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LinuxReviews News Archive

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  • Wine 4.0.3 Released With 54 Bug-fixes
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    Wine Is Not an Emulator but it does let you run a lot of Windows software on GNU/Linux systems using native API calls. It's not always perfect. Version 4.0.3 fixes 54 bugs one could encounter when running Windows software. Most of the fixes are game or application specific. There's bug fixes for games like Fallout 4, King of Dragon Pass, Hardwood Solitaire and Warframe as well as desktop software like Quickbooks and Adobe InDesign.
  • Linux Kernel v5.4 Is Released
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    The latest kernel has a new kernel lockdown mode, a virtio file system, a new device mapper clone target and support for AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPUs as well as AMD Arcturus and Renoir APUs. There is also initial support for Intel Tiger Lake GPUs. Linux 5.4 finally adds support for the exFAT file system - released by Microsoft in 2006.
  • Gnote 3.34.1 Is Released With Updated Documentation
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    The latest release of the very simple GNOME-focused note taking application Gnote has updated documentation, more translations and it now works with lower versions of the spelling library gspell.
  • Bitcoin Core Wallet 0.19.0.1 Is Released With A New Default Address Format
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    The new major version of the Bitcoin Core wallet software for the digital currency Bitcoin/BTC has one very visible change in it's graphical user interface: Addresses are now shown in the bech32 format by default. There are also a few new configuration options and some new RPC calls and a whole lot of changed RPC calls in the new version. Those using it as part of their back-end may want to look over that long list of RPC changes to see if they are compatible with the rest of the deployment. Checking if everything works with bech32 addresses is also a good idea. Version 0.19.1 is, apart from BTC addresses having a completely different format, essentially the same as previous versions from an average end-users perspective.
  • CoreCtrl 1.0.7 Is Now Available
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    The latest version of the GPU and CPU performance settings manager CoreCtrl fixes a bug where it in some cases wouldn't start minimized in Xorg and there's also "code cleanups". Owners of AMD GPUs who want something similar to the AMDs Windows control center "Radeon Settings" may find CoreCtrl to be a useful alternative.
  • Mesa 19.2.6 And 19.3.0rc4 Are Available
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    The highlight in 19.2.6 is just as small fix for PowerPC. A backport introduced in 19.2.5 prevented the standard Mesa GNU/Linux graphics stack from compiling on that platform. There's also one glsl and a typo fixed in the Vulkan headers. The changelog for the fourth release-candidate for the upcoming Mesa 19.3.0, scheduled to be released at the start of December, is longer. Most of the changes are related to Valve's new ACO shader compiler for AMD graphics cards. There is also one llvmpipe fix.
  • Serious Buffer Overflow Vulnerability In The Bitcoin Core Client Disclosed
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    A serious vulnerability which allowed malicious SOCKS proxies to overwrite the program stack in old versions of the Bitcoin Core client was disclosed on the Bitcoin Core mailing list earlier this month. It was fixed years ago and it is only remotely interesting as a indicator of how the Bitcoin Core team works.
  • China Is Number 1 In Number Of SuperComputers And All The Top 10 Systems Run Linux
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    Technology leader China has the most supercomputers with a total of 228 systems on the Top 500 SuperComputer list as of November 18th, 2019. All of the top ten most powerful machines are running a Linux variant.
  • Googles Stadia Gaming Service Is Launching Today
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    Google's new Stadia gaming service will change everything gaming-wise. This is the nightmarish big-brother on steroids future of computer gaming and kids will absolutely love it, demand it and expect it's always ready-to-go resume-where-you-were features to be a standard part of the gaming experience. Parents beware, it is absolutely certain that your kids will want to sign up and use Google Stadia immediately or eventually. Explaining why they should not be using it could be problematic.
  • Linux Kernel Disables Coffee Lakes HPET On The Grounds That It Is "Unreliable"
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    Linus Torvalds has pulled a "fix" which disables the High Precision Event Timer on Intel Coffee Lake systems into the git mainline kernel on the grounds that it's "unreliable". You may want to use the nohpet kernel parameter on Coffee Lake and Ice Lake (same problem, not fixed) machines. Those platforms HPET's problems with keeping track of time in low-power states have cast light on some serious not-fixed problems with kernel's clocksource watchdog.
