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Wine 4.5 Released With Support For Vulkan 1.1, More Media Foundation APIs

Phoronix - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 23:28
Wine 4.5 is out today as the latest bi-weekly development release of this program for running Windows games/applications on Linux and other non-native platforms...

Linux continues advance in smart TV market

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 21:00

Linux dominates the smart TV market, which continues to grow despite concerns over privacy. A Strategy Analytics report pegs Samsung’s Tizen as the leading platform at 21 percent followed by LG’s WebOS at 12 percent.

Despite some evidence last year that smart TVs were losing ground to streaming boxes, Strategy Analytics has released a Global Connected TV Device report that shows a resurgence in smart TV sales. In 4Q 2018, the global market for Internet connected Smart TVs had a “strong quarter,” with shipments up 18 percent year over year, representing 72 percent of total TV shipments, says the market research firm. Some 157 million smart TVs sold in 2018, representing 67 percent of the total TV market, says the report.

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OSS: FOSSASIA, Dbus-Broker, Mozilla, Univention Corporate Server (UCS) and Debian

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 20:41
  • Martin Michlmayr: FOSSASIA 2019 in Singapore

    I attended FOSSASIA earlier this month. This conference has been on my radar for many years but I never managed to attend before.

    I was impressed by the organization of the conference. Furthermore, I liked that the audience was completely different to the conferences I normally attend. There were so many new people. FOSSASIA has grown not just to be a conference, but also an umbrella organization for several open source projects.

  • Dbus-Broker 19 Released With Fixes For This Speedy D-Bus User-Space Implementation

    With BUS1 not to be found (or rather, very infrequently seeing any code commits let alone any clear trajectory yet for getting into the mainline kernel), Dbus-Broker that's worked on by most of the same developers continues maturing as a high-performance D-Bus compliant user-space implementation.

  • Yamanote: A software development and deployment system

    I left Mozilla back in July, 2018. There are many reasons for this decision, and I’ll talk about just one here: I decided to Help People Get Jobs. The following text is from a blog post I wrote at work. I have reposted it here, edited for length and content (Internal Indeed systems are not referenced.)

    At Indeed, we now use a software development and deployment system called “Yamanote.” Yamanote takes its name from the Yamanote Line (山手線) in Tokyo, Japan. It is one of Tokyo’s busiest and most important lines, connecting most of Tokyo’s major stations and urban centers. The Yamanote line is a continuous railway loop. Trains which run clockwise are known as sotomawari (外回り, “outer circle”) and those counter-clockwise as uchi-mawari (内回り, “inner circle”). We deploy software on two lines as well: QA and PROD. Just like the Yamanote line, our goal is for our software trains to run reliably, safely, and securely, in a continuous ring of green.

  • Firefox services experiments on SUMO

    Over the last week or so, we’ve been promoting Firefox services on support.mozilla.org.

    In this experiment, which we’re running for the next two weeks, we are promoting the free services Sync, Send and Monitor. These services fit perfectly into our mission: to help people create take control of their online lives.

    Firefox Sync allows Firefox users to instantly share preferences, bookmarks, history, passwords, open tabs and add-ons to other devices.

    Firefox Send is a free encrypted file transfer service that allows people to safely share files from any browser.

    Firefox Monitor allows you to check your email address against known data breaches across the globe. Optionally you can sign up to receive a full report of past breaches and new breach alerts.

  • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: A Real-Time Wideband Neural Vocoder at 1.6 kb/s Using LPCNet

    This is an update on the LPCNet project, an efficient neural speech synthesizer from Mozilla’s Emerging Technologies group. In an an earlier demo from late last year, we showed how LPCNet combines signal processing and deep learning to improve the efficiency of neural speech synthesis.

    This time, we turn LPCNet into a very low-bitrate neural speech codec that’s actually usable on current hardware and even on phones (as described in this paper). It’s the first time a neural vocoder is able to run in real-time using just one CPU core on a phone (as opposed to a high-end GPU)! The resulting bitrate — just 1.6 kb/s — is about 10 times less than what wideband codecs typically use. The quality is much better than existing very low bitrate vocoders. In fact, it’s comparable to that of more traditional codecs using higher bitrates.

  • An easy way to get your own private office suite with Collabora Online for Nextcloud or ownCloud

    Univention Corporate Server (UCS) offers the easiest way to start using Collabora Online together with Nextcloud or ownCloud in few minutes.

