanks Tony. Only caveat is that you have to give them your email address (not that that's a huge deal IMHO).
Ars has a nice first look at the Firefox 3 visual refresh for Linux. Very nice and clean and looks like it should integrate nicely into the look of the Linux desktop.
Anatomy of the Linux file system has some good in-depth nerdery of some filesystem internals.
Found via digg is a KDE 4 Beta 3 - Screenshot Tour for those of the KDE persuasion.
Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars Linux Client Released. That about says it. Hopefully the performance under Linux will be as good as windows, but right now sadly my Linux box is a bit old for gaming :)
Non-GNOMEers can check out the KDE 4.0 Beta 3 Release notes.
LinuxGames has the news on the Linux demo version of ETQW for my non-Microsoft shackled friends.
I've been wanting to make a list like Ten things Linux distros get right (that MS doesn’t) for a while. I use Windows at work on a daily basis, and linux at home on a daily basis, and both do things well, and both do things suckily. Here's one guys opinion of the Windows suckage.
[...] All-in-one application sources. Man, I love my apt. Finding and downloading applications for Windows is a crap-shoot in almost every way. I find this especially handy when building new systems: it takes far longer to build, update, and add needed applications on a Windows system than on most Linux systems.
Noticed a thread on the EVMS-devel list on the status of EVMS. EVMS as you may know is the Enterprise Volume Management System for Linux, a nice system which brings partitioning, RAID, LVM, LVM2 and various other technologies under one management system, and something I use both at home and on the UFies.org system. The response to the thread was:
IBM has pulled all resources from EVMS. Some of the people previously assigned to EVMS are doing some work in their spare time, but apart from that, it's pretty much unmaintained.
That's a bit worrisome... I haven't seen any issues with EVMS, but I'd hate to upgrade the kernel and find suddenly things start breaking :( Is this the honeymoon fading for IBM's relationship with Linux, or just a project that never took off enough to keep putting resources into it?
Any replacements / alternative technologies for this stuff out there? Ubuntu seems to run plain LVM for their setup, and Ubunutu isn't (I hope) going anywhere anytime soon, so one presumes LVM will stick around. Maybe ZFS can be ported from Solaris? KTNXBAI. :)
Aaron Bockover has some openSUSE 10.3 details as far as what's going to be included when it's released.
OSNews pointed to a nice Compiz Fusion 0.5.2 Review, showing what you'll get with the next version(s) of Compiz and the distros using it by default (Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse).
Via OSNews I found a nice little X.Org 7.3 Preview with some of the new nifty stuff that'll be coming up in the new Linux/Unix graphical system.
Compiz Fusion has made it's first first release. 0.5.2. Compiz Fusion is the new(ish) un-branch of Compiz and Beryl with some sexy new effects and stuff to play with. Unfortunately it still lags unbearably when using nVidia Twinview (at least the last git version I tried out) :( Hopefully something that can be worked on in the next release.
For Linux geeks only.... Anatomy of the Linux networking stack over at IBM's developerworks site.
Found a nice overview of AppArmor vs SELinux via a story about how AppArmor is now included by default in the new Ubuntu 7.10 release.
Check the KDE 4.0 Beta 1 Release Announcement for some info and sexy screenshots!
Ubuntu Security is a new sticky post on the forums, with lots of good info.
Very cool video of some of the new stuff people are doing playing with the newly merged Compiz/Beryl project, Compiz Fusion. The video is here. Great soundtrack too :)
OMG. SGI is setting up a system for NASA, the Largest Shared-Memory System in the World. 1024 dual core CPUs (that's 2048 cores). 4TB of RAM. 13 TFLOPS. Running linux.
Really interesting interview with kernel developer Con Kolivas.
Con Kolivas is a prominent developer on the Linux kernel and strong proponent of Linux on the desktop. But recently, he left it all behind. Why?
He also talks about the linux desktop, Microsoft, and why he's no longer a kernel developer.
In other news, it looks like Xen Merged into the 2.6.23 kernel today. Iiiiinteresting things going on!
