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Friday, 28 Feb 20 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and a half and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Repliessort icon Last Post
Story Mandrakesoft and Conectiva Merger srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:20am
Story Ebay Sued srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:20am
Story FBI Being Spoofed in Email srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:19am
Story Nvidia to release 75 series driver srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:19am
Story NVIDIA Unleashes 6800 Mobile GPU srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:18am
Story Newest Vulnerabilities in php apps srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:18am
Story aKademy 2005 Logo Contest Launched srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 6:29am
Story SCO and The Titanic srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 4:28am
Story IBM backs open-source Web software srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 4:27am
Story Who will take home the Gold? srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 4:25am

Linux Gamers And Creators Should Pay Attention To Arch-Based Salient OS

Filed under
OS
Linux
Gaming

Sometimes our field of vision or limited experience restricts us from seeing worthy alternatives. That’s especially true when it comes to desktop Linux; there is no shortage of quality Linux operating systems to test out. So when I argued here that System76’s Pop!_OS is perfect for gamers and produced this video demonstrating it, there were two passionate camps in the comments section. One side voiced cheerful agreement, but the other side basically said “Clearly you haven’t tried Salient OS.”

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Google helps devs speed up Firefox with open source Lighthouse extension

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
OSS

Google has released a Firefox version of its Lighthouse browser extension, giving developers an easy way to test the performance of websites and web apps.

The open source extension makes use of the PageSpeed Insights API, and the new release brings Firefox in line with Chrome which has had a version of the extension for a few years now. The ultimate aim is to make it easier for developers to improve app and page performance by encouraging better practices.

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Open source licenses: What, which, and why

Filed under
OSS

Most people have at least heard of open source software by now—and even have a fairly good idea of what it is. Its own luminaries argue incessantly about what to call it—with camps arguing for everything from Free to Libre to Open Source and every possible combination of the above—but the one thing every expert agrees on is that it's not open source (or whatever) if it doesn't have a clearly attributed license.

You can't just publicly dump a bunch of source code without a license and say "whatever—it's there, anybody can get it." Due to the way copyright law works in most of the world, freely available code without an explicitly declared license is copyright by the author, all rights reserved. This means it's just plain unsafe to use unlicensed code, published or not—there's nothing stopping the author from coming after you and suing for royalties if you start using it.

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Stable Kernels: 5.5.6, 5.4.22, and 4.19.106

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 5.5.6

    I'm announcing the release of the 5.5.6 kernel.

    All users of the 5.5 kernel series must upgrade.

    The updated 5.5.y git tree can be found at:
    git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.5.y
    and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
    https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 5.4.22
  • Linux 4.19.106

KDSoap 1.9.0 released

Filed under
KDE

KD SOAP is a tool for creating client applications for web services.

The release of 1.9.0 brings a fair number of improvements and fixes, as the following text describes.

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Ethical Code Hosting Services in 2020

Filed under
Development
Software

I was really inspired by Free Software Foundation's list of ethical repositories in which I saw GitLab.com service there among other old longstanding services. The Foundation (often called FSF) is a serious organization with long consideration if they wish to update that list. However, in fact, there are many more services coming by time and now there are several interesting ones worth to try and enjoy. Although I myself am not a programmer, but code hosting is not unfamiliar to me, as a free software community member (just like you all, dear readers) I often get so many useful information and sometimes submit bug report to projects I love. You can, for example, take information here as reference to host a Git server software at your home as you see perhaps many serious projects also using it. As an author and mere free software user, I hope this list could be useful for everybody and particularly for programmers. Happy hacking!

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Games: Space Grunts 2, Death and Taxes, Oxygen Not Included

Filed under
Gaming
  • Space Grunts 2 shows how versatile a deck-builder can be and it's good

    With how popular deck-builders have become, it's no surprise to see many developers have a go at it. Orangepixel have with Space Grunts 2 and after playing it, I'm really enjoying it. Note: Key provided by the developer.

    Currently in Early Access, released there back in September 2019 the developer seems to just keep adding more to it nearly every week. Given how many updates it's had, I took it for a spin to get some early thoughts on it. Space Grunts 2 has been, at least so far, one of the most unique feeling roguelikes thanks to their deck-building mechanic. Like other great roguelikes it's turn-based so nothing happens until you move, you take turns on the combat, and if you die and you need to start again. However, as you travel you collect cards which are you abilities.

  • The afterlife is an office job of choosing who lives and dies in Death and Taxes

    Placeholder Gameworks (great name!) have just recently released Death and Taxes, a game set in the afterlife where you take on the role of the Grim Reaper only it's not quite what you expect. Note: Key sent by the developer to our Steam Curator.

