The initial feature updates were sent in a short time ago for the Btrfs file-system changes targeting the Linux 5.1 kernel cycle.
The DAV1D open-source AV1 video decoder is now much more capable on older PCs and ARM mobile devices with its second release.
As usual, following yesterday's release of Linux 5.0 the GNU/FSF folks have put out their re-base of their version of the Linux kernel that strips out support for drivers depending upon binary-only firmware, the ability to load non-free (closed-source) kernel modules, and other functionality removed that isn't in strict compliance with open-source standards.
Collabora's Tomeu Vizoso has posted an initial set of patches he's been working on along with Rob Herring on developing a new open-source kernel DRM driver for Arm's Bifrost and Midgard graphics hardware.
It's always been a bit odd how the de facto Vulkan SDK is through LunarG rather than The Khronos Group, which could lead to confusion for those not familiar with the great folks at LunarG. But now it will be more clear with LunarG officially donating their Vulkan software development kit to Khronos.
In System76's road to manufacturing their own laptops and desktops, the Linux-focused Denver-based company has their eyes on offering ARM-based products.
The Khronos Group has announced the release of Vulkan 1.1.102, coming just a few weeks ahead of the Game Developers' Conference (GDC) later this month in San Francisco.
Intel has announced they are contributing the Thunderbolt 3 specification to the USB Promoter Group and making it royalty-free for other hardware vendors to implement support for it. Plus it was also announced the USB4 specifcation is based on the Thunderbolt protocol.
Linux power management expert Rafael Wysocki of Intel is off to the races early with his PM/ACPI updates submitted for the newly-opened Linux 5.1 merge window.
Dirt Rally 2.0 was released last week by Codemasters as the successor to 2015's Dirt Rally and another title on the EGO Engine. While Dirt Rally saw a native Linux port, Dirt Rally 2.0 hasn't seen any port announced by Feral Interactive (though they are currently porting DiRT 4 to Linux), but what's very exciting is this brand new Windows game runs great under Valve's Steam Play with Proton and DXVK! The experience for Dirt Rally 2.0 is quite great on Linux already thanks to Steam Play and with this being a benchmark-friendly game, here are some NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon benchmarks of this racing game on Linux.
With there being a lot of interest from when Intel recently open-sourced their SVT-AV1 video encoder and more recently their VP9 video encoder also under the "Scalable Video Technologies" umbrella, here are benchmarks from 27 different systems showing off their performance. Plus for kicks there are also some other CPU-based video encode benchmarks including AOM-AV1 and others.
One of the most asked questions in recent weeks has been how to enable the newly added support for FreeSync on Linux. Now with Linux 5.0 out there, here is a quick guide.
AMD is back on course for their weekly code drops of the AMDVLK sources that make up their official open-source Vulkan Linux driver.
Developers persisting on Haiku as the BeOS-inspired open-source operating system made more headway in February to advance their OS past the recent (and successful) beta milestone.
Linus Torvalds has gone ahead and just issued the Linux 5.0 stable kernel for what originally began as the Linux 4.21 kernel cycle. The Linux 5.0 kernel cycle delivers on the mainline AMD Radeon FreeSync support, continued work on bringing up Intel Icelake and other new CPU features, Logitech high-resolution scrolling capabilities, network improvements, and much more.
With it being a little over one year since Spectre and Meltdown mitigations became public and with the Linux kernel today hitting the big "5.0" release, I decided to run some benchmarks of the current out-of-the-box performance hit as a result of the current default mitigation techniques employed by the Linux kernel. The default vs. unmitigated performance impact for Spectre/Meltdown are tested on an Intel Core i7 and Core i9 systems while there is also an AMD Ryzen 7 box for reference with its Spectre mitigation impact on Linux 5.0.
ReactOS 0.4.11 is now available as the newest version of this open-source operating system re-implementing the Windows APIs with a focus on binary driver/application compatibility. With this being the first release since November's ReactOS 0.4.10, there are a fair amount of changes to find in this new build.
KDE developers remain quite busy in preparing for Frameworks 5.56, the next KDE Plasma 5.15 point release, and KDE Applications 19.04 for ensuring KDE is polished as ever with its forthcoming 2019 releases.
Building off the exciting Wine 4.3 release that brought the FAudio implementation, the Wine-Staging crew has outed their newest development release. Wine-Staging 4.3 has upstreamed a number of their patches into Wine while introducing some new work too and then re-basing their existing nearly 800 patches.
Before the day is through Linus Torvalds is expected to officially release the Linux 5.0 kernel and immediately following that he'll be kicking off the Linux 5.1 kernel cycle by the opening of the two-week-long merge window.
As a step towards getting the "soft" FP64 (and INT64) support working for Gallium3D OpenGL drivers, the Mesa state tracker has added FP64 / INT64 lowering support for the drivers utilizing NIR.
Back in January the startup Habana Labs posted an open-source Linux kernel driver for their Goya AI processor. That AI accelerator focused on speeding up deep learning inference workloads better than CPUs and GPUs will now see this new driver mainlined with Linux 5.1 while a user-space thunk driver has now been published.
While X.Org Server 1.20.4 was just released a few days ago with XWayland improvements and more, for vintage computer enthusiasts there is now the X.Org Server 1.19.7 that was released independently to provide a six for helping out the SiS 6326. Yes, the graphics processor from 1998.
For those of you making use of Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor, the Linux kernel side bits are ready to go with their feature changes for the imminent Linux 5.1 kernel cycle.
For those wanting a nostalgic X11 experience this weekend, the X11 Display Manager (XDM) has seen its first release since 2011.
NVIDIA issued new Vulkan beta drivers on Friday with a few fixes on Linux and Windows.
Trinity Desktop R14.0.6 is being prepared as the latest update to this fork of the KDE 3 package set that continues providing bug fixes and maintenance for those still wanting to live on the KDE3 experience in 2019.
As something that arguably should have been done long ago, developers drafting plans for Fedora 31 are planning to introduce single-package gating so packages don't actually land in Rawhide (the Fedora development repository) until they successfully pass their tests... This should help weed out broken packages in Fedora Rawhide and lead to a more usable experience for those living on Fedora's bleeding-edge while also helping along a smooth release process.
The sound subsystem updates were submitted today for the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle. The pull request was submitted early due to the maintainer Takashi Iwai of SUSE traveling next week, but this is another exciting PR for audio hardware on Linux.
GNU Octave, the numerical computing software package that competes with the likes of MATLAB, is up to version 5.1 with several improvements in tow.
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.