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Gadgets

Sxmo 1.4 released with keyboard, display, text rendering improvements for the lightweight Linux phone UI

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Gadgets

Some Linux phone user interfaces, like Plasma Mobile, draw obvious inspiration from other modern smartphone operating systems like Android or iOS. Sxmo doesn’t do that.

It’s a simple, lightweight user interface with a dynamic window manager (dwm) that uses tiling to stack windows side-by-side, atop one another, or a combination. You can navigate using a combination of button presses and touchscreen taps and gestures, and Sxmo comes bundled with a handful of simple applications and scripts.

While it takes a little getting used to, having played around with Sxmo a few times in the past, I’ve found it to be one of the speediest, most responsive user interfaces available for the PinePhone. This week the developers released Sxmo version 1.4 (quickly followed by v1.4.1), and the software has picked up a number of new features and improvements.

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Pro¹ X, a linux phone with a slide-out keyboard

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Gadgets

Your new cyberdeck has arrived, madam. The Pro¹ X is a handsome smartphone that runs a variety of free operating systems and has a slide-out keyboard, perfect for SSHing in, NMAPping corpo headquarters, or raiding ATMs in the early 1990s.

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Snitching on Phones That Snitch On You

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Security
Gadgets

A phone that snitches on you and sends a trove of personally-identifying data back to the vendor every few minutes, even if it’s idle, is not on your side. A phone that’s on your side helps you snitch on them. A phone that’s on your side honors your opt-out requests and ideally requires you to opt-in to anything that risks your privacy. A phone that’s on your side doesn’t collect your data, it protects it.

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Building The Dolphin Emulator In Ubuntu On A Nintendo Switch

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Gadgets

[LOE TECH] has made a habit of trying out various emulation methods on his Nintendo Switch and recording the results for our benefit. Of that testing, some of the best performance he’s seen makes use of the Dolphin emulator running in Ubuntu Linux, and he has made a tutorial video documenting how to build the project, as well as how to make some performance tweaks to get the most out of the mod.

We love seeing Linux run on basically anything with a processor. It’s a classic hack at this point. Nintendo has traditionally kept its consoles fairly locked down, though, even in the face of some truly impressive efforts; so it’s always a treat to see the open-source OS run relatively smoothly on the console. This Ubuntu install is based on NVIDIA’s Linux for Tegra (L4T) package, which affords some performance gains over Android installations on the same hardware. As we’ve seen with those Android hacks, however, this software mod also makes use of the Switchroot project and, of course, it only works with specific, unpatched hardware. But if you’ve won the serial number lottery and you’re willing to risk your beloved console, [LOE TECH] also has a video detailing the process he used to get Ubuntu up and running.

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Gadgets: Librem 5 and Raspberry Pi 400 Turned "Data Blaster"

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Gadgets
  • Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA: What are the Differences?

    We sometimes get questions from customers who are trying to decide between the Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA, such as whether someone living in the USA must buy a Librem 5 USA (Answer: both Librem 5 and Librem 5 USA work in the US) or whether the Librem 5 is $1999 (Answer: the Librem 5 is $799, the Librem 5 USA is $1999). If you are trying to decide between the two phones and want to understand what makes the Librem 5 USA a premium product, in this post we’ll highlight the differences between the two.

  • Data Blaster Is A Hip RPi Cyberdeck | Hackaday

    The Raspberry Pi has always been popular in the nascent cyberdeck scene, providing real Linux computing power in a compact, portable package. Now, we have the Raspberry Pi 400, which is exactly that, built into a shell that is, approximately, half of a cyberdeck. This formed the base of [Zach]’s build, coming in handy with its full-sized keyboard.

  • Lilbits: Cyberdecks, Chromebooks, Kindle jailbreaks, and Linux phones

    One recent example is the Data Blaster, made from a Raspberry Pi 400, a widescreen display plus a detachable wearable display, and… 3D printed handles. It’s kind of pointless and kind of awesome, and I highly recommend checking out the full video to see how (and why) it was made.

Preview of Next PureOS

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Disk encryption, GPS, new apps and settings coming to the Librem 5 with PureOS

    Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone ships with a custom GNU/Linux distribution called PureOS. It’s the same software that runs on Purism’s Linux laptops, but it’s been adapted to work with phones like the Librem 5.

    So far there are some key features that haven’t worked yet. Now Purism is announcing it’ll enable some of those things in the next release of PureOS, which is code-named Byzantium.

    Among other things, Byzantium will bring support for full disk encryption and GPS navigation. There are also a bunch of software updates that’ll make it easier to not only use the Librem 5 as a phone, but also as a desktop computer.

  • Sneak Peek of the Next PureOS Release on the Librem 5

    Disk encryption will allow for the root disk to be password protected. With this setup, you’ll be asked to decrypt your device before it continues to the phone shell.

PinePhone Beta Edition Linux smartphone is now available for pre-order for $150 and up

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Linux
Gadgets

Most modern smartphones ship with Android or iOS operating systems. A few run something different. And fewer still give you the option of picking your operating system, or coding your own.

The PinePhone from Pine64 is an inexpensive phone that falls into that latter category. Priced at $150 and up, it’s designed to run GNU/Linux distributions… and to encourage developers to port Linux operating systems to run on mobile devices.

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Pinephone and Fedora

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OS
Red Hat
Gadgets

First, let me talk about scaling. One of the problems putting a desktop OS into a small screen on a phone is scaling. Phosh (a librem started gnome-shell replacement for small screens) and Phoc (a mutter/window manager replacement that works with Phosh do there best with this issue. There’s a setting to try and resize all windows from all applications, and a way to do it on a case by case basis, however many applications are just not friendly to small screens. They refuse to shrink below a point, or they cut off valuable parts. I guess this might be something thats best solved upstream at the toolkit level, but it’s a hard problem. By default Phosh sets 200% scaling on the pinephone as well. It all depends on how small a screen/type you can handle, but lowering that gets more applications usable. You can do so via: ‘wlr-randr –output DSI-1 –scale 1.25’ for 125% for example. This also makes it harder to press buttons, so beware.

[...]

First, let me talk about scaling. One of the problems putting a desktop OS into a small screen on a phone is scaling. Phosh (a librem started gnome-shell replacement for small screens) and Phoc (a mutter/window manager replacement that works with Phosh do there best with this issue. There’s a setting to try and resize all windows from all applications, and a way to do it on a case by case basis, however many applications are just not friendly to small screens. They refuse to shrink below a point, or they cut off valuable parts. I guess this might be something thats best solved upstream at the toolkit level, but it’s a hard problem. By default Phosh sets 200% scaling on the pinephone as well. It all depends on how small a screen/type you can handle, but lowering that gets more applications usable. You can do so via: ‘wlr-randr –output DSI-1 –scale 1.25’ for 125% for example. This also makes it harder to press buttons, so beware.

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PinePhone Beta Edition goes up for pre-order March 24 (updated)

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Linux
Gadgets

After shipping tens of thousands of PinePhone Community Edition smartphones to enthusiasts, the folks at Pine64 ended the Community Edition program recently. Soon you’ll be able to buy a PinePhone Beta Edition, which will ship with Manjaro Linux and the KDE Plasma user interface pre-installed.

It’s called Beta because the software is still a work in progress. But the hardware is pretty much finalized, and after encountering a series of potential delays due to component shortages, Pine64 says the PinePhone Beta Edition will go up for pre-order March 24, production should begin soon, and they could ship to customers by late April.

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FunKey S is a tiny Linux-powered retro-gaming handheld

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Gaming
Gadgets

Do you love retro gaming? How about pocket sized devices, powered by Linux that you can take anywhere? The FunKey S looks like a really sweet bit of kit. Small enough to keep with your keys, powerful enough to play tons of retro games.

Funded on Kickstarter back in July 2020 which we completely missed, the FunKey team managed to raise €165,760 and they've been taking pre-orders that have proven to be popular so it went out of stock. Powered by Linux and open source, the FunKey S doesn't use a traditional Linux distribution but instead they built it themselves with Buildroot.

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Programming Leftovers

  • QuickLicenseRT Linux 3.0 - Protect and License Desktop Software

    QuickLicenseRT Linux 3.0 implements the QuickLicense 9.1 runtime system to protect and license a Linux desktop applications. Apply licensing to a 32 or 64-bit executable with a few programming commands. Use LinuxWrap to license a compiled executable without programming.

  • Turing Award winner Barbara Liskov on CLU and why programming is still cool • The Register

    It has been 12 years since Barbara Liskov won a Turing Award for her contributions to practical and theoretical foundations of programming language and system design, and these days the creator of the CLU programming language continues to work on some interesting problems. We spoke about innovation, abstraction and encapsulation in the 1970s and today in a recent chat. Liskov, now in her 80s, leads the Programming Methodology Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recently, she has been working on parallel computing and, with a student, developed Byzantine Fault Tolerance* [PDF] in the 1990s, "which turns out to be very significant for the blockchain world," she says.

