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Highlighted Text Not Visible in gedit in Dark Mode? Here’s What You Can Do

Tuesday 19th of January 2021 03:41:16 AM

I love using dark mode in Ubuntu. It’s soothing on the eyes and makes the system look aesthetically more pleasing, in my opinion.

One minor annoyance I noticed is with gedit text editor and if you use it with the dark mode in your system, you might have encountered it too.

By default, gedit highlights the line where your cursor is. That’s a useful feature but it becomes a pain if you are using dark mode in your Linux system. Why? Because the highlighted text is not readable anymore. Have a look at it yourself:

Text on the highlighted line is hardly visible

If you select the text, it becomes readable but it’s not really a pleasant reading or editing experience.

Selecting the text makes it better but that’s not a convenient thing to do for all lines

The good thing is that you don’t have to live with it. I’ll show a couple of steps you can take to enjoy dark mode system and gedit together.

Making gedit reader-friendly in dark mode

You basically have two options:

  1. Disable highlight the current line but then you’ll have to figure out which line you are at.
  2. Change the default color settings but then the colors of the editor will be slightly different, and it won’t switch to light mode automatically if you change the system theme.

It’s a workaround and compromise that you’ll have to make until the gedit or GNOME developers fix the issue.

Option 1: Disable highlighting current line

When you have gedit opened, click on the hamburger menu and select Preferences.

Go to Preferences

In the View tab, you should see the “Highlight current line” option under Highlighting section. Uncheck this. The effects are visible immediately.

Disable highlighting current line

Highlighting current line is a usable feature and if you want to continue using it, opt for the second option.

Option 2: Change the editor color theme

In the Preferences window, go to Font & Colors tab and change the color scheme to Oblivion, Solarized Dark or Cobalt.

Change the color scheme

As I mentioned earlier, the drawback is that when you switch the system theme to a light theme, the editor theme isn’t switched automatically to the light theme.

A bug that should be fixed by devs

There are several text editors available for Linux but for quick reading or editing a text file, I prefer using gedit. It’s a minor annoyance but an annoyance nonetheless. The developers should fix it in future version of this awesome text editor so that we don’t have to resort to these worarounds.

How about you? Do you use dark mode on your system or light mode? Had you noticed this trouble with gedit? Did you take any steps to fix it? Feel free to share your experience.

Haruna Video Player: An Open-Source Qt-based MPV GUI Front-end for Linux

Monday 18th of January 2021 02:06:15 PM

Brief: A Qt-based video player for Linux that acts as a front-end to mpv along with the ability to use youtube-dl.

Haruna Video Player: A Qt-based Free Video Player Haruna Video Player

In case you’re not aware of mpv, it is a free and open-source command-line based media player. Okay, there is a minimalist GUI for MPV but at the core, it is command line.

You might also find several open-source video players that are basically the GUI front-end to mpv.

Haruna video player is one of them along with the ability to use youtube-dl. You can easily play local media files as well as YouTube content.

Let me give you an overview of the features offered with this player.

Features of Haruna Video Player

You might find it a bit different from some other video players. Here’s what you get with Haruna video player:

  • Ability to play YouTube videos directly using the URL
  • Support playlists and you get to control them easily
  • Ability to auto-skip based on some words in the subtitle.
  • Control the playback speed
  • Change the format to play (audio/video) using youtube-dl
  • Plenty of keyboard shortcuts
  • Easily take a screenshot from the video
  • Option to add primary and secondary subtitle
  • Change the file format of the screenshot
  • Hardware decoding supported
  • Color adjustments to improve the quality of what you watch
  • Ability to tweak mouse and keyboard shortcuts to be able to quickly navigate and do what you want
  • Tweak the UI (fonts, theme)
Installing Haruna Video Player on Linux

Unfortunately (or not), depending on what you prefer, you can only install it using Flatpak. You can install it on any Linux distribution using the Flatpak package.

You can find it in AUR as well if you’re using an Arch-based system.

But, if you do not prefer that, you may take a look at the source code on GitHub to see if you can build it yourself like a normal Gentoo user.

Haruna Video Player Concluding Thoughts

Haruna Video Player is a simple and useful GUI on top libmpv. The ability to play YouTube videos along with various file formats on the system is definitely something many users would like.

The user interface is easy to get used to and offers some important customization options as well.

Have you tried this video player already? Let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

KDE Customization Guide: Here are 11 Ways You Can Change the Look and Feel of Your KDE-Powered Linux Desktop

Sunday 17th of January 2021 11:24:02 AM

KDE Plasma desktop is unarguably the pinnacle of customization, as you can change almost anything you want. You can go to the extent of making it act as a tiling window manager.

KDE Plasma can confuse a beginner by the degree of customization it offers. As options tend to pile on top of options, the user starts getting lost.

To address that issue, I’ll show you the key points of KDE Plasma customization that you should be aware of. This is some

Customizing KDE Plasma

I have used KDE Neon in this tutorial, but you may follow it with any distribution that uses KDE Plasma desktop.

1. Plasma Widgets

Desktop widgets can add convenience to the user experience, as you can immediately access important items on the desktop.

Students and professionals nowadays are working with computers more than ever before, a useful widget can be sticky notes.

Right-click on the desktop and select “Add Widgets”.

Choose the widget you like, and simply drag and drop it to the desktop.

2. Desktop wallpaper

This one is too obvious. Changing the wallpaper to change the looks of your desktop.

At the wallpaper tab you can change more than just the wallpaper. From the “Layout” pulldown menu, you can select if your desktop will have icons or not.

The “Folder View” layout is named from the traditional desktop folder in your home directory, where you can access your desktop files. Thus, the “Folder View” option will retain the icons on the desktop.

If you select the “Desktop” layout, it will leave your desktop icon free and plain. However, you will still be able to access the desktop folder at the home directory.

In Wallpaper Type, you can select if you want a wallpaper or not, to be still or to change and finally in Positioning, how it looks on your screen.

3. Mouse Actions

Each mouse button can be configured to one of the following actions:

  • Switch Desktop
  • Paste
  • Switch Window
  • Standard Menu
  • Application Launcher
  • Switch Activity

The right-click is set to Standard Menu, which is the menu when you right-click on the desktop. The contents of the menu can be changed by clicking on the settings icon next to it.

4. Location of your desktop content

This option is only available if you select the “Folder View” in the wallpaper tab. By default, the content shown on your desktop is what you have at the desktop folder at the home directory. The location tab gives you the option to change the content on your desktop, by selecting a different folder.

5. Desktop Icons

Here you can select how the icons will be arranged (horizontally or vertically), right or left, the sorting criteria and their size. If this is not enough, you have additional aesthetic features to explore.

6. Desktop Filters

Let’s be honest with ourselves! I believe every user ends up with a cluttered desktop at some point. If your desktop becomes messy and can’t find a file, you can apply a filter either by name or type and find what you need. Although, it’s better to make a good file housekeeping a habit!

7. Application Dashboard

If you like the GNOME 3 application launcher, you may try the KDE application dashboard. All you have to do is to right click on the menu icon > Show Alternatives.

Click on “Application Dashboard”.

8. Window Manager Theme

Like you saw in Xfce customization tutorial, you can change the window manager theme independently in KDE as well. This way you can choose a different theme for the panel and a different theme for the window manager. If the preinstalled themes are not enough, you can download more.

Inspired from MX Linux Xfce edition though, I couldn’t resist to my favourite “Arc Dark”.

Navigate to Settings > Application Style > Window decorations > Theme

9. Global theme

As mentioned above, the look and feel of the KDE plasma panel can be configured from the Settings > Global theme tab. There isn’t a good number of themes preinstalled, but you can download a theme to suit your taste. The default Breeze Dark is an eye candy, though.

10. System Icons

The system icon style can have significant impact on how the desktop looks. Whichever is your choice, you should choose the dark icon version if your global theme is dark. The only difference lies on the icon text contrast, which is inverted to the panel colour to make it readable. You can easy access the icon tab at the system settings.

11. System fonts

System fonts are not at the spotlight of customization, but if you spend half of your day in front of a screen can be one factor of the eye strain. Users with dyslexia will appreciate the OpenDyslexic font. My personal choice is the Ubuntu font, which not only I find aesthetically pleasing but also a good font to spend my day in front of a screen.

You can, of course, install more fonts on your Linux system by downloading them for external sources.

Conclusion

KDE Plasma is one of the most flexible and customizable desktops available to the Linux community. Whether you are a tinkerer or not, KDE Plasma is a constantly evolving desktop environment with amazing modern features. The best part is that it can also manage on moderate system configurations.

Now I tried to make this guide beginner-friendly. Of course, there can be more advanced customization like that window switching animation. If you are aware of some, why not share it with us in the comment section?

Looking to Ditch WhatsApp? Here are 5 Better Privacy Alternatives to WhatsApp

Thursday 14th of January 2021 11:21:46 AM

After the latest WhatsApp privacy policy updates, many users who trusted the service seem to be making the switch to alternatives like Signal.

Even though WhatsApp tries to clarify and re-assure the change in the policies, users have made their mind while considering the benefits of using privacy alternatives to WhatsApp.

But, what are some useful and impressive alternatives to WhatsApp? In this article, let us take a look at some of the best options.

Private messengers that do not violate your privacy

There could be plenty of private messaging services. I have kept my focus on messaging services with the following criteria in mind:

  • Mobile and desktop availability
  • Group chats and channels
  • Voice and video calls
  • Emojis and sticker support
  • Privacy and encryption

Basically, private messaging app that cater to the need of a common user.

Note: The list is in no particular order of ranking.

1. Session

Key Features:

  • End-to-end Encryption
  • Blockchain-based
  • Decentralized
  • Does not require phone number
  • No data collected by Session
  • Lets you create and manage open/closed groups (open groups are public channels)
  • Voice messages
  • Cross-platform with desktop apps
  • Open-Source

Session is technically a fork of Signal and tries to go one step further by not requiring phone numbers. It isn’t a typical WhatsApp replacement but if you want something different with privacy options, this could be it.

You will have to create a Session ID (that you can share to add contacts or ask your contacts to share theirs). If you delete the app, you will lose your ID, so you need to keep your recovery pass safely.

Unlike Signal, it does not rely on a centralized server but blockchain-based, i.e. decentralized. That’s good for reliability technically, but I’ve noticed some significant delays in sending/receiving messages.

If you’re tech-savvy, and want the absolute best for privacy, this could be it. But, it may not be a great option for elders and general consumers. For more information, you can check out my original Session overview.

