Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

August 2019

Xfce 4.14 review - Holding out for a hero

Filed under
Reviews

People often ask me (joking, no one asks me anything, I ain't got no friends) what my favorite Linux desktop is. And my answer is, well, long and complicated. But I guess, in the past fifteen years, I've mostly used and loved Plasma and Unity, with some brief moments of joy with Gnome 2. Then, inevitably, the question of Xfce comes up, and my answer is even longer and more complicated.

The release of Xfce 4.14 might provide a part of the answer you're looking for. And you should definitely look at my reviews of various distros running Xfce, like say Xubuntu or MX Linux, to get a sense of what this desktop environment does, and how it does it. But then, it's never been really my default go-to setup, although I did use it quite successfully and effectively - and still do - on my feisty, 10-year-old Asus eeePC netbook. On the desktop proper, I like it, and I liked what it did approximately three years or so. Since, it's kind of kept a quiet profile, not quite here nor there. Well, I want to see if the new version has the kick to make my proverbial colt buck and gallop. Testing time it is then!

Read more

The Librem 5 Application Compatibility Chart

Filed under
OS
GNU
Linux

All of the applications below are confirmed to run on the Librem 5 Smartphone running PureOS.

Each application is grouped into one of three categories based on how optimized it is for the mobile screen.

Read more

Games: Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice, Dota Underlords, Wine/NetBSD

Filed under
Gaming
  • Hellblade Senuas Sacrifice | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 18.04 | Steam Play

    Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice running through Steam play.

  • Valve just turned the gameplay of Dota Underlords on its head with Contraptions

    Valve seem to be using Early Access to really mix things up for Dota Underlords, with a new update out adding in Contraptions you can put on the board.

    While I like Underlords a lot, I was pretty keen to see them do a little more with it. So the idea of Contraptions is pretty fun and it does mix the gameplay up quite a bit. You can place them on the board, move them around and they will affect the combat making placement even more crucial than ever. They also don't count against the normal unit cap.

  • Wine Is Now In Better Shape On NetBSD Thanks To GSoC 2019

    In addition to NetBSD seeing better DRM ioctl support for its Linux compatibility layer (as part of an effort towards possible Steam support) thanks to Google Summer of Code 2019, there were also Wine improvements as a result of this Google programming initiative.

    Student developer Naveen Narayanan worked the summer on improving NetBSD's Wine support, particularly when it comes to AMD64 (x86_64) support.

Need A Good Linux Hex Editor? 20 Linux Hex Viewers & Editors Reviewed

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

A hex editor is a computer program used for editing a binary file that contains machine-readable data. It paves the way of manipulating raw binary data for a particular application. “Hex” is the short form of hexadecimal, a numerical standard format that represents the binary program. A regular hex editor has three specific areas such as ‘character area’ on the right, ‘hexadecimal area’ in the middle and the ‘address area’ on the left. Additionally, some hex editors are designed to edit and parse sector data from the hard disk and floppy disk which are frequently called disk editor or sector editor. There are far ranges of Linux hex editor available in the market; that to a greater extent make a user squarely beneficial, and allow them to edit binary program.

Read more

Also: Announcing lymworkbook project

What To Expect From The Ubuntu 19.10 'Eoan Ermine' Beta On September 26

Filed under
Ubuntu

The release of Ubuntu Linux 19.10 edges ever closer, with an expected Beta release landing on September 26 ahead of the planned October 17 launch. Here's a brief rundown of what to expect, and a few features that might make it worth the upgrade from versions 18.10 or 19.04.

As always Ubuntu 19.10 will introduce the usual minor interface and software tweaks, but there are some highlights I'm seriously looking forward to, such as flicker-free boot for Intel users, similar to what you see today in Fedora 30.

Read more

Linux Lite 4.6 Final Released

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Linux Lite 4.6 Final is now available for download and install.

This release has a number of changes.

Read more

Linux driver patches hint at AMD Renoir to support LPDDR4X memory

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Great news this weekend for APU fans out there – while the AMD Navi GPUs and Ryzen 3rd generation chips are currently taking over the computing world, it doesn’t mean that the company has forgotten about its integrated graphics users.

In a recent report by Tom’s Hardware, it looks like AMD’s next generation APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) might come with LPDDR4X-4266 memory support. If true, this means that AMD Renoir will have a higher maximum data rate than AMD Picasso.

