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Security updates for Friday

LWN.net - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 15:04
Security updates have been issued by Debian (lucene-solr and ruby-openid), Fedora (krb5 and SDL2), openSUSE (kernel and libopenmpt), and Ubuntu (python2.7, python3.4).

Raspberry Pi 4's V3D Mesa Driver Nearing OpenGL ES 3.1

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 14:51
Back during the summer Eric Anholt who had been the lead developer of Broadcom's VC4/V3D graphics driver stack most notably used by Raspberry Pi boards left the company to join Google. In his place, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is working with consulting firm Igalia to continue work on the DRM/KMS kernel driver and Gallium3D drivers for this open-source graphics driver support...

Intel Compute Runtime 19.40.14409 Adds "Early Support" Tiger Lake Support

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 14:00
As written about a few days ago, Intel engineers added Gen12/Xe Tiger Lake support to their compute stack "NEO" for Linux users. That support has now made it into their latest weekly release of the Intel Compute Runtime...

Programming: Python, GCC, Sourcehut, Grace Hopper's Legacy and More

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 13:17
  • Dynamic Scope Fixtures in pytest 5.2 - Anthony Sotille

    pytest 5.2 was just released, and with it, a cool fun feature called dynamic scope fixtures. Anthony Sotille so tilly is one of the pytest core developers, so I thought it be fun to have Anthony describe this new feature for us.

    We also talk about parametrized testing and really what is fixture scope and then what is dynamic scope.

    Special Guest: Anthony Sottile.

  • A upside-down approach to GCC optimizations

    Many traditional optimizations in the compiler work from a top-down approach, which starts at the beginning of the program and works toward the bottom. This allows the optimization to see the definition of something before any uses of it, which simplifies most evaluations. It’s also the natural way we process things. In this article, we’ll look at a different approach and a new project called Ranger, which attempts to turn this problem upside down.


    This simple example shows how we are attempting to remove the need for the top-down analysis order, which helps eliminate the need for heuristics and should result in more consistent optimization results.

    Much of the research that has gone into this project has been to control the performance of the on-demand analysis, so that it is not more expensive than the much simpler top-down approach. The Ranger only does work that is actually needed, so we also see some significant time savings in optimization passes that don’t need very many ranges. We hope to extend this approach in the future to other optimizations.

    This work is live in a current GCC development branch and is now capable of building an entire Fedora distribution. We plan to integrate it with mainstream GCC in the next release, GCC 11.

  • Trying out Sourcehut

    While polling other contributors (I proposed moving to gitlab.com), someone suggested moving to Sourcehut, a newish git hosting platform written and maintained by Drew DeVault. I've been following Drew's work for a while now and although I had read a few blog posts on Sourcehut's development, I had never really considered giving it a try. So I did!

    Sourcehut is still in alpha and I'm expecting a lot of things to change in the future, but here's my quick review.


    All in all, I don't think I'll be moving ISBG to Sourcehut (yet?). At the moment it doesn't quite feel as ready as I'd want it to be, and that's OK. Most of the things I disliked about the service can be fixed by some UI work and I'm sure people are already working on it.

    Github was bought by MS for 7.5 billion USD and Gitlab is currently valued at 2.7 billion USD. It's not really fair to ask Sourcehut to fully compete just yet

    With Sourcehut, Drew DeVault is fighting the good fight and I wish him the most resounding success. Who knows, maybe I'll really migrate to it in a few years!

  • Everything you need to know about Grace Hopper in six books

    Grace Hopper is one of those iconic figures that really needs no introduction. During her long career in the United States Navy, she was a key figure in the early days of modern computing. If you have been involved in open source or technology in general, chances are you have already heard several anecdotes about Grace Hopper. The story of finding the first computer bug, perhaps? Or maybe you have heard some of her nicknames: Queen of Code, Amazing Grace, or Grandma COBOL?

    While computing has certainly changed from the days of punch cards, Grace Hopper's legacy lives on. She was posthumously awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Navy named a warship after her, and the Grace Hopper Celebration is an annual conference with an emphasis on topics that are relevant to women in computing. Suffice it to say, Grace Hopper's name is going to live on for a very long time.

    Grace Hopper had a career anyone should be proud of, and she accomplished many great things. Like many historical figures who have accomplished great things, sometimes the anecdotes about her contributions start to drift towards the realm of tall tales, which does Grace Hopper a disservice. Her real accomplishments are already legendary, and there is no reason to try to turn her into the computer science version of John Henry or Paul Bunyan.

