June 17, 2004

Cliff's List Filter - June 9 - 15

Author: Ian Palmer

It's June, and for some of us, that means it's summertime. If it's not hot enough for you outside, how about some hot updates from the Linux Kernel, GNOME, KDE and Mozilla circles? This week has been burning with a few new items, most notably: a kernel fix for Highpoint disk controllers; a hotfix for an unusually serious bug in Linux's floating point handling; new looks for the GNOME Print Manager and KDE's mixer applet; and the usual assortment of tips, tricks and interesting discussions that happened to pass across the ether, this week.

Linux Kernel

  • Herbert Xu starts us off this week with a fix for a critical bug involving Highpoint RAID under Linux 2.4. After applying the patch, you should be able to access /proc/ide/hpt366 without risk of disk spindown.
  • Mariusz Mazur released a version of his linux-libc-headers for Kernel 2.6.6 on June 2. These headers are drop-in-replacements for the standard Linux Kernel headers, which are designed to work better with various implementations of the Standard C Library (libc).
  • An unusually serious bug popped up this week that allowed improperly formed FPU assembler code to lock up a Linux 2.4 or 2.6 system. These lockup seem to be preventable with this FPU code fix for Linux 2.6 and this signals fix for Linux 2.4.
  • Geoff Levand announced the release of the Linux 2.6.6 version of his high-res-timers patch on June 9.
  • Peter Williams released more updates to his Single Priority Array CPU Scheduler for Linux 2.6.7-rc3 on June 10. These changes attempt to simplify the O(1) scheduler while maintaining its responsiveness and scalability. A subsequent patch which adds tunable nodes for this feature, via /proc/sys/kernel, was released on June 12.
  • nForce2 motherboard owners who would like to use the C1 Halt Disconnect features of their hardware, but can't because there is no BIOS option for it, should take read this C1 Disconnect discussion for some workarounds you can try. Be sure to check that your hardware properly supports this feature before trying them out.
  • Benchmarks run against 2.6.7-rc3 noticed a regression in performance from previous kernels on a few database related tests. If you have been experiencing slower-than-normal performance with your databases on 2.6.7-rc3, consider applying the patch included with the message. That patch should reverse the changes that appear to be causing the problem.
  • Cesar Eduardo Barros submitted some changes which will allow programs to open files without changing their access times.
  • Thinkpad owners who have been butting heads with their Thinkpads generating a "1802: Unauthorized network card" error might be interested in a simple solution to the 1802 error. There is C code available to adjust the CMOS to turn of the Thinkpad Whitelist check, which can be compiled and run under Linux. Hopefully this tip will allow you to get your WiFi cards up and running.
  • Randy Dunlap released kmsgdump, updated for Linux 2.6.6 on June 14. kmsgdump is a Linux Kernel extension which allows you to dump kernel messages to a floppy disk in the case where the kernel has crashed.
  • Atul Sabharwal announced the release of Kmonitor, a non-invasive way to monitor threads and processes at the kernel level, on June 15.

GNOME

  • Gnome users on FedoraCore, who would like better printing functionality, might be interested in a new Print Manager from Matthias Clasen. RPMs are available for the new manager, as well as patches if you prefer to compile from source RPMs.
  • GnomeMeeting users who would like to properly tweak their bandwidth settings to get the best performance, may want to read this discussion on GnomeMeeting Bandwidth and limitations, for some worthwhile information.
  • Binary spies sneaked out with the following new bits:
    • The GNOME Network Tool (renamed gnome-nettool), gets ready for its inaugural 1.0 milestone with the release of v0.99.1 on June 13.
    • Gtk2-Perl v2.6.2 was released on June 14. The Gtk2-Perl package provides the necessary bindings which allow you to write GTK2+ based applications in Perl.

KDE

  • KDE v3.2.3 released on June 9.
  • KDE's Kiosk Admin Tool reached v0.5 on June 11. The Kiosk Admin Tool is an easy way of accessing KDE's kiosk features, and allows you to easily create profiles for groups of users.
  • KDE's mixer applet, Kmix, gets an overhaul with new features and a new look. Look for the improvements in KDE 3.3.
  • From last week: Good news for KDE in the Enterprise -- a Dutch firm, Bull Netherlands, has announced that they will offer services on the KDE desktop, and is willing to provide support for firms who choose to migrate to Linux/KDE.

Mozilla

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