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Tux Machines Privacy Statement

Filed under
Site News

Summary: Today, May 25th, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into full effect; we hereby make a statement on privacy

AS a matter of strict principle, this site never has and never will accumulate data on visitors (e.g. access logs) for longer than 28 days. The servers are configured to permanently delete all access data after this period of time. No 'offline' copies are being made. Temporary logging is only required in case of DDOS attacks and cracking attempts -- the sole purpose of such access. Additionally, we never have and never will sell any data pertaining to anything. We never received demands for such data from authorities; even if we had, we would openly declare this (publicly, a la Canary) and decline to comply. Privacy is extremely important to us, which is why pages contain little or no cross-site channels (such as Google Analytics, 'interactive' buttons for 'social' media etc.) and won't be adding any. Google may be able to 'see' what pages people visit because of Google Translate (top left of every page), but that is not much worse than one's ISP 'seeing' the same thing. We are aware of this caveat.

Shall readers have any further questions on such matters, do not hesitate to contact us.

Orangutans are some of the most solitary animals critically endangered as human consumption grows; Ban Palm oil Industry.

Filed under
Just talk

Orangutan

Orangutans are some of the most solitary animals critically endangered as human consumption grows.

Orangutans are currently only found in the rainforest of Borneo and Sumatra where both species are endangered. The orangutans' habitat has decreased and is rapidly being devastated by loggers, palm oil plantations, gold miners, and unnatural forest fires.

Watching videos of orangutans over hundreds of times is nerve-wracking, seeing them in distress and in great trauma as babies watch their mothers hacked and killed by poachers. They are using their machete which is so inhumane, as many of these infants die without the help of their mother and some other infants are sold as pets, ending in the hands of their 'owner', maltreated and malnourished, making their situation even worse. This happened because of the humongous demand and consumption of humans. Guilt is creeping on me; while enjoying my food and applying all the cosmetics for vanity it is like slaughtering an innocent and beautiful primate slowly and accurately. I wasn't thinking at all; I'm closely blinded of my needs, having never bothered to think that somewhere out there someone is tormented. I can't let this happen any longer. I must act and make a stand and be the voice of orangutans. I'm calling for everyone to ban and stop buying palm oil products. We must stop deforestation and the palm oil industry, strongly and swiftly before orangutans and all other animals sail into extinction.

VAR-SOM-MX7 is now available with Certified 802.11ac/a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 support

Filed under
Linux

Variscite Announces the Upgrade of its VAR-SOM-MX7 SoM with Bluetooth 4.2 and the Launch of its New VAR-SOM-MX7 Variant with Improved Dual-band 802.11ac/a/b/g/n Certified Wi-Fi Module.

Variscite Launches New Variants for the DART-6UL SoM with Improved Certified Wi-Fi/BT Module with 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n Support

Filed under
News

In a matter of only two months, Variscite has announced the launch of an additional enhancement for the DART-6UL System on Module (SoM) product line based on the NXP Cortex-A7 i.MX6 UltraLite family.

Beijing Zoo is No Place for Pandas

Filed under
Just talk

Pandas in Beijing Zoo
Photo credit: Nick Hopkins

I am a Panda lover. I work as a support engineer in an I.T company here in the United Kingdom. Most of my spare time is spent watching different Panda videos -- both old and new videos. Basically, it is my therapy; a 'stress release' for me. I find them to be adorable and precious creatures. As a matter of fact, I would like to volunteer to come to Sichuan. I want to experience and feel what it's like to be a Panda keeper, to be able to interact with them for real. The Panda is China's National Treasure, so it's a shame to watch the Panda videos from Beijing zoo, as the place is disgusting and not ideal for Pandas to live in (and for sure for all the rest of the animals who unfortunately got stuck in this prison cell).

The place looks like a ghost town. Lifeless and languished. Knowing that Pandas wear a thick fur on their body, can you imagine what it feels for them in 30C or 35C (summer temperature)? What it probably feels like all the time? Come on, if you really care, you must do something now, otherwise these Pandas will die. Please bring them back to their sanctuary where they really belong.

