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Multi-touch Gestures in elementary OS 6

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OS

One of the most hotly requested features for years has been to have multi-touch gestures in elementary OS, and with 6.0 I’m excited to say that we will deliver. Like the dark style preference, delivering a great multi-touch experience is a little more complicated than it seems on the surface. There have been some 3rd party tools to detect touchpad gestures and then trigger actions after-the-fact, but it wasn’t until recently that we’ve had the technical ability to provide smooth, responsive animations that track 1:1 with your finger movement across a touchpad or touch screen.

We’ve had the great pleasure of working with José Expósito, the author of Touchégg, on our window manager gestures. In elementary OS 6, we use Touchégg Daemon behind the scenes to capture input events and communicate them to Gala, our window manager.

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Also: elementary OS 6 to get great looking multi-touch gestures

Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 20.11

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OS

With Genode 20.11, we focused on the scalability of real-world application workloads, and nurtured Genode's support for 64-bit ARM hardware. We thereby follow the overarching goal to run highly sophisticated Genode-based systems on devices of various form factors.

When speaking of real-world workloads, we acknowledge that we cannot always know the exact behavior of applications. The system must deal gracefully with many unknowns: The roles and CPU intensity of threads, the interplay of application code with I/O, memory-pressure situations, or the sudden fragility of otherwise very useful code. The worst case must always be anticipated. In traditional operating systems, this implies that the OS kernel needs to be aware of certain behavioral patterns of the applications, and has to take decisions based on heuristics. Think of CPU scheduling, load balancing among CPU cores, driving power-saving features of the hardware, memory swapping, caching, and responding to near-fatal situations like OOM.

Genode allows us to move such complex heuristics outside the kernel into dedicated components. Our new CPU balancer described in Section CPU-load balancing is a living poster child of our approach. With this optional component, a part of a Genode system can be subjected to a CPU-load balancing policy of arbitrary complexity without affecting the quality of service of unrelated components, and without polluting the OS kernel with complexity.

A second aspect of real-world workloads is that they are usually not designed for Genode. To accommodate the wealth of time tested applications, we need to bridge the massive gap between APIs of olde (think of POSIX) and Genode's clean-slate interfaces. Section Streamlined ioctl handling in the C runtime / VFS shows how the current release leverages our novel VFS concept for the emulation of traditional ioctl-based interfaces. So useful existing applications come to live without compromising the architectural benefits of Genode.

Platform-wise, the new release continues our mission to host Genode-based systems such as Sculpt OS on 64-bit ARM hardware. This work entails intensive development of device drivers and the overall driver architecture. Section Sculpt OS on 64-bit ARM hardware (i.MX8 EVK) reports on the achievement of bringing Sculpt to 64-bit i.MX8 hardware. This line of work goes almost hand in hand with the improvements of our custom virtual machine monitor for ARM as outlined in Section Multicore virtualization on ARM.

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Also: Genode OS Framework 20.11 Brings Dynamic CPU Load Balancing, 64-bit ARM Sculpt OS

Why Aren’t Viruses a Problem on Chrome OS?

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OS

Chrome OS has a reputation for being virus-proof. Google likes to boast about how secure its operating system is compared to others. Are Chromebooks really immune to viruses, though? And, if so, how do they achieve this? Allow us to explain.

First, let’s consider what a computer virus actually is. Viruses fall under the umbrella of “malware.” They’re destructive because they inject a code into a file (usually, one that’s executable), and when that file is run, the malicious code is released.

Once the code is released on your system, it can do any number of malicious things, like destroy data, overwrite files, or even replicate itself and spread to other systems.

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Best USB bootable distros of 2020

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OS

Trimmed distros aren’t only designed for ageing hardware. In fact, there are several lean distros that have been pruned and tuned and optimized for booting off of USB.

There are several uses for shoving Linux distros inside a USB flash drive. For instance, they can be quite handy when you need to use somebody else’s computer. Or, perhaps you need to boot into a live Linux environment to troubleshoot issues with your computer, or perhaps to transfer data from a dying disk.

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MuditaOS: A Beautiful and Minimal Open Source Mobile Operating System

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OS
OSS

MuditaOS is a beautiful, minimal open-source operating system for mobile phones. Unlike other mobile phone operating systems, however, the developers behind MuditaOS are not interested in smartphones. Instead, they aim to take us to the era before the smartphone craze that has lead to distrust for big tech companies, but with a far cooler style.

Developing this mobile operating system has admittedly been a challenge to the team and they are excited to have come up with a beautifully designed E Ink OS, which they have open-sourced to meet the modern user’s desire for transparency without compromising quality.

When the company developed and open-source the operating system, they announced that open-sourcing the OS goes along the lines of their “You’re happy – I’m Happy” philosophy and this makes even more sense when you understand that Mudita is from the Sanskrit word “Mudit” which translates to ‘Happy‘.