    With Collabora Online app appliance with Nextcloud or ownCloud, you install Collabora Online with an already integrated and preconfigured Nextcloud or ownCloud. Once you completed a simple graphical setup with a web-based administration interface, you can use the online office and cloud file sharing solution directly.

    Here you have a quick installation guide to show you how easy is to start working with Collabora Online via UCS.

  • New FAI version and ISO images

    The new version FAI is available in two variants. FAI 5.8.4 is for Debian buster and FAI 5.8.4~bpo9+2 is the same for the stable distribution called stretch, including the configs for stretch.

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Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 20:19
  • The making of Creating ChRIS: Developing a distinct visual and narrative style

    Casey Stegman, writer, Eric Kramer, animator, and Kieran Moreira, director, talk about finding inspiration and setting the tone during the creative process. Casey discusses how they developed the style of the film, Kieran walks through the decision to use specific video equipment to support the overall style, and Eric considers how the graphics were integrated.

    We've included a snapshot of the conversation, but you can also listen to the full conversation with our embedded player or download the MP3.

  • OperatorHub.io Operator Round-Up

    In the few short weeks since Operator Hub launched, there have been many additions to the site’s trove of Kubernetes Operators. They offer services for your Kubernetes cluster ranging from etcd and CockroachDB, to Jaeger Tracing and Dynatrace. Like spring flowers, Operators have popped up from the open source community soil. We wanted to gather up all of our existing Operators Blog coverage and deep-dives into one post, today, in preparation for a significant uptick n the number of available Operators as spring turns into summer.

    By the end of the summer, Operatorhub.io should be filled with Operators for all manner of services and enterprise-ready systems. Of course, you’ll be able to read about all those new additions here, where we’ll highlight newcomers along with deeper technical content when available. Before that happens, (and as we all know, software delivery estimation is really hard!) we wanted to round up all of the information we’ve thus far published on Operators to help you get up to speed with what’s already there before the fresh bloom of new software.

  • ShadowReader: Serverless load tests for replaying production traffic

    While load testing has become more accessible, configuring load tests that faithfully re-create production conditions can be difficult. A good load test must use a set of URLs that are representative of production traffic and achieve request rates that mimic real users. Even performing distributed load tests requires the upkeep of a fleet of servers.

    ShadowReader aims to solve these problems. It gathers URLs and request rates straight from production logs and replays them using AWS Lambda. Being serverless, it is more cost-efficient and performant than traditional distributed load tests; in practice, it has scaled beyond 50,000 requests per minute.

    At Edmunds, we have been able to utilize these capabilities to solve problems, such as Node.js memory leaks that were happening only in production, by recreating the same conditions in our QA environment. We're also using it daily to generate load for pre-production canary deployments.

    The memory leak problem we faced in our Node.js application confounded our engineering team; as it was only occurring in our production environment; we could not reproduce it in QA until we introduced ShadowReader to replay production traffic into QA.

  • New AppStream Validation Requirements
  • Broadway adventures in Gtk4

    One of my long running side projects is a Gtk backend called “Broadway”. Instead of rendering to the screen this backend creates a HTTP server that you can connect to, and then exposes the UI remotely in the browser.

    The original version of broadway was essentially streaming image frames, although there were various ways to optimize what got sent. This matches pretty well with how Gtk 3 rendering works, particularly on Wayland. Every frame it calls out to all widgets, letting them draw on top of a buffer and then sends the final frame to the compositor. Broadway just inserts some image delta computation and JavaScript magic in the middle of this.

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Graphics: AMDGPU and AMDVLK

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 20:16
  • AMD Sends In Their Initial AMDGPU Driver Updates For Linux 5.2

    Joining the DRM-Next party with the Intel driver feature work is now the initial batch of the AMDGPU Radeon driver changes for Linux 5.2.

    Alex Deucher of AMD sent in the initial AMDGPU updates to DRM-Next that are targeting the Linux 5.1 cycle. The notable material includes the new SMU11 replacement code for PowerPlay on Vega 20 and to be used by future Radeon GPUs, RAS support for Vega 20, BACO support for Vega 12 hardware (Bus Active Chip Off), BACO fixes for Vega 20, PowerPlay fixes, XGMI interconnect fixes, and various other fixes and code improvements.

