After a slew of open source updates we contrast upgrades vs fresh install, get an update on the state of snaps & get geeky about performance monitoring our Linux rigs.

Plus the fake VLC story, a live install of Plasma Desktop & more!

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Show Notes:

Follow Up / Catch Up

Microsoft tells devs: Whatever you’re doing in Linux, Windows 10 will soon do it too

“Whatever it is that you normally do on Linux to build an application: whether it’s in Go, in Erlang, in C, whatever you use, please, give it a try on Bash WSL

Microsoft Azure bug put Red Hat instances at risk

The vulnerability was discovered by Irish software engineer Ian Duffy and reported to Microsoft as part of its bug bounty programme. Duffy discovered the glitch while working on a hardened RHEL image for use on both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

Android security in 2016 is a mess.

if money is no object, my only sound advice can be to buy an iPhone. Apple is still shipping security updates, albeit on iOS 9, for the iPhone 4s which was released in 2011 (5 years ago). The iPhone 5 is still being kept up to date with iOS 10.


Core VLC Developer: ‘Noone Cares About Linux; OpenHMD Is a Joke’

Or also, that noone really cares about Linux. And, also, that we might need direct access to get powerful perf.

jbkempf comments on Core VLC Developer: ‘Noone Cares About Linux; OpenHMD Is a Joke’

Therefore, I have never ever ever said “Noone Cares about Linux”. This is the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen; especially outside of the VR context.

Debian putting everything on the /usr

Merging /usr is with a debootstrap compilation flag, --merged-usr.

Ubuntu Prepping Its 16.04 “Rolling HWE Kernel”

Ubuntu 16.04.2 and beyond will feature hardware enablement kernels back-ported from newer Ubuntu releases in order to allow new hardware to work on these older LTS releases, but now the Xenial Xerus is switching to a concept of a “rolling HWE kernel.”

You Can Now Package Your Apps as Snaps Without Bundling Their Dependencies

This is possible now because the latest ubuntu-app-platform snap build incorporates the standard Qt 5 libraries, the QML (Qt Meta Language) runtime, the Ubuntu UI (User Interface) toolkit, and their dependencies. The Oxide web engine library based on Chromium and related QML bindings is also bundled in the ubuntu-app-platform snap, so the new Snaps should now be significantly smaller.


The New XPS 13 Developer Edition Lands in Europe, United States and Canada

Specifications — Next gen XPS 13 developer edition

Here is what the 6th generation developer edition (9360) features:

  • 7th generation Intel(r) Core(tm)Processors
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS preloaded. Augmented with the necessary hardware drivers (drivers are upstreamed to allow a variety of distros to work)
  • Killer Wireless cards*
  • InfinityEdge(tm) display, FHD (1920×1080) and QHD+ (3200×1800) versions available

    Killer cards are a branding of Qualcomm Atheros. Their Linux drivers are open source and the firmware is now upstream.

US Configurations

As was the case last time, the US is offering four configs. This time around we are offering the following (including one in Rose Gold):

A word of warning: German magazine c’t tests this laptop in its newest issue, using the pre-installed Ubuntu but also with Fedora 25 Workstation Edition (also with a Linux 4.9 development kernel), as well as Windows 10. The results regarding Linux compatibility are pretty bad:

  • The battery lasts for 13h under Linux, which is not too shabby. However, it lasts a whooping 22,5h with Windows 10.

  • The headphone port is very noisy with Linux. No noise whatsoever with Windows.

  • WiFi performance is dismal in Linux. No problem with Windows.

  • The HDMI port on the separately sold docking station does not work correctly with Linux.

netdata backends


netdata supports backends for archiving the metrics, or providing long term dashboards, using grafana or other tools

DalmatinerDB – A fast distributed metric store

DalmatinerDB’s performance relies heavily on taking advantage of facilities like ARC, ZIL, checksums and volume compression. Expecting those things to be handled on a filesystem level makes it possible to remove most of the code for caching, compression, validation from the application improving code simplicity, stability, and performance significantly.

Essentially the main difference is that it relies on some very well tested software as the foundation. Clustering is a first class citizen and complicated compression and checksumming code is kept out of the database where ZFS can do it instead.

Currently Dalmatiner is a great database if you are looking for a reliable time series metrics store that scales and is 100% open source and not backed by a commercial company.

Managing devices in Linux

This month I cover some fascinating aspects of the /dev directory.

Linux Academy

Upgrade vs Nuke and Pave

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