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August 2020

Kraft Version 0.95

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The authors are happy to announce the new release 0.95 of Kraft. Kraft is free desktop software for managing office documents like quotes and invoices in the small enterprise for the Linux desktop.

With version 0.95 we do a big step forward in the way of generating documents: Until now (more than fifteen years!) Kraft uses the ReportLab python library to create high quality PDF documents.

While this has served us well, it has always been cumbersome to adopt the template for users needs. ReportLab uses a XML format as the template which has a bit of a steep learning curve and is not really easy with syntax.

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AMD AOCC 2.2 Helping Squeeze Extra Performance Out Of AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" CPUs

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At the end of June AMD quietly released a new version of the AMD Optimizing C/C++ Compiler. Noticing the new release this week, here are some benchmarks of AOCC 2.2 up against LLVM Clang 10 and GCC 10 with Ubuntu Linux while running from an AMD EPYC 7742 2P server for looking at the performance gains possible with the compiler optimizations.

AMD AOCC 2.2 rebases the Zen-focused compiler against upstream LLVM/Clang 10.0 code-base. While the Optimizing "C/C++" Compiler, the Fortran language support continues being improved upon by leveraging LLVM's FLANG. With AOCC 2.2, Fortran 2008 features are present in FLANG along with other Fortran improvements. AOCC 2.2 also has "enhanced high-level optimizations" focused on the AMD EPYC 7002 series, machine dependent optimizations for EPYC 7002 series, updated AMD Math Libraries (AMDLibM 3.3), and LLVM's LLD linker is now the default. AOCC 2.2 is quite a hearty release but a bit unfortunate AMD doesn't do more to promote AOCC as two months past release this is the first time I heard of the new release when being curious about any summer updates.

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3.5-inch SBC showcases octa-core Snapdragon 660

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Winmate’s 3.5-inch “IQ30” SBC runs Android 9.0 on an octa-core Snapdragon 660 with up to 4GB LPDDR4, LAN with optional PoE, 802.11ac, M.2 with SIM, 3x USB, and touchscreen support. Winmate has posted a product page for an IQ30 SBC that runs Android 9.0 on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 (SDA660). This is the first 3.5-inch spin we have seen of the 14nm fabricated SoC, which combines 4x 2.2GHz Kryo cores, 4x 1.84GHz cores, and a 650MHz Adreno 512 GPU. There are also Spectra and Hexagon co-processors, with the latter offering AI support.

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Why I have a problem with AppImages on Linux

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I get why AppImages exist. They were the precursors for Flatpak and Snaps and made it possible for developers to create portable, universal applications that could run on any Linux distribution.

That, my friends, is a great idea. It's also one that both Flatpak and Snap packages have succeeded to do. On my primary machine (a System76 Thelio), I install applications via source, apt, Snap and Flatpak--I don't discriminate. As long as an application will install and run as expected, I'll install it, regardless of the package format.

With one exception: AppImages.

I do not like AppImages and I believe it's time developers stopped using them, but I get why they do. AppImages aren't actually installed on systems. Instead, they are sort of like the containers of desktop applications, without having to rely on an installed engine like Docker. You simply download an AppImage, give it executable permission, and run it. The application in question should open and you could use it. Simple, right?

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today's leftovers

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  • Swap Detector: Open source tool for detecting API usage errors

    GrammaTech has released Swap Detector, an open source tool that enables developers and DevOps teams to identify errors due to swapped function arguments, which can also be present in deployed code.


    Modern software development involves the use of third-party APIs, libraries, and/or frameworks that are complex, rapidly evolving, and sometimes poorly documented. According to industry estimates, open source components can represent up to 90% of the code in the average application. Meanwhile, API usage errors are a common source of security and reliability vulnerabilities.

    “Traditional static-analysis techniques do not take advantage of the vast wealth of information on what represents error-free coding practices available in the open-source domain,” says Alexey Loginov, VP of Research at GrammaTech. “With Swap Detector we applied Big Data analysis techniques, what we call Big Code analysis, to the Fedora RPM open-source repository to baseline correct API usage. This allowed us to develop error-detection capabilities that far exceed the scalability and accuracy of conventional approaches to program analysis.”

  • Challenges, priorities, and progress in anti-censorship technology at Tor

    This blog post seeks to bring clarity to the modus operandi of the Tor Project in the anti-censorship space by providing a summary of the challenges we face, the priorities we focus on, and the progress we have made so far related to our circumvention technology. Censorship circumvention is a complex and ever evolving problem, and this blog post summarizes our approach in tackling it. Please feel free to ask any related question in the comments. Thanks to hanneloresx's translation, you can find a Chinese version of this blog post below.


    Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) block the domain, making it difficult for their users to download a copy of Tor Browser. Our service GetTor can help these users get Tor Browser despite this: simply send an email to, which will automatically respond with alternative download links for Tor Browser. These download links point to GitHub, GitLab, the Internet Archive, and Google Drive. At least one of these hosting providers should be accessible to each of our users. For example, users from China can download Tor Browser from our GitHub mirror.

    Once you have your copy of Tor Browser, you are ready to connect to the Tor network. Unfortunately, some ISPs interfere yet again, aided by technology that either blocks the IP addresses of Tor relays and/or detects the Tor protocol dynamically, by inspecting network traffic that passes the ISP's perimeter—so-called deep packet inspection (DPI).

    If you are unable to directly connect to the Tor network, you need to use bridges. Bridges are unlisted Tor relays and, depending on the bridge type, can obfuscate network traffic in a way that's more difficult for ISPs to detect. The simplest method of censorship circumvention in Tor Browser is to use our default bridges—a set of a dozen bridges that are part of Tor Browser. These bridges are essentially public, which is why more effective censorship systems such as China's Great Firewall (GFW) block them, but they are still effective in many places like Iran. Take a look at our Tor Browser manual to learn how to enable default bridges.

  • Apple Forces WordPress App to Sell Plans
  • Finland’s Covid-19 trace app published as open source

    On Tuesday, Finland’s Koronavilkku Covid-19 track and trace application was published as an open source solution under the European Union Public Licence (EUPL). The Koronavilkku software is being developed by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos, or THL), together with a handful of the country’s software development firms.

  • Why NUKEMAP isn’t on Google Maps anymore

    But most of all: today there are perfectly viable alternatives. Which is why I don’t understand their pricing model change, except in terms of, “they’ve decided to abandon small developers completely.” After a little scouting around, I decided that MapBox completely fit the bill (and whose rates are more like what Google used to charge), and that Leaflet, an open-source Javascript library, could make for a very easy conversion. It took a little work to make the conversion, because Leaflet out of the box doesn’t support the drawing of great circles, but I wrote a plugin that does it.

  • Linux users are having problem accessing HBO Max from their phones.

    This problem is for generic Linux PC and not for the dedicated Linux based streaming hardware as many of the users said that HBO is working fine on Roku. Many of the users reported that the app suddenly stops working a couple of weeks ago and it is not accessible on any browsing platform. They are getting the error message we are trouble playing this video please try again later when they tried to play a video on this streaming platform.

    Protecting HBO’s content

    HBO Max said that the root cause is the Widevine DRM which is attempting to protect the content on HBO. HBO said that its movies and series are being pirated and they did not want it to happen again.

  • [Old] Unbricking a $2,000 Bike With a $10 Raspberry Pi

    The rest of the post is a walk-through of my experience writing some code that enables the Flywheel Home Bike to work with Zwift and other training apps. It likely also works for the LifeFitness IC5 and support for other bikes should be easy to add.

    The finished program is called Gymnasticon and the code is open-source on GitHub.

  • Microsoft to remove insecure TLS support on its Linux Software Repository [Ed: As if Microsoft gives a damn about security; it literally gives the NSA back door access into everything]

    Microsoft is discontinuing support for the insecure TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 protocols on its Linux Software Repository starting with September 24, 2020.

    TLS is a secure protocol used for encrypting the communication channels between sits and web browsers, with the original TLS 1.0 specification and its TLS 1.1 successor having been in use for roughly the last 20 years.

    Microsoft's Linux Software Repository hosts a wide range of software products for Linux systems built and supported by the company. These products are available for download from via standard YUM and APT package repositories. 

Audiocasts/Shows: Mike Dominick, LHS, Python Shows and More

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  • Interview from Episode #34 of The Mike Dominick Show (Audio Only)

    I had a chance to sit down and chat with Mike Dominick recently, on August 25th 2020. We spoke about some of my current projects, and our views on some of the recent happenings in the industry lately. Topics include writing, the industry's move to ARM, the Linux community in general, and more.

  • LHS Episode #364: The Weekender LV

    It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

  • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #24: Options for Packaging Your Python Application: Wheels, Docker, and More

    Have you wondered, how should I package my Python code? You've written the application, but now you need to distribute it to the machines it's intended to run on. It depends on what the code is, the libraries it depends on, and with whom do you want to share it. This week on the show we have Itamar Turner-Trauring, creator of the website We discuss his article "Options for Packaging Your Python Code: Wheels, Conda, Docker, and More," covering the how of sharing your code.

  • Python Bytes: #196 Version your SQL schemas with git + automatically migrate them
  • Are My Linux Videos Too Long? They Might Be

    A lot of the videos I make are Linux software showcases but I've had a few people mention that some of my videos might be a bit too long so I thought I'd explain why my videos end up being as long as they are and how I'm slowly stripping down the videos as I improve upon my style.

