Canonical Confirms Ubuntu Touch For October 17th

Canonical have confirmed that the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system will be coming out on October the 17th 2013. This means the stable release of the Ubuntu Touch OS is still on schedule. Version 1.0 of the OS comes out with support for the Google Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4 only.

The next incarnation of the Ubuntu Touch OS to succeed version 1.0 will arrive alongside Ubuntu 14.04 and will add supports for tablets.

Ultimately the commercial uptake of Ubuntu Touch will be very slow this year after the failure of the Ubuntu Edge smartphone campaign. If you want to get Ubuntu Touch for when it launches then you’ll need a Nexus 4 or Galaxy Nexus and you’ll have to tweak it to run Ubuntu Touch. Of course next year we could see smartphones and tablets running Ubuntu Touch if vendors can see that there is a demand for it.

Image courtesy of Canonical

Gabe Newell Talks About Linux, Hints At Steambox Announcement

Gabe Newell, the founder and CEO of Valve gave a keynote yesterday at Linuxcon, where he went on to say that Linux is the future of gaming, which is interesting stuff indeed, but the real gold is that he hinted about a hardware announcement for next week! Could this be the dawn of the somewhat over speculated, rumour filled mystery machine that is the Steam Box?

Newell first wanted to make a point about the future of Linux, most notably with a statistic that impressed us here at eTeknix. Since spring last year, developers have created 198 Steam games for the open source OS, quite a busy release schedule and definitely a sign that things are changing in the industry. While that may not sound much, it’s already 10 games more than have ever been release on the Wii U, a lot more if you don’t count digital download only titles.

There is a lot of innovation in the PC industry at this time, there always has been and with bleeding edge technology always available, as well as open source operating systems that for the most part are completely free, it is easy to see why Gabe wants to focus on some combination of the two. He said that proprietary systems create friction, slowing things down, making reference to the slow update approval system used by Apple to make his point. Gabe wants something quicker and more open source.

He went on to hint that Steam would be moving to the living room, something they already tried their hand at with the Steam Big Screen Mode. He said that Linux can act as the universal unifier of mobile, the living room and gaming, people want their system to be simple to use and not be tied into buying hardware, controllers and games that only work on one system.

Will they announce the Steambox next week, I doubt it, I think we’ve all been looking at this completely wrong. I don’t think Linux are going to announce the hardware, I think they’re going to release a SteamOS based around Linux and dish out a list of minimum hardware requirement” and frankly, I hope I am right!


Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Intel Pulls Support For Ubuntu’s New Display Server

Intel recently announced that it would be removing driver support for XMir which is Canonical’s new X11 display server that will be added into upcoming releases of Ubuntu. Intel removes this support from the “xf86-video-intel” open source display driver for Intel graphics products.

Intel’s Chris Wilson stated that:

“We do not condone or support Canonical in the course of action they have chosen, and will not carry XMir patches upstream. – The Management”

Canonical’s Michael Hall has stated that Intel is trying to pull Ubuntu’s XMir project down in favour of promoting their own equivalent called “Wayland”.

“This just strikes me as trying to win the race by tripping the competition, not by running faster.  Worse still, they made somebody else do the deed without the decision makers publicly taking responsibility for the decision.” Stated Michael Hall.

Canonical claims it will get around the move by Intel by regularly integrating an XMir Patch into each new release of Intel’s Linux graphics driver.

Image courtesy of

Tropico 5 Teaser Trailer And Game Details Revealed

Kalypso Media have just revealed the teaser trailer for Tropico 5 which you can see below. The game will reportedly be available on Windows, Mac and Linux for PC, though will not be making an appearance on any consoles. The full announcement of the new game can be seen here. Haemimont Studios expect the game to be ready for a “2014 release” though no specifics were given. Let’s hope we are going to get a truly new Tropico game because as good as Tropico 4 was, you couldn’t help but feel there was way too much recycling of Tropico 3 going on in the game.


