04.28.15

Links 28/4/2015: More on Debian 8 “Jessie”, Fedora 22 Beta Walkthrough

Posted in News Roundup at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 2016 might just be the year of Linux on the (virtual) desktop

    Come November, some “pundit” will declare that next year is the year of Linux on the desktop. This November, expect a twist on that prediction, as 2016 could just perhaps conceivably be the year of virtual Linux desktops now that Citrix has taken kit capable of delivering it into Beta.

    That kit is called the “Linux Virtual Desktop Tech Preview” and can be had here if you’re a XenApp or XenDesktop customer with an active Subscription Advantage account. Citrix Partners can get it too.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Anti-Systemd People

      For some reason the men in the Linux community who hate women the most seem to have taken a dislike to systemd. I understand that being “conservative” might mean not wanting changes to software as well as not wanting changes to inequality in society but even so this surprised me. My last blog post about systemd has probably set a personal record for the amount of misogynistic and homophobic abuse I received in the comments. More gender and sexuality related abuse than I usually receive when posting about the issues of gender and sexuality in the context of the FOSS community! For the record this doesn’t bother me, when I get such abuse I’m just going to write more about the topic in question.

    • Unix and Personal Computers: Reinterpreting the Origins of Linux

      So, to sum up: What Linus Torvalds, along with plenty of other hackers in the 1980s and early 1990s, wanted was a Unix-like operating system that was free to use on the affordable personal computers they owned. Access to source code was not the issue, because that was already available—through platforms such as Minix or, if they really had cash to shell out, by obtaining a source license for AT&T Unix. Therefore, the notion that early Linux programmers were motivated primarily by the ideology that software source code should be open because that is a better way to write it, or because it is simply the right thing to do, is false.

    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.1 RC1 with Initial ACPI Support for ARM64

      Linus Torvalds announced a few minutes ago, April 27, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux 4.1 kernel, due for release later this year.

    • Reducing power consumption on Haswell and Broadwell systems

      Haswell and Broadwell (Intel’s previous and current generations of x86) both introduced a range of new power saving states that promised significant improvements in battery life. Unfortunately, the typical experience on Linux was an increase in power consumption. The reasons why are kind of complicated and distinctly unfortunate, and I’m at something of a loss as to why none of the companies who get paid to care about this kind of thing seemed to actually be caring until I got a Broadwell and looked unhappy, but here we are so let’s make things better.

    • Intel Haswell/Broadwell Power Use On Linux Still Moving Lower

      The latest work of Matthew Garrett is on further lowering the power consumption of modern x86 systems powered by Intel’s Haswell and Broadwell processors.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D’s HUD Gets New Customization Options

        For the past two years there has been an optional Gallium3D HUD to display various performance-related metrics as an overlay while running OpenGL applications with the Gallium3D drivers. With the latest Mesa Git code, the heads-up display can be a bit more customized.

      • Intel Is Making Some Progress With Compute Shaders

        One of the big extensions of OpenGL 4.3 and also a requirement of OpenGL ES 3.1 is support for compute shaders. While the work isn’t complete yet, Intel’s open-source developers are making progress on GL_ARB_compute_shader support.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon GPUs With Linux 4.0 + Mesa 10.6-devel

        For at least the few graphics cards tested, the results of Linux 4.0 + Mesa 10.6-devel didn’t end up being much more interesting than the stock Ubuntu 15.04 numbers with Linux 3.19 and Mesa 10.5. However, for those interested, I’ve enclosed the results in this article. Though the Radeon HD 6870 numbers are missing as with Linux 4.0 stable the graphics card could no longer properly mode-set on this system: the HD 6450, HD 6570, HD 7850, and R9 270X all were fine in this situation.

      • GCC 4.9.2 vs. GCC 5 Benchmarks On An Intel Xeon Haswell

        For those craving some more GCC 5 compiler benchmark numbers following last week’s release of GCC 5.1, here’s some new comparison numbers between GCC 4.9.2 stable and the near-final release candidate of GCC 5.1.