Read more

Also: AMD Has A Number Of Graphics Driver Fixes To Add For Linux 5.4

More in Tux Machines

Games: Valve, Timberborn, and More

  • Valve launches Deck Verified, to show off what games will work well on the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

    We've been wondering what Valve had planned to show off Steam Deck compatibility for games and now they've launched Deck Verified as their answer. Valve say they are reviewing the entire Steam catalogue on the Steam Deck, with each of them gaining a category that it falls under that will show up across Steam from the store to your own Steam Library. The ratings will be split across Verified, Playable, Unsupported and Unknown. This is good because there's a lot of reasons why games will mix between perfect and unplayable on Steam Deck and the Arch Linux-based SteamOS it ships with.

  • Valve Launches "Steam Deck Verified" Program For Games That Run Well On The Steam Deck - Phoronix

    Valve is introducing a Steam Deck Verified system for helping gamers find out what games have been verified to work well on their forthcoming AMD+Linux-powered handheld game console.

  • VKD3D-Proton 2.5 Released With Experimental DXR 1.1, More Games Working - Phoronix

    VKD3D-Proton as Valve's Direct3D 12 over Vulkan implementation for Steam Play's Proton is out with a big feature update. VKD3D-Proton 2.5 brings experimental, opt-in support for DXR 1.1 ray-tracing. DXR 1.1 isn't yet fully implemented but does add inline ray-tracing support and other features. DXR 1.0 ray-tracing meanwhile is now considered effectively feature complete with VKD3D-Proton 2.5.

  • VKD3D-Proton v2.5 is out for Direct3D 12 on top of Vulkan, improving DirectX Raytracing | GamingOnLinux

    VKD3D-Proton is the project that translates Microsoft's Direct3D 12 to Vulkan, another big part of Steam Play Proton and there's a new release out. If you wish to know more about Steam Play and Proton do check out our dedicated section. A continued focus of VKD3D-Proton is bringing up support for DirectX Raytracing (DXR). As of this version 2.5 the developer notes that DXR 1.0 "is more or less feature complete". A few weird issues are left and eventually the config variable to enable it will be removed when it's stable enough. Further work went into improving DXR 1.1 and it's now experimentally exposed, with it being enabled by setting VKD3D_CONFIG=dxr11. They say that DXR 1.1 cannot be "fully implemented" just yet, although the feature support missing doesn't seem to currently be used by games. As of now DXR 1.1 inline raytracing is also fully implemented.

  • Timberborn: a cute beaver colony sim with an unrewarding late game

    The game only supports Windows. However, it runs excellently on Linux in Steam Proton compatibility mode.

  • Swarming RTS Age of Darkness: Final Stand is in Early Access and works great on Linux | GamingOnLinux

    Age of Darkness: Final Stand is like a fantasy version of They Are Billions, and compared with the latter it runs great on Linux thanks to Steam Play Proton. No native Linux version here but honestly it runs so well you can't tell the difference, it's click and play thanks to Proton and as such a massive fan of real-time strategy games I couldn't resist playing this one myself. Note: key provided by Team17. The world in Age of Darkness is one of constant fear. Darkness brings out Nightmares, strange hellish creatures with a taste for flesh and destruction. It's a constant battle of preparation. Right now it only has a survival mode, which sees you build up a village as you attempt to survive each night. All the traditional elements of a base-building RTS are here with population management, resource gathering, army building and more. A game very much for those of you who like "turtling", where you focus on building up a heavy defence.

  • Playing Deltarune: Chapter 2 natively on Linux | GamingOnLinux

    So, some time ago Toby Fox released the second chapter of the Deltarune series. Sadly, as was the case with the previous chapter, this one too comes without official Linux support. However, if the [HeartShapedObject] is willing, there is a way to play the game natively on Linux, albeit without official support. The trick is essentially the same as I described back in 2018 when the first chapter of Deltarune was released. Essentially, Deltarune is made with the GameMaker engine, and you can do a "port" of games like that as long as you can find a compatible GameMaker runner binary to pair up with the game data.

