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Review: openSUSE Tumbleweed (2018)

Pon, 12/10/2018 - 05:29

My experiment with openSUSE's Tumbleweed was a mixed experience. On the positive side, Tumbleweed stays constantly up to date, providing the latest packages of software all the time. For people who regularly want to stay on the cutting edge, but who do not want to re-install or perform a major version-to-version upgrade every six months, Tumbleweed provides an attractive option. I also really like that file system snapshots are automated and we can revert most problems simply by restarting the computer and choosing an older snapshot from the boot menu.

On the negative side, a number of things didn't work during my time with the distribution. Media support was broken, the Discover software manager had a number of issues and some configuration modules caused me headaches. These rough edges sometimes get fixed, but may be traded out for other problems since the operating system is ever in flux.

In the long term, a bigger issue may be the amount of network bandwidth and disk space Tumbleweed consumes. Just to keep up with updates we need set aside around 1GB of downloads per month and (when Btrfs snapshots are used) even more disk space. In a few weeks Tumbleweed consumed more disk space with far fewer programs installed as my installation of MX Linux. Unless we keep on top of house cleaning and constantly remove old snapshots we need to be prepared to use significantly more storage space than most other distributions require.

Tumbleweed changes frequently and uses more resources to keep up with the latest software developments. I would not recommend it for newer Linux users or for people who want predictability in the lives. But for people who want to live on the cutting edge and don't mind a little trouble-shooting, Tumbleweed provides a way to keep up with new versions of applications while providing a safety net through Btrfs snapshots.

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Linux 4.20-rc6

Pon, 12/10/2018 - 04:59

Hmm. Things look fairly normal. just under half of the patch is to
drivers (gpu, networking, nvdimm, block, media..), with the rest being
tooling (mostly bpf selftests) core networking, documentation and some
arch updates, Some filesystem, core kernel and mm fixes in there too
(we've had some last-minute THP reverts and discussion for how to
re-do it next time).

Most of it looks pretty small and normal. Would I have preferred for
there to be less churn? Yes. But it's certainly smaller than rc5 was,
so we're moving in the right direction, and we have at least one more
rc to go.

I say "at least", not because I'm particularly worried about the
technical details and any outstanding bugs, but because of the whole
holiday season timing. I still suspect that what I'll do is release
4.20 just before xmas (so with the usual "rc7->final" cadence) but
then just leave a dead week for the holiday season. Again encouraging
everybody to send in their pull request for the merge window *before*
the holiday season, but I might just either ignore them for a week, or
take it very slow and easy.

And of course, if we have something worrisome come up, any technical
issues can derail that plan, but I don't think there's anything bad
pending now.

Linus

Also: Linux 4.20-rc6 Kernel Released - "Looks Fairly Normal"

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Audiocasts: Linux Action News, OpenBSD in Stereo, GNU World Order, Coder Radio and Open Source Security Podcast

Pon, 12/10/2018 - 04:53
  • Linux Action News 83

    Plus the Kernel team’s clever Spectre slowdown fix, Emby goes proprietary, Steam Link lives on, and more.

  • OpenBSD in Stereo | BSD Now 275

    DragonflyBSD 5.4 has been released, down the Gopher hole with OpenBSD, OpenBSD in stereo with VFIO, BSD/OS the best candidate for legally tested open source Unix, OpenBGPD adds diversity to the routing server landscape, and more.

  • GNU World Order

    More listener email about ZFS. Noise music. More about workflows, and how to find the right application for your task.

  • Coder Radio 334

    Mike and Chris don’t claim to have a time machine, but they still have a major problem to solve.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 126 - The not so dire future of supply chain security

    Josh and Kurt continue the discussion from episode 125. We look at the possible future of software supply chains. It's far less dire than previously expected.

