On Friday we were briefed by Synaptics that they would be "announcing much-desired capabilities for notebook PCs running Linux and other open source operating systems", which we found out to mean that they were bringing their Synaptics Gesture Suite software to Linux. Today this announcement has now been made in the form of a press release.
As the first update in 2010, ALSA 1.0.23 has been released this morning to replace ALSA 1.0.22 that was released last December. Like usual, this update to the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture brings mostly individual driver fixes but there is also support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 and a few ALSA core fixes.
LG Electronics is joining the likes of Intel, AMD, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and many other hardware vendors that are corporate members of the Linux Foundation.
Bernie Thompson, one of the developers working on the DisplayLink Linux support, has written in this weekend to inform us of pending improvements to the DisplayLink frame-buffer driver (udlfb) that will be present in the Linux 2.6.34 kernel. It was nearly a year ago that DisplayLink began supporting Linux so that these USB-powered GPUs/displays would work nicely and with an open-source driver.
Last year the Lucid Hydra 200 was announced as a unique, universal multi-GPU solution. The Hydra 200 is a custom chipset that allows the graphics rendering workload to be split between multiple graphics processors, but the graphics cards do not need to be tied to a particular vendor. Lucid Hydra can work with NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards like SLI and CrossFire, respectively, but you could have a mix of NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards connected to a single motherboard boasting a Hydra 200 chipset.
Jean Delvare has announced the second point release for the LM_Sensors 3.1 series, which was introduced last March. The LM_Sensors 3.1.2 release delivers better Linux system sensor monitoring support by preemptively adding support for future kernels and HID devices in libsensors, the sensord daemon has received a lot of clean-ups, and sensors-detect is better detecting the supported sensors with drivers.
There hasn't been a whole lot to report on in regards to LM_Sensors, the main sensor monitoring package and its kernel drivers for thermal/fan/voltage polling on Linux. It was nearly a year ago that LM_Sensors 3.1 was released, but since then we have run into plenty of new hardware (such as the ASRock ION 330HT-BD and ASUS Eee PC 1201N) that is not yet supported by drivers for LM_Sensors. While this does not improve the hardware support, a new sensor configuration utility has been unveiled for LM_Sensors.
My sabbatical with Windows is coming to an end next week, but during the past three weeks I have been using the brand-new ASUS Eee PC 1201N exclusively. This ASUS netbook that packs an Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor, NVIDIA ION graphics, a nice 12" display that runs at 1366 x 768, and 2GB of RAM has been working out quite well. During the times that I dual-boot into Ubuntu 9.10, everything continues to run quite smoothly as I had mentioned in the ASUS Eee PC 1201N review.
Back in October of 2007 we were the first to tell the world about SplashTop, an instant-on Linux environment that was embedded into ASUS motherboards and since then has appeared on various other motherboards, netbooks, and notebooks. We later shared more details about SplashTop, new features, and other details. However, for the past year or so we haven't talked much about SplashTop as there hasn't been too much to say and the "instant-on Linux" scene has become much more crowded with various new lightweight Linux distributions.
The free software developers behind the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) have just unleashed their quarterly update to this Linux audio driver package. There are plenty of changes with ALSA 1.0.22 but among them are continued work on the CMI8788 Oxygen APU, a few fixes for the Creative X-Fi sound card support that was introduced this year, numerous improvements to the HDA and HDA Intel drivers, and countless improvements to other Linux kernel audio drivers and codecs.
If you have been running into problems with PulseAudio on your system, an update has been made available this morning that you may want to try. PulseAudio 0.9.20 was released and it carries bug-fixes and translation updates, but not much more. Among the PulseAudio fixes are for the Bluetooth audio support, core fixes, and many ALSA-related changes.
Hitting our inbox just minutes ago was a press release announcing the S3 Graphics 5400E graphics processor. The 5400E is designed to be a power-efficient GPGPU processor with dual-link DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort connection support. The product page for the S3 Graphics 5400E has just been made available.
With it being a few months since the release of ALSA 1.0.20, it's now time for the ALSA 1.0.21 update. The ALSA driver package update (finally) brings the Creative X-Fi Linux driver officially along with a horde of updates to the other drivers and more.
At the request of many Phoronix readers, we are looking at setting up an Internet shop to help those with shopping for Linux compatible hardware and computer parts that are open-source friendly. This would be a Linux store ran in conjunction with Amazon.com and their associates program.
Making its rounds on the Internet today is news that Microsoft is writing drivers for Linux. Yes, really. No, they are not to sabotage the hardware support on Linux or anything to impair the platform, but rather to provide Linux support for their Hyper-V virtualization system. These Microsoft drivers for Linux are licensed under the GPLv2 and Microsoft is hoping they will get accepted into the mainline kernel.
