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Original Articles from 2011

This began as a list of original articles found on tuxmachines.org, either by me or someone else, but it has since morphed into a list of original articles found on tuxmachines.org and the articles I've had published elsewhere.

  1. Bodhi Linux Gets Christmas Update - Dec 23, 2011
  2. Help Squash LibreOffice Bugs, Become Hero - Dec 21, 2011
  3. Big Winners and Losers of 2011 - Dec 15, 2011
  4. Blender 2.61 Released - Dec 14, 2012
  5. Children's Distro Releases Preview - Dec 13, 2011
  6. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 Risk Report - Dec 8, 2011
  7. GNOME 3 Gets New Extension Website - Dec 2, 2011
  8. TDF Celebrates 100 Extensions - Nov 30, 2011
  9. Mandriva Introduces New Media Player - Nov 29, 2011
  10. Kororaa 16 Beta Released - Nov 28, 2011
  11. Mageia 2 On Its Way - Nov 28, 2011
  12. Get Some LibreOffice Gear - Nov 18, 2011
  13. Going Incognito - Nov 17, 2011
  14. UEFI Won't Trouble Linux Users Much - Nov 15, 2011
  15. openSUSE 12.1 Gone Gold, Release Wednesday - Nov 14, 2011
  16. Sabayon Releases Even More Choice - Nov 10, 2011
  17. Gentoo Christens Shiny New Wiki - Nov 9, 2011
  18. Fuduntu Turns One, Forks Fedora Nov 8, 2011
  19. Fedora 16 Declared Gold, Release Tomorrow - Nov 7, 2011
  20. Linux Mint 12 to Blend GNOMEs 2 & 3 - Nov 4, 2011
  21. openSUSE 12.1 RC2 Released, Stokes Interest - Nov 03, 2011
  22. New LibreOffice Extension Website Live - Oct 28, 2011
  23. Is Firefox Released too Often? - Oct 27, 2011
  24. Kwort is Still Around? - Oct 26, 2011
  25. A Puppy for Slackers - Oct 25, 2011
  26. Mageia 2 Delayed a Month - Oct 24, 2011
  27. openSUSE 12.1 RC 1 Out - 23 Days to Go - Oct 24, 2011
  28. Mandriva 2011 Powerpack is Coming - Oct 20, 2011
  29. openSUSE Delayed, Ubuntu Birthday, Sabayon Releases - Oct 19, 2011
  30. Enough Ubuntu, YET? - Oct 19, 2011
  31. The Document Foundation Thinking Beyond Desktop - Oct 14, 2011
  32. Not Enough Ubuntu Yet? - Oct 13, 2011
  33. Sabayon 7 Brings Linux Heaven - Oct 12, 2011
  34. Another Linux Project Hacked - Oct 11, 2011
  35. Crazy Fan Geeko-gimps his Ride - Oct 10, 2011
  36. KDE to Celebrate 15th Birthday - Oct 05, 2011
  37. KDE to Say Buh-Bye to Screensavers - Oct 03, 2011
  38. No One Uses 32-bit Anymore... Right? - Sep 30, 2011
  39. FSF Relaunches Software Directory - Sep 29, 2011
  40. LibreOffice Celebrates First Anniversary - Sep 28, 2011
  41. PulseAudio Turns 1.0 - Sep 27, 2011
  42. Linux Mint Computer Case Stickers - Sep 26, 2011
  43. Fedora 16 Delayed by Two Weeks Too - Sep 23, 2011
  44. openSUSE 12.1 Beta Delayed Two Weeks - Sep 22, 2011
  45. Kororaa 15 Unleashed - Sep 20, 2011
  46. Happy Birthday Mageia! - Sep 19, 2011
  47. Linux Mint Debian 201109 Released - Sep 16, 2011
  48. PC-BSD 9.0 on its Way - Sep 15, 2011
  49. Do You Think Linux is Secure? - Sep 14, 2011
  50. Mark of a Good Distro - Sep 9, 2011
  51. Mageia Needs Artists - Sep 8, 2011
  52. Bacon Justifies Ubuntu Decisions - Sep 7, 2011
  53. Your Favorite Browsers - Sep 1, 2011
  54. Oh No, Kernel.org was Hacked - Aug 31, 2011
  55. KDE Performance Boost Ahead - Aug 30, 2011
  56. New Distribution: Dream Studio Introduced - Aug 29, 2011
  57. My Favorite Little Games - Aug 25, 2011
