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August 2019

Audacious is an open source music player for Windows and Linux that supports Winamp skins

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Once upon a time, the world of Windows music players was ruled by Winamp. It was resurrected a few months ago and works quite well even though it has not received much love in years.

If you want the look-and-feel of good ol' Winamp, with better features, Audacious may be the music player you're looking for.

I tested the program on Windows and Linux. And since they are quite similar, we'll be discussing the Windows version here. The Winamp interface uses a context-menu for most features, so we will focus on the default GTK interface to explore the options.

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Rock Pi 4 With M.2 Extender: ARM CPU + NVMe Drive Performance Reviewed

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The RK3399 SoC has been used in a huge variety of devices. From Chromebooks to SBCs, routers, TV boxes, and even the upcoming Pinebook Pro. With its six cores, gigabit ethernet, USB 3.0, and PCIe support, it’s clearly an SBC powerhouse in the ARM world. I’ve often wondered what kind of benefit was actually gained from using an SSD with an ARM CPU, though. So, I put the Rock Pi 4 to the test.

We’ve covered the Rock Pi 4 before, which you can check out here. It’s a very solid SBC with the RK3399 CPU, which has been modeled in the image of the Raspberry Pi. It bears an almost identical footprint by using the known and beloved Raspberry Pi form factor. This becomes all the more impressive when considering that it comes with six cores, up to 4GB of RAM, PCIe x4 in the form of an M.2 connector, 2x USB 3.0, USB C, 2x USB 2.0, gigabit ethernet, 5GHz wireless, Bluetooth, and a Raspberry Pi compatible GPIO array. There’s more connectivity on this board than any project can sensibly make use of.

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5 great alternatives to FL Studio to use on Linux

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FL Studio is a robust digital audio workstation and musical creation tool for the Windows and Mac platforms. It’s commercial software and considered one of the best musical production programs available today. However, FL Studio does not work on Linux, and no support is planned in the future. So, if you’ve just switched to the Linux platform and want to create music, you’ll need a good alternative. Here are 5 great alternatives to FL Studio to use on Linux!

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today's leftovers

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  • Waypipe Is Successfully Working For This Network-Transparent Wayland Apps/Games Proxy

    Waypipe is off to the races as the newest network transparency effort in the Wayland space. Waypipe provides a network transparent Wayland proxy for running native Wayland programs/games over a network similar to X11's capabilities and forwarding X over an SSH connection.

    Waypipe development was successful this summer by student developer Manuel Stoeckl who was working on the effort as part of this year's Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Waypipe is successfully working now for running Wayland games/applications over the network using this proxy mechanism and supports features like compression, multi-threading optimizations, and hardware-accelerated VA-API for video encode/decode across the network.

  • Fedora Community Blog: Stories from the amazing world of #7

    The view from the top of the tower was amazing. With few exceptions most of the things worked as they should. I had one hand on my wizard hat to protect it from wind. It’s too windy in this height. As I was looking from the tower, door behind me opened and traveler came in.

    “I’m glad to see you. It was a while till we met. There was plenty of things that happened in the meantime and needed my attention. I even spent some time in the world of Bodhi and I must say it is complicated and noisy world. Too different from this one. But this is the story for another time.” I stepped back from the railing and moved to part of the balcony that was shielded from the wind. There was table and two chairs. I sat on one and traveler followed me. “You probably want to hear some news. So relax and listen, this will take some time.”

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-35

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. The Beta freeze is underway.

    I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in August 2019

    I was extremely proud to be announce I will be joining the folks at Software in the Public Interest to assist its many umbrella projects and free software in General. You can read the official announcement here.


    I attended this year's Debian Party in Cambridge, UK. Better known as the "OMGWTFBBQ", I had a great time despite the remarkable heat. A special thanks to Steve for hosting the event and all others who helpedand organise this, as well as Mythic Beasts, Collabora and Codethink for sponsoring the event. For my part I made some souvenir beer mats commemorating the event, offering them gratis with a nudge towards becoming a supporter of the Software Freedom Conservancy:

  • CUPS 2.3 Printing System Finally Released With Licensing Change & Other Additions

    CUPS 2.3 is an important update due to a licensing change and important for Linux users now that there is an issue being resolved from earlier in the development cycle. Apple, which has been under the control of CUPS for the past decade, decided to relicense this printing server to the Apache 2.0 license. But due to various non-Apple Linux CUPS utilities like cups-filters being GPLv2, that presents a problem. Apple lawyers ended up adding an exception to their Apache 2.0 license to allow linking the software with GPLv2 software, which takes care of the issue while still satisfying them with their re-license. This seems to be part of the reason why the CUPS 2.3 release took so long to materialize.

