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Mandriva 2012 technical preview

Filed under
Linux

The installer in this technical preview gives you the option to install a KDE desktop (default), a GNOME 3 desktop, LXDE and Other desktop. I hoped to show screen shots from test installations of supported desktop environments, but the GNOME 3 installation was too buggy to use. As a result, only screen shots from the KDE, LXDE and Other desktops are featured.

Microsoft just failed with it's latest hardware offering..

Filed under
Just talk

Yes, i know this is a Linux blog, however it's time now of Linux to stand up for we have seen what Micorosoft calls a tablet OS and it falls short on every possible way even this new hardware smoke and mirrors..

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Fedora 17 KDE review

Filed under
Linux

For the main edition and for each Spin, there are installation images for 32- and 64-bit architectures. This article presents a review of the KDE Spin, using a 32-bit installation image on real hardware and in a virtual environment.

Read the complete article at http://www.linuxbsdos.com

There’s nothing wrong with Windows, as such.

Filed under
Linux

This week I was sat at a work colleagues desk with a brand new Windows 7 build on a PC trying to get him connected to our VPN something i’ve done over a 100 times in the past yet this time it wasn’t going well.

The main reason for this was a poor 3G single on a dongle however something struck me when trying to deal with the problem which boiled down to the lack of tools Windows comes loaded with out of the box so to speak to troubleshoot problems.

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Sabayon 9 KDE and GNOME preview

Filed under
Linux

Sabayon is a rolling-release distribution, so existing users do not have to reinstall to get the latest core and applications of a Sabayon release. That is one of the best features of the distribution.

Read the complete article at http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/06/12/sabayon-9-kde-and-gnome-preview/

Linux Mint 13 MATE/Cinnamon review

Filed under
Linux

Both desktop environments aim to satisfy users who refuse to let go of old technology and those who demand new technology, but packaged in a familiar format. And Linux Mint is the first project to make both available to users in separate ISO installation images for 32- and 64-bit architectures.

This article is a review of both editions.

How to dual-boot Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon/MATE and Windows 7

Filed under
Linux

This tutorial presents a step-by-step guide on how to dual-boot either one with Windows 7 on a computer with a single hard drive. Because the Cinnamon and MATE editions of Linux Mint 13 share the same installation program, the steps involved are the same regardless of the edition you use.

2 cool features to expect in KDE 4.9

Filed under
Linux

The list of planned features is very long and includes many UX and UI additions, improvements and bugfixes, but the two that I am looking forward to the most are KLook and StackFolder, two features already available by default on ROSA Marathon 2012 and also in ROSA Desktop 2012 beta.

How to change the height and position of the KDE panel

Filed under
Linux

To change the properties of the panel, which by default is on the bottom edge of the desktop, you need to access the Panel Tool Box widget located on the extreme right edge of the panel. Depending on the distribution you are using, the panel could be locked or unlocked.

Read the complete article at http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/06/05/how-to-change-the-height-and-position-of-the-kde-panel/

Technology During the reign of HRH Queen Elizabeth II

Filed under
Just talk

It’s the Diamond Jubilee for the Queen of England today and thats 60 years. This is a long time and a lot has changed in 60 years and the world is a very different different place to the one HRH stepped into as Queen when she stepped out of that Kenyan tree house in 1952

So what has each decade of the queens reign brought us?

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Mageia 2 review

Filed under
Linux

The other desktop environments and window managers supported by Mageia 2 are E17, LXDE, WindowMaker and IceWM. Aside from the Live CD installation images for KDE and GNOME 3, users are offered dual-architecture CD installation images, DVD, and network-based CD ISO installation images for 32- and 64-bit architectures.

MATE vs Cinnamon

Filed under
Linux

The aim of this article is not to present a point-by-point comparison of the two desktop environments, but to present a general overview, so a new user has a top-level idea of what they are.

Piwik 1.8 released

Filed under
News

It is an alternative to Google Analytics and from my experience, better in many respects. The latest version, released just today June 1 2012, is Piwik 1.8, and it comes with its share of new and improved features and bugfixes.

This release is rated critical, so if you are running Piwik 1.7.1, the previous stable version, immediate upgrade is highly recommended.

Linux Can Take Over If It Sticks To What It Does Best. Appliances

Filed under
Linux

Everyone is always so fixated on desktop Linux and why it can't get decent numbers in the desktop market.