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OpenShift in Fedora Infrastructure

Pon, 12/10/2018 - 04:50

I thought I would write up a quick post to fill folks in on what our OpenShift setup is in Fedora Infrastructure, what we are doing with it now, and what we hope to do with it in coming years.
For those that are not aware, OpenShift is the Red Hat version of OKD, which is a open source, container application platform. That is, it’s a way to deploy and manage application containers. Each of your applications can use a known framework to define how they are built, managed and run. It’s pretty awesome. If you need to move your applicaiton somewhere else, you can just export and import it into another OpenShift/OKD and away you go. Recent versions also include monitoring and logging frameworks too. There is also a very rich permissions model, so you can basically give as much control to a particular application as you like. This means the developer(s) of the applications can also deploy/debug/manage their application without needing any ops folks around for that.
Right now in Fedora Infrastructure we are running two separate OpenShift instances:One in our staging env and one in production. You may note that OpenShift changes the idea of needing a staging env, since you can run a separate staging instance or just test one container of a new version before using it for all of production, however, our main use for the staging OpenShift is not staging applications so much as having another OpenShift cluster to upgrade and test changes in.

Also: NeuroFedora update: week 49

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Editorial: An open letter to Valve on why they should keep on embracing Linux

Pon, 12/10/2018 - 04:33

News in the last week, heck, in the last few weeks and months have the potential to shake up the games industry significantly. It certainly may have huge repercussions for Linux gaming. It’s also been a little hard to follow sometimes, so I decided to explain many of the developments of the past few months and put them within an easy-to-understand context.

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KDE Frameworks 5.53.0

Pon, 12/10/2018 - 04:12

KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.

This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

Also: KDE Frameworks 5.53 Released With Important KIO Performance Fix, KWayland Updates

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Here's The Best Linux Distro For Your Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 19:06

When I evaluate any combination of hardware and operating system, my goal is to have 100% out-of-the-box functionality and start testing. That's a demand I place on both Windows and Linux. I'm currently in the process of reviewing Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Extreme (watch for separate Windows 10 and Linux reviews), but in the interim wanted to share my experience installing a few different Linux distributions on it. Beyond that, I want to provide an enthusiastic recommendation for X1 Extreme users wanting the easiest desktop Linux experience right out of the box.

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Top 20 Best Tizen Apps for November 2018

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 19:02

Once again, we’re here with the monthly rundown of the most downloaded apps from the Tizen Store. As usual, the month of November 2018 also didn’t bring any BIG good news for the Tizen smartphone users, except for a WhatsApp update. WhatsApp for Tizen got a relatively huge update early in November which helped the App grab a firm hold in the top spot of the most downloaded apps list once again.

Facebook, despite lacking features its Android and iOS counterparts boast, remains the second most downloaded app. Facebook Messenger, meanwhile, is back at third after temporarily losing the spot to a new game, Counter Terror: Pursuit, in October. Below is the list of the top 20 most downloaded apps.

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The 5 Best Linux Distros for Laptops

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 17:22

Maybe you’ve just purchased a brand new laptop. Or maybe you have an older laptop sitting in your closet that you’d like to bring back to life. Either way, the best Linux distros for laptops are those that offer better driver support and can accommodate the performance offered by most laptops.

People buy laptops for a specific purpose. That may be software development, creating graphic content, gaming, or office work. The Linux distros below are well suited to run on any laptop.

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Graphics: Freedreno Gallium3D and NVIDIA

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 17:05
  • Freedreno Gallium3D Lands MSAA Support For Qualcomm Adreno 600 Series

    While Qualcomm was busy hosting their Tech Summit this week in Hawaii, the independent open-source developers were pressing ahead with their reverse-engineered Qualcomm Adreno 3D graphics driver support.

    Rob Clark of Red Hat and Kristian Kristensen of Google landed their latest Freedreno Gallium3D driver improvements into Mesa 19.0. The most notable addition was multi-sample anti-aliasing support (MSAA) for the Adreno 600 series hardware. There is also now EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture support exposed by this Gallium3D driver. Besides that work there were also fixes and other changes.

  • NVIDIA Tegra X2 & Xavier Get HDMI Audio With Linux 4.21

    While it's not as exciting as if seeing full 3D open-source driver support, with the upcoming Linux 4.21 kernel are some mainline Tegra improvements that does include HDMI audio support for the X2 and Xavier SoCs.

