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August 2020

How a local government migrated to open source

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In 2015, the Eyüpsultan Municipality in Istanbul, Turkey, began a bold migration to adopting open source software. This involved several major changes: Linux on the desktop and major changes to the IT infrastructure, including a transition to the Zimbra email server and the PostgreSQL database.

This was a big decision, and it wasn't made lightly. Open source technologies provide an important opportunity for our country to have an independent and secure information infrastructure. There are uncertainties about future terms and costs of using licensed software that connects users to a particular brand ecosystem. The more connected to these technologies we are, the harder it is to switch to alternative products. The commercial nature of key companies, to say nothing of pricing and licensing policies, poses significant risks.

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GNOME’s Sound Recorder App Has an Awesome New Look

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Developer Kavan Mevada worked on modernising the audio recording utility as part of this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Now, with the code-minded sprint over, Mevada shares an update on the progress he’s made — and is all I can say is wow!

Sound Recorders legacy codebase was ditched in favour of a ground-up, modern rewrite. Complimenting the streamlined foundation is a newer, cleaner, and more responsive UI designed according to GNOME’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG).

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Warpinator – Send and Receive Files Across a Network

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Warpinator is a free, open-source tool for sending and receiving files between computers that are on the same network. All you need do is install Warpinator on the computers, choose a group code, edit your firewalls if necessary, and that’s all.

It features a simple, themeable user interface with an easy-to-configure menu and works without the need for any servers or special configuration. Warpinator is an official file sharing app developed by Linux Mint.

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How to Set Up Facial Recognition to Sign into Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

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Missing the Windows Hello kind of unlocking of your system on Linux? Learn how to set up face unlock on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. You can even use sudo with your face instead of typing the password.
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4MLinux 33.2 released.

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This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.4.53. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.43, MariaDB 10.4.13, and PHP 7.4.8 (see this post for more details).

You can update your 4MLinux by executing the "zk update" command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

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Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 20.08

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There are two overarching themes of Genode version 20.08: Increasing the weight of native work loads, and strengthening the system's resilience against driver failures.

With native work loads, we are speaking of software executed directly on Genode without relying on virtual machines. Compared to static systems or hypervisor scenarios, such work loads are brutally unforgiving when it comes to the quality of the POSIX runtime, the performance of Genode's protocol stacks, and the economics of the porting of software. By bringing the Chromium web engine alive, we expose Genode to one of the most heavy-weight commodity software stacks in existence. We are thrilled to report in Section Improved Qt5 integration and work flows that the Chromium-based Falkon web browser can be hosted on Sculpt OS now. The collateral effects of this work are at least as valuable as the particular application: Improved work flows for porting large software projects, and covering many formerly hidden corner cases of the C and C++ runtimes.

With Sculpt OS, the resilience of Genode in the event of failing graphics or input drivers came into focus. Section The GUI stack, restacked describes a complex surgery that puts the low-level GUI stack upside down, paving the ground for exciting features like swapping out or updating drivers on the fly without reboot.

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Also: Genode OS 20.08 Has Chromium Web Engine Running, Low-Level GUI Work

Stasiek Michalski wins the race for the openSUSE Board

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The openSUSE Ad-hoc Board Election is now concluded.

Stasiek Michalski has been elected to join the openSUSE Board. The complete result is as follows:

Stasiek Michalski — 160 votes
Pierre Böckmann — 70 votes
234 out of 510 eligible members have cast their vote in this election. We recorded 4 blank votes.

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Review: BunsenLabs Linux Lithium

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BunsenLabs Linux is a distribution offering a lightweight and easily customizable Openbox desktop. The BunsenLabs distribution is based on Debian's Stable branch which gives the project access to a vast collection of software packages.

Bunsen's latest release is called Lithium (the project uses element names in place of version numbers) and is based on Debian 10 "Buster". Lithium now automatically updates the application menu when new software is installed and includes a range of Broadcom wireless drivers to help users get on-line. The distribution now ships with a dark theme by default and the project's welcome window script has been streamlined to get the system up and running faster. Bunsen should now work with Secure Boot systems.

BunsenLabs is available in two builds. One is a 1.2GB ISO file for 64-bit (x86_64) computers while the other is a 651MB ISO for 32-bit systems. The second ISO is quite a bit smaller in order to allow it to fit on a CD. Booting from the project's install media brings up a menu asking if we would like to boot into a live desktop environment or launch the system installer. The live mode is available in three flavours (normal, failsafe, and running from RAM) while the installer can be launched in graphical or text mode.

Taking the live option brings up a graphical desktop, powered by the Openbox window manager. Once we arrive at the desktop a welcome window appears. This window gives us a few quick tips on using desktop shortcut keys, provides us with the live environment's password, and tells us how to use the command line to change our keyboard's layout. We are also told we can quickly access the application menu by right-clicking on the desktop. Finally, we are told that to run the system installer we need to restart the computer and select an install option from the boot menu; the installer is not available through the live session.

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Linux 5.9 RC3

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You all know the drill by now - another week, another rc.

A fair number of small fixes all over here, with a lot of noise spread
out fairly evenly due to the "fallhtough" comment conversion.

But while the fallthrough annotations are some fairly widespread
background noise, we've got the usual driver fixes all over (gpu, usb,
others). And architecture updates (arm64 stands out with both kvm
fixes and DT updates, but there's some x86 and powerpc changes too)

And misc changes elsewhere.

On the whole it's been pretty calm for being rc3. This is actually one
of the smaller rc3's we've had in recent releases, although that's
likely at least partially the usual timing issue (ie no networking
pull this past week).

So go out and test.


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Also: Linux 5.9-rc3 Is A "Pretty Calm" Release

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