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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 Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Anti-Linux, Entryism, Openwashing and FUD Roy Schestowitz 23/03/2018 - 4:08am
Story The Kernel Self-Protection project aims to make Linux more secure Roy Schestowitz 23/03/2018 - 3:51am
Story Los Alamos Releases File Index Product to Open Source Roy Schestowitz 23/03/2018 - 3:37am
Story A side-by-side comparison of MongoDB and Cassandra databases Roy Schestowitz 23/03/2018 - 3:26am
Story This is the New Ubuntu 18.04 Default Wallpaper Roy Schestowitz 23/03/2018 - 3:23am
Story Node.js Is Now Available as a Snap on Ubuntu, Other GNU/Linux Distributions Rianne Schestowitz 22/03/2018 - 8:37pm
Story Modular PLC platform runs Linux on Allwinner H5 Rianne Schestowitz 22/03/2018 - 8:33pm
Story today's leftovers Roy Schestowitz 22/03/2018 - 5:46pm
Story U-Boot 2018.03 Released Roy Schestowitz 22/03/2018 - 5:41pm
Story Latest of Openwashing Roy Schestowitz 22/03/2018 - 5:40pm

Games: Valve, Modernisation in Google Summer of Code, Trigger Happy Havoc

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  • Valve's Latest Steam Client Adds 2X-Scaling Mode on Linux, HiDPI on Windows 10

    Valve released today a new Steam Client stable update for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, bringing long-anticipated features and improvements, along with numerous bug fixes.

  • Modernization of games

    This year I have proposed a Google Summer of Code idea (we are in student applications period) for modernizing Five-or-More, a game left out from the last games modernization round, when most of the games have been ported to Vala.

  • Trigger Happy Havoc Might Just Be The Weirdest Game on Linux

    With a special developer GDC viewing party tomorrow, I wanted to get us up to speed on the insanity that is Trigger Happy Havoc right now.

    I’m gonna level with you. My first impression of Spike Chunsoft’s offering, based on the trailer, was a tall glass of double checking reality garnished with a sprig of WTF.

Red Hat and Fedora

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Red Hat

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Benchmarks

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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.

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Stable kernels 4.9.89, 4.4.123 and 3.18.101

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Raspberry Pi 3B+ Speeds Up Three Ways

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Earlier this week, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ SBC touched down with the refreshing lack of hype and hoopla typical of Raspberry Pi product introductions. The modest launch may also be a tacit admission that this upgrade to the insanely popular Raspberry Pi 3 Model B checks off only one major wish-list item: the upgrade from 10/100 to 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet. There’s still only 1GB of RAM, and there’s still no eMMC storage, let alone SATA, mini-PCIe, or M.2 expansion.

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GNOME: Memory Leak, Continues Integration in Librsvg, GNOME Builder and More

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  • Big Memory Leak Bug Found In GNOME Shell; Might Remain Unpatched In Ubuntu 18.04

    For now, the users who couldn’t benefit from the patch can restart Gnome Shell after a couple of hours to free up memory. To do this, press Alt + F2. Then type r and press Enter.

  • Continues Integration in Librsvg, Part 1

    Rust makes it trivial to write any kind of tests for your project. But what good are they if you do not run them? In this blog series I am gonna explore the capabilities of Gitlab-CI and document how it is used in Librsvg.

  • Continues Integration in Librsvg, Part 2
  • Continues Integration in Librsvg, Part 3

    Generally 5min/job does not seem like a terribly long time to wait, but it can add up really quickly when you add couple of jobs to the pipeline. First let’s take a look where most of the time is spent. First of jobs currently are spawned in a clean environment, which means each time we want to build the Rust part of librsvg, we download the whole cargo registry and all of the cargo dependencies each time. That’s our first low hanging fruit! Apart from that another side-effect of the clean environment is that we build librsvg from scratch each time, meaning we don’t make use of the incremental compilation that modern compilers offer. So let’s get started.

  • [GNOME] Builder Nightly

    One of the great aspects of the Flatpak model, apart from separating apps from the OS, is that you can have multiple versions of the same app installed concurrently. You can rely on the stable release while trying things out in the development or nightly built version. This creates a need to easily identify the two versions apart when launching it with the shell.

  • SVG Rendering and GSVGtk

    For SVG rendering, we have few options: librsvg, as the most popular one,,and Lasem, maybe others. Both take an SVG file, parse it and render it over specified Cairo.Context.

