05.15.11

Links 15/5/2011: GNU/Linux in Munich and Fire Stations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Munich/Limux at the Halfway Point

    Actually Limux is further along than halfway since all of the applications in use are now FLOSS but the operating system on 6000 PCs is now GNU/Linux. At the rate they are going sometime in 2012 12000 PCs will be running GNU/Linux. Apparently they will have 3000 still running that other OS when the migration is complete. That’s a bit puzzling since everyone is using FLOSS applications for everything. There should be no reason to leave that other OS on anything. Perhaps something is lost in the translation:
    LiMux project celebrates mountain festival

  • More Free/Non-Free Angst in Germany

    Sigh. Apt-get update;apt-get upgrade is too much for them? They could not use a local repository, check things out and do the updates from time to time when convenient? That’s an awful lot less work than keeping one machine running that other OS and can be extended to hundreds/thousands with no extra effort.

  • Desktop

    • Desktop Linux Success

      I came across an article with a simple thesis: Desktop Linux needs a controller who looks out for the needs of the end-user; there isn’t one; Linux fails…

      [...]

      The authour claims the success of Android/Linux is due to the magical control of Google but that is only part of the story. Google’s Android is just another distro (He derides distros…). The success of Google is not because of the central control but the energy of the hundreds of thousands of developers who tweak the systems and write applications for it and the hardware manufacturers, outside M$’s and Apple’s control, who invest in Android/Linux.

    • Computer Centers in West Virginia’s Volunteer Fire Stations

      The refurbishing program buys large batches of used computers, usually about 5 years old, from various government agencies through its partner organization, MissionWV. Our refurbishers test, and in some cases upgrade, the hardware, and then install Ubuntu on them. We sell them to our partner fire departments at cost, who then sell them to the public as a fundraiser. The end-user price is between $125 and $175 for a laptop. We are also have 200 refurbished desktop computers ready for the new computer centers we’re adding this year.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux needs rebranding

      I’ve never truly lost that sense of wonder from computers, and it was this wonder that eventually led me to Linux. It’s the modularity of the computer that gets the imagination running, and I think many software developers from the ’80s and ’90s, many of whom have contributed to the free software projects that got us to this point, feel the same way.

    • What’s up with ARM

      Over the course of the last month or so, numerous people have asked me for my opinion on what’s going on with the ARM architecture in Linux. It seems time to broadcast those thoughts more widely. For those who don’t want to read the whole thing, the short version is this: Linux on ARM is a victim of its own success and, as a result, is going through some growing pains. That has created a lot of noise, but all that’s really needed is a bit of house cleaning.

      ARM processors are generally found in embedded applications; your phone, network router, video camera, and more are quite likely to be running Linux on ARM. Supporting ARM on Linux brings some challenges which are much less of a problem on desktop and server-oriented systems. ARM is not so much an architecture as a family of architectures with lots of little quirks; the size of the kernel’s ARM-specific code – nearly three times the size of the x86-specific code – reflects that. ARM also has traditionally suffered from the “embedded problem”: every vendor does its own work and, likely as not, never gets around to contributing its code upstream. That has resulted in a lot of fragmented and duplicated code.

      [...]

      The ARM mess is not small, but it’s really just another cleanup job of the time that we have done many times in the past.

    • Ideas for a cgroups UI

      On and off over the past year I’ve been working with Jason Baron on a design for a UI for system administrators to control processes’ and users’ usage of system resources on their systems via the relatively recently-developed (~2007) cgroups feature of the Linux kernel.

      After the excitement and the fun that is the Red Hat Summit, I had some time this week to work with Jason on updating the design. Before I dive into the design process and the mockups, I think it’d be best to do a review of how cgroups work (or at least how I understand them to) so that the rest makes more sense. (And maybe I’ve got some totally incorrect assumptions about cgroups that have resulted in a flawed design, so hopefully my calling out the current understanding might make it easier for you to correct me :) ).

