Vladimir Putin Orders His Government to Move to Open Source

We have reported earlier of the Russian government building a Linux distro for their use. In all probability, the build is nearing a final version now as Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to move to Linux.

The new system will be operational from the second quarter of 2012 and the initial phase will start in Q2 of 2011. After this transition, which is expected to be complete by 2015, the federal government including all the states will run Linux.

Vladimir Putin has been attempting to switch over to Linux from a long time now. However, his repeated attempts back from 2007 will come to fruition finally only after the next five years. However, this time it is not the much longed for education sector that is switching over. Now that the political opposition to the idea has diffused, we can expect to see the matter proceed as planned.

In this translated document from Cnews, you can see that the whole procedure has been broken into parts, one of which deals with creating a repository for use in Russia exclusively. Open source is an effective cost cutting measure and is in use by many governments across the globe. Russia being one of the largest countries, its embracing Open Source is a positive sign and influence for many other countries.

Hotot – The Best Native Twitter Client For Linux

There are quite a few twitter clients for Linux some native ( Gwibber, choqoK, Qwit) others based on Adobe Air ( Tweetdeck, twihrl, DestroyTwitter ). However, I’m not entirely happy with most of them. The problem with Air based clients is that they often bog down the system or just look.. different in Linux. When it comes to native clients Gwibber seems just too buggy, and choqoK & Qwit don’t exactly have the best looking UI. Hotot is poised to change this scene.

Hotot is an soon-to-be-released twitter client being actively developed by Shellex and few other developers. What makes this project even intriguing is the variety of languages used for developing Hotot uses a combination of Python, JavaScript with the GTK toolkit & WebKit. The result is one fantastic looking application.



Hotot features the standard tabs the main timeline, mentions, direct messages & a search pane for looking up on profiles & other general searches.


Activating each of these tabs results in a slick sliding transition which makes you click on the tabs every few minutes. Even better is that each of these tabs features threaded replies ( which you can expand/collapse), inline display of media and other features which most twitter clients skimp on – such as Reply To All, old-style retweets, ReTweets (including your tweets, retweeted by others).


To make things even better Hotot has support for extensions, supports native desktop notifications in both Gnome & KDE SC, extensively customizable and is open source.



Hotot is currently at version 0.9, and should be out soon. If you’re itching to try it out do check the instructions here to see how you can install it. Trust me, it’s worth the install.

Linux Kernel Attracts 5 patches per hour – The Linux Kernel Report

The Linux Foundation has published their annual document highlighting the state of the Linux kernel development.

This year, the number of commits have decreased by 18%, in comparison to the increase by significant number. The report highlights that the previous year’s increased commit amounts can be attributed to the release of 2.6.30 kernel which brought in new additions such as Btrfs filesystem and perf. This year, however, saw a decrease due to maturity of existing components such as the ext4.

Release Frequency & Rate of Change

Over the past year, 3 versions have been released – 2.6.33 , 2.6.34 & 2.6.35 with each version being in development for 84, 81 & 77 days respectively.

2.6.33, 2.6.34 & 2.6.35 brought in 10.8k, 9.4k and 9.8k patches respectively – resulting in an average of 5 patches per hour. 2.6.35 currently stands at about 13.5 million lines of code, up from about 1.5million lines since the last year’s update.

Who’s doing all this work ?

2.6.35 attracted a total of 1,187 different individuals and 184 different companies working on it. David S. Miller, Ingo Molnar & Al Viro constitute the top individual contributors at 1.3%, 1.2% and 1.2% each of the overall total. It’s interesting to note that Linus doesn’t feature in top-30 list of contributors w.r.t patches – this is  primarily due to Linus’ role as a reviewer and handling patchmerges.

How many sponsors?