The answer is obvious. You can't come late into the game when someone has a huge installed base and expect to win based on free over easy.

Install Cinnamon 1.4 on Fedora 17

Filed under
Linux

For those set of users, suitable alternatives are: Modify the interface with extensions, as I showed how to do here, or install Cinnamon desktop, a project from the developers of Linux Mint. Cinnamon appeals to many because it offers the familiar look and feel of the type of desktop environment they are used to.

Fedora 17 KDE and GNOME 3 preview

Filed under
Linux

Specialized Spins for Security, Scientific-KDE, Design-suite, SoaS, Games, Electronic-lab and Robotics were also released. It is very unlikely that I will review these, but there will be reviews of the main edition and KDE Spin. While the reviews are still being baked, here are a few screen shots from test installations of the main edition and KDE Spin for your viewing pleasure.

How to get back that friendly desktop look on Mageia 2 GNOME 3

Filed under
Linux

From my perspective, the worst culprit is GNOME 3. And though I have often criticised the default GNOME 3 interface, with a little bit of tweaking here and there, I have been able to get it to a point where I can actually use it for my daily computing tasks. It is not perfect, but much better than the default configuration.

Panel-Docklet: A must-install extension for GNOME 3

Consequently, I have not even bothered to install a distribution running GNOME 3 in its default state on a “production” boxen, other than for review purposes only. But while preparing a review of Mageia 2, I came across an extension that could just make me a believer and user of GNOME 3.

Read the full article at

Linux Mint 13 MATE/Cinnamon preview

Filed under
Linux

There is Linux Mint 13 MATE, which features MATE, a desktop environment forked from GNOME 2, and Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon, which features Cinnamon, a desktop environment built atop GNOME 3. So, Linux Mint joins a growing list of Linux distributions that do not ship an edition running the GNOME 3 desktop in its default state.

ROSA Marathon 2012 review

Filed under
Linux

There is ROSA Marathon and ROSA Desktop. According to the Release Notes, ROSA Marathon is designed for enterprise, SMB and SOHO users who do not need bleeding-edge applications and technologies. ROSA Desktop is for personal use, and the 2012 edition is still being baked, slated for release sometime at the end of the year.

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More in Tux Machines

Fedora Workstation 31, AAC Support

  • Fedora Workstation 31 to come with Wayland support, improved core features of PipeWire, and more

    On Monday, Christian F.K. Schaller, Senior Manager for Desktop at Red Hat, shared a blog post that outlined the various improvements and features coming in Fedora Workstation 31. These include Wayland improvements, more PipeWire functionality, continued improvements around Flatpak, Fleet Commander, and more.

  • Fedora's AAC Support Finally Seeing Audio Quality Improvements

    Fedora's version of the FDK-AAC library that they began shipping in 2017 to finally provide AAC audio support strips out what was patented encumbered functionality. But that gutting of the code did cause some problems like audio playback glitches that are now being addressed. Fortunately, better AAC support is on the way to Fedora. There is this F30 update pending to provide an updated AAC implementation with quality enhancements.

Mozilla: Firefox's Gecko Media Plugin & EME Architecture, Accessibility, Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday Results

  • Chris Pearce: Firefox's Gecko Media Plugin & EME Architecture

    For rendering audio and video Firefox typically uses either the operating system's audio/video codecs or bundled software codec libraries, but for DRM video playback (like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and the like) and WebRTC video calls using baseline H.264 video, Firefox relies on Gecko Media Plugins, or GMPs for short. This blog post describes the architecture of the Gecko Media Plugin system in Firefox, and the major class/objects involved, as it looked in June 2019. For DRM video Firefox relies upon Google's Widevine Content Decryption Module, a dynamic shared library downloaded at runtime. Although this plugin doesn't conform to the GMP ABI, we provide an adapter to allow it to be run through the GMP system. We use the same Widevine CDM plugin that Chrome uses. For decode and encode of H.264 streams for WebRTC, Firefox uses OpenH264, which is provided by Cisco. This plugin implements the GMP ABI.

  • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: How accessibility trees inform assistive tech

    The web is accessible by default. It was designed with features to make accessibility possible, and these have been part of the platform pretty much from the beginning. In recent times, inspectable accessibility trees have made it easier to see how things work in practice. In this post we’ll look at how “good” client-side code (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) improves the experience of users of assistive technologies, and how we can use accessibility trees to help verify our work on the user experience.

  • QMO: Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday Results

    As you may already know, Friday June 14th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 68 Beta 10.

Security Leftovers/FUD

  • New Linux Worm Attacks IoT Devices [Ed: How to blame "Linux" for default passwords in devices (and some now also blame "Iran", citing a CIA 'proxy' Recorded Future in relation to this because they want war)]

    Silex has 'bricked' more than 2000 Linux-based IoT devices so far.

  • Your server remote login isn't root:password, right? Cool. You can keep your data. Oh sh... your IoT gear, though? [Ed: All this "Silex" 'news' tries to blame Iran for cracking by guessing default passwords; but this is attempted every day by dozens of nations, every minute in a lot of cases. Any political motivation behind this Iran angle?]

    Earlier this week, infosec outfit Recorded Future claimed a Tehran-backed group known as Elfin, or APT33, has been increasingly active in recent months, largely targeting industrial facilities and companies within Saudi Arabia that do business with the US and other Western countries.
  • 'Silex' Malware Renders Internet-of-Things Devices Useless. Here's How to Prevent It [Ed: War lovers' media, e.g. Fortune (see parent) and CBS (through ZDNet) push this whole "Iran" angle, manufactured in part by Recorded Future, which works with the CIA. This is the source of all these "Iran is cracking your gear" stories (every large nation does it all the time, so why the focus on Iran all of a sudden?)]
  • Silex malware targeting IoT devices spotted by security researchers
  • Daily News Roundup: Hackers Broke into Ten Telecom Networks [Ed: Definitely sounds like they used Windows, which executes malware without obstructing the users (who might just open an E-mail or click on a link)]

    Security researchers have revealed hackers spent years burrowing into ten different telecoms. Using a common method of an email with a link leading to malware, the hackers then used sophisticated techniques to target specific individuals. Security researchers at Cybereason revealed details of years-long attempts to break into telecom services (cell phone carriers). Starting in 2017, and possibly before, hackers sent emails to unsuspecting telecom employees with malicious links. The initial payload gave the hackers access to the telecom networks. Once in, the hackers ultimately compromised the network, gaining administrative privileges, and even creating a VPN on the system that let hackers access large amounts of data and empowered them even to shut down the telecom network entirely. The hackers had so much power that Amit Serper, Principal Security Researcher at Cybereason, described them as essentially a “de facto shadow IT department of the company.”

Kernel: LWN's Latest (SACK etc.) and Phoronix on Saitek R440 Force Racing Wheel Support Coming to Linux

  • The TCP SACK panic

    Selective acknowledgment (SACK) is a technique used by TCP to help alleviate congestion that can arise due to the retransmission of dropped packets. It allows the endpoints to describe which pieces of the data they have received, so that only the missing pieces need to be retransmitted. However, a bug was recently found in the Linux implementation of SACK that allows remote attackers to panic the system by sending crafted SACK information. Data sent via TCP is broken up into multiple segments based on the maximum segment size (MSS) specified by the other endpoint—or some other network hardware in the path it traversed. Those segments are transmitted to that endpoint, which acknowledges that it has received them. Originally, those acknowledgments (ACKs) could only indicate that it had received segments up to the first gap; so if one early segment was lost (e.g. dropped due to congestion), the endpoint could only ACK those up to the lost one. The originating endpoint would have to retransmit many segments that had actually been received in order to ensure the data gets there; the status of the later segments is unknown, so they have to be resent. In simplified form, sender A might send segments 20-50, with segments 23 and 37 getting dropped along the way. Receiver B can only ACK segments 20-22, so A must send 23-50 again. As might be guessed, if the link is congested such that segments are being dropped, sending a bunch of potentially redundant traffic is not going to help things.

