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September 2020

Intel: DG1, Media Driver 2020.3 and Key Locker Support

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Intel Sends Out Latest DG1 Linux Patches But Won't Hit Until At Least The 5.11 Kernel

    The sixth spin of Intel DG1 discrete graphics card patches have now been sent out for review, amounting to just about 700 lines of new driver code due to building off the existing DG1 work and more broadly the Gen12/Xe support that's been refined in mainline for months. With these patches it would appear the Intel DG1 is then in good shape under Linux but due to the timing is unlikely to be mainlined until a stable kernel release in early 2021.

    Intel's Gen12 / Xe Graphics as found in Tiger Lake appears to be in good shape with the latest mainline code (soon to be tested at Phoronix) but for the DG1 discrete graphics card there have been patches lingering.

  • Intel Media Driver 2020.3 Released With Gen12 AV1 Decode, Other Improvements

    Just in time for the end of the quarter Intel's open-source multimedia team has released the Media Driver 2020.3 package for the Intel graphics accelerated media encode/decode component on Linux platforms.

    The Intel Media Decode Driver 2020.3 is notable in that it rounds out the Gen12/Xe support. This support is not only for the Tiger Lake support now beginning to appear in shipping notebooks but also for DG1 and upcoming Rocket Lake and SG1 solutions as well.

  • Intel Key Locker Support Added To LLVM - Confirms Presence With Tiger Lake

    Last week on the GNU toolchain side was initial work on supporting Intel Key Locker while this week Key Locker support has come to LLVM.

    Intel Key Locker is a means of encrypting/decrypting data with an AES key without having access to the raw key. Key Locker relies on converting AES keys into handles that are then used in place of the actual key, until revoked by the system. The goal with this feature is for preventing any rogue attackers from obtaining the actual AES keys on the system.

Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android

Benchmarking Firefox 83 Nightly With "Warp" Against Google Chrome On Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Following last week's news of Firefox Nightly flipping on their new JIT "Warp" update I was eager to run fresh benchmarks of the current Firefox releases compared to Google Chrome under Ubuntu Linux.

Warp was enabled last week for Firefox 83 nightly builds with this "Warp" just-in-time JavaScript compiler update having various improvements in an effort to provide greater responsiveness and faster page load speeds. Numbers cited by Mozilla engineers on their JavaScript/SpiderMonkey team were frequently in the 5~15% range. Even instances like Google Docs load times on Windows was around 20% faster with Warp.

This round of benchmarking was done with Firefox 81, Firefox 82 Beta 3, and Firefox 83 Alpha 1 nightly as of last week after Warp landed. A secondary run of Firefox 83 nightly was also done with WebRender force enabled on Linux. Plus Google Chrome 85 was also tested as the latest stable release.

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Linux-driven COM duo tap i.MX8M Plus

Filed under
Linux

TechNexion’s rugged “EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS” and “AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS” modules run Linux on NXP’s 2.3 TOPS i.MX8M Plus with up to 8GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, WiFi/BT, and starter kits. There are also new i.MX8M Mini and Nano EDM modules.

TechNexion has posted product pages for two compute modules that feature NXP’s i.MX8M Plus. The EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS is essentially the same as the wireless enabled Wandboard IMX8M-Plus-4G module option on the sandwich-style Wandboard IMX8M-Plus SBC announced in August. However, it offers up to 8GB LPDDR4 instead of 4GB. The AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS provides essentially the same capabilities but in TechNexion’s more rugged, 58 x 37mm AXON form-factor, which was used on the i.MX8M Mini-based AXON-IMX8M-Mini module.

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Red Hat Satellite 6.7.4 has been released

Filed under
Red Hat

We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.7. is generally available as of September 30, 2020.

Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

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Tails 4.11 Anonymous OS Released with Tor Browser 10, Extended Persistent Storage

Filed under
Linux

The biggest news in Tails 4.11 is the fact that it comes with the latest Tor Browser 10 anonymous web browser preinstalled, which is based on the newest Mozilla Firefox 78.3 ESR (Extended Support Release) series and includes Tor 0.4.4.5, Tor Launcher 0.2.25, and NoScript 11.0.44.

