Items tagged with Linux

When Sony released its PlayStation 3 way back in 2006, it came with a large and very impressive feature list. While Sega introduced the internet to consoles with its Dreamcast in 1999, Sony brought none other than Linux to consoles with its PS3. At the time, the capability felt exciting, and in many ways, completely unexpected. Sadly, what was also completely unexpected was Sony's decision to pull the feature in 2010. The overall capabilities of what a Linux distro on PS3 could provide were pretty modest compared to what we'd expect today, but the ability to install another entire OS was fun, even if it was mostly used as a learning tool or fun project for many. Once enterprising users figured... Read more...
Just over a week ago we talked about an exploit that took advantage of an unpatchable flaw in existing Switch consoles to run Linux on Nintendo's latest. At the time, there were a lot of folks out there wondering what the point of that hack was. However, the value comes in this second hack that fail0verflow has been able to pull off. Getting Linux on the Switch was the just first step in turning the Switch console into a Linux tablet that is able to surf the web. Fail0verflow has been able to run Linux and implement a full web browser with touchscreen support. You can see in the video that the Switch screen supports all the pinch-to-zoom gestures that are used on other tablets. Code execution... Read more...
The Nintendo Switch has been incredibly popular and is the fastest selling game console in U.S. history. Late last year, word surfaced of a band of hackers working on a homebrew hack that could allow users to put their own content on the Switch, but that hasn’t come to fruition just yet. Another group of hackers has now been able to install and run Debian Linux on the Switch by taking advantage of what the hackers call an unpatchable exploit. The hackers say that the backdoor that allowed them to install Linux on the Switch can’t be shut with a future firmware update, however, the hackers don’t go into great details on how exactly the hack was pulled off. What we do know from... Read more...
Intel has been taking heat for patches that it deployed for the Spectre and Meltdown chip flaws. Recently deployed patches have resulted in some systems being subjected to random rebooting. However, Linus Torvalds is blasting Intel for another consequence of its patching regimen. In Torvalds' words, the patches are complete garbage. "They do literally insane things. They do things that do not make sense," said Torvalds. "I think we need something better than this garbage." He made these comments via a public Linux kernel mailing list that included Amazon engineer David Woodhouse. Torvalds is of course talking about the patches and how they are implemented for the Linux kernel to address Spectre... Read more...
NVIDIA appears to be gearing up to deliver some new GPU flavor to the mobile gaming market. The only thing we know about this new graphics engine right now comes from a Linux driver changelog that calls out added support for a "GeForce GTX1050 Ti with Max-Q Design." There are no tidbits about clock speeds or other performance details noted in the changelog. The deal with Max-Q Design GPU in laptops is that they are essentially desktop-equivalent configurations but designed to be more power efficient and with better cooling design that allow longer sustained performance over time with quieter acoustic profiles in thinner lighter machines as well. The caveat is that you do give up a bit of... Read more...
Chip-level bugs Meltdown and Spectre continue to land chip-maker Intel in hot water. What do you do when every single chip you’ve produced since 1995 is now facing two of the most pervasive bugs your company has possibly ever experienced? Linux creator Linus Torvald brazenly suggests, honesty and complete candid admission of the real issues and solutions at hand, are the only true ways for Intel to navigate this PR and logistics nightmare. Earlier in the week, it was discovered that the two flaws exist in the company's chips dating back a decade or more. Intel has since been scrambling to clean things up on both the PR and technical side. Through Meltdown and Spectre hackers can access... Read more...
If you've been following the tech or security news for the past few days, then you no doubt know of a security vulnerability that reportedly affects all Intel processors. OS vendors have been working to mitigate the issue with kernel patches, but those software Band-Aids can come with some performance handicaps as a side effect. Today, we're learning more about what exactly is going on, and that there are not one, but actually two vulnerabilities that have been disclosed. It's bad enough that one of them targets Intel processors, but the second affects ALL modern processors as well -- including those based on architectures from Intel, AMD and ARM. So, we present to you Meltdown and Spectre.... Read more...
