Linux Action News 48

Episode 48 · April 8th, 2018 · 22 mins 54 secs

About this Episode

The Linux kernel gets a spring cleaning, things are going well for RISC-V, and Linux-Libre is clearly prioritizing freedom over security with their recent update.

Steam Machines were pronounced dead and then alive this week, we'll try and clear things up, and Mozilla has a new project.

Episode Links

  • Linux kernel to remove several old CPU architectures — The architectures which will become deprecated are Blackfin, CRIS, FRV, M32R, Metag, MN10300, Score and Tile. Although not being deprecated, the Unicore32 and Hexagon architectures are also at risk but their maintainers are working on improving the situation so their support can be continued.
  • RISC-V Support Continues Maturing Within The Mainline Linux Kernel — Linux 4.17 kernel include support for dynamic ftrace, clean-ups to their atomic and locking code, module loading support is now enabled by default, and other fixes.
  • Save money using RISC-V rather than Arm — According to a report published last week by The Information, more than 80 tech goliaths including Nvidia, Google, Qualcomm, Samsung and Tesla are working to adopt RISC-V technology. The main reason behind the push to adopt RISC-V is said to be the processor's open-source design, which will facilitate "a much cheaper way to build chips for new technologies like autonomous vehicles," says the source.
  • Debian now supports RISC-V — We've been working in the last few weeks to do a (second) boostrap of Debian for RISC-V, and after a few weeks of hard work it is now bootstrapped and has been imported into the Debian infrastructure,
  • Linux-Libre prioritises freedom over security — One of their new changes on top of this deblobbed kernel is dropping error messages that suggest users update their CPU micrcode.
  • Steam Machines disappear from Valve's site — Steam Machines no longer show up under the drop-down menu for "Hardware" on the main Steam store page. Promotional language and images for Steam Machines were also previously featured prominently on a hardware-focused landing page on the store (archived version), but that page now redirects to a simple search results page for the store's "hardware" category.
  • Steam Machines aren't dead yet — We've taken a lot of feedback and have been heads-down on addressing the shortcomings we observed.
  • TOR Messenger discontinued — “The adoption of Tor Messenger was low and the real need is for metadata-free alternatives"
  • Mozilla Brings Firefox to Augmented and Virtual Reality — We believe that the future of the web will be heavily intertwined with virtual and augmented reality, and that future will live through browsers. That’s why we’re building Firefox Reality, a new kind of web browser that has been designed from the ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality (or mixed reality) headsets.