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Phoronix on Graphics

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NixOS 21.11 “Porcupine” Released with GNOME 41, KDE Plasma on Wayland

Dubbed “Porcupine” and coming six months after the NixOS 21.05 release, NixOS 21.11 is here with a lot of goodies, starting with the GNOME 41.1 desktop environment for its dedicated GNOME edition and continuing with Wayland support for the KDE Plasma 5.23 edition, as well as version 6 of elementary OS’ Pantheon desktop. This release ships with Nix 2.3.16 as default package manager, switches the iptables utility to the nf_tables backend, updates the Hadoop module and package to Hadoop 3 as default with new services like JournalNode, ZKFS and HTTPFS, and improves LXD support to build images directly from configurations. Read more

JingPad Review: A Linux Tablet With Potential, But Rough Edges

The Linux ecosystem in many ways found much of its momentum via hardware, rather than software. So it makes sense that there have been some fascinating efforts to reinvent the Linux ecosystem around hardware. The Raspberry Pi has of course built lasting excitement around computer hardware in contexts that fit neatly into the internet of things. But as desktop Linux distros have at times felt like wheel-spinning exercises (just ask Linus Tech Tips, and shout-out to Jason Evangelho), it feels like Linux hardware targeted at consumers is likely to push it over the edge at some point. I’ve already covered two of those efforts in the relatively recent past—the PineBook Pro and the PinePhone, both made by Pine64—but the JingPad represents something different: an attempt to make a piece of hardware that supports Linux from the ground up … that a non-Linux user might actually want to use. Today’s Tedium takes an up-close look at the JingPad A1, an experimental new tablet worth looking into. Read more

Running Octoprint On A PinePhone Turns Out To Be Pretty Easy

3D printer owners have for years benefitted from using Octoprint to help manage their machines, and most people run Octoprint on a Raspberry Pi. [Martijn] made it run on his PinePhone instead, which turned out to be a surprisingly good fit for his needs. While [Martijn] was working out exactly what he wanted and taking an inventory of what Raspberry Pi components and accessories it would require, it occurred to him that his PinePhone — an open-source, linux-based mobile phone — would be a good candidate for his needs. It not only runs Linux with a touchscreen and camera, but even provides USB, ethernet, and separate DC power input via a small docking bar. It looked like the PinePhone had it all, and he was right. [Martijn]’s project page gives a walkthrough of the exact steps to get Octoprint up and running, and it even turns out to not be particularly difficult. Read more

Yubikey - PIV vs Security Key

At my day job, we’ve just purchased Yubikeys for my team to help in the neverending process of securing our infrastructure. While we’re looking at implementing MFA in a number of places, the starting point is securing our SSH connections to our servers. We use FreeIPA to manage authorization and authentication through SSH, so key management is pretty straightforward. The real question is how best to secure an SSH key using a Yubikey. There are two main options: setting up a PIV key on the Yubikey or creating an OpenSSH Security Key (SK) key that requires the Yubikey to login. I tried out the SK key first because the documentation made it look like it was easiest to set up, and (perhaps surprisingly) it was! Generating the key was a piece of cake. From a security point of view, I prefer it because the key is stored on my laptop and can be protected with a passphrase. Theft of the Yubikey alone isn’t enough to compromise the key. Using the key is simple too. I just need to have my Yubikey plugged into my laptop and tap on it after initiating the SSH session. The first problem that came up is that our servers run an in-house rpm-ostree distribution based off of AlmaLinux 8, and the latest release of OpenSSH there doesn’t support SK keys. This problem was easily resolved by taking Fedora’s OpenSSH builds and rebuilding them for our distribution. Read more