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postmarketOS revolutionizes smartphone hacking

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OS
Gadgets

I briefly mentioned postmarketOS in my Pinephone review two years ago, but after getting my Dutch SIM card set up in my Pinephone and having another go at using postmarketOS, I reckon they deserve special attention.

Let’s first consider the kind of ecosystem into which postmarketOS emerged: smartphone hacking in the XDA Forums era. This era was dominated by amateur hackers working independently for personal prestige, with little to no regard for the values of free software or collaboration. It was common to see hacked-together binary images shipped behind adfly links in XDA forum threads in blatant disregard of the GPL, with pages and pages of users asking redundant questions and receiving poor answers to the endless problems caused by this arrangement.

The XDA ecosystem is based on Android, which is a mess in and of itself. It’s an enormous, poorly documented ball of Google code, mixed with vendor drivers and private kernel trees, full of crappy workarounds and locked-down hardware. Most smart phones are essentially badly put-together black boxes and most smart phone hackers are working with their legs cut off. Not to mention that the software ecosystem which runs on the platform is full of scammers and ads and theft of private user information. Android may be Linux in implementation, but it’s about as far from the spirit of free software as you can get.

postmarketOS, on the other hand, is based on Alpine Linux, which happens to be my favorite Linux distribution. Instead of haphazard forum threads collecting inscrutable ports for dozens of devices, they have a single git repository where all of their ports are maintained under version control, complete with issue trackers and merge requests, plus a detailed centralized wiki providing a wealth of open technical info on their supported platforms. And, by virtue of being a proper Linux distribution, they essentially opt-out of the mess of predatory mobile apps and instead promote a culture of trusted applications which respect the user and are built by and for the community instead of by and for a corporation.

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Upcycling Android: Keep using your phone with Free Software

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OS
Android

It is the European Week for Waste Reduction, a week that is dedicated to promoting the reuse of products and materials and to helping save resources and reduce waste in everyday life. The FSFE joins in with the new initiative "Upcycling Android" - an initiative to help saving resources by reusing one of our most valuable devices of our daily life, our phones.

Every year, manufacturers produce 1.5 billion phones worldwide - and unfortunately, probably almost as many are thrown away after what is usually a far too short hardware lifespan. The short lifespan of these phones often stems from so-called "software obsolescence", the situation in which users are faced with the dilemma of either buying new hardware or living with outdated software. The environmental consequences of these short hardware lifespans can be dire. To help users in overcoming this problem, with Upcycling Android we enable people to upcycle Android phones with Free Software. Every time we keep using our current phone instead of buying a new one we help avoid the production of new phones and the growing disposal of e-waste.

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Top 5 Distros for XFCE

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OS

Linux is among the most well-known and easily accessible open-source operating systems. Because of its stability, portability, and customization, Linux has recently earned much attention and is now extensively being utilized. One of them is the desktop environment feature, which is mostly used for Linux-based operating systems, and Xfce is one of them.

Xfce was originally stated as XForms Common Environment, an open-source desktop environment designed explicitly for Linux. It aspires to be quick and light while remaining aesthetically beautiful and simple to use. Because of its small size, it saves both memory and CPU, making it suited for older hosts with limited desktop resources. On the other hand, Xfce is versatile and powerful enough to meet system requirements as a power user. It offers a very reliable, feature-rich, and straightforward experience. This article will cover the top 5 distros for XFCE which we think you consider for your desktop environment experience.

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EasyOS: redshift and XorgWizard

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OS
  • redshift GUI tray app

    EasyOS has a GUI for /usr/bin/sct (set color temperature), 'brightness-control-1.2.2.pet'.

  • XorgWizard fixed for Radeon card

    ...I mentioned that it has fans all over the place -- there is also one on the side-panel, not shown in photo.
    The guy who sold it to me had configured it as a gaming machine, and it had a Radeon Bart XT PowerColor HD6870 card, with 1GB RAM, two DVI-I sockets and one hdmi socket.
    Soon after acquiring the PC, I took the card out and only used the on-board Intel video. Moved house a few times over the years, and that card got lost. Until now, found it in my car, under a seat. So, it is now back in the PC, and it works fine.

Distrowatch Top 5 Distributions Review: Pop!_OS

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OS
Reviews

I personally won’t use Pop!_OS because I detest GNOME, but I have to admit, it’s a really attractive OS, with some good features under the hood, a minimalist approach in the sense of bloat, and being based of Ubuntu you can expect plenty of easy to find support. If all of this sounds good, I strongly recommend you check out this distribution, you may love it!

