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May 2014

32-bit Enterprise Linux Still Matters

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I've done a lot of support of government servers and they run for about forever, as in until they serve no further use. Even retired, old servers are often repurposed and put back into service due to budget restrictions and/or long lead times to order new equipment under the required procedures for government procurement. In the United States this is especially true at the state level. When a server is repurposed it is usually reloaded with the current enterprise standard Linux distrubution release and applications, not legacy releases. That's one common use case.

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Tails 1.1 Beta 1 Secure Distro Now Has Windows 8 Comouflage Mode

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Tails is a distribution based on Debian and Tor technologies that aims to keep its users as anonymous as possible. It gained a lot more visibility after Edward Snowden said that he used exactly this Linux distribution to hide his tracks. The developers are now implementing more changes and fixes that should ensure it becomes even more secure.

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WebRTC voice and video now available on Firefox Nightly, but…

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WebRTC voice and video is now available on Firefox Nightly. That’s the latest news from the Mozilla Foundation and TokBox, the Web communications company that Mozilla Foundation is working with to bring us WebRTC voice and video in my favorite Web browser. To see how this actually works, I decided to download Firefox Nightly and install or run it on my systems.

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Massive NVIDIA 337.25 Linux Driver Massive Update Released, New GPUs Supported

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The new driver from NVIDIA is quite an impressive one and it covers some new GPU models and numerous bug fixes for various issues and bugs.

NVIDIA has three distinct driver versions that are aimed at various users and products, but this Short Lived Branch is the most updated one. This is where the NVIDIA developers make the first updates for their products and it's also the version that receives improvements for games and applications.

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OpenCL Linux Benchmarks With The Latest Linux GPU Drivers

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This week there's already been a high-end OpenGL comparison using the latest proprietary drivers with newer AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. Those OpenGL results were followed by a 2D NVIDIA/AMD Linux performance comparison and now to end out the week are some OpenCL compute benchmarks.

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Amarok 2.8.0 Review – A Different Kind of Music Player

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Amarok is one of the most famous music players on the Linux platform and it's been around for more than a decade. It's integrated by default in KDE, which might have contributed to its fame, but it's definitely one of the most interesting alternatives.

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The Dirty List Of GPUs With Open-Source Drivers Gone Wildly Wrong

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This morning I shared the list of the 60+ graphics cards being tested under Linux for a set of very interesting articles coming up in the days ahead in this massive Linux graphics comparison in celebration of's 10th birthday next week. While all of the graphics cards were tried, with the open-source drivers there were notable failures with both the AMD Radeon and Nouveau drivers.

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Netbook, Desktop and X Editions of Simplicity Linux 14.7 Alpha 1 Now Available

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“Simplicity Linux 14.7 Alpha is now available for download in Netbook, Desktop and X Editions. It is based on Precise Puppy and uses the excellent LXPup by SFS to provide LXDE as a desktop environment for Netbook and Desktop Editions. As usual, Netbook is our cut down version which focuses on web based applications rather than locally installed applications,” said the developer in the official announcement.

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First ideas for a better GNOME browser

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I have tried to describe a situation where Web browsing is more tightly integrated with the desktop. There is still a lot of work to do: detailed functionality needs to be refined, assumptions need to be verified, mockups and prototypes need to be created and evaluated…
A browser is a very complex application to design, but luckily there is a lot of knowledge already available that should help us generate ideas and make informed decisions.

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Sphere 1.4 Is an Icon Pack for People Who Don't Like Flat Operating Systems

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The Sphere icon pack is made by Achim Karsch and features over 24.000 icons for the operating system, covering pretty much all the known applications out there.

“I really wanted to create another theme, but over the time I'm coming back to my old design Sphere. The most icons, you find in the web, are regtangled designed, looks like iOS design. I want to create something else, something special for linux systems. I think the sphere design looks good and is a opportunity for all those other icons out there.”

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: KDE


  • 4 Useful Cinnamon Desktop Applets
    The Cinnamon desktop environment is incredibly popular, and for good reason. Out of the box it offers a clean, fast and well configured desktop experience. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it a little better with a few nifty extras. And that’s where Cinnamon Applets come in. Like Unity’s Indicator Applets and GNOME Extensions, Cinnamon Applets let you add additional functionality to your desktop quickly and easily.
  • GNOME Core Apps Hackfest
    The hackfest is aimed to raise the standard of the overall core experience in GNOME, this includes the core apps like Documents, Files, Music, Photos and Videos, etc. In particular, we want to identify missing features and sore points that needs to be addressed and the interaction between apps and the desktop. Making the core apps push beyond the limits of the framework and making them excellent will not only be helpful for the GNOME desktop experience, but also for 3rd party apps, where we will implement what they are missing and also serve as an example of what an app could be.
  • This Week in GTK+ – 21
    In this last week, the master branch of GTK+ has seen 335 commits, with 13631 lines added and 37699 lines removed.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Puppet Unveils New Docker Build and Phased Deployments
    Puppet released a number of announcements today including the availability of Puppet Docker Image Build and a new version of Puppet Enterprise, which features phased deployments and situational awareness. In April, Puppet began helping people deploy and manage things like Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere, and CoreOS. Now the shift is helping people manage the services that are running on top of those environments.
  • 9 reasons not to install Nagios in your company
  • Top 5 Reasons to Love Kubernetes
    At LinuxCon Europe in Berlin I gave a talk about Kubernetes titled "Why I love Kubernetes? Top 10 reasons." The response was great, and several folks asked me to write a blog about it. So here it is, with the first five reasons in this article and the others to follow. As a quick introduction, Kubernetes is "an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications" often referred to as a container orchestrator.
  • Website-blocking attack used open-source software
    Mirai gained notoriety after the Krebs attack because of the bandwidth it was able to generate — a record at well over 600 gigabits a second, enough to send the English text of Wikipedia three times in two seconds. Two weeks later, the source code for Mirai was posted online for free.
  • Alibaba’s Blockchain Email Repository Gains Technology from Chinese Open Source Startup
    Onchain, an open-source blockchain based in Shanghai, will provide technology for Alibaba’s first blockchain supported email evidence repository. Onchain allows fast re-constructions for public, permissioned (consortium) or private blockchains and will eventually enable interoperability among these modes. Its consortium chain product, the Law Chain, will provide technology for Ali Cloud, Alibaba’s computing branch. Ali Cloud has integrated Onchain’s Antshares blockchain technology to provide an enterprise-grade email repository. Onchain provides the bottom-layer framework for Ali Cloud, including its open-source blockchain capabilities, to enable any company to customize its own enterprise-level blockchain.
  • Netflix on Firefox for Linux
    If you're a Firefox user and you're a little fed up with going to Google Chrome every time in order to watch Netflix on your Linux machine, the good news is since Firefox 49 landed, HTML5 DRM (through the Google Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Manager) plugin) is now supported. Services that use DRM for HTML5 media should now just work, such as Amazon Prime Video. Unfortunately, the Netflix crew haven't 'flicked a switch' yet behind the scenes for Firefox on Linux, meaning if you run Netflix in the Mozilla browser at the moment, you'll likely just come across the old Silverlight error page. But there is a workaround. For some reason, Netflix still expects Silverlight when it detects the user is running Firefox, despite the fact that the latest Firefox builds for Linux now support the HTML5 DRM plugin.
  • IBM Power Systems solution for EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server
    The primary focus of this article is on the use, configuration, and optimization of PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server running on the IBM® Power Systems™ servers featuring the new IBM POWER8® processor technology. Note: The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.2 operating system was used. The scope of this article is to provide information on how to build and set up of PostgreSQL database from open source and also install and configure EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on an IBM Power® server for better use. EnterpriseDB Postgres Advanced Server on IBM Power Systems running Linux® is based on the open source database, PostgreSQL, and is capable of handling a wide variety of high-transaction and heavy-reporting workloads.
  • Valgrind 3.12 Released With More Improvements For Memory Debugging/Checking
  • [Valgrind] Release 3.12.0 (20 October 2016)
  • Chain Launches Open Source Developer Platform [Ed: If it’s openwashing, then no doubt Microsoft is involved]
  • LLVM Still Looking At Migration To GitHub
    For the past number of months the LLVM project has been considering a move from their SVN-based development process to Git with a focus on GitHub. That effort continues moving forward.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released With File Manager Improvements
    Lumina is a lightweight Qt-based desktop environment for BSD and Linux. We show you what's new in its latest release, and how you can install it on Ubuntu.
  • Study: Administrations unaware of IT vendor lock-in
    Public policy makers in Sweden have limited insight on how IT project can lead to IT vendor lock-in, a study conducted for the Swedish Competition Authority shows. “An overwhelming majority of the IT projects conducted by schools and public sector organisations refer to specific software without considering lock-in and different possible negative consequences”, the authors conclude.
  • How open access content helps fuel growth in Indian-language Wikipedias
    Mobile Internet connectivity is growing rapidly in rural India, and because most Internet users are more comfortable in their native languages, websites producing content in Indian languages are going to drive this growth. In a country like India in which only a handful of journals are available in Indian languages, open access to research and educational resources is hugely important for populating content for the various Indian language Wikipedias.
  • Where to find the world's best programmers
    One source of data about programmers' skills is HackerRank, a company that poses programming challenges to a community of more than a million coders and also offers recruitment services to businesses. Using information about how successful coders from different countries are at solving problems across a wide range of domains (such as "algorithms" or "data structures" or specific languages such as C++ or Java), HackerRank's data suggests that, overall, the best developers come from China, followed closely by Russia. Alarmingly, and perhaps unexpectedly, the United States comes in at 28th place.

OSS in the Back End

  • AtScale Delivers Findings on BI-Plus-Hadoop
    Business intelligence is the dominant use-case for IT organizations implementing Hadoop, according to a report from the folks at AtScale. The benchmark study also shows which tools in the Haddop ecosystem are best for particular types of BI queries. As we've reported before, tools that demystify and function as useful front-ends and connectors for the open source Hadoop project are much in demand. AtScale, billed as “the first company to allow business users to do business intelligence on Hadoop,” focused its study on the strengths and weaknesses of the industry’s most popular analytical engines for Hadoop – Impala, SparkSQL, Hive and Presto.
  • Study Says OpenStack at Scale Can Produce Surprising Savings
    Revenues from OpenStack-based businesses are poised to grow by 35 percent a year to more than $5 billion by 2020, according to analysts at 451 Research. In its latest Cloud Price Index, 451 Research analyzes the costs associated with using various cloud options to determine when it becomes better value to use a self-managed private cloud instead of public or managed cloud services. The idea is to createa complex pricing model that takes into consideration the major factors impacting total cost of ownership (TCO), including salaries and workload requirements.The 451 study found that because of the prevalence of suitably qualified administrators, commercial private cloud offerings such as VMware and Microsoft currently offer a lower TCO when labor efficiency is below 400 virtual machines managed per engineer. But where labor efficiency is greater than this, OpenStack becomes more financially attractive. In fact, past this tipping point, all private cloud options are cheaper than both public cloud and managed private cloud options.
  • How OpenStack mentoring breaks down cultural barriers
    Victoria Martinez de la Cruz is no stranger to OpenStack's mentorship opportunities. It's how she got her own start in OpenStack, and now a few years later is helping to coordinate many of these opportunities herself. She is speaking on a panel on mentoring and internships later this week at OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Spain. In this interview, we catch up with Victoria to learn more about the details of what it's like to be a part of an open source internship, as well as some helpful advice for people on both sides of the mentoring process.