  • GTask and Threaded Workers

    GTask is super handy, but it’s important you’re very careful with it when threading is involved.

  • gksu is dead. Long live PolicyKit

    Today, gksu was removed from Debian unstable. It was already removed 2 months ago from Debian Testing (which will eventually be released as Debian 10 “Buster”).

KDE/Qt: Importance of QA, Qt Champions, Akademy's Keynote

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  • Guest post: The Importance of QA

    Today we have a guest post from Buovjaga, our friendly local QA evangelist for LibreOffice, KDE, Inkscape, Firefox and Thunderbird. Without further ado, I’d like to present…

  • KDSoap 1.7.0 is released

    KDSoap is a tool for creating client applications for web services without the need for any further component such as a dedicated web server.

  • Qt Champions 2017

    It’s time to share who the Qt Champions for 2017 are!

    As always, all the nominees were incredible people. It is hard to decide who is most worthy of the Qt Champion title. I asked for help from our lifetime Qt Champion Samuel Gaist, and together we faced the tough decision.

  • Dan Bielefeld, Keynote Speaker Akademy 2018: Exposing Injustice Through the Use of Technology

    Dan will be delivering the opening keynote at this year's Akademy and he kindly agreed to talk to us about activism, Free Software, and the sobering things he deals with every day.

Server: Docker Turns 5, LFTP, Google Skaffold

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  • Docker Turns 5: A Look at How the Technology Popularized Containers [Ed: Slideshow by Sean Michael Kerner]
  • Enhanced

    LFTP is an alternative to the FTP command set, which supports many protocols and offers countless parameters.

    Although pretty much outdated, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) still plays a significant role. For 20 years, LFTP has offered a greatly expanded command set for the command line that handles secure transmissions, without being excessively difficult to handle.

  • Google Skaffold Automates Kubernetes Orchestration

    Google is throwing an automation tool to developers looking to use Kubernetes to orchestrate enterprise applications. That assistance is coming from a command line tool dubbed Skaffold that can help continuous development for Kubernetes applications.

    Vic Iglesias, a solutions architect at Google, noted in a blog post that Skaffold allows developers to more closely mirror production methods within an enterprise. It does this by allowing developers to work on application source code in their local environment. That code can then be updated and ready for validation and testing in the developer’s local or remote Kubernetes clusters.

Software: Lector, Yoda, Suplemon, Cockpit, QSoas and More

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  • Lector – A Qt Based eBook Reader for Linux

    Lector is a customizable, open-source Qt-based eBook that you probably haven’t heard about yet because it saw its first official release approximately 11 days ago.

    It is not an eBook manager like the famous Calibre, but it has one of the best User Interfaces and data management methods among its peers; and you can use it to read all the popular eBook formats including PDFs, Amazon Kindle books, and comics.

    For starters, it features a library viewer typical of an eBook reader, except that it is eye candy. You can customize its font type and size; page color, zoom controls, and letter spacing. You can also right-click on books to edit their metadata i.e. author, title, genre, and publication year.

  • Yoda – The Command line Personal Assistant For Your Linux System

    A while ago, we wrote about a command line virtual assistant named “Betty”. Today, I stumbled upon a similar utility called “Yoda”. Yoda is a command line personal assistant who can help you to do some trivial tasks in Linux. It is a free, open source application written in Python. In this guide, we will see how to install and use Yoda in GNU/Linux.

  • Suplemon – A Powerful Console Text Editor with Multi Cursor Support
  • Cockpit 164

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 164.

  • Release 2.2 of QSoas

    The new release of QSoas is finally ready ! It brings in a lot of new features and improvements, notably greatly improved memory use for massive multifits, a fit for linear (in)activation processes (the one we used in Fourmond et al, Nature Chemistry 2014), a new way to transform "numbers" like peak position or stats into new datasets and even SVG output ! Following popular demand, it also finally brings back the peak area output in the find-peaks command (and the other, related commands) ! You can browse the full list of changes there.

  • Progress in monitoring

    Let's start with the netstats (hard)work @antares has done (still under review for merging into libgtop master, #1 merge request on libgtop gitlab): she did investigate a lot to find the best way to get per-process network statistics into libgtop, something Usage and System Monitor both should benefit from. This is implemented currently as a root daemon using libpcap for capturing packets and summing their sizes, exposing a dbus-interface, congratulate her for the great job and tremendous patience she has shown enduring all my reviews and nitpicking comments.

today's howtos

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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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