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Software: 20 Must-Have Linux Apps from 2017, Linux Release Roundup, Alibaba's Browser

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Software
  • The Top 20 Must-Have Linux Apps from 2017

    2017 was a good year for many apps. Steam received better updates, Skype for Linux got a design overhaul, and GNOME Tweak Tool will soon be the only tweak tool you’ll need on Ubuntu.

    Months ago we compiled a list of the 20 Must-Have Ubuntu Apps in 2017. Now that 2017 has ended we decided to take a look back on how Linux applications have fared so far in general and compile a list of Top 20 Must-Have Linux Apps from 2017.

  • Linux Release Roundup: LibreOffice, Dash to Dock, Tilix + More

    Some of us will have spent the past week gorging on mince pies and chocolates, making out under mistletoe, and suffering the seasonable indignity of Christmas-themed Hallmark films on Channel 5.

    But not everyone.

    If you’re of the developer variety you might have used your Christmas downtime to work on your own personal projects — just like the developers of the following apps did.

  • A Browser You’ve Never Heard of Is Dethroning Google in Asia

    A mobile browser rarely used in the West has outflanked Google’s Chrome in some of Asia’s fastest-growing markets, giving owner Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. an advantage in the race among technology giants to capture the next generation of internet users.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Chromebook Users Will Soon Be Able to Install Debian Packages via the Files App
    Google continues to work on the Linux app support implementation for its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks by adding initial support for installing Debian packages via the Files app. Linux app support in Chrome OS is here, but it's currently in beta testing as Google wants to make it ready for the masses in an upcoming stable Chrome OS release. Meanwhile, Google's Chrome OS team details in a recent Chromium Gerrit commit initial support for installing Linux packages in the .deb file format used by Debian-based operating systems directly from the Files app.
  • Phoronix Test Suite 8.2 Milestone 1 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking
    The first development snapshot of Phoronix Test Suite 8.2 is now available as what will be the next quarterly feature update to our open-source Linux / BSD / macOS / Windows automated benchmarking software and framework.
  • How To Install Plex Media Server on CentOS 7
  • How to Recover Files from Corrupted or Damaged ReiserFS File Systems? DiskInternals Has the Answer
  • DXVK 0.63 Released With Support For NVIDIA's Latest Driver
    For those planning to enjoy their favorite Direct3D 11 games under Wine this weekend and utilizing the DXVK D3D11-over-Vulkan layer for greater performance, DXVK 0.63 is now available. First up with DXVK 0.63 is compatibility with the newly-released NVIDIA 396.45 stable driver release due to Vulkan driver changes.
  • Northgard introduces the Clan of the Snake in a new DLC
    Thriving in the harsh northern lands in Northgard isn’t particularly easy and the new Snake Clan faction adds a few twists to the enjoyable Viking experience. An update that released alongside the DLC also adds several bells and whistles to all players for free.
  • Meg Ford: GUADEC 2018
    I was particularly interested in and disappointed by Michael Catanzaro's talk "Migrating from JHBuild to BuildStream". I appreciate all the time and effort the Release Team has put into maintaining and developing the build systems, so I'm including my experience here as an example, not as a criticism. Over time I've gotten used to JHBuild and become adept at searching for and fixing its sometimes bizarre error messages. A few months ago, after running into some modules that failed on JHBuild, I read the announcement about GNOME's modulesets moving to BuildStream. I spent a couple days removing JHBuild and rebuilding everything in BuildStream. Except I ran out of disk space. So I removed as much as I could and started over. Except then PulseAudio wouldn't work. Luckily I'd occasionally run into the same errors caused by an unavailable PulseAudio daemon when I was using JHBuild. I tried restarting the daemon, etc, and looked for info on the subject. In the end it turned out that PulseAudio wasn't available within the sandbox, so I scrapped BuildStream and went back to JHBuild. Going forward, I'm planning to move from JHBuild to using FlatPak, Builder, and GNOME's nightly runtime build. I'm happy that the community is providing solutions, and, while things are still in a confusing state, at least they are moving quickly in interesting and promising directions.
  • On Flatpak Nightlies
    As far as I know, it was not possible to run any nightly applications during this two week period, except developer applications like Builder that depend on org.gnome.Sdk instead of the normal org.gnome.Platform. If you used Epiphany Technology Preview and wanted a functioning web browser, you had to run arcane commands to revert to the last good runtime version. This multi-week response time is fairly typical for us. We need to improve our workflow somehow. It would be nice to be able to immediately revert to the last good build once a problem has been identified, for instance. Meanwhile, even when the runtime is working fine, some apps have been broken for months without anyone noticing or caring. Perhaps it’s time for a rethink on how we handle nightly apps. It seems likely that only a few apps, like Builder and Epiphany, are actually being regularly used. The release team has some hazy future plans to take over responsibility for the nightly apps (but we have to take over the runtimes first, since those are more important), and we’ll need to somehow avoid these issues when we do so. Having some form of notifications for failed builds would be a good first step.
  • TLS 1.3 Via GnuTLS Is Planned For Fedora 29
    The feature list for Fedora 29 continues growing and the latest is about shipping GnuTLS with TLS 1.3 support enabled. TLS 1.3 was approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force earlier this year as the newest version of this protocol for making secure web connections that is key to HTTPS. TLS 1.3 offers various security and performance improvements over TLS 1.2 as well as lower-latency, better handling of long-running sessions, etc.
  • Xubuntu 17.10 EOL
    On Thursday 19th July 2018, Xubuntu 17.10 goes End of Life (EOL). For more information please see the Ubuntu 17.10 EOL Notice.
  • Linux Mint developers planning big Cinnamon 4.0 improvements
    Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems for a reason -- it’s really good. By leveraging the excellent Ubuntu for its base, and offering a top-notch user experience, success is pretty much a guarantee. While the distribution primarily focuses on two desktop environments -- Mate and Cinnamon -- the latter is really the star of the show. Cinnamon is great because it uses a classic WIMP interface that users love, while also feeling modern. With Cinnamon 3.8, the Linux Mint Team focused on improving the DE's performance, and today, the team shares that it is continuing that mission with the upcoming 4.0. In particular, the team is focusing on Vsync.

