Linux: The free operating system alternative that changed computing
For most of us, when we think of PCs, we think of Windows. But Microsoft’s popular and well-known operating system isn’t the only option.
Many users choose to live without Windows and run different operating systems like Linux instead.
This year is a special one for Linux, as October 5 marks 25 years since the release of the Linux kernel.
If you’re discovering Linux for the first time, find out all about it below.
Linux 4.8 adds Pi, Surface support but Linus Torvalds fumes over 'kernel-killing' bug [Ed: Linux foes go full swing to make the kernel look bad]
Announcing the 4.8 release on Sunday, Torvalds' correspondence on the Linux kernel mailing list appeared calm despite a few "pretty small" issues carried over from the eighth and final 4.8 release candidate. He signed off with his usual "go forth and test" command.
The several highlights of 4.8 include support for the touchscreen on Microsoft's Surface 3 device and the Raspberry Pi 3's System on a Chip.
- Linux 4.8 Kernel Support for Microsoft Surface 3 touchscreen [Ed: Microsoft sites put a "Microsoft" slant on Linux]
Solving the Linux kernel code reviewer shortage
Operating system security is top of mind right now, and Linux is a big part of that discussion. One of the questions to be solved is: How do we ensure that patches going upstream are properly reviewed?
Wolfram Sang has been a Linux kernel developer since 2008, and frequently talks at Linux conferences around the world, like LinuxCon Berlin 2016, about ways to improve kernel development practices.
Pieter Hintjens, Belgian software developer and past president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), gave much of his time and effort to the open-source community.
He did so even up until the day he planned for his own death, which was today.
Hintjens, who chose euthanasia today after dealing with terminal cancer, was a writer and a programmer who spent much of his life building large software systems and online communities, which he described as “Living Systems.”
Free Software Faith for the Long Term
But that naturally led to the in-fighting. It’s typical for the front runner to be targeted by all the also-ran distributions. The FSF targeted Ubuntu’s practicalist concessions (even though they were fairly minimal), Other distributions ripped Ubuntu and their community apart, trying to block Ubuntu’s success. I’m not saying they meant to do it, or that it was a conspiracy. But that these other communities did not see Ubuntu’s success as their own success and naturally tried to undermine it as humans are likely to do.
So for very human reasons, we’re here with no real champion for Free Software in the practical arena. Ubuntu has fallen for its own hype and is not able to being the Free Software faith with it, even if it was successful. The societal and long term benefits of Free software remain largely unknown to the majority of the world and we wait patiently for a successor that can try again to change the world.
- Free Software Directory meeting recap for September 30th, 2016
Twenty-two new GNU releases in September
Open Source MANO Issues First Release
ETSI’s Open Source MANO (OSM) group has today announced the availability of its OSM Release ONE, an open source Management and Orchestration (MANO) software stack closely aligned with ETSI NFV, and focused on helping industry accelerate the implementation of network virtualization. The OSM community aims to deliver a production-quality open source MANO stack that meets the requirements of commercial NFV networks.
Available less than six months since the inaugural meeting of the OSM community, Release ONE has been engineered, tested and documented to allow for rapid installation in operator labs worldwide that seek to create a scalable and interoperable open source MANO environment. Release ONE substantially enhances interoperability with other components (VNFs, VIMs, SDN controllers) and creates a plugin framework to make platform maintenance and extensions significantly easier to provide and support.
Magisk Updated to v7, Now Completely Open Source
Amongst the most notable changes, Magisk is now fully open source from v7 onwards, including the binaries that it makes use of. In addition to this, the Magisk Manager is now a completely different app altogether, becoming a part of the core experience. New features and improvements are planned, so we can be sure that things will continue to improve in the future.
A new version of RcppGSL in now on CRAN and in Debian. The RcppGSL package provides an interface from R to the GNU GSL using our Rcpp package.
Frogr 1.1 released
After almost one year, I’ve finally released another small iteration of frogr with a few updates and improvements.
The cost of forsaking C
The C programming language is not trendy. The most recent edition of the canonical C text (the excitingly named The C Programming Language) was published in 1988; C is so unfashionable that the authors have neglected to update it in light of 30 years of progress in software engineering. Everyone “has been meaning to” learn Rust or Go or Clojure over a weekend, not C. There isn’t even a cute C animal in C’s non-logo on a C decal not stuck to your laptop.
