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December 2019

The End of Tux Machines' Strongest Year

Filed under
Site News

Tux Machines 2020

TODAY is the last day of the last month of this year if not decade. We're pleased to close this year with record traffic levels. In 2019 we increased our coverage of programming-centric matters, especially when the underlying frameworks/languages were Free/libre software.

Earlier this year we also celebrated our 15th anniversary. There are three of us working behind the scenes to make the site up to date and keep it up (online). We're all passionate users of GNU/Linux who want to spread the word and encourage more people to use the platform.

In 2019 not only did we see record traffic levels; we also saw an unprecedented level of success for GNU/Linux in the adoption sense. Rianne is responsible for "Android leftovers" and remember that each Android device has Linux (or "Tux") in it. Google explored alternatives, but we haven't heard of these for months. It's nowadays very difficult to run a company or start a company without Linux -- no matter if in the server or device space. Let's hope Tux Machines will be around -- and online -- for many years to come. Happy new year.

Security: Updates, Samsung, Wyze, Slackware

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (debian-lan-config, freeimage, imagemagick, libxml2, mediawiki, openssl1.0, php5, and tomcat8).

  • What is Samsung Secure Wi-Fi?

    Samsung Galaxy and Note smartphones come with a pre-installed app called Samsung Secure Wi-Fi. The app can’t be uninstalled from the app manager on the device. Scroll to the bottom of the article for uninstallation instructions.

    Samsung is thin on the details and doesn’t say much about what the service does. Every time you connect to a Wi-Fi network it sends you the following promotional push-notification.

  • Wyze Data Leak Exposes Personal Information of Nearly 2.5 Million Customers

    We talk often at IoT Tech Trends about the potential of important personal information being vulnerable because of smart home Internet of Things devices. Many times, it seems the device manufacturers aren’t very upfront about the lack of security and data breaches.

    But Wyze is different. Regrettably, the company suffered a data leak that exposed the personal information of 2.4 million customers. However, they are owning up to it and taking quick action to mend the situation. It does nothing to change the leak, but it is a refreshing change.

  • New handbrake and mkvtoolnix packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current

    I was a couple of releases behind on the Handbrake video transcoding software. I am always a bit hesitant with upgrading Handbrake. It has a history of being hard to compile on the stable Slackware releases.

    Most notably it is the GTK+3 based GUI for which our Slackware libraries are often too old. And indeed, with the latest 1.3.0 release I found that this would not compile on Slackware 14.2 despite the hack I already used for the previous package (1.2..2) which I created earlier in 2019. It took me a day to come up with a second patch that allows Handbrake 1.3.0 to compile against our gtk+3 3.18.9 while in fact the program’s GUI component wants gtk+3 3.20.0 or higher.
    So, Slackware 14.2 users – please tell me if you find that some functionality of the GUI is not working… it should all work properly but you never know.
    In addition, I had to add a patch to make the new dav1d AV1 decoder compile on Slackware 14.2 but luckily I could just re-implement what I had already done for VLC.

Designing an Icon for Your App

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software
GNOME

You’ve designed your app’s interface, and found the perfect name for it. But of course a great app also needs a great icon before you can release it to the world.

After the name, the app icon is the most important part of an app’s brand. The icon can help explain at a glance what the app does, and serves as an entry point to the rest of the experience. A high quality icon can make people want to use an app more, because it’s a stand-in for the quality of the entire app.

Think of the app icon like an album cover for your app. Yes, technically the music is the same even if you have a terrible cover, but a great cover can capture the spirit of the album and elevate the quality of the thing as a whole.

Read more

Also: Fwupd 1.3.6 Firmware Updater Released With Initial Windows Support

Python Programming

Filed under
Development
  • Python Timer Functions: Three Ways to Monitor Your Code

    While many developers recognize Python as an effective programming language, pure Python programs may run slower than their counterparts in compiled languages like C, Rust, and Java. Throughout this tutorial, you’ll see how to use a Python timer to monitor how fast your programs are running.

