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Hardware

Deprecating a.out Binaries

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Remember a.out binaries? They were the file format of the Linux kernel till around 1995 when ELF took over. ELF is better. It allows you to load shared libraries anywhere in memory, while a.out binaries need you to register shared library locations. That's fine at small scales, but it gets to be more and more of a headache as you have more and more shared libraries to deal with. But a.out is still supported in the Linux source tree, 25 years after ELF became the standard default format.

Recently, Borislav Petkov recommended deprecating it in the source tree, with the idea of removing it if it turned out there were no remaining users. He posted a patch to implement the deprecation. Alan Cox also remarked that "in the unlikely event that someone actually has an a.out binary they can't live with, they can also just write an a.out loader as an ELF program entirely in userspace."

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Linux Hardware: Intel and Qualcomm

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Intel Drops 2 Exciting Clues About The Future Of Clear Linux OS For 'Normal' Desktop Users [Ed: Intel is still trying, more desperately over time, to generate interest in its flailing GNU/Linux distro while putting back doors in every chip and doing other profoundly dubious things]

    I'm not a developer, a server administrator or anyone with advanced programming skills. I'm just a normal desktop Linux user who appreciates speed, stability, great aesthetics and ease of use. As such I've been keeping a close eye on Intel's Clear Linux, and have been insisting it's worth paying attention to. Intel's recent community efforts around Clear Linux -- and even certain touches they've implemented to the installer -- have given me the strong belief that the company is looking to serve people just like me in the near future. So I asked the burning question directly, and Intel just answered it.

  • Touch panel PCs offer a choice of 64 models mixing different sizes and Intel chips

    Taicenn’s Linux-friendly, IP65 protected “TPC-DCM” industrial panel PCs let you choose between 6th or 7th Gen U-series Core, Apollo Lake, or Bay Trail CPUs with 2x GbE, SATA, optional wireless, and capacitive touchscreens between 15 and 24 inches.

    Taicenn, which last year introduced an Intel Bay Trail based, in-vehicle TPC-DCXXXC1E panel PC has now returned with an industrial series of TPC-DCM panel PCs. You can choose between 64 configurations, with 8x Intel processor choices and 8x screen sizes: 15.0, 2x 15.6, 17.0, 18.5, 19.0, 21.5 and 24.0-inch models ranging from 1024 x 768 to 1920 x 1080 pixels.

  • Three Linux router boards showcase Qualcomm IPQ4019

    Three router SBCs that run Linux on Qualcomm’s quad -A7 IPQ4019 have reached market: The Dakota DR4019 with 2x GbE, optional SFP and Wave2 WiFi, MikroTik’s RB450Gx4 with 5x GbE and PoE, and a $200 Kefu DB11 dev kit.

AMD Navi and Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware
  • More AMD Navi GPUs show up in a Linux driver

    A since-deleted commit for a Linux driver update hints at 4 new AMD Navi GPUs.

  • Libdrm Picks Up Support For AMD Navi

    As another one of the prerequisites for landing the AMD Radeon RX 5000 series "Navi" support in Mesa, the libdrm bits have just been merged.

    Libdrm is the Mesa DRM library that is needed for sitting between the Linux kernel Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) interfaces and the user-space components (depending upon the driver, as is required by like RadeonSI). Libdrm also ends up being used by the DDX drivers like xf86-video-amdgpu and other components as well depending upon the driver. As of a short time ago, the Navi bits landed in libdrm Git.

    The Navi support here isn't all that exciting and mostly boilerplate code for a new generation for a new family ID, a new member for a tile steering override for GFX10, GDDR6 as a new video memory type, and the largest addition is simply the new tests for VCN 2.0 video decode support.

You Can Now Buy Linux Notebooks Powered by Zorin OS from Star Labs

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

The makers of the Zorin OS Linux operating system announced today that they partnered with a computer manufacturer to offer users notebooks powered by Zorin OS.

The wait is over, as Zorin OS has partnered with Star Labs, a UK-based computer manufacturer specialised in selling Linux-powered notebooks, to offer you two new laptops running the latest version of Zorin OS, fully customized and optimised for these powerful and slick notebooks.