    Rather than go out dressed in a hooded-robe with a great big scythe, it's an office job. You get to give the stamp of approval on who lives and dies to keep chaos in check, based on people in life-threatening situations with your actions having certain consequences based on who sticks around. Inspired by the likes of "Papers, Please", "Reigns" and "Beholder".

  • Oxygen Not Included still 'fully in development' with first DLC hopefully this Autumn

    Klei Entertainment have given an update on their plans for continued support of the colony survival/building game Oxygen Not Included and they confirmed it's still 'fully in development'.

    Although it left Early Access back in July last year, since then they've been somewhat quiet on their wider plans. Not entirely silent though as they did release the "Meep's Manadatory Recreation Content Pack" free update, along with a big update to the Unity version used. Thanks to a recent roadmap post, we now know what their further plans are.

    For the first major DLC, they said it's going to be "quite sizable" with new game systems included. However, they're not giving a definite timeline on it as they're still testing and iterating on their ideas. They did at least give something of a release window, with something to show in the Summer to possibly release in the Autumn.

The Future of the Arch Linux Project Leader

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Some of you may know me from the days when I was much more involved in Arch, but most of you probably just know me as a name on the website. I’ve been with Arch for some time, taking the leadership of this beast over from Judd back in 2007. But, as these things often go, my involvement has slid down to minimal levels over time. It’s high time that changes.

Arch Linux needs involved leadership to make hard decisions and direct the project where it needs to go. And I am not in a position to do this.

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today's leftovers (GNU/Linux, Open Access and Openwashing)

Filed under
Misc
  • Why Huawei Without Google Is Not The End, But The Start Of Something New [Ed: Huawei already puts GNU/Linux on some major products]

    Last year, Huawei strapped in for a rough ride when US President Donald Trump called for a trade ban on the Chinese tech giant.

    Huawei was placed on the US’ Entity List since May 2019, stopping them from doing business with American companies unless granted approval by the US Government.

    The move essentially cut Huawei off from their US supply of parts, such as the latest chips by Intel and Qualcomm — but the greatest impact felt was definitely losing access to Google’s licensed software, apps and services.

    The one question boggling fans and users was what would happen when future Huawei phones come without Google’s Android and Google Mobile Services (GMS) like Gmail, Google Chrome and Google Maps?

  • 27th Time The Charm? Intel SGX Enclaves Support For Linux Revved Again

    For four years we have been seeing Intel Secure Guard Extensions (SGX) bring-up for the Linux kernel and that work continues with the Intel SGX Enclaves support now having been sent out for review twenty-seven times as it tries to work its way towards the mainline Linux kernel.

  • X.Org Server Lands Fixes For XWayland Full-Screen Support
  • Ksnip is a cross-platform, open source screenshot tool with many annotation options

    The program supports five modes for capturing screenshots. Rectangular Area is the default one which was mentioned in the above paragraph. The second option is Last Rectangular Area, selecting this option directly captures the content inside the previous area that you chose. This is a rather unusual option, and quite a useful one as it allows you to retake a screenshot or take another one in case something changed inside the rectangle.

    The Full Screen mode can be used to save a snapshot of the entire screen. What's special here is that, Ksnip can capture the screen from all connected monitors. So, you can use it to take wide screenshots from videos, games and maybe even set the captured image as your desktop background wallpaper.

  • Open Source textbooks saving Beaufort County Community College students money
  • Open-source textbooks save Beaufort students over $50,000 per semester

    Open source textbooks are helping students at Beaufort County Community College save money, making the cost of their education less expensive and helping stretch financial aid or scholarship money they may be receiving.

    The average student will spend over $1,200 on textbooks per year. Since initial adoption by Ashleigh Howard, Lead Professor for the Social & Behavioral Sciences Department, the books have been adopted by other professors across campus, cumulatively saving students over $50,000 per semester. Currently, cultural geography, history, criminal justice, sociology and Spanish classes are using the books.

  • UBank puts open source accessibility kit on GitHub [Ed: This feeds a proprietary software trap of Microsoft for openwashing purposes and to make matters worse, it is not accessible]
  • Precious Plastic open source recycling project takes a new perspective toward waste

    “Plastic is a precious and valuable material. It’s just been kind of designed, used and marketed in the wrong way, in our view,” explained Precious Plastic business guy (yes, that’s his real title) Joseph Klatt. The company’s business guy is originally from Ohio but moved to the Netherlands where the project is headquartered.