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Discover Slitaz, a 50MB Lightweight Desktop Operating System

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OS
GNU
Linux

Slitaz GNU/Linux is an Swiss computer operating system that is user-friendly, super lightweight and very fast to install, with a spider logo, for both desktop and server. It can run on a quarter of a GB memory. Its installation image is only fifty megabytes, full desktop included, with LiveCD capability. We overview Slitaz in this article with short highlights on where you can get it, available versions and how its desktops and applications are. Happy discovering!

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Parrot OS vs Kali Linux vs Ubuntu Comparison: Which To Choose?

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OS
Security

Linux has been known for its different distributions that cater to different needs. The most famous among all is the Kali Linux which is a penetration testing oriented for security professionals. From the time it has been released, it has gone through various iterations in the form of updates while others were also being developed throughout the globe.

There are also alternative choices for those who like to look at options. Our detailed comparison between Parrot OS vs Kali Linux vs Ubuntu will help you decide to choose the best Linux for you. We have compared and analysed and taken into consideration various factors.

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today's leftovers

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OS
  • Another spin to Gamification: how we used Gather.town to build a (great!) Cyber Security Game

    Let’s recap October. Cyber Security Awareness Month. For a cyber awareness enthusiast, it is hard to conceal the excitement that comes with a full month of initiatives in all shapes and sizes, built around a genuine and strong effort to help keep companies and their people “safe online”. At NVISO also, the buzz is tangible, and everyone is eager to know what great projects we will be launching for this year’s Cyber Security Awareness Month. We’re lucky enough to have a client who will go the extra mile and allowed us to let our imagination run wild. And that is exactly what we did.

  • Our new way of waiting for the network to be "up" in systemd's world

    Systemd has a long standing philosophical objection to waiting until the network is up; they have an entire web page on the subject. Never the less, we need to do this (like many sysadmins). I've written before about this, and if you're using systemd-networkd either directly or through Ubuntu's netplan, you can in theory use systemd-networkd-wait-online.service. Usually it works, but today we discovered that it didn't on some of our Ubuntu 18.04 servers (the specifics of this issue are beyond the scope of this entry). Since we needed a way to fix the issue, we opted to solve our problem with a hammer.

  • A linear, sequential boot and startup order is easier to deal with

    A linear order is straightforward to see, understand, reason about, and generally to manipulate. It's easy to know what order things will happen in and have happened in, which avoids surprises during boot and helps diagnose problems afterward; you're much less likely to be left trying to sort out what happened when from boot time logs. It's nice to to understand the dependencies of services when that information is reliable, but we have a great deal of evidence that taxonomy is hard for people, and dependencies are a form of taxonomy. When dependencies are inaccurate, they can be worse than knowing that you don't know that information in the first place.

  • Report: Assessing the Viability of an Open-Source CHERI Desktop Software Ecosystem

    In September 2021, we released our final report, Assessing the Viability of an Open-Source CHERI Desktop Software Ecosystem, which describes our three-staff-month effort to deploy CHERI within a substantive slice of an open-source desktop environment based on X11, Qt (and supporting libraries), and KDE. We adapted the software stack to run with memory-safe CHERI C/C++, performed a set of software compartmentalisation white boarding experiments, and concluded with a detailed 5-year retrospective vulnerability analysis to explore how memory safety and compartmentalisation would have affected past critical security vulnerabilities for a subset of that.

  • OpenBSD and Linux comparison: data transfer benchmark

    I had a high suspicion about something but today I made measurements. My feeling is that downloading data from OpenBSD use more "upload data" than on other OS

    I originally thought about this issue when I found that using OpenVPN on OpenBSD was limiting my download speed because I was reaching the upload limit of my DSL line, but it was fine on Linux. From there, I've been thinking since then that OpenBSD was using more out data but I never measured anything before.

  • Fedora Drafts Plans For Retiring ARMv7 Support - Phoronix

    It's crazy to think it has already been ten years since Arm disclosed ARMv8 with 64-bit support. Given the success of ARMv8 (and Armv9 now on the way) and there not being much in the way of useful ARMv7 hardware in recent years and the like, Fedora has drafted plans for retiring its ARMv7 support.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 709

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 709 for the week of November 7 – 13, 2021.

  • Chrome may start restricting requests to private networks

    Chrome (and apparently Microsoft Edge) are likely to add new restrictions on allowing things to talk to private network addresses (in a surprisingly broad sense). The reference for this is Feature: Restrict "private network requests" for subresources from public websites to secure contexts (via), which describes the first steps. The first steps Chrome is making is that such "private network requests" may only be made from a public context that is secure, ie from a HTTPS website instead of a HTTP one.

