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April 2021

Xfce’s Apps Update for April 2021 Improves Mousepad, Xfdashboard, and More

April has been quite a slow month for Xfce app development, with new releases only for the Mousepad text editor, Xfdashboard application switcher and launcher, as well as the Xfce Settings Manager and Exo library.

But, on the other hand, we got new GNU/Linux distribution releases shipping with the latest Xfce 4.16 desktop environment pre-installed, including Xubuntu 21.04, Fedora Linux 34, and Calculate Linux 21, so you have a greater selection of distros offering Xfce.

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Open Hardware: More Purism Delays and Arduino Project

Filed under
Hardware
  • Librem 15 smartphone gets a price hike and shipping delay in response to global component shortages

    There’s a global chip shortage affecting a wide range of industries including personal computers automobiles, and niche devices like the Precursor, and Pocket P.C. handheld computing devices and the Analogue Pocket handheld game system.

    The latest fallout? Purism is pausing shipments of its Librem 5 Linux smartphone until this fall, and customers who place new orders this summer will have to pay more for the phone.

  • The Ball and Supply Chain – Purism

    Every manufacturer has a supply chain, down to the raw materials suppliers whose supply chain is the earth itself. Links within the supply chain can (with difficulty) be swapped out for similar suppliers but each link in the chain and who controls that link is important. Over the course of the last twenty years the method of holding swaths of inventory (which is equivalent to cash value sitting on shelves) began dwindling in favor of just-in-time manufacturing, and the more reliable the suppliers in a supply chain on delivering just-in-time the less desire to hold inventory (also called safety stock).

    Manufacturing in the technology sector has some additional churn to dissuade holding parts stock in high quantities, parts like an I.MX8M Quad rev AA, are devalued when they’re deprecated in favor of the improvements created by rev AB. This high-churn in technology reinforces the just-in-time nature of manufacturing and acts like a heavy, metal ball on that chain that restricts your movement.

  • DIY GPS tracker helps you locate your stolen bike | Arduino Blog

    Bicycle theft is, unfortunately, a very common problem. Most bicycle locks are easy to overcome, which makes bike theft a crime of opportunity. Recovering a stolen one is usually improbable, but this DIY GPS tracker could provide the help that you need.

    The GPS tracker, designed by Johan, is like Lojack for your bicycle. If the device detects that the bike has moved, it will send a text message and start tracking the GPS location. It will periodically send an update with the current location, so you can track down your stolen bike (with the help of the police).

Xfdashboard 0.9.3 Is Released

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Xfdashboard is a nice optional application launcher and switcher for the Xfce desktop environment with a look and feel similar to the GNOME and macOS launchers. The latest release adds a new "recently used" search provider plugin, better window placement for the window overview and some code cleanups.

Xfdashboard can be a very nice addition to the Xfce desktop environment if you want a nice application launcher/switcher similar to what GNOME and macOS has. The latest release has a new "recently used" search provider plugin that will show the recently used files matching what you type into the launcher in addition to applications matching your search. It is enabled by default if you start xfdashboard for the first time, but this it's not enabled if you upgrade from a previous version. You will, in that case, have to start xfdashboard-settings and enable Plugins ▸ Recently used search provider.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

  • The (GNU) Linux Foundation How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It December 2010

    Every (GNU) Linux kernel is being developed by nearly 1,000 developers working for more than 100 different corporations. This is the foundation for the largest distributed software development project in the world. (src)

  • Korean vaccine passport developer Blockchain Labs receives proposal from Linux [Ed: The Linux Foundation is undermining human rights; what does Linux stand for now?]
  •  

  • Vivaldi 3.8 Released, Offers Relief From Cookie Dialogs And FLoC

    Vivaldi 3.8 focused on an improved web browsing experience from all points of view. The new Cookie Crumbler blocks the most annoying cookie-related dialogs.

    The web browser maker, Vivaldi, has announced the release of Vivaldi 3.8 on desktop and on mobile.

  • Sébastien Wilmet - Blog post - Thoughts about WebAssembly outside-the-browser, inside-the-desktop

    Some reflections about WebAssembly, the Bytecode Alliance and desktop application development.

    To know more about the Bytecode Alliance (WebAssembly outside-the-browser), you can read this nice article by Mozilla.

    Note that I don't plan to work on this, it's just some thoughts about what could the future bring us. If someone is interested, this would be a really, really nice project that would totally change the landscape of native desktop application development. I'm convinced that the solution isn't Rust or C++, or C# or Java, or whichever new language will appear in 20 years that will make Rust obsolete; the solution is some piece of infrastructure such as nanoprocesses.

  • Sébastien Wilmet - Blog post - C dialects versus C++ dialects

    Some developers say that since the C++ programming language is so large, containing lots of features, each C++ programmer ends up writing code in a different subset of C++, a different dialect.

    This essay looks at whether the C language - which contains a much smaller set of core features than C++ - is any better with regards to the "dialects problem".

  • Compute Like It Is 1975: 6th Edition Unix Reborn | Hackaday

    If you crave experiencing or reliving what computing was like “back then” you have a lot of options. One option, of course, is to load an emulator and pretend like you have the hardware and software you are interested in. Another often expensive option is to actually buy the hardware on the used market. However, [mit-pdos] has a different approach: port the 6th edition of Unix to RISC-V and use a modern CPU to run an old favorite operating system.

    It isn’t an exact copy, of course, but Xv6 was developed back in 2006 as a teaching operating system at MIT. You can find resources including links to the original Unix source code, commentary on the source code, and information about the original PDP 11/40 host computer on the project’s main page.

  • Recently launched MagicHub.io offers free datasets for machine learning

    Massive, diversiform datasets are released on MagicHub.io. The datasets are subdivided into multiple dimensions, offering AI engineers a more efficient way to find datasets for their various AI models, thereby reserves more energy on algorithm optimization.

  • Math Selection Rendering

    Towards 7.2 the Math edit window text selection is now drawn the same as the selection in the main applications. This affects the selection of similar uses of this EditView in LibreOffice such as the writer comments in sidebar.

  • Intel's Cloud-Hypervisor Jumps From v0.14.1 To v15.0 To Signify Its Maturity, Stabilizing

    The Rust-written Cloud-Hypervisor project led by open-source Intel engineers as a VMM designed for cloud workloads has broke well past the "1.0" milestone. Following a series of 0.x releases, Cloud-Hypervisor 15 was released this week.

    The engineers involved in this open-source security and cloud minded hypervisor decided to shake up the version numbering. They went from v0.14.1 to v15.0 to "represent that we believe Cloud Hypervisor is maturing and entering a period of stability."

    Moving forward they now say they will guarantee API stability by not removing or changing APIs without at least two releases notice and point releases will also be issued for substantial bug fixes or security issues.

  • Ubuntu Blog: Taming unruly logo sections

    Making logo sections can be tricky. Logos come in all shapes and sizes, and without proper care, it is easy to end up with a poorly balanced layout.

    [...]

    With the baseline in place, we’d ideally want to scale the wordmarks to roughly the same height. To do this, we need to select a goal height to resize to – in the example above this is illustrated by the “Ag” letter pair.

    But this leads to a problem – depending on how tall our goal height is, some logos won’t fit, or others will become too small. At this point it’s an iterative process of adjusting the goal height until most logos fit comfortably within the bounding box.

    It’s worth noting that the longest wordmark isn’t always the best choice for goal height, as that would make other logos tiny. In my experience, it is best to find a size that works for the majority of the cases, and not worry about outliers too much.

    [...]

    As a final step, if the order of the logos is up to the designer (sometimes it might be dictated by the nature of the relationships with the companies behind these logos), we can further increase balance by introducing different rhythms – alternations of colors, narrow vs wide, rounded vs angular, etc.

  • Call for Code: The Weather Company and you

    Exhaustive scientific research has confirmed changing weather and temperature patterns, rapidly rising sea levels, and an intensifying proliferation of extreme weather events around the world. The frequency of these weather events continue to increase year after year. And the impact they have on people and the amount of damage they cause are escalating.

    Severe and devastating weather is not going away. It is only going to get worse, according to the National Climate Assessment. By the year 2100, global temperatures are projected to increase 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit).

Games: Offers and Wolfenstein

Filed under
Gaming

First Look at Solus GNOME with the GNOME 40 Desktop

Filed under
Reviews

Despite the fact that it was released more than a month ago, GNOME 40 is, currently, like a unicorn; we’ve heard about it and everyone talks about it, but we haven’t actually been able to see it much in action, as only a few distributions are offering it in their repositories or pre-installed.

For now, as far as I know, if you want to use GNOME 40 as your daily driver, you have to either install Arch Linux, which isn’t something newcomers will be able to drop into, openSUSE Tumbleweed, which is a lot easier to install, or the recently released Fedora Linux 34.

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today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos
  • How to Setup Highly Available NGINX with KeepAlived on CentOS 8

    Nginx is a free, open-source and one of the most popular webserver around the world. It can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer and HTTP cache. The high availability allows an application to reroute work to another system in the event of failure. There are different technologies available to set up a highly available system.

    Keepalived is a system daemon that monitors services or systems continusly and achieve high availability in the event of failure. If one node is down then the second node served the resources.

    In this tutorial, I will show you how to set up a highly available Nginx web server with KeepAlived on CentOS 8.

  • Bastian Venthur: Getting the Function keys of a Keychron working on Linux

    Having destroyed the third Cherry Stream keyboard in 4 years, I wanted to try a more substantial keyboard for a change. After some research I decided that I want a mechanical, wired, tenkeyless keyboard without any fancy LEDs.

    At the end I settled for a Keychron C1 with red switches. It meets all requirements, looks very nice and the price is reasonable.

  • How to Install and Use Telnet on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

    Telnet is a terminal emulation program for TCP/IP networks that allows you to access another computer on the Internet or local area network by logging in to the remote system. Telnet is a client-server protocol used to establish a connection to Transmission Control Protocol port number 23. You can also check open ports on a remote system using Telnet.

    In this tutorial, we will learn how to install and use Telnet Server and Client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server.

  • How to install Notepadqq on a Chromebook

    Today we are looking at how to install Notepadqq on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

  • How to play Sony PSP games in Retro Arch on Linux

    If you use Retro Arch on Linux and love the Sony PSP, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to play PSP games on the Linux platform, thanks to the PSP Retro Arch core.

    In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Retro Arch, download the Sony PSP core, and use it to play your favorite PSP games. To get started, grab your favorite PSP ROM files and follow along.

  • How to set up a CrowdSec multi-server installation | Linux Journal

    CrowdSec is an open-source & collaborative security solution built to secure Internet-exposed Linux services, servers, containers, or virtual machines with a server-side agent. It is a modernized version of Fail2ban which was a great source of inspiration to the project founders.

    CrowdSec is free (under an MIT License) and its source code available on GitHub. The solution is leveraging a log-based IP behavior analysis engine to detect attacks. When the CrowdSec agent detects any aggression, it offers different types of remediation to deal with the IP behind it (access prohibition, captcha, 2FA authentication etc.). The report is curated by the platform and, if legitimate, shared across the CrowdSec community so users can also protect their assets from this IP address.

    A few months ago, we added some interesting features to CrowdSec when releasing v1.0.x. One of the most exciting ones is the ability of the CrowdSec agent to act as an HTTP rest API to collect signals from other CrowdSec agents. Thus, it is the responsibility of this special agent to store and share the collected signals. We will call this special agent the LAPI server from now on.

  • How to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04

    Ubuntu 21.04 is here! With it comes exciting new updates to the Ubuntu desktop, the Ubuntu Linux kernel, as well as many new features that users are sure to love. In this guide, we’ll go over how you can upgrade your system to 21.04.

  • Fork bomb (don't actually execute)

GNU Nano 5.7 Is Released

Filed under
GNU

The latest version of the GNU Nano text editor has more stable output when it is started with the --constantshow option, the indicator (-q or --indicator) now follows actual lines instead of virtual lines in softwrap mode, there's 10 bug-fixes and there is lots and lots of small tweaks implemented by GNU Nano maintainer Benno Schulenberg.

[...]

GNU Nano is a perfectly good console text editor for anyone who doesn't like or want to use Vi or Emacs for some incomprehensible reason. The latest 5.7 release contains 63 commits by Benno Schulenberg, one by Mike Frysinger and one by Hussam al-Homsi that makes #include <..> highlighting when editing C files more compliant.

GNU Nano has a lot of capabilities that are not enabled if you just start it with nano or nano file.txt. The --constantshow option is one of them. It makes GNU Nano constantly show what line you are on, how far into the file you are (in %), what line you are on and what column you are on. This mode is now "less jittery" in GNU Nano 5.7.

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Audiocasts/Shows: Going Linux, Alma Linux, and Bad Voltage

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Going Linux #407 · Listener Feedback

    Our listeners talk about Laptops for Linux: Dell Latitude E557, Pinebook Pro, and Juno Computers, we hear about Strawberry music player, Garuda Linux and a WTF moment.

  • Jim Jackson from CloudLinux on Alma Linux, Commercial Support, and more!

    I recently had a chance to sit down with Jim Jackson from CloudLinux, to chat about the launch of Alma Linux, adding commercial support for it, and a few tidbits of info regarding future plans for the company and their products.

  • Bad Voltage 3×28: Eat The Show

    Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the subject of artificial intelligence is discussed. We’ve walked around the outside of this topic a few times on the show, and now it’s time to dig in; is AI actually real, or are the jokes about reclassifying a Python script as “AI” to get funding founded in reality? Is AI useful, or is it mostly for parlour tricks? What’s going on that provides genuine use to normal people? And… what does the future look like? Should there be legislation; are AI and ML two sides of the same coin or two fundamentally different things… there’s lots to get into.

KDE Leftovers: Igor Ljubuncic, KDE Plasma Wayland on FreeBSD, and Maui Progress

Filed under
KDE

  • Our stuff is really pretty good

    But today I got a nice present anyway: a glowing review of Plasma from Igor Ljubuncic of Dedoimedo. Go check it out! Igor is a tough reviewer, and always manages to find things to complain about whenever he reviews software, including ours. I’m very happy that he thinks our offerings are so far ahead of everyone else’s.

  • KDE Plasma Wayland on FreeBSD

    When I wrote about Wayland on FreeBSD I did not expect it to trigger “remove Wayland” kinds of comments in FreeBSD ports. Rather than spend time patching ports to remove functionality that we actuallyt want to work in future, I sat down for most of a day to wrestle with KDE Plasma Wayland on an Intel-based laptop (a Slimbook Base 14, still a lovely machine even if I have not gotten full FreeBSD support on it yet).

    [...]

    Remember the system-call mknod()? And in the ’90s where you had device major and minor numbers assigned to specific bits of hardware? If you don’t, that’s fine, it wasn’t good. But the macro’s major() and minor() still exist to handle device numbers which are encoded in a single int, but conceptually are separate numbers.

    Spot the difference in the manpages for makedev(3): FreeBSD and Linux.

    Passing raw return values from the macro’s to DBus yields type mismatches: integer versus unsigned. Once we fixed that KWin (being the Wayland compositor for KDE Plasma) would at least start.

    FreeBSD i386 has a 32-bit time_t and in spite of it being very unlikely someone would use that as a FreeBSD desktop system with Wayland, the code needed a small get-it-to-compile patch there.

    Finally I added a “things are not going to work out” timer that stops KWin in such a case. This helps guard against various kinds of broken systems or incomplete installations: you’ll get your screen and keyboard back after 20 seconds.

    These code-level changes are all in KDE Invent although I’m not sure they’ll land in this form – or in that branch. More likely they will be massaged and landed in the development branch, to be integrated with some future release. There are still things to iron out, and for now, doing that in packaging is the easiest.

  • Maui Weekly 11

    Today, we bring you a new report on the Maui Project’s progress.

    A few weeks away from the next stable release of MauiKit and the Maui apps, we want to share some of the new features, bug fixes, and changes coming to the next stable release.

    To follow the Maui Project’s development or to say hi, you can join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject.

More in Tux Machines

Free Software Stigma and Upcoming Events

  • Why Do Companies Still Have a Fear of Open Source?

    Open Source Software, since its birth, has made people wonder about its effects. The debate is never-ending, and for the right reasons. Giants like Apple have often viewed Open Source skeptically because they are mostly unfounded. However, one cannot deny that these sources are functional and flexible. They are also partly responsible for bringing the technological world in the right direction. But are they worth it? In this article, we shall learn all about open source companies and why use open source software, and why open source software is still not greeted warmly by certain companies. Therefore, without further ado, let's start right away.

  • Samuel Iglesias: X.Org Developers Conference 2021

    Last week we had our most loved annual conference: X.Org Developers Conference 2021. As a reminder, due to COVID-19 situation in Europe (and its respective restrictions on travel and events), we kept it virtual again this year… which is a pity as the former venue was Gdańsk, a very beautiful city (see picture below if you don’t believe me!) in Poland. Let’s see if we can finally have an XDC there! [...] Big shout-out to the XDC 2021 organizers (Intel) represented by Radosław Szwichtenberg, Ryszard Knop and Maciej Ramotowski. They did an awesome job on having a very smooth conference. I can tell you that they promptly fixed any issue that happened, all of that behind the scenes so that the attendees not even noticed anything most of the times! That is what good conference organizers do!

  • Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference 2021

    This month has been nothing short of hectic, with back to back to back conferences filling up the calendar. Following Linaro Virual Connect, XDC, and Linux Plumbers (which ends today), Collaborans will be attending (virtually) next week's Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference 2021. Connecting the open source ecosystem under one roof, the conference is "a unique environment for cross-collaboration between developers, sysadmins, devops, architects and others who are driving technology forward". Taking place from September 27-30, the event will be held in a hybrid format for the first time, with both in-person and virtual offerings, to ensure that everyone who wants to participate is able to do so.

Programming/Development Leftovers

  • New tool: an nginx playground

    On Wednesday I was talking to a friend about how it would be cool to have an nginx playground website where you can just paste in an nginx config and test it out. And then I realized it might actually be pretty easy to build, so got excited and started coding and I built it.

  • Pandas to check cell value is NaN

    The main documentation of the pandas is saying null values are missing values. We can denote the missing or null values as NaN in the pandas as most developers do. The NaN and None keywords are both used by developers to show the missing values in the dataframe. The best thing in the pandas is that it treats both NaN and None similarly. To check the missing value of a cell, pandas.notnull will return False in both cases of NaN and None if the cell has NaN or None. So, in this article, we will explore different methods to check whether a particular cell value is null or not (NaN or None).

  • gfldex: Convolution

    Flavio wrote a straightforward solution to PWC-131-1 and wondered if there is a idiomatic way. Assuming, that “idiomatic” means to use language features which lesser languages refuse to require, I’m happy to deliver convoluted code.

  • Perl Weekly Challenge 131: Consecutive Arrays

    These are some answers to task 1 of the Week 131 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar. Spoiler Alert: This weekly challenge deadline is due in a few days from now (on September 26, 2021 at 24:00). This blog post offers some solutions to this challenge, please don’t read on if you intend to complete the challenge on your own.

  • My Favorite Modules: if | Tom Wyant [blogs.perl.org]

    My blog post My Favorite Warnings: redundant and missing touched on the use of the if module. Comments on that post made me think it deserved a top-level treatment, expanding on (though not necessarily improving on) Aristotle's comment.

CutefishOS: Unix-y development model? Check. macOS aesthetic? Check (if you like that sort of thing)

One of the reasons Linux has never caught on as a desktop operating system, as Linux fans know, is that Linux isn't a desktop operating system, it's a kernel. And assembling it into a coherent package users can install is the job of a distribution. This is a very different distribution model than the one Apple or Microsoft uses, and it confuses newcomers. Windows and macOS are easier to understand, they are single things made by single companies. Canonical and Red Hat notwithstanding, Linux is not packaged and presented this way at all. I've long believed that this difference is one of the key stumbling blocks to wider Linux adoption. Apple has macOS, Microsoft has Windows, Linux has... hundreds of awkward, confusingly named options. This is both Linux's greatest strength, and its greatest weakness. For those who already understand and use it the options are welcome. I've been a Linux user for over a decade and I've used several dozen distros, some of them so different from one another it's difficult to believe they're built from the same base. This wealth of options is great, but it's both confusing and overwhelming for new users. Distributions like elementary OS are popular with people switching from macOS and Windows because elementary OS offers that same highly polished, all-in-one package that makes the transition from proprietary operating systems smoother. But this is Linux, so you can't just have elementary OS. The latest distro to catch my eye is CutefishOS, which owes considerable design debt to both elementaryOS and the operating system made by that fruit company. Read more

BattlEye confirms Linux support for Steam Deck

  • BattlEye confirms Linux support for Steam Deck, will be opt-in like Easy Anti-Cheat

    Just recently we had Epic Games announce that Easy Anti-Cheat now offers proper native Linux support and in addition support for Wine and Steam Play Proton - now we have BattlEye also confirming the same readying up for the Steam Deck.

  • BattlEye To Support Valve's Steam Deck / Proton

    Yesterday it was Epic Games confirming Easy Anti-Cheat for Linux and Wine/Proton ahead of the Steam Deck launch and today it's BattlEye confirming Proton / Steam Deck support. BattlEye has already provided native Linux support albeit not widely used. Today they tweeted that they will also be supporting the upcoming Steam Deck or more specifically the use of BattlEye within Proton. BattlEye is making this opt-in for game developers who wish to support its usage under Wine / Proton.