  • GitLab all set to go public as revenues – and losses – rise

    DevOps darling GitLab has finally filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) as revenues continue to grow and losses widen. The IPO had been expected in 2020 but the company put things off due to the pandemic until late last week, when the paperwork was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company, founded in 2014, has remained tight-lipped over the sums involved, although the filed S-1 form recorded that the proposed maximum aggregate offering price is estimated at $100m. [...] In the IPO document, Gitlabs said it was on course to grow revenues to $233m in its current financial year ending in 2022. This compares to the $152.2m reported in fiscal 2021 and the $81.2m in the year before that. However, losses also widened over those years. The net loss in fiscal 2020 was $130.7m – but it was $192.2m in fiscal 2021. Net loss reached $69m for the six months ended 31 July 2021, up from $43.5m for the same time last year.

  • The 10 Core Differences Between C and C++

    C and C++ are two different well-recognized programming languages with the function of assembly language. Though both C and C ++ sound similar with an extra "++" on the latter, their features and usage are distinctive. C is a procedural programming language with a static system, whereas C++ is an enhanced version of the C programming language with object-oriented programming support.

Proprietary Software Leftovers

today's howtos

  • How to analyze Linux system boot time with Systemd - Linux Shout

    Systemd is a system and session manager that is responsible for managing all services running on the system over the entire operating time of the computer, from the start-up process to shutdown. Processes are always started in parallel (as far as possible) in order to keep the boot process as short as possible. But how to know which process took how much time while booting your system, well for that we can use the Systemd as well.

  • How To Install Figma on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Figma on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Figma is a popular tool amongst graphic designers and UI, UX designers. It can be used to create wireframes, high-fidelity interface designs, prototyping, etc. One of the most loved features of Figma is its ability to run inside a browser, which makes it platform-independent. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Figma on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

  • How To Create and Manage Groups in Linux - ByteXD

    A group is a collection of users in Linux that shares some commonalities for the purpose of security, privilege, etc. Linux allows its administrators to create different user groups very easily. This is convenient because you can create a user group and manage all of the user’s permissions at once, instead of individually assigning permissions to each user. If you are not familiar with Linux permissions and how to manage them, take a look at this article. In this tutorial, we will cover how to create groups in Linux and briefly explain how to manage them.

  • What's the differences between a Docker image vs a container? - Coffee Talk: Java, News, Stories and Opinions

    A container is a collection of one or more processes, organized under a single name and identifying ID that is isolated from the other processes running within a computing environment. That computing environment can be a physical computer or a virtual machine. A container image is a template that defines how an image will be realized at runtime. While containers started out as a Linux technology, you can create containers within the Windows operating system too. The important thing to understand about Docker technology is that it has two main components: the client CLI tool and the container runtime. The CLI tool is used to execute instructions to the Docker runtime at the command line. The job of the Docker runtime is to create containers and run them on the operating system.

  • How To Install Yarn on Debian 11 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Yarn on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Yarn is a package manager for JavaScript that runs on Node.js, allowing developers to manage their application dependencies. It was created to solve a set of problems with npm, such as speeding up the packages installation process by parallelizing operations and reducing errors related to network connectivity. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Yarn on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

  • How to Install LaTeX Editor TeXstudio 4.0.0 in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

    The open-source LaTeX editor TeXstudio 4.0.0 was released! Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu via PPA repository. TeXstudio 4.0.0 offers Qt6 support which should improve HiDPI handling. And the official packages for Windows and macOS are now based on Qt6, while Linux build sticks to Qt5. The final release is out after 8 alpha, 3 beta and 2 release candidate tests, though it’s announced only with following changes...

  • How to Setup Passwordless SSH Login in Linux with Keys

    Hello Linux geeks, it is always a good practice that Linux systems should be ssh with keys rather than the password. SSH (Secure Shell) keys gives us a secure way to login to Linux and UNIX like servers. When we access Linux systems with SSH keys then it is also known as passwordless ssh authentication. In this post, we will learn how to setup passwordless SSH authentication with keys in Linux.

