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Links 03/08/2009: Linux 2.6.31 @ RC5, GNU Hurd Monthly Report

GNOME bluefish



  • New Stuff

  • Desktop

    • Compiz Running With Mesa On R600/700 GPUs
      Just about three weeks ago the AMD developers working on the open-source ATI drivers had reached the milestone in their open-source 3D support for the R600/700 GPUs of having glxgears running on these two latest generations of ATI graphics processors. glxgears running itself isn't much, but it's an important step. Last night, AMD's Alex Deucher is now reporting a new milestone and one that is certainly interesting for a large number of users, that is Compiz is running!

    • Linux Update does not own my machine
      Care to guess what happened after I clicked "Shut Down"? My Linux system actually let me shut down. Like, right then. None of this "let me install a few updates before you really get to shut down your system", like in Windows. I wasn't held hostage by an update process that insisted on owning my machine for another hour. The system just shut down, normally.

      Linux "System Update" was done when it said it was done. That is how modern systems are supposed to work!

  • Kernel Space

    • GNU Hurd/ news/ 2009-07-31
      A month of the Hurd: hurd Debian package, union mount translator, bug fixes, and a job opening.
      Samuel Thibault uploaded a new version of the hurd Debian package which improves system stability by fixing a long-standing bug in the exec server that had randomly made it hang, inhibiting the creation of new processes.

    • Linux 2.6.31-rc5
      Ok, I've got some pending stuff, but I'm pushing out -rc5 now because it does fix a lot of regressions, and some of the pending stuff I'm not entirely sure about.

      Apart from various regression fixes, the diffstat shows a couple of new drivers (at_hdmac, uc2322, gspca/sn9c20x, ds2782 battery driver), and some big KMS radeon changes (the Radeon KMS source code may physically be under drivers/gpu, but it's only enabled if CONFIG_STAGING is set, and is considered unstable).

    • SSDs and filesystems
      So I've figured out my drive and partition usage, but the things that are causing the most headaches, and occupying the majority of my research time, are:

      1. Which filesystems 2. Which mount options 3. Which schedulers 4. Partition alignment schemes

      See, I will have two SSDs in there with Gentoo installed on 'em, but I'll also have a separate magnetic HDD for media storage, so that means a different for each drive.

      For 1, ext4 is looking increasingly attractive for the SSDs. I may continue to use ReiserFS for the media drive, as it's worked very well for a few years now. But, given that the Portage tree is just lots and lots of tiny files, perhaps I could continue using ReiserFS on it? Though I would need to deactivate the journal. The Mobi drive should not have any journaling on it -- too many writes.

  • Applications

    • Software Review: Gimp (for photo editing)
      Simply put, GIMP is the best FREE software for photo editing that you can find on the internet. You can create, modify and enhance any digital image with GIMP with ease and confidence. The best way to enjoy GIMP is to download it and begin to use it right away. In no time at all you will become a photo editing expert without having to pay an arm and a leg.

    • GCstar 1.5.0beta1 – Manage your collection!
      Lets face it, the days of shelves bowing under the weight of DVD cases & CD’s is coming to an end, but even if for you its not, in the days of cheap online stores and what seems to be all year round “everything must go” type sales, most peoples collections are going to be rather large. Whilst GCstar won’t put all your CD’s into their correct boxes, nor will it put them in an alphabetical order on your shelves, what it will do is allow you to document your entire collection on a database. So why is this preferable to any other database package? I hear you ask. Well, if you fancy setting up your own fields with “genre”, “year” et al, then be my guest. Its already been done though with GCstar.

    • KMyMoney getting ready for the 1.0 release
      We are in the final steps toward releasing KMyMoney 1.0. It has been over 2 years since the last stable release and over that time the development team has been busy building a lot of features, while maintaining and even improving stability and performance.

  • Distributions

    • Linux? There Are Simply Too Many Versions!
      No, the lack of “standards” for GNU/Linux is not the problem. The natural human resistance to change, corporate inertia and illegal (or at least unethical) business practices by certain large companies [1][2] are the problems. We cannot overcome resistance to change in people. Where we need to concentrate on change is with our children. Especially children locked in public education systems that are locked into proprietary operating systems [3][4]. Teach our children to use GNU/Linux and we change the future of the computing landscape.

      Too many “versions” of GNU/Linux? No. Too little education about GNU/Linux? Definitely.

    • A look at Slax 6.1.1 "Core" (by Jesse Smith)
      My very first Linux distribution was called Pygmy Linux, a mini-distro based off Slackware. It had no graphical desktop, no compiler, no office suite, no package management and it didn't recognize my modem. Obviously it didn't qualify as a replacement for my main desktop system at the time. Nor was it supposed to. But it did do what I wanted it to and that was to teach me the UNIX command line and the structure of a UNIX file system. It did those things very well and I learned a lot. It has been ten years since I plunged into the Linux depths. To celebrate ten years with Linux, I decided to give a mini-distro based on Slackware a test drive. Pygmy is long gone, but others live on. This week I installed Slax on my system and put it through its paces.

