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About Tux Machines

Friday, 23 Mar 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Repliessort icon Last Post
Story Oh no, Keith Knudsen Passes On srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:55pm
Story M$ Antitrust Settlement May Not Foster Competition srlinuxx 10/04/2005 - 11:57pm
Blog entry 2-10-05 Texstar 11/04/2005 - 3:13am
Story Firefox to Blame for Increased Attacks on M$ srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:14am
Story Arthur Miller Dies at 89 srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:14am
Story Desktop Summit Proves Linux Interest on the Rise srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:14am
Story KDE 3.4beta2 revisited srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 6:27am
Story Script Kiddie Gets Probation srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:15am
Story Suicide Pact in Yahoo Chat Rooms srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:16am
Story LokiTorrent Ordered to Pay Million Bucks srlinuxx 11/04/2005 - 3:16am

Which Linux Distribution to Use After Ubuntu?

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Ubuntu is one of the best Linux distributions for beginners. It’s an excellent platform for people new to Linux. It is easy to install, has tons of free resources available along with a massive list of applications available for it.

I am not saying Ubuntu is strictly for new Linux users. I have been using Ubuntu as my primary operating system for more than eight years and I just love it.

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Mobile Linux: Eelo and Sailfish/Jolla Support

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  • Want to support eelo more? Become my Patron!

    Yes, I need to eat and pay my bills. And until eelo becomes a success, with a working business model, the only way for me to finance my living doing some consulting. I’ve reduced this activity at the max but this currently takes me one day per week, or a little more.

    eelo is gaining some momentum, it’s super-promising. Its potential is HUGE. And it’s the most exciting professionnal project I’ve started in my life.

  • A new strategic investor joins the Sailfish family

    Sailfish OS has come a long way, starting with the MeeGo times, then carried by Jolla ever since 2011. The journey has had its ups and downs, as these kind of things typically have, but we never gave up. I recommend to check out e.g. this recent article about the journey. The most important thing that has kept us going together with our community and partners all the time is simply that we have the ability to create and offer together an alternative mobile operating system for the world.

    Next chapter in this story is about to begin as we’re getting Rostelecom, a publicly listed company and the leading telecommunications company in Russia, to officially join our wide international group of Sailfish partners.

The Magnificent Seven unique Linux projects

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While the technology landscape feels big, complex and colorful, the actual variation in creativity and uniqueness isn’t that huge. Often, ideas build upon other ideas, with small changes and incremental improvements. This is also true of our favorite domain, Linux, with its towering pyramid of distros and forks and still more forks, a whole cutlery division. Lots of stuff but not necessarily variety.

In fact, I even believe there’s a decrease in uniqueness over the years, caused by over-saturation of ideas, the demise (or at least, the decline) of several major projects, and with them, the hope and enthusiasm, and of course, the weariness of the human intellect involved. Having inadequate resources, with teams and projects stretched thin, sure does not help. But that’s the negative side. The good thing is, alongside mediocrity, there have been some really amazing things out there, and I want to give them special attention in this article.

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Programming languages can be hard to grasp for non-English speakers. Step forward, Bato: A Ruby port for Filipinos

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A Filipino developer is hoping his handmade Ruby port will help bring coding skills to some of the Philippines's poorest communities.

Joel Bryan Juliano says he built Bato as a way for speakers of Tagalog – the most widely-spoken language in the nation – to be able to learn the basics of programming without also having to be fluent in English. Today's coding languages tend to be built around English grammar, which is a problem for people without a grasp on English.

A software engineer with Altus Digital Capital by day, Juliano told The Register he developed Bato as an educational tool for skilling up family members, and quickly saw how it could be used to show the basics of programming without language barriers.

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FOSS Licensing: Good Compliance Practices and "Do I Have to Use a Free/Open Source License?"

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  • Good Compliance Practices Are Good Engineering Practices

    Companies across all industries use, participate in, and contribute to open source projects, and open source compliance is an integral part of the use and development of any open source software. It’s particularly important to get compliance right when your company is considering a merger or acquisition. The key, according to Ibrahim Haddad, is knowing what’s in your code, right down to the exact versions of the open source components.

  • Do I Have to Use a Free/Open Source License?