Tux Machines is Now on Mastodon

Filed under
Site News

Tux Machines on Mastodon

Summary: We can now be found in Mastodon too

A FOSS and decentralised Twitter alternative has received plenty of media attention/traction lately, so Tux Machines belatedly joins in and we invite readers to follow us there if they wish to create an account. The popularity of the platform exploded (number of users quadrupled so far this month).

We've Made It! 100,000 Nodes

Filed under
Site News

A thousand dollars

Summary: Another milestone for Tux Machines, which will turn 15 in a couple of years

100,000 nodes in Tux Machines will have been published later tonight. This one will be assigned node ID/#99995. Earlier today someone anonymous told us, "I just wanted to say thank you for all the work you've done and new information updates at tuxmachines.org."

That's what we are here for -- to help spread information. We don't profit or gain anything from this site, but it's our way of giving back to the Free/Open Source software community.

On to 200,000 (this may take another decade or more).

Translation of the Latest 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Charm Offensive

Filed under
Linux

QUITE a few additional articles -- mostly puff pieces (below is a complete/exhaustive list) -- have been published since yesterday's blog post, which was followed by a short article from Techrights. There is a lot of Microsoft PR inside the news/media right now (more and more by the hour) and it's coordinated (sometimes in advance, based on what we learned yesterday) by Microsoft. Here is a quick rebuttal to the 4 strands of news:

  1. The Linux Foundation joins Microsoft (not a slip): Microsoft paid half a million dollars for over a hundred puff pieces (in English alone) and lots of leverage over Linux, including a distraction from the patent wars it wages.
  2. The GNU/Linux crowd gets a proprietary software database it neither wants nor needs: This might be useful when Microsoft tries to infiltrate GNU/Linux deployments like the one in Munich, later boasting better integration with Windows than with GNU/Linux (same for running Bash/Ubuntu under Windows 10).
  3. Google and .NET: Microsoft accepts that it lost the mobile wars and also lost developers, so it tries ever more desperately to spread .NET and/or Mono.
  4. Tizen/Samsung and .NET: As above.