Very cool stuff... lguest was merged according to kerneltrap. Remember KVM, a kernel module with build in paravirtualization built directly into the linux kernel? 'lguest' is similar, but unlike KVM, doesn't require the VT enabled CPU.
Performance is still not up to Xen or VMWare, but it is something that'll be built in the kernel, is lightweight, and gives people hackability.
I'm not sure if more virtualization is better. I'd rather see efforts go into one of the existing technologies to make it faster / better or more compatible. Course, maybe lguest is is the project that'll get this needed attention.
The Completely Fair Scheduler has been merged into the kernel 2.6.23 tree. This new scheduler (which decided which task to give the CPUs attention next) "tries to run the task with the 'gravest need' for more CPU time. So CFS always tries to split up CPU time between runnable tasks as close to 'ideal multitasking hardware' as possible."
Linux kernel 2.6.22 is oot and aboot, and the link has a summary of changes and new stuff in a (fairly) digestible format.
KDE 4.0 Alpha 2 has been announced. Some screenshots and links in the comments.
The article 10 minutes to run every Windows app on your Ubuntu desktop is standard is some ways (using vmware) and unusual in others (desktopless settings and RDP). Check it out anyway, if you have need for windows on linux....
Well shellac my barnacles, Google Desktop for Linux has arrived!
Eric Kustarz's Weblog talks about using ZFS on a laptop. Very neat to see what Sun's filesystem can do in a non-complicated manner. Of course, if you want to try this out you may come across the issues that Ian Murdock did to find where to download OpenSolaris.
I suppose it had to happen sometime, Mythbuntu 7.04 Public Alpha 1 has been released. MythTV has long been used on Ubuntu as the main installation platform, it makes sense to create a full release based on it!
This alpha can be used for running a live frontend from CD, and provides a good representation of where the GUI is headed for the installer.
The CD contains a backend/frontend full installation on disk with all plugins. Depending upon the choices made during an "Advanced Installation",
multiple packages will be removed from the installation.
Question is, do I nuke my current working setup which is a couple of mythtv releases behind to try this out or not :)
Well, title says it all... Fedora 7 released. Here are some details from the article.
Fedora 7 features the latest versions of many popular open-source software programs, including GNOME 2.18, KDE 3.5.6, Xorg 7.2, and version 2.6.21 of the Linux kernel, with integrated KVM virtualization support. The version of Xorg 7.2 included in Fedora 7 features extensive support for display hot-plugging, a much-anticipated feature that will hopefully eliminate the need for frustrating Xorg configuration tweaking typically required for multiple monitor configurations and projector support.
Very cool.... Miguel has announced that Paint.NET 3.0 for Mono is Now Public. Paint.NET is (for those who don't know) a fairly feature complete and complex, free .Net based paint program. Think a supercharged version of MS Paint that doesn't suck. Not quite photoshop, but pretty much all you need for most "normal" use. Homepage is here.
For you odd folks who like that KDE thing, you'll be happy to know that KDE 4.0-alpha1 Released: "Knut" has been released. Highlights are a new visual look, all sorts of cool stuff in the background, new default apps (dolphin for a file manager for example), composite enabled for eyecandy goodness, and much more. Probably still horribly unstable, and it sounds like it's still far from finished, however, I'm happy to see it being released and plan to check this out ASAP! :)
For those of you running Kubuntu, here are the upgrade instructions.
Thanks to Wim pointing me to a couple of blog posts from Simon Crosby from XenSource. First is VMware tests Xen Performance: Embarrassing, where benchmarks are referenced but can't be revealed due to the licensing agreements, second is The Performance News You've Been Waiting For, in which the benchmarks are revealed!
Who says innovation is dead, WikipediaFS, allows you to view and edit Wikipedia articles as if they were real files. This uses FUSE, the userspace filesystem under Linux. Found via wired.
