Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features.
Merged yesterday for Mesa 21.3 was open-source Vulkan ray-tracing for AMD RDNA2 / RX 6000 series GPUs with the RADV driver. Opened today now is a merge request that would provide Vulkan ray-tracing with RADV to pre-RDNA2 GPUs on this driver going back to the likes of Polaris, granted the performance is another story.
GNOME 41 is out as the latest half-year update to this open-source desktop environment.
Earlier this month AMD posted their initial public patches for the AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling driver that leverages ACPI CPPC for ultimately aiming to provide better power efficiency and more responsive CPU frequency scaling / performance state decisions on Zen 3 (and Zen 2 eventually) processors. This is part of the effort around AMD and Valve collaborating for better Linux efficiency especially with the AMD-powered Steam Deck.
While the GNU Compiler Collection has supported OpenACC for a few years now as this parallel programming standard popular with GPUs/accelerators, the current implementation has been found to be inadequate for many real-world HPC workloads leveraging OpenACC. Fortunately, Siemens has been working to improve GCC's OpenACC kernels support.
Aya was presented during this week's Linux Plumbers Conference for improving the eBPF developer experience by allowing Rust programs to easily run within the kernel.
UBports on Tuesday released Ubuntu Touch OTA-19 as the latest refinement to this Ubuntu Linux spin for smartphones and tablets.
Mesa point releases generally come every two weeks but for the past month have fallen off the wagon. Mesa 21.2.1 came in mid-August and on Tuesday was finally succeeded by Mesa 21.2.2 as a "late and very large" update.
More than three years after X.Org Server 1.20 was released, it's set to finally be succeeded soon by X.Org Server 21.1 under its new versioning scheme. Out today is the X.org Server 21.1 release candidate.
AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver engineers are working to overhaul how the initial driver loading with device enumeration happens to ultimately make it more robust. In the process though PCI IDs become less important and in turn less of an avenue for exposing possible indicators of new graphics cards.
Cycles X as a modernizing of Blender's Cycles rendering engine has now landed in the latest development code for Blender 3.0. Cycles X brings big performance improvements but does eliminate OpenCL support in the process.
Chrome 94 is available today as another exciting update for Google's web browser.
Oracle engineers have been working on "gprofng" as a next-generation GNU Profiler that can analyze production binaries. Oracle talked up Gprofng today during the GNU Tools Track as part of Linux Plumbers Conference 2021.
The Linux Foundation announced today they will be hosting the PaSh project that is focused on automatically parallelizing POSIX shell scripts.
While there is now KSMBD with Linux 5.15 for offering an in-kernel SMB file server, its scope is much more limited than that of the Samba project in user-space. With that said, Samba 4.15 is out now with its latest batch of features and improvements for open-source SMB/CIFS support on Linux and other platforms.
Canonical is announcing this morning they are extending the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" releases to a ten year lifespan.
Going public back in April was the provisional specification around the Vulkan Video extensions as a new industry-standard video encode/decode interface. While several months have passed, there hasn't been much activity yet in the open-source space around Vulkan Video.
Landing overnight into Mesa 21.3 was experimentally enabling the Vulkan ray-tracing extensions within the open-source Radeon "RADV" driver.
In addition to AMD's increasing Linux kernel contributions, they are also contributing more improvements in user-space too thanks to their super-computing wins and other big enterprise deployments that are Linux-based. One of the areas talked about this week at the Linux Plumbers Conference with the GNU Tools track is how they are working to extend the DWARF debug format to better handle GPU debugging.
While Oktoberfest was once again cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic (then again, due to the state of the ad industry / ad-block users we haven't had any European meet-up / open-source gathering in years), the wiesn would have kicked off this past weekend. So as is tradition, there is the Phoronix Premium Oktoberfest sale where you can join the ad-free service as a reduced rate. If you enjoy the daily, original Linux and open-source content on Phoronix with plenty of benchmarking, you can do so at a reduced rate.
While Intel is normally quite good with their new hardware support being in good shape well ahead of launch, their new code for supporting the ENQCMD functionality for the Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA) with Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" has been an exception. This summer the mainline Linux kernel disabled ENQCMD support since the code was "broken beyond repair" while now Intel engineers have sent out a new series looking to get it re-enabled.
