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LinuxReviews News Archive

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  • AMD finally submits kernel patch for broken RDRAND on older AMD APUs
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    It only took 5 years for AMD to submit a kernel patch which doesn't even fix RDRAND being broken on older AMD APUs after suspend. Their kernel patch "fixes" the problem by completely disabling the RDRAND instruction on all family 15 and 16 APUs and CPUs from AMD - even those not affected by this particular issue.
  • Tor Snowflake launched as a censorship countermeasure for the The Onion Router network
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    The Onion Router's many nodes are banned by quite a few tyrannical regimes around the world. Tor has a feature called "bridges" which helps by-pass local censorship. Bridges are computers who act as middle-men between end-users and the Tor network. They are not listed in the Tor directory and they are meant to be hard to learn. It is, of course, possible to pretend you are a lots and lots of end-users in order to learn all the bridges. Tor's new "Snowflake" browser-plugin aims so make Tor even more censorship-resistant by allowing anyone with that browser plugin to act as a proxy for Tor's bridges.
  • Treasure-trove of internal Google documents showing censorship and bias leaked by insider
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    A now former Google employee who went on camera talking about Google election meddling and other illegalities in June has made a 300 MB compressed archive filled with internal Google documents available through Project Veritas. The documents include censorship blacklists and plans which outline a clear political agenda.
  • Linux Kernel 5.3-rc4 released
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    The forth release-candidate of the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.3 is the largest release candidate "in years". A lot of the changes since rc3 are network-related and quote a few of those are related to WIFI drivers like the iwlwifi driver for Intel wireless network cards. There's also a notable amount of changes related to Logitech input devices. There's also new Spectre v1 swapgs mitigations in this kernel; fixes for Intel CPU security flaws keep piling onto the already huge pile of fixes for Intel's highly insecure Swiss-cheese products.
  • Xfce 4.14 Released
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    The leading GNU/Linux desktop environment Xfce has released a new stable version after almost 5 years of development. The latest version is based on GTK3 instead of GTK2 and it uses GDBus instead of GLib under the hood. There's entirely new components like Xfce's new screensaver and many small and large improvements to the existing applications in Xfce 4.12 such as the file-manager Thunar, the video player Parole, the Xfce4-terminal terminal emulator.
  • Xfce Image Viewer Ristretto 0.10.0 released
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    This is the first version of Ristretto which is based on GTK3+. It is essentially the same as the GTK2 version. It has some bug-fixes and translation updates but nothing new in terms of features, the port to GTK3 is the big high-light in this release.
  • IBM subsidiary Red Hat has joined the RISC-V foundation
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    The move was not entirely surprising given that IBM is one of the RISC-V foundations founding members. There is no announcement of Red Hat distributions like Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux becoming available for RISC-V any time soon. However, this does signal that they have plans in that direction.
  • Bitcoin Core 0.18.1 Released
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    The new minor version of the Bitcoin Core wallet software for storing and managing the crypto-currency BTC has some minor bug fixes, performance improvements and updated translations. Tor users will be happy to learn that this Bitcoin Core version does not hang for ages when it's shut down while it's connected to the Tor network. Bitcoin Core 0.18.1 is available for GNU/Linux, Windows and macOS.
  • Xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.3.3 released
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    Xfce's team describes the Whiskermenu as "An alternate menu". That may be true in theory but in practice it's the default standard menu on most distributions. The new version has translation updates for Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Galician, Icelandic and Nepali. It also removes a partial crash-fix for crashes caused by garcon.
  • It's Over, The Linux Journal is Closing Down
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    The Linux Journal was the first magazine to write about the Linux kernel and operating systems based on it back when it launched in 1994. It was published as monthly printed magazines until September 2011 when it switched to publishing digital monthly editions. It was almost over in 2017 when the Linux Journal announced that it was closing it's doors. However, Private Internet Access stepped in with funding and the Journal kept going. Now, 25 years since it published it's first edition, it's over and the staff is let go.
  • Mesa 19.1.4 is now available with fixes for hair oddities in Max Payne 3 on AMD/RADV
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    The latest version of the graphics library which underpins all GNU/Linux graphics when free drivers are used has a lot of other fixes for Radeon graphics cards. There's also fixes for nv50 and nvc0 based NVidia cards in the free nouveau driver and some fixes for Intel integrated graphics.
  • KDevelop 5.4 released
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    KDevelop is a powerful Integrated Development Environment built on the KDE framework which works great in any desktop environment. It's great for developing in a number of languages including C++, Python and PHP (if you consider PHP to be a real programming language). The new version has a brand new scratchpad feature, a new build system and analyzer support from Clang-Tidy. There is, of course, also a lot of bug fixes and smaller improvements.
  • Linux Kernel 5.3-rc3 released
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    The third release candidate for Linux Kernel 5.3 is "smaller than usual". There has been a lot of fixes for the Intel i915 driver as well as many power management fixes for newer AMD GPUs since 5.3rc2. There is not much else of interest between those release-candidates.
