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New Videos: A Look at Xubuntu 19.10 and Crunchbang++ 10

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GNU
Linux

Linux Fu: Python GUIs For Command Line Programs (Almost) Instantly

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Development
GNU
Linux
HowTos

Not every programmer likes creating GUI code. Most hacker types don’t mind a command line interface, but very few ordinary users appreciate them. However, if you write command line programs in Python, Gooey can help. By leveraging some Python features and a common Python idiom, you can convert a command line program into a GUI with very little effort.

The idea is pretty simple. Nearly all command line Python programs use argparse to simplify picking options and arguments off the command line as well as providing some help. The Gooey decorator picks up all your options and arguments and creates a GUI for it. You can make it more complicated if you want to change specific things, but if you are happy with the defaults, there’s not much else to it.

At first, this article might seem like a Python Fu and not a Linux Fu, since — at first — we are going to focus on Python. But just stand by and you’ll see how this can do a lot of things on many operating systems, including Linux.

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Also: Applying C - Running Programs With Systemd

Apple of 2019 is the Linux of 2000

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GNU
Linux
Mac

Last week the laptop I use for macOS development said that there is an XCode update available. I tried to install it but it said that there is not enough free space available to run the installer. So I deleted a bunch of files and tried again. Still the same complaint. Then I deleted some unused VM images. Those would free a few dozen gigabytes, so it should make things work. I even emptied the trash can to make sure nothing lingered around. But even this did not help, I still got the same complaint.

At this point it was time to get serious and launch the terminal. And, true enough, according to df the disk had only 8 gigabytes of free space even though I had just deleted over 40 gigabytes of files from it (using rm, not the GUI, so things really should have been gone). A lot of googling and poking later I discovered that all the deleted files had gone to "reserved space" on the file system. There was no way to access those files or delete them. According to documentation the operating system would delete those files "on demand as more space is needed". This was not very comforting because the system most definitely was not doing that and you'd think that Apple's own software would get this right.

After a ton more googling I managed to find a chat buried somewhere deep in Reddit which listed the magical indentation that purges reserved space. It consisted of running tmutil from the command line and giving it a bunch of command line arguments that did not seem to make sense or have any correlation to the thing that I wanted to do. But it did work and eventually I got XCode updated.

After my blood pressure dropped to healthier levels I got the strangest feeling of déjà vu. This felt exactly like using Linux in the early 2000s. Things break at random for reasons you can't understand and the only way to fix it is to find terminal commands from discussion forums, type them in and hope for the best. Then it hit me.

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Archman GNU/Linux Xfce 2019-09

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Archman is an Arch Linux-based distribution developed in Turkey. The project's website is available in both Turkish and English, which makes the distribution approachable to non-Turkish audiences. Archman has various releases with different desktop environments and release dates. In this review, I will be reviewing Archman's Xfce 2019-09 release, which is codenamed Lake With Fish.

To begin, I downloaded the 1.6GB ISO and copied it to a flash drive. I rebooted my computer, turned off Secure Boot, and started Archman from the flash drive. The boot process was quick, but I ended up at a graphical login screen instead of a working desktop environment. I pressed the Enter key and I logged in without needing a password.

The live desktop looked very nice. It is an interesting blend of classic and modern. The live desktop has icons for the user's home folder and Trash. There is also a shortcut for Hexchat and the Calamares Archman Installer. The panel at the bottom of the screen holds the application menu, shortcuts for showing the desktop/quickly minimizing all running applications, Firefox, the user's home folder, sections for the currently running applications, switching desktops, a clock, Bluetooth and wireless controls, a battery meter, update notifications, volume control, and a log out/reboot/shutdown shortcut. The panel is 70% the width of the screen and set to automatically hide.

I looked around the live desktop for a little while. I tested to make sure that everything was working okay with my hardware, and once I was certain that all my hardware worked, I moved on to installing Archman.

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This Website Lets You Test Linux Distros Right from Your Browser

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GNU
Linux

If you are an avid Linux user who hops distros every weekend, it can be confusing at times to pick a distro to install. Well, not anymore. There exists a website named DistroTest that lets you test Linux operating systems from your web browser without requiring any sort of installation so that you can get a better idea regarding what to expect from the operating system without even downloading it.

The website offers 807 versions of Linux distros across 244 operating systems and hence, it is more likely that the distro you’re planning to check out will have its version on DistroTest. Cool, right?

The best part is, it won’t ask any of your personal information and will not require you to create an account on the website. This way, you don’t have to worry about any privacy-related risk.

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DIY, modular MNT Reform Laptop gets spec bump as it inches toward reality

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

It’s been a few years since developer Lukas Hartmann and designer Ana Dantes unveiled their plans for a DIY, modular laptop designed to run free and open source software.

Since then, the folks behind the MNT Reform project created a small number of early prototypes, introduced new hardware with beefier specs and some other improvements, and have begun producing prototypes of version 2 of the laptop.

Once everything is up to snuff, the plan is to launch another crowdfunding campaign for folks interested in purchasing their own MNT Reform 2 laptop — but since the design files will be open source, there’s nothing stopping anyone from downloading the necessary files and assembling their own (if they also want to go through the trouble of sourcing all the components including a custom PCB).

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GNU: Release of GNU Binutils 2.33.1 and GNUFEST 2019 in San Cristóbal

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GNU
  • GNU Binutils 2.33.1 Released With Support For Newer Arm Cortex CPUs, SVE2/TME/MVE

    The GNU Binutils 2.33(.1) release brings BFloat16 support (BF16), many ARMv8 architecture updates, eBPF support for the GNU toolchain to complement the GCC 10 compiler support for this alternative now to using LLVM, support for the new CTF (Compact Type Format) debug format, and other work accumulated in recent months.

  • GNU Binutils 2.33.1 has been released.
    Hello Everyone,
    
      We are pleased to announce that version 2.33.1 of the GNU Binutils project
      sources have been released and are now available for download at:
    
        https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/binutils
        https://sourceware.org/pub/binutils/releases/
    
      The md5sum values are:
        
        56a3be5f8f8ee874417a4f19ef3f10c8  binutils-2.33.1.tar.bz2
        1a6b16bcc926e312633fcc3fae14ba0a  binutils-2.33.1.tar.gz
        f4e7e023664f087b3017fc42955ebb46  binutils-2.33.1.tar.lz
        9406231b7d9dd93731c2d06cefe8aaf1  binutils-2.33.1.tar.xz
    
    
      This release contains numerous bug fixes, and also the following new
      features:
    
        Assembler:
        
        * Adds support for the Arm Scalable Vector Extension version 2
          (SVE2) instructions, the Arm Transactional Memory Extension (TME)
          instructions and the Armv8.1-M Mainline and M-profile Vector
          Extension (MVE) instructions.
    
        * Adds support for the Arm Cortex-A76AE, Cortex-A77 and Cortex-M35P
          processors and the AArch64 Cortex-A34, Cortex-A65, Cortex-A65AE,
          Cortex-A76AE, and Cortex-A77 processors.
    
        * Adds a .float16 directive for both Arm and AArch64 to allow
          encoding of 16-bit floating point literals.
    
        * For MIPS, Add -m[no-]fix-loongson3-llsc option to fix (or not)
          Loongson3 LLSC Errata.  Add a --enable-mips-fix-loongson3-llsc=[yes|no]
          configure time option to set the default behavior. Set the default
          if the configure option is not used to "no".
    
        Linker:
    
        * The Cortex-A53 Erratum 843419 workaround now supports a choice of
          which workaround to use.  The option --fix-cortex-a53-843419 now
          takes an optional argument --fix-cortex-a53-843419[=full|adr|adrp]
          which can be used to force a particular workaround to be used.
          See --help for AArch64 for more details.
    
        * Add support for GNU_PROPERTY_AARCH64_FEATURE_1_BTI and
          GNU_PROPERTY_AARCH64_FEATURE_1_PAC  in ELF GNU program properties
          in the AArch64 ELF linker. 
    
