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January 2020

4 of the Best Single-Board Computers in 2020

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Single-board computers have been on the rise for years now, propelled by the success of the low-budget Raspberry Pi series. But while the Pi has become synonymous with single-board computers – which can be used as anything from weather trackers to game consoles to home automation systems – there are many other options out there.

To celebrate the robustness and diversity of these diminutive computers, we’ve put together a list of the best single-board computers you can buy in 2020.


The XU4 is also proven to work great as a media/NAS server, handling large amounts of storage and various streaming services like Plex without a problem. Popular operating systems like Ubuntu and Android work very well here, too.

On the downside, the XU4 can get hot under strain, which will throttle the CPU. As such, a priority if you plan on using it for gaming is to get extra fans and cooling installed.

If the $49 price point is a bit high for you, you may want to look into the Odroid C2 instead.

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Development: Qt/KDE, GTK and Mozilla

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  • KDAB at Embedded World, Nuremberg

    February 2020 will be the tenth year that KDAB exhibits at Embedded World, in Nuremberg, Germany.

    When we started exhibiting, there were only five halls compared to today’s seven, so the event continues to grow and remain relevant, in a world where most interaction takes place on-line. In those ten years, trends have come and gone, with the emphasis moving from medical devices to industrial equipment and ‘automotive everywhere’, while slowly but surely software has taken center stage.

  • Season of KDE

    My first exposure to KDE was in December 2020, i was bit lost in Big KDE world at starting but KDE dev’s helped me alot to get started started. i would specially like to thanks Valorie to have that 2 hour chat with me and told me, how thing’s work here.

    Half period of the KDE has Passed and Till now it has been awesome, incredible learning experience and it was not that easy as i thought but i have super helpful mentors Johnny Jazeix and Emmanuel Charruau Smile. i have completed enumerate and smallnumbers2 activities, algebra_by still lefts.

    I started my SoK with smallnumbers2, the main challenge with this activity is it shares same code with some other activities too, so while working on it i have to take care that my patch shouldn’t break them. First thing which i have to do is repeat elements from JSON file several times so i have the options to acheive this eigther by modifing previous JSON files or make changes in js file.I choosed second option (ofcourse it was more interesting). The first patch i have submitted was just a rough and ready solution, which Emmanuel discussed with me for several hours and we arrived to a neat approach at the end and i remember it was 5AM in India. Things was bit smoother after that, my code quality increased then i also modified this algorithm to drop elements randomly where elements which current level is teaching will drop more often than other elements. Later i also added this updated dataset to smallnumbers activity as they both activities were sharing same code.

  • GtkSourceView Snippets

    The past week I’ve been pushing hard on finishing up the snippets work for the GTK 4 port. It’s always quite a bit more work to push something upstream because you have to be so much more complete while being generic at the same time.

    I think at this point though I can move on to other features and projects as the branch seems to be in good shape. I’ve fixed a number of bugs in the GTK 4 port along the way and made tests, documentation, robustness fixes, style-scheme integration, a completion provider, file-format and parser, and support for layering snippet files the same way style-schemes and language-specs work.

  • Web performance issue — reoccurrence

    In June we discovered that Treeherder’s UI slowdowns were due to database slow downs (For full details you can read this post). After a couple of months of investigations, we did various changes to the RDS set up. The changes that made the most significant impact were doubling the DB size to double our IOPS cap and adding Heroku auto-scaling for web nodes. Alternatively, we could have used Provisioned IOPS instead of General SSD storage to double the IOPS but the cost was over $1,000/month more.

    Looking back, we made the mistake of not involving AWS from the beginning (I didn’t know we could have used their help). The AWS support team would have looked at the database and would have likely recommended the parameter changes required for a write intensive workload (the changes they recommended during our November outage — see bug 1597136 for details). For the next four months we did not have any issues, however, their help would have saved a lot of time and it would have prevented the major outage we had in November.

Red Hat and IBM

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Red Hat
  • Power Training at Red Hat Summit 2020 can build IT skills
  • Command Line Heroes - Minicomputers: The Soul of an Old Machine

    They don't fit in your pocket. But in their day, minicomputers were an order of magnitude smaller than the room-sized mainframes that preceded them. And they paved the way for the personal computers that could fit in a bag and, eventually, the phones in your pocket. Listen to the first episode of season four of Command Line Heroes now.

  • What the Dev?

    Java is coming up on a big milestone: Its 25th anniversary! To celebrate, we take a look back over the last 25 years to see how Java has evolved over time. In this episode, Social Media and Online Editor Jenna Sargent talks to Rich Sharples, senior director of product management for middleware at Red Hat, to learn more.

  • IDC white paper: IBM Z helps enterprises move to hybrid cloud environment
  • IDC white paper: LinuxONE helps enterprises move to hybrid cloud environment

    A new IDC white paper spotlights how the next-generation enterprise IBM LinuxONE III system can help enhance the private cloud portion of a hybrid cloud environment. According to the white paper, “Transforming a Corporate Datacenter into a Modern Environment: Kubernetes as a Foundation for Hybrid Cloud,” the key enablement for hybrid cloud is made possible through the availability of a portable, multi-platform cloud platform — and as the industry moves in this direction, Linux, containers, and Kubernetes form the basis of a universal abstraction layer.