"Creating a Linux desktop experience that’s accessible to everyone has always been our mission at Zorin OS," reads today's announcement. "Today we’re taking the next step in this mission by making Zorin OS easier for the masses to access: on new computers powered by Zorin OS."

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Pinebook Pro, the $199 Linux Laptop, Gets Keyboard & Bluetooth Spec Bumps

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

Pine64, the company behind a range of popular single-board computers, have shared some more details on the upcoming PineBook Pro Linux laptop.

[...]

As well as working on the PineBook Pro the fine Pine64 folks are also working on a $79 Linux-based tablet with detachable keyboard: the PineTab.

And, like its clam-shell cousin, it too is getting an upgrade of over what was originally planned.

The PineTab will now ship with 64GB eMMC (up from 32GB). It’ll also boast an M.2 adapter for user expansion and connectivity options…

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Linux on Devices: Ibase, Adlink, and Google

Filed under
Hardware
  • 3.5-inch SBC features Intel Gemini Lake

    Ibase has launched a 3.5-inch “IB822” SBC with an Intel Gemini Lake SoC with 16GB DDR4, 2x SATA, 2x GbE, triple displays, and 2x M2 expansion slots.

    Ibase’s IB822, which is not to be confused with its similarly 3.5-inch, circa-2008 IB882 SBC running the Atom Z500 or the more recent, Apollo Lake based IB818 3.5-inch model, features the latest Intel Atom class Gemini Lake system-on-chips. This is the first Gemini Lake 3.5-inch SBC we’ve seen, and the only SBC aside from Hardkernel’s Odroid-H2 SBC. Meanwhile, the delayed, Gemini Lake based LattePanda Delta SBC is available for pre-order starting at $385 with shipments expected in August.

  • Railway computer takes on AI analytics with Nvidia Quadro graphics

    Adlink’s Linux-ready, EN50155-certified “PIS-5500” railway analytics computer offers Intel 6th or 7th Gen Core i7 CPUs with AI-enabled Nvidia Quadro graphics. I/O includes 10x GbE, 2x or 4x SATA, 2x mini-PCIe, and M.2.

    Railway computers are growing more sophisticated and starting to specialize. Whereas Adlink’s Apollo Lake based DMI-1210 touch-panel computer is designed for train driver controls, its rugged new PIS-5500 is aimed at both wayside and onboard real-time video/graphics analytics applications. These include ticket-free check-in, more accurate arrival-time predictions, personalized infotainment and onboard services, real-time track heath diagnostics, and rapid emergency response.

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  • Google won't be making its own Android or Chrome OS tablets any more

               

                 

    A spokesperson from Google said: “Chrome OS has grown in popularity across a broad range of form factors and we’ll continue to work with our ecosystem of partners on laptops and tablets. For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate.”

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  • Google's officially done making its own tablets

               

                 

    A couple of clarifying points here: First, none of this has any impact on Pixel phones. Pixel phones and Pixel computers are two different departments, and the roadmap in question is related exclusively to the latter. (The same applies to the various Google Home/Nest products. What we're talking about today has absolutely zero impact on any that stuff.)

                 

    And second, when Google talks about a "tablet," it means a device that detaches completely from a keyboard base or doesn't even have a physical keyboard in the first place — not a swiveling two-in-one convertible like the Pixelbook. The Pixelbook, with its attached keyboard and 360-degree hinge, falls under Google's definition of "laptop." Blurred lines, baby.

Raspberry Pi pHAT detects indoor pollution, and optionally, outdoors too

Filed under
Hardware

Pimoroni’s $57 “Enviro+” pHAT for the Raspberry Pi can detect indoor air quality, temperature, pressure, humidity, light, and noise. You can hook up an optional “PMS5003 Particulate Matter Sensor” for detecting outdoor pollution.

In 2016, Pimoroni launched a $20 Enviro pHAT board for the Raspberry Pi. The name was a bit misleading, however, since its environmental sensors were limited to a temperature/pressure sensor, light sensor, and whatever you could hook up via the 4-channel analog to digital converter (ADC). Now, the UK-based company has returned with a 45-Pound ($57) Enviro+ pHAT that loses the accelerometer/magnetometer, but adds humidity and analog gas sensors, a MEMS microphone for detecting noise levels, and a 1-inch color LCD screen.

