Now here are the most popular news stories on Phoronix from 2010.
Less than two weeks ago we reported on the Mac OS X Steam client confirming the existence of a Linux client and then found more Linux references too. We then found the unreleased Steam Linux binaries that were under active development.
There was certainly lots of Valve Steam / Source Engine Linux news this year with their Steam client being discovered publicly. While Valve didn't officially release the Linux client in 2010 like they had done for Apple's Mac OS X, it is still coming and shall be here in 2011.
While Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is scheduled for release today, development of this "Lucid Lynx" release has not been as optimal as many would have liked. There had been many upset over Lucid's use of the Linux 2.6.32 kernel rather than the newer 2.6.33 release and the extensive back-porting that has went on, among other items to cause concern for some users.
Yesterday we showed proof of Steam's Linux client existence via its Mac OS X launcher that is currently in closed beta, then this morning we showed further signs of Linux support. Since 2008 we have known that Steam and the Source Engine would come to Linux.
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is set to be released next Thursday and a release candidate is poised to be released tomorrow, but there's some last minute problems within the Lucid Lynx camp. There's a last-minute X.Org Server update that's being looked at as a result of a "major memory leak" that has been found over the past week. An X.Org Server update that was pushed into the Lucid repository last week has resulted in the system being slower and slower as its left on until it reaches a point where the system is no longer usable.
Months after the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series (known by the "Evergreen" family codename) was introduced, AMD has finally pushed out the first bits of open-source code. This morning if you are to checkout the xf86-video-ati DDX driver branch there is initial user-space mode-setting support for the Radeon HD 5000 series GPUs.
One of the problems commonly talked about in our forums and elsewhere is the poor responsiveness of the Linux desktop when dealing with significant disk activity on systems where there is insufficient RAM or the disks are slow. The GUI basically drops to its knees when there is too much disk activity, which is far from being ideal.
Since Oracle finished its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, there have been many changes to the open-source projects that were once supported under Sun now being discontinued by Oracle and significant changes being made to the remaining open-source products. One of the open-source projects that Oracle hasn't been too open about their intentions with has been OpenSolaris.
Yesterday on the mailing list for GCC is was brought up if Apple's Objective-C 2.0 patches for the GNU Compiler Collection could be merged back into the upstream GCC code-base as maintained by the Free Software Foundation. Even though Apple's modified GCC sources still reflect the FSF as the copyright holder and are licensed under the GNU GPLv2+, it doesn't look like Apple wants their compiler work going back upstream any longer. Chris Lattner, who is Apple's chief architect of their compiler group and also the lead developer of LLVM and Clang, came out to say that whatever Apple pushes to their GCC branch on the Free Software Foundation's servers they should be able to pull upstream, but not code that's found within the open-source GCC hosted by Apple on OpenDarwin or anywhere else.
While the discussion surrounding the Wayland Display Server and Canonical's plans to deploy Ubuntu atop Wayland continue to be ongoing within our forums (here, here, and here) and elsewhere, some new technical capabilities and plans for Wayland have been discussed. Here's two features that Wayland is set to have that is not currently supported by the X.Org Server. First off, while the state of Linux laptop GPU switching is currently poor for those newer notebooks with dual GPUs, Wayland will have the capability of switching between GPUs for rendering.
With the introduction of Intel's Poulsbo (GMA 500) chipset it marked a point at which Intel's Linux graphics support was no longer stellar, but as they had outsourced the graphics IP from Imagination Technologies, they could not provide an open-source driver stack like they do with their in-house IGPs. Not only was this Intel Poulsbo Linux driver closed-source, but the level of support was appalling and it was a bloody mess of a situation.
For comparison, here were the most popular Phoronix stories in 2009. There's already a lot to look forward to (and in particular, Linux gaming milestones like Steam and Unigine's OilRush) so 2011 should be even better.