OSS and Sharing Leftovers

  • Crowdfunding for extension management in GIMP (and other improvements)
    Well that’s the big question! Let’s be clear: currently security of plug-ins in GIMP sucks. So the first thing is that our upload website should make basic file type checks and compare them with the metadata listing. If your metadata announces you ship brushes, and we find executables in there, we would block it. Also all executables (i.e. plug-ins or scripts) would be held for manual review. That also means we’ll need to find people in the community to do the review. I predict that it will require some time for things to set up smoothly and the road may be bumpy at first. Finally we won’t accept built-files immediately. If code is being compiled, we would need to compile it ourselves on our servers. This is obviously a whole new layer of complexity (even more because GIMP can run on Linux, Windows, macOS, BSDs…). So at first, we will probably not allow C and C++ extensions on our repository. But WAIT! I know that some very famous and well-maintained extensions exist and are compiled. We all think of G’Mic of course! We may make exceptions for trustworthy plug-in creators (with a well-known track record), to allow them to upload their compiled plug-ins as extensions. But these will be really exceptional. Obviously this will be a difficult path. We all know how security is a big deal, and GIMP is not so good here. At some point, we should even run every extension in a sandbox for instance. Well some say: the trip is long, but the way is clear.
  • Python's founder steps down, India's new net neutrality regulations, and more open source news
    The head of one of the most popular free software/open source software projects is stepping down. Guido van Rossum announced that he's giving up leadership of the project he founded, effective immediately. van Rossum, affectionately known as Python's "benevolent dictator for life," made the move after the bruising process of approving a recent enhancement proposal to the scripting language. He also cited some undisclosed medical problems as another factor in his resignation. van Rossum stated that he "doesn't want to think as hard about his creation and is switching to being an 'ordinary core developer'," according to The Inquirer. van Rossum, who "has confirmed he won't be involved in appointing his replacement. In fact, it sounds very much like he doesn't think there should be one," believes that Python's group of committers can do his job.
  • FLIR Creates Open-Source Dataset for Driving Assistance
    Sensor systems developer FLIR Systems Inc. has announced an open-source machine learning thermal dataset designed for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving vehicle researchers, developers, and auto manufacturers, featuring a compilation of more than 10,000 annotated thermal images of day and nighttime scenarios. The first of its kind to include annotations for cars, other vehicles, people, bicycles, and dogs, the starter thermal dataset enables developers to begin testing and evolving convolutional neural networks with the FLIR Automotive Development Kit (ADKTM). The dataset empowers the automotive community to quickly evaluate thermal sensors on next-generation algorithms. When combined with visible light cameras, lidar, and radar, thermal sensor data paired with machine learning helps create a more comprehensive and redundant system for identifying and classifying roadway objects, especially pedestrians and other living things.
  • Open-source map of accessible restaurants in Calgary growing into something beautiful
    A call on Twitter for a list of accessible restaurants has led to an online mapping movement to plot out user-friendly restaurants around the city. On Monday, Calgary-based tech entrepreneur Travis Martin saw a tweet from Natasha Gibson (@ktash) asking Councillor Druh Farrell if she knew of some accessible restaurants for her senior parents.
  • Universities in Germany and Sweden Lose Access to Elsevier Journals [iophk: "sci-hub to the rescue"]

