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Cross Compile to PinePhone Part Three

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Linux
Gadgets

On last part, we managed to generate package by hand. While it works, having a script to do everything for us is even better. So I’ve wrote a small python script to automate the process.

Apart from the SDK issue mentioned above, we still need to write proper tutorials on https://develop.kde.org/ about cross compile. I’m happy with the overall result, to be able to cross compile to target platform is essention to mobile development. The major difference between Plasma Mobile and Android/iOS is apps on Plasma Mobile are neither self-contained or static linked. Together with the updating of system libraries it’s impossible to ship a static SDK, you’ll need to have all the dynamic linked libraries on rootfs. For iOS and Android, the only dynamic linked libraries is system ones, and they don’t change throughout one major version. You can have Android 10 SDK for Android 10, 11 SDK for 11… But for Plasma Mobile Manjaro, it’s a rolling distribution, you’ll also need a rolling SDK.

I hope the ablity to cross compiling to PinePhone can improve everyone’s productivity on Plasma Mobile development, however it’s just a small step towards what Android and iOS have. We still lack phone emulator, remote debugging and UI debugging tools.

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Steam Deck: Shaping Up

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Hardware
Gaming
Gadgets
  • Steam Deck: Valve Confirms Multi-Boot Support and More in New FAQ

    While Valve has not been particularly tight-lipped about the upcoming Steam Deck hardware, there have still been plenty of questions left unanswered about it. Thankfully, there should now be fewer of those than before as the company has shared an official Steam Deck FAQ full of answers to questions from the community received via Reddit, Discord, Twitter, and -- as Valve states -- "straight up emails to Gabe."

  • Easy Anti-Cheat is now supported on macOS, Linux, and by extension, Steam Deck

    In a surprise announcement, Epic Games today revealed Linux and macOS support for Easy Anti-Cheat, the widely used cheat detection service for PC games. This service, which Epic made free earlier this year, is what's being used for catching cheaters in a substantial number of popular PC titles, including Apex Legends, Fortnite, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Hunt: Showdown, Gears 5, and others.

    There is even more good news for Linux gamers, as alongside native support for their preferred operating system, Epic has also implemented support for the Wine and Proton compatibility layers. "Starting with the latest SDK release, developers can activate anti-cheat support for Linux via Wine or Proton with just a few clicks in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal," adds the announcement.

  • Steam Deck Interface for Dev Kits Leak Out

    While there’s a lot of info known about Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck, prepare for more, as the Steam Deck interface for dev kits have leaked! This comes from an unnamed Chinese developer who apparently doesn’t care about NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements).

  • One of the Steam Deck’s biggest hurdles just disappeared: EAC has come to Linux

    Valve promised it would work with anti-cheat software makers EAC and BattlEye to ensure some of the most popular games will run on its upcoming Steam Deck Linux-based gaming handheld, and one of those companies is now officially on board — Epic Games announced today that its Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) now supports Linux and Mac. Not only that, it’s specifically set up to work with the Proton and Wine compatibility layers that Valve’s relying on to bring Windows games to the Deck.

    While developers would still need to patch their games, this immediately means some of the most popular games on Steam are now theoretically within reach, including Apex Legends, Dead by Daylight and War Thunder, which are all among the top 25 games on Steam. Other popular EAC games include 7 Days to Die, Fall Guys, Black Desert, Hunt: Showdown, Paladins, and the Halo Master Chief Collection.

Fairphone 4 5G Revealing Snapdragon 750G SoC Spotted on Geekbench, Launch Expected Soon

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Gadgets

We are aware of the fact that Fairphone is prepping up for the launch of the Fairphone 3 successor – the Fairphone 4 5G (FP4). The device’s key specifications and renders were revealed last week, courtesy of a retailer listing. As per the preliminary retailer listing, the Fairphone 4 5G is expected to pack 6GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB storage. The hardware specs of the device remained a mystery up till now. However, these details now are out courtesy of the Geekbench listing. MySmartPrice is the first to spot the Fairphone 4 Geekbench listing. The test results reveal that the device will pack Snapdragon 750G SoC and 6GB of RAM.

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Cross Compile to PinePhone Part Two

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Linux
Gadgets

So on part one, we managed to compile kalk with emulator, and generated ArchLinux package to install on our PinePhone. However, emulator is slow, and compiling with emulator isn’t cross compile. Today, we’ll be using real cross compiler to build kalk package.

To be able to cross compile, we need cross compiler and target platform’s libraries. On ArchLinux, there is aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc. But it’s sysroot option is bugged so we won’t use the cross compiler from pacman this time. Instead, we’ll grab the toolchain from ArchLinux arm. The link is here. Since PinePhone is armv8, download the armv8 pre-built crosstool-ng toolchain. To keep everything nice and tidy, we store the toolchain in dedicated directory. I’m using ~/Develop/CrossCompile.

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Cross Compile to PinePhone Part One

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Linux
Gadgets

PinePhone has been out for over one year now. In the last year, KDE plasma mobile saw rapid progress. We’ve developed almost all utility apps you’d have on iOS and Android. And actions like flashlight, screen capture also get added to top panel. What’s more, the launch screen and app drawer only get better.