Below is a description of the new game from Kalypso Media:

‘Return to the remote island nation of Tropico in the next installment of the critically acclaimed and hugely popular ‘dictator sim’ series.’ Expand your Dynasty’s reign from the early colonial period to beyond the 21st Century, facing an all-new set of challenges, including advanced trading mechanics, technology and scientific research, exploration and for the first time in Tropico history — cooperative and competitive MULTIPLAYER for up to 4 players.

  • The Dynasty – Each member of El Presidente’s extended family is present on the island and may be appointed as a ruler, a manager, an ambassador or a general. Dynasty members gain skills and experience based on their individual assignments.
  • Research and Renovate – Advance your nation by discovering new buildings, technologies and resources. Renovate your old buildings to more efficient modern buildings.
  • Advanced trade system and trade fleet – Amass a global trade fleet and use your ships to secure trade routes to neighboring islands or world superpowers, both for export and import.
  • Explore your island – Discover what lies beyond the fog of war. Send prospectors to look for new deposits, but be wary of hostile animals and native tribes.
  • All new art – All artwork has been re-designed from scratch to provide Tropico 5 with a unique visual identity. Choose from over 100 buildings from each of the individual eras.
  • Cooperative and competitive multiplayer — Up to 4 players can build up their own cities and economies on any given island map. Players can choose to share resources, supplies and population or declare war on each other.

Image courtesy of Kalypso Media (YouTube)

Rumour – Metro Last Light To Arrive On Steam For Linux Soon

Steam for Linux has been out for a while now but it hasn’t really brought any top-tier games as of yet. Apart from Valve games and some indie developers most developers haven’t been interested in offering Linux support or giving people the relevant tools to develop that open source support. That said, according to Softpedia we could be seeing Metro Last Light arrive on Steam for Linux in the very near future, and Metro Last Light is definitely a top-tier game.

The information comes from the CDR database over at Steam Database which shows that the Linux version will soon have Metro Last Light. While this isn’t a rock-solid confirmation we have seen a typical trend in the past of new Steam games being visible in the CDR database about a month before their official launch.

Stay tuned to this one and we will be sure to bring you more details as soon as we get them.

Image courtesy of Deep Silver

Windows 8 Growing In Popularity With Gamers Shows Steam Hardware Survey

The Steam Hardware Survey always gives a good indication of what PC gamers are doing in terms of hardware and software trends. The monthly survey reveals details on all the hardware and software inside Steam users’ PCs. So if you’re interested in seeing if Steam gamers prefer Nvidia or AMD, 4GB or 8GB of RAM and so on then be sure to check it out.

The latest figures from the Steam Hardware Survey reveal that Windows 8 is actually growing reasonably fast among PC gamers using Steam. Windows 8 64 Bit grew by 1.1% taking most of that market share from Windows 7 64 bit which declined by 1.16%. That said most other Windows operating systems declined in market share with only Windows 8 64 bit showing positive growth. Most gamers that left declining Windows operating systems ended up moving to Windows 8 64 Bit, Linux based operating systems or Mac OS X.

So Windows 8 64 bit is popular with gamers. Are there any gamers out there that are using Windows 8 64 bit? Let us know if you are, and let us know why you have chosen Windows 8 64 bit over other operating systems!

Image courtesy of eTeknix via Steam

Windows 8 Experiences Slowest Rate Of Growth In July

Windows 8 experienced a bit of a boost last month with the release of the Windows 8.1 preview but now that all the excitement has died down a bit the latest current OS from Microsoft has returned to slow growth. In fact it recorded just 0.32% of growth during last month according to Net Applications. Windows 7 grew by 0.13% in the same month while Vista dropped 0.35% and XP dropped 0.15%.

Despite Microsoft’s best efforts it is struggling to overcome the inertia of the PC market. Windows XP and Windows 7 still both dominate with 37.02% and 44.50% respectively while Windows 8 is barely struggling to do much better than Windows Vista.

