Mesa Vulkan Drivers Now Tracking Game Engine/Version For Handling More Workarounds

Currently the Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan drivers have relied upon matching executable names for applying game/application-specific workarounds. But with Vulkan as part of the instance creation information and VkApplicationInfo it's possible to optionally advertise the rendering engine and version in use. The Mesa Vulkan drivers are now making use of that information to allow for more uniform workarounds.

3 Hours Ago - Radeon - Game Engine Workarounds - 1 Comment
How Google's Android Maintains A Stable Linux Kernel ABI

While the Linux kernel is well known for not offering a stable API/ABI, Google and other enterprise Linux distribution vendors tend to aim at providing their own stable ABI for the lifespan of their products. Google engineers talked in Portugal this week at Linux Plumbers Conference 2019 about some of their means to maintaining a stable API/ABI for Android's Linux kernel.

4 Hours Ago - Linux Kernel - Stable Kernel ABI - 20 Comments
Fedora Is Beginning To Spin Workstation & Live Images For POWER

If you are running the likes of the Raptor Blackbird for a POWER open-source desktop and wanting to run Fedora on it, currently you need to use the Fedora "server" CLI installer and from there install the desired packages for a desktop. But moving forward, Fedora is beginning to spin Workstation and Live images for PPC64LE.

4 Hours Ago - Fedora - Fedora Workstation For PPC64LE - 2 Comments

14 September

An Alternative exFAT Linux File-System Driver Based On Samsung's sdFAT

While the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel cycle is finally bringing a driver for Microsoft exFAT file-system read/write support, it's dated on an old Samsung code drop that has seen little public work over the years. Since queued for staging-next, there has been a big uptick in clean-ups and other activity, but there also exists another alternative out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver.

14 September 10:25 PM EDT - Linux Storage - exFAT File-System - 14 Comments
The Linux Kernel Is Preparing To Enable 5-Level Paging By Default

While Intel CPUs aren't shipping with 5-level paging support, they are expected to be soon and distribution kernels are preparing to enable the kernel's functionality for this feature to extend the addressable memory supported. With that, the mainline kernel is also looking at flipping on 5-level paging by default for its default kernel configuration.

14 September 10:47 AM EDT - Intel - 5-Level Paging - 31 Comments

13 September

Linux 5.4 Bringing Support For Lenovo's "PrivacyGuard" On Newer ThinkPads

Newer high-end Lenovo ThinkPad laptops feature an option called "PrivacyGuard" for restricting the usable vertical and horizontal viewing angles of the LCD display, similar to what has been achievable previously using film covers and the like. With Linux 5.4 this feature will be supported by the kernel if concerned about others looking over your shoulders at your screen, etc.

13 September 01:41 PM EDT - Hardware - Lenovo ThinkPad PrivacyGuard - 7 Comments
Fwupd 1.3.1 Released With GNOME Firmware 3.34

Richard Hughes has released GNOME Firmware 3.34, his new project formerly known as the GNOME Firmware Update as an alternative interface outside of GNOME Software for managing firmware updates on Linux. Additionally, Fwupd 1.3.1 is out with the newest firmware updating bits.

13 September 10:22 AM EDT - GNOME - Linux Firmware Updating - 4 Comments
DigitalOcean Continues Working On Linux Core Scheduling To Make HT/SMT Safer

With Hyper Threading continuing to look increasingly unsafe in data centers / shared computing environments in light of all the speculative execution vulnerabilities exposed thus far particularly with L1TF and MDS having no SMT-secure mitigation, DigitalOcean continues working on their Linux kernel "core scheduling" patches so they can still make use of HT/SMT in a sane and safe manner.

13 September 07:59 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Sibling Core Scheduling - 13 Comments

12 September

Intel Resurrecting FSGSBASE Support For Linux To Help With Performance

Going on for months had been work by Intel Linux developers on supporting the FSGSBASE instruction for helping Intel CPU performance going back to Ivybridge where this instruction set extension was first introduced. The FSGSBASE support was queued for the Linux 5.3 kernel but was reverted due to "serious bugs" in the implementation. Intel has now published a revised version of this support.

12 September 06:30 PM EDT - Intel - FSGSBASE - 1 Comment
AMD/Intel Benchmarks: Building The Mainline Linux x86_64 Kernel With LLVM Clang

With the upcoming LLVM Clang 9.0 compiler release there is an amazing achievement more than a decade in the making... The mainline Clang compiler can finally build the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel. The AArch64 state has been in better shape in recent years with multiple Arm vendors using Clang as their default compiler including to build the Linux kernel, but finally in 2019 the mainline Clang can build mainline Linux x86_64. There are a few caveats, but in this article is my experience in doing so with LLVM Clang and the Linux 5.3 kernel as well as running some preliminary benchmarks on AMD and Intel hardware.

12 September 10:31 AM EDT - Software - 22 Comments
Better Flatpak Support For Firefox Appears To Be Coming

One of the best and most practical use-cases for sandboxed Linux apps via Flatpak or Snaps is certainly web browsers. There has been unofficial Firefox Flatpaks offered to this point but it's looking like better support for a Flatpak'ed Firefox could be coming down the pipe soon.

12 September 07:11 AM EDT - Mozilla - Flatpak Firefox - 35 Comments

11 September

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Benchmarks On 11 Linux Distributions

Now that BIOS updates over the past month have resolved the early boot issue with Ryzen 3000 processors and thus the new AMD CPUs playing nicely with modern Linux distributions, here is the long-awaited benchmark comparison of the Ryzen 9 3900X + X570 system benchmarked across an array of different Linux distributions... In fact, 11 Linux OS releases in total were tested on this high-end 12-core / 24-thread desktop processor.

11 September 12:10 PM EDT - Operating Systems - 25 Comments

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