  • Linux Distributions Running On Intel CPUs Are About To Get A Lot Slower
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    GNU/Linux distributions have very quietly begun rolling out a microcode update for Intel CPUs which contain "Mitigations for Jump Conditional Code Erratum". Errata is a fancy way of saying defective due to a design flaw. Intel consumer CPUs from 6th generation Skylake up to the latest 10th generation "Come Lake" CPUs as well as Xeon CPUs released in that time-frame have a design flaw which can cause "unpredictable" behavior under certain conditions. The new microcode which works around this design flaw has a 2-20% performance penalty. This comes on top of new performance-hampering security-mitigations for other Intel CPU design flaws which were added to the stable kernel branches this week.
  • Thunar 1.8.11 "Emergency" Release Available, Fixes Startup Crashes on FreeBSD, Fedora and Gentoo
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    Last weeks Thunar 1.8.10 release introduced a Pango version check which makes Thunar crash on startup if the machine is using an older version of the Pango library. This 1.8.11 "emergency release" addresses that particular issue.
  • Xfce Video Player Parole v1.0.5 Is Released
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    The latest version of the rather simple Xfce video player Parole has working volume hotkeys when watching a video fullscreen and fixed thumbnail cleaning and creation. There's also translation updates. It is still using the GStreamer framework for video playback.
  • Mesa 19.2.4 Emergency Release Available
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    If you or the distribution you are using upgraded your Mesa graphics library to version 19.2.3 then this emergency release is for you. It fixes a "critical" bug found in Mesa 19.2.3 which affects all the Mesa drivers. Mesa 19.2.2 does not have this problem so you only need to care if you upgraded during the last two weeks.
  • Two New Motherboards FSF Certificed As Freedom-Respecting: Talos II Mainboard and Talos II Lite
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    Free software enthusiasts may be frustrated with the enormous amount of proprietary non-free closed source software one is required to run in black boxes in order to use a free operating system with free software. The Free Software Foundation is making an effort to certify truly freedom-respecting hardware. They have now given the the PowerPC motherboards Talos II Mainboard and Talos II Lite from Raptor Computing Systems, LLC a "Respects Your Freedom" Certification.
  • Hospital Management System GNU Health Version 3.6 Is Released
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    GNU Health is a 11 year old free software Medical Record, Health Information and Hospital Management system. It can be deployed as a single instance for a local doctors office or a distributed instance for a network of hospitals in a country.
  • Disney+ Will Not Work On GNU/Linux Machines
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    In a blast from the past when video sites required Flash and DRM to function we're back to a situation where some streaming video services can not be used on GNU/Linux machines. There is a chromium plugin called "widevine" for Netflix. A Slackware developer who has had access to Disney+ during their pre-release testing period reports that the "widevine" plugin does not work with Disney+. You simply will not be able to view their ruined Star Wars story-line or their ripped off and barely-modified yet copyrighted forever characters like Mickey Mouse on a GNU/Linux machine.
  • SimpleMailQt V2.0.0-beta 1 Is Released With Asynchronous Support
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    The new version of this e-mail library for Qt developers supports asynchronous e-mail fetching. This is important because the SMTP e-mail standard requires clients to actually wait for replies and this could take time. Having a thread sit there waiting for a response while the application is frozen is no fun. The new version solves that and adds support for the SMTP RESET command as well.
  • KStars v3.3.7 Released With Integrated Astrometric Plate Solver
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    The latest version of the free planetarium program KStars adds a lot of new features for professional astronomers. A program called ASTAP, a free stacking and astrometric solver, has been integrated into KStars. There's also enhancements for using the PHD2 telescope autoguiding software.
  • Thunar 1.6.18 marks the end of Xfce 4.12
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    Xfce 4.12, released 28 February 2015, was replaced by the GTK+3-based 4.14 version earlier this year. A few newly released distributions like Debian Buster are still shipping 4.12. The majority have moved on to 4.14 and so have the developers who are already working on the 4.15 development-series which will be released as Xfce 4.16 in October/November 2020. Thunar 1.6.18 will be the last update to Thunar's 1.6.x branch for Xfce 4.12. This indicates that IT'S OVER for Xfce 4.12. There will be no more updates and those who resist upgrading will be left on their own.
