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March 2019

LLVM Clang 9.0 Adds "-ftime-trace" To Produce Useful Time Trace Profiling Data

Filed under
Development
BSD

LLVM has merged a very useful feature for the Clang 9.0 release this autumn: the -ftime-trace feature allows producing time trace profiling data in a friendly format that is useful for developers to better understand where the compiler is spending most of its time and other areas for improvement.

Clang has already supported -ftime-report for printing time summaries for each stage of the compilation process while -ftime-trace yields much more useful data. The output of -ftime-trace is JSON-based profiling outputs that can be loaded into Chrome's chrome://tracing visualizer. This data shows how much time LLVM/Clang is spending on compiling each file, down to the function granularity.

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SDDM v0.18.1

Filed under
KDE

We are happy to release a new SDDM version.

SDDM is a Qt based graphical login manager developed in a collaborative fashion by people from Liri, KDE and LXQt.

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Linux Lite 4.4 is ready to replace Microsoft Windows on your aging PC

Filed under
Linux

One of the best things about operating systems based on the Linux kernel is they can sometimes be very lightweight. Why is this important? Well, when an OS uses very few resources, it can breathe new life into an aging PC. In other words, just because Windows 7 or Windows 10 run like molasses on your old computer, that doesn't mean you have to buy a new one. The right Linux distribution can make your older PC feel fast and new.

One of the most popular lightweight Linux-based operating systems is Linux Lite. Heck, the name of the distribution tells you that it is designed to use few resources! Version 4.4 is now available, and as per usual, it is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS -- 18.04. The Xfce desktop environment will feel familiar to those switching from Windows. Those new to Linux will also appreciate the easy access to many popular programs, such as Skype, Steam, and Spotify. Even the excellent Microsoft Office alternative, LibreOffice, is included.

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Openness, Open Data and Open Hardware

Filed under
OSS
  • Open-source seeds: protecting new crops from privitisation

    From the green grass of England to the tropical forests of the Amazon basin and the semi-arid plains of North Africa, when it comes to food, no one crop can suit every soil type, or withstand the challenges of climate change. It is therefore vitally important that humans seek to preserve and increase the biological diversity of crops.

    In pursuit of this goal, Dr Johannes Kotschi from the Association for AgriCulture and Ecology, along with researchers from the University of Göttingen, has developed an open-source seed (OSS) licence that can be applied to new crop varieties. The OSS licence prevents seeds and their derivatives from being privatised, patented or otherwise protected in a way that would limit their sale or further modification. In doing so, it ensures that new varieties are available to everyone. Alongside the licence, the organisation OpenSourceSeeds supports breeders and seed producers who use it.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Automated Vehicle Data Set

    Aptiv has released a comprehensive set of automated driving training data including camera, radar and lidar signals that has been fully annotated and labeled.

  • Aptiv Releases Comprehensive Open-Source Dataset for Autonomous Driving

    Global auto parts supplier Aptiv, formally known as Delphi Automotive, announced today the full release of nuScenes, an open-source autonomous vehicle (AV) dataset. The dataset will help developers improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.

  • MIPS R6 Architecture Now Available for Open Use

    Asked if any other MIPS cores – beyond R6 – will be available in the future, Swift said additional announcements are in the offing, indicating that Thursday’s offering is only the first set of MIPS Open’s release.  

    “Remember, this is a journey, not a destination,” Swift reminded.

    Other pending announcements include MIPS Open’s certification partners and MIPS Open Advisory Board. Names of individuals or companies for those initiatives are not yet public.

  • Wave Computing launches MIPS Open, provides royalty-free access to chip design data

    A few months after announcing plans to “open source its MIPS instruction set architecture,” the folks at Wave Computing are following through. Mostly.

    The company has launched the MIPS Open program and released the first components, offering developers royalty and license fee-free access to the latest versions of its 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS architecture.

    But it’s questionable whether this is truly an “open source” initiative, so much as an “open use” project designed encourage developers to work with the company’s chips.

DragonFlyBSD Receives Initial FUSE Port For File-Systems In User-Space

Filed under
BSD

Tomohiro Kusumi has contributed an initial FUSE implementation to DragonFlyBSD for implementing file-systems in user-space support.

The design is based roughly on FreeBSD code but is a cleanly written implementation for allowing user-space file-systems to work on this BSD. This initial FUSE support isn't designed to be API/ABI compatible with the FreeBSD code due to different sysctls and other factors.

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Nate Graham's KDE Usability & Productivity Weekly Report

Filed under
KDE
  • KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 64

    Week 64 in KDE’s Usability & Productivity initiative has arrived, and I think you’ll see why this week needed two posts.

  • KDE's Konsole Now Supports Splitting, Plasma Vault Integration In Dolphin

    KDE contributor Nate Graham has continued his weekly blog posts outlining some of the notable improvements made in the world of KDE. One of the notable changes this week is the Konsole terminal emulator allowing arbitrary grid-like splits of a single window. That honors a ten year old bug report about wanting to restore support for "Quadkonsole" for allowing several consoles to render within a single window. That support is finally in place for the KDE Applications 19.08 release due out this summer.

