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Thursday, 02 Dec 21 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and a half and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Developing A Game Engine with Perl

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  • Developing A Game Engine with Perl : Part 2 - Mouse Input | Shawn []

    Let me start by saying.... I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM DOING.

    Literally, developing a game engine is not on my resume... yet! So any code or ways of doing anything you read here, is just what I've figured out and works for me, which by no means should suggest to you that it is the proper way to do what ever it may be. Please consult your local guru first.

    OK, now that we have that established... Please consider the following as entertainment and should you learn along the way with me, that's wonderful!

    Now, by the time of writing this article, I am several months into this undertaking. I'll describe in future posts what the engine is capable of, but for today, let me tell you about what happened over the last 2 weeks. I will likely break them up into separate posts for easier consumption.

  • Developing A Game Engine with Perl: Part 3 - Hardware Failure & Server Upgrade | Shawn []

    It's been a while since I've had to look at system logs in Linux OpenSuSE. I used to remember just doing a tail -f /var/log/messages or what ever log file you wanted to watch. I guess at some point since then they switched to using systemd journal service and you can now view everything using journalctl

  • Developing A Game Engine with Perl : Part 4 - UEFI vs OpenSuSE Installer | Shawn []

    This is where things get interesting. After finally getting the computer together, I downloaded the OpenSuSE ISO for 64bit. I went with Tumbleweed again. It worked well with the last server, so I'll just go with what I know. Tumbleweed is a rolling release linux, which means I shouldn't have to reinstall when a new version is released and I should still stay up to date. I created a bootable USB from ISO in Ubuntu 20.04 (My Desktop). Booted the new computer, installed OpenSuSE, and was happy... until I tried to reboot.

    When I rebooted, I pulled out the USB stick and the BIOS said no boot drives. I knew of UEFI, and started reading. I found that in /boot/efi/ there was no EFI directory. If you don't know anything about UEFI (No worries, neither do Sleepy ..apparently there is supposed to be a Fat32 partition marked as type EFI. The BIOS checks for this location and attempts to load the OS this way as apposed to using the MBR for booting like in the old days.

  • Developing A Game Engine with Perl: Part 5 - 32bit -> 64bit & Perl's Storable | Shawn []

    After doing some quick reading, I came to understand that Perl uses architecture specific ways to save content to files when using Storable. Specifically if you use lock_store and store. These are part of Perl's core system and what I use throughout the engine for working with the file structure.

    I had to carefully re-read the perldoc's to discover that you can avoid architecture incompatibility by simply using nstore and lock_nstore The method you use for retrieving the stored files doesn't matter, only when storing the data into files does it matter.

    I tried to find ways of being able to convert the stored files from 32bit architecture to 64bit, but ultimately the only real option was to use the old server to re-store the files with lock_nstore.

Games: Steam Next Fest, Heroic Games Launcher, and More

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  • Steam Next Fest gave developers a '500%' increase in converting wishlists to sales | GamingOnLinux

    Valve has written up a short blog post going over how their Steam Next Fest has improved things for developers, and it seems by a huge amount in some cases.

    For users who haven't seen one before, Steam Next Fest is a regular event Steam now runs a few times a year, that gives developers some extra time in the spotlight. Developers can offer up limited-time demos, do livestreams and talks - all in the name of pulling in my wishlists and sales.

  • Heroic Games Launcher for Epic Games appears popular with over 100K downloads | GamingOnLinux

    Despite the Epic Games Store not offering Linux support at all, it still seems to be somewhat popular with Linux users as the unofficial Heroic Games Launcher hit a big downloads milestone. Taking into account that the project does now also support Windows and macOS, it was originally Linux-only up until July 2021 where it gained initial support for the others.

    In early November developer Flávio F Lima noted Heroic had hit 100,000 downloads, and less than a month later it's hit another 10,000+ according to the GitHub project page.

  • Steam sees more growth with Linux gamers, and Windows 11 popularity surges

    Admittedly in November, there was only a very slight uptick of 0.03%, but that’s still an increase, taking Linux to 1.16% as mentioned.

Open 3D Engine (O3DE) Update

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  • Open 3D Foundation announces first major release of Open 3D Engine

    The news in brief: Simulation developers can now create 3D content with the new Open 3D Engine (O3DE) Linux editor and engine runtime, and a new Debian package and Windows installer provide a faster route to getting started with the engine.