In the grand scheme of things Microsoft also experienced a 0.06% decline in overall market share between June and July losing some ground to Mac OS and Linux.

While every month Windows 8 does grow and has been growing consistently for a while, Microsoft is unlikely to be pleased at how low the rate of growth is. By current rates it could take another year before Windows 8 passes 10% market share so Microsoft will really be counting on Windows 8.1 to give Windows 8 sales that kick up the backside it so sorely needs.

Image courtesy of TNW

Ubuntu Edge Passes 20% Crowd-Funding Milestone

Ubuntu’s new “Edge” smartphone got off to a flying start generating nearly $3.2 million in under a day of its Indiegogo campaign. Canonical’s new smartphone has now passed 22% of its funding target. Currently $7 million of the $32 million total has been generated in a few days.

In those few days the discounted versions of the phone have now vanished and now Canonical is trying to lure crowd-funders in with other perks such as limited edition phones. The campaign still has 24 days left to achieve another $25 million and it remains to be seen whether it can achieve such a milestone.

The Ubuntu Edge has the following specifications:

  • Dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android
  • Fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked
  • Fastest multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage
  • Micro-SIM
  • 4.5in 1,280 x 720 HD sapphire crystal display
  • 8mp low-light rear camera, 2mp front camera
  • Dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer
  • Stereo speakers with HD audio, dual-mic recording, Active Noise Cancellation
  • 11-pin connector providing simultaneous MHL and USB OTG
  • 3.5mm jack
  • Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery
  • 64 x 9 x 124mm

For more information on the Ubuntu Edge project see the campaign page here.

Image courtesy of Canonical (indiegogo)

Ubuntu Edge Phone Raises $3.2m Funding In Less Than A Day

Building a smartphone and taking it to market is no easy task, although it does get a lot less complicated when you raise a huge pile of money to help you and Canonical has done just that, raising 10% of the total money it required to bring their new device to market.

The Ubuntu Edge smartphone took less than a day to raise $3.2 million and that number is quickly growing, it’s apparently not going to take very long for them to hit their $32 million crowdfunding campaign target if this pace continues.

Unlike other phones on the market, the Edge can be hooked directly to a PC monitor and used as a Linux PC thanks to its dual OS system that runs both Ubuntu and Android, backed up with  (at least) 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a multicore processor, a 4.5″ 720 display which is made from “pure Sapphire crystal”.

All the usual modern high end features will be there too, such as long life battery (that’s a lie, no smartphone has long battery life), dual 4G/LTE, 8MP camera on the back and a 2MP camera on the front.

“Upon completion, the Ubuntu Edge will be the realisation of Canonical’s distinctive vision for a single operating system driving phones, tablets, conventional computers and TVs,” the company said.

It’s certainly shaping up to be an interesting device, I hope it does complete its 30 day crowdfunding target in time as it would be great to get some new blood on the market as things are already getting a little repetitive.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Verge.

Windows Plummets In Global Computing Market, Android Takes Over

While we know Windows based operating systems dominates the “desktop market” with around 91% of market share, the world of computing is much more than that. It includes tablets, smartphones, consoles, servers and so on. With the dramatic decline of PC shipments over the past years and rapid growth of other mobile computing platforms, Windows has been having a hard time. If we take those things into consideration then Business Insider, using Gartner and IDC analytics, suggests that Windows has been plummeting at a staggering rate over the past 4 years.

As the graph demonstrates since 2009 Apple and Android have eaten into the share of most other operating systems including Windows, Blackberry and other Linux based operating systems. Now Android is the single biggest operating system and Apple operating systems are nearly as popular as Windows based ones. With the broader picture in place things look quite dire for Microsoft and Windows. It is no surprise Microsoft are trying really hard to make it big in the mobile market with their Windows Phone OS and close ties with Nokia. Yet that is clearly not working and Microsoft’s decline will continue unless they can find a way to boost the popularity of Windows or cash in on the tablet or PC market.

