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Linux

Why Linux stands out amongst other OSes

Filed under
OS
Linux

Up until recently, Elementary OS was my platform of choice. It's an elegant, simple, and user-friendly solution for the desktop. One thing that the Elementary developers do that I believe is fairly wise is to not allow upgrades from one major release to another. In other words, if you use Elementary OS Loki, you can't upgrade to Juno. To get the benefits of Juno, you must do a full-blown re-install of the OS.

Why is this route wise? My latest adventures in Linux will help explain.

A few months ago, I purchased a System76 Thelio. It's a beast of a desktop, while at the same a masterful work of art. Preinstalled on that desktop machine was System76's own Pop!_OS. Based on Ubuntu, it seemed like a great way for me to dive back into the GNOME desktop. So I did. It took no time to get accustomed to the new workflow with GNOME. Once my fingers understood the new keyboard shortcuts, I was good to go.

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Linux 5.1 Encounters "Regression Special" For Intel & VirtIO DRM Drivers

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

If you have been hit by a bug on Linux 5.1 where your X.Org Server would no longer start or separately where when using VirtIO DRM that XWayland and GNOME Shell would break, fixes have now landed in Linux 5.1 Git.

David Airlie sent in the DRM fixes on Wednesday as a "regression special" for the Intel i915 and VirtIO DRM drivers compared to the usual DRM fixes cadence.

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How to enable SSH access using a GPG key for authentication

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Linux
Security
HowTos

Many of us are familiar with Secure Shell (SSH), which allows us to connect to other systems using a key instead of a password. This guide will explain how to eliminate SSH keys and use a GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) subkey instead.

Using GPG does not make your SSH connections more secure. SSH is a secure protocol, and SSH keys are secure. Instead, it makes certain forms of key distribution and backup management easier. It also will not change your workflow for using SSH. All commands will continue to work as you expect, except that you will no longer have SSH private keys and you will unlock your GPG key instead.

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Devices: Airtop3 With Linux Mint and Debian's Jonathan McDowell Studies a PCB

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Airtop3 Manages A Passively-Cooled Core i9 9900K + Quadro RTX 4000

    CompuLab today announced the Airtop3, the latest in their series of industrial-grade, excellently built fanless PCs. The CompuLab Airtop we benchmarked back in 2016 while showing its age now with the Core i7 5775C Broadwell processor is still running strong with its original design and even after what's been hundreds if not thousands of hours of benchmarking workloads still is running strong. Then again, that isn't too surprising as we continue to be improved by their build quality now after benchmarking their systems with Linux for the past decade.

  • Fanless mini-tower runs Linux Mint on up to 5GHz octa-core i9-9900K

    Compulab’s passively cooled, Linux-friendly “Airtop3” mini-tower builds on a 9th Gen, octa-core Intel Core i9-9900K with Quadro RTX 4000 graphics plus up to 128GB DDR4, NVMe and SATA storage, triple displays, 2x GbE, 6x USB 3.1, and -40 to 70°C support.

    Compulab has launched a redesigned Airtop IoT edge server that accomplishes the challenging task of passively cooling Intel’s high-end, 9th Gen Core i9-9900K processor. The Airtop3 is “nearly” twice as powerful as the 7th Gen Kaby Lake based Airtop2 mini-tower while maintaining the fanless, embedded-oriented design, says Compulab. Linux Mint and Windows 10 Pro are available.

  • Jonathan McDowell: Making my first PCB

    I then started to notice I was getting JLCPCB ads while web browsing, offering 10 PCBs for $2. That seemed like a good deal, and I thought if I did things right I could find the right case and then make sure the PCB fitted in it. I found a small vented white case available from CPC. This allows me to put a temperature sensor inside for some devices. KiCad seemed like a good option for trying to design my basic schematic and lay it out, so I installed it and set to work trying to figure out what I wanted to put on the board, and how to actually drive KiCad.

    As the core I chose an ESP-07 ESP8266 module. I’ve used a few of them before and they’re cheap and convenient. I added an LDO voltage regulator (LD1117) so I could use a 5V PSU (and I’m hoping with a heatsink I can get away with a 12V supply as well, even if it’s more inefficient). That gave enough to get a basic schematic once I’d added the necessary pull-up/down resistors for the ESP8266 and decoupling capacitors. I included a DC barrel jack for the PSU, and pin headers for the serial port, SPI pins and GPIO0 for boot selection. One of my use cases is to make an LED strip controller, so I threw in a screw terminal block for power + control - the board is laid out to allow a MOSFET for a simple white 12V LED strip, or the same GPIO taken straight to the terminal block for controlling a WS2812 strip. By including a couple of extra pull-up resistors I added the option of I2C for further expansion.

    After I had the basic schematic I moved to layout. Luckily Hammond provide 2D CAD files for the case, so I figured I would import them into KiCad’s PCB layout tool to make sure things would fit. That took a little bit of effort to go from DWG to DXF and trim it down (I found a web tool to do the initial conversion and then had to strip out the bits of the case that weren’t related to the PCB size + mounting points). I wasn’t confident enough that the edge cuts layer would include the mounting holes, so I manually placed some from KiCad over the right spots.

