Open Source

Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS Officially Released 132

prisoninmate writes: January 10, 2016, will enter in the Linux history books as the day when the Linux kernel 4.4 LTS (Long-Term Support) has been officially released by Linus Torvalds and his team of hard working kernel developers. Prominent features of Linux kernel 4.4 LTS include 3D support in the virtual GPU driver, allowing for 3D hardware-accelerated graphics in virtualization guests, a leaner and faster loop device that supports Asynchronous I/O and Direct I/O, thus increasing the system's performance and saving memory, and support for Open-Channel Solid State Drives (SSDs) through LightNVM. Phoronix also took a look during the newest kernel's development cycle, and has an overview of 4.4's new features.
Debian

How To Talk About Mental Illness Online? 308

An anonymous reader writes: Shortly after the death of Debian founder Ian Murdock, Bruce Perens, who succeeded Murdock as Debian Project Leader in 1996 and was also Murdock's employer for a period of time, claimed very publicly that Murdock died of mental illness, although no evidence has been provided. Without referencing Murdock or Perens, another prominent Debian Developer, Daniel Pocock, has asserted that discussion about who has or had a mental illness is a step too far. To be fair, it sure doesn't sound like Perens was trying to do other than express sympathy in light of a tragic death.
Oracle

Oracle Brings Real-Time Kernel Patching To Oracle Enterprise Linux 52

prisoninmate writes: Oracle's Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 is an important engineering effort and introduces performance improvements and enhancements for some of the most essential components, including CPU schedulers and Automatic NUMA Balancing, along with powerful new features, such as real-time kernel patching, which is possible thanks to the Ksplice open-source extension of the Linux kernel 4 branch, which lets users to apply patches to the running kernel without the need to reboot the system, thus improving security and simplify the management of cloud infrastructures.
Operating Systems

Hackers Get Linux Running On a PlayStation 4 (engadget.com) 108

An anonymous reader writes: Two years after the PlayStation 4 was released, and two weeks after it was jailbroken, a group of hackers has now successfully installed Linux on it. "...it appears that the fail0verflow team utilized a WebKit bug similar to the one recently documented by GitHub user CTurt and then took things up a notch. CTurt's workaround focuses on the PlayStation 4's Webkit browser, which is tricked into freeing processes from the core of the console's operating system by an improvised webpage. The PS4 is powered by Sony's Orbis OS, which is based on a Unix-like software called FreeBSD. With a route into the console's system, fail0verflow then identified weaknesses in the PlayStation 4's GPU. It specifically called out engineers from semiconductor company Marvell, accusing them of 'smoking some real good stuff' when they designed the PlayStation 4's southbridge chip."
Unix

New Year's Resolutions For *nix SysAdmins (cyberciti.biz) 242

An anonymous reader writes: A new year, with old systems. It is time to break bad old habits and develop good new ones. This list talks about new years resolutions for Linux and Unix sysadmins. List includes turning on 2FA on all services, making peace with systemd, installing free SSL/TLS certificates, avoiding laptops with horrible screens or wireless whitelist in BIOS, building Linux gaming rig and more. What resolutions are on your list regarding sysadmin or IT work in 2016?
Debian

Debian Founder Ian Murdock Has Died (docker.com) 464

Unknown Lamer writes: It has been confirmed that Debian founder Ian Murdock has died. From the Docker blog: "It is with great sadness that we inform you that Ian Murdock passed away on Monday night. This is a tragic loss for his family, for the Docker community, and the broader open source world; we all mourn his passing. ... Ian helped pioneer the notion of a truly open project and community, embracing open design and open contribution; in fact the formative document of the open source movement itself (the Open Source Definition) was originally a Debian position statement. It is a testament to Ian's commitment to openness and community that there are now more than 1,000 people currently involved in Debian development."
Bug

List of Major Linux Desktop Problems Updated For 2016 (narod.ru) 349

An anonymous reader writes: Phoronix reports that Artem S. Tashkinov's Major Linux Problems on the Desktop has been updated for 2016. It is a comprehensive list of various papercut issues and other inconveniences of Linux on the PC desktop. Among the issues cited for Linux not being ready for the desktop include graphics driver issues, audio problems, hardware compatibility problems, X11 troubles, a few issues with Wayland, and font problems. At the project management side, there is also cited a lack of cooperation among open source developers and fragmentation of desktops. Let's discuss.
Censorship

