Monday, July 23, 2012

Phoronix Test Suite 4.0.0 Available for Download

The stable version of Phoronix Test Suite 4.0.0, codenamed Suldal, has been announced today, July 23rd, by Michael Larabel.

Phoronix Test Suite 4.0.0 brings the following changes:

• Improvements for monitoring performance-per-Watt efficiency of computer hardware and software have been added;
• Hardware/software component detection enhancements have been implemented;
• A new result viewer interface has been added;
• More verbose and intelligent reporting of system details are now available;
• More advanced result analytical features have been implemented.

"Many of the features introduced during Suldal's development benefit all users from Fortune 500 organizations to leading research universities and independent end-users," says Michael Larabel, the founder of Phoronix Media and lead architect of the Phoronix Test Suite in the press release.

The Phoronix Test Suite allows individuals and organizations to carry out automated and quantitative test cases and benchmarks in a fully automated and standardized manner using a unique open-source testing architecture.

Download Phoronix Test Suite 4.0.0

Peppermint OS Three

Kendall Weaver has announced the release of Peppermint OS Three, a major new version of the project's lightweight desktop Linux distribution based on Lubuntu: "We are proud to announce the release of Peppermint OS Three in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds. This version is based on Lubuntu 12.04 and, as always, uses some features from the ever-awesome Linux Mint. Here's a quick overview of some of the details associated with this release: the Chromium stable repository is now enabled by default; a very light theme and default artwork; fewer default web applications in the menu as we feel that we'd rather not clog everything up by default; ships with GWoffice by default - this is a desktop Google Docs client that is lightweight and runs completely independent of Chromium; GIMP 2.8 is in the Peppermint repository; Linux Mint's update manager...." See the full release announcement for further information. Download (MD5): Peppermint-3-20120722-i386.iso (533MB), Peppermint-3-20120722-amd64.iso (539MB).

Frugalware Linux 1.7 RC1

James Buren has announced the availability of the first release candidate for Frugalware Linux 1.7, code name "Gaia", an independently-developed general-purpose Linux distribution designed for intermediate and advanced Linux users: "Frugalware 1.7rc1 (Gaia) released. The Frugalware developer team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware 1.7rc1, the first candidate of the upcoming 1.7 stable release. Here are some of the major improvements, fixes and updates since 1.7pre2: package updates - Linux kernel 3.4.4, GCC 4.7.1, KDE 4.8.4; new features - installer now supports Btrfs as an experimental feature, installer now supports JFS, grubconfig (our front-end to GRUB 2 installation) can now install to itself to RAID1 mdadm and raw drives with a single option. Please refer to the Frugalware Testing ChangeLog for more information." Here is the very brief release announcement. Download the installation DVD image for the x86_64 processor architecture from here: frugalware-1.7rc1-x86_64-dvd1.iso (4,262MB, SHA1).

GNOME 3.5.4 Comes With a Revamped Nautilus

The GNOME Project unleashed a few minutes ago, July 23rd, the immediate availability for download and testing of the fourth development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.6 desktop environment.

GNOME 3.5.4 comes with a revamped Nautilus, initial support for displaying input methods and keyboard layouts, GNOME Disks can now securely erase a hard drive, new system inhibitor, and support for offline updates.

Below we've attached some screenshots, courtesy of Matthias Clasen, to exemplify the aforementioned features.

GNOME 3.5.4 is part of the new GNOME 3.6 desktop upgrade, which should be released in late September 2012. The next development release towards GNOME 3.6 will be GNOME 3.5.5 available this month, on August 8th, 2012.

Download GNOME 3.5.4

Gnome Photos preview

Gnome Photos is another new Gnome App that doesn’t exist for 3.4 and I don’t know for sure if it would be ready for 3.6, but I guess it will. What is it? Well, it is a Photos browser similar to the (upcoming) Videos browser and Gnome Documents.
It can view (when ready!) local and cloud photos collections, access Media Servers and Attached Devices, and it will also feature a slide show ..and many more! 

This is the a mockup that shows how the things will be about to look like when is ready

And this is the current Gnome Photos as I compiled few minutes ago. It  can show only pictures from my Pictures directory for the time.  By the way you need Gnome > 3.5.3 to compile this, so do not try it in 3.4.

On the mockup Gnome Photos is dressed up with the black GTK theme while in Git is on whites same as Gnome Docs. But check the latest experimental design of Gnome Docs

It turns to be black. I don’t know the way they choose the themes (white of black) in Gnome Apps, but it seems that all the browsers (Photos, Videos, Documents, Boxes) but Files (nautilus) will be black.  Ohh also on the above figure an sidebar has been added!