  • A very deep dive into iOS Exploit chains found in the wild

    Project Zero’s mission is to make 0-day hard. We often work with other companies to find and report security vulnerabilities, with the ultimate goal of advocating for structural security improvements in popular systems to help protect people everywhere.

    Earlier this year Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) discovered a small collection of hacked websites. The hacked sites were being used in indiscriminate watering hole attacks against their visitors, using iPhone 0-day.

    There was no target discrimination; simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant. We estimate that these sites receive thousands of visitors per week.

    TAG was able to collect five separate, complete and unique iPhone exploit chains, covering almost every version from iOS 10 through to the latest version of iOS 12. This indicated a group making a sustained effort to hack the users of iPhones in certain communities over a period of at least two years.

  • Coin-mining malware jumps from Arm IoT gear to Intel servers

    A coin-mining malware infection previously only seen on Arm-powered IoT devices has made the jump to Intel systems.

    Akamai senior security researcher Larry Cashdollar says one of his honeypot systems recently turned up what appears to be an IoT malware that targets Intel machines running Linux.

    "I suspect it’s probably a derivate of other IoT crypto mining botnets," Cashdollar told The Register. "This one seems to target enterprise systems."

    In addition to being fine-tuned for Intel x86 and 686 processors, the malware looks to establish an SSH Port 22 connection and deliver itself as a gzip archive. From there, the malware checks to see if the machine has already been infected (at which point the installation stops) or if an earlier version is running and needs to be terminated. From there, three different directories are created with different versions of the same files.

    "Each directory contains a variation of the XMrig v2.14.1 cryptocurrency miner in either x86 32bit or 64bit format," the Akamai security ace explained. "Some of the binaries are named after common Unix utilities, like ps, in an attempt to blend into a normal process list."

  • AMD Prepping Their HDCP 1.4 Content Protection Support For Raven Ridge & Newer

    AMD developers have sent out their latest open-source Linux patches doing their kernel driver share for enabling High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support for version 1.4 and newer.

    While seeing HDCP support patches for open-source graphics drivers does irritate many in the community, similar to other open-source drivers supporting HDCP, this is only one part of the content protection puzzle. These patches alone do not impose any restrictions on users or other impairments, but mainly comes down to such proprietary software wanting to make use of HDCP capabilities on Linux. Open-source video players and the like can continue to enjoy GPU-based video acceleration uninterrupted.


    Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver only began seeing HDCP work relatively recently when Google engineers were interested with the Intel support in the context of Chromebook support.

  • Hey, it's 2019. Quit making battery-draining webpages – say makers of webpage-displaying battery-powered kit

    Apple WebKit engineers Benjamin Poulain and Simon Fraser have offered advice to web developers about how to design power-efficient web pages, to preserve the life of mobile device batteries and give users more time interacting with web content.

    "Web developers rarely think about power usage, but they really should," said Fraser, via Twitter.

    WebKit is the browser rendering engine at the heart of Apple's mobile and desktop Safari browsers, but the tips presented by its programmers apply to web pages presented in any browser, for the most part.

Benchmarks/Hardware: SSD vs. HDD, Linux vs. Windows on AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

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  • SSD vs. HDD

    The chart is interesting but I think Rakers estimate of 5x as the tipping point is too optimistic, for several reasons: [...]

  • How long before SSDs replace nearline disk drives?

    So when will the wholesale switch from nearline HDD to SSDs begin? We don’t have a clear picture yet but a chart of $/TB costs for enterprise SSDs and nearline disk drives shows how much closer the two storage mediums have come in the past 18 months.

    It is unwise to extrapolate too much but it is clear the general trend direction is that Enterprise SSD cost per terabyte is falling faster than nearline disk drive cost/TB. Our chart below shows the price premium for enterprise SSDs has dropped from 18x in the fourth 2017 quarter to 9x in the second 2019 quarter.

  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X Power Usage Is Running Measurably Higher On Linux Than Windows

    Frequently brought up following our various Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" benchmarks like the Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Core i9 9900K gaming benchmarks is how the Ryzen 9 3900X is pulling considerably more power than the similarly equipped Intel Core i9 system and those numbers are higher than what is often cited by Windows reviewers as the difference. I've begun investigating that power difference and indeed quite quickly could see Linux power usage being higher than Windows 10.

