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Links 27/1/2012: GlusterFS Becomes Truly Open Source, Tablets Become Linuxed

Posted in News Roundup at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • ZaReason Alto 3880 Review: Fastest $1000 14″ Laptop

      At first glance, the Alto 3880 will not strike envy into the hearts of any. Like any standard PC laptop, it’s dressed in glossy, molded plastic pieces. The design decisions here are almost certainly OEM driven as the laptop takes a 3-tone neutral color scheme that presents itself in a bit of an awkward way. The lid emulates a brushed metal look with an attractive ZaReason screen-print right in the center. This is the first of a couple nice touches on ZaReason’s behalf. If this unit is closed on your coffee table, your guests will probably ask you, “What’s a ZaReason?”. In this respect, I think it’s quite effective. The brushed metal look for laptop lids is a little dated now, so this will not trend well in the vanity department.

  • Kernel Space

    • The quiet colossus

      A day in the life of the Linux kernel starts just a few microseconds after midnight. The kernel, a thin layer of software that provides a consistent interface between the hardware of a computer and the systems library, is hard at work at stock exchanges in the US, where it has almost completely supplanted other alternatives. Because the kernel’s licence encourages copying and modifying, the financial industry has done just that, tweaking it to perform at the utmost speed without breaking. Linux handles billions of transactions every second, passing information between processes, and managing multitasking environments for the world’s financial markets. Linux is the most portable piece of software in the world. Despite being over six million lines of code, it has been ported to more hardware platforms than anything else. Its size belies its organisation, though. The functions that any kernel must provide – switching between processes, memory management, access to hardware resources and networking – are clearly separated out, with only the really low-level hardware-dependent functions differing by platform.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Unity Desktop, Nux Get Upstream OpenGL ES 2.0

        The OpenGL ES 2.0 work is part of this Launchpad Blueprint. For a while now the Linaro and Ubuntu developers have been after upstream OpenGL ES 2.0 support for their Unity (non-2D) desktop, and it looks like the goal will be realized in time for the Ubuntu 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” LTS release in April and the Linaro releases shortly thereafter.

      • Announcing The Lima Open-Source GPU Driver

        There’s still one week until the work will be officially announced, but the open-source “Lima” open-source graphics driver project has surfaced.

        The Lima driver? This is going to be the open-source driver built for ARM’s Mali graphics processors. Lima is what the project’s being called for the story Phoronix exclusively broke last week, An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver.

      • Interlaced Support For Intel’s Linux Graphics Driver
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • The Best Linux Distributions For Every User

      On this page, we feature 20 of the best Linux distributions, with a short but extremely detailed description, a link (so you know where to download it from) and our review of the distribution. The distributions are categorised according to their purpose. We hope that our Best Linux Distributions will help you decide which flavour of Linux you’d like to run on your computer.

    • Red Hat Family

      • GlusterFS advisory board established

        A few months after its acquisition of Gluster, Red Hat has established the GlusterFS Advisory Board to oversee and promote the technical development of GlusterFS, the filesystem that is the basis of Red Hat’s Storage Software Appliance. The board includes Anand Babu, a co-founder of GlusterFS, and open source experts from Red Hat, Facebook, Citrix and Eucalyptus. The nine board members do not represent their employers, instead serving on the board as individuals.

      • Red Hat RHEVS Virtualization
      • Red Hat Taking Gluster from Open Core to Open Source

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) wants to return the Gluster filesystem to its open source roots. Red Hat acquired Gluster for $136 million in October 2011 and is now moving to help further accelerate its innovation.

      • Fedora

        • The Grand /usr-fication of Linux

          The Fedora Project is currently mounting a concerted effort to merge Linux filesystem directories into a more organized structure, an effort known as /usr merge.

        • Fedora 17 Moves Forward With Unified File-System

          Fedora 17 is moving forward with plans whereby the entire base operating system will live within /usr by condensing several common directories that have been long-standing to Linux distributions.

