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December 2019

What is GNU/Linux?

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Most consumers can, with a little effort, name two desktop and laptop operating systems: Microsoft Windows and Apple's macOS. Few have ever considered any of the open-source alternatives found under the umbrella of GNU/Linux, though some may have done so without even knowing it—Google's Chrome OS uses the Linux kernel. To be honest, aside from the Chromebook platform, GNU/Linux systems are typically not best for people who rely on big-name software or don't like dabbling with a customizable, hands-on interface. However, if you're looking for a change of pace, don't want to pay for your software, and don't mind rolling up your sleeves, switching to GNU/Linux may not only be worthwhile, but make you a convert for life. This guide for nontechnical users will show you how.

Before diving headfirst into the wonky world of GNU/Linux systems, it's important to understand how they came about and some of the terms you may encounter while researching and using them. I'll start with a brief history of the big three: UNIX, Linux, and GNU.

UNIX is a proprietary, command-line-based operating system originally developed by Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson (among others) at AT&T's Bell Labs in the late 1960s and early 1970s. UNIX is coded almost entirely in the C programming language (also invented by Ritchie) and was originally intended to be used as a portable and convenient OS for programmers and researchers. As a result of a long and complicated legal history involving AT&T, Bell Labs, and the federal government, UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems grew in popularity, as did Thompson's influential philosophy of a modular, minimalist approach to software design.

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Making Slackware 14.1 Works with GLIM Multiboot USB

Filed under
GNU
Linux
HowTos

This tutorial explains the configuration files for Slackware 14.1 DVD 64-bit to work in LiveUSB multiboot mode with GLIM. This way you can have one flash drive containing multiple GNU/Linux OS installers including Slackware64 among them. This is my first time to ship Slackware USB ever and I am happy finally I could make it with GLIM. This is the result of my shipment to Sulawesi, Indonesia at December 2019. Happy hacking!

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Stable kernels 5.4.7, 4.19.92, and 4.14.161

  • Linux 5.4.7

    I'm announcing the release of the 5.4.7 kernel.

    All users of the 5.4 kernel series must upgrade.

    The updated 5.4.y git tree can be found at:
    git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.4.y
    and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
    https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 4.19.92
  • Linux 4.14.161

Programming: KDE at Congress, Java, C and Python

Filed under
Development
  • 36C3 Impressions

    I was given the opportunity to present our work on KDE Itinerary on the WikipakaWG stage (part of the joint presence of Wikimedia and the Open Knowledge Foundation). A big thanks for that again!

    The slides are here. At this point there is no released video recording yet, until that’s available you should still find the relive stream.

    Besides showing overall what we are doing and have built so far, and why this matters, we managed to have a few sneak preview screenshots of the latest developments that haven’t been shown anywhere before yet. Another such preview could be spotted in a presentation of another project at the event. So stay tuned for announcements in January Smile

    Following that I got a large amount of input and positive feedback, people seem to like the idea of a privacy first digital travel assistant. This also lead to a number of interesting contacts for possible collaborations in 2020, let’s see what comes out of this.

    KDE at Congress

    There were only very few KDE people at 36C3, and only very few talks covering KDE projects. I did spot a very well attended talk about Linux-based mobile platforms covering Plasma Mobile by someone I didn’t know yet, so there definitely seems to be interest in KDE’s work there.

    I mainly focused on mobility or open transport data topics for KDE Itinerary, that left little time to cover other things highly relevant for KDE like free mobile platforms, environmental impact of software, Free Software in public administration, or let alone the enormous field of privacy related topics.

    I’d therefore suggest KDE to attend with a larger team next time, not necessarily with a stationary presence, but with more people to present our work and to connect with others with overlapping interests.

  • Java retrospective #3 – most important thing for the community in 2019

    As 2019 draws to a close, we got in touch with some prominent members of the Java community to gather their thoughts on the events of the last year. In this five part series, we will look at what they had to say. In this third part, we asked what the most important thing for the Java community was in 2019.

  • Ringing In 2020 By Clang'ing The Linux 5.5 Kernel - Benchmarks Of GCC vs. Clang Built Kernels

    The main issue encountered when Clang'ing Linux 5.3 was the AMDGPU driver running into build problems. Fortunately, that was since resolved and with Linux 5.5 tests I recently did when building the kernel with Clang 9.0, the AMDGPU driver has worked out fine. With that resolved and no new Clang kernel compatibility problems introduced, it was a pleasant experience building Linux 5.5 with Clang simply by adjusting the CC environment variable.

  • Area of sinc and jinc function lobes

    The lobes are the regions between crossings of the x-axis. For the sinc function, the lobe in the middle runs from -π to π, and for n > 0 the nth lobe runs from nπ to (n+1)π. The zeros of Bessel functions are not uniformly spaced like the zeros of the sine function, but they come up in application frequently and so it’s easy to find software to compute their locations.

  • Sorting Data With Python

    All programmers will have to write code to sort items or data at some point. Sorting can be critical to the user experience in your application, whether it’s ordering a user’s most recent activity by timestamp, or putting a list of email recipients in alphabetical order by last name. Python sorting functionality offers robust features to do basic sorting or customize ordering at a granular level.

    In this course, you’ll learn how to sort various types of data in different data structures, customize the order, and work with two different methods of sorting in Python.

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (intel-microcode and libbsd), openSUSE (chromium, LibreOffice, and spectre-meltdown-checker), and SUSE (mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss and python-azure-agent).

  • How AI and Cybersecurity Will Intersect in 2020

    So much of the discussion about cybersecurity's relationship with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) revolves around how AI and ML can improve security product functionality. However, that is actually only one dimension of a much broader collision between cybersecurity and AI.

  • Best of TechBeacon 2019: Security is in the hot seat with privacy laws

    New laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union's General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) have put substantial pressure on organizations to bolster their security practices this year. Adding to the urgency were the near-constant reports of data breaches, an ever-evolving threat landscape, and a growing volume of attacks.

Applications: Scrapyard, NAS Software, GnuCash and Clementine

Filed under
Software
  • Scrapyard is an advanced bookmarks manager for Firefox

    Scrapyard is an open source extension for the Firefox web browser designed to improve bookmarking in Firefox in multiple ways. Firefox users may use it to bookmark pages but also content on pages, and store the data locally.

    Firefox's default bookmarks functionality is quite basic. Users may bookmark webpages or sites, add tags to bookmarks, use folders to sort bookmarks, and use Firefox's synchronization feature to sync bookmarks across devices.

    Firefox users who require more functionality need to rely on add-ons for that. Bookmarks Organizer is a handy extension to find dead or redirecting bookmarks.

  • 4 Best Open Source NAS Software for DIY server in 2020

    Before listing Linux or FreeBSD distros for creating network Attached storage OS, I would like to say there is no “best operating system” either for NAS or computer. The choice of an operating system depends heavily on what you are going to do with the NAS server. In this guide, we focus on software that understands a NAS server primarily as a system for the provision of data in your office or home. With the operating systems we mention in this article, you can copy data back and forth, perform backups, along with some advanced tasks (such as establishing a VPN connection or installing a mail server) including plugins to extend OS capabilities.

    Here we are about to list some best NAS solutions to help you if you are planning to data management using open-source software in 2020.

  • GnuCash 3.8

    GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

    GnuCash can keep track of your personal finances in as much detail as you prefer. If you are just starting out, use GnuCash to keep track of your checkbook. You may then decide to track cash as well as credit card purchases to better determine where your money is being spent. When you start investing, you can use GnuCash to help monitor your portfolio. Buying a vehicle or a home? GnuCash will help you plan the investment and track loan payments. If your financial records span the globe, GnuCash provides all the multiple-currency support you need.

  • Clementine Music Player 1.3.9 Released for Testing (How to Install)

    Clementine, an open-source audio player inspired by Amarok 1.4, released version 1.3.9 (then 1.3.92) a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu.

    Though the last version 1.3.1 was released more than 3 years ago, Clementine player is still in active development, and version 1.3.9 (as well as 1.3.92) was released in recent days as the test release. However, there’s no announcement, no change-log so far. They seem to be the development releases for the next major release.

My Linux Experience in 2019

Filed under
GNU
Linux

In summary, I can say that my experience with Linux during 2019 has been extremely satisfactory. I mean, my computers have been working great and the distros have been more stable than ever.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Steam Next Fest gets a fresh trailer ahead of the event on October 1 | GamingOnLinux

    Steam Next Fest is fast approaching with it set to go live on October 1 so Valve has made a fresh trailer to give a little tease on what to expect from it.

  • Repurposing the VFD unit from an old Epson POS display using Arduino | Arduino Blog

    For many makers, it’s always fun to take some piece of old technology and give it a new lease on life, especially when the item in question was destined for the landfill. This is what prompted Alastair Aitchison — better known on YouTube as Playful Technology — to grab a deprecated vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) module from an Epson point-of-sale device and interface it with an Arduino Nano as a real-time display. VFDs can be thought of as character LCDs, but rather than having many dot-matrix units that use the alignments of suspended crystals to block light, tiny phosphor crystals light up when a current is applied. The module isn’t driven directly by the Arduino Nano since it requires a far higher voltage so a special display controller chip is integrated, which receives commands/data over an RS-232 port and manipulates the onscreen graphics accordingly. This meant a MAX232 had to be used to convert the Nano’s 5V TTL voltage into the -15V to 15 range.

