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Interviews

Discussing Past, Present and Future of FreeBSD Project

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Interviews
BSD

FreeBSD is one of the most popular BSD distributions. It is used on desktop, servers and embedded devices for more than two decades.

We talked to Deb Goodkin, executive director, FreeBSD Foundation and discussed the past, present and future of FreeBSD project.

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Supporting an open source operating system: a Q&A with the FreeBSD Foundation

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Interviews
OSS

When discussing alternative operating systems to Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s macOS, Linux often comes to mind. However, while Linux is a recreation of UNIX, FreeBSD is more of a continuation. The free and open source operating system was initially developed by students at the University of California at Berkeley which is why the BSD in its name stands for Berkeley Software Distribution.

FreeBSD runs on its own kernel and all of the operating system’s key components have been developed to be part of a single whole. This is where it differs the most from Linux because Linux is just the kernel and the other components are supplied by third parties.

To learn more about FreeBSD and its ongoing development, TechRadar Pro spoke to the executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation, Deb Goodkin.

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The Background Story of AppImage [Interview]

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Software
Interviews

As a Linux user, you might have come across AppImages. This is a portable packaging format that allows you to run an application on any Linux distribution.

Using AppImage is really simple. You just need to give it execute permission and double click to run it, like the .exe files in Windows. This solves a major problem in Linux as different kind of distributions have different kind of packaging formats. You cannot install .deb files (of Debian/Ubuntu) on Fedora and vice versa.

We talked to Simon, the developer of AppImage, about how and why he created this project. Read some of the interesting background story and insights Simon shares about AppImage.

Linux is our love language

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Linux
Interviews

2019 was a year of learning in the Cherry household. I am a senior software engineer who set out to learn new skills and, along the way, I taught my husband, Chris. By teaching him some of the things I learned and asking him to work through my technology walkthrough articles, I helped Chris learn new skills that enabled him to pivot his career deeper into the technology field. And I learned new ways to make my walkthroughs and training materials more accessible for readers to digest.

In this article, we talk about what we learned individually and from each other, then we explore what it means for their future.

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SUSE/OpenSUSE Interviews and How SLE is Built

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Interviews
SUSE
  • People of openSUSE: An Interview with Ish Sookun

    I joined the “Ambassador” program in 2009, which later was renamed to openSUSE Advocate, and finally the program was dropped. In 2013, I joined the openSUSE Local Coordinators to help coordinating activities in the region. It was my way of contributing back. During those years, I would also test openSUSE RCs and report bugs, organize local meetups about Linux in general (some times openSUSE in particular) and blog about those activities. Then, in 2018 after an inspiring conversation with Richard Brown, while he was the openSUSE Chairman, I stepped up and joined the openSUSE Elections Committee, to volunteer in election tasks. It was a nice and enriching learning experience along with my fellow election officials back then, Gerry Makaro and Edwin Zakaria. I attended my first openSUSE Conference in May 2019 in Nuremberg. I did a presentation on how we’re using Podman in production in my workplace. I was extremely nervous to give this first talk in front of the openSUSE community but I met folks who cheered me up. I can’t forget the encouragement from Richard, Gertjan, Harris, Doug, Marina and the countless friends I made at the conference. Later during the conference, I was back on the stage, during the Lightning Talks, and I spoke while holding the openSUSE beer in one hand and the microphone in the other. Nervousness was all gone thanks to the magic of the community.

    Edwin and Ary told me about their activities in Indonesia, particularly about the openSUSE Asia Summit. When the CfP for oSAS 2019 was opened, I did not hesitate to submit a talk, which was accepted, and months later I stood among some awesome openSUSE contributors in Bali, Indonesia. It was a great Summit where I discovered more of the openSUSE community. I met Gerald Pfeifer, the new chairman of openSUSE, and we talked about yoga, surrounded by all of the geeko fun, talks and workshops happening.

  • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: Xabier Arbulu

    My name is Xabier Arbulu and I’m from Spain (Basque country), even though I live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoying a better weather. I have been working as a Software engineer around 6 years now, and I joined SUSE a bit more than a year ago. One of the major motivations was that I wanted to feel and explore how is to work in an organization where Open Source is more than just business. I really think that collaboration and transparency are the way to go. I work in the SLES4SAP and HA team where we provide solutions to the customers with critical mission applications.

    One of my hobbies is to enjoy the nature (and the sports around this like hiking, surfing…), so it’s totally aligned with the path that SUSE started against the climate change and our planet conservation.

  • SUSE Hack Week Spotlight: William Brown

    My name is William Brown, I’m a senior software engineer at SUSE. I’m from Brisbane Australia, and have been a software engineer for 5 years. Previously I was a system administrator at a major Australian university for 7 years. I am a photographer and also participate in judo and pole dance in my free time.

  • How SUSE builds its Enterprise Linux distribution – PART 3

    As for the “Minor Versions” of SLE, we decided (more than 14 years ago) to use a “Service Pack” Model for our SLE releases. The goal is to offer a predictable release cadence allowing our users to plan accordingly for their updates, but also to schedule our release with collections of maintenance updates and new features alike for a given major version. Back in the old days we promised to release a Service Pack every 12 to 18 months, but since SLE 12 GA (more than 5 years ago) we have decided to simplify and increase the regularity of our cadence by settling on a 12-month release cycle and supports previous service packs for 6 months after the release of the new service pack.

    Why? Well, this decision was made based on our customers’ and partners’ feedback and also because of the general increase in the cadence of open source development. For example, just to name a few other open source projects, did you know that there is a upstream Linux Kernel minor version every two months, Mozilla is releasing a new Firefox version every 6 weeks, and GNOME creates a full stable release every 6 months?

    Having two major SLE versions available with an annual release cadence for every “Minor Version”, which would normally be called a “Service Pack”, is part of our solution to solving the challenge of keeping up with the pace of open source projects, while at the same time offering choice and clarity to all our enterprise users.
    We will discuss the SLE Release Schedule in a dedicated blog post, but before getting too technical, we would like to give you a deeper insight into our Release Management Team, i.e. the people and team behind these release processes.

Music composition with Python and Linux

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Linux
Interviews

I met Brendan Becker working in a computer store in 1999. We both enjoyed building custom computers and installing Linux on them. Brendan was always involved in several technology projects at once, ranging from game coding to music composition. Fast-forwarding a few years from the days of computer stores, he went on to write pyDance, an open source implementation of multiple dancing games, and then became the CEO of music and gaming event MAGFest. Sometimes referred to as "Mr. MAGFest" because he was at the helm of the event, Brendan now uses the music pseudonym "Inverse Phase" as a composer of chiptunes—music predominantly made on 8-bit computers and game consoles.

I thought it would be interesting to interview him and ask some specifics about how he has benefited from Linux and open source software throughout his career.

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The Linux Setup – Steve Best, The Art Directed Journal

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Why do you use Linux?

I have used Linux in varying capacities since 2004. I use Linux for all the stereotypical reasons. It’s fast, secure, and free. I’m not against Microsoft or Apple, but I like to use what works. Right now desktop Linux is what works for me. I have found that with my current hardware set up, Windows is just a bit too much in terms of system requirements to be anything other than frustrating. This is an older piece I wrote, which explains my “why” for Linux more in-depth.

What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

I am currently using elementary OS (5.1).

What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?

I use Pantheon, which comes default on elementary. It is actually one of the main reasons I use elementary. It is fast, fluid, and it makes my old hardware run like new.

What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so important?

I have come to rely greatly on Code, which is the default code editor on elementary. It is very lightweight, but yet extremely feature-filled. It is another of the main reasons I use elementary. Anything else I can do on my iPhone.

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Mark Shuttleworth Talks, Ubuntu's Zsys Developed on Microsoft Servers

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Interviews
Ubuntu
  • Mark Shuttleworth 2020 Prediction

    Here are the predictions by Canonical founder.

  • Ubuntu's Zsys Tool For Enhancing The ZFS On Linux Experience Now Supports Snapshots

    One of the work items we have been keen to monitor during the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS development cycle is tracking the happenings around Zsys, the Ubuntu/Canonical led utility for helping to administer ZFS On Linux systems. In ending out January, Zsys now has more functionality in tow.

    The latest with Zsys as of this week for the Golang-written daemon and user-space utility is zsysctl save for saving the current user state (snapshot) by default but also options for saving the complete system state and all users and another option for saving the state of specified users.

Interview with Spihon

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Interviews

That’s an easy one, Which ties in with digital… money. About 2018 I was busy looking for a free art program that I could animate with, since I’m struggling with trying to find a job, so I thought I could do try my hand at making videos for YouTube. And speaking of YouTube, that’s where I found it, from this guy’s video on how to animate, and I was sold so I downloaded it and I’m not going back on it.

Actually, the anniversary of when I found it is next month, February 18th, so I’ll have been using it for two years.

Truthfully a bit intimidating at first, until I got the hang of it and it became my go to art program for everything I do, from simple paintings to comics. Heck, David Revoy even got me inspired to do it… Sure, I could have added him to the “who inspires me” section but come on! He needs a special place as my Krita Rockstar…

Anyhoo, I draw more these days than I play video games.

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Insight into Why Hyperbola GNU/Linux is Turning into Hyperbola BSD

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Interviews
BSD

In late December 2019, Hyperbola announced that they would be making major changes to their project. They have decided to drop the Linux kernel in favor of forking the OpenBSD kernel. This announcement only came months after Project Trident announced that they were going in the opposite direction (from BSD to Linux).

Hyperbola also plans to replace all software that is not GPL v3 compliant with new versions that are.

To get more insight into the future of their new project, I interviewed Andre, co-founder of Hyperbola.

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More in Tux Machines

Best Open Source Slack Alternatives for Team Communication

You are here: Home / List / Best Open Source Slack Alternatives for Team Communication Best Open Source Slack Alternatives for Team Communication Last updated February 25, 2020 By Ankush Das Leave a Comment Brief: Here, we shall take a look at the best open source slack alternatives that you can choose to communicate with your team at work. Slack is one of the most popular team communication services for work. Some may call it a glorified IRC but that doesn’t impact its popularity. It is available for free with additional features offered in its paid plans. Though Slack can be installed on Linux thanks to an Electron app but it is not open source, neither the client nor the server. In this article, I’ll list a few open source Slack alternatives that you can try. Read more

Dual-Boot GNU/Linux and Android

  • Planet Computers' clamshell phone can dual-boot Android and Linux

    Planet Computers' laptop-like Cosmo Communicator phone just became that much more useful to its audience of very particular power users. The Cosmo now supports a promised multi-boot function, letting you run Android (both regular and rooted), Debian Linux and TWRP on the same device without one replacing the other. You'll have to partition your storage and know your way around a boot menu, but this will give you a way to run Linux apps or otherwise experiment with your phone. You won't lose over-the-air updates for Android by installing Linux, Planet Computers said. The multi-boot firmware is available for free, and there are instructions for installing Debian and other software. This still isn't for the faint-hearted. However, it also represents one of the few instances where a phone maker has officially enabled support for operating systems besides the one that ships with the device. The Cosmo is also fairly well-suited to Linux thanks to its keyboard -- you won't have to jump through hoops to use the command line.

  • How can IT manage Android Things devices in the enterprise?

    Recent versions of Google's Android OS support a wider range of devices via the Android Things program's APIs and managing some of the newer devices can seem complicated at first. Thankfully, the underlying OS is essentially the same on all Android devices, so the EMM platform management and enrollment processes are usually similar for Android Things devices. The challenge for mobile admins is to develop a version of Android -- using the Android SDK and Android Things APIs -- that functions on these dedicated devices.

Update on Linux support: creation of a CERN Linux community forum

For those, a CERN Linux community forum has been created. Users will be able to post issues that they encounter when using non-CERN-supported Linux distributions and to post solutions. Users are also encouraged to post articles with comments and ideas that could help make this forum more dynamic and useful to them. Various methods for printing and using AFS, SSH, ROOT and other tools at CERN can be found on the internet. The CERN Linux community forum aims to collect these methods, as well as new ones that may be created directly in it. Read more

Python Programming

  • Introduction to Python SQL Libraries

    All software applications interact with data, most commonly through a database management system (DBMS). Some programming languages come with modules that you can use to interact with a DBMS, while others require the use of third-party packages. In this tutorial, you’ll explore the different Python SQL libraries that you can use. You’ll develop a straightforward application to interact with SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL databases.

  • Introduction to Image Processing in Python with OpenCV

    In this tutorial, we are going to learn how we can perform image processing using the Python language. We are not going to restrict ourselves to a single library or framework; however, there is one that we will be using the most frequently, the Open CV library. We will start off by talking a little about image processing and then we will move on to see different applications/scenarios where image processing can come in handy. So, let's begin!

  • Talking to API's and goodlooking tools

    One of my go-to locations for security news had a thread recently about a tool called VTScan. I really liked the idea of not having to go through the browser overhead to check files against multiple scan engines. Although the tool (which is itself a basic vt-cli spinoff) already existed, I was looking for a new challenge, I decided to roll my own and add a few cool features! I'll have a thorough look at how python talks to API's with requests and I look at turning all this API data into a nice GUI application with click. I hope to give you some idea's for CLI styling in the future so I can see more awesome tools by you all!

  • From a rejected Pycon talk to a new project.

    Like many others, my talk proposal (early draft here) for Pycon US was rejected. So, I decided to spend some time putting everything in a new project instead. (Documentation here.) It is still a rough draft, but usable ... and since I've mentioned it in a few other places, I thought I should mention it here as well.