Session 2. Signal

Key Features:

  • End-to-End encryption
  • Almost no data collection (Except your phone number)
  • Supports Emojis and Stickers
  • Lets you create and manage Groups
  • Voice/Video calling supported
  • Cross-platform support with desktop apps
  • Open-Source

Signal is my personal favorite when it comes to privacy alternatives to WhatsApp. I’ve made the switch for years, but I didn’t have all my contacts in Signal. Fast-forward to 2021, I have most of my contacts on Signal.

Signal is the best blend of open-source and privacy. They’ve improved a lot over the years and is safe to assume as a perfect alternative to WhatsApp. You get almost every essential feature compared to WhatsApp.

However, just because it does not store your data, you may not be able to access all the messages of your smartphone on Desktop. In addition to that, it relies on local backup (which is protected by a passphrase) instead of cloud backups. So, you will have to head to the settings, start the backup, safely copy the passcode of the backup, check where the local backup gets stored, and make sure you don’t delete it.

You can explore more about Signal in our original coverage and learn how to install Signal in Linux.

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Recommended Read:

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Key Features:

  • End-to-end Encryption (with Secret chat option)
  • Cloud-based (no need to back up your chats, it’s all in the cloud)
  • Ability to create public channels
  • Create and manage groups
  • Voice/Video Call
  • Offers a better privacy policy to WhatsApp
  • Supports Emojis and Stickers
  • Client-side Open-Source

Telegram may not be the best bet for privacy, but it is certainly better than WhatsApp in several regards.

By default, the chats aren’t end-to-end encrypted but the convenience of having all the history in the cloud without needing to backup while having the secret chat option for encryption is a good deal for common consumers.

Not just limited to that, you also get native desktop apps and the client-side apps are open-source.

Of course, I won’t recommend it over others for privacy-conscious users, but sometimes you just need a messenger that works, offers convenience, and respects the user’s privacy even if the chats are stored in the cloud.

Telegram 4. Threema (Paid)

Key Features:

  • End-to-end Encryption
  • Does not require a phone number
  • Lets you create and manage groups
  • Ability to add polls
  • Voice/Video calls
  • Switzerland-based (known for best privacy policies)
  • Cross-platform (with Threema Web for PC, no native desktop apps)
  • Open-Source

Threema was among the best choices in the list of private messengers available out there. Initially, it wasn’t open-source, which was a bummer.

But, now, Threema is completely open-source!

Threema offers the best features that you’d always want in a messenger. However, it is a paid-only app.

Of course, if your friends/contacts do not mind paying for one of the best privacy alternatives to WhatsApp, you can easily recommend them this!

Threema 5. Element

Key Features:

  • End-to-end Encryption
  • Does not require phone number
  • Supports creating large public groups and closed groups as well
  • Utilizes Decentralized Matrix network
  • Voice/Video Calls
  • Cross-platform with desktop apps
  • Open-Source

Element is yet another fantastic WhatsApp alternative that is built keeping privacy in mind. It may not be a perfect replacement for a few contacts but if you’re looking for an “All in One” platform for personal messaging and work as well, Element can be the perfect pick.

It was originally known as Riot, and then it rebranded to Element. Do note that it can be a little overwhelming if you wanted a simple alternative, but it’s great for privacy and security.

Element Wrapping Up

With the transparent policy updates to WhatsApp, more users are getting aware about the disadvantages of using a product owned by big tech companies. Hence, we need WhatsApp alternatives more than ever.

Of course, it is not easy to switch and convince other less tech-savvy users. But, it is certainly worth it.

What do you think about the best WhatsApp alternatives which offer better privacy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Install Privacy-friendly WhatsApp Alternative Signal on Linux Desktop

Wednesday 13th of January 2021 09:41:13 AM

It’s been more than a year since we covered Signal as an ideal choice for instant messaging. While privacy-aware and tech-savvy people were already aware of the existence of this awesome application, Signal got the much deserved fame after the latest WhatsApp privacy policy updates.

Whatever maybe the reason if you are new to Signal and you are wondering if you can use Signal on desktop, the answer is yes. You can install Signal on Linux, Windows and macOS systems along with your smartphone.

Signal Messenger on Pop OS Linux distribution

I am not going to highlight the features Signal offers because you might already be aware of them. I am going to show you different methods of installing Signal application Linux desktop:

  • Install Signal on Linux using Snap (snap applications take longer to load but get automatic update and hassle-free installation)
  • Install Signal on Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions using apt (additional efforts in adding the repository but installed apps get automatic updates)
  • Install Signal on Arch and Manjaro Linux using AUR
  • Install Signal on Fedora and other Linux using Flatpak package

You can choose one of the methods based on your distribution and preference:

Method 1: Installing Signal on Ubuntu and other Linux using Snap

If you are using Ubuntu, you can find Signal desktop app in Snap package format in the Software Center.

Alternatively, you can use the Snap command to install Signal on any Linux distribution that has Snap support enabled.

sudo snap install signal-desktop

You can remove it using snap remove or from the Software Center.

Some people do not like Snap packages because they take too long to start. The good news is that you can use apt command to install Signal. The next section discusses that.

Method 2: Install Signal on Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions via APT (using official Signal repository)

Here are the steps you have to follow to install Signal from its official repository on Debian, Debian, Linux Mint, elementary OS and other distributions based on Debian/Ubuntu. You can copy the commands and paste it in the terminal.

First thing is to get the GPG key for the official Signal repository and add it to the trusted keys of your APT package manager.

wget -O- https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt/keys.asc | sudo apt-key add -

With the key added, you can safely add the repository to your system. Don’t get alarmed with the use of xenial in the repository name. It will work with Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04 and newer version as well as Debian, Mint etc.

echo "deb [arch=amd64] https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt xenial main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list

Thanks to the tee command in Linux, you’ll have a new file signal-xenial.list in the sources.list directory /etc/apt/sources.list.d. This new file will have the Signal repository information i.e. deb [arch=amd64] https://updates.signal.org/desktop/apt xenial main.

Now that you have added the repository, update the cache and install Signal desktop application:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop

Once installed, look for Signal in application menu and start it.

Since you have added the repository, your installed Signal application will be automatically updated with the regular system updates.

Enjoy encrypted messaging with Signal on your Linux desktop.

Removing Signal

The tutorial won’t be complete if I don’t share the removal steps with you. Let’s go through it.

First, remove the application:

sudo apt remove signal-desktop

You may leave it as it is, or you may remove the Signal repository from your system. It’s optional and up to you. With the repository still in the system, you can install Signal again, easily. If you remove the repository, you’ll have to add it again following the steps in the previous section.

If you want to remove the Signal repository as well, you can opt for the graphical method by going to Software and Updated tool and deleting it from there.

Alternatively, you can remove the file with rm command:

rm -i /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list Method 3: Installing Signal on Arch and Manjaro from AUR

Signal is available to install on Arch-based Linux distributions via AUR. If you are using Pamac on Manjaro and have enabled AUR, you should find Signal in the package manager.

Otherwise, you can always use an AUR helper.

sudo yay -Ss <package-name>

I believe you can delete Signal in the similar function.

Method 4: Installing Signal on Fedora and other Linux using Flatpak

There is no .rpm file for Signal. However, a Flatpak package is available, and you may use that to get Signal on Fedora.

flatpak install flathub org.signal.Signal

Once installed, you can run it from the menu or use the following command in the terminal:

flatpak run org.signal.Signal

Signal and Telegram are two mainstream and viable options to ditch WhatsApp. Both provide native Linux desktop applications. If you use Telegram, you can join the official It’s FOSS channel. I use Signal in individual capacity because it doesn’t have the ‘channel’ feature yet.

Super Productivity: A Super Cool Open Source To-Do List App with GitHub Integration

Monday 11th of January 2021 12:58:22 PM

Brief: Super Productivity is an awesome open-source to-do app that helps you manage tasks, track tickets, and manage time.

No matter what you do, improving productivity is a common goal for most of the people. Usually, you would end up trying various to-do list apps or a note-taking app to help yourself organize and remind things to efficiently keep up with your work.

Sure, you can check out those lists and try them as you like. Here, I’ve come across something unique that you also may want to try if you wanted a desktop to-do application with a solid user interface, GitHub/GitLab integration, and a list of essential features.

Super Productivity seems to be an impressive to-do list app with some unique features to offer. In this article, I’ll let you know all about it briefly.

Super Productivity: A Simple & Attractive Open-Source To-do App

Super Productivity is an open-source app, and it is actively maintained by Johannes Millan on GitHub.

To me, the user experience matters the most, and I’m completely impressed with the UI offered by Super Productivity.

It also offers a bunch of essential features along with some interesting options. Let’s take a look at them.

Features of Super Productivity
  • Add to-do tasks, description
  • Track time spent on tasks and break
  • Project management (with JIRA, GitHub, and GitLab integration)
  • Ability to schedule tasks
  • Language selection option
  • Sync option to Dropbox, Google Drive, or any other WebDAV storage location
  • Import/Export functionality
  • Auto-backup functionality
  • Ability to tweak the behavior of timers and counters
  • Dark Mode them available
  • Add attachment to tasks
  • Ability to repeat tasks completely for free
  • Cross-platform support

In addition to the features I mentioned, you will find more detailed settings and tweaks to configure.

Especially, the integration with JIRA, GitHub and GitLab. You can automatically assign tasks to work on without needing to check your email for the recent updates to issue trackers or tickets.

Compared to many premium to-do web services that I’ve used so far, you will be surprised to find many useful features completely for free. You can also take a look at the video below to get some idea:

Installing Super Productivity on Linux

You get a variety of options to install. I downloaded the AppImage file to test. But, you can also get the deb package for Debian-based distros.

It is also available as a snap. You can find all the packages in the GitHub releases section.

If you’re curious, you can check out its GitHub page to know more about it.

Download Super Productivity Concluding Thoughts

I found the user experience fantastic with Super Productivity. The features offered are incredibly useful and considering that you get some premium functionalities (that you’d get normally with to-do web services) it could be a perfect replacement for most of the users.

You can simply sync the data using Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other WebDAV storage location.

It could also replace a service like ActivityWatch to help you track the time you work on your tasks and remain idle. So, it could be your all-in-one solution for improving productivity!

Sounds exciting, right?