On top of that, Tails 4.11 updates the Mozilla Thunderbird email client to version 68.12 and extends the Persistent Storage feature to also save the keyboard, language, and other settings from the Welcome Screen. Users will be able to restore these settings when they reinstall Tails, but only after upgrading to version 4.11.

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Nvidia Graphics News

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • AMD FreeSync on a Nvidia GPU?

    It may be a familiar story for a lot of office workers no matter where you live in 2020. Out of the blue, COVID19 showed up, and suddenly working remotely is the new norm – your company either allowing it or encouraging it. I am also in this situation, stuck for about 6 months at home, more or less. And with all changes, there’s positive and negative aspects. In my case, I have lost a comfortable setup in my workplace (multiple monitors, high resolution).

    In order to make the best of working from home, I have purchased an ultra-wide monitor, which happens to be FreeSync compatible as well. But would it actually work on Linux? Especially on a non-AMD GPU configuration?

  • NVIDIA Sends Out Latest Linux Kernel Patches For 1GB THP To Help Boost Performance

    NVIDIA software engineer Zi Yan sent out on Monday his latest "1GB PUD THP" patches in aiming to boost application performance on Linux for software making use of large amounts of RAM.

    This 1GB transparent hugepage support for Linux x86_64 is designed to reduce translation overhead and allow for greater application performance for software with large memory footprints without needing any application changes. NVIDIA's motivation for this work is on the performance front with aiming to boost virtual memory performance via gigantic TLB entries without needing additional changes as imposed by HUGETLBFS pages. The PUD THP support would be disabled by default but can be toggled via sysfs under /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/.

  • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver Moves To 455 Series For Linux

    NVIDIA's Linux Vulkan beta driver build has moved from the 450 series that it's been on for a while to the current 455 branch.

    Earlier this month NVIDIA shipped the 455.23.04 Linux beta driver for RTX 30 series support being most notable for the R455 series. But there are also various other underlying improvements too in the jump from 450 to 455 like a new VkMemoryType that will help out some games, numerous fixes, support for the NGX Updater, and VDPAU additions.

  • NVIDIA adds Ampere support to their Vulkan Beta Driver with a new release

    NVIDIA have pushed out a fresh update to their developer-focused Vulkan Beta Driver series, here's the highlights and what's changed.

    For starters it's now been rebased on top of their mainline 455 driver branch, which brings with it Ampere 30xx series support. So for anyone truly needing this series for all the brand-new Vulkan extensions and other Beta features, you should be good to go.

Games: OBS Studio, Arcane Fortune, American Truck Simulator - Colorado and More

Filed under
Gaming
  • OBS Studio adds in better noise suppression thanks to RNNoise in the 26.0 release out now

    Free and open source video recording and live streaming software OBS Studio version 26.0 is out now.

    Pretty much all you need to get going with video content, OBS Studio being cross-platform and open source opened up a lot of options for Linux users when it arrived a few years ago. It's been great to see it flourish.

  • PC Gaming Setups for Windows and Linux

    What is the perfect setup for PC Gaming on the software side? Windows? Linux? or Both? Let's explore all the possibilities.

  • Grand strategy empire builder 'Arcane Fortune' has a new release and it went open source

    Arcane Fortune is a game we briefly highlighted at the start of August as one that is inspired by the likes of Civilization, SimCity and Dwarf Fortress and it's getting bigger again.

    Quite an interesting experience already, with a lot of features and gameplay already there. You can even play it directly in your terminal - if you wish. However, it does also have a "proper" version that uses SDL2 with mouse support. With a new release that went up on September 27, not only has it pulled in new features, it's also now properly open source. The original release was under a creative commons license but now they've moved the code over to the AGPL.

  • Get an early look at the Million Dollar Highway in American Truck Simulator - Colorado

    SCS Software will be launching the American Truck Simulator - Colorado DLC at some point and while work goes on they've released a new teaser.

