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Links 22/7/2011: Linux Kernel 3.0 is Out, New Ubuntu LTS, Oracle Buys Ksplice





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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Linux Australia to tweak constitution
    Linux Australia, the umbrella group for Linux user groups in the country, plans to make some changes to its constitution, according to its president, John Ferlito.

    The major change will be moving the organisation's financial year from one that is the same as the calendar year to one that begins on October 1.

    "We need to change our financial year so we have time to put an audit together as we are now required to by NSW Fair Trading," Ferlito told iTWire.

    [...]

    Last year, the organisation conducted an online survey of members to find out what functions they expected the body to perform.


  • TLWIR 9: Microsoft’s Kernel Contribution, The Hurd, and Open Hardware from CERN
    Summary: In the last edition of TLWIR, I discussed Toyota’s recent embrace of the GNU/Linux operating system. In this week’s edition, I will expand on this theme of organizations embracing the concepts of openness and freedom.


  • What's new in Linux 3.0
    The transition to the Linux kernel's 'third decade' sees numerous changes to the Btrfs filesystem. The kernel now includes all the major components needed to host guest systems under Xen and includes many new and revised drivers.

    Linus Torvalds and his collaborators have taken just two months to complete the latest kernel. The most notable change, however, is cosmetic rather than technical – the transition from version 2.6.39 to 3.0. This not been taken as a cue to insert major changes, however, and the new kernel is in fact a perfectly normal version increment, following the pattern set for the 2.6 series.


  • Server



  • Audiocasts/Shows





  • Kernel Space

    • Oracle Buys Ksplice
      Oracle announced that it has acquired Ksplice, Inc., the creator of innovative zero downtime update technology for Linux. The transaction has closed. Ksplice's management and its highly-regarded team of engineers bring significant domain expertise to Oracle.


    • Oracle Fires Another Shot Over Red Hat's Bow
      Oracle announced today that it had bought Ksplice Inc., the company behind the software that allows a rebootless kernel change. This exciting technology was welcomed by the Linux community and was even provided free of cost to Fedora users. Knowing Oracle's track record, this will undoubtedly cause worry throughout the community.

      Oracle isn't planning on shutting this one down, although the ksplice.com blogs are currently down, but is planning on using it to offer zero downtime guarantees. In fact, the very wording of their press release almost comes out and states that this technology willl no longer be available to other distribution makers.


    • Oracle Buys Ksplice for Rapid Linux Updates
      Make no mistake about it, Oracle is serious about its Linux business. Today Oracle announced what I consider to be a significant addition to that business with the acquisition of Ksplice.

      Ksplice is this really neat tech that lets Linux admins 'hot patch' that is patch an in-use system without the need for a reboot. For a mission critical system, that's a big deal.


    • Note on Linux 3.0 and the 3.1 merge window
      As everybody knows by now, not only did I do an -rc7 last week instead of releasing 3.0 (due to some worries about the RCU code), but I ended up also not doing the 3.0 on Monday because of a pathname lookup bug and then some _more_ RCU issues.


    • Preparing For The Linux 3.1 Kernel
      Linus Torvalds is expected to release the Linux 3.0 kernel today. He has announced that the last-minute bugs that held up the Monday release should be addressed and he's preparing for the Linux 3.1 kernel merge window to be opened.


    • Linux kernel 3.0 released




  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments



  • Distributions

    • Gallery: My top five Linux desktop distributions
      SystemRescueCD isn't a Linux desktop you'd use every day, but it's essential to anyone who's ever had to fix a misbehaving desktop of any sort.


    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS In The Classroom
        The following comes from Jim, a member on the PCLinuxOS forums.

        I thought I’d share it with my blog readers. It points out how new users immediately see Linux as being attractive, powerful , and easy to set up and use. Once you see Linux is action, your curiosity level spikes!


      • Review: PCLinuxOS 2011.6 KDE
        The last time I tried out PCLinuxOS was at version 2010.07, and I tried the KDE version then too. I didn't particularly it then because I felt it dropped a lot of useful applications from the 2009.2 release (which I tried out before I started this blog), and because it was pretty slow on my computer. Then again, my perspectives and desires have changed a little bit since then, so don't read too much into that.