In terms of the desktop market Microsoft has been losing ground slowly over the same time period but to a much smaller extent. Currently it has 91.5% market share compared to around 7% for Mac OS X and 1.5% for Linux. This has declined from around 94% in 2009. With all things considered then, Microsoft is losing ground in the desktop market and losing huge ground in the global computing market. Things certainly aren’t looking good. What do you think about Microsoft’s fortunes? Are the figures portraying the situation accurately or does it exaggerate things?

Image courtesy of Business Insider

Windows Runs On 91% Of World’s Desktop Computers

Despite all the bad press Microsoft has had this year, and the bashing that Windows 8 has faced (rightly or wrongly so), Microsoft still dominates the desktop PC market and this shows absolutely no sign of slowing. According to the latest figures by Market Research firm Net Applications Microsoft still boasts 91.5% of the market share. The above figures show a relatively stable percentage for Microsoft but if we look at bit further back we can see a very slight long term decline:

  • July 2010 – 93.83%
  • July 2011 – 92.90%
  • July 2012 – 92.01%
  • June 2013 – 91.51%

Furthermore their figures reveal that Microsoft’s main rivals are Mac OS X with 7.2% and Linux with 1.28%. Windows 7 is the world’s number one operating system with 44.37% and Windows XP follows behind with 37.17%. The figures also reveal that Windows 8 now has 5.10% of market share which is rising fairly slowly but has overtaken Vista which has just 4.62%.

So the figures are certainly interesting but Microsoft shows no sign of slowing down on the PC platform. Despite all the talk of switching to different operating systems after “the disappointment” that Windows 8 was we can see very few users are actually opting for desktop alternatives (Mac OS X and Linux) and most simply move around within Windows operating system, mainly to Windows 7 or Windows XP.

Image courtesy of Net Applications

Systena Unveil Tizen-Linux Powered Full HD Tablet

The Tizen operating system is essentially a WebKit runtime running on top of the open source Linux Kernel and it was developed with some key players like Intel, Samsung and the Linux Foundation. The Source Developer Kit (SDK) of Tizen 2.0, the latest incarnation, is entirely licensed to Samsung so despite the open-source nature of Tizen 1 the newly released Tizen 2 “Magnolia” is proprietary. Yet we are now seeing the first tablet on the market running this Tizen OS courtesy of Japanese company Systena according to a report by If we ignore Android tablets for a second this is probably one of very few Linux powered tablets in existence.

The hardware of this Tizen powered tablet is impressive as it boasts a 10.1 inch 1920 by 1200 WUXGA display, a quad core 1.4GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 32GB of storage, N WiFi,  dual cameras and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. As we’ve mention the device runs the Tizen 2.0 “Magnolia” operating system but is expected to get Tizen 2.1 when that is released for general usage.

While the tablet market is currently crowded out by Android and iOS, and Windows based operating systems to a much lesser extent, we could see Tizen take off if it is successful. Furthmermore with Ubuntu currently being worked on for tablets and smartphones and Mozilla developing their FireFox OS as a rival to Android it could be an exciting new year for fresh tablet innovations.

Image courtesy of Systena

Compulab Reveal MintBox 2

Compulab have revealed their second incarnation of the MintBox according to FanlessTech. The MintBox 2 will run Linux Mint out of the box and comes equipped with passively cooled Intel Core i5 processors. The previous generation ran AMD E-Series Zacate APUs so this is a dramatic improvement on the CPU front – up to four times more CPU performance is promised.  There will probably be the provision of dual core hyper threaded Core i5 mobile processors, most likely based on the Ivy Bridge Mobile chips but possibly Haswell.

