Among the many Linux 5.0 kernel features is initial open-source NVIDIA driver support for the latest-generation Turing graphics processors. Missed out on during the Linux 5.0 merge window was "TU102" support but now that is coming down as a fix for the 5.0 kernel.
One of the GCC compiler features unfortunately not taken advantage of by most Linux distributions is FMV - Function Multi-Versioning. FMV is what allows for the compilation of different tuned code paths depending upon the processor and for the particular code-path to be chosen at run-time, i.e. optimizing to your heart's content with AVX, SSE4, and other instruction set extensions and compiling all of that into a single binary and for the preferred code path to be taken depending upon the CPU running the binary so it will still run on older CPUs as well as today's most powerful processors.
For those Linux gamers with a NVIDIA RTX "Turing" graphics card, there's finally an interesting open-source workload to enjoy that makes use of the RTX hardware and NVIDIA's VK_NV_ray_tracing extension... A real-time path tracing port of the legendary Quake 2 game.
Next month MoltenVK will celebrate one year since being open-sourced for allowing the Vulkan API to function on Apple's macOS/iOS by mapping the Vulkan calls to the Apple Metal graphics/compute API. Just in time for that first birthday, a big MoltenVK update is now available.
Inkscape on Thursday announced their 0.92.4 release that brought many stability and bug fixes but also some performance improvements and other enhancements. Most exciting though is the debut of Inkscape 1.0 alpha.
Adding to the platter of tasks for Purism as they prepare to ship their Librem 5 Linux smartphone in just a few months, they announced their plans to introduce the PureOS Store for not only their mobile initiative but also their laptops running the Debian-based PureOS operating system.
It was just yesterday that Valve dropped a big Steam client update including several long sought improvements for Linux gamers. Today that's been succeeded by another rather nice beta upgrade.
For fans of Rustlang, it's time to fire up rustup: Rust 1.32 is out today as the latest feature update for this increasingly popular programming language.
The next release of the Qt5 tool-kit might introduce a potentially controversial module to facilitate anonymous data collection of Qt applications.
With the latest AMDVLK Vulkan driver improvements back to coming out on a weekly basis by AMD and Mesa 19.0 development progressing ahead of its feature freeze later this month, here is a fresh Linux gaming benchmark comparison of the AMD Radeon Vulkan driver options on Linux. Tested this round with a Radeon RX 590 and RX Vega 64 was the latest Mesa 19.0 development state for RADV, this week's new AMDVLK 2019.Q1.2 driver snapshot, and the Radeon Software 18.50 proprietary driver while running a slew of Vulkan-powered Linux games and DXVK.
Now available for testing ahead of GNOME 3.32 in March is GNOME Software 3.31.2, the first development release for this "app store" / software center seeing its first release since v3.31.1 last October.
KDE Plasma 5.15 is scheduled for release on 12 February while for a round of preliminary testing, KDE Plasma 5.15 is out today.
The long-in-development AMD "GCN" back-end for the GNU Compiler Collection that allows targeting recent generations of Radeon GPUs for compute offloading has been merged into the upcoming GCC 9 release.
With the Mesa 18.2.8 release at the end of December being the last release of that driver series, users should really consider upgrading to Mesa 18.3. Fortunately, Mesa 18.3.2 is out this morning with dozens of fixes.
The Finnish developers persevering with the Sailfish OS Linux-based mobile operating system have announced their new "Sipoonkorpi" operating system feature release.
Last week I reported on ZFS On Linux breaking with Linux 5.0 due to some kernel symbols sought by this out-of-tree file-system driver no longer being exported and the upstream developers not willing to adjust for the ZoL code. That's still the case but the ZFS On Linux developers have a patch so at least the file-system driver will be able to build on Linux 5.0.
The lead developer of the GNOME Builder integrated development environment, Christian Hergert, has just led his project through its largest code re-factoring yet. Builder 3.32 coming out in March with GNOME 3.32 features more than 100k lines of code changed with various underlying improvements as well as some new features for developers.
The Linux 4.19 kernel brought the ability to disallow the opening of FIFOs and regular files not owned by the user in world-writable sticky directories in the name of security. Had this ability been around previously it could have prevented a number of CVEs going back a long time. In helping ensure this functionality gets utilized, Systemd 241 will now set these sysctl options to enable the behavior by default.