What do you think about Super Productivity? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

9 Decentralized, P2P and Open Source Alternatives to Mainstream Social Media Platforms Like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

Sunday 10th of January 2021 02:24:47 PM

You probably are aware that Facebook is going to share the user data from its ‘end to end encrypted’ chat service WhatsApp. This is not optional. You have to accept that or stop using WhatsApp altogether.

Privacy cautious people had seen it coming a long time ago. After all, Facebook paid $19 billion to buy a mobile app like WhatsApp that hardly made any money at that time. Now it’s time for Facebook to get the return on its $19 billion investment. They will share your data with advertisers so that you get more personalized (read invasive) ads.

If you are fed up with the “my way or highway” attitude of the big tech like Facebook, Google, Twitter, perhaps you may try some alternative social media platforms.

These alternative social platforms are open source, use a decentralized approach with P2P or Blockchain technologies, and you may be able to self-host some of them.

Open source and decentralized social networks Image Credit: Datonel on DeviantArt

I’ll be honest with you here. These alternative platforms may not give you the same kind of experience you are accustomed to, but these platforms would not infringe on your privacy and freedom of speech. That’s a trade off.

1. Minds

Alternative to: Facebook and YouTube
Features: Open Source code base, Blockchain
Self-host: No

On Minds, you can post videos, blogs, images and set statuses. You can also message and video chat securely with groups or directly with friends. Trending feeds and hashtags allows you to discover articles of your interest.

That’s not it. You also have the option to earn tokens for your contributions. These tokens can be used to upgrade your channel. Creators can receive direct payments in USD, Bitcoin and Ether from fans.

Minds 2. Aether

Alternative to: Reddit
Features: Open Source, P2P
Self-host: No

Aether is an open source, P2P platform for self-governing communities with auditable moderation and mod elections.

The content on Aether is ephemeral in nature and it is kept only for six months unless someone saves it. Since it is P2P, there is no centralized servers.

An interesting feature of Aether is its democratic communities. Communities elect mods and can impeach them by votes.

Aether 3. Mastodon

Alternative to: Twitter
Features: Open Source, Decentralized
Self-host: Yes

Mastodon is already known among FOSS enthusiasts. We have covered Mastodon as an open source Twitter alternative in the past, and we also have a profile on Mastodon.

Mastodon isn’t a single website like Twitter, it’s a network of thousands of communities operated by different organizations and individuals that provide a seamless social media experience. You can host your own Mastodon instance and choose to connect it with other Mastodon instances or you simply join one of the existing Mastodon instances like Mastodon Social.

Mastodon 4. LBRY

Alternative to: YouTube
Features: Open Source, Decentralized, Blockchain
Self-host: No

At the core, LBRY is a blockchain based decentralization protocol. On top of that protocol, you get a digital marketplace powered by its own cryptocurrency.

Though LBRY allows creators to offer l kind of digital content like movies, books and games, it is essentially promoted as an YouTube alternative. You can access the video sharing platform on Odysee.

We have covered LBRY on It’s FOSS in the past and you may read that for more details. If you are joining LBRY, don’t forget to follow It’s FOSS there.

LBRY 5. KARMA

Alternative to: Instagram
Features: Decentralized, Blockchain
Self-host: No

Here’s another blockchain based social network governed by cryptocurrency.

KARMA is an Instagram clone built on top of open source blockchain platform, EOSIO. Every like and share your content gets, earns you KARMA tokens. You can use these tokens to boost your content or convert it to real money through one of the partner crypto exchanges.

KARMA is a mobile only app and available on Play Store and App Store.

KARMA 6. Peertube

Alternative to: YouTube
Features: Decentralized, P2P
Self-host: Yes

Developed by French company Framasoft, PeerTube is a decentralized video streaming platform. PeerTube uses the BitTorrent protocol to share bandwidth between users.

PeerTube aims to resist corporate monopoly. It does not rely on ads and does not track you. Keep in mind that your IP address is not anonymous here.

There are various instances of PeerTube available where you can host your videos or you host it yourself. Some instances may charge money while most are free.

PeerTube 7. Diaspora

Alternative to: Facebook
Features: Decentralized, Open Source
Self-host: Yes

Diaspora was one of the earliest decentralized social networks. This was back in 2010 and Diaspora was touted as a Facebook alternative. It did get some deserving limelight in its initial years but it got confined to only a handful of niche members.

Similar to Mastodon, Diaspora is composed of pods. You can register with a pod or host your own pod. The Big Tech doesn’t own your data, you do.

Diaspora 8. Dtube

Alternative to: YouTube
Features: Decentralized, Blockchain
Self-host: No

Dtube is a blockhain based decentralized YouTube clone. I use the word YouTube clone because the interface is way too similar to YouTube.

Like most other blockchain based social networks, Dtube is governed by DTube Coins (DTC) that creator earns when someone watches or interact with their content. The coins can be used to promote the content or cashed out from partner crypto exhcnages.

DTube 9. Signal

Alternative to: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger
Features: Open Source
Self-host: No

Unlike the end to end encrypted chats in WhatsApp, Signal doesn’t track you, share your data and invade your privacy.

Signal rose to fame when Edward Snowden endorsed it. It got even more famous when Elon Musk tweeted about it after WhatsApp sharing user data with Facebook.

Signal uses its own open source Signal protocol to give you end-to-end encrypted messages and calls.

Signal What else?

There are some other platforms that are not open source or decentralized, but they respect your privacy and free speech.

There is also Element messenger based on Matrix protocol which you may try.

I know there are probably several other such alternative social media platforms. Care to share them? I might add them to this list.

If you had to choose one of the platforms from the list, which one would you choose?

Homura: A WINE-based Game Launcher for BSD

Friday 8th of January 2021 08:27:49 AM

BSD isn’t just for servers. People use it for desktop as well and perform common tasks including casual gaming. To help make that possible, we are going to look at an app that allows you to run Windows games on FreeBSD.

What is Homura?

Homura is a tool that allows you to play Windows games on FreeBSD. It was inspired by Lutris. It allows you to install and manage several Windows game and game store launchers. It mainly uses Wine, but also comes with a number of fixes and workarounds to get the games working.

Homura’s creator, Alexander Vereeken, said that he created the application because “when I started using FreeBSD, there was no useful utility to set up games or launcher in wine, so I created one myself.” At the time, Wine was the only option. The Linux version of Steam did not exist.

Homura install list

Here is a list of the things you can install with Homura:

  • Anarchy Online
  • Arc
  • Bethesda launcher
  • Blizzard launcher
  • Diablo II
  • Discord
  • Drakensang Online
  • GOG
  • Growtopia
  • League of Legends
  • Origin launcher
  • PokeMMO
  • Pokemon Uranium
  • RuneScape
  • Steam
  • Subway Surfers
  • Teamspeak
  • Tropix 2
  • UC Browser
  • Uplay
  • Wargaming Game Center
  • Itch.io

Homura is named after a character in an anime named Madoka Magica. It was originally hosted on GitHub before the creator moved to GitLab. It is currently hosted on Codeberg. Hopefully, it will stay there for now.

Homura Installing Homura Game Launcher on BSD

You can install Homura from the FreeBSD repo with this command:

pkg install games/homura

You can also build and install it from the ports collection using this command.

cd /usr/ports/games/homura/ && make install clean

Once it is installed, you can run Homura by selecting it from the menu or typing Homura in the command line. (The name must be capitalized in the terminal or it will not work.)

If you install Steam via Homura, you need to launch it from Homura. If you launch it from the operating system’s menu, it won’t display currently.

Steam’s library and store tabs are displayed by a built-in web browser. For some reason, that does not work on FreeBSD. But if you launch Steam from Homura’s menu, it will use a list mode that works without issue.

Experience

I installed Homura on GhostBSD and used it to install Steam. Afterward, I installed a couple of games to test it out. Not all of the games I tried worked, mainly because they tried to use or install a Windows-specific piece of software that was unavailable. However, I was able to play one of my favorite games, Microsoft’s Rise of Nations, without any issue. (My test turned into a couple of hours of gameplay.)

Homura Main Menu

I also tried to install the GOG launcher. For some reason, it didn’t work for me. The loading screen would pop up and nothing would happen. I’m planning to file an issue. I didn’t test any of the installer/launchers because I don’t use them.

Final Thoughts

Not everything worked smoothly with Homura, but I could play some of my favorite games.

Rise of Nation on BSD

This app is the classic case of a user who had a need and decided to fill it. In doing so, he makes life easier for others. Hopefully, this application will make it a little easier for people to start using FreeBSD as their operating system.

If you found this article interesting, please take a minute to share it on social media, Hacker News, or Reddit.

The Definitive Guide to Using and Customizing the Dock in Ubuntu

Thursday 7th of January 2021 01:06:43 PM

When you log into Ubuntu, you’ll see the dock on the left side with some application icons on it. This dock (also known as launcher or sometimes as panel) allows you to quickly launch your frequently used programs.

I rely heavily on the dock and I am going to share a few tips about using the dock effectively and customize its looks and position.

You’ll learn the following in this tutorial:

  • Basic usage of the dock: adding more applications and using shortcuts for launching applications.
  • Customize the looks of the dock: Change the icon size, icon positions.
  • Change the position: for single screen and multi-monitor setup
  • Hide mounted disk from the dock
  • Auto-hide or disable the dock
  • Possibility of additional dock customization with dconf-editor
  • Replace dock with other docking applications

I’ll use the terms dock, panel and launcher in the tutorial. All of them refer to the same thing.

Using the Ubuntu dock: Absolute basic that you must know

If you are new to Ubuntu, you should know a few things about using the dock. You’ll eventually discover these dock features, I’ll just speed up the discovery process for you.

Add new applications to the dock (or remove them)

The steps are simple. Search for the application from the menu and run it.

The running application appears in the dock, below all other icons. Right click on it and select the “Add to Favorites” option. This will lock the icon to the dock.

Right-click on the icon and select “Add to Favorites”

Removing an app icon from the doc is even easier. You don’t even need to run the application. Simply right click on it and select “Remove From Favorites”.

Right-click on the icon and select “Remove from Favorites” Reorder icon position

By default, new application icons are added after all the other icons on the launcher. You don’t have to live with it as it is.

To change the order of the icons, you just need to drag and drop to the other position of your choice. No need to “lock it” or any additional effort. It stays on that location until you make some changes again.

Reorder Icons On Ubuntu Docks Right click to get additional options for some apps

Left-clicking on an icon launches the application or bring it to focus if the application is already running.

Right-clicking the icon gives you additional options. Different applications will have different options.

For browsers, you can open a new private window or preview all the running windows.

For file manager, you can go to all the bookmarked directories or preview opened windows.

You can, of course, quit the application. Most applications will quit while some applications like Telegram will be minimized to the system tray.

Use keyboard shortcut to launch applications quickly [Not many people know about this one]

The dock allows you to launch an application in a single mouse click. But if you are like me, you can save that mouse click with a keyboard shortcut.

Using the Super/Window key and a number key will launch the application on that position.

If the application is already running, it is brought to focus, i.e. it appears in front of all the other running application windows.

Since it is position-based, you should make sure that you don’t reorder the icons all the time. Personally, I keep Firefox at position 1, file manager at 2 and the alternate browser at 3 and so on until number 9. This way, I quickly launch the file manager with Super+2.

I find it easier specially because I have a three screen setup and moving the mouse to the launcher on the first screen is a bit too much of trouble. You can enable or disable the dock on additional screen. I’ll show that to you later in this tutorial.

Change the position of the dock

By default, the dock is located on the left side of your screen. Some people like the launcher at the bottom, in a more traditional way.

Ubuntu allows you to change the position of the dock. You can move it to the bottom or to the right side or on the top. I am not sure many people actually put the dock on the top or the right side, so moving the dock to the top is not an option here.

Change Launcher Position

To change the dock position, go to Settings->Appearance. You should see some options under Dock section. You need to change the “Position on screen” settings here.

Go to Settings->Appearance->Dock Position of dock on a multiple monitor setup

If you have multiple screens attached to your system, you can choose whether to display the dock on all screens or one of chosen screens.

Ubuntu Dock Settings Multimonitor

Personally, I display the dock on my laptop screen only which is my main screen. This gives me maximum space on the additional two screens.

Change the appearance of the dock

Let’s see some more dock customization options in Ubuntu.

Imagine you added too many applications to the dock or have too many applications open. It will fill up the space and you’ll have to scroll to the top and bottom to go to the applications at end points.

What you can do here is to change the icon size and the dock will now accommodate more icons. Don’t make it too small, though.

To do that, go to Settings-> Appearance and change it by moving the slider under Icon size. The default icons size is 48 pixels.

Changing Icon Size In Ubuntu Dock Hide mounted disks from the launcher

If you plug in a USB disk or SD Card, it is mounted to the system, and an icon appear in the launcher immediately. This is helpful because you can right click on it and select safely remove drive option.

Mounted disks are displayed In the Ubuntu Dock

If you somehow find it troublesome, you can turn this feature off. Don’t worry, you can still access the mounted drives from the file manager.

Open a terminal and use the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock show-mounts false

The changes take into effect immediately. You won’t be bothered with mounted disk being displayed in the launcher.

If you want the default behavior back, use this command:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock show-mounts true Change the behavior of dock

Let’s customize the default behavior of the dock and make it more suitable to your needs.

Enable minimize on click

If you click on the icon of a running application, its window will be brought to focus. That’s fine. However, if you click on it, nothing happens. By default, clicking on the same icon won’t minimize the application.

Well, this is the behavior in modern desktop, but I don’t like it. I prefer that the application is minimized when I click on its icon for the second time.

If you are like me, you may want to enable click to minimize option in Ubuntu:

To do that, open a terminal and enter the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action 'minimize' Auto-hide Ubuntu dock and get more screen space

If you want to utilize the maximum screen space, you can enable auto-hide option for the dock in Ubuntu.

This will hide the dock, and you’ll get the entire screen. The dock is still accessible, though. Move your cursor to the location of the dock where it used to be, and it will appear again. When the dock reappears, it is overlaid on the running application window. And that’s a good thing otherwise too many elements would start moving on the screen.

The auto-hide option is available in Settings-> Appearance and under Dock section. Just toggle it.

Auto-hide the dock

If you don’t like this behavior, you can enable it again the same way.

Disable Ubuntu dock

Auto-hide option is good enough for many people, but some users simply don’t like the dock. If you are one of those users, you also have the option to disable the Ubuntu dock entirely.

Starting with Ubuntu 20.04, you have the Extensions application available at your disposal to manage GNOME Extensions.

Look for Extensions app in the menu

With this Extensions application, you can easily disable or re-enable the dock.

Disable Ubuntu Dock Advanced dock customization with dconf-editor [Not recommended] .ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__item{border-radius:5px !important;background-color:#bee6ff !important}.ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__item:before{background-color:#bee6ff !important}.ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__icon svg:not(.ugb-custom-icon){color:#007ac1 !important}.ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__icon .ugb-icon-inner-svg{color:#007ac1 !important}.ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__title{color:#007ac1 !important}.ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__description{color:#222222 !important}.ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__icon .ugb-icon-inner-svg,.ugb-33aadc1 .ugb-notification__icon .ugb-icon-inner-svg svg *{color:#007ac1 !important;fill:#007ac1 !important}Warning

The dconf-editor allows you to change almost every aspect of the GNOME desktop environment. This is both good and bad because you must be careful in editing. Most of the settings can be changed on the fly, without asking for conformation. While you may reset the changes, you could still put your system in such a state that it would be difficult to put things back in order.

For this reason, I advise not to play with dconf-editor, specially if you don’t like spending time in troubleshooting and fixing problems or if you are not too familiar with Linux and GNOME.

The dconf editor gives you additional options to customize the dock in Ubuntu. Install it from the software center and then navigate to org > gnome > shell > extensions > dash-to-dock. You’ll find plenty of options here. I cannot even list them all here.

Replace the dock in Ubuntu

There are several third-party dock applications available for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. You can install a dock of your choice and use it.

For example, you can install Plank dock from the software center and use it in similar fashion to Ubuntu dock.

Plank Dock in Ubuntu

Disabling Ubuntu Dock would be a better idea in this case. It won’t be wise to use multiple docks at the same time.

Conclusion

This tutorial is about customizing the default dock or launcher provided in Ubuntu’s GNOME implementation. Some suggestions should work on the dock in vanilla GNOME as work well.

I have shown you most of the common Ubuntu dock customization. You don’t need to go and blindly follow all of them. Read and think which one suits your need and then act upon it.

Was it too trivial or did you learn something new? Would you like to see more such tutorials? I welcome your suggestions and feedback on dock customization.

QuiteRSS: A Free Open-Source RSS Reader for Linux Desktop

Monday 4th of January 2021 12:49:58 PM

Brief: A lightweight open-source RSS reader for desktop Linux with all the essential features.

Personally, I utilize services like Feedly to keep up with the latest happenings across the globe. But, it is a web-based service offering some optional premium features that I may never require.

So, I looked at some feed reader apps available for Linux and QuiteRSS seemed like an impressive solution as an alternative to web-based services.

In this article, I’m going to share a few key highlights about QuiteRSS along with my experience with it.

QuiteRSS: A simple RSS reader for Linux desktop

QuiteRSS is a quite useful open-source feed reader that is absolutely free and easy to use. Yes, all you need to do is just grab the ULR of the feed and add it.

It has most of the essential features that you would expect from a standard desktop-based RSS reader. This includes offline reading. You can download articles of your choice in a click and read it later even if you are not connected to the internet.

Don’t worry about adding RSS feeds one by one in QuiteRSS. The Good thing is that you can import feed list in OPML file format and add a bunch of RSS sources without making lots of efforts.

You can ‘add star’ to articles or add labels to them for organizing it better.

As you can already notice from the screenshot above that it offers a minimal user experience, let me also mention some of the other features that you get with it.

Features of QuiteRSS
  • Embedded Browser
  • Feed and news filters
  • User labels
  • User filters
  • Theme options (Dark/others)
  • Ability to customize fonts and colors
  • System tray icon support
  • Proxy configuration (optional)
  • Feed import wizard
  • Automatic update feed on startup
  • Mark/Unmark
  • Import/Export feeds (OPML files)
  • Pop up notification on updates
  • Sound notification support
  • Quick news filter
  • Quick search feature
  • Cross-platform
  • Portable version (Windows)

In a nutshell, starting with filtering the feed to cleaning it up, you get all the useful abilities. You can also configure a proxy if that’s what you need.

The embedded browser is really helpful to prevent switching back and forth to check out any linked resources in the feed stories.

Considering it as a feature-rich cross-platform feed reader, every feature listed should come in handy.

Installing QuiteRSS on Linux

QuiteRSS is available in the universe repository of Ubuntu and you can install it using the following command:

sudo apt install quiterss

You might not get the latest version all the time from Ubuntu’s repositories. For that, you can easily add the official PPA in Ubuntu-based distributions:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:quiterss/quiterss sudo apt update sudo apt install quiterss

It is also available to install on Fedora using the default repository. In addition to that, you can use Pacman command to install QuiteRSS on Arch Linux or get it from AUR.

You can refer the official installation instructions to get started. If you’re curious, you can also check out their GitHub page.

QuiteRSS My experience with QuiteRSS

It is a simple feed reader with a clean user experience. You do not get a rich formatting for the RSS feed you follow but it is good enough for readable experience.

I find the ability to add labels quite useful to be able to filter out the stories I’ve read and enjoyed. For some reason, whenever I minimize the application or switch the workspace, the application closes automatically. It does appear in the system tray, but I do want it to stay active unless I manually minimize it or close it.

So, I have to re-launch every time I move from it. If you face this issue, you might want to head on to their GitHub page to raise a new issue (unless they are already working on a reported issue).

The ability to switch themes (especially having a dark theme) is fantastic. You can also customize the fonts and colors to tweak the experience of your feed. Overall, it is a great feed reader to have on Linux.

If you use QuiteRSS extensively or like the idea of this open source software, please consider making a donation to the project on the developer’s website.

Have you tried it already? What do you think about QuiteRSS? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Rocket.Chat: An Amazing Open-Source Alternative to Slack That You Can Self-host

Monday 28th of December 2020 12:02:52 PM

Brief: Rocket.Chat is an open-source team communication application with features and looks similar to Slack. You are free to self-host it or opt for their managed service for a fee.

Slack is a useful and popular team communication app that potentially replaces emails for work. A lot of big and small teams use it, even we at It’s FOSS relied on Slack initially.

However, we needed a good open-source alternative to Slack and that’s when we came across Rocket.Chat. Sure, there are several other open-source slack alternatives, but we opted for Rocket.Chat for its similarity with Slack and ease of deployment.

Rocket.Chat: An Open Source Communication Platform

Rocket.Chat is an open-source communication platform for team collaboration.

You get all the essential features to facilitate proper communication along with the option to get started for free, opt for hosted service by the Rocket.Chat team or deploy it on your server.