Interestingly, the people who have no  financial backing from any company constitutes for 18.9% of the total commits. Red Hat comes in second at 12.4% and  Novell  at about 7%.  Amongst companies involved in embedded & mobile devices development, Nokia contribution weighs in at about 2.3%. Although Google employs some senior kernel developers such as Theodore Ts’o, the contribution is about 0.6%.

These are some of the excerpts from the published paper – you can grab the full details over here [PDF link] for the full details.

Adobe Releases Flash 10.2 Beta For Windows, Mac and Linux

Adobe has released a new Flash 10.2 beta for Windows, Mac and Linux which introduces a number of enhancements and new APIs. Flash 10.2 beta also support Internet Explorer 9 hardware acceleration.

Flash 10.2 beta includes a new feature called Stage Video, which helps websites deliver smooth videos across devices and browsers by enabling access to hardware acceleration. Flash 10.2 also claims to deliver HD videos while using very little processing power.

Overall, Flash 10.2 Beta looks like a worthwhile upgrade if you do not have any issues with using beta software. You can learn about all the new enhancements in Flash 10.2 at the official blog or download it from here.

Unigine Announces A Linux Game Development Competition

Linux is a great operating system but one area where it severely lags behind others (Windows) is games. There are very few open source game engines available for Linux but most of them are generally miles behind those available for Windows.

The Unigine engine is a powerful game engine and it is cross platform – which means that it van run on Linux too. However, because of licensing costs which can even go upto $100,000, Linux game development has not really taken off  in-spite  of it.

Unigine Corp has, however, been always Linux friendly. Their upcoming game OilRush will be released in a few months with a Linux client as well. They want to kickstart the development of Linux games and they are doing it through a Linux game development competition.

This is what Denis Shergin, CEO of Unigine Corp. said:

I have been using Linux for over than 10 years now and find it a really great platform with a steadily growing market share on desktops. What we see, however, is though this niche market is open to conquer, it severely lacks high-quality 3D games with up-to-date visuals. We are eager to contribute to filling in the gap and boost up Linux game development.

The competition is open to any team which has developed a 3D game or is working on one and is experienced with Linux software development. The winning team will get a free binary license on Unigine engine for a single project on PC platform (Windows / Linux). Unigine Corp. will give another two teams “huge discounts” for the license.

This is all good news for Linux game development. Let us hope we see some awesome games as a result of this.

You can read more about it here.

[via: Phoronix]

Demo Of Wayland Display Server In Ubuntu

Ubuntu is  going  through a lot of changes now. It will use Unity for the desktop instead of GNOME Shell in the next release i.e. Ubuntu 11.04. However one of the biggest changes is that X.org will be replaced by the Wayland Display Server. This is a huge change and will likely take a few years.

Right now Wayland is not stable enough to replace X.org. However Kristian Høgsberg, who started the Wayand project,  has made a video of Wayland Display Server running in Ubuntu. Here is the video:

(Click here if you cannot see the embedded video.)

Because of the support that Wayland is now getting, development is going ahead quite nicely. There is even a PPA from where you can install it now.

So, if you are the curious type and want to try it out, here is what you need to do:

[Warning: Wayland is in no way ready for normal usage yet. This is only for testing.]

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/wayland

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install wayland

To launch Wayland from within X.org, execute the following command:


Attachmate Corporation to Acquire Novell for $2.2 Billion

Attachmate Corporation has agreed to buy Novell for a sum of 2.2 billion. Novell was up for sale, was accepting buyers on Wednesday, and has finally agreed to sell. Novell got a  buyout offer earlier this year from Elliott Associates, which was valued at $1.8 billion.

Novell is also selling its intellectual property separately to CPTN Holdings at $450 million. CPTN Holdings is a consortium of technology companies with Microsoft as its head. This has raised some concerns in the Linux world as Novell IP with MS is like the magic sword falling into the hands of the wrong people.

The  Novell press release says,

Novell also announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the concurrent sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation, for $450 million in cash, which cash payment is reflected in the merger consideration to be paid by Attachmate Corporation.