  • War Thunder is getting more terrain deformation in the upcoming 'Ground Breaking' upgrade | GamingOnLinux

    Ground Breaking is the name of the next major update for War Thunder and it sounds quite exciting, with some game engine upgrades to allow for more terrain interactions and deformation. Not only will you see huge craters left over from some of the more explosive ordinance, you will also be able to push around the ground. Soil, sand and snow will be movable with your tanks, allowing you with a little patience to create your own little protective barriers. That's right, self-entrenching is going to be a thing. In the Ground Breaking update the developers will add in a new animation for vehicles digging in.

  • Hugely popular mobile roguelike Shattered Pixel Dungeon is coming to Steam | GamingOnLinux

    For the PC release the developer now has a Steam page live and they've confirmed it will have a native Linux version.

Security Leftovers

Devices: Arduino Nano, HarmonyOS,and Pi

  • Arduino Nano Floppy Emulator For When Your Disk Is Not Accessible | Hackaday

    Among the plethora of obsolete removable media there are some which are lamented, but it can be difficult to find those who regret the passing of the floppy disk. These flexible magnetic disks in hard plastic covers were a staple of computing until some time in the early 2000s, and their drives could be found by the crateload in any spares box. But what about today, when there’s a need for a real floppy drive and none is to be found? Enter [Acemi Elektronikci], with an Arduino Nano based floppy emulator, that plugs into the floppy port of a PC old enough to have one, and allows the easy use of virtual floppy disks.

  •  
  • HarmonyOS development board shows up for $11

    Last year, we noted the Hisilicon Hi3861 based HiSpark WiFi IoT development board with supports LiteOS and HarmonyOS that was available in China for just under $10, or as part of a devkit with baseboard and modules for around $60. Although not very practical, buying from Taobao was possible, but there’s now what appears to be a new revision of the Hi3861V100 based HarmonyOS development board in a wider form factor on Banggood for $10.99.

  •   
  • Raspberry Pi CM4 handheld console looks like a Nintendo Switch Lite - CNX Software

    StonedEge and Dmcke5 have come up with an incredibly well-designed Raspberry Pi CM4 handheld console that looks like a Nintendo Switch Lite “clone”, and that can run Dreamcast and PSP emulators at full speed using RetroPie. The RetroLite CM4 The design includes a 5-inch display, speakers, all buttons, joysticks, and D-PAD controlled via a custom Arduino board, a micro HDMI port to connect an external display, and a 4000 mAh LiPo battery charged over the USB Type-C port, and it seems to work, albeit we are told there’s still some more work to do.

  • Lilbits: TCL’s concept smart glasses, PineNote E Ink tablet, and using the Raspberry Pi 400 as a keyboard
  • “Industrial Pi” Use Cases with Ubuntu and AMD

    DFI’s GHF51 mini industrial-grade motherboard, and the EC90A-GH mini fanless industrial computer, are the world’s first industrial computer products that have passed the Ubuntu IoT hardware certification and are equipped with high-performance AMD processors. The 1.8-inch motherboard of the Ryzen R1000 processor has the same small size as the Raspberry Pi but brings unprecedented powerful computing performance, powerful expansion capabilities, and durability tailored for industrial applications. Combining the online update mechanism of the Ubuntu Certified Hardware and the online application store, the breakthrough development of “Industrial Pi” will redefine the future of the Industrial Internet of Things. 

Audiocasts/Shows: WordPress, Linux Action News, Scams, and Fake Security

  • WP Briefing: Episode 18: The Economics of WordPress

    In episode 18 of WP Briefing, Josepha Haden Chomphosy reflects on a recent lecture that she gave to students at Hendrix College in which she explored the economics of WordPress and the principles that sustain the project’s ecosystem.

  • Linux Action News 211

    We cover what's special about Plasma's 25th-anniversary edition, chat with CloudLinux's CEO, and detail why Apple supporting Blender is good for all of us.

  • These Open Source SCAMMERS are getting out of control! - Invidious

    No, Inkscape isn't a scam. In fact, it's the best vector illustration tool on the planet. But, much like Krita just a few weeks ago, scammers have registered official-looking domains that are meant to trick people into downloading and installing ransomware. It's sad to see and I can't think of many ways we can combat this besides raising awareness.

  • Josh Bressers: Episode 293 – Scoring OpenSSF Security Scoring

    Josh and Kurt talk about the release of OpenSSF Security Scorecards version 3. This is a great project that will probably make a huge difference. Most of the things the scorecards are measuring are no brainier activities. We go through the list of metrics being measured. There are only a few that we don’t think are fantastic.