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The Phoronix 2007 Linux Graphics Survey

While Linux desktop surveys are nothing new, no recent polls have looked specifically at Linux graphics when it comes to X.Org video drivers, hardware, and related video features. We, however, at Phoronix see a need for this information to be profiled and have launched the first-annual Linux graphics survey. This survey is intended to allow the development community to get a better understanding of the video hardware in use, what open-source and closed-source drivers are being used, and other relevant information.

Exact Kernel Names

When asked how to best refer to kernels between official releases and release candidates, Linus Torvalds pointed to his automated git snapshots. "I still call them 'nightly snapshots', but they do in fact happen twice a day if there have been changes, so that's not technically correct," he noted. The latest snapshot is 2.6.23-git15, "this is an exact name, because you can go to kernel.org and look up the exact commit ID that was used to generate it (there's an 'ID' file associated with each snapshot there)."

Stallman: Students Should Be Taught to Share With The Class

Richard Stallman, in receiving an honorary Doctorate from Italy's University of Pavia, brought back memories of the basic primary school principle that students bringing cookies to class should bring enough for everyone.

LXer Weekly Roundup for 21-Oct-2007


LXer Feature: 21-Oct-2007

Some of the big stories this week include Linux vs. Windows Power Usage, Microsoft gets two licences approved by the OSI, Kevin Carmony switches to Ubuntu and on top of all that we have a slew of LXer features including a couple of reports from T-DOSE, Carla Schroder continues her series on Digital Photography and a reader submitted article with some advice for those trying to decide between Windows or Linux.

The Perfect Server - Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (Ubuntu 7.10)

  • HowtoForge; By Falko Timme (Posted by falko on Oct 21, 2007 7:57 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Ubuntu
This tutorial shows how to set up a Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (Ubuntu 7.10) based server that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters: Apache web server (SSL-capable), Postfix mail server with SMTP-AUTH and TLS, BIND DNS server, Proftpd FTP server, MySQL server, Courier POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc. This tutorial is written for the 32-bit version of Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, but should apply to the 64-bit version with very little modifications as well.

Switching From OS X to Ubuntu: 10 Things I Miss

  • Starry Hope; By Jim Mendenhall (Posted by jimjimovich on Oct 21, 2007 7:00 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Ubuntu
About two months ago, I switched from OS X to a new Dell with Ubuntu Linux at work. For the most part, I could not be happier, but there are a few things I really miss about my Mac. Here is a list of the 10 things I miss the most.

Upgrading to Ubuntu 7.10

It was an exciting day for me today. I had done my research and I was ready to perform the upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10! This was my story.... M Perks ReviewLinux.Com

Balancing Real Time Threads

"Currently in mainline the balancing of multiple RT threads is quite broken. That is to say that a high priority thread that is scheduled on a CPU with a higher priority thread, may need to unnecessarily wait while it can easily run on another CPU that's running a lower priority thread," began Steven Rostedt, describing his patchset to introduce improved real time task balancing.

Linux Security Modules Sans Modules

In a brief follow up to the earlier pluggable security discussion, Thomas Fricaccia reflected on the implications for the various security frameworks, "I noticed James Morris' proposal to eliminate the LSM in favor of ordaining SELinux as THE security framework forever and amen, followed by the definitive decision by Linus that LSM would remain."

Distributed Storage Failure Recovery

Evgeniy Polyakov announced a new version of his distributed storage subsystem, "this release includes [a] mirroring algorithm extension, which allows [the subsystem] to store [the] 'age' of the given node on the underlying media." He went on to explain why this was useful:..

Signaling When Out of Memory

The previous 2.4 Linux kernel maintainer, Marcelo Tossati, resurrected a discussion on adding support for out of memory notifications to the Linux kernel. He explained, "AIX contains the SIGDANGER signal to notify applications to free up some unused cached memory," then noting, "there have been a few discussions on implementing such an idea on Linux, but nothing concrete has been achieved." In a request for discussion, Marcelo added, "on the kernel side Rik suggested two notification points: 'about to swap' (for desktop scenarios) and 'about to OOM' (for embedded-like scenarios)."

Reducing the Schedstat Memory Footprint

Ken Chen submitted a patch to reduce the memory footprint of schedstat in a thread titled, "schedstat needs a diet". He explained, "schedstat is useful in investigating CPU scheduler behavior. Ideally, I think it is beneficial to have it on all the time. However, the cost of turning it on in production system is quite high, largely due to number of events it collects and also due to its large memory footprint." His patch converted numerous unsigned long variables to unsigned int, "most of the fields probably don't need to be [a] full 64-bits on 64-bit [architectures]. Rolling over 4 billion events will most likly take a long time and user space tools can be made to accommodate that."

KGDB Merge Postponed Until 2.6.25

"This is a request to merge KGDB into the mainline kernel," Jason Wessel announced, posting a series of patches aiming toward that goal. He continued, "as of right now KGDB is comprised of 21 different patches adding in the core api and docs first and then working up to add drivers and arch specific support to KGDB. The patches were broken down into logical pieces for review and comments."

Maintaining Out of Tree Drivers

"I'm trying to keep some external drivers up to date with the kernel, and the first two weeks after the release is the worst time for me. There is no way to distinguish the current git kernel from the latest release. It's only after rc1 is released that I can use the preprocessor to check LINUX_VERSION_CODE," explained Pavel Roskin, describing the ongoing effort to keep the out of tree MadWifi driver in sync with the latest released kernel.

How To Easily Print Posters With KDEPrint

Poster printing with KDE. From any KDE application. With preview of results. To any print device. Even to the "PDF printer" that ships with KDE. And also for any printable file format (PDF, image, PostScript, text),...

Install Solaris DomU (64 bit) on OpenSUSE 10.3 (x86_64) Dom0

  • bderzhavets@blogspot.com; By Boris Derzhavets (Posted by dba477 on Oct 20, 2007 1:08 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Kernel, Sun, SUSE
Installing OpenSUSE 10.3 on the box I selected Xen entry into Grub menu after first phase was completed and system rebooted for final configuration.It brought me into text mode setup very similar graphical one when you select ordinary kernel.

Inadvertently Proving the Opposite by Knocking Down a Strawman

In How Far Behind is Linux?, WSJ writer Lee Gomes sets up a beautiful strawman about the security of GNU/Linux versus Windows and knocks it down with its own answer.

Where does Linux go from here?

Linux is now mainstream -- so mainstream, in fact, that two of the top three Linux distributions are commercially successful operations, and the third aims to be. Every day, more and more old-school IT firms shake off their initial doubts, get in line behind their customers, and try Linux and other free software projects. In the face of such success, will Linux remain true to its free software ideals and to the community which created it? Or will it morph into a corporate byproduct, driven by the bottom line, and complacent with all forms of predatory intellectual property (IP), including software patents and closed, proprietary standards which are standard fare in the IT industry.

This week at LWN: Memory part 3: Virtual Memory

The virtual memory subsystem of a processor implements the virtual address spaces provided to each process. This makes each process think it is alone in the system. The list of advantages of virtual memory are described in detail elsewhere so they will not be repeated here. Instead this section concentrates on the actual implementation details of the virtual memory subsystem and the associated costs.

Of opposable thumbs and software engineering

It’s been almost 200 years since Charles Babbage first started work on his difference engine, and programmable computation is fast approaching 100 years old. Over this time there has been a lot of change in software development and in this article we look at the evolutionary pressure that has shaped that.

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