North Korea's Operating System Analyzed (theguardian.com) 98

Bruce66423 points out an analysis at The Guardian of North Korea's Red Star Linux-based OS, based on a presentation Sunday to the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin : The features of their Fedora based OS include a watermarking system to enable tracking of files — even if unopened. The operating system is not just the pale copy of western ones that many have assumed, said Florian Grunow and Niklaus Schiess of the German IT security company ERNW, who downloaded the software from a website outside North Korea and explored the code in detail. ... This latest version, written around 2013, is based on a version of Linux called Fedora and has eschewed the previous version’s Windows XP feel for Apple’s OS X – perhaps a nod to the country’s leader Kim Jong-un who, like his father, has been photographed near Macs. The OS, unsurprisingly, allowed only tightly fettered access to web sites, using a whitelist approach that gives access to government-controlled or approved sites.
Graphics

Mesa's Highlights Reel: An Impressive Year For Open Source 3-D Drivers 27

Michael Larabel at Phoronix has been assiduously reporting on some of the small advancements in open source 3-D graphics; in aggregate, those small advancements make for big improvements in hardware (and platform) support, as well as higher performance. Phoronix published today a year-end wrap-up highlighting some of the ways that Mesa has developed; it's quite a list. An excerpt: This time last year core Mesa and the drivers were still limited to OpenGL 3.3 compliance while in 2015 we've seen core Mesa reach up to OpenGL 4.2 support. The AMD RadeonSI and R600g drivers have raised up through OpenGL 4.1 (though R600g is limited in what supports GL4) and the Nouveau NVC0 driver is at OpenGL 4.1 as well. The Intel Mesa driver is still at OpenGL 3.3, but they are extremely close to OpenGL 4.2 and should hit that milestone in early 2016 after having been recently focusing up on OpenGL ES 3.1 support, which they did achieve this year. Besides tackling more GL4 support, Mesa this year has seen the new VirtIO GPU driver for 3D support in guest VMs, continued work on the new Raspberry Pi 3D driver (VC4), video encode/decode improvements, and other Gallium3D state tracker highlights.
Debian

APT Speed For Incremental Updates Gets a Massive Performance Boost 162

jones_supa writes: Developer Julian Andres Klode has this week made some improvements to significantly increase the speed of incremental updates with Debian GNU/Linux's APT update system. His optimizations have yielded the apt-get program to suddenly yield 10x performance when compared to the old code. These improvements also make APT with PDiff now faster than the default, non-incremental behavior. Beyond the improvements that landed this week, Julian is still exploring other areas for improving APT update performance. More details via his blog post.
Ubuntu

Ubuntu User Count Pegged At Over One Billion (phoronix.com) 165

An anonymous reader writes: In response to an article claiming Ubuntu didn't reach its goal of 200 million users this year — a goal set out by Mark Shuttleworth in 2011 to surpass 200 million users by 2015 — a Canonical engineer has come out to say the opposite. Dustin Kirkland, a member of Ubuntu Product and Strategy team, has come out to say there are more than one billion Ubuntu users. His billion tally though does include cloud/container instances as well as those shopping online at Wallmart, watching popular movies where the studios used Ubuntu servers, streamed from Netflix, rode with Uber, and other businesses that rely upon Ubuntu servers.
Ubuntu

Porting Ubuntu For Raspberry Pi 2 Just Got a Lot Easier (softpedia.com) 32

prisoninmate writes: Ubuntu Pi Flavour Maker is an open source tool, a shell script that lets anyone port any of the official or unofficial Ubuntu Linux flavors for the Raspberry Pi 2. Ubuntu Pi Flavour Maker is officially supported on the Ubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME flavors, and uses the traditional apt and dpkg package management systems from Debian GNU/Linux.
Graphics

Super Mario Inspired SuperTux Issues Its First Official Release In 10 Years (phoronix.com) 116

An anonymous reader writes: SuperTux, the free software game inspired by Nintendo's Super Mario Brothers, has put out its first stable release in a decade. SuperTux 0.4 rewrites the game engine to make use of OpenGL, SDL2, and other modern open-source game tech. SuperTux 0.4 additionally features a lot of new in-game content, an in-game download manager, and support for translations. SuperTux 0.4 can be downloaded for Linux, Windows and Mac via GitHub.
Wine

Wine 1.8 Released (winehq.org) 119

An anonymous reader writes: Wine 1.8.0 is now the latest stable release of Wine Is Not An Emulator and available from WineHQ.org. Wine 1.8 features include support for DirectWrite, Direct2D support, very limited Direct3D 11 support, simple application support of DIrect3D 10, support for process jobs, 64-bit architecture support on OS X, networking updates, and over 13,000 other individual changes.
Linux Business

Street Fighter V Announced For Linux and SteamOS 126

An anonymous reader writes: Capcom has announced that their upcoming Street Fighter V game, one of the most anticipated games for 2016, will also be available for SteamOS and Linux. Already in place is support functionality for the Steam Controller, Valve's game controller that was recently updated with some new features. Ever since Valve launched Steam for Linux, the number of native Linux games has positively exploded. But will it be enough for gamers to choose a Linux distribution as their gaming platform?

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