Open Recall: PlayStation 4 OS, VLC licence change, systemd changes
Open Recall is a space on The H for those things that are too small to package as news but are worth covering. In this edition of the Open Recall: the PlayStation 4 reportedly runs an operating system based on FreeBSD, GIMP 2.8.6 is released, 3D acceleration is coming to QEMU, VLC for Android has completed its licence change, and big changes are coming to systemd.
- PlayStation 4 operating system details – According to a report on VGLeaks, which supposedly includes pictures of the development kit for the PlayStation 4, the new console will run a FreeBSD-9-based operating system called ORBIS OS. The development kit uses GRUB 2 to boot either a graphical mode, which is the behaviour an off-the-shelf console would exhibit, or directly into a command-line interface. With the system's predecessor, the PlayStation 3, Sony used its own CellOS solution, though the console was also able to boot Linux until the company removed that functionality. It is currently not known whether the PlayStation 4 will include a similar function, but this seems unlikely.
- GIMP 2.8.6 – The developers of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) have announced a bugfix release for the open source raster graphics editor that solves a number of problems with the single window user interface and increases the maximum size of clipboard brushes to 1024x1024 pixels. The "zealous crop" function was also fixed so that it will work correctly with transparent borders. A list of all the fixed bugs is available on the NEWS file for the release. GIMP 2.8.6 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and a number of Linux distributions from the project's download page.
- 3D acceleration in QEMU – Red Hat developer Dave Airlie is working on enabling 3D-accelerated virtualisation in QEMU, according to a recent mailing list post. The feature is still very experimental, but Airlie says: "I'll probably make some sort of announcement in a few weeks if I get it to run gnome-shell smoothly, and not upside down." Nonetheless, the developer says he has committed some of the code already and that some of it has testing coverage for the OpenGL test framework Piglit.
- VLC for Android licence change complete – The licence change of the Android VLC engine from GPL to LGPL has now been completed with the release of Android VLC 0.1.2. VLC developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf says that the move should allow users to use the VLC engine in third-party applications on Android more easily, but he also warns fellow developers that the source code is currently "very difficult" to build. The VLC engine includes the Java code in the org.videolan.libvlc namespace and the interface between this Java code and libVLC.
- Systemd changes approaching – Lennart Poettering, maintainer of the systemd init system, has detailed coming changes to the tool's architecture that are mandated by changes in how the Linux kernel handles control groups. As a result, systemd will become a system-wide manager for cgroups, meaning that other tools that want to use this functionality will have to make D-Bus requests to systemd instead of using cgroups directly. More details are available in an earlier message from Poettering.