Yesterday afternoon on the Direct2Dell blog it was announced that Dell is now shipping Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" on their pre-installed notebook/desktop Linux systems. Ubuntu 7.10 is available on the "Dellbuntu" notebooks and desktops today, while parts of Europe will see Gutsy Gibbon on the Inspiron 530 later this week. In addition, these Dell Ubuntu PCs have gained DVD playback support out of the box through the use of LinDVD (along with all of the other features found in Ubuntu 7.10).
Dave Jones of Red Hat has pushed out an update to the x86info utility, which for the uninformed is used for identifying various bits of information on x86 processors. This new release, x86info v1.21, contains support for updated CPUs, various clean-ups, and support for new operating systems. The added OS support is for FreeBSD and Solaris/OpenSolaris. An AMD engineer has also spent some time improving the AMD CPU functionality in this open-source CPU utility. There is also added identification support for new Intel Core 2 and Xeon processors. The last x86info release (v1.20) was over a year ago, but Dave Jones hopes to provide more timely releases. The new x86info release can be downloaded from its project web-page.
LM_Sensors, the package used to facilitate hardware monitoring within Linux for a variety of different ASICs, has finally reached version 3.0. LM_Sensors 3.0.0 represents the next-generation, chip-independent hardware monitoring tools package. We shared a number of details when previously reporting on LM_Sensors 3.0, but some of the important changes include LM_Sensors turning to a user-space-only package with no more kernel modules and the i2c software has been moved to i2c-tools. The libsensors package has been completely rewritten, and at version 4.0.0 it has a brand new API. More information is available in the LM_Sensors mailing list announcement.
Dell started off shipping Ubuntu on their notebooks and desktops earlier this year (Dell Loves Ubuntu, It's Official) and now they have found a new mate for their PowerEdge servers. Dell will be making Solaris 10 and Solaris support services available on these select servers. Of course, this all comes after IBM announced this past August that they would be offering Sun's Solaris on some of their x86 servers. Read more in the Sun press release.
Back in September we were finally able to test the Razer Barracuda AC-1 under Linux. This sound card, which employs the C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 audio processor, took quite a while to be supported by ALSA but the CMI8788 driver found in ALSA 1.0.15 was very problematic. This is the same APU found on other high-end sound cards such as the Auzentech X-Meridian, Bluegears B-inspirer, and ASUS Xonar, but with this driver it had worked worse than most cheaper alternatives.
After talking about NVIDIA's ESA standard yesterday and whether it would appear for Linux users, we noticed that the LM_Sensors team is making very good progress towards LM_Sensors 3.0. The first LM_Sensors 3 release candidate came out towards the end of September. Distinguishing LM_Sensors 3 from the current stable LM_Sensors 2.10 series it is now only a user-space-only package with no kernel components needed. The i2c components for LM_sensors have also been split into i2c-tools. The sensor library, libsensors, also received a brand new API for LM_Sensors 3. Released in early October was then LM_Sensors 3.0.0-rc2, which contained a number of fixes. Most recently, however, last week marked the release of LM_Sensors 3.0.0-rc3. This most recent testing release introduced better handling of the default configuration file path.
The developers behind ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), are out this morning with the v1.0.15 release. This new ALSA release includes updated ALSA drivers, libraries, plug-ins, and utilities. In total there are 98 drivers with changes, and this release does even include support for C-Media's Oxygen HD CMI8788. The CMI8788 APU is used on such sound cards as the Razer Barracuda AC-1, which up to this point was only supported by the Open Sound System. ALSA 1.0.15 has a number of changes especially for the CMIPCI, HDA, and USB audio drivers. The complete list of changes between ALSA 1.0.14 and 1.0.15 can be found on the ALSA Project Wiki.
After the release of LM_Sensors 2.10.4, a new release of XSensors is finally available. XSensors 0.60 introduces new support for the following chips: Fintek F71805F/FG, SMSC LPC47M192, k8temp, and w83627ehf. Also fixed in this XSensors release is a potential segmentation fault as well as some sanity checking on sensors. The complete XSensors change-log is available here with additional details and download links at LinuxHardware.org.
Following our ASUS Motherboard Ships With Embedded Linux, Web Browser article, ASUS has released a series of slides to Phoronix containing additional information about their "Express Gate" functionality.
Hitting the web is now the third release candidate for ALSA 1.0.15. As we shared in an earlier article, ALSA 1.0.15 delivers the first C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 driver for supporting the Razer Barracuda AC-1 and other high-end sound cards. Of course, there's a lot of other work and fixes going into ALSA 1.0.15 as well. Between ALSA 1.0.15-rc2 and 1.0.15-rc3 is fixes and work going on with a number of the ALSA drivers as well as updates to the Sound Core. All of the details are available from the ALSA Project Wiki.
