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GNU/Linux Promises for 2014

Filed under
Linux

Windows XP

Summary: Why the imminent end of Windows XP is likely to lead to a lot of GNU/Linux adoptions, especially where it's required by state law or other rules/regulations

A writer at CNET, which is part of CBS, recently started an Internet-wide discussion when he wrote about "[h]ow to decide if Linux is right for you" [1]. This discussion reached as far as its competitor, IDG, where a distro reviewer and relatively new pundit addressed the subject, rephrasing it as a question [2]. Security experts in Holland are certain that GNU/Linux is suitable and worth considering for replacing Windows XP [3,4], which reaches its End of Life (EOL) in a matter of months. Evidence suggests, based on this new article [5] from ZDNet (also part of CBS), that old computers with Windows XP can be refurbished "on a budget" with fairly full-featured distributions like openSuSE and Fedora 19. Interesting times are ahead because as a matter of compliance with the law (for governments) or guidelines (in businesses) many people will soon have to throw away their computers (incapable of running Vista and successors) or simply upgrade to a modern distribution of GNU/Linux. Microsoft extended the life of Windows XP many times (for long periods of time) because it knows this. It also lowered (significantly) the cost of Windows XP when it needed to dump it onto the market to push back GNU/Linux, especially in sub-notebooks (better known as netbooks).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. How to decide if Linux is right for you

    This open-source operating system offers a Windows-like experience without all the hassles. Plus, it's free. Should it be your next OS?

  2. Is Linux right for you?

    Many folks using other operating systems sometimes wonder if Linux is right for them.

  3. Dutch Cyber Security Centre Points To GNU/Linux To Replace XP

    I wish my government pointed the way. I would suggest they recommend Debian GNU/Linux. I find it more reliable than Ubuntu GNU/Linux and less expensive than Red Hat GNU/Linux.

  4. Dutch cyber security centre: Linux suitable for businesses

    The Dutch government's cyber security centre says that Linux is suitable for business users, as well as for personal use. It points to the Ubuntu or Red Hat open source distributions as a viable alternative for those that are currently using a decade-old proprietary operating system.

  5. Upgrading on a budget: Running Linux on a refurbished laptop and docking station

    Buying refurbished systems can save a lot of money and produce impressive results: here's what I found when testing out openSuSE and Fedora 19 on a a refurbished Lenovo.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME and Fedora

  • RFC: Integrating rsvg-rs into librsvg
    I have started an RFC to integrate rsvg-rs into librsvg. rsvg-rs is the Rust binding to librsvg. Like the gtk-rs bindings, it gets generated from a pre-built GIR file.
  • 1+ year of Fedora and GNOME hardware enablement
    A year and a couple of months ago, Christian Schaller asked me to pivot a little bit from working full time on Fleet Commander to manage a new team we were building to work on client hardware enablement for Fedora and GNOME with an emphasis on upstream. The idea was to fill the gap in the organization where nobody really owned the problem of bringing up new client hardware features vertically across the stack (from shell down to the kernel), or rather, ensure Fedora and GNOME both work great on modern laptops. Part of that deal was to take over the bootloader and start working closer to customers and hardware manufacturing parnters.
  • Fedora Atomic Workstation: Works on the beach
    My trip is getting really close, so I decided to upgrade my system to rawhide. Wait, what ? That is usually what everybody would tell you not to do. Rawhide has this reputation for frequent breakage, and who knows if my apps will work any given day. Not something you want to deal with while traveling.
  • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for February

Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks (and Proprietary Opera)

  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks Like Waterfox, Pale Moon, or Basilisk
    Mozilla Firefox is an open source project, so anyone can take its code, modify it, and release a new browser. That’s what Waterfox, Pale Moon, and Basilisk are—alternative browsers based on the Firefox code. But we recommend against using any of them.
  • Opera Says Its Next Opera Release Will Have the Fastest Ad Blocker on the Block
    Opera Software promoted today its upcoming Opera 52 web browser to the beta channel claiming that it has the faster ad blocker on the market compared to previous Opera release and Google Chrome. One of the key highlights of the Opera 52 release will be the improved performance of the built-in ad blocker as Opera claims to have enhanced the string matching algorithm of the ad blocker to make it open web pages that contain ads much faster than before, and, apparently than other web browsers, such as Chrome.

Graphics: Glxinfo, ANV, SPIR-V

  • Glxinfo Gets Updated With OpenGL 4.6 Support, More vRAM Reporting
    The glxinfo utility is handy for Linux users in checking on their OpenGL driver in use by their system and related information. But it's not often that glxinfo itself gets updated, except that changed today with the release of mesa-demos-8.4.0 as the package providing this information utility. Mesa-demos is the collection of glxinfo, eglinfo, glxgears, and utilities related to Mesa. With the Mesa-demos 8.4.0 it is predominantly glxinfo updates.
  • Intel ANV Getting VK_KHR_16bit_storage Support Wrapped Up
    Igalia's Jose Maria Casanova Crespo sent out a set of patches today for fixes that allow for the enabling of the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension within Intel's ANV Vulkan driver. The patches are here for those interested in 16-bit storage support in Vulkan. This flips on the features for storageBuffer16BitAccess, uniformAndStorageBuffer16BitAccess, storagePushConstant16 and the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension. This support is present for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics and newer. Hopefully the work will be landing in Mesa Git soon.
  • SPIR-V Support For Gallium3D's Clover Is Closer To Reality
    It's been a busy past week for open-source GPU compute with Intel opening up their new NEO OpenCL stack, Karol Herbst at Red Hat posting the latest on Nouveau NIR support for SPIR-V compute, and now longtime Nouveau contributor Pierre Moreau has presented his latest for SPIR-V Clover support. Pierre has been spending about the past year adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's "Clover" OpenCL state tracker. SPIR-V, of course, is the intermediate representation used now by OpenCL and Vulkan.

Security: Updates, Tinder, FUD and KPTI Meltdown Mitigation

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Tinder vulnerability let hackers [sic] take over accounts with just a phone number

    The attack worked by exploiting two separate vulnerabilities: one in Tinder and another in Facebook’s Account Kit system, which Tinder uses to manage logins. The Account Kit vulnerability exposed users’ access tokens (also called an “aks” token), making them accessible through a simple API request with an associated phone number.

  • PSA: Improperly Secured Linux Servers Targeted with Chaos Backdoor [Ed: Drama queen once again (second time in a week almost) compares compromised GNU/Linux boxes to "back doors"]
    Hackers are using SSH brute-force attacks to take over Linux systems secured with weak passwords and are deploying a backdoor named Chaos. Attacks with this malware have been spotted since June, last year. They have been recently documented and broken down in a GoSecure report.
  • Another Potential Performance Optimization For KPTI Meltdown Mitigation
    Now that the dust is beginning to settle around the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation techniques on the major operating systems, in the weeks and months ahead we are likely to see more performance optimizations come to help offset the performance penalties incurred by mitigations like kernel page table isolation (KPTI) and Retpolines. This week a new patch series was published that may help with KPTI performance.