That's about all it means. Below is the raw PR, which is intended to sometimes (it doesn't always work) mislead the reader, having misled the writers/journalists.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft demonstrates its commitment to open source by joining Linux Foundation [Ed: Microsoft advocacy sites (often paid-for nonsense) like to pretend to themselves that Microsoft is now a good citizen, not racketeer. iophk: “You’ve probably seen links about LF joining Microsoft so I won’t add them. It would have been news if Microsoft joined OIN.”]
  2. Microsoft joins The Linux Foundation as a Platinum member [Ed: How MS advocacy sites put it; the larger payment (like political 'donation') was inevitable. To quote Benjamin Henrion, "Microsoft depends so much on taxing Linux via its dubious software patents that they have decided to join the Linux Foundation #corruption"]
  3. Microsoft now a Platinum Member at Linux Foundation and .NET foundation has Google onboard
  4. Microsoft joins the Linux foundation and blows everyone’s mind
  5. Microsoft And Linux Working On Advance Open Source Project Development, SQL Server And Azure App Service
  6. Microsoft and Linux Collaborates For Open-Source Game; As Rivals Unite, How Could Linux Benefit From This?
  7. Microsoft joins Linux Foundation as it continues to embrace open source
  8. Microsoft join hands with Linux Foundation as platinum member
  9. Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member
  10. Microsoft Becomes a Member of The Linux Foundation
  11. Is Google crashing the Microsoft open source party?
  12. Microsoft: SQL Server for Linux is the real deal
  13. Microsoft doubles down on Linux love, joins foundation
  14. Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation, launches test build of Visual Studio for Mac
  15. Microsoft makes open source commitment with new partnerships involving Google, Linux, Samsung
  16. Microsoft joins Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member
  17. Microsoft joins Linux Foundation, Open-Source development to get major boost
  18. Microsoft joins Linux Foundation at Platinum Partner
  19. After OpenAI Partnership, Microsoft Joins The Linux Foundation To Dive Deeper Into Open-Source Code
  20. Microsoft is joining the Linux Foundation
  21. Microsoft Joins Linux Foundation, Bets on Open Cloud Computing
  22. Microsoft Shows Linux Love by Joining the Linux Foundation
  23. Loves spreads, new Microsoft SQL Server now previewed on Ubuntu
  24. Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation, no really
  25. Linux Academy Partners with Microsoft Visual Studio Dev Essentials Program
  26. Microsoft Becomes Linux Foundation Platinum Member, The Last Leaf has Fallen
  27. Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation, confirms commitment to open source development
  28. Microsoft has joined the Linux foundation
  29. Microsoft Joins Linux Foundation, After Calling Linux a 'Cancer'
  30. Microsoft Drops Tech Bombshell As It Joins Linux Foundation
  31. Microsoft partners with the Linux Foundation
  32. Microsoft and Google bury the hatchet in one small way
  33. Microsoft Joins the Linux Foundation As Everyone Now Loves Open Source
  34. Microsoft is the Platinum member of Linux Foundation
  35. Linux Foundation Gets a Surprising New Member: Microsoft
  36. SQL Server joins the Linux party, new preview comes to Linux and Docker
  37. Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member, Google joins .Net community
  38. Microsoft joins Linux Foundation that promotes open-source technology
  39. Microsoft SQL Server Supports Linux
  40. Cricket Australia to adopt Microsoft’s team and player performance platform
  41. Microsoft announces association with Linux Foundation with Platinum membership
  42. Microsoft joins The Linux Foundation at highest membership tier
  43. Microsoft Joins Linux Foundation As Platinum Member And Releases Ports
  44. Microsoft Embraces Open Source, Joins Linux Foundation
  45. As Microsoft joins Linux, Google shakes hands with the .NET Foundation
  46. Microsoft joined the Linux foundation as a platinum member because of Cloud Services
  47. Microsoft, Google, and Samsung Bury the Hatchet with New Partnerships
  48. Microsoft, Google, Samsung Team Up In Open Source Development
  49. Microsoft surprises by joining Linux, 15 years after calling it a ‘cancer’
  50. Microsoft joins Linux Foundation in another nod to open-source code
  51. Microsoft officially joins the Linux league of open source contributors
  52. After Microsoft joins Linux, Google Cloud joins .NET Foundation
  53. Google signs on to the .NET Foundation
  54. Microsoft Joins Linux Foundation
  55. Microsoft’s .NET Foundation Now Includes Google
  56. Microsoft Joins The Linux Foundation In Latest Open Source Commitment
  57. Microsoft joins The Linux Foundation; takes on Oracle
  58. Microsoft Joins The Linux Foundation to Boost Open Source Software Ecosystem
  59. Microsoft has officially joined the Linux Foundation

Linux Foundation Commits Suicide as Microsoft E.E.E. Takes a Leap Forward

Filed under
Linux

I have covered Microsoft's interference with FOSS for over a decade and carefully studied even pertinent antitrust documents. I know the company's way of thinking when it comes to undermining their competition, based on internal communications and strategy papers. Even days ago we got this in the news.

The pattern of embrace and extend (to extinguish) -- all this while leveraging software patents to make Linux a Microsoft cash cow or compel OEMs to preinstall privacy-hostile Microsoft software/apps with proprietary formats (lockin) -- never ended. What I see in the Linux Foundation right now is what I saw in Nokia 5 years ago and in Novell 10 years ago -- the very thing that motivated me to start Boycott Novell, a site that has just turned 10 with nearly 22,000 blog posts.

It is a saddening day because it's a culmination, after years of Microsoft 'micro' payments to the Linux Foundation (e.g. event sponsorship in exchange for keynote positions), which will have Microsoft shoved down the throats of GNU/Linux proponents and give an illusion of peace when there is none, not just on the patent front but also other fronts (see what Microsoft's partner Accenture is doing in Munich right now). The links below are a complete list of the bad (in my view very bad) news.

"We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."

--Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President

In the news today:

Record-Breaking Traffic

Filed under
Site News

Summary: Quick report about site traffic

Tux Machines has been enjoying growth in recent weeks, though it's hard to attribute it to anything in particular. The following are the past 4 weeks' logs (we delete all logs after 4 weeks, for privacy reasons, assuring no long-term retention).

-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 389699117 Oct  9 04:40 access.log-20161009
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 454715290 Oct 16 03:46 access.log-20161016
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 478747167 Oct 23 03:12 access.log-20161023
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 499911551 Oct 30 03:40 access.log-20161030

We recently quadrupled the servers' CPU capacity.

The above is not the complete picture. That's omitting all the Varnish activity, which handles the majority of the traffic but simply cannot cache all pages. We are still trying to reduce the frequency of spam incidents (some of the spamy submissions manage to inject JavaScript very briefly).

We'll soon reach the 100,000-node milestone of this Drupal site.

Winner: Triathlon in The Spa At The Midland

Filed under
Just talk

The Spa At The Midland - Rianne SchestowitzI never thought I could win in a challenge of 3 events.

I guess age is not an excuse for giving up... more so in physical fitness; as the saying goes, health is wealth.... consequently, I'll keep doing my routine and even yoga. It is extremely relaxing!

Motivation, hard work, discipline. By-product is triumph... Smile

GNOME Release Party Manchester

Filed under
Just talk

GNOME Release Party Manchester

Summary: Today's party celebrating the release of GNOME 3.22

RIANNE AND I both attended today's GNOME release party in Manchester. It was a good opportunity to meet some geeky people, including a few from Codethink, which organised this event.

Web Site Traffic Growing

Filed under
Site News

The Linux Foundation recently added the Platform for Network Data Analytics (PNDA)

Panda

Panda

Summary: Network/traffic analytics for Tux Machines

ULTIMATELY, here in Tux Machines we strive to include every bit of relevant news (standalone pages for more important news, clusters of links for the rest, grouped by topic). We rarely blog although sometimes we add an opinion (marked "Ed", shorthand for "Editor").

It has been a long time since we last wrote about statistics. As readers may know by now, we only retain logs for up to 4 weeks (security/diagnostics purposes), then these get deleted for good so as to maintain privacy (we cannot be compelled to hand over data). Those logs show only direct hits, they don't include pages served through the cache* (Varnish) and here is the latest, where the date stands for "week ending":

-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 224439408 Aug  7 03:17 access.log-20160807
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 310050330 Aug 14 03:22 access.log-20160814
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 343901488 Aug 21 03:17 access.log-20160821
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root 344256886 Aug 28 03:15 access.log-20160828

The above indicates that, judging by the back end (not cache), traffic continues to increase. Over the past week the site was sometimes unbearably slow if not inaccessible. In the worse case we'll upgrade the server for extra capacity, assuring decent speed. Worth noting is that in the latest log (ending August 28th) less than 1,000 hits came from Edge, so very few among our visitors use the latest and 'greatest' from Microsoft.
____
* The cache server services several domains, notably Tux Machines and Techrights, and it averages at around 1.5 GB of traffic per hour.

Tux Machines Turns 12

Filed under
Site News

THE past few weeks were exceptionally busy for the site as readership grew considerably and the site turned 12. Originally, the site did not share Linux news but had various other sections. Years later Susan Linton made it the success story it is today and in 2013-2014 we only modernised the theme and kept the old tradition, format, etc. We hope this pleases longtime readers of the site. Comments on how the site is run are always taken into account.

SPAM Moderation

There has been a system in place to help prevent SPAM since the last major SPAM incident, but sometimes we still overlook some SPAM which gets into the front page, taking advantage of our very liberal and open submissions system (to enable participation by the whole community of users). If any spam still manages to sneak into the front page (often with pesky JavaScript redirects), please get in contact with us ASAP so that we can take action. Thanks to Christine Hall for the latest headsup.

Malicious Spam

Filed under
Site News

FOR those who may be wondering, we didn't get compromised or anything. We never had any such incidents. What happened earlier is that some spammer, who had created an account before we limited account creation (due to spam), made the spam expandable to the whole screen, covering many of the pages with that spam (overlay). We are working on code to help prevent such spamming so that legitimate users can post comments etc. without spammers ruining the experience for everyone else.

