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today's leftovers

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  • Analyzing MATE keyboard shortcuts

    Hello yet again! For those who are not acquainted with this series, I am in an endeavor to analyze keyboard shortcuts in most major DEs so that we, the KDE community, can decide on the best defaults for KDE Plasma. Last time I analyzed XFCE and before that, GNOME.

    This time we will also check on a non-keyboard-driven environment, MATE. I personally quite like MATE, mostly for two things: MATE Tweak’s ability to change panel layouts, and the Software Boutique, which looks as fashionable as its name.

    Preparations

    For testing MATE, I installed full ubuntu-mate-desktop on my work machine and used virtual machines containing Debian, Ubuntu MATE and Manjaro.

    This time, one of the candidates for the virtual machine was chosen based on a project currently being held at the public university I graduated in, namely the University of São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil. I chose Debian MATE in honor to the plans to migrate the computers at the computer section of FFLCH to Linux, the humanities school. Pragmatically speaking, Debian is also a good choice for usually keeping defaults as is for each desktop environment.

    For sources, I simply used MATE’s keyboard shortcuts application and its corresponding manual.

  • Calligra Plan version 3.2.1 released

    We are pleased to announce the release of Calligra Plan 3.2.1.

  • The Month in WordPress: November 2019

    November has been a big month in the WordPress community. New releases, big events, and a push for more contributors have characterized the work being done across the project — read on to find out more!

  • ryzen build (for openbsd)

    I like my computers fast and light, and thus the preference for Thinkpad X1 models and the like. But recently I’ve been playing more with my Samsung ultrabook and it’s definitely a step back in the performance department. But then I thought, what if we get a really fast desktop and remote into it? The classic solving a problem by turning it into two problems.

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  • Beware of shell globs

                         

                           

    Shell globs allow one to specify set of filenames with wildcard characters. This is really useful, but they have some rather unintuitive functions that could surprise you, and even cause big problems if you're unlucky enough.

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  • PeaZip 7.0

    PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It's freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

  • OwnTracks on macOS

    So why did Christoph do this? Because he could! But honestly, since Catalyst isn’t 100% like programming for iOS, it has made OwnTracks better because several edge cases were detected and fixed.

  • Blue Beanie Day 2019

    Web designer Jeffrey Zeldman wrote a book about web standards and wears a blue beanie on the cover. This picture inspired the inventors of the Blue Beanie Day to choose a blue beanie as a sign of web accessibility. They now try to get everyone to take a selfie with a blue beanie and spread the word every year on November 30th. Who does not have blue beanie can also digitally paint or paste one into the picture.

    Web accessibility does not only affect people with disabilities. It is also important to provide [Internet] access to all people regardless of their technical capabilities. This includes, for example, the use of the [Internet] via text-only browsers. Also, age-related limitations as poor eyesight issues should be considered.

  • SPF-aware greylisting and filter-greylist

    TL;DR:
    - greylisting is a sound idea
    - yet it is not really practical today
    - people tend to disable it or find work-arounds
    - SPF-aware greylisting makes greylisting usable again

  • Slackware December Report

    It has been some time since i posted about Slackware updates and around 2.5 years since my wishlist i created in 2017. Only one item left that are still not yet approved by Patrick, but i have a hunch that it's coming soon to -Current tree. So i guess it's time to wrap some updates up to early December 2019:
    Linux LTS Kernel 5.4.x
    PHP 7.4.x
    GCC 9.2.x
    GLIBC 2.30
    Python 3.7.x
    Perl 5.30.x
    GTK+3 3.24.x
    NetworkManager 1.20.x
    vte 0.58.x
    XOrg 1.20.x
    tcl/tk 8.16.x
    Mesa 19.2.x
    Bind 9.14.x
    Rust 1.39.x
    SDL2.0.x
    Firefox 68.0-ESR
    Thunderbird 60.8.x
    MariaDB 10.4.x
    Postfix 3.4.x
    Samba 4.11.x
    OpenSSH 8.1p1

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (389-ds-base, asterisk, file, nss, proftpd-dfsg, ssvnc, and tnef), Fedora (chromium, djvulibre, freeradius, ImageMagick, jhead, kernel, phpMyAdmin, python-pillow, and rubygem-rmagick), Mageia (bzip2, chromium-browser-stable, curl, dbus, djvulibre, glib2.0, glibc, gnupg2, httpie, libreoffice, libssh2, mosquitto, nginx, python-sqlalchemy, unbound, and zipios++), openSUSE (bluez, clamav, cpio, freerdp, openafs, phpMyAdmin, strongswan, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (samba and SDL), Scientific Linux (389-ds-base), and SUSE (haproxy, python-Django, and tightvnc). 

