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March 2020

Roadmap update – Ubuntu support for the Raspberry Pi

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Ubuntu

Computing and digital crafting should be accessible to all! This imperative inspires the mission that Ubuntu has been pursuing for nearly two decades now. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is pursuing a similar mission with the single-board, low-cost and high-performance Raspberry Pi computers. With our commitment to official Ubuntu support for the Raspberry Pi, we want to accelerate the commodification of digital innovation.

Besides bringing the benefits of modern GNU/Linux, Ubuntu makes the latest and greatest free and open source software available on the Raspberry Pi. Ubuntu also brings versatile options for software packaging, delivery and updates. Users will benefit from frequently and reliably published software and long-term support. Ubuntu will provide innovators – in their garage, in schools, in labs or in the enterprise – with a robust software infrastructure to create exciting solutions with their Raspberry Pi.

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5 best Linux desktop distributions

Filed under
Linux

A Linux distribution on the desktop is an amalgam of the tortoise and the little train that could. Ever so slowly, it continues to move onward and upward, ticking away the market share percentages by a tenth of a point at a time. No matter how slow that journey is, the developers of each distribution will keep going until their version of Linux has finally become accepted by the masses—at which point, one Linux distro will rule them all. Until then, the Linux community will continue to enjoy numerous distributions, ready to take over your desktop. But of those hundreds (nay, thousands) of desktops available, which are the best Linux desktop distributions?

After using all flavors of Linux distributions, including Red Hat, Zorin OS, Kali Linux Debian, CentOS, and more, for over 20 years, I've pretty much seen every type of distribution possible. That much exposure to a specific operating system makes it rather easy to come up with a list of which Linux desktop distributions are the best. And with that in mind, this is my list of Linux distributions that are best suited for overall usage. Remember, this is for the desktop, so server distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Kali Linux, and SUSE Linux aren't in the mix.

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Linux 5.7 Developments

Filed under
Development
Linux
  • Linux 5.7 Staging's Spring Cleaning Sees Almost 30k Lines Of Code Dropped

    The staging/IO pull sent in for the Linux 5.7 merge window saw 20.1k lines of code added but 47.9k lines of code removed. Coming in nearly thirty-thousand lines of code lighter is largely thanks to - Dropping Wireless USB and Ultra Wideband support. UWB and WUSB support was cleared out of staging with this technology no longer being of much relevance/adoption and the code within the tree not being maintained. Also flushed out of staging was dropping the existing exFAT file-system driver now that via the VFS tree will be the new Samsung-developed exFAT Linux driver. Also being cleared out with this spring cleaning is the ancient HP 100BaseVG AnyLAN driver from the 90's.

  • IO_uring Sees More Improvements With Linux 5.7 For This Exciting I/O Tech

    Within minutes of Linux 5.6 being released on Sunday evening, Jens Axboe was already with sending in the start of the various storage areas to the kernel that he oversees with their feature updates for Linux 5.7.

    IO_uring is one of the most exciting happenings in the Linux storage space since its introduction last year in Linux 5.1. With succeeding kernels, IO_uring has continued seeing more features implemented, performance optimizations, and other improvements. That is continuing to happen with the Linux 5.7 kernel now in development.

xorg-server 1.20.8

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Adam Jackson (1):
      Revert "dri2: Don't make reference to noClientException"

Arthur Williams (1):
      dix: Check for NULL spriteInfo in GetPairedDevice

Daniel Llewellyn (1):
      os: Ignore dying client in ResetCurrentRequest

Dave Airlie (1):
      modesetting: remove unnecessary error message, fix zaphod leases

David Seifert (1):
      Fix building with `-fno-common`

Dor Askayo (1):
      xwayland: clear pixmaps after creation in rootless mode

Eric Anholt (1):
      glamor: Fix a compiler warning since the recent OOM fixes.

George Matsumura (1):
      Restrict 1x1 pixmap filling optimization to GXcopy

Jon Turney (2):
      Add xf86OSInputThreadInit to stub os-support as well
      Fix old-style definition warning for xf86OSInputThreadInit()

Jonas Ådahl (1):
      xwayland/glamor-gbm: Handle DRM_FORMAT_MOD_INVALID gracefully

Kenneth Graunke (1):
      configure: Define GLAMOR_HAS_EGL_QUERY_DRIVER when available

Maarten Lankhorst (1):
      modesetting: Disable atomic support by default

Matt Turner (1):
      xserver 1.20.8

Michel Dänzer (8):
      modesetting: Explicitly #include "mi.h"
      xfree86/modes: Bail from xf86RotateRedisplay if pScreen->root is NULL
      xwayland: Split up xwl_screen_post_damage into two phases
      xwayland: Call glamor_block_handler from xwl_screen_post_damage
      xwayland: Add xwl_window_create_frame_callback helper
      xwayland: Use single frame callback for Present flips and normal updates
      xwayland: Use frame callbacks for Present vblank events
      xwayland: Delete all frame_callback_list nodes in xwl_unrealize_window

