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March 2020

KDE: Latest Improvements

Filed under
KDE

  • This week in KDE: The calm before the storm (of new features)

    This week we worked really hard on a lot of important backend stuff that’s not so user-visible but will pay dividends down the road, such as launching applications using cgroup slices. We also did a ton of work on the Breeze Evolution project, however most of it is still in heavy development and not ready to be announced. It should trickle in during subsequent weeks, but until then, have a look at what did get landed...

  • KDE Developers Wrap Up March By Working On Back-End Improvements

    This week in KDE land there weren't too many new features introduced but a lot of low-level work to foster future features.

    Some of what did come about over the past week includes:

    - Easier switching of time zones from the clock applet.

    - Support for launching applications in Cgroup slices.

Smart cards login on Ubuntu

Filed under
Ubuntu

Smart cards have proliferated and are now everywhere, from work ID badges to credit cards and passports. For example, the United States Federal Government uses smart cards to control access to federal facilities and information systems because they offer an extra layer of security and respond to strict government guidelines. If used in a company, these will provide identity confirmation, verification that data has not been changed, and confidentiality via encryption.

This whitepaper will provide information on how to configure Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to operate with a smart card to provide multi-factor authentication when logging into the system both locally and remotely. For the purposes of this whitepaper, a PIVKey smart card is used as an example since they are readily accessible and contain a few basic credentials.

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China’s plan to replace Windows with Linux gets closer

Filed under
Linux

China has been trying to develop an operating system of its own, but it has historically been not so successful so far. Moreover, China also had a couple of bad experiences with other companies, like when ZTE depended on the US for the processor or the infamous Huawei issue. This time, though, China might just have created the right operating system.

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today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

4MLinux 33.0 BETA released.

Filed under
GNU
Linux

4MLinux 33.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages.

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Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Russian [Attackers] Exploited Windows Flaws in Attacks on European Firms

    Analysis of the infrastructure used by the [attackers] led to the discovery of an executable named comahawk.exe that incorporated two local privilege escalation exploits targeting Windows.

    The vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2019-1405 and CVE-2019-1322, were patched by Microsoft in November 2019 and October 2019, respectively. Microsoft’s advisories for both these flaws say “exploitation [is] less likely”

    In mid-November 2019, NCC Group, whose researchers reported the vulnerabilities to Microsoft, published a blog post describing the weaknesses. Shortly after, someone made public an exploit named COMahawk that weaponizes CVE-2019-1405 and CVE-2019-1322.

  • Global insurer Chubb hit by Maze ransomware: claim [iophk: Windows TCO]

    According to its own website, Chubb had more than US$177 billion (A$291 billion) in assets and reported US$40 billion of gross premiums in 2019. The company says it has offices in Zurich, New York, London, Paris and other locations, and has more than 30,000 employees.

    iTWire contacted Chubb's Australian office for comment. A spokesperson responded: "We are currently investigating a computer security incident that may involve unauthorised access to data held by a third-party service provider.

  • Operation Poisoned News: Hong Kong Users Targeted With Mobile Malware via Local News Links

    A recently discovered watering hole attack has been targeting iOS users in Hong Kong. The campaign uses links posted on multiple forums that supposedly lead to various news stories. While these links lead users to the actual news sites, they also use a hidden iframe to load and execute malicious code. The malicious code contains exploits that target vulnerabilities present in iOS 12.1 and 12.2. Users that click on these links with at-risk devices will download a new iOS malware variant, which we have called lightSpy (detected as IOS_LightSpy.A).

Articles on Moving to GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • A Beginners Guide to Linux

    The Linux operating system offers a rich mix of features and security that make it a great free and (mostly) open-source alternative to macOS and Microsoft Windows. Because it's different "under the hood," consider some of the big-picture aspects of Linux and how it compares to the other desktop operating systems, before you take the plunge.

  • [Older] 5 Linux Distributions for Windows 7 Users

    While you may not find the same applications or tools on Linux – the user interface is what will make you feel comfortable using the OS.

    So, in this article, I shall mention only the distributions that resemble the look and feel of Windows (to some extent, at least).

    Once, you’re done choosing what you want – you can simply take a look around for the essential applications available on Linux, installing themes, and a lot of similar resources available in our portal.

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  • The Complete Beginner's Guide to Ubuntu Linux

                     

                       

    Before you install Ubuntu on top of your current operating system, it's a good idea to try it out first. There are various ways to try Ubuntu, and the following guides will help: [...]

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  • [Old] Try Ubuntu before you install it

                     

                       

    Running Ubuntu directly from either a USB stick or a DVD is a quick and easy way to experience how Ubuntu works for you, and how it works with your hardware. Most importantly, it doesn’t alter your computer’s configuration in any way, and a simple restart without the USB stick or DVD is all that’s needed to restore your machine to its previous state.

                       

    With a live Ubuntu, you can do almost anything you can from an installed Ubuntu:

The state of open source contribution through the lens of Hacktoberfest

Filed under
OSS

In 2019, DigitalOcean and the open source community celebrated the sixth annual Hacktoberfest, an inclusive community event that inspires open source participation and maintenance. It was an exciting year with record-breaking numbers of pull requests, participants, and events around the world. From the start, our goal has always been to encourage all types of people, from seasoned developers to total newcomers, to get more involved with open source, all while promoting DigitalOcean's longstanding values of simplicity, community, and love.

We recapped Hacktoberfest 2019 on our blog, but in honor of the 22nd anniversary of open source, we decided to dive into the results of our annual participant survey within the context of our seasonal Currents report on the state of open source. This year, we revamped the Hacktoberfest survey to better understand what it means to the community, as well as their involvement with open source projects, key motivators for participating, and more. So how did the community do? Here are some findings.

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More in Tux Machines

Digital Restrictions (DRM) on Printers

Linux 5.15-rc6

So here we are, slightly later on a Sunday than usual due to travel,
but rc6 is out.

I'd love to say that it's all looking average, but rc6 is actually
bigger han rc5 was, and larger than normal for this time in the
release cycle.

It's not _enormously_ larger than normal, and it's not the largest rc6
we've had, but it's still slightly worrisome. By rc6 I really do
expect things to have started calming down.

I'm hoping it's just one of those random timing effects, with a couple
of slightly bigger pulls having come in the last week, and we'll see
the next week being extra quiet because rc6 got some of the stuff that
would normally have hit rc7. It happens. But let's see how this goes.

The 5.15 cycle over-all remains one of the smaller cycles (at least
counting commits), so I wouldn't have expected this to be one that
requires an extra rc, but that may be what ends up happening unless
the upcoming week is really nice and calm.

That said, nothing in here looks _particularly_ worrisome. It really
smells like just random timing effects to me, with networking, GPU
drivers, and ntfs3 all having had a somewhat active week.  Other than
that it all really looks fairly normal.

Full details in the shortlog below.

Please give it a whirl. And let's hope for a nice calm next week and a
smaller rc7.

              Linus
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Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe is a large multinational computer software company with over 22,000 employees. Its flagship products include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, XD, Acrobat DC, as well as the ubiquitous the Portable Document Format (PDF). Their products are wrapped up and marketed as the Creative Cloud, a subscription-only way of accessing more than 20 desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX, and more. We are long-standing admirers of Adobe’s products. They develop many high quality proprietary programs. It’s true there are security and privacy concerns in relation to some of their products. And there’s considerable criticism attached to their pricing practices. But the fundamental issue regarding Adobe Creative Cloud is that Linux isn’t a supported platform. And there’s no prospect of support forthcoming. Read more

6 Best Command Line Music Players for Linux in 2021

Linux terminal is used for performing administrative tasks without having any issues. However, many people don't know that we can play music through the command line. Linux provides different CLI music players by which users can play the audio files from the terminal. CLI music players are simple to use and consume lesser memory. This article briefs about the 6 best command line Music players for Linux in 2021. Read more