Baidu Stages De Facto DDOS Attacks (Updated)

Filed under
Site News

Summary: A 2-hour investigation reveals that Tux Machines is now the victim of an arrogant, out-of-control Baidu

TUX MACHINES has been mostly offline later this morning. It has evidently become the victim of Baidu's lawlessness, having fallen under huge dumps of requests from IP addresses which can be traced back to Baidu and whose requests say Baidu as well (we tried blocking these, but it's not easy to do by IP because they have so many). They don't obey robots.txt rules; not even close! It turns out that others suffer from this as well. These A-holes have been causing a lot of problems to the site as of late (slowdowns was one of those problems), including damage to the underlying framework. Should we report them? To who exactly? Looking around the Web, there are no contact details (in English anyway) by which to reach them.

Baidu can be very evil towards Web sites. Evil. Just remember that.

Update: 3 major DDOS attacks (so far today) led to a lot of problems and they also revealed that not Baidu was at fault but botmasters who used "Baidu" to masquerade themselves, hiding among some real and legitimate requests from Baidu (with Baidu-owned IP addresses). We have changed our firewall accordingly. We don't know who's behind these attacks and what the motivations may be.

With the latest Kubuntu 15.10 (Wily)

Filed under
Just talk

I love the KDE desktop—I really do. However… here are some grumbles.

Record Week

Filed under
Site News

Encounter with a penguin

QUIETLY but surely, last week marked an important milestone, with traffic at the back end (not the cache layer*) exceeding 1.8 million hits, thus establishing a new record. So far this week it looks as though we are going to break this record again. We hope that the new format, which places emphasis on high importance links (as standalone nodes) and puts less important links in topical groups (grouping like games or howtos), makes reading the site more convenient and makes keeping abreast of the news easier, without getting overloaded in a way that is not somewhat manageable (links inside groups are typically less important, as intended). We're open to any suggestions readers may have to ensure we remain a leading syndicator of GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source software news. Any feedback can improve the site.

_____
* It is difficult to measure what happens at the Varnish layer as it's shared among several domains, including Techrights.

Back to Normal Next Week

Filed under
Site News

IN CASE it's not already obvious, we have been posting fewer links since the 14th of this month because we are both away and we catch up with some news only when time permits. Today's hot day (38 degrees) will probably allow us to stay indoors more time than usual and therefore post some more links (from Rianne's laptop), but a week for now is when we'll properly catch up with everything that was missed and gradually get back to normal, hopefully for a long time to come.

Please bear with us while we enjoy our last chance to have a summer vacation. It's already cold back home in Manchester.

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More in Tux Machines

First Release Candidate of Linux 5.3

  • Linux 5.3-rc1
    It's been two weeks, and the merge window is over, and Linux 5.3-rc1
    is tagged and pushed out.
    
    This is a pretty big release, judging by the commit count. Not the
    biggest ever (that honor still goes to 4.9-rc1, which was
    exceptionally big), and we've had a couple of comparable ones (4.12,
    4.15 and 4.19 were also big merge windows), but it's definitely up
    there.
    
    The merge window also started out pretty painfully, with me hitting a
    couple of bugs in the first couple of days. That's never a good sign,
    since I don't tend to do anything particularly odd, and if I hit bugs
    it means code wasn't tested well enough. In one case it was due to me
    using a simplified configuration that hadn't been tested, and caused
    an odd issue to show up - it happens. But in the other case, it really
    was code that was too recent and too rough and hadn't baked enough.
    The first got fixed, the second just got reverted.
    
    Anyway, despite the rocky start, and the big size, things mostly
    smoothed out towards the end of the merge window. And there's a lot to
    like in 5.3. Too much to do the shortlog with individual commits, of
    course, so appended is the usual "mergelog" of people I merged from
    and a one-liner very high-level "what got merged". For more detail,
    you should go check the git tree.
    
    As always: the people credited below are just the people I pull from,
    there's about 1600 individual developers (for 12500+ non-merge
    commits) in this merge window.
    