Personally I think that while E17 was the shiznit back in the day (transparent eterms! OMG!), however now it's really not all that relevant. Projects like Beryl and Compiz have far eclipsed the functionality that enlightenment gave us, and as cool as the new E17 stuff sounds (resolution independance, hardware acceleration, running on any device (like a cellphone)), if it's never released and available as a finished product (or as finished as any open source gets), how good is that? Duke-Nukem' ForE17 anyone?
That said, there are still people hacking away, which is great to hear.
Kerneltrap reports on the Linux 2.6.21 Kernel Release. Ticklessness (wtf?) is the flavor of the day.
Nice article on IBMs DeveloperWorks on the Linux Kernel Virtual Machine.
Ubuntu 7.04 is out in the wild now, after lots of testing. The Ubuntu Linux home page has gone on a diet for the release, with only links to the upgrade and release notes as well as of course, all the mirrors.
Highlights for this release are the latest everything (gnome, kernel, OO.o, etc etc), sexy hardware accelerated graphics with Beryl/Compiz, new codec download manager, new 'restricted driver' (read: non-free) manager, windows migration tool and other stuff. More an incremental release than anything, still nice to see.
Now to see if the bug with installing root on a raid partition is fixed :)
Update: Yup, looks like it is. Now I'm safe to play with it at home to see if it should replace my Gentoo Linux desktop :)
Cool image of the timeline of progression of Linux distributions. Cool to see where everything came from (and for some, when they ended.... bye bye united linux, we hardly knew ya'.
A great and interesting article by David Wheeler is Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS, FOSS, or FLOSS)? Look at the Numbers!
Basically he enumerates a lot of studies and addresses a lot of issues such as the various Microsoft funded TCO studies with a barrage of articles and writings regarding why a company or person should choose Free / Open Source software.
Couple of big things this weekend..... first of all, Gaim has been renamed to "Pidgin" due to a legal war with AOL over the "AIM" part of the name. Stupid stupid stupid IMHO. Sadly I'm not a big fan of the new name, "pidgin" is harder to pronounce and spell than "gaim" in my opinion, but what do I know. At least now it's over they can start releasing new versions of the software. Wh00t.
Speaking of "wh00t", Debian 4.0 has been released. 4.0, or "Etch" was twenty-odd months in the making and is released for 11 different platforms. Highlights include:
"This release includes a number of updated software packages, such as the K Desktop Environment 3.5.5a (KDE), an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 2.14, the Xfce 4.4 desktop environment, the GNUstep desktop 5.2, X.Org 7.1, OpenOffice.org 2.0.4a, GIMP 2.2.13, Iceweasel (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox 220.127.116.11), Icedove (an unbranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5), Iceape (an unbranded version of Mozilla Seamonkey 1.0.8), PostgreSQL 8.1.8, MySQL 5.0.32, GNU Compiler Collection 4.1.1, Linux kernel version 2.6.18, Apache 2.2.3, Samba 3.0.24, Python 2.4.4 and 2.5, Perl 5.8.8, PHP 4.4.4 and 5.2.0, Asterisk 1.2.13, and more than 18,000 other ready to use software packages."
Sadly a lot of the desktop apps are still lagging behind the current stable releases (GNOME 2.14 vs 2.18 is 2 stable releases, openoffice 2.0 vs 2.2), though a lot seem to be right on the money. I suppose those who use debian for the desktop are either using Ubuntu or are using unstable. I'm still lovin' debian as far as the server side though, and they have a great reputation for super-stable releases. Good on ya' Debian!
The second Mac vs PC vs Linux is up at the bottom of the original post. I like this one much better, feels far less forced to me.
Saw a note (via digg) about an article on Linux MCE. Uhmm.... Why hasn't someone told me about this? Where did it come from? Auto-dims your lights (if you have a home automation system of course), can send a control application to bluetooth mobile phones, turns on your TV and receiver and sets the right inputs? Scans all networked computers for shared media? Cover-flow like browsing? Where the hell did this come from?
And is it free? Huh? Really? From Linuxmce.com:
LinuxMCE is a free, open source add-on to Ubuntu including a 10' UI, complete whole-house media solution with pvr + distributed media, and the most advanced smarthome solution available. It is stable, easy to use, and requires no knowledge of Linux and only basic computer skills.