  • [Old] Causing ZFS corruption for fun and profit (and quality assurance purposes)

    Datto backs up data, a lot of it. At the time of writing Datto has over 500 PB of data stored on ZFS. This count includes both backup appliances that are sent to customer sites, as well as cloud storage servers that are used for secondary and tertiary backup of those appliances. At this scale drive swaps are a daily occurrence, and data corruption is inevitable. How we handle this corruption when it happens determines whether we truly lose data, or successfully restore from secondary backup. In this post we'll be showing you how at Datto we intentionally cause corruption in our testing environments, to ensure we're building software that can properly handle these scenarios.

    Disclaimer: You should absolutely not attempt these instructions on any system containing any data you would like to keep. I provide no guarantees that the commands within this post will not completely destroy your zpool and all its contained data. But we'll try to only destroy it a little bit.

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Software: SVT-VP9, Kitty and Must-Have Browser Addon for Mastodon Users

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 13:07
  • Intel SVT-VP9 Finally Makes Its First Pre-Release For Speedy VP9 Encoding

    While Intel's SVT-VP9 video encode has been public since February and receiving frequent Git commits for advancing this very fast open-source VP9 video encoder, finally today it saw its first tagged release, being called the SVT-VP9 0.1 pre-release.

    While its version is just 0.1, at least from our extensive testing over the past number of months it is surprising they are not calling it SVT-VP9 1.0 yet. SVT-VP9 is super fast on modern x86_64 CPUs and has been working out very well along with Intel's other open-source Scalable Video Technology (SVT) encoders.

  • kitty – hardware-accelerated terminal emulator

    One of the reasons why I became interested in Linux was the allure of the command line. The command line offers advantages day-to-day because of facets like its scalability, scriptability, simple design, and simple interface. At the command line, there’s enormous power at our fingertips. Its continuing flexibility and power remain big draws to this day. It’s perfectly possible to do everything at the command line with the exception of comfortable web browsing, and a few specialized tasks.

    It’s true that some people consider the command line to be arcane and obsolete. They prefer graphical interfaces. And for non-technical people and beginners, few dispute good graphical user interfaces make life easier. And I love GUI software. But who doesn’t want the best of both worlds?

    The power of the command line can be accessed on the desktop by using a terminal emulator. The terminal window allows the user to access a console and all its applications such as command line interfaces (CLI) and text user interface software. Even with sophisticated modern desktop environments packed with administrative tools, other utilities, and productivity software all sporting attractive graphical user interfaces, it remains the case that some tasks are best undertaken with the command line.

    The terminal emulator is a venerable but essential tool for everyone using the command line. There are so many terminal emulators available for Linux that the choice is, frankly, bamboozling.

    What distinguishes kitty from the vast majority of terminal emulators? It offers GPU-acceleration combined with a wide feature set. It’s targeted at power keyboard users. It’s billed as a modern, hackable, featureful, OpenGL based terminal emulator.

  • Must Have Browser Addon for Mastodon User

    It is Simplified Federation. It's a skipper, it skips our username input whenever we want to Follow or Favorite a user from different Mastodon server. Indeed, in Mastodon today we still cannot work in only one browser window as every of such external interaction opens a new small window. But thanks to this addon, it's a lot more easier now. I will show you how to install it on Mozilla Firefox as it needs a little setup. Let's go!

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Graphics: AMD, Mir and Mesa

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 13:03
  • A Deep Dive Into The Performance-Focused AMDGPU "Bulk Moves" Functionality

    Recently on Phoronix you have likely heard a lot about the LRU "bulk moves" functionality for the AMDGPU driver after it was talked up by a Valve Linux developer for the performance help to Linux games and then the change landing in Linux 5.4 as a "fix".

    Huang Rui was the developer involved at AMD leading the charge on this bulk moving mechanism and he presented at last week's X.Org Developer's Conference on the topic. He mentioned how it came about when they were looking at the performance of the F1 2017 game's benchmark and ultimately seeing a need to redesign their kernel driver's buffer migration code.

  • AMD Linux Driver Bringing BACO Support To Older Sea Islands / Volcanic Islands GPUs

    It's fairly rare these days seeing big patch sets out of AMD focused on improving the open-source Linux driver support for the likes of aging GPUs such as the Sea Islands and Volcanic Islands generations, but this Friday there is some notable development activity.

    Sea Islands as a reminder is the original Radeon R7/R9 200 series and wound up in other graphics cards as well. Volcanic Islands made up the Radeon Rx 300 series as well as the R9 Nano/Fury graphics cards. A set of 15 patches posted today provide "BACO" support for these Sea and Volcanic Islands GPUs.

  • Mir 1.5 Released With Bug Fixes & Wayland Improvements

    Mir 1.5 was released today and has an updated shared memory implementation to work in confined Snaps without the Mir interface and on older Linux kernels. Mir 1.5 also has MirAL abstraction layer updates to support clipping windows to a specified area, support for Mir-based servers to setup environment variables for launching clients, fixes for Arch Linux support, logging of EGL/GL extensions available, supporting XDG-Output v3, and fixing many different bugs.