  • Radeon's AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Picks Up A Warhammer II Optimization

    The AMD developers working on their official Vulkan driver today pushed out updated sources for their "AMDVLK" open-source Linux driver. For this week's worth of activity, there aren't many notable changes but a few.

    With the updated XGL code for AMDVLK, AMD developers added a per-shader optimization to disable loop unrolling for helping Total War: Warhammer II on Linux.

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Software: Several New Releases and Program Reviews

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 20:02
  • osip2 [5.1.0] & exosip2 [5.1.0]

    I have released today newer versions for both osip2 & exosip2.
    osip is very mature. There was only one tiny feature change to allow more flexible NAPTR request (such as ENUM). A very few bugs were discovered and fixed.

  • ledger2beancount 1.6 released

    Stefano Zacchiroli and I released version 1.6 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: drat 0.1.5: New release

    A new version of drat just arrived on CRAN. And like the last time in December 2017 it went through as an automatically processed upgrade directly from the CRAN prechecks. Being a simple package can have its upsides…

    And like the last time, this release once again draws largely upon contributed pull requests. Neal Fultz cleaned up how Windows paths are handled when inserting Windows (binary) packages. And Christoph Stepper extended the support for binary packages the helper commands pruneRepo and archivePackages. I added a minor cleanup to a test Neal added in the previous version, and that made a quick and simple release!

  • HPLIP 3.19.3 Released with Linux Mint 19.1 Support

    HP developed Linux drivers HPLIP 3.19.3 was released with new printers and new Linux Distro’s support.

  • The Best Open-Source Network Monitoring Tools

    We’ll start our discussion by talking about the need for network monitoring tools and the different types of tools that are available. We’ll see how bandwidth utilization monitors, network analysis systems and packet sniffers work and how they can be used to our benefit. Next, we’ll review the best open source tools in each of the three categories.

  • Cantata – Feature-rich client for Music Player Daemon

    In the past few months, I’ve covered a whole raft of music players. This time I’m going to walk through Cantata. Cantata is billed as a feature-rich and user friendly client for Music Player Daemon (MPD).

    MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

    Cantata was forked from QtMPC in 2015. It’s progressed a long way since then. It’s written in the C++ programming language and uses Qt 5.

  • Scylla: four ways to optimize your disk space consumption

    After restarting your scylla server, the first and obvious thing you can try to do to get out of this situation is to run the nodetool clearsnapshot command which will remove any data snapshot that could be lying around. That’s a handy command to reclaim space usually.

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My Outreachy 2019 experience with Fedora Happiness Packets: Contribution phase

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 19:32

Outreachy is a program that provides internships to work in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Outreachy internships are open to applicants around the world. Interns work remotely, and are not required to move. Interns are paid a stipend of $5,500 USD for the three month internship. Interns have a $500 USD travel stipend to attend conferences or events.

Also: Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-13

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Programming Leftovers

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 19:27
  • GCC 9 Is Being Worked Into Shape For Releasing In The Weeks Ahead

    GCC 9 release manager Richard Biener of SUSE has provided a status report concerning the state of getting the GNU Compiler Collection 9.1 shipped.

    Since the last status report, the developers have halved the number of P1 bug reports, the most severe regressions. There still are 12 P1 priority regressions blocking GCC 9.1.0 from moving forward, but they hope to address that in the weeks ahead. There's also the possibility some of these issues will deemed not P1 priority and demoted to P2/P3 and thus clear the compiler release to happen.

    While only P1 issues are blocking the release, there are current 158 regressions of P2 (down 27), 25 P3 regressions (down 7), and 138 P4 regressions (down 31).

  • What Red Hat OpenShift Connector for JetBrains products offers developers

    We are extremely pleased to announce that the preview release of the Red Hat OpenShift Connector for JetBrains products (IntelliJ IDEA, WebStorm, etc.) is now available in Preview Mode and supports Java and Node.js components. You can download the OpenShift Connector plugin from the JetBrains marketplace or install it directly from the plugins gallery in JetBrains products.

    In this article, we’ll look at features and benefits of the plugin and installation details, and show a demo of how using the plugin improves the end-to-end experience of developing and deploying Spring Boot applications to your OpenShift cluster.

