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Latest news on Linux distributions and BSD projects
Updated: 1 week 6 hours ago

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 905

Monday 22nd of February 2021 12:12:26 AM
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Septor 2021News: Manjaro to be PinePhone's default operating system, Slackware prepares for a new release, UBports unveils new Devices page, Mint urges users apply security updatesQuestions and answers: Using older kernels on Ubuntu LTS releasesReleased last week: siduction 21.1.0, Devuan 3.1.0, Q4OS....

Development Release: FreeBSD 13.0-BETA3

Sunday 21st of February 2021 05:08:25 AM
Glen Barber has announced that the third BETA build of the upcoming FreeBSD 13.0 (scheduled for final release on 23 March) is now ready for testing: "The third BETA build of the 13.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available. A summary of changes since 13.0-BETA2 includes: a fix to....

Distribution Release: Netrunner 21.01

Saturday 20th of February 2021 11:14:13 PM
Netrunner 21.01, an updated version of the project's desktop Linux distribution based on Debian's "stable" branch, but featuring the latest LTS (long-term support) kernel, has been released: "The Netrunner team is happy to announce the release of Netrunner 21.01 'XOXO'. This version is based on the current Debian....

Distribution Release: Mabox Linux 21.02

Thursday 18th of February 2021 03:48:09 PM
Mabox Linux is a Manjaro-based rolling release distribution. Mabox Linux features the Openbox window manager as its default interface and provides a welcome screen with access to utilities which add additional software to the operating system. The project's latest snashot, Mabox Linux 21.02, updates the default kernel to....

BSD Release: pfSense 2.5.0

Wednesday 17th of February 2021 04:49:02 PM
pfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD specifically tailored for use as a firewall and router that is entirely managed via web interface. The project's latest release, pfSense 2.5.0, is based on FreeBSD 12.2. The release announcement highlights changes in the new version: "Base OS....

Distribution Release: Tiny Core Linux 12.0

Wednesday 17th of February 2021 02:04:02 PM
Tiny Core Linux is one of the world's smallest Linux distributions which uses the BusyBox userland utilities. The project's latest release, Tiny Core Linux 12.0, introduces a number of new fixes, package updates, and updated hardware support. "Changelog for 12.0: kernel updated to 5.10.3, glibc updated to 2.32....

Distribution Release: Q4OS 3.14

Tuesday 16th of February 2021 10:40:23 PM
The Q4OS team have announced a new version of their lightweight, Debian-based distribution. The Q4OS distribution is available in two editions, featuring the KDE Plasma and Trinity desktop environments. The Q4OS developers have introduced an automatic guide for VirtualBox guest additions along with a tool for selecting the....

Development Release: Slackware Linux 15.0 Alpha 1

Tuesday 16th of February 2021 05:43:12 AM
We haven't had any Slackware news since the release of Slackware Linux 14.2 in July 2016. Today we are happy to report about an approaching release of version 15.0 of the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution as its "Current" development branch has now been declared "alpha 1": "Here....

Distribution Release: Devuan GNU+Linux 3.1.0

Monday 15th of February 2021 02:33:04 PM
The Devuan GNU+Linux team have announced the availability of a new point release of their distribution. The new point release, Devuan GNU+Linux 3.1.0, now supports three init options at install time: OpenRC, SysV init, and runit. The installer now also allows users to install an alternative bootloader (lilo)....

Distribution Release: siduction 21.1.0

Monday 15th of February 2021 10:50:44 AM
Ferdinand Thommes has announced the release of siduction 21.1.0, a brand-new version of the project's set of rolling-release distributions based on Debian's "unstable" branch with a choice of Cinnamon, KDE Plasma, LXDE, LXQt and Xfce desktops: "The siduction team is proud to present siduction 2021.1. After a long....

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 904

Monday 15th of February 2021 12:09:34 AM
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Laxer OS 1.2 and new Linux Mint featuresNews: Tails project improves onion-grater, openSUSE announces Step, Ubuntu publishes hot fix and new mediaQuestions and answers: Implementing KDE Connect functionality for PCsReleased last week: Finnix 122, OpenMandriva 4.2Torrent corner: Finnix, Kubuntu, Septor, Ubuntu, Ubuntu....

