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Friday, 28 Oct 16 - 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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From There to Here (But Not Back Again)

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Red Hat

Red Hat Product Security recently celebrated our 15th anniversary this summer and while I cannot claim to have been with Red Hat for that long (although I’m coming up on 8 years myself), I’ve watched the changes from the “0day” of the Red Hat Security Response Team to today. In fact, our SRT was the basis for the security team that Mandrakesoft started back in the day.

In 1999, I started working for Mandrakesoft, primarily as a packager/maintainer. The offer came, I suspect, because of the amount of time I spent volunteering to maintain packages in the distribution. I also was writing articles for TechRepublic at the time, so I also ended up being responsible for some areas of documentation, contributing to the manual we shipped with every boxed set we sold (remember when you bought these things off the shelf?).

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Android Leftovers

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Intel Cache Allocation Technology / RDT Still Baking For Linux

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Not mentioned in my earlier features you won't find in the Linux 4.9 mainline kernel is support for Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) but at least it was revised this weekend in still working towards mainline integration.

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Also: Intel Sandy Bridge Graphics Haven't Gotten Faster In Recent Years

Distributing encryption software may break the law

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Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law.

Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State's regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department's enforcement of United States' foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce's regulations applying to exports of "dual-use" items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications.

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Games for GNU/Linux

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What is the GRUB2 boot loader?

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Red Hat

There are various things that make up an operating system. In any operating system, one of the most critical parts is powering on the machine. During this process, the computer will execute a small program in read-only memory (ROM) to begin initiating the startup process. This small program is known by many names, but most often called a boot loader. In almost every Linux distribution, including Fedora, GRUB2 (or GRand Unified Bootloader 2) is the default boot loader. Even though it is a critical piece of the operating system, many people aren’t aware of the boot loader, all that goes into it, or how it can be customized.

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openSUSE Tumbleweed Getting Linux Kernel 4.8.3 Soon, GNOME 3.22.1 Landed

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openSUSE developer Dominique Leuenberger informs the openSUSE Tumbleweed community about the latest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software projects that landed in the stable repositories.

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KDE Applications 16.12 Software Suite Lands December 15 for KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS

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KDE Plasma's KDE Applications 16.08 software suite series will receive just one more point release, namely KDE Applications 16.08.3, which lands November 10, so it's time for the next major branch.

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Android Leftovers

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Security News

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  • How your DVR was hijacked to help epic cyberattack

    Technology experts warned for years that the millions of Internet-connected "smart" devices we use every day are weak, easily hijacked and could be turned against us.

    The massive siege on Dyn, a New Hampshire-based company that monitors and routes Internet traffic, shows those ominous predictions are now a reality.

    An unknown attacker intermittently knocked many popular websites offline for hours Friday, from Amazon to Twitter and Netflix to Etsy. How the breach occurred is a cautionary tale of the how the rush to make humdrum devices “smart” while sometimes leaving out crucial security can have major consequences.

  • Find Out If One of Your Devices Helped Break the Internet

    Security experts have been warning for years that the growing number of unsecured Internet of Things devices would bring a wave of unprecedented and catastrophic cyber attacks. Just last month, a hacker publicly released malware code used in a record-breaking attack that hijacked 1.5 million internet-connected security cameras, refrigerators, and other so-called “smart” devices that were using default usernames and passwords.

    On Friday, the shit finally hit the fan.

  • Once more, with passion: Fingerprints suck as passwords

    Fingerprints aren’t authentication.

    Fingerprints are identity. They are usernames.

    Fingerprints are something public, which is why it should really bother nobody with a sense of security that the FBI used them to unlock seized phones. You’re literally leaving your fingerprints on every object you touch. That makes for an abysmally awful authentication token.

  • Strengthen cyber-security with Linux

    Using open source software is a viable and proven method of combatting cyber-crime

    It’s encouraging to read that the government understands the seriousness of the loss of $81 million dollars via the hacking of Bangladesh Bank, and that a cyber-security agency is going to be formed to prevent further disasters. Currently, information security in each government department is up to the internal IT staff of that department.

  • Canonical announces live kernel patching for Ubuntu

    Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has announced that it will provide a live kernel patching services for version 16.04 which was released in April.

  • Everything you know about security is wrong

    If I asked everyone to tell me what security is, what do you do about it, and why you do it. I wouldn't get two answers that were the same. I probably wouldn't even get two that are similar. Why is this? After recording Episode 9 of the Open Source Security Podcast I co-host, I started thinking about measuring a lot. It came up in the podcast in the context of bug bounties, which get exactly what they measure. But do they measure the right things? I don't know the answer, nor does it really matter. It's just important to keep this in mind as in any system, you will get exactly what you measure.


    If you have 2000 employees, 200 systems, 4 million lines of code, and 2 security people, that's clearly a disaster waiting to happen. If you have 20, there may be hope. I have no idea what the proper ratios should be, if you're willing to share ratios with me I'd love to start collecting data. As I said, I don't have scientific proof behind this, it's just something I suspect is true.

  • Home Automation: Coping with Insecurity in the IoT

    Reading Matthew Garret’s exposés of home automation IoT devices makes most engineers think “hell no!” or “over my dead body!”. However, there’s also the siren lure that the ability to program your home, or update its settings from anywhere in the world is phenomenally useful: for instance, the outside lights in my house used to depend on two timers (located about 50m from each other). They were old, loud (to the point the neighbours used to wonder what the buzzing was when they visited) and almost always wrongly set for turning the lights on at sunset. The final precipitating factor for me was the need to replace our thermostat, whose thermistor got so eccentric it started cooling in winter; so away went all the timers and their loud noises and in came a z-wave based home automation system, and the guilty pleasure of having an IoT based home automation system. Now the lights precisely and quietly turn on at sunset and off at 23:00 (adjusting themselves for daylight savings); the thermostat is accessible from my phone, meaning I can adjust it from wherever I happen to be (including Hong Kong airport when I realised I’d forgotten to set it to energy saving mode before we went on holiday). Finally, there’s waking up at 3am to realise your wife has fallen asleep over her book again and being able to turn off her reading light from your alarm clock without having to get out of bed … Automation bliss!

Microsoft Corruption, Rejections, and Struggles

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  • Microsoft licensing corruption scandal in Romania has ended on October 3rd

    This scandal covers buying Microsoft licensees for Romanian administration from 2004 to 2012 for total 228 millions USD.

    During the investigation was found that more than 100 people, former ministers, mayor of Bucuresti and businessman are involved in this corruption scandal and more than 20 millions euro are paid as bribes.

  • 49ers Colin Kaepernick, Chip Kelly review Microsoft Surface tablets, which Bill Belichick is ‘done’ using

    Ranting about Microsoft’s unreliable, sideline tablets is not a top priority for 49ers coach Chip Kelly and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, not with a five-game losing streak in tow for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    But both Kelly and Kaepernick confirmed this week that they’ve experienced problems with the Microsoft Surface tablets. They’re just not as fed up with them as New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who’s lambasted the imperfect technology for years and finally declared this week: “I’m done with the tablets.”

  • Windows: When no growth is an improvement

    Research firms like IDC and Gartner have continued to forecast contraction, not expansion, in the PC business. Only when enterprise migrations to Windows 10 kick into gear do analysts see a reversal of the industry’s historic slump. That isn’t expected to happen until next year.

Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 "Erik" & 8.15 "Nev" Receive Latest Debian Security Updates

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After releasing the first Test build of the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 "Nev" operating system a couple of days ago, today, October 23, 2016, the Parsix GNU/Linux development team announced the availability of new security updates for all supported Parsix GNU/Linux releases.

Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 "Erik" is the current stable release of the Debian-based operating system, and it relies on the Debian Stable (Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie") software repositories. On the other hand Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 "Nev" is the next major version, which right now is in development, but receives the same updates as the former.

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Chakra GNU/Linux Users Receive KDE Plasma 5.8.2 and KDE Apps 16.08.2, Lots More

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With great pleasure, Chakra GNU/Linux developers Neofytos Kolokotronis informed the community about the latest open source software projects and technologies that landed in the stable repositories of the distribution originally based on Arch Linux.

Just like Arch Linux, Chakra GNU/Linux is a rolling operating system, which means that users always receive the latest updates without having to download a new ISO image and reinstall. And today, we're happy to inform our Chakra GNU/Linux users that they've received the newest KDE Plasma 5.8.2 LTS desktop environment.

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Linux 4.9-rc2

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  • Linux 4.9-rc2

    I'm back on my usual Sunday afternoon release schedule, and 4.9-rc2 is out.

    My favorite new feature that I called out in the rc1 announcement (the
    virtually mapped stacks) is possibly implicated in some crashes that
    Dave Jones has been trying to figure out, so if you want to be helpful
    and try to see if you can give more data, please make sure to enable

    .. and on the other hand, if you want to just not have to worry about
    _that_ particular issue, disable the virtually mapped stacks it for
    now, but please do help test.

    Because 4.9 is obviously shaping up to be a big release (I haven't
    done the actual stats yet, but I think it's the biggest in number of
    commits we've ever had), and I think Greg is also planning on making
    it an LTS release. The two may be related, with people pushing to get
    their stuff ready. Regardless, the more people who help test, and the
    earlier in the rc series those people start testing, the better off
    we'll be. Hint hint.

    Ok, enough about that. rc2 itself isn't huge, but that's a fairly
    common pattern: either people just take a breather after the merge
    window, or it simply takes a while for the fallout of new code to be
    found, so rc2 is usually a fairly small rc.

    But we have stuff pretty much all over the map: drivers dominate (gpu
    drivers stand out, but there's ipmi, clocksource, mmc, pinctrl, HID,
    scsi, nvme .. you name it). Add some architecture updates (x86 and
    arm64) and a few filesystems (ext4, nfs, ceph, f2fs), and some VM
    cleanups and one big fix, and you've covered most of it.

    The appended shortlog gives the details, and for even more detail you
    can always go to the git tree itself.


  • Linus Torvalds Announces the Second Release Candidate of Linux Kernel 4.9 LTS

    It's still Sunday in the US, which means that it's time for you to take yet another RC (Release Candidate) milestone of the upcoming Linux 4.9 kernel release for a test drive.

    That's right, Linus Torvalds just announced the second Release Candidate for Linux kernel 4.9, which lands eight days after the first one and appears to be fairly normal development snapshot that includes lots of updated drivers, mostly for GPU, but also HID, SCSI, MMC, PINCTRL, IMPI, and clocksource, various x86 and ARM64 architecture updates, improvemnts to the EXT4, F2FS, Ceph, and NFS filesystems, and some VM cleanups.

  • Linux 4.9-rc2 Kernel Released

    Linux 4.9-rc2 is now available as the latest test release of this forthcoming kernel update.

    Over the past week there's been a fair number of merges of bug/regression fixes for this stage of Linux 4.9 development, one week since the closure of the merge window.

    We've already written a lot about Linux 4.9, including our detailed Linux 4.9 feature overview for those interested in the fun changes of this next kernel release.

GParted Live 0.27.0-1 Disk Partitioning Live CD Out Now, Based on GParted 0.27.0

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Just one day after announcing the release of the GParted 0.27.0 open-source partition editor software, Curtis Gedak is informing us about the availability of the GParted Live 0.27.0-1 stable release.

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Netrunner Core 16.09 "Avalon" Is Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8, KDE Plasma 5.7.5

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Today, October 23, 2016, the development team behind the Debian-based Netrunner GNU/Linux distribution proudly announced the release of Netrunner Core 16.09 "Avalon."

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today's leftovers

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  • Acer updates Chromebook 15 with 12-hour battery life -- $199 exclusively at Walmart

    Chromebooks are not for everyone, but for many home users, it is absolute perfection. If you live in the web browser -- as many people do nowadays -- laptops running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS are a godsend because they are maintenance free. No need for confusing OS upgrades or anti-virus software. It just works, and it works well. Since they can now run Android apps too, they could become a serious threat to Microsoft and Windows 10.

    One of the most attractive aspects of Chromebooks is price -- they are often quite affordable. Today, Acer refreshes its 15.6 inch Chromebook 15 with a mind-boggling 12 hours of battery life. Best of all? It starts at $199. Yes, this model will get Android app support in a future update too.

  • Of Life, Linux and Karma Angels

    Angel filed appeal after appeal only to be denied on every attempt. Texas is an "at will" employment state so being terminated for cause can mean anything. Over the next few weeks, Angel became more and more fearful of losing her house, as she had just purchased it a year before. On top of that, her HP desktop had taken a nose dive into severe brokeness and that made it extra difficult for her to look for work. I put together a decent desktop for her and installed it that day, and was a Linux computer.

    Angel didn't have even the slightest problem with the new machine, and she wasn't particularly good at using one. So, let's put another slash in the falsehood that Linux is too hard for the everyday user. Most of them anyway. YMMV.

    To her glee, the OS picked up and configured her Epson all in one without her lifting a finger to do so. She almost clapped for happiness, stating that in Windows, installing that printer had been a nightmare, even with the included driver CD. And just to pinpoint the time frame for you, it was the summer of 2006.

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to launch on Linux in November, Mac version delayed

    Feral Entertainment has announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be launching on Linux in November. Feral Interactive is currently working on the Linux port of the game.

    In September the game development studio announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided would make its way to two additional platforms: Linux and Mac. The Linux version of the game will most likely make use of OpenGL or Vulkan to power its graphics engine.

  • Mad Max: It Came From The Desert to Linux

    First of all, let me get one thing straight out of the way, so you know where I come from. I did not like the recent Mad Max movie. Like, not at all. Not that I mind the post apocalyptic theme. I used to like the older Mad Max’s just fine (probably the first one the best). The new one…meh. The Max character had virtually no back story (as thin as a sheet of paper) and he was just acting like a crazy person from beginning to end. The story’s premise was boring and just an excuse for endless and not so impressive action scenes. So there was nothing redeeming it. I know this is not the mainstream opinion of the movie (everyone apparently thought it was the best thing ever since sliced bread) so I can only attribute this phenomenon to either mass hysteria or simply a clear decrease in movie expectations. The Force Awakens‘ success, despite being a mediocre movie and certainly underwhelming compared to the original trilogy, certainly echoes the same trend. I guess you cannot beat nostalgia. Just tag a Millennium Falcon on and you get a free ride no matter how incoherent the story or the characters are.

  • Budgie Remix 16.10 Overview
  • I Switched To OpenSuse Tumbleweed Smile
  • 50-day Moving Average Of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) At $76.67
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) – Is this large market cap stock undervalued?
  • Fedora 25 new features, Perl removed from Build Root

    Fedora is the fast-paced bleeding-edge distribution of Red Hat. Fedora 25 is the second release of 2016 the other being Fedora 24. Let’s discover what lies in the future of this popular Linux distribution especially among developers.

  • "dnf update" considered harmful

    Updating a Linux distribution has historically been done from the command line (using tools like Debian's apt-get, openSUSE's zypper, or Fedora's yum—or its successor dnf). A series of crashes during system updates on Fedora 24 led Adam Williamson to post a note to fedora-devel and other mailing lists warning people away from running "dnf update" within desktop environments. It turns out that doing so has never truly been supported—though it works the vast majority of the time. The discussion around Williamson's note, however, makes it clear that the command is commonly run that way and that at least some users are quite surprised (and unhappy) that it isn't a supported option.

  • Supporting UEFI secure boot in Debian

    The Debian project can be accused of many things, but jumping too quickly on leading-edge technology is not one of them. That can be seen in, among other things, the fact that there is still not a version of the distribution that supports the UEFI secure boot mechanism. But, as Ben Hutchings explained during his 2016 Kernel Recipes talk, such support is in the works, and it will be implemented in a uniquely Debian-like manner.

  • The Lenovo Yoga Book Is the Future of Laptops, But It's Missing an Operating System

    For this review I spent a week with the Android version of Lenovo’s slick new backflipping laptop. Guts-wise it’s identical to the Windows 10 variant. They both feature Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processors, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of on-device storage, and 1920 x 1200 resolution displays. The Android version starts at $500 and the Windows version starts at $550.

  • Another Broken Nexus 5

    In late 2013 I bought a Nexus 5 for my wife [1]. It’s a good phone and I generally have no complaints about the way it works. In the middle of 2016 I had to make a warranty claim when the original Nexus 5 stopped working [2]. Google’s warranty support was ok, the call-back was good but unfortunately there was some confusion which delayed replacement.

    Once the confusion about the IMEI was resolved the warranty replacement method was to bill my credit card for a replacement phone and reverse the charge if/when they got the original phone back and found it to have a defect covered by warranty. This policy meant that I got a new phone sooner as they didn’t need to get the old phone first. This is a huge benefit for defects that don’t make the phone unusable as you will never be without a phone. Also if the user determines that the breakage was their fault they can just refrain from sending in the old phone.

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  • The Bugs So Far Potentially Blocking The Fedora 25 Release
    Adam Williamson of the Fedora QA team has sent out a list of the bugs currently outstanding that could block the Fedora 25 release from happening on its current schedule should they not be fixed in time.
  • Updated Fedora 24 ISO Respins Now Available with Dirty COW-Patched Linux Kernel
    It looks like a new set of updated Live ISO images for the Fedora 24 GNU/Linux operating system were published by Ben Williams, founder of the Fedora Unity Project and a Fedora Ambassador. Dubbed F24-20161023, the updated Live ISOs a few days ago and include up-to-date components from the official Fedora 24 Linux software repositories, with which was fully syncronized as of October 23, 2016. Of course, this means that they also include the latest Linux kernel update fully patched against the "Dirty COW" bug.
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New KNOPPIX Release, LibreOffice 5.1.6, Rosa Down

In Linux news today KNOPPIX 7.7.1 was released to the public based on Debian with GNOME 3.22, KDE 5.7.2, and "Everything 3D." The Rosa project is experiencing network issues and folks may experience problems trying to connect to their services the next few days. LibreOffice 5.1.6 was announced today by The Document Foundation, the sixth update to the Still branch for stable users, and a new vulnerability was disclosed in GNU Tar. Read more