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GNU Linux-Libre and Guix Updates

  • Intel Graphics Driver Fixes Include Assembly Sources To Satisfy GNU Linux-Libre Folks

    Last month you may recall that the free software purists maintaining the GNU Linux-Libre kernel dropped the Intel "iGPU Leak" security fix for Ivybridge / Haswell as they considered the compiled shaders/kernels responsible for clearing those residual contexts to be binary blobs. A resolution is now pending for upstream. Mitigating "iGPU Leak" for Gen7/Gen7.5 Intel graphics requires flushing the GPU between jobs by means of clearing EU/L3 residual contexts. That flushing code is compiled via the IGT user-space Intel compiler code and from the kernel side submitted to the hardware when needed. But because the GNU Linux-Libre maintainers viewed it as a "binary blobs as arrays of numbers", they dropped the fix.

  • ath9k wifi devices may not work with linux-libre 5.7.6

    if you have a USB wifi device which uses the ath9k or ath9k_htc kernel module, you should postpone upgrading to linux-libre 5.7.6; or the device may not work when you next reboot - PCI devices do not seem to be affected by this bug

  • Securing updates

    Software deployment tools like Guix are in a key position when it comes to securing the “software supply chain”—taking source code fresh from repositories and providing users with ready-to-use binaries. We have been paying attention to several aspects of this problem in Guix: authentication of pre-built binaries, reproducible builds, bootstrapping, and security updates. A couple of weeks ago, we addressed the elephant in the room: authentication of Guix code itself by guix pull, the tool that updates Guix and its package collection. This article looks at what we set out to address, how we achieved it, and how it compares to existing work in this area.

Unblock Websites Restricted By ISPs In Some Countries With GreenTunnel

So how does this unblock websites? GreenTunnel runs as a localhost HTTP proxy server that does the following. For HTTP, GreenTunnel sends requests in 2 parts, for example GET / HTTP/1.0 \n Host: www.you as the first part, and tube.com \n ... as the second part. This way the Internet Service Provider (ISP) doesn't match the blocked word "youtube" in the packets, and as a result the data is not throttled or blocked. In the case of HTTPS, the application splits the first CLIENT_HELLO packet into small chunks so the ISP can't parse the packet and find the SNI (Server Name Indication, an extension of TLS that indicates the actual destination hostname a client is attempting to access over HTTPS) field. As for DNS (Domain Name System), GreenTunnel makes use of DNS over HTTPS and DNS over TLS to get the real IP address and prevent DNS hijacks. Read more

Games Leftovers

  • Panzer General - A supreme classic revisited

    Roughly 25 years ago, I remember playing Panzer General for the first time. The game's hexagonal-map, turn-based, inventory-and-strategy style grabbed me instantly, and became one of the enduring classics on my proverbial digital shelf of good ole antiquities. A few days ago, I fired up DOSBox and had another go at Panzer General. Not sure what prompted me to play it again, perhaps inspiration following a recent bout of reading military history books on Stalingrad and Berlin, or perhaps a big-boy-toy warehouse management OCD itch that lurks in every grown man. Or just the fact it's a darn good game, and it's time to play it, enjoy it, review it. It may sound unusual talking about a 1994 game title - but hey, classics be classics. I did mention it in one of my DOSBox compilations on old game revival, but now I want to give it a proper, in-depth review, even if most of you won't be able to play it, or even find it. Besides, it's a trip down the memory lane. I don't remember the full journey, but I did preserve the game and its save files carefully over the years, from floppy (maybe) to CD to DVD to a folder on a disk, which could be mounted and summoned at will. My original game saves are there, most of them, the earliest dating back to 2000, and the newest to 2007. So not only do I get to have fresh fun, I also have a glimpse of my own military cunning two decades removed. Well, let's blitz.

  • Chrome OS preparing Steam gaming support, starting with 10th Gen Intel Chromebooks

    Earlier this year, it was reported that Google was working to bring Steam to Chrome OS. We’ve now discovered how Chrome OS will run Steam and which Chromebooks will support it to start. For over a year now, Chrome OS has had support for running Linux apps, a project also known as “Crostini.” Under the hood, Crostini runs an entire Linux distribution in a virtual machine, vaguely similar to a developer running an Android emulator on their desktop. (You can think of a Linux distribution as a complete operating system package, usually with its own unique flair.) Over the past few weeks, we’ve been tracking a new project within the Chromium open-source code under the codename “Borealis.” Based on some of the related code changes, Borealis seems to also be related to virtual machines for Chrome OS. Through a fair bit of digging, we were able to obtain a copy of Borealis, which turned out to be another full Linux distribution. Unlike Crostini, which is based on Debian, Borealis is based on Ubuntu, another popular variety of Linux. Just like the existing Linux apps support, we believe Borealis will integrate itself with Chrome OS rather than being a full desktop experience. However, we found one key difference between Borealis and a normal installation of Ubuntu, as Borealis includes a pre-installed copy of Steam. This lines up with what we learned at CES 2020, when Kan Liu, Google’s director of product management for Chrome OS, shared that the upcoming Steam gaming support would be based on Linux.

  • The Dark Mod 2.08 Released As One Of The Few Games Powered By Open-Source id Tech 4

    There is finally a new release out of The Dark Mod, the original total conversion mod for Doom 3 that transformed into its own standalone game powered by the open-source id Tech 4 engine. This remains the lone flagship example of the open-source id Tech 4 game engine in action by the community (besides the DHEWM3 / RBDOOM-3-BFG engine work) with ioDoom3 having never taken off like ioquake3. The Dark Mod 2.08 is shipping with fixes for its multi-threading support, uncapped FPS, and better x86 64-bit support.There is also improved coding standards, replacing legacy OpenGL usage with more modern OpenGL usage, better visuals thanks to SSAO and other rendering improvements, AI improvements, gameplay enhancements, better mapping toolkit support, and all around performance improvements. The multi-core support in particular is no longer considered experimental.

  • How to install Steam on Linux Mint 20

The first step towards Mageia 8 – Alpha 1 is available for testing

We are happy to announce the release of the test images of Mageia 8. These are available to early testers to help with the development towards a stable final release of Mageia 8. There have been large scale updates of all packages as well as new features implemented to improve what Mageia already offered. Read more Also: Mageia 8 Enters Development with Linux Kernel 5.7, Improved ARM Support