  • TfL resets passwords for every Oyster account in London

    Cast your mind back to August - the weather was fairly lousy and TfL confirmed that around 1200 Oyster accounts had been [cracked].

    For the not-of-London, an Oyster card is London's joined-up RFID powered travel card - custodian of top-up fares and annual season tickets alike.

    Although that was a minor [attack] in relative terms, TfL has decided to take action to ensure that nothing like it happens again and has decided to reset everyone's passwords.

  • Linux 5.5 Seeing Some Wild Swings In Performance - Improvements But Also Regressions

    While there still is a week to go in the Linux 5.5 merge window with more feature code still landing, due to scheduler changes and other work already having landed, I already started running some Git benchmarks. Linux 5.5 at this stage appears quite volatile with some really nice improvements in some workloads but also regressions in others. 

    I started off some Linux 5.5 Git benchmarks a few days ago after seeing the scheduler changes land that are rather heavy this cycle and other work. Plus I wanted to test out some new features like the NVMe hwmon thermal reporting. 

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Virtualisation and Ubuntu Touch

  • Comparison between LXC and LXD

    Traditionally, we would have a physical computer and expect to run a single operating system on it. One way to go over this limitation, is to use virtualization, which allows us to run multiple operating systems (virtual machines) on a computer. For virtualization to work efficiently, we would need special virtualization support from the CPU (Intel CPUs: VT-x, AMD CPUs: AMD V). Relevant virtualization software include KVM, Xen, VirtualBox, Hyper-V and VMWare. Virtualization is good, but takes lots of system resources because you boot up a full operating system for each virtual machine. Can we have an additional option for lightweight virtual machines that do not require to boot their own Linux kernel but can reusing the running Linux kernel of the host? Well, we can, and these are the Linux Containers.

  • Discussion on running X11 applications from within LXD system containers

    With LXD, you can create system containers. These system containers are similar to virtual machines, while at the same time they are very lightweight. In a VM, you boot a full Linux kernel and you run your favorite Linux distribution in a virtualized environment that has a fixed disk size and dedicated allocation of RAM memory. To get a graphics application to run in a VM, you need a virtualized GPU, such that will have hardware accelerated access to the host graphics driver. In contrast, in a system container, you keep using the running Linux kernel of the host, and you just start the container image (runtime, aka rootfs) of your favorite Linux distribution. Your container uses as much disk space are needed from a common storage, and the same goes with the memory (you can also put strict restrictions, if you need). To get a graphics application to run in a container, you need to pass a Unix socket of your existing X server (or a new isolated X server).

  • [Older] Ubuntu Touch: reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated

    Remember the times when Canonical was working on a Qt-based desktop and mobile phone? Remember Unity, the default Ubuntu desktop that was about to be rewritten in Qt under the name as Unity8 shortly before Canonical killed the project and switched to GNOME? And Remember Ubuntu Touch, the Linux-based operating systems for tablets and smartphones based on Ubuntu with a QML-based user interface? Turns out that the Ubuntu-based mobile operating system is living on and thriving in an independent community under the auspices of the UBports project. Quite possibly, being driven by a community of passionate volunteers may be turning out as one of its strongest points. Time to try it out! Wouldn’t it be cool if besides Android and iOS there was a mobile operating system that was truly open source not only by license but also by spirit, one in which you you could actually be in full control over your device and personal data, one which you could change as you please, one which you wouldn’t have to “jailbreak” and fiddle around with to get at a Linux root shell and to install a system-wide ad blocker? One where you could send a pull request on GitHub with a realistic change of it being reviewed and merged?

Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

  • If you want an example of how user concerns do not drive software development, check out this Google-backed API

    A nascent web API called getInstalledRelatedApps offers a glimpse of why online privacy remains such an uncertain proposition. In development since 2015, Google has been experimenting with the API since the release of Chrome 59 in 2017. As its name suggests, it is designed to let web apps and sites determine whether a corresponding native app is installed on a user's device. The purpose of the API, as described in the proposed specification, sounds laudable. More and more, the docs state, users will have web apps and natives apps from the same source installed on the same device and as the apps' feature sets converge and overlap, it will become important to be able to distinguish between the two, so users don't receive two sets of notifications, for example.

  • Mozilla Releases DeepSpeech 0.6 With Better Performance, Leaner Speech-To-Text Engine

    DeepSpeech 0.6 currently achieved a 7.5% word error rate for this open-source speech-to-text engine. The new release has various API changes, better training performance with TensorFlow 1.14 cuDNN RNN support for their training graph, trimmed down their language model to be using the top 500k words, adding various data augmentation techniques, a tool for bulk transcribing large audio files, and various other changes.