This week at a Power Architecture conference, IBM showed off a new Power-based system codenamed "Bimini." Bimini is a 4-way PowerPC 970MP that ships with an XGI XP10 PCI Express x16 graphics card. Ian Romanick has been working on the XGI X.Org driver (1.5.0 XGI driver) for the past couple of months all for this new IBM creation. The XGI driver is still a work in progress and needs a lot of work still, but Ian seems to be dedicated towards improving the driver for this once hopeful Taiwan company. You can read about Ian's work on the XGI driver on his FreeDesktop.org blog.
Creative Labs' X-Fi Linux driver is now available for download. We talked about the beta driver yesterday, and this morning the official announcement is coming out of Creative Labs. This closed-source X-Fi driver is ALSA compatible on the Linux 2.6 kernel and includes an installation script to automate the process. Not only is this just a closed-source beta driver that's over two years late, but right now it only supports x86_64 Linux. Users running 32-bit Linux or other architectures are still out of luck until Creative Labs supports them or support comes through the Advanced Linux Architecture or the Open Sound System.
The news is a bit late, but ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) is out with its first release candidate in the 1.0.15 series. Since the release of ALSA 1.0.14, this new sound driver release introduces a great deal of changes. There are some alsa-lib, alsa-plugins, alsa-utils, and alsa-firmware changes in this release, but most of the work (as would be expected) is done to the ALSA core drivers. In fact, there is quite a number of driver changes in ALSA 1.0.15-rc1. One of the interesting improvements in ALSA is support for the C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788, which is a high-end audio processor used by such sound cards as the Razer Barracuda AC-1. The various HDA (High Definition Audio) drivers have also received updates and bug fixes. Find out more on the ALSA 1.0.15-rc1 change-log.
It was less than a week ago when we last updated you on the status of the $150 Medison Celebrity laptop. At that time the insanely cheap laptop was still no where to be found. However, it seems as if the final confirmation is there that this 1.5GHz Celeron processor, 256MB of RAM, Linux-loaded, 14" wide-screen laptop is indeed a scam. Over the weekend the Medison Celebrity website was shutdown and now just advertises the hosting company that Medison had used. Though for those of you who had placed an order thinking that this laptop was real, 2CheckOut (the merchant account processor) has stated that Medison is now on a deadline to produce a laptop otherwise all standing orders will be canceled and their balances refunded. It looks like the story of the Medison Celebrity is now coming to a close...
Remember the Medison Celebrity Laptop that was advertised as a $150 USD laptop loaded with Fedora Linux? It's still missing in action. It's well over a month now since the Medison Celebrity first appeared on the Internet and led many to wonder if it was really a mordacious scam. This laptop that advertises a 1.5GHz Celeron processor, 256MB of RAM, 802.11g WiFi, and 14" wide-screen still isn't to be found. It was claimed it would be a few weeks before the Medison Celebrity would be shipping, but a month later we haven't yet heard anything back from the Medison Celebrity company or 2Checkout that handles the billing side. Their website hasn't been updated aside from changing the pictures. The support phone lines for Medison Celebrity are also still "temporarly closed" a month later. The Medison Celebrity folks still must be learning how to spell "temporarily" or how to setup their phone lines... At least the ASUS Eee PC laptop will be available soon.
As was pointed out in the Phoronix Forums, there is now an open-source utility to configure your Razer DeathAdder mouse under Linux. This DeathAdder Linux program can control the LEDs as well as altering the scanning resolution, frequency, and profiles. While this program is aimed for the DeathAdder mouse on Linux, it also supports changing the scan resolution for the Razer Krait mouse.
Within the last few days the official website for the ALSA project (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) website received an overhaul. The ALSA project website is now Wiki-based with a brand new appearance. The supported sound card matrix is also now on the Wiki and is still laid out by manufacturer but with a new format. The latest version of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture remains at 1.0.14, but the ALSA 1.0.15 release candidates will hopefully begin soon.
Making news on the Internet in the past 24 hours has been the "Medison Celebrity Laptop", which claims to be a $150 USD laptop that ships with an Intel Celeron 1.5GHz processor, a 14" LCD screen, 802.11g wireless, and uses Fedora Linux. For such a low price this looks like an incredible deal, but its validity can be questioned. Medison says that its phone lines are "temporarily closed", specific information on the Medison Celebrity laptop is limited, and there is a rather long turn-around time. Beyond these points that have already been brought up in the electronic world, there is a equal if not greater number of questions surrounding Valdi Ivancic, Medison's CEO and president, and his past business activities.
Dell knows it won't happen overnight, but along side wanting to ship audio/video codecs, Intel Wireless 80.211N support for Linux, Broadcom Wireless for Linux, and being able to ship notebooks and desktops with Compiz Fusion enabled, Dell would like to see improved ATI Linux drivers. At Ubuntu Live 2007, Amit Bhutani had a session on Ubuntu Linux for Dell Consumer Systems, where he had shared a slide with Dell's "area of investigation", which Amit had said is essentially their Linux road-map. Amit had also stated that the NVIDIA 2D and 3D video drivers were "challenges in platform enablement". Dell wants to offer ATI Linux systems, but first the driver must be improved for the Linux platform (not necessarily open-source, but improved). Dell currently ships desktop Linux systems with Intel using their open-source drivers as well as NVIDIA graphics processors under Linux. Amit had went on to add that new Dell product offerings and availability in other countries will come later this summer.
