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Tuesday, 17 Jan 17 - 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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Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Mesa in Ubuntu Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 10:22pm
Story Reviews: Elementary OS Loki and Solus-2017.01.01 Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 4:21pm
Story Linux/FOSS Events Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 4:19pm
Story Leftovers: Software Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 4:16pm
Story The case for open source software Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 4:10pm
Story 2017 could be the year of the sandboxed app Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 3:41pm
Story Wine-Staging 2.0-RC4 Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 3:32pm
Story Today's most popular operating systems Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 3:28pm
Story Games for GNU/Linux Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 3:27pm
Story Linux Graphics Roy Schestowitz 10/01/2017 - 3:26pm

Absolute Linux Caters to the Slackware Crowd

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Absolute Linux is a distro that raises the question: Is it really worth the bother?

Any version of this Slackware-based Linux OS is just that -- a really big bother -- unless you love Unix-like systems that give you total control. It likely would be especially bothersome for less experienced users and for folks comfortable with Debian distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and such.

Some Slackware-based distros are easier than others to use -- but the text-based installation and mostly manual operating routine makes using Absolute Linux a challenge. Once you get beyond the configuration steps, you still face a considerable learning curve to keep it running smoothly.

Clearly, I am not overly impressed with the Absolute flavor of Slackware Linux. I see it as the equivalent of driving a stick shift automobile with a crank-to-start mechanism instead of an automatic model with keyless ignition. That said, once you have the engine purring, it drives fast and furious along the highway.

I like to offer unique computing options in these weekly Linux Picks and Pans reviews, so I set my comfort zone aside and rolled up my sleeves to get my hands a little scraped reaching under Absolute Linux's hood.

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Jona Azizaj: How Do You Fedora?

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Red Hat

Jona Azizaj is currently pursuing a bachelor degree in Business Informatics at the University of Tirana. She is also on the board of Open Labs Hackerspace. Open Labs Hackerspace promotes free/libre open source culture in Albania. She is also a co-organizer of Open Source Conference Albania (OSCAL). Azizaj is part of the Fedora Project and the first Fedora Ambassador in Albania.

The first time Azizaj heard about Linux was when she went to university. “At first I used Ubuntu because that’s what our teachers suggested, but after OSCAL I switched to Fedora just to see if it met my needs,” Azizaj says. “I was really satisfied with Fedora as an operating system and the community. That’s why I am still using it.” She has been using Linux for the last four years.

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AMDGPU vs. Radeon GCN 1.0/1.1 Benchmarks With Linux 4.10

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With the Linux 4.10 kernel there remains experimental Kconfig switches for being able to build the Linux kernel with GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" and GCN 1.1 "Sea Islands" support in the newer AMDGPU DRM driver rather than the mature Radeon DRM driver. For your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of a few GCN 1.0/1.1 GPUs when testing the Linux 4.10 Git kernel with Radeon DRM and then the experimental AMDGPU DRM driver while both kernel drivers were tested in conjunction with the same Mesa 13.1-dev snapshot as of this week.

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4MLinux 20.2 Distro Out Now with Linux Kernel 4.4.39, New Broadcom Wi-Fi Drivers

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4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki is yet another GNU/Linux distribution maintainer that kicked off 2017 in style, with the release of the second maintenance update to the 4MLinux 20 operating system.

That's right, 4MLinux 20.2 has landed, as the latest and most advanced ISO respin of the 4MLinux 20.0 stable series of the independently-developed Linux distro, shipping with the long-term supported Linux 4.4.39 kernel, as well as up-to-date software applications and the proprietary Broadcom Wi-Fi driver called "wl driver."

"This is a minor maintenance release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel. The release ships with the Linux kernel 4.4.39," said Zbigniew Konojacki in the release announcement. "This is the first 4MLinux live CD that includes the Broadcom proprietary WiFi driver (aka 'wl driver')."

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Lumina Version 1.2.0 Released

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  • Version 1.2.0 Released

    Happy New Year! 2016 was a really big year for Lumina with the release of version 1.0.0, TrueOS adopting Lumina as it’s only supported desktop environment, the newfound availability of Lumina in many Linux distributions, and so much more. By the same token, 2017 is already shaping up to be another big year for Lumina with things like the new window manager on the horizon. So let’s start this year on the right foot with another release!