    That, as we all probably already know, is not the case. The only licenses that can be called "open source" are those that are reviewed and approved as such by the Open Source Initiative (aka OSI). Its list of OSI-Approved licenses allows developers to choose and apply a license without having to hire a lawyer. It also means that companies no longer need to have their own lawyers review every single license in every piece of software they use. Can you imagine how expensive it would be if every company needed to do this? Aside from the legal costs, the duplication of effort alone would lead to millions of dollars in lost productivity. While the OSI's other outreach and advocacy efforts are important, there's no doubt that its license approval process is a service that provides an outsized amount of value for developers and companies alike.

Programming/Development: JupyterLab, Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP), Rust, Python 3.7 in Fedora

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  • JupyterLab: ready for users

    In the recent article about Jupyter and its notebooks, we mentioned that a new interface, called JupyterLab, existed in what its developers described as an "early preview" stage. About two weeks after that article appeared, Project Jupyter made a significant announcement: JupyterLab is "ready for users". Users will find a more integrated environment for scientific computation that is also more easily extended. JupyterLab takes the Jupyter Notebook to a level of functionality that will propel it well into the next decade—and beyond.

    While JupyterLab is still in beta, it is stable and functional enough to be used in daily work, and steadily approaching a 1.0 release. From the point of view of developers working on extensions or other projects that use the JupyterLab API, however, the beta status serves as a caution that its developer interfaces are still in flux; they should plan for the possibility of breaking changes.

    JupyterLab arose in 2015 from the desire to incorporate the "classic" (as it is known now) Jupyter Notebook into something more like an integrated development environment running in the browser. In addition, the user was to have the ability to extend the environment by creating new components that could interact with each other and with the existing ones. The 2011 web technology that the Jupyter Notebook was built upon was not quite up to this task. Although existing JavaScript libraries, such as React, suggested a way forward, none of them had the power and flexibility, particularly in the area of interprocess communication, that was required. The JupyterLab team addressed this problem by developing a new JavaScript framework called PhosphorJS. JupyterLab and PhosphorJS are co-developed, with capabilities added to the JavaScript framework as they are needed for JupyterLab.


    The Jupyter Notebook has already won over many scientists and educators because of the ease with which it allows one to explore, experiment, and share. JupyterLab makes the Notebook part of a more complete, powerful, and extensible environment for pursuing computational science and disseminating the results, leaving little doubt that this free-software project will win over an even larger portion of the scientific community. I've tried to give some idea of the power and convenience of the JupyterLab interface, but to really appreciate this technology, you need to try it out yourself. Fortunately, this is easy to do, as it's simple to install and intuitive enough to get started without reading documentation—and it happens to be a great deal of fun.

  • Variable-length arrays and the max() mess

    Variable-length arrays (VLAs) have a non-constant size that is determined (and which can vary) at run time; they are supported by the ISO C99 standard. Use of VLAs in the kernel has long been discouraged but not prohibited, so there are naturally numerous VLA instances to be found. A recent push to remove VLAs from the kernel entirely has gained momentum, but it ran into an interesting snag on the way.

  • Discussing PEP 572

    As is often the case, the python-ideas mailing list hosted a discussion about a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) recently. In some sense, this particular PEP was created to try to gather together the pros and cons of a feature idea that regularly crops up: statement-local bindings for variable names. But the discussion of the PEP went in enough different directions that it led to calls for an entirely different type of medium in which to have those kinds of discussions.

  • This Week in Rust 226

    Always wanted to contribute to open-source projects but didn't know where to start? Every week we highlight some tasks from the Rust community for you to pick and get started!

  • Python 3.7 now available in Fedora

    On February 28th 2018, the second beta of Python 3.7 was released. This new version contains lots of fixes and, notably, several new features available for everyone to test. The pre-release of Python 3.7 is available not only in Fedora Rawhide but also all other Fedora versions. Read more about it below.

Graphics Mesa, X.Org Foundation and Wayfire

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  • [Mesa-dev] 2018 Election voting OPEN

    The X.Org Foundation's annual election is now open and will remain open until 23:59 UTC on 5 April 2018.

    Four of the eight director seats are open during this election, with the four nominees receiving the highest vote totals serving as directors for two year terms.

  • Mesa Gets Plumbed For Conservative Rasterization Support

    An independent contributor to Mesa has posted a set of patches for implementing NVIDIA's OpenGL conservative rasterization extensions.

