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Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

TuxMachines: Slackware: What's New in 2018

Saturday 27th of January 2018 03:24:46 PM

Back to Slackware development, Patrick has just pushed a new GCC release (7.3.0) which has support for -mindirect-branch=thunk-extern flag which is needed to provide full mitigation of Spectre variant 2 and also push a new kernel built with CONFIG_RETPOLINE=y.Fixes to Meltdown has been pushed earlier when he delivered Linux Kernel 4.14.14 with KPTI enabled. As for Spectre variant 1, it all depends on microcode update. If you are AMD users, you can easily get it by updating to the latest kernel-firmware package found in -current. Intel users will have to install intel-microcode from SBo repository (it's best to be installed alongside with iucode_tool).

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TuxMachines: Ubuntu and Derivatives: Ubuntu 18.04, elementary OS, Pop!_OS

Saturday 27th of January 2018 03:21:23 PM
  • Ubuntu 18.04 will revert to long-in-the-tooth Xorg

    Canonical has announced that it’ll be reverting back to the Xorg graphics stack as the default option in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver”. While Wayland will still be available as an option, the testing that Canonical carried out by making Wayland default in Ubuntu 17.10 has found that Xorg is still more advantageous to use over Wayland, especially for a release which needs to be rock solid as it gets picked up by educational institutions and businesses.

  • How to put icons on the desktop in elementary OS

    Ever tried elementary OS? If so you’ll know that you can’t put icons on the desktop by default.

    It’s a frustrating experience, particularly if you’re used to being able to use the desktop space as a literal ‘desktop space’. Sadly, elementary (sic) says it has ‘no plans’ to rethink its approach.

    But there is good news. An app called Desktop Folder lets you enable a desktop on elementary (of sorts) so that you can layer icons, files and app shortcuts all over your desktop wallpaper.

  • System76 Eyeing Disk Encryption By Default

    Ubuntu-focused Linux PC vendor System76 who has also been working on their own Pop!_OS distribution is looking at enabling disk encryption by default.

    System76 has shared another blog post highlighting their work on Pop!_OS. The latest is on their design work and installer. But what got me excited about this post is the mention of "Full disk encryption is seen as an important part of security and privacy and should be a default option...A hurdle for a privacy and security focused OEM like System76 is how to deliver a computer with the encryption provided by default."

  • Installer, elementary and Pop!_OS collaboration

    Welcome back, Pop! Fans - time for an update on the week! We have some great stuff going on.

    This week has been primarily been dominated by installer work. Daniel Foré from elementary flew in to work with us on what the new installer is going to be like. Last week, we shared quite a bit of the styling around Pop!_Shop and the installer with the visual designs. The work with elementary was focused on user experience around installation, drive partitioning, dual booting, and full disk encryption.

    At the kick off, we discussed what the various screens should look like and how they should be organized., as well as full disk encryption. Full disk encryption is seen as an important part of security and privacy and should be a default option. We worked around the challenges of incorporating full disk in the UI and what it means for the backend and identifying the various scenarios that exist. A hurdle for a privacy and security focused OEM like System76 is how to deliver a computer with the encryption provided by default. Pre-encrypting would require a unique key for that user that can’t be guaranteed. If a user wanted to have encryption they would have to encrypt and re-install the whole OS which is also not ideal.

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TuxMachines: Kernel Coverage at LWN (Paywall Expired)

Saturday 27th of January 2018 02:52:47 PM
  • Active state management of power domains

    The Linux kernel's generic power domain (genpd) subsystem has been extended to support active state management of the power domains in the 4.15 development cycle. Power domains were traditionally used to enable or disable power to a region of a system on chip (SoC) but, with the recent updates, they can control the clock rate or amount of power supplied to that region as well. These changes improve the kernel's ability to run the system's hardware at the optimal power level for the current workload.