  58. Gentoo Gets an Installer - Aug 24, 2011
  59. Countdown to Mandriva 2011, Codename Announced - Aug 19, 2011
  60. Dead Cyborg Brings Excitement, At First - Aug 18, 2011
  61. Do You Like Tux the Penguin? - Aug 17, 2011
  62. GIMP Single-Window Mode Almost Ready, Hardware Acceleration Planned - Aug 15, 2011
  63. Ultimate Edition 3.0 "Gamers" Released - Aug 12, 2011
  64. ConnochaetOS 0.9.0 Released to Replace DeLi - Aug 11, 2011
  65. Does Linus Run Linux Mint? - Aug 9, 2011
  66. Gentoo Releases 11.2 LiveDVD to Crickets - Aug 8, 2011
  67. KNOPPIX 6.7.0 Delivers a Few Surprises - Aug 5, 2011
  68. Torvalds Dumps GNOME for Xfce - Aug 3, 2011
  69. LibreOffice Developer Glimpse Proves Balance - Aug 2, 2011
  70. New Pup is Born, Dolphin 2.0 - Aug 1, 2011
  71. Mandriva 2011 Almost Ready, RC2 Released - July 28, 2011
  72. Mandriva's Dodonov Leaves Goodbye Gifts - July 26, 2011
  73. Spotlight on Linux: Linvo GNU/Linux - July 26, 2011
  74. Zorin OS Releases a "Lite" Version - July 25, 2011
  75. Get a Glimpse of Unstable Apps in Ubuntu Without Risk - July 22, 2011
  76. Oracle Fires Another Shot Over Red Hat's Bow - July 21, 2011
  77. Can We Trust Microsoft? Part 2 - The Video - July 20, 2011
  78. Can We Trust Microsoft? - July 19, 2011
  79. Another day, Another PCLOS - Xfce Edition 2011-07 - July 18, 2011
  80. Mageia 2 Release Details Revealed - July 18, 2011
  81. Introducing Linvo GNU/Linux - July 15, 2011
  82. PCLinuxOS 2011.07 MiniMe KDE Released - July 14, 2011
  83. Mandriva 2010.x Reaches End of Desktop Support (updated) - July 13, 2011
  84. Linux Mint 11 KDE to be Based on Debian, Maybe - July 11, 2011
  85. Closer Look at Mageia 1 - July 8, 2011
  86. Plasma Active Trims Down - July 7, 2011
  87. Eugeni Dodonov Sails Away, Quits Mandriva - July 6, 2011
  88. The Mistake that is Upgrading to KDEPIM 4.6.0 - July 5, 2011
  89. Mandriva 2011 RC 1 Available - Quick Look - June 29, 2011
  90. Mandriva 2011 RC 1 Released, Almost - June 28, 2011
  91. PCLinuxOS 2011.6 Released - June 27, 2011
  92. Quake Turns 15, Frag On! - June 24, 2011
  93. Bitcoin - I Hardly Knew Ya - June 24, 2011
  94. Debian Dumps OpenOffice for LibreOffice - June 23, 2011
  95. openSUSE 12.1 On its Way - June 22, 2011
  96. Is Ubuntu on the way out? - June 20, 2011
  97. Would You like GNOME 2.32 on Fedora 15? - June 17, 2011
  98. LibreOffice 3.3.3 Released for the Cautious - June 16, 2011
  99. SUSE, Red Hat, and FSF on New TDF Board - June 15, 2011
  100. Sabayon 6 to be Released this Week - June 14, 2011
  101. Spotlight on Linux: Mageia 1 - June 14, 2011
  102. ClearOS - Now for Workstations Too - June 13, 2011
  103. IPv6 - Today or the Future? - June 9, 2011
  104. The Fruits of DEX Begin to Emerge - June 8, 2011
  105. Zenix GNU/Linux - Fun, Fast, Different - June 7, 2011
  106. Is Oracle Holding Back OpenOffice Files from Apache? - Jun 7, 2011
  107. The Open Source Office Software Sector Heats Up - Jun 6, 2011
  108. The Magic is Born -> Mageia 1 Released - June 1, 2011
  109. Kororaa 14 - Linux Mint of Fedora? - May 31, 2011
  110. Fedora Blogs Going Bye-Bye? - May 30, 2011
  111. Linux Mint 11 - Vital Service or Prolonging Agony? - May 26, 2011
  112. KAlarm - A Handy App that Gets Little Attention - May 25, 2011
  113. Fedora 15 Released, GNOME 3 Looks Good - May 24, 2011