Apparently the MintBox 2 is going to ship with at least 4GB of dual channel memory though you will undoubtedly be able to add more if you so wish as mobile Core i5 processors can take a lot more than 4GB. The DDR3 is probably provided by SODIMM to keep the size down. There is a 500GB mechanical hard drive for storage, likely to be 2.5 inch form factor, and the device uses a pair of Gigabit ethernet connectors. With dimensions of 190 by 160 by 40mm this device is really small. Linux Mint 15 Olivia is expected to come pre-installed and maybe in a 64 bit variety depending on RAM allocation. Pricing starts from USD$599 and will arrive within the next month or

Image courtesy of Compulab

Sony PlayStation 4 OS Is Modified FreeBSD 9

It looks like Sony has gone for the a super customised edition of Free DSB 9.0 to run the heart and mind of their new PlayStation 4 games console, an interesting choice for many reasons and it couldn’t be much more different that the system opted for by Microsoft.

The latest bit of information to be exposed tells us that the operating system for the PlayStation 4 is known as Orbis OS, a Sony made spin off FreeBSD 9.0, a logical decision given that it’s licencing options are more liberal than those of Linux, which is saying something given Linux is pretty open also. Since Sony are no longer running the Cell Broadband Engine cores, instead using the X86_64 cores of their high-end AMD APU, FreeBSD makes a lot of sense, it can run on this hardware happily, where as the Cell used XMediaBar, a full custom OS that deep down likely shared some resemblance to Linux.

Since FreeBSD is at the centre of the PlayStation 4 interface and processing, this must also mean that Sony have ported, or at least created their own Radeon graphics drivers for the OS and Hardware given that no Catalyst driver is currently available for any BSD OS, so at least we know it can be done effectively in one form or another.

The leak of this information was from who found the information from the 2nd gen development kit for Sonys new console, but why is this a big deal you ask? Well it’s simple, Sony have clearly opted for something that is super focused on the task in hand, a light weight highly customised OS that is said to leave 7GB of the system ram free for gaming, a big contrast to the three operating systems of the Xbox One that are said to leave just 5GB of RAM available to gaming software.

Thank you Phoronix for providing us with this information.

NSA Has Code Running In the Linux Kernel And Android

The saying “how deep does the rabbit hole go” has never been more appropriate with regards to NSA speculation as everyday people seem to pull up something new. With the USA’s National Security Agency, or NSA, in the spotlight recently over the whole PRISM saga, it seems to have made pretty big news everywhere. Now it emerges that the NSA has code running in both the Linux Kernel and in Android. Though this isn’t anything new, as it has been known since 2003, it has only just come to mainstream public attention.

The NSA had an active role in developing SELinux, that is security enhanced Linux. I am sure it won’t be long before sceptics pull the “Surveillance enhanced Linux” out of the bag.

The SELinux project was merged into the Linux Kernel back in 2003 meaning it is present in all Android and Linux distributions available today. The tool is an implementation of mandatory access controls for the Linux distribution. It is described below:

SELinux is a security enhancement to Linux which allows users and administrators more control over access control.

Access can be constrained on such variables as which users and applications can access which resources. These resources may take the form of files. Standard Linux access controls, such as file modes (-rwxr-xr-x) are modifiable by the user and the applications which the user runs. Conversely, SELinux access controls are determined by a policy loaded on the system which may not be changed by careless users or misbehaving applications.

SELinux also adds finer granularity to access controls. Instead of only being able to specify who can read, write or execute a file, for example, SELinux lets you specify who can unlink, append only, move a file and so on. SELinux allows you to specify access to many resources other than files as well, such as network resources and interprocess communication (IPC).

Not being a very Linux educated person I can’t really comment on the likelihood of SELinux being a backdoor. However, I can point out that people have speculated SELinux is an NSA backdoor to all Linux and Android devices. On the other hand other people have rubbished those claims stating that with Linux being an open source operating system there is no way such a backdoor could have existed unnoticed. Furthermore all source code for the NSA’s SELinux project is open source and available for examination.

What are your thoughts on this?