Fedora has been working on transitioning to Zchunk for its DNF metadata due to its good compression ratio while being delta-friendly and leveraging the existing work of Zstandard and Zsync/casync. The metadata has been offered in Zchunk for some weeks while more client testing is needed before landing that support in Rawhide and in turn for Fedora 30.
Entangle is the long-standing open-source software that allows you to control DSLR cameras from Linux. With various Nikon and Canon DSLRs, among others, it's possible to view a live preview, automatically download images, and snap pictures all over the USB connection to the camera.
Intel's Linux graphics driver stack has never offered its own vendor-specific driver control panel GUI like is common among all major graphics vendors on Windows, but instead they've opted for the command-line experience and making use of common interfaces with what's offered by the different desktop environments for resolution handling, multi-monitor setup, etc. But moving forward they may end up bringing a new graphics driver control panel to Linux.
Valve has just released their biggest Steam client beta update of the year so far for Linux gamers.
Last month was a proposed patch that would have killed the Autotools build system within Mesa. Developers have decided for the upcoming Mesa 19.0 release not to eliminate this GNU Autotools support but rather to mark it as deprecated and require an extra flag in order to make use of it.
For those curious how the 10 Gigabit Ethernet performance compares between current Linux distributions, here are some benchmarks we ramp up more 10GbE Linux/BSD/Windows benchmarks. This round of testing was done on two distinctly different servers while testing CentOS, Debian, Clear Linux, and Fedora.
From VR to autonomous vehicles to edge computing, The Khronos Group continues working on new industry standards for today's expanding compute landscape. Today the organization announced they are soliciting industry feedback and creating an exploratory group for a new, open industry standard around High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC).
The popular China-based Deepin Linux distribution derived from Debian and featuring its own Qt5-based desktop environment is out today with version 15.9.
The code for the upcoming LLVM 8.0 release (Clang 8.0 included) is now branched and the release candidate process will begin shortly. That means LLVM 9.0 is now open for development on its master branch.
Should you be seeking a career in compiler development, Google is continuing to ramp up their teams working on LLVM/Clang.
Arm continues plumbing the open-source GNU compiler toolchain support for their next-generation "Ares" high-performance server/HPC core.
Lead VC4/V3D driver developer Eric Anholt of Broadcom has landed a batch of improvements to the next-generation V3D driver in Mesa 19.0.
The drm-next-5.1-wip branch has been created by open-source AMD developers as they begin vetting the changes they plan to submit to DRM-Next for inclusion in the Linux 5.1 kernel cycle when it kicks off around the start of March.
Back in October, MongoDB announced the Server Side Public License v1 (SSPLv1) as their new license moving forward for this document-oriented database server over their existing AGPL code. SSPL was met with much controversy upon its unveiling and Fedora's legal team has now ruled it an invalid free software license for packaged software in its repositories.
The Genode operating system framework based on a micro-kernel design and various original user-space components continues going strong a decade since its start. But it hasn't achieved too much appeal outside of its niche even when it began working on "Sculpt" as an operating system for general purposes use-cases and supporting common PC/laptop hardware. But they hope to change that in 2019.
Samba 4.10 release candidate 1 was announced today as the open-source SMB implementation with support for Windows Server and Active Directory domains.
AMD developers maintaining their official Vulkan driver have carried out another weekly code push to the open-source AMDVLK code-base.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 is shipping today as the most affordable Turing GPU option to date at $349 USD. Last week we posted our initial GeForce RTX 2060 Linux review and followed-up with more 1080p and 1440p Linux gaming benchmarks after having more time with the card. In this article is a side-by-side performance comparison of the GeForce RTX 2060 up against the GTX 1060 Pascal, GTX 960 Maxwell, and GTX 760 Kepler graphics cards. Not only are we looking at the raw OpenGL, Vulkan, and OpenCL/CUDA compute performance between these four generations, but also the power consumption and performance-per-Watt.
With NVIDIA today officially shipping the GeForce RTX 2060 as the new $349 USD Turing graphics card, the 415.27 Linux driver was released today to officially support this new graphics card.
It's been more than a month since the debut of Mesa 18.3 and the emergency 18.3.1 release while due the holidays and the release manager being sick, the next point release fell off the tracks. Mesa 18.3.2 is now being crafted and should be out in the next few days. Given the time since the previous release, Mesa 18.3.2 is heavy on fixes.