    In July, we formed the Open 3D Foundation and released the Developer Preview of Open 3D Engine—a modular and extensible engine free from commercial license requirements that includes a multi-threaded photorealistic renderer, a 3D content editor, a server authoritative networking stack with native cloud integrations, and a programmable asset processing pipeline. The Developer Preview gave the community early access to a source-only version of the engine in order to evaluate the core set of capabilities, provide feedback on the project, and begin contributing to O3DE’s development and governance.

    With today’s release, developers can build 3D games and simulations, or a customized game engine on a stable foundation with support from the O3DE community and O3DF. Developers using Linux can now install a native version of the engine with the Debian-based Linux package distribution. Teams using Windows can get started even faster with a verified Windows installer. This release also adds new developer features such as performance profiling and benchmarking tools, an experimental terrain system, a Script Canvas integration for the multiplayer networking system, and an SDK to facilitate engine customization with platform support for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. In addition to core engine capabilities, Open 3D Foundation members have contributed new capabilities to O3DE through the extensible Gem system. Kythera released an update to their artificial intelligence Gem to add support for pre-built O3DE SDK, enabling creators to include AI behaviors in their games and simulations. Cesium released a geospatial 3D tile extension. PopcornFX released a Gem for particle visual effects. The Gem system has also been extended to enable external Gem repositories, making it even easier to add capabilities from third party contributors.

  • O3DE 21.11 Released As First Major Open 3D Engine Release - Phoronix

    This summer there was the surprise announcement of Amazon's Lumberyard game engine being open-sourced and it being developed as the Open 3D Engine by the then newly-created Open 3D Foundation as part of the Linux Foundation.

    Amazon's Lumberyard served as the basis for the Open 3D Engine as an Apache 2.0 licensed game engine available without any commercial terms or other obstacles. In the months since this code has continued to be refined, initial Linux support added after embarrassingly not having this at time of announcement for this Linux Foundation hosted effort, and growing industry/developer interest in this open-source game engine option.

  • Open 3D Engine (O3DE) sees a first major release, Linux support in preview | GamingOnLinux

    Open 3D Engine (O3DE) from the Open 3D Foundation is what was once Amazon Lumberyard, now open source it's just had a first major stable release.

  • In 2021, the Linux Foundation Drove Innovation Across the Technology Spectrum and in Key Industry Verticals - Linux Foundation

    The Linux Foundation welcomed the Open 3D Foundation into its community of families in July of 2021. The first project in the foundation was the Open 3D Engine known as O3DE. Amazon Web Services donated it under an Apache 2.0 and MIT licensing model. The mission of the Open 3D Engine is to make an open source, fully-featured, high-fidelity, real-time 3D engine for building games and simulations available to every industry.

    Since its inception, it has raised $2.7 million in commitments from 26 partners in over two years. It has received signed commitments from a range of companies such as Adobe, Intel, AWS, Niantic, Huawei, SideFX, HERE, and others.

    The foundation is focused on industries that utilize 3D technologies. This includes video games, automotive, simulation, robotics, energy, real estate, training, film, special effects, machine learning, aerospace, and many other verticals.

    Since its inception, it has grown to over 3600 stars, 1100 forks of the repository, 1,500 Discord users, and 500+ active members are online. It has increased to over 130 authors of code, 7000 file changes, 2,000,000 changes to lines of code, and a vibrant & active self-sustaining support community averaging 500 messages & minutes per day.

RK3399K based module and SBC can operate at -20 to 80℃

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Forlinx announced a “FET3399K-C SOM” that runs Android 7.1 or Linux on a Rockchip RK3399K with up to 4GB LPDDR3 and 32GB eMMC plus -20 to 80℃ support. An “OK3399K-C” SBC based on it offers GbE, 4x USB, HDMI, MIPI DSI/CSI, M.2, and mini-PCIe.

Forlinx announced an update to its FET3399-C SOM and OK3399-C SBC that advances from the the Rockchip RK3399 to the RK3399K, enabling a wider -20 to 80℃ operating range instead of 0 to 80℃ . The FET3399K-C SOM and OK3399K-C SBC appear to be otherwise identical to the year-old originals. Since we missed that announcement, we cover the boards in detail below.

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Files and GTK 4

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Let’s start with some history. GTK 4 has been in development since 2016 and it’s been expected that the Files application would be ported, obviously.

