Serval: A Desktop Dominator | LAS 378

Serval: A Desktop Dominator | LAS 378

System76’s Serval WS is in house & we put it through our series of tests. With it’s 4Ghz Intel i7 CPU and Nvidia 970M GPU we set out to see what kind of workloads this desktop replacement is ideal for.

Is the claim that a laptop can replace your desktop really true? We aim to find out!

Plus the insane popularity of Chromebooks, how Google just gave a major boost to desktop Linux, looking back at 18 years of Gnome & more!

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— Show Notes: —

Serval WS – System76

  • Intel i7 CPU
  • 16 GB Memory
  • 500 GB Hard Disk
  • 1080P Screen
  • 2 Display Ports
  • 1 HDMI Output
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Number Pad
  • Intel 7265 Wireless AC

Main Advantages

  • Comfortable Keyboard
  • Sharp looking display
  • Full Sounding Speakers with Subwoofer
  • Very powerful, desktop feeling laptop

As tested:


  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 @ 4.00GHz (8 Cores)
  • Motherboard: System76 Serval WS
  • Chipset: Intel 4th Gen Core DRAM
  • Memory: 16384MB Disk: 500GB HGST HTS725050A7
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 6144MB (135/324MHz)
  • Audio: Intel 9 Family HD Audio
  • Network: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 + Intel Wireless 7265

  • NVIDIA 340.24 Linux Driver Has G-SYNC Support, FXAA Control – Phoronix


  • OS: Ubuntu 15.04
  • Kernel: 3.19.0-25-generic (x86_64)
  • Desktop: Unity 7.3.2
  • Display Server: X Server 1.17.1
  • Display Driver: NVIDIA 346.82
  • Compiler: GCC 4.9.2
  • File-System: ext4
  • Screen Resolution: 1920×1080


Runs Linux

Desktop App Pick

Atom 1.0.7 has just released with some tweaks into ‘Find & Replace’ that make atom more handy and latest release also has the capability of dragging and dropping files & folder into the project tree.

Weekly Spotlight

The days of sharing source code by email and thumb drives are long gone. Using GitHub, it’s a piece of cake to keep your team up to date with the latest changes to your code. Thanks to Git’s powerful merge features, you don’t even have to worry about overwriting someone else’s changes.

Pull Requests are a great way to give students feedback on their code. Give suggestions for improvement and observe how they adapt their code based on your feedback.

Use a GitHub Organization to easily maintain all of your students’ code in one place. Teams make it possible to keep your students’ work separate from each other while giving you the power to grant full access to co-teachers and teaching assistants.

Sent in by Matthew W aka Lord Drachenblut

— NEWS —

Chromebooks Outsell Windows

For businesses, tablets are on the decline and laptops are rising once again. And Chromebooks aren’t just for consumers looking for cheap laptops.

Many people have resisted the idea that Chromebooks really were growing in popularity. Now, less five years after the first commercial Chromebook, the Samsung Series 5 and Acer Chromebook went on sale, NPD, the global retail research group, is reporting that Chromebook sales in June and early July had exceeded “sales of Windows notebooks … passing the 50 percent market share threshold.”

Dell Launches Professional Chromebook

Dell today announced the continued expansion of its collaboration with Google with the launch of the Dell Chromebook 13, a premium 13.3-inch professional Chromebook solution. Designed for today’s on-the-go lifestyle, the Dell Chromebook 13 offers class-leading performance from up to 5th generation Intel® Core™ i5 processors, an ultra-sleek design, stunning display and up to 12 hours of battery life. Along with powering businesses with the speed and simplicity of Chrome for Work, the Chromebook provides customers with manageability and security software and applications, which allow it to fit seamlessly into any professional computing environment. The Dell Chromebook 13 joins Dell’s Chrome portfolio and further showcases the commitment Dell and Google have made to developing innovative and flexible solutions to meet the evolving needs of the mobile workforce.

The Guix System Distribution

Liberating. GuixSD is an advanced distribution of the GNU operating system developed by the GNU Project —which respects the freedom of computer users.

Dependable. The GNU Guix package manager, in addition to standard package management features, supports transactional upgrades and roll-backs, unprivileged package management, per-user profiles, and more.

Hackable. It provides Guile Scheme APIs, including high-level embedded domain-specific languages (EDSLs) to define packages and whole-system configurations.

GNOME Turns 18 Years Old Today

Low-overhead rendering with Vulkan

In order to address some of the sources of CPU overhead and provide developers with more explicit control over rendering, we’ve been working to bring a new 3D rendering API, Vulkan(tm), to Android. Like OpenGL(tm) ES, Vulkan is an open standard for 3D graphics and rendering maintained by Khronos. Vulkan is being designed from the ground up to minimize CPU overhead in the driver, and allow your application to control GPU operation more directly. Vulkan also enables better parallelization by allowing multiple threads to perform work such as command buffer construction at once.



Brought to you by: System76

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