Is It Worthwhile Running Intel Alder Lake With mitigations=off?
Is It Worthwhile Running Intel Alder Lake With mitigations=off?
5 Hours Ago - Software - 10 Comments

Over the past month of trying out Intel Alder Lake processors on Linux, one of the questions that has come up a few times but not readily disclosed is whether it's still worthwhile on this latest-generation process to boot with "mitigations=off" to disable CPU security mitigations to help squeeze out some otherwise lost performance. Here are some benchmarks to answer that questions.

RADV Driver Improvement Yields More Reasonably Sized Captures For Radeon GPU Profiling
RADV Driver Improvement Yields More Reasonably Sized Captures For Radeon GPU Profiling
6 Hours Ago - Radeon - RADV + RGP - 1 Comment

When debugging graphics driver/API issues or performance profiling and relying on shader dumps, the size of such dumps can quickly add up due to all of the state collected, etc, but also inefficiencies when not within contiguous memory. Fortunately for Mesa's Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" for pairing with the Radeon GPU Profiler there is a significant improvement that just landed for yielding smaller file sizes.

Notcurses 3.0 Released For Adding "Bling" To Your Terminal Apps
Notcurses 3.0 Released For Adding "Bling" To Your Terminal Apps
8 Hours Ago - Programming - Notcurses 3.0 - 12 Comments

For those wanting to add some "bling" to your command-line programs to make some "rad" terminal apps, Notcurses 3.0 was released today for designing colorful and complex text-user interfaces. Notcurses allows adding a range of multimedia, Unicode, and other graphics capabilities to command-line applications across Linux / macOS / Windows.

1 December

Intel SGX2 / Enclave Dynamic Memory Management Patches Posted For Linux
Intel SGX2 / Enclave Dynamic Memory Management Patches Posted For Linux
1 December 06:31 PM EST - Intel - Software Guard Extensions 2 - 4 Comments

While Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX) functionality has been present in CPUs going back to Skylake, it took until last year with Linux 5.11 for SGX support to finally be mainlined and required more than 40 rounds of review/revisions. Finally today Intel posted patches for bringing up SGX2 as the next iteration of Software Guard Extensions and already found in shipping processors.

Linux 5.17 To Finally Enable Variable Rate Refresh For Intel Ice Lake
Linux 5.17 To Finally Enable Variable Rate Refresh For Intel Ice Lake
1 December 06:08 AM EST - Intel - Icelake Gen11 VRR - 5 Comments

An early batch of Intel kernel graphics driver feature updates intended for Linux 5.17 was sent out yesterday to DRM-Next for queuing until that next merge window opens around the start of the new year. Notable with this pull is Icelake "Gen11" graphics finally seeing variable rate refresh enabled!

30 November

Alder Lake, Kernel Optimizations & Steam Deck Happenings That Excited Linux Fans
30 November 07:27 PM EST - Phoronix - November 2021 - Add A Comment

With another month of the pandemic in the books, here is a look back at the exciting Linux and open-source highlights that came about during the course of November. This month was particularly exciting for new Linux kernel developments, never-ending work on open-source graphics drivers, the much anticipated launch of Intel 12th Gen "Alder Lake", gamers continuing to clamor for the Steam Deck, and much more.

Zink Is Ending 2021 In Fantastic Shape For OpenGL Over Vulkan
Zink Is Ending 2021 In Fantastic Shape For OpenGL Over Vulkan
30 November 12:00 PM EST - Display Drivers - 21 Comments

Following all the work carried out by Mike Blumenkrantz (Valve) and others, the Mesa Zink code is ending the year in terrific and very capable shape for OpenGL running atop the Vulkan API. Here is a look at where things currently stand with mainline Mesa for Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan compared to the native RadeonSI Gallium3D OpenGL driver.

A Call For KDE To Fully Embrace Simplicity By Default, Appeal To More Novice Users
A Call For KDE To Fully Embrace Simplicity By Default, Appeal To More Novice Users
30 November 05:35 AM EST - KDE - Basic Computer Skills - 85 Comments

KDE developer Nate Graham is known for his weekly (excellent) development summaries and driving many usability improvements and other refinements to the KDE desktop in recent years. Nate has written a new opinion piece arguing for more simplicity by default to broaden the desktop's appeal to more novice computer users with limited skills.

Open-Source FPGA-Based RISC-V GPGPU That Supports OpenCL 1.2
30 November 05:00 AM EST - RISC-V - Vortex GPGPU - 9 Comments

While there was the Libre RISC-V GPU effort aiming to provide an open-source GPU accelerator based on RISC-V, it ultimately turned into Libre-SOC with a focus now on the POWER ISA. Meanwhile Vortex is continuing to mature as an open-source, FPGA-based RISC-V GPGPU processor.

29 November

FWUPD Linux Firmware Updater Prepares "Best Known Configuration" Feature
FWUPD Linux Firmware Updater Prepares "Best Known Configuration" Feature
29 November 08:37 AM EST - LVFS - Best Known Configurations - 11 Comments

The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) and FWUPD on their great upward trajectory has in recent times been expanding beyond their initial focus of desktop/laptop hardware to supporting more server platforms for firmware updating. The latest feature driven by their growing server interests is "best known configuration" handling for where there are multiple independently-versioned firmware packages for a given system and may be support recommendations or potential version conflicts between the the different firmware packages.

28 November

Linux 5.17 To Boast Latency Optimization For AF_UNIX Sockets
28 November 07:14 AM EST - Linux Kernel - AF_UNIX Optimization - 11 Comments

Net-next has been queuing a number of enticing performance optimizations ahead of the Linux 5.17 merge window kicking off around the start of the new year. Covered already was a big TCP optimization and a big improvement for csum_partial() that is used in the network code for checksum computation. The latest optimization is improving the AF_UNIX code path for those using AF_UNIX sockets for local inter-process communication.

Facebook/Meta Tackling Transparent Page Placement For Tiered-Memory Linux Systems
28 November 05:43 AM EST - Hardware - Handling Hot Pages - 13 Comments

Back during the Linux 5.15 cycle Intel contributed an improvement for tiered memory systems where less used memory pages could be demoted to slower tiers of memory storage. But once demoted that kernel infrastructure didn't have a means of promoting those demoted pages back to the faster memory tiers should they become hot again, though now Facebook/Meta engineers have been working on such functionality.

27 November

Intel Preparing USI Stylus Support For Linux
27 November 09:12 AM EST - Hardware - Universal Stylus Initiative - 7 Comments

Intel open-source driver engineers have been working on USI stylus support for the Linux kernel. The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) aims to offer interoperability of active styluses across touchscreen devices.

KDE Squashes Many "Annoying" Bugs As It Works To Improve The Desktop's Reliability.
27 November 05:12 AM EST - KDE - KDE Bug Fixing - 63 Comments

KDE developers are trying to ensure the reliability of their desktop environment and thus they have recently begun a renewed effort on bug fixing. There is also talk of starting a KDE initiative focused on "15 minute bugs" for "embarrassing" issues that can be easily found within minutes. In any event, this week saw a lot of bug fixing in the KDE world.

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