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October 2019

Pango Dropping Support For Bitmap Fonts Is Frustrating Some Linux Desktop Users

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Cleaning up of the Pango layout engine library as some much needed housekeeping by GNOME developers resulted in shifting to the Harfbuzz library for font loading. That quietly meant dropping support for bitmap fonts from Pango, which is now reaching Linux desktop users when upgrading to the Pango 1.44 stable release.

Some Linux desktop users are being surprised when their Pango-using applications are no longer loading their bitmap fonts but just showing square blocks or similar artifacts instead. Pango, of course, is the layout engine used by GTK and Qt among other desktop software.

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SUSE/OpenSUSE: Work by Thomas Zimmermann and OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 EOL

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  • ASpeed DRM Driver Ported To Atomic Mode-Setting

    The "AST" DRM/KMS display driver that can be used with the many servers supporting ASpeed display hardware now has work pending for atomic mode-setting.

    SUSE's Thomas Zimmermann sent out the set of nine patches that convert the existing AST KMS driver into supporting atomic mode-setting as well as universal planes.

  • openSUSE Leap 15.0 Reaches End of Life on November 30th 2019

    openSUSE Leap 15.0 reaches the end of life on November 30, 2019. openSUSE Leap 15.0 reaches the end of its support after 1.5 years of life.

    openSUSE Leap 15.0 is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 resources, released May 25, 2018.

Trimming systemd Halved The Boot Time On A PocketBeagle ARM Linux Board

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Red Hat

Happening this week over in Lyon, France is the Embedded Linux Conference Europe and Open-Source Summit Europe events. Developer Chris Simmonds spoke today about systemd and boot time optimizations around it.

Besides going over the basics of systemd that all Phoronix readers should be well familiar with, much of his talk was on reducing the boot time with systemd. For reference he talked about his optimizations using a PocketBeagle ARM board running Debian Stretch.

Debian on this low-power ARM board took 66 seconds to boot with some 18 seconds for the kernel and over 47 seconds for the user-space bits. With some basic tuning, he was able to chop that in half to around 30 seconds.

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Debian: systemd, policy-rcd-declarative and more

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  • Debian To Seek A General Resolution Over Their Init System Policy

    Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman has determined it's necessary to pursue a general resolution among Debian developers over their init system policy and whether to still care about init system diversity outside of systemd.

    Last month we wrote about Debian developers re-evaluating their interest in "init system diversity". Some Debian developers have been working on elogind support to help ensure Debian isn't explicitly tied to systemd while other Debian developers don't have the energy/resources/interest in dealing with elogind and other non-systemd issues that may come up via bug reports or packaging review.

  • Wouter Verhelst: Announcing policy-rcd-declarative

    A while ago, Debian's technical committee considered a request to figure out what a package should do if a service that is provided by that package does not restart properly on upgrade.

    Traditional behavior in Debian has been to restart a service on upgrade, and to cause postinst (and, thus, the packaging system) to break if the daemon start fails. This has obvious disadvantages; when package installation is not initiated by a person running apt-get upgrade in a terminal, failure to restart a service may cause unexpected downtime, and that is not something you want to see.

    At the same time, when restarting a service is done through the command line, having the packaging system fail is a pretty good indicator that there is a problem here, and therefore, it tells the system administrator early on that there is a problem, soon after the problem was created -- which is helpful for diagnosing that issue and possibly fixing it.

  • Debian LTS report for October 2019

    This month I was allocated 0 hours and carried over 14.5 hours from August. Unfortunately, once again I didn't find time to work on LTS issues. Since I expect it to stay that way for a few more months, I set the limit of hours that I get allocated to 0 last month already. I'll give back the remaining 14.5 hours and continue with LTS work once I again have some spare cycles to do so.