        Pardon for this light article due to still finishing up work on migrating to the new Phoronix web server while separately working to take care of thermal issues coming about in the new Linux benchmarking server room.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KActivities powered recent media in Plasma Media Center

        As you may have already read the blog post from Eike Hein about Building on new pillars: Activities and KPeople in Plasma 5.3, activities can provide the useful information about the recent applications and resources used by them.

      • kreenshot-editor is incubating

        Now, kreenshot-editor is a new Qt-based project that was inspired by Greenshot’s image editor. It is hosted on KDE playground. It focuses on the image editing task, can be invoked from command line and should also provide a resuable editor component which could be integrated into other screencapture tools. The current code is already separated into an image editor widget and the main application.

      • Spring break for the KDE system monitor
      • Kubuntu 15.04 With Plasma 5.3 – A Totally Different Kubuntu

        The latest version of Kubuntu, 15.04, aka Vivid Vervet was released last week and it’s available for free download. With this release it has become the first major distro to ship Plasma 5 as the default desktop environment.

        There are chances that some users may still have bad memories of Kubuntu. It’s true. Back in 2011 when Ubuntu made a switch to Unity, I started looking for alternatives as their desktop environment was not suited for me. I started trying KDE-based distros and Kubuntu was among the top choices. However my experience with the distro was mixed. It was buggy, bloated and GTK apps would look ugly in it. That’s when I found openSUSE and settled down with it.

      • Google Summer of Code 2015

        The list of students accepted to the 2015 edition of Google’s Summer of code has just been published. We’ve got two students this working on Krita: Jouni and Wolthera. Wolthera has been a Krita developer for quite some time, working on color selectors perspective assistants and more, while Jouni has contributed with bug fixes for 2.9.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A brief glimpse into usability testing

        This provides the description and results of my 1-person usability test for GNOME version 3.14.2. I set up the test environment on a virtual machine running Debian Jessie, and conducted the usability test with only one participant on February 21, 2015.

        When doing usability testing, I strongly believe that understanding the participants is a very important point that we shouldn’t ignore. Here, the tester was a 23 year old female student in computer science, who self-reported a medium level of computer expertise.

  • Distributions

    • BackBox Linux 4.2 Is a Complete Penetration Testing Distro Based on Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS

      BackBox Linux, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS, developed perform penetration tests and security assessments has just received a new update and is now ready for download.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 5 Release Candidate Includes the LXQt Desktop, Supports Intel Broadwell

        After several delays, the Mageia development team, through Rémi Verschelde, announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the Release Candidate version of the upcoming Mageia 5 Linux operating system, due for release sometime in May 2015.

      • Debian 8 and Mageia 5 RC Released Over the Weekend

        What an exciting weekend that just passed. First up, the long-awaited Debian GNU/Linux 8.0 “Jessie” was released in live and traditional installation media. Elsewhere, Mageia 5 Release Candidate was released with UEFI support and other installation improvements. In addition, LibreOffice 4.3.7 was released Saturday as well.

      • All things come to those who wait

        While you wait for the download to complete, all restless and eager that you are to try this new release, let’s talk a bit about this release candidate: what can you expect of it, and why did it take so long?

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8 Jessie released

        For the first time since 2013 the Debian team have released a major upgrade of Debian, bumping it up to version 8. The new version has gone under the moniker ‘Jessie’, a continuation of the Toy Story themed names.

      • Debian Edu 8.0 Beta 1 Is Now Available for Testing, Based on Debian 8 Jessie

        The Debian Edu / Skolelinux project, through Holger Levsen, announced the general availability for download and testing of the first Beta release of the upcoming Debian Edu 8.0 distribution.

      • Debian 8.0 ‘Jessie’ arrives following Ubuntu 15.04 release

        The DEBIAN OPERATING SYSTEM has reached version 8.0 as the company announces the latest edition of the popular Linux distro.