Software: Python IDEs, Kodi, Best alternatives to Skype

Filed under
Software
  • 9 Best Free Python Integrated Development Environments (Updated 2019)

    Python is a widely used general-purpose, high level programming language. It’s easy to read and learn. It’s frequently used for science, data analysis, and engineering. With a burgeoning scientific community and ecosystem, Python is an excellent environment for students, scientists and organizations that develop technology software.

    One of the essential tools for a budding Python developer is a good Integrated Development Environment (IDE). An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development.

    Many coders learn to code using a text editor. And many professional Python developers prefer to stay with their favourite text editor, in part because a lot of text editors can be used as a development environment by making use of plugins. But many Python developers migrate to an IDE as this type of software application offers, above all else, practicality. They make coding easier, can offer significant time savings with features like autocompletion, and built-in refactoring code, and also reduces context switching. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is ‘on the fly’ and debugging is integrated.

  • Are free VPNs any good for Kodi?

    Before we get to the VPNs, let's start with Kodi, which is a free and open source media player.

  • What Is Kodi and How Does It Work?

    What is Kodi? Imagine your own version of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, but one that is completely free? Sounds too good to be true, right?

  • Best alternatives to Skype 2019: paid and free

    If you're looking for the best Skype alternatives, then you've come to the right place. For many years, Skype has been one of the most popular VoIP (Voice over IP) services, with home and business users alike using it to video and voice call friends and family over the world.

    However, in 2011 Microsoft acquired Skype, and since then it has been tweaking the interface and adding (and removing features) which has not been too popular.

    So, if you're looking to move from Skype to another VoIP service, then this guide to the best Skype alternatives will help you make the leap. We look at both free alternatives to Skype, as well as packages you need to pay for, which is good for large companies with employees around the world.

Linux laptops alive in South Africa

Filed under
Linux

While it may serve a small niche in South Africa, Dell has been offering laptops that run Ubuntu Linux for years.

This is according to Chris Buchanan, client solutions director at Dell EMC in South Africa.

Dell and Canonical recently announced the new version of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop, offering up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSB. Since then, a 2TB version has become available.

Like other Developer Edition variants of the Dell XPS 13, the 2018 model comes with Ubuntu Linux rather than Windows. At the time, the latest long-term support release: Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver”.

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More in Tux Machines

Release | Endless OS 3.8.4

Endless OS 3.8.4 was released for existing users today, July 6th, 2020. Downloadable images for new users will be available in the next few days. Live + Installer USB now working again On Endless 3.8.0 a problem was introduced on installer USB devices created with our Endless Installer for Windows. These devices can be used to try Endless on a live boot, but the actual installation process would fail. This is now fixed with Endless OS 3.8.4 images (you should not need to download a new Endless Installer for Windows, as the problem was in the actual OS image, not in the installer tool), where these USB devices can be used both for trying Endless OS live and for installing it. Read more

Red Hat: Security, GCC, Fedora, CentOS and Miscellany

  • Red Hat Insights: Your very own security consultant

    When it comes to system maintenance and management, the most critical aspect is to keep all operating systems as safe and secure as possible. This is where Red Hat Insights steps in - it helps users manage security in an easy and convenient way by analyzing system configurations. Since Red Hat Summit 2020, Red Hat Insights has extended capabilities to manage operational efficiency and security risks. Note: Insights is included in all Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscriptions.

  • Improve your code: Tales from confinement without a debugger

    Now that I have coded for some years, I’ve noticed that I have picked up some bad habits along the way. Over-dependence on the debugger is one of them. I often use it as a high-powered crutch, which frequently leads me waist-deep into stack traces, rarely stopping to think things through. I get lost inside 20 levels of recursion and wonder why an irrelevant variable is being tickled. Granted, there are many good uses for a debugger, but I’m at 40% on the good use scale. My uses usually start benign but then degrade into cancerous abstractions. So, for my 20th GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) hacking anniversary, I decided to give myself the challenge of one month without a debugger. Here is the tale. [...] When I first started hacking GCC, newbies at Red Hat were put on old toolchain support duty. Nine times out of 10, those bugs had already been fixed upstream. I got quite adept at running two parallel gdbs, single-stepping until I found a difference in the codes, and eventually finding the patch that fixed the bug. My technique was effective, but taught me very little about the underlying problem that I was “fixing.” Now, I’m a gray-bearded old fogey, and I can’t count the number of times I have put a breakpoint on the garbage collector to find out who created a chunk of memory, just to save time analyzing the where of a given optimization.

  • How Fedora and Outreachy Helped Me Hone My Flexibility With Timelines

    Update: I’m in the seventh week of my Outreachy internship with Fedora! I am working to create a GraphQL API for Bodhi. The following image shows a Gantt chart of the ideal timeline that my mentors and I came up with to get the project up and running...

