News:Newsletter, Volume 1

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Newsletter, Volume 1

Discussed: ati-drivers, GitHub integration, Funtoo on ARM, GNOME updates, Organizations, and two new devs.

By Drobbins / January 27, 2015

Hello, everyone -- hope your 2015 is off to a good start. Welcome to our first official full newsletter. Funtoo Linux development is ramping up, and with that we have more to discuss. So let's dive in.

Ati-drivers updates

For those who use [Package:AMD_Catalyst_Video_Drivers|AMD Catalyst video drivers]] under Funtoo Linux, you likely know that versions of ati-drivers have not been compatible with the most recent version of xorg-server. Ati-drivers 14.9 required masking xorg-server-1.16, as it would only work with 1.15 or earlier. We received a tip that Arch and Ubuntu had a version that worked with xorg-server-1.16, and upon investigation, found that AMD rolled out an Ubuntu-specific version of their video drivers for the sole purpose of working with xorg-server-1.16. I looked into these drivers and bundled them up at ati-drivers-14.9-r1 in Funtoo Linux. However, while they worked with xorg-server-1.16, it turns out that these new drivers were quite flaky, and a number of people had problems with them, including myself. I ended up switching to the free Radeon drivers, which allowed me to avoid the whole ati-drivers mess.

The good news is that things have recently gotten better. AMD has released a new version of their drivers which is now bundled up in Funtoo Linux as ati-drivers-14.12-r3, and this ebuild does seem quite reliable and supports xorg-server-1.16. In addition, I have added AMD's GLESv2 and EGL libraries to this ebuild -- up until now, they have been missing, meaning that many ebuilds including GNOME would use Mesa's GLESv2 implementation, even with ati-drivers enabled. This could potentially lead to issues, so ati-drivers should be more reliable when used in this capacity.

Funtoo Linux for ARM

Next up, a quick update on Funtoo Linux for ARM. I've recently set up ARM hardware and moved our ARM builds in-house. Here you can see my passively-cooled NVIDIA Jetson TK1 ARM development board. I had a left-over PC Thermaltake heatsink lying around and decided to put it to use: While we are now building ARM builds in-house, I do need to acquire more ARM hardware so that I can actively test ARM builds. Right now, I am building, but not actively testing ARM, so I'd consider Funtoo Linux for ARM as beta quality until it is more actively tested.

Subarches Update

Our new Subarches page has been a great improvement to finding the best version of Funtoo Linux for your system, providing a mini-encyclopedia of the different types of hardware that Funtoo Linux supports. I'm always open to adding new builds per request, and Blackadder720 on #funtoo IRC requested an Intel Ivy Bridge build, and this was easy enough to add to our build rotation: Intel64-ivybridge. So, there you go. You ask for it, and you get it :) Also added -- our subarches page now provides links to our OSUOSL mirror, and I updated the mirroring code so that the OSUOSL links are always fresh.

GitHub Integration (beta)

Thanks to some initiative by Fransisc Simon, we now have some functioning Python code to implement GitHub integration! Here's how it works. If you open an issue or pull request against one of Funtoo Linux's GitHub repositories, our script will import it into our JIRA bug tracker. A friendly note will be posted to your pull request or issue indicating that it has been imported, and providing a link ot the issue in JIRA. If we close an imported issue in JIRA, the script will automatically close the associated JIRA bug.

This is actually a big deal -- one of the long-standing problems Funtoo Linux has had is how to properly integrate with GitHub. I didn't want to turn Funtoo Linux into a pure GitHub project -- we needed our own advanced bug tracker and independent git repositories. However, so many people use GitHub that not having a clear GitHub strategy had made things confusing for people. Our repos are on GitHub, so many users tend to file issues against our repos. Since we're not looking at these issues, they tend to get ignored or forgotten about. Well, thanks to this new script, this is no longer that case. Thanks very much to Francisc for getting this going and I will continue to be testing and working on GitHub integration and looking at how to allow people to leverage GitHub for Funtoo Linux development.

GNOME Version Bumps

Over the last week, we are starting to slightly bump versions of GNOME packages. These are minor updates, but you should have been noticing them if you are running GNOME and regularly updating your system. If you notice anything unpleasant from these updates, please be sure to Template:ReportBug.

Media Mix-Ins Update

I hope you have had a chance to explore the new functionality in of our [media mix-ins]. In general, feedback has been positive. User:Digifuzzy and User:nrc on the forums complained that in rolling out the new media mix-ins, we did enable some new USE file-format-related USE variables in the desktop profile, which on some systems resulted in a significant increase in the number of packages installed after an Template:Emerge -auDN @world. There was a suggestion made that we do a better job of informing users of potentially highly-impacting changes prior to them hitting the tree, and this is something that I will attempt to do a better job of moving forward. What we did not realize is the relatively large impact that a small number of USE variables additions could have for already-installed systems.

Funtoo-Friendly Organizations

You may have noticed the Brownrice Internet logo on the bottom of our main page. Brownrice Internet is the first organization to take advantage of our Funtoo-Friendly Organizations feature on the wiki. This allows any organization, whether for-profit or community-based, to register themselves on the wiki with their own profile page. If your organization uses Funtoo Linux, offers Funtoo Linux as an option for hosting, or builds something based on Funtoo Linux, then we want you to let our user community know about it! To do this, head over to the Organizations category on the wiki and enter your organization's name, and fill out the form. Get the recognition you deserve! :)

Translations Updates

Many thanks to User:Aramisqc for completing the French translation of our install Instructions. Tocadotux is currently working on a Brazilian Portuguese translation, and User:Oleg is working on a Russian translation. I would be interested in getting a German and Italian translation going -- find me on IRC if you are interested in helping. As the translation effort gets under way, I hope to get translation instructions online and also look into developing some tools to assist in keeping translations in sync.

Funtoo Linux Containers

Our Funtoo Linux Containers continue to be in demand. I will be limiting the number of new containers on our existing hardware to maximize performance for our existing users, and we currently have 23 spots left. If you are interested in supporting Funtoo Linux and having your own highly-capable SSD-based Funtoo Linux container with up to 24 cores, then see our Funtoo Hosting page and grab one. You can get an extremely capable container for only $15/mo of support, and our higher-end containers are even more impressive.

New Developers

  • welcome back anak1n, welcome mgorny

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