  114. Unity Coming to openSUSE After All - May 20, 2011
  115. Fedora 15 Goes Gold - May 18, 2011
  116. Mageia 1 RC Available, Final Not Far Off - May 17, 2011
  117. Mono Continues without Novell / Attachmate - May 16, 2011
  118. DNSMasq - Best Way to Surf Internet - May 13, 2011
  119. Bye Bye Skype, Top 3 Free Replacements - May 12, 2011
  120. Next Gen KDEPIM Coming in June with KDE 4.6.4 - May 11, 2011
  121. LibreOffice 3.4 Will Have Native Support for Ubuntu Global Menu - May 10, 2011
  122. Ubuntu 11.04, Unity Released to Mixed Reactions - May 6, 2011
  123. SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Released, Looks Good - May 6, 2011
  124. A Sneak Peek at Upcoming Linux Mint 11 - May 5, 2011
  125. antiX M11 is Still Quite Impressive - May 4, 2011
  126. Linux as Social Justice Symbol - I Think Not - May 3, 2011
  127. Debian May Begin Rolling Release Branch - May 2, 2011
  128. Another LibreOffice Developmental Release Emerges - April 29, 2011
  129. 514cKW4r3 1337 R313453d - 700 (00L Ph0R 5(|-|00L - April 28, 2011
  130. Pinta 1.0 Released, Looking Good - April 27, 2011
  131. Mageia 1 Beta 2 Released - April 26, 2011
  132. Spotlight on Linux: Toorox - April 26, 2011
  133. Breaking in a Kingston SSD - April 25, 2011
  134. LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 2 Released - April 22, 2011
  135. Offline Two Days - What Did I Miss? - April 21, 2011
  136. FVWM Manager Sees First Release in Five Years - April 20, 2011
  137. Mandriva 2011 Beta 2 - The Return of XKill - April 19, 2011
  138. OpenOffice and LibreOffice Won't Be Kissing and Making Up - April 18, 2011
  139. LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 Available, Oracle Unchains OpenOffice - April 18, 2011
  140. SimplyMepis Shaping Up - 11.0 RC 2 Released - April 15, 2011
  141. Torvalds Honored by Gaggle of Lawyers - April 15, 2011
  142. Zorin OS Finds a Home on Rotatable Notebook - April 13, 2011
  143. Testing Plasma Active - April 12, 2011
  144. KDE's New Project for Portable Devices - April 11, 2011
  145. Have You Heard of AUSTRUMI Linux? - April 7, 2011
  146. Future openSUSE Versioning Decided - April 6, 2011
  147. The GNOME Desktop Project Unleashes GNOME 3.0 - April 6, 2011
  148. Are You Looking Forward to GNOME 3? - April 5, 2011
  149. Graesslin Has Compositing Dreams, But is it Yours? - April 4, 2011
  150. Spotlight on Linux: Supergamer Supreme 2.5 - Mar 31, 2011
  151. Particularly Exciting Week in Linux - Mar 30, 2011
  152. New Mageia Forums Bring Community Together - Mar 29, 2011
  153. The Document Foundation Marks Six Months of Freedom - Mar 28, 2011
  154. LibreOffice Rolls Out the Updates, Latest 3.3.2 - Mar 25, 2011
  155. GNOME Shell 3.0 Nears Release - Mar 24, 2011
  156. The Board Makes Progress, Now with Distro Packages - Mar 23, 2011
  157. Did You Know there was a Fork of MPlayer? - Mar 22, 2011
  158. Mingle with openSUSE-ites on connect - Mar 22, 2011
  159. DEX: Bridging Gaps Between Debian and Derivatives - Mar 21, 2011
  160. Lessons Learned from Canonical, Banshee, and GNOME - Mar 17, 2011
  161. Mandriva Releases 2011 Beta 1 - Mar 16, 2011
  162. Mageia Moves Forward, Releases Alpha 2 - Mar 15, 2011
  163. KDE 4.6.1 Almost Perfect - Mar 14, 2011
  164. openSUSE Thinking about Naming Change - Mar 11, 2011
