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January 2020

Sad news about Scott Rifenbark

Filed under
Obits

I'm sorry to have to pass on the sad news that Scott Rifenbark, our
tech writer for the project passed away on Wednesday after a battle
with cancer.

I remember interviewing Scott over 10 years ago when forming a team at
Intel to work on what became the Yocto Project, he was with it from the
start. He warned me he wasn't an entirely traditional tech writer but I
warned we weren't aiming to be a traditional project either. It was a
great match. He stayed with the project ever since in one way or
another, he enjoyed working on the project and we enjoyed working with
him.

Read more

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux Performance On A $199 AMD Ryzen Laptop

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

When carrying out our Windows vs. Linux benchmarks we normally are doing so on interesting high-end hardware but for today's benchmarking is a look at how a $199 USD laptop powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor compares between Windows 10 as it's shipped on the laptop against the forthcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux distribution.

The $199 AMD laptop being used for testing is the Motile M141, a 14-inch laptop with Ryzen 3 3200U and Vega 3 graphics, 4GB of RAM, 120GB solid-state drive, and 1080p display. This 14-inch Ryzen 3 laptop is currently selling for just $199 USD at Walmart. While never hearing of Motile previously, I decided to go ahead and buy this laptop for some Linux testing... Motile is a private-label brand from Walmart.

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Solus Shines With Plasma Desktop Options

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

Solus is one of the leading alternative distros to other more mainstream Linux OSes. The 4.1 upgrade, especially the Plasma edition, clearly set the standard that other Linux distributions should follow.

If you are a gamer, take note of this: Solus 4.1 just made gaming simpler. Solus 4.1 ships with increased file limits to enable ESync support. This release also raises the file limits in the PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) package to Lutris' suggested value. This lets you spend less time configuring your system and more time playing games.

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LibreRouter: An open-source router that offers GPIO pins in a Raspberry Pi form factor

Filed under
OSS

Single-board computers (SBCs) can not only be used as cost-effective options for developers or for creating retro emulators. On the contrary, they can also serve as routers thanks to their wide range of connection options, while some can offer a lot of performance for their size. The Raspberry Pi has practically pre-configured software solutions to this effect, for example.

Now, a DIY solution has been announced by LibreRouter.org. The LR1 is based on a Qualcomm Atheros QCA9558 MIPI processor that can utilise 128 MB of RAM. The router has built-in Wi-Fi too that supports up to IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, while LibreRouter also offers an optional GPS sensor. Using the two mPCIe slots you can connect powerful network cards or cellular routers, too.

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Qt 5.12.7 Released

Filed under
KDE

I am happy to announce we have released Qt 5.12.7 today.

The Qt 5.12 LTS is in 'strict' phase, so it will receive only the selected important bug and security fixes. This 7th patch release for Qt 5.12 LTS series contains almost 50 bug fixes including security issue fixes for both Qt ( CVE-2020-0569 and CVE-2020-0570) and 3rd party components (CVE-2019-19244, CVE-2019-19603, CVE-2019-19242, CVE-2019-19645, CVE-2019-19646 & CVE-2019-19880). Also in QtWebEngine there are many CVE fixes from Chromium. Please check other most important changes from Qt 5.12.7 Changes Files.

Qt 5.12.7 is now available via the maintenance tool of the online installer. For new installations, please download latest online installer from Qt Account portal or from qt.io Download page. Offline packages are available for commercial users in the Qt Account portal and at the qt.io Download page for open-source users. You can also try out the Commercial evaluation option from the qt.io Download page.

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Pentoo – A Security-Focused Linux Distro Based on Gentoo

Filed under
Gentoo
Security

Pentoo is an open-source Live CD and Live USB Gentoo Linux-based operating system designed for experts in the field of penetration testing and security assessment. It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures and is can be run as an overlay on an existing Gentoo installation.

If you’re not familiar with Gentoo Linux, it is an advanced Linux distro that enables users to compile their operating system from the source in other to enjoy advantages such as applications and optimal performance specific to the computer, to mention a couple.

It does not have an installer and users are to translate the software they want before continuing with the installation. In short, one shouldn’t go near it if they don’t have the perseverance for filing through Linux documentation.

Just like with Gentoo, Pentoo has an advanced Python-based package management system with cool features such as “fake” (OpenBSD-style) installs, system profiles, config file management, safe unmerging, and virtual packages, among others.

Read more

/e/OS and the Art of Remote Project Management

Filed under
OS
Android

In this article, we look behind the scenes to understand how the team at /e/OS works!
For those who have not been following up on the developments in the smartphone OS world, /e/ OS is a de-googled, privacy-focused, android-based smartphone operating system. The project is the brain child of Gaël Duval, the man who created Mandrake Linux. /e/OS is forked from LineageOS.
The team did not just stop with the forking. First, they removed the Google calls which were spread all over the source code. Next, they replaced several of the default apps and added FOSS replacements. With a single /e/ account, user data on the phone could be automatically synchronized with ecloud servers. What data was to be synced can be controlled by the user.
By the middle of 2018, the beta version of the /e/OS was ready. /e/OS today supports 91 smartphones. For those who are not comfortable flashing their smartphones, /e/ offers a range of refurbished smartphones, which can be purchased with /e/OS already flashed on them. Currently they are testing Mail-in-your-phone, a service where users who are not confident flashing their own devices, can send it to /e/ and get it flashed!
All this forking, debugging, rewriting and modification requires design, development and testing efforts. After the OS is flashed on smartphones, support for the end users is required.
Lets understand how /e/ manages all these different activities.

Read more

Also: /e/ OS and the Art of Remote Project Management

More in Tux Machines

Free Software Leftovers

  • From Clean & Green Mockup to OpenBSD cwm(1) desktop

    If the words CGA or Hercules raise sweet memories from your far away youth, the Mockup Clean & Green from u/awareofdistractions may hit you right in the heart. And if you like it so much, it may be used for real-life desktop environment using OpenBSD stock and ports material.

  • Learning more about our users

    At the Tor Project we practice user-centered design. This means we put our users at the heart of our development process, making a conscious effort to understand the contexts in which people use our tools and paying particular attention to the bumps they encounter along the way.

    Many digital product companies rely heavily on data gathered from invasive tracking scripts to better understand their users’ behavior, further fueling the surveillance economy. However that’s not how we do things at Tor – instead, we aim to conduct research that respects the basic principles of privacy and consent.

  • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a11

    Tor Browser 10.5a11 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

    Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

  • FSFE20 +++ IloveFS +++ Job vacancy

    In our February Newsletter, we interview our founding president Georg Greve as part of our publication series to celebrate 20 Years FSFE, we reflect on I love Free Software Day and our FOSDEM participation, we advertise our new job vacancy and as usual we report on our diverse community activities.

  • Keeping platforms open

    My previous article, Whatsapp and the domestication of users, got more attention than I was expecting. Some responses gave me a lot to think about,1 especially regarding actions we can take. I suggest reading that article first; it explained what “user domestication” is and why it’s a problem. It enumerated three countermeasures: FOSS, simplicity, and open platforms.

    Hard problems, by definition, lack easy solutions. Simply choosing (or creating) a platform that avoids user domestication isn’t enough if that platform can change. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance; in addition to settling on the right platform, we must ensure that it honors its users in both the present and the future. Keeping a platform FOSS and simple is more straightforward2 than keeping a platform “open”.

    How do we keep an open platform from becoming a closed platform in the future?

Programming Leftovers

  • 6 Top Data Analysis Tools for Big Data

    Big Data is an all-inclusive term that refers to data sets so large and complex that they need to be processed by specially designed hardware and software tools. The data sets are typically of the order of tera or exabytes in size. These data sets are created from a diverse range of sources: sensors that gather climate information, publicly available information such as magazines, newspapers, articles. Other examples where big data is generated include purchase transaction records, web logs, medical records, military surveillance, video and image archives, and large-scale e-commerce. There is a heightened interest in Big Data and Big Data analysis and the implications they have for businesses. Big Data analysis is the process of examining huge quantities of data to find patterns, correlations, and other useful information that can help firms become more responsive to change, and to make better informed decisions. Big Data analysis can be performed with data mining software. However, the unstructured data sources used for big data analysis are not necessarily suitable for investigation by traditional data mining software.

  • 50 Years of Pascal

    Pascal was easy to teach, and it covered a wide spectrum of applications, which was a significant advantage over Algol, Fortran, and Cobol. The Pascal System was efficient, compact, and easy to use. The language was strongly influenced by the new discipline of structured programming, advocated primarily by E.W. Dijkstra to avert the threatening software crisis (1968).

  • How to use Django Serializers – Linux Hint

    Serializer is used in Django to convert the model instances or querysets into python supported data types that can be easily rendered into JSON, XML, or other formats. The deserialization can also be done by serializers to get back the original data from the serialized data. This feature is available in Django REST Framework. So, the users have to install this framework to use the serializers. Any webpage of the website may contain HTML, CSS, and data from the database tables. But the API does not understand these types of content, and it can understand the raw data only, that is, JSON data. How the serializers can be used to convert the model instance into JSON format has shown in this tutorial.

  • How to use queryset in django – Linux Hint

    Most of the web applications are implemented with the database now. queryset is used in the Django application to retrieve records by filtering or slicing or ordering the database table without changing the original data. The model used Django to create the table in the database. So, the knowledge of using the model in Django is necessary to understand the use of queryset. The main function of the queryset is to iterate the records of database tables by converting them into SQL queries. It can be used from the python command line or by writing the python script to display the browser’s output. The uses of queryset for retrieving data from a database table in different ways have been explained in this tutorial.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 379 [Ed: The usual paradox of developing "openly" while requiring people to get an account with Microsoft and then use proprietary software of Microsoft, which attacks Free software.]

    This Week in Rust is openly developed on GitHub.

  • What Is BC in a Bash Script? – Linux Hint

    BC, which stands for Basic Calculator, is a command in Bash that is used to provide the functionality of a scientific calculator within a Bash script. This can be useful for scripting with various arithmentic use cases and scenarios. This article shows you how to use BC in a Bash script.

Security Leftovers

  • How often should I rotate my ssh keys?

    My story for today is about ssh and how even public keys, while much better than simple passwords, are still not a perfect solution.

    The danger is credential theft, which is a fancy way of saying “someone stole your private keys.” Back in the 1990s, that problem was pretty far from our minds; Windows 98 didn’t even have the concept of a separate administrator account, never mind the idea of app sandboxing or the inkling that someone might intentionally want to load malware onto your computer and encrypt all your files for ransomware. Those were the days when some people thought ActiveX controls (essentially loading .exe files from web sites) might be a good idea. Actually, maybe even a great idea as long as there was an “are you sure?” dialog box first.

  • 4 of the Best LastPass Alternatives

    LastPass has recently changed its free account usage policy to be only available on one device, and a lot of its users are not happy about it. If you are a LastPass Free user and are looking to switch, here are four great LastPass alternatives you should check out. These services reserve their pricing tiers for more advanced, business-oriented users while still leaving free users with a powerful set of features to safeguard their online accounts data.

  • Security updates for Thursday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ansible-base, keycloak, mumble, and postgresql), Debian (firefox-esr and nodejs), Fedora (dotnet3.1, dotnet5.0, keylime, php-horde-Horde-Text-Filter, radare2, scap-security-guide, and wireshark), openSUSE (postgresql, postgresql13 and python-djangorestframework), Red Hat (Ansible, firefox, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (php7, postgresql-jdbc, python-cryptography, rpmlint, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (dnsmasq, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.6, screen, and xterm).

  • Biden signs executive order calling for semiconductor supply chain review

    President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday addressing growing concern over a global semiconductor shortage hampering the production of goods like automobiles and smartphones.

    The White House’s executive order directs the federal government to conduct 100-day reviews of supply chains in four sets of products, including computer chips and large capacity batteries, like those used in electric vehicles, according to administration officials.

  • Biden Orders Review to Shore Up Supply Chain Resiliency

    On top of the 100-day review of the four key industries, Biden’s order will also direct yearlong reviews for six sectors: defense, public health, information technology, transportation, energy and food production.

    Biden said his administration will implement the recommendations as soon as they are available. “We're not going to wait for the review to be completed before we start closing the existing gaps,” he said.

  • Technology Executives Say All Evidence Points To Russia In Major Hack Of Computer Networks

    Smith told the committee that the true scope of the intrusions is still unknown because most victims are not legally required to disclose attacks unless they involve sensitive information about individuals.

  • Finnish IT Giant Hit with Ransomware Cyberattack [iophk: Windows TO]

    Norwegian business journal E24 reported the attack on Espoo, Finland-based TietoEVRY on Tuesday, claiming to have spoken with Geir Remman, a communications director at the company. Remman acknowledged technical problems with several services that TietoEVRY provides to 25 customers, which are “due to a ransom attack,” according to the report.

    Remman told E24 that the company considers the attack “a serious criminal act.” TietoEVRY turned off the unspecified services and infrastructure affected “as a preventative measure” until it can recover relevant data, and restart systems “in a controlled manner,” he said.

Ubuntu Leftovers

  • Ubuntu Aims For Higher Quality LTS Point Releases - Phoronix

    New restrictions will be in place beginning with Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS this summer to try to enforce better quality releases with less regressions by enforcing better quality control. The change beginning with Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS will require that stable release update (SRU) procedures are followed even for release blockers. This will require that every fix follows the same verification, regression analysis, and aging period process. The tighter quality controls will likely lead to slips in release targets if bugs are found in the release candidates for new point releases, as it will first need to go through the verification and aging process.

  • DFI Partners With Ubuntu For IoT Hardware, OTA Updates - Phoronix

    Most of you probably haven't heard of DFI much in nearly two decades since the days of their colorful "LanParty" motherboards that were well known at the time, but these days they are focused on the industrial computer industry and have now teamed up with Canonical to partake in the Ubuntu IoT Hardware Certification Partner Program. DFI is the first industrial computer vendor joining the Ubuntu IoT Hardware Certification Partner Program for Ubuntu-certified hardware focused on the Internet of Things and embracing over-the-air software updates.

  • What is MEC ? The telco edge.

    MEC, as ETSI defines it, stands for Multi-access Edge Computing and is sometimes referred to as Mobile edge computing. MEC is a solution that gives content providers and software developers cloud-computing capabilities which are close to the end users. This micro cloud deployed in the edge of mobile operators’ networks has ultra low latency and high bandwidth which enables new types of applications and business use cases. On top of that an application running on MEC can have real-time access to a subset of radio network information that can improve the overall experience.