LM_Sensors 2.10.4 has been released, which adds Linux 2.4 kernel support for the Winbond W83627EHG, user-space support for the SMSC DME1737, and support for a variety of other ASICs. The complete set of changes for 2.10.4 can be read from their change log and you can download this latest hardware monitoring package from the LM_Sensors Wiki.
Many Linux users are after lobbying hardware manufacturers for open-source graphics drivers or specifications for complex pieces of hardware, but an effort is underway to get hardware specifications for something very simple, a remote control. The Logitech Harmony 880 is a universal remote that contains a color LCD display and has proved to be a very popular peripheral and can interface with everything from a TiVO to a computer and other home appliances. For the past few months Phil Dibowitz has been working on writing a Linux driver for this $250 USD remote control.
An announcement has been made on the LM_Sensors home-page that version 2.10.4 of this hardware monitoring program will be available in mid-July. This maintenance release will add support for a few new chips and fix some outstanding bugs. The specific changes that will be found in LM_Sensors 2.10.4 can be found in the trunk CHANGES. The final release is currently planned for July 16.
Dell had started shipping two desktops and one notebook last month that was loaded with Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn", but based upon the sales and success so far with these Linux-loaded PCs in the United States, they are in the process of expanding their Ubuntu selection. Now being offered at Dell is Ubuntu on the Inspiron 1420N notebook with a number of customization options. Expect more Dell Ubuntu desktops and notebooks in the near future. Hewlett-Packard may also be joining the US Linux consumer PC party as well.
Announced on the OpenSolaris forums by 4Front Technologies is that they will be open-sourcing the Open Sound System (OSS) on June 14th. 4Front's Open Sound will be licensed under the CDDL for Solaris and GPLv2 for Linux, BSD, and other platforms. This is great news and you can share your thoughts on it in the Phoronix Foruns. Additional information will come a week from today, June 14, when the announcement is officially made.
After months of waiting, Dell has finally announced on their Direct2Dell blog that they will be offering their US customers the option of Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn on the Dell XPS 410n, Dimension E520n, and the Inspiron E1505n laptop. These Dell Ubuntu systems all will be available for less than $1000 USD. Dell has also pledged to continue to work forward on working with vendors to improve Linux drivers.
John Hull, the manager of Linux OS Technologies at Dell, has shed some more light on the Linux push happening at Dell. In the Direct2Dell Blog, Hull reiterates that the default Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" media will be installed on select Ubuntu desktops and notebooks. He goes on to mention that some restricted closed source drivers will be used (circa Wireless and modems) and that Dell is establishing a Linux Wiki. What Dell will not be offering under Linux are any extra proprietary audio or video codecs and some hardware options. More information on Dell's Linux systems should come out into the spotlight shortly.
If you were hoping to use a Creative X-Fi series sound card under Linux in the near future, think again. Last June we told you that Creative was planning on Q2'2007 for delivering a binary blob to support the X-Fi series along with delivering full support for ALSA and OpenAL v1.1 with EAX effects. Creative has now updated their open-source page saying that their closed-source X-Fi Linux driver will not even be in a public beta until the end of third quarter or fourth quarter this year. With the beta not even being available until the end of the year, we would be very surprised if Creative Labs will even deliver a stable X-Fi driver this year at all. What's the reason for this delay? It's due to Microsoft's Vista: "It has taken more resources than expect[ed] to redesign our software and drivers for Vista." Keep in mind that the driver they will be delivering to Linux X-Fi owners isn't even open-source.
In March we told you that Dell would start shipping Linux PCs, but all of the details were yet to be determined. However, it's now official that Dell has chosen Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn as the Linux distribution that will begin shipping on select Dell notebook and desktop computers. Ubuntu availability on select products should begin this month with Dell now fully supporting Mark Shuttleworth's creation. This announcement became official when Dell and Canonical issued a joint statement today on the matter. Additional information is available at Tech Target.
Last month with Dell's launch of their IdeaStorm website it made Linux a top priority for not only Dell servers but also notebook and desktops. As a result of the overwhelming feedback, Dell will shortly be introducing notebooks and desktops in the United States that ship with Linux pre-installed! This is a great accomplishment of having Linux being a factory installed option. No Linux distribution(s) have yet been named for what will be supported. More information is available from Dell. There is also a discussion in the Phoronix Forums: Dell Confirms plans to use Linux.
The SilverStone Sugo SG03, the successor to the Sugo SG01, is now officially launched! The SG03 Evolution product page is available showing off several product photographs, reversible PSU support, light and compact design, dual GPU support, and greater expansion possibilities. The design of the SG03 is completely radical compared to the original Sugo. As mentioned in our recent review of the SG01B-W Evolution, the SilverStone SG03 will likely ship in April (but could be delayed to May). The SG03 is also being shown off by SilverStone at CeBit.
716 Hardware news articles published on Phoronix.