5 of the Best Linux Desktops for Touchscreen Monitors in 2019

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The concept of using Linux on a touchscreen monitor or two-in-one computer has come a long way. Touchscreen support is now built into the Linux kernel, so theoretically any Linux distribution should run with a touchscreen. That said, not every distribution will be easy to use on a touchscreen, and this comes down to the desktop.

For example, using a tiling window manager like Awesome or i3 isn’t going to do you much good on a touchscreen. Choose the right desktop (more precisely, desktop environment), and you’ll have a much better time using Linux with a touchscreen.

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ps_mem Shows Per-Program Memory Usage On Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Unlike many other tools that report memory usage per process, ps_mem reports the RAM usage of programs. For example it shows how much RAM is used by all Chromium processes combined. The program developer notes that the ps_mem name is used for backwards compatibility, but a more accurate name would be coremem.

The displayed RAM is calculated by adding the sum of private RAM and the sum of shared RAM for a program processes.

Running ps_mem with no arguments shows a list programs and their RAM usage in ascendant order (from the lowest RAM usage to the highest). For each program it shows the private, shared, and total used RAM, as well as the number of processes. Swap information for each program can be shown as well, by using the -S option (sudo ps_mem -S).

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Strawberry Released for Sparky Linux, feren OS 2019.04 in Review

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Linux Mint KDE Still Possible

Filed under
Linux

If you're the Linux Mint and KDE lover, then you know that starting from Linux Mint 19 "Tara", your beloved Linux distro has stopped shipping with KDE. So Linux Mint KDE has died a brutal death. But we can revive the combination of the two best software, i.e. Linux Mint on KDE.

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The Great GNU/Linux Division

Filed under
GNU
Linux

I have not abandoned the language of the purists altogether. For instance, I still refer to my distribution of choice as ?Debian GNU/Linux,? because that is what project members prefer. Similarly, if an FSF employee asks that I use their preferred term, I will usually agree if I think the story I?m covering is one in which people should know the difference.

What has changed is my refusal to be overly-concerned about such matters of language. While language issues were worth discussing 20 years ago, the inability to move beyond them is obsessive and crankish today. If the purists really want to help free software, they would be more useful contributing to the project of their choice than clinging a cause that was lost years ago.

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Dropped Linux Kernel Drivers Occasionally See Revival - FDOMAIN Gets Second Chance

Filed under
Linux

When drivers get dropped from the Linux kernel it's generally due to hardware being no one cares about anymore that hasn't been produced in many years and the code often falls into disrepair to the point that the only logical way forward is dropping the driver. That happened last year to the "FDOMAIN" driver but as does happen every so often (albeit rare) thanks to the code being still obtainable through Git and the nature of open-source, interested parties can step up and revive the code.

The FDOMAIN Linux driver is for Future Domain 16-bit SCSI host adapters found in a variety of PCI boards. The code was removed in March of 2018 as the Future Domain drivers hadn't seen any bug fixing in years and were relying upon SCSI infrastructure deprecated some fifteen years earlier. The supported PCI SCSI adapters haven't even been produced in many years albeit can still be found from some after-market shops / eBay like the Adaptec AHA-2920A card that allows up to seven SCSI peripherals over PCI.

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More in Tux Machines

OpenBSD 6.5 Released With RETGUARD, OpenRSYNC

OpenBSD 6.5 was released today, about one week ahead of schedule for this security-minded BSD operating system. OpenBSD 6.5 is bringing several prominent new features including RETGUARD as its new stack protector and OpenRSYNC as its ISC-licensed in-progress replacement to rsync. OpenBSD 6.5's new RETGUARD functionality aims to be a better stack protector on x86_64 and AArch64 with instrumenting every function return with better security properties than their traditional stack protector. Read more Also: OpenBSD 6.5

Development kit showcases Cortex-A76 based Snapdragon 855

Intrinsyc has launched a 96Boards CE form-factor “Snapdragon 855 Mobile HDK” that runs Android 9 on a 7nm, octa-core Snapdragon 855 with GNSS, WiFi/BT, and optional touchscreens and cameras. Intrinsyc’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Hardware Development Kit is now available for $1,149, offering a development window into Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 855 SoC. The new HDK runs the latest Android 9.0 Pie release. Read more

Sad News! Scientific Linux is Being Discontinued

Scientific Linux, a distributions focused on scientists in high energy physics field, will not be developed anymore. It’s creator, Fermilab, is replacing it by CentOS in its labs. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Announcing Akademy 2019 in Milan, Italy (September 7th - 13th)
    Akademy 2019 will be held at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, from Saturday the 7th to Friday the 13th of September. The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE community to discuss and plan the future of the community and its technology. Many participants from the broad Free and Open Source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend. KDE e.V. is organizing Akademy 2019 with unixMiB — the Linux User Group of the University of Milano-Bicocca. unixMiB aims to spread Open Source philosophy among students.
  • Checking out Crunchbang++
  • Intel Iris Gallium3D Picks Up Conservative Rasterization Support
    On top of Intel's new open-source OpenGL driver seeing some hefty performance optimizations, the Iris Gallium3D driver has picked up another OpenGL extension ahead of the Mesa 19.1 branching.  Iris Gallium3D now supports INTEL_conservative_rasterization alongside the existing support in the i965 driver. INTEL_conservative_rasterization is the several year old Intel extension for seeing if all fragments are at least partially covered by a polygon rather than the default rasterization mode of including fragments with at least one sample covered by a polygon.