  • Lumina 1.2 Desktop Lets You Transform It into an Xfce, MATE, OSX or Windows UI

    Ken Moore, the creator of the TrueOS BSD-based distribution that was formerly known as PC-BSD, kicks off 2017 with a new stable release of his lightweight Lumina desktop environment.

    Primarily an enhancement release, Lumina 1.2.0 desktop environment is here a little over two months after the release of version 1.1.0, and promises to bring a whole lot of goodies, including new plugins, a brand-new utility, as well as various under-the-hood improvements that users might find useful if they use Lumina on their OS.

  • Lumina 1.2 Desktop Environment Released

    A new release of Lumina is now available to ring in 2017, the BSD-first Qt-powered open-source desktop environment.

    With today's Lumina 1.2 desktop environment, the library is no longer used/needed, the internal Lumina Theme engine has been separated from all utilities, there are new panel and menu plug-ins and a new Lumina Archiver utility as a Qt5 front to Tar. The new plug-ins are an audio player, JSON menu, and a lock desktop menu plugin for locking the current session.

Ubuntu-Based Exton|OS Distro Now Ships with MATE 1.16 Desktop & Linux Kernel 4.9

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Our dearest Arne Exton ended 2016 in big style with the release of a new build of his Ubuntu-based Exton|OS computer operating system running the latest MATE desktop environment and Linux 4.9 kernel.

Exton|OS Build 161231 launched on December 31, 2016, based on the stable Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system and MATE 1.16 desktop environment. However, the most exciting thing about the new release is the implementation of a custom and fully patched Linux kernel 4.9.0-11-exton build.

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Games for GNU/Linux

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Fail0verflow Demos Linux & Steam Running on PlayStation 4 Firmware 4.05 at 33C3

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2016 ended in big style for hackers and security researchers from all over the world, who gathered together at the well-known Chaos Communication Congress (33c3) annual event organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) of Germany

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Open Source Software's Top Five Challenges for 2017

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It's a new year, and open source software is more popular than ever. But the open source community is also confronting a new set of challenges. Here's what open source programmers and companies will need to do to keep thriving in 2017.

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LeEco wants you to ride its Android-powered smart bicycles

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LeEco, the Chinese company whose recent push into the U.S. has been met with excitement, trepidation and more than a little skepticism, is launching a pair of smart bicycles at CES 2017, powered by the company's own Android 6.0-based BikeOS.

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Software: Analytics, Cutelyst, Podbird, and Firefox

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  • 7 Awesome Open Source Analytics Software For Linux and Unix-like Systems

    Google Analytics is the most widely used cloud-based web analytics service. However, your data is locked into Google Eco-system. If you want 100% data ownership, try the following open source web analytics software to get information about the number of visitors to your website and the number of page views. The information is useful for market research and understanding popularity trends on your website.

  • Cutelyst 1.2.0 released

    Cutelyst the C++/Qt web framework has a new release.

  • Ubuntu Podcast App Podbird Celebrates Birthday With New Release

    Ubuntu podcast app Podbird has marked its 2nd birthday with an all-new release.

    Podbird 0.8 is said to bring a number of “major improvements” to the fore, chief among them the ability to queue podcasts so that they play one after another.

    Elsewhere, the update sees the episodes page gain a “downloaded” tab, which groups together all previously downloaded episodes (and any in progress) from one page, and a new setting allows cached podcast artwork to be refreshed.

  • Mozilla Welcomes Ashley Boyd, VP of Advocacy

    Ashley was most recently Vice President & Chief Field Officer for MomsRising, a national grassroots organization in the U.S. As a founding staff member, she was instrumental in building MomsRising into an organization of one million grassroots supporters, 200 partner organizations and over 20 funding partners.

  • Mozilla Gets Strong Early Marks for Firefox Focus Privacy Protection

    Are you concerned about the amount of tracking you seem to experience online? Mozilla knows that a lot of people are, and we recently reported on a potential solution to the issue for iPhone users. Mozilla has launched a browser for iOS users that offers security features that block unwanted trackers.The new browser, called Firefox Focus, secures the users’ privacy by blocking web trackers, including analytics, social, and advertising trackers.

    Mozilla is taking the stance that many users are losing control of their digital lives and seeing their privacy compromised. Now, early reviews of Firefox Focus are rolling in, and they are quite positive.

Linux Crippled by Microsoft (TPM) and Graphics Stack

Servers News: OpenStack, Containers, and HPC

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  • eBay builds its own tool to integrate Kubernetes and OpenStack

    Intent on keeping its developers happy, the e-commerce company has developed a framework for deploying containers on its large-scale OpenStack cloud.

  • Guide to the Open Cloud: The State of Micro OSes

    What are micro operating systems and why should individuals and organizations focused on the cloud care about them? In the cloud, performance, elasticity, and security are all paramount. A lean operating system that facilitates simple server workloads and allows for containers to run optimally can serve each of these purposes. Unlike standard desktop or server operating systems, the micro OS has a narrow, targeted focus on server workloads and optimizing containers while eschewing the applications and graphical subsystems that cause bloat and latency.

    In fact, these tiny platforms are often called “container operating systems.” Containers are key to the modern data center and central to many smart cloud deployments. According to Cloud Foundry’s report “Containers in 2016,” 53 percent of organizations are either investigating or using containers in development and production. The micro OS can function as optimal bedrock for technology stacks incorporating tools such as Docker and Kubernetes.

  • In-Memory Computing for HPC

    To achieve high performance, modern computer systems rely on two basic methodologies to scale resources. Each design attempts to bring more processors (cores) and memory to the user. A scale-up design that allows multiple cores to share a large global pool of memory is the most flexible and allows large data sets to take advantage of full in-memory computing. A scale-out design distributes data sets across the memory on separate host systems in a computing cluster. Although the scale-out cluster often has a lower hardware acquisition cost, the scale-up in-memory system provides a much better total cost of ownership (TCO) based on the following advantages:

GNU/Linux CVEs

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  • Android, Debian & Ubuntu Top List Of CVE Vulnerabilities In 2016[Ed: while Microsoft lies]

    On a CVE basis for the number of distinct vulnerabilities, Android is ranked as having the most vulnerability of any piece of software for 2016 followed by Debian and Ubuntu Linux while coming in behind them is the Adobe Flash Player.

    The tracking service has compiled a list of software with the most active CVEs. The list isn't limited to just operating systems but all software with Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures.

  • Using systemd for more secure services in Fedora

    The AF_PACKET local privilege escalation (also known as CVE-2016-8655) has been fixed by most distributions at this point; stable kernels addressing the problem were released on December 10. But, as a discussion on the fedora-devel mailing list shows, systemd now provides options that could help mitigate CVE-2016-8655 and, more importantly, other vulnerabilities that remain undiscovered or have yet to be introduced. The genesis for the discussion was a blog post from Lennart Poettering about the RestrictAddressFamilies directive, but recent systemd versions have other sandboxing features that could be used to head off the next vulnerability.

    Fedora project leader Matthew Miller noted the blog post and wondered if the RestrictAddressFamilies directive could be more widely applied in Fedora. That directive allows administrators to restrict access to the network address families a service can use. For example, most services do not require the raw packet access that AF_PACKET provides, so turning off access to that will harden those services to some extent. But Miller was also curious if there were other systemd security features that the distribution should be taking advantage of.

Finding an Alternative to Mac OS X

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This is a team that values the same things I do. The interface is clean and refined. The pre-installed application selection is minimal and each one feels like a perfect piece of the system.

The main drawback of Elementary to me is that it’s built on top of Ubuntu LTS. As time goes on all the packages get further from the current versions published upstream. I’d much rather a regular release like Fedora (6 months) or a rolling release like Arch.

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today's leftovers

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  • Interview with Ismail Tarchoun

    There are some features I want to see in Krita, for example: a small preview window: it’s essential to get a feeling of the painting in general, otherwise it might turn out weird. I also wish Krita could import more brushes from other programs. But nothing is really that bothersome about Krita, there are some bugs, but they are constantly being fixed by the awesome devs.


    First, I made a rough sketch, then I started laying in some general colors using a large soft brush (deevad 4a airbrush by David Revoy) without caring about the details, only basic colors and a basic idea of how the painting is lit. Then I started going into details using a smaller sized brush (deevad 1f draw brush). I usually paint new details in a separate layer, then merge it down if I’m happy with the results, if not I, I delete the layer and paint a new one. I use the liquify tool a lot to fix the proportions or any anomaly. For the hair I used the brush (deevad 2d flat old) and the hair brush (vb3BE by Vasco Alexander Basque) which I also used for the hat. When the painting is done I use filters to adjust the colors and contrast, I then make a new layer for final and minor tweaks here and there.