    SoCs have become increasingly complex and power-efficient over the years. Most of the IP blocks in an SoC have independent power-control logic that can be turned on or off to reduce the power they consume. But there is also a significant amount of static current leakage that can't be controlled using the IP-block-specific power logic. SoCs are normally divided into several regions depending on which IP blocks are generally used together, so that an unused region can be completely powered off to eliminate this leakage. These regions of the chip, called "power domains", can be present in a hierarchy and thus can be nested; a nested domain is called a subdomain of the master domain. Powering down a power domain results in disabling all the IP blocks and subdomains controlled by the domain and also stopping any static leakage in that region of the chip.

  • Deadline scheduling part 1 — overview and theory

    Realtime systems are computing systems that must react within precise time constraints to events. In such systems, the correct behavior does not depend only on the logical behavior, but also in the timing behavior. In other words, the response for a request is only correct if the logical result is correct and produced within a deadline. If the system fails to provide the response within the deadline, the system is showing a defect. In a multitasking operating system, such as Linux, a realtime scheduler is responsible for coordinating the access to the CPU, to ensure that all realtime tasks in the system accomplish their job within the deadline.

    The deadline scheduler enables the user to specify the tasks' requirements using well-defined realtime abstractions, allowing the system to make the best scheduling decisions, guaranteeing the scheduling of realtime tasks even in higher-load systems.

    This article provides an introduction to realtime scheduling and some of the theory behind it. The second installment will be dedicated to the Linux deadline scheduler in particular.

  • Meltdown/Spectre mitigation for 4.15 and beyond

    While some aspects of the kernel's defenses against the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were more-or-less in place when the problems were disclosed on January 3, others were less fully formed. Additionally, many of the mitigations (especially for the two Spectre variants) had not been seen in public prior to the disclosure, meaning that there was a lot of scope for discussion once they came out. Many of those discussions are slowing down, and the kernel's initial response has mostly come into focus. The 4.15 kernel will include a broad set of mitigations, while some others will have to wait for later; read on for details on where things stand.

    This article from January 5 gives an overview of the defenses for all three vulnerability variants. That material will not be repeated here, so those who have not read it may want to take a quick look before proceeding.

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TuxMachines: KDE: Plasma Mobile, Martin on CSD

Saturday 27th of January 2018 02:51:03 PM
  • How To Test Plasma Mobile OS On Your Computer

    Howdy KDE users! I’ve got a good news for you to spend your weekend with an interesting project. As you may already know, the team behind KDE has announced a new open source smartphone OS named “Plasma Mobile” last year. Since it is a collaborative project, they haven’t set any timeline to the availability of final release. Last week, KDE team has hosted a poll on their Twitter and Google+ pages and requested the community members to help the KDE developers move forward with Plasma Mobile. As a result, 44% poll participants wanted to test the OS. After a lot of users’ request, KDE development team has released x86_64 based Plasma Mobile ISO images, so that anyone can now download and test it on their system or spin up a VM. This is really a great news for KDE fans and for those who wanted to get a glimpse of how it looks like in real time.

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 3

    Howdy folks! Here’s your weekly update on our long-term Usability & productivity goal.

  • Server side decorations and Wayland

    I heard that GNOME is currently trying to lobby for all applications implementing CSD. One of the arguments seems to be that CSD is a must on Wayland. That’s of course not the case. Nothing in Wayland enforces CSD. Wayland itself is as ignorant about this as X11.

    The situation is that GNOME Shell and Weston require CSD, but KDE Plasma and Sway do not. In fact we created a protocol (supported by GTK) that allows to negotiate with the Wayland compositor whether to use CSD or SSD.

  • KWin Developer's Response To The GNOME CSD Initiative

    KDE KWin window manager / compositor maintainer Martin Flöser has penned a brief response to the recent GNOME developer's CSD Initiative in trying to get all applications to pursue client-side decorations and abandon title bars in favor of header bars.

    GNOME's Wayland strategy has been all about using client-side decorations (CSD) rather than server-side decorations (SSD) although Wayland does not force applications to use CSDs. GNOME and the Weston reference compositor notably use client-side decorations while KDE has been all about server-side decorations.