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Music Production on Guix System

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OS
GNU

The working title “Ode to One Two Oh” was an obvious choice, being a quasi-palindrome, and its five syllables suggested a time signature of 5/4. Where to from here?

As I stared at my Emacs session with a Guile REPL (read, eval, print, loop) buffer I tried to recall what the letters “REPL” stand for. Clearly, in my case the “P” was for “Procrastination”, but what about the others? I had stumbled upon the chorus: a description of the Guix development process. Contribute as others before us have shared their contributions (Reciprocation), review patches and discuss (Evaluation), hack on something else (Procrastination), and repeat (Loop).

The words suggested a simple descending melody, which would need to be elevated by a somewhat less simple chord progression. After trying out a few harmonies on the Grand Stick I remembered how terrible my memory was and decided that I would need to scatter the harmonies onto a canvas, listen to the whole progression, and adjust the lines as needed — all without having to build up muscle memory for harmonies and progressions I may very well end up discarding in the process.

This is where my composition workflow probably deviates from most other people. Many would use a MIDI sequencer for that kind of approach, whereas I decided to hone in on the exact harmonies with an unlikely tool: the unparalleled music engraving application Lilypond. Lilypond sports a versatile language that covers primitive note input, the means of combining them to larger phrases and musical ideas, and the means of abstraction — it allows for musical ideas to be named and recombined in different shapes. For everything the language doesn’t account for with specialized syntax I can simply switch to Guile Scheme. No other notation software is as flexible and malleable as Lilypond. I let it generate both sheet music and a MIDI file — the sheet music is displayed in a PDF viewer in Emacs and the MIDI file sent to fluidsynth (because I trust my ears over my eyes).

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Pro1 X smartphone with physical keyboard passes $500,000 via Indiegogo

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OS
Android
Ubuntu

If you are searching for a smartphone with a physical keyboard you may be interested in the Pro1 X smartphone, a device capable of running a number of different operating systems including Android, Ubuntu, Lineage and more. Launched by Indiegogo earlier this month the campaign has already raised over $500,000 thanks to over 850 backers with still 16 days remaining.

Early bird pledges are now available for the innovative project from roughly $679 or £507, offering a considerable discount of approximately 24% off the recommended retail price, while the crowd funding campaign is under way. If the Pro1 X Indiegogo campaign is successful and the project progresses smoothly, worldwide shipping is expected to take place sometime around March 2021. To learn more about the Pro1 X project review the promotional video below.

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Manjaro ARM Beta3 for PinePhone brings camera, phone call, and gesture improvements

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OS
Linux

The latest beta of Manjaro ARM for the PinePhone brings a series of software updates and bug fixes.

The kernel and default web browser, camera app, keyboard, and chat applications have all received updates. Phone call audio quality has been improved. And you you can now close applications by swiping upward on the thumbnail image in the task switcher.

Manjaro ARM Beta3 with Phosh for the PinePhone is available for download from OSDN, and you can flash it to a microSD card using balenaEtcher or a similar tool.

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Latest Chromium OS build for the GPD Pocket 1 and 2 brings hardware, software fixes for these mini-laptops

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OS

The GPD Pocket and Pocket 2 are tiny laptops small enough to fold up and slide into (some) pockets… thus the name. With 7 inch touchscreen displays and QWERTY keyboards, they’re about as small as you can get while still supporting touch-typing on a laptop.

GPD ships the Pocket mini-laptops with Windows 10 software, but independent developers have been porting alternate operating systems for years. You can run GNU/Linux distributions (there’s even a version of Ubuntu MATE designed for these little PCs). And developer Keith Myers has been offering up builds of Chromium OS for those that want to turn their GPD devices into tiny Chromebooks.

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GNU Guix 1.2.0 released

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OS
GNU

We are pleased to announce the release of GNU Guix version 1.2.0, right in time to celebrate the eighth anniversary of Guix!

The release comes with ISO-9660 installation images, a virtual machine image, and with tarballs to install the package manager on top of your GNU/Linux distro, either from source or from binaries. Guix users can update by running guix pull.

It’s been almost 7 months since the last release, during which 200 people contributed code and packages, and a number of people contributed to other important tasks—code review, system administration, translation, web site updates, Outreachy mentoring, you name it!

There’s been more than 10,200 commits in that time frame and it is the challenge of these release notes to summarize all that activity.

