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March 2020

5 Reasons Why This Linux Gaming OS Is Great For Your Living Room

Filed under
Linux
Gaming

Valve’s Steam Machines initiative has been retired and SteamOS is on hiatus, but Steam Big Picture mode is still an awesome way to transform your PC into a living room console experience. For those of us who like the idea of having a computer dedicated to couch gaming (read: not your daily driver OS), a boutique Linux distribution called GamerOS is worth checking out. Especially since it picks up the baton where Valve left off and adds substantial tweaks and improvements.

In a nutshell, GamerOS is an Arch Linux-based operating system that’s streamlined to do one thing very well: run Steam Big Picture. In fact, that’s all it does. There is no desktop environment. Your first boot places you directly into Steam Big Picture and that’s where you’ll live on GamerOS.

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Linux Mint 20 Release Date & Features

Filed under
Linux

Well, that’s what this post is here to tell you. We will keep this roundup of Linux Mint 20 features and updates up-to-date as development happens until June, its expected release month.

What do we about Linux Mint 20 so far?

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Also: Linux Mint 20 Doing Away With 32-Bit Support

KDE Plasma 5.18.4 LTS Desktop Environment Brings More Than 40 Fixes

Filed under
KDE
Security

Coming three weeks after the Plasma 5.18.3 point release, which introduced a bunch of Flatpak improvements and more than 60 fixes, the KDE Plasma 5.18.4 LTS release is here to add more than 40 bug fixes to various of the desktop environments core components.

Among the changes, there’s improved support for the upcoming Qt 5.15 application framework for Breeze and libksysguard components and better support for the fwupd open-source daemon for installing firmware updates on devices in the Discover package manager.

Flatpak support in Discover was also improved by fixing two issues. Moreover, XSettingsd was added as a runtime dependency to KDE GTK Config, kwallet-pam now works with pam_fscrypt, and KWin now allow the creation of more than one row on the “Virtual Desktops” settings page.

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Obarun – An Arch Based Linux Distro Without Systemd

Filed under
Linux

Today’s Linux distribution review is not just for distro hoppers who love to try something new but it’s for people who have a specific purpose such as a Linux system without systemd. Systemd, as we all know, has always been criticized by a lot of developers and Linux users.

Obarun is packed with enough utilities to install & start a vanilla Arch Linux without any trouble. I have written an article on how to install Arch step by step and it is a long article. But Obarun does the Arch installation in a very simple way. It comes with obarun-installer, a script that helps install Arch as easily as possible.

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40 Practical and Useful awk Command in Linux and BSD

Filed under
Linux

AWK is a powerful data-driven programming language that dates its origin back to the early days of Unix. It was initially developed for writing ‘one-liner’ programs but has since evolved into a full-fledged programming language. AWK gets its name from the initials of its authors – Aho, Weinberger, and Kernighan. The awk command in Linux and other Unix systems invokes the interpreter that runs AWK scripts. Several implementations of awk exist in recent systems such as gawk (GNU awk), mawk (Minimal awk), and nawk (New awk), among others. Check out the below examples if you want to master awk.

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Behind Plasma Bigscreen

Filed under
KDE

Plasma has been designed from the get go (2006 or so.. it seems at least 2 eternities agoto not make any assumptions on the type of device and to do a clear separation between the core technology/runtime and the various GUI plugins that end up implementing a full desktop experience.

In an architecture decision informed by previous prototypes we did in KDE4 times for mobile devices UIs, in Plasma 5 we split it further and introduced the concept of a “shell package” which lets further customization between devices than what Plasma in KDE4 times allowed.

Because of that we could do the Plasma Mobile shell without changes to the architecture that runs both the Desktop shell and the mobile version, despite being a completely different UI.

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KDE Vs Kubuntu Vs Neon Vs Plasma – What’s the Difference

Filed under
KDE

If you are a new Linux user and started exploring distros for your own need, you may already have come across KDE. And I am sure you heard of Kubuntu, KDE Plasma and KDE Neon. With so many KDE flavors, it is a little confusing. Well, that’s why this article, to clear things up and the difference between them.
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IEEE Launches an Open Source Collaboration Platform

Filed under
News

IEEE Standards Association has announced a GitLab-based open source collaboration platform. Read how is it different and what advantages it has.
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More in Tux Machines

Kernel and Graphics: Kuiper Linux, Rust, Apple, Mesa, and XWayland

  • Custom Linux allows Raspberry Pi to drive ADI peripherals

    Called Kuiper Linux, it incorporates Linux device drivers for ADI products, and supports other hardware including Digilent Zedboard, TerASIC DE10-Nano and Digilent Cora “The reasoning behind creating this distribution is to minimise the barriers to integrating ADI hardware devices into a Linux-based system,” according to the company. “When starting with a generic Linux distribution, the kernel typically would have to be rebuilt with the desired drivers enabled. While this is not difficult for an engineer that is familiar with the process, it can be a daunting task even when everything goes right. ADI Kuiper Linux solves this problem, and includes a host of additional applications, software libraries, and utilities.”