Paul Kocialkowski (4):
      glamor: Propagate FBO allocation failure for picture to texture upload
      glamor: Error out on out-of-memory when allocating PBO for FBO access
      glamor: Propagate glamor_prepare_access failures in copy helpers
      glamor: Fallback to system memory for RW PBO buffer allocation

git tag: xorg-server-1.20.8

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Also: X.Org Server 1.20.8 Released With No Sign Of GLAMOR/XWayland-Improved X.Org Server 1.21

Debian Leftovers and Developers' Takes

Filed under
Debian
  • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Using Zoom's web client on Linux

    Like too many institutions, the school where I teach chose to partner up with Zoom. I wasn't expecting anything else, as my school's IT department is a Windows shop. Well, I guess I'm still a little disappointed.

    Although I had vaguely heard of Zoom before, I had never thought I'd be forced to use it. Lucky for me, my employer decided not to force us to use it. To finish the semester, I plan to record myself and talk with my students on a Jitsi Meet instance.

    I will still have to attend meetings on Zoom though. I'm well aware of Zoom's bad privacy record and I will not install their desktop application. Zoom does offer a web client. Sadly, on Linux you need to jump through hoops to be able to use it.

  • Mike Gabriel: Mailman3 - Call for Translations (@Weblate)

    Over the last months I have found an interest in Mailman3. Given the EOL of Python2 in January 2020 and also being a heavy Mailman2 provider for various of my projects and also for customers, I felt it was time to look at Mailman2's successor: Mailman3 [1].

    One great novelty in Mailman3 is the strict split up between backend (Mailman Core), and the frontend components (django-mailman3, Postorius, Hyperkitty). All three are Django applications. Postorius is the list management web frontend whereas Hyperkitty is an archive viewer. Other than in Mailman2, you can also drop list posts into Hyperkitty directly (instead of sending a mail to the list). This makes Hyperkitty also some sort of forum software with a mailing list core in the back. The django-mailman3 module knits the previous two together (and handles account management, login dialog, profile settings, etc.).

  • Sven Hoexter: Looking into Envertech Enverbridge EVB 202 SetID tool

    Disclaimer: I'm neither an experienced programmer nor proficient in reverse engineering, but I like at least to try to figure out how things work. Sometimes the solution is so easy, that even I manage to find it, still take this with a grain of salt.

    I lately witnessed the setup of an Envertech EnverBridge ENB-202 which is kind of a classic Chinese IoT device. Buy it, plug it in, use some strange setup software, and it will report your PV statistics to a web portal. The setup involved downloading a PE32 Windows executable, with an UI that basically has two input boxes and a sent button. You've to input the serial number(s) of your inverter boxes and the ID of your EnverBridge. That made me interested in what this setup process really looks like.

    The EnverBridge device itself has on one end a power plug, which is also used to communicate with the inverter via some Powerline protocol, and a network plug with a classic RJ45 end you plug into your network. If you power it up it will request an IPv4 address via DHCP. That brings us to the first oddity, the MAC address is in the BC:20:90 prefix which I could not find in the IEEE lists.

  • Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana: My free software activities in February 2020

    I started to talk with Maristela from IEP - Instituto de Engenharia do Paraná and after some messages and I joined a meeting with her and other members of Câmara Técnica de Eletrônica, Computação e Ciências de Dados.

    I explained about FLISOL in Curitiba to them and they agreed to host the event at IEP. I asked to use three spaces: Auditorium for FLISOL talks, Salão Nobre for meetups from WordPress and PostgreSQL Communities, and the hall for Install Fest.

    Besides FLISOL, they would like to host other events and meetups from Communities in Curitiba as Python, PHP, and so on. At least one per month.

  • Covid 19 and the Indian response.

    There have been lot of stories about Coronavirus and with it a lot of political blame-game has been happening. The first step that India took of a lockdown is and was a good step but without having a plan as to how especially the poor and the needy and especially the huge migrant population that India has (internal migration) be affected by it. A 2019 World Economic Forum shares the stats. as 139 million people. That is a huge amount of people and there are a variety of both push and pull factors which has displaced these huge number of people. While there have been attempts in the past and probably will continue in future they will be hampered unless we have trust-worthy data which is where there is lots that need to be done. In the recent few years, both the primary and secondary data has generated lot of controversies within India as well as abroad so no point in rehashing all of that. Even the definition of who is a ‘migrant’ needs to be well-established just as who is a ‘farmer’ . The simplest lucanae in the later is those who have land are known as ‘farmers’ but the tenant farmers and their wives are not added as farmers hence the true numbers are never known. Is this an India-specific problem or similar definition issues are there in the rest of the world I don’t know.

    [...]

    What is worrying though that people can be infected twice or more as seems to be from Singapore or China and elsewhere. I have read enough of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton books to be aware that viruses can do whatever. They will over time mutate, how things will happen then is anybody’s guess. What I found interesting is the world economic forum article which hypothesis that it may be two viruses which got together as well as research paper from journal from poteome research which has recently been published. The biggest myth flying around is that summer will halt or kill the spread which even some of my friends have been victim of . While a part of me wants to believe them, a simple scientific fact has been viruses have probably been around us and evolved over time, just like we have. In fact, there have been cases of people dying due to common cold and other things. Viruses are so prevalent it’s unbelivable. What is and was interesting to note is that bat-borne viruses as well as pangolin viruses had been theorized and shared by Chinese researchers going all the way back to 90’s . The problem is even if we killed all the bats in the world, some other virus will take its place for sure. One of the ideas I had, dunno if it’s feasible or not that at least in places like Airports, we should have some sort of screenings and a labs working on virology. Of course, this will mean more expenses for flying passengers but for public health and safety maybe it would worth doing so. In any case, virologists should have a field day cataloging various viruses and would make it harder for viruses to spread as fast as this one has. The virus spread also showed a lack of leadership in most of our leaders who didn’t react fast enough. While one hopes people do learn from this, I am afraid the whole thing is far from over. These are unprecedented times and hope that all are maintaining social distancing and going out only when needed.

Python Programming

Filed under
Development
  • Lists in python – Python list methods

    In this chapter, we will create simple python programs that will demonstrate the usage of various python list methods.

  • The one where we build a web scrapper and a slackbot - Part 1
  • The one where we build a web scrapper and a slackbot - Part 2
  • Exporting pandas DataFrames into SQLite with SQLAlchemy

    It is common when performing exploratory data analysis, for example when examining COVID-19 data with pandas, to load from files like a CSV, XML, or JSON into a pandas DataFrame. You may then do some work with the data in the DataFrame and want to store it in a more durable location like a relational database.

  • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week – Abigail Mesrenyame Dogbe

    This week we welcome Abigail Mesrenyame Dogbe (@MesrenyameDogbe) as our PyDev of the Week! Abigail is active with the PyLadies organization in Africa and has also helped organize PyCon Africa. Abigail is also a fellow of the Python Software Foundation.

    [...]

    I worked with the Internal Audit Department at the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) after obtaining a BSc in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Ghana. Growing up, I struggled with Mathematics and did lots of drawings, paintings, and singing during my hobbies. My hobbies became numerous as I matured so much that I no longer make drawings and paintings but I’ve found happiness in playing with African beads to make accessories and I still sing a lot, although mostly to smaller groups or to myself.

    I have a great interest in sports such as volleyball, football and swimming as well. During my final year at the university, I was elected as the captain of the women’s volleyball team. We had lots of training sessions and won a few matches. I am actually impressed with how far the team has come after I completed school.

    Also, I have a keen interest in Tech Community Building and I find joy in helping others grow in their career.

Software: 12 Best Open-Source Software to Try, 21 Best Free and Affordable Video Editing Software, Nageru and Mark Text

Filed under
Software
  • 12 Best Open-Source Software to Try in 2020

    Open-source software feels like an anomaly in today’s corporate tech world. The idea that a community of developers are happy to work on a piece of software – usually for no money – for literally years seems ludicrous, and speaks to the passion that people have for making technology for the benefit of everyone. Open-source devs, we salute you!

    So to honor these tireless workers who quietly make our day-to-day computer experiences that much better, we’ve decided to write up a multi-platform list of what we deem the best open-source software you can get in 2020.

    Do note that there are tons of open-source software out there, and we can’t possibly cover all of them. That said, here are what we think are the best for the end user. Opinions may differ though.

  • 21 Best Free and Affordable Video Editing Software In 2020

    With so many options available in the market, we have curated the list of the best free video editing programs along with affordable ones. This is for people who are just looking to start but are also serious about video editing and want to take it to a professional level.

  • Nageru 1.9.2 released

    Obviously, the Covid-19 outbreak caused some of my streaming events to be cancelled, but that's a small thing in the big picture. However, I've accumulated a fair amount of changes to both Nageru, my video mixer, and Futatabi, my slow motion video server, this winter and spring. I've packaged them up and released 1.9.2. As usual, you can get both at https://nageru.sesse.net/, and they're also on the way up to Debian unstable.

  • Mark Text Markdown Editor 0.16 Released With Experimental Spell Checker, Support For Custom Fonts

    Mark Text, a popular Markdown editor, had a new release over the weekend (0.16.0, followed by 0.16.1 to fix a bug). This update brings an experimental spell checker, file encoding support, support for custom fonts, and much more.