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Fedora 30 test on laptop with Nvidia - Back in 2010

Filed under
Red Hat
Hardware
Reviews

I think the results are obvious, and they speak for themselves. Alas, it would seem that if you want to use Fedora with a setup like the above, then you'll be either very lucky or you're going to face a torrent of problems. But then, Linux has always been, to use a somewhat stupid analogy, like saying you should only drive your car on Mondays on roads that have green sidewalks, and then you will be fine. The whole not-our-problem, use hardware that's "friendly" is nonsense, because people don't have infinite money, choice or expertise, especially since alternative operating systems offer all they need, plus a full range of hardware freedom.

My Fedora 30 test on the G50 was decent - that's a simple Intel graphics box - but even that one used to have millions of problems with Linux - Fedora wouldn't boot until I'd done a BIOS update, and for three years, almost every distro had network disconnect problems. On this box, we're seeing more of what I showed you in the Fedora 29 test. Fedora and Nvidia graphics are not a good fit. Add to that my home dir import woes, the performance woes, the Wireless woes, you get the picture. Feels like we've gone back many years into the past. I'd actually prefer if distros WARNED that the device is not certified or approved or expected to work and refuse to install, than install and then throw a whole bucket of hissy. I will still run an in-vivo upgrade on the Lenovo machine, because that's what I promised to do, but this is a big, big disappointment.

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Linux Distributions for IoT: A Guide to Making the Right Choice

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Linux distributions may be popular for IoT initiatives, but making the wrong choice can have dire consequences.

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Also: Kontron unveils Whiskey Lake-UE module and updates Coffee Lake COM to 9th Gen chips

Your first robotic arm with Ubuntu Core, coming from Niryo

Filed under
Hardware
Ubuntu

Niryo has built a fantastic 6-axis robotic arm called ‘Niryo One’. It is a 3D-printed, affordable robotic arm focused mainly on educational purposes. Additionally, it is fully open source and based on ROS. On the hardware side, it is powered by a Raspberry Pi 3 and NiryoStepper motors, based on Arduino microcontrollers. When we found out all this, guess what we thought? This is a perfect target for Ubuntu Core and snaps!

When the robotic arm came to my hands, the first thing I did was play with Niryo Studio; a tool from Niryo that lets you move the robotic arm, teach sequences to it and store them, and many more things. You can programme the robotic arm with Python or with a graphical editor based on Google’s Blocky. Niryo Studio is a great tool that makes starting on robotics easy and pleasant.

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More in Tux Machines

Benchmarking The Experimental Bcachefs File-System Against Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS & ZFS

Bcachefs is the file-system born out of the Linux kernel's block cache code and has been worked on the past several years by developer Kent Overstreet. Our most recent benchmarking of Bcachefs was last year, so with the prospects of Bcachefs potentially being staged soon in the mainline Linux kernel, I ran some benchmarks using the latest kernel code for this next-generation file-system. Those unfamiliar with this copy-on-write file-system can learn more at Bcachefs.org. The design features of this file-system are similar to ZFS/Btrfs and include native encryption, snapshots, compression, caching, multi-device/RAID support, and more. But even with all of its features, it aims to offer XFS/EXT4-like performance, which is something that can't generally be said for Btrfs. Read more

Games: TheoTown, Prison Architect and More

  • Retro themed city-builder 'TheoTown' has now added Linux support

    TheoTown, developed by blueflower is a city-builder with a retro style that looks to be inspired by the classic Sim City 2000 and it's now available on Steam for Linux. Released on Steam earlier this month, TheoTown is also available on mobile but the PC version is a full and proper game with no in-app purchase nonsense. On Android at least, the game is very highly rated and I imagine a number of readers have played it there so now you can pick it up again on your Linux PC and continue building the city of your dreams. So far, the Steam user reviews are also giving it a good overall picture.