In 2018, a Google Summer of Code project from Ernestas Kulik produced a port of Files to GTK 3.9x, the development version of what would become GTK 4. It included a port of the custom EelCanvas widget (used to implement the Files icon view).

Although it was not meant for general use, Ernestas’s port was very useful, both for the development of GTK 4 itself, as well as the preparation of the Files app for the future. Many compatible changes were applied to the master branch, which both improved the code design and laid the preparations for a later port to GTK 4.

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today's howtos

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  • How to install RethinkDB in Rocky Linux/Alma Linux/Centos 8

    RethinkDB is a free and open-source, distributed document-oriented database originally created by the company of the same name. It is a free and open-source NoSQL database system that makes it easier for building realtime apps. It comes with a graphical user interface that can be accessible from the web browser and used to manage the database. It uses JSON to load the applications into and read the database. RethinkDB is built to store JSON documents and you can scale it to multiple machines easily. It is easy to set up and has a simple query language that supports table joins and group by.

  • How to install Ubuntu MATE 21.10 - Invidious

    In this video, I am going to show how to install Ubuntu MATE 21.10.

  • How to install Node.js on Fedora 35 – NextGenTips

    In today’s guide, I am going to take you through the installation of node.js on Fedora 35.

    Node.js is an open-source cross-platform, backend javascript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes javascript code outside of a web browser.

    A Node.js app runs in a single process, without creating a new thread for every request. It provides a set of asynchronous I/O primitives in its standard library that prevent javascript code from blocking and generally, libraries from node.js are written using non-blocking paradigms, making blocking behaviour the exceptions rather than the norm.

    When Node.js performs an I/O operation, like reading from the network, accessing a database or the filesystem, instead of blocking the thread and wasting CPU cycles waiting, Node.js will resume the operations when the response comes back. This allows Node.js to handle thousands of concurrent connections with a single server without introducing the burden of managing thread concurrency, which could be a significant source of bugs.

  • How to Quickly Start a Django Project and a Django App - SitePoint

    In this tutorial, we’ll learn the difference between a Django project and a Django app, and how to start a new Django project.

    Django is the Python web framework of choice for building web applications. It’s a mature, full-featured, flexible and open-source framework that lets you build anything from a simple CRUD application to a more complex, multi-app project like a photo-sharing app.

  • How to Make iptables Firewall Rules Persistent on Debian/Ubuntu

    Here’s how to keep iptables firewall rules persistent between reboots, so you don’t lost them after the system is rebooted.

    Iptables is a command-line firewall utility in Linux operating system that uses policy chains to allow or block traffic. However, by default iptables rules will not survive through a server reboot. They are reset when you reboot your Linux system. So, how do I persist iptables rules?

    The iptables store the rules in the system memory. In other words, it do not save these rules persistently to the disk as a file. Fortunately, there is a very easy way to keep these iptables rules persistently to a disk, which I will show you now.

  • How to Install Telegraf Configure InfluxDB2 output in Rocky Linux/CentOS 8

    In this guide we are going to learn how to install Telegraf and configure InfluxDB v2 output on a Rocky Linux server 8. This guide also works for any RHEL 8 based server like Alma Linux 8, Centos 8, Oracle Linux 8 etc.

    Telegraf is a plugin-driven server agent for collecting & reporting metrics, and is the first piece of the TICK stack. Telegraf has plugins to source a variety of metrics directly from the system it’s running on, pull metrics from third-party APIs, or even listen for metrics via a statsd and Kafka consumer services. It also has output plugins to send metrics to a variety of other datastores, services, and message queues, including InfluxDB, Graphite, OpenTSDB, Datadog, Librato, Kafka, MQTT, NSQ, and many others.

  • How To Install System Information Tool HardInfo 0.6 Alpha (GTK3) On Ubuntu, Pop!_OS Or Linux Mint From PPA - Linux Uprising Blog

    HardInfo is a graphical system information (hardware, system info, software) and benchmark tool. Since there have not been any new HardInfo releases since 2009 (but the tool is still under development), I have created a PPA to easily install HardInfo 0.6 alpha (from Git) built with GTK3 on Ubuntu, Pop!_OS and Linux Mint. At the end of the post, you'll also find links with newer, third-party HardInfo packages for Arch Linux and Fedora.

    Hardinfo system hardware information Linux
    The application can display system hardware information such as CPU (cores, frequencies, cache, etc.), RAM (available RAM, memory sockets, etc.), motherboard and BIOS, GPU, disks, peripherals, temperatures and much more.

    What's more, the tool can also show software information like the used Linux distribution and version, kernel information and loaded modules, installed development tools versions, as well as system information like boot history, memory usage, filesystem usage, display (e.g. the screen resolution, the session type: X11 or Wayland, etc.), and more.

  • How To Install MariaDB on Fedora 35 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MariaDB on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, MariaDB is an open-source one of the most popular relational database management systems (RDBMS) that is a highly compatible drop-in replacement of MySQL. It offers a better storage engine along with faster caching and query performance.

    This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the MariaDB 10.6 on a Fedora 35.

  • Install Cassandra In CentOS Linux - OSTechNix

    Cassandra is an open-source distributed database management system with a wide column store and a NoSQL database that can handle massive amounts of data across many commodity servers with no single point of failure. It was created by the Apache Software Foundation and is written in Java. In this article, we will go through the step-by-step process to install Cassandra in CentOS 7 Linux.

Systemd-Free Nitrux 1.7.1 Released with Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS, Maui Apps 2.1.0

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The monthly Nitrux releases continue, and Nitrux 1.7.1 is here as what would appear a minor point release to last month’s Nitrux 1.7 update, but, in fact, it’s an important milestone as it ships with the latest and greatest Linux 5.15 LTS kernel by default.

On top of that, this release comes with the KDE Plasma 5.23.3 desktop environment, which is accompanied by the KDE Frameworks 5.87 and KDE Gear 21.08.2 software suites.

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today's leftovers

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  • All Virtual LibrePlanet 2022 Scheduled for March 19-20 - FOSS Force

    On Wednesday, the Free Software Foundation’s program manager, Zoë Kooyman, announced in a post on the organization’s website, that LibrePlanet 2022 will be held March 19 and 20 of next year, with the theme being “Living Liberation.” She also announced that the event’s Call for Sessions has been extended until December 15, 2021.

    “This gives us time to get a little more organized, and more importantly, gives you the chance to make sure you’re a part of LibrePlanet 2022: Living Liberation!” she said.

    Until last year when the event went online as a response to COVID-19, LibrePlanet has always been held at venues in the Boston area where the FSF is headquarted. While the event can be broadly classified as an open source conference, its ideology is more closely associated with the “free software” philosophy of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation he founded, which is similar to open source but which diverges on key issues.

  • Hubris and Humility

    We have known for quite some time that we would open source Hubris: not only is open source core to our own commercial thesis at Oxide, we also believe that the open source revolution — and its many advantages for customers — are long overdue in the lowest layers of the software stack. So we were waiting for the right occasion, and the Open Source Firmware Conference afforded us an excellent one: if you are a listener of our On the Metal podcast, you heard us talk about OSFC a bunch, and it felt entirely fitting that we would kickoff our own open source firmware contribution there. And while the conference starts today, the good news is that you haven’t missed anything! Or at least, not yet: the conference is virtual, so if you want to hear Cliff talk about Hubris in his own words — and it’s before 12:10 Pacific today — it’s not too late to buy a ticket! (The recording will naturally be released after the conference.)

  • What is an SQL client and What SQL Database client?

    Structured Query Language (SQL) is a domain-specific language built to aid in designing and managing data in relational databases.

    There are many types of SQL databases like MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle DB, PostgreSQL, and MSSQL.

    SQL client is a program that accesses SQL database and performs database operations and SQL queries.

    SQL client programs are fundamental tools for developers, database admin stators, and database developers. They aid developers in database management, executing SQL queries, navigating the database, and taking backup.

  • DESQview/X : The forgotten mid-1990s OS from the future

    This multitasking wasn't the cooperative multi-tasking that we saw in early Windows (through 3.11) and MacOS up through version 9. No sir-ee bob. DESQview had true, preemptive multi-tasking. Fast. Stable. Lightweight. It was downright impressive.

    But it was all text-mode.

    Then DESQview/X came along, in the 1990s, bringing a complete X11 (aka X Windows) graphical interface with it.

IBM/Red Hat leftovers

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Red Hat
  • Community Blog monthly summary: November 2021

    In November, we published 32 posts. The site had 3,987 visits from 2,021 unique viewers. 1,080 visits came from search engines, while 125 came from Twitter and 58 came from Discussion.

  • How to do data science without big data

    Too often, IT leaders park their data science initiatives until they can build a robust data engineering layer. They wait for a data warehouse to be available before planning data analytics projects, assuming that advanced analytics is essential for transformational business value and that large volumes of neatly organized data are a prerequisite for it.

  • 7 ways to balance agility and planning

    Often, planning appears to be in direct conflict with agility. Business agility ensures that your organization can pivot and react quickly, embrace internal and external change, and commit to continuous improvement. An agile organization is like a strong tree, which bends to survive in relentless wind, compared to a rigid tree, which breaks.

  • Celebrating 15 years of partner leadership with Mark Enzweiler

    Since joining Red Hat in 2006, Mark Enzweiler has been instrumental in growing the Red Hat partner ecosystem to where it is today. By establishing and leading a global channel strategy, Mark’s team has helped partners more efficiently sell and deliver complete customer solutions using Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio.

    Now, Mark is retiring as senior vice president of Global Partners & Alliances after 15 years of leadership. Read on to hear more from Mark on his experiences with Red Hat partners over the years.

  • Packaging applications to install on other machines with Python | Enable Sysadmin

    In my last article in this series, I showed how to write a script in Python that returned a list of RPM-installed software installed on a machine.


    Now I want to package an application so that I can install it easily, including all the dependencies, on other machines. In this article, I'll show how to use the setuptools package to do that.

    That's a lot to cover, so basic knowledge of Python is required. Even if you don't know much, the code is simple to follow, and the boilerplate code is small.

Open Hardware/Modding: Seeed, Turing Pi, WheelchairDriver, Raspberry Pi

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  • Seeed XIAO BLE - A tiny nRF52840 Bluetooth 5.0 board with (optional) IMU sensor and microphone - CNX Software

    Seeed Studio has just introduced two new members to their XIAO board family with the Seeed XIAO BLE and XIAO BLE Sense boards equipped with Nordic Semi nRF52840 Bluetooth 5.0 microcontroller, as well as an IMU sensor and microphone on the “Sense” model.

    Just like the earlier XIAO RP2040 board, the tiny Seed XIAO BLE board can be programmed with Arduino, MicroPython, and CircuityPython, and offers two headers with 7-pin each for GPIOs. What’s really new is the wireless connectivity, the sensors, and a battery charging circuitry.

  • Turing Pi 2: 4 Raspberry Pi nodes on a mini ITX board

    The Turing Pi 2 is a mini ITX motherboard capable of holding up to four Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4s or NVIDIA Jetson Nanos, and it integrates a board management backplane, power management, and gigabit Ethernet switch, alongside various PCI Express breakouts, so you can build a 4-node SBC cluster.

  • WheelchairDriver

    This site is for those that want to understand powerchairs better. Or to fix or modify your own powerchair or to build superior ones as I do.

    Including related subjects such a disabled adapted vehicles and houses. There's a LOT of information on this site and some very clever helpful people on the forum that can help you, or to share ideas. And that have or are building similar chairs themselves.

  • Making a CAN bus module work with a Raspberry Pi

    For some upcoming projects I need to have a working CAN bus to play with. On one end I have my Linux laptop with a USB CAN bus module. On the other end I bought a cheap module which claimed to be Raspberry Pi compatible. It turns out that it needs a little tweak first.

Programming Leftovers

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  • Advent of Code 2021: Day 1 Three Ways

    True to tradition (further evidence here), I decided to solve the first day of this year's Advent of Code on my Amiga. I didn't stop there, however. As previously explained, I've been bitten by some kind of mainframe bug and also made an attempt in COBOL. But first of all, I solved it in Python. The three solutions are quite similar in their approach, yet I think they showcase some of the fundamentals and particularities of each language in a nice way.

  • This shouldn't have happened: A vulnerability postmortem

    The maximum size signature that this structure can handle is whatever the largest union member is, in this case that’s RSA at 2048 bytes. That’s 16384 bits, large enough to accommodate signatures from even the most ridiculously oversized keys.

    Okay, but what happens if you just....make a signature that’s bigger than that?

    Well, it turns out the answer is memory corruption. Yes, really.

  • [Old] doas insults

    There’s no question that doas does exactly what I need from a sudo replacement with simpler configuration, but there is one feature of sudo that I’ve found myself missing:

    Insults. sudo has a marvelous feature where, if enabled, it insults you upon getting your password incorrect or authorization failing for some other reason. doas in its effort to be a sudo replacement without all the bloat, neglects to implement this. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to work around.

  • Fortran newsletter: December 2021

    Welcome to the December 2021 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out at the beginning of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 419
  • Winter Blog Backlog: Recent Progress

    The purpose of these posts is to maintain continuity and skip the detail. They mainly have bullet points and links, including #zulip-links and #comments.


    This first backlog post sketches recent progress and releases, and is more detailed. For context, the last release was Oil 0.9.4 - User Feedback, less than 2 weeks ago.

  • Raku Advent Calendar: Day 2 – Rotation of Log files in a nutshell

    Santa has a cloud-based application that helps him to deliver the gifts to the children. Once the gifts have been delivered Santa registers the delivery operation through the deliveries.log file. Just after the inspector elves review this log file comparing it with the list of children to ensure that all the children have received correctly their gifts.

  • UNIX Wars – The Battle for Standards

    The battle for Unix standardization continued into the 1990s, until a couple of events changed everything. First, in the early 1990s, the economy took a turn for the worst. “Bull, DEC, IBM, and the computer side of Siemens all lost money. AT&T resold its share of Sun.” Second, Microsoft entered the enterprise operating system with the release of Windows NT in 1993. “The proprietary NT was aimed squarely at Unix and was intended to extend Microsoft’s desktop hegemony to the data center and other places owned by the likes of Sun servers.”

    In an attempt to stop an exodus of users from Unix to Windows NT, Unix rivals created the Common Open Software Environment, which was another attempt to create a Unix standard.

Alpha Releases of openSUSE Leap 15.4 are Available for Testing

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Alpha releases of openSUSE Leap 15.4 are now available for download on The fourth minor release of Leap 15 has entered its alpha development stage.

During the Alpha phase, regular Alpha images will be built on a rolling basis until mid-February when the point release is scheduled to transition to a Beta build phase. The beta submission deadline is February 16, according to the roadmap. The Beta phase has a similar model until the General Availability of the release. The rolling builds stop after the Beta phase is complete and Leap transitions into a maintenance and security update phase upon beoming public available.

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Web Browsers Leftovers

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  • 6 Best Alternatives to Google Chrome | Private Browsers

    If you are focused on a privacy provide browser then here is a list of best Google Chrome alternatives for you. As per Firefox, the new Firefox browser consumes 30% less memory than Google Chrome. Lets discuss here 6 best alternatives to Google Chrome browser.
    Chances are that you are using the Google Chrome browser on both your PC and smartphone. And there is nothing wrong with that. But trust us, if you want better privacy and security in your browsing sessions, several other browsers can get the job done with equal efficiency, if not more.

  • Mercurial source control manager now in devx

    I wanted to clone mozilla-central, which is a mercurial repository, requiring the 'hg' executable to clone it.

  • Ancient BlueGriffon version 1.0 PET created

    In EasyOS I only need a very basic HTML editor, for maintaining the local documentation files. I also need it for shellCMS, my static site creation tool. Note that shellCMS is introduced online,
    at, and is also in EasyOS at /usr/local/shellcms.

    Up until now, EasyOS has the SeaMonkey suite, however, as it seems moving to Firefox for browsing, a simple WYSIWYG HTML editor is required, and BlueGriffon will fill that niche. It only has to be HTML4, so BlueGriffon 1.0 will be fine.

  • Firefox is the Only Alternative

    Supposedly today we have a lot of browsers to choose from - Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Brave, Opera, Vivaldi, etc. Having choices is a good thing, right? Nobody wants to relive the time of almost complete Internet Explorer domination again. Unfortunately our choices are significantly fewer than they seem to be at first glance, as Chrome and Safari (thanks to the iPhone) totally dominate the browser landscape in terms of usage and almost all browsers these days are built on top of Chromium, Google’s open-source browser project. Funny enough even Edge is built on top of Chromium today, despite the bitter rivalry between Google and Microsoft. What’s also funny is that Chrome and Safari control about 85% of the browser market share today, and Microsoft’s Edge commands only about 4%: [...]