The video is a bit smarmy in it's comparison of LinuxMCE to Windows MCE though, something that the Linux Community has to work on. However, if the features they advertise work as... uhm.... advertised. I've had discussions with a buddy of mine on MythTV vs Windows MCE and MCE definately came out on top. I use MythTV and prefer it, but it's setup vs WinMCE make it far more usable to normal people (and even geeks). However, if LinuxMCE (which integrates MythTV) this works like they say, I'll be replacing my MythTV Box with this ASAP.
Anyone else know about this of have any experience in it?
Oh, and LinuxMCE also integrates Asterisk (the free phone system), provides network boot to easily put up other LinuxMCE systems in the home, and it seems like the list goes on and on...
Sorry for the rambling, but this is really exciting!
Update: OK, a bit more digging through the website has enlightened me a bit more. LinuxMCE is a project where the software is given away for free, but the commercial side of it is selling you consulting and a $1,000-$7,000 setup with varying levels complete home automation. So basically you can put it together yourself, get the right hardware, get the right bluetooth module yourself, etc etc, or pay someone to give you an out of the box plug and play solution. Looks like the software given away is 100% complete though, so if you can set it up and get the right hardware, you can make it work as advertised. I'm not 100% sure, but it looks like you might need two computers, a "core" and a "orbiter", where the latter is a non-hard drive, network boot device only that is what is connected to your AV equipment and is controlled by the core. Maybe, I'm not sure exactly if the "hybrid" setup is everything on one computer or everything on two...
The project is a fork of pluto home apparently.
Nice HOWTO from the Ubuntu community on running seamless windows XP under Linux. Not your standard "associate .exes with wine" though, this is about how to use QEmu. Check it out at Windows X PUnder Qemu HowTo.
Reverend Ted has a nice look at Mac vs. PC: How Would Linux Fit, looking at the position and the "mac vs pc" campaign from Apple. They also present their first spoof ad (here) presenting the Linux vs Mac vs PC concept to turn things a bit on their head. Not bad, but a bit.... "forced" somehow. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Regardless, it's nice to see Novell putting the word out there.
I think a project like Linux Personas quite well defines the term "passive aggressive". Basically they group Linux users into broad categories (experimenter, follower, application, geek, transitioner) to help "better understand the marketing opportunities". Then they provide stats like sales cycle length, potential revenue, etc.
There's even a funky screening tool (with well worded questions akin to "do you like linux, or do you care about your IT infrastructure" to let you determine if you should attempt a sale to them.
I so wish I could say that ironically the server that runs the site is Linux, but no, sadly it's W2k3.... I guess they won't make that mistake twice :)
Nice (and quick) wrap up of the Top 10 best Linux DVD ripping and encoding software.
Saw on digg that Beryl 0.2.0 was Released. Check out this comment for some of the new plugins and additions. Nice to see that some of them are not just plain old eyecandy, but actual productivity / workflow improvements.
Fedora v. Ubuntu: A Performance Look is a benchmark of games and various operations comparing fedora core 6 and 7 and ubuntu 6.10 and 7.04 (stable and unstable version of each main distro). Interesting, however the benchmarks are really close. I think the widest gap is 5 seconds difference in LAME compilation time and maybe 5 FPS running Enemy Territory. Wonder what that says.... Interesting also to see things like boot time differences.
The article also references a 64 vs 32 bit benchmarks article which is an interesting read.
Lifehacker points to a free ebook called Learn Ubuntu Linux.
I told you there would be drama! Apparently ESR and Fedora have had an interesting relationship.
Last year you noted that our infrastructure by FC5 was great. Yum was
doing upgrades well and we no longer suffered from "egregious fuckups."
But now you say it's a huge problem again in the current email by noting
our "incompetent repository maintenance" and our non-statically linked
rpm. So what is the problem? Is it user incompetence or are you
actually aware of the infrastructure changes that take place or are
taking place? Reading your message, my guess is you are just
misinformed and that frustrates you.