  • The Japanese have NTP synchronized wall clocks
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    The Network Time Protocol is the standard way of synchronizing clocks on the Internet. All modern Linux machines can use this method and many distributions enable the systemd timesyncd service for clock synchronization using NTP by default. Regular wall-clocks found in homes have so far been relying on either GPS, radio signals or humans manually adjusting the time. The Japanese have now come up with standard wall and bedside table clocks which can synchronize time using the standard NTP protocol.
  • Drift Into Eternity now available for Linux on Steam
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    The "Top 100 of the Indie of the Year Award 2015" game Drift Into Eternity is now available for Linux in the Steam store. The announcement describes the game as being an "open beta" due to lack of testing. The full version of the game requires a payment. A almost fully working demo version is available for Linux (and Windows). The only difference between it and the full version is the ability to submit or save scores, you can not do those things with the demo version. Everything else should, in theory, work. In practice the game doesn't actually launch.
  • Manjaro Linux will not be installing the proprietary FreeOffice by default
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    It appeared as if the popular Linux distribution Manjaro - which has a badly censored forum - was going to include a free version of the non-free proprietary office suite FreeOffice crippleware from German SoftMaker Software GmbH instead of the free office suite LibreOffice in the upcoming 18.1 version of their operating system. This is now off the table due to massive push-back from a handful of vocal people.
  • Linux Steam market share is on the rise
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    The percentage of Steam gamers using GNU/Linux dropped like a stone last month. A 0.08% reduction in June left Linux distributions with a marginal 0.76% of total Steam usage. That number increased by 0.03% in July and the GNU/Linux marketshare on Steam now stands at 0.79%.
  • Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman to do Speaking Tour in Russia
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    The father of the free software movement will be speaking at the TechTrain Expo in Saint Petersburg on August 24-25. He will then proceed to Moscow and speak at an undisclosed location connected to the Moscow Polytechnic University. Admission to the TechTrain Expo requires a ticket, admission to his talk in Moscow will be free of charge.
  • GNU C Library version 2.30 released with Unicode 12.1 support
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    glibc one of the more essential parts of any GNU/Linux distribution. There's no bash, no X, no KDE Plasma, no nothing without it. The new version of the GNU C Library fixes to security issues with assigned CVEs. There's also Minguo calendar support for Chinese Taipei and the Unicode entry for the new Japanese era added to the ja_JP locale which was added to Unicode 12.1.
  • Mesa 3d 19.2 Release Plan Announced
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    The Mesa 3d graphics stack which powers the user-space aspects of all Linux graphics drivers will release a new stable version on August 27th - unless there are unforeseen problems or delays. The development tree will be branched off and released as 19.2rc1 on Tuesday 6th.
  • Freedesktop Quietly adds Intel Code of Conduct Enforcer
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    The Freedesktop organization were pushed into adopting a Code of Conduct in April, 2017. The same three people have been responsible for enforcing this broad, unclear and subjective policy since that time. A fourth person from Intel was very quietly added to the authoritarian enforcement team on July 19th.
  • Latte Dock 0.9 for KDE Plasma released
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    Latte Dock is an alternative to standard panels offered by the popular and very feature-rich KDE Plasma desktop environment. It looks very similar to something we have vague memories of seeing when visiting someone using a thin laptop made by an American fruit company.
  • AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs will not be able to boot modern Linux distributions for another "few" weeks
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    3000-series AMD Ryzen CPUs return broken data when RDRAND is called. That causes boot failure modern Linux distributions using systemd >=240. AMD was very quiet about this major flaw in their CPUs until Windows users noticed that some Windows game called Destiny II crashes due to it's reliance on the RDRAND instruction. AMD finally admitted the problem and promised a BIOS fix on July 12th.
  • Pay As You Go Linux PCs are here - and you Better Pay or it Locks Up
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    Endless OS peaked our interest due to it's use of OSTree+Flatpak package management instead of the typical .rpm or .deb repositories most distributions use. That's not what got our attention when we looked at this Linux distribution. Endless Solutions offers laptops and "mini" desktops pre-loaded with their Endless OS which will lock up if you don't pay your bill. There appears to be a modern word which describes software which behaves like that.
  • Linux Kernel 5.3-rc2 released
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    A second release-candidate for the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.3 is now available. There's a lot of smaller fixes in the various sub-systems. Nothing major stands out apart from a large amount of amdgpu fixes. 5.3 is the first kernel with support for AMDs new Navi GPUs so some ironing out in that area during the release candidate cycle is to be expected.
  • Xfce 4.14pre3 Released
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    The third pre-release of the next stable long-term version of the classic GNU/Linux desktop environment Xfce is now available for your enjoyment. This third version of Xfce's port to the GTK+3 toolkit is as good as the final version in terms of features, is a Final Freeze. The final 4.14 version scheduled to be released on August 8th will only contain fixes for the very few remaining bugs.
