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October 2019

My transition to an Ubuntu workstation.

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

I've been using Ubuntu as my workstation OS for several months now. Ubuntu Server with the i3 window manager to be specific. I love it, and I've had to change my workflow a lot to make it work for me. But now that I've made the switch to it from Mac and Windows, I'm very happy with it.

I'll be honest, there's not a ton of hard evidence that working on a Linux distro is objectively better than working on Windows or Mac. I have almost equal amounts of time spent working on each of these platforms, and I think each one excels at something different. With that in mind, I think Ubuntu just feels right for the priorities I have now.

So what have I gained, what have I lost, and what did I learn along the way?

My physical computer now feels entirely replaceable.

There's pretty much nothing on this laptop I'm typing on right now that I wouldn't be able to recover if it suddenly stopped working. This document hasn't been pushed to git yet, and the contents of my ~/Downloads/ folder would be gone. That's it. Everything else lives somewhere online where I can easily get it back from.

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Three New Container Capabilities in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7

Filed under
Red Hat
Server

We are proud to announce that users of RHEL 7.7 can now use Podman 1.4.4 to find, run, build and share containers as regular users (also called rootless). This builds on the work we did in RHEL 7.6 (A preview of running containers without root in RHEL 7.6).

The new rootless feature can be tested with a fresh installation of RHEL 7.7 or by upgrading from RHEL 7.6. When doing a fresh install, just add a new user ID and the new version of the shadow-utils package will take care of everything (/etc/subuid and /etc/subgid entries). With an upgrade from RHEL 7.6, you will need to add the UID/GID mappings for existing users. For more detailed information, follow the Managing Containers guide in the RHEL 7 documentation.

The tech preview of rootless containers offers only the the VFS driver (no fuse-overlay support). This has the trade-off of better runtime performance at the expense of using more disk space. The VFS driver does not use copy-on-write, so when the container is started it will copy all of the data from lower layers of the container image.

The runtime performance is improved because there is no copy-on-write cost, though it will result in slower start up and can consume quite a bit more disk space. We are currently working on backporting the fuse-overlay capabilities to the 3.10 kernel with an eye towards full fuse-overlay support during the RHEL 7 life cycle.

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Also: What Service Meshes Are, and Why Istio Leads the Pack

GIMP 2.10.14 Released With New Show All View Mode, Loaded Images Now Default to 72 PPI

Filed under
GNU
Software

GIMP 2.10.14 comes with a new Show All view mode that allows showing pixels outside the canvas boundary. You can mark the canvas boundary with a new Show Canvas Boundary option that renders a dotted line around it. There's also a new Keep Padding option in the new Show All view mode, to preserve the padding color instead of displaying the checkerboard.

Also, several features were updated to work with this new Show All mode, including color-picking, canvas grid, transform tools, bucket fill, and more.

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Kernel: IWD 1.0, Linus Torvalds Public Appearance and Landlock Linux Security Module

Filed under
Linux
Security
  • IWD 1.0 Released As Intel's Wireless Daemon For Linux Systems

    Intel's IWD wireless daemon for Linux systems that could potentially replace WPA_Supplicant has reached the big 1.0 milestone.

    Intel's Marcel Holtmann presented on IWD at this week's Open-Source Summit Europe and declared IWD as 1.0 with it now having stable D-Bus interfaces. IWD 1.0 also adds network configuration documentation.

    Besides declaring the D-Bus interfaces stable and more documentation, there aren't any other big changes with this 1.0 release over the earlier 0.xx releases.

  • Linux kernel is getting more reliable, says Linus Torvalds. Plus: What do you need to do to be him?

    Linux inventor (and chief maintainer) Linus Torvalds says that the kernel is getting more reliable, and he is not anxious about it being used in safety-critical systems.

    Torvalds, being interviewed on stage at the Open Source Summit in Lyon yesterday, told onlookers: "I don't do speeches any more."

    The Finnish-American engineer is responsible for creating two of the most significant software projects of the last 30 years, one being Linux (which dominates both server computing and, in the form of Android, mobile devices), and the other being git, the most popular source code management and collaboration tool. Asking the questions was Dirk Hohndel, chief open source officer at VMware.

  • Landlock Revved An 11th Time For Unprivileged Yet Powerful Security Sandboxes

    We first wrote about the Landlock Linux security module in 2016 with its aspirations for offering powerful security sandboxing abilities. Landlock has seen revisions every few months and this week marks the 11th time the patches have been volleyed for this interesting sandboxing Linux Security Module (LSM). 