        * Add -z force-bti for AArch64 to enable GNU_PROPERTY_AARCH64_FEATURE_1_BTI
          on output while warning about missing GNU_PROPERTY_AARCH64_FEATURE_1_BTI 
          on inputs and use PLTs protected with BTI.
    
        * Add -z pac-plt for AArch64 to pick PAC enabled PLTs.
    
        Utilities:
    
        * Add --source-comment[=] option to objdump which if present,
          provides a prefix to source code lines displayed in a disassembly.
    
        * Add --set-section-alignment =
          option to objcopy to allow the changing of section alignments.
    
        * Add --verilog-data-width option to objcopy for verilog targets to
          control width of data elements in verilog hex format.
    
        * The separate debug info file options of readelf (--debug-dump=links
          and --debug-dump=follow) and objdump (--dwarf=links and
          --dwarf=follow-links) will now display and/or follow multiple
          links if more than one are present in a file.  (This usually
          happens when gcc's -gsplit-dwarf option is used).
    
          In addition objdump's --dwarf=follow-links now also affects its
          other display options, so that for example, when combined with
          --syms it will cause the symbol tables in any linked debug info
          files to also be displayed.  In addition when combined with
          --disassemble the --dwarf= follow-links option will ensure that
          any symbol tables in the linked files are read and used when
          disassembling code in the main file.
    
        * Add support for dumping types encoded in the Compact Type Format
          to objdump and readelf.    
    
      Our thanks go out to all of the binutils contributors, past and
      present, for helping to make this release possible.
    
      Note in case you are wondering about what happened to the 2.33
      release, it is stuck pending the resolution of an issue with the keys
      used to sign the release.  Once this is resolved the 2.33 tarballs
      will be uploaded, even though they will now be slightly out of date.
    
    Cheers
      Nick Clifton
      Binutils Chief Maintainer.
    
  • 1er GNUFEST 2019

    On October 26 I was present at the event 1 GNUFEST 2019 in the city of San Cristóbal, in this event I was representing Fedora giving the talk “What do people live in Free Software?“, Is the second time I give this talk the which was created at FudConf Panamá 2011, I like to give this talk since I usually give technical talks, in this I explain how someone can live from Free Software and that there is an entire economic ecosystem behind free software that allows it to be self-sustaining.

8 Ways Ubuntu Has Changed and Improved Linux

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the world’s most prominent Linux distribution. Ubuntu and its developer, Canonical, has caught a lot of flack over the years, but the Linux world is much better off thanks to both.

So let’s stop and take a moment to appreciate some of what Canonical and Ubuntu have given the Linux community.

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4 Best Docker GUI tools to manage containers graphically

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GNU
Linux
Software

Docker is basically a virtualized open-source environment that allows users to distribute and install multiple apps on the server but without interfering each other’s installation and process. Docker benefits most from cluster environments and data centres. It provides an isolated environment for the container. Now, what are Docker containers?

You can compare the Docker Container with multiple containers available on a single shipyard with different articles. In the same way, Docker has implemented a technology called containers, which you can say a term used alternatively instead of virtual machines. However, containers take less space as compared to regular VMs.

The operating system images created by different developers to be used on containers are a package of a single application and all dependencies such as libraries, utilities, and static data into one image file, but without a complete operating system. That’s why containers can be compared to lightweight virtualization. All containers installed on any Docker can run simultaneously using the host OS kernel but with isolated processes. This gives them better performance while using low resource. The images running on it are only of few MBs. However, unlike VirtualBox or Hyper-V, natively the containers and Docker is available to manage using a command-line interface whether you want to download some OS image or managing of different apps, you need to type commands. It could be cumbersome for noobs or professionals those have to manage multiple containers on personal desktop or data centres or server clusters.

Thus, to mitigate all such incommodious the Docker provides an API that can be used to manage it using GUI (graphical user interface) based desktop applications and web-based management tools.

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Free software is not an ethical issue, its a user right issue

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GNU
OSS

Ethics of free software

Anything happens in our life or society can be seen through lens of ethics. So software also has that. But that ethics is comes from the perspective of developer. Stallman says he dont want develop software that chains its users. That is a strong ethical point. But it comes from developer. Some egoistic developers and companies sees this as a charity from software developers or companies.