You can totally customize as per your requirements when deploying it on your server. No matter what you choose to do, the feature-set is impressive.

Let us take a look at what it offers.

Features of Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is a powerful and flexible team communication tool. Here’s what you can expect from it:

  • Easy file sharing (drag and drop support)
  • Audio file sharing support
  • Video conferencing with Jitsi Meet integration
  • Separate channels (private and public options)
  • End-to-End encryption support
  • Customize the theme of the service (including the ability to customize it)
  • Guest access support
  • Unlimited message history (depending on the storage of your server for self-managed setup)
  • Broadcast channel support
  • RSS Integration
  • Several 3rd party app integration support
  • White label (optional if you want a custom branding)
  • Read receipt (Enterprise plan)
  • Push notifications support
  • Customizable user permission
  • 24 x 7 Support (depending on the pricing plan)
  • LiveChat integration support which you can add on your website
  • Real-time translation
  • Self-host support
  • Cross-platform support (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux)

In addition to all the key points mentioned above, there are a lot of little nifty features that should come in useful in Rocket.Chat.

Installing Rocket.Chat client on Linux

If you have a Rocket.Chat instance deployed or hosted by Rocket Chat itself, you can access it through web browser, desktop clients and mobile apps.

Can’t self-host Rocket.Chat? Let us help you

Deploying open source applications and managing Linux servers takes some expertise and time. If you lack either but still want to have your own instance of open source software, we can help you out.
With our new project, High on Cloud, you can leave the deployment and server management part to us while you focus on your work.

On Linux, Rocket.Chat is available as a snap and a Flatpak package. You can go through our guides on using snap or Flatpak on Linux to get started.

I would recommend installing it as a Flatpak (that’s how I use it) to get the latest version. Of course, if you prefer to use it as a snap package, you can go with that as well.

In either case, you can explore the source code on their GitHub page if you need.

Rocket.Chat My Thoughts on Using Rocket.Chat

I’ve been using Rocket.Chat for quite a while now (for our internal communication at It’s FOSS). Even though I was not the one who deployed it on our server, the documentation hints at a swift process to set it up on your server.

It supports automation tools like Ansible, Kubernetes, etc and also gives you the option to deploy it as a docker container directly.

You will find plenty of administrative options to tweak the experience on your instance of Rocket.Chat. It is easy to customize many things even if you are not an expert at self-managed projects.

Personally, I appreciate the ability to customize the theme (it is easy to add a dark mode toggle as well). You get all the essential options available on smartphone as well. Overall, it is indeed an exciting switch from Slack and it should be a similar experience for most of you.

What do you think about Rocket.Chat? Do you prefer something else over Rocket.Chat? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Font Manager: A Simple Open-Source App for GTK+ Desktop

Monday 21st of December 2020 11:59:52 AM

Brief: A dead simple font manager app that lets you focus on tweaking the fonts on your Linux system.

If you are an experienced Linux user, you might be utilizing the terminal or the tweak tool to manage fonts on your Linux system.

Honestly, no matter how useful the GNOME tweak tool is — it could be a little too overwhelming just to manage fonts. So, a separate application would be perfectly fine to help you manage fonts.

Font Manager: An Open-Source App To Help Manage Fonts

Font Manager (that’s literally the name of the app) is a dedicated application to help you manage the fonts.

You get the details of the font family, variations available, and the ability to filter and tweak based on their height, width, spacing, and more. Considering it is a simple app, you do not find a bunch of features but I’ll briefly highlight a few things below.

Features of Font Manager
  • Ability to add fonts
  • Ability to remove fonts
  • Easily filter fonts based on family, vendor, spacing, height, etc
  • Tweak the scaling factor of fonts
  • Adjust the anti-aliasing (softness/sharpness) of the font
  • Add font sources to preview them before installing it
  • Offers keyboard shortcuts to quickly manage things
  • Google fonts integration available out-of-the-box
  • Get detailed information on characters available in the family font, license, size of the font, vendor, file type, spacing, width, and style

Overall, you can easily install or remove fonts. But, you get quite a few perks while managing the fonts as shown in the screenshot above.

Installing Font Manager on Linux

You get a variety of options (depending on the Linux distro you use) for installation.

If you have an Ubuntu-based distro, you can easily add the PPA through the commands below to install font manager:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:font-manager/staging sudo apt update sudo apt install font-manager

In case you’re not a fan of PPAs (which is how I prefer to install this), you can also install a Flatpak package available on any Linux distribution.

You just need to enable Flatpak on your Linux system and then search for it on your software center (if it supports Flatpak integration) or just type in the following command to install it:

flatpak install flathub org.gnome.FontManager

In case you’re an Arch user, you can find the package in the AUR.

For further installation instructions, you might want to refer its official website and the GitHub page.

Download Font Manager Wrapping Up

Font Manager is a simple solution for any GTK+ based desktop environment. Primarily for GNOME but you can also utilize it for other desktop environments as well.

You get a lot of useful information while being able to add or remove fonts and it is clearly a no-nonsense font manager, I think.

What do you think about Font Manager? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Troubleshooting “No Bootable Medium Found” Error in VirtualBox

Saturday 19th of December 2020 06:04:35 AM

Many VirtualBox users have experienced at least once the message ‘FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted.‘ Sometimes it is also shown ‘No Bootable Medium Found! System halted‘.

This error is more common when trying to start a new virtual machine, but it is not impossible to happen at an existing virtual machine if the virtual hard drive is missing.

Note: This problem has to do purely with VirtualBox, and can be experienced on any host operating system be it Windows, Mac OS or Linux.

What causes this “Could not read from the boot medium” error?

There are two main reasons behind this issue:

  • VirtualBox doesn’t point to an operating system, either a mounted iso or a virtual hard disk with a bootable OS. When you create a virtual machine for a first time, you need to mount a bootable iso like Ubuntu. If you mount a bootable iso before you start your virtual machine, you will be successful booting up the system.
  • The CD/ DVD storage device controller is configured as SATA. Another issue can be appeared, if you mount accidentally the bootable iso to a SATA storage device controller instead of IDE. VirtualBox works without any problems when a SATA storage device points to a virtual hard drive, but this is not the case for a bootable iso.
How to solve it?

If you are not sure which of the 2 reasons apply to you, I can show you a solution that covers both, and finally stop receiving the error message.

Step 1: Right click on the virtual machine that isn’t a bootable state and click on settings.

Step 2: Once the settings menu is open, follow the steps access storage > Controller:IDE > Choose the bootable iso and click ok.

Step 3: Start your virtual machine and you should be able to boot normally from the mounted iso.

Conclusion

VirtualBox boot issue is very common, and easy to fix but can be frustrating if you don’t know what to do. If you are a regular reader of It’s FOSS, you know already that virtualization technology is among my interests. If you discovered us recently and you are curious to start exploring the features of VirtualBox, I suggest to start experimenting with this guide that covers Fedora installation on VirtualBox, as you can go beyond a simple installation.

How to Install RPM Files on Fedora Linux [Beginner’s Tutorial]

Thursday 17th of December 2020 10:22:41 AM

This beginner article explains how to install RPM packages on Fedora and Red Hat Linux. It also shows you how to remove those RPM packages afterwards.

When you start using Fedora Linux in the Red Hat domain, sooner or later, you’ll come across .rpm files. Like .exe files in Windows and .deb files in Ubuntu and Debian, .rpm files enable you to quickly install a software from it on Fedora.

You could find and install plenty of software from the software center, specially if you enable additional repositories in Fedora. But sometimes you’ll find software available on their website in RPM format.

Like .exe files in Windows, you download the .rpm file and double click on it to install it. Don’t worry, I’ll show you the detailed steps.

Installing RPM files on Fedora and Red Hat Linux

I’ll be showing you three ways to install RPM files:

Method 1: Use software center

The simplest method is to use the default software center in Fedora. It’s really simple. Go to the folder where you downloaded the .rpm file. It is usually the Downloads folder.

Just double click on the RPM file and it will be opened in the software center.

Alternatively, you can right click on the file and choose to install it via Software Center.

Either double click or right click and choose Software Install

When it is opened in the software center, you should see the installation option. Just hit the install button and enter your account’s password when prompted for it.

Install RPM via Fedora Software Center

It’s easy, right?

Method 2: Use DNF command to install RPM file

This is the command line method. Fedora uses the new DNF package manager and you can use it to install downloaded RPM files as well.

Open a terminal and switch to the directory where you have the RPM file downloaded. You can also provide the path to the RPM file. Use the DNF command like this:

sudo dnf install rpm_file_name

Here’s a screenshot where I installed Google Chrome on Fedora with dnf command:

Installing RPM files using DNF command Method 3: Install RPM files in Red Hat using Yum command

Unlike Fedora, Red Hat still uses the good old Yum package manager. You won’t find the DNF command here, yet.

The process is the same as DNF command. You go to the directory where the RPM file is located or provide its path.

sudo yum install path_to_RPM_file

That’s it. Nothing fancier.

How to remove RPM packages

Removing a RPM package isn’t a big deal either. And no, you don’t need the original rpm file that you used to install the program.

You may find the installed package in the software center and remove application from there.

Removing RPM Package

Alternatively, you can use the DNF or YUM command with remove option.

With DNF, use this command:

sudo dnf remove rpm_package_name

With Yum, use this command:

sudo yum remove rpm_package_name

You probably won’t remember the exact package name and that’s fine. What you can do is to type the first few letters of the package and then hit tab. This is assuming that you have tab completion enabled which usually is.

And that’s all you need to do here. Pretty simple, right? Being a beginner, you may struggle with a simple task like this and I hope you feel more confident with Fedora thanks to quick tutorials like this.

Radicle: An Open-Source Decentralized App for Code Collaboration [P2P GitHub Alternative]

Tuesday 15th of December 2020 04:32:32 AM

Brief: Radicle is an open-source project that aims to facilitate peer-to-peer code collaboration without depending on a centralized server. In other words, it’s a P2P alternative to GitHub.

Most of the open-source projects that we talk about are usually hosted at GitHub or other GitHub alternatives like GitLab. Even though you get many benefits and features from such platforms (not to mention the potential exposure), there are also downsides of using it.

For instance, youtube-dl project was taken down by Microsoft to comply with a DMCA request.

With a centralized approach, you do not have a lot of control and privacy. Of course, this may not be a big deal for many folks but if you are someone who does not want centralized servers, want to have peer-to-peer code collaboration feature, and something that works offline, Radicle will be a good tool for them.