  • 2019 qutebrowser crowdfunding - reminder

    Just like in the 2017/2018 crowdfundings, it'll be possible to get t-shirts and stickers again. I'll also add some new swag to the mix Smile

    [...]

    Somewhen after 2020 comes around the corner (and probably after my birthday on the 2nd) I'm going to adjust the perks accordingly.

  • Training on batch: how do you split the data?

    With increasing volumes of the data, a common approach to train machine-learning models is to apply the so-called training on batch. This approach involves splitting a dataset into a series of smaller data chunks that are handed to the model one at a time.

  • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Saul Pwanson

    This week we welcome Saul Pwanson (@saulfp) as our PyDev of the Week! Saul is the creator of VisiData, an interactive multitool for tabular data. If you’d like to see what Saul has been up to, then you should check out his website or his Github profile. You can also support Saul’s open source endeavors on Patreon. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Saul better!

    Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

    I grew up in Chicagoland in the 80s, was on BBSes in the early 90s, and IRC in college and thereafter. I’ve been once to the Recurse Center in New York, twice to Holland, and six times to Bruno’s in Gerlach, NV. I like crossword puzzles, board games, and point-and-click adventures. One day I’d like to finish my “board simulation” of the awe-inspiring mechanics inside mitochondria.

    Why did you start using Python

    It was for a job at a startup back in 2004. It’s really great as a scripting language, and the standard library makes most common things easy by itself, with the rest of the ecosystem providing not just one but usually about 4 different ways of doing any task, often including one that works really well. I tip my hat to all the unsung deve

  • Minimizing context switching between shell and Python

RockPro64 Review

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

Since there are so many options available for Operating System images the RockPro64 is a great board. The benchmarks show it has quite the processor to run applications without breaking the bank. It currently sells for around $60 depending on the options. For gamers this is a nice board if you use Recalbox.

Read more

Jussi Pakkanen: How about not stabbing ourselves in the leg with a rusty fork?

Filed under
Development
OSS

Corporations are funny things. Many things no reasonable person would do on their own are done every day in thousands of business conglomerates around the world. With pride even. Let us consider as an arbitrary example a corporation where every day is started by employees stabbing themselves in the leg with a rusty fork. This is (I hope) not actually done for real, but there could be a company out there where this is the daily routine.

If you think that such a thing could possibly never happen, congratulations on having never worked in a big corporation. Stick with that if you can!

When faced with this kind of pointless and harmful routine, one might suggest not doing it any more or replacing it with some other, more useful procedure. This does not succeed, of course, but that is not the point. The reasons you get back are the interesting thing, because they will tell you what kind of manager and coworkers you are dealing with. Here are some possible options, can you think of more?

Read more

ExTiX Deepin 20.1 live based on Deepin 15.11 (latest) with Skype, Spotify, Refracta Snapshot and kernel 5.5.0-rc3 :: Build 191230

Filed under
GNU
Linux

1.You can run ExTiX from RAM. Use boot alternative 3 (load to RAM) or Advanced. A wonderful way to run Linux if you have enough RAM. Everything will be super fast. When ExTiX has booted up you can remove the DVD or USB stick.
2. You will have the opportunity to choose language before you enter the Deepin 15.11 Desktop. All main languages are supported.
3. I have replaced Deepin Installer with the Reborn version of Deepin Installer. Works better in every way.
4. I have replaced kernel 5.3.0-rc6-exton with kernel 5.5.0-rc3-exton.
5. Spotify and Skype are pre-installed.
6. You can watch Netflix while running Firefox.
7. You can install ExTiX Deepin also in VirtualBox/VMware using Deepin Installer. (In previous versions you had to “chroot” into the install partition and install Grub).
8. While installing ExTiX Deepin to a USB stick using Rufus 3.8 you can create a persistent

Read more

Notepad++ Alternatives For Linux

Filed under
Software

This article aims to introduce you to some of the most popular Notepad++ alternatives for Linux including the installation, basic features and functions.