Development Release: FreeBSD 13.0-BETA2

Saturday 13th of February 2021 07:30:43 AM
Glen Barber has announced the availability of the second beta snapshot of FreeBSD 13.0, the upcoming new stable version scheduled for final release on 23 March (after one more BETA and three RC builds): "The second BETA build of the 13.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available. A summary....

Distribution Release: OpenMandriva Lx 4.2

Saturday 13th of February 2021 02:48:42 AM
Cristina Sgubbi has announced the release of OpenMandriva Lx 4.2, an updated build of the project's desktop-oriented Linux distribution originally forked from the defunct Mandriva Linux. This is the project's first release supporting the Aarch64 architecture: "The OpenMandriva team is pleased to announce the general availability of the....

Distribution Release: Finnix 122

Tuesday 9th of February 2021 07:11:23 PM
Finnix is a self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian. The project tries to remain lightweight and provides a command line interface only. The distribution's latest release is Finnix 122 which reduces ISO image size, improves boot times, and adds a number of new....

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 903

Monday 8th of February 2021 12:10:50 AM
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Split LinuxNews: Ubuntu to get new system installer, IPFire phasing out 32-bit support, UBports explains app confinement, Raspberry Pi OS users discuss new package repository, Debian updates install mediaQuestions and answers: Keeping files in RAMReleased last week: Ubuntu 20.04.2, Solus 4.2, EndeavourOS....

Distribution Release: PCLinuxOS 2021.02

Sunday 7th of February 2021 10:31:08 PM
PCLinuxOS, an independently-developed desktop Linux distribution which continues to use SysV as its init system, has been updated to version 2021.02. The new release features updated kernel and applications, as well as improved compatibility with VirtualBox: "PCLinuxOS installation media has been updated so new installations do not require....

Development Release: Mageia 8 RC

Saturday 6th of February 2021 07:06:51 PM
The Mageia team have announced a release candidate for Mageia 8. The development snapshot includes several package upgrades, including a move to the latest version of PHP and the latest long-term support release of the kernel. There have also been a number of video driver updates. "PHP was....

Distribution Release: Ubuntu 20.04.2

Thursday 4th of February 2021 11:26:41 PM
The Ubuntu team has announced a new update to the distribution's install media and community editions. The new version is 20.04.2 and it includes bug fixes that have become available since 20.04 was launched along with support for additional hardware. The release announcement states: "The Ubuntu team is....

Distribution Release: EndeavourOS 2021.02.03

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021 06:27:16 PM
EndeavourOS is a rolling release Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. The project aims to be a spiritual successor to Antergos - providing an easy setup and pre-configured desktop environment. The project's latest snapshot is EndeavourOS 2021.02.03 and it includes a large collection of updated packages. A number....

Distribution Release: Solus 4.2

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021 03:46:34 PM
Solus is a Linux distribution built from scratch. It uses a forked version of the PiSi package manager, maintained as "eopkg" within Solus, and a custom desktop environment called "Budgie", developed in-house. The project's latest version is 4.2 which includes package updates across key components. The Budgie desktop....

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Derivation: Peppertown video-game by Congusbongus and StarNavigator

    Thanks to the authors because the game is fully open-source and released on Github under the MIT License [2]. It was made with FLOSS tools (GIMP, VS Code, Phaser, Audacity, git, Tiled) for the MiniJam22 contest [3] and congratz to Congusbongus and StarNavigator for reaching the 2nd place with Peppertown!

  • What security does a default OpenBSD installation offer? (by solene@)

    In a recent blog post, OpenBSD developer Solène Rapenne (solene@) offers an over view of the security features offered by a default OpenBSD installation.

  • Jonathan Dieter: WANPIPE and DAHDI COPR for EL8

    At Spearline, we have a number of servers around the world with Sangoma telephony cards, which use the out-of-tree wanpipe and dahdi kernel modules. As we’ve been migrating our servers from CentOS 6 to SpearlineOS, one of the problems we’ve hit has been the out-of-tree modules don’t compile against the EL8 kernels that we use as the base for SpearlineOS. [...] If there’s any interest in using the kmod RPMs without the other packages in the COPR, I could look at splitting them into a separate COPR. Please email me if you would like me to do this.