    Here's one for you truckers, as Colorado has what some say is one of the most beautiful roads in America with the 'Million Dollar Highway' and it's going to be featured in the DLC. A pretty long stretch of road that runs from Bernalillo, New Mexico to Montrose, Colorado in the western United States. Sounds like the perfect place to go for a drive.

  • Episodic horror novel Scarlet Hollow sees a free first episode, Kickstarter soon for more

    Black Tabby Games recently released the first episode of Scarlet Hollow, a horror visual novel and choice-driven adventure game set in the mountains of Appalachia. After the initial release, they put up a Linux version too!

    It's made by the award-winning graphic novelist Abby Howard whose previously works include the comics of 2013: The Last Halloween, Junior Scientist Power Hour and The Last Halloween - all of which had very successful Kickstarter campaigns. Scarlet Hollow will have hand-drawn backgrounds mixed with animated sprites together with a "complex relationship system to bring to life an immersive world of charming (and terrifying) characters".

  • Great news for Transport Fever 2 fans as Vulkan support is coming

    Transport Fever 2 is a much loved transport sim released with same-day Linux support in December 2019, and it's only going to keep getting better.

    Gathering over seven thousand user reviews it has a Very Positive rating on Steam, so it's clear that this second edition from Urban Games and Good Shepherd Entertainment has hit the mark. It has a lot of features, quite a lot of content and graphically it looks pretty good too.

    However, it has just like the first game suffered some performance problems. They're aware, they've done a few updates to fix parts but more is needed. What's exciting here is that they announced in a post about upcoming macOS support that Linux and Windows will be getting an upgrade with Vulkan!

  • A bit like Stardew in space, One Lonely Outpost is fully funded and on the way to Linux

    Space, sci-fi and farming - what more could you want? One Lonely Outpost is like Stardew Valley for fans who want something a little bit more out there.

    The Kickstarter campaign which is now over ended on $123,195 pledged so there's clearly a lot of interest and that was way more than their $80,000 initial goal. Linux support is confirmed, and is listed very clearly for it too.

More in Tux Machines

Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi and Arduino

  • Introducing the Raspberry Pi Pico Microcontroller - IoT Tech Trends

    The Raspberry Pi Foundation comes through again with another innovative device. Already well-known for its series of single-board computers, the company has announced the Raspberry Pi Pico, a microcontroller that costs a shockingly low $4. Adding to the interest, the company is using its own RP2040 chip for it, meaning it’s making its own silicon, just like Apple with its M1.

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  • Kernel 5.10.9 compiled for Pi4

    EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, version 2.6, has the 5.10.4 Linux kernel. I have now compiled the 5.10.9 kernel, that will be used in the next release of Easy.

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  • Fixed compile of Samba without krb5 in OE

    EasyOS on the Pi4 does not have samba, as compile failed in OE. Yes, I could compile it in a running EasyOS on the Pi4, but would rather fix it in OE. I have a 'samba_%.bbappend' file, the main objective being to remove the 'pam' and 'krb5' dependencies. I worked on this recipe this morning. The problem is that instead of 'krb5', the internal 'heimdahl' is used, and this compiles two binaries, that are then executed during compile. The problem is that the binaries are compiled for the target system, in this case aarch64, whereas the build system is x86_64, so the binaries cannot run. OE does have a mechanism to handle this. It is possible to compile 'samba-native', that is, samba compiled to run on the build-system, and then use the two binaries from that when compile 'samba'. Fine, except that exactly how to do this is very poorly documented. The official documentation is very vague. A couple of years ago, I bought a book, "Embedded Linux Systems with the Yocto Project", but found that it also said hardly anything about this. I consider this to be an important topic, yet it seems that many OE experts don't know much about it either.