    Mark Text is a free and open source Electron Markdown editor for Windows, macOS and Linux. It features CommonMark and GitHub Flavored Markdown, seamless live preview, multiple edit modes (Typewriter, Source Code and Focus), and support for code fence for all popular languages.

More in Tux Machines

Programming Leftovers

  • Pocket Lisp Computer

    I recently built three Lisp Badge computers with some help from my kids. I bought a hot air soldering station and learned TQFP soldering. The kids did some through-hole and SMT soldering and really enjoyed it! The hardware assembly and debugging process was really fun, other than worrying several times that I had put too much heat into a component, or set the wrong programmable fuse. During that phase I received some advice from the board’s designer, which really helped. I’ve learned from the hardware people at work to always order extra parts, and I did, including an extra PCB. I was half expecting to damage stuff while learning, so I was really happy that we ended up with all three boards fully working, after locating and fixing some cold solder joints.

  •        
  • CY's Take on PWC#067

    This is a part of Perl Weekly Challenge(PWC) and the followings are related to my solutions.  [...] The discussion of Perl 7 in blogs.perl.org # was so hot last week made me too shy to write PWC experience (stop, it's just an excuse!). Some discussions were quite technical for a beginner. Anyway as a beginning coder in Perl 5, I would add "use warnings" in my final coding stage from now on to prepare for the change.

  • Glyph Lefkowitz: Zen Guardian

    Moshe wrote a blog post a couple of days ago which neatly constructs a wonderful little coding example from a scene in a movie. And, as we know from the Zen of Python quote, there should only be one obvious way to do something in Python. So my initial reaction to his post was of course to do it differently — to replace an __init__ method with the new @dataclasses.dataclass decorator. But as I thought about the code example more, I realized there are a number of things beyond just dataclasses that make the difference between “toy”, example-quality Python, and what you’d do in a modern, professional, production codebase today.

  • Ian Ozsvald: Weekish notes

    I gave another iteration of my Making Pandas Fly talk sequence for PyDataAmsterdam recently and received some lovely postcards from attendees as a result. I’ve also had time to list new iterations of my training courses for Higher Performance Python (October) and Software Engineering for Data Scientists (September), both will run virtually via Zoom & Slack in the UK timezone. I’ve been using my dtype_diet tool to time more performance improvements with Pandas and I look forward to talking more on this at EuroPython this month.

  • Quickly Use Bootstrap 4 in a Django Template with a CDN
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: [Week 5] Check-in
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #6
  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In: Week 6

today's howtos

MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1 available for testing

We are pleased to offer MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1 for testing purposes. MX-19.2 KDE is an Advanced Hardware Support (AHS) enabled 64-bit only version of MX featuring the KDE/plasma desktop. Applications utilizing Qt library frameworks are given a preference for inclusion on the iso. This will be first officially supported MX/antiX family iso utilizing the KDE/plasma desktop since the halting of the predecessor MEPIS project in 2013. MX-19.2 KDE includes the usual MX tools, antiX-live-usb-system, and snapshot technology that our users have come to expect from our standard flagship Xfce releases. Adding KDE/plasma to the existing Xfce/MX-fluxbox desktops will provide for a wider range user needs and wants. Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: Noodlings, GNU World Order and This Week in Linux

  • Noodlings | Amiga 1200, openSUSE Leap 15.2 and Documentation
  • GNU World Order 361

    Pdfmom is a macro set for Groff meant to make it simple and intuitive. Here's an example MOM document. .TITLE "My example mom doc" .AUTHOR "Klaatu" .CHAPTER 1 .DOCTYPE CHAPTER .PRINTSTYLE TYPESET .PT_SIZE 10 .LS 12 .START .PP This is some sample text. I hope it comes out alright. It probably will. Thanks to \fBpdfmom\fP. Process it with the **pdfmom** command: $ pdfmom example.mom > my.pdf

  • This Week in Linux 108: Linux Mint 20, openSUSE 15.2, CutiePi Raspberry Pi Tablet, and more!

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some big Distro News from Linux Mint, openSUSE and there may be a way to have a Rolling Release of Ubuntu now. We’ve also got some Linux Mobile news thats to the team at XDA Developers making it possible to put Ubuntu Touch from UBports on a lot of Android based devices. We’re going to talk about a new Kickstarter that is going on right now to develop a Raspberry Pi based Tablet called the CutiePi. In App News, were going to talk about a new Task Manager app called Planner and there’s some changes coming to the Matrix Client, Riot.im which is much needed so I am excited for that. We’ve also got some odd news from Microsoft as they have decided to release an Antivirus for Linux called Microsoft Defender ATP. Apple recently announced they are dropping Intel for their own processor platform and we’ll discuss how that will relate to people wanting to run Linux on that hardware. Then we’ll round out the show with some awesome Humble Bundles that are live right now. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!