Image courtesy of Linux

Indie God Sim “Reus” Is Out Now, Already A Steam Bestseller

Developer Abbey have successfully launched strategy god game Reus and it is available as a digital downloadable title on most popular platforms such as and Steam.

Reus is Abbey’s first ever release, but within hours it had already climbed to be the top 2 seller on Steam, out pacing many other successful AAA and indie titles on the service. Abbey say their next step to success it to port the game to both Mac and Linux.

“Creating Reus has always been a gamble. Our friends and mentors advised against it, and we listened where we could as long as it did not mean bailing on Reus. At the start of our studio, we decided to create a complex game without any budget. We chose to skip any (crowd)funding and just work towards a finished game on our own as fast as possible. Meanwhile we kept ourselves alive with our student loan. Paying no wages proved attractive to many developers as we quickly grew from a 4 to a 15-person team. Now, 1.5 years later we had the chance to release with several distributors after much anticipation from the press. It was the most exciting moment of the Abbey’s short life and everything was just purely bizarre and amazing in terms of response. It went great, except for a few launch issues in the first hour and some damaged property at the release party.”

In Reus, you control powerful giants that help you shape the planet to your will. You can create mountains and oceans, forests and more. Enrich your planet with plants, minerals and animal life. There is only one thing on the planet that you do not control: mankind, with all their virtues and and all their vices. You can shape their world, but not their will. Provide for them and they may thrive. Give them too much and their greed may get the upper hand.

Abbey Games is a small Dutch independent games studio, situated in the Dutch Game Garden in Utrecht. Here they are supported by developers like Vlambeer and Ronimo. With their 4 founding members they have worked with  11 more people to create Reus and you only have to watch the gameplay trailer below to see that they’ve made something unique.


The suggested price is only €/$9,99 with a 10% discount in the first week, so best to snap this one up sooner than later.

International Space Station Starts Using Linux, Not Windows

Good bye Windows XP and hello Linux says the International Space Station as the United Space Alliance, who manage the computers on the ISS state that “We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable.”

There are dozens of laptops used on the ISS, all of which will now be running a Debian 6 distro of Linux. This is more suitable over Windows XP given that various other systems on the ISS already run a variety of Linux formats such as RedHat. Although if they’ve still be running Windows XP, I’d say they were likely overdue an update anyway.

XP was fantastic, I know that, but it is 11 years old now and as we reported yesterday, even AMD are starting to drop support for the OS with the launch of Kabini CPUs. Linux is of course, for the most part, free! It’s easier to update and it’s completely open source, which makes it extremely flexible in terms of usage, performance and even power management, something that no doubt tipped it in NASA’s favour.

Keith Chuvala of the United Space Alliance says they “want an operating system that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust or adapt, we could.”

This is no easy transition of course since all laptop will have custom software on their for operating systems and scientific experiments, all of this will have had to have been rewritten in Linux and all astronauts and cosmonauts will now be trained (if they haven’t already) by the Linux Foundation.

It’s amazing NASA has stuck it out this long with Windows XP, although the old motto of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” likely applied for a long time. CERN, NASA and SpaceX ground station have been using Linux for a long time, infact most scientific institutions have.

Either way, this is another big step for Linux and the OS just keeps gaining traction and exposure year on year, but the big question is, have you ever tried Linux?

Portal For Linux Is Now Available Through Steam

It is one of the most popular Valve games in their selection and now Valve have announced that Portal has made its way to the Steam Linux platform. Portal (1) was released back in 2007 alongside the likes of Team Fortress 2 and Half Life 2 and it is arguably one of their most successful games, although, the majority of Valve’s games seem to be successful and have good gamer followings.

The original Portal game is now available on all Linux distributions that support the Steam for Linux client.

Portal is a 2007 first-personpuzzle-platformvideo game developed by Valve Corporation. The game primarily comprises a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player’s character and simple objects using “the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device”, a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes” says Wikipedia.