But Myles and I are not trendy people, so we insist that all of our students become fluent in C. A fresh class of C converts has just finished working through the K&R bible, making this a good time for me to reflect on why we deify this ancient tongue.
We give students four reasons for learning C:
It is still one of the most commonly used languages outside of the Bay Area web/mobile startup echo chamber;
C’s influence can be seen in many modern languages;
C helps you think like a computer; and,
Most tools for writing software are written in C (or C++)
The first is easy to dismiss if one likes the Bay Area web/mobile startup echo chamber, the second if one hates C’s influence on many more modern languages. Most engineers should take head of reason three, although our students also learn computer architecture and at least one assembly language, so have a firm mental model of how computers actually compute. But reason four is hard to ignore.
Forsaking C means forsaking anything below the level of abstraction at which one happens to currently work. Those who work for instance as web developers forsake thoroughly understanding the browsers, operating systems and languages on top of which their own work stands.
Red Hat Releases WildFly Application Server Version 10.1
Improved load balancing is accomplished through a new profile, called “load-balancer” in the default domain.xml file. Profiles in domain mode allow for centralized management of multiple nodes (physical or virtual). This allows for multiple instances of WildFly that can be configured to provide different services.
- Regulatory Filing: Sustainable Growth Advisers LP Holding in Red Hat INC (RHT) Increased as Share Price Declined
FOSS Wave: Goa, India
These sessions mark the beginning of FOSS Wave: Goa, India. We have seen a lot of enthusiasm in this event and many people were interested in learning about FOSS and cutting-edge technologies. Contributors are already flowing in and we expect more in the near future!
X crash during Fedora update when system has hybrid graphics and systemd-udev is in update
Hi folks! This is a PSA about a fairly significant bug we’ve recently been able to pin down in Fedora 24+.
Here’s the short version: especially if your system has hybrid graphics (that is, it has an Intel video adapter and also an AMD or NVIDIA one, and it’s supposed to switch to the most appropriate one for what you’re currently doing – NVIDIA calls this ‘Optimus’), DON’T UPDATE YOUR SYSTEM BY RUNNING DNF FROM THE DESKTOP. (Also if you have multiple graphics adapters that aren’t strictly ‘hybrid graphics’; the bug affects any case with multiple graphics adapters).
Fedora 24 Users: Don't Run "DNF Update" From The Desktop
Fedora 24 users are advised against currently updating your system using the common dnf update command when running GNOME, KDE, or any other graphical desktop. Due to an awkward bug being explored, it could leave your system in an unhappy state.
Linus Torvalds admits 'buggy crap' made it into Linux 4.8
Linus Torvalds gave the world Linux 4.8 earlier this week, but now appears to wish he didn't after spotting some code he says can “kill the kernel.”
When Torvalds announced Linux 4.8 on Sunday he said the final version added “a few stragging fixes since rc8.”
But by Tuesday he was back on the Linux Kernel Mailing list apologising for a bug fix gone bad.
- Tuesday's security advisories
LAMP Server Security
Linux server security is a huge topic. After all, there isn’t a security checkbox. Why is that?
Every server is a little different, but the ideas to security each of them is the same, the OS doesn’t matter.
Depending on your level of expertise, the answers for each of these items will be different.
- docker-selinux changed to container-selinux
- security things in Linux v4.8
- Voting Vulnerability: Could Open Source Computer Code Thwart Threat from Hackers?
How Google's new Pixel phones compare to the latest iPhone and Android competition
Google’s new Pixel phones are here. After years of overseeing reference Nexus devices running stock Android, Google is finally stepping into the smartphone fray to show what its vision of Android looks like. The Pixel and Pixel XL feature deep software integration to Google’s services, including Google Assistant, Daydream, and Google Photos. Unlike most current Android phones, it actually ships with the latest Android Nougat operating system and will continue to receive the latest OS and security updates.