        [...]

        So what's the deal? I really liked the applications, and other applications installed and worked well. After much struggle with getting PCLinuxOS to start X/11 properly, my laptop's hardware was detected fine. Another strong point is PCLinuxOS's reputation as being stable, yet having access to the latest software through its rolling-release nature. Finally, it's configuration tools are still really good and really handy. But as with SimplyMEPIS 11.0, because I had to type GRUB commands to get it to work correctly in the live session, I can't recommend this to total newbies to Linux, at least based on my own experiences. Plus, even the positive part of the experience was marred by that lone KDE Plasma crash, which I am not used to seeing much anymore. I would recommend this more to slightly more experienced Linux users who aren't afraid to tinker and troubleshoot.




    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 5,532 Shares


      • Insurance Technology - NTT Com Honored By Red Hat for Its Biz Hosting Basic Solution


      • Fedora

        • Fedora Community (the app) Update


        • Kororaa 15 (Squirt) Beta 2 released
          The second beta release of Kororaa 15 (codename “Squirt”) has been released and is available for download, in 32 and 64 bit with KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3.

          This release fixes the black screen issue that some users were reporting, as well as having the desktop theme customisations for KDE (as well as GNOME) correctly applied. The usual Kororaa goodies apply.


        • Fedora 16 to have Grub2, GNOME 3.2 and KDE 4.7
          The range of features in Fedora 16, which is scheduled to be released at the end of October, is becoming clearer now that the deadline for submitting new features has passed. Late submissions are accepted on rare occasions, but the "feature freeze" is planned for next Tuesday – by then, all major advancements on the Linux distribution's feature list are planned to be largely complete and ready for testing. The first and only alpha version is to be released three weeks later – on 16 August.


        • Living with Fedora – A Debian/Ubuntu User’s Take on Fedora 15
          I’ve been a die-hard Debian fan for about 10 years, and I’ve written several articles on the subject. That said, most of our Linux-savvy readers are Ubuntu users, so that’s been my main desktop OS for as long as I’ve been a MakeTechEasier writer. Ubuntu has always been fine, and generally got the job done without hassle, however this past release (11.04, Natty Narwhal) has been the cause of a rift among many Ubuntu users. This release pushed Unity, their homegrown desktop environment, front and center. Like many others, I’ve never managed to get a feel for Unity. After weighing my options, I decided to jump ship and try out Fedora 15. It’s the first Fedora I’ve tried since Core 1, and things certainly have changed.






    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Martin Michlmayr, former Debian Project Leader
        Martin Michlmayr is a Debian developer since 2000 and I share quite a few things with him, starting with his age and involvement in the quality assurance team. He managed to be elected Debian Project Leader in 2003 and 2004.

        He’s no longer as active as he used to be but his input is always very valuable and he continues to do very interesting things in particular concerning the support of NAS devices. Read on for the details.


      • Derivatives

        • Elementary OS: A True User-Friendly Linux
          A Linux desktop that’s easy to use for people who don’t have a Ph.D. in computer science has been a holy grail. But a new release, Elementary OS, comes pretty close.

          While the Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP stack powers many of the Web servers bringing you your pages, as a quick check of Netcraft shows (yes, even Walyou!) it’s success on the desktops of non-techies has been more limited. Some Linux partisans entertain Microsoft conspiracy theories, but the simple fact is that Linux has traditionally been rather difficult to set up. A few distributions, notably Ubuntu, have come fairly close to making Linux mainstream for ordinary computer users.


        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • New Look Ubuntu Software Centre Delayed Until 12.04?
            The design overhaul of the Ubuntu Software Centre many had hoped would land in Ubuntu 11.10 is seeming unlikely.


          • Ubuntu 10.04.3 (Lucid Lynx) LTS released!
            The Ubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS, the third maintenance update to Ubuntu’s 10.04 LTS release. This release includes updated server, desktop, alternate installation CDs and DVDs for the i386 and amd64 architectures.