Radicle: A Peer-to-Peer Code Collaboration Platform

Radicle is an open-source project that aims to provide a decentralized app for code collaboration. You can connect peer-to-peer if you need to share the project and work along with someone else.

It is still something in beta but it is definitely worth looking at. I did some quick tests without our team to see if the basic features to share the project works or not.

But, before you try it out, let me highlight the important features that you get with Radicle and what you can expect from it in the near future.

Features of Radicle
  • Ability to add multiple remote peers
  • Manage multiple peers
  • Feature to follow a project from a specific peer
  • Share your project using a unique ID
  • Does not depend on central servers
  • No censorship
  • One network interconnected with peers
  • Ability to work offline
  • Local issues & patches
  • Built on Git to make it easy and comfortable for most developers
  • Your infrastructure
  • Ability to receive funding from your supporters (Ethereum)
  • Manage codebases together

Expect more features for bug reporting and code review in the near future considering that it is still in early development.

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Recommended Read:

.ugb-4994de2 .ugb-blog-posts__featured-image{border-radius:0px !important}.ugb-4994de2 .ugb-blog-posts__title a{color:#000000 !important}.ugb-4994de2 .ugb-blog-posts__title a:hover{color:#00b6ba !important}Meet LBRY, A Blockchain-based Decentralized Alternative to YouTube

LBRY is a new Blockchain-based, open source platform for sharing digital content. It is gaining popularity as a decentralized alternative to YouTube but LBRY is more than just a video sharing service.

Installing Radicle on Linux

It provides an AppImage for Linux distributions. So, no matter whether you have an Ubuntu-based system or an Arch system, you can easily use it on your Linux system. In case you do not know, please refer to our guide on using AppImage in Linux to get started quickly.

Download Radicle Thoughts on Using Radicle

If you are familiar with Git version control system, using this should be a breeze. I just did some basic testing where I created a test repository and shared it with my teammate.

It works quite well. But, you need to configure Git with your name and email address before you get started.

Of course, you will need the terminal to configure and use the git version control, but the GUI is easy to use and understand. It is easy to manage remotes, copy the unique ID to share the project, and you can explore more when you try to use it for your projects.

I’d advise you to experiment with it and go through the documentation, official site, along with their GitHub page before trying it out for an important project.

What do you think about Radicle? Even though it is in BETA phase, do you think it will gain traction and be something popular among the open-source developers?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Here are the Worthy Replacements of CentOS 8 for Your Production Linux Servers

Monday 14th of December 2020 10:19:26 AM

CentOS is one of the most popular server distributions in the world. It is an open source fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and provides the goodness of RHEL without the cost associated with RHEL.

However, things have changed recently. Red Hat is converting a stable CentOS to a rolling release model in the form of CentOS Stream. CentOS 8 was supposed to be supported till 2029 but it is now forced discontinued by the end of 2021.

If you are using CentOS for your servers, it may make you wonder where to go from here.

See, the first and foremost choice for replacing CentOS 8 is CentOS Stream. The process to upgrade CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream is simple and you don’t have to worry about reinstalling anything here.

However, since CentOS Stream is of rolling release nature, you may want to consider something that is more stable for a production server. I’ll help you with that decision by suggestion some recommendations in this article.

RHEL-based server Linux distributions you may want to consider for replacing CentOS

I’ll start the list with some of the RHEL forks that are being developed with the sole purpose of replacing CentOS 8. After that, I’ll list the server distributions that you may use right away.

Rocky Linux (under development)

The same day Red Hat announced its plans to replace stable CentOS 8 with rolling release CentOS Stream, the original developer of CentOS announced a new project to provide RHEL fork to CentOS users.

This new project is called Rocky Linux. It is named in the memory of one of the co-creators of the original CentOS project. It’s been forked from RHEL 8 and aims to be “100% bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux”.

The project is under rapid development and may not be usable at the moment. But this is one of the top choices to replace CentOS 8 when the support ends by the end of 2021.

Project Lenix (under development)

This is another RHEL fork created on a day after the announcement of CentOS Stream becoming the default.

Project Lenix is being created by CloudLinux, an enterprise oriented service that has been providing customized CentOS server for several years now. Cosnidering their years of experience with CentOS and enterprise servers, Project Lenix should be a promising RHEL fork to replace CentOS Stream.

Oracle Linux

Probably the only RHEL fork in this list that is read to use in the best possible manner. Not only ready to use, you can even migrate from existing CentOS install to Oracle Linux without reinstalling it.

Oracle Linux has been available since 2006. It is 100% application binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and it provides an equivalent to each RHEL release. And no, you don’t need to sign any agreement with Oracle for using Oracle Linux.

Oracle Linux comes with two choices of Linux kernels: the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux or the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK).

It’s just that track record of Oracle is not very good with open source projects and probably this is the reason why a true community fork in the form of CentOS was preferred over Oracle Linux. With CentOS being replaced with CentOS Stream, perhaps it is the right time to give Oracle a chance?

ClearOS (from HP)

ClearOS is offered by HP on its HPE ProLiant servers. Though it is not clearly mentioned on their website, ClearOS is based on RHEL and CentOS.

Clear Center and HPE have partnered on this project. The open source ClearOS available for free to the community. They have their own app marketplace with a mix of free and paid applications. You don’t pay for the OS but you may have to pay for the apps, if you opt for a paid one.

It might not be that popular but with CentOS Stream becoming default, ClearOS stands to gain some user base, if HP plays its cards right. Will they do it? I am not so sure. Oracle is trying to lure CentOS users but I have seen no such efforts from HP.

Springdale Linux (academic project from Princeton University)

A Red Hat fork maintained by academicians? That’s Scientific Linux, right? But Scientific Linux has been dead for over a year.

Springdale Linux (SDL) is another such project by Princeton University. It was previously known as PUIAS (Princeton University Institute for Advanced Study).

There is no RHEL 8 equivalent of Springdale Linux yet which gives some hint about the speed of development here.

Server distributions that are not based on Red Hat

Alright! So far, the list mentions the distributions based on Red Hat. It’s time to look at some of the server distributions that have nothing to do with RHEL but the are still a good choice for your production server.

YunoHost (Specially customized for web servers)

YunoHost is based on Debian and customized for the purpose of provide you a system for hosting your web servers.

You can use it on ARM boards like Raspberry Pi, old desktops and computers of course on virtual private servers.

YunoHost also provides a web-based admin interface (inspired by Webmin?) so that you can manage the system graphically. This is a great relief for someone who wants to host a web server but without getting too much into the command line stuff.

Debian Linux

The universal operating system provides a rock-solid server distribution. An ideal choice for those who want a stable system.

If you had invested too much time and skill in CentOS, you may find Debian slightly different, specially the package management system. Though, I believe, it should not be much of a trouble for a seasoned Linux sysadmin.

openSUSE

SUSE is one of the direct competitors of Red Hat. They have the enterprise offering in the form of SUSE Linux Enterprise. Their open source offering openSUSE is also quite popular, both as desktop and server.

openSUSE makes up a good choice for a server Linux distribution. People these days won’t understand what a relief YAST tool of SUSE brought for users in the last 90s and early 2000s. It is still a handy utility for managing the SUSE system.

openSUSE comes in two formats: the rolling release Tumbleweed and the stable point release Leap. I am guessing you are looking for stability so Leap is what you should be aiming for.

Ubuntu Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the most popular distribution in the world, both on servers and desktops. This is the reason why this list could not have been completed without Ubuntu.

Since I have been using Ubuntu for a long time, I feel comfortable hosting my web servers on Ubuntu. But that’s just me. If you are coming from the RHEL domain, package management is different here along with a few networking and management components.

Ubuntu LTS version come with five years of support which is half of what a CentOS release provided. You may opt for a paid extended support for an outdated LTS version if you don’t want to upgrade versions.

What’s your choice?

I have listed some of the top recommendations for RHEL based distributions as well as for generic server distributions.

Now it’s your turn. Which of the above listed distributions you liked the most? Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? The comment section is all yours.

Garuda Linux Provides a Hassle-free Arch Experience With a Beautiful Neon Look [Review with Video]

Saturday 12th of December 2020 04:37:31 AM

Many Arch-based Linux distributions have mushroomed lately. I am pretty much satisfied with Manjaro and Arch Linux, so I couldn’t care less until I came across Garuda Linux. This beautiful Linux distribution shows some promises.

Garuda Linux is fairly new to the Linux world and is aiming to provide the greatest performance, offering all the modern and attractive features. Even though you can choose various desktop environments, it is clear that their flagship desktop is a heavily customized KDE Plasma with a dark, neon look. Cyberpunk, anyone?

Its Ultimate edition is optimized for gaming, and the recently introduced Dragonized (Dr460nized) version is aesthetically “lavish”.

Arch Linux installation can be a milestone for many Linux users, let alone to optimize your system at the level that Garuda Linux offers behind the convenience of Calamares installer.

As I like a more traditional desktop, I started to test the MATE version of Garuda Linux, but I ended up taking the screenshots to the beautiful Dragonized edition.

Garuda Linux Review: Beauty and the Arch

We made a video showing Garuda Linux in action. The video is not a review but it highlights the main features of Garuda Linux KDE edition.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Linux videos

Now, let me my experience with Garuda Linux. There are so many desktop environment options available with Garuda Linux:

  • KDE Plasma
  • Xfce
  • GNOME
  • Cinnamon
  • LXQt
  • MATE
  • Deepin
  • UKUI
  • Wayfire
  • BSPWM
  • i3WM

I settled with MATE and KDE Plasma for my testing. I am including KDE screenshots because that’s the one which looks the most beautiful of them all, in my opinion.

Easy installation with Calamares installer

Though I encourage everyone to install Arch Linux the “traditional” way as part of their learning process, I can understand that this task is time-consuming and intimidating to some users. Like the most popular Arch-based distribution Manjaro, Garuda Linux is up and running within a few clicks, thanks to Calamares installer.

Garuda Installer B-tree file system (BTRFS)

“Better F S” as I prefer to pronounce it, might not be used by default to the majority of Linux distributions. It is more than a decade old and considered stable although. It was introduced to address a number of lacking features of the Linux file system like snapshots and checksums.

Garuda Linux comes with BTRFS as the default filesystem.

Automatic snapshots accessible from GRUB

Garuda Linux is a bleeding edge rolling release and less tested software might break your system after an upgrade. Timeshift backs up the system automatically before each update, and you can access the latest 5 snapshots of your system directly from the GRUB. Now that’s something cool, right?