Redaction Feature in LibreOffice - Phase 1: Manual Redaction

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Redaction in its sanitization sense is the blacking out or deletion of text in a document, or the result of such an effort. It is intended to allow the selective disclosure of information in a document while keeping other parts of the document secret. Typically the result is a document that is suitable for publication or for dissemination to others than the intended audience of the original document. For example, when a document is subpoenaed in a court case, information not specifically relevant to the case at hand is often redacted. Redaction in Wikipedia

Although there are some proprietary software applications in the market for this purpose, they have their own limitations like lack of support for open/libre document formats. Thanks to LibreOffice’s great support for various file formats, and our recent work on implementing this new feature on top of it, it is now possible to redact most of your documents without leaving the comfort of your favourite office suite.

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Librem/Purism Anti-interdiction Services

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I often refer to Purism as a company that sits on a three-legged stool of freedom, privacy and security. I’ve even written posts in the past about how those concepts all fit together. While Purism focuses on all of these categories at the same time, we have an incredibly diverse customer base from many different walks of life and often our customers care more about one of the categories than the others. This means that sometimes we offer features or advancements that appeal only to a segment of our overall customer base.

For instance, customers who prioritize freedom might buy a Librem laptop because of the FSF endorsement of PureOS, the coreboot firmware, or our careful selection of hardware that can run on free software drivers. Customers who prioritize privacy might buy a Librem laptop because of the hardware kill switches or our commitment to privacy in our Social Purpose Corporation charter. Customers who prioritize security might pick us for our hardware kill switches, the fact we disable and neutralize the Management Engine by default, because of our PureBoot tamper-evident firmware, how we protect our supply chain, or because of how well our hardware runs QubesOS.

In this post I’m going to elaborate on a service we’ve offered for quite some time, but haven’t publicized much, that will be of particular interest to security-focused customers–our anti-interdiction service. This is a custom add-on service we have provided in the past to high-risk customers who are especially concerned about detecting any tampering with their hardware during shipment. Up until now you had to request this service explicitly to get details but starting today we are listing it as an additional upgrade you can add to any laptop order.

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FSF: IDAD 2019 Report and GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz (New Releases)

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  • IDAD 2019: Thank you for defending the right to read!

    Now that the dust has settled and we have made our voices heard, we would like to give a sincere thanks to everyone who helped to make the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) 2019 possible. This is the thirteenth year that we have come together to voice our dissent against the unjust power of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and we could not have done it without the help of digital rights activists from all over the world.

    In our continued fight against DRM, we make it clear that we reject a world in which learning is shackled behind draconian restrictions. On IDAD 2019, we used our strength in numbers to tell Pearson that restricting access to textbooks is antithetical to the human right to education. Here in Boston, we protested outside the Pearson building, and spoke with a wide range of students and shoppers about the importance of their digital rights. Demonstrating our own commitment to a culture based on sharing rather than exclusion, we also worked in the FSF office, and remotely with collaborators from around the world, to make contributions to ethical and DRM-free educational materials.

  • GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 11 new GNU releases in October!


Servers: OpenStack, Kafka and Kubernetes Documentation

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  • OpenStack Charms 19.10 – Train, Policy Overrides and more

    This release introduces support for OpenStack Train on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (via Ubuntu Cloud Archive) and Ubuntu 19.10. Train is the 20th OpenStack release which brings a lot of interesting features on its own. One of the most important additions are telco-specific extensions to Nova live migration. The benefits of moving guest machines from one hypervisor to another without shutting down the operating system of the guest are now also available in telco-specific environments with NUMA topology, pinned CPUs, SR-IOV ports attached and huge pages configured.

    In order to upgrade your Charmed OpenStack installation to Train, please follow the procedure described in the charm release notes.

    For more information about OpenStack Train, please refer to the upstream release notes.

  • Kafka Streams and How They Work

    Kafka streams seem like a daunting subject to many learners, but they don’t have to be. Just think of a stream as a sequence of events. In fact, when I put together information for this blog post, I joked that getting all this data would be like drinking from a waterfall. Chad (the Training Architect that created our new Kafka course) was able to take it a step further, and we went off on a tangent. This will help to explain it:

  • Kubernetes Documentation Survey

    In September, SIG Docs conducted its first survey about the Kubernetes documentation. We’d like to thank the CNCF’s Kim McMahon for helping us create the survey and access the results.