            The Kubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Kubuntu 10.04.3. This release includes updated images for the desktop and alternate installation CDs for the i386 and amd64 architectures.


          • Ubuntu Development Update


          • Ubuntu 11.10: Fast And Friendly
            Ubuntu 11.10, which also goes by the somewhat ridiculous code name of Oneiric Ocelot, is anything but ridiculous if you’re a power desktop user -- judging by its early “alpha” version. It has the fastest boot-time we’ve seen on an HDD-based PC, shows snappy performance between applications and just may be the easiest PC operating system in the world to navigate.

            A change under the hood seems to have made all the difference in the world.

            When Ubuntu 11.04 met the world earlier this year, it provided a new “Unity” interface that looked cleaner and friendlier but many complained that it acted clunky and slow at times. Developers of the Linux distro then jumped into action like the pit crew on a NASCAR team; they swapped out the Gnome Desktop Manager (GDM) with a newer, lighter LightDM. From what we've seen, what that did was, essentially, remove legacy code with code that was built to be less complex and faster.










  • Devices/Embedded



    • Phones



      • Android

        • Vodafone Smart Android smartphone
          You can argue all you want about the merits of the various mobile operating systems but it’s undoubtedly Android that has put smartphones into the hands of the impecunious masses and in numbers that would have been inconceivable just eighteen months ago.


        • My favourite Android applications
          It's been a year now that I've replaced my old Sony Ericsson with a brand new HTC Desire! I have to admit that I am amazed by this excellent Android mobile phone. 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB RAM, 5 Megapixel camera with 720P video recording and Android 2.2 Froyo along with HTC Sense UI. For those who hear the word Android for the first time I will say that Android is Google's operating system for mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. And of course it is based on Linux!






    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android tablets take 30 percent global share, but struggle in enterprise
        Android tablets took a 30 percent share of global tablet shipments in the second quarter, compared to 61 percent for Apple, as part of a 331 percent growth in total sales since Q2 2010, says Strategy Analytics. According to a Good Technology study, however, Android tablets still trail the iPad significantly in the enterprise -- where Apple represented 95 percent of second-quarter sales.








Free Software/Open Source



  • The future of free software – are we on rocky ground?
    And what if other things become more sexy? Exactly. If a free software project is not seen as innovative, as ‘doing cool things’, it loses momentum. Which, due to the high turnover in free software, quickly leads to a project’s end. This might indeed be the effect of being able to write software for mobile phones which everyone can get their hands on. It is far more cool if you can do that, get your ‘app’ out there, even make a buck.

    The obvious answer to the question you don’t even have to ask is then obvious: yes, to make free software grow, it needs to be more interesting. We need to talk about technology. Not talk down new initiatives, but be excited about them! This is why I applaud GNOME for the work on GNOME Shell. This is why I think what KDE is doing with Plasma Active is awesome. Such projects bring energy, excitement and, most importantly, new contributors! New people in free software!


  • Copyright, copyleft, and culture
    Nina Paley has certainly stirred things up with her recent "rantifesto" on free culture and free software. It has spawned numerous responses on various blogs, both from supporters and those who disagree with her contention that the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is being hypocritical in its licensing of its web pages and other non-software works. For some people it is a bit galling to see an organization that is set up to ensure the right to create and distribute derivative works (subject to some conditions, of course) of software, be so steadfast in its refusal to apply those same freedoms to text and other works.


  • Web Browsers



    • Mozilla

      • Firefox and Thunderbird Stable, Beta, Aurora and Nightly Channel PPAs
        Here is a list of all PPAs for different Firefox and Thunderbird Channels which you can add to your sources list and always have up to date packages. We have covered PPA instructions all for all these channels in different articles but now you can find them all at one place.

        PPA instructions for Stable, Beta and Aurora channels will upgrade your existing Firefox/Thunderbird installation while instructions for Nightly channel will install a new daily build trunk version side by side to your existing Firefox/Thunderbird installation. Please note that other than Stable channel, all other channels have beta/development builds not suitable for production purposes so use them at your own risk.