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More in Tux Machines

PostmarketOS update brings HDMI support for the PinePhone and PineTab

When the PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition smartphone began shipping to customers in September it came with a version of the operating system with one important feature missing: HDMI output. So when my phone arrived a few weeks ago I was able to spend some time familiarizing myself with the operating system and I could plug in the included Convergence Dock to use USB accessories including a keyboard, mouse, and storage. But I wasn’t able to connect an external display. Now I can. Read more

today's howtos

  • How To Install Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla

    This tutorial explains Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla computer installation. You will prepare at least two disk partitions, finishing it all in about twenty minutes, and enjoy! Let's start right now.

  • How to install Ubuntu 20.10 - YouTube

    In this video, I am going to show how to install Ubuntu 20.10.

  • How To Install Webmin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

    In this tutorial we will show you how to install Webmin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, as well as some extra required packages by Webmin control panel

  • Running Ironic Standalone on RHEL | Adam Young’s Web Log

    This is only going to work if you have access to the OpenStack code. If you are not an OpenStack customer, you are going to need an evaluation entitlement. That is beyond the scope of this article.

  • Introduction to Ironic

    The sheer number of projects and problem domains covered by OpenStack was overwhelming. I never learned several of the other projects under the big tent. One project that is getting relevant to my day job is Ironic, the bare metal provisioning service. Here are my notes from spelunking the code.

  • Adding Nodes to Ironic

    TheJulia was kind enough to update the docs for Ironic to show me how to include IPMI information when creating nodes.

  • Secure NTP with NTS

    Many computers use the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to synchronize their system clocks over the internet. NTP is one of the few unsecured internet protocols still in common use. An attacker that can observe network traffic between a client and server can feed the client with bogus data and, depending on the client’s implementation and configuration, force it to set its system clock to any time and date. Some programs and services might not work if the client’s system clock is not accurate. For example, a web browser will not work correctly if the web servers’ certificates appear to be expired according to the client’s system clock. Use Network Time Security (NTS) to secure NTP. Fedora 331 is the first Fedora release to support NTS. NTS is a new authentication mechanism for NTP. It enables clients to verify that the packets they receive from the server have not been modified while in transit. The only thing an attacker can do when NTS is enabled is drop or delay packets. See RFC8915 for further details about NTS. NTP can be secured well with symmetric keys. Unfortunately, the server has to have a different key for each client and the keys have to be securely distributed. That might be practical with a private server on a local network, but it does not scale to a public server with millions of clients. NTS includes a Key Establishment (NTS-KE) protocol that automatically creates the encryption keys used between the server and its clients. It uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) on TCP port 4460. It is designed to scale to very large numbers of clients with a minimal impact on accuracy. The server does not need to keep any client-specific state. It provides clients with cookies, which are encrypted and contain the keys needed to authenticate the NTP packets. Privacy is one of the goals of NTS. The client gets a new cookie with each server response, so it doesn’t have to reuse cookies. This prevents passive observers from tracking clients migrating between networks.

  • Comfortable Motion: Absolutely Cursed Vim Scrolling - YouTube

    Have you ever felt like Vim was too useful and thought hey let's change that, well that's what this dev thought and now we have a plugin called comfortable motion that's adds physics based scrolling into vim, what's physics based scrolling you ask. Well it's scrolling that occurs based on how long you hold down the scroll key.

  • Running Cassandra on Fedora 32 | Adam Young’s Web Log

    This is not a tutorial. These are my running notes from getting Cassandra to run on Fedora 32. The debugging steps are interesting in their own right. I’ll provide a summary at the end for any sane enough not to read through the rest.

  • Recovering Audio off an Old Tape Using Audacity | Adam Young’s Web Log

    One of my fiorends wrote a bunch of music back in high school. The only remainig recordings are on a casette tape that he produced. Time has not been kind to the recordings, but they are audible…barely. He has a device that produces MP3s from the tape. My job has been to try and get them so that we can understand them well enough to recover the original songs. I have the combined recording on a single MP3. I’ve gone through and noted the times where each song starts and stops. I am going to go through the steps I’ve been using to go from that single long MP3 to an individual recording.