Linux Magazine's Latest (Paywall)

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  • Economies of Ink

    I noticed a post on Slashdot recently from a guy whose printer quit printing, because he stopped paying the monthly fee for HP's Instant Ink system. In case you're wondering, yes, Instant Ink is a subscription service for printer ink. You pay a flat rate per month, and the ink is delivered automatically to your doorstep. You don't even have to order it; your smart print cartridge knows when you're about to run out and orders it for you.

    The problem, apparently, is that some people don't even know they have this service – they forget they signed up for the two month free trial and later notice an unexplained charge on their credit card. It appears that it is possible to exit the Instant Ink program in an orderly fashion, but you have to do it carefully and click all the right boxes. If you just stop paying, your smart print cartridge locks up and won't print anything.

    HP's Instant Ink system has been around for a few years, so it isn't exactly news, but they keep extending it to include more printers, so it is gradually gaining a higher profile. I talked to an HP guy once on an airport shuttle, and he told me that ink had always been the biggest source of the company's profits. According to my source, HP used to lose money on the retail cost of a printer just to set up the chance to keep plying the owner with proprietary print cartridges. If you're going to play that game, you really need to price the cartridges to cover the risk associated with estimating how much the user will actually print. Now, due to market forces, the company is less able to assume that risk, or perhaps, they want to provide the user with an incentive for assuming the risk of estimating print volume.

    Instant Ink could be an attractive option – if you fit snugly into one of the available plans. Like a mobile phone company, the Instant Ink service offers different prices for different levels of service. For instance, one plan lets you print 100 pages per month for $4.99. That's around 5 cents per page if you use all your pages, which isn't too bad. But if you only print 50 pages, that's more like 10 cents per page. (The plan does provide a means for rolling over unused pages, but it caps at 200 pages.) You owe the fee no matter how much you print, so if you only print one page, you pay $4.99 per page for that month. If you go over the maximum page count for your plan, the per-page rate scales up, which can lead to costly overruns.

    Interestingly, the company even offers a "Free" printing plan, which allows you to print 15 pages per month for no cost, and then you owe HP 10 cents per page for everything else you print, which is kind of like the old days, when we used to print faxes, documents, and photocopies at the local copy store for 10 cents a page, only this time, you are paying 10 cents per page to print them on your own printer.

  • On the DVD

    Kali Linux is a popular distro dedicated to the craft of penetration testing. Kali comes with hundreds of practical tools for information gathering, vulnerability analysis, wireless attacks, and stress testing. A bootable Forensics mode leaves the drives unmounted and provides a powerful collection of forensics utilities.

  • NEWS
  • Zack's Kernel News
  • Interview – Wikimedia's Jaime Crespo
  • Block ads and trackers across your network with Pi-hole
  • Killing ads with the LAN-level Privoxy web proxy
  • Double Protection
  • Programming Snapshot – Go Game States
  • Charly's Column – lshw
  • Command Line – duplicity
  • Preserve Your Favorite Pages
  • Using the curses library to view IoT data
  • Pocket-Size Programming
  • Open Hardware – DIY Soldering Kits
  • Linux Voice
  • Doghouse – RISC-V Summit
  • Organized Games
  • Building a secure, simple VPN connection
  • FOSSPicks
  • Tutorial – PeerTube
  • Tutorial – Readline

Install Postman on Ubuntu

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Postman is a complete API development environment that helps you manage your APIs in every stage of development from designing and testing, to publishing API documentation and monitoring. Postman started as a Chrome browser extension and quickly become one of the most used API tools by developers all over the world.

We’ve Reached a Milestone: pandas 1.0 Is Here

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Today the pandas project announced the release of pandas 1.0.0.

For more on what’s changed, read through the extensive release notes. We’re particularly excited about Numba-accelerated window operations and the new nullable boolean and string data types. This post will focus on how Anaconda helped pandas get to 1.0.

Anaconda is proud to have been one of pandas’ longest-running Institutional Partners by employing pandas maintainers to spend some or all of their time working on pandas. Pandas is a large project that’s central to Python’s growth in popularity. Managing that project, with an emphasis on community involvement, is a mammoth task that would be difficult to achieve by volunteers alone. Having maintainers who can reliably dedicate blocks of time to maintenance and larger tasks ensured pandas health over the years.

Beyond just paying people to work on pandas (and other open source projects), Anaconda connects its customers, who have demanding and novel use cases, with the pandas developers. One of the challenges of developing an open-source library is knowing who’s actually using it and how it’s being used. There are institutions who can’t or won’t announce that they’re using pandas on a public mailing list, but have interesting challenges. As a leader in this space Anaconda has existing relationships with many groups and is able to make connections where appropriate.

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Also: Feed Generator: Writing a Python script to generate my blog feed

Why the $150 PinePhone is not ready to replace my Android device

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The PinePhone--mention that device to any Linux and open source enthusiast, and you'll see their face light up with possibility. Mention that same device to anyone outside that realm, and you'd be lucky to get a shrug.

For those who don't know, PINE64 has been working on an open source smartphone that can run nearly any flavor of Linux. But this isn't just vaporware or a pipe dream--units have begun to ship. The units are called the BraveHeart edition, and they are something special.

But special isn't always a good thing.

Let me explain.


In order for the PinePhone to succeed, it'll have to chip away at a very challenging market, which includes the Android OS with nearly 90% global market share. That's a daunting task and to attempt that by selling devices without an operating system is a mistake.

Why? The platform is the thing.

Hardware is nothing without a platform. Android devices would be worthless to the community at large without Android. Apple phones wouldn't be nothing but chips and screens without iOS. The PinePhone is nothing but a pet project without Linux.

I realize what PINE64 is trying to do--or at least I think I do. The company is releasing the hardware with the hopes that all distributions will pick them up and start developing for them, such that every Linux distribution will offer a flashable image for the device. Why? So, in the end, it can sell devices to consumers that most Linux distributions will work on.

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mesa 20.0.0-rc1

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Hi list,

It's a day late, but mesa 20.0.0-rc1 is now available. The 20.0 branches
(staging and stable) have been created, and a new 20.0 release milestone has
also been created.

20.0.0-rc2 will follow on 02.05 per the release calendar.


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Also: Mesa 20.0-rc1 Released With Intel Gallium3D Default, OpenGL 4.6 for RadeonSI, Vulkan 1.2

Screencasts/Audiocasts/Shows: ExTiX 20.2, Solus 4.1, Test and Code, Linux Headlines

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Regolith Desktop 1.3 Released, Makes Using i3 Even Less Scary

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For those unfamiliar with it, the Regolith desktop combines GNOME-based system management with a keyboard driven user interface built around i3-gaps, Rofi, and other shortcut-centric tools.

Although still very shortcut dependent — you primarily open, close, move and switch windows and workspaces using keyboard shortcuts — Regolith remoulds i3 into a less intimidating shape.

The Regolith desktop can be installed on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (and above) by adding a PPA. Alternatively, users can download Regolith Linux, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that ships the Regolith desktop experience by default.

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More in Tux Machines

Proprietary Software and Security

  • Windows REvil ransomware gang taken down by US spies and allies: claim [iophk: Windows TCO]

    On Wednesday, the news surfaced that the REvil site on the dark web was offline. One Dmitry Smilyanets, who works for the threat intelligence firm Recorded Future and also writes for The Record, a website belonging to the company, claimed to have found a thread claiming to offer the reason for the disappearance of REvil. The CIA's investment arm, In-Q-Tel is an investor in Recorded Future.

  • Governments turn tables on ransomware gang REvil by pushing it offline [iophk: Windows TCO]

    According to three people familiar with the matter, law enforcement and intelligence cyber specialists were able to [crack] REvil’s computer network infrastructure, obtaining control of at least some of their servers.

    After websites that the [attacker] group used to conduct business went offline in July, the main spokesman for the group, who calls himself “Unknown,” vanished from the [Internet].

  • Company That Buys Zero-Day Hacks Now Wants Exploits for Popular VPNs

    Uh oh. An infamous company that pays thousands of dollars for iOS and Android hacking techniques is now out to acquire zero-day exploits for three popular VPN services. Zerodium today sent out a tweet calling for “zero-days” or publicly unknown attacks that work against ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark. The attacks must be capable of leaking information from the VPNs, such as a computer’s IP address. Zerodium will also pay for exploits that can trigger a VPN to remotely execute computer code.

  • Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones

    Wireless subscribers of Verizon's Visible prepaid service received a rude awakening after hackers compromised their account, then ordered expensive new iPhones on their dime. Last week a company statement indicated that "threat actors were able to access username/passwords from outside sources," then utilize that access to login to Visible customer accounts. Hacked users say the attackers then utilized that access to order expensive kit, and, initially, getting Visible to do anything about it was a challenge:

Android Leftovers

Stable vs. Bleeding-Edge Linux Distros: Which One Should You Choose?

Linux distributions have multiple ways of delivering software to their users. But which one should you go for—stability or the latest software? One of the major choices that many Linux users face when choosing a Linux distribution is its stability, or how much the software changes. Some distros favor stable, tried-and-true software while others will include newer software that may not be as reliable, also known as "bleeding-edge," a play on "cutting-edge." So, which one should you choose? Let's find out. Read more

This week in NeoChat

Last Saturday we had an improvised NeoChat mini development sprint in a small hotel room in Berlin in the occasion of the 25th anniversary of KDE. In a good KDE tradition, Carl spent this time on improving NeoChat settings. He ported both the NeoChat general settings and the specific room settings to the new Kirigami.CategorizedSetting component. Tobias fixed a lot of papercuts and now the power level should be fetched correctly, we show the number of joined users instead of joined+invited users in the room information pane, the user search is now case insensitive. Nicolas focused on fixing our Android build by making the spellchecking feature compile on Android. Read more