  • Reminder: Update your PC info for the next round of statistics updates

    This is your once a month reminder to make sure your PC information is correct on your user profiles. A fresh batch of statistics is generated on the 1st of each month.

  • Prison Architect gains a new warden with Double Eleven, free update incoming

    After Paradox Interactive acquired the rights to Prison Architect from Introversion Software, they've now announced that Double Eleven will be handling future updates. Double Eleven are a well-known developer and publisher of quite a number of titles, with them also previously been responsible for the console versions of Prison Architect so it seems like a pretty good fit as they already worked with the game.

  • Steam To Drop Support For Ubuntu

    Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution and that’s why it gets the attention of big companies like steam to design software for it. But recently, Linux community is kind of unhappy over Canonical decision on dropping Ubuntu 32-bit packages. The community already discussed that in case Ubuntu drops 32-bit packages support in upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 or future releases, it’d create big problems including Wine users and Linux gamers. And here comes the first news from Steam, the gaming platform. Pierre-Loup Griffais from Valve tweeted that Ubuntu 19.10 or any future Ubuntu releases will not be officially supported by Steam. He also said that the team will work on to minimize the breakage for existing users and thinking to focus on any other Linux distribution.

  • Canonical to Continue Building Selected 32-Bit i386 Packages for Ubuntu 19.10, Azul Systems Announces Zulu Mission Control v7.0, Elisa v. 0.4.1 Now Available, Firefox Adds Fission to the Nightly Build and Tails Emergency Release

    After much feedback from the community, Canonical yesterday announced it will continue to build selected 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS. The statement notes that Canonical "will also work with the WINE, Ubuntu Studio and gaming communities to use container technology to address the ultimate end of life of 32-bit libraries; it should stay possible to run old applications on newer versions of Ubuntu. Snaps and LXD enable us both to have complete 32-bit environments, and bundled libraries, to solve these issues in the long term."

  • OpenVIII, an in-development open source game engine for Final Fantasy VIII

    Any fans of Final Fantasy VIII reading? You're going to want to keep an eye on the in-development game engine OpenVIII. While it doesn't seem like it's currently playable, plenty of work has already gone into OpenVIII to work with "video support, music support, audio support, in-game menu" and more. The project is currently classed by the developer as a "pre-prototype" so don't go getting any hopes up yet about playing Final Fantasy VIII natively on Linux.

  • Littlewood hasn't been out for long, but this peaceful RPG has a lot to like about it

    Entering Early Access last week, Sean Young's peaceful RPG Littlewood is a game for those who like to relax a little. Note: Key provided directly by the developer. What happens after the world has been saved, after all the major battles have already been fought? That's exactly what Littlewood is all about, you saved the world and lost your memory so you're helping to re-build the town. In some ways, it actually reminds me of my experience with Forager. It's small, it's sweet and it doesn't feel like it's constantly begging for attention. Quite different in setting though of course, more along the lines of Stardew Valley but with less emphasis on constant farming. I love the building interface too, while it's quite simplistic it allows you to pick up trees, stones and move everything out of your way. Nothing feels annoying, so it's really sweet.

  • Cyberspace first-person shooter 'Black Ice' just had a massive upgrade

    Currently in Early Access, it has been a long time since Black Ice had an update to the "stable" version but the developer hasn't been sat idle. A massive update to the entire game just landed. Featuring some of what I showed off recently, Black Ice has come a very long was since the initial few releases making it a vastly more interesting game. One of the biggest changes, is an overhaul to the entire world design full of new areas, combat arenas with even more to come. Additionally, there's now some random events that will happen to also make the world seem a bit more lively. One server might try to hack another, so you can jump in and fight them all or sit back and watch the fireworks.

Android Leftovers

KDE Plasma 5.16.2 Desktop Environment Released with More Than 30 Bug Fixes

Coming just one week after the first point release, the KDE Plasma 5.16.2 maintenance update is here to add yet another layer of bug fixes with the ultimate goal to make the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment more stable and reliable for users. In particular, this second point release introduces a total of 34 changes across various core components and apps. "Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.16.2. Plasma 5.16 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. This release adds a week's worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important," reads today's announcement. Read more Also: Plasma 5.16.2