LWDW 152: RGB Kernels

Hyundai joins AGL, XFCE 4.14 nears completion, GIMP talks GEGL, and rooting the Fire HD 10 for fun and profit.

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A weekly dose of all thing Linux and open source with a slice of Pi for good measure.



Colour key – Venn Jill Pedro

Free Vidia

  • Just in time for Linux 5.0-rc1 enabling freesync support.
  • It was nice to hear this news unveiled at CES.
  • Wow, now one of my 30” gaming monitors that is FreeSync compatible might actually work with G-Sync!
  • My 3840 monitor has Freesync, that would certainly be nice to see!
  • I do like NVidia’s approach of “Even if your monitor is not officially supported, you can still turn on the functionality and have at.”
  • Remains to be seen how long until their drivers can handle it on the Linux.
  • I’ve seen people experimenting with non-approved freesync monitors and it wasn’t pretty.
  • A lot of this has to do with Freesync being thrown on just about anything even if it’s only capable of 50-90.


XFCE 4.14 soon ™

  • Look out for Xfce 4.14, they’re so close!
  • Should see it no later than Q3 2137.
  • As much as the community (myself included) enjoy giving XFCE a good ribbing about their glacier pace, progress is indeed being made toward 4.14.
  • 2018 was mostly about bug fixes and polish.
  • Stuff like that does not make for sexy headlines but is one of the reasons I use XFCE.
  • They don’t release half-baked junk with a bit of eye candy tacked on to impress the lowest common denominator.
  • Thunar still needs a bit more functionality.
    • You want it to do more than manage files, don’t ya?
  • I’m not asking for much, just the ability to have different views per folder without having to keep changing that setting.
  • I have been really impressed with the recent cadence of updates that xfce has had in the last year, and that we have been able to cover them regularly on LWDW.
    • A new display profiles menu in the XFCE Display Settings panel
    • A new version of Catfish 1.4.6 was released, and not only is it used as the default file search app for Xfce but is now an Xfce Project!
    • Lots of visual improvements, including updated icon themes and a cleaner and more modern looking UI.
    • Lots of bug fixes.


GIMP and GEGL in 2018

  • That’s great but I’d like to direct these following words at distro maintainers.
  • Can we get gimp 2.10 by default now? Please?!
  • How are people supposed to provide feedback if they have to go out of their way to install it?
    • Compile it from source, scrub.
  • To be fair, this is mostly directed at the ‘Buntus.
  • Pat David and his team have done an incredible job with the release of GIMP 2.10 last April and the many updates to GIMP this last year!
    • Updated user interface, high bit depth support, multi-threading, GPU-side processing, linear color space workflow, revamped color management, new transformation tools, new interface themes, and a more streamlined file dialog filter just to name a few.
  • And in the coming year, these are a few of the updates that I am very excited about:
    • GIMP 3.0 will be relying on GTK3.
    • CMYK is now a first-class citizen in GEGL and will be more fully implemented in GIMP.
    • A GIMP extension repository will be added in the future to easily install plugins and effects.
    • More animation support improvements via the ZeMarmot project, which is working on the first feature-length 2D animation film fully produced with free software, including the GIMP, Blender, Ardour etc.
      • And if you donate via Patreon to the ZeMarmot movie project you get your name in the credits of the movie.  
    • Looking for contributors to help with Usability, User manual, User interface translations, Tutorials, and Programming.


Behind the WINE

  • Part 1 and 2 are already available.
  • Very nicely written, even if I do take issue with the use of the word canonical in its literal and literary sense in a Linux context.
  • My first reaction was to shout that Shuttleworth had nothing to do with this.
  • I am definitely going to give this link to Linux noobs, developers and my students!
  • Part 1 does a good job explaining what WINE is and like the adult beverage it comes in many flavours.
  • Part 2 covers acquiring & building the beast and part 3 will go into using WINE as a developer.
  • Proton even get a mention.


Hi 5

  • Turns out we got an even better New Year’s present from Linus Torvalds.  
  • Linux Kernel 4.20 is now 5.0 because Linus “ran out of fingers and toes to count on.”
  • AMD has also seen some love in the form of tweaks to the handling of CPU microcode as well as the arrival of FreeSync.
  • Raspberry Pi Touch Display support, neat!
  • And a new terminal font that can be read at UHD.
  • Much like 3.20 before it, the major version number increased rather than having a 4.21.


Blinky RGB Kernel

  • Do we really need support for blinky RGB bullsh*t in the kernel?
  • There are a lot of RasPi projects for creating Holiday light displays, so this being a part of the Linux kernel will make that process much easier.
  • RGB drivers are also the brand spanking new attack vector for malware.
  • So I’m with Venn on this one!
  • May have to give it a shot on the Steambox, when the Fedora Vanilla Kernel repos have it.


Hyundai Linux

  • Hyundai now joins the likes of Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota, DENSO Corporation, Fujitsu, HARMAN, NVIDIA, Renesas, Samsung and Texas Instruments.
  • This announcement comes at the heels of the Automotive Grade Linux Linux Foundation convention in Las Vegas in conjunction with CES 2019!
    • This makes sense because CES is the 5th largest auto tech show in the world.
  • That adds Hyundai to the list of possible car makers to buy from, when I can afford it.


NECUNOS NC_1 dev kits

  • Development kits are now available for the FLOSS phone.
  • The Necunos NC_1 has no operating system installed, but will work with Plasma Mobile, postmarketOS, Maemo Leste, Nemo Mobile, or even LuneOS of WebOS ports!
  • Necunos NC_1 is an engineering unit and does not have a cellular modem or SIM-card slot.
  • I’m not sure giving people complete freedom, even for the OS development is a good way to start.
  • Mostly seeing as how, when confronted by all the different possibilities of Linux, people just freeze up and go back to Windows.
  • Many of these developer editions are just going to end up running Android like this.
  • 1K+ dev kits are a non-starter.
  • I get the whole top-down security pitch but a 5” mobile with no sim the requires the user to roll their own.
  • I don’t think there will be a large enough market for these but would like to be proven wrong.


Fire HD10 root and toot

  • Open a can of root and wash away the Amazon weirdness.
  • Well, some of it.
  • I put this together since most guides start with “install this windows application”
  • This only works on the 10, Fire 8 & 7 are their own little monsters.

Slice of Pi

Pi 2019

  • The VoCore2 made honorable mention.  It is a coin-sized Linux computer that is totally open-source, and costs $20.
  • The BBC micro:bit I have been wanting to play with.
  • The OrangePi http://www.orangepi.org and BananaPi http://www.banana-pi.org didn’t make the list.
  • https://beagleboard.org BeagleBone series and PocketBeagle are a few of my favs as well.
  • I take issue with the inclusion of a $360 LattePanda board in this list.



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