  • Short waits with umwait

    If a user-space process needs to wait for some event to happen, there is a whole range of mechanisms provided by the kernel to make that easy. But calling into the kernel tends not to work well for the shortest of waits — those measured in small numbers of microseconds. For delays of this magnitude, developers often resort to busy loops, which have a much smaller potential for turning a small delay into a larger one. Needless to say, busy waiting has its own disadvantages, so Intel has come up with a set of instructions to support short delays. A patch set from Fenghua Yu to support these instructions is currently working its way through the review process. The problem with busy waiting, of course, is that it occupies the processor with work that is even more useless than cryptocoin mining. It generates heat and uses power to no useful end. On hyperthreaded CPUs, a busy-waiting process could prevent the sibling thread from running and doing something of actual value. For all of these reasons, it would be a lot nicer to ask the CPU to simply wait for a brief period until something interesting happens. To that end, Intel is providing three new instructions. umonitor provides an address and a size to the CPU, informing it that the currently running application is interested in any writes to that range of memory. A umwait instruction tells the processor to stop executing until such a write occurs; the CPU is free to go into a low-power state or switch to a hyperthreaded sibling during that time. This instruction provides a timeout value in a pair of registers; the CPU will only wait until the timestamp counter (TSC) value exceeds the given timeout value. For code that is only interested in the timeout aspect, the tpause instruction will stop execution without monitoring any addresses.

  • Dueling memory-management performance regressions

    The 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit included a detailed discussion about a memory-management fix that addressed one performance regression while causing another. That fix, which was promptly reverted, is still believed by most memory-management developers to implement the correct behavior, so a patch posted by Andrea Arcangeli in early May has relatively broad support. That patch remains unapplied as of this writing, but the discussion surrounding it has continued at a slow pace over the last month. Memory-management subsystem maintainer Andrew Morton is faced with a choice: which performance regression is more important? The behavior in question relates to the intersection of transparent huge pages and NUMA policy. Ever since this commit from Aneesh Kumar in 2015, the kernel will, for memory areas where madvise(MADV_HUGEPAGE) has been called, attempt to allocate huge pages exclusively on the current NUMA node. It turns out that the kernel will try so hard that it will go into aggressive reclaim and compaction on that node, forcing out other pages, even if free memory exists on other nodes in the system. In essence, enabling transparent huge pages for a range of memory has become an equivalent to binding that memory to a single NUMA node. The result, as observed by many, can be severe swap storms and a dramatic loss of performance. In an attempt to fix this problem, Arcangeli applied a patch in November 2018 that loosened the tight binding to the current node. But, it turned out, some workloads want that binding behavior. Local huge pages will perform better than huge pages on a remote node; even local small pages tend to be better than remote huge pages. For some tasks, the performance penalty for using remote pages is high enough that it is worth going to great lengths — even enduring a swap storm at application startup — to avoid it. No such workload has been publicly posted, but the patch was reverted by David Rientjes in December after a huge discussion.

  • Rebasing and merging in kernel repositories

    What follows is a kernel document I have been working on for the last month in the hope of reducing the number of subsystem maintainers who run into trouble during the merge window. If all goes according to plan, this text will show up in 5.3 as Documentation/maintainer/rebasing-and-merging.txt. On the off chance that some potentially interested readers might not be monitoring additions to the nascent kernel maintainer's handbook, I'm publishing the text here as well. Maintaining a subsystem, as a general rule, requires a familiarity with the Git source-code management system. Git is a powerful tool with a lot of features; as is often the case with such tools, there are right and wrong ways to use those features. This document looks in particular at the use of rebasing and merging. Maintainers often get in trouble when they use those tools incorrectly, but avoiding problems is not actually all that hard. One thing to be aware of in general is that, unlike many other projects, the kernel community is not scared by seeing merge commits in its development history. Indeed, given the scale of the project, avoiding merges would be nearly impossible. Some problems encountered by maintainers result from a desire to avoid merges, while others come from merging a little too often.

  • Years Late But Saitek R440 Force Racing Wheel Support Is On The Way For Linux

    If you happen to have a Saitek R440 Force Wheel or looking to purchase a cheap and used racing wheel for enjoying the various Linux racing game ports or even the number of games working under Steam Play like F1 2018 and DiRT Rally 2.0, Linux support is on the way. The Saitek R440 Force Wheel can still be found from the likes of eBay for those wanting a cheap/used PC game racing wheel. Now coming soon to the Linux kernel is support for this once popular gaming wheel -- which was originally released back in 2004. The Linux kernel patch originally adding the Saitek R440 was sent last year only to be resent out recently in an attempt for mainline acceptance.