          Directories such as /bin, /sbin, /lib, and /lib64 are now being moved to their respective locations within the /usr directory as trying to unify the Fedora file-system. However, as to not break compatibility, symlinks will be in place for redirecting from the old locations. Solaris was actually the first operating system to begin migrating everything into /usr, with the transition having been completed last year with the release of Solaris 11.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s HUD: Why It’s A Great Idea
          • Ubuntu 12.04 to replace traditional menus with new HUD
          • HUD = How Ubuntu Disappoints?
          • A first look at Ubuntu Linux’s Head-Up Display (Gallery)
          • Ubuntu Unleashed 2012 Edition
          • Canonical previews voice driven Heads-Up Display for Ubuntu
          • How Ubuntu 12.04 Is Trying To Drop Power Usage

            After illustrating Linux power regressions and other problems for months, with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS developers at Canonical are finally taking a serious look at Linux power management and how it can be bettered.

            Going back to the last Ubuntu Developer Summit they began working out ways to improve the energy efficiency of Ubuntu Linux. They’re work isn’t really about contributing upstream improvements and optimizations to better the Linux power management situation, but determining what options can be safely enabled or better tuned to drop the Ubuntu power usage for primarily mobile systems. (Separately, they’re finally getting back to looking at the regressing boot performance state.)

          • 10 of the Best Unity Lenses & Scopes for Ubuntu

            It’s somewhat apt that Ubuntu’s ‘Lenses’ feature has brought Unity into clearer focus for many of its initial critics.

            The search-orientated display windows – called ‘Lenses’ – make finding specific files, apps or information easy to do thanks to their tuned ‘search backends’ – called Scopes’.

          • Yup, Ubuntu again. Number 11.10.

            Notice how the eleven comes before the ten. This does signify that eleven is, indeed, louder than ten. Everyone loves hating Unity. It’s new. It’s different. It’s pretty. It’s everything that Linux typically isn’t. People also love hating Ubuntu in general. While people struggle to make their Linux desktops look and feel more like OSX every day and there are over 9000 different OSX-like docks out there, people apparently really hate having something that looks and acts like an OSX desktop. It’s very odd.

            I decided to try Ubuntu 11.10 and make my own judgement. I have to admit that I was loathe to do so, but felt it only fair. So, I downloaded Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop 64. I burned it to a disc. I put in my DVD drive. I rebooted, hit f8, chose the DVD drive, and off I went. Soon, I was at a menu telling me to choose “Try” or “Install”. I was feeling risky so I chose to install.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Video Review: Xubuntu 11.10 – Elegant, Simple XFCE

              Short video on Ubuntu‘s little brother/sister Xubuntu 11.10 with it’s XFCE Desktop Manager. Fast and Simple is what I feel Xubuntu 11.10 is. Fast to load and simple to use. Runs well on a VM if thats all you have. Enjoy and download it free today!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source: the default choice

    When it comes to open source software, the question that needs to be asked today is not which businesses are using open source – but rather which businesses are not.

    So says Obsidian Systems‘ Muggie van Staden, a 17-year veteran of the open source world, who says that for many businesses today, open source software is the default choice for backend systems.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 12 will feature long-awaited New Tab Page and Home Tab

        After a long gestation period, it now appears that Firefox 12 — which moves to the Aurora channel at the end of the month — will feature the long-awaited New Tab Page and Home Tab. The new tab page is very like Chrome’s feature of the same name. The home tab builds off the new tab page popularized by Chrome and Opera, but then throws in ton of Firefox-unique functionality.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Merged executive committee proposed for the JCP

      The Java Community Process (JCP) standardisation body is taking the next step in its reorganisation. The recently proposed JSR 355 (JCP Executive Committee Merge) would combine the currently separate executive committees for Java SE/Java EE (Java Standard Edition/Java Enterprise Edition) and Java ME (Java Micro Edition) development. The reasoning behind this is that “Since Java is One Platform, it ought to be overseen by a single Executive Committee”.

    • Oracle proposal would create single committee to oversee Java specs
  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Ryan Heath twitter propaganda or counter-noise

          I guess this is how Parliament would like it to be but they know it’s not. The European Commission is no Government, they are not elected but appointed, and speak with a single voice. Article 17 EU Treaty explains it all.

          I think it is a real pity that the Concours was abolished and replaced by logic riddle testing from the United States. You would expect a person working for the Commission to be better informed about the institutions he speaks for.

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