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Data Storage

Reiser4 File System Still In Development 317

An anonymous reader writes "Reiser4 still hasn't been merged into the mainline Linux kernel, but it's still being worked on by a small group of developers following Hans Reiser being convicted for murdering his wife. Reiser4 was updated in September on SourceForge to work with the Linux 3.5 kernel and has been benchmarked against EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and ReiserFS. Reiser4 loses out in most of the Linux file-system performance tests, has much stigma due to Hans Reiser, and Btrfs is surpassing it feature-wise, so does it have any future in Linux ahead?"

KDE Plasma Active 3 Improves Performance, Brings New Apps 70

jrepin writes "KDE has released the 3rd stable version of Plasma Active, KDE's device-independent user experience. The Plasma Active user interface is touch-friendly and works well across a range of devices. Its Activities function gives users a natural way to organize and access their applications, files and information. Plasma Active Three noticeably improves the user experience with its enhanced and expanded set of apps, improved performance and a new virtual keyboard."

Raspberry Pi Gets 512MB Filling 178

sfcrazy writes "Good (and bad) news for Raspberry Pi lovers, the Model B has been upgraded to 512MB RAM from 256MB. Bad news is for those who already got their Model B shipments because all those who have outstanding orders with either distributors will get the *upgraded* version of the device, means with 512MB RAM instead of 256MB. The upgraded devices should be arriving to customers from today onwards. Raspberry Pi team will be pushing a firmware upgrade soon so these news devices can detect and use the additional RAM."

Windows 8: Do I Really Need a Single OS? 344

gManZboy writes "If you skip Windows 8, you lose the appealing opportunity to synchronize all of your devices on a single platform — or so goes the argument. If you're skeptical, you're not alone. OS monogamy may be in Apple's interest, and Microsoft's, but ask why it's in your interest. Can Microsoft convince the skeptics? 'If the hardware and software are the same at home and at work, one can't be "better" than the other. It would help if Microsoft convinced users like me that their platform is so good, we'd be fools to go anywhere else,' writes Kevin Casey."

The Story of Nokia MeeGo 125

An anonymous reader writes "TaskuMuro, a Finnish tech news site, has anonymously interviewed various Nokia employees and pieced together an interesting timeline of the events which led to the abandonment of the Nokia MeeGo platform and to Nokia's current affiliation with Microsoft and Windows Phone. It appears the MeeGo project was rather disorganized from the get-go and fell victim to the company's internal tug-of-war, aimless management causing several UI redesigns and a none-too-wise reliance on Intel components which lacked some key features – namely, LTE support."

Linux Foundation Offers Solution for UEFI Secure Boot 308

Ever since news broke last year that Microsoft would require Windows 8 machines to have UEFI secure boot enabled, there were concerns that it would be used to block the installation of other operating systems, such as Linux distributions. Now, reader dgharmon sends this quote from Ars Technica about a new defense against that outcome: "The Linux Foundation has announced plans to provide a general purpose solution suitable for use by Linux and other non-Microsoft operating systems. The group has produced a minimal bootloader that won't boot any operating system directly. Instead, it will transfer control to any other bootloader — signed or unsigned — so that can boot an operating system." The announcement adds, "The pre-bootloader will employ a 'present user'; test to ensure that it cannot be used as a vector for any type of UEFI malware to target secure systems. This pre-bootloader can be used either to boot a CD/DVD installer or LiveCD distribution or even boot an installed operating system in secure mode for any distribution that chooses to use it."

Alan Cox to NVIDIA: You Can't Use DMA-BUF 946

DMA-BUF is a recent kernel feature that allows multiple GPUs to quickly copy data into each others' framebuffers. A use case would be the NVIDIA Optimus that pairs a fast GPU with an Intel integrated GPU, where the NVIDIA GPU writes into the Intel framebuffer when it is active. But, NVIDIA won't be able to use this infrastructure because it's GPL. Alan Cox replied on LKML to a request from one of their engineers to mark the API non-GPL: "NAK. This needs at the very least the approval of all rights holders for the files concerned and all code exposed by this change. Also I'd note if you are trying to do this for the purpose of combining it with proprietary code then you are still in my view as a (and the view of many other) rights holder to the kernel likely to be in breach of the GPL requirements for a derivative work. You may consider that formal notification of my viewpoint. Your corporate legal team can explain to you why the fact you are now aware of my view is important to them." The rest of the thread is worth a read (a guy from RedHat agrees that this code is GPL and cannot become non-GPL without relicensing from a major subset of graphics system contributors). This has a ripple effect: it means that all of the ARM SoC GPU drivers can't use it either, and it may prevent any proprietary drivers for the proposed DRI version 3.