        The Debian ‘Jessie’ release information says: “After almost 24 months of constant development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 8 (codename Jessie), which will be supported for the next five years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and the Debian Long Term Support team.”

      • Debian 8 ‘Jessie’ Released: The Road To systemd Is Complete

        Following nearly two years of “constant development”, Debian 8 ‘Jessie’ hit the Web this past weekend. As with Ubuntu 15.04 and its derivatives, all released last week, Debian 8’s most notable feature is the adoption of systemd. With this move, Gentoo becomes the final major distro that doesn’t ship with systemd as default.

      • Debian 8 “Jessie” the GNU/Linux-based operating system released

        After being for almost two years in development, Debian 8 “Jessie” version is now released for download. Debian is a Unix-like computer operating system and a Linux distribution that is composed entirely of free and open-source software, most of which is under the GNU General Public License, and packaged by a group of individuals known as the Debian project.

      • Debian 8 released
      • Debian ships new ‘Jessie’ release with systemd AND sysvinit

        The Debian project is touting new ports for ARM and POWER architectures, a bunch of software updates, an upgraded Gnome desktop and better security in its just-unleashed Jessie release.

        However, El Reg fully expects that the switch to systemd as the default init system will divert at least some attention from the release.

      • Updates tothe Debian sources editor

        If your browser performs automatic updates of the extensions (the default), you should soon be upgraded to version 0.0.10 or later, bringing all those changes to your browser.

        Want to see more? multi-file editing? emacs and vim editing modes? in-browser storage of the modified files? that and more can be done, so feel free to join me and contribute to the Debian sources editor!

      • Debian 8 Linux moves to systemd by default and drops Itanium and Sparc

        Debian, one of the most widely used Linux distributions, has been updated with the release of Debian 8 ‘Jessie’, which now uses systemd to initialise the system and ships with updated versions of the Gnome desktop and numerous other enhancements.

      • These Are Good Days

        I decided to use the last hour of my day to install Debian GNU/Linux 8, Jessie, again, this time with defaults from “tasksel”: Debian desktop XFCE and “base utilities”. I did this in a virtual machine while grooving to a stream of my local “oldies” radio-station, checking the weather on the web, blogging, browsing the web and Beast’s CPU is barely above idling speed, and I’m nowhere near out of RAM. It’s all surreal compared to the work we had to do in the old days: downloading multiple .iso files, burning CDs, checking them for defects…, having the installation fail to boot or not start X, and the old systems ground away for an hour or more. Heck, Beast doesn’t even have a CD-drive these days.

      • GLT15: Slides of my “Debian 8 aka jessie, what’s new” talk

        I wasn’t sure whether I would make it to Linuxdays Graz (GLT15) this year so I didn’t participate in its call for lectures. But when meeting folks on the evening before the main event I came up with the idea of giving a lightning talk as special kind of celebrating the Debian jessie release.

      • virt-builder Debian 8 (Jessie) image
      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Distribution Updated With KDE 3.5 Forked Desktop

          Q4OS 1.2 “Orion” is the new release that is re-based on Debian Jessie, focused on shipping its own desktop utilities and customizations, and designed to run on both old and new hardware.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is Ubuntu moving away from .deb packages? Here is the complete story

            Canonical loves to shake things up. After introducing Unity, HUD, Mir, Click and Snappy the sponsor of Ubuntu is now contemplating moving away from just .deb based desktop and adopting its own Snappy.

          • My Ubuntu Phone is here!

            The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition comes in a nice, fancy package, with the right dose of orange color. Inside the box, you will find a phone that’s neither too big nor too slim. It’s more like what the mainstream market used to offer a couple of years ago, which makes far more sense than the ultra-slippery models today. Aquaris reminds me of iPhone 4, not that I’m a great connoisseur of phones and what they should be like, but that’s how it is.