Anyone who currently owns a copy of Portal will automatically have a Linux version available when they install and log into the Steam for Linux client on a Linux based system. Anyone that doesn’t have Portal but would like it, for Windows and Linux, can get it from the Steam Store where it is currently £6.99/€6.99/$9.99. My advice would be to wait for a Steam sale if you don’t want to pay that much as Valve games always seem to be on sale.

What are your thoughts on Portal arriving on Linux? Are you happy about this?



Left 4 Dead 2 Finally Arrives On Steam For Linux Next Week

The possibility of Left 4 Dead 2 arriving on the Linux platform has been around for well over a year now. Around 9 months ago Valve told us they could get Left 4 Dead 2 to run faster on Linux than Windows. However, the process of porting to Linux has clearly been long and complex because we still haven’t got a publicly available working version of Left 4 Dead 2 on Linux.

However, Gamers will be able to play the first beta of Left 4 Dead 2 on Linux from next week according to the latest information from the Left 4 Dead blog. This will available to play on both Windows and Linux as it is testing out the new EMS (Extended Mutation System) update for the Left 4 Dead 2 game – so it is not a Linux specific release but can be played on Linux too.

“The L4D2 Beta is mutating. Not content to just be the testing ground for the new Extended Mutation System, we will be adding Linux to the Beta. And not content with the number of testers in the Beta, we will also be opening up the Beta to all L4D2 owners”

The beta will be a public beta that everyone can access as long as you have the Steam client, it is separate to the main Left 4 Dead 2 game so will download a lot of files. Make sure you have sufficient bandwidth.

“You do not need to enter a code to gain access and it is totally voluntary to download and participate in the Bet,”

Strangely though we have heard very little about the original Left 4 Dead and whether that will be ported to Linux anytime soon. Valve did promise to port the complete catalog of their games so let’s hope they stick by their word.

Will you be trying out the Left 4 Dead 2 on Linux beta next week?


Minecraft Sells 10 Million Copies, Becomes 7th All Time Best Selling PC Game

Minecraft is an incredibly unique game and an indie sensation compared to what we normally see in the gaming market. The Java-based game has sold a whopping 10 million copies on the PC according to Mojang customer support manager Marc Watson. This 10 million milestone includes PC, Mac and Linux only and the 10 million marker makes it the seventh best selling PC game of all time.

If you consider sales on other platforms then the figure is clearly much higher. The Minecraft game is available on PC, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android and Xbox 360. Back in January of this year the developer for the Xbox 360 version of the game stated sales were at six million in January and another developer Jens Bergensten said that total sales across all platforms was 20 million in January.

As part of something Bergensten promised to fans, when the game reached 10 million sales on PC he stated he would release a subtle hint about something being released in the next patch. Well the hint wasn’t so subtle, but we are pretty sure it will be a horse. Mojang’s most recent update, version 1.5 known as redstone, was released less than a month ago and included 120 changes to the game including a light sensor that activates objects based on the time of day and a new texture pack to improve the overall look of the game.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the official Minecraft film, you can see the trailer below. The film is available to purchase but the Minecraft producers have uploaded it to the Pirate Bay for users to access for free.



Rasperry Pi Model A Arrives in the USA for $25

The ARM based mini computer, Rasperry Pi, had already arrived to Europe and the United Kingdom quite some time ago. However, as of a few days ago North America has finally gained access to the Rasperry Pi A models, albeit very briefly.

Allied Electronics, a Texas based component supplier is the first company to market with the credit card sized $25 computer system running a Linux based operating system. The Rasperry Pi A model that is supplied is the cheaper and slightly cut down version of the Rasperry Pi B model. It loses LAN/ethernet functionality, uses half the power, has only one USB port and has half the amount of RAM with 256MB.