Linux.com reports on the big story (hehe) that ESR gives up on Fedora. Sounds like he discovered what I found years ago.... that RPM
sucks is sub-optimal for my own personal use. Wonder if this'll throw the linux community into a tizzy?
For my own future reference, here's a good story on the much underused lsof and a nice cheatsheet for its various incantations (before I only really did an 'lsof -n | grep processname' or a 'lsof -p pid').
Youtube has the series of videos from Jono Bacon on Herding Cats. Jono is part of the Ubuntu team. Interesting stuff, totally about 50 minutes in length.
OMG! Why has no one told me about /dev/bollocks, the A middle-manager emulator for the Linux Kernel. It even has a perl module to help manipulate it. Basically it creates a file in /dev that will spew out random bullshit on demand! Too bad it's kernel 2.4 only :(
What easier way to install a Linux distro than going to a web page and running a little .exe? That's what goodbye-microsoft.com aims at. A little .exe modifies your boot screen to give you a choice to go to the debian installer (which appears to be all graphical and sexy now). Probably not something you should do without a bit of prior preparadness of course, but if you have a new computer, it's a lot faster than burning a CD and rebooting to get some linuxy-goodness installed.
A quick little story on kernel trap on Improving KVM Performance With A Tickless Kernel from the mailing list. Basically a patch (dyntick) that improved KVM (the built in kernel virtualization module if you didn't know that) performance. It basically removes some wasted cycles doing interrupts that aren't needed (I think I got that right).
Anyway, looking forward (still) to playing with this and KVM in general.
Found another article (with screenshots) on Linux KVM Virtualization Performance. KVM is the new kernel model virtualization technique, which allows you to run other OSs through a kernel module, very similar to vmware or Xen, but without the need for a modified kernel (Xen) or non-free application (vmware) and with increased performance because of how close it can run to the kernel (a la Xen).
Only sucky part is that you need a CPU with VT technology (either from Intel or AMD) built in. Of course, this means just about any CPU you buy these days, but not necessarily older ones.
I'm looking forward to playing with this new stuff. Here's an article on user-friendly virtualization for Linux.
Update: Found a video of KVM in action, running Windows XP on a Fedora Core 6 system using the latest kernel virtualization technology. Check out the cool XGL cube rotate!
Found a good tutorial on how to Encrypt devices using dm-crypt and LUKS.
Here's a good article on what happens When Linux Runs Out of Memory. It goes deep into the ins and outs of OOM (out of memory) situations and exactly what is going on when say, you run your backups and mysqld gets killed by the "OOM-Killer". Not that I'm talking from personal experience, no, not at all :P
So sometimes completely pointless eye candy can still be fun. Take the burning menus plugin for Beryl (XGL). It makes your menus look like they appear from flames when they are opened.
Looking at what Ballmer has said about Linux previously, I'm getting less happy with the whole deal, assuming anything actually happens as a result of it of course.
Aaron Bockover writes up a cool entry on Cracking down on heap abuse in Mono, telling how he did optimization work in TagLib-Sharp (a mono library for MP3 tagging) and moved memory allocation down from (for example) 103mb to 16mb! I honestly don't 100% understand a lot of what is actually going on, but seeing optimization work like this really is cool to me. Keep up the good work!
It sounds pretty interesting, from this page on the Gentoo forums:
Upstart brings the concept of an event-driven init system, taking benefit from hotplug to decide when to start processes. Eventualy upstart should even replace crond and inetd (InitNG has similar plans to cron). Besides a dependency awareness (like the current gentoo initscripts), parallel startup (idem) and better hardware utilization (like InitNG and others), Upstart is supposed to bring response to ACPI events, avaliability of network connections and so on.
Here are some getting started docs which has some more specifics.
Linux.com has a nice first look at Gaim 2.0. For those who don't know, GAIM is a trillian-like instant messanger client for GNOME which does MSN, ICQ, Jabber, and just about everything under the sun. The 2.0 version is the first major update in quite a while and looks good!