Linus Torvalds Answers Your Questions 326

Monday you had a chance to ask Linus Torvalds any question you wanted. We sent him a dozen of the highest rated and below you'll see what he has to say about computers, programming, books, and copyrights. He also talks about what he would have done differently with Linux if he had to do it all over again. Hint: it rhymes with nothing.
Operating Systems

OS Upgrades Powered By Git 92

JamieKitson writes "The latest Webconverger 15 release is the first Linux distribution to be automagically updatable from a Github repository. The chroot of the OS is kept natively in git's format and fuse mounted with git-fs. Webconverger fulfills the Web kiosk use case, using Firefox and competes indirectly with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git."

Mesa 9.0 Released With Open Source OpenGL 3.1 Drivers 79

An anonymous reader writes "The Mesa developers released Mesa 9.0 with open-source OpenGL 3.1 driver support. This de facto OpenGL Linux implementation now supports the several year old OpenGL 3.1 specification for Intel hardware while the other drivers are still at OpenGL 3.0 or worse. Other features to Mesa 9.0 include completing MPEG1/MPEG2 video acceleration, early OpenCL support, bug-fixes, and new hardware support." OpenGL 3.1 support is limited to Intel hardware, but at least ATI/AMD hardware supports some of OpenGL 3.1. A few features from OpenGL 4 were also added.

Linus Torvalds Will Answer Your Questions 460

Linus Torvalds was (and still is) the primary force behind the development of the Linux kernel, and since you are reading Slashdot, you already knew that. Mr. Torvalds has agreed to answer any questions you may have about the direction of software, his thoughts on politics, winning the Millenial Technology Prize, or anything else. Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please keep them to one per post. We'll send the best to Linus, and post his answers when we get them back. Remember to keep an eye out for the rest of our upcoming special interviews this month.
Data Storage

Samsung Creates New File System F2Fs For Linux & Android 140

sfcrazy writes "Samsung has created a new Linux file system called F2FS. Jaegeuk Kim of Samsung writes on the Linux Kernel Mailing List: F2FS is a new file system carefully designed for the NAND flash memory-based storage devices. We chose a log structure file system approach, but we tried to adapt it to the new form of storage. Also we remedy some known issues of the very old log structured file system, such as snowball effect of wandering tree and high cleaning overhead."
Open Source

Linux 3.7 Kernel To Support Multiple ARM Platforms 82

hypnosec writes with news that the Linux 3.7 kernel will support multiple ARM-based System on Chip platforms (Git commit page), writing "Up until now there has been a separate Linux kernel build for each of the ARM platforms or SoCs, which is one of the several problems when it comes to ARM based Linux. The merging of ARM multi-platform support into Linux 3.7 will put an end to this problem, enabling the new kernel to not only target multiple platforms but also be more in line with its x86 counterpart."

Linux 3.6 Released 143

diegocg writes "Linux 3.6 has been released. It includes new features in Btrfs: subvolume quotas, quota groups and snapshot diffs (aka 'send/receive'). It also includes support for suspending to disk and memory at the same time, a TCP 'Fast Open' mode, a 'TCP small queues' feature to fight bufferbloat; support for safe swapping over NFS/NBD, better Ext4 quota support, support for the PCIe D3cold power state; and VFIO, which allows safe access from guest drivers to bare-metal host devices. Here's the full changelog."
Operating Systems

Slackware 14.0 Arrives 183

First time accepted submitter SgtKeeling writes "After 5 release candidates, a new version of Slackware has been released. From the website: 'Yes, it is that time again! After well over a year of planning, development, and testing, the Slackware Linux Project is proud to announce the latest stable release of the longest running distribution of the Linux operating system, Slackware version 14.0! We are sure you'll enjoy the many improvements. We've done our best to bring the latest technology to Slackware while still maintaining the stability and security that you have come to expect. Slackware is well known for its simplicity and the fact that we try to bring software to you in the condition that the authors intended. We will be setting up BitTorrent downloads for the official ISO images. Stay tuned to for the latest updates.'"