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Already Adds On Two Open-Source Developers

        AMD’s John Bridgman has now confirmed that they have hired two open-source developers. These two new development hires was done previous to the announcement a few days ago that they are still looking for another open-source developer to work on their open-source Linux (kernel DRM, Mesa / Gallium3D, DDX) stack for Radeon graphics hardware.

      • Kicking Around The Wayland Display Server

        The “still very experimental for the foreseeable future but promising” Wayland has been discussed more at UDS Budapest, on the mailing lists, and now this weekend in Berlin at LinuxTag.

        Wayland was already discussed earlier in the week during the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in Budapest, Hungary. While I had left early on Friday to make it back to Deutschland for LinuxTag, Wayland was discussed some more.

      • OpenGL ES 2.0 Support For Compiz, KWin, Cairo

        There’s been a lot of references this week at UDS Budapest to OpenGL ES support since this version of OpenGL is what’s predominantly supported on ARM/embedded devices. There’s already been talk of OpenGL ES support in QEMU, among other projects. OpenGL ES 2.0 support is also coming to the Compiz and KWin compositing window managers. An OpenGL ES 2.0 back-end for Cairo was also brought up separately.

        There’s already initial OpenGL ES 2.0 support for Compiz, but it’s not yet been merged upstream. OpenGL ES 2.0 support for KDE’s KWin is also being worked on.

        The Compiz GLES 2.0 push upstream is expected to take place after the new Compiz shader API is integrated. Support for missing plug-ins also needs to be added along with per-plugin shader support. Clean-ups are also needed and potentially better consolidation between vanilla GL and GL ES code. Build-time support for OpenGL vs. OpenGL ES suppoort was also discussed as well as testing.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE at LinuxTag

        Sharing a nice, big booth at LinuxTag, the KDE, Kubuntu and Calligra teams are pulling together to promo all things KDE. As you can tell from the picture below, the booth is very well visited, with lots of people interested all ’round – showing off Plasma on the desktop in the middle there, and the brand, spanking new Plasma Active running on an openSuse powered tablet nearest the camera – already a real crowd puller, even in its experimental stage! Kudos to the Active team there, great stuff, very demoable :-)

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 8th May 2011
    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Outreach Program for Women Reincarnates

        “It’s not rocket science,” says Marina Zhurakhinskaya, the organizer of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women,talking about efforts to get more women involved in free software. “You just need to say that women are welcome in your project, because that in itself sends a signal. Also, you want specific people they can get in touch with to do their first patch and to ask questions.” It’s a simple formula, but the first indications are that it is a reliable enough foundation to make the recently revived Program a success.

  • Distributions

    • Zenwalk 7, it didn’t go well…

      I cannot blame Zenwalk 7 at all for this mishap. I understand that it was entirely my fault because I was not prepared to carry out this kind of installation. Zenwalk is a well-built, functional Linux system. That its installation is presently beyond my limited knowledge should not be taken as a negative point at all.

    • Robby Workman Answers a Few Questions on the Occasion of Slackware-13.37 Release

      Dear fellow Slackers! We are happy to publish another interview with Robby Workman, a Slackware developer and one of the leading mainainers of the SlackBuilds.org project, he has kindly given us on the occasion of the Slackware-13.37 release. Enjoy!

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze + btrfs = FAIL

        Executive summary: Don’t use btrfs on Debian Squeeze.

        Longer summary: Don’t use btrfs RAID with the kernel Debian Squeeze comes with.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.04 – Adding my electrons to the deluge

            If I were installing an OS on a tablet, I’d be all over this interface. But I’m not. And a desktop is not a tablet. Keep repeating that to yourself, Canonical. I hope it gets better.