The new Rasperry Pi A sold out in well under a day and Allies Electronics blamed suppliers for the shortage. This is hardly surprising as everywhere the Rasperry Pi has launched, it has sold out very rapidly. In the UK it took many months after the launch before stocks were widely available to purchase on-demand not via pre-orders. You could easily blame suppliers for not meeting demand but generally speaking this isn’t really fair. The Rasperry Pi is unique in that it is met with stupidly high demand at launch which then rapidly drops off once initial demand is satisified after a few months of market presence, so scaling up production would be inefficient in the longer term and not financially viable for such a small company.

That said it is still exciting to see the USA finally get hold of the Rasperry Pi. If you live in the USA are you intending on buying one? Will you be pre-0rdering one? Were you lucky enough to get one from Allied Electronics? What are your thoughts on the lack of availability?


Google’s Chromebook Pixel spotted with Linux OS

Google’s Chromebook Pixel that was announced recently has proved that Google’s plans were very much real. Its was reported by The Wall Street Journal that the Chromebook Pixel will be using a touchscreen interface. Yesterday, Google’s Pixel was up for sale via Google Play and being sold in certain countries.

The unit’s price starts with a whopping $1,300 starting with a Wi-Fi only model with plans for having a LTE enabled Chromebook Pixel coming shortly, with rumours stating that it should be released in April with the price tag of $1,450.


Although the price of the Chromebook Pixel is something that many will not be able to afford, considering the older Chromebooks were lot cheaper, the system configuration of the unit is pretty impressive:

  • 12.85-inch, 400 nit display at 2560 x 1700 resolution (239 PPI)
  • Gorilla Glass multi-touch screen
  • 32 GB storage
  • Backlit Chrome keyboard
  • HD Webcam
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Mini display port
  • 2-in-1 card reader supporting: SD, MMC
  • Intel Core i5 Processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 59 Wh battery

It should also be noted: Even though some may still consider the price to be higher for a notebook powered with Chrome OS, irrespective of the hardware configuration and also its appearance,  Bill Richardson, Chrome OS’ software engineer posted a picture on his Google+ page clearly showing the Google Pixel running the Linux Mint OS in the background.

This points out that there is a very good chance that Chromebook can be used to easily install operating system such as Linux Mint and if an end-user wants to jump to another os, this gives a choice to them and provides freedom based on the their preferences and/or requirements.

This should be very tempting for many users as it enables people to have a high-end notebook with a full blown version/compatibility with Linux OS.

As of now, the Chromebooks are being shipped out from today onwards.

Source: Android Central

Users Brick Samsung Laptops by Booting Linux on Them

Upon taking ownership of a new computer, especially a laptop, may of us like to make radical changes. I, personally, install a fresh copy of Windows 7, free of the bloatware than many OEMs like to install. There are a growing number of people however, that like to run their new computer on everyone’s favorite open source OS-  Linux. However, many customers who have taken this step on their shiny new Samsung laptops have completely bricked the device.

Users booting Ubuntu 12 from a USB drive have been faced with a blank screen after a kernel driver on the machines crashed. Although some, upon powering down their machines and booting back into Windows have had no permanent damage, there are many reported cases of this crash damaging the firmware chip on the laptop’s motherboard, making the computer completely inoperable.

So far, the confirmed cases have been caused by attempting to boot Ubuntu 12, but like as not other Linux distributions will cause the issue. Samsung models reported to have the fault so far are the, NP700Z7C and 530U3C-series laptops, although this problem is believed to be more widespread, and I suggest you do not attempt booting Linux unless your model has been reported clear.

It is clear that the fault is not one of Linux, but of the laptops, and the blame seems to be pointed towards the Samsung hardware driver and UEFI, with the UEFI already proving unpopular. So far, Samsung has not released a date for a fix, and does not seem close to finding the fault, stating that they think it may be triggered by the kernel driver. The Ubuntu developer Steve Langasek has been discussing the problem with Samsung engineers and advises users to install Ubuntu using their latest live image which will force the machine to boot using our old trusty BIOS as opposed to the new UEFI.

Matt Fleming of Intel has been working on the problem and has come up with some workarounds here.