User’s right is above developer’s ethics

Software developer or company is just a worker. We cannot rely on them for our rights. We have our rights. So I think its user right issue. For example, I want to use some software. but I can say that (1) I should get the right to run the software, (2) I should get the right to see the source code, (3) I should get the right to share the software and source code, (4) I should get the right to modify and share the modified version. If I am not getting these rights I dont want your software. I will ask somebody else to write softwares with those rights for me. Thats all. Simple.

But it can become ethical issue when somebody taking a decision on it. A school management can think like should we impose software that cannot be shared in school. Or somebody asks you can copy of the program. Usually we tell kids to share things. But its a rare case compared to huge individual use of software.

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Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Ritesh Raj Sarraf: Bpfcc New Release

    bpfcc version 0.11.0 has been uploaded to Debian Unstable and should be accessible in the repositories by now. After the 0.8.0 release, this has been the next one uploaded to Debian.

  • Utkarsh Gupta: Joining Debian LTS!

    Back during the good days of DebConf19, I finally got a chance to meet Holger! As amazing and inspiring a person he is, it was an absolute pleasure meeting him and also, I got a chance to talk about Debian LTS in more detail. [...] I had almost no idea what to do next, so the next month I stayed silent, observing the workflow as people kept committing and announcing updates. And finally in September, I started triaging and fixing the CVEs for Jessie and Stretch (mostly the former). Thanks to Abhijith who explained the basics of what DLA is and how do we go about fixing bugs and then announcing them. With that, I could fix a couple of CVEs and thanks to Holger (again) for reviewing and sponsoring the uploads! :D

  • Ubucon Europe 2019 in local media

    News from the new Ubuntu distribution, the exploration of the several platforms and many “how to”, rule the 4-days agenda where the open source and open technologies are in the air. The Olga Cadaval Cultural centre in Sintra, is the main stage of a busy agenda filled with several talks and more technical sessions, but at Ubucon Europe there’s also room for networking and cultural visits, a curious fusion between spaces full of history, like the Pena Palace or the Quinta da Regaleira, and one of the youngest “players” in the world of software. For 4 days, the international Ubuntu Community gathers in Sintra for an event open to everyone, where the open source principles and open technology are dominating. The Ubucon Europe Conference begun Thursday, October 10th, and extends until Sunday, October 13th, keeping an open doors policy to everyone who wants to Afterall, what is the importance of Ubucon? The number of participants, which should be around 150, doesn’t tell the whole story of what you can learn during these days, as the SAPO TEK had the opportunity to check this morning. Organised by the Ubuntu Portugal Community, with the National Association for Open Software, the Ubuntu Europe Federation and the Sintra Municipality, the conference brings to Portugal some of the biggest open source specialists and shows that Ubuntu is indeed alive, even if not yet known by most people, and still far from the “world domain” aspired by some.

Devices/Embedded: Win Enterprises and Raspberry Pi 4

  • Win Enterprises unveils Atom-based LAN gateway and compact SBC

    Win Enterprises unveiled a fanless “PL-82000” networking gateway with 6x GbE and 2x SFP ports based on an Atom C3000. It also launched a Raspberry Pi sized “MB-5000” SBC that runs Ubuntu or Win 10 on Intel Apollo Lake. We tend to forget Win Enterprises because as its name suggests, the company typically sticks to Windows-supported products. Yet, they have increasingly produced barebones products without listed OS support, such as the new PL-82000 networking appliance, as well as Linux supported systems such as the MB-5000 SBC announced back in June. (In 2017, we covered an Intel Bay Trail based MB-80580 SBC and Win IoT-380 Gateway with Linux support.)

  • Raspberry Pi 4 PCI Express: It actually works! USB3, SATA… GPUs?

    Recently, Tomasz Mloduchowski posted a popular article on his blog detailing the steps he undertook to get access to the hidden PCIe interface of Raspberry Pi 4: the first Raspberry Pi to include PCIe in its design. After seeing his post, and realizing I was meaning to go buy a Raspberry Pi 4, it just seemed natural to try and replicate his results in the hope of taking it a bit further. I am known for Raspberry Pi Butchery, after all.

