- The Current State Of GamescopeGamescope is a bare-bones Wayland compositor that lets you up-scale or otherwise alter games and other graphical applications so they are displayed correctly, or just larger, on modern displays with higher resolutions. It is being developed by Valve-employed Pierre-Loup A Griffais who gave a interesting talk about the current state of Gamescope at the X.Org Developers Conference 2020. Gamescope will currently only work on AMD graphics cards using the RADV Vulkan driver. It can be used under both Xorg/X11 and Wayland.
- GNU grep 3.5 Is ReleasedThe latest version of GNU grep changes three output messages and the
-L) has been changed so it succeeds when a file is selected, not when a file is listed. There's also six bug-fixes.
- Mesa 20.2.0 Is ReleasedThere is a lot to of new features in the latest Linux graphics stack. Mesa 20.2 offers Vulkan 1.2 support, OpenGL 4.5 support for llvmpipe, faster NIR performance and the ACO shader compiler for Vulkan on AMD hardware is now the default shader compiler for the AMD RADV Vulkan driver.
- Linux 5.9-rc7 Is A Total Disaster On Machines With Intel GraphicsThe latest Linux 5.9 release candidate won't even let you start the X display server on machines with integrated Intel graphics. Running Linux on machines with integrated Intel graphics has been problematic since Linux 5.0. All those problems remained an issue with Linux 5.9-rc6. Linux 5.9-rc7 takes it one step further, it won't even let you get into a graphical environment without crashing the
i915kernel display driver for Intel GPU chips. It is a complete and utter disaster for people using integrated Intel graphics.
- Linux 5.9 Will Be Delayed One WeekThe Linux 5.9 release cycle has not gone as smoothly as earlier release cycles. There has been some unfortunate virtual memory management issues and slab corruption issues during the 5.9 release cycle which are, hopefully, fixed in 5.9 rc7. Linus Torvalds wants to delay the final 5.9 release just to be sure those are gone. He neglected to mention that 5.9 rc7 introduced a regression that prevents certain Intel integrated graphics chips from being used as more than coasters.
- The GNU Operating System Turns 37Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman announced his total plan to create a free Unix-line operating system called GNU 37 years ago today. "I am going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu's Not Unix), and give it away free(1) to everyone who can use it.". The result of his hard work is the family of operating systems we now call GNU/Linux, or, in most cases, just Linux.
- From the FSF Bulletin: Trial by proprietary softwareThere has been so much to worry about during the COVID-19 pandemic, even just within the category of technology policy. At the FSF, our role is to worry specifically about the impact of software on human freedom. Software can be a tremendous tool for solving social and scientific problems, but only when the terms of its distribution and use allow everyone to inspect how it works, share copies of it, modify it for their own purposes, and share those improvements or tweaks with others.
Quote of the week
"But while I do now know of any remaining gating issues any more, the fixes came in fairly late. So unless I feel insanely optimistic and/or a burning bush tells me that everything is bug-free, my plan right now is that I'll do another rc next Sunday rather than the final 5.9 release. And btw, please no more burning bushes. We're kind of sensitive about those on the West coast right now."
Latest software reviews
- Sonic Robo Blast 2Sonic Robo Blast 2 3D platform game with all the concepts of a classic 2D platform game in a 3D world. The main character you play is a hedgehog called Sonic. The objective is to run around and collect rings and avoid monsters. The game-play is not very exciting and the graphics is mediocre by today's standards.
- Grepgrep is a very old and very handy command line utility that prints any lines matting a regular expression. The most widely used modern grep implementation is GNU grep which supports search recursive file trees, basic regular expressions, extended regular expressions, fixed strings and Perl-compatible regular expressions.
- Liquid PromptLiquid Prompt is a adaptive and configurable command-line shell prompt extension. It provides a nice prompt with colors that displays a variety of information depending on what you are doing and how your box is doing. The default prompt is a short and simple one similar to the default bash prompt, but with colors. Liquid Prompt is a great alternative to manually setting the shell prompt using
$PS1=that can enrich the everyday command-line experience.
"Of course I added a hidden segfault specifically to annoy Chaekyung, which was the entire goal of this commit, and which is why it will never be fixed. Read() fails and the negative value is added to len, so of course that'll crash."
- 42.9 GB Of Microsoft Source Code Leaked: Historicans Can Now Study The Source Code For MS-Dos 3.3 To Windows XPThe mother-lode of Microsoft source code hit the web today. A 42.9 GiB torrent with MS-DOS 3.3, MS-DOS 6, Windows NT 3.5 & 5, Windows CE 6 & 7, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, and some XBox code, can now be acquired from your local friendly BitTorrent site.
- Korean Trot Singer Kang Hye Yeon's Latest Cover Brings Attention To Lonely Single MothersMany single mothers struggle with trying to make ends meet because their husband left them with a child to raise on their own. South Korean pop sensation Kang Hye Yeon brings awareness to women in this very unfortunate situation with her new wonderfully performed cover of the tradition Korean trot song "Golden Grass - Mother's Song" (금잔디 - 엄마의 노래).
- Frictional Games Has Released Source Code For Two Amnesia Games As FOSS Under The GNU GPLv3Swedish Frictional Games AB has released the source code for their Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010) and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs (2013) games as free open source software under the GNU GPLv3 license. The game assets have not been made available under any free license so the full games remain proprietary software.
- Vkd3d 1.2 Is ReleasedThe Wine team has released a new major version of their vkd3d DirectX 12 to Vulkan translation layer library used by Wine. Two years of hard work allows this vkd3d release to let you launch Mario Kart DX12. That is an improvement since vkd3d 1.1. You can now see the start menu, but you can't actually play the game. There's also support for tessellation shaders, stream output and a now publicly available libvkd3d-shader library in vkd3d 1.2.
- The Current State Of The Tor Network September 2020The Tor anonymity networks lets you browse the Internet anonymously, with traffic analysis resistance, thanks to the "wide diversity" of Tor relays. That "diversity" is in reality limited to a bunch of Tor relays crammed together in a few high-capacity data-centers Paris, Hanina (Germany), London, Amsterdam and Smithville, USA.
- Lenovo's Increasing Their Line-Up Of ThinkPad And ThinkStation Computers With Linux Pre-InstalledThe Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo is currently offering a handful of computers, and just one ThinkPad laptop, with Linux operating systems preinstalled. That is about to change. Ubuntu-maker Canonical Ltd has announced that Lenovo has certified Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for use on 30 of Lenovo's Thinkpad and ThinkStation computers. Some are already available with either Ubuntu and RedHat Enterprise Linux and more will become available throughout 2021.
- GNU Parallel Ginsburg Is ReleasedThe latest version of the most comprehensive tool for running terminal commands in parallel has new CPU detection code for GNU/Linux, bug fixes and a few changes to the very long and detailed manual page.
- Microsoft Edge Is Coming To Linux In October 2020..but it will, initially, only be available to members of some secret club called the "Microsoft Edge Insider community". Microsoft did not reveal when it will become available to the general public, only that "insiders" will be able to choose between a "Beta", "Dev" and a "Canary" channel.
- New GNU Kart Coming To SuperTuxKart 1.3The lead SuperTuxKart developer has big plans for the future of the best free software kart racing game. Vulkan support is on the to-do list but that won't arrive until SuperTuxKart 2.0. There will be several 1.x released before 2.0 arrives. The next minor release, SuperTuxKart 1.3, will have a new re-vamped GNU kart and a polished and improved "Enterprise" track.
Check out the news archive for more news.
Recent software reviews
- DOSBoxDOSBox is both a x86 and DOS emulator which lets you run old MS-DOS software on modern computers and phones running just about any operating system, DOSBox supports more operating systems and platform than most software. DOSBox emulates old PC hardware, it does not run any code natively, which is why it can run MS-DOS programs on just about any hardware/OS combination. DOSBox is mostly known for enabling you to play older games, but it is also very capable to run spreadsheet programs and all kinds of other programs. It will run the vast majority of all MS-DOS software perfectly.
- Fr-041: d e b r i sFr-041: debris is a PC scene demo for Windows using DirectX 9 to render graphics. It was released by the German demo group farbrauch on April 11th, 2007. It had very impressive graphics for the time when it was released and it is still a very good-looking and generally very nice PC demo with a decent, but not superb, audio track.
- Fr-063: MagellanFr-063: Magellan is a pc scene demo by the German demo group farbrauch. It was released in December 2018. The screenshots of it on sites like pouet and scene.org look pretty nice. Running in it in Wine results in disaster.
- Isolated, in sunlightisolated, in sunlight is a Windows scene demo made for the Revision 2020 Party demo competitions. It is not very exciting or very impressive, it is, in fact, kind of boring. The only remotely interesting about it is that it's a piece of Windows software with graphics which makes it a fun thing to test in Wine staging and development versions just to see if it runs or not.
- Blue NebulaBlue Nebula is a free very fast-paced online teamed first person shooter with decent graphics. There are many game-modes like death-match and capture the flat to choose between. It has very few hardware requirements making it a really cool and nice game to play either at high resolutions at high frame-rates on modern hardware or standard 1080p resolution on old and/or modest hardware.
- GNOME WebGNOME Web, or just "Web" as it appears in desktop menus, formally known as Epiphany before the GNOME team decided to rename everything according to general names resembling their function, is the default web browser in the GNOME desktop environment. It is built on top of the WebKitGTK rendering toolkit which, as the name implies, is based on Apple's WebKit rendering engine. It is, much like the default Edge browser on Windows, only suitable for downloading a better web browser.
- UnvanquishedUnvanquished is a multiplayer first person shooter strategy game where you can choose to be on a human team or a alien team and fight the opposing side. There are bases and structures to protect and maintain, weapons to acquire, resources to earn and enemies, either aliens or humans depending on what team you pick, that need to be eradicated.
- The secret battle of encryption algorithms - In this video from LibrePlanet 2019 Amanda Sopkin explains some cryptography basics and dilemmas.
- Overtaking Proprietary Software Without Writing Code - "a few rough insights on sharpening free software". This lecture was given by Olivier Cleynen at the CCC in December 2007. The points in it were very good and remain relevant more than a decade later.