  • Python 3 plugin support for GIMP 3 is ready
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    The GTK+3 of the Green Is My Pepper aka GNU Image Manipulation Program is coming along nicely. It is still far, far away from being production or release ready but it is getting closer every day. GIMP 3 now supports Python 3 plugins, just like GIMP 2 does. It is implemented using GObject Introspection which means that other languages such as Golang and JavaScript could be supported when GIMP 3 is released.
  • KernelShark 1.0 released
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    The KernelShark graphical interface for the kernel's internal tracer Ftrace has reached version 1.0. This version is a complete rewrite in Qt. The original version from 2010 used GTK+ 2.0. The new version has more features and nice big buttons which hopefully makes it easier to use. If you want detailed information about what your machine is doing on a low level then KernelShark may be for you.
  • Alibaba announces 16-core RISC-V chip and promises to make it Open Source
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    Chinese Alibaba started their Pingtouge 平头哥 chip subsidiary late 2018 due to concerns after the US announced a boycott of ZTE. The Xuan Tie 910 is their first chip. It is a 16 core RISC-V chip with a max boost frequency of 2.5 GHz. Pingtouge claims their RISC-V chip is 40% faster than the best currently available RISC-V chips.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 Beta Available
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    IBM subsidiary Red Hat has released a Beta of the first minor version of their eight generation operating system. The focus is on the cloud. There's new web management features and better container security and no mention of any desktop-related features what so ever.
  • Bitcoin Core 0.18.1 rc1 Released
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    Bitcoin Core is the full blockchain client software for the dominant Bitcoin chain listed under the ticker "BTC" on most digital currency exchanges. The first release-candidate for it's next stable version 0.18.1 is now available. This version fixes a problem with version 0.18 where it just hangs on shutdown if it is connected to the Tor network.
  • Dropbox will again support filesystems beyond ext4
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    The cloud storage service Dropbox dropped Linux support for all filesystems except ext4 back in 2018. The latest 77.3.127 beta version of their client lists support for a variety of other commonly used Linux filesystems - but there is no mention of nfs or ntfs.
  • GNU Parallel Ryugu released
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    Ole Tange has released another update to the GNU Parallel command-line utility for spawning multiple jobs in parallel. The new version promises 40% faster start-up on GNU/Linux systems by using a more efficient method of determining the parent shell. There's also bug fixes and manual page updates.
  • The BROWSER Act could give Americans Privacy Protections similar to those the EUs GDPR legislation guarantees
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    The BROWSER Act has little to do with web browsers and everything to do with preventing big technology from collecting personal information without consent. Senator Marsha Blackburn has been trying pass this bill which would give US citizens data protection rights similar to what the fascist unions GDPR legislation provides since 2017. She is attempting to get the bill passed on a regular basis.
  • SUSE has appointed Melissa Di Donato as new CEO
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    Swedish-owned Linux vendor SUSE, who controls the OpenSUSE "community" distribution, has named Melissa Di Donato as their new CEO. She has a background as a COO at SAP. That company's cloud revenue grew by 40% year-over-year according to their Q2 2019 quarterly statement. The vast majority of SAPs cloud services are built on SUSE technologies.
  • Mesa 19.1.3 released
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    The latest version of the Mesa graphics stack has a long list of fixes for Linux Vulkan users. There's also been some fixes for the NIR shader compiler backend. This is a bug-fix release, major updates like support for AMD Navi GPUs will not arrive until Mesa 19.2 which is scheduled to be release late August.
  • GOOGLE ENGINEER BLOWS WHISTLE: "Are we going to just let the biggest tech companies decide who wins every election from now on?"
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    Project Veritas has made another expose on Google's censorship and bias. A Senior Google Engineer is on camera stating that big tech is "dangerous" and "taking sides". The US congress recently held hearings on Google's search engine bias and censorship where Google executives assured the US congress that there is no such thing. Google engineer Greg Coppola thinks otherwise.
  • Biostar BIOSes enabling PCIe Gen 4 on AMD 400-series Motherboards are available
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    Taiwanese computer giant Biostar has released BIOS updates for several 400 series motherboards which enables fourth generation PCI Express on the first x16 slow as well as the M.2 NVMe slot if a Ryzen 3000 CPU is used.
  • Huawei is moving to promote their EROFS read-only filesystem from the kernel staging area
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    Huawei's read-only filesystem EROFS has been stuck in the kernel staging area for almost a year. It is in many ways similar to Squashfs; it's function is to provide a efficient space-saving read-only filesystem. Developer Gao Xiang feels that 10+ million Huawei phone installations is enough to demonstrate that EROFS is mature enough to be granted a proper place in the mainline kernel. We failed testing the Chinese technology.
  • Linux Kernel 5.3rc1 and new Stable branch Kernels released
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    The Linux Kernel team have released stable branch updates as well as the first release candidate for Linux 5.3. There are some interesting IRQ related fixes for 5.2.2, 5.1.19 and 4.19.60 and not much interesting fixed in 4.14.134 and 4.9.186. Support for AMD Navi GPUs is biggest high-light in 5.3rc1.

LinuxReviews News Archive

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