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Updated: 42 min 7 sec ago

WriteFreely: Start a blog, build a community

6 hours 38 min ago

As more of our lives move online, we become dependent on large services with millions (or billions) of users to communicate with each other. Although we tend to notice problems only when these platforms change a policy, erect a paywall, or suffer a data breach, we can often feel how these mass-broadcast platforms don't always have our best interests in mind and often don't "connect" us in the ways they purport to.


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An introduction to spatial joins with QGIS

6 hours 39 min ago

QGIS is a free and open source geographic information system (GIS) that is extensible, interoperable with other GISes, and used by a ton of people (including me) who have geographic data to analyze and visualize. It's a great platform with an enormous set of capabilities, which can seem daunting on first approach.


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Developer happiness: What you need to know

6 hours 40 min ago

A person needs the right tools for the job. There's nothing as frustrating as getting halfway through a car repair, for instance, only to discover you don't have the specialized tool you need to complete the job. The same concept applies to developers: you need the tools to do what you are best at, without disrupting your workflow with compliance and security needs, so you can produce code faster.


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How open data and tools can save lives during a disaster

Thursday 21st of February 2019 08:03:00 AM

If you've lived through a major, natural disaster, you know that during the first few days you'll probably have to rely on a mental map, instead of using a smartphone as an extension of your brain. Where's the closest hospital with disaster care? What about shelters? Gas stations? And how many soft story buildings—with their propensity to collapse—will you have to zig-zag around to get there?


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Testing Bash with BATS

Thursday 21st of February 2019 08:02:00 AM

Software developers writing applications in languages such as Java, Ruby, and Python have sophisticated libraries to help them maintain their software's integrity over time. They create tests that run applications through a series of executions in structured environments to ensure all of their software's aspects work as expected.


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5 things to master to be a DevOps engineer

Thursday 21st of February 2019 08:01:00 AM

There's an increasing global demand for DevOps professionals, IT pros who are skilled in software development and operations. In fact, the Linux Foundation's Open Source Jobs Report ranked DevOps as the most in-demand skill, and DevOps career opportunities are thriving worldwide.


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The results from our past three Linux distro polls

Thursday 21st of February 2019 08:00:00 AM

Every year, we like to ask readers "What desktop distro do you prefer in 2019?" This year, the total votes tallied in at 5,641, and the winner was Fedora with 1,151 votes. Ubuntu was a very close second with 1,133 votes.

From Sparky to Puppy to Gentoo ("how was that not on the list?"), readers weighed in. And, lots of folks mentioned their love of Pop! OS.


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Deploy InfluxDB and Grafana on Kubernetes to collect Twitter stats

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 08:02:00 AM

Kubernetes is the de facto leader in container orchestration on the market, and it is an amazingly configurable and powerful orchestration tool. As with many powerful tools, it can be somewhat confusing at first.


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Infrastructure monitoring: Defense against surprise downtime

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 08:01:00 AM

Infrastructure monitoring is an integral part of infrastructure management. It is an IT manager's first line of defense against surprise downtime. Severe issues can inject considerable downtime to live infrastructure, sometimes causing heavy loss of money and material.

Monitoring collects time-series data from your infrastructure so it can be analyzed to predict upcoming issues with the infrastructure and its underlying components. This gives the IT manager or support staff time to prepare and apply a resolution before a problem occurs.

A good monitoring system provides:


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Do Linux distributions still matter with containers?

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 08:00:00 AM

Some people say Linux distributions no longer matter with containers. Alternative approaches, like distroless and scratch containers, seem to be all the rage. It appears we are considering and making technology decisions based more on fashion sense and immediate emotional gratification than thinking through the secondary effects of our choices. We should be asking questions like: How will these choices affect maintenance six months down the road? What are the engineering tradeoffs? How does this paradigm shift affect our build systems at scale?


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How Linux testing has changed and what matters today

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 08:03:00 AM

If you've ever wondered how your Linux computer stacks up against other Linux, Windows, and MacOS machines or searched for reviews of Linux-compatible hardware, you're probably familiar with Phoronix.


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4 secrets management tools for Git encryption

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 08:02:00 AM

There are a lot of great open source tools out there for storing secrets in Git. It can be hard to determine the right one for you and your organization—it depends on your use cases and requirements. To help you compare and choose, we'll look at four of the most popular open source tools for secrets management and see how they stack up against each other:


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3 tools for viewing files at the command line

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 08:01:00 AM

I always say you don't need to use the command line to use Linux effectively—I know many Linux users who never crack open a terminal window and are quite happy. However, even though I don't consider myself a techie, I spend about 20% of my computing time at the command line, manipulating files, processing text, and using utilities.

One thing I often do in a terminal window is viewing files, whether text or word processor files. Sometimes it's just easier to use a command line utility than to fire up a text editor or a word processor.