VirtIO-FS File-System Driver Being Added For Linux 5.4

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In addition to the initial exFAT driver landing for Linux 5.4, also slated to land for this next kernel cycle is the VirtIO-FS file-system driver.

The VirtIO-FS driver is a FUSE-based file-system implementation designed for guest to/from host file-system sharing for VIRTIO para-virtualized devices. VirtIO-FS aims to provide easier host to/from guest file sharing without requiring a network file-system and other configuration steps.

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How to List All Running Services Under Systemd in Linux

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A Linux systems provide a variety of system services (such as process management, login, syslog, cron, etc.) and network services (such as remote login, e-mail, printers, web hosting, data storage, file transfer, domain name resolution (using DNS), dynamic IP address assignment (using DHCP), and much more).

Technically, a service is a process or group of processes (commonly known as daemons) running continuously in the background, waiting for requests to come in (especially from clients).

Linux supports different ways to manage (start, stop, restart, enable auto-start at system boot, etc.) services, typically through a process or service manager. Most if not all modern Linux distributions now use the same process manager: systemd.

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Shows/Videos: TROM-Jaro, CubicleNate Noodlings, Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Cloud Foundry Foundation

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Programming: Raspberry Pi Foundation, PyCharm and Python

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KDE: Plasma Session Weirdness in FreeBSD, Krita Sprint 2019 and GSoC/KDE Connect

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  • Plasma session weirdness in FreeBSD

    We – the KDE-FreeBSD team – have been puzzling over sessions management for a bit when running a Plasma desktop (plain X11) on FreeBSD.

  • A short report on Krita Sprint 2019

    This Krita Sprint was bigger than ever, or so I’ve heard, as this is only my second one, and because of the amount of things that happend deciding on what to write about was not easy. The Sprint did a lot to create stronger bonds between the different Krita actors: developers and artists. Dicussions between the groups allowed us to set effective development goals for the upcoming Krita version as well as showing there were some processes in need of polishing in order to be truly effective –quality control and testing timeframes come to mind–.

    I focused mainly in knowing how other artists used Krita, which varies significantly between them. Most artists seem to work on a fixed way, but they do it in controlled environment so results are always consistent. This makes it very important to make all features discoverable in not only one way, sine once an artists find a confortable workflow they will rarely get out of it and will never get to know some tools they need but they never stumble upon. This might be the case for artists coming from other applications as tools could be placed were they do not expect them to be. For example, one artist suggested we should have a liquify tool, unknowinly that the “tool” was already there, but contrary to what they expected the tool was not a filter but rather a suboption in the transformation tool.

  • GSoC'19 Project : Milestone 3

    The third milestone or my Google Summer of Code 2019’s project porting KDE Connect to Windows involves porting the remaining plugins of the linux build so they work similarly on the Windows build. Cool stuff!

    There are a lot of plugins in KDE Connect that tend to improve the user experience by providing various features. The project team keeps working hard (in their free time only as a volunteer service) to maintain and create new plugins that comprise the usability of KDE Connect.

More in Tux Machines

StarLabs StarLite is an Attractive 11-inch Linux Laptop

This dinky 11.6-inch Linux notebook, the latest from UK-based company StarLab, is modestly priced and moderately spec’d. Consciously so. See, not everyone needs to crunch code, battle orcs, or render 4K video. “More power” is nice, but when all you really do with a laptop is browse the web, e-email, Zoom, and binge-watch Netflix shows… A mid-range laptop can suffice. Problem is there isn’t a lot of choice when it comes to mid-range (and well-made) Linux laptops in the lower price brackets. Read more

Manual Installation of GNOME Extension from ZIP File [Easy Steps]

You can not install GNOME Extensions in Snap Firefox in Ubuntu 21.10. This tutorial explains the steps for manual installation of GNOME Extension from its ZIP files in Ubuntu, Fedora and other related distributions. Read more

10 Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri

Here, in this post we give you 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 21.10, to make your life easier and get you started using the shiny new Ubuntu. Read more

MX Linux 21 Released with Debian 11, KDE Plasma 5.20. This is What’s New

MX Linux 21 code named “Wildflower” is released. We wrap up the release and give you the download and upgrade information. Read more