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Links 25/10/2011: Linux 3.1, Linux Smartphones Domination in Asia

Posted in News Roundup at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • All About Jobs and Hiring in Linux Land

    “Most developer jobs require current knowledge of non-open software,” said blogger Barbara Hudson, “but it’s a safe bet to say that most jobs are not ‘open’ jobs. … The most reliable way to get a job that uses open source exclusively is to create your own. The bad news is that, as in every previous recession, we’re seeing a lot of this ‘involuntary entrepreneurship.’ The good news is that this time the tools are freely available.”

  • Are Updates the Dirty Linux Secret?

    So, are updates the dirty little secret of running Linux?

  • Desktop

    • UEFI Headaches Begin For Linux Users

      The next morning I began looking into UEFI more since I had not done a lot of research but did know it was discovered around the time Windows 8 Developer was released. Anyways Ubuntu has a Community Documentation Article that discusses some workarounds for the UEFI problem and I have personally been considering how greatly the UEFI problem could affect Linux Users. I think there is some positive discussion going on and brainstorming occurring that will allow the Linux community to find reliable workarounds and solutions before UEFI becomes a standard.

      Apparently Dell has had UEFI laptops for a while so it is no surprise that a new HP laptop has UEFI by default although with HP doing quite a bit of stuff in the FOSS community I figured they might have provided better support for someone trying to install Linux. Hopefully some sort of legislation will pass that requires manufacturers to list that a certain device is only capable of running a certain OS out of the box and further the whole issue seems very anti-competitive.

    • Three years on the GNU/Linux road

      It’s been about three years, since I finally migrated all of my personal PCs for my immediate family from Windows XP to Fedora Linux. I had used it for many years previous to that, but I had held off on migrating all of my PCs permanently because of issues with getting apps to work in Wine, and problems finding apps to replace proprietary ones I had used up to that point.

      It’s been a pretty smooth ride on Fedora during the past 3 years though, for me and my family. I originally installed Fedora 9, and have upgraded the PCs to Fedora 14 during that time. I originally set up a Windows XP virtual machine in VirtualBox for those times where applications MUST run in a Windows environment, where there is no Linux alternative. But those cases are getting more rare now. I haven’t used my XP virtual machine in quite some time. I have realized one thing though, that staying on Fedora’s current release does take some extra time to upgrade from version to version. I have stated in other posts I became sick of maintaining Windows XP, and yet I’ve found that I still do need extra time to upgrade Fedora. But, I should mention that I don’t absolutely need to upgrade to the latest versions, but I do it mainly to upgrade all of the applications to their latest version, like Firefox, Thunderbird, and other software on the PCs. Overall, it’s a nice and easy way to “refresh” both the Linux kernel and all of the applications installed in one easy step.

    • ZaReason Invenire 1220 Reviewed

      A couple of weeks ago, ZaReason sent us a shiny new Invenire 1220 running Qimo 2.0 for a review. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Qimo running on a machine I hadn’t put it on, and the fact that it was like that out of the box was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. Having Qimo available as a pre-install option is not only a great opportunity for Qimo, but an easy way for parents to get a working computer that’s safe and inviting for their kids.

    • Ideal Desktop for Me

      On this machine I have installed Linux Mint Debian Edition, 32-bit and I’m using XFCE as my desktop environment. LMDE provides the necessary proprietary codecs to make my life simpler. Also the fact that LMDE is a rolling distribution is great as I don’t need to worry about the upgrade treadmill anymore and I have to admit that I like the idea of always having all the most current apps installed.

    • To Install or Not?
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.1 released with NFC support

      Released several weeks late due to malware attacks on kernel.org in August, the Linux 3.1 kernel is out now, with a variety of enhancements to performance, virtualization, and power management. It also includes support for near field communication (NFC), the OpenRISC open source CPU, Nintendo’s Wii controller, and 3D acceleration with Nvidia GEForce graphics processor units (GPUs).

    • Linux 3.1
    • What’s new in Linux 3.1

      Among the most prominent advancements of Linux 3.1 are the kernel’s 3D support for new NVIDIA graphics chips and virtualisation enhancements for KVM and Xen.