Saw this headline on my MythTV box this morning while browsing the latest news using it's built in RSS reader. What you should (and shouldn't) expect from 64-bit Linux. Unfortunately I had to wait until I got to work to read it, as the MythTV RSS reader reads the articles with Konqueror, which pops up an 'accept cookies' box that I can't answer with the remote, and I don't have a mouse hooked up to the box to deal with it, so I have to read around this stupid box in the middle of the screen. No worries, MythTV just had a new release (.20) which looks exciting. The big question of course is do I upgrade and potentially have to re-do my nicely setup for everything but RSS system :)
Oh right, the article. Pros and cons of 64bit Linux, nice for people looking at jumping into the 64bit world. As a note, this server, UFies.org, runs Gentoo compiled under the AMD64 profile (even though it's got intel CPUS), meaning it's all running 64bit. Nice and up to date, and one of the few (IIRC) distros that fully supports current software in 64bit.
Some interesting memory benchmarks comparing the major Linux desktop memory usage. From the conclusion:
Ok, that's it. I tried quite hard to get these numbers and make sure they're usable. I however cannot rule any possible mistake and I'm obviously biased, so while I tried to be fair, I probably quite wasn't (however, since I myself was curious about the results, what would be the point of cheating?). So, in case you don't believe me or these numbers, you're free to redo this yourself, as long as you do your benchmarks somewhat correctly (it's really simple to do them incorrectly, trust me). In fact, since this is actually several months old, it would be nice if somebody tried with GNOME 2.16 and saved me the work.
On the other hand, it's nice to see that developers are taking more pains to reduce memory usage, or at least in the dev lists I watch for GNOME (2.14 and 2.16 had major focus on reducing memory use). Just because memory is cheap doesn't give you the right to use it up with poor programming.
A neat looking tutorial on Writing device drivers in Linux. Very well laid out and easy to understand and read. Only question now is what needs a driver written for it? :)
All I can really say is "holy shit" and "I want this now". Wonder how long before this is included in the mainline GNOME release and standard distros.
Did I mention "wow"?
It's obvious that some filesystems are better for some things than others, and there isn't a huge winner that does good in everything. However, I was really surprised as to how many benchmarks ReiserFSv4 lost. Reiser4 was slowest for removing lots of files and directories, finding lots of files and directories, and creating and copying files. Granted, some of these are Reiser4 losing by half a second, but other times it's losing by almost 15 seconds (copy a 1 gb file). For me this is interesting simply because of the Reiser4 claim that it's the fastest filesystem around. Of course, we all know lies, damn lies, and benchmarks. Of course, I think I trust the benchmarks from LG than from the ReiserFS site :)
Ext2 (the non-journaled FS) kicks everything else's ass a lot for speed, but that's mostly because it's a more simplistic filesystem. For the CPU utilization for the tests JFS looks like it comes out ahead, as it does in the final 'total test time' graph.
Remember the whole 'tools in the toolbox' thing. Course, I'm still not sure what to put as the filesystem for the up-and-coming new ufies.org box... will probably stay with ext3 unless someone has a really good reason to go elsewhere.
Red Hat has announced it will push for Xen integration in the Linux kernel, and that virtualization and stateless Linux is the way to go. Hooray! But wait--what's the buzz all about? What's so special about virtualization anyway?
More information on this is available at the Fedora Xen quickstart wiki page.
Now I just need a windows client :)
Gentoo is a one-of-a-kind distribution, simple yet powerful. The only drawback is that it can take very long to compile software (I would love to test Gentoo on a AMD64), but the results made me forget that.This is true enough, but after the inital "big ones" (gnome, kde, X, etc) on modern hardware it's really easy to get used to the time to emerge a package.
This is a classifier for the Linux kernel's Netfilter subsystem that identifies packets based on application layer data (OSI layer 7). This means that it can classify packets as HTTP, FTP, Gnucleus, eDonkey2000, etc, regardless of port. Our classifier complements existing ones that match on address, port numbers and so on.Basically this means your firewall can be told to say, block http traffic into the network and it'll work regardless of if some clever employee has set up a webserver on port 8080, or 31337. Wonder how slow it is though, doing regex matching on application layer data doesn't scream "speed" to me :) Course, with todays bandwidth and computer speed....