          • First impressions of Ubuntu 15.04

            Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system is probably the most widely used Linux distribution in the world. Ubuntu is made available in several editions, including desktop builds, server builds and there is a branch of Ubuntu for mobile phones. Ubuntu provides installation images for the x86, ARM and Power PC architectures, allowing the distribution to run on a wide variety of hardware. The most recent release of Ubuntu, version 15.04, includes a fairly short list of changes compared to last year’s Ubuntu 14.10, however some of the changes are significant. Some small changes include an upgrade of the kernel to Linux 3.19 and placing application menus inside the application window by default. A potentially larger change is the switch from Canonical’s Upstart init software to systemd.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New gst-rpicamsrc features

      These bring the GStreamer element up to date with new features added to raspivid since I first started the project, such as adding text annotations to the video, support for the 2nd camera on the compute module, intra-refresh and others.

    • The most recent project hits a Yak-shaving milestone…

      …so that’s sucked me into the world of spectrometers, reverse engineering the protocols to use them on Linux (oh, yeah, I need to publish that), binning leds by hand with a makeshift integration chamber…

    • 64-bit STB SoC supports 4K video and Android TV

      Marvell announced an “Ultra” version of its Android-focused Armada 1500 STB SoC that advances to a 64-bit, quad-core Cortex-A53 foundation for 4K delivery.

      The Armada 1500 Ultra (88DE3218) is designed to “enable PayTV operators and set-top box (STB) manufacturers to cost-effectively deliver small form factor devices with feature-rich 4K entertainment and gaming services,” says Armada. As with earlier Armada 1500 system-on-chips, it’s primarily focused on Android, with specific support for Android TV

    • Interview: Eben Upton

      The founder and CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation talks about the Pi Model 2, and how Google’s Eric Schmidt convinced him to knock down the price.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen DevLab coming to Bangalore and Mumbai in India for May 2015

          Following on from the successful Tizen DevLabs in London and Paris, we have some great news for developers as the Tizen DevLab Series is coming to India, well specifically to Bangalore and Mumbai. If your a you’re a novice or an expert, a programmer or an innovator then you are welcome to come along, you could even find yourself winning a Samsung Z1.

        • [Game] Angry Birds comes to the Tizen Store and the Samsung Z1

          The hugely successful game Angry Birds is now available for the Tizen based Samsung Z1 Smartphone. The game is an Android App (equivalent to Android Angry Birds version 5.0.2.) that is running on the Z1 thanks to OpenMobile’s ACL technology.

          Angry Birds is an iconic game for MeeGo and Tizen as this one of the big games to be shown running on developer devices at Tizen developer events. The original game supports In-App purchases, but this doesn’t seem to be working with the Tizen Store, most likely a compatability issue. The gameplay is pretty good and any slowness can be attributed to the modest hardware of the Z1.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • File a bug!

    Sadly, these are often just empty words. “Patches welcome” can be a seemingly-polite way of saying “your problem is not important to me. Go solve it yourself and I’ll accept your solution.” And telling a user to go file a bug can be equally dismissive, especially if the bug-filing process is unpleasant.

  • Bazel, Google’s Open Source Build System

    One of the most important, yet unsung, applications in a software developer’s life is the Make utility, or its equivalent. Make first appeared in 1977 and has been with us ever since. There are a very large number of build utilities, some based on Make, others completely different. The principle remains the same. The build system has a set of rules that tell it how to build an application from source files, usually fetched from a version control system. The Make utility reads the rules, then runs the compilers and linkers to do the build. The really good ones will run tests, as well.

  • Linux Freedom vs. Convenience

    One of my favorite websites that illustrate this point is WhyLinuxIsBetter.net. As the page loads, you’re immediately presented with clear, easy to understand reasons why Linux is better than proprietary operating systems. Now granted, the website is a bit dated. But the overall message is timeless and positive. What this site does well is show its readers exactly why Linux on the desktop is awesome. From its features to its built-in safety, everything is clearly illustrated and easy to understand.