If the reports are accurate, it appears that Intel might have a pretty severe chip-level security bug on its hands that cannot be simply swatted away with a microcode update. The bug affects all modern Intel processors dating back at least a decade. We should note that squashing the bug requires a patch at the OS level; and Linux patches have already been distributed (with redacted comments). Microsoft is expected to address the bug in its monthly Patch Tuesday update. The circumstances surrounding the exploit are currently under embargo, but some details are starting to make their way to the public spotlight, thanks to reporting over at Python Sweetness and The Register. In a nutshell, the bug... Read more...
This has been a big year for AMD, there is no doubt about that. Having launched a new CPU and GPU architectures (Zen and Vega, respectively), the company thrust itself back into relevancy in the high-end market, whereas previously the top shelf was the exclusive domain of rival Intel. So, what's next? On the GPU side, AMD is expected to roll out its Navi architecture sometime next year, with references to its next generation GPU already showing up in driver code. Over on Beyond3D's forums, there is a thread titled, "AMD: Navi Speculation, Rumors, and Discussion." Just as it sounds, the thread is is focused on Navi and what AMD is up to in the graphics arena. In one of the more recent posts, forum... Read more...
The Top500 list of supercomputers globally was published again this month, and one of the most interesting tidbits is that every single one of them runs Linux. This list comes out every six months and shows the top supercomputers in the world along with the countries with the most supercomputers. This fiftieth edition shows that there are some changes afoot in global supercomputing power. China has traditionally held the top spot for the most powerful supercomputer in the world, and it continues to hold that spot on the most current list. However, the U.S. has traditionally had the most supercomputers on the list on a per country basis, but that has changed: China now has the most supercomputers... Read more...
Gaming pioneer Atari is getting into the hardware business with its Ataribox, a retro-themed game console with modern guts. The physical design pays homage to the original Atari 2600, a video game console released four decades ago this month, only it is sleeker and does not accept game cartridges. Instead, the Ataribox runs Linux and is powered by an AMD accelerated processing unit (APU) to deliver a "full PC experience for the TV." The Ataribox team posted a handful of new images of the upcoming console, and also shared a bit more about the game system. With Linux at the core, it will feature a customized interface with an aim towards making it easy to use. The decision to go with Linux was... Read more...
Lenovo has pulled the wraps off a pair of new workstation PCs that aim directly at the folks out there who need lots of power and performance to make it through their workday. The machines include the ThinkStation P920 and P720. The most powerful of the duo is the P290 and it is crammed full of hardware with options running dual Intel Xeon Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze CPUs.  Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is pre-loaded and the machine is also certified for use with Redhat Linux. If your workload requires you to render 3D models or perform other GPU-intensive workloads, the P920 can be fitted with up to three NVIDIA Quadro GP100 or P6000 GPUs. Lenovo will fit the machine with up to... Read more...
Over the weekend, we talked about an issue surrounding AMD's Ryzen-based processors on Unix-based OSes. Today, we learn a lot more about what's going on, as well as which products are actually affected. But first, let's get the upside out of the way: this bug is rare, and requires very specific conditions. The vast majority of users are not going to experience an issue, but it's at least an issue to be aware of. With almost comical timing, SMT issues surrounding both FreeBSD and Linux were outed at around the same time, although it's now been confirmed that the issues are different. Through exhaustive testing, Phoronix discovered that Ryzen under Linux will segfault up and down if a handful of... Read more...
Microsoft has been doing a lot for Linux fans lately. Last week, the software giant announced its full support for Open Source and Linux by joining the Cloud Computing Foundation. Microsoft is now back with a new feature coming out of beta that Linux users will be happy to hear. In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update set to ship this fall, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) will cease to be a beta feature and will become a fully supported. Microsoft notes that early adopters participating in the Windows Insider Program should note that WSL is no longer marked as a beta service in insider build 16251.  WSL can now be used as a normal developer toolset to allow building, testing, deployment,... Read more...
Microsoft wasn't always particularly pro-open source. In fact, for much of its history, the software giant was very much focused on its own offerings often to the detriment of anything open source. That isn't the case today with Microsoft contributing to open source projects and developing versions of its popular programs like Skype specifically for Linux. One of Microsoft's bread and butter products is Office, and there is a version of the Office suite that can be used on Linux thanks to Android. Android support is something Microsoft was forced to adopt due to Windows Phone's abysmal market share to get a foothold in the mobile world. Microsoft has now pledged even more support to the... Read more...