    Red Hat OpenShift is a container application platform that brings the power of Kubernetes and containers to the enterprise. Regardless of the applications architecture, OpenShift lets you easily and quickly build, develop, and deploy in nearly any infrastructure, public or private.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux compiler toolset updates: Clang/LLVM 7.0, Go 1.11, Rust 1.31

    We are pleased to announce the general availability of these three compiler toolsets for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7:

    Clang/LLVM 7.0
    Go 1.11
    Rust 1.31
    These toolsets can be installed from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Devtools channel. See the “Compiler toolset details” section of this article to learn about the new features.

    These toolsets became officially supported Red Hat offerings as of the previous release.

  • Working With JSON Data in Python

    JSON is a lightweight data-interchange format. It allows us to represent the objects in our Python programs as human-readable text that can be sent over the internet. Lots of APIs and databases use JSON for communication.

    You’ll learn how to work with Python’s built-in json module to serialize the data in your programs into JSON format. Then, you’ll deserialize some JSON from an online API and convert it into Python objects.

  • Quarkus: Why compile to native?

    Quarkus is Kubernetes native, and to accomplish that we’ve spent a lot of time working across a number of different areas, such as the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and various framework optimizations. And, there’s much more work still to be done. One area that has piqued the interest of the developer community is Quarkus’s comprehensive and seamless approach to generating an operating system specific (aka native) executable from your Java code, as you do with languages like C and C++, which we believe will typically be used at the end of the build-test-deploy cycle.

    Although the native compilation is important, as we’ll discuss later, Quarkus works really well with vanilla OpenJDK Hotspot, thanks to the significant performance improvements we’ve made to the entire stack. The native executable aspect Quarkus offers is optional and, if you don’t want it or your applications don’t need it, then you can ignore it. In fact, even when you are using native images, Quarkus still relies heavily on OpenJDK. The well-received dev mode is able to deliver near-instantaneous change-test cycles all due to Hotspot’s rich dynamic code execution capabilities. Additionally, GraalVM internally uses OpenJDK’s class library and HotSpot to produce a native image.

  • wxPython 4 and PubSub

    The Publish-Subscribe pattern is pretty common in computer science and very useful too. The wxPython GUI toolkit has had an implementation of it for a very long time in wx.lib.pubsub. This implementation is based on the PyPubSub package. While you could always download PyPubSub and use it directly instead, it was nice to be able to just run wxPython without an additional dependency.

    However, as of wxPython 4.0.4, wx.lib.pubsub is now deprecated and will be removed in a future version of wxPython. So now you will need to download PyPubSub or PyDispatcher if you want to use the Publish-Subscribe pattern easily in wxPython.

  • Iteration in Python: The for, while, break, and continue statements
  • Wing Tips: Auto-Editing in Wing Pro (Part 1 of 3)
  • Episode #123: Time to right the py-wrongs
  • Test and Code: 70: Non-traditional paths to software and the skills required - Dane Hillard
  • Doing Math with Python in Coder's Bookshelf Humble Bundle
  • Writing a Minimum-Heap in Python3
  • 3 Ways to Upskill in Python with DataCamp and Anaconda
  • Six easy ways to run your Jupyter Notebook in the cloud
  • Python interview question: tuple vs list
  • AIOps and our Robot Kubernetes Kops

    Linux Academy has recently published courses covering the AIOps and the Python technologies mentioned in this article.

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Security: Updates, Matthew Garrett Breaking Things Again and GNU Guix Strives for Reproducibility

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 19:20
  • Security updates for Friday
  • Matthew Garrett: Remote code execution as root from the local network on TP-Link SR20 routers

    The TP-Link SR20[1] is a combination Zigbee/ZWave hub and router, with a touchscreen for configuration and control. Firmware binaries are available here. If you download one and run it through binwalk, one of the things you find is an executable called tddp. Running arm-linux-gnu-nm -D against it shows that it imports popen(), which is generally a bad sign - popen() passes its argument directly to the shell, so if there's any way to get user controlled input into a popen() call you're basically guaranteed victory. That flagged it as something worth looking at, but in the end what I found was far funnier.

    Tddp is the TP-Link Device Debug Protocol. It runs on most TP-Link devices in one form or another, but different devices have different functionality. What is common is the protocol, which has been previously described. The interesting thing is that while version 2 of the protocol is authenticated and requires knowledge of the admin password on the router, version 1 is unauthenticated.

