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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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Android Leftovers

Best Linux laptop for 2021: Which one should you buy?

I remember, back in my early days of Linux, finding a laptop that could run the open-source operating system was tricky business. You might get a distribution to work with the video chipset. You might even find one that interacts with your soundcard. If you could manage to get wireless working, you were something special. That was then, and this is a very different time. Now, you can find Linux pre-installed laptops all over the place. Companies like System76, Tuxedo Computers, Juno Computers, Dell, Lenovo and HP are all producing laptops that support or are even fully certified to run Linux. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Paradox of the perfect code editor

    Imagine if someone summoned a magical genie and wished for a perfect code editor. Since it is perfect, does that mean it provides you everything you ever need to code the optimal solution? Or since it is perfect, does it enable you to accomplish the coding aspect instantly?

    Thus, the paradox:

    Does the perfect code editor mean that you spend nearly 100% of your work time using the editor or does it mean you spend nearly 0% of your work time using the editor?

  • I write code 100 hours/week, here's why I probably won't stop

    I feel strongly you should never feel compelled or required to do what I am doing. Any company, manager, or person asking you to do so is horrible and you should get out quick. I don’t want to contribute to that culture or feed it.

    But-I love what I’m doing. I love the amount of progress I’m able to achieve every day. I love my time spent solving problems. I love what I’ve achieved so far. I want to go further than ever before - I’ve been marathon coding for as long as I can remember, and I’m not going to stop. I need to see how far I can go.

    I love the choices I’ve made in life. I hope you love yours too.

  • The reports of Perl’s death have been greatly exaggerated

    But you know what? Perl’s still going. It’s had a steady cadence of year­ly releas­es for the past decade, intro­duc­ing new fea­tures and fenc­ing in bad behav­ior while main­tain­ing an admirable lev­el of back­ward com­pat­i­bil­i­ty. Yes, there was a too-​long adven­ture devel­op­ing what start­ed as Perl 6, but that lan­guage now has its own iden­ti­ty as Raku and even has facil­i­ties for mix­ing Perl with its native code or vice versa.

  • Share with us your say on interoperability benefits in digital public service delivery

    As the the ISA2 programme and ELISE are coming to an end, is the right time to reflect on what we have achieved together and how to build on that in the next generation programmes.

  • How BSD Authentication Works

    The way OpenBSD authenticates users is quite different from other Unix-like operating systems. Most other systems like AIX, Solaris, Linux, the other BSDs, and MacOS, use a framework called Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM). The two main implementations are Linux PAM and OpenPAM. PAM modules are created as dynamically loaded shared objects, which communicate using a combination of common and implementation specific interfaces (Linux-PAM and OpenPAM). It's configured using the pam.d directory and pam.conf file. While it can be flexible, it's highly complex and very easy to mis-configure, leaving you open to strange and hard to track down authentication bugs. On top of that, the fact that it's a shared library means that any vulnerability in a poorly vetted authentication module gives attackers direct access to the internals of your application. Author Michael W. Lucas said it best when he described PAM as unstandardized black magic.

    OpenBSD on the other hand uses a mechanism called BSD Authentication. It was originally developed for a now-defunct proprietary operating system called BSD/OS by Berkeley Software Design Inc., who later donated the system. It was then adopted by OpenBSD in release 2.9. BSD Auth is comparatively much simpler than PAM. Modules or, authentication "styles", are instead stand alone applications or scripts that communicate over IPC. The module has no ability to interfere with the parent and can very easily revoke permissions using pledge(2) or unveil(2). The BSD Authentication system of configured through login.conf(5).

  • Explaining top(1) on FreeBSD

    We all know and have at least once used the top(1) command to track information about our cpu and processes, but how many of you know what each field means? Today we will guide you through each of these fields. By default, top(1) displays the ‘top’ processes on each system and periodically updates this information every 2.0 seconds using the raw cpu use percentage to rank the processes in the list.

Integrity/Availability, Security, and DRM

  • Sinclair hit by ransomware attack, TV stations disrupted [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates dozens of TV stations across the U.S., said Monday that some of its servers and work stations were encrypted with ransomware and that data was stolen from its network.

  • Sinclair hit by ransomware attack, TV stations disrupted [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The Hunt Valley, Maryland-based company either owns or operates 21 regional sports network and owns, operates or provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets.

  • Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink

    For more than a decade now, computer printer manufacturers have been engaged in an endless quest called: "let's be as annoying as humanly possible." That quest, driven by a desire to monopolize and boost the sale of their own printer cartridges, has resulted in all manner of obnoxious DRM and other restrictions designed to make using cheaper, third-party printing cartridges a monumental headache. Often, software or firmware updates have been designed to intentionally grind printing to a halt if you try to use these alternative options.

  • Caskading Failures

    In case you hadn’t heard, Let’s Encrypt’s root certificate expired on September 30th, causing many old applications and devices to reject connections to any site secured by certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt. At Cider and Saddle, all of our services are backed by a Let’s Encrypt wildcard certificate, which we’d configured to automatically renew when needed. We thought that meant we’d be in the clear; after all, we were sure to keep our production system up-to-date, and as long as the system’s CA certificates were fresh, there shouldn’t be any issues.

    We were wrong.

    On October 3rd, one of our community members noticed Cask was throwing 500 errors upon visiting the page. Scrubbing through the logs, it was pretty easy to guess what was going on: [...]