  • How to prevent a Supply Chain Attack in a Linux Environment

    This is a type of cyberattack that seeks to damage an organization by attacking weaker elements in the supply chain. A supply chain attack can happen across any industry. Software supply chain attacks occur when attackers insert malicious code in a poorly secured part of the software supply chain. This causes a ripple effect, in which a lot of consumers of the software are impacted by the attack.

  • Setup Load Balancing with HAProxy, Nginx and Keepalived in Linux

    In the conventional method of hosting a server or website, the server is hosted through a single HTTP server. When the clients hit on the server, they are allowed on the server. But, what happens when multiple users, even more; thousands of clients, hit the site at a time for some query? What will happen if the server crashes? How will the single server balance the load? To answer all these questions, we can use the term ‘Load balancing’. If you’re looking for authentic tools for managing traffic of your server, you can definitely setup the HAProxy, Nginx, and Keepalived on Linux for load balancing.

  • This Will Make You a Command-Line Ninja | by Erik van Baaren | Python Land | Sep, 2021 | Medium

    A well-crafted bash command or script can save hours of manual labor. This tutorial will show you exactly how easy it is to become a command-line ninja and automate those tedious tasks. If you need to polish your basics, head over to Shell Commands Every Developer Must Know.

  • What Is the Linux Command Line and How Do You Use It?

    The interface you use to view and interact with an operating system, whether text-based or graphical, is known as a shell. The first shells were text-based. This is because the earliest electronic computers were not household devices. Instead, they were giant mainframes that occupied entire rooms. Back then, computing power was pretty low and network connections were slow. You can store very many files, and many users can sign into a system simultaneously over a very slow connection when you’re only working with text. In 1969, Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson at Bell Labs developed the Unix operating system, one of the first mainframe operating systems to gain widespread adoption. Unix operated on mainframes as a shared system, with people interacting with the computer from individual terminals consisting of only a keyboard and a screen. Users did everything from creating and navigating files to transmitting data by typing commands using a shell, which the mainframe then interpreted. If anything went wrong, a system administrator could check via a console, a dedicated text-entry, and display device used for system-related messages such as those concerning the BIOS, bootloader, or kernel. Linux is a Unix-like system that replicates much of the functionalities of Unix, but as free software available to all. The Thompson shell (written by Ken Thompson) was the initial shell for Unix, but a replacement came from Stephen Bourne in 1979 known as the Bourne shell. In 1989, Brian Fox create the Bourne Again shell (bash for short) as a free software replacement of the Bourne shell as part of the GNU Project. This is the default shell for most Linux operating systems. Thus we have several of the names that are still commonly used for the command line today: command line, shell, terminal, console, and bash.

Games: Assets, GOG, and Steam

  • Derivation: Episode 1 Motion Comic by Itizso on itch.io - David Revoy

    Game developer Itizso on itch.io made a motion comic derivation with the first webcomic episode of Pepper&Carrot. It's an interesting way to give life to this episode.

  • Trouble is brewing over on GOG due to the HITMAN release needing online for some features | GamingOnLinux

    GOG.com, the store that provides itself on offering "DRM FREE" builds of games has recently released Hitman - Game of The Year Edition from IO Interactive and GOG fans are not happy. To set the scene a little, this is a single-player stealth game about running around assassinating various targets across a bunch of different missions. It's actually a pretty good game and it has a Linux build available on Steam ported by Feral Interactive, which is not up on GOG. Here's the problem: many features in HITMAN require you to have an internet connection. This is different to a game that has online modes which would of course need the internet. This is a game you play by yourself. Story missions and bonus mission can be played offline but you have to be online for most of the progression for item unlocks, new start location unlocks, special contracts, featured contracts, escalation missions and more.

  • Steam Deck: Official Anti-Cheat Support Incoming in 2021

    If you have been following news closely (including with our recent Podcast with James Ramey) it should come as no surprise to see official support for EAC ahead of the Steam Deck launch. As discussed during our interview, this will probably require signed Proton builds in order to have EAC running in the games that require it (one of the requirements of Anti-cheat technology is to have reproducible environments). In practical terms this probably means that custom Proton builds made by third parties (like Proton GE) may not be able to include such support. We will have to see when more details surface. [...] With these two announcements, it looks like there should be a nice jump in compatibility for anything running under Proton in the very near future (maybe even ahead of the Steam Deck launch). Will that be enough to reach 100% compatibility as announced by Valve? Probably not, but my guess is that the fact that they are shipping a truckload of devkits of the Steam Deck early to developers is going to help for the remaining gaps.