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September 2019

BlackWeb 1.2

Filed under
Reviews
Debian

BlackWeb is a penetration and security testing distribution based on Debian. The project's website presents the distribution's features as follows:

BlackWeb is a Linux distribution aimed at advanced penetration testing and security auditing. BlackWeb contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. Starting from an appropriately configured LXDE desktop manager it offers stability and speed. BlackWeb has been designed with the aim of achieving the maximum performance and minimum consumption of resources.

There are 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds of BlackWeb available on the distribution's website. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is 2.6GB in size. Booting from the media brings up a menu asking if we would like to try BlackWeb's live desktop, run the installer or run the graphical installer. Taking the live desktop options presents us with a graphical login screen where we can sign in with the username "root" and the password "blackweb".

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Feh is a light-weight command-line image viewer for Linux

Filed under
Linux

The default image viewer in most Linux distros is a fine option for many users, but if you want a distraction free alternative, Feh is a good option.

Feh's interface is as barebones as it gets as it does not have any toolbars or buttons but is a command line interface application; because of that, it is very light on resources and still easy enough to use even for users who shy away from using the command line whenever possible.

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Free as in Sausage Making: Inside the Debian Project

Filed under
Debian

Recently, we’ve been having some discussion around the use of non-free software and services in doing our Debian work. In judging consensus surrounding a discussion of Git packaging, I said that we do not have a consensus to forbid the use of non-free services like Github. I stand behind that consensus call. Ian Jackson, who initially thought that I misread the consensus later agreed with my call.

I have been debating whether it would be wise for me as project leader to say more on the issue. Ultimately I have decided to share my thoughts. Yes, some of this is my personal opinion. Yet I think my thoughts resonate with things said on the mailing list; by sharing my thoughts I may help facilitate the discussion.

We are bound together by the Social Contract. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Debian so long as they follow the Social Contract, the DFSG, and the rest of our community standards. The Social Contract talks about what we will build (a free operating system called Debian). Besides SC #3 (we will not hide problems), the contract says very little about how we will build Debian.

What matters is what you do, not what you believe. You don’t even need to believe in free software to be part of Debian, so long as you’re busy writing or contributing to free software. Whether it’s because you believe in user freedom or because your large company has chosen Debian for entirely pragmatic reasons, your free software contributions are welcome.

I think that is one of our core strengths. We’re an incredibly diverse community. When we try to tie something else to what it means to be Debian beyond the quality of that free operating system we produce, judged by how it meets the needs of our users, we risk diminishing Debian. Our diversity serves the free software community well. We have always balanced pragmatic concerns against freedom. We didn’t ignore binary blobs and non-free firmware in the kernel, but we took the time to make sure we balanced our users’ needs for functional systems against their needs for freedom. By being so diverse, we have helped build a product that is useful both to people who care about freedom and other issues. Debian has been pragmatic enough that our product is wildly popular. We care enough about freedom and do the hard work of finding workable solutions that many issues of software freedom have become mainstream concerns with viable solutions.

Read more

EndlessOS | Review from an openSUSE User

Filed under
Reviews

EndlessOS is a distribution of Linux I have been watching from afar and almost dabbled with several times. Unfortunately for me and my biases, I didn’t take the time to get to know this distribution sooner. This is an incredibly interesting project that has been given a lot of time and care with plenty of thought. In no way should Endless ever be confused with a casual passion project. This is a serious, well designed and well thought out distribution of Linux that should be part of any Linux user’s growth in an open source enthusiastenthusiest.

Bottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.@endlessglobalBottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.

Read more

Hyperledger and Financing FOSS

Filed under
Linux
OSS
  • ConsenSys joins Hyperledger to help build enterprise blockchains

    Ethereum-focused development firm ConsenSys has joined Hyperledger as a premium member. Hyperledger—run by the Linux Foundation—is an open-source project focused on open-source technologies, particularly around enterprise blockchains.

  • ConsenSys Joins Hyperledger as a Premier Member

    ConsenSys and Hyperledger announced today that ConsenSys has become the newest Premier Member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, hosted by the Linux Foundation. Additionally, ConsenSys's PegaSys protocol engineering group submitted its Ethereum client, formerly known as Pantheon, as the project Hyperledger Besu, the first public chain compatible blockchain submission to Hyperledger.

  • Square Crypto Grants $100,000 to Open-Source Crypto Payment Processor

    Bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments service Square Crypto is giving the first of what will be many grants to support open-source Bitcoin projects to BTCPay Foundation.

  • CasperLabs Raises $14.5M Series A Round, Aims to Scale Blockchain Opportunities for Everyone

    CasperLabs, the open-source blockchain platform powered by the Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper proof-of-stake consensus protocol, today announced it has raised $14.5M in Series A funding led by Terren Piezer, the "Zelig of Wall Street," through his personal holding company, Acuitas Group Holdings. Other major investors include Arrington XRP Capital, Consensus Capital, Axiom Holdings Group, Digital Strategies, MW Partners, Blockchange Ventures, Hashkey Capital, and Distributed Global. The new investment will be used to accelerate product development and expand hiring of world-class engineers.

  • Akeneo raises $46 million for its product information management service

    Akeneo started as an open-source PIM application. Today, thousands of companies actively use that open-source version. But Akeneo also offers an enterprise edition with a more traditional software-as-a-service approach. The startup has managed to attract 300 clients, such as Sephora, Fossil and Auchan.

  • Where have all the seed deals gone?

    When it comes to big business, the numbers rarely lie, and the ones PitchBook and other sources have pulled together on the state of seed investing aren’t pretty. The total number of seed deals, funds raised and dollars invested in seed deals were all down in the 2015-2018 time frame, a period too long to be considered a correctable glitch.

    [...]

    Gone were the days of investing millions of dollars in tech infrastructure before writing the first line of code. At the same time, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and freely available open-source software provided many of the building blocks upon which to build a startup. And we can’t forget the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and, more importantly for startups, the App Store in 2008.

  • Is Open Source licensing irretrievably broken?

    Jonathan Ellis is the CTO and Founder of DataStax. At ApacheCon 2019 in Las Vegas, he gave a keynote that will make many in the industry uncomfortable. The focus of that keynote was the state of open source licensing. Ellis believes that there is a problem, if not what some would call a looming crisis in how open source software licences are being used.

    He believes that the last 10 years, in particular, have seen a significant change in attitudes around what open source means. One of the big changes has been the shift from a hobbyist, part-time code development role to venture capital funded companies. Many of these like the open source model. As Ellis told Enterprise Times, making something open source is about instant exposure to a wider audience.

Debian Community Team (CT) and miniDebConf19 Vaumarcu

Filed under
Debian
  • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (August 2019)

    The Debian Community Team (CT) had a meeting where we discussed some of our activities, including potential new team members!

  • miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus – Oct 25-27 2019 – Call for Presentations

    We’re opening the Call for Presentations for the miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus now, until October 20, so please contribute to the MiniDebConf by proposing a talk, workshop, birds of feather (BoF) session, etc, directly on the Debian wiki: /Vaumarcus/TalkSubmissions We are aiming for talks which are somehow related to Debian or Free Software in general, see the wiki for subject suggestions. We expect submissions and talks to be held in English, as this is the working language in Debian and at this event. Registration is also still open; through the Debian wiki: Vaumarcus/Registration.

New Distro Releases: EasyOS Buster 2.1.3, EasyOS Pyro 1.2.3 and IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Debian
  • EasyOS Buster version 2.1.3 released

    EasyOS version 2.1.3, latest in the "Buster" series, has been released. This is another incremental upgrade, however, as the last release announced on Distrowatch is version 2.1, the bug fixes, improvements and upgrades have been considerable since then. So much, that I might request the guys at Distrowatch to announce version 2.1.3.

  • EasyOS Pyro version 1.2.3 released

    Another incremental release of the Pyro series. Although this series is considered to be in maintenance mode, it does have all of the improvements as in the latest Buster release.

  • IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136 is available for testing

    the summer has been a quiet time for us with a little relaxation, but also some shifted focus on our infrastructure and other things. But now we are back with a large update which is packed with important new features and fixes.

Linux 5.3

Filed under
Linux

  • Linux 5.3
    So we've had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we
    ended up having that extra week and the final rc8.
    
    Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather
    than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in,
    including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there's some
    unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also
    had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues.
    
    One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring
    the version change itself) done just before the release, and while
    it's very annoying, it's perhaps also instructive.
    
    What's instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn't
    actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do,
    and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that the much
    improved IO patterns it caused then ended up revealing a user-visible
    regression due to a real bug in a completely unrelated area.
    
    The actual details of that regression are not the reason I point that
    revert out as instructive, though. It's more that it's an instructive
    example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole "no
    regressions" kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn't change any
    API's, and it didn't introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing
    another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a
    user. So it got reverted.
    
    The point here being that we revert based on user-reported _behavior_,
    not based on some "it changes the ABI" or "it caused a bug" concept.
    The problem was really pre-existing, and it just didn't happen to
    trigger before. The better IO patterns introduced by the change just
    happened to expose an old bug, and people had grown to depend on the
    previously benign behavior of that old issue.
    
    And never fear, we'll re-introduce the fix that improved on the IO
    patterns once we've decided just how to handle the fact that we had a
    bad interaction with an interface that people had then just happened
    to rely on incidental behavior for before. It's just that we'll have
    to hash through how to do that (there are no less than three different
    patches by three different developers being discussed, and there might
    be more coming...). In the meantime, I reverted the thing that exposed
    the problem to users for this release, even if I hope it will be
    re-introduced (perhaps even backported as a stable patch) once we have
    consensus about the issue it exposed.
    
    Take-away from the whole thing: it's not about whether you change the
    kernel-userspace ABI, or fix a bug, or about whether the old code
    "should never have worked in the first place". It's about whether
    something breaks existing users' workflow.
    
    Anyway, that was my little aside on the whole regression thing.  Since
    it's that "first rule of kernel programming", I felt it is perhaps
    worth just bringing it up every once in a while.
    
    Other than that aside, I don't find a lot to really talk about last
    week. Drivers, networking (and network drivers), arch updates,
    selftests. And a few random fixes in various other corners. The
    appended shortlog is not overly long, and gives a flavor for the
    changes.
    
    And this obviously means that the merge window for 5.4 is open, and
    I'll start doing pull requests for that tomorrow. I already have a
    number of them in my inbox, and I appreciate all the people who got
    that over and done with early,
    
                    Linus
    
  • Linux Kernel 5.3 Officially Released, Here's What's New

    Linus Torvalds announced today the release of the Linux 5.3 kernel series, a major that brings several new features, dozens of improvements, and updated drivers.

    Two months in the works and eight RC (Release Candidate) builds later, the final Linux 5.3 kernel is now available, bringing quite some interesting additions to improve hardware support, but also the overall performance. Linux kernel 5.3 had an extra Release Candidate because of Linus Torvalds' travel schedule, but it also brought in a few needed fixes.

    "Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad Btrfs behavior. Yeah, there's some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues," said Linus Torvalds.

  • Linux 5.3 Kernel Released With AMD Navi Support, Intel Speed Select & More

    Linus Torvalds just went ahead and released the Linux 5.3 kernel as stable while now opening the Linux 5.4 merge window.

    There was some uncertainty whether Linux 5.3 would have to go into extra overtime due to a getrandom() system call issue uncovered by an unrelated EXT4 commit. Linus ended up reverting the EXT4 commit for the time being.

More in Tux Machines

Free as in Sausage Making: Inside the Debian Project

Recently, we’ve been having some discussion around the use of non-free software and services in doing our Debian work. In judging consensus surrounding a discussion of Git packaging, I said that we do not have a consensus to forbid the use of non-free services like Github. I stand behind that consensus call. Ian Jackson, who initially thought that I misread the consensus later agreed with my call. I have been debating whether it would be wise for me as project leader to say more on the issue. Ultimately I have decided to share my thoughts. Yes, some of this is my personal opinion. Yet I think my thoughts resonate with things said on the mailing list; by sharing my thoughts I may help facilitate the discussion. We are bound together by the Social Contract. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Debian so long as they follow the Social Contract, the DFSG, and the rest of our community standards. The Social Contract talks about what we will build (a free operating system called Debian). Besides SC #3 (we will not hide problems), the contract says very little about how we will build Debian. What matters is what you do, not what you believe. You don’t even need to believe in free software to be part of Debian, so long as you’re busy writing or contributing to free software. Whether it’s because you believe in user freedom or because your large company has chosen Debian for entirely pragmatic reasons, your free software contributions are welcome. I think that is one of our core strengths. We’re an incredibly diverse community. When we try to tie something else to what it means to be Debian beyond the quality of that free operating system we produce, judged by how it meets the needs of our users, we risk diminishing Debian. Our diversity serves the free software community well. We have always balanced pragmatic concerns against freedom. We didn’t ignore binary blobs and non-free firmware in the kernel, but we took the time to make sure we balanced our users’ needs for functional systems against their needs for freedom. By being so diverse, we have helped build a product that is useful both to people who care about freedom and other issues. Debian has been pragmatic enough that our product is wildly popular. We care enough about freedom and do the hard work of finding workable solutions that many issues of software freedom have become mainstream concerns with viable solutions. Read more

today's howtos

EndlessOS | Review from an openSUSE User

EndlessOS is a distribution of Linux I have been watching from afar and almost dabbled with several times. Unfortunately for me and my biases, I didn’t take the time to get to know this distribution sooner. This is an incredibly interesting project that has been given a lot of time and care with plenty of thought. In no way should Endless ever be confused with a casual passion project. This is a serious, well designed and well thought out distribution of Linux that should be part of any Linux user’s growth in an open source enthusiastenthusiest. Bottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides.@endlessglobalBottom line up front: Endless OS is a very interesting Linux distribution that has a specific target. I am not that target that I can appreciate. To refer to Endless as a Linux distribution does not do it justice as this is so much more. This is a Linux product. The “offline internet” and especially the Cooking application with the loads and loads of recipes built into it. There has obviously been a lot of thought that went into the user interface as this is incredibly polished. The presentation and holistic thoughtfulness in the user interface is not lost on me at all. The interface and the design intent is quite clear but is clearly not for me. I will stick with my more customizable KDE Plasma with my comfortable, leading-edge base that openSUSE Tumbleweed provides. Read more

Hyperledger and Financing FOSS

  • ConsenSys joins Hyperledger to help build enterprise blockchains

    Ethereum-focused development firm ConsenSys has joined Hyperledger as a premium member. Hyperledger—run by the Linux Foundation—is an open-source project focused on open-source technologies, particularly around enterprise blockchains.

  • ConsenSys Joins Hyperledger as a Premier Member

    ConsenSys and Hyperledger announced today that ConsenSys has become the newest Premier Member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, hosted by the Linux Foundation. Additionally, ConsenSys's PegaSys protocol engineering group submitted its Ethereum client, formerly known as Pantheon, as the project Hyperledger Besu, the first public chain compatible blockchain submission to Hyperledger.

  • Square Crypto Grants $100,000 to Open-Source Crypto Payment Processor

    Bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments service Square Crypto is giving the first of what will be many grants to support open-source Bitcoin projects to BTCPay Foundation.

  • CasperLabs Raises $14.5M Series A Round, Aims to Scale Blockchain Opportunities for Everyone

    CasperLabs, the open-source blockchain platform powered by the Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper proof-of-stake consensus protocol, today announced it has raised $14.5M in Series A funding led by Terren Piezer, the "Zelig of Wall Street," through his personal holding company, Acuitas Group Holdings. Other major investors include Arrington XRP Capital, Consensus Capital, Axiom Holdings Group, Digital Strategies, MW Partners, Blockchange Ventures, Hashkey Capital, and Distributed Global. The new investment will be used to accelerate product development and expand hiring of world-class engineers.

  • Akeneo raises $46 million for its product information management service

    Akeneo started as an open-source PIM application. Today, thousands of companies actively use that open-source version. But Akeneo also offers an enterprise edition with a more traditional software-as-a-service approach. The startup has managed to attract 300 clients, such as Sephora, Fossil and Auchan.

  • Where have all the seed deals gone?

    When it comes to big business, the numbers rarely lie, and the ones PitchBook and other sources have pulled together on the state of seed investing aren’t pretty. The total number of seed deals, funds raised and dollars invested in seed deals were all down in the 2015-2018 time frame, a period too long to be considered a correctable glitch. [...] Gone were the days of investing millions of dollars in tech infrastructure before writing the first line of code. At the same time, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and freely available open-source software provided many of the building blocks upon which to build a startup. And we can’t forget the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and, more importantly for startups, the App Store in 2008.

  • Is Open Source licensing irretrievably broken?

    Jonathan Ellis is the CTO and Founder of DataStax. At ApacheCon 2019 in Las Vegas, he gave a keynote that will make many in the industry uncomfortable. The focus of that keynote was the state of open source licensing. Ellis believes that there is a problem, if not what some would call a looming crisis in how open source software licences are being used. He believes that the last 10 years, in particular, have seen a significant change in attitudes around what open source means. One of the big changes has been the shift from a hobbyist, part-time code development role to venture capital funded companies. Many of these like the open source model. As Ellis told Enterprise Times, making something open source is about instant exposure to a wider audience.