  • Events

    • PyCon 2015 conference report & video roundup
    • [Event Report] April Python Pune Meetup 26th April, 2015
    • [Event Report] Docker Pune Meetup #5
    • Open Source Conference in Oslo – May 8 – 10

      In just a few days we’ll have an open source conference in Oslo. I’m happy that we’ll have a Qt and KDE track, so I’d like to invite everyone to join for the weekend May 8-10 at the University of Oslo.

    • LinuxFest Northwest in the Books for 2015

      Feast or famine: This is the typical modus operandi for FOSS shows, where Saturdays (or the “first days,” whatever they are) are a literal beehive of activity on the expo floor while talks are standing-room only. Sundays (or “second days”) — ah, those second days — the activity drops off a bit.

      [...]

      With Sunday being more low-key, I got to catch up with LibreOffice’s Robinson Tryon, who said that the show was a hit for the project. Without the cacophony of multiple conversations going on at the same time, like on Saturday, we got to talk about advances LibreOffice is making in Android, which is going faster than expected, and various aspects of document freedom, not the least of which is the successful growth of Document Freedom Day. Heady days are in store for LibreOffice.

    • KVM and Xen to Hold Joint Hackathon for Open Source Virtualization

      That’s right. The teams behind Xen Project Developer Summit and KVM Forum recently announced plans to co-host a hackathon and social event on August 18, 2015, at the close of the Xen Project Developer Summit and on the eve of KVM Forum. Virtualization is one of the most important technologies in IT today, so it makes perfect sense for the two best hypervisor projects to collaborate and socialize at an event that celebrates their similarities and bridges that gap between all things KVM and Xen.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Microsoft & Education: The Song Remains the Same

      One of our hardware donors emailed me and asked if I would come to Austin and pick up a dozen Optiplex 745s with 17 inch monitors and accompanying keyboards. These Dells already had scrubbed drives and had either 4 or 8 GB of RAM, depending on what they were originally assigned to do. I said I most certainly would and arranged a time to be there. This donor has been especially generous to us, and not with just decent hardware. They also present us an annual Christmas cash donation of $1000. On the years they do employee matching, it is more than that — a lot more.

  • Healthcare

  • Funding

    • EUR 38 million EU funds for ICT in Malta

      Over the next seven years, the EU is funding ICT programmes in Malta with some EUR 38 million, the government of Malta announced in March. The funds are part of a EUR 400 million package earmarked to finance socio-economic development in the country. ICT is seen as one of the main ‘enablers’ for development and innovation in Malta.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Can funding open source bug bounties save Europe from mass-surveillance?

      The report also suggests promoting open-source software as a way to build resilience to surveillance, which could be achieved by funding audits of important open-source software. Among several products it highlights is disk encryption software, TrueCrypt, which was recently subjected to a crowd-funded audit that was able to rule out the existence of NSA backdoors in the product.

      “TrueCrypt is a typical example of a problem of the commons: worldwide use of software package was probably dependent on two or three developers,” the study notes to highlight why funding open source projects may be valuable.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

      Calm yourselves, readers. The Spring 2015 C++ Standards Committee Meeting takes place next week in Lenexa, Kansas. And at that meeting much of the discussion is expected to consider C++ 17, a major revision of the programming language due in 2017.

    • Atom Shell is now Electron

      Atom Shell is now called Electron. You can learn more about Electron and what people are building with it at its new home electron.atom.io.

Leftovers

  • UK Elections

    • Clegg Hoist With Own Petard

      Indeed if the total number of votes cast in the UK for Tories plus Lib Dems is equal to the total number of votes cast in the UK for Labour plus Scot Nats (which is more or less what the polls are showing), then Labour plus the Scot Nats will win approximately 35 more seats than the rival bloc for the same total votes, entirely because of the Lib Dem veto on the Boundary Commission proposals.

    • General Election 2015: What do MPs think about mass surveillance?

      Like the British public, the vast majority of MPs had no idea about the extent of bulk data collection by the security services when whistleblower Edward Snowden spoke out. With the election pending, what do parliamentary candidates think there needs to be done about mass surveillance?