Garuda Snapshots Pamac package manager

Inherited from Manjaro, graphical package manager Pamac is a great alternative to command line package manager pacman. Support for the AUR is enabled by default, and you have also the option to enable Snap and Flatpak support.

Garuda Pamac Garuda Assistant to easily access admin settings

Garuda Assistant is a graphical interface that makes the operating system’s administrative tasks, a simple point and click process. In the example below, you can see how easy is to enable the systemd services.

Garuda Assistant

You can also use it to update your system, clear logs, remove database lock, refresh mirrorlists and edit repositories. It’s handy tool for those who don’t want to go into terminal.

Garuda settings manager

Manjaro Linux users will have a deja vu once they open Garuda Settings Manager, as it is identical to Manjaro Settings Manager. Though Arch wiki offers a solution to every problem, the convenience of selecting a different kernel or the proprietary Nvidia driver through Garuda settings manager is second to none.

Garuda Settings Manager Garuda Gamer – GUI for curated gaming packages

Arch Linux is a distribution that made me to stop distrohopping but when it comes to gaming on Linux, my suggestion to a new Linux user is Pop OS. The package selection of the Garuda Gamer GUI can make the Linux gamers to chuckle when they open it.

Garuda Gamer .ugb-a4274a1-wrapper.ugb-container__wrapper{border-radius:0px !important;border-style:solid !important;border-color:#000000 !important;border-top-width:1px !important;border-right-width:1px !important;border-bottom-width:1px !important;border-left-width:1px !important;padding-top:0 !important;padding-bottom:0 !important}.ugb-a4274a1-wrapper > .ugb-container__side{padding-top:35px !important;padding-bottom:35px !important}

Trivia

In Hindu mythology, Garuda is the king of birds and vehicle mount of Vishnu, one of the principal Hindu Gods. Garuda is a cultural symbol in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Now, you can understand why Garuda Linux uses a Hawk/Eagle-kind of bird for its logo and mascot.

Conclusion

Garuda Linux is one of the Linux distributions that represents a real passion from the developers side, and this can be observed from the amazing selection of tools, features and configurations.

The focus on providing GUI applications for most common tasks makes Garuda Linux an ideal choice for users who want to try Arch Linux but not comfortable using terminal all the time.

With only one extra repository on top of Arch Linux repos, it is very close to pure Arch. I have to admit that I was amazed by Garuda Linux, and definitely extend my testing period to unravel every hidden spot.

Have you experienced Garuda Linux? How’s your experience with it? If not, after reading this Garuda Linux review, will you be willing to give it a try?

How to Install Mesa Drivers on Ubuntu [Latest and Stable]

Friday 11th of December 2020 05:46:15 AM

This quick tutorial shows the steps to get a newer version of Mesa drivers on Ubuntu, be it stable release or cutting-edge development release.

What is Mesa?

Mesa itself is not a graphics card like Nvidia or AMD. Instead, it provides open source software implementation of OpenGL, Vulkan, and some other graphics API specifications for Intel and AMD graphics hardware. With Mesa, you can play high-end games and use applications that require such graphics libraries.

More information on Mesa can be found in this article.

How to install Mesa on Ubuntu?

Mesa comes preinstalled on Ubuntu with the open source graphics drivers of Radeon, Intel and Nvidia (sometimes). Though it probably won’t be the latest Mesa version.

You can check if your system uses Mesa and the installed versions using this command:

glxinfo | grep Mesa

If for some reasons (like playing games), you want to install a newer version of Mesa, this tutorial will help you with that. Since, you’ll be using PPA, I highly recommend reading my in-depth guide on PPA.

Attention!

Installing new Mesa graphics drivers may also need a newer Linux kernel. It will be a good idea to enable HWE kernel on Ubuntu to reduce the chances of conflict with the kernel. HWE Kernel gives you the latest stable kernel used by Ubuntu on an older LTS release.

Install the latest stable version of Mesa driver in Ubuntu [Latest point release]

The Kisak-mesa PPA provides the latest point release of Mesa. You can use it by entering the following commands one by one in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa sudo apt update sudo apt install mesa

It will give you the latest Mesa point release.

Remove it and go back to original Mesa driver

If you are facing issues and do not want to use the newer version of Mesa, you can revert to the original version.

Install PPA Purge tool first:

sudo apt install ppa-purge

And then use it to remove the PPA as well as the Mesa package version installed by this PPA.

sudo ppa-purge ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa Install the latest Mesa graphics drivers in Ubuntu [Bleeding edge]

If you want the latest Mesa drivers as they are being developed, this is what you need.

There is this awesome PPA that provides open source graphics drivers packages for Radeon, Intel and Nvidia hardware.

The best thing here is that all driver packages are automatically built twice a day, when there is an upstream change.

If you want the absolute latest Mesa drivers on Ubuntu and do not want to take the trouble of installing it from the source code, use this PPA by Oibaf.

The PPA is available for 20.04, 20.10 and 21.04 at the time of writing this article. It is no longer updated for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Open the terminal and use the following commands one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers sudo apt update sudo apt install mesa

This will give you the latest Mesa drivers.

Remove it and go back to original Mesa driver

You can remove the PPA and the installed latest Mesa driver using the ppa-purge tool.

Install it first:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

Now use it to disable the PPA you had added and revert the Mesa package to the version provided by Ubuntu officially.

sudo ppa-purge ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers

I hope this quick tutorial was helpful in getting a newer version of Mesa on Ubuntu. If you have questions or suggestions, please use the comment section.

How to Customize the Task Switcher in KDE Plasma

Friday 11th of December 2020 03:44:00 AM

It is often the little interactions with a desktop environment that makes up for a good user experience and task switcher is something that most of the users fiddle with.

I’ve recently about customizing the task switching experience on GNOME but what about the most customizable desktop environment, KDE?

Fret not, it isn’t rocket science to tweak the task switcher in KDE. In this article, I’m going to show you how to change the task switcher experience on any KDE-powered Linux system.

Customize Task Switcher in KDE: Here’s How It is Done

If you prefer video instructions I have also made a quick video for you:

Here are the text instructions:

Kde Task Switcher Default Style

To get started, you need to head to the System Settings in KDE as shown in the screenshot below.

Next, you have to navigate your way to the “Window Management” option as shown in the image below.

Once you click on the option, you will be greeted with more options. Here, you need to click on “Task Switcher” because that is what we are going to customize, you can explore other options if you are curious.

As you can observe in the screenshot above, my settings may look different that yours:

  • I have disabled the option to “Show selected window
  • And, have set the visual style of the task switcher to “Flip Switch

Here’s how it looks like with the Flip Switch style when you press Alt+Tab:

In case you cannot find the option to set it, take a closer look at how you navigate the drop-down menu to change the visual style of Task Switcher while potentially disabling “Show selected Window” (that’s what I prefer).

As you can see in the image above, you get to change the sort order of the windows along with a couple more visual styles for the task switcher.

In addition to this setting, you can also look for a variety of task switcher themes/designs online by click on “Get New Task Switchers” button in the bottom-right corner of the window.

You will also find several other options to change the key bind for accessing the tasks switcher, if that is what you need.

Reset to default in a click

If you want to revert the settings and want it to go back to the defaults. You will find a “Defaults” / “Reset” button, you can click on it to reset any changes that you made.

Of course, feel free to explore any other customization options that you come across in the System Settings to personalize your KDE experience.

I’d like to cover a detailed customization guide for KDE desktop in the near future, would you find that interesting? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

IBM’s Red Hat Just Killed CentOS as we Know it: With CentOS Stream, Stability Goes out of the Door

Wednesday 9th of December 2020 06:28:21 AM

CentOS is regarded as a stable, secure and free Linux distribution for servers. The stability part of it is being jeopardized thanks to the latest changes made to this project by IBM-owned Red Hat. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Focus shifts from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release.
  • CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021.
  • After that, the rolling release CentOS Stream becomes the identity of CentOS project. There will be no CentOS 9 based on RHEL 9 in the future.
  • CentOS Linux 7 will continue its lifecycle and will end in 2024.

Let’s go in detail.

Before CentOS Stream, learn a little background knowledge of Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora

Let me explain it to those who are unaware. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a commercial Linux distribution developed by Red Hat and it offers both servers and desktop editions. They have strict guidelines to protect Red Hat trademark.

Red Hat has two main community projects on Linux distribution: Fedora and CentOS.

Situation until now

For years, Fedora worked as upstream for RHEL. This means that new features and changes get introduced in Fedora first and some of them get to be included in the next release of RHEL. In loose terms, Fedora works as testing ground for Red Hat. At least that’s what it used to be until a couple of years ago.

CentOS, on the other hand, is/was a downstream community project. Whatever changes RHEL introduced also get to be included in CentOS. A new version of RHEL released? A new version of CentOS would follow a couple of months later.

Basically, CentOS is a clone of RHEL with most of RHEL’s benefits but without RHEL’s cost. So far, it was regarded as the paying customers get the features first in RHEL and then the community users get them through CentOS.

CentOS Stream: What started as an experiment, becomes the future

In September 2019, Red Hat announced CentOS Stream. It is a rolling release version of CentOS.

The idea was to use CentOS Stream as a midstream between the upstream development in Fedora and downstream development in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

So, Fedora is testing ground for the future major version release of RHEL and CentOS. At the same time, CentOS Stream clears the path to contribute to future minor release to RHEL and CentOS.

Sounds like a good idea? It was until Red Hat announced that in the future CentOS will only exist as CentOS Stream.

The latest stable release CentOS 8 suddenly has its life cut short to the end of 2021 instead of the earlier projected date of May 2029. The older CentOS 7 will still be supported till 2024.

Do you see the problem with this change? You deployed CentOS 8 thinking that you’ll get a stable production server till 2029. Instead, it gets discontinued next year and you are forced choose between opting for CentOS Stream or replace it with other distributions like Debian or Ubuntu.

This means while the paid RHEL users will enjoy the well-tested stable server, community members will have no option other than using a not-so-stable rolling release distribution.

Trivia

CentOS was not started by Red Hat. It was a community project since the beginning. After Red Hat started sponsoring the development, the trademark and ownership of CentOS was transferred to Red Hat in 2014, around 10 years after its creation.

Corporate interference often spell doom

As Nixcraft observes, when a big corporate enters the scene, it may not always bring good news. Community projects often take the hit.