Support for the Creative X-Fi sound cards on Linux has been a mess to say the least. These high-end audio processors were released by Creative Labs about four years ago and there still isn't pleasant support for the X-Fi series on Linux. Months after the sound cards launched there was word from Creative Labs that they would provide a Linux driver complete with support for ALSA and OpenAL with EAX.
We have learned that Flashrom, an open-source program for flashing the BIOSes on many different motherboards / chipsets, is soon going to be picking up support for flashing the video BIOS image on ATI graphics cards. Specifically, it should be possible to flash the BIOS of the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) series and potentially the Radeon HD 2000/3000 (R600) series too. This is a matter actively being worked on and can be confirmed via the project's #coreboot IRC channel.
With three months having passed since the release of ALSA 1.0.19, it is now time for an update to the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. ALSA 1.0.20 was announced this morning and it brings forth a slew of bug-fixes and other audio driver updates for Linux.
While anti-virus and anti-malware is not much of a problem on Linux at this time, AVG has added this anti-malware protection to their Linux security software. AVG has supported Linux for sometime when it comes to virus and spam protection, but with version 8.5 they have expanded their anti-malware support. Besides that there are also many other improvements to the AVG Linux support like a new anti-virus filter, improved system resource handling, multi-core CPU support, and a new virtual file-system.
While a test release has been around for a few months, last night PulseAudio 0.9.15 was officially released. This open-source sound server has a number of significant enhancements in this latest update. PulseAudio 0.9.15 introduces native support of Bluetooth audio devices using BlueZ, Apple Airport Express support, flat volume support (similar to Vista's audio controls), on-the-fly reconfiguration of audio devices, and native support for 24-bit samples. The on-the-fly reconfiguration of audio devices is great and as a result there is now proper S/PDIF support.
It has been a while since last mentioning the Creative X-Fi sound cards at Phoronix, but it's not because the Linux support is all nice and working now that Creative open-sourced their X-Fi driver, but rather things have stalled. The X-Fi sound cards still are a sore spot on Linux and there isn't "out of the box" support in major Linux distributions.
Caustic Graphics, a brand-new company to the computer graphics scene that hopes to compete with AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA when it comes to ray-tracing power, announced the CausticRT on Monday. The CausticRT is "the world's first massively accelerated ray-tracing system" and can be found in CausticOne, which is their first product and it promises to deliver ray-tracing performance that's reportedly 20 times faster than the modern computer. While 20 times is great, by next year they hope their graphics/ray-tracing accelerator will be 200 times faster. For more on Caustic Graphics and what they hope to achieve when it comes to graphics and ray-tracing, visit Caustic.com.
As we shared would be coming soon, LM_Sensors 3.1.0 was just released by Jean Delvare. This significant update to the LM_Sensors 3 code-base has a significantly reworked sensors-detect utility, various improvements to the LM_Sensors library (libsensors), a new /etc/sysconfig/lm_sensors format, and a new default sensors.conf configuration file.
Jean Delvare of the LM_Sensors project has announced that a new release of this open-source system monitoring program will be coming soon. LM_Sensors 3.0.3 arrived nearly a half-year ago, but given the number of changes since then, the next release will be LM_Sensors 3.1.0.
A representative from Texas Instruments had showed up in the X.Org development room yesterday to show off one of their new products: a very tiny projector. This projector has a mini HDMI integrated connector for video input, uses LEDs and DLP technology for display, and can easily fit within your palm.
ASUS was the first company to ship SplashTop, an embedded instant-on Linux environment, on any of its products. They began by offering SplashTop on select ASUS motherboards, then it turned into ASUS notebooks, and then to many more ASUS products. However, Phoenix Technologies has now wooed ASUS into shipping HyperSpace on their notebooks.
There were no release candidates or any official test builds this time around, but ALSA 1.0.19 was released this morning. There are many changes to be found in this latest update for the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. Among other changes, the popular HDA codec driver has received many improvements, fixes, and support for new audio devices.
Hewlett-Packard has announced this morning they will be introducing Linux as an operating system choice for business desktop customers. HP will start by offering SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop starting with their HP Compaq DC5850 SFF PC, which is an AMD-powered system that will only cost $519 USD.
This news is coming a few days late, but the ALSA project has quietly released ALSA 1.0.18a as a minor update to its collection of sound drivers for Linux. This isn't a major update but a collection of updates on top of ALSA 1.0.18 final. Among the changes are build fixes against the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, support for new ASICs, Intel HDMI audio support, and new ASICs being supported by various drivers/codecs. This ALSA release does not incorporate Creative's open-source X-Fi driver or any other Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card support.
It's been almost two months since ALSA 1.0.18 RC3 was released and about four months since ALSA 1.0.17 made it out the door, but today the final version of ALSA 1.0.18 is now available. This update to the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) contains a number of significant updates and even quite a few changes since the third release candidate.
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