Programming With Rust and Python

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  • The Rust Programming Language Blog: A call for blogs 2020

    We are accepting ideas about almost anything having to do with Rust: language features, tooling needs, community programs, ecosystem needs... if it's related to Rust, we want to hear about it.

  • 5 reasons why I love Python

    I have been using Python since it was a little-known language in 1998. It was a time when Perl was quite popular in the open source world, but I believed in Python from the moment I found it. My parents like to remind me that I used to say things like, "Python is going to be a big deal" and "I'll be able to find a job using it one day." It took a while, but my predictions came true.

    There is so much to love about the language. Here are my top 5 reasons why I continue to love Python so much (in reverse order, to build anticipation).

  • Python 3.5.8

    Python 3.5 has now entered "security fixes only" mode, and as such the only changes since Python 3.5.4 are security fixes. Also, Python 3.5.8 has only been released in source code form; no more official binary installers will be produced.

  • Python 3.5.8 is now available

    Python 3.5.8 is now available.

  • Building Quantum Computing Algorithms In Python - Episode 235

    Quantum computers are the biggest jump forward in processing power that the industry has seen in decades. As part of this revolution it is necessary to change our approach to algorithm design. D-Wave is one of the companies who are pushing the boundaries in quantum processing and they have created a Python SDK for experimenting with quantum algorithms. In this episode Alexander Condello explains what is involved in designing and implementing these algorithms, how the Ocean SDK helps you in that endeavor, and what types of problems are well suited to this approach.

  • Python Type Checking

    In this course, you’ll learn about Python type checking. Traditionally, types have been handled by the Python interpreter in a flexible but implicit way. Recent versions of Python allow you to specify explicit type hints that can be used by different tools to help you develop your code more efficiently.

  • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #392 (Oct. 29, 2019)

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Linux Headlines, Full Circle Weekly News, MX Linux 19 and Linux Mint 19.3 Daily Builds

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel and Graphics: Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA

  • Intel teases 'software-defined silicon' with Linux kernel contribution – and won't say why

    Intel has teased a new tech it calls "Software Defined Silicon" (SDSi) but is saying almost nothing about it – and has told The Register it could amount to nothing. SDSi popped up around three weeks ago in a post to the Linux Kernel mailing list, in which an Intel Linux software engineer named David Box described it as "a post-manufacturing mechanism for activating additional silicon features".

  • RadeonSI Lands Another "Very Large" Optimization To Further Boost SPECViewPerf - Phoronix

    In recent months we have seen a lot of RadeonSI optimizations focused on SPECViewPerf with AMD seemingly trying to get this open-source OpenGL driver into very capable shape moving forward for workstation GL workloads. Hitting Mesa 22.0-devel today is yet another round of patches for tuning SPECViewPerf.

  • Vendors Including NVIDIA Talk Up New OpenCL Extensions For Vulkan Interop, NN Inference - Phoronix

    Last Friday night we spotted OpenCL 3.0.9 with several new extensions included. Today The Khronos Group is formally announcing these latest OpenCL additions focused on Vulkan interoperability as well as neural network inferencing. These new extensions for OpenCL 3.0 include an integer dot product extension for neural network inferencing (cl_khr_integer_dot_product) with a focus on 8-bit integer support.

  • RadeonSI Enables NGG Shader Culling For Navi 1x Consumer GPUs - Phoronix

    As another possible performance win for RadeonSI Gallium3D as AMD's open-source Radeon OpenGL driver on Linux systems is enabling of NGG culling for Navi 1x consumer graphics processors rather than limiting it only to newer Navi 2x (RDNA2) GPUs. Merged on Monday was a patch to enable shader culling for Navi 1x consumer SKUs with no longer limiting it to Navi 2x / GFX10.3 or when using various debug options. This culling was also enabled for Navi 1x GPUs but only for the "Pro" graphics SKUs.

Databases: Managing Database Migrations, PostgreSQL-Related Releases

KDE Plasma 5.18.8, Bugfix Release for October

Plasma 5.18 was released in February 2020 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. Read more

today's howtos

  • Speak to me! – Purism

    My trusty laptop’s speakers gave up the ghost. I don’t like to sit around in headphones all the time, I don’t have any other speakers, and the replacements are still being manhandled by the postman. I’d get used to the austerity if I hadn’t started missing calls from a friend. That’s unacceptable! But what am I supposed to do? Buy extra gadgets just to throw them away after a week? Nope, I’m not that kind of a person. But hey – I have a Librem 5! It has a speaker. It’s open. I have control over it, and I’m a hacker too. So I should be able to come up with a hack to turn it into a speaker for my laptop, right? Pulseaudio to the rescue. I look through the guide. There it is: forwarding audio over a network.

  • How To Install CSF Firewall on Debian 11 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CSF Firewall on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, CSF is also known as “Config Server Firewall” is a free and advanced firewall for Linux systems. We should use ConfigServer Security & Firewall (CSF) since this CSF have more advanced and comprehensive features than other firewall application such as UFW, Firewalld, or Iptables. Compared to the other Linux firewall application, CSF is more user-friendly and effective which is mostly used by web hosting providers. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the ConfigServer Security & Firewall (CSF) on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

  • What are the differences between SQL and MySQL | FOSS Linux

    Due to many organizations, businesses, companies, and firms making an online presence, databases have become the core requirement for their daily operations. A database in a layman’s language is defined as a collection of data stored and organized electronically to ensure easy retrieval, access, management, and manipulation of business data. Most business successes depend on databases since they aid in storing essential and relevant data in a central position. Besides, databases also help facilitate communication of crucial business info such as employee profiles, sales transactions, customer profiles, marketing campaigns, product inventory, etc. Furthermore, databases have ensured that the company’s data is secure through various authentication mechanisms like access specifiers, user logins, and sign-ups. This article will talk about the difference between the two popular relational databases SQL and MySQL.

  • How to install Funkin' Psych Engine on a Chromebook

    Today we are looking at how to install Friday Night Funkin' Psych Engine on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

  • How to Use an SSH Key with Non-root Users - Unixcop

    You can SSH to your Linux instance as root with the key. However, the key doesn’t work for non-root users. So we will illustrate two methods to use SSH keys with non-root users.

  • Allow Port Through Firewall in Ubuntu 20.04 - Linux Nightly

    Ubuntu comes with ufw (uncomplicated firewall) installed by default. This is a frontend for iptables/nftables, the built-in Linux firewall, and is meant to make firewall management a bit easier. In this guide, you’ll see how to add rules to the firewall to open ports and allow certain services to have access through the firewall on Ubuntu.

  • Some regex tests with grep, sed and AWK

    In my data work I regularly do searching and filtering with GNU grep (version 3.3), GNU sed (4.7) and GNU AWK (4.2.1). I don't know if they all use the same regex engine, but I've noticed differences in regex speed between these three programs. This post documents some of the differences.

  • Upgrade to Fedora 35 from Fedora 34 using DNF – If Not True Then False

    This is guide, howto upgrade Fedora 34 to Fedora 35 using DNF. This method works on desktop and server machines. You can also upgrade older Fedora installations (example Fedora 33/32/31/30) directly to Fedora 35. I have tested this method on several machines, but if you have problems, please let me know. Always remember backup, before upgrade!

  • Jenkins: Basic security settings - Anto ./ Online

    Jenkins contains sensitive information. Thus it must be secured, like any other sensitive platform. Thankfully Jenkins provides you with many security options. This guide will show you all the essential bits that you need to know. You access these features on the Configure Global Security page under manage Jenkins.

  • LDAP query from Python · Pablo Iranzo Gómez's blog

    Recently, some colleagues commented about validating if users in a Telegram group were or not employees anymore, so that the process could be automated without having to chase down the users that left the company. One of the fields that can be configured by each user, is the link to other platforms (Github, LinkedIn, Twitter, Telegram, etc), so querying an LDAP server could suffice to get the list of users. First, we need to get some data required, in our case, we do anonymous binding to our LDAP server and the field to search for containing the ‘other platform’ links.