  • What the Web Still Is

    Make no mistake: I feel a lot of what makes the web great is actively being dismantled, either inadvertently or deliberately. But as I mentioned earlier, cynicism is easy. My wish for next year? That all the qualities mentioned here are still present. My New Year’s resolution? To help ensure it.

  • Your CSS is an interface

    Stylus on the Chrome Web Store has more than half a million users. Stylish has over three million. That’s a lot of people modifying the web to get what they want. We can also do a little bit better than an appeal to popularity. I’d like you to consider the ability for an individual to improve their quality of life. Some web experiences you’re forced to use. Think jobs, medical portals, government services, etc. If the bright red of the web app someone is forced to use for their job 8‒10 hours every day gives them tension headaches, shouldn’t they be able to dial it down to something more soothing? Being able to fix something you’re forced to endure creates an immediate and appreciable improvement on your quality of life. And that’s important.

Android 12 on Raspberry Pi 4 – (Almost) everything works

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OS
Android

Android 12 (AOSP) source code was released last month, and a developer took the opportunity to port Android 12 to the Raspberry Pi 4 single board computer and derivatives.

More specifically, KonstaT created an unofficial build of LineageOS 19.0 for Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard PC, and Compute Module 4 working on systems with at least 2GB of RAM.

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Direct: [DEV][ROM][UNOFFICIAL] LineageOS 19.0 (Android 12) for Raspberry Pi 4 B

5 De-Googled Android-based Operating Systems to Free Your Smartphone from Google and other Big Tech

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OS
Android

With the ever growing surveilling presence of advertisement giants like Google and Facebook on your personal and intimate devices like Phones and Tablets, it is time to deal with it.

You might be wondering why should you install a different Android based OS on your phone than what is already included. Let me give you a few reasons...

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More in Tux Machines

Open Hardware/Modding With LineageOS and Arduino

  • Ham Radio Gets Brain Transplant | Hackaday

    Old radios didn’t have much in the way of smarts. But as digital synthesis became more common, radios often had as much digital electronics in them as RF circuits. The problem is that digital electronics get better and better every year, so what looked like high-tech one year is quaint the next. [IMSAI Guy] had an Icom IC-245 and decided to replace the digital electronics inside with — among other things — an Arduino.

  • My phone - November 2021

    My current phone is the Google Pixel 3a from 2019. It’s running the LineageOS operating system without the Open GApps stack (GApps is short for “Google Apps”). This means there’s no proprietary software or tracking from Google on the phone by default.

  • PiGlass V2 Embraces The New Raspberry Pi Zero 2 | Hackaday

    Well, that certainly didn’t take long. It’s been just about a month since the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 hit the market, and we’re already seeing folks revisit old projects to reap the benefits of the drop-in upgrade that provides five times the computational power in the same form factor. Take for example the PiGlass v2 that [Matt] has been working on. He originally put the Pi Zero wearable together back in 2018, and while it featured plenty of bells and whistles like a VuFine+ display, 5 MP camera, and bone conduction audio, the rather anemic hardware of the original Zero kept it from reaching its true potential.

October/November in KDE Itinerary

Since the last summary KDE Itinerary has been moving with big steps towards the upcoming 21.12 release, with work on individual transport modes, more convenient ticket access, trip editing, a new health certificate UI, better transfer handling and many more improvements.

New Features
Current ticket access A small but very convenient new addition is the “Current ticket” action, which immediately navigates you to the details page of the most current element on the itinerary. That comes in handy when having to show or scan your ticket and avoids having to find the right entry in the list in a rush. This action is now also accessible from jump list actions in the taskbar on Linux, or app shortcuts on Android. Combined with the easily accessible barcode scanmode mentioned last time it’s now just two clicks or taps to get ready for a ticket check. Read more

New Videos/Shows: Response to Alleged Trolls and Reviewers

today's howtos

  • How To Install AMD Radeon Driver on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install AMD Radeon Driver on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Installing AMD Radeon drivers on the Ubuntu system is an easy task that can be done in less than a minute. Radeon driver is needed by your AMD Radeon Graphics GPU to function with better performance. Some Linux distributions offer the proprietary driver pre-packaged as part of its standard package repository making the entire AMD Radeon Linux Driver procedure extremely easy to follow. 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 FreeOffice 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.

