Linux kernel 4.7 released

Also in today's open source roundup: DistroWatch reviews Slackware 14.2, and Prisma has been released for Android

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Linux kernel 4.7 released

Linus Torvalds has been hard at work on an update to the Linux kernel, and now version 4.7 has been officially released.

Simon Sharwood reports for The Register:

This time around the headline features include the addition of the schedutil cpufreq governor, code that makes it possible to change the frequency at which a CPU operates. There’s also support for the new-ish Radeon RX 480 GPU and the ability to handle Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite Controller.

Linux-on-telly fans will want to tune in to support for the LG1312 custom ARM kit that LG uses in its smart televisions, among other new ARM ships that gain support.

More at The Register

You can also read Linus’ official announcement of Linux kernel 4.7:

So, after a slight delay due to my travels, I’m back, and 4.7 is out.

Despite it being two weeks since rc7, the final patch wasn’t all that big, and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There’s a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving. Appended is the shortlog since rc7 for people who care: it’s fairly spread out, with networking and some intel Kabylake GPU fixes being the most noticeable ones. But there’s random small noise spread all over.

And obviously, this means that the merge window for 4.8 is open.Judging by the linux-next contents, that’s going to be a bigger release than the current one (4.7 really was fairly calm, I blame at least partly summer in the northern hemisphere).

More at LKML

News of the release of kernel 4.7 caught the attention of Linux redditors and they shared their thoughts:

R3bl: “I think I like “Psychotic Stoned Sheep” even better than the “Hurr durr I’ma sheep” codename (for the 4.0 version).”

FrozenCow: “I like these naming conventions of Linux. They’re so over the top that noone will use them seriously and instead 4.7 is always used. On the other hand Debian and Ubuntu have a rule for their version names somewhat more serious than Linux. For those 2 version names and numbers are used interchangeably… :/”

Tso: “I much prefer numbers, for some reason i can’t keep names straight. Even worse when dealing with the likes of Android, where Google ever so often use the same name over multiple minor releases, and then introduce a new name for another minor release…”

Ownaginatious: “Just received an RX 480 in the mail… and then waited forever for the 4.7-RC kernel to compile on my ArchLinux machine to actually get support for it. Then I gave up seeing I’d have to compile mesa v12 and a bunch of other stuff too.

Awesome to see that pretty much all of that just hit the mainline today! Currently standing by waiting for 4.7 to hit ArchLinux :D”

Iamnotwrong: “I am a bit new to using custom (own compiled) kernels. If there is a security fix, do I have to look anywhere else than on kernel.org (e.g. for a new version that fixes that issue) or is there going to be a separate security fix patch?”

Andrewd18: “Kernel.org should contain everything.”

F4hy: “Very very rarely will a kernel update mean anything significant to the average end user. Unless you have cutting edge hardware that Linux doesn’t support yet, to a non programmer no reason to stay on top of kernel updates.”

Nukefudge: “This makes me realize I’ve got a hole in my Linux knowledge (understandably, since I’ve only been digging around in Linux subs for a couple weeks).

When installing a distribution, will it simply fetch the latest kernel on its own? Or are users responsible for that?”

Talkingtostrangers: “It will update the kernel when the user updates the system with the package manager. (As the kernel is in a package) The kernel used is not the latest from kernel.org, but the one from the distro’s repositories, which can be several versions late and contain custom patches.”

More at Reddit

DistroWatch reviews Slackware 14.2

Slackware has been around for a very long time, and some folks absolutely love it. DistroWatch has a full review of Slackware 14.2.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

My first Linux distribution was a lightweight derivative of Slackware and so in some ways running Slackware in the past has felt like coming home. I may not use Slackware these days as my primary operating system, in fact I have not done so in a decade and a half, but every few years I have enjoyed returning to the distribution. Slackware is consistent, much the same today as it was five years ago, or ten years ago or even fifteen years ago. It is still stable, still stays out of the way, largely unchanged by fad or fancy.

But with each year that goes by, installing Slackware feels less like coming home and more like visiting an old, stone castle. It may be fun to look at, even educational, but not a place where I would want to stay. Getting settled in takes too long and there are no modern conveniences.

Putting aside my feelings about package management, I think Slackware 14.2 is a solid release. As usual, not a lot has changed. There are a few new features, which work as advertised, but otherwise Slackware remains the same as always. It is stable, reliable, constant. Fans of Slackware will probably continue to enjoy it, people who don’t use Slackware will probably regard it as outdated. Though I have heard a handful of people, upset by the widespread use of systemd, talk about trying out Slackware as the distribution continues to run SysV init.

Slackware may not be attractive to a wide audience. Its lack of configuration tools, graphical package manager and small software collection will put off newcomers. But for people who want a “keep it simple” style of operating system and prefer slow-and-steady over latest-and-greatest, Slackware will appeal.

More at DistroWatch

Prisma has been released for Android

Prisma is a popular photo app for iOS that has just been released for Android. The app makes your photos look like paintings or drawn art.

Napier Lopez reports for The Next Web:

Prisma, the turn-your-photos-into-paintings app that’s been blowing up over the past few weeks, is now launching on Android in full form. That means you no longer need a beta invite, and can download it straight off the Google Play Store.

Of course, Prisma is far from the first app to try to make your photos look like painted or drawn artwork. The difference here is its use of artificial intelligence makes the images look much more like they were created by actual humans than a simple algorithms.

The Android app has all the same features as the iOS version, including over 30 filters and support for either taking a new photo or choosing existing ones from your gallery.

Video support – which the company has already demo’d – will launch in about “a week or so.” Prisma tells us live video support is also planned for the near future, but isn’t ready to provide more specifics.

More at The Next Web

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