Category Archives: Stiri IT Externe

Debian Moves Closer To Voting On Proposals Over Init System Diversity


Following the decision by Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman to seek a general resolution over init system diversity and just how much Debian developers care about supporting systemd alternatives, the general resolution vote is moving closer.

The text is now laid out over three proposals drafted by Sam Hartman in weighing the importance of systemd / init system diversity by Debian developers.

The three choices include affirming init diversity, focusing on systemd but supporting the exploration of alternatives, and focusing on systemd for the init system and other facilities.

Ultimately this will decide whether Debian developers should still focus on making their distribution work outside of the systemd realm or if enough developers just want to focus on catering to a systemd workflow. This stems from months of conflict / limited resources over dealing with non-systemd bugs in the Debian space.

The proposals can be found via this Wiki page to mark the start of the discussion period followed by the voting.

AMD OverDrive Overclocking To Finally Work For Radeon Navi GPUs With Linux 5.5 Kernel


While most Linux gamers don’t appear to be into GPU overclocking, one of the limitations of the Radeon RX 5000 “Navi” series support with the AMD open-source driver to date has been no overclocking support. With the upcoming Linux 5.5 kernel that is set to change.

With the Linux 5.5 kernel there is slated to be the “OverDrive” overclocking support in place for Navi graphics processors with the AMDGPU kernel driver.

The Navi OverDrive support was sent in as part of Friday’s amdgpu drm-next-5.5 pull. In addition to the Navi overclocking there is fixed voltage handling for SMU7 hardware with custom power tables, power limit handling fixes for SMU11, properly stopping memory management worker threads on shutdown, and correct PCIe link reporting for Navi.

With there being no “Radeon Software Settings” or other official GUI control panel for the AMD Radeon graphics driver on Linux, the OverDrive GPU overclocking support for AMD graphics cards remains command-line based. The OverDrive Linux overclocking is done via reading and writing values to the respective sysfs interfaces. There have been third-party AMD Linux GUI control panel attempts but no official support in a number of years, but that’s something we can still cross our fingers and hope for a change in 2020.

The AMD Navi OverDrive overclocking support via sysfs is similar to the existing OverDrive support for Vega, Polaris, and prior on AMDGPU. Besides setting the frequencies, the support does allow editing the voltage curve for Navi 10 too.

Besides this Navi OverDrive support taking until months after the July launch to materialize for Linux users, making this support even more peculiar is that it was led by a seemingly independent developer. Matt Coffin who is an active Linux user but with no apparent affiliate to AMD was the one contributing the patches among his first upstream commits to AMDGPU.

The Best of Both Worlds: Multi-Cloud Infrastructure | IT Infrastructure Advice, Discussion, Community

Cloud services are now well established in enterprises, but different companies are using these storage and services solutions in radically different ways. A small company, or one new to the cloud, might have just one cloud provider. At the other extreme, other companies have already implemented “multi-cloud” environments that use cloud-native applications built from containers alongside microservices that utilize component services from many different cloud providers.

This kind of multi-cloud infrastructure can have many advantages, and not least the ability to build a truly bespoke system from scratch. In fact, and as we’ve pointed out in our article on hybrid cloud infrastructure, “cloud solutions are dramatically changing the way we design redundancy, resiliency, and disaster recovery,” because “the cloud changes the fundamentals of base designs.”

In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common types of multi-cloud environments, their benefits, and how to manage them.

The Market for Multi-Cloud Infrastructure

To understand the different types of multi-cloud infrastructures available, it’s first worth making a distinction between multi- and hybrid-cloud systems. Hybrid cloud has traditionally been used to refer to a combination of private and public cloud systems, and the deployment of managerial tools to negotiate between them. Multi-cloud goes further, and takes a more strategic approach, combining the use of many small services into one bespoke system.
Though the term multi-cloud is a relatively new way of thinking about these systems, it is a new name for an old practice. In reality, most companies are already using multi-cloud solutions, whether they call them this or not.

In a survey by analyst firm Forrester on behalf of Virtustream, for instance, it was shown that 86% of respondents characterized their firms’ strategy as multi-cloud, in that they used “multiple public and private clouds for different application workloads.” A similar survey, the annual RightScale State of the Cloud Report, found a more complex picture. Though 90% of their respondents reported using cloud infrastructure in at least part of their operations, far fewer were using multi-cloud approaches. Of companies using multiple clouds, 60% said that they used hybrid models, and just 20% a true multi-cloud model.

Companies using multiple clouds are generally using one of three systems. Among public cloud solutions, RightScale’s reports show Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the clear leader, with Microsoft Azure increasing in popularity but still some way off. Among private cloud providers, Vmware is way out in front thanks to its vSphere private cloud software.

The Advantages of Multi-Cloud infrastructure

When it comes to the advantages of multi-cloud systems, it’s worth pointing out, first and foremost, that all of these are essentially types of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and that the advantages of SaaS apply to all types of multi-cloud architecture.

According to software research group Blue Tree, there are many different SaaS business models, but the ability to avoid up-front costs along with ongoing code management are shared by them all. Similarly, there are many security advantages to cloud infrastructure that apply regardless of what approach is taken to its implementation.