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  • Arduino Blog » Turn your staircase into a flaircase with this LED system

    If you live in a house with stairs and have to traipse up and down at night, it’s best to have some sort of light that guides you. Although a cell phone can work just fine, or you could likely activate bright overhead lighting, creator MagicManu devised an automatic and progressive solution to illuminate his path instead. MagicManu’s system knows when someone is there using PIR sensors arranged at both ends, and only activates if it’s dark enough thanks to a photoresistor. The entire setup is controlled by an Arduino Nano, while two potentiometers adjust light sensitivity and duration of ignition.

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has unveiled alternatives for affected users that give them several options for using existing Red Hat products. But for many users of CentOS Linux, the Red Hat options won’t solve the huge problems that were created for them when Red Hat announced Dec. 8 that CentOS would no longer include a stable version with a long, steady future. Instead, CentOS will now only be offered as a free CentOS Stream operating system which will be a rolling release with frequent updates, essentially turning it into a beta OS that is no longer suitable for reliable production workloads. For users who have deployed CentOS throughout the internet, data centers, corporate and business uses and more, this is a potentially major blow. Read more Also: Fedora program update: 2021-03

The Demise of Chromium as Free Software

  • This is why Leading Linux Distros going to remove Chromium from their Official Repositories

    Jochen Eisinger from Google team mentioned in a discussion thread that they will be banning sync support system of Chromium. This lead to lot of frustration in the Linux Dev community & rage against googles sudden decision. This Decision can kill small browser projects & lead the web to single browser monopoly i.e. Google Chrome! As a result of the googles decision multiple distros are strictly considering removal of Chromium from their official repositories. Leading distros like Arch Linux, Fedora, Debian, Slackware & OpenSUSE have stated that if the sync support goes down from google they will definitely remove chromium from their official repositories.

  • Chromium 88 removes Flash support [Ed: But DRM added]

    I uploaded a set of chromium packages to my repository today. Chromium 88.0.4324.96 sources were released two days ago. The release notes on the Google Chrome Releases Blog mention 36 security fixes with at least one being tagged as “critical” but the article does not mention that Flash support has been entirely removed from Chromium now. Adobe’s Flash was already actively being blocked for a long time and you had to consciously enable Flash content on web pages, but after Adobe discontinued Flash on 1st of January 2021 it was only a matter of time before support in web browsers would be removed as well. Let’s also briefly revisit the topic of my previous post – Google will remove access to Chrome Sync for all community builds of the open source variant of their Chrome browser: Chromium… thereby crippling it as far as I am concerned.

  • Chrome 89 Preparing To Ship With AV1 Encoder For WebRTC Usage [Ed: Massive patent trap]

    Now that Chrome 88 released, attention is turning to Chrome 89 of which an interesting technical change is the enabling of AV1 encode support within the web browser. Going back to 2018 there's been AV1 decode support within the browser when wanting to enjoy content encoded in this royalty-free, modern codec. But now for Chrome 89 is coming AV1 encode support. AV1 encode support is being added for the WebRTC use-case for real-time conferencing. Web applications like WebEx, Meet, and Duo (among others) already support using AV1 for better compression efficiency, improved low-bandwidth handling, and greater screen sharing efficiency. While hardware-based AV1 encoding isn't yet common, Chrome Linux/macOS/Windows desktop builds are adding the ability to use CPU-based AV1 encoding.

José Antonio Rey: New times, new solutions

Just as humans change, the Ubuntu community is also changing. People interact in different ways. Platforms that did not exist before are now available, and the community changes as the humans in it change as well. When we started the Local Communities project several years ago, we did it with the sole purpose of celebrating Ubuntu. The ways in which we celebrated included release parties, conferences, and gatherings in IRC. However, we have lately seen a decline in the momentum we had with regards to participation in this project. We have not done a review of the project since its inception, and inevitably, the Community Council believes that it is time to do a deep dive at how we can regain that momentum and continue getting together to celebrate Ubuntu. As such, we are putting together the Local Communities Research Committee, an independent entity overseen by the Community Council, which will help us understand the behavior of Local Community teams, how to better adapt to their needs, and to create a model that is suitable for the world we are living in today. Read more Also: Bits from Debian: New Debian Maintainers (November and December 2020)