Part 2 is here.
...is an open-source general purpose virtualization tool designed to quickly define and test complex network simulation scenarios based on the great User Mode Linux (UML) virtualization software.Which basically means that you can use it to get your networking up and going with User Mode Linux. Going to have to check it out.
To put the Microsofties really on the spot, it's most effective to phrase your counters as questions, especially when you can use them to whack Microsoft with a combination of issues like TCO and security. Like this:I'm sure some microsofty or MS sympathizer can answer these of course. Scoble? You there? :)
- How many Linux machines have been zombied by Netsky, Sasser, MyDoom, or similar worms? Do your Windows TCO estimates include administrator time spent cleaning up after these infestations?
- Can you explain why Windows IIS websites are cracked or defaced more often than Apache ones, despite the fact that IIS runs less than a third the number of sites Apache does?
- Is Microsoft willing to add a hold-harmless clause to Shared Source licenses that protects shared-source licensees against being sued by Microsoft for alleged IP violations related to the software? If not, then please explain again how Shared Source is just the same as open source?
That said, these questions aren't really as relevant as what I think the genius of Open Source Software is, which is, wait for it, CHOICE. If you want to use windows, use it, if you want to use linux, use it, but having only one player in the field is just bad for everyone, and when that one player is known for deceit and mercilessly squeezing out it's competition through underhanded tactics, you know it's even worse. If the government wants to use OpenOffice instead of word they should be able to do so without having to fight through paid off congressmen, FUD campaigns, and Microsoft funded Reports just because MS doesn't want anyone else to get the business.
You can't beat it. You need to accecpt that it is there, a valid part of the computing landscape, like the Mac. You need to port your desktop apps to it and *try to make money on it*.
Remember doing that ? It's what you used to do before the monopoly. Before you tried to destroy what you can't control.
You can't destroy Linux. You need to work with it.
My favourite recent quote from Bruce Perens :
"Imagine what it took for Microsoft to piss off so many people that they're all willing to work night and day without pay just to bring that company down."
SMBFS allows Linux to mount a remote SMB share but until now it did not act like a UNIX file system, even if the remote host was Samba running on a UNIX or Linux machine.
I've personally played around with the 2.5.7[1-4] kernels a bit in trying to get my new motherboard to work (the nforce2 based A7N8X). I didn't notice a huge performance difference, even with the new schedular, but I was running a 2.4 kernel that had all the new 0(1) schedular stuff in it already. There are a few things in GNOME that need to be adapted for the new kernel still, but that'll happen when things get closer I'm sure.
The JabberD Quickstart package provides a graphical, user-friendly way to install, configure, and manage the JabberD instant messaging server. No hand-editing of XML files, no need to create spool directories, no messy configuration changes -- just a simple, step-by-step setup script that does all the work for you. It's the easy way to get started with Jabber. :)
The KDE Project today announced the immediate availability of KDE 3.1, a major feature upgrade to the third generation of the most advanced and powerful free desktop for Linux and other UNIXes.Let the compiling/downloading begin!
And I just got 3.1rc5 compiled! :(
host# g-cpan.pl Perl::ModuleNameAnd watch as it is created and installed for you, with any dependancies, automagically! You can then remove it and manage it with Portage just like all your other ebuild packages.
Good stuff, will have to try that out myself.
Update: Here is a better way to do it using gkrellmd.
Linux has very advanced Routing, filtering and traffic shaping options. This site attempts to document how to configure and use these features.
All in all I think it does go back to the fact that there are many projects trying to do the same thing. I don't think that the alternative of having only one way to do things (ie: the microsoft mentality) is a better alternative.
Symmetric multithreading (hyperthreading) is an interesting new concept that IMO deserves full scheduler support. Physical CPUs can have multiple (typically 2) logical CPUs embedded, and can run multiple tasks 'in parallel'...