Running Linux on the Xbox
XFree runs out of the box if you use the framebuffer driver and turn off PCI enumeration in the configuration file. A modified version of the nvdrv driver provides video mode change at runtime and 2-D acceleration (GLX extensions). Multimedia applications can render their window into an off-screen buffer, and the video hardware stitches it into the visible screen when displaying it, scaling it in hardware. Precompiled versions of the driver are available. nvdrv is the open-source driver for NVIDIA graphics hardware, which does not support 3-D acceleration. Efforts are underway to patch the binary-only, 3-D-aware XFree driver available from NVIDIA.
The Xbox hardware details are quite impressive, enough for playing DVD or DivX video in Linux. But for optimal performance, you should try to optimize the compilation of your applications for the actual hardware. The machine's Celeron is a Pentium III class CPU, and it supports the 686 instruction set, as well as MMX and SSE. Applications, including mplayer, detect this automatically. If you use the nvdrv XFree driver, you can enable GLX support for video applications. mplayer, for instance, is fastest in X with the nvdrv driver, even faster than it is in framebuffer mode. Also, keep in mind that you should decrease the hardware resolution instead of making the application scale the video output. In 640×480 mode, the PlayStation emulator epsx runs quite well with the picture scaled to 400 × 300 pixels.
Although the Xbox is equipped with only 64MB of RAM—which can be extended to 128MB with excellent soldering skills—desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE, and applications like OpenOffice.org run quite well. With the help of VMware, you even can use MS-DOS and Windows 95/98/NT/2000 on the Xbox. With a minimal X window, no desktop environment and no window manager, you can run Windows with up to 48MB of RAM.
With 1:1 ports of common Linux distributions for the PC and all major Linux applications running on the Xbox, it is ready for use on a desktop computer, a server or a multimedia device. With its excellent hardware and PC compatibility, there is more than simple hack value to it.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Google's SwiftShader Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide