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January 2019

Microsoft Entryism/EEE: Latest Examples

Filed under
Microsoft

Programming and Licensing: Debconf, DevConf.CZ, Debian, SALT, Eclipse GlassFish Java EE 8 Certified and HMD's GPL Compliance

Filed under
Development
  • Debconf Video Team Sprint – Day 3

    Today has mostly been spent in conversation.

    Jonathan has started to scratch an itch that I share, we need a better tally light solution. When we were using DV switch we had a simple tally light system using (iirc DTR on a) serial port to turn on or off an LED. This was fine because there was always a PC available at each camera running DVCapture.

    Since the move to Voctomix, each camera no longer has it’s own dedicated PC. Instead we have long 50R co-ax cables (remember the days of cheaper-net 10 base-2?) going directly to a PC running VoctoCore…. Yes we still use a serial port to drive a tally light (all be it these days from a USB to serial converter) but we could do so much better.

  • DevConf.CZ 2019 Recap

    DevConf.CZ 2019 wrapped up last weekend and it was a great event packed with lots of knowledgeable speakers, an engaging hallway track, and delicious food. This was my first trip to any DevConf and it was my second trip to Brno.

  • Scott Kitterman: Rise and fall of libclamav

    Because I was bored and needed to procrastinate, I decided to look at the history of packages using libclamav over the last several releases.

  • SALT is a third-party alternative to LG UP

    Although, currently flashing KDZ files is currently unsupported. You can check out the thread at the link below to download the software, and to leave feedback for the developer as the tool is refined. It works for both GNU/Linux and Windows operating systems, though the developer recommends you use the tool in his FWUL GNU/Linux environment.

  • Eclipse GlassFish Java EE 8 Certified

    GlassFish, and its associated Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) code, has been fully migrated to Eclipse Foundation stewardship. The new release, Eclipse GlassFish 5.1.0, is now fully Java EE 8 certified, which represents a key step to ensuring backward compatibility of Jakarta EE.

    GlassFish is the reference implementation of Java EE, in other words, the standard from which all other implementations and corresponding customizations are derived. GlassFish was initially created by Sun Microsystems for the Java EE platform and is now sponsored by Oracle, who have a supported version called Oracle GlassFish Server.

  • How to cast a function pointer to a void*
  • HMD publishes Nokia 2 V kernel source code

    Like any other company, HMD Global is required to release the kernel source code for any phones and major updates that it releases by the GPL. Today the company has published the source code for the Nokia 2 V, which is Verizon's version of the affordable Nokia 2.1 that is beginning sales tomorrow.

OpenSUSE/SUSE: Tumbleweed, Events and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 11 SP4

Filed under
SUSE
  • Introducing The Linux Community Challenge #2: openSUSE Tumbleweed
  • May we live in interesting times

    In 1966, Robert F Kennedy gave his famous Day of Affirmation Address in Cape Town, which included the allegedly Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times”. This has been widely used since, but is it really an ancient Chinese curse? Much research has been carried out into the origins of this phrase, and while it can be traced back to a speech given by Sir Austen Chamberlain in England in 1936, it has been generally confirmed and accepted by many to not be of Chinese origin. As a result, I’m quite happy to live in interesting times – preferably working in an interesting role, in an interesting company, in an interesting industry and surrounded by interesting people. Working at SUSE, as part of the OpenStack industry, I get to tick all of these boxes daily! Incidentally, at the time of writing this, there were 155 roles open on the SUSE careers page – why not take a look and see if any are interesting to you?

  • Is time running out for your SAP Linux support?

    In 60 days, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 11 SP4 will reach the March 31, 2019 end date for General Support. This means that it’s no longer possible to purchase a Priority Support subscription with the updates, proactive fixes for bugs and security vulnerabilities, and unlimited technical support that you depend on. More than likely, your SAP systems and services are critical to your business operations, so it’s equally critical that you maintain Linux support for those systems.
    If you’re no longer running your systems on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 11 SP4, or have a plan to maintain support with Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS) then you’re already ahead of the game. Just skip the rest of this blog and enjoy your day. If, on the other hand, you’re wondering what to do next then read on to understand your options.

Games: Graywalkers: Purgatory, Thrusty Ship, Unity, Slay the Spire, Night of the Blood Moon, MachiaVillain, Mage's Initiation

Filed under
Gaming
  • Graywalkers: Purgatory, an upcoming supernatural post-apocalyptic turn-based strategy RPG

    Graywalkers: Purgatory from developer Dreamlords Digital has me itching to try it out with a blending of turn-based XCOM-like combat with a supernatural post-apocalyptic theme.

  • In Thrusty Ship your main enemy is yourself and your throttle finger

    Thrusty Ship takes the basic gameplay of classics like Lunar Lander (and many others) with you fighting against gravity and turns it into a challenging and fun battle against your fuel gauge.

  • Unity 2019.1 Beta Deprecates Linux x86, Offers Up Many Vulkan & Linux Improvements

    Unity Tech has put out their first public beta of the upcoming Unity 2019.1 game engine update. There's some notable work on both the Linux and Vulkan fronts.

    Unity 2019.1 beta headlining features include incremental garbage collection support, implementing more GPU lightmapper functionality, particle improvements, and a number of enhancements to the Android platform support. For game developers making use of Unity there are also editor improvements with a number of new features as well as H.265 video transcode, NVIDIA OptiX AI denoiser, and other bits

  • Slay the Spire Now Available for Linux and Windows

    Slay the Spire has been available in Early Access for quite a while, but the game has finally been released in its full form - and stands out compared to pretty much anything else on the market. Roguelikes have been a giant part of the industry for a decade now too, but you don't really see these things combined in a mini-game - let alone in a full-fledged game. The game combines a bit of JRPG mechanics with it as well thanks to its turn-based nature and allows you to build new decks and learn as you go. If you find that a certain attack type is weak against one enemy type, you'll want to switch it up - but maybe find that your new attack setup isn't much more effective. Then you find that by combining various cards together, you get a more effective turn and wind up unlocking the mystery behind a certain enemy.

  • Night of the Blood Moon Now Available on Steam For Linux and Windows PC

    With the rise of rogue-like games over the past decade, the sub-genre has become oversaturated to many. Most games have aimed at making them more accessible, but Blood Moon aims to do things a bit differently. The goal of the developers is to make things challenging and more rewarding. The game's premise is unique too in that it has you fighting in a dream world and destroying all of the cute and sometimes terrifying creatures you see in the dream realm. You can kill as many of them as you want and unlock items, skills, or even helper pets. They act a bit like a third non-playable character in a fighting game in that they can help you briefly and save your bacon, but aren't going to give you a game-breaking adventure.

  • Major Update Released for MachiaVillain on PC, Mac and Linux

    Good Shepherd Entertainment and independent developer Wild Factor have released a shocking new content update for the evil mansion management strategy game MachiaVillain on Windows PC, Mac and Linux.

    MachiaVillain’s new update adds electric fields to your hellish homestead that can be used to power new tools and abilities. Set up alarms, jam mobile phones to keep victims from calling for help, and wield the Finger of Evil to zap enemies or give a boost to your minions.

  • Mage's Initiation adventure/RPG out now for Win / Mac / Linux

    After ten years of development, Himalaya Studios is excited to announce that Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements - a hybrid adventure/RPG in the tradition of the classic King's Quest and Quest for Glory series - is now available for $13.49 USD on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.

Desktops, Laptops and Distros: Lenovo Thinkpad T480s Business Laptop, Clear Linux, Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Reviewed: The Lenovo Thinkpad T480s Business Laptop
  • Clear Linux Outlines How You Can Build Your Own Linux Distro In 10 Minutes

    While Intel's Clear Linux is known to the most of you for its speed, it's also a distribution that is very easy to build off of for specific use-cases should you want your own pre-configured Linux OS. 

    Clear Linux tweeted out this week that with their mixer software you can build your own Clear Linux distribution in "less than 10 minutes" using its mixing software. Spinning your own Clear Linux distribution is done using their Mixer tool that is built around their package management concept of bundles with swupd.

  • 19 days of productivity in 2019: The fails

    There seems to be a mad rush at the beginning of every year to find ways to be more productive. New Year's resolutions, the itch to start the year off right, and of course, an "out with the old, in with the new" attitude all contribute to this. And the usual round of recommendations is heavily biased towards closed source and proprietary software. It doesn't have to be that way.

    Part of being productive is accepting that failure happens. I am a big proponent of Howard Tayler's Maxim 70: "Failure is not an option—it is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do." And there were many things I wanted to talk about in this series that I failed to find good answers for.

    So, for the final edition of my 19 new (or new-to-you) open source tools to help you be more productive in 2019, I present the tools I wanted but didn't find. I am hopeful that you, the reader, will be able to help me find some good solutions to the items below. If you do, please share them in the comments.

  • Lenovo’s 4K Yoga Chromebook C630 Is Available to Order

    While certain Chrome OS devices already come with high-resolution displays—like the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate—there’s hasn’t been one with a 4K display. Until the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630, that is. And now you can buy one.

    We can talk about whether you need a 4K display in your Chromebook (read: you probably don’t), but at the end of the day, there’s always an argument for just how damn good a display looks when it’s absolutely packed with pixels. I’m sure this one is no exception.

  • Native backup and restoring of Linux containers in Crostini targeted for Chrome OS 74

    While using Linux on a Chromebook is helpful, if something happens to the Linux container, you could easily lose all of your installed apps, data, and settings. There is a manual method to import and export a container if you’re familiar with LXD in Linux, but Crostini in Chrome OS is getting a native function to do the same according to the Chromium commit log.

Linux Kernel Getting New Option So SSBD Isn't Over-Protective - Helping Performance

Filed under
Linux
Security

For the Linux kernel's Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD) handling for Spectre Variant 4 protection is support for processes opting into force disabling of speculation via a prctl() interface. Currently when speculation is disabled, that is carried through to new processes started via the execve() system call. But a new bit will allow clearing that state when a new program is started by a process otherwise relying upon PR_SPEC_DISABLE, in what will help the performance in such cases.

Queued for introduction to the mainline Linux kernel is a new PR_SPEC_DISABLE_NOEXEC option for prctl as part of the Speculative Store Bypass Disable options but where the state is cleared on execve() calls. The premise is that programs opting into disabling speculation are doing so, but programs that aren't vulnerable to the speculation-related misfeatures normally aren't checking to see that the PR_SPEC_ENABLE bit is set rather just assuming the status quo. Thus with the current PR_SPEC_DISABLE behavior, programs spawned via execve() may be protected when they really don't need to be and carrying with that the added performance overhead.

Read more

Also: A new Linux Foundation effort for the edge

The D in SystemD stands for Danger, Will Robinson! Defanged exploit code for security holes now out in the wild

Filed under
Linux
Security

Those who haven't already patched a trio of recent vulnerabilities in the Linux world's SystemD have an added incentive to do so: security biz Capsule8 has published exploit code for the holes.

Don't panic, though: the exploit code has been defanged so that it is defeated by basic security measures, and thus shouldn't work in the wild against typical Linux installations. However, Capsule8 or others may reveal ways to bypass those protections, so consider this a heads-up, or an insight into exploit development. Google Project Zero routinely reveals the inner magic of its security exploits, if you're into that.

Back to SystemD.

In mid-January, Qualys, another security firm, released details about three flaws affecting systemd-journald, a systemd component that handles the collection and storage of log data. Patches for the vulnerabilities – CVE-2018-16864, CVE-2018-16865, and CVE-2018-16866 – have been issued by various Linux distributions.

Exploitation of these code flaws allows an attacker to alter system memory in order to commandeer systemd-journal, which permits privilege escalation to the root account of the system running the software. In other words, malware running on a system, or rogue logged-in users, can abuse these bugs to gain administrator-level access over the whole box, which is not great in uni labs and similar environments.

Nick Gregory, research scientists at Capsule8, in a blog post this week explains that his firm developed proof-of-concept exploit code for testing and verification. As in testing whether or not computers are at risk, and verifying the patches work.

Read more

Also:

  • Linux Kernel hid_debug_events_read() Function Local Denial of Service Vulnerability [CVE-2019-3819]

    A vulnerability in the hid_debug_events_read() function of the Linux Kernel could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on a targeted system.The vulnerability exists in the hid_debug_events_read() function, as defined in the drivers/hid/hid-debug.c source code file of the affected software. The vulnerability is due to an infinite loop condition that may occur when user-supplied input with certain parameters is passed from a userspace. An attacker with root privileges could exploit this vulnerability by executing a program that submits malicious input to the targeted system. A successful exploit could cause the system to lock, resulting in a DoS condition.Kernel.org has not confirmed the vulnerability, and software updates are not available.

PinePhone Linux smartphone to sell for $149, dev kits coming soon

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

The smartphone world is basically a duopoly at the moment. Android is the dominant operating system and iOS comes in a distant second place, while competing platforms such as Windows, BlackBerry OS, Symbian, FireFox OS have largely been abandoned.

There are still a few holdouts — Jolla continues to develop its Sailfish OS, but its market share is virtually nil.

[...]

Niche hardware and software isn’t cheap… but maybe it can be. Pine64 has announced that its developing a cheap Linux phone called the PinePhone that could sell for as little as $149.

[...]

The goal is to also provide physical switches that can disable or enable the wireless components, cameras, and speaker for privacy.

Read more

Want a bit of privacy? Got a USB stick? Welcome to TAILS 3.12

Filed under
Security
Debian

The Linux distro for the security-conscious has been updated with a fresh USB installation method.

Hot on the heels of Apple's latest privacy blunder, The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS) has emitted version 3.12.

The big news this time around is the arrival of a USB image alongside the usual ISO. ISOs, handy for burning to a DVD or spinning up a virtual machine, are not so good when it comes to one of TAILS' strengths – running Linux without a trace.

The faff of needing a couple of USB sticks and around three hours of spare time is gone with this release. A single 8GB USB stick is sufficient to handle the 1.2GB download and TAILS reckons that the whole process should take an hour and a half.

A swift download and burn to USB using Etcher and a user is up, running and able to enjoy the discretion afforded by the Debian-based distro and the Tor network.

Read more

PineTab Linux tablet coming in 2019 for $79 and up

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Pine64 has big plans for 2019. The company, which produces low-power, low-cost computers capable of running GNU/Linux and BSD software, plans to release its first smartphone this year, as well as a $199 laptop that will be its most powerful model to date.

Also on the horizon? A dirt cheap Linux tablet.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

Programming/Development: C++, Go, Mozilla/Firefox and Python

  • Deliverable 1 : [✓]
    Seems okay, far better than the initial results. Although I should say, I deviated from what I thought I would need to write. First I assumed that I don’t have to write another boost::graph wrapper for KisPaintDevice, but I had to. That was one heck of an experience. In one of the last few posts, I ranted on Dmitry’s interpretation of the Graph, turns out we were on the same page but I understood his explanation the wrong way. I should put more attention to details from now on I guess. All the pixels are connected to each other, but they only have an edge between them if they are adjacent. If in center, the out degree would be 8, if in corners, 3 and if in edges, 5. There are some other cases too, but I will leave them for the moment. While writing the wrapper, I also got to know some of the cool features and techniques of C++, which I will be writing posts on as soon as I get some time, concepts, traits, avoiding virtual functions and what not. It is commendable that how boost approaches boost::astar_search, there is not a single virtual function, you don’t have to inherit anything (you can though for safety), just templates and traits, you are done.
  • Go Creeping In
    I’ve seen the inside of the Google and Amazon tech stacks. There are common threads that run through them and also, I bet, through most BigTechCos. Here and there down the stack is a lot of C++ and vestigial remnants from earlier days, Perl or PHP or whatever. Out in front of humans, of course, JS. But in between, there are oceans and oceans of Java; to a remarkable degree, it runs the Internet. Except for, here and there, you find a small but steadily increasing proportion of Go.
  • Stand by for FPR14 SPR1 chemspill
    Mozilla has shipped a fix for MFSA2019-18 in Firefox 67.0.3 and 60.7.1. This exploit has been detected in the wild, and while my analysis indicates it would require a PowerPC-specific attack to be exploitable in official TenFourFox builds (the Intel versions may be directly exploited, however), it could probably cause drive-by crashes and we should therefore ship an urgent fix as well. The chemspill is currently undergoing confidence tests and I'm shooting to release builds before the weekend. For builders, the only change in FPR14 SPR1 is the patch for bug 1544386, which I will be pushing to the repo just as soon as I have confirmed the fix causes no regressions.
  • PyPI Now Supports Two-Factor Login via WebAuthn
  • Understanding Python assignment
  • How to Publish Your Own Python Package to PyPI
  • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #373 (June 18, 2019)
  • EuroPython 2019: Community Discounts
  • EuroPython 2019: Inviting European Python Conference Organizers

today's howtos

All Linux, all the time: Supercomputers Top 500

Starting at the top, two IBM-built supercomputers, Summit and Sierra, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, respectively to the bottom -- a Lenovo Xeon-powered box in China -- all of them run Linux. Linux supports more hardware architectures than any other operating system. In supercomputers, it supports both clusters, such as Summit and Sierra, the most common architecture, and Massively Parallel Processing (MPP), which is used by the number three computer Sunway TaihuLight. When it comes to high-performance computing (HPC), Intel dominates the TOP500 by providing processing power to 95.6% of all systems included on the list. That said, IBM's POWER powers the fastest supercomputers. One supercomputer works its high-speed magic with Arm processors: Sandia Labs' Astra, an HPE design, which uses over 130-thousand Cavium ThunderX2 cores. And, what do all these processors run? Linux, of course. . 133 systems of the Top 500 supercomputers are using either accelerator or co-processor setups. Of these most are using Nvidia GPUs. And, once more, it's Linux conducting the hardware in a symphony of speed. Read more

Red Hat and SUSE Leftovers

  • Are DevOps certifications valuable? 10 pros and cons
  • Kubernetes 1.15: Enabling the Workloads
    The last mile for any enterprise IT system is the application. In order to enable those applications to function properly, an entire ecosystem of services, APIs, databases and edge servers must exist. As Carl Sagan once said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” To create that IT universe, however, we must have control over its elements. In the Kubernetes universe, the individual solar systems and planets are now Operators, and the fundamental laws of that universe have solidified to the point where civilizations can grow and take root. Discarding the metaphor, we can see this in the introduction of Object Count Quota Support For Custom Resources. In English, this enables administrators to count and limit the number of Kubernetes resources across the broader ecosystem in a given cluster. This means services like Knative, Istio, and even Operators like the CrunchyData PostgreSQL Operator, the MongoDB Operator or the Redis Operator can be controlled via quota using the same mechanisms that standard Kubernetes resources have enjoyed for many releases. That’s great for developers, who can now be limited by certain expectations. It would not benefit the cluster for a bad bit of code to create 30 new PostgreSQL clusters because someone forgot to add a “;” at the end of a line. Call them “guardrails” that protect against unbounded object growth in your etcd database.
  • Red Hat named HPE’s Partner of the Year at HPE Discover 2019
    For more than 19 years, Red Hat has collaborated with HPE to develop, deliver and support trusted solutions that can create value and fuel transformation for customers. Our work together has grown over these nearly two decades and our solutions now include Linux, containers and telecommunications technologies, to name just a few. As a testament to our collaboration, HPE has named Red Hat the Technology Partner of the Year 2019 for Hybrid Cloud Solutions.
  • Demystifying Containers – Part II: Container Runtimes
    This series of blog posts and corresponding talks aims to provide you with a pragmatic view on containers from a historic perspective. Together we will discover modern cloud architectures layer by layer, which means we will start at the Linux Kernel level and end up at writing our own secure cloud native applications. Simple examples paired with the historic background will guide you from the beginning with a minimal Linux environment up to crafting secure containers, which fit perfectly into todays’ and futures’ orchestration world. In the end it should be much easier to understand how features within the Linux kernel, container tools, runtimes, software defined networks and orchestration software like Kubernetes are designed and how they work under the hood.
  • Edge > Core > Cloud: Transform the Way You Want
    For more than 25 years, SUSE has been very successful in delivering enterprise-grade Linux to our customers. And as IT infrastructure has shifted and evolved, so have we. For instance, we enabled and supported the move to software-defined data centers as virtualization and containerization technologies became more prevalent and data growth demanded a new approach.
  • SUSE OpenStack Cloud Technology Preview Takes Flight
    We are pleased to announce that as of today we are making a technology preview of a containerized version of SUSE OpenStack Cloud available that will demonstrate a future direction for our product. The lifecycle management for this technology preview is based on an upstream OpenStack project called Airship, which SUSE has been using and contributing to for some time. This follows our open / open policy of upstream first and community involvement.