Games: ROCKFISH, Valve, Dota 2 and Godot Engine

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  • Rockfish show off some impressive EVERSPACE 2 footage

    ROCKFISH Games have revealed two new trailers for the upcoming space-action sim EVERSPACE 2, a traditional hype trailer and some more raw gameplay footage.

    Get ready for some never-seen-before content from the game shows a new star system and cockpit view featuring fully functional displays. Both of which, I might add, show that ROCKFISH are crafting a pretty incredible looking open-world space shooter, one I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on.

  • Valve announce new Chat Filtering and a big change to Steam Wallet Codes

    Valve continue to roll out new experiments with their Steam Labs, one of which is now live which you can try out with special Chat Filtering.

    As the name easily suggests, it will enable you to filter out commonly used strong profanity and slurs sent via chat all across Steam. If you choose to join the experiment and enable it, the filtering will be applied across Steam Chat, games that support it and eventually they may roll it out across "more forms of user-generated content". They said that it basically moves the filtering they built for games like CS:GO, Destiny 2, and Dota 2 and puts it directly into your Steam settings.

  • The International 10 for Dota 2 breaks the esports prize pool record again

    Surprised? I doubt anyone will be. Valve have managed to gather what's now the single biggest prize pool for an event - ever. It's now absolutely massive.

    Back in 2019, Epic Games held the title for the biggest prize pool across a tournament with Fortnite. Valve smashed that record not longer after with TI 2019 having a $34,330,069 prize pool. Records are breaking everywhere it seems, as once again it has been eclipsed. The International 10, now has a prize pool of $34,539,661 from the Battle Pass (plus other purchases like the Collector's Cache) and it's still going up with plenty of time to spare as Valve announced before that it will continue until September 19.

  • Godot web export progress report #2

    Howdy Godotters! It's time for a long overdue update on the status of the HTML5 export and the web version of Godot in general.

    Many of the improvements made for the Web editor's early prototype have been merged in the master branch and backported to the 3.2 branch. Support for SceneTree.quit() and drag and drop of files via the files_dropped signal are already in the upcoming 3.2.3 release.

Linux Candy: Variety – wallpaper changer software

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Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

Variety is a wallpaper manager for Linux systems. It supports numerous desktops and wallpaper sources, including local files and online services: Flickr, Unsplash, and more.

Variety is written in Python.

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IBM/Red Hat Leftovers

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Red Hat
  • Six questions around race and diversity in technology with Sasha Pass

    Sasha Pass, a developer advocate and project manager with 8 years experience at IBM has been an integral part of many developer initiatives at IBM, including the global Call for Code initiative. Given her inter-racial background, the impact of Black Lives Matter has hit especially close to home. Learn a bit more about Sasha’s take on diversity and racial inequality as a black woman in the workplace and her current work with Emb(race), a project to improve racial diversity at IBM.

  • Interaction and microcopy: UX best practices for the setup process

    Sometimes, signing up for a service or setting up a new account can be stressful, even with the convenience of online-everything. As a user, you may second guess yourself in the process: Did I miss an important step? Was I supposed to click that button? This uncertainty is understandable. You need to get something done, but there are a few things standing in your way. And if the user interface (UI) isn’t designed well or the copy isn’t clear, then it’s safe to say the experience may not be all that pleasant.

    Thankfully, setup processes don’t always have to be nerve-wracking. By putting extra effort into the user experience (UX), you may just be able to transform an intricate process into a few easy clicks. Let’s take a look at some UX design and copy best practices—and a real-life Red Hat use case—that will hopefully help you make your next product setup process a bit easier for users.

  • Red Hat Satellite 6.7.2 has been released

    We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.7.2 is generally available as of July 30, 2020.

    Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

  • vDPA kernel framework part 2: vDPA bus drivers for kernel subsystem interactions

    In the previous post (vDPA Kernel Framework Part 1: vDPA Bus for Abstracting Hardware), we discussed the design and implementation of the kernel vDPA framework with a brief introduction of the vDPA bus drivers. We will proceed to cover the technical details of the vDPA bus drivers and how they can provide a unified interface for the vDPA drivers.

    This post is intended for kernel developers and userspace developers for VMs and containers who want to understand how vDPA could be a backend for VMs or a high performance IO for containers.

  • Modernize telco operations support systems with Red Hat
  • Red Hat and Intuit Join Forces on Argo Project, Extending GitOps Community Innovation to Better Manage Multi-Cluster Cloud-Native Applications at Scale

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, and Intuit Inc. today announced collaboration between the two companies on Argo CD, a declarative continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes deployments. Argo CD makes it easier to manage configurations, definitions and environments for both Kubernetes itself and the applications it hosts using Git as the source of truth. Argo CD, open sourced by Intuit in January 2018, is also an incubation-level project within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and is currently deployed in production by many companies including Electronic Arts, Major League Baseball, Tesla, and Ticketmaster.

  • Sunrise speeds time to market by 75% with hybrid cloud technologies

    Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, reports that Sunrise Communications AG has worked with Red Hat to build a hybrid cloud-ready platform and adopt an agile DevOps culture to help speed innovation and reduce time-to-market.

    Sunrise has migrated several critical customer applications to its microservices architecture on Red Hat OpenShift, supported by Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and Red Hat Runtimes and managed with the help of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.

  • NEC Corporation Onboards Red Hat OpenShift to Streamline Air Travel

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that NEC Corporation has used Red Hat OpenShift as the foundation for Narita International Airport’s new "Check-in to boarding experience" known as "One ID" in Japan. One ID covers the entire passenger experience within an airport, from check-in to boarding, and uses Red Hat OpenShift to provide the massive scale and flexibility required to handle peak passenger volume at Narita.

Linux Developers Continue Evaluating The Path To Adding Rust Code To The Kernel

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As mentioned back in July, upstream Linux developers have been working to figure out a path for adding Rust code to the Linux kernel. That topic is now being further explored at this week's virtual Linux Plumbers Conference and it's still looking like it will happen, it's just a matter of when the initial infrastructure will be in place and how slowly the rollout will be.

Back in July, Linus Torvalds shared his thoughts on Rust within the Linux kernel tree and didn't shoot down the idea just his preference on how it be handled, basically having it be enabled if Rust is present on the system.

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More in Tux Machines

Open source mind mapping with

There's something special about maps. I remember opening the front book cover of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit when I was younger, staring at the hand-drawn map of Middle Earth, and feeling the wealth of possibility contained in the simple drawing. Aside from their obvious purpose of actually describing where things are in relation to other things, I think maps do a great job of expressing potential. You could step outside and take the road this way or that way, and if you do, just think of all the new and exciting things you'll be able to see. Read more

19 Absolute Simple Things About Linux Terminal Every Ubuntu User Should Know

Terminal often intimidates new users. However, once you get to know it, you gradually start liking it. Well, that happens with most Linux users. Even if you are using Ubuntu as a desktop system, you may have to enter the terminal at times. New users are often clueless about many things. Some knowledge of basic Linux commands always helps in such cases but this article is not about that. This article focuses on explaining small, basic and often ignored things about using the terminal. This should help new Ubuntu desktop users to know the terminal and use it with slightly more efficiency. Read more

EndeavourOS 21.4 Review [Atlantis] - Pure Arch Linux Experience for You

We review the EndeavourOS 21.4 (Atlantis) — the best Arch Linux flavor for beginners. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Mesa's Classic Drivers Have Been Retired - Affecting ATI R100/R200 & More - Phoronix

    The day has finally come that Mesa's classic OpenGL drivers (non-Gallium3D) have been cleared out of the code-base as part of their modernization effort for mainline. After a half-year pending, the "Delete Mesa Classic" merge request was honored today in eliminating the Mesa "classic" OpenGL drivers from the code-base. The drivers will still be maintained in an "Amber" branch, but considering how little focus these drivers have been receiving by upstream Mesa developers currently, don't expect much (or, if any) real changes moving ahead.

  • Steam support for Chromebooks could surface this week

    After months and months and even more months of waiting, it appears that we may finally get our first look at native Steam gaming on Chrome OS in the very near future. Affectionately known as project ‘Borealis’, the containerized version of Steam has been in the works for nearly two years and it was initially thought that Google was targeting mid to late 2022 for a release. With Chrome OS 96 just rolling out and the next iteration of Google’s desktop operating system not due until January of 2022, it’s fairly clear that this target was missed but that’s okay. I’d rather see a fully baked product released than a buggy piece of software that sours users to Chrome OS. Anyway, in its early development, I presumed that ‘Borealis’, a.k.a. Steam on Chrome OS, would simply be an optimized version of the Steam application that would install and run inside the current Linux container. Over time, we learned that Google was actually creating an entirely new container designed specifically to house Borealis and that it should run independently from the Debian container currently available in Stable Chrome OS. This makes more sense as Google can retain control of the Borealis container and keep it neat and clean for running Steam. Presumably, users will never actually interact with the container like you can with the Linux terminal.

  • iXsystems Recognized in 11th Annual Best in Biz Awards for Most Innovative Product Line of the Year

    TrueNAS by iXsystems is the world’s most popular Open Source storage operating system and is the most efficient solution for managing and sharing data over a network. TrueNAS Open Storage provides unified storage for file, block, object, and application data – making it an exceptionally flexible storage platform for business. All TrueNAS editions -- CORE, Enterprise, and SCALE -- leverage the enterprise-grade OpenZFS file system to provide an all-inclusive data management solution that protects customer data with features like Copy-on-Write, Snapshots, Checksums, Scrubbing, and 2-Copy Metadata.