When I started develop apps for PinePhone, I often find myself spent majority of time on PC. Only occassionaly I’d download the Android artifacts from CI and test it on Android(I don’t have access to PinePhone then). Pretty soon pine64 sent me two PinePhones(thank you, pine64!). But even then, I didn’t spent many time on them. Because I’m trying to first get my app running, what it will look on phone is not on the top of my list.

With the priority shifting from new features to stability and usability, bug fixes and UI/UX improvements are the most important things now. While I certainly can run my apps on PC, it doesn’t help with finding UI/UX bugs. Manjaro Plasma Mobile develop image updates everyday, but if you’re debugging an app, there is no other way than compiling your own.

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Primed for PineTime

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Reviews
Gadgets

There’s something about having a watch that’s special. For me, not only is it a good way to tell the time without looking at my phone, it’s also a way to “accessorize” myself (not into piercings or tattoos, gugh…). I’ve owned watches in the past, but I either lost them or they broke after just a few months of having them (the result of buying cheap watches).

These are just standard watches that I’m talking about; smartwatches have the burden of being tied down to a proprietary app on your smartphone in order to get any good use out of them, and what’s more, not only are they generally more expensive than a “dumb” watch, but they also need to be unstrapped from your wrist every week (or maybe every day, depending on what watch you have) and charged so that it can keep telling you the time.

Something about the PineTime struck me though. Not just it’s inexpensive price point ($27 at the time of writing this); but also the fact that this is the first smartwatch I’ve ever seen that’s not powered by Google, Samsung, Apple, or the likes of some other wallet-draining corporation. It’s powered by the community, through open-source software. I can rely on the fact that, as long as the developers stay active, I can keep getting updates to my watch indefinitely, and not have to buy a “second-generation” watch just because the guys at the big corps say, “Well, this watch is two years old now; we have a better model that increases the screen size by about 10 pixels, increases the battery by about 2%, and the vibration is just a hair stronger. You have to buy the new model now because we’re not supporting the older model anymore.”

None of that BS. The beauty the PineTime also has is that it’s not tied down to one specific type of operating system or firmware. I can use different types of firmware depending on my tastes; by default the PineTime ships with InfiniTime (more on that later), but if I want to change to say, WASP OS, that’s possible. Or any other type of firmware/operating system available.

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PinePhone Specs

Filed under
Linux
OSS
Gadgets

The PinePhone is a smartphone from Pine64 designed as an affordable device capable of running free and open source operating systems including postmarketOS, UBports Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish, Mobian, and Manjaro.

While it has entry-level hardware, it also has some features that are uncommon on modern smartphones, including a removable battery (which can be replaced with any Samsung J7 form factor battery) and hardware kill switches that can disable the mic, cameras, or wireless features of the phone when you need more privacy.

Aimed at developers and early adopters, the PinePhone is not generally available year-round, but Pine64 makes limited quantities available in batches several times per. You can find more details in the spec table blow, or check out Pine64’s PinePhone website and Wiki.

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4 Best Linux Phones for Privacy in 2021

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Gadgets

As the demand for internet connectivity keeps growing, so has the need for data privacy. In order to efficiently deliver their services, there is a tendency for some companies to collect and store personal data from their users. Sadly, some applications and platforms violate their users' privacy by leaking their data which finds its way to other platforms. This can often lead to users being inundated with adverts or worse still, data breaches

Linux-based phones are built on free and open-source software. Going for the privacy-focused phone will mean that may lose out on some of the first-party applications offered by Google or Apple.

In this tutorial, we have recommended some of the top Linux phones in 2021 that guarantee a user's privacy.

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Pining For A De-Googled Smartphone

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Linux
Gadgets

Last summer in the first swings of the global pandemic, sitting at home finally able to tackle some of my electronics projects now that I wasn’t wasting three hours a day commuting to a cubicle farm, I found myself ordering a new smartphone. Not the latest Samsung or Apple offering with their boring, predictable UIs, though. This was the Linux-only PinePhone, which lacks the standard Android interface plastered over an otherwise deeply hidden Linux kernel.

As a bit of a digital privacy nut, the lack of Google software on this phone seemed intriguing as well, and although there were plenty of warnings that this was a phone still in its development stages it seemed like I might be able to overcome any obstacles and actually use the device for daily use. What followed, though, was a challenging year of poking, prodding, and tinkering before it got to the point where it can finally replace an average Android smartphone and its Google-based spyware with something that suits my privacy-centered requirements, even if I do admittedly have to sacrifice some functionality.

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Libre Software Phones

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Android
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

This article is for you who want to know about free software phones. They are mobile devices with GNU/Linux or Android family operating systems inside with more libre software, less proprietary ones and made safer from surveillance. Today, talking about these also involves talking about the software systems inside. This article lists out several the top of them namely Librem 5, Ubuntu Phones, /e/ Fairphone, PinePhone, NitroPhone and mentions also several related software projects like microG. I write this in twenty twenty one so in the future we would certainly see changes going in and out in the world and this article might become obsolete quick. Nevertheless, I hope you would enjoy this!

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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.