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August 2020

Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) Enters Feature Freeze, Beta Expected on October 1st

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Steve Langasek announced that the Ubuntu 20.10 release has entered Feature Freeze this week, more specifically as of August 27th, 2020. This is actually the most important milestone so far in the development cycle of Ubuntu 20.10 and it means that no new features will be implemented until the final release.

Dubbed “Groovy Gorilla,” Ubuntu 20.10 has been in development since April 2020, shortly after the release of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system. The Feature Freeze stage will be followed by an optional Ubuntu Testing Week that kicks off next week on September 3rd for those who want to help with the testing.

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today's leftovers

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GNU/Linux Graphics, Debian, Kubuntu, Manjaro, Xen and Arch Linux

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  • NVIDIA's DALI 0.25 Deep Learning Library Adds AArch64 SBSA, Performance Improvements

    DALI is the project at NVIDIA focused on GPU-accelerated data augmentation and image loading along with other tasks while being optimized for deep learning workflows. DALI 0.25 was released on Friday as the latest step forward for this open-source NVIDIA project.

    Yes, DALI (short for the NVIDIA Data Loading Library) is one of NVIDIA's open-source projects. DALI currently describes itself as "a library containing both highly optimized building blocks and an execution engine for data pre-processing in deep learning applications."

  • LunarG Introduces New Vulkan Configurator (vkconfig)

    The friends at LunarG who maintain the Vulkan SDK today announced their new Vulkan Configurator tool, accessible via the vkconfig command and installed as part of the SDK.

    The Vulkan Configurator is for managing the system's Vulkan layers, allowing the override of layer configurations, loading layers from arbitrary paths, and other similar functionality at right now focused on better controlling of the Vulkan layers feature.

  • Debian Janitor: The Slow Trickle from Git Repositories to the Debian Archive

    Last week’s blog post documented how there are now over 30,000 lintian issues that have been fixed in git packaging repositories by the Janitor.

    It's important to note that any fixes from the Janitor that make it into a Git packaging repository will also need to be uploaded to the Debian archive. This currently requires that a Debian packager clones the repository and builds and uploads the package.

    Until a change makes it into the archive, users of Debian will unfortunately not see the benefits of improvements made by the Janitor.

    82% of the 30,000 changes from the Janitor that have made it into a Git repository have not yet been uploaded, although changes do slowly trickle in as maintainers make other changes to packages and upload them along with the lintian fixes from the Janitor. This is not just true for changes from the Janitor, but for all sorts of other smaller improvements as well.

    However, the process of cloning and building git repositories and uploading the resulting packages to the Debian archive is fairly time-consuming – and it’s probably not worth the time of developers to follow up every change from the Janitor with a labour-intensive upload to the archive.

    It would be great if it was easier to trigger uploads from git commits. Projects like tag2upload will hopefully help, and make it more likely that changes end up in the Debian archive.

  • Linode renews Kubuntu VPS sponsorship

    The Kubuntu Council and Community would like to thank Linode for once again renewing their sponsorship of Kubuntu by providing us with another year’s usage of a VPS instance.

  • Manjaro 20.0.3 GNOME Edition overview | #FREE OPERATING SYSTEM.

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of Manjaro 20.0.3 GNOME Edition and some of the applications pre-installed.

  • Xen Developer & Design Summit 2020 Virtual Event Recap

    Last month, the Xen Project community gathered, virtually, to collaborate, connect, and solve the important challenges we all face. While our gathering may have looked different than in years past, we made the most of it and heard from a broad set of community members both in presentations and in collaborative Design Sessions.

  • Arch Conf Online 2020

    During the weekend of 10th and 11th of October there is going to be an online Arch Linux conference. The details are currently being worked on, but the Call for Participation has been published and people can submit their talk ideas until the 18th of September. All talks are expected to be recorded as it will ease the planning for the live portion of the stream, however there are going to be live Q&A session with the presenters if they are available.

Latest on Fedora and IBM/Red Hat

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Red Hat
  • Fedora 34 Aims To Shrink Its Install Media By Ramping Up Compression

    While Fedora 33 hasn't even been released yet, Fedora 34 is already seeing new feature proposals.

    One of the planned changes so far for next spring's Fedora 34 release is to reduce the installation media size by means of greater compression.

    The current plan is to ramp up the compression ratio of the SquashFS file-system on the install media. Red Hat's Bohdan Khomutskyi is looking at making use of XZ compression, a block size of 1MiB, and without the BCJ filter. In doing so there should be roughly a 6.5% / 24 second longer install time but with space savings of roughly 142MiB for the Fedora install media. The install time should ultimately not regress much though due to a planned change to Fedora's Anaconda installer.

  • Linux in the IBM Z ecosystem

    IBM LinuxONE is a mainframe that exclusively runs Linux, but where does Linux live in the general mainframe ecosystem of operating systems?

    First, let’s talk about the terms used when running Linux on the mainframe. LinuxONE is a hardware product line. You can think of it as the sister to IBM Z, with similar hardware and specifications, but it only runs Linux. This is in contrast to when we use the term “Linux on IBM Z” or simply “Linux on Z,” which can be either Linux running on LinuxONE or Linux running on an IBM Z system — typically along with other operating systems like z/OS.

    Linux itself was first introduced to the mainframe as a community-driven project in 1998, and then in December 1999 IBM released their first series of patches for the 2.2.13 kernel. This makes Linux a relative newcomer as far as operating systems go in the mainframe space. Over the years, Linux on Z became a staple of many organizations running alongside operating systems like z/OS, z/VSE, and z/TPF, which people more frequently think of when you’re talking about mainframes. In 2015, the first LinuxONE was released, cementing Linux as an operating system that was here to stay on the platform.