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How our non-profit works openly to make education accessible

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 08:00:00 AM

I'm lucky to work with a team of impressive students at Duke University who are leaders in their classrooms and beyond. As members of CSbyUs, a non-profit and student-run organization based at Duke, we connect university students to middle school students, mostly from title I schools across North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. Our mission is to fuel future change agents from under-resourced learning environments by fostering critical technology skills for thriving in the digital age.


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Get started and organized with TiddlyWiki

Monday 18th of February 2019 08:01:00 AM

When you think of the word wiki, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is Wikipedia. That's not a surprise, considering that Wikipedia did help put the concept of the wiki into the popular consciousness. Wikis, which are websites you can edit, are great tools for collaborating and organizing. But wikis usually require a lot of digital plumbing and a bit of care to use and maintain. All of that's overkill for personal use.


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Building manylinux Python wheels

Monday 18th of February 2019 08:00:00 AM

There are many operating systems built on the GNU/Linux code base; these are known as "distributions." Users fondly (or sometimes not so fondly) talk about "distro wars": loud arguments, usually on the internet, about which distribution is best.


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Emoji-Log: A new way to write Git commit messages

Monday 18th of February 2019 08:00:00 AM

I'm a full-time open source developer—or, as I like to call it, an

Zowe 1.0 released, Microsoft joins OpenChain, new Raspberry Pi store, and more news

Saturday 16th of February 2019 08:05:00 AM

In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at the first physical Raspberry Pi store, NVIDIA's hyper-realistic face generator, Microsoft joining the OpenChain project, and more.


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Make websites more readable with a shell script

Friday 15th of February 2019 08:02:00 AM

If you want people to find your website useful, they need to be able to read it. The colors you choose for your text can affect the readability of your site. Unfortunately, a popular trend in web design is to use low-contrast colors when printing text, such as gray text on a white background. Maybe that looks really cool to the web designer, but it is really hard for many of us to read.


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Why should you use Rust in WebAssembly?

Friday 15th of February 2019 08:01:00 AM

WebAssembly (Wasm) is a technology that has the chance to reshape how we build apps for the browser. Not only will it allow us to build whole new classes of web applications, but it will also allow us to make existing apps written in JavaScript even more performant. 

In this article about the state of the Rust and Wasm ecosystem, I'll try to explain why Rust is the language that can unlock the true potential of WebAssembly.


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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Clear Linux Has A Goal To Get 3x More Upstream Components In Their Distro
    For those concerned that running Clear Linux means less available packages/bundles than the likes of Debian, Arch Linux, and Fedora with their immense collection of packaged software, Clear has a goal this year of increasing their upstream components available on the distribution by three times. Intel Fellow Arjan van de Ven provided an update on their bundling state/changes for the distribution. In this update he shared that the Clear Linux team at Intel established a goal this year to have "three times more upstream components in the distro. That's a steep growth, and we want to do that with some basic direction and without reducing quality/etc. We have some folks figuring out what things are the most desired that we lack, so we can add those with most priority... but this is where again we more than welcome feedback."
  • The results from our past three Linux distro polls
    You might think this annual poll would be fairly similar from year to year, from what distros we list to how people answer, but the results are wildly different from year to year. (At the time of the creation of each poll, we pull the top 15 distributions according to DistroWatch over the past 12 months.) Last year, the total votes tallied in at 15,574! And the winner was PCLinuxOS with Ubuntu a close second. Another interesting point is that in 2018, there were 950 votes for "other" and 122 comments compared to this year with only 367 votes for "other" and 69 comments.
  • Fedora Strategy FAQ Part 3: What does this mean for Fedora releases?
    Fedora operating system releases are (largely) time-based activity where a new base operating system (kernel, libraries, compilers) is built and tested against our Editions for functionality. This provides a new source for solutions to be built on. The base operating systems may continue to be maintained on the current 13 month life cycle — or services that extend that period may be provided in the future. A solution is never obligated to build against all currently maintained bases.
  • How open data and tools can save lives during a disaster
    If you've lived through a major, natural disaster, you know that during the first few days you'll probably have to rely on a mental map, instead of using a smartphone as an extension of your brain. Where's the closest hospital with disaster care? What about shelters? Gas stations? And how many soft story buildings—with their propensity to collapse—will you have to zig-zag around to get there? Trying to answer these questions after moving back to earthquake-prone San Francisco is why I started the Resiliency Maps project. The idea is to store information about assets, resources, and hazards in a given geographical area in a map that you can download and print out. The project contributes to and is powered by OpenStreetMap (OSM), and the project's entire toolkit is open source, ensuring that the maps will be available to anyone who wants to use them.
  • Millions of websites threatened by highly critical code-execution bug in Drupal

    Drupal is the third most-widely used CMS behind WordPress and Joomla. With an estimated 3 percent to 4 percent of the world's billion-plus websites, that means Drupal runs tens of millions of sites. Critical flaws in any CMS are popular with hackers, because the vulnerabilities can be unleashed against large numbers of sites with a single, often-easy-to-write script.