  • Connecting reproducible deployment to a long-term source code archive

    GNU Guix can be used as a “package manager” to install and upgrade software packages as is familiar to GNU/Linux users, or as an environment manager, but it can also provision containers or virtual machines, and manage the operating system running on your machine.

    One foundation that sets it apart from other tools in these areas is reproducibility. From a high-level view, Guix allows users to declare complete software environments and instantiate them. They can share those environments with others, which can replicate them or adapt them to their needs. This aspect is key to reproducible computational experiments: scientists need to reproduce software environments before they can reproduce experimental results, and this is one of the things we are focusing on in the context of the Guix-HPC effort. At a lower level, the project, along with others in the Reproducible Builds community, is working to ensure that software build outputs are reproducible, bit-for-bit.

    Work on reproducibility at all levels has been making great progress. Guix for instance allows you to travel back in time. That Guix can travel back in time and build software reproducibly is a great step forward. But there’s still an important piece that’s missing to make this viable: a stable source code archive. This is where Software Heritage (SWH for short) comes in.

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KDE neon New Edition Names

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 19:19

KDE neon offers a few different editions depending on what you’re interested in.

We’ve renamed our editions a bit as the current names were causing confusion. This affects the URLs used for repos and filenames used for installable ISOs and Docker images.

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The Fastest Linux Distributions For Web Browsing - Firefox + Chrome Benchmarks On Eight Distros

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 19:17

With now having WebDriver/Seleneium integration in PTS for carrying out browser benchmarks, we've been having fun running a variety of web browser benchmarks in different configurations. The latest is looking at the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browser performance across eight Linux distribution releases (or nine if counting Fedora Workstation on both X.Org and Wayland) for looking at how the web browsing performance compares.

For this round of benchmarking I carried out clean installs of Ubuntu 19.04 beta, Ubuntu 18.10, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, Majaro Linux 18.0.4, Fedora Workstation 29 with Wayland, Fedora Workstation 29 with X.Org, Debian Buster/Testing, and Clear Linux 28500 for looking at the web browser performance. Each operating system was cleanly installed on the same system and kept to the default/stock settings (the only notable exception is for Debian Buster having to install the non-free Linux firmware/microcode package for tapping Radeon GPU acceleration). All stable release updates on each of the operating systems were carried out prior to testing.

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The Apache Software Foundation Continues To Grow Open-Source Software

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 19:02

Open-source in 2019 is commonplace and serves as the foundation for much of modern IT infrastructure, including the cloud - but it wasn't entirely that way in 1999.

20 years ago the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) got started as a group to help organize and support open-source project efforts. According to the ASF, it now provides over $20 billion worth of software at no cost, under an open-source model. The ASF in 2019 helps to manage and incubate over 350 open-source projects and initiatives as it continues to deliver on its founding vision.

"What started before the term 'Open Source' was coined has now grown to support hundreds of projects, thousands of contributors and millions of users," said Phil Steitz, Chairman of The Apache Software Foundation, wrote in a media advisory. "The Apache Way has shown itself to be incredibly resilient in the wake of the many changes in software and technology over the last twenty years."

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Games: Don't Starve Together, Volcanoids, Last Epoch, Tropico and Pathway

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 18:50
  • Don't Starve Together adds a new character with an animated short, major update due next month

    Don't Starve Together, the incredibly stylish survival game from Klei Entertainment has a new updated out adding in the Wortox character.

    [...]

    What's interesting, is that there's multiple ways to actually get access to Wortox. You can either buy the Wortox Chest in-game, the Deluxe Chest DLC on Steam or you can "weave Wortox for 2700 spool" actually in the game. A very interesting way to do it, so those who want to support Klei further can pay a little more while dedicated gamers without the extra cash can basically unlock it in-game.

  • Steampunk first-person survival game 'Volcanoids' has gone through a small evolution

    The developer of Volcanoids has just pushed out a huge upgrade to their Early Access steampunk survival game and it's pretty impressive stuff. Note: Key provided by the developer.

    For those not following, it's the game where you travel around in a massive moving drill you also call home. You upgrade it, craft with it and so on it's such a brilliant idea. The problem was, the initial version didn't really have a lot to see and do. The developer took on tons of feedback and this massive patch is a step towards making it a much better game. This is what Early Access is truly for, to properly help shape a game into something good.