    This month, approximately 300 academic institutions in Germany and Sweden lost access to new papers published in Elsevier’s journals due to a standstill in negotiations for nationwide subscription contracts. While Elsevier’s papers remain inaccessible, academics are turning to alternative means of obtaining them, such as using inter-library loan services, emailing authors, finding earlier versions on preprint servers, or buying individual papers.

  • Open Source Laboratory Rocker is Super Smooth
    Lab equipment is often expensive, but budgets can be tight and not always up to getting small labs or researchers what they need. That’s why [akshay_d21] designed an Open Source Lab Rocker with a modular tray that uses commonly available hardware and 3D printed parts. The device generates precisely controlled, smooth motion to perform automated mild to moderately aggressive mixing of samples by tilting the attached tray in a see-saw motion. It can accommodate either a beaker or test tubes, but since the tray is modular, different trays can be designed to fit specific needs.
  • Update on our planned move from Azure to Google Cloud Platform
    Improving the performance and reliability of GitLab.com has been a top priority for us. On this front we've made some incremental gains while we've been planning for a large change with the potential to net significant results: running GitLab as a cloud native application on Kubernetes. The next incremental step on our cloud native journey is a big one: migrating from Azure to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). While Azure has been a great provider for us, GCP has the best Kubernetes support and we believe will the best provider for our long-term plans. In the short term, our users will see some immediate benefits once we cut over from Azure to GCP including encrypted data at rest on by default and faster caching due to GCP's tight integration with our existing CDN.

Openwashing Examples

  • Ripple’s Evan Schwartz says Codius might pave the way for open-source services
    The Creator of Codius, Evan Schwartz, spoke about the technology recently at CSAIL Initiative Launch. Codius is a smart contract and distributed applications hosting platform developed jointly by Stefan Thomas, the Founder of Coil, and Evan Schwartz. Schwartz started off by saying that Codius is much more flexible in hosting decentralized applications when compared to the blockchain. The reason for many developers to choose the blockchain is mainly security and redundancy.
  • Nish Tech Simplifies eCommerce Integrations With the Launch of Open-Source Framework for Sitecore Commerce
    Nish Tech, a leader in Sitecore and eCommerce implementations, released a framework to the user community to accelerate and simplify development and integration for ecommerce sites. Nish Tech, a Gold Sitecore Implementation Partner with a specialization in eCommerce, initially unveiled a preview at the European Sitecore User Group summit in Berlin, Germany earlier this year. Today marks the official launch of this framework. In most online ecommerce implementations, integration with backend systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and PIM (Product Information Management) play an important role. Most companies spend significant time/effort building connections to these systems. Customers using a modern ecommerce platform, like Sitecore Experience Commerce in the digital commerce space need a communication link to the backend systems to complete ecommerce transactions.
  • Appareo offers open source on fourth-generation Stratus receiver
    Appareo released a new addition to its Stratus family of pilot-friendly affordable avionics this week. Stratus 3 is the latest model in the line of industry-leading ADS-B receivers first introduced in 2012. The company will exhibit Stratus 3 as part of its full line of Stratus products next week at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 fly-in and expo.

KDE Applications 18.08 Software Suite Enters Beta, Adds Apple Wallet Pass Reader

With KDE Applications 18.04 reached end of life with the third and last point release, the KDE Project started working earlier this month on the next release of their open-source software suite, KDE Applications 18.08. KDE Applications is an open-source software suite designed as part of the KDE ecosystem, but can also be used independently on any Linux-based operating system. To fully enjoy the KDE Plasma desktop environment, users will also need to install various of the apps that are distributed as part of the KDE Applications initiative. KDE Applications 18.08 is the next major version of the open-source software suite slated for release on August 16, 2018. As of yesterday, July 20, the KDE Applications 18.08 software suite entered beta testing as version 18.07.80, introducing two new libraries, KPkPass and KItinerary. Read more