Tumbleweed Gets New OpenSSH Major Version

Filed under
Security
SUSE

Snapshot 20191027, brought an update to KDE Plasma 5.17.1. The bugfix update fixed the Mouse KCM acceleration profile on X11 on the Plasma Desktop and had a fix for KWIN with visibility of the Context Help button. Part of the update to Plasma 5.17.1 came in the 20191022 snapshot on the day of the release from the KDE Project. The kcalendarcore package was update to KDE Frameworks 5.63.0, which landed in last week’s snapshots. Quite a few YaST packages arrived in the snapshot as well; some of the those YaST packages adapted to new Keyboard handling. The other two packages updated in the snapshot were to the AV1 decoder dav1d 0.5.1, which fixed a build issue in ARM64 assembly if debug info was enabled, and desktop calculator, qalculate 3.5.0, which had a fix for steradian conversion that is related to the surface area of a sphere. The Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer is being fixed and doesn’t have a rating for the snapshot.

Seven packages arrived in the 20191025 snapshot and the openssh 8.1 was a major upgrade. The new major version added some new features like an experimental lightweight signature and verification ability. According to the changelog, “signatures may be made using regular ssh keys held on disk or stored in a ssh-agent and verified against an authorized_keys-like list of allowed keys. Signatures embed a namespace that prevents confusion and attacks between different usage domains (e.g. files vs email).” The VirtualBox hypervisor for x86 virtualization had a minor update to version 6.0.14; the maintenance release fixed potential issue in the networking with interrupt signalling for network adapters in UEFI guests. The Network Time Protocol package chrony 3.5 added support for hardware timestamping on interfaces with read-only timestamping configuration and Persistent Memory programming package pmdk 1.7 introduced two new Application Program Interface (APIs) in librpmem and libpmemobj.

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Also: SUSE Brings Enterprise Linux to Oracle Cloud to Meet Growing Demand for Cloud-Based Business Deployments

Games: Remote Play Together, pyLinuxWheel and Worms

Filed under
Gaming
  • Remote Play Together should now work properly on Linux with a new Steam Beta update

    Valve released a new update to the Steam Beta today that should fix the issues with Remote Play Together not working correctly on Linux.

    Fantastic news, since it's going to be an incredible useful addition to Steam. Allowing you to play games that only feature local multiplayer, with the host being the only one who needs to own the game. There's so many amazing games that don't have online play, so having this feature in the Steam client really does make it easy.

  • pyLinuxWheel has a new build adding support for more Logitech Wheels on Linux

    Managing your Logitech Wheel on Linux doesn't have to be a hassle, especially with applications like pyLinuxWheel.

    A project covered here in GamingOnLinux a few months ago, earlier this month it had a big new release. Version 0.5.1 adds in support for Driving Force (EX, RX), G920, Logitech Racing Wheel USB, WingMan Formula (Yellow, GP, Force GP) and MOMO (Force, Racing) steering wheels so now it covers quite a lot.

  • Worms have invaded Golf With Your Friends with a big new 18 hole course

    Incoming! The amusing multiplayer Golf game Golf With Your Friends has been invaded by Worms with a Team17 team-up.

    This Worms themed update brings in a big new 18 hole course with Worms inspired scenery. New mechanics were added in too including a Jet Pack allowing you to stay in the air a bit longer, along with some amusing new obstacles like Mines, Super Sheep and more to spice up your next Golf session.

Programming: GCC 11, Testing, GitLab as Spyware, R and Simple Web Server

Filed under
Development
  • GCC 11 Compiler Could End Up Removing Support For The Motorola m68k, Other Old CPUs

    Deprecated for the upcoming GCC 10 compiler release and set for removal in GCC 11 one year later is the CC0 representation code that is being used for handle condition codes in GCC back-ends. That in turn means a number of older CPU targets will be removed in GCC 11 should they not receive some development attention to transition them to the modern MODE_CC representation.

    Announced at the end of September (but flying under our radar until now) is the cc0 representation is deprecated with GCC 10 and then set for removal in GCC 11. The GCC 11 removal includes targets still using cc0 representation like avr (AVR micro-controller), cris (the Axis Communications' ETRAX CRIS embedded processors), h8300 (the Renesas H8 microcontrollers), m68k (the Motorola 68000 series), vax (DEC VAX), and cr16 (National Semi CompactRISC).

  • Test automation without assertions for web development

    Graphical user interface (GUI) test automation is broken. Regression testing is not testing; it's version control for a software's behavior. Here's my assertion: test automation without assertions works better!

    In software development and test automation, an assertion is a means to check the result of a calculation, typically by comparing it to a singular expected value. While this is very well suited for unit-based test automation (i.e. testing the system from within), applying it to testing an interface (specifically the user interface) has proven to be problematic, as this post will explain.

    The number of tools that work according to the golden master approach to testing, characterization testing, and approval testing—such as Approval Tests, Jest, or recheck-web (retest)—is constantly increasing. This approach promises more robust tests with less effort (for both creation and maintenance) while testing more thoroughly.

  • GitLab Had Begun Planning To Track Its Users But Quickly Changed Course

    While many fled from GitHub to GitLab following Microsoft acquiring the code hosting service, GitLab has come under a bit of fire of its own with plans they had been working on around telemetry support that would begin tracking its users and potentially sharing the data with third-party firms.

    After announcing planned changes to their terms of service, following customer outrage they quickly stepped down on those plans. Below is an email GitLab sent out to their customers that was also then shared with Phoronix.

  • Great R packages for data import, wrangling and visualization

    The table below shows my favorite go-to R packages for data import, wrangling, visualization and analysis -- plus a few miscellaneous tasks tossed in. The package names in the table are clickable if you want more information. To find out more about a package once you've installed it, type help(package = "packagename") in your R console (of course substituting the actual package name ).

  • Site.js: now with live reload

    I just released version 12.9.6 of Site.js with live reload support for static pages.

Audiocasts/Shows: LINUX Unplugged, mintCast, Python Podcasts

Filed under
GNU
Linux

More in Tux Machines

Intel Announces 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" CPUs, Linux Tests Forthcoming

Intel is using their inaugural Intel Innovation virtual event today to formally announce the highly-anticipated 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" processors. These first desktop processors built on their "Intel 7" process and employ a hybrid architecture will be available in retail channels next week. Today we can talk more about Alder Lake specifications and features while our Linux performance benchmarks and support analysis will come once the Alder Lake review embargo expires next week. While there have been many Alder Lake leaks in recent weeks/months and a number of features disclosed back during Architecture Day, today marks the official unveil for the next-gen Intel Core processors. This is a very exciting transition as they have now shifted to their Intel 7 manufacturing process, the hybrid architecture provides a combination of high performance and low power cores depending upon needs, and Intel is at the forefront now in delivering DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 to the masses. When it comes to performance, Intel claims Alder Lake can deliver up to two times the performance of prior generation processors for content creation workloads. Meanwhile when it comes to the generational performance uplift for the P (Performance) cores it's said to be around 19%. Read more

Stable Kernels: 5.14.15, 5.10.76, 5.4.156, 4.19.214, 4.14.253, 4.9.288, and 4.4.290

I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.15 kernel.

All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at:
	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.14.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
	https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

thanks,

greg k-h
Read more Also: Linux 5.10.76 Linux 5.4.156 Linux 4.19.214 Linux 4.14.253 Linux 4.9.288 Linux 4.4.290

Murena smartphones and cloud will protect our privacy

More than ever the market is demanding a new approach for digital products: more and more people around the world want something different, more ethical, more sustainable, with real guarantees about personal data protection. Four years ago, I wanted to break free from Google and Apple, and therefore we created the “eelo” project, with the simple idea that a different mobile operating system and associated cloud services like email or cloud storage could be possible in this world. Followed by an amazing community of supporters, contributors and now users, the project progressed quickly, and became a reality by the end of 2018. The same year, we had to suddenly abandon our initial project name for a temporary name: /e/. Sometimes, temporary things last longer than expected. And despite being hard to pronounce, difficult to search, and largely criticized by many people, /e/ as a brand name had the benefit to be very singular and helped us appear different. In the end it conveyed the idea that we’re doing something special. […] Nevertheless, as we are reaching more and more people and progressively catching interested from a mainstream audience, we have to introduce a new, strong brand, easier to use, easier to refer to and easier to share with people. The goal of this brand is to have a strong name to call our products, intended to be used by a large number of users in many different countries and cultures. It took some time, since we had many different candidates, both from internal suggestions and from our community. We wanted something that would both convey our project’s values, and that could be within the same lineage of our initial project name. We also had to secure this new brand making sure it was not already in use in the same field of activity, and by entering a long trademark registration processes. Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, mintcast, Audacity, and Starlink

  • Linux Action News 212

    Major performance milestones are being hit with new code inbound for Linux, Plasma and GNOME desktops are set to run Wayland on NVIDIA's binary driver, and why the SFC's new GPL fight could have implications for you.

  • mintcast 372.5 – The Tablet Chronicles

    1:22 Linux Innards 36:00 Vibrations from the Ether 52:41 Announcements & Outro In our Innards section, tablets And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions

  • Video Editing with Linux: The Most Important Part of a Video

    Next in our video editing series for the Librem 14, Gardiner Bryant explains why audio is critical in video production, capturing good sound, and post-processing using Audacity, an open source sound editing solution. This video will help those looking to level up their audio and overall production.

  • Starlink's Linux Secrets | LINUX Unplugged 429

    We attempt a live production over Starlink, and dig into the secrets of this giant Linux network in space.