  • Role of Training and Certification at the Linux Foundation

    Open source allows anyone to dip their toes in the code, read up on the documentation, and learn everything on their own. That’s how most of us did it, but that’s just the first step. Those who want to have successful careers in building, maintaining, and managing IT infrastructures of companies need more structured hands-on learning with real-life experience. That’s where Linux Foundation’s Training and Certification unit enters the picture. It helps not only greenhorn developers but also members of the ecosystem who seek highly trained and certified engineers to manage their infrastructure. Swapnil Bhartiya sat down with Clyde Seepersad, SVP and GM of Training and Certification at the Linux Foundation, to learn more about the Foundation’s efforts to create a generation of qualified professionals.

  • Hetzner build machine

    This is part of a series of posts on compiling a custom version of Qt5 in order to develop for both amd64 and a Raspberry Pi. Building Qt5 takes a long time. The build server I was using had CPUs and RAM, but was very slow on I/O. I was very frustrated by that, and I started evaluating alternatives. I ended up setting up scripts to automatically provision a throwaway cloud server at Hetzner.

Leftovers: Debian, Graphics and Audiocasts

  • Integer Scaling To Come With Linux 5.11 For Intel Graphics Driver - Phoronix

    Going back more than a year there have been Intel "i915" kernel graphics driver patches implementing integer mode scaling support while finally for Linux 5.11 in early 2021 the support will have landed. Intel added integer mode scaling to their Windows graphics driver back in 2019 to provide better clarity when upscaling games (particularly pixel art type content) and other software. The Linux patches materialized in September 2019 for nearest-neighbor integer mode scaling and then seemingly forgotten about. The capability works with Gen11 / Ice Lake and newer.

  • Linux Support for Variable Refresh Rates On Gen12+ Intel GPUs Is On The Way - LinuxReviews

    Intel developer Manasi Navare has submitted a series of patches for the Linux kernel that brings support for variable refresh rates on Intel's latest graphics chips to the Linux kernels i915 driver. The feature is only enabled on Tiger Lake, Sapphire Rapids and newer Intel graphics chips. [...] You do not need a special "Freesync" monitor to use adaptive vertical synchronization, Freesync is just a marketing term used by AMD. The DisplayPort specification has included variable refresh rate (VRR) as an option feature since DP 1.4 and there are many monitors with support for it that are not marketed as "Freesync" or "gaming" monitors. Monitors that are marketed as "Freesync" support the standard DisplayPort VRR protocol so you don't need to use a AMD graphics card to get the benefits of a Freesync monitor. You will soon be able to use one of the very latest Intel CPU's with integrated graphics or one of Intel's upcoming dedicated graphics cards with Freesync monitors on Linux.

  • Salsa updated to GitLab 13.5

    Today, GitLab released the version 13.5 with several new features. Also Salsa got some changes applied to it. [...] It's been way over two years since we started to use Google Compute Engine (GCE) for Salsa. Since then, all the jobs running on the shared runners run within a n1-standard-1 instance, providing a fresh set of one vCPU and 3.75GB of RAM for each and every build. GCE supports several new instance types, featuring better and faster CPUs, including current AMD EPICs. However, as it turns out, GCE does not support any single vCPU instances for any of those types. So jobs in the future will use n2d-standard-2 for the time being, provinding two vCPUs and 8GB of RAM..

  • Social Media Regulation and Journalism

    Doc Searls, Katherine Druckman, and Petros Koutoupis talk social media regulation and its relationship to journalism and the threat to Section 230.

  • Automation Entropy Factor | Self-Hosted 30

    Chris gets left out in the cold after a Home Assistant glitch, and Alex puts a big batch of USB hard drives to the test Plus a great pick for you pack rats, feedback, and more.

  • Tribalism and Toxicity in the Linux Community - YouTube

    Gatekeeping, tribalism and toxicity in the Linux community. We're tired of it and it's time to silence it. But WHY does it happen, and HOW do we DEAL with it?

Oracle/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers