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Intel's Speed Select Technology ironically hurting performance, but a fix is coming
by Sayan Sen
Intel's Speed Select Technology (SST) is a power management solution from the company that allows users to manage core prioritization and frequency regulation depending on the workloads in order to improve performance and efficiency.
However, as an Intel engineer has observed, there is performance regression by more than 10% in benchmarks with the mode enabled. And while it isn't stated, the impact in a real workload might be lower but it's still a cause for concern.
The engineer further explains that the standard Linux PCI interface which is used here is causing the delay as it searches through hundreds of PCI devices, during mapping, that are attached to the system. For those wondering why the need to mention hundreds of devices here, that's because Intel SST is a complex solution and is only available in Xeons and not in the mainstream Core lineup.
Since the root cause of the problem has been identified, the good news is that a patch that promises to fix this should be available soon via a future firmware if it isn't already out. The fix is a fairly simple one and will use the cached data that will speed up the search process.
Here's what the full LKML message says:
Intel launched SST back in 2019 inside Cascade Lake Xeon CPUs. The technology is quite versatile as it enables several options like setting core prioritization, base clock tweaking, and more. As stated above, SST is implemented in the firmware and carried out by the processor's Power Control Unit (PCU). For more information on SST, visit Intel's official site here.
Linux Mint 20.2 beta ISOs undergo testing and are due soon [Update]
by Paul Hill
At the end of May, it was reported that Linux Mint 20.2 would see a beta release in mid-June. We’ve reached mid-June and it looks as though the team is running last-minute tests on the beta ISOs before making them available to the public. Following the ISOs’ release, the beta period should run for about two weeks before the stable release is made with upgrade paths opened up.
The Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce images were tested about 7 hours ago and all failed, the Xfce image was tried again several hours later and failed again, now the Xfce image is being tested a third time along with the MATE edition. Users don’t have to worry about these tests, only, the longer they take to pass, the longer you’ll all be waiting to try out the beta.
Linux Mint 20.2 has been given the codename Uma and is an iterative upgrade in the 20.x series which began in the first half of last year. As with the other versions in the Linux Mint 20.x series, this update will be supported until April or May 2025. Once security updates stop, you can continue to use it but you won’t be safe especially if you connect to the internet with the device.
Linux Mint 20.2 will come with a new XApp called Bulky that allows you to rename files in bulk, the Nemo 5.0 file manager will be present in the Cinnamon edition, and the local file sharing tool Warpinator will now give you the option to compress files that are sent to reduce the transfer time.
Update: Since the publication of this article, beta builds of Linux Mint 20.2 have passed the tests.
Linux Mint 20.2 'Uma' to get beta release by mid-June
by Paul Hill
Clement Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, has published a blog post revealing that Linux Mint 20.2 is codenamed 'Uma' and is set for a beta release by the middle of June. The new release will still be based upon Ubuntu 20.04 LTS but comes with an upgrade to the Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce desktops and comes with newer hardware enablement stacks that ship with Ubuntu LTS point releases.
Linux Mint 20.2 will feature a new XApp (apps made by the Mint team) called Bulky that allows the users to rename files in bulk on both the Cinnamon and MATE versions of Mint. On Xfce, the Thunar file manager already comes with an embedded bulk renamer so Bulky won’t need to be shipped with the Xfce edition of Mint.
Another change in Linux Mint 20.2 is the inclusion of Nemo 5.0, the file manager on the Cinnamon edition of Linux Mint. With Nemo 5.0, users can now perform a content search in addition to a file’s name. The new content search will look for search terms within documents and return the document to the user if the search finds anything relevant.
The local file-sharing program Warpinator, which was released with Linux Mint 20, has also been updated. Now, users can select which network interface they want to share files on if they have several available. Additionally, a new option to compress files that are sent has been added, this should reduce the amount of time it takes to send large files.
Finally, the NVIDIA Prime applet has been updated to fix an issue where the applet would disappear from the tray. It also contains support for computers with AMD/NVIDIA hybrids.
Linux Mint 20.2, just like the rest of the 20.x series, will be supported until around April or May of 2025. At that time, it will stop receiving software updates and users will need to upgrade if they want their system to stay secure.
You can now run Linux GUI apps in Windows 10 [Update]
by João Carrasqueira
As this year's Build developer event kicks off, Microsoft has announced a major new feature for Windows 10 - the ability to run Linux apps with a GUI. This is a major expansion of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which already lets you run command line-based Linux apps, and it means you can now use GUI apps without having to set up a traditional virtual machine with a Linux distribution.
Interestingly, this feature has actually been in testing with Windows Insiders on the Dev channel since April, but it isn't coming through a typical Windows 10 feature update. It's just available now for existing versions of Windows 10 and you can start using it right away.
That's not all that's new for Windows developers either. Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Edge WebView2 is now generally available in WinUI 3.0. The new WebView is powered by the Chromium-based Edge browser, and it's been gradually rolling out starting with Win32 C/C++ apps, followed by .NET, WinForms, and WPF. Now, it's generally available for WinUI 3.0 as well, after spending some time in preview form. This allows you to implement web elements into native apps, such as for signing into a service.
Project Reunion is also getting a new preview update to version 0.8, which will be the next big update following the release of version 0.5 in March. Version 0.8 brings support for developing apps for both client and cloud endpoints, and general availability is planned for this quarter, according to the roadmap.
Finally, Microsoft also announced Windows Terminal 1.9 Preview, the latest release of its unified command line tool. This version adds Quake Mode, which allows users to launch Windows Terminal from anywhere in Windows with a simple keyboard shortcut.
Editor's note: Despite some confusing wording in Microsoft's book of news from Build 2021, this feature is not generally available yet. You'll need to be running a Windows 10 Insider Preview build to do this.
By News Staff
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by Steven Parker
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