  • [Older] Give Firefox a chance for a faster, calmer and distraction-free internet

    Using Firefox gives you peace of mind and keeps you away from the advertising companies constantly following you around, profiling you and tempting you to purchase their products.

Linux 5.5-rc1

  • Linux 5.5-rc1
    We've had a normal merge window, and it's now early Sunday afternoon,
    and it's getting closed as has been the standard rule for a long while
    now.
    
    Everything looks fairly regular - it's a tiny bit larger (in commit
    counts) than the few last merge windows have been, but not bigger
    enough to really raise any eyebrows. And there's nothing particularly
    odd in there either that I can think of: just a bit over half of the
    patch is drivers, with the next big area being arch updates. Which is
    pretty much the rule for how things have been forever by now.
    
    Outside of that, the documentation and tooling (perf and selftests)
    updates stand out, but that's actually been a common pattern for a
    while now too, so it's not really surprising either. And the rest is
    all the usual core stuff - filesystems, core kernel, networking, etc.
    
    The pipe rework patches are a small drop in the ocean, but ended up
    being the most painful part of the merge for me personally. They
    clearly weren't quite ready, but it got fixed up and I didn't have to
    revert them. There may be other problems like that that I just didn't
    see and be involved in, and didn't strike me as painful as a result ;)
    
    We're missing some VFS updates, but I think we'll have Al on it for
    the next merge window. On the whole, considering that this was a big
    enough release anyway, I had no problem going "we can do that later".
    
    As usual, even the shortlog is much too large to post, and nobody
    would have the energy to read through it anyway. My mergelog below
    gives an overview of the top-level changes so that you can see the
    different subsystems that got development. But with 12,500+ non-merge
    commits, there's obviously a little bit of everything going on.
    
    Go out and test (and special thanks to people who already did, and
    started sending reports even during the merge window),
    
    Linus
    
    
  • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Development of Linux Kernel 5.5, First RC Is Out Now

    The two week-long merge window that opened with the release of the Linux 5.4 kernel series last month ended today with the launch of the first release candidate of Linux kernel 5.5, which was announced by Linus Torvalds himself. That's right, Linus Torvalds has officially kicked off the development cycle of the next major Linux kernel series, Linux 5.5, which is now available for public testing from the kernel.org website. Linux kernel 5.5-rc1 is the first milestone in many to come and gives the community a first look at the new features and changes. "We've had a normal merge window, and it's now early Sunday afternoon, and it's getting closed as has been the standard rule for a long while now," said Linus Torvalds. "Everything looks fairly regular - it's a tiny bit larger (in commit counts) than the few last merge windows have been, but not bigger enough to really raise any eyebrows. And there's nothing particularly odd in there either that I can think of: just a bit over half of the patch is drivers, with the next big area being Arch updates."

  • Linux 5.5 Feature Overview - Raspberry Pi 4 To New Graphics Capabilities To KUnit

    Linux 5.5-rc1 is on the way to mirrors and with that the Linux 5.5 merge window is now over. Here is a look at the lengthy set of changes and new features for this next Linux kernel that will debut as stable in early 2020. Among the many changes to find with Linux 5.5 are support for the Raspberry Pi 4 / BCM2711, various performance changes still being explored, support for reporting NVMe drive temperatures, a new Logitech keyboard driver, AMD HDCP support for content protection, wake-on-voice support from Chromebooks, the introduction of KUnit for unit testing the kernel, new RAID1 modes that are quite exciting for Btrfs, and much more. Below is a more detailed look based upon our original monitoring and reporting.

  • Unified sizeof_member() Re-Proposed For Linux 5.5

    After not being merged for Linux 5.4, the new sizeof_member() macro as a unified means of calculating the size of a member of a struct has been volleyed for Linux 5.5 for possible inclusion on this last day of the merge window. The Linux kernel to now has supported SIZEOF_FIELD, FIELD_SIZEOF, sizeof_field as means of calculating the size of a member of a C struct... The new sizeof_member looks to clean-up that code cruft that has accumulated over the years with converting all usage of the old macros over to this new unified macro.

The Linux Setup – Kezz Bracey, Web Designer/Developer

I found Kezz on Twitter and I’m so glad I did because this is a wonderful interview. First of all, I love the KDE details. Because while I don’t use KDE, I respect it. I wish I could tame it the way Kezz has. Instead, I tend to bow to its will, when really, if I knew how, like Kezz, I could bend it to mine. I also appreciate the screencasting information. I don’t do it very often anymore, but I do know that at some point, there were concerns about the lack of a good Linux screencasting program. Apparently that’s no longer an issue, which is great to hear. Read more