Apple, Ryzen, Valve & The Evolving Linux Kernel Dominated Conversations In Q2

Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 4 July 2018 at 08:19 AM EDT. 1 Comment
First of all, Happy Independence Day to the Phoronix readers in the United States. On this rather light day, here is a look back at the most popular Phoronix articles during the second quarter of the year. During Q2-2018 were 924 original news articles published with new content each and everyday and that's in addition to another 68 featured Linux hardware reviews / multi-page benchmark articles.

The past three months brought a lot of interesting content from the notable Linux 4.17 and 4.18 kernel work, interesting Apple news that impacts the Linux/open-source communities, (X)Wayland work, the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.20 release, also the big GIMP 2.10 release, new and interesting open-source projects, and much more.

Of the nearly thousand Phoronix articles during Q2-2018, here's a look at the twenty most viewed stories:

One Of LLVM's Top Contributors Quits Development Over CoC, Outreach Program
Rafael Avila de Espindola is the fifth most active contributor to LLVM with more than 4,300 commits since 2006, but now he has decided to part ways with the project.

Sony Is Working On AMD Ryzen LLVM Compiler Improvements - Possibly For The PlayStation 5
One of Sony's compiler experts has taken to working on some tuning for the AMD Ryzen "znver1" microarchitecture support within the LLVM compiler stack. This begs the question why Sony is working on Ryzen improvements if not for a future product.

Apple Is Looking For Linux Kernel Developers
For reasons unknown, Apple is looking to hire Linux kernel developers in both Texas and California.

The Once Very Promising Unvanquished Game Hasn't Seen A New Release In Two Years
Going back several years one of our most favorite open-source games to monitor was the Unvanquished game project with its roots in the Tremulous game and built off the Daemon Engine that is a distant fork to ioquake3 by way of the also once very promising ET: XreaL work.

EGLStreams XWayland Code Revised Ahead Of X.Org Server 1.20
It's still not clear if the EGLStreams XWayland support will be merged for xorg-server 1.20 but at least the patches were revised this week, making it possible to merge them into this next X.Org Server release for allowing the NVIDIA proprietary driver to work with XWayland.

Torvalds Expresses Concerns Over Current "Kernel Lockdown" Approach
The kernel lockdown feature further restricts access to the kernel by user-space with what can be accessed or modified, including different /dev points, ACPI restrictions, not allowing unsigned modules, and various other restrictions in the name of greater security. Pairing that with UEFI SecureBoot unconditionally is meeting some resistance by Linus Torvalds.

Linux Set To Shed Nearly 500k Lines Of Code By Dropping Old CPUs
As expected, the Linux 4.17 kernel will move ahead with dropping support for older/unmaintained CPU architectures.

Red Hat Confirms RHEL 8 Will Drop Python 2
While it could have been pretty much assumed up until now that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 would ship without Python 2 considering that next enterprise Linux OS release isn't even out yet, its long-term maintenance support, and Python 2 reaching EOL at the start of 2020, but now it's been made official.

Git Issues Batch Of New Releases To Fix Security Issues
Git 2.13.7, 2.14.4, 2.15.2, 2.16.4, and 2.17.1 were all released today in order to fix two new CVE security disclosures.

Jade: New Linux Desktop Built On Python, HTML5 & JavaScript
The Jade Desktop Environment is a new effort at delivering another Linux desktop option.

It Turns Out RISC-V Hardware So Far Isn't Entirely Open-Source
While free software/hardware advocates have been ecstatic about the RISC-V open-source, royalty-free processor architecture, hardware so far hasn't been as open as desired.

Hygon Dhyana: Chinese x86 Server CPUs Based On AMD Zen
While there are the VIA/Centaur-based Zhaoxin desktop CPUs targeted for the Chinese market, it turns out there is another x86 Chinese CPU effort but this time is a collaboration with AMD.

Systemd Introduces "Portable Services" Functionality, Similar To Containers
The past several months Lennart Poettering has been working on a "portable services" concept and that big ticket new feature has now landed in Systemd. Portable services are akin to containers but different.

Valve Reaffirms Commitment To Linux, SteamOS
While there was a lot of hoopla recently about Valve removing the "Steam Machines" link from their main navigation on their website, Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais has written a public post to reaffirm the company's commitment to Linux and SteamOS.

The Shiny New Features Of X.Org Server 1.20
With the release of the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.20 finally being imminent, here is a look at the many features that were merged over the past year and a half for this long drawn out release process. While more of the Linux desktop continues moving towards Wayland, X.Org Server continues evolving as shown by the 1.20 release and as part of that is also plenty on the XWayland side.

GIMP 2.10 Released With A Ton Of Improvements
It's been over a half-decade since the GIMP 2.8 stable debut and today marks the long-awaited release of GIMP 2.10.

AMD Zen CPU Microcode Added To Linux-Firmware Tree, Bulldozer Updated
Ensuring your CPU microcode is kept up-to-date for Zen processors is now a little bit easier with the microcode files being added to the linux-firmware.git collection.

Linux 4.17 Will Allow Some Systems To Lower Their Idle Power Use Up To 10%+
While last week was the main power management feature updates for the Linux 4.17 kernel merge window that included the new ACPI TAD driver, Rafael Wysocki today sent in a secondary set of feature updates and it includes a rather significant development for Linux power and performance.

Apple Deprecates OpenGL & OpenCL
With today's announcement of macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple quietly confirmed they are deprecating OpenGL and OpenCL within macOS.

This Chart Shows How The Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 Now Compete Under Linux
It was just last year that open-source RadeonSI/RADV developers were trying to get the Radeon RX 580 "Polaris" GPU to be competitive with the GeForce GTX 1060 as it is under Windows given each GPU's capabilities. We've seen the RX 580 and GTX 1060 dancing under Linux the past few months and yesterday's 20-way GPU comparison with Rise of the Tomb Raider was quite significant -- perhaps most surprising being how well the RX 580 performed. Heck, just one or two years ago it was an accomplishment seeing any official Radeon driver support at-launch for new Linux game releases. So here are some extensive tests looking closer at the GTX 1060 vs. RX 580 battle in this latest Vulkan-powered Linux game port.

As always, if you appreciate all of the original and timely Linux/open-source content on Phoronix, you can show your support by joining Phoronix Premium, making a PayPal tip, or joining the new Liberapay. (While I normally work through any and all holidays, at least today will be a bit of a couple hour break due to my wife getting her citizenship today, so pardon the slightly slower afternoon.)
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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