  165. openSUSE 11.4 Turned out Really Great - Mar 11, 2011
  166. Great New Edutainment Application for Kids: Color it by Numbers - Mar 9, 2011
  167. Gentoo Releases New LiveDVD - Mar 9, 2011
  168. Linux and The Crashy Firefox 4 - Mar 9, 2011
  169. FreeBSD and PC-BSD Release New Versions - Mar 7, 2011
  170. Adventures in Debian - Mar 4, 2011
  171. Spotlight on Linux: Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze" - Mar 3, 2011
  172. What is Your Favorite Desktop? - Mar 2, 2011
  173. Why Did They Take my GNOME Buttons Away? - Mar 1, 2011
  174. Who Contributes the Most to LibreOffice? - Mar 1, 2011
  175. The Document Foundation Reaches Goal of €50,000 - Feb 25, 2011
  176. Ubuntu Compromises on Banshee Revenue Recipients - Feb 24, 2011
  177. GNOME 3 Almost Ready, or is It - Feb 23, 2011
  178. Amazon.com Includes Linux Users in new Movie Streaming Service - Feb 22, 2011
  179. Follow Ubuntu Progress at a Glance, or Not - Feb 21, 2011
  180. LibreOffice Raises €10000 for Foundation in One Day - Feb 17, 2011
  181. Fedora, openSUSE Give up on Unity - Feb 15, 2011
  182. openSUSE to Celebrate 11.4 with Virtual Dance Party - Feb 15, 2011
  183. Mageia Announces First Alpha Release - Feb 14, 2011
  184. LibreOffice Sees First Update Already - Feb 11, 2011
  185. New GTK+3 is Released - Feb 10, 2011
  186. SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Starting to Look Good - Feb 9, 2011
  187. Mandriva Linux 2011TP - Quick Look (by gfranken) - Feb 8, 2011
  188. Is PCLinuxOS on the Ropes? - Feb 7, 2011
  189. Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" Released, Updated Website - Feb 5, 2011
  190. Does The Document Foundation Support OOXML? - Feb 4, 2011
  191. Where's My Mageia ISO? - Feb 3, 2011
  192. Nelson Continues Importing Ubuntu to openSUSE - Feb 2, 2011
  193. Fedora Goes to the Dogs - Hot Dogs That Is - Feb 1, 2011
  194. The New Features in LibreOffice 3.3 - Feb 1, 2011
  195. Mandriva 2011 Delayed Due to Major Changes - Jan 31, 2011
  196. What's Next for LibreOffice? - Jan 27, 2011
  197. Spotlight on Linux: Puppy Linux 5.2 - Jan 27, 2011
  198. OpenOffice.org 3.3 Released to Deaf Ears - Jan 26, 2011
  199. The Document Foundation Unleashes First LibreOffice Release - Jan 25, 2011
  200. One Package Manager for them All - Jan 24, 2011
  201. Popular Free *BSDs in Full Development - Jan 24, 2011
  202. Pardus 2011, Independent Distro Releases Latest and Greatest - Jan 22, 2011
  203. New Linux Distribution Brings Goodies to Debian - Jan 20, 2011
  204. Debian 6 Expected by February 6 - Jan 19
  205. Interesting Twist in the openSUSE Board Elections - Jan 18, 2011
  206. OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice Release Candidates Duke It Out - Jan 18, 2011
  207. Loss of Installer Dampens Xfce 4.8 Release - Jan 17, 2011
  208. openSUSE Board Forced to Terminate Membership - Jan 14, 2011
  209. Fedora Board Proposes Project Goals - Jan 13, 2011
  210. Punny Name, Serious Distro - Jan 11, 2011
  211. Mageia Alpha 0 on Track for January Release, Joins OIN - Jan 11, 2011
  212. Boot Issues Plague SimplyMepis 11 Development - Jan 10, 2011
  213. Is the Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" Release Upon Us? - January 8, 2011
  214. DACA Could Mean Fewer Bugs in Debian - January 5, 2011