    Nearly one thousand lines of code is now available for getting GL_NV_conservative_raster and friends wired into core Mesa and Gallium3D while getting it working for the Nouveau NVC0 driver on Maxwell GPUs and newer. Besides GL_NV_conservative_raster is the NV_conservative_raster_dilate and NV_conservative_raster_pre_snap_triangles extensions too.

  • It's Time For X.Org Members To Cast Their 2018 Ballots

    If you are a member of the X.Org Foundation, it's important to get out to vote now.

    This year's elections for the X.Org Foundation Board of Directors are now underway and the voting period is open until 5 April.

  • Wayfire Is A New Wayland Compositor That Supports Desktop Cube, Expo & Other Plugins

    Wayfire is a new independent Wayland compositor project built atop libweston. Wayfire supports compositor plug-ins to offer a desktop cube and more, so you can relive the old days when having a spinning desktop cube was all the rage in the early days of Compiz/Beryl.

Linux Steam Controller Driver and LWN Kernel Coverage

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  • Steam Controller Linux Kernel Driver Updated To Work Happily With The Steam Client

    Last month we reported on a kernel driver being worked on for Valve's Steam Controller but it wasn't coming from Valve developers but rather an independent member of the community. That hid-steam driver continues to be hacked on.

    To date Valve has just been supporting the Steam Controller on Linux via the Steam client with handling the controller's behavior in user-space. There have also been some independent user-space programs to come about too for manipulating the Steam Controller, but this has been the first time a proper Linux kernel driver has been worked on for this popular gaming controller.

  • Time-based packet transmission

    Normally, when an application sends data over the network, it wants that data to be transmitted as quickly as possible; the kernel's network stack tries to oblige. But there are applications that need their packets to be transmitted within specific time windows. This behavior can be approximated in user space now, but a better solution is in the works in the form of the time-based packet transmission patch set.

    There are a number of situations where outgoing data should not necessarily be transmitted immediately. One example would be any sort of isochronous data stream — an audio or video stream, maybe — where each packet of data is relevant at a specific point in time. For such streams, transmitting ahead of time and buffering at the receiving side generally works well enough. But realtime control applications can be less flexible. Commands for factory-floor or automotive systems, for example, should be transmitted within a narrow period of time. Realtime applications can wait until the window opens before queuing data for transmission, of course, but any sort of latency that creeps in (due to high network activity, for example) may then cause the data to be transmitted too late.

  • Designing ELF modules

    The bpfilter proposal posted in February included a new type of kernel module that would run as a user-space program; its purpose is to parse and translate iptables rules under the kernel's control but in a contained, non-kernel setting. These "ELF modules" were reposted for review as a standalone patch set in early March. That review has happened; it is a good example of how community involvement can improve a special-purpose patch and turn it into a more generally useful feature.

    ELF modules look like ordinary kernel modules in a number of ways. They are built from source that is (probably) shipped with the kernel itself, they are compiled to a file ending in .ko, and they can be loaded into the kernel with modprobe. Rather than containing a real kernel module, though, that .ko file holds an ordinary ELF binary, as a user-space program would. When the module is "loaded", a special process resembling a kernel thread is created to run that program in user mode. The program will then provide some sort of service to the kernel that is best not run within the kernel itself.

Security: AMD, Slingshot, Voting and Cryptocurrencies

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Browsers: Mozilla and Chrome

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  • Mozilla Presses Pause on Facebook Advertising

    Mozilla is pressing pause on our Facebook advertising. Facebook knows a great deal about their two billion users — perhaps more intimate information than any other company does. They know everything we click and like on their site, and know who our closest friends and relationships are. Because of its scale, Facebook has become one of the most convenient platforms to reach an audience for all companies and developers, whether a multibillion corporation or a not-for-profit.

  • Results of the MDN “Duplicate Pages” SEO experiment

    Following in the footsteps of MDN’s “Thin Pages” SEO experiment done in the autumn of 2017, we completed a study to test the effectiveness and process behind making changes to correct cases in which pages are perceived as “duplicates” by search engines. In SEO parlance, “duplicate” is a fuzzy thing. It doesn’t mean the pages are identical—this is actually pretty rare on MDN in particular—but that the pages are similar enough that they are not easily differentiated by the search engine’s crawling technology.

  • Send, getting better

    Send continues to improve incrementally. Since our last post we’ve added a few requested features and fixed a bunch of bugs. You can now choose to allow multiple downloads and change the password on a file if you need to.

    Send is also more stable and should work more reliably across a wider set of browsers. We’ve brought back support for Microsoft Edge and some older versions of Safari.

  • Chrome 66 Beta: CSS Typed Object Model, Async Clipboard API, AudioWorklet

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 66 on ChromeStatus.

  • Chrome 66 Beta Delivers On Async Clipboard API, Web Locks API

    Following the Chrome 65 release earlier this month, Google developers have now catapulted the Chrome 66 beta.

Devices: Raspberry Pi 3, Ben NanoNote, Artila, webOS

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  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Benchmarks

    Last week on Pi Day marked the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ with a slightly higher clocked Cortex-A53 processors, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, faster Ethernet, and other minor enhancements over its predecessor. I've been spending the past few days putting the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ through its paces the past few days with an array of benchmarks while comparing the performance to other ARM SBCs as well as a few lower-end Intel x86 systems too. Here is all you need to know about the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ performance.

  • Porting L4Re and Fiasco.OC to the Ben NanoNote (Part 2)

    Having undertaken some initial investigations into running L4Re and Fiasco.OC on the MIPS Creator CI20, I envisaged attempting to get this software running on the Ben NanoNote, too. For a while, I put this off, feeling confident that when I finally got round to it, it would probably be a matter of just choosing the right compiler options and then merely fixing all the mistakes I had made in my own driver code. Little did I know that even the most trivial activities would prove more complicated than anticipated.

    As you may recall, I had noted that a potentially viable approach to porting the software would merely involve setting the appropriate compiler switches for “soft-float” code, thus avoiding the generation of floating point instructions that the JZ4720 – the SoC on the Ben NanoNote – would not be able to execute. A quick check of the GCC documentation indicated the availability of the -msoft-float switch. And since I have a working cross-compiler for MIPS as provided by Debian, there didn’t seem to be much more to it than that. Until I discovered that the compiler doesn’t seem to support soft-float output at all.

    I had hoped to avoid building my own cross-compiler, and apart from enthusiastic (and occasionally successful) attempts to build the Debian ones before they became more generally available, the last time I really had anything to do with this was when I first developed software for the Ben. As part of the general support for the device an OpenWrt distribution had been made available. Part of that was the recipe for building the cross-compiler and other tools, needed for building a kernel and all the software one would deploy on a device. I am sure that this would still be a good place to look for a solution, but I had heard things about Buildroot and so set off to investigate that instead.

  • Artila Releases New Linux-ready Cortex-A7 System on Module M-X6ULL

    Artila's new SODIMM module based on NXP i.MX6ULL ARM Cortex A7 CPU core operating up to 800MHz speed with Linux OS. The new M-X6ULL is designed to meet the needs of many general embedded applications that require power efficient, high performance and cost optimized solution, as well as embedded systems that require high-end multimedia applications in a small form factor, this cost effective M-X6ULL is ultra-compact in size with the form factor of 68 x 43 mm. In addition, M-X6ULL has 200-pins connectors to allow extension of more I/Os for peripheral signals like two 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, LCD, CAN, UART, USB, SD and I2C.

  • LG is expanding webOS usage with open-source edition to rival Samsung’s Tizen

Krita 4.0.0 Released

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Games: Civilization VI: Rise and Fall and More

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Gaming Open-Source Platform Speeds Development, Requirements Process

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IT development in the federal government has earned its reputation for being a painfully slow process but, the government’s cloud application platform, is helping to change that by standardizing the application lifecycle and helping to document it every step of the way.

The need to document the entire stack of an IT solution in the federal government can run up to 1,000 pages, and that process requires in depth knowledge of thousands of pages of regulations, laws and risk management policies.

Typically, federal agencies have compliance experts who must review this documentation and grant approval or request changes. This can take six to 14 months to get authority to operate (ATO), and then you still need to deploy the application.

Read more

Also: Hortonworks’ Shaun Bierweiler: Open Source Software to Help Advance Federal IT Modernization

Developer survey shows Linux as more popular than Windows

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Every year since 2010, Stack Overflow conducts a developer survey where they ask the developer community about everything from their favorite technologies to their job preferences. The results of the eighth annual survey, held in January 2018, are out and not surprisingly, this year marks the largest number of respondents ever. Over 100,000 developers took the 30-minute survey revealing how they learn new technologies, which tools they use to get their work done, and what they look for while hunting some job.