    • BBC Mock Balance

      Whereas the “equal time” allowed the SNP candidate included BBC commentary giving direct personal criticism of her, there was no critical note in the Alexander side of the coverage. An interesting example of how the state propaganda system works.

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Dan Bull’s ‘Death To ACTA’ Video Silenced After Claim From Rapper Who Used The Same Sample

      Back in 2010 we wrote about rapper Dan Bull’s excellent “Death to ACTA” song and video, which is a parody of Jay-Z’s “Death of Autotune.” In 2011, we further wrote about the MP3 of that song (which Bull distributes willingly on file sharing platforms) being taken down from Mediafire due to a questionable takedown request. Now, years later (well after ACTA is pretty much long dead), Dan’s discovered that his video on YouTube was just silenced due to copyright claims.

  • Privacy

    • Facebook denies fresh allegation that it DOES collect the text you decided against posting

      Ever written out a status update or comment but decided against posting it? One techie has claimed Facebook collects this content, despite the company’s claims to the contrary

    • Encrypting Your Laptop Like You Mean It

      Unlike in Windows and Mac OS X, you can only encrypt your disk when you first install Linux. If you already have Linux installed without disk encryption, you’re going to need to backup your data and reinstall Linux. While there’s a huge variety of Linux distributions, I’m going to use Ubuntu as an example, but setting up disk encryption in all major distributions is similar.

    • Facebook Messenger Gets Video Calling on iOS, Android

      Move over Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime. Facebook wants to host your next mobile video chat.

    • Senior Police Officer Suggests Companies Allowing People To Use Strong Crypto Are ‘Friendly To Terrorists’

      The technology is not being “exploited” by terrorists, it’s being used by them, just as they use telephones or microwaves or washing machines. That’s what those devices are there for. The idea that trying to make broken internet technologies should be “front and center” of technology companies’ thinking bespeaks a complete contempt for their users.

      This constant refrain about how awful strong crypto is, and how we must break it, is simply the intelligence services implicitly admitting that they find the idea of doing their job in a free society, where people are able to keep some messages private, too hard, so they would be really grateful if technology companies could just fall in line and make life easier by destroying privacy for everyone.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Treaties

      • As resistance grows, TTIP is increasingly in trouble.

        It’s been a couple of months since my last TTIP update. That hiatus reflects the talks themselves, which feel strangely suspended. That’s not to say nothing is happening: indeed, there’s an air of desperate busy-ness beginning to creep into the proceedings as even the most fervid supporter of the agreement realises that TTIP is not going to be finished by the end of 2015, and people rush around vainly trying to do something about it. That’s pretty astonishing when you remember that the original plan was to finish it by the end of 2014:

      • President Obama Demands Critics Tell Him What’s Wrong With TPP; Of Course We Can’t Do That Because He Won’t Show Us The Agreement

        President Obama is apparently quite annoyed by the fact that his own party is basically pushing against his “big trade deals” (that are not really about trade). Senator Elizabeth Warren has been pretty aggressive in trashing the TPP agreement, highlighting the fact that the agreement is still secret (other than the bits leaked by Wikileaks). In response, President Obama came out swinging against the critics of TPP arguing that “they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

      • NYT Lets Economic Pundit Disappear TPP’s Economist Critics

        So all economists are for TPP because TPP is a “free trade” bill and all economists are for “free trade.” Simple, right? The only reason Congress wouldn’t pass fast track, Mankiw suggests, is if politicians listened to voters who were “worse than ignorant about the principles of good policy.”

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    EPO patent quality is going down the drain; it is not a sustainable strategy, but EPO management already drove out many who could do the job and isn’t able to recruit replacements anymore (with skills parity)



  30. EPO is in Trouble, It's Just Covering That Up

    The EPO crisis boils down to disregard for the Rule of Law (an abuse for which Europe will pay) and inability to recruit — or merely keep/retain — properly trained examiners who can weed out invalid and ruinous patents


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