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June 2020

To-Do App With Built In Timer "Go For It!" Updated With Pomodoro Timer, Configurable Shortcuts

Filed under
Software

Go For It! productivity application has been updated to version 1.8.0. The new release adds Pomodoro timer mode, configurable keyboard shortcuts, an option to log the time spent working on a task to the todo.txt files, and more.

Go For It! is a Gtk tool which includes a to-do list and a timer. It uses the Todo.txt format, which is supported by a plethora of applications, for both desktops and mobile devices; Todo.txt is a popular to-do list format in which the data is stored in a flat text file. The application is available for Windows and Linux.

The most important change in the latest Go For It! 1.8.0 is a new option to change the timer mode. The time break time or time between breaks doesn't have to be the same anymore - you can now set the timer mode to Simple, Pomodoro, or use a custom time schedule.

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Arc Menu 47 Released with New Layout, Other Improvements

Filed under
GNOME

A new version of Arc Menu, the popular app launcher extension for GNOME Shell, is now available to download.

Arc Menu v47 includes a new menu layout (called “Tognee”, and pictured above), adds the option to rank installed software in alphabetical order (very handy), and introduces a new (and entirely opt-in) “frequent apps” view.

Mouse scrolling and keyboard navigation is said to be improved in this release; application context menus and tooltips boast better contrast; and there are new preset themes.

The icon picker, which lets you set a different menu icon, boasts some UI tweaks to make sifting through and finding glyphs a touch faster and saner. A selection of new panel icons are also said to be available include an openSUSE icon.

Also look out for new “Flip Layout Horizontally” and “Searchbar Location” options available in traditional panel layouts.

Finally, Arc Menu 47 requires GNOME 3.36. You can continue to use older versions of the menu on GNOME 3.34 and earlier, you just won’t get all of the ‘new’ stuff mentioned in this roundup.

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Tails 4.8 is out

Filed under
Security
Debian

This release fixes many security vulnerabilities. You should upgrade as soon as possible.

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Also: Tails 4.8 Anonymous OS Released with Linux Kernel 5.6, Improved Security

Graphics: Khronos, AMD, Nir and Monado

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Khronos Releases SYCL 2020 Provisional Specification

    The Khronos Group has announced the provisional specification of SYCL 2020 as the newest version of this higher-level programming model originally designed for OpenCL that is based on pure single-source C++.

    The SYCL 2020 provisional specification is available today and is now based on C++17 where as formerly SYCL had been based on C++11. SYCL 2020 is also bringing new programming abstractions like unified shared memory, group algorithms, sub-groups, and other features.

  • AMDVLK 2020.Q2.6 Brings More Performance Tuning

    The AMD Radeon Vulkan driver developers are ending out June by shipping their sixth open-source snapshot of the quarter.

    With AMDVLK 2020.Q2.6, there are continued performance tuning/optimization efforts. There has been performance tuning going on to benefit Ghost Recon Breakpoint and Zombie Army 4: Dead War under Wine / Steam Play. There is also improved pipeline compiler performance with this Vulkan driver update.

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Nirly There

    In yesterday’s post, I left off in saying that removing an assert() from the constant block index check wasn’t going to work quite right. Let’s see why that is.

  • Monado: Multi application support with XR_EXTX_overlay

    By implementing this extension we are exposing Monado's multi application support, which was recently merged to master.

    In the video below you can see Monado compositing the rendering of Blender's VR view and the xrgears demo displaying a XrCompositionLayerProjection as overlay. The demo also showcases Monado's ability to deal with multiple graphics APIs as Blender uses OpenGL and xrgears Vulkan to submit its frames.

    To enable the extension in xrgears only this small change was required, which enables the XR_EXTX_overlay extension and passes the XrSessionCreateInfoOverlayEXTX struct to the graphics bindings `next` field.

Mozilla: Firefox 78.0, Nightly, OTF's Demise and Mozilla Localization (L10N)

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox 78

    Firefox 78.0 has been released. This is an Extended Support Release (ESR). The Protections Dashboard has new features to track the number of breaches that were resolved from the dashboard and to see if any of your saved passwords may have been exposed in a breach. More details about this and other new features can be found in the release notes.

  • Honza Bambas: Firefox enables link rel=”preload” support

    We enabled the link preload web feature support in Firefox 78, at this time only at Nightly channel and Firefox Early Beta and not Firefox Release because of pending deeper product integrity checking and performance evaluation.

  • Giorgio Maone: Save Trust, Save OTF

    As the readers of this blog almost surely know, I'm the author of NoScript, a web browser security enhancer which can be installed on Firefox and Chrome, and comes built-in with the Tor Browser.

    NoScript has received support by the Open Technology Fund (OTF) for specific development efforts: especially, to make it cross-browser, better internationalized and ultimately serving a wider range of users.

    OTF's mission is supporting technology to counter surveillance and censorship by repressive regimes and foster Internet Freedom. One critical and strict requirement, for OTF to fund or otherwise help software projects, is them being licensed as Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), i.e. their code being publicly available for inspection, modification and reuse by anyone. Among the successful projects funded by OTF, you may know or use Signal, Tor, Let's Encrypt, Tails, QubeOS, Wireshark, OONI, GlobaLeaks, and millions of users all around the world, no matter their political views, trust them because they are FLOSS, making vulnerabilities and even intentionally malicious code harder to hide.

    Now this virtuous modus operandi is facing an existential threat, started when the whole OTF leadership has been fired and replaced by Michael Pack, the controversial new CEO of USA Global Media (USAGM), the agency OTF reports to.

  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: June 2020 Edition

    Firefox 78 is currently in beta and will be released on June 30. The deadline to update localization was on Jun 16.

Linux Foundation Latest News

Filed under
OSS

Meet UbuntuEd 20.04, an Educational Ubuntu Flavor for Kids, Schools and Universities

Filed under
Ubuntu

The team behind the Ubuntu Unity distribution have released today UbuntuEd 20.04, an unofficial, educational focused Ubuntu flavor for kids, schools and universities.

Meet UbuntuEd, an educational edition of Ubuntu Linux created by Rudra Saraswat, the same person who created Ubuntu Unity, and designed as a substitute for the discontinued Edubuntu flavor.

The first release of UbuntuEd is now available, based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and featuring both GNOME and Unity7 desktop environments. In other words, you’re getting Ubuntu, Ubuntu Unity and Ubuntu Education in a single container.

Users will be able to choose the right desktop environment for them, GNOME or Unity7, from the login screen. However, it looks like Unity7 is the default session when booting the live system and after the installation.

As expected, UbuntuEd comes with a plethora of educational apps for kids, schools and universities. Four metapackages are also available for those who want to install additional educational apps if they need more. Moreover, it’s possible to install these metapackages on your existing Ubuntu systems.

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Sans Investigative Forensics Toolkit (SIFT)

Filed under
GNU
Linux

SIFT is a computer forensics distribution created by the SANS Forensics team for performing digital forensics. This distro includes most tools required for digital forensics analysis and incident response examinations. SIFT is open-source and publicly available for free on the internet. In today’s digital world, where crimes are committed every day using digital technology, attackers are becoming more and more stealthy and sophisticated. This can cause companies to lose important data, with millions of users exposed. Protecting your organization from these attacks requires strong forensic techniques and knowledge in your defense strategy. SIFT provides forensic tools for file systems, memory and network investigations to perform in-depth forensic investigations.
In 2007, SIFT was available for download and was hard coded, so whenever an update arrived, users had to download the newer version. With further innovation in 2014, SIFT became available as a robust package on Ubuntu, and can now be downloaded as a workstation. Later, in 2017, a version of SIFT came to market allowing greater functionality and providing users the ability to leverage data from other sources. This newer version contains more than 200 tools from third parties, and contains a package manager requiring users to type only one command to install a package. This version is more stable, more efficient, and provides better functionality in terms of memory analysis. SIFT is scriptable, meaning that users can combine certain commands to make it work according to their needs.

SIFT can run on any system running on Ubuntu or Windows OS. SIFT supports various evidence formats, including AFF, E01, and raw format (DD). Memory forensics images are also compatible with SIFT. For file systems, SIFT supports ext2, ext3 for linux, HFS for Mac and FAT, V-FAT, MS-DOS, and NTFS for Windows.

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IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Ask the experts during Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience: Open House

    One of the most popular activities during the Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience was the Ask the Experts sessions, where attendees could engage with Red Hat experts and leadership in real time, so we're bringing it back for our Open House in July.

  • Making open source more inclusive by eradicating problematic language

    Open source has always been about differing voices coming together to share ideas, iterate, challenge the status quo, solve problems, and innovate quickly. That ethos is rooted in inclusion and the opportunity for everyone to meaningfully contribute, and open source technology is better because of the diverse perspectives and experiences that are represented in its communities. Red Hat is fortunate to be able to see the impact of this collaboration daily, and this is why our business has also always been rooted in these values.

    Like so many others, Red Hatters have been coming together the last few weeks to talk about ongoing systemic injustice and racism. I’m personally thankful to Red Hat’s D+I communities for creating awareness and opportunities for Red Hatters to listen in order to learn, and I’m grateful that so many Red Hatters are taking those opportunities to seek understanding.

  • The latest updates to Red Hat Runtimes

    Today, we are happy to announce that the latest release of Red Hat Runtimes is now available. This release includes updates that build upon the work the team has done over the past year for building modern, cloud-native applications.

    Red Hat Runtimes, part of the Red Hat Application Services portfolio, is a set of products, tools and components for developing and maintaining cloud-native applications. It offers lightweight runtimes and frameworks for highly-distributed cloud architectures, such as microservices or serverless applications. We continuously make updates and improvements to meet the changing needs of our customers, and to help developers better build business-critical applications. Read on for the latest.

  • Kourier: A lightweight Knative Serving ingress

    Until recently, Knative Serving used Istio as its default networking component for handling external cluster traffic and service-to-service communication. Istio is a great service mesh solution, but it can add unwanted complexity and resource use to your cluster if you don’t need it.

    That’s why we created Kourier: To simplify the ingress side of Knative Serving. Knative recently adopted Kourier, so it is now a part of the Knative family! This article introduces Kourier and gets you started with using it as a simpler, more lightweight way to expose Knative applications to an external network.

    Let’s begin with a brief overview of Knative and Knative Serving.

  • CodeTheCurve: A blockchain-based supply chain solution to address PPE shortages

    This past April, creative techies from all over the world gathered online for CodeTheCurve, a five-day virtual hackathon organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with IBM and SAP. Participants all worked toward the goal of creating digital solutions to address the global pandemic.

    Our team focused on the goal of improving the efficiency of the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain in order to prevent shortages for health care workers. With the rise of the current global pandemic, supplies of medical equipment have become more critical, particularly PPE for medical workers. In many places, PPE shortages have been a serious problem. To address this challenge, we proposed that a blockchain-based supply chain could help make this process faster and more reliable, thereby connecting health ministries, hospitals, producers, and banks, and making it easier to track and report information on supplies.

  • Analyze your Spark application using explain

    It is important that you have some understanding of Spark execution plan when you are optimizing your Spark applications. Spark provides an explain API to look at the Spark execution plan for your Spark SQL query. In this blog, I will show you how to get the Spark query plan using the explain API so you can debug and analyze your Apache Spark application. The explain API is available on the Dataset API. You can use it to know what execution plan Spark will use for your Spark query without actually running it. Spark also provides a Spark UI where you can view the execution plan and other details when the job is running. For Spark jobs that have finished running, you can view the Spark plan that was used if you have the Spark history server set up and enabled on your cluster. This is useful when tuning your Spark jobs for performance optimizations.

  • What’s new in Apache Spark 3.0

    The Apache Spark community announced the release of Spark 3.0 on June 18 and is the first major release of the 3.x series. The release contains many new features and improvements. It is a result of more than 3,400 fixes and improvements from more than 440 contributors worldwide. IBM Center of Open Source for Data and AI Technology (CODAIT) focuses on a number of selective open source technologies on machine learning, AI workflow, trusted AI, metadata, and big data process platform, etc. has delivered approximate hundreds of commits, including a couple of key features in this release.

  • GSoC Progress Report: Dashboard for Packit

    Hi, I am Anchit, a 19 y.o. from Chandigarh, India. I love programming, self-hosting, gaming, reading comic books, and watching comic-book based movies/tv.

    The first version of Fedora I tried was 21 when I came across it during my distro-hopping spree. I used it for a couple of months and then moved on to other distros. I came back to Fedora in 2017 after a couple of people on Telegram recommended it and have been using it ever since. A big reason why I stuck with Fedora this time is the community. Shout out to @fedora on Telegram. They’re nice, wholesome and helpful. They also got me into self-hosting and basic sys-admin stuff.

  • Fedora Looking To Offer Better Upstream Solution For Hiding/Showing GRUB Menu

    Fedora for the past few releases doesn't show the GRUB boot-loader menu by default when only Fedora is installed on the system as there is little purpose for most users and it just interrupts the boot flow. But for those wanting to access the GRUB bootloader menu on reboot, they offer integration in GNOME to easily reboot into this menu. The other exception is the menu will be shown if the previous boot failed. This functionality has relied on downstream patches but now they are working towards a better upstream solution.

    Hans de Goede of Red Hat who led the original GRUB hidden boot menu functionality is looking to clean up this feature for Fedora 33. The hope is to get the relevant bits upstream into GNOME and systemd for avoiding the downstream patches they have been carrying. This reduces their technical debt and also makes it easier for other distributions to provide similar functionality.

  • Fedora Developers Discussing Possibility Of Dropping Legacy BIOS Support

    Fedora stakeholders are debating the merits of potentially ending legacy BIOS support for the Linux distribution and to only support UEFI-based installations.

    Given Fedora 33 GRUB changes planned and things being easier if they were to just switch to the UEFI-based systemd sd-boot as well as Intel planning to end legacy BIOS support in 2020 and UEFI being very common to x86_64 systems for many years now, Fedora developers are discussing whether it's a good time yet for their bleeding-edge platform to also begin phasing out legacy BIOS support.

More in Tux Machines

5 Best GNOME Shell Extensions for Your Linux Desktop

Not satisfied with the default GNOME functionality? Here are 5 of the best GNOME Shell extensions to make your Linux desktop shine. By default, GNOME Shell has a set of features that are determined by the developers. However, with the addition of GNOME Shell extensions, it’s possible to go beyond the default feature set. As the name suggests, GNOME Shell extensions extend the functionality of GNOME Shell desktop. They allow you to customize the default GNOME Shell interface and its parts, such as window management and application launching. You can think of extensions as browser add-ons that perform a specific task. Read more

Kernel: AMD, Concurrency Cheat Sheet, Habana Labs, and Mesa

  • AMD Secure Memory Encryption Has a Flaw, Now Disabled by Default in Linux Kernel

    According to a report from Phoronix, the Linux 5.15 kernel is receiving a new fix that involves disabling AMD's Secure Memory Encryption, or SME. This feature is normally enabled by default, but due to unexpected boot failures on some AMD machines, SME will now be disabled by default. Devs will update the Linux 5.15 kernel first, but the change will also move to prior kernels. AMD Secure Memory Encryption is a feature exposed to AMD's EPYC and Ryzen Pro processors that allows the CPUs to encrypt the memory at a hardware level. AMD says the feature offers no significant impact on system performance and works with any OS and application because it's hardware-accelerated and doesn't rely upon software.

  • [Older] Linux Kernel Concurrency Cheat Sheet

    Navigating Linux kernel APIs can be very time-consuming, so Linux ksplice guru Vegard Nossum put together a very handy time-saving cheat sheet to help traversing Linux kernel concurrency primitives. As a child, I spent countless hours playing games on my Nintendo Game Boy. As I grew older and started programming in QBasic on MS-DOS, I also got curious about how Game Boy games worked.

  • Habana Labs For Linux 5.16 To Bring Peer-To-Peer Support With DMA-BUF - Phoronix

    The drama around DMA-BUF code for the Habana Labs AI driver appears to be wrapping up with the Linux 5.16 cycle that is coming up. The Habana Labs driver changes were mailed out today for queuing in char/misc ahead of next month's Linux 5.16 merge window. This driver for supporting the AI inference and training accelerators at the Intel-owned company has some exciting updates for this next kernel release.

  • mesa recompiled with gallium drivers

    The guys have been reporting slow Nvidia performance, for example a report from forum member Keef here: https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewtopic.php?p=39261#p39261 I had compiled all of the packages in OpenEmbedded without libllvm, as it is a hug library, about 60MB. However, it meant had to leave out some drivers in the 'mesa' package.

  • Mesa 22.0 Lands Some Patches Toward OpenCL Image Support - Phoronix

    Mesa 22.0-devel is one step closer to having OpenCL image support that is sought after by many individuals for allowing more OpenCL-enabled desktop software to work nicely with this open-source OpenCL component in Mesa. For nearly a year there has been the work-in-progress merge request implementing OpenCL 1.2 image support. That work was started by Red Hat's Karol Herbst.

Games: Valve, Timberborn, and More

  • Valve launches Deck Verified, to show off what games will work well on the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

    We've been wondering what Valve had planned to show off Steam Deck compatibility for games and now they've launched Deck Verified as their answer. Valve say they are reviewing the entire Steam catalogue on the Steam Deck, with each of them gaining a category that it falls under that will show up across Steam from the store to your own Steam Library. The ratings will be split across Verified, Playable, Unsupported and Unknown. This is good because there's a lot of reasons why games will mix between perfect and unplayable on Steam Deck and the Arch Linux-based SteamOS it ships with.

  • Valve Launches "Steam Deck Verified" Program For Games That Run Well On The Steam Deck - Phoronix

    Valve is introducing a Steam Deck Verified system for helping gamers find out what games have been verified to work well on their forthcoming AMD+Linux-powered handheld game console.

  • VKD3D-Proton 2.5 Released With Experimental DXR 1.1, More Games Working - Phoronix

    VKD3D-Proton as Valve's Direct3D 12 over Vulkan implementation for Steam Play's Proton is out with a big feature update. VKD3D-Proton 2.5 brings experimental, opt-in support for DXR 1.1 ray-tracing. DXR 1.1 isn't yet fully implemented but does add inline ray-tracing support and other features. DXR 1.0 ray-tracing meanwhile is now considered effectively feature complete with VKD3D-Proton 2.5.

  • VKD3D-Proton v2.5 is out for Direct3D 12 on top of Vulkan, improving DirectX Raytracing | GamingOnLinux

    VKD3D-Proton is the project that translates Microsoft's Direct3D 12 to Vulkan, another big part of Steam Play Proton and there's a new release out. If you wish to know more about Steam Play and Proton do check out our dedicated section. A continued focus of VKD3D-Proton is bringing up support for DirectX Raytracing (DXR). As of this version 2.5 the developer notes that DXR 1.0 "is more or less feature complete". A few weird issues are left and eventually the config variable to enable it will be removed when it's stable enough. Further work went into improving DXR 1.1 and it's now experimentally exposed, with it being enabled by setting VKD3D_CONFIG=dxr11. They say that DXR 1.1 cannot be "fully implemented" just yet, although the feature support missing doesn't seem to currently be used by games. As of now DXR 1.1 inline raytracing is also fully implemented.

  • Timberborn: a cute beaver colony sim with an unrewarding late game

    The game only supports Windows. However, it runs excellently on Linux in Steam Proton compatibility mode.

  • Swarming RTS Age of Darkness: Final Stand is in Early Access and works great on Linux | GamingOnLinux

    Age of Darkness: Final Stand is like a fantasy version of They Are Billions, and compared with the latter it runs great on Linux thanks to Steam Play Proton. No native Linux version here but honestly it runs so well you can't tell the difference, it's click and play thanks to Proton and as such a massive fan of real-time strategy games I couldn't resist playing this one myself. Note: key provided by Team17. The world in Age of Darkness is one of constant fear. Darkness brings out Nightmares, strange hellish creatures with a taste for flesh and destruction. It's a constant battle of preparation. Right now it only has a survival mode, which sees you build up a village as you attempt to survive each night. All the traditional elements of a base-building RTS are here with population management, resource gathering, army building and more. A game very much for those of you who like "turtling", where you focus on building up a heavy defence.

  • Playing Deltarune: Chapter 2 natively on Linux | GamingOnLinux

    So, some time ago Toby Fox released the second chapter of the Deltarune series. Sadly, as was the case with the previous chapter, this one too comes without official Linux support. However, if the [HeartShapedObject] is willing, there is a way to play the game natively on Linux, albeit without official support. The trick is essentially the same as I described back in 2018 when the first chapter of Deltarune was released. Essentially, Deltarune is made with the GameMaker engine, and you can do a "port" of games like that as long as you can find a compatible GameMaker runner binary to pair up with the game data.

  • War Thunder is getting more terrain deformation in the upcoming 'Ground Breaking' upgrade | GamingOnLinux

    Ground Breaking is the name of the next major update for War Thunder and it sounds quite exciting, with some game engine upgrades to allow for more terrain interactions and deformation. Not only will you see huge craters left over from some of the more explosive ordinance, you will also be able to push around the ground. Soil, sand and snow will be movable with your tanks, allowing you with a little patience to create your own little protective barriers. That's right, self-entrenching is going to be a thing. In the Ground Breaking update the developers will add in a new animation for vehicles digging in.

  • Hugely popular mobile roguelike Shattered Pixel Dungeon is coming to Steam | GamingOnLinux

    For the PC release the developer now has a Steam page live and they've confirmed it will have a native Linux version.

Security Leftovers