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More in Tux Machines

The Spectre Mitigation Performance Impact On AMD Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" Processors

For those wondering what the current cost is to the default Spectre mitigation protections on the new AMD Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" processors, here are a set of performance tests looking at that overhead with the still relevant mitigations applied by default and then if forcing them off. The Zen 3 mitigation overhead was compared then to similar AMD Zen 2 and Zen+ processors. After looking last week at the odd state of mitigation performance on Intel's new Tiger Lake processors, the attention shifted to looking at the mitigation overhead for the new AMD Zen 3 processors. Thankfully there is less mitigations to worry about with AMD processors but still even with these new processors there is still a measurable difference in affected workloads between mitigations on and off. Also, unlike Tiger Lake and contrary to rumors, the Zen 3 mitigation performance was in the right direction: disabling the mitigations did help boost the performance as is logical, unlike what we saw with Tiger Lake where now disabling the mitigations hurt the overall performance. Read more

Open source predictions for 2021

When I think of open source and 2021, a Saga song comes to mind: "On The Loose." I believe no one can stop open source in the coming year--that's how big it's going to get. That's saying something, given how enterprise businesses already depend on open source technology on a daily basis. The dependency we're currently experiencing is nothing compared to what I predict for the coming year. Of course, it's not just about business, as I have one rather bold prediction for consumers as well. What are these predictions? Let me warm up my crystal ball, dim the lights, drop the needle on some music to create the perfect ambiance, and gaze deep into the waters of the future. Read more

today's howtos

  • How to Install Wiki.js on CentOS 8 - RoseHosting

    Wiki.js is a free and open-source wiki application written in Node.js. It is simple, lightweight, and uses Markdown files to saves all contents. You can save your content directly to the Markdown file and sync it with your Git repository. It offers a rich set of features including, integrated access control, a built-in search engine, and supports external authentication.

  • How to install FreeCAD on Linux Mint 20 - YouTube

    In this video, we are looking at how to install FreeCAD on Linux Mint 20.

  • How to optimize the apt package manager on Debian-based Linux distributions - TechRepublic

    There are a number of ways Linux is superior to other operating systems. Not only is Linux more reliable and stable, it’s more secure and user-friendly (in more areas than you might believe). But above everything else, one of the most amazing things about Linux is it’s flexibility. You’d be hard-pressed to find a distribution of Linux that insists you do it one way and only one way (which is the case with Windows and macOS).

  • Image Noise Reduction By Image Stacking/Blending

    Simply put, it is a way to use multiple photos of an image to reduce the noise in the final image to produce a cleaner and clearer final image. Image Stacking/Blending is not the same as Focus Stacking, which is normally used when taking Macro or Close Up images.

  • Faked Memory Sticks

    There is a big trade in cheaper memory sticks, that is, all types. These include both USB Pen Drives and SDXC and microSDXC (aka TF) types. But there are many others. Some cheaper ones have speed problems, and if that's not a concern, go ahead. But amongst them are a number of Fake Memory drives. Let's just explain what that means. A fake memory drive is a memory drive, it's the details that are faked. It will actually work up to a point. What has been faked is the amount of storage space it holds. Your computer or phone or whatever device using it, relies on information stored at the beginning of the memory to know how much space there is on it. Also held there is the file index system. If someone can overwrite that information, then the drive can return false data to the system about how much space it has.

  • Inkscape Tutorial: Create A Custom Calendar
  • Using Timeshift To Backup & Restore Your PCLinuxOS System

    I recently ran across a post by one of the PCLinuxOS forum members, asking for an article/tutorial on how to use Timeshift, so I decided to give it a go. Now, if you're new to PCLinuxOS or Linux in general, you may be asking yourself, "what is Timeshift?" Well, Timeshift is a package/program written for Linux to create restore points for your operating system, much like the restore point feature in Windows. It allows you to make incremental backups that create exact images of your system, at specific points in time. They can be used to restore your system to the exact state that it was in, at the time when the backup was made. The backups are incremental so they don't need as much hard drive space to store.

  • BPF For Observability: Getting Started Quickly | Linux Journal

    BPF is a powerful component in the Linux kernel and the tools that make use of it are vastly varied and numerous. In this article we examine the general usefulness of BPF and guide you on a path towards taking advantage of BPF’s utility and power. One aspect of BPF, like many technologies, is that at first blush it can appear overwhelming. We seek to remove that feeling and to get you started.

  • Learn how to simplify data protection using Vinchin Backup & Recovery with Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager

    Looking for a reliable backup solution for your Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager deployments? Join us on Wednesday, December 16, for a webinar with Luwen Zhang from Vinchin and Simon Coter from Oracle. Luwen and Simon will discuss how to simplify the data protection process using Vinchin Backup & Recovery with Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager.

Linux: The 7 best distributions for new users

The age-old question has returned, one that divides a certain community faster than a penguin can devour a mouthful of krill. That question? What are the best Linux distributions for new users? When you ask the question of the Linux community, they inevitably answer with the distribution they use. Why wouldn't they? Loyalty has always been set at a fairly high bar with Linux. You find a distribution that's perfect for you, and you want everyone to use it. Thing is, you probably forget that your Linux skills are likely considerably higher than the average user--and especially the new user. Read more