Last November at Phoronix we had featured a preview of the Razer Barracuda AC-1 sound card and after taking off its EMI shield we had found that this card depended upon the C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 audio processor, which at the time was not supported under Linux. Though support had come in the Open Sound System (OSS) version 4.0 for this CMI8788 APU. Well, now finally in ALSA 1.0.15 the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture will support this C-Media audio chip. ALSA 1.0.15-rc1 was released recently and contains the initial CMI8788 audio driver. In this article we will be taking a quick look at where this driver stands today for the Razer Barracuda AC-1 under Linux.
The first beta of KDE 4.0 was released earlier this month and Warren Woodford of the MEPIS project has now built a version of SimplyMEPIS 7 that is based upon Debian Etch with the 32-bit and 64-bit KDE 4.0 Beta 1 packages. With some great work going into version 4 of the K Desktop Environment, we've enclosed some screenshots from this MEPIS testing build.
During the Ubuntu Live 2007 conference, Matt Asay of Alfresco Software had presented the ten commandments of open-source software. Below are the notable slides from his presentation.
Thanks to the power of GARNOME, this afternoon we decided to take a look at GNOME 2.19.5, which was released this past Wednesday. GNOME 2.19.5 is the fifth development release in the road to GNOME 2.20, which will arrive this September. Among the bits of the GNOME desktop with new features in this release include Eye of GNOME, Evince, Evolution, GDM, gedit, and many other packages.
In addition to Chris DiBona's words about NVIDIA and ATI binary display drivers, Google had also made an interesting splash at the first-ever Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit (which they had kindly hosted at their Mountain View campus) during a presentation by the Google Linux Client Team. What was it? Well, there are some "significant accomplishments" and other new Google desktop applications coming out this year for the Linux platform.
With Phoronix turning three years old tomorrow I thought this would be a good time to share with all of you what had led Phoronix to where it is today and the direction that it is headed into for the future. There's still much work left to be accomplished, but we long to see the day when the Linux and Solaris hardware experience to upgrade a PC, build a new PC, or to buy a PC will be carefree and you largely won't need to worry about any kernel panics, disk controller issues, or other problems due to your choice of hardware. In the past few years we have seen terrific strides made specifically by Linux developers in new hardware support, but it still largely remains a puzzle for alternative OS users to find hardware that is fully compatible with their operating system of choice.
Mark Shuttleworth has flown into space on a Soyuz TM-34 and founded Thawte Consulting that later sold to Verisign for over $500 million, but he is now known most for being the founder and leader of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. In addition to Ubuntu he also established HBD Venture Capital and is involved with several other free software projects. Earlier today we had spoke with Mark Shuttleworth to discuss the latest happenings in the Ubuntu world including Dell shipping Ubuntu PCs, getting open-source drivers from hardware vendors, and what is coming down the road for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.
From a KDE SVN trunk snapshot on 04-18-07, we have a few KDE 4.0 screenshots to pass along today. Mind you that KDE 4.0 will not be released until later this year, but if you are interested in seeing how this desktop environment is shaping up, you can see for yourself today.
On top of our hardware reviews and comparisons at Phoronix we also cover and compare the latest ATI and NVIDIA drivers along with some of the other popular software packages; however, we have decided to feature Linux kernel performance comparisons with each major release. We will be covering some of the major highlights with each release as well as comparing its performance in a variety of tests against recent kernels. The intent of these articles will be to provide users with a better understanding for some of the prominent changes as well as to see how the performance is affected in some of our commonly used benchmarks. Without further ado, we present our kernel comparison for the Linux 2.6.20-rc6 kernel!
ClarkConnect, IPCop, m0n0wall, and Smoothwall are among the Linux distributions currently available that are targeted for use as a firewall or network server. However, shortly another contender will be launching into this arena and that is the Open Linux Router.
In 2005 we had featured several articles on the state of NVIDIA graphics card overclocking under Linux. In early 2005 the only option for Linux users was NVClock. The open-source NVClock was started by Roderick Colenbrander in 2001 and since then has been evolving. However, coming out in June of 2005 from the NVIDIA camp was CoolBits support for their alternative operating system drivers. This feature was certainly revolutionary for Linux gamers and enthusiasts. However, after a recent inquiry on the Phoronix Forums, this article has been constructed to spell out a few things about overclocking software available for GNU/Linux.