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Phoronix: System76 Eyeing Disk Encryption By Default

Saturday 27th of January 2018 02:16:56 PM
Ubuntu-focused Linux PC vendor System76 who has also been working on their own Pop!_OS distribution is looking at enabling disk encryption by default...

Reddit: Server side decorations and Wayland

Saturday 27th of January 2018 02:01:18 PM

Phoronix: KWin Developer's Response To The GNOME CSD Initiative

Saturday 27th of January 2018 01:57:21 PM
KDE KWin window manager / compositor maintainer Martin Flöser has penned a brief response to the recent GNOME developer's CSD Initiative in trying to get all applications to pursue client-side decorations and abandon title bars in favor of header bars...

LXer: KDE Invites Users to Test Plasma Mobile, Releases First-Ever Dedicated ISO Image

Saturday 27th of January 2018 01:42:03 PM
The KDE Project continues to improve the Plasma Mobile UI for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices and released today an ISO image for the community to test on their machines.

Phoronix: Libvpx 1.7.0 Released With AVX Optimizations & More

Saturday 27th of January 2018 01:28:37 PM
Google's WebM folks quietly released libvpx 1.7.0 earlier this week as the latest version of their VP8/VP9 encoder/decoder library...

TuxMachines: Security: Updates, US Senate, Malware on Social Control Media, Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS Delay

Saturday 27th of January 2018 01:15:23 PM
  • Security updates for Friday
  • Senate IT Tells Staffers They're On Their Own When It Comes To Personal Devices And State-Sponsored Hackers

    Notification of state-sponsored hacking attempts has revealed another weak spot in the US government's defenses. The security of the government's systems is an ongoing concern, but the Senate has revealed it's not doing much to ensure sensitive documents and communications don't end up in the hands of foreign hackers.

    The news of the hacking attempt was greeted with assurances that nothing of value was taken.

  • Beware! Undetectable CrossRAT malware targets Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems

    According to researchers, Dark Caracal hackers do not rely on any "zero-day exploits" to distribute its malware; instead, it uses basic social engineering via posts on Facebook groups and WhatsApp messages, encouraging users to visit hackers-controlled fake websites and download malicious applications.

  • Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS Delayed Due To Spectre & Meltdown

    Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS had been scheduled to ship mid-February as the latest point release for this Long Term Support release, but unfortunately that is not going to happen as planned due to the Canonical kernel developers being overloaded by Spectre and Meltdown mitigation work.

    Ubuntu 16.04.4 is now being delayed by an unknown length of time, but they believe it shouldn't be more than "a few weeks" past the original 15 February ship date. They are waiting for the Spectre/Meltdown mitigation work to settle, for ensuring they are shipping qualified patches in this point release. Additionally, they have been busy with that mitigation work that they have neglected other kernel patches that may need to make it into this point release too.

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Phoronix: KDE-Focused Netrunner Rolling 2018.01 Released

Saturday 27th of January 2018 01:04:41 PM
For those still in search of a KDE-focused Linux distribution that's rolling-release and desktop-friendly, Netrunner Rolling 2018.01 has been released...

Phoronix: Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS Delayed Due To Spectre & Meltdown

Saturday 27th of January 2018 12:31:37 PM
Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS had been scheduled to ship mid-February as the latest point release for this Long Term Support release, but unfortunately that is not going to happen as planned due to the Canonical kernel developers being overloaded by Spectre and Meltdown mitigation work...

LXer: Beware! Undetectable CrossRAT malware targets Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems

Saturday 27th of January 2018 11:47:41 AM
Are you using Linux or Mac OS? If you think your system is not prone to viruses, then you should read this. Wide-range of cybercriminals are now using a new piece of 'undetectable' spying malware that targets Windows, macOS, Solaris and Linux systems.