  • The open source platform empowering creatives to turn recycling into craft [Ed: This use of the term "open source" may be misleading]

    In response to this, Hakkens looked to the large-scale recycling plants that operate across the world. Their huge industrial machines then formed the base of the Precious Plastic operation.

    “He began recreating these machines on a small scale, putting the blueprints and assembly instructions online for others to use,” continues Elleke.

    Once built, users can create with the waste plastic however they need, making anything from furniture and household goods, to bricks and other modular structures. The possibilities, she says, are endless: “Anything made with plastic, can be made with recycled plastic.”

    According to Elleke, the whole idea was to “take a global problem, and find a community solution.” In giving a second, third or infinite number of lives to waste plastic, Hakkens and his team provide local designers, craftspeople and creatives with a new material and profit stream.

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform integrates open source technology

    Dell combines several open source streaming data technologies, including Apache Kafka, Apache Flink and Pravega, to create a new streaming data platform.

  • Instaclustr Achieves PCI-DSS Certification for its Managed Apache Cassandra and Kafka Offerings on AWS
  • Democratizing space exploration with new technologies

    Democratization means nothing without the support of and collaboration with public consumers and talent. Open source software, whose source code anyone can peruse, modify and contribute to, allows NewSpace industries to engage directly with the public through hands-on, widely accessible opportunities that help develop and improve technology.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a big proponent of these open access projects, finding that they build online and in-real-life communities and help shape the future of NewSpace tech.

    These open access resources solicit submissions from all over the world, inviting users to send their personal research concept to space. Participants, for example, can rent time on a cubesat constellation (similar to buying time on a cloud computing system). Here they can interact in open science communities with access to libraries and maker studios where users can utilize MIT’s already vast research portfolio. On top of it all, the initiative offers other integrated support systems like a STEAM outreach program with educational resources, curriculum and DIY hacker guidelines for climate-smart cubesats.

  • Should I Use Open Source Instead Of Demand Planning Software For Forecasting?

    You’re not going to get advanced modeling like machine learning in Excel. Excel can’t handle large data sets either, making it clunky and problematic.

  • Collaboration Over Competition: How Companies Benefit from Open Innovation

    More and more technology companies are adopting open innovation initiatives. This is largely due to the realization of the benefits of working with outside experts to gain external perspectives and insights. This situation wherein an organization thinks beyond its internal resources for innovation and collaborates with external resources is known as open innovation. Open innovation is an opportunity for the company to utilize those external ideas and use them to develop innovative products and services. It may seem simple, but there is more to the collaboration process than just brainstorming.

  • An Open Source Ebike

    In the ebike world, there are two paths. The first is a homemade kit bike with motors and controllers from China. The second is a prebuilt bike from a manufacturer like Giant, with motors and controllers from China, which will be half as fast and cost three times as much. The choice is obvious, and there are other benefits to taking the first path as well, such as using this equipment which now has an open source firmware option.

    [...]

    This new open source firmware for the TSDZ2 further improves on the ride by improving the motor responsiveness, improving battery efficiency, and opening up the ability to use any of a number of color displays. (More information is available on a separate Wiki.)

  • RedNotebook 2.17

    RedNotebook is a modern desktop journal. It lets you format, tag and search your entries. You can also add pictures, links and customizable templates, spell check your notes, and export to plain text, HTML, Latex or PDF. RedNotebook is Free Software under the GPL.

  • Monitoring Your Network with Time Series: How Open Source Can Help

    Network monitoring is critical to all IoT Operations and for security and Time Series can be a secret cheat code to keeping that network all shipshape. Learn how, in an upcoming webinar from InfluxData.

  • Open in Browser is a Firefox extension that opens PDFs, images directly instead of downloading them

    I installed the add-on and tried accessing the same URLs. A new prompt appeared and Open in Browser detected them as "server sent MIME". It had an option to open it with Firefox. This saves you the trouble of downloading and opening it. Another advantage is that your downloads folder doesn't get cluttered.

Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • What developers need to know about domain-specific languages

    A domain-specific language (DSL) is a language meant for use in the context of a particular domain. A domain could be a business context (e.g., banking, insurance, etc.) or an application context (e.g., a web application, database, etc.) In contrast, a general-purpose language (GPL) can be used for a wide range of business problems and applications.

    A DSL does not attempt to please all. Instead, it is created for a limited sphere of applicability and use, but it's powerful enough to represent and address the problems and solutions in that sphere. A good example of a DSL is HTML. It is a language for the web application domain. It can't be used for, say, number crunching, but it is clear how widely used HTML is on the web.

    A GPL creator does not know where the language might be used or the problems the user intends to solve with it. So, a GPL is created with generic constructs that potentially are usable for any problem, solution, business, or need. Java is a GPL, as it's used on desktops and mobile devices, embedded in the web across banking, finance, insurance, manufacturing, etc., and more.

  • Raspberry Pi 4 Rev 1.2 Fixes USB-C Power Issues, Improves SD Card Resilience

    The first Raspberry Pi 4 boards suffered from a poor USB-C power supply compatibility due to issues for the power circuitry. That means if you bought the official USB-C power supply you had no issues, but if you wanted to re-use a spare USB-C power supply or incompatible cable, you may be out of luck.

  • OpenVPN setup

    For historical reasons, I run a bunch of IT infrastructure at home. Mindful of sayings like the cloud is just other people's computers I’ve installed jails on my home FreeBSD NAS / server / router to deliver a bunch of services. Mail, for instance, and an LDAP server to experiment with, and something for package building.

  • Using C and C++ for data science

    While languages like Python and R are increasingly popular for data science, C and C++ can be a strong choice for efficient and effective data science. In this article, we will use C99 and C++11 to write a program that uses the Anscombe’s quartet dataset, which I'll explain about next.

    I wrote about my motivation for continually learning languages in an article covering Python and GNU Octave, which is worth reviewing. All of the programs are meant to be run on the command line, not with a graphical user interface (GUI). The full examples are available in the polyglot_fit repository.

  • PyDev of the Week: Hameer Abbasi

    This week we welcome Hameer Abbasi as our PyDev of the Week! Hameer works on the PyData Sparse project.

    [...]

    I was doing a Hilfswissenschaftler job (sort of like a Research Assistant in the USA), and there I was presented the problem of scaling a sparse system to a larger space. I discovered the PyData/Sparse project back then (it was in Matthew Rocklin’s personal repository at the time), and was immediately fascinated by the idea of computational gains to be had if one moved to a sparse representation. I’m now the maintainer for that project, and I’m grateful I chose that path, as it landed me a talk at SciPy 2018 and a client in the form of Quansight.

Red Hat: Systemd, PulseAudio, Survey and OpenStack

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Where I Stand on Systemd

    Once I turn to design considerations and technological benefits, however, I quickly bog down. The Unix philosophy of one utility to do one thing very well sounds admirable in theory, and perhaps on the administrative level it works well. Yet, I have heard few if any complaints that large apps like SE Linux or AppArmor violate the Unix philosophy, and on the desktop, apps like LibreOffice or Krita are clear violators. Could it be that some projects require a different approach to be effective?

    As a user, my initial tendency is to applaude Init Freedom’s rejection of “this one-size-fits-all vision” that led to the general acceptance of systemd in the major distributions. Yet as I think further, I wonder how practical supporting multiple init systems might be.

    In the recent Debian general resolution on systemd, both sides maintained that expecting maintainers to support multiple init systems would seriously add to the task of keeping packages current. The Devuan project itself appears to illustrate the difficulty, since it still uses Debian 9 as its basis and so far has been unable to add multiple init support itself. When finding maintainers is a constant problem for many distros, perhaps a limit on the number of supported init systems is sheer practicality.

  • PulseAudio 14 Is Releasing Soon With Better USB Gaming Headset Support

    In addition to PipeWire 0.3 having shipped last week, also making it out a few days prior was a development snapshot in the road to PulseAudio 14.0.

    PulseAudio 13.99.1 was released as a development snapshot in the road to the imminent PulseAudio 14.0.

    In the 6+ months since PulseAudio 13, developers have been working on various audio sink changes, automatic switching to HDMI audio is now disabled by default, flat volumes are also disabled by default, there is better support for USB gaming headsets, PulseAudio honoring Xauthority arguments for X11 modules, a workaround for GNOME Sound Settings behavior, and various other changes.

  • Enterprise open source software is growing within innovative companies

    Red Hat has been at the forefront of the global open source discussion, fighting for software freedom in the U.S Supreme Court, and offering free tech products for cloud infrastructure, automation, AI, and much more. After conducting research and interviewing IT leaders from around the world, Red Hat released a report examining the state of enterprise open source in 2020.

    950 IT leaders, unaware that Red Hat was the research sponsor, were surveyed about their practices and opinions on enterprise open source software.

    [...]

    The benefits of using open source software seem obvious, namely that they are, of course, freely available. However, its lack of a price tag isn’t the main thing that IT leaders love.

    According to the survey, respondents believe that higher-quality software is the number one benefit of enterprise open source. FOSS software is often better than proprietary options, with better security, cloud-native technologies, and cutting edge solutions.

  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16 Delivers Long-Term Support

    On Feb. 20, Red Hat announced OpenStack Platform 16, a major update providing up to five years of support. The update is the first of 2020 and marks the beginning of a new approach to OpenStack support from Red Hat. Up until the OpenStack 15 release in September 2019, Red Hat released two minor updates every year that had up to one year of support, followed by a major long-term support release. As of the Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16 release, there will now only be long-term support releases.

Games: Pathway, RimWorld and Dreamgate

Filed under
Gaming
  • Robotality give Pathway a big update with a challenging a Hardcore Mode

    Pathway, the strategy adventure set in the 1930s from Robotality recently had a huge update if you need something to challenge you this is it.

    Now when making a new game in Pathway, it gives you the option to make your profile a Hardcore Profile which can't be changed after. In this mode, the entire games plays as one long adventure with everything carrying over between sections. So if a character dies, they're gone. It also gives you all jeep upgrades and characters and higher difficulty.

  • RimWorld 1.1 is out with a first expansion with RimWorld - Royalty

    Ludeon Studios dropped a sneaky one, not only did they release the big RimWorld 1.1 update they also released the first big expansion named RimWorld - Royalty.

    First, a reminder on what the big 1.1 update brings for everyone: UI improvements for high resolutions, a new Quests tab, modding improvements, the Vanilla Animals mod is now part of the game adding in more animal variety, new armour, new weapons, an asexual trait was added and so on.

    As for the expansion, RimWorld - Royalty, Ludeon mentioned that their team has expanded to seven people which has allowed them to work on multiple things. This includes new free content, plus the brand new expansion and it sounds like more to come.

  • Deck-building card battler 'Dreamgate' is out in Early Access

    Dreamgate, a turn-based deck-building battler is now out in Early Access with Linux support giving you another game that wants you to have just one more turn.

How to Delete Groups in Linux With groupdel Command

Filed under
HowTos

Learn how to delete a group in Linux using groupdel command. Also learn what to do with files owned by the deleted groups.
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Excellent System Tools: nnn – portable terminal file manager

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

I’m devoting most of my spare time writing about the Raspberry Pi 4 (RPI4). My findings are captured in a weekly blog chronicling my experience of using the tiny machine as a desktop replacement. One of my forthcoming blog posts examines file managers on the RPI4 looking at both graphical and terminal-based file managers.

As I’ve spent a lot of time using nnn in the past few weeks, it makes sense I look at the latest release on a regular Intel machine, in advance of my RPI4 file manager blog.

LinuxLinks has previously reviewed imgp and googler. They are open source software coded by Arun Prakash Jana. He’s also the developer of nnn which has seen a new major release in the past fortnight. I’ve never reviewed any of Mr Jana’s software before.

How does the author describe his software? His man page says “nnn is the missing terminal file manager for X. (Nnn’s Not Noice) is a performance-optimized, feature-packed fork of noice with seamless desktop integration, simplified navigation, navigate-as-you-type mode with auto select, disk usage analyzer mode, bookmarks, contexts, application launcher, familiar navigation shortcuts, subshell spawning and much more. It remains a simple and efficient file manager that stays out of your way.”

In a single sentence, nnn can be probably best summarized as software seeking to bridge the gap between the terminal and the desktop environment.

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VokoscreenNG: Open Source Screencasting Tool

Filed under
OSS

Vokoscreen was one of the best screen recording software for Linux. Despite its rather ‘outdated looking’ interface, it had a decent userbase.

For some time, vokoscreen didn’t see updates and eventually it was discontinued.

The good news is that vokoscreen is not entirely dead. It’s reborn as vokoscreenNG.

The NG in vokoscreenNG stands for New Generation and rightly so because it’s been created from scratch using Qt and Gstreamer.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Bring your ideas to the world with kubectl plugins

    kubectl is the most critical tool to interact with Kubernetes and has to address multiple user personas, each with their own needs and opinions. One way to make kubectl do what you need is to build new functionality into kubectl. Challenges with building commands into kubectl However, that’s easier said than done. Being such an important cornerstone of Kubernetes, any meaningful change to kubectl needs to undergo a Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal (KEP) where the intended change is discussed beforehand. When it comes to implementation, you’ll find that kubectl is an ingenious and complex piece of engineering. It might take a long time to get used to the processes and style of the codebase to get done what you want to achieve. Next comes the review process which may go through several rounds until it meets all the requirements of the Kubernetes maintainers – after all, they need to take over ownership of this feature and maintain it from the day it’s merged. When everything goes well, you can finally rejoice. Your code will be shipped with the next Kubernetes release. Well, that could mean you need to wait another 3 months to ship your idea in kubectl if you are unlucky. So this was the happy path where everything goes well. But there are good reasons why your new functionality may never make it into kubectl. For one, kubectl has a particular look and feel and violating that style will not be acceptable by the maintainers. For example, an interactive command that produces output with colors would be inconsistent with the rest of kubectl. Also, when it comes to tools or commands useful only to a minuscule proportion of users, the maintainers may simply reject your proposal as kubectl needs to address common needs. But this doesn’t mean you can’t ship your ideas to kubectl users.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 Released With More Features For Open-Source, Cross-Platform Automated Benchmarking

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.4-Vestby is now available as one of our largest updates in recent years for our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking framework. Almost wanting to rebrand it as Phoronix Test Suite 10, sticking to conventional versioning the Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 release brings numerous result viewer improvements, a lot of polishing to the PDF result exporting, various Microsoft Windows support improvements, new statistics capabilities, some useful new sub-commands, and much more as the latest quarterly feature release.

  • Linux 5.6 Tests On AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon 8280 2P With 100+ Benchmarks

    The latest benchmarks for your viewing pleasure are looking at the dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance up against the dual AMD EPYC 7742 CPUs while using the in-development Linux 5.6 kernel as the first time trying out these highest-end server processors on this new kernel debuting as stable in about one month's time.

  • PyIDM – An Open Source Alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager)

    pyIDM is a free, open-source alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager), used to download general files and videos from youtube as well as other streaming websites. It is developed using Python (requires Python 3.6+) and relies only on open source tools and libraries such as pycurl, youtube_dl, FFmpeg, and pysimplegui. It features multiple-connections, a speed engine (and it offers high download speeds based on libcurl); resume uncompleted downloads, support for fragmented video streams, support for encrypted/non-encrypted HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) media streams. Besides, it also supports scheduling downloads, re-using an existing connection to a remote server, and HTTP proxy support. And it allows users to control options such as selecting a theme (there are 140 themes available), set proxy, selecting segment size, speed limit, maximum concurrent downloads and maximum connections per download.

  • DRM Plugin crashes after openSUSE Tumbleweed update

    A few days ago openSUSE users started complaining about DRM Plugin crashes in Firefox after running a Tumbleweed update. Netflix requires the DRM plugin in Firefox to be able to play encrypted videos. The plugin would crash due to a bug in Firefox 73. While this bug affected not just openSUSE users, but everyone using Firefox 73, it became apparent to TW users as v73 landed in the Tumbleweed repo.

  • How Melissa Di Donato Is Going To Reinvent SUSE

    SUSE is one of the oldest open source companies and the first to market Linux for the enterprise. Even though it has undergone several acquisitions and a merger, it remains a strong player in the business. It has maintained its integrity and core values around open source. It continues to rely on its tried-and-tested Linux business and European markets, and generally shies away from making big moves taking big risks. Until now. SUSE appointed Melissa Di Donato as its first female CEO. She is making some serious changes to the company, from building a diverse and inclusive culture to betting on emerging technologies and taking risks. Soon after taking the helm last year, Di Donato spent the first few months traveling around the globe to meet SUSE teams and customers and get a better sense of the perception of the market about the company. Just like Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, Di Donato didn’t come to the company from an open source background. She had spent the last 25 years of her career as a SUSE customer, so she did have an outsider’s perspective of the company. “I am not interested in what SUSE was when I joined. I am more interested in what we want to become,” she said.

  • Experimental feature: snap refresh awareness and update inhibition

    We’d like to follow up on last week’s article about parallel installs for classic snaps with another bleeding-edge topic. Today, we will discuss snap refreshes. By design, snaps come with automatic updates, and by default, the update (refresh) frequency check is four times a day. Whenever new application versions are published, they soon become available and propagate to all end-user systems. Normally, the process is transparent and seamless, but there could be exceptions. For instance, if you have an app open and running, an update could be disruptive in the middle of your work. Some developers have asked for an option to inhibit refreshes of snaps while they are running, and this is now a new, experimental feature that you can enable and test on your system. [...] The app refresh capability offers snaps users another level of control in the overall user experience. Automatic updates are geared toward security, but users can defer updates for up to 60 days, and now, they also have the ability to gracefully update applications with minimal disruption to their normal usage patterns and workflows. We very much welcome your feedback and suggestions, especially with new and upcoming features. The refresh awareness option is a good example of where the developer feedback has been valuable and useful in making the snap ecosystem even friendlier and more robust. If you have any ideas on this topic – or any other, please join our forum for a discussion.

  • How Domotz streamlined provisioning of IoT devices

    Learn how Ubuntu Core and snaps gives Domotz a competitive advantage As the number of IoT devices scale, the challenges of provisioning and keeping them up to date in the field increases. Domotz, who manufacture an all-in-one, network monitoring and management device for enterprise IoT networks, found themselves with this challenge that was further compounded by their rapid software release cadence. One of the most crucial and difficult aspects for Domotz to solve was the delivery of automatic updates to the tens of thousands of devices deployed. Domotz turned to snaps and Ubuntu Core to meet their exacting requirements. I absolutely believe that Ubuntu Core and snaps give us a competitive advantage. We are the only company in the IoT network management space that can guarantee a secure, always-up-to-date device for our customers’ on-premises deployments.

  • A birthday gift: 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 now only $35

    TL;DR: it’s our eighth birthday, and falling RAM prices have allowed us to cut the price of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 to $35. You can buy one here.

  • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2020 [Ed: Redmonk uses to assess programming languages use only projects that Microsoft (a Redmonk client) controls. Some 'research', eh?]
  • Announcing Rust 1.41.1

    The Rust team has published a new point release of Rust, 1.41.1. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software. If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.41.1 is as easy as: rustup update stable If you don't have it already, you can get rustup from the appropriate page on our website.

  • This Week in Rust 327
  • Zip Files: History, Explanation and Implementation

    I have been curious about data compression and the Zip file format in particular for a long time. At some point I decided to address that by learning how it works and writing my own Zip program. The implementation turned into an exciting programming exercise; there is great pleasure to be had from creating a well oiled machine that takes data apart, jumbles its bits into a more efficient representation, and puts it all back together again. Hopefully it is interesting to read about too.

    This article explains how the Zip file format and its compression scheme work in great detail: LZ77 compression, Huffman coding, Deflate and all. It tells some of the history, and provides a reasonably efficient example implementation written from scratch in C. The source code is available in hwzip-1.0.zip.

    I am very grateful to Ange Albertini, Gynvael Coldwind, Fabian Giesen, Jonas Skeppstedt (web), Primiano Tucci, and Nico Weber who provided valuable feedback on draft versions of this material.

Netrunner Linux Still Goes Its Own Way at 'Twenty'

The Netrunner distro used to be a bleeding-edge choice among KDE options. With little that's new and must-have, this release takes the edge off the bleeding. I wasn't nudged away from my preferred competing KDE distro -- the new Feren OS Plasma edition. While Netrunner 20.01 provides a fairly solid integration of classic KDE desktop performance, this release is a departure, in that it is not a step or two ahead of most other KDE-integrated Linux OSes. I Netrunner attracts two types of typical users. One fancies a more friendly desktop environment. The second wants the freedom to tweak more extensively than other desktop environments allow. Hardware requirements include a minimum CPU of 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 or greater and at least 1 GB of RAM with at least 10 GB hard drive space. Also, the computer should have Intel GMA 945 graphics card support with 128+ MB of video memory. Netrunner is a unique distro with its own spin on the K Plasma desktop environment. Seasoned Linux users who like to fiddle and tweak an OS into their own platform will love how this distro integrates the KDE Plasma desktop. Newcomers can be quite content using the out-of-the-box settings. Read more

Wind River launches dev site with TensorFlow for Linux and a free VxWorks download

A new “Wind River Labs” developer site hosts projects including TensorFlow for Wind River Linux, the first free VxWorks SDK, and VxWorks BSPs for the Raspberry Pi and UP Squared. One would think that when Wind River decided to launch a public-facing developer site, it would showcase the Yocto Project based Wind River Linux, which is available in a GPL-licensed release on GitHub in addition to the standard commercial version and new continuous integration version. Yet when Wind River announced its new Wind River Labs site this week, its proprietary VxWorks was the star of the show — but with a twist. There’s a new free VxWorks SDK for evaluating the RTOS for non-commercial purposes, as well as open source VxWorks BSPs for the Raspberry Pi and UP Squared boards. Read more

Security, Proprietary Software and Openwashing

  • Linux 4.4.215 / 4.9.215 / 4.14.172 / 5.5.7 Kernels Bringing Intel KVM Security Fix

    A few days back we reported on a security vulnerability within Intel's KVM virtualization code for the Linux kernel. That vulnerability stems from unfinished kernel code and was fixed for Linux 5.6 Git and is now being back-ported to the 4.4 / 4.9 / 4.14 / 5.5 supported kernels. Back on Monday when the CVE-2020-2732 patches first came to light, little was publicly known about the issue but that it stemmed from incomplete code in the vmx_check_intercept functionality in not checking all possible intercepts and in turn could end up emulating instructions that should be disabled by the hypervisor.

  • Let's Encrypt Has Issued a Billion Certificates

    We issued our billionth certificate on February 27, 2020. We’re going to use this big round number as an opportunity to reflect on what has changed for us, and for the Internet, leading up to this event. In particular, we want to talk about what has happened since the last time we talked about a big round number of certificates - one hundred million. One thing that’s different now is that the Web is much more encrypted than it was. In June of 2017 approximately 58% of page loads used HTTPS globally, 64% in the United States. Today 81% of page loads use HTTPS globally, and we’re at 91% in the United States! This is an incredible achievement. That’s a lot more privacy and security for everybody. Another thing that’s different is that our organization has grown a bit, but not by much! In June of 2017 we were serving approximately 46M websites, and we did so with 11 full time staff and an annual budget of $2.61M. Today we serve nearly 192M websites with 13 full time staff and an annual budget of approximately $3.35M. This means we’re serving more than 4x the websites with only two additional staff and a 28% increase in budget. The additional staff and budget did more than just improve our ability to scale though - we’ve made improvements across the board to provide even more secure and reliable service. Nothing drives adoption like ease of use, and the foundation for ease of use in the certificate space is our ACME protocol. ACME allows for extensive automation, which means computers can do most of the work. It was also standardized as RFC 8555 in 2019, which allows the Web community to confidently build an even richer ecosystem of software around it. Today, thanks to our incredible community, there is an ACME client for just about every deployment environment. Certbot is one of our favorites, and they’ve been working hard to make it even easier for people to use.

  • The “Cloud Snooper” malware that sneaks into your Linux servers [Ed: Sophos citing itself, hyping up the threat is installing malicious software on one's own server]

    SophosLabs has just published a detailed report about a malware attack dubbed Cloud Snooper. The reason for the name is not so much that the attack is cloud-specific (the technique could be used against pretty much any server, wherever it’s hosted), but that it’s a sneaky way for cybercrooks to open up your server to the cloud, in ways you very definitely don’t want, “from the inside out”. The Cloud Snooper report covers a whole raft of related malware samples that our researchers found deployed in combination.

  • OpenSMTPD Email Server Vulnerability Threatens Many Linux and BSD Systems [Ed: It is this package, not the operating systems (GNU/Linux rarely uses this)]

    A critical vulnerability has been discovered in the OpenBSD email server OpenSMTPD. Exploiting the flaw could allow remote code execution attacks. The seriousness of the vulnerability poses a threat to the integrity of OpenBSD and Linux systems.

  • A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security fla

    More than a billion internet-connected devices—including Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Echo—are affected by a security vulnerability that could allow [attackers] to spy on traffic sent over Wi-Fi.

  • New ‘Haken’ Malware Found On Eight Apps In Google Play Store

    Eight apps – mostly camera utilities and children’s games – were discovered spreading a new malware strain that steals data and signs victims up for expensive premium services.

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  • What does it take to commit to 100% open source?
                                 
                                   

    While experts in the database market in particular agree that open source is becoming the norm, the question remains, just how open is this sector’s open-source software? Can software providers realistically succeed with a company that’s 100% open source? Furthermore, would a proprietary infrastructure software provider with a freemium tier be able to achieve the same benefits as those committing to open source?

                                   

    The short answer is, yes — a proprietary infrastructure software company with a freemium tier could theoretically achieve the same benefits as companies going fully open source. However, it’s important to recognize that it would take a freemium model company a significantly longer period of time for its software to mature to the same level as that of an open-source company. Also, the loss of collaborative development and slower feedback loops would likely lead to a higher probability of the software never achieving market traction and ultimately fading away into oblivion.

  • Mirantis: Balancing Open Source With Guardrails

    Mirantis, an open infrastructure company that rose to popularity with its OpenStack offering, is now moving into the Kubernetes space very aggressively. Last year, the company acquired the Docker Enterprise business from Docker. This week, it announced that they were hiring the Kubernetes experts from the Finnish company Kontena and established a Mirantis office in Finland, expanding the company’s footprint in Europe. Mirantis already has a significant presence in Europe due to large customers such as Bosch and Volkswagen.