  • The action-RPG 'Last Epoch' has a huge new build out, plenty of new features

    Last Epoch is turning out to be an impressive action-RPG with good Linux support, with a developer I've been impressed with and a huge new feature-filled build is out. Originally funded on Kickstarter, Eleventh Hour Games managed to do rather well with over $250K pledged!

  • Tropico 6 releases today with Linux support from Limbic Entertainment and Kalypso Media

    El Presidente returns for one more try at building a prosperous city on the island state of Tropico, as expected the release comes with official Linux support. For those who've never played a Tropico game, it's a very satirical take on city-builders and very different to things like Cities: Skylines.

  • Strategy adventure 'Pathway' from Robotality and Chucklefish has new footage, still coming to Linux

    Pathway definitely looks like an interesting game, developed by Robotality (Halfway) and published by Chucklefish (Starbound, Wargroove) and there's new footage up on it.

    Little late on covering this, as the footage has been up since two weeks ago but I wanted to ensure the Linux version was still coming first. I managed to speak to Simon Bachmann from Robotality about Linux support and the reply was a massively positive "Of course it comes to Linux :)" so that's awesome.

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KDE neon New Edition Names

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 18:47

KDE neon offers a few different editions depending on what you’re interested in.

We’ve renamed our editions a bit as the current names were causing confusion. This affects the URLs used for repos and filenames used for installable ISOs and Docker images.

The editions are now:

User Edition: the main event, built from released tars of KDE software, continuously updated as soon as releases are made assuming all the QA tests pass (which sometimes they don’t and so it gets held back until we fix them). Use this if unsure.

Testing Edition: built from the beta Git branches of KDE apps (often the same as unstable), no automated QA, will contain bugs and breakage, useful for testing beta software. (Formerly Dev Stable Edition.)

Unstable Edition: built from unstable master Git branches of KDE apps, no automated QA, will contain bugs and muchos breakage, useful for testing features in development software. (Formerly Dev Unstable Edition.)

Developer Edition: An ISO with the unstable edition plus development headers pre-installed. Useful to not have to install all of Qt and KDE dev headers.

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KDE Plasma Desktop + Unity Layout + Ubuntu Ambiance Theme

tuxmachines.org - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 18:39

Following my latest customization tutorial and my old 2016 one, this short tutorial explains how to install Ambiance theme from Ubuntu so the custom Plasma can look more like Unity. After you made the top and left panel, now you will have black titlebar with orange circle close-button and make the left panel translucent and finally install the famous Humanity icon theme. I hope you enjoy this better than my old tutorial. Happy tweaking!

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[$] Improving the performance of the BFQ I/O scheduler

LWN.net - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 17:49
BFQ is a proportional-share I/O scheduler available for block devices since the 4.12 kernel release. It associates each process or group of processes with a weight, and grants a fraction of the available I/O bandwidth proportional to that weight. BFQ also tries to maximize system responsiveness and to minimize latency for time-sensitive applications. Finally, BFQ aims at boosting throughput and at running efficiently. A new set of changes has improved BFQ’s performance with respect to all of these criteria. In particular, they increase the throughput that BFQ reaches while handling the most challenging workloads for this I/O scheduler. A notable example is DBENCH workloads, for which BFQ now provides 150% more throughput. These changes also improve BFQ’s I/O control — applications start about 80% more quickly under load — and BFQ itself now runs about 10% faster.

Linux Foundation Welcomes LVFS Project (Linux.com)

LWN.net - Pet, 03/29/2019 - 17:36
Linux.com interviews Richard Hughes about the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS), which has recently joined the Linux Foundation as a new project. Hughes is the founder and maintainer of the project. "The short-term goal was to get 95% of updatable consumer hardware supported. With the recent addition of HP that's now a realistic target, although you have to qualify the 95% with 'new consumer non-enterprise hardware sold this year' as quite a few vendors will only support hardware no older than a few years at most, and most still charge for firmware updates for enterprise hardware. My long-term goal is for the LVFS to be seen like a boring, critical part of infrastructure in Linux, much like you’d consider an NTP server for accurate time, or a PGP keyserver for trust. With the recent Spectre and Meltdown issues hitting the industry, firmware updates are no longer seen as something that just adds support for new hardware or fixes the occasional hardware issue. Now the EFI BIOS is a fully fledged operating system with networking capabilities, companies and government agencies are realizing that firmware updates are as important as kernel updates, and many are now writing in 'must support LVFS' as part of any purchasing policy."
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