Reddit: Video playback

Saturday 27th of January 2018 11:04:12 AM

I used on windows CCCP codecs with MPC-HC. Everything worked smoothly and was beautiful.

Now I'm on linux and can't really find info about video playback. I only downloaded VLC, but it seems to be funky and not really stable.

Any recommendations?

submitted by /u/Aqua_R
[link] [comments]

LXer: Containers, the GPL, and copyleft: No reason for concern

Saturday 27th of January 2018 09:53:19 AM
Though open source is thoroughly mainstream, new software technologies and old technologies that get newly popularized sometimes inspire hand-wringing about open source licenses. Most often the concern is about the GNU General Public License (GPL), and specifically the scope of its copyleft requirement, which is often described (somewhat misleadingly) as the GPL’s derivative work issue.

TuxMachines: Software: GNOME To Do, VirtualBox, Plasma Mobile

Saturday 27th of January 2018 09:30:03 AM
  • Ubuntu 18.04 Includes a New Desktop App

    When you boot up Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver’ later this year you’ll find a brand new app is installed by default.

    It’s called ‘GNOME To Do’ and it is, as you might have guessed, a ‘personal task manager’ designed for the GNOME desktop.

  • VirtualBox 5.2 overview - A nice, practical facelift

    Every few months, there's a major VirtualBox update, bringing in a range of visible changes and improvements to this handy, free hypervisor product. I'm an old time user, and have written about VirtualBox many times in the past. Recently, I had the chance to test the new version, 5.2 (actually 5.2.2).

    The official list of enhancements is quite impressive - the GUI now features revamped virtual media and host network managers, easier snapshot management, and unattended guest installations. Sounds neat. So let us see what gives.

  • How do I test Plasma Mobile? (part 1)

    Last week we asked the Free Software community what they wanted to do to help us move forward with Plasma Mobile.

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Reddit: As a dev, should I adopt Snapcraft?

Saturday 27th of January 2018 09:19:06 AM

I have a project on github and lately I've been plagued by Ubuntu people trying to get me to adopt Snapcraft.

  1. How much trouble is packaging and supporting a snap? They have made the initial packaging for me, but later I will be on my own.
  2. Is Snapcraft a truly cross-distribution solution or will I have to adjust the snap for every version of every distro out there?
  3. Given that Snapcraft is an Ubuntu Project and they tend to abandon stuff, won't I have to repackage it to Flatpak, AppImage or whatever a few years later?

I've never used any of these distribution-agnostic package managers. Rpms, debs and tarballs were good enough for me. So I'm really lost here.

submitted by /u/i_pwgend_this_name
[link] [comments]

More in Tux Machines

The best Linux web hosting services of 2018

Linux hosting is everywhere. Whether you're looking for a simple shared hosting account or a powerful dedicated server, the chances are that you'll be offered a Linux-based option first. In many cases, you might not care. If your hosting needs are simple, you'll probably choose an account based on the allocated web space, bandwidth and similar features – the operating system is so far down most people's priority list that often it's not even mentioned in comparison tables. Read more

Security Leftovers

today's howtos

KaOS 2017.11 review - Chaotic and unfriendly

KaOS 2017.11 feels like a very buggy product. While I do like the Nvidia setup right from the start, this little gem is offset by pretty much everything else. Most other recent distros rarely had any issues with the LG RD510 laptop - apart from the ATA link reset on wake after suspend, which affects all of them - but KaOS is an exception to that rule with a rather depressing hardware record - Bluetooth, Wireless no-reconnect, smartphone support. And let's not even talk about Samba. The responsiveness was quite bad, Kaptan did not work, and I wasn't enjoying the visual side of things one bit. In fact, I really do not understand the eye-killing choices that go with the default theme. All in all, there are very few redeeming factors to KaOS. If you're looking for something avant-garde, the Arch-based Antergos or Manjaro fit the bill rather well. If you want mainstream, Mint or Ubuntu or whatever. This falls somewhere in between, with nothing amazing in return. 2/10. Perhaps next time. Read more