Integrity/Availability Leftovers

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  • Guy [cracks] UZ and allocates accommodation to students, netting US$3000 in the process

    UZ has an online platform where students can apply for accommodation. What the State is alleging is that Martin gained access to the UZ’s computer network and could edit information on that accommodation platform.

    Once he had that access he proceeded to approach students who were seeking accommodation and charged them between US$40 and $60 to secure it. He is said to have done this between October and November 2021. All in all, he allegedly pocketed over US$3000 from the 64 students he offered the service.

  • ZBC suffers power outage disrupting radio & television programming

    The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has, in a tweet, notified the nation that it has suffered a power outage at its Pockets Hill Broadcasting Centre.

  • Why Are Authentication and Authorisation So Difficult?

    Once you’ve selected which type of authentication to support, you may also need to pick a specific implementation if it is not a standard. This potentially complicates the end user’s environment if it’s not a match for the other applications in use. This National Security Agency (NSA) guide categorizes specific MFA solutions into the evaluation criteria from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) 800-63 authentication documents and is a very helpful resource for understanding the strength of each solution. If you are less familiar with identity management and all it encompasses, the NIST documentation is an excellent resource to learn more about this complex set of technologies.

  • Simple Things That Are Actually Hard: User Authentication

    And that’s for the most obvious feature that every application has. No wonder it has been implemented incorrectly many, many times. The IT world is complex and nothing is simple. Sending email isn’t simple, authentication isn’t simple, logging isn’t simple. Working with strings and dates isn’t simple, sanitizing input and output isn’t simple.

  • Hidden Certificate Authorities

    The security of encrypted Web traffic depends upon a set of Certificate Authorities (CAs). Browsers and operating systems are configured with a list of CAs that they trust. The system is brittle, in the sense that if any of the multitude of CAs that your browser trusts is incompetent or malign, the security of all your traffic is imperiled. I've written several times on the topic of misbehaving CAs; there is a list of links at the end of the post.

    In Web trust dies in darkness: Hidden Certificate Authorities undermine public crypto infrastructure, Thomas Claiburn reports on an important paper, Rusted Anchors: A National Client-Side View of Hidden Root CAs in the Web PKI Ecosystem by Yiming Zhang et al. This paper looks at what happens when, by fair means or foul, unofficial entries are added to or replace the CAs in the official list that your browser trusts. Below the fold I discuss their findings.

Audiocasts/Shows: BSD Now, TLLTS, and FLOSS Weekly

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  • BSD Now 431: FreeBSD EC2 Agents

    Why use OpenBSD part 2, FreeBSD on the RISC-V Architecture, OpenBSD Webzine Issue 4, Ending up liking GNOME, OPNsense 21.7.5 released, Jenkins with FreeBSD Agents in EC2, and more

  • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 932

    minecraft server woes, laptops, lsw, brower wars

  • FLOSS Weekly 658: The Me2B's Knees - Lisa LeVasseur

    Lisa LeVasseur is a veteran engineer on a mission to get the businesses of the world, the "B's," to treat each of us, the "Me's," more respectfully online. That's one mission of her nonprofit, the Me2B Alliance. LeVasseur discusses with Doc Searls and Katherine Druckman in a show that also explores new approaches to standards development, privacy versus security, diversity in tech and other long hauls on which real progress is being made.

Beijing reveals five-year plan to grow software industry

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China's software industry is underperforming internationally and needs to lean into open source technology to improve, the nation's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Tuesday.

"Software is the soul of a new generation of information technology, the foundation of digital economic development, and the key support for the construction of manufacturing power, network power and digital China," according to a (machine-translated) announcement from the Ministry.

The document boasts that great strides were made in China's software industry under the the 13th five-year plan, which ran from 2016–20, but is also is critical about the state of software in China.

MIIT said China has has a fragile software supply chain, lacks depth in homegrown applications, and just doesn't value software or intellectual property.

A lack of skilled developers is a symptom and a cause of those issues.

The Ministry is also concerned about international competitiveness, and suggests deeper international exchanges and open cooperation so that China improves its software prowess to reach an equal footing with global players.

Among the plans to improve the state of homegrown software is a call to develop an "emerging field of software products with ecological influence by 2025", some of it developed in one of 20 new Chinese software parks.

China also wants to build "two or three open source communities with international influence."

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Security Leftovers

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  • Exposing Trojan Source exploits in Emacs []

    While the "Trojan Source" vulnerabilities have, thus far, generated far more publicity than examples of actual exploits, addressing the problem still seems like a good thing to do. There are several places where defenses could be put into place; text editors, being the place where developers look at a lot of code, are one obvious example. The discussion of how to enhance Emacs in this regard has made it clear, though, that there are multiple opinions about how an editor should flag potential attacks.
    For those just tuning in, one of the Trojan Source vulnerabilities takes advantage of the control codes built into Unicode for the handling of bidirectional text. While this article is written in a left-to-right language, many languages read in the opposite direction, and Unicode-displaying applications must be prepared to deal with that. Sometimes, those applications need some help to know the direction to use when rendering a particular piece of text. Unicode provides control codes to reverse the current direction for this purpose; unfortunately, clever use of those codes can cause program text to appear differently in a editor (or browser or other viewing application) than it appears to the compiler. That can be used to sneak malicious code past even an attentive reviewer.

    One part of the problem is applications that show code containing overrides in a way that is correct (from a Unicode-text point of view), but which is incorrect in terms of what will actually be compiled. So an obvious solution is to change how applications display such text. It is thus not surprising that a conversation sprung up on the Emacs development list to figure out what the Emacs editor should do.

  • Trojan Source and Python []

    The Trojan Source vulnerabilities have been rippling through various development communities since their disclosure on November 1. The oddities that can arise when handling Unicode, and bidirectional Unicode in particular, in a programming language have led Rust, for example, to check for the problematic code points in strings and comments and, by default, refuse to compile if they are present. Python has chosen a different path, but work is underway to help inform programmers of the kinds of pitfalls that Trojan Source has highlighted.

    On the day of the Trojan Source disclosure, Petr Viktorin posted a draft of an informational Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) to the python-dev mailing list. He noted that the Python security response team had reviewed the report and "decided that it should be handled in code editors, diff viewers, repository frontends and similar software, rather than in the language". He agreed with that decision, in part because there are plenty of other kinds of "gotchas" in Python (and other languages), where readers can be misled—purposely or not.

    But there is a need to document these kinds of problems, both for Python developers and for the developers of tools to be used with the language, thus the informational PEP. After some adjustments based on the discussion on the mailing list, Viktorin created PEP 672 ("Unicode-related Security Considerations for Python"). It covers the Trojan Source vulnerabilities and other potentially misleading code from a Python perspective, but, as its "informational" status would imply, it is not a list of ways to mitigate the problem. "This document purposefully does not give any solutions or recommendations: it is rather a list of things to keep in mind."

  • Security updates for Thursday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel, openssh, and rpm), Debian (nss), Fedora (seamonkey), Mageia (glibc), openSUSE (go1.16, go1.17, kernel, mariadb, netcdf, openexr, poppler, python-Pygments, python-sqlparse, ruby2.5, speex, and webkit2gtk3), Oracle (nss), Red Hat (nss), SUSE (clamav, glibc, gmp, go1.16, go1.17, kernel, mariadb, netcdf, OpenEXR, openexr, openssh, poppler, python-Pygments, python-sqlparse, ruby2.1, ruby2.5, speex, webkit2gtk3, and xen), and Ubuntu (nss and thunderbird).

  • Secure communication with Red Hat Decision Manager

    Securing communications over networked services is an essential administrative task. This article shows you how to install and configure an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS-secured communication with Red Hat Decision Manager 7.11 on-premises. To minimize the requirements for our example, we will use a self-signed certificate. You can use the same steps with a certificate signed by a certificate authority (CA).

Is It Worthwhile Running Intel Alder Lake With mitigations=off?

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Over the past month of trying out Intel Alder Lake processors on Linux, one of the questions that has come up a few times but not readily disclosed is whether it's still worthwhile on this latest-generation process to boot with "mitigations=off" to disable CPU security mitigations to help squeeze out some otherwise lost performance. Here are some benchmarks to answer that questions.

Particularly with Intel CPUs from 2018 and prior where there isn't in-silicon changes for mitigating the likes of Spectre and Meltdown, some Linux users have resorted to running with "mitigations=off" to run the security risk but at increased (or otherwise regressed) performance. This Linux parameter allows booting the system with software-controlled CPU security mitigations disabled. Running with mitigations disabled is a security risk but for prior generations of Intel CPUs can make a measurable difference with workloads that are heavy on context switching, I/O, and other areas impacted by the software mitigations.

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