    Thierry Reding of NVIDIA sent in the Tegra DRM driver updates this week for the upcoming Linux 4.21 cycle. He commented, "These changes contain a couple of minor fixes for host1x and the Falcon library in Tegra DRM. There are also a couple of missing pieces that finally enable support for host1x, VIC and display on Tegra194. I've also added a patch that enables audio over HDMI using the SOR which has been tested, and works, on both Tegra186 and Tegra194."

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Powers of two, powers of Linux: 2048 at the command line

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 16:43

Hello and welcome to today's installment of the Linux command-line toys advent calendar. Every day, we look at a different toy for your terminal: it could be a game or any simple diversion that helps you have fun.
Maybe you have seen various selections from our calendar before, but we hope there’s at least one new thing for everyone.

Today's toy is a command-line version of one of my all-time favorite casual games, 2048 (which itself is a clone of another clone).

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More Radeon RX 590 Ubuntu Benchmarks - See How Your Linux GPU Performance Compares

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 16:32

Published on Friday was my Radeon RX 590 Linux benchmarks now that the kinks in the support for this latest Polaris refresh are worked out (at least in patch form). Here are some complementary data points with some of the OpenGL tests outside of the Steam games for those curious about the RX 590 performance in other workloads or wanting to see how your own GPU performance would compare to these results.

The Radeon RX 590 continues running well with the patched Linux 4.20 kernel build (hopefully the last patch needed for the RX 590 will make it into 4.20 mainline soon) and in user-space was Mesa 19.0 from the Padoka PPA for this system running on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

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This week in Usability & Productivity, part 48

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 16:28

Next week, your name could be in this list! Not sure how? Just ask! I’ve helped mentor a number of new contributors recently and I’d love to help you, too! You can also check out https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved, and find out how you can help be a part of something that really matters. You don’t have to already be a programmer. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Also: Baloo, Kate & Other KDE Programs Getting Improvements Ahead Of The Holidays

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Git v2.20.0

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 16:11

The latest feature release Git v2.20.0 is now available at the usual places. It is comprised of 962 non-merge commits since v2.19.0 (this is by far the largest release in v2.x.x series), contributed by 83 people, 26 of which are new faces.

Also: Git 2.20 Brings Many Fixes, Updates To Windows Port

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New Czech law makes ICT neutrality a right

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 08:57

A law being prepared by the Czech Republic on eGovernment services (‘Právo na Digitální Služby’ or ‘Right to Digital Service’) will establish technological neutrality for companies and citizens. This means they may not be forced to use any particular software because of technology choices made by public services, Ondřej Profant, Chairman of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on eGovernment, told the European Commission’s Open Source Observatory.

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today's leftovers

Ned, 12/09/2018 - 08:50
  • Chromebook file sharing with Linux feature pushed back to Chrome OS 73

    Well, this is a bummer, although I understand the reasoning. Last month, a new feature arrived in the Dev Channel of Chrome OS 72 to support sharing local files with Project Crostini, the function that brings Linux app support to Chromebooks. That feature is now disabled in the latest Dev Channel version, which landed today Don’t worry, it’s coming back with Chrome OS 73, or at least that’s the plan.
    What’s the reason? It’s pretty simple really. According to the Chrome bug tracker, the “backend features are not yet ready for M72.”

  • Blender Lands Support For NVIDIA RTX Turing / CUDA 10

    This week the Blender 3D modeling software finally picked up support for CUDA 10 in order to support the latest NVIDIA RTX "Turing" graphics cards.

    It took a while but on Blender Git master as well as the branched Blender 2.80 code there is now the support for CUDA 10.0 for Cycles and NVIDIA Turing GPU support.

  • Finding insecure network connections

    One obvious aspect of KDE’s privacy goal is eliminating all network connections that are not using transport encryption. That’s however not as straightforward to ensure as it may sound, it’s easy to have a long forgotten HTTP link in a rarely used dialog that should have been changed to HTTPS many years ago already. How do we find all these cases?

  • Antergos 18.12 XFCE Run Through
  • Lintian Brush

    With Debian packages now widely being maintained in Git repositories, there has been an uptick in the number of bulk changes made to Debian packages. Several maintainers are running commands over many packages (e.g. all packages owned by a specific team) to fix common issues in packages.

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