  • Rust takes a major step forward as Linux's second official language | ZDNet

    It wasn't that long ago that the very idea that another language besides C would be used in the Linux kernel would have been laughed at. Things have changed. Today, not only is Rust, the high-level system language moving closer to Linux, it's closer than ever with the next "patch series to add support for Rust as a second language to the Linux kernel."

  • Apple SoC PMGR driver for 5.17
    Hi SoC folks,
    
    Please merge the new PMGR driver for 5.17.
    
    This should not have any hard deps with the previous pulls. The 
    MAINTAINERS change already rode along the DT pull, for simplicity.
    
  • More Apple Silicon M1 Bring-Up On The Way For Linux 5.17 - Phoronix

    The enablement work for supporting Apple's M1 SoC under Linux continues and with the v5.17 kernel next year will be yet more additions. Among the new driver activity for Linux 5.17 is an Apple PMGR driver for controlling the power states. The Apple PMGR block on their SoC has high-level power state controls for SoC devices. At the moment not all features are supported but important step forward for power management with Apple Silicon on Linux.

  • Intel's SWR Removed From Mainline Mesa, More Classic Code Cleaning Continues - Phoronix

    Last Friday Mesa classic drivers were removed from the mainline code-base and punted off to an "Amber" code branch where they will receive whatever attention moving forward. With that classic Mesa code removed, more code cleaning is now happening on top of the tens of thousands of lines of code already removed. Intel's OpenSWR driver has also now been removed from mainline. Since the original classic Mesa drivers consisting of Radeon R100/R200, original Nouveau, and Intel i915 / i965 drivers were removed, more code cleaning can now happen on mainline for code that was just sticking around for these old, rather unmaintained drivers.

  • XWayland Lands DRM Leasing Support To Handle VR Headsets - Phoronix

    Along with XWayland touchpad gestures, another shiny feature was merged this week into X.Org Server Git for XWayland: DRM leasing support! XWayland now has mainline support for the DRM leasing (drm-lease-v1) protocol for allowing X11 clients running through XWayland to lease non-desktop connectors/outputs from the underlying Wayland compositor. This is particularly useful and designed around the needs of virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays.

Open Hardware/Modding: Raspberry Pi, RISC-V, HiFiBerry, and More

  • Retro Reproduction Captures The Style Of The Sol-20 | Hackaday

    In the early years of the computer revolution, a machine like the Sol-20 really stood out. Where most hobbyist machines had front panels that bristled with toggle switches and LEDs, the Sol-20 was a sleek, all-in-one that looked like an electric typewriter in a walnut-trimmed box. Unfortunately, it was also quite expensive, so not that many were sold. This makes them hard enough to find 40 years later that building his own reproduction Sol-20 is about the only way for [Michael Gardi] to have one of his own.

  • Imagination Catapults into RISC-V

    Imagination unveiled four RISC-V-based “Catapult” CPU cores: two 32-bit MCU cores and two 64-bit designs that run Linux, including an automotive functional safety core. The big news on the first day of the RISC-V Summit in San Francisco was the announcement from Imagination Technologies that it was launching four RISC-V core designs under a Catapult brand. This summer, Imagination revealed it was building RISC-V CPU cores, and it has now announced four Catapult CPU designs. The in-order cores include two 32-bit MCU-like cores and two 64-bit models that run Linux. The UK-based company refers to the four core categories as “dynamic microcontrollers; real-time embedded CPUs; high-performance application CPUs; and functionally safe automotive CPUs.”

  • Adding Optical Audio to the Raspberry Pi with One Chip

    In the home theater space most people would tell you the age of optical audio, known officially as TOSLINK, is over. While at one time they were the standard for surround sound systems, the fiber cables with their glowing red tips have now been largely supplanted by the all-in-one capabilities of HDMI on new TVs and audio receivers. But of course, that doesn’t mean all that TOSLINK-compatible hardware that’s in the field simply disappears. If you’re looking to connect a Raspberry Pi to the optical port of your AV system, [Nick Sayer] has you covered. His “TOSLINK Transceiver Hat” utilizes a WM8804 chip from Cirrus Logic to go from the Pi’s I2S audio output to S/PDIF. From there the signal goes directly into the TOSLINK input and output modules, which have the appropriate fiber optic hardware and drivers built-in. All you have to do from a software standpoint is enable a boot overlay intended for a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) from HiFiBerry.

  • Guitar Pickguard Adds MIDI Capabilities

    For a standard that has been in use since the 1980s, MIDI is still one of the most dominant forces on the musical scene even today. It’s fast, flexible, and offers a standard recognized industry-wide over many different types of electronic instruments. Even things which aren’t instruments can be turned into musical devices like the infamous banana keyboard via the magic of MIDI, and it also allows augmentation of standard instruments with other capabilities like this guitar with a MIDI interface built into the pick guard. [Ezra] is the creator of this unique musical instrument which adds quite a few capabilities to his guitar. The setup is fairly straightforward: twelve wires run to the pick guard which are set up as capacitive sensors and correspond with a note on the chromatic scale. Instead of using touchpads, using wires allows him to bend away the “notes” that he doesn’t need for any particular piece of music. The wires are tied back to an Adafruit Feather 32u4 microcontroller behind the neck of the guitar which also has a few selectors for changing the way that the device creates tones. He can set the interface to emit single notes or continuously play notes, change the style, can change their octave, and plenty of other features as well.

Firefox 96 Enters Public Beta Testing with More Performance and Security Improvements

Firefox 96 isn’t a major update, but it’s the first release of the open-source web browser in 2022 and it introduces several performance and security improvements to make your browsing experience more enjoyable, more reliable, and much safer. For example, the upcoming Firefox release significantly reduces the main thread load, significantly improves noise-suppression and auto-gain-control, slightly improves echo-cancellation, and enforces the Cookie Policy: Same-Site=lax option by default to protect users against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks. Read more

Security Leftovers

  • A mysterious threat actor is running hundreds of malicious Tor relays

    Since at least 2017, a mysterious threat actor has run thousands of malicious servers in entry, middle, and exit positions of the Tor network in what a security researcher has described as an attempt to deanonymize Tor users. Tracked as KAX17, the threat actor ran at its peak more than 900 malicious servers part of the Tor network, which typically tends to hover around a daily total of up to 9,000-10,000. Some of these servers work as entry points (guards), others as middle relays, and others as exit points from the Tor network. Their role is to encrypt and anonymize user traffic as it enters and leaves the Tor network, creating a giant mesh of proxy servers that bounce connections between each other and provide the much-needed privacy that Tor users come for. Servers added to the Tor network typically must have contact information included in their setup, such as an email address, so Tor network administrators and law enforcement can contact server operators in the case of a misconfiguration or file an abuse report.

  • Someone Is Running Lots of Tor Relays

    Since 2017, someone is running about a thousand — 10% of the total — Tor servers in an attempt to deanonymize the network...

  • Security updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (nss), Debian (roundcube and runc), openSUSE (aaa_base, brotli, clamav, glib-networking, gmp, go1.16, hiredis, kernel, mozilla-nss, nodejs12, nodejs14, openexr, openssh, php7, python-Babel, ruby2.5, speex, wireshark, and xen), Oracle (kernel and nss), Red Hat (kpatch-patch, nss, rpm, and thunderbird), SUSE (brotli, clamav, glib-networking, gmp, kernel, mariadb, mozilla-nss, nodejs12, nodejs14, openssh, php7, python-Babel, and wireshark), and Ubuntu (busybox, mariadb-10.3, mariadb-10.5, python-django, and samba).

  • Hitachi Energy RTU500 OpenLDAP | CISA

    All information products included in https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ics are provided "as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service, referenced in this product or otherwise. Further dissemination of this product is governed by the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) marking in the header. For more information about TLP, see https://us-cert.cisa.gov/tlp/.

  • Hitachi Energy XMC20 and FOX61x | CISA

    All information products included in https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ics are provided "as is" for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service, referenced in this product or otherwise. Further dissemination of this product is governed by the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) marking in the header. For more information about TLP, see https://us-cert.cisa.gov/tlp/.