Google Pixel makes a bid for Android history
On Tuesday, Google took its best shot at making history again. The company introduced the Pixel and Pixel XL, which represent the first time it will offer superphones in the same class -- complete with the full backing of Google, a lofty price tag and an exclusive partnership with Verizon Wireless -- as Apple's iPhone franchise. At long last, Google's phones give us a showdown between two of the world's most powerful tech titans.
- 4K Android TV Box Now Available For $69
- Xiaomi's $69 4K Android TV box arrives in the US
Google Pixel Sounds Like the Android Phone of Our Dreams
It’s fitting, in a way, that Google’s new Pixel phone resembles the iPhone. Apple’s world-changing gadget is the very device Google is aiming for. The 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL are meant to be the best, most powerful, most unified Android phones ever. They have best-in-class specs, best-in-class design, best-in-class everything. And for the first time, Google seems to want you to buy one.
If you’ve ever owned an Android phone, I can all but promise that you didn’t own the best one. The best have almost always been Google’s own Nexus devices, from the Nexus One to the Nexus 6P. Nexuses (Nexii?) offered high-end hardware specs and (usually) refined design with truly current software, which is otherwise entirely too hard to come by in the Android world.
- This Man Is Explaining Google’s Hardware Bet to Android Partners
- 3 Android phones that offer long battery life
- Best Android Phones For Long Battery Life
- Allo's rank on the Play Store is in freefall
- Android Nougat 7.1 leans on the cloud for everything
- EU's Probe Strikes at the Heart of Google's Android Monetization Strategy [Ed: Microsoft’s attack on Linux/Android via EC Probe]
- Android Or iPhone? Teen Favorites Speak To College Choices
- Google’s new smartphones are about Google, not Android
- Actions on Google allows 3rd parties to integrate with Google Assistant
- Here’s where you can buy a Google Pixel in the US
- 15 Motorola phones will be updated to Android 7.0 Nougat
- A look back at Google's Android flagships: the Nexus family
- Google’s New Phones Are Exactly What Android Needs Now
The IT security practices of some open source communities are exemplary, shows a study for the European Commission and European Parliament. Many communities use experts to ensure software security and to help their developers avoid security flaws. “These communities take security serious”, says Alberto Dominguez Serra, one of the authors working for Everis, a IT consultancy.
CIRP estimates loyal Android owners keep their phones for about the same length of time as they did three years ago. In the past three years, that length of time increased slightly, then decreased about the same amount, such that the average age of an upgraded Android phone increased only by about three weeks in the past three years.
Among buyers of a new Android smartphone that already owned an Android smartphone, in the past three years, the age of their retired Android phones increased for five quarters, then decreased since then (Chart 1).
The KDE Neon development team proudly announced a few minutes ago the release of the KDE Neon 5.8 User Edition GNU/Linux distribution with the recently released KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment.
Lenovo won’t make Windows 10 phones due to Microsoft’s commitment issues
Lenovo’s COO, Gianfranco Lanci, has said that the Chinese tech giant doesn’t intend to release any new phones running Windows 10 Mobile. This is because he doubts Microsoft’s commitment to its floundering smartphone platform.
Speaking at the Canalys Channel Forum 2016, Lanci said that while Windows 10 for desktops has been doing well in the business world, it has no plans to build smartphones using the operating system.
Latest Windows 10 Anniversary Update Build Sends Some Users To Reboot Loop Hell
Those of you rocking a PC with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update may want to hold off on letting your system apply the latest round of fixes. There are several user complaints that Build 14393.222 (KB3194496), the seventh Cumulative Update since the Anniversary started flooding PCs in August, is borking systems by putting them into an endless reboot loop.
The latest update package is supposed to deliver "quality improvements" in the form of several bug fixes for various issues, as well as improve the reliability of certain tasks, such as downloading and updating games from the Windows Store. Unfortunately, in many cases the installation fails somewhere along the way and rolls back the changes it made, as indicated by complaints posted to Microsoft's support forums and Twitter. It also happened to me when I tried installing the update on my primary desktop.
More than half of PCs don't have Windows 10 AU yet, and no one's quite sure why
Just 34.5 percent of all PCs are running Windows 10 version 1607, aka the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, according to AdDuplex, maker of a Windows 10 SDK for third-party app makers. The majority, 59.9 percent, are still running Windows 10 version 1511, also known as the Fall Update.