If you still can't wrap your head around the fact that Microsoft supports using Linux inside of Windows, then prepare to have your mind blown. Today, the company has debuted Ubuntu Linux in the Windows Store, available to anyone running a current Insider Preview build. Writing for the official Windows blog, Microsoft's Rich Turner says that anyone running at least the 16215 build of Windows 10 will be able to take advantage of the software, which is sure to be one of the most complex pieces of software on the store. To be clear, this solution isn't for those wanting to run an entire Linux desktop from within Windows; we're limited to the command line at the current time, which can still be hugely... Read more...
All major Linux kernel releases carry a handful of special updates, but there are some that are still a lot more notable than others. Linux 4.12 is one of those kernels, with even Linus Torvalds stating that it's one of the "bigger releases historically". A big reason for that? Well, for starters, it include introductory AMD Radeon Vega support. This comes hot on the heels of AMD unleashing its Vega Frontier Edition to the world, and close to a month before the consumer variants launch at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles. AMD's Vega architecture is now supported in Linux - to some extent It's important to note that this is truly introductory Vega support. Phoronix's Michael Larabel notes that with... Read more...
Another day, another government spying exploit rises to the surface courtesy of Wikileaks, this time originating from the CIA. This WikiLeaks data dump specifically lets us know of a CIA-engineered spying tool called OutlawCountry (no space), which, interestingly enough, explicitly targets Linux users. You know, those digital freedom loving passionate penguin peeps that appreciate having great control over their computer? But don't worry, the CIA has targeted Windows users en masse in the past as well; absolutely no one has proven safe and they obviously don't discriminate. OutlawCountry starts out as a Linux kernel module (nf_table_6_64.ko) that gets loaded into the system and... Read more...
If you're a Raspberry Pi user who's never changed the default password of the "pi" user, then heed this warning: change it. A brand new piece of malware has hit the web, called "Linux.MulDrop.14", and it preys on those who haven't secured their devices properly. Linux.MulDrop.14 looks to be a simple piece of malware, but what it does wouldn't be acceptable by any RPi owner. After scanning for RPis with an open (and default) SSH port, the "pi" user is logged into (if the password is left default), and the password is subsequently changed. After that, the malware installs ZMap and sshpass software, and then it configures itself. The ultimate goal of Linux.MulDrop.14 is to make digital money for... Read more...
When Microsoft announced a new SKU of Windows for education markets called Windows 10 S, it was very clear that it only support app installations from the Windows Store. Microsoft also recently announced that some Linux distros are headed to the Windows Store, and what wasn't so clear is whether users would be able to install them alongside Windows 10 S. Microsoft's answer is an emphatic "No!" in bold letters and an exclamation point. Microsoft's Rich Turner cleared up the confusion in a blog post. He notes that just because an app is available in the Windows Store does not automatically mean that it is safe and suitable for running in Windows 10 S. Microsoft previously stated that Windows 10... Read more...
Microsoft's work on Windows never ceases. Earlier this week the Redmond outfit finally starting pushing its much anticipated Creators Update to Windows 10, but if Microsoft's engineers (and Windows Insiders) thought they could take a breath, they should think again. There is already a new build of Windows 10 available to testers, version 16176 for PC (and 15204 for mobile) as Microsoft works on Redstone 3, its next major update that is slated to arrive later this year. In the early going, the focus for Redstone 3 is to improve OneCore, the underlying the code that all versions of Windows 10 across various hardware platforms are based on, and improving Linux support. We'll get to the latter in... Read more...
While it's not that hard to find a notebook preinstalled with Linux nowadays (you still need to put some effort in), what's even rarer is finding a Linux notebook that's branded with some GNU goodness. That changes with the Slimbook. Ahem, "KDE Slimbook". Slimbook is a Spanish notebook provider that thrives on building systems that revolve around a free and open ecosystem. With KDE Slimbook, KDE's own developers were involved in the polishing process, going as far as to release patches to fix the issues that persisted before launch. The ensures that those who purchase a device today will be able to enjoy as bug-free and smooth an experience as possible. As popular as KDE is, it seems to get shunned... Read more...
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