  • Unique Clock Doubles as a Development Board

    Most clocks these days have ditched the round face and instead prefer to tell time through the medium of 7-segment displays. [mihai.cuciuc] is bringing the round face to digital clocks with his time-keeping piece, MakeTime.

  • [IBM's IWB:] Why Our Judgements Are Often Flawed and What to Do About It

    A few weeks ago I listened to a very interesting Freakonomics podcast hosted by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt. In the podcast, Why Our Judgment is Flawed — and What to Do About It, Levitt interviewed Daniel Kahneman about his recent book, Noise: A Flow in Human Judgement, co-authored with Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein. Kahneman is Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University. In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics “for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty.” Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman’s 2011 bestseller, was about the major discoveries by psychologists and cognitive scientists that have led to our current understanding of judgement and decision-making over the past several decades. Up to the 1970s, the prevailing view among social scientists was that people are generally rational and in control of the way they think and make decisions. It was thought that people only departed from rational behaviors because powerful emotions like fear, hatred or love distorted their judgement. These assumptions were challenged by the pioneering research of Kahneman and his long time collaborator Amos Tversky, who died in 1996. In a series of experiments, they demonstrated that human behavior often deviated from the predictions of the previous rational models, and that these deviations were due to the machinery of cognition, that is, to the biases and mental shortcuts or heuristics that we use for making everyday decisions, rather than to our emotional state.

  • redhat subscription alternative | Local Repo

    we need to know although redhat provide open source software products for enterprises but it have payment subscription to install packages and updates in RedHat Enterprise Linux distribution and that supports diverse workloads in physical, virtualized and cloud environments , RHEL editions are available for servers, mainframe, SAP applications, desktops and OpenStack.

  • Running the AWSY benchmark in the Firefox profiler — Paul Bone

    The are we slim yet (AWSY) benchmark measures memory usage. Recently when I made a simple change to firefox and expected it might save a bit of memory, it actually increased memory usage on the AWSY benchmark. We have lots of tools to hunt down memory usage problems. But to see an almost "log" of when garbage collection and cycle collection occurs, the Firefox profiler is amazing. I wanted to profile the AWSY benchmark to try and understand what was happening with GC scheduling. But it didn’t work out-of-the-box. This is one of those blog posts that I’m writing down so next time this happens, to me or anyone else, although I am selfish. And I websearch for "AWSY and Firefox Profiler" I want this to be the number 1 result and help me (or someone else) out. The normal instructions

  • World Free Software Day: why it is celebrated today and what are the advantages of these programs [Ed: Automated translation]

    Linux, Firefox, WordPress and even the very popular Android are, each in their own way, examples of the software free. Today is celebrating the move that involves a specific way of distributing and using computer programs: just like every third Saturday in September since the Free Software Day. The event arose in 2004 and on the occasion it was held on August 28, but around 2006 the third Saturday of the ninth month of the year was set.

  • Why the Future of Database Management Lies In Open Source
  • AllAboutApps Disclosed a List of Top Drupal Web Development Companies in 2021

Kernel: Graphics and Linux M1 Support

  • AMD + Valve Focusing On P-State / CPPC Driver With Schedutil For Better Linux Efficiency - Phoronix

    As reported at the start of August, AMD and Valve have been working on Linux CPU performance/frequency scaling improvements with the Steam Deck being one of the leading motivators. As speculated at that time, their work would likely revolve around use of ACPI CPPC found with Zen 2 CPUs and newer. Published last week was that AMD P-State driver for Linux systems indeed now leveraging CPPC information. AMD formally presented this new driver yesterday at XDC2021.

  • DRM Driver Posted For AI Processing Unit - Initially Focused On Mediatek SoCs - Phoronix

    BayLibre developer Alexandre Bailon has posted a "request for comments" of a new open-source Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver for AI Processing Unit (APU) functionality. Initially the driver is catering to Mediatek SoCs with an AI co-processor but this DRM "APU" driver could be adapted to other hardware too. Alexandre Bailon sums up this DRM AI Processing Unit driver as "a DRM driver that implements communication between the CPU and an APU. This uses VirtIO buffer to exchange messages. For the data, we allocate a GEM object and map it using IOMMU to make it available to the APU. The driver is relatively generic, and should work with any SoC implementing hardware accelerator for AI if they use support remoteproc and VirtIO."

  • Apple M1 USB Type-C Linux Support Code Sent Out For Testing - Phoronix

    he latest patches sent out for review/testing on the long mission for enabling Apple M1 support on Linux is the USB Type-C connectivity. Sven Peter has sent out the initial USB Type-C enablement work for the Apple ACE1/2 chips used by Apple M1 systems. In turn this Apple design is based on the TI TPS6598x IP but various differences. The Linux kernel support is being added onto the existing TIPD driver.

Proprietary Security Issues

Audiocasts/Videos: GNU World Order, Sioyek, LUTs