On the other hand, cloud service providers tend to make their systems ‘sticky’ – that is, lacking compatibility with their rivals. Whilst this makes good commercial sense, it is also one of the major reasons why companies are now adopting multi-cloud models. As Gartner analyst Michael Warrilow puts it: “Most organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy out of a desire to avoid vendor lock-in or to take advantage of best-of-breed solutions… We expect that most large organizations will continue to willfully pursue this approach.”

Security is another consideration behind the adoption of multi-cloud infrastructures, and the EC council has pointed out that as companies transition from DevOps to DevSecOps, they tend to move to a multi-cloud system in order to segment their systems. This segmentation also has benefits when it comes to resilience. In Spiceworks’ recent Public Cloud Trends in 2019 and Beyond survey, the Big Three cloud providers were ranked similarly on ‘Maximum uptime,’ but each was down for at least 300hr a year. By splitting cloud services across multiple platforms, companies can avoid their entire systems being offline at once.

Managing Multi-Cloud Infrastructure

In addition to the many benefits of multi-cloud infrastructure, there are some downsides.

The most apparent are the challenges involved in monitoring multi-cloud environments. As we’ve pointed out before, “as complexity increases — as it inevitably does with multi-cloud — monitoring what is happening in all the different cloud environments becomes much more difficult.”

The ability to monitor these environments is decreased if multi-cloud adoption occurs in an ad-hoc manner, rather than being planned from the outset. The Forrester survey from 2018 shows that roughly half of firms have adopted multi-cloud systems on the fly, rather than this being a planned move. Using multiple clouds in this way greatly complicates the security management of internal communication, which are often a target for cybercriminals.

Companies, to their credit, are aware of these difficulties. Spiceworks’ report on Public Cloud Trends in 2019 and Beyond survey showed that ‘managing multiple cloud solutions’ was of major concern for businesses, who also said that they need more support from cloud vendors in this area. This finding was more pressing for small and mid-size businesses than enterprises, who can generally deploy the resources necessary to lock down this kind of complex system.

The Future of Multi-Cloud Systems

As the adoption of multi-cloud systems increases, some security providers have developed systems for monitoring them, and an increasing number of providers are making their cloud applications compatible across different cloud platforms. These developments promise to eliminate some of the problems with this type of infrastructure while retaining its advantages.

This means that, in the near future, multi-cloud environments have the potential to become the best of both worlds: giving companies the mobility and agility of cloud-based solutions, whilst also allowing the development of bespoke, business-specific software.

Source link

ALT Linux: Worthy Linux Alternatives, With a Catch | Reviews

By Jack M. Germain

Nov 15, 2019 10:08 AM PT

ALT Linux offers a buffet of Linux distributions that meet a variety of specialized needs. Its inviting selections could be a good source of alternative Linux OS solutions if you take the time to sort out the menus.

If you sample the wares, however, you might find navigating the poorly designed website a tedious chore. Still, persevering could get you a few tasty options to satisfy your computing appetite.

ALT Linux is a Russia-based independent distribution that forked from Mandrake Linux, an independent distribution that forked from Fedora-based Red Hat Linux. Truth be told, ALT Linux is not a single distro. It is a collection OSes running a vast selection of desktop choices that are based on a unique ALT Linux developmental path.

ALT Linux Cinnamon desktop edition

ALT Linux’s Cinnamon desktop edition offers a modern workhorse computing environment.

– click image to enlarge –

ALT Linux was founded in 2001 as a merge of two large Russian free software projects. Seven years later, it became a large organization developing and deploying free software and developing custom products.

This approach is similar to a collection of Linux distros from software developer Arne Exton’s Exton Linux releases, and his ExTix Linux project that I
reviewed a few weeks ago.

ALT Linux developers produce different types of distributions for various purposes. These include desktop distributions for home and office computers, and releases for corporate servers.

Distributions include a wide variety of development tools and documentation, certified products, distributions specialized for educational institutions, and distributions for low-powered computers. ALT Linux has its own development infrastructure and repository, called “Sisyphus,” which provides the base for all the different editions of ALT Linux.

Marketing Misstep

ALT Linux creates distributions for a wide range of hardware platforms. The developers focus on the needs of corporate customers, educational institutions and individuals.

Linux products for educational and general consumer users generally get strong reader response. I often get reader inquiries about distros for specialized purposes. Linux OSes that run well on older computers is always a hot topic.

ALT Linux distributions generally update quarterly following a somewhat flexible schedule depending on the product.

A release update notice from the developers on Oct. 28 caught my attention. The developers announced three new releases for ALT Linux products. They were for new versions of ALT Linux 9.0 based on the ninth ALT platform (P9 Vaccinium).

Included were Alt Workstation 9, Alt Server 9 and Alt Education 9. ALT Linux had been on my radar for a while, so I decided to follow up on the recent releases. That is when my troubles kicked in.

Searches for English Failed

I was specifically trying to download the “advertised” workstation and education versions. Despite website links to English language versions, the “advertised” P9 download links for English versions do not exist (or at least did not this week).