  • Mousepad 0.5.3 Is Released

    The Xfce team has released another version of the extremely plain and simple Mousepad editor. The latest version has a keybinding for resetting the font size and some small fixes. It still lacks absolutely everything beyond the ability to edit text and load and save files. [...] Mousepad still lacks all the features other simple text-editors like KWrite have beyond the very basic ability to edit text. There is no syntax high-lighting, there is no spell-checker, you can't select text and make it uppercase or lowercase or much else for that matter. It does have a search-and-replace function, and you can load and save files, and you can even have multiple files open in tabs. It does have those things going for it even though it is severely lacking in all other areas.

Free Software and Internet/Standards

  • My Firefox addons as of Firefox 86 (and the current development version)

    I was recently reminded that my most recent entry on what Firefox addons I use is now a bit over a year old. Firefox has had 14 releases since then and it feels the start of January 2020 was an entirely different age, but my Firefox addons have barely changed in the year and a bit since that entry. Since they have updated a very small amount, I'll repeat the whole list just so I have it in one spot for the next time around.

  • Delegation of responsibility for spec finalisation

    Sean is a natural choice for me to delegate this task to. He has been involved in the development of the Gemini specification for longer than anybody other than myself - he was the first person to actually implement the protocol in software, transforming it from the largely academic thought experiment that I had created it as into an actual real world project. He is the developer of a Gemini server (GLV-1.12556) and the admin of a server running it (gemini://, which means the details of the specification are of direct and practical relevance to him. He has a long-standing presence in Gopherspace, where the Gemini project was born, and therefore understands and appreciates the value of simple-by-design systems with limited scope. Finally, he has an excellent track record of constructively engaging with the mailing list even at its busiest and most frantic, which certainly can no longer be said for me. For all these reasons I trust him to make good decisions on the basis of careful consideration.

  • A Saturday waste of CPU cycles: building time_t values

    It was bad enough trying to split up all of those date strings into their constituent parts - year, month, day - all of that stuff. But, then when I tried to consistently turn them back into a time_t, I ran into a bunch of other problems. That lead to the post called time handling is garbage. That then lead into the followup post three months later which talked about making time_t values without using mktime and the TZ variable.

Programming Leftovers

  • Revisiting Html in Java

    Some time ago I wrote a post about creating an embedded dsl for Html in Java. Sadly, it was based on an abuse of lambda name reflection that was later removed from Java. I thought I should do a followup because a lot of people still visit the old article. While it’s no longer possible to use lambda parameter names in this way, we can still get fairly close.

  • Use Dash as /bin/sh

    I want startup scripts and everything that has a #!/bin/sh shebang to use the lightest possible shell by default, but I still want my trusty bash in interactive terminal sessions, and for complex scripts.

  • How to Use Group by in Pandas Python – Linux Hint

    Pandas group by function is used for grouping DataFrames objects or columns based on particular conditions or rules. Using the groupby function, the dataset management is easier. However, all related records can be arranged into groups. Using the Pandas library, you can implement the Pandas group by function to group the data according to different kinds of variables. Most developers used three basic techniques for the group by function. First, splitting in which data divide into groups based on some particular conditions. Then, apply certain functions to these groups. In the end, combine the output in the form of data structure. In this article, we will walk through the basic uses of a group by function in panda’s python. All commands are executed on the Pycharm editor.

  • gfldex: Undocumented escape hatch

    On my quest to a custom when-statement I did quite a bit of reading. The study of roast and Actions.nqp can lead to great gain in knowledge.

  • Knowing when to look past your code

    At some point, though, your journies will take you to places where things aren’t so clear cut, and you’ll start to gain a sixth sense; a kind of visceral experience that things are not as they have been promised to be.

    A few weeks ago, that sixth sense whispered in my ear: “what if, instead of your cruddy bootloader written in a pre-1.0 systems language for a platform you don’t fully understand, it’s the 20 year-old project with 80,000 commits that’s wrong?” And it was right.

  • Cambalache…
  • C++ Friend Function – Linux Hint

    A function is a block of code that performs a certain task and provides the output. It is mainly used to eliminate repetitive code. In this tutorial, we will look into the friend function in C++ and explain its concept with working examples.