      About !!! weeks after the version jump to 3.0, Linus Torvalds has now released the second kernel in the 3.x series. Without the break-in at kernel.org, the new version would probably have been released three to four weeks earlier, as the temporary unavailability of the central server structure slightly hampered the kernel developers’ work. However, the scope of modifications compares quite well with that of the new kernel’s direct predecessors, as another round of advancements enhances the range of features and hardware support of Linux. Users are likely to benefit from these advancements in the near future, because distributions such as Fedora 16, which is due to be released in November, are already planning to use kernel version 3.1.

    • AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer On Ubuntu Linux

      Two weeks ago AMD introduced the Bulldozer FX-Series CPUs to much excitement, although many were letdown by the initial results, and it was months after showing the first Linux benchmarks of an AMD Dual-Interlagos pre-production system. In the days that followed I delivered some initial AMD FX-4100 Linux benchmarks when securing remote access to a low-end Bulldozer system running Ubuntu 11.04 (and there were also some Linux benchmarks from independent Phoronix readers), but then last week a Bulldozer kit arrived from AMD. The centerpiece of this kit is an eight-core AMD FX-8150 CPU, which is now being used to conduct a plethora of AMD Bulldozer benchmarks on Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nokia gives Qt open-source governance

        Qt, the Nokia-owned graphical toolkit used in popular products from Google and Adobe, is now being run as an open-source project, meaning independent developers can have more influence on the direction of the software.

      • Qt Project launches; Qt now under open governance

        There are many levels of openness that a project can espouse, from simply dumping open source code at regular intervals, to actually fostering a community and letting the community dictate the course of development the project should take. It can be endlessly debated as to what level of openness is better and for what project or under what conditions. Regardless Qt, the popular open source cross-platform framework used by KDE, is now a little more open with the launch of the Qt Project.

      • Konqueror in KDE4. It’s not so terrible, I guess.
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Things that I like in Gnome 3

        A title that is effectively social-suicide to post on PlanetKDE, but I’ll risk it anyway. I spent some time last week trying out Gnome 3.2, and it has a lot of really good ideas that we can steal take influence from.

        I think as desktop developers it’s always worth spending some time to see what our “competitors” are doing in both the open source and commercial world.

      • Using Gloobus Preview With Nautilus 3.2

        GNOME 3.2 got its own file previewer: GNOME Sushi, but what if you want to use Gloobus Preview instead (the main reason for this being that Gloobus Preview supports more file types)?

  • Distributions

    • Chakra 2011.09 review – Interesting and powerful

      Two distributions that I have been most asked to review are Arch Linux and Chakra. And the reason I have so far refused to do so is the relatively high level of knowledge required to operate them. Think of Slackware, turbo mode into Gentoo, then add some. Supposedly, Arch Linux is good and stable and light on the system, but it takes time working out and taming, or as we say in technical parlance, why bother. But Chakra, as it turns out, is unto Arch what Sabayon is unto Gentoo. All of the horrible geekiness is taken away and you have a simple and friendly desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Updated – Almost Overlooked

        For some added fun, go to the Panel Tool Box (the cashew at the right end of the bottom panel), choose “Add Widgets” then *Get New Widgets”, then “Download New Plasma Widgets”. In the search box enter “CpuFreqDisplay”, and install the widget that comes up. Then go back to the Add Widgets function, and add that widget to your panel. That gives you a nice colorful display of the CPU speed as it is adjusted on demand. Enjoy!

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu turns 7, Canonical gets to work on Precise Pangolin
          • Ubuntu Summit Plans To Polish The Precise Pangolin

            With Oneiric Ocelot just released, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth wants to get next year’s release right

          • Canonical extends Ubuntu 12.04 LTS desktop support
          • Canonical announces five years of support for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS desktops
          • Canonical Develops Next Version of Ubuntu; Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
          • Vodafone Webbook With Ubuntu OS For $188 Released
          • Vodafone launches $188 Ubuntu Webbook for developing countries
          • The Latest from Ubuntu and Kubuntu

            At the end of the week my impression is Ubuntu 11.10 offers a good, newcomer-friendly distribution. It has a few issues, most of them minor, but it really feels like a distribution I could put in front of someone who considered themselves both a Linux and a computer “newbie” and they would probably do well with it. The Kubuntu edition feels to be targeting power users who want the convenience of Ubuntu, but who want to be able to configure their interface. It’s fast, easy to customize and, aside from a few issues with package management and the annoying Nepomuk pop-ups that appear at login, it’s been a solid experience. The two editions compliment each other well. Both install quickly, come with a good base of software (with over 30,000 additional packages in the Software Centre) and are easy to use. This is probably the best release Ubuntu has put out in the past two years and I think Kubuntu may become a permanent resident on my main machine.