  • Mesa's DRM Library Looking To Change Its Versioning Scheme

    As it stands now, new libdrm releases have been 2.4.xx for many years with no real meaning. The proposal is to now use a format like Mesa for YEAR.N.0 or perhaps YEAR.MONTH.0 or even YEAR.MONTH.DAY. At least any of those formats would be more meaningful than the current 2.4 versioning scheme and provide users/developers with some easy guidance over the age of a given libdrm release.

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9 of The Best Linux Distros in 2019

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 12:56

Linux is a far cry from the esoteric bundles of code it once was, and the number of polished distros out there, offering variants on Windows, OS X and Ubuntu, is testament to that.

If you’re new to Linux or are looking for a change, these distributions are easily among the best options in 2019. This list was designed to cover different experience levels and use cases. So whether you’re a system admin, developer, or a desktop user, you’ll find something to interest you.

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Mir 1.5 Released With Bug Fixes & Wayland Improvements

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 11:48
Canonical's developers continuing to advance the Mir display server that continues to be focused on providing an abstraction for Wayland support have issued a new feature release...

AMD Linux Driver Bringing BACO Support To Older Sea Islands / Volcanic Islands GPUs

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 11:22
It's fairly rare these days seeing big patch sets out of AMD focused on improving the open-source Linux driver support for the likes of aging GPUs such as the Sea Islands and Volcanic Islands generations, but this Friday there is some notable development activity...

Intel's IWD Wireless Daemon Now Supports IPv6 Network Configuration Handling

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 11:05
Intel's open-source IWD wireless daemon that continues work on replacing WPA Supplicant is up to version 0.22...

System76 Laptops Now Available with Open Source Firmware

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 11:04

The open source centric Laptop manufacturer introduced two models with open source firmware.

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A Deep Dive Into The Performance-Focused AMDGPU "Bulk Moves" Functionality

Phoronix - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 09:49
Recently on Phoronix you have likely heard a lot about the LRU "bulk moves" functionality for the AMDGPU driver after it was talked up by a Valve Linux developer for the performance help to Linux games and then the change landing in Linux 5.4 as a "fix"...

How a business was built on podcasts for Linux: The story of Jupiter Broadcasting

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 09:49

I spend a lot of time on the road and enjoy listening to podcasts about a variety of topics. One of my interests is keeping up with the latest news and information about Linux and open source, and that led me to Jupiter Broadcasting, an open source (both in topics covered and its own license) podcasting network. I met Jupiter's cofounder Chris Fisher when I visited System76's Denver headquarters in late 2018.

Jupiter Broadcasting emerged from The Linux Action Show, a podcast that began in 2006 and ended 10 years later in early 2017. The show was such a success that, in 2008, Chris and co-founder Bryan Lunduke decided to start Jupiter Broadcasting. Back then, the company only had two shows, The Linux Action Show and CastaBlasta. Now it offers 10 Linux-related podcasts with titles like Linux Headlines, Linux Action News, Choose Linux, Coder Radio, Self-Hosted, and more.

I was interested in learning more about Jupiter, so I was grateful when Chris agreed to do this interview (which has been lightly edited for length and clarity).

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5 ways to contribute to open source during Hacktoberfest

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 09:45

There's always a lot to get excited about in October: sweater weather, pumpkin spice, Halloween costumes, and for the last three years, Hacktoberfest.

Hacktoberfest is a "month-long celebration of open source software." It's organized by DigitalOcean and DEV and open to anyone. In my experience, Hacktoberfest is an easy way for users of open source to become contributors to open source. It's also celebratory and community-oriented and always includes some beautifully done artwork, which is later turned into stickers.

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Kdenlive 19.08.2 is out

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 09:32

Kdenlive 19.08.2 is out with many goodies ranging from usability and user interface improvements all the way to fixes to speed effect bugs and even a couple of crashes.

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Torrential – An Open-Source Torrent Client for elementaryOS

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 10/11/2019 - 09:27

We have covered several torrent client applications on FossMint in topics such as 10 Best Cloud Torrent Service Providers and Best BitTorrent Client Apps for Linux in 2019. But as you already know by now, at least one new open-source application is created every other week.

Today, I bring you an open-source application developed for the torrenting world and it goes by the name of Torrential.

Torrential is a simple open-source torrent client designed for elementary OS users to download torrents in style while enjoying speed and minimalistic design experience.

It doesn’t have any settings unique to it, though, so technically it is another torrent client alternative that hopes to provide users with a speedy torrenting experience. However, as is expected of all Linux client applications, you can customize Torrential’s look using themes.

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