LWDW 268: On Rusty Kernels

Linus shares his thoughts on Rust in the kernel, Nvidia enables GPU passthrough on Linux, PipeWire support is headed to OBS, and a handy GUI for devices with coreboot firmware.



00:00 Intro
05:42 Rust in the kernel
08:07 GeForce GPU Passthrough
12:12 PipeWire in OBS
14:12 Coreboot GUI
17:42 Pinephone Limited edition
21:17 Retro Google News
24:27 eBPFSnitch
31:47 NVME Pi
34:42 Floppy Pi
37:07 Emails

On Rusty Kernels


  • Both Linus and GKH agree on the main obstacles to getting the Rusty boat to integrate with the great big C.
  • The actual bridge between the two and drivers.
  • Call me old fashioned but I think drivers should be pretty low level, no?
  • If the point of driver support is just to get the Rusty bits to talk to the hardware, that’s fine.
  • But I can also see people trying to build drivers in Rust.
  • And if you have the driver between the abstraction layer and the rest of the kernel, what’s that going to do for latency?
  • I guess that’s part of the issue, huh?!
  • Having memory managed drivers is a great idea and can increase the speed of the OS tremendously.
  • Take Redox OS for instance, which is a Unix-like Operating System written in Rust that runs great on older machines.
  • Rust is the new hotness and for good reasons. 
  • I’ve enjoyed playing around with it but…
  • It’s still a moving target at this point so it’s nice to know it’s not being ruled out but tapping the brakes until things settle down makes sense. 


Nvidia passthrough 


  • Difficulty: You’re going to need two cards. 
  • This will work for one VM unless you have Quads or Titans. 
  • All GeForce/TITAN GPUs supported in the R465 driver will work.
  • Good for developers wanting to test code. 
  • This is nice for bare metal gaming in a Windows virtual machine.
  • But I find that VMware actually does a nice job of this utilizing just one GPU.
  • That’s different. 
  • What’s next?! Open sourcing their RTX implementation in Quake 2? Oh wait…


OBS pipewire


  • Mix this with the new Wayland bits and you’re cooking with evil gas.
  • Not supported in Ubuntu 18 / 20.
  • Oh! Martin Gräßlin, is still around.
  • I used to kinda silently follow everything he put out about KDE and Linux on Google+
  • Good to see he’s still around.


Coreboot GUI 


  • It has only been tested to work with the ThinkPad X200 running the latest version of libreboot
  • One of many advantages that the open source coreboot bios has over proprietary bios is that you can make your own software to access it :-D
  • A few motherboard manufacturers are starting to offer OS-level tools to access the UEFI settings.
  • Unfortunately that’s only for windows now.
  • Though, keeping your typical Windows user out of the BIOS is probably not the worse idea.


Pinephone limited 


  • You can now pre-order the PinePhone Beta Limited Edition Linux-powered smartphone for $149.99.
  • And as we have talked about before, Manjaro Linux with KDE Plasma Mobile is now the default OS installed on the PinePhone.
  • But you still can buy the “Convergence Package” like the previous alpha community editions that includes the USB-C dock for $199.99.
  • I was willing to drop £250 on the Pinebook Pro and, as much as I’m looking for a new phone, that’s a little too much.


Retro Google news


  • Is your daily driver a calculator?
  • All the google news in retro txt goodness.  
  • This is a link to Google news in basic text only HTML, for those of us who own vintage computers or are low powered.
  • It was tested on Netscape 1.1 through 4, but will work nicely in lynx, eLinks or w3m ;-)
  • My 68k Mac SE behind me, my Atari ST and Amiga thank you!
  • Whatever happened to the spanish aggregator?
  • That’s very nice for the truly slow processors of old.
  • And the simple rendering will make CLI browsers viable for at least the basic reading.


Ebpfsnitch (rtheren)


  • Does anyone ship a distro with a firewall enabled?
  • I mean, outside of RH / CentOS. 
  • Schröedinger’s OpenSnitch fork.
  • By all means kick the tires and let us know how it goes, just don’t try it on your company servers.
  • Like iptables and firewalld but for container apps.

Slice of Pi



  • You can launch Chrome a bit faster. 
  • This is more for size / capacity. 
  • Much like the Pinebook Pro, it doesn’t make much of a difference when it comes to responsiveness on accounts of how slow the CPU is.
  • It’s a full second faster from the PCIe NVMe than the USB NVMe adapter.


Floppy Pi 


  • The Pi already was the ultimate hipster computer.
  • This… this was just a matter of time.
  • It’s for the “purists” that refuse those abominations with USB connectors.
  • Because this is the only true way to turn your RasPi into a 486 or an Apple II ;-D
  • If you’re not running your retro BBS off a floppy it’s not really retro. 


Chrome Resolve



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