An Open Printing micro-conference took place today during the Linux Plumbers Conference 2021 week. While it's hard to get excited about printers in 2021, it is exciting the renewed effort around CUPS with it now being back to effectively led by the community and CUPS founder Michael Sweet who left Apple. CUPS 2.4 is coming as the first feature release in quite a while and then CUPS 2.5 followed by CUPS 3.0 are already being talked about with features being discussed.
OpenVPN has been implementing a kernel module for data channel offload (DCO) capabilities to enhance the performance of this virtual private network system.
NVIDIA has released their latest 470 series Linux driver point release.
DXVK 1.9.2 is out as the newest version of this key library necessary to the success of Valve's Steam Play (Proton) by translating Direct3D 9/10/11 calls to Vulkan for a much more performant Windows gaming experience on Linux.
With the m68k community continuing to be active around supporting the vintage Motorola 68000 series with modern open-source software, Rust has now merged support for these old processors.
Earlier this year AMD went public with prototyping CRIU support for Radeon GPUs around ROCm to be able to checkpoint/freeze running compute workloads and to then restore them at a later point. This CRIU focus is driven by their big accelerator needs and forthcoming supercomputers for migrating workloads particularly within containers. AMD continues working on CRIU support for GPUs and last week provided an update on the project.
NVIDIA is contributing a new open-source driver to the upstream Linux kernel for dealing with upcoming laptops where the backlight controls are handled by the device's embedded controller (EC).
Fedora Workstation 35 will hopefully be out at the end of October (currently the beta is running behind schedule) and when it does ship it's once again at the bleeding-edge of Linux features. Fedora Workstation 35 is shaping up to be another great release for those interested in a feature-rich desktop experience.
For those continuing to make use of the X.Org Server, xf86-input-libinput 1.2 is now available for integrating the latest functionality of libinput input handling library.
Linux 5.15-rc2 is now available as the latest weekly release candidate for this next version of the Linux kernel. Linux 5.15 in turn should be out as stable around the start of November.
HarfBuzz 3.0 has been released as a new version of this widely-used, open-source text shaping library that is used by the major Linux desktop environments along with Chrome OS, Java, Android, Chrome, and a plethora of other software projects and UI toolkits.
It was just a few weeks back that KSMBD was merged into Linux 5.15 while now it's seeing its first important security fix.
With a change to the nct6775 hardware monitoring sensor driver, more ASUS motherboards should enjoy working sensor support come Linux 5.16.
Jolla this week released Sailfish OS 4.2 "Verla" as the newest version of this Linux-based smartphone operating system that continues to be made commercially available for various devices.
The recently released SDL 2.0.16 brought much-improved Wayland support but it's still not quite good enough yet to have it be the default over the SDL X11 path. However, developers continue working in that direction to eventually use it by default.
One has to wonder how much longer the Linux kernel will keep around some very old and known to be borked hardware support but at least for now the DECpc AXP 150 "Jensen" platform support is sticking around and with Linux 5.15 is no longer marked as "broken" outright.
BayLibre developer Alexandre Bailon has posted a "request for comments" of a new open-source Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver for AI Processing Unit (APU) functionality. Initially the driver is catering to Mediatek SoCs with an AI co-processor but this DRM "APU" driver could be adapted to other hardware too.
The latest patches sent out for review/testing on the long mission for enabling Apple M1 support on Linux is the USB Type-C connectivity.
As reported at the start of August, AMD and Valve have been working on Linux CPU performance/frequency scaling improvements with the Steam Deck being one of the leading motivators. As speculated at that time, their work would likely revolve around use of ACPI CPPC found with Zen 2 CPUs and newer. Published last week was that AMD P-State driver for Linux systems indeed now leveraging CPPC information. AMD formally presented this new driver yesterday at XDC2021.
There's still some time to go before seeing the long-awaited GIMP 3.0 release for this open-source image manipulation program but at least out this weekend is GIMP 2.10.28 for bettering the current stable series.
Along with releasing Plasma 5.23 Beta this week, KDE developers have been busy on driving in a bunch of Plasma Wayland fixes and other refinements to their stack.