          • Quality in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            As is natural for an LTS cycle, lots of people are thinking and talking about work focused on quality rather than features. With Canonical extending LTS support to five years on the desktop for 12.04, much of this is quite rightly focused on the desktop. I’m really not a desktop hacker in any way, shape, or form, though. I spent my first few years in Ubuntu working mainly on the installer – I still do, although I do some other things now too – and I used to say only half-jokingly that my job was done once X started. Of course there are plenty of bugs I can fix, but I wanted to see if I could do something with a bit more structure, so I got to thinking about projects we could work on at the foundations level that would make a big difference.

          • How Well Did Your Ubuntu 11.10 Upgrade Go?
          • Magazines and ebooks come to the Ubuntu Software Centre

            Ubuntu sponsor Canonical has announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with the Pearson Technology Group and Linux New Media to provide ebooks and magazines to the Ubuntu Software Centre. Canonical says that several ebooks, including “The Official Ubuntu Book” and “Ubuntu Unleashed: 2011 Edition”, have already been added to the Software Centre; magazines such as Ubuntu User and Linux Magazine should be available soon from $6.99.

            The Software Centre is the Linux distribution’s recommended software management system for adding additional applications, tools or components; commercial software was first added to Ubuntu in April 2010 with the 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” release. “Through this innovative partnership we are adding eBooks and magazines to the wide range of applications currently available in the Ubuntu Software Center, creating a fantastic revenue opportunity for Ubuntu developers and content creators”, said Canonical VP Business Development Steve George.

          • Useful Ubuntu Unity Lenses For Ubuntu Oneiric

            One of the best feature of the Unity desktop in Ubuntu is the lens. Lens are the search feature in the Dash. Different lenses allow you to perform search functions, for example, the Music Lens allows you to search for music that you have recently listened to while the Applications Lens searches for all your applications in the system. In Ubuntu Oneiric, it comes with three default lenses, namely the Applications lens, Recent Files/Folders lens and the Music lens. Below are several useful lens that you can add on to your system.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 238
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Getting Bodhi Linux up to speed

              Most of the time I am writing articles on getting users up to speed with specific tools, distributions, or desktops. This time, I am going to help you set up one of my new pet distributions so that you’ll spend less time figuring things out, and more time enjoying Bodhi Linux.

              You should already know that Bodhi Linux is proud to be one of the few distributions that is a minimal, yet very functional, desktop Linux. What that means is you are going to have to actually install some software. That task is always the first thing I do upon completion of installation. Naturally everyone has their own list of favorite software they install, my list looks something like this:

              * The Gimp
              * LibreOffice
              * Audacity
              * Banshee
              * Gnucash
              * Lucky Backup
              * Speedcrunch
              * Fotowall
              * Calibre
              * Chromium Browser
              * Dropbox

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Microsoft, MC Hammer and mobiles – its old news and new news!

    It is reported that Microsoft’s rather unpopular Windows Phone 7 costs more to make than the iPhone 4s, disproving the theory that “You get what you pay for”. It’s no secret that Microsoft is allegedly making more money from Android “licenses” than it is from WP7 and it doesn’t seem like Mango has stirred any excitement – the one “fruit” product in the Tech world that’s truly gone rotten?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Internet blocking – before/after EP
    • Broadband and science helping the developing world

      But broadband does not just benefit science for the developing world – it benefits science in the developing world too. In places like Chile, where low light pollution levels are conducive to astronomical observation, and where scientists make use of the regional RedClara network, itself largely funded by the EU. Even in a place like Somalia, the existence of a research and education network is not just remarkable – in a country with few functional national organisations – but positive, as an agent for change supporting healthcare, education services and the Fibre for Peace initiative.

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