Gnome Photos Objectives

  • View local and online/cloud collections
  • View photos on attached devices
  • View photos on DLNA media servers
  • See new photos shared by friends
  • View full screen slideshows
  • Share photos (email, IM, ?)
  • Upload photos
  • Set as background
  • Select favorites
  • Very basic manipulation:
- Rotate
- Crop
- Enhance
- Remove/Delete
- Combine into an Album
  • Allow opening full featured editor for more advanced changes


  • Not an editor
  • Not a management tool

If you want to learn more you better check @Gnome Photos Design

How to use ffmpeg to compress avi and mp4 files

I've written an article about some tricks you can do with ffmpeg, in today's article, I will show you another trick - compressing avi and mp4 video files with a simple command with a only a small loss in video quality.

use ffmpeg to compress avi and mp4 files

If you dont have ffmpeg already installed, you can run this command to install it in Ubuntu and other Debian-based distros:
sudo apt-get install libav-tools

To compress an avi video file using ffmpeg, the command you can use is:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec msmpeg4v2 output.avi

To compress an mp4 video file using ffmpeg, the command will be somewhat different:
ffmpeg -i input.pm4 -acodec mp2 output.mp4

In both commands, replace the input filenames with a specific file, after the compressing process is done, you will have an output file in the same folder.

Linux Kernel 3.5 Has Been Officially Released

After yet another seven Release Candidate versions, Linus Torvalds proudly announced yesterday, July 21st, the immediate availability for download of Linux kernel 3.5.

Linux kernel 3.5 brings various interesting features (check out the highlights below and the quote from Linus Torvalds’ announcement) among which we can mention support for metadata checksums in the EXT4 filesystem, support for restoring and checkpointing TCP connections, support for TCP Early Retransmit (RFC 5827), a new network queue management algorithm designed to fight bufferbloat, Btrfs I/O failure statistics, and much more.

There's a number of MIPS commits (for some reason MIPS has had a horrible track record with the -rc time schedule, I suspect I should just stop pulling late in the game), but most of the rest is pretty small.

A couple of dm/md fixes, some gma500 work, make kgdb 'dmesg' command work again, some networking fixes, some xfs and cifs noise, yadda yadda. About 50% of the patch is actually the SPEAr clock name renaming that is just some search-and-replace.” - said Linus Torvalds in the official announcement.

Highlights of Linux Kernel 3.5:

· EXT4 metadata checksums;
· Uprobes: userspace probes;
· Seccomp-based system call filtering;
· Bufferbloat fighting: CoDel queue management;
· TCP connection repair;
· TCP Early Retransmit;
· Android-style opportunistic suspend;
· Btrfs: I/O failure statistics, latency improvements;
· SCSI over FireWire and USB.

Linux kernel 3.5 also comes with many improvements in various areas, such as memory management fixes, networking, virtualization, security, perf/tracing, block, improvements to Btrfs, Tmpfs, XFS, CIFS, JFFS2, exofs, Cifs filesystems, as well as various core changes.

For a complete list of all the newly added drivers, newly supported devices, and other improvements, do not hesitate to view the official changelog and the Linux kernel 3.5 DriverArch page.

Download Linux kernel 3.5

Firefox 15 Beta Tackles Memory Leaks

Mozilla has released a beta version of the next version of its Firefox browser with better memory management and significant speed improvements.
"Firefox 15 prevents most memory leaks caused by add-ons, including Firebug," Nicholas Nethercote writes in a Mozilla blog. Firebug is a Firefox add-on for debugging web pages.
"For many users with add-ons installed, this will significantly reduce Firefox’s memory consumption, without requiring upgrades to those add-ons," he adds. "For those users, Firefox 15 is likely to be faster (sometimes drastically so) and less likely to crash, especially if they have multiple add-ons installed and/or keep Firefox running for a long time between restarts."

Rest here

Slackware Linux 14.0 Beta

Slackware "Current" is now beta - that's according to Patrick Volkerding who wrote the following in today's changelog: "Howdy! Lots of shiny stuff here, including the long awaited Xfce 4.10. Thanks to Robby Workman for the initial set of build scripts, and lots of testing (plus some very helpful notes about things such as the proper build order). I'm calling this a beta (finally!), and it's really very close to what we expect to release. Test away." The changelog also includes a long note on udev: "Well, udev in this development cycle has certainly been interesting. A fair number of odd bug reports have been coming in, and we hadn't really been able to get a handle on the source of the issues. Quite some time ago we started testing udev-182, and noticed that it caused some issues with the persistent net and CD rules." As always, there are no official installation media, but recent builds of unofficial DVD images can be had from here: slackware-current-17_Jul_2012-DVD.iso (2,422MB, MD5), slackware64-current-17_Jul_2012-DVD.iso (2,382MB, MD5).

Openmamba GNU/Linux

Silvan Calarco has announced the release of openmamba GNU/Linux, an updated version of the project's independently developed distribution featuring the KDE desktop and using the RPM package management format: "The openmamba maintainer is happy to announce the immediate availability of the milestone2 release of the openmamba distribution. Features: KDE-based live desktop system for standard personal computers (Intel x86 compatible hardware); top applications include LibreOffice, Chromium, Amarok, Kaffeine, WINE, GIMP, Kopete, Audacity and K3b; 3D graphical desktop support with open and proprietary drivers; automatic hardware detection and configuration; NTFS read and write support using NTFS-3G; fixed disk installation interface." Read the rest of the release announcement for a detailed description of the product and system requirements. Download the base live CD or the all-inclusive live DVD image: openmamba-livecd-en-milestone2- (681MB, MD5, torrent), openmamba-livedvd-en-milestone2-2.0.10.i586.iso (2,615MB, MD5, torrent).