  • Fedora 33 Btrfs by default Test Day 2020-07-08

    A new change proposal has been submitted for the Fedora 33 release cycle which entails usage of btrfs by default for Workstations, Servers and Spins across x86_64 and ARM architectures As a result, QA teams have organized a test day on Wed, July 08, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

  • CentOS Community newsletter, July 2020 (#2007)

    We are pleased to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 8.2.2004. Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux 8 and is tagged as 2004, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Source Code.

  • CentOS Stream Begins Seeing RHEL 8.3 Bits, Real-Time Repository

    Introduced alongside CentOS 8 last year was CentOS Stream as a developer-focused, rolling-release of CentOS/RHEL. With those processes getting squared away and CentOS recently debuting its RHEL 8.2 rebuild, CentOS Stream is beginning to see new and interesting material. In particular, early work from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 development is beginning to hit CentOS Stream. There is also an updated installer for CentOS Stream, new modules are coming, and perhaps most significant is the introduction of a real-time/RT repository. These RT packages are optimized for latency-sensitive workloads. The repository can be optionally enabled for those interested in optimizing their software stack for RT workloads.

  • Learn CentOS - Managing Storage

    The Learn CentOS series continues with another episode, this time checking out the concept of storage. The /etc/fstab file will be covered, as well as mounting, unmounting, and formatting storage media.

  • VR hits a new milestone, Mozilla's growing open source voice library, change in Redis maintainers, and more open source news

    In this week’s edition of our open source news roundup, Mozilla updates its open source voice stack, a tool to tame VR cybersickness, and more open source news.

Kernel: Better Mouse Reporting, GNU Guix Without Linux, New Linux on Ancient PC, Speech Police and Zstd

  • Better Mouse Reporting For The Linux Virtual Terminal Is Being Worked On

    The mouse reporting functionality offered by the Linux VT console is rather basic and seemingly seldom used by text-based, mouse-aware programs. However, a series of patches was sent out this week for improving the implementation to provide for more xterm-like mouse reporting.

  • GNU Guix Begins Publishing System Images Based On Hurd

    Earlier this year was news of GNU Guix wanting to replace their Linux kernel usage with the Hurd microkernel. For those interested, the project recently began producing system images with indeed Hurd wired up for this software distribution. The plans laid out earlier this year were on switching to Hurd for increasing "security and freedom for their users." A Phoronix reader tipped us off that the Guix project is indeed offering the system images powered by the Hurd micro-kernel.

  • Redditor Boots Linux Kernel 5.8 On 30-Year-Old Intel Processor via Floppy Disk

    Do you remember your first PC on which you booted Linux from floppy? Well, Floppy disk is almost dead. The majority of people now use USB sticks or DVDs to install Linux distros on their PCs. However, retro enthusiasts love to revive their old hardware and relive the flashback. Recently, a Redditor who goes by the name ‘FozzTexx’ demonstrated the latest stable Linux Kernel 5.8.0-rc2+ running from his floppy disk. He successfully booted a tiny kernel on a 30-year-old 32-bit Intel 80486 (i486 or 486) CPU.

  • Linux kernel developers: This new BLM coding style avoids words like blacklist

    Key Linux kernel maintainers have largely welcomed a new proposal by Intel engineer and fellow kernel maintainer Dan Williams to introduce inclusive terminology in the kernel's official coding-style document. The first to sign off on Williams' proposal were Chris Mason and Greg Kroah-Hartman. But other maintainers have approved the proposal too, which requires kernel developers to avoid using the words 'slave', for development trees and branches, and 'blacklist'.

  • Zstd'ing The Kernel Might See Mainline With Linux 5.9 For Faster Boot Times

    It looks like the long ongoing work for compressing the Linux kernel image with Zstd might finally soon be mainlined, potentially for next month's Linux 5.9 cycle kicking off as the "v6" patches sent out this week were done as a Git pull request. Nick Terrell of Facebook has been the one herding these Zstd patches for the Linux kernel and trying to get them upstream. Facebook is already using them in production on their many web servers. Facebook found that using a Zstd compressed kernel image shrunk their x86_64 decompression time from 12 seconds to 3 seconds with formerly using XZ compression. The actual boot time dropped by about two seconds using Zstd over XZ. When testing the Zstd-compressed kernel on their AArch64 servers, Facebook found the decompression time shrunk from 27 seconds to 8 seconds.

Huawei’s ARM-based desktop PC could leave you scratching your head

Part of the problem is Huawei’s replacement for Windows, a Linux-based Unity OS (not to be confused with Ubuntu’s Unity). While the OS itself performed smoothly, the apps running on it didn’t. The YouTuber even had to pay 800 RMB ($115) to get access to the UOS app store which had a very limited selection of software. Any Linux user would expect popular proprietary software like Microsoft Office and Adobe’s Creative apps to be absent but the store also strangely didn’t support running 32-bit programs either. Read more