  • Call for Code Daily: Persistent Systems, Kode with Klossy and AI fairness

    The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of August 24th:

Open Hardware and GNU/Linux

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  • Self-driving trash can controlled by Raspberry Pi
  • The Future of American Industry Depends on Open Source Tech

    Open source is not limited to software, but also impacts hardware development. RISC-V, first introduced in 2010 at UC Berkeley, is an open source chip design instruction set architecture—which tells a chip how to do basic computation, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. RISC-V is gaining traction in the hardware manufacturing space throughout the world, because it lowers barriers to entry and increases chip development speed. OpenRAN, an open source 5G networking stack that started gaining momentum in 2016, is also gaining more attention and has already been embraced by the UK and Japanese governments.

    Using open source technology is now the fastest way new products get built and legacy technologies get replaced. Yet as US policymakers develop their industrial policy to compete with China, open source is conspicuously absent.

    By leaning on the advantages of open source, policymakers can pursue an industrial policy to help the US compete in the 21st century in line with our broader values. The alternative is to continue a top-down process that picks winners and losers based on not just technology but also political influence, which only helps individual firms secure market share, not sparking innovation more broadly. A few billion more dollars won’t save Intel from its technical woes, but a healthier ecosystem leveraging open source technology and community would put the US in a better position for the future.

  • RISC-V & ESP32 based TTGO Handheld T-WATCH K210 AIoT DevKit Works with a 9V Battery

    LilyGO TTGO T-Watch K210 AIOT is a rather thick watch development kit based on Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI Processor and ESP32 WiSoC capable of performing AI workloads such as face detection using a USB power source.

    We first covered the development kit in June, and the company releases some small variants from time to time with the latest being TTGO Handheld T-Watch K210 with basically the same hardware, plus the addition of a handle that adds a power button, and a compartment for a 9V battery to power the watch/devkit.

  • I got carried away and built a 36TB home server the size of a toaster oven

    I built a 36TB home server this month, and before I tell you about it, I need to make one thing clear: I really don't need 36TB of storage. It's excessive, and the majority of that space will lie empty and unused for years. You could call it overkill, but I'm going to go with prepared. The build is the same either way, but isn't it more fun to be optimistic?

    Okay, so I got carried away. But believe it or not, the goal of my home server build, which I've been plotting since quarantine began in March, was to make a practical replacement for my existing server, which I first built in 2014 and have upgraded a few times since then. That server consisted of an i7-4790K CPU, five HDDs (3-4TB each), and one 128GB SSD in a Fractal Design Define Mini case. My server runs headless Ubuntu, which means I control it remotely via a terminal and web browser tools, and mostly runs media center Plex, though I run a Discord bot and a few other things on it, too.


    To be able to support up to eight drives, I ordered a well-reviewed SATA expansion card on Amazon, ensuring it had reviews that said it worked fine in Linux and would support full SATA speeds. It ended up being a PCIe x1 card, so my motherboard pick wasn't strictly necessary, but it all worked out fine.

  • Moving from an RTOS to Linux? (Practical Insights Nobody's Telling You) [Ed: Well, "white paper" just means marketing and/or FUD]

    There are many things to consider when moving to embedded Linux® from a real-time operating system (RTOS) for embedded projects. Based on pragmatic experience of helping customers through the decision making process and the actual transition, this white paper provides practical information, so developers can be fully aware of the trade-offs of moving to OSS and the often unmentioned hidden cost of managing a Linux distribution.

  • LattePanda Alpha 864: Review the Specs

Proprietary Software Monopolies

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  • As Speakers At The RNC Whined About Big Tech Bias, You Could Only Watch The Full Convention Because Of 'Big Tech'

    There was much nonsense spewed at this week's Republican National Convention, and as has been expected given the nonsense narrative about "anti-conservative bias" in big tech, there were plenty of people using the podium to whine about how the big internet companies are working against them. Thanks to the folks at Reason for pointing out how utterly stupid and counterfactual this actually is. Indeed, if you actually wanted to watch the RNC speeches (and I'm not sure why you would), the only place to actually watch them uninterrupted was... on those internet platforms that the speakers swore were trying to silence them.

  • Hope you didn’t delete Fortnite or Infinity Blade because Apple just terminated Epic’s dev account

    Apple says Epic will no longer be able to submit apps or updates using its Epic Games developer account, but users who’ve previously downloaded Fortnite on iOS and Mac can keep playing it.

  • Apple Terminates ‘Fortnite’ Maker Epic Games’ Developer Account

    The suspension of Epic’s developer account means that users can’t download “Fortnite” (or other Epic games) from the Apple App Store or update them. Apple’s action comes after a court issued a temporary restraining order Monday, Aug. 24, that prohibits Apple from blocking Epic’s App Store account for the Unreal Engine, which is used by third-party game makers, but leaving the door open for Apple to freeze out the popular “Fortnite” app.

  • Apple removes Fortnite developer Epic from App Store

    Apple has terminated Epic Games's account from its App Store amid a legal battle over in-app payments on the Fortnite game.

    Apple had already removed Fortnite from the store after the game offered a discount on its virtual currency for purchases made outside of the app, from which Apple receives a 30% cut.

Linux Jargon Buster: What is a Display Server in Linux? What is it Used for?

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In Linux related articles, news and discussions, you’ll often come across the term display server, xorg, Wayland etc. In this jargon buster, learn about display servers in Linux.
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