Oracle buys Sun: Solaris Unix, Sun servers/workstation, and MySQL went to /dev/null.

IBM buys Red Hat: CentOS is going to >/dev/null.

Note to self: If a big vendor such as Oracle, IBM, MS, and others buys your fav software, start the migration procedure ASAP.

— The Best Linux Blog In the Unixverse

More in Tux Machines

SUSE/OpenSUSE Leftovers

  • OAK compatibility with all openSUSE

    While fcused on the openSUSE Innovator initiative as an openSUSE member and official Intel oneAPI innovator, I tested the OAK AI Kit device on openSUSE Leap 15.1, 15.2 and Tumbleweed. With all the work, we made available in the SDB an article on how to install this device on the openSUSE platform. More information can be found at https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Install_OAK_AI_Kit. The OpenCV AI Kit, that is, OAK, is a tiny, low-end hardware computing module based on the integrated Intel Movidius Myriad-X AI chip. In comparison to other GPU, CPU, FPGA or TPU-based AI acceleration solutions, Movidius is a VPU architecture with 4.0 TOPS computing capacity. And it is 80 times faster for CV and AI tasks than the well-known OpenMV project, which has only 0.05 TOPS based on the ARM Cortex M7 microcontroller.

  • SUSE’s acquisition of Rancher ushers in an innovative new brand

    In 2020 SUSE and Rancher joined forces with one shared vision: being known as the leading open source innovator in the world. Entrusted with the challenge of fusing two strong brands, the brand refresh needed to capture the heart and soul of both companies while aligning them to one strong, shared identity.

  • Content Management with SUSE Manager 4.1

    The concept of Content Lifecycle Management is not new and applies to any piece of digital content, following it from beginning, to middle, to end of creation. With SUSE® Manager, this idea is applied to software intended for rollout to production systems. Content Lifecycle Management allows you to customize and test packages before updating production systems. This is especially useful if you need to apply updates during a limited maintenance window. From within SUSE® Manager, you can select software channels as sources, adjust them as required for your environment, and thoroughly test them before installing onto your production systems. From beginning (original development), to middle (testing), to end (deployment).

Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Fedora 34 Cleared For Btrfs Zstd Compression By Default, DNF/RPM Copy-On-Write - Phoronix

    The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee has unanimously approved several high profile features for the upcoming Fedora 34. The latest batch of Fedora 34 features that received unanimous approval ahead of tomorrow's scheduled FESCo meeting include: - Deprecating XEMacs and related packages. This is due to XEmacs not seeing a major release in over seven years and the upstream development essentially at an end. There is still an occasional commit but no meaningful additions being made and thus XEMacs is being deprecated.

  • 5 tips for configuring virtualenvs with Ansible Tower | Enable Sysadmin

    Virtualenvs are a great way to create isolated scenarios where you can experiment with different Python/Ansible modules.

  • 11 considerations for effectively managing a Linux sysadmin team | Enable Sysadmin

    Having worked as a sysadmin with many colleagues and later on as a sysadmins manager, I thought it would be good to share some of my experience in this area with hopes that current managers and managers-to-be might find some useful hints. Managing sysadmins is, in many aspects, no different from working with any other group of people: Planning vacations, discussing salaries, setting targets, making certain skills and tools are up to spec. Your management style reflects who you are, and the crew is that fantastic blend of personalities and abilities. Together you can deliver projects and maintain complex technical environments. There are, however, some things you should be aware of that will improve your ability as a manager when you interact with the sysadmins.

  • Call for Projects and Mentors: GSoC 2021 – Fedora Community Blog

    Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on introducing students to open source software development. Students work on a 10 week programming project with an open source organization during their break from a post secondary academic program. Fedora has had great participation and we would like to continue to be a mentoring org this year too. We are currently looking for mentors and projects. Process of how to apply is described at the end of this blog after a brief info and new changes in GSoC program.

  • Storage and Distributed Compute Nodes: Bringing Cinder persistent volumes to the edge

    In part one of our series about Distributed Compute Nodes (DCN), we described how the storage backends are deployed at each site and how to manage images at the edge. What about the OpenStack service (i.e. Cinder) that actually manages persistent block storage? This post will dive into more details.

  • Sharing is caring: Building clearer contribution paths to your community

    One of the most important topics in the open source community is "how do we attract more people to our community?" This makes perfect sense because you can’t have a community without people. Given the importance of inviting people to a community—otherwise known as onboarding—you would expect a lot of discussion and debate applied to the topic. And yet, there are many open source community managers frustrated by a lack of new contributors. In this post, we’ll focus on 3 core principles of contributor onboarding.

today's leftovers

  • Parler Tricks: Making Software Disappear

    Much has been written and broadcast about the recent actions from Google and Apple to remove the Parler app from their app stores. Apps get removed from these app stores all the time, but more than almost any past move by these companies, this one has brought the power Big Tech companies wield over everyone’s lives to the minds of every day people. Journalists have done a good job overall in presenting the challenges and concerns with this move, as well as addressing the censorship and anti-trust issues at play. If you want a good summary of the issues, I found Cory Doctorow’s post on the subject a great primer. [...] This is part of the article where Android users feel smug. After all, while much more of their data gets captured and sold than on iOS, in exchange they still (sometimes) have the option of rooting their phones and (sometimes) “sideloading” applications (installing applications outside of Google’s App Store). If Google bans an app, all a user has to do is follow a list of complicated (and often sketchy) procedures, sometimes involving disabling protections or installing sketchy software on another computer, and they can wrench back a bit of control over their phones. Of course in doing so they are disabling security features that are the foundation for the rest of Android security, at which point many Android security experts will throw up their hands and say “you’re on your own.” [...] The Librem 5 phone runs the same PureOS operating system as Librem laptops, and it features the PureOS Store which provides a curated list of applications known to work well on the phone’s screen. Even so, you can use the search function to find the full list of all available software in PureOS. After all, you might want that software to be available when you dock your Librem 5 to a larger screen. We aim to provide software in the PureOS store that respects people’s freedom, security, and privacy and will audit software that’s included in the store with that in mind. That way people have a convenient way to discover software that not only works well on the phone but also respects them. Yet you are still free to install any third-party software outside of the PureOS Store that works on the phone, even if it’s proprietary software we don’t approve of.

  • Apple Mulls Podcast Subscription Push Amid Spotify's Land Grab

    The talks, first reported by The Information, have been ongoing since at least last fall, sources tell to The Hollywood Reporter, and ultimately could end up taking several different forms. Regardless, it’s clear that Tim Cook-led Apple — after spending the last two years watching rival-in-music-streaming Spotify invest hundreds of millions of dollars to align itself with some of the most prolific producers and most popular personalities in podcasting — is no longer content sitting on the sideline. “There’s a huge opportunity sitting under their nose with 1.4 million iOS devices globally,” says Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, “and they don’t want to lose out.” Apple declined to comment about its podcasting plans.

    Much of the growth of the podcasting industry over the last decade can be traced back to Apple and its former CEO Steve Jobs, who in 2005 declared that he was “bringing podcasting mainstream” by adding support for the medium to iTunes. A few years later, the company introduced a separate Podcasts app that quickly became the leading distribution platform for the medium. But Apple, which netted $275 billion in sales in fiscal 2020, has refrained from turning podcasting — still a relatively small industry that the Interactive Advertising Bureau estimated would bring in nearly $1 billion in U.S. advertising revenue last year — into a moneymaking venture.

  • Blacks In Technology and The Linux Foundation Partner to Offer up to $100,000 in Training & Certification to Deserving Individuals [Ed: Linux Foundation exploits blacks for PR, even though it does just about nothing for blacks [1, 2]]

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and The Blacks In Technology Foundation, the largest community of Black technologists globally, today announced the launch of a new scholarship program to help more Black individuals get started with an IT career. Blacks in Technology will award 50 scholarships per quarter to promising individuals. The Linux Foundation will provide each of these recipients with a voucher to register for any Linux Foundation administered certification exam at no charge, such as the Linux Foundation Certified IT Associate, Certified Kubernetes Administrator, Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator and more. Associated online training courses will also be provided at no cost when available for the exam selected. Each recipient will additionally receive one-on-one coaching with a Blacks In Technology mentor each month to help them stay on track in preparing for their exam.

  • the tragedy of gemini

    While everything I have seen served via Gemini is friendly and sociable, the technical barriers of what-is-a-command-line and how-do-I-use-one are a fence put up that keep out the riffraff. Certainly, you can walk around the corner and go through the gate, but ultimately the geminiverse is lovely because it is underpopulated, slower-paced, and literate. It is difficult enough to access that those who can use it can be welcoming without worrying its smallness will be compromised.

    The tragedy is that I don’t think many of its denizens would claim that they only want to hear from technical, educated people, but in order to use a small [Internet], an August [Internet], they have let the fence keep out anyone else.

Devices: GigaIPC, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino Projects

  • Rugged systems provide IP67 waterproofing

    GigaIPC unveiled two compact, IP67-protected “QBix-WP” computers with Linux support and rugged M12 ports for 2x LAN, 3x COM, GPIO, and 9-36V input: one with 8th Gen Whiskey Lake and the other with Apollo Lake. Taiwan-based GigaIPC has announced a “QBiX-WP Series” of rugged embedded systems with IP67 protections: an 8th Gen Whiskey Lake based QBiX-WP-WHLA8265H-A1 and an Apollo Lake powered QBiX-WP-APLA3940H-A1. IP67 provides level 6 “dust-tight” protection against dust ingression and level 7 waterproofing against liquid ingress including immersion at up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

  • Deter burglars with a Raspberry Pi chatbot
  • Arduino Blog » 3D-printed mobile robot platform based on the Arduino Due

    Although an Arduino can be a great way to provide computing power for a mobile robot platform, you’ll need a variety of other electronics and mechanical components to get it going. In his write-up, computer science student Niels Post outlines how he constructed a robot that travels via two stepper motors, along with casters to keep it upright. The round chassis is 3D-printed and runs on three rechargeable 18650 batteries.

  • Arduino Blog » Making your own Segway, the Arduino way

    After obtaining motors from a broken wheelchair, this father-son duo went to work turning them into a new “Segway.” The device is controlled by an Arduino Uno, along with a pair of motor drivers implemented handle the device’s high current needs. An MPU-6050 allows it to react as the rider leans forward and backwards, moving with the help of a PID loop. Steering is accomplished via a potentiometer, linked to a bent-pipe control stick using a bottle cap and glue.