  • It's Over, The Linux Journal is Gone
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    The LinuxJournal was around from 2004 until they were forced to close their doors for good back in August 2019. Their website was kept alive, without updates, and the very large archive of articles published on the web over the many years of it's existence remained available - until late Friday when it suddenly went dark. That's a sad end for the 25 year old publication which pioneered GNU/Linux reporting.
  • Thunar 1.8.10 Released With Plenty Of Bug-Fixes
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    The latest release of the default file manager for the Xfce desktop environment has a very long list of bug-fixes in a variety of areas. Some fix trivial visual errors and some fix crashes when doing something like a refresh on a open remote folder which has been deleted. There are no new ground-breaking features, this is a stable version maintenance release which tackles bugs.
  • Kernel 5.3.9 And Other Stable Series Linux Kernels Are Released With Important Realtek Wifi Vulnerability Fix
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    Wifi Chips from Taiwanese Realtek are found in near-zero consumer laptops and a lot of the dirt-cheapest routers and USB networking dongles. They use a Linux kernel driver called rtlwifi which, up to now, had a slight buffer overflow problem which could potentially be (ab)used to run arbitrary code on any Linux-based computer with realtek wireless networking enabled. No proof of concept or other exploits exist. You should probably upgrade your kernel if you are using a Realtek-based wifi device running a Linux kernel regardless.
  • Steams Hardware Survey for October Indicates Linux Gaming Growth Is Not Happening
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    The GNU/Linux marketshare among gamers using the Steam has flat-lined at 0.83% with a measly 0.03% growth in September and 0.00% growth in October 2019. Overall GNU/Linux gaming marketshare was likely down for the month as popular newly released games like Red Dead Redemption 2 are not available in the Steam store and they are also not available for GNU/Linux operating systems.
  • Microsoft Edge To Shake Up The Browser Competition On The GNU/Linux Desktop
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    Microsoft's announced that they gave up on their own web browser rendering engine a while ago. Future versions of their Edge browser will be based on Google's Chromium web browser and use it's "Blink" rendering engine. Chromium is multi-platform which makes it trivial to port browsers based on it to a variety of platforms. It appears that even Microsoft is able to do this. They have now confirmed that they will be releasing a GNU/Linux version of their upcoming Chromium-based Edge browser.
  • Mesa 19.2.3 And 19.3-rc2 Are Now Available
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    Mesa release manager Dylan Baker has released two new versions of the Mesa graphics stack which underpins all graphics on modern GNU/Linux systems. The new stable 19.2.3 version has "a bit of everything" with bug-fixes for just about every component and a "giant pile of relese-script changes". The second release candidate for version 19.3 has "a large number of bug fixes" but there's still "plenty of bugs" left to fix before a final release.
  • Xfburn 0.6.1 is now available
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    The CD/DVD/BD burning application Xfburn has been updated to use the GTK+3 toolkit. There's also some minor code modernization under the hood. There's also a lot of translation updates in this latest version of the Xfce desktop's tool for writing data to ancient round storage-media.
  • Xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.3.4 is released
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    The Xfce team has released an update to the popular "whiskermenu" panel plugin for the Xfce desktop environment. This is the Xfce menu many distributions use as the default menu in Xfce since it is somewhat more advanced than the stock menu. The new version has some fixes which makes it build against xfce4-panel 4.15.0, which is the first development release in the next iteration of the Xfce desktop - and some translation updates. That's it.
  • Fedora 31 Is Released With Live Images Available For A Varietry Spins
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    IBM's subsidiary Red Hat has released a new version 31 of their "community" distribution Fedora which they fully control and use to beta-test for their commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux product. Downloadable images for their "Workstation" desktop featuring GNOME, a "Silverblue" OsTree variant, a KDE edition, a Xfce spin and a LXQt variant as well as a server-image are now available.
  • AMD and Intel Posted Record Profits Q3 2019
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    CPU "shortages" on the Intel side of the duopoly helped AMD post the best quarterly results since 2005 while Intel posted a record quarterly result of $19.2 billion. That brings Intel's yearly forecast for the year up $1.5B to $71 billion. AMD posted a Q3 result of $1.8 billion that is ~ 10% of Intel's results, thanks to Zen2 based Ryzen desktop parts and EPYC server chips.

LinuxReviews News Archive

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