Solus founder Ikey Doherty who is back working for Intel on the Clear Linux team and brought the Linux Steam Integration (LSI) into that fold has issued a new release of this software for improving the Steam integration on Linux.
With Mesa 19.0 entering its feature freeze this week, the race is on for developers to land their last minute additions to this next quarterly installment of Mesa. Valve developer Samuel Pitoiset has landed support in the Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver for the new memory budget extension.
Yesterday I posted a number of Lczero chess engine benchmarks on NVIDIA GPUs using its OpenCL back-end as well as its CUDA+cuDNN back-end, which offered massive performance gains compared to CL on the many tested NVIDIA GPUs. With the CUDA+cuDNN code performing so much better than OpenCL, some wondered whether NVIDIA was intentionally gimping their OpenCL performance. Well, here are results side-by-side now with Radeon GPUs on OpenCL.
While Qt 6.0 isn't due out for the better part of two years still, early patches planned for Qt 6 are expected to begin taking shape within a Git staging branch.
While the Linux 5.0 kernel won't even debut as stable until around the end of February, as is standard practice, it's open season for new feature improvements of the changes developers want to end up queuing into the "-next" branches ahead of the Linux 5.1 cycle. The Intel open-source driver developers on Monday sent in their initial batch of graphics driver changes for this next kernel cycle.
Built atop LLVM's clangd server, Apple recently open-sourced SourceKit-LSP as a language server protocol for Swift and C-based languages. This allows for better integration with various IDEs and development tools.
One of the lesser known compiler backends/targets by the LLVM compiler is Nios II, which is for the 32-bit embedded FPGA processor designs.
ZFS On Linux (ZOL) 0.8 is going to be a big release... No, a huge release. But for ensuring it's going to be a successful release, a third release candidate was just issued for further vetting of all the new code.
Last month we mentioned that Fedora 30 was possibly picking up a Deepin Desktop Environment option for this Qt5-based desktop developed by the Deepin Linux distribution.
Pointed out by a Phoronix reader a few days ago and added to the Phoronix Test Suite is the PlaidML deep learning framework that can run on CPUs using BLAS or also on GPUs and other accelerators via OpenCL. Here are our initial benchmarks of this OpenCL-based deep learning framework that is now being developed as part of Intel's AI Group and tested across a variety of AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.
The Solus project has laid out some of their grand plans for the year from their GTK-based Budgie desktop environment to seeing the release of the highly anticipated Solus 4 Linux distribution to working on new software components further out in the year.
GNOME developers are currently testing some changes to the Adwaita theme as a minor refresh to GTK3 applications.
Now available via the official linux-firmware tree are the AMDGPU firmware binaries needed for initializing the forthcoming Raven 2 and Picasso AMD APUs.
Wine's VKD3D project for working towards Direct3D 12 support mapped atop the Vulkan graphics API now has patches for utilizing transform feedback in order to implement Direct3D Stream-Output functionality.
While Purism remains very busy with their Librem 5 smartphone efforts, today they have announced their fourth version of the Librem 13/15 laptops.
Debian 10 "Buster" continues moving along for its hopeful stable release later in 2019. The first freeze is now underway while the new artwork/theme for Debian 10.0 has been decided.
While there has already been a lot of exciting GNOME performance improvements so far during the GNOME 3.32 cycle, even more could be on the way with there still being a number of open merge requests for enhancing the performance of the GNOME desktop.
A Phoronix reader pointed out LCZero (Leela Chess Zero) a few days ago as an interesting chess engine powered by neural networks and supports BLAS, OpenCL, and NVIDIA CUDA+cuDNN back-ends. Particularly with the FP16 cuDNN support, this chess engine can be super fast on NVIDIA's latest Turing GPUs with tensor cores.
While Godot 3.1 isn't even out yet, our eyes are already looking forward to Godot 4.0 for 2D and 3D rendering improvements, but most notably Vulkan API support.
The ET: Legacy open-source project derived from the id Tech 3 sources and letting Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory live on almost two decades later is out with their biggest release yet: version 2.76. ET: Legacy 2.76 itself is a big release but the developers involved still have more plans moving forward.