More in Tux Machines

LWN: Spectre, Linux and Debian Development

  • Grand Schemozzle: Spectre continues to haunt

    The Spectre v1 hardware vulnerability is often characterized as allowing array bounds checks to be bypassed via speculative execution. While that is true, it is not the full extent of the shenanigans allowed by this particular class of vulnerabilities. For a demonstration of that fact, one need look no further than the "SWAPGS vulnerability" known as CVE-2019-1125 to the wider world or as "Grand Schemozzle" to the select group of developers who addressed it in the Linux kernel. Segments are mostly an architectural relic from the earliest days of x86; to a great extent, they did not survive into the 64-bit era. That said, a few segments still exist for specific tasks; these include FS and GS. The most common use for GS in current Linux systems is for thread-local or CPU-local storage; in the kernel, the GS segment points into the per-CPU data area. User space is allowed to make its own use of GS; the arch_prctl() system call can be used to change its value. As one might expect, the kernel needs to take care to use its own GS pointer rather than something that user space came up with. The x86 architecture obligingly provides an instruction, SWAPGS, to make that relatively easy. On entry into the kernel, a SWAPGS instruction will exchange the current GS segment pointer with a known value (which is kept in a model-specific register); executing SWAPGS again before returning to user space will restore the user-space value. Some carefully placed SWAPGS instructions will thus prevent the kernel from ever running with anything other than its own GS pointer. Or so one would think.

  • Long-term get_user_pages() and truncate(): solved at last?

    Technologies like RDMA benefit from the ability to map file-backed pages into memory. This benefit extends to persistent-memory devices, where the backing store for the file can be mapped directly without the need to go through the kernel's page cache. There is a fundamental conflict, though, between mapping a file's backing store directly and letting the filesystem code modify that file's on-disk layout, especially when the mapping is held in place for a long time (as RDMA is wont to do). The problem seems intractable, but there may yet be a solution in the form of this patch set (marked "V1,000,002") from Ira Weiny. The problems raised by the intersection of mapping a file (via get_user_pages()), persistent memory, and layout changes by the filesystem were the topic of a contentious session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. The core question can be reduced to this: what should happen if one process calls truncate() while another has an active get_user_pages() mapping that pins some or all of that file's pages? If the filesystem actually truncates the file while leaving the pages mapped, data corruption will certainly ensue. The options discussed in the session were to either fail the truncate() call or to revoke the mapping, causing the process that mapped the pages to receive a SIGBUS signal if it tries to access them afterward. There were passionate proponents for both options, and no conclusion was reached. Weiny's new patch set resolves the question by causing an operation like truncate() to fail if long-term mappings exist on the file in question. But it also requires user space to jump through some hoops before such mappings can be created in the first place. This approach comes from the conclusion that, in the real world, there is no rational use case where somebody might want to truncate a file that has been pinned into place for use with RDMA, so there is no reason to make that operation work. There is ample reason, though, for preventing filesystem corruption and for informing an application that gets into such a situation that it has done something wrong.

  • Hardening the "file" utility for Debian

    In addition, he had already encountered problems with file running in environments with non-standard libraries that were loaded using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable. Those libraries can (and do) make system calls that the regular file binary does not make; the system calls were disallowed by the seccomp() filter. Building a Debian package often uses FakeRoot (or fakeroot) to run commands in a way that appears that they have root privileges for filesystem operations—without actually granting any extra privileges. That is done so that tarballs and the like can be created containing files with owners other than the user ID running the Debian packaging tools, for example. Fakeroot maintains a mapping of the "changes" made to owners, groups, and permissions for files so that it can report those to other tools that access them. It does so by interposing a library ahead of the GNU C library (glibc) to intercept file operations. In order to do its job, fakeroot spawns a daemon (faked) that is used to maintain the state of the changes that programs make inside of the fakeroot. The libfakeroot library that is loaded with LD_PRELOAD will then communicate to the daemon via either System V (sysv) interprocess communication (IPC) calls or by using TCP/IP. Biedl referred to a bug report in his message, where Helmut Grohne had reported a problem with running file inside a fakeroot.

Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

The default screenshot tool in Ubuntu is alright for basic snips but if you want a really good one you need to install a third-party screenshot app. Shutter is probably my favorite, but I decided to give Flameshot a try. Packages are available for various distributions including Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Debian. You find installation instructions on the official project website. Read more

Android Leftovers

IBM/Red Hat and Intel Leftovers

  • Troubleshooting Red Hat OpenShift applications with throwaway containers

    Imagine this scenario: Your cool microservice works fine from your local machine but fails when deployed into your Red Hat OpenShift cluster. You cannot see anything wrong with the code or anything wrong in your services, configuration maps, secrets, and other resources. But, you know something is not right. How do you look at things from the same perspective as your containerized application? How do you compare the runtime environment from your local application with the one from your container? If you performed your due diligence, you wrote unit tests. There are no hard-coded configurations or hidden assumptions about the runtime environment. The cause should be related to the configuration your application receives inside OpenShift. Is it time to run your app under a step-by-step debugger or add tons of logging statements to your code? We’ll show how two features of the OpenShift command-line client can help: the oc run and oc debug commands.

  • What piece of advice had the greatest impact on your career?

    I love learning the what, why, and how of new open source projects, especially when they gain popularity in the DevOps space. Classification as a "DevOps technology" tends to mean scalable, collaborative systems that go across a broad range of challenges—from message bus to monitoring and back again. There is always something new to explore, install, spin up, and explore.

  • How DevOps is like auto racing

    When I talk about desired outcomes or answer a question about where to get started with any part of a DevOps initiative, I like to mention NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. Crew chiefs for these race teams have a goal: finish in the best place possible with the resources available while overcoming the adversity thrown at you. If the team feels capable, the goal gets moved up a series of levels to holding a trophy at the end of the race. To achieve their goals, race teams don’t think from start to finish; they flip the table to look at the race from the end goal to the beginning. They set a goal, a stretch goal, and then work backward from that goal to determine how to get there. Work is delegated to team members to push toward the objectives that will get the team to the desired outcome. [...] Race teams practice pit stops all week before the race. They do weight training and cardio programs to stay physically ready for the grueling conditions of race day. They are continually collaborating to address any issue that comes up. Software teams should also practice software releases often. If safety systems are in place and practice runs have been going well, they can release to production more frequently. Speed makes things safer in this mindset. It’s not about doing the “right” thing; it’s about addressing as many blockers to the desired outcome (goal) as possible and then collaborating and adjusting based on the real-time feedback that’s observed. Expecting anomalies and working to improve quality and minimize the impact of those anomalies is the expectation of everyone in a DevOps world.

  • Deep Learning Reference Stack v4.0 Now Available

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to represent one of the biggest transformations underway, promising to impact everything from the devices we use to cloud technologies, and reshape infrastructure, even entire industries. Intel is committed to advancing the Deep Learning (DL) workloads that power AI by accelerating enterprise and ecosystem development. From our extensive work developing AI solutions, Intel understands how complex it is to create and deploy applications for deep learning workloads. That?s why we developed an integrated Deep Learning Reference Stack, optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processor and released the companion Data Analytics Reference Stack. Today, we?re proud to announce the next Deep Learning Reference Stack release, incorporating customer feedback and delivering an enhanced user experience with support for expanded use cases.

  • Clear Linux Releases Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 For Better AI Performance

    Intel's Clear Linux team on Wednesday announced their Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 during the Linux Foundation's Open-Source Summit North America event taking place in San Diego. Clear Linux's Deep Learning Reference Stack continues to be engineered for showing off the most features and maximum performance for those interested in AI / deep learning and running on Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. This optimized stack allows developers to more easily get going with a tuned deep learning stack that should already be offering near optimal performance.