  • Avoiding the coming IoT dystopia
    Bradley Kuhn works for the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and part of what that organization does is to think about the problems that software freedom may encounter in the future. SFC worries about what will happen with the four freedoms as things change in the world. One of those changes is already upon us: the Internet of Things (IoT) has become quite popular, but it has many dangers, he said. Copyleft can help; his talk is meant to show how. It is still an open question in his mind whether the IoT is beneficial or not. But the "deep trouble" that we are in from IoT can be mitigated to some extent by copyleft licenses that are "regularly and fairly enforced". Copyleft is not the solution to all of the problems, all of the time—no idea, no matter how great, can be—but it can help with the dangers of IoT. That is what he hoped to convince attendees with his talk. A joke that he had seen at least three times at the conference (and certainly before that as well) is that the "S" in IoT stands for security. As everyone knows by now, the IoT is not about security. He pointed to some recent incidents, including IoT baby monitors that were compromised by attackers in order to verbally threaten the parents. This is "scary stuff", he said.

KDE: Slackware's Plasma5, KDE Community 'Riot' (Matrix), Kdenlive Call for Testers/Testing

  • [Slackware] Python3 update in -current results in rebuilt Plasma5 packages in ktown
    Pat decided to update the Python 3 to version 3.7.2. This update from 3.6 to 3.7 broke binary compatibility and a lot of packages needed to be rebuilt in -current. But you all saw the ChangeLog.txt entry of course. In my ‘ktown’ repository with Plasma5 packages, the same needed to happen. I have uploaded a set of recompiled packages already, so you can safely upgrade to the latest -current as long as you also upgrade to the latest ‘ktown’. Kudos to Pat for giving me advance warning so I could already start recompiling my own stuff before he uploaded his packages.
  • Alternatives to rioting
    The KDE Community has just announced the wider integration of Matrix instant messaging into its communications infrastructure. There are instructions on the KDE Community Wiki as well. So what’s the state of modern chat with KDE-FreeBSD? The web client works pretty well in Falkon, the default browser in a KDE Plasma session on FreeBSD. I don’t like leaving browsers open for long periods of time, so I looked at the available desktop clients. Porting Quaternion to FreeBSD was dead simple. No compile warnings, nothing, just an hour of doing some boilerplate-ish things, figuring out which Qt components are needed, and doing a bunch of test builds. So that client is now available from official FreeBSD ports. The GTK-based client Fractal was already ported, so there’s choices available for native-desktop applications over the browser or Electron experience.
  • Ready to test [Kdenlive]?
    If you followed Kdenlive’s activity these last years, you know that we dedicated all our energy into a major code refactoring. During this period, which is not the most exciting since our first goal was to simply restore all the stable version’s features, we were extremely lucky to see new people joining the core team, and investing a lot of time in the project. We are now considering to release the updated version in April, with KDE Applications 19.04. There are still a few rough edges and missing features (with many new ones added as well), but we think it now reached the point where it is possible to start working with it.

Preliminary Support Allows Linux KVM To Boot Xen HVM Guests

As one of the most interesting patch series sent over by an Oracle developer in quite a while at least on the virtualization front, a "request for comments" series was sent out on Wednesday that would enable the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to be able to boot Xen HVM guests. The 39 patches touching surprisingly just over three thousand lines of code allow for Linux's KVM to run unmodified Xen HVM images as well as development/testing of Xen guests and Xen para-virtualized drivers. This approach is different from other efforts in the past of tighter Xen+KVM integration. Read more

Servers: Kubernetes, SUSE Enterprise Storage and Microsoft/SAP

  • Kubernetes and the Cloud
    One of the questions I get asked quite often by people who are just starting or are simply not used to the “new” way things are done in IT is, “What is the cloud?” This, I think, is something you get many different answers to depending on who you ask. I like to think of it this way: The cloud is a grouping of resources (compute, storage, network) that are available to be used in a manner that makes them both highly available and scalable, either up or down, as needed. If I have an issue with a resource, I need to be able to replace that resource quickly — and this is where containers come in. They are lightweight, can be started quickly, and allow us to focus a container on a single job. Containers are also replaceable. If I have a DB container, for instance, there can’t be anything about it that makes it “special” so that when it is replaced, I do not lose operational capability.
  • iSCSI made easy with SUSE Enterprise Storage
    As your data needs continue to expand, it’s important to have a storage solution that’s both scalable and easy to manage. That’s particularly true when you’re managing common gateway resources like iSCSI that provide interfaces to storage pools built in Ceph. In this white paper, you’ll see how to use the SUSE Enterprise Storage openATTIC management console to create RADOS block devices (RBDs), pools and iSCSI interfaces for use with Linux, Windows and VMware systems.
  • Useful Resources for deploying SAP Workloads on SUSE in Azure [Ed: SUSE never truly quit being a slave of Microsoft. It's paid to remain a slave.]
    SAP applications are a crucial part of your customer’s digital transformation, but with SAP’s move to SAP S/4HANA, this can also present a challenge.