After last month's release of GNOME 2.16.0, the 2.17.1 release of GNOME has been announced this morning -- in the development cycle for the road to 2.18.0. The changes are fairly extensive already for being the first test release in the GNOME 2.18 cycle. Of the updated packages in this first development release is new encoding profile support in Banshee, network game support in many of GNOME Games, Gossip fixes, GNOME Power Manager advancements, and much more. We have already fired up GARNOME and have plenty of screenshots of the freshly-compiled GNOME 2.17.1.
Songbird, the Mozilla Firefox blended audio player, has flew out of the nest today with version 0.2 release candidate 1. Songbird v0.2 RC1 supports Linux, Macintosh, and Windows platforms. We at Phoronix have a visual preview of this latest release.
The second Beta for GNOME 2.16.0 is now out. GNOME 2.15.91 marks the API/ABI, feature, string, and UI freeze in the GNOME 2.16.0 candidate. We had used GARNOME with GNOME 2.16.0 Beta 2 and now have some visuals today showing a portion of the improvements in GNOME 2.16.
The fourth development release for GNOME 2.16.0 has been released. In GNOME 2.15.4 are several enhancements (mainly under the hood for this release) but it is certainly attention for GNU/Linux desktop enthusiasts. For those not wishing to take this unstable exploration of GNOME 2.15.4, we have provided screenshots of this release today at Phoronix.
The ever-popular Mozilla Firefox web browser is coming out today with the first Beta release for Firefox 2.0, which has been dubbed Bon Echo. We had covered the previous Alpha releases at Phoronix, and today we have up a few shots from Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Beta 1. Of the new features is the integrated spell checker and anti-phising tool. The final release for Firefox 2.0 is due out later this year.
Coming out of Norway this morning is the long awaited Opera 9, after previous Beta/preview releases. Opera 9 is focused on being efficient, productive, secure, stylish, and innovative. Some of the new items in Opera 9.0 include Bit Torrent, content blocker, Widgets, site preferences, and more. Here at Phoronix we have a few shots up of Opera v9.0 under Linux.
The GIMP, the popular open-source multi-platform image program, has come out this afternoon with what will hopefully be one of the final development snapshots in the road to GIMP version 2.4. There are 28 notable changes in GIMP v2.3.9, which brings the total count for the GIMP v2.3 series up to approximately 260, of course, that's not counting all of the bug fixes and code cleanup. We at Phoronix have taken the GIMP v2.3.9 code and compiled it to visually demonstrate some of the changes in the GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Released Friday afternoon was Mozilla Firefox Bon Echo Alpha 2 -- the second development milestone in the road to Mozilla Firefox 2.0, which is expected for a release later this year. In this latest Firefox 2.0a2 release, which is targeted solely at developers and testers, are quite a few prominent changes. Rather than simply providing screenshots or the release notes for this feature-filled release, we have independently examined most of the changes, and today at Phoronix we have some details to share in regards to these newly implement features. Whatever browser you may be currently using, Mozilla Firefox v2.0 is suiting up to knock out Internet Explorer 7 and Opera.
With GNOME 2.14 having come out in March of this year, the development for the GNOME 2.16 cycle is now in full swing. The first GNOME 2.15 release to have come out thus far has been GNOME v2.15.1; as with past releases the odd numbers signify the development builds. With all of the packages that are now integrated with GNOME, we will refrain from sharing the individual changes, but there are plenty of excellent features planned for the upcoming release. We had built GNOME 2.15.1 from source using GARNOME on May 03, 2006. GNOME 2.16.0 is presently slated for a September 2006 release.
With a few months since Firefox v1.5 had been released, the Mozilla developers have been quick to progress in the Mozilla v2.0 development tree. Being released today is the first Alpha release for Mozilla Firefox v2.0, which is tentatively penciled in for a release towards the end of this year. As the Firefox 2 development progresses, among the many goals Mozilla wishes to address include Really Simply Syndication improvements, redoing their tabbing support, and many other nifty features to come. Today at Phoronix we took a look at the Mozilla Firefox v2.0 Alpha 1 build.
On the heels of the much-anticipated Fedora Core 5 launch, we have managed to conduct an interview with Greg DeKoenigsberg. Greg DeKoenigsberg presently serves as Red Hat's Community Relations Manager and is on the Fedora Extras Steering Committee. Today in this interview, we posed him questions regarding this release that is to be released on Monday, March 20, 2006. There are also other pertinent questions to the future of the Fedora Project as well as other general Linux outlooks.