  • The January 2017 Issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine
  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 now available

    Red Hat, Inc. has announced the availability of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10, the company’s massively-scalable and agile cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution.

    Based on the upstream OpenStack ‘Newton’ release, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 10 drives new features that increase system-wide scalability, ease infrastructure management, and improve orchestration, while also enhancing network performance and platform security.

  • Hot Watch List: Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT), SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE:SVU), Delcath Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:DCTH), Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBRG)
  • ScreenLock on Jessie's systemd

    Something I was used to and which came as standard on wheezy if you installed acpi-support was screen locking when you where suspending, hibernating, ...

    This is something that I still haven't found on Jessie and which somebody had point me to solve via /lib/systemd/system-sleep/whatever hacking, but that didn't seem quite right, so I gave it a look again and this time I was able to add some config files at /etc/systemd and then a script which does what acpi-support used to do before

  • Happy New Year – My Free Software activities in December 2016

Phones and TIzen

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  • Are We Near 'Peak Screen Size' for Smartphone Screen Growth? Is 6 Inches Too Big?

    As I was working on the stats for the TomiAhonen Phone Book 2016 (was released last Friday if you missed the blog while on winter vacation), I did my various updates to the numbers. And I added more detail as I tend to do (now there is a separate chart just about the screen size growth over the past decade). And it had me thinking about the screen size issue again. Those who have read my blog for many years remember that three years ago I postulated my hypothesis that 'Screen Size Trumps Everything' and that turned out to be a pretty sharp blog of considerable insights and we saw even Apple finally agree to release its phablet screen size iPhone 6 Plus model etc.. It also predicted a growth in smartphone screen sizes. Now we may have reached the zenith of that evolution path. We are likely near the peak of how far screen sizes for the current form-factor smartphone concepts can grow. It is like my friend Christian Lindholm predicted back in 2007, that the physical dimensions of the gadget work with the human dimensions - our fingers typically - and the other restraints like sizes of our pockets and something a bit bigger than 5 inches was where Christian back then (in 2007 the largest phone screen size was the freshly-released iPhone with its massive 3.5 inches). The most popular premium and mid-range phone models sold today tend to be in that 5 inch size range say between 4.5 and 5.5 inches, and very few sell in any meaningful numbers in the over-6 inch range even though the 'phablet' size screen has now been around for us for five years. We seem to have now discovered the 'sweet spot'. So its time for me to speculate again. I think we have arrived at a kind of at least-temporary plateau and possibly the peak of how far this phone form factor will grow in screen size. We may see NEW form factors (Samsung rumored to give us a foldable screen, that folds like a book to give us twice the screen size in the same pocket size). But lets explore the evolution of the screen size. And good news: I have been drawing PICTURES for us... Smile Isn't that nice

  • Smartphone Game: Millionaire Popular TV Game added to Tizen Store
  • Smartphone App: Good Translator app with Google Translate API released to Tizen Store
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Fedora 26 Linux Might Ship with an LXQt Flavor, Won't Replace the LXDE Spin

There's a new self-contained change planned for the upcoming Fedora 26 Linux distribution, due for release on June 6, 2017, namely a new flavor built around the lightweight, Qt-based LXQt desktop environment. Read more

Devil-Linux 1.8.0 to Be a Major Overhaul, Will Use SquashFS as Main File System

It's been seven months since we last heard something from the developers of the Devil-Linux project, which produces a tiny, dedicated server distribution for many applications, and a new development version of the upcoming 1.8 stable series is out. Read more

CentOS vs Ubuntu: Which one is better for a server

Finally decided to get a VPS but can’t decide which Linux distro to use? We’ve all been there. The choice may even be overwhelming, even for Linux distros, considering all the different flavors and distros that are out there. Though, the two most widely used and most popular server distros are CentOS and Ubuntu. This is the main dilemma among admins, both beginners and professionals. Having experience with both (and more) distros, we decided to do a comparison of CentOS and Ubuntu when used for a server. Read more