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Ubuntu Preps to Remove Qt 4 Support from the Archives, Target Ubuntu 19.04

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With Qt 5 being largely adopted by Qt application developers and other major projects, such as the KDE Plasma desktop environment, the Qt 4 technologies are becoming obsolete, so more and more GNU/Linux distributions plan its complete removal from the software repositories.

Debian Project's Qt/KDE teams are already preparing to remove Qt 4 support from the repositories of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series mainly because it's getting harder and harder to maintain it now that it is no longer supported upstream, and may cause lots of problems system-wide.

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GNU/Linux-powered Ataribox

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  • Mysterious ‘Ataribox’ console finally gets a name and pre-order window

    Atari’s new entry into the console market now has an official name: The Atari VCS. The device was originally teased as the “Ataribox” last year during the E3 gaming convention: A new Linux-based system providing all your favorite Atari classics along with games from independent developers. Visually, it’s a throwback to the Atari 2600 console, only with a sleeker, modern look and updated hardware. Atari calls it a “gaming and entertainment platform.”

  • GDC 2018 | The Ataribox is real, and it's more computer than gaming console

    Atari COO Michael Arzt told Tom’s Hardware that the machine will indeed run Linux (or, at least, a derivative of Linux) with its own Atari-themed UI. The device can be controlled through either a classically-styled joystick or a more modern gamepad. Users can also connect a keyboard and mouse through either USB or Bluetooth.

  • The Ataribox is here at GDC, but it's also kind of not (hands-on)

    In fact, Atari execs told us there's no longer a set price or a promised release date for the console -- because many of its key pieces, like its AMD processor and customized Linux operating system, are still coming together.

Security: Syzbot, FOSS Updates, and AMD

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JDK 10 Released

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  • JDK 10: General Availability

    JDK 10, the first release produced under the six-month rapid-cadence release model [1][2], is now Generally Available. We've identified no P1 bugs since we promoted build 46 almost two weeks ago, so that is the official GA release, ready for production use.

  • Java JDK 10 Reaches General Availability With Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler

    JDK 10 has reached general availability as the first Java release under Oracle's new six-month release model.

    Mark Reinhold of Oracle has announced the availability now of JDK 10 with its official GA release now that no more high priority bugs are present.

  • Java 10 Released With New Features: Download Here

    Ever since its inception, Java has continued to rule the hearts of programmers as one of the most loved and used programming languages around. In 2017, Oracle and Java community decided to move to a new six-month cycle.

    The recently released JDK 10 is the first Oracle release in the new cycle. So, in a way, this implementation of Java Standard Edition (SE) 10 is the beginning of a new era. It follows Java 9, which arrived just six months ago.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Linux Mint 19 "Tara" Will Ship in June, Pre-Installed on the Mintbox Mini 2 PCs

If you're a Mintbox Mini user, you should know that Mintbox Mini 2 is currently in the works and it's coming this summer. It will be based on the Compulab Fitlet2 tiny computer, which suggests that Compulab is once again behind the production of the Mintbox Mini PCs, and will have better specifications and more features. Compared to the first generation Mintbox Mini, Mintbox Mini 2 features dual-band antennas, two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD slot, audio and micro jacks, and a Kensington lock that's now available on the right side. Two programmable LEDs are present as well in the front, and the unit is as silent as you'd want it to be. Read more

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ WiFi Performance

Yesterday in our Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ benchmarks we looked at the faster Cortex-A53 CPU cores of this new $35 USD ARM SBC as well as its much faster Ethernet and better thermal management over earlier Raspberry Pi boards. The other area improved with the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is the WiFi/WLAN wireless networking, which is what we have benchmarks of today. Read more

Windows 10 Pro vs. Five Linux Distributions In Various Benchmarks

Here are our latest Windows 10 versus Linux benchmarks for the week. This benchmarking dance is looking at the Windows performance compared to Ubuntu, Clear Linux, Fedora, Antergos, and Solus Linux in various workloads. Among the tests this time around were looking at the performance with Go, Java, Perl, Python, FFmpeg, and more. Read more