  • mrcal: principled camera calibrations

    In my day job I work with images captured by cameras, using those images to infer something about the geometry of the scene being observed. Naturally, to get good results you need to have a good estimate of the behavior of the lens (the "intrinsics"), and of the relative geometry of the cameras (the "extrinsics"; if there's more than one camera). The usual way to do this is to perform a "calibration" procedure to compute the intrinsics and extrinsics, and then to use the resulting "camera model" to process the subsequent images. Wikipedia has an article. And from experience, the most common current toolkit to do this appears to be OpenCV. People have been doing this for a while, but for whatever reason the existing tools all suck. They make basic questions like "how much data should I gather for a calibration?" and "how good is this calibration I just computed?" and "how different are these two models?" unanswerable.

Security Leftovers

  • SolarWind, enough with the password already!

    This is a much delayed discussion on the complexity and nuance of the SolarWind hack. The simplistic and wrong messaging from some quarters of the infosec community has resulted in an atrocious misunderstanding of the hack in the public sphere. This has extended into the policy world as these bad takes are treated as cogent analysis.

  • Microsoft chief's claims on cloud security result in sharp rejoinder

    Comments made by Microsoft president Brad Smith to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which held a hearing on the SolarWinds attacks last week, claiming that there is more security in the cloud than in on-premises servers, have met a tough response from former NSA hacker Jake Williams, who characterised them as having caused more harm to security than the SolarWinds attackers did in the first place. Williams, a well-known figure in the infosec community who runs his own private security outfit, Rendition Infosec, said in a tweet: "I've been thinking a LOT about Brad Smith's testimony this week about #SolariGate. He repeatedly implies that if organisations 'just' adopt a cloud first model, they won't experience these sorts of attacks. I called that reckless then, I'm doubling down now." [...] The SolarWinds attacks were first revealed by the American security firm FireEye on 9 December, when it revealed that its Red Team tools had been stolen. Five days later, FireEye issued a blog post outlining the scale of the attack as known at that stage: a global campaign to compromise public and private sector bodies through corruption of software supply chains, using software that runs on Windows. FireEye chief Kevin Mandia also gave testimony to the same committee hearing. Williams said Smith should have offered more nuance and caveats in his statements. "With his statements that lacked appropriate nuance and caveats, I predict that Smith has caused more harm to security than the Russians did with #SolariGate in the first place," he said. "Yes, I know that's a strong statement. Yes, I mean it." He added: "A lot of leadership who don't know any better heard this testimony and are constructing cloud-first directives as I type this. But they're doing it without understanding the risks and trade-offs. They're doing this without the benefit of creating a strategy first." Microsoft has made a number of statements since the attack first came to light, initially denying its products were part of the problem, but later admitting that the attackers had accessed its source code.

  • The World Economic Forum Warns That 2021 Could Be The Year Of The CyberAttacks

    Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum and author of the book "COVID19: The Great Reset", has repeatedly warned about the possibility of devastating large-scale cyberattacks. One of his firmest warnings was given in a heartwarming speech at the WEF-sponsored Cyber Polygon event on July 24th, 2020. The World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity expects the total cost of cyberattacks this year to be $6 trillion. [...] Running up-to-date free software based solutions such as Linux and *BSD is a good preventative measure against real cyberattacks. It will, sadly, not do much difference if a government decides to cut power or Internet access as part of a global "Great Reset" agenda or because inconvenient mass-demonstrations break out.

  • Switching back to OpenSSL

    For most users, there should be no noticeable change. If you have any packages installed that are no longer provided by Void, or your system has explicit dependencies on LibreSSL, you will of course need to take action to ensure your system continues to function after the switch.

  • Microsoft patches serious NTFS drive corruption flaw in Windows 10... but there's a catch

    Around a month and a half ago we reported about a serious flaw in Windows 10 that could be exploited to corrupt the contents of an NTFS drive. With Microsoft dawdling in its response, it was down to security researchers from OSR to produce a third-party patch. But now Microsoft has stepped up to the plate and, finally, come up with an official fix for the flaw. Sadly, it's not all good news as the fix is not currently available for everyone.