Of the challenges that GNU/Linux users face when choosing hardware components for any system is the sound card compatibility. ALSA, or officially known as Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, provides much of the audio and MIDI functionality to Linux users and is largely replacing OSS (Open Sound System). Today we are examining Linux audio performance in the gaming environment with a slew of various sound cards by examining their effect on frame-rate performance. The contenders are Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Z3, Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2, Chaintech AV-710, Aureal Vortex (AU8820), and AC'97 integrated audio.
Coming out next month will be GNOME v2.14, which possess some truly incredible traits for Linux desktop users, and as always it looks incredibly attractive. In addition to boasting a speed advantage over previous GNOME builds, as well as its desktop competition, it features such new programs as Pessulus and Sabayon while also revitalizing a great deal of existing programs. Nautilus and Yelp now have an integrated search system, which is quite powerful. GNOME Meeting has now been re-branded as Ekiga v2.0 and various other GNOME features include Metacity improvements, Deskbar applet, as well as gedit advancements. Although the release candidate for GNOME v2.14 will not be available until March 15, 2006, the second BETA had been released this week. With that said, we have built GNOME v2.14 BETA 2 (v2.13.91) from Fedora Rawhide on February 18, 2005. Without further ado, shall we take a look?
The folks over at the Norwegian-based Opera Software ASA, have released the second technology preview for the upcoming v9.00 browser release. Opera v9.0 will be available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Macintosh OS X users and comes with a host of changes compared against the present version of Opera (v8.51). Some of the universal changes include improvements to the user interface, messaging and news-feeds, display, script, forms, images, plug-ins, and security. Today we have few visuals from this Opera v9.00 Technology Preview 2 Build 1635 for UNIX.
After last month's release of GAIM v2.0.0 BETA 1, just hours ago we were greeted by the launch of the official BETA 2 release. They hope no major changes will occur between this latest BETA and the release candidate and there is no expected date yet announced, other than saying that the final release will be out before proving the theory of special relativity. GAIM v2.0.0 does not and will not include support for voice or video support on Google Talk, as well as any other protocol with the BETA candidate, but today we have yet re-examined GAIM 2 BETA 2 and have posted some images from a freshly compiled copy. For the uninitiated, GAIM is a multi-protocol instant messaging client available on Linux while a Microsoft Windows port is also available.
While Mozilla Firefox 1.5 had made its debut back on November 29 of 2005, Thunderbird wasn't released until January 12 of this year. However, packed into Thunderbird, Mozilla's flagship mail client, is an array of improvements in a multitude of areas. Now implemented in v1.5 is streamlined and automated updates. improved spam control and security, enhanced RSS and Podcasting abilities, phising detector, Kerberos Authentication, and spell check as you type. Mozilla Thunderbird v1.5 is very much worth the download.
GAIM, the popular open-source multi-protocol multi-platform instant messaging client, has finally released its initial BETA for the upcoming v2.0.0. Since the GAIM v1.5.0 release, the developers have dedicated their time and efforts on version two and their strenuous work is definitely visible in the latest BETA. In GAIM v2.0.0 BETA 1 there are improvements with everything from status drop-down menu to improved plug-ins.
KDE (K Desktop Environment) has unveiled its first release candidate for the upcoming KDE v3.5 series. Implemented in KDE v3.5 RC1 are a good deal of changes and improvements. These latest implementations range from re-writing parts of Kate to improving Kicker and KHTML for Konqueror. The first LiveCD distribution to be built with the first release candidate for KDE v3.5 has been Klax. This distribution, which is based upon Slax, utilizes this K Desktop development release while also updating various other packages. Coincidently, the GNOME v2.13.2 development branch became available earlier this week in anticipation of GNOME v2.14 that is scheduled for a preliminary release in March of 2006. As of right now, KDE v3.5 is targeted to be released on Wednesday, November 23, 2005.
After covering several Deer Park ALPHA and BETA releases, Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird have both made their way to the v1.5 release candidates. Today's release, was delayed four days from its original October 28 tentative date after a four day development freeze and to ensure final testing mainly in the area of web-mail and banking services along with extension compatibility. Overall, this release encompasses a great deal of noticeable improvements that Mozilla users around the world can now cherish. These advancements range from an inline spell checker, podcasting, and a phising detector in Thunderbird to security and improved CSS 2/3 support in Firefox.
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