  • What you need to know about disks and disk partitions in Linux – LinuxBSDos.com

    This is an update to A beginner’s guide to disks and disk partitions in Linux, which itself was an update to Guide to disks and disk partitions in Linux. It is intended to be an absolute beginner’s guide to understanding how disks and disk partitions are handled in Linux. This update adds info on NVMe SSDs. If you are migrating from Windows to Linux and are attempting to install any Linux distribution alongside Windows 10/11 on your computer, this article should come in handy. You’ll read about hard drive naming convention in Linux, how they are partitioned, partition tables, file systems and mount points. By the time you are through reading this, you should have a pretty good idea of what you are doing when installing your next Linux distribution on your laptop or desktop computer. An understanding of all the aspects concerning how a disk is referenced and partitioned will put you in a better position to troubleshoot installation and disk-related problems. Most of the highly technical terms associated with this subject have been omitted, so this should be an easy read.

  • How To Install PrestaShop on Debian 11 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PrestaShop on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, PrestaShop is a freemium, open-source e-commerce software. It lets you start your own online store with secure payments, multiple shipping methods, custom themes, and more. PrestaShop written in PHP is highly customizable, supports all the major payment services, is translated in many languages and localized for many countries, has a fully responsive design (both front and back-office), etc. 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 PrestaShop e-commerce software on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

  • How to Install Asterisk VoIP Server on Debian 11 | 10 - Linux Shout

    In this tutorial, we will discuss some of the steps and commands to install the Asterisk VoIP server on Debian 11 Bullseye or 10 Buster using the terminal to call over Android or iPhone using a local network.

  • How to install Docker-ce on Ubuntu 21.10 – NextGenTips

    In this tutorial am going to show you how you can install Docker-ce on Ubuntu 21.10. Docker is a set of platform as a service product that uses OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. Containers are usually isolated from one another and bundled their own software libraries and configuration files, they can communicate with each other through well-defined channels. Docker makes it possible to get more apps running on the same old servers and also makes it easy to package and ship programs.

  • How to Uninstall Software On Ubuntu

    Regardless of the operating system you are using; there are multiple reasons why you might want to uninstall software. Maybe the software has become corrupted, and it doesn’t function the same as before, or your application is now virus-ridden, so uninstalling it is safe. There are times when you don’t use the software anymore, so you uninstall it to make space. We all know that Ubuntu and other Linux distros are different from the commonly used Windows. Users migrating from Windows to Ubuntu can find it hard navigating even the basic stuff. Uninstalling software can be tricky, so this article will help you understand the different ways you can bin software in Ubuntu.

  • How to Mount USB Drive on Linux

    We live in the modern age of technology where there are multiple important variables to keep track of. But arguably, the biggest variable today is “data”. With some maturing and emerging technologies, everything is being centered around the quantity and quality of data. Thus, gathering and protecting data has become paramount. These days, it’s quite common to see people carrying their data around at all times. Different devices and technologies are used for this purpose, including a certain device called USB (Universal Serial Bus). A USB is an electronic communication protocol (ECP) most commonly used for computer accessories and other small-end electronic devices, either for data transfer or power transfer. Although USBs are being phased out slowly due to technologies such as “Cloud Computing”, there is a sense of privacy and security with using USBs that you don’t get with other methods. Accessing USBs is straightforward. It is a plug-and-use device, so the stick only needs to be connected to your computer via a USB port. Usually, USBs mount themselves automatically to your system regardless of the operating system, but there are instances where there is a problem, and the USB refuses to connect. For such times, if you are using a Linux distro, it is best to use the Terminal and execute your way to mount the USB in your computer. This article will be guiding you on how exactly you can achieve this task. Although it is time-consuming, once you know how to mount a USB in Linux, you will feel lightened, and it will be easier for you to perform it the next time when needed. So follow these instructions to get a proper hang of it.

  • How do I change my homepage in WordPress?

    This brief tutorial explains how to change the homepage in WordPress. After reading this tutorial, you’ll learn the two common ways to define your website homepage by editing WordPress settings. This article also includes instructions to create a new page to set as a homepage or a posts page if you have not created a home page. All steps described in this tutorial include real screenshots and can be followed by any WordPress level user.

  • How do I Rename a Column in MySQL?

    MySQL is a popular database management system that provides the backbone for a huge portion of today’s internet. Developed and maintained by Oracle, MySQL is an open-source RDBMS (relational database management system) with a client-server model. It offers secure database storage, fast performance, and powerful features. This guide will showcase how to rename a column in MySQL.

  • What Are Environment Variables in Linux? Everything You Need to Know

    If you've been using Linux for a while, you may be wondering how to set certain parameters from the command line that can keep your settings across programs. Environment variables are how you do this. By the end, you'll have a deep understanding of what environment variables are, and how you can create such variables from the command line.

  • SysMonTask – SparkyLinux

    There is a new application available for Sparkers: SysMonTask