What I got was live session ISOs with Russian language menus. Some of the applications I blindly loaded had some English language language content.

I tried multiple download mirror sources without success. Even one of ALT Linux’s major outlets,, had links for English language downloads that delivered the same Russian Language results.

The ALT Linux website has a prominent link for downloads in English to this location. However, no English language versions downloaded — only Russian language.

I then decided to change strategies and abandoned efforts to get the just-announced product releases. I clicked on another download link on the developer’s website and found a special repository for ALT Linux starter kits.

ALT download center focuses on ALT Linux distributions that are based on the latest stable branch offerings — but it does not have English language versions of the P9 releases that triggered my search.

Starter Kits to the Rescue, Sort Of

ALT Linux starter kits are built with ALT stable repository as the base. They are intended for experienced users who know how to use package management systems to install software applications.

These starter kits provide access to dozens of ALT Linux distros that run from a live session ISO and come with a graphical installer. This provides you with an easy way to test out many desktop options.

They are all available in full English language editions. The starter kits provide a very convenient way to check out many different desktop environments.

ALT Linux MATE desktop

The MATE desktop provides a smooth, classic Linux desktop in ALT Linux.

– click image to enlarge –

These starter kits are not complete distributions. They do not include special docs written for each release. However, there is a unified simple ALT Linux design that all of the builds share.

Depending on the particular version you select, the base system has limited installed applications beyond standard system tools for the desktop involved. You just add the specific applications you want.

Each starter kit as a whole is available under GPL license. All of the downloads are completely free. You’ll find the
entire collection here.

Many Tasty Delights

If you are curious about some of the non-mainstream desktops found in other Linux distros, the ALT Linux’s repository is a place to feast on all sorts of desktop varieties. Exploring these ALT Linux offerings could lead you to some inviting Linux alternatives.

For example, you will find the ALT Linux project is available in many editions, such as ALT Linux (School Junior), ALT Linux (School Master), ALT Linux (School Server), ALT Linux (School Teacher), ALT Linux Simply, ALT Linux Junior, ALT Linux KDesktop, ALT Linux Master, ALT Linux Rescue, and ALT Linux Server.

In addition, the ALT Linux’s special Starterkit project offers versions with the LXDE, LXQt, Razor-Qt, Xfce, MATE, Cinnamon, IceWM, GNUstep, GNOME, Enlightenment, WindowMaker and Trinity desktop environments/window managers.

The ALT Linux releases support both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, so your aging and out-of-date hardware can find productive new life.

My Three Options

One of my favorite Linux desktops is Cinnamon. I sometimes revisit my earlier Linux migration experiences with the MATE desktop. In my downtime when not productively engaged in work chores, I spend hours lost in the Enlightenment desktop.

So I had to try out how reliably these ALT Linux alternative distros worked. I was pleased that none of the three disappointed.

ALT Linux Enlightenment desktop

ALT Linux’s E20 integration makes using the Enlightenment desktop fun and easy.

– click image to enlarge –

At the top of my revised to-do list is definitely to return to the ALT Linux website and taste more of the desktop delicacies waiting for me there. I am sure that will lead me to other Linux distros that offer some of these desktop varieties as primary offerings.

Check back later for reviews sampling my impressions of new and undiscovered Linux environments.

Bottom Line

ALT Linux may have a problem with getting English language updates on some of its most recent product releases. The primary geographic audience it serves may not make English a top priority. Yet many of its products are available with the English language intact.

The great variety of Linux distros available make ALT Linux a very viable source of options for anyone looking to sample the flexibility the Linux operating system offers. I like the starter kit inventory maintained by the ALT Linux developers.

Distro hoppers particularly can focus on trying dozens of desktop varieties without having to adjust to separate distro designs. All of the ALT Linux distros share a common, simple design for ease of use and reliability.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software application or distro you’d like to suggest for review? Something you love or would like to get to know?

email your ideas to me, and I’ll consider them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software.
Email Jack.

Source link

Intel Spins Up Latest Graphics Compiler + Compute Runtime With Ice/Tiger Lake Work


The Intel developers working on their open-source compute run-time this morning released a new version as they continue making improvements to their Gen11 Ice Lake support as well as further bringing up the Gen12/Xe Tiger Lake support.

As part of the compute runtime is the Intel Graphics Compiler to which this morning they released IGC 1.0.2805. With this compiler update is a memory leak fix, an OpenCL fix, and minor fixes/improvements.

With the Intel Compute Runtime 19.45.14764 release they pulled in the new IGC, an updated GMMLIB is also included, 64-bit atomics are now enabled for Ice Lake and Tiger Lake, there is support for thread-group preemption on Tiger Lake GEN12LP, and updates to using a newer GMM (Graphics Memory Management Library) API. Of those changes the 64-bit atomics being flipped on for Ice Lake and Tiger Lake is most notable for this week’s Intel compute open-source work.

Overall the Intel Compute Runtime for Linux continues maturing as we approach Intel’s oneAPI beta release this quarter and next year the highly anticipated launch of their first Xe graphics card.