Attachmate corporation has decided to run Novell as two separate units, one as Novell itself and another as SUSE Linux. Novell expects both the transactions to end by the first quarter of 2011 and this will mark the end of long standing rumors of Novell selling out that started in 1990.


RedHat Developer Comes Up With Alternative To The “Magic” 200 Line Kernel Patch

Two days back we reported about  a 200 line patch for the Linux kernel which increases the system responsiveness under heavy load. The patch was applied to the Linux kernel not long ago and so it will take some time to appear for most of the users.

Interestingly, a RedHat developer, Lennart Poettering, has come up with an alternative to the kernel patch which does exactly the same thing. The most unbelievable thing about Poettering’s alternative is that it consist of just four lines of code which has to be added to the ~/.bashrc file.

Poettering’s method is ready for use by anyone. All you have to do is add the floowing lines of code in the ~/.bashrc file:  (Note: I have not tried this myself.)

if [ "$PS1" ] ; then
mkdir -m 0700 /sys/fs/cgroup/cpu/user/$$
echo $$ > /sys/fs/cgroup/cpu/user/$$/tasks

After adding these commands run the following commands as super user:

mount -t cgroup cgroup /sys/fs/cgroup/cpu -o cpu
mkdir -m 0777 /sys/fs/cgroup/cpu/user

It seems unbelievable that just these four lines of code can do the same function as a 200+ lines of kernel patch. However, there are indications that Poettering’s method might be actually better than the original kernel patch.

For Ubuntu users who want to try this, WebUpd8 has a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it.

Linux Mint 10 Julia Now Available for Download

The latest incarnation of Linux Mint, the popular Ubuntu based distro, is out. Linux Mint 10, which has been codenamed Julia, is based on Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

Last month, we previewed the release candidate (RC) build of Julia. As in previous editions, the final build contains only minor fixes. In fact, if you have already installed the RC build, you don’t even need to download the new build. Simply applying all Level 1 and Level 2 patches from the update manager will suffice.


Aside from the upstream changes, the biggest change in Linux Mint 10 is the user interface. The Shiki theme has been replaced with a new metallic theme called Mint-X. Other changes include an improved mintMenu, software manager, update manager and upload manager.

[ Download Linux Mint 10 Julia ]

Speed Up Program Installs / Upgrades in Ubuntu

If you’re an Ubuntu power user, you’re probably aware of apt-get. apt-get is a command line tool often used for installing and updating new software in Debian based distributions such as the very popular Ubuntu.

Now, if you’re familiar with apt-get you would have probably noticed that apt-get downloads the files with a single connection. Now what if there was a way a file could be split up into multiple pieces and each piece could be downloaded independently, similar to what download managers such as FlashGet / Internet Download Manager would do ?

Enter apt-fast. apt-fast is an apt-get supplement/replacement script by Matt Parnell. Basically apt-fast does pretty much the same thing as apt-get does, except that the download part of it is handled by axel. The result being that your program installation downloads finish faster. A lot faster. Up to 26-times, according to Matt.

Here are the steps in setting up apt-fast:

Install axel

Even though apt-fast can detect and auto-install axel if it’s not installed, let’s do it by ourselves. As usual, it’s apt-get to the rescue.

sudo apt-get install axel

Download apt-fast script

Download apt-fast.sh from here. Save it to your home directory.

Setup apt-fast

Before we can start using apt-fast we need so setup certain things – permissions and the like. First, move apt-fast to /usr/bin

sudo mv ~/apt-fast.sh /usr/bin/apt-fast

Note: sudo is required here since a regular user does not have permissions to write to /usr/bin directory.

Give permissions to apt-fast to make it executable

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/apt-fast

Wrapping it up

That’s about all that is required to setup apt-fast. So now, instead of using apt-get to install software, just use apt-fast. Axel will download the software, and apt-get will perform the installation. The below screenshot should how the downloads look like now.

apt-fast downloads