          • Y PPA Manager: One Stop Shop For All Your PPA Related Needs in Ubuntu Natty

            Y PPA Manager lets you search, add, remove or even purge PPA’s in Ubuntu the easiest way. This is not a command line tool and is very easy for even a newbie Ubuntu user to understand and use. Below, you will see a brief review of Y PPA Manager and instructions for installing it in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick and Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Studio 11.10 Will Get Xfce Desktop

              Ubuntu Studio 11.04 comes with Gnome 2.xx not Unity or Gnome-Shell cause it don’t target audience or intended workflow. Now Ubuntu Studio developer mentioned on the mailing list they will re-base the project on Xfce lightweight desktop environment with custom user interface UI instead of Gnome 2 desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Plex “Penguin-Friendly” Media Server

      With 227 replies, and almost 400 votes in this thread, it’s obvious that there is a sizable bunch of you who would really like to run the Plex Media Server on Linux. And who can blame you, with sexy Linux-based storage devices on the market like the ReadyNAS pictured below? A device like this (or an unRAID for the DIY-ers, and damn it, why did I have to go read about unRAID and end up falling in love with this case?) running the Plex Media Server, combined with a rich assortment of clients (a Mac Mini, an iPad, an iPhone, an Android tablet, an LG Smart TV for the guest room, and a Roku Streaming Player for the kids’ room?), makes for an amazingly flexible, unified, and powerful media solution. Not to mention, the NAS is the only device that has to be left on, so Al Gore would yet again be proud.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Global Android phone sales to top 180 million units in 2011, says Sony Ericsson CTO

          Global sales of Android-based smartphones are expected to grow from 60 million units in 2010 to 180 million units in 2011 and over 400 million units in 2014, according to Sony Ericsson vice president and CTO Jan Uddenfeldt.

        • Others

          The world designs and makes better software more efficiently than any single corporation. The Linux organization makes the hardware-abstraction layer and manages computing resources. Google designs the GUI and provides a virtual machine in which portable software runs. Thousands of developers produce software for the “app stores”. ARM designs the CPUs and ARM’s licensees customize ARM’s modular designs as they see fit. The smart phone manufacturers pull together material from dozens of industries and integrates the whole system. The system works and everyone does their best, makes a good living and there is no tax on the OS.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Libre Graphics Meeting 2011 — Day 4

      Day four was the last day of the LGM. Sad… But it was filled with action packed talks and some good hacking. Of course, today is already Day 5 so I’m a bit late reporting. It’s not because I went to the after-party — instead I went to the hotel room to hack and write this blog. But instead of blogging, I spent all evening helping people to get Krita up and running on #krita. Though I did have a nice beer with it.

    • LGM: Day 4
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Some things Oracle just doesn’t get

      Yesterday at the NLUUG conference I picked up a Solaris 11 Express CD in a nice brownish CD sleeve (I say “nice” because it feels and looks different from the generic white sleeves). Here’s a scan of the back of the sleeve, with a big sticker over the flap (click on image for a larger, readable version).

  • Programming

    • Perl 5.14

      A new version of Perl, 5.14, was officially released on 14th May following the successful test period, including the testing of release candidates. This is the first release of Perl 5 using the new annual schedule.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Codec Wars explained

      Let’s assume you have some spare time on your hands. Who should you support then? Naturally, the underdog attitude wins. It’s always the champion of freedom and openness that ought to win our hearts. This war is no exception. Having a well known and open format helps standardize things, reduce monopoly and improve technology.

      Now, as a developer or a website owner, you may have a special interest, since the technology could govern your revenue or success. It’s more than just which algorithm is used. It boils down to Flash versus HTML5. In your case, it’s not just fancy words, it’s the quality of audio and video delivery, it’s the scripting language, the backend, the debugging tools, the ease of use, the portability, everything. Can you be impartial? Hardly.

      In this case, you should support what works best. And this has yet to be determined. Flash has been around for a while. H.264 family of codecs has been around for a while. WebM is a new kid on the block and has a lot of fighting ahead.

Leftovers

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu UDS O Budapest – Mark Shuttleworth interviewed by Amb


Credit: TinyOgg

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