The fanotify API that is used for monitoring/intercepting file-system events is set to tack on a few more features with the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle.
A new feature addition to the Freedreno Gallium3D driver for open-source Qualcomm Adreno 3D graphics capabilities is UBWC, or Universal Bandwidth Compression.
Valve has just uploaded their Steam Survey hardware/software results for February 2019 and unfortunately the Linux gaming market-share has not continued an upward trend, at least on a percentage basis.
Wine 4.3 is now available as one of the more exciting bi-weekly development snapshots for running Windows applications and games on Linux.
While Linux has supported Retpolines "return trampolines" for over one year as part of its Spectre mitigations, Microsoft is finally rolling out a similar implementation as a stable Windows 10 v1809 update today and for Windows Server 2019.
GNOME 3.32 already picked up a wealth of improvements, polishing, and fixing this cycle, but as we hit the final stretch ahead of the desktop's release in two weeks a big feature just squeezed in...
NVIDIA for a while now has been working on the Flang compiler as an open-source Fortran compiler built atop the LLVM infrastructure and inspired by the Clang C/C++ compiler front-end. Recently though they began a ground-up rewrite of Flang using modern C++ and that effort is now known as f18 and they are looking to mainline this new Fortran compiler front-end.
Systemd has just merged support for the "Extended Boot Loader" partition, a.k.a. "XBOOTLDR", that is their bootloader specification they hope will allow Linux distribution vendors to better support dual/multi-boot setups.
On Monday we published the initial GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Linux benchmarks focused on gaming but due to having only a limited amount of time with that new Turing GPU at the time, CUDA/OpenCL benchmarks were yet to be completed. Our initial GPU compute tests with that "TU116" graphics card is now complete and we have those Ubuntu Linux benchmark results for sharing.
Seeming to affect mostly Apple MacBook laptops, some systems since Linux 4.17 and newer have failed to boot but fortunately a fix is now queued for landing into the mainline tree and being back-ported to the stable branches.
Joshua Ashton, the developer who had been working on "DXUP" as a Direct3D 9/10 to D3D11 translation layer so that the output could be fed to DXVK for running on Vulkan is now developing the "D9VK" project.
While we have looked extensively at the performance of generated binaries of user-space applications built under GCC 9, soon we'll be able to benchmark a complete system image built under this annual compiler update to the GNU compiler as Clear Linux is planning a quick roll-out of the soon-to-be-released compiler.
An effort ongoing for a few years now has been the CONFIG_LOCK_DOWN_KERNEL patches to prevent user-space from being able to modify the kernel image with blocking the ability to load unsigned kernel modules, no writing to /dev/mem, restricting PCI BAR and MSR access, ACPI restrictions, and more. Some Linux distributions are already carrying this work in some form and enabling it with UEFI SecureBoot, but it hasn't been mainlined although could soon change.
Delta Color Compression (DCC) support for scan-out surfaces will soon be supported by AMD Raven Ridge hardware in conjunction with the latest AMDGPU Linux kernel code and the RadeonSI OpenGL driver.
While February is the shortest month, this year there wasn't any letdown of exciting open-source/Linux milestones. Besides the usual FOSDEM conference with the interesting mix of tech topics, AMD's Radeon VII release excited open-source Linux GPU driver fans, Linux 5.0 approached the finish line with a lot of new features, GCC 9 and Clang 8 are also approaching their respective finish lines, and a lot of other activities made this February quite exciting on the Linux/open-source scene.
With the feature cut-off past for getting new Direct Rendering Manager driver changes into DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.1 merge window expected to open up this weekend, AMD developers have already begun staging their latest feature work for what in turn will target the Linux 5.2 kernel a few months down the line.
Golang 1.12 was released earlier this week while in the modern programming language spotlight today is the release of Rust 1.33.
While NVIDIA may be divesting from the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) in favor of their NVENC/NVDEC APIs that are part of the NVIDIA Video Codec SDK, they do continue maintaining the VDPAU library (libvdpau) at least for the time being.
AMD developers continue working out the open-source enablement bits for Linux to handle the upcoming Zen 2 processors.
Ubuntu 16.04.5 was scheduled to be the last point release of the Xenial Xerus, but the recent Debian APT security vulnerability led to Canonical coming up with Ubuntu 16.04.6 in order to ship this package management vulnerability with the Ubuntu 16.04 Long Term Support install media. That point release is now available.
If you are looking to assemble an AMD EPYC workstation, a great ATX motherboard up for the task is the ASRock Rack EPYCD8-2T that accommodates a single EPYC processor, eight SATA 3.0 ports (including SAS HD), dual M.2 PCIe slots, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports,and four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots all within ATX's 12 x 9.6-inch footprint. This motherboard has been running well not only with various Linux distributions but also DragonFlyBSD and FreeBSD.
The Genode operating system framework continues marching along with SculptOS that they are sculpting into a general purpose operating system. The project's first release of 2019 is now available.
It was just one week ago that developers from the Intel Open-Source Technology Center contributed their new Vulkan Overlay later to Mesa 19.1 for providing various performance metrics/statistics of use to application/driver developers. This Vulkan overlay continues being improved upon as well as making it more applicable to gamers/enthusiasts.
Jason Donenfeld, the lead developer of WireGuard, has released a new snapshot version of this secure VPN tunnel cross-platform software.
The AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) appears solid now with it having been promoted to version 1.0.0.
If you habitually use the latest open-source graphics drivers, you may want to pull down the latest LLVM code from SVN/Git as there has been a number of fixes to the AMDGPU back-end in recent days.
For those interested in using graphics drawing tablets on Linux, a number of devices will now be supported with the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle.
For fans of Devuan, the downstream of Debian focused on "init system independence" or just "Debian without systemd", their first-ever conference is happening in just over one month.
Last week I reported on some slowdowns when running on the Linux 5.0 development kernel for both Intel and AMD systems. As a few days passed and the regression didn't seem to be figured out and addressed by upstream, and several inquiries from Phoronix readers, I spent some time looking at some of the slowdowns encountered when running on this bleeding-edge code.
One of the major end-user features of the new Linux 5.0 kernel that is due to be released this weekend is support for FreeSync / Variable Rate Refresh on AMD Radeon GPUs via the mainline AMDGPU driver. There's a last minute fix requested to help prevent stuttering with this long-awaited feature for Linux gamers.
As the first point release since last year's CUDA 10.0 release, CUDA 10.1 is now available with a new GEMM library and various performance optimizations.
Last week there was the patch being proposed for the mainline Linux kernel that has long been carried by Gentoo's kernel to provide CPU optimization options, which were quickly shot-down by upstream maintainers, there were many requests to benchmark said patches... Here are dozens of performance figures looking at the performance impact of these optimizations for AMD Zen (znver1), Skylake, and Skylake X (Skylake-AVX512) compared to a stock mainline kernel build on several different systems.
The code for the GNU Debugger "GDB" was branched overnight ahead of the upcoming v8.3 release. This release adds for compilation and injection of C++ code, RISC-V improvements, terminal styling capabilities, and a lot more.
Raptor Computing Systems spent a lot of time last year working on Chrome's PPC64LE support to enable Google's web browser to run on the latest IBM POWER processors. Google was sitting on these patches without any action for months but finally they are beginning to be accepted upstream.
While it didn't make it in time for the soon to be released LLVM 8.0, the latest LLVM/Clang 9.0 development code has just added support for the Zen 2 "znver2" processors.
While the Mali 400/450 series era hardware is now 7~11 years old, the revived Lima DRM driver is still being pursued for mainlining in the Linux kernel to offer up open-source support for these once popular Arm graphics generations.
The first real commits to Gallium3D's Clover OpenCL state tracker in several months were landed on Tuesday for Mesa 19.1. These new commits are part of the Red Hat led effort on improving the open-source OpenCL support with a focus on getting the Nouveau open-source NVIDIA driver compute stack up and running.
Mesa 19.0-RC6 is now available for testing and it's quite a big update for this stage of development. Particularly if you are a RADV/RadeonSI AMD Linux user, this update is quite notable.
The Talos Principle was the launch title for Vulkan 1.0 when the graphics API debuted three years ago as an alternative to Croteam's OpenGL renderer. Since then Croteam has rolled out its Vulkan support to their other games and now they are in the process of finally phasing out the OpenGL renderer with The Talos Principle. Here's a last look at how the OpenGL and Vulkan performance compares for this multi-platform game.
Adam Jackson of Red Hat has issued the X.Org Server 1.20.4 point release with the latest stable updates primarily consisting of XWayland enhancements.
Amazon AWS has added support for the RISC-V open-source processor architecture to their FreeRTOS kernel.
The Ubuntu Touch community team has put out their latest questions/answers about this effort continuing to let the Ubuntu effort live on for mobile devices like the Nexus and other hardware as well as looking ahead to get this mobile operating system running on the likes of Librem 5 and Pine64 phones.
For those making use of Secure Encrypted Virtualization for secure VMs running on AMD EPYC platforms, the firmware bits required for supporting SEV have now been added to the linux-firmware.git tree to allow for easier updating to this virtualization security feature.
It's been three weeks since the last open-source code push for AMD's "AMDVLK" official open-source Vulkan driver while today they've finally updated their public code-bases and tagged AMDVLK 2019.Q1.6.
In hoping to improve the situation for running Windows programs on POWER9 hardware under Linux, Raptor Engineering has contributed a set of patches so far for bringing PowerPC 64-bit little endian support to Wine's library. This is great news if you are a current Talos II customer or hoping to get one of the lower-priced POWER9 Blackbird systems from the company this year.
If all goes well, LLVM 8.0 will ship as soon as tomorrow along with the Clang 8.0 C/C++ compiler and the other sub-projects for this open-source compiler stack. Here's a look at what LLVM 8 means for developers.
Google's team responsible for the Go programming language has released Go 1.12 with a half-year worth of improvements and new features.
Developers have been working on TPM-backed measured boot support with Coreboot. The patches are pending for upstream Coreboot to be able to offer this trusted boot integration.
Last year Fedora's Engineering and Steering Committee approved a plan to drop packages with consistently bad security track records where these packages aren't being punctually maintained in order to address known security vulnerabilities or potentially unmaintained entirely. FESCo has now approved a set of guidelines for the process by which these packages can be retired from Fedora but still stand a chance to be re-adopted and maintained.
For those interested in Arm's Cortex-A76 that was announced last year, this CPU with "desktop-class performance with smartphone efficiency" is now supported by the LLVM Clang compiler.