      • Firefox 8 is 20% Faster than Firefox 5, Install Firefox 8 in Ubuntu via PPA
        Firefox 8 recently found its way into the nightly build channel. According to a recent study by extremetech.com, Firefox 8 is already 20% faster than Firefox 5 in almost every metric and has got a drastically reduced memory footprint as well.






  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Developer Interview: Tor Lillqvist
      I am Tor Lillqvist. On LibreOffice IRC I am known as tml_ . I live in Helsinki, Finland, with my wife and our 10-year daughter. My son has already grown up and moved out. Some of my passions are trains (modern and recent electric and diesel technology, I am not that much into steam nostalgia), reading good books, listening to challenging and/or good music, the visual arts, architecture, and travels.

      Most recently I have read “The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore” by Benjamin Hale, “Hitch-22″ by Christopher Hitchens and “Homage to Catalonia” by George Orwell. Among art museums that have impressed me are the Guggenheim Bilbao and ICA Boston. I love the music of for instance David Sylvian, Nico, Steve Reich, Sigur Rós, Erik Satie, rechenzentrum, Emilie Simon, Carnatic and Gamelan music.




  • Project Releases

    • Breakin Version 3.20 Released
      Advanced Clustering Technologies announces the latest version of its open source stress test and diagnostics tool, breakin. The new release offers UI improvements and bug fixes, and new utilities in the rescue environment, including: blockdev, numastat, and bonnie++. SSH and SCP clients are now included in the boot image environment, and the 3.20 release easily builds under Red Hat/CentOS 6. Upgrades to testing procedures also provide improved processor stress testing.




  • Openness/Sharing



  • Programming

    • Eclipse illustrates open source development diversity
      As we have highlighted on numerous occasions, we are seeing growing focus on corporate-led open source communities. A prime example would be the Eclipse Foundation, which is clearly dominated by corporate interests but encourages a community effort to work together to with a joint purpose – to deliver the Indigo release for example.




  • Standards/Consortia





Leftovers



  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • I'll be away for a week next week.
      Relations between Washington and Islamabad deteriorated further when the US justice department charged two men alleged to have been in the pay of the Pakistani intelligence service.


    • New film tackles military justice system in the West Bank
      A new film by Israeli director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz tackles the issue of military courts in the West Bank like it has never been investigated on film. Israel’s military legal justice system in the West Bank has been treated on +972 in relatively great detail especially in reference to the unarmed demonstrations which have spread through border villages for the past eight years. According to the press release for the film,






  • Finance

    • New film tackles military justice system in the West Bank
      In 2009, stock owners, bankers, brokers, hedge-fund wizards, highly paid corporate executives, corporations, and mid-ranking managers pocketed—as either income, benefits, or perks such as corporate jets—an estimated $1.91 trillion that 40 years ago would have collectively gone to non-supervisory and production workers in the form of higher wages and benefits. These are the 88 million workers in the private sector who are closely tied to production processes and/or are not responsible for the supervision, planning, or direction of other workers.


    • Advice Hillary Clinton Should, But Won’t, Give to Economically-Strapped Greece
      When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Greece, she praised the Greek government’s austerity measures to reduce deficits and cut spending. The U.S. and Greece face a common challenge of dealing with soaring deficits, but they also face something else in common: a refusal to deal with out-of-control military spending. And given that the United States is a major arms seller to Greece, Hillary Clinton will encourage the Greeks to slash workers’ wages and pensions, but not its enormous military appetite.




  • ACTA

    • European Parliament Study Confirms ACTA Must Be Rejected
      The EU Parliament just published a study assessing ACTA in view of its upcoming ratification vote. Most of the report includes the typical copyright extremism nonsense, especially when it comes to the digital environment. However, this scholarly study cannot but recognize that ACTA contains serious legal flaws and brings nothing to EU citizens. Despite trying hard to help the Commission, it is forced to conclude by suggesting that the EU Parliament should reject ACTA.






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