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Updated: 6 hours 36 min ago

GitHub Aims to Make Open Source Code Apocalypse-Proof in Arctic Vault

7 hours 58 min ago
GitHub wants to make sure its entire warehouse of open source code survives an apocalypse by burying it deep within an Arctic vault as one of several preservation strategies. Microsoft-owned GitHub is creating the Arctic Code Vault as a data repository for the existing Arctic World Archive. The AWA is a very-long-term archival facility about 0.16 miles deep in the permafrost of an Arctic mountain. Located in a decommissioned coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago, the archive is closer to the North Pole than the Arctic Circle.

ALT Linux: Worthy Linux Alternatives, With a Catch

Friday 15th of November 2019 06:08:32 PM
ALT Linux offers a buffet of Linux distributions that meet a variety of specialized needs. Its inviting selections could be a good source of alternative Linux OS solutions if you take the time to sort out the menus. You might find navigating the poorly designed website a tedious chore. Still, persevering could get you a few tasty options to satisfy your computing appetite. ALT Linux is a Russia-based independent distribution that forked from Mandrake Linux, an independent distribution that forked from Fedora-based Red Hat Linux.

KaOS Linux Brings Order to the Desktop

Friday 8th of November 2019 06:29:41 PM
The KaOS distro is an up-and-coming Linux operating system that provides one of the best integrations yet of a refreshed KDE-based computing platform. Two types of users gravitate to this solidly maintained distribution: those who are frustrated by poor user experiences with Linux distros that are bloated and cumbersome to use; and those who want a better and more controlled KDE desktop environment. If you already are sold on the efficiency that the KDE desktop offers, you will be pleased with the unique design of this distro.

Microsoft's Chromium-Based Edge Browser Available as Release Candidate

Tuesday 5th of November 2019 08:10:09 PM
Along with unveiling its new Edge browser logo, Microsoft announced the official launch date of its nearly finished Chromium-based Edge browser and made its Release Candidate available for download immediately. The latest beta edition of the browser is stable enough for anyone to use, Microsoft said, and it will help IT admins prepare for the mid-Jan. 15 rollout. Microsoft relied on the Chromium open source project in developing Microsoft Edge for the desktop to create better Web compatibility and to reduce fragmentation for all Web developers.

Latest ExTix: Lots of Flexibility and a Few Flaws

Friday 1st of November 2019 04:38:01 PM
ExTiX 19.10, released with the LXQt desktop on Oct. 23, is a customized Linux distro that leaves you wanting more but settling for less. ExTix is a lightweight modular Linux operating system that is part of the Exton Linux/Live Systems family of distributions hosted by The Swedish Linux Society. The Society hosts 16 Exton distributions. The ExTix distro line is perhaps the best known of Exton's Linux platforms. However, the Exton Linux inventory of distributions is a fertile repository of custom distros you will not find elsewhere.

Linux Inside Azure Sphere on the Horizon

Wednesday 30th of October 2019 07:16:57 PM
Azure Sphere will be generally available in Feb 2020, Microsoft announced at the IoT Solutions World Congress. Its scheduled arrival highlights Microsoft's readiness to fulfill its promise for better Internet of Things device security at scale, company officials said. Microsoft first introduced Azure Sphere in 2018, opting to use its own version of a Linux operating system instead of Windows 10 to drive its new Azure Sphere OS to securely connect Internet of Things devices. Security is one of the leading barriers to IoT adoption.

Dragora Linux Is Anything But Simple

Friday 25th of October 2019 06:33:30 PM
Dragora is a fledgling Linux distribution that neither works out of the box nor is user-friendly. That said, if you have an adventurous interest in practically starting from scratch and somewhat building your own computing platform, Dragora could be an interesting side project to learn how a distribution works on the inside. Brace yourself for a strong measure of frustration, especially if you are not already familiar with how the Linux operating system works. he Argentina-based developer, Matías Fonzo, offers very little documentation.

Samsung's Support for Linux on DeX Fizzles

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 04:45:10 PM
Samsung has called quits on its effort to provide a full Linux desktop platform for Android. In an email to beta testers last week, Samsung said it would not support its Linux on DeX beta program for future operating system and device releases. Samsung's announcement coincides with Google's release of the Android 10 OS update and its rollout on Samsung phones. Neither company will provide Linux on DeX support. Linux on DeX allows users to connect smartphones or tablets to monitors to simulate a full Linux desktop computing experience.

Solus Brightens Computing Across the Linux User Spectrum

Friday 18th of October 2019 05:00:34 PM
The Solus Project is alive and well and continues to offer a fresh approach to uncomplicating the computer desktop. That says a lot, given the sometimes sordid developmental path of the almost 5-year-old Linux distribution. Solus 4.0 Linux "Fortitude" was updated earlier this month. The Solus team provided improvements to each of the distribution's supported desktop environments -- Budgie, GNOME and MATE. An independent Linux distribution built from scratch, Solus is available for 64-bit computers only.

'Serious' Linux Sudo Bug's Damage Potential Actually May Be Small

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 05:09:33 PM
Developers have patched a vulnerability in Sudo, a core command utility for Linux, that could allow a user to execute commands as a root user even if that root access was specifically disallowed. The patch prevents potential serious consequences within Linux systems. However, the Sudo vulnerability posed a threat only to a narrow segment of the Linux user base, according to Todd Miller, software developer and senior engineer at Quest Software and a maintainer of the open source Sudo project. "Most Sudo configurations are not affected by the bug," he said.

Austrumi Linux Has Great Potential if You Speak Its Language

Thursday 10th of October 2019 06:55:25 PM
Austrumi Linux is an unusual distribution. With a little more polish, it could be a good tool for running the Linux operating system on any computer you touch without changing anything on the hard drive. Last updated on Oct. 3 to version 4.08, Austrumi Linux is a bootable live Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. It was created and is maintained by a group of programmers from the Latgale region of Latvia. One of the things that makes Austrumi so interesting is its desktop -- FVWM, or Feeble Virtual Window Manager.

Devs Engage in Soul-Searching on Future of Open Source

Tuesday 8th of October 2019 06:26:51 PM
Two things to avoid in online discussions are politics and religion. Open source technology may be an explosive third topic that software developers should be wary of subjecting to a virtual debate. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg and Ruby on Rails creator and Basecamp cofounder David Heinemeier Hansson got into an all-out Twitter slugfest last week about the role of open source. The bantering touched on issues that included the monopoly-making power of WordPress and forking applications to blunt runaway growth.

SolydXK Delivers Rock Solid Linux Performance

Friday 4th of October 2019 04:56:16 PM
SolydXK is a Debian-based distribution with a choice of Xfce or KDE desktops. Both versions are simple to use and offer dependable and consistent performance. SolydX and SolydK are Debian Buster-based Linux OSes with the Xfce and KDE desktops respectively. The SolydXK distro is a solid open source alternative for small businesses, nonprofit organizations and home users. The distro's developer team lacks an enterprise business structure and costly tech support services that come with business options such as Red Hat and Ubuntu Linux.

ArcoLinux Eases the Way for the Arch-Curious User

Friday 27th of September 2019 12:00:00 PM
ArcoLinux is a big change for the better for anyone switching from another Linux distro to the Arch infrastructure. ArcoLinux previously was known as "ArchMerge Linux." It is a rolling update distribution based on Arch Linux, but it offers an unusual learning path to make assimilating into the Arch architecture a more pleasant experience. ArcoLinux is a continuation -- albeit taking a slightly different direction -- of ArchMerge Linux and its family line. ArchMerge Linux was a spinoff of another breakaway distro, ArchLabs Linux.

Manjaro 18.1: Goes Arch One Better

Friday 20th of September 2019 02:00:00 PM
Manjaro Linux 18.1, released on Sept. 12, is one of the most complete Linux OSes you will find. It is a powerhouse distro that offers a better Arch Linux computing platform, and it is the de facto standard for comparing Arch family options. After six months of development, the latest series is a fast, user-friendly, desktop-oriented operating system based on Arch Linux -- but its independent nature makes this distro a hallmark of out-of-the-box computing. Arch Linux itself is renowned for being exceptionally fast, powerful and lightweight.

Pine64 Teases $25 Linux Smartwatch

Tuesday 17th of September 2019 05:25:13 PM
While open source enthusiasts still await the year of the Linux desktop, hardware developer Pine64 is advancing the cause of a $25 Linux-powered smartwatch, dubbed "PineTime." The Pine64 community has invited FreeRTOS or ArmMbed developers with an interest in smartwatches to join in its efforts to bring the product to market. Pine64 makes inexpensive Linux-based single board ARM computers that cost $15 to $20. It also makes an $89 Linux laptop called "Pinebook," which runs on the Pine A64 board. A few Linux distributions run on Pine A64.

Archman Linux: Pure Arch With Extra Flair

Friday 13th of September 2019 06:12:07 PM
Archman is an Arch Linux-based rolling distribution featuring the Calamares system installer, Pamac package manager, and a selection of preconfigured desktop environments. The distro's name is derived from Arch Linux and Pacman package management. The new version comes with a customized Xfce 4.14 desktop environment. The customization is immediately noticeable in the design of the desktop panel at the bottom of the screen. Combined with a smart hiding feature, the overall visual effect is to make the entire screen real estate available for use.

New OSGeoLive Release Opens Doors to Geospatial Worlds

Friday 6th of September 2019 05:36:38 PM
If you ever have considered investigating or working with elements of the geospatial world, check out the latest edition of OSGeoLive. OSGeoLive is a Linux distribution that runs directly from a bootable DVD or USB thumb drive. You also can load a pre-made virtual machine disk file that runs in a VMware Workstation or VirtualBox environment. Or you can install it the old-fashioned way as a dual-boot or sole operating system on a hard drive. Whichever approach you take, OSGeoLive gives you a complete Linux OS.

Drauger OS Makes a Capable Linux Game Console Platform

Thursday 29th of August 2019 06:06:50 PM
Drauger OS is a relatively new Linux distro for users with a penchant for games. Several design elements make this Linux gaming platform different from typical distributions that merely pack digital titles. However, it lacks a few productivity tools that otherwise would make it a daily computing driver out of the box. Based on Xubuntu, Drauger OS uses a modified Xfce4.12 desktop environment and runs only on 64-bit computers; no 32-bit gear is supported. This is a distro targeting game players who want good desktop performance.

Cryptocurrency OS Makes It Easy to Buy and Spend Digital Cash

Friday 23rd of August 2019 07:05:42 PM
If you are ready to jump into the digital world of a bitcoin economy, Cryptocurrency OS might be your most convenient way to fast-track your entry. Cryptocurrency OS is a specialty Linux distribution that serves a niche user market destined to grow as the crypto economy continues to develop. This distro is packed with all the tools you need to create and manage your crypto accounts. It also is a fully functional Linux operating system. It is easy to use this distro as your daily computing platform.

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Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Linux in the Ham Shack, Linux Headlines, LibreOffice 6.4 Alpha Quick Look and OpenIndiana 2019.10 Overview

Announcing coreboot 4.11

The coreboot project is proud to announce to have released coreboot 4.11. This release cycle was a bit shorter to get closer to our regular schedule of releasing in spring and autumn. Since 4.10 there were 1630 new commits by over 130 developers. Of these, about 30 contributed to coreboot for the first time. Thank you to all contributors who made 4.11 what it is and welcome to the project to all new contributors! Read more Also: Coreboot 4.11 Brings Many Intel Improvements, New Support For Supermicro / Lenovo Boards

GNOME Development: Technical Reports From Federico Mena-Quintero and Jussi Pakkanen

  • Refactoring the Length type

    Over a couple of years, librsvg's type that represents CSS lengths went from a C representation along the lines of "all data in the world is an int", to a Rust representation that uses some interesting type trickery: C struct with char for units. C struct with a LengthUnits enum. C struct without an embodied direction; each place that needs to normalize needs to get the orientation right. C struct with a built-in direction as an extra field, done at initialization time. Same struct but in Rust. An ugly but workable Parse trait so that the direction can be set at parse/initialization time. Three newtypes LengthHorizontal, LengthVertical, LengthBoth with a common core. A cleaned-up Parse trait. A macro to generate those newtypes. Replace the LengthDir enum with an Orientation trait, and three zero-sized types Horizontal/Vertical/Both that implement the trait. Replace most of the macro with a helper trait LengthTrait that has an Orientation associated type. Replace the helper trait with a single Length<T: Orientation> type, which puts the orientation as a generic parameter. The macro disappears and there is a single implementation for everything. Refactoring never ends!

  • Some intricacies of ABI stability

    As far as I know, there is no known real-world solution to this problem that would scale to a full operating system (i.e. all of Debian, FreeBSD or the like). If there are any university professors reading this needing problems for your grad students, this could be one of them. The problem itself is fairly simple to formulate: make it possible to run two different, ABI incompatible C++ standard libraries within one process. The solution will probably require changes in the compiler, linker and runtime loader. For example, you might extend symbol resolution rules so that they are not global, but instead symbols from, say library bar would first be looked up in its direct descendents (in this case only abi2) and only after that in other parts of the tree. To get you started, here is one potential solution I came up with while writing this post. I have no idea if it actually works, but I could not come up with an obvious thing that would break. I sadly don't have the time or know-how to implement this, but hopefully someone else has.

Graphics and Games: Intel, Vulkan, Trine and Google Stadia

  • Intel's Graphics Driver DoS Fix Last Week Has Hurt Power Consumption

    While the patches overnight about "substantial" improvement in power usage for Intel graphics on Linux were exciting on first look, it's less so now as it turns out last week's graphics driver security fixes is what regressed the Intel graphics power-savings. During last Tuesday's round of Intel security disclosures where there was a fix for denial of service in the Intel graphics driver, it turns out that the CVE-2019-0154 fix is what regressed power usage. The potential Denial of Service vulnerability was about unprivileged users being able to cause a DoS by reading select memory regions when the graphics hardware is in certain low-power states.

  • vkBasalt 0.2 Released With SMAA, Other Vulkan Post Processing Layer Enhancements

    The open-source vkBasalt project was started as a layer implementing Contrast Adaptive Sharpening (akin to Radeon Image Sharpening) for any Vulkan-using GPU/driver/software. The vkBasalt project then picked up FXAA support for this Vulkan post-processing layer while now a new release is out with more functionality added. The vkBasalt 0.2 release is out today and adds support for enhanced sub-pixel morphological anti-aliasing (SMAA) for higher-quality anti-aliasing than FXAA. SMAA is an image-based implementation of MLAA. This release also allows for multiple visual effects to be activated at once where as previously only any one of these image enhancing features could be active at a time.

  • Flax Engine Ported To Linux + Vulkan Rendering Support

    Flax Engine is the latest game engine seeing native Linux support and in the process the renderer also picked up Vulkan support. Flax Engine is a lesser known game engine that now works on Linux alongside Windows and Xbox One. After two years in development, the open beta release of Flax is expected soon.

  • The sad case of Trine on Mesa and Linux in 2019

    A year or so back I was planning on writing a congratulatory article to show my appreciation to Dave Airlie for fixing a long standing bug in Mesa that prevented users of older AMD Radeon HD cards from enjoying Trine Enchanted Edition on the free graphics stack. Bug 91808 resulted in a variety of graphical artifacts which, while not interfering with the gameplay, still put me off using that version of Trine. After several years and a great deal of evident frustration on his part, Airlie was able to track down the root of the problem and at long last was able to push a fix to master in May 2018. Airlie and developers like him are often the unsung heroes of FOSS development, and I wanted to give him a well deserved public pat on the back for his effort in fixing a bug which would only have affected such a small number of people. Unfortunately my research into this led me down an entirely different rabbit hole when I discovered the report for Bug 66067. A much more subtle misrendering of the game's colours and lighting, this bug is present in both Trine 2 and Trine Enchanted Edition and affects all Mesa users. Unlike the previous instance where it was an issue in the drivers that was the culprit, this issue is present in the game binaries themselves.

  • Google Stadia is out now for early adopters, well a few anyway

    Today, the Google Stadia streaming service officially launched for those who picked up the Founder or Premier Edition. Well, sort of anyway. Some people have it, a lot of people don't, we certainly don't and it appears the team at Stadia give different answers to different people on when you will actually be able to access it. I've also seen plenty of people whose orders have been cancelled without warning or explanation. Even worse still, some people have been sent their hardware without an access code. Google have, so far, done a terrible job at communicating on Stadia and so the initial launch doesn't seem to have gone down well at all.