    Go test,
    
                Linus
    
  • Linux 5.3-rc1 Debuts As "A Pretty Big Release"

    Just as expected, Linus Torvalds this afternoon issued the first release candidate of the forthcoming Linux 5.3 kernel. It's just not us that have been quite eager for Linux 5.3 and its changes. Torvalds acknowledged in the 5.3-rc1 announcement that this kernel is indeed a big one: "This is a pretty big release, judging by the commit count. Not the biggest ever (that honor still goes to 4.9-rc1, which was exceptionally big), and we've had a couple of comparable ones (4.12, 4.15 and 4.19 were also big merge windows), but it's definitely up there."

  • The New Features & Improvements Of The Linux 5.3 Kernel

    The Linux 5.3 kernel merge window is expected to close today so here is our usual recap of all the changes that made it into the mainline tree over the past two weeks. There is a lot of changes to be excited about from Radeon RX 5700 Navi support to various CPU improvements and ongoing performance work to supporting newer Apple MacBook laptops and Intel Speed Select Technology enablement.

today's howtos and programming bits

  • How to fix Ubuntu live USB not booting
  • How to Create a User Account Without useradd Command in Linux?
  • Container use cases explained in depth
  • Containerization and orchestration concepts explained
  • Set_env.py

    A good practice when writing complicated software is to put in lots of debugging code. This might be extra logging, or special modes that tweak the behavior to be more understandable, or switches to turn off some aspect of your test suite so you can focus on the part you care about at the moment. But how do you control that debugging code? Where are the on/off switches? You don’t want to clutter your real UI with controls. A convenient option is environment variables: you can access them simply in the code, your shell has ways to turn them on and off at a variety of scopes, and they are invisible to your users. Though if they are invisible to your users, they are also invisible to you! How do you remember what exotic options you’ve coded into your program, and how do you easily see what is set, and change what is set?

  • RPushbullet 0.3.2

    A new release 0.3.2 of the RPushbullet package is now on CRAN. RPushbullet is interfacing the neat Pushbullet service for inter-device messaging, communication, and more. It lets you easily send alerts like the one to the left to your browser, phone, tablet, … – or all at once. This is the first new release in almost 2 1/2 years, and it once again benefits greatly from contributed pull requests by Colin (twice !) and Chan-Yub – see below for details.

  • A Makefile for your Go project (2019)

    My most loathed feature of Go was the mandatory use of GOPATH: I do not want to put my own code next to its dependencies. I was not alone and people devised tools or crafted their own Makefile to avoid organizing their code around GOPATH.

  • Writing sustainable Python scripts

    Python is a great language to write a standalone script. Getting to the result can be a matter of a dozen to a few hundred lines of code and, moments later, you can forget about it and focus on your next task. Six months later, a co-worker asks you why the script fails and you don’t have a clue: no documentation, hard-coded parameters, nothing logged during the execution and no sensible tests to figure out what may go wrong. Turning a “quick-and-dirty” Python script into a sustainable version, which will be easy to use, understand and support by your co-workers and your future self, only takes some moderate effort. 

  • Notes to self when using genRSS.py

The Status of Fractional Scaling (HiDPI) Between Windows & Linux

There’s a special type of displays commonly called “HiDPI“, which means that the number of pixels in the screen is doubled (vertically and horizontally), making everything drawn on the screen look sharper and better. One of the most common examples of HiDPI are Apple’s Retina displays, which do come with their desktops and laptops. However, one issue with HiDPI is that the default screen resolutions are too small to be displayed on them, so we need what’s called as “scaling”; Which is simply also doubling the drawn pixels from the OS side so that they can match that of the display. Otherwise, displaying a 400×400 program window on a 3840×2160 display will give a very horrible user experience, so the OS will need to scale that window (and everything) by a factor of 2x, to make it 800×800, which would make it better. Fractional scaling is the process of doing the previous work, but by using fractional scaling numbers (E.g 1.25, 1.4, 1.75.. etc), so that they can be customized better according to the user’s setup and needs. Now where’s the issue, you may ask? Windows operating system has been supporting such kind of displays natively for a very long time, but Linux distributions do lack a lot of things in this field. There are many drawbacks, issues and other things to consider. This article will take you in a tour about that. Read more Also: Vulkan 1.1.116 Published With Subgroup Size Control Extension

Android Leftovers