  • Raspberry Pi 4 B+ - PCI Express

    Why did I do it? Because I wanted to see if it can be done. Because Raspberry Pi 4 might be the cheapest device that is PCIe capable after a relatively minor modification (if I didn't lift the capacitors when desoldering the VL805, this is literally 12 soldering points). That, in turn, can be quite handy for developing own PCIe cores for various FPGA based experiments.

    I'm sharing it to allow people to learn from this - and to dispel the myth that PCIe is somehow out of reach of hobbyists due to some concerns over signal integrity or complexities. Stay tuned for more Pi4/PCIe experimentation!

OSS: Odoo, WordPress, MongoDB vs. MySQL

  • What's New in Odoo 13?

    Fast, Simple and Effective Business Management- this is the motto of Odoo, the leading open source ERP of the globe. And this is what makes Odoo the prominent and most favorite choice among business enterprises. With the release of Odoo 13, the open-source ERP has become all more fit and robust to meet the diversified needs of businesses. With Odoo 13 users can go along with better designs and customizations. With each version release, Odoo makes it a point to bring in major and minor improvements in the application, alongside a set of new features for improving the user interface and functionality of the user. The users worth 3.4 million is the evidence of Odoo being the finest application for business management.

  • Becoming Better Digital Citizens Through Open Source

    The WordPress Project is on a mission to democratize publishing. As WordPress empowers more people to participate in the digital space, we have the opportunity to make sure that everyone can participate safely and responsibly. Today marks the start of Digital Citizenship Week. We are going to share how open source can be used as a tool for learners (regardless of age) to practice and model the essential parts of being a good digital citizen. [...] Digital Citizenship is for all age groups. Anyone who uses the internet on a computer, mobile device or a TV is a digital citizen. You don’t have to be tech-savvy already, maybe you are taking your first steps with technology. Digital Citizenship Week is a chance to reflect together on our impact on the digital world. It can help us to make our consumption more considered and our interaction friendlier. It enables us to make a positive difference to those around us. All of us can strive (or learn) to become better digital citizens. It can be affected by the access those teaching have had to digital skills and good practice. Adult education classes and community tech hubs play a part in basic tech skill development. Unfortunately, these are not always accessible to those in less populated geographic locations.  Open source communities like WordPress already make a difference in encouraging the principles of digital citizenship, from sharing tech skills to improving security knowledge. They give people an opportunity to learn alongside their peers and many of the resources are available regardless of location, resources, or skills.

  • MongoDB vs. MySQL: How to choose

    During the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, one common software stack for web applications was LAMP, which originally stood for Linux (OS), Apache (web server), MySQL (relational database), and PHP (server programming language). MySQL was the preferred database mostly because it was free open source and had good read performance, which fit well with “Web 2.0” apps that dynamically generated sites from the database. Later the MEAN stack, which stood for MongoDB (document database), Express (web server), AngularJS (front-end framework), and Node.js (back-end JavaScript runtime), came to prominence. The MEAN stack was attractive, among other reasons, because the only language you needed to know was JavaScript. It also needed less RAM than an equivalent LAMP stack.

Security: XML External Entity (XXE) Example and the Latest Patches

  • XML External Entity (XXE) Example

    According to OWASP, an XML External Entity attack is a type of attack against an application that parses XML input. This attack occurs when XML input containing a reference to an external entity is processed by a weakly configured XML parser. This attack may lead to the disclosure of confidential data, denial of service, server side request forgery, port scanning from the perspective of the machine where the parser is located, and other system impacts. If a parser accepts unsanitized XML, we can take advantage of that and send our own crafted external XML payload to exploit our target. This post won’t be long so let’s get into it.

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, sdl, and unbound), Debian (clamav, libdatetime-timezone-perl, openssl, tcpdump, and tzdata), Fedora (cutter-re, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, jackson-parent, libapreq2, ming, opendmarc, radare2, and thunderbird), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (kernel), and SUSE (axis, jakarta-commons-fileupload, kernel, sles12sp3-docker-image, sles12sp4-image, system-user-root, and webkit2gtk3).