    • Pardus 2009 review
      As with Linux Mint, what you notice about Pardus is that there are no games installed. Not one. Also there are no media center applications like Moovida, the media center application formerly known as Elisa Media Center, or XBMC. Not only are these not installed, I could not find them (Moovida and XBMC) in the default repo. With games however, there are a decent collection in the default repo that you can install using the package manager.

    • Mepis Update
      Okay as anyone who loves Mepis knows there is a huge amount of wants and desires and lets not forget the rumors that abound from the Forums to websites. They all seem to have most of the same things mentioned. KDE4 is the biggest thing, while it is available from other sources it has not as of yet made it into the Mepis Repositories.

    • Red Hat

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Desktop Support: Even If No One Wins Big, Everyone Still Wins
        Community support does a fairly good job replacing the mysterious elements with science -- and it often, honest to Pete, ends up being an all-out community effort. It all gets sorted out, 99% of the time -- but it takes some time. Presumably those people purchasing the Professional support service are smaller businesses, and cliche as it is, time often is money.

        That doesn't mean that paid support will necessarily work through a problem faster or as elegantly as community support will, but it does mean that your issue is, for the techs, a priority -- not something only tackled on lunch and coffee breaks.

      • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 27
        This month:

        * Command and Conquer * How To: Program in Python – Part 1, Scan To PDF/DJVU, Associate A File Type * and Inkscape – Part 4. * My Story – My Ubuntu Home Server. * Review – Amarok 1.4. * MOTU Interview – Nathan Handler.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 153
        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #153 for the week July 26th - August 1st, 2009. In this issue we cover: Canonical to Offer Ubuntu Desktop Support & Services, Free Books for Approved LoCo teams, DC LoCo Bug Jam, Atlanta Linux Fest & Mini Ubucon, Ubuntu Pennsylvania & FreeGeekPenn, Sharing translations between different releases, Open Mind & Launchpad, More power to the release manager, Writing code for Launchpad, Exporting translations to a Bazaar branch, New layout for, Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #10, Ubuntu Teams Meeting Summary for July, and much, much more!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • An interview with LiMo's Morgan Gillis
      Gillis discusses why LiMo is different than other mobile Linux platforms and offers insights on Intel's Wind River acquisition, Android, Chrome, Symbian, and more.

    • Linux Mobile group readies 2Q push
      The LiMo Foundation will soon announce more handsets, said executive director Morgan Gillis, in an interview with LinuxDevices. Gillis, who sounded off on Intel's Wind River acquisition, Android, Chrome OS, Symbian, and more, said the mid-August announcement will be followed by bigger announcements in October as LiMo R2 reaches market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Primer on Europe for US-Based Open Source Communities and Vendors
    Europe leads the world in open source software adoption and development. Open source solutions have greater market share in Europe than the rest of the world, both on the server and the desktop, and more open source developers live in Europe than on any other continent including North America. Only 18% of the developers on SourceForge live in the United States, while 33% live in the European Union (EU). European firms that contribute to open source projects account for about 565,000 jobs and have combined annual revenues of over €260 billion ($350 billion).

  • Business

    • Actuate Reports Second Quarter 2009 Financial Results
      "Actuate’s solid financial foundation enables us to adapt through any business climate,” said Pete Cittadini, President and CEO of Actuate. “We continue to make forward strides with our open source strategy. For the first time, we are able to identify opportunities totaling multiple millions within our pipeline, where the prospect began by downloading Eclipse BIRT and now expresses interest in Actuate’s commercial offerings. This is further substantiation that our open source investments continue to position us well for growth associated with a new, more profitable enterprise software business model.”

    • OpenLogic Expands OpenLogic Exchange Enterprise Edition to Help Customers Identify Cost Savings From Using Open Source Software

    • Sourcefire Announces 2009 Second Quarter Results
      Revenues for 2Q09 were $22.2 million compared to $16.0 million in 2Q08, an increase of 38%. Revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2009 were $40.8 million compared to $29.7 million for the same period last year, an increase of 37%.

    • BitNami Releases Virtual Appliances for SugarCRM, Wordpress, Alfresco, Drupal and More
      BitRock Inc, the leading provider of cross platform deployment tools and services, today announced the release of all of the BitNami Stacks as SUSE-based virtual appliances. BitNami users can now download ready-to-run BitNami Appliances for open source applications such as SugarCRM, Drupal, Wordpress, Alfresco and many others. The appliances are available free of charge from the BitNami project website,

    • - Your Company Deserves It
      Among the big companies that are using this system you are going to find big clients like Sony Entertainment, Mazda Motors Europe, and many others.

    • An Explanation of the Economic of Open Source
      When I was in University, not long after discovering a thing called "Linux" and all the wonderful free software that came with it, I fell in love with Open Source. The ethics of openness and meritocracy really appealed to me. It just seemed to me to be the "right" way of doing things.

      However it was a source of some good humoured tension between myself and my colleagues, circa Red Hat 6.0. Reaction against the idea of open source basically ranged from "anything given away for free can't be any good", to "very idealistic but it has no future since there is no way to make a living off of 'free'".

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura's Fundecyt foundation 14 (2004)

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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