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Monday, 19 Feb 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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SiFive launches first RISC-V SBC that runs Linux

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Linux

SiFive has opened pre-sales on a “HiFive Unleashed” SBC that runs Linux on its new RISC-V-based, quad-core, 1.5GHz U540 SoC, with 8GB DDR4, a GbE port, and an FMC connector.

SiFive followed up on its October announcement of the SiFive Freedom U540 — the world’s first Linux-driven RISC-V processor SoC — with a Crowd Supply campaign to launch a HiFive Unleashed SBC that showcases the U450. The board is available for a steep $999 for a June 30 shipment, or $1,250 if you want the few remaining first-run boards that ship by Mar. 31.

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GTK: GTK+ Hackfest and WebKitGTK+

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GNU
GNOME
  • GTK+ Hackfest 2018

    As some of you may know, we had a GTK+ Hackfest on February 1st and 2nd in Brussels, Belgium. Matthias has already blogged and blogged again about the two days and detailed notes about all the things we discussed can be found here and here. He also has some nice pictures.

    From everything we discussed I'm mostly looking forward to migrating to GitLab so I can file a few GTK+4 bugs and mark quite a few of them as blockers for a 4.0 release. I hope this will happen as soon as possible since there are quite a few usability regressions in current gtk+ master compared to gtk3 and those need time to get ironed out.

  • WebKitGTK+ 2.19.90 released!
  • WebKitGTK+ 2.19.90 Adds Graphics ARIA Rolls, Horizontal Scroll Shortcut

    Released in time for this week's GNOME 3.28 beta milestone is the WebKitGTK+ 2.19.90 release as the GNOME platform port of the WebKit layout engine.

    WebKitGTK+ 2.19.90 has several notable changes ahead of its upcoming WebKitGTK+ 2.20 stable release. WebKitGTK+ 2.19.90 now has WebSockets communication respecting system proxy settings, the context menu is now shown via a long-press gesture, and there is support for Shift + mouse scroll for scrolling horizontally. There is also a zoom gesture fix.

Review: Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0

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Reviews

Before I started my trial I was under the impression that Freespire and Linspire were quite different from stock Xubuntu. The Linspire blog, for instance, talks about binary blobs in "our" kernel and proprietary packages provided by vendors to Linspire. As I quickly learned, Linspire doesn't have its own repositories (let alone a custom kernel) and the proprietary packages are provided via the ubuntu-restricted-extras package. Similarly, the lead developer recently wrote on his blog that people who claim that Linspire is just a Xubuntu respin should "mind their own business" because they have no idea how much work has gone into customising Linspire over the last 18 months. When I asked the company if they could give some examples of how Linspire is different from Xubuntu I was told that, actually, their aim is to stay as close to Xubuntu as possible.

It would be unfair, however, to dismiss Freespire and Linspire as Xubuntu clones. The distros have two interesting selling points. Firstly, PC/OpenSystems can legally ship certain patent-encumbered codecs. Of course, anyone can install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package but in some jurisdictions doing so may be illegal. It is probably fair to say that few people care about such legalities but if you prefer to play by the rules then Linspire is worth a look.

Secondly, Linspire's main feature is the support license. You don't pay $79.99 for Xubuntu with a Linspire sticker - you buy a year's worth of support. Linspire might be an attractive option for small businesses and organisations that want to run Linux with a support contract. Similarly, I reckon many home users will like the idea of being able to get professional support for their Linspire box(es). That said, it is disappointing that the only real customisations (as in code changes) are regressions: the installer is far from a finished product. It is also unfortunate that Freespire lacks direction. The new Freespire was presented as an almost fully libre distro, yet the initial release clearly was the exact opposite. Only after pointing this out did PC/OpenSystems quietly release a new ISO.

The main issue I had with the distros was something else though: the marketing/PR/spin. I have already mentioned various examples of dubious claims. I would like to add one more example, just because it nicely illustrates my gripe: the Freespire page claims that, unlike Freespire, Linux Mint is difficult to install. PC/OpenSystems arrived at that conclusion based on its own research: a whopping three people were asked to install Freespire, Ubuntu and Linux Mint and the "sample group" apparently struggled to install Mint.

This type of marketing is needlessly negative. I would rather see the company work with, say, the Trisquel developers, who have already solved the issue with the checkbox in the Ubiquity installer and who may also be able to help Freespire become an FSF-approved distro. I would love to see a proper bug tracking tool so that I would have an easy way to report issues. And I think it would also be nice if PC/OpenSystems would start sharing the code it claims to produce.

In short, I think both Freespire and Linspire are on to something. I like the idea of a fully libre Xubuntu spin and I am sure there is demand for Linspire. I just hope history won't repeat itself.

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10 Best Linux Desktop Environments And Their Comparison

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GNU
Linux

Linux is all about what you want and having it from the ocean of free and open source software. The same applies while performing a comparison of desktop environments as they comprise of different applications and a GUI via which the user interacts with the operating system. Just like a plethora of Linux-based free operating systems, are many options available and our list of best Linux desktop environment and their comparison includes the likes of KDE, Cinnamon, Xfce, GNOME, etc.

The Linux world is full of open source software. You have the option of choosing from hundreds of distributions and customize them as per your will. No one slaps you with a copyright even if you change the source code of a distro to fork your Linux distro and release it with a new name. That’s the beauty of free software and open source. Only one thing the creators may ask you is to give them proper credits because they have also invested their efforts and time. Well, that’s a different story.

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Security: Windows/NSA Back Doors and 'Joys' of Cryptocurrency Malware

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Microsoft
Security

Elementary OS Juno will be version 5.0, not 0.5

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GNU
Linux

A new version of elementary OS arrives in the spring, and when it does it’ll have a number of significant new features and changes on offer.

Among them a small yet appreciable bump to the version number. Yes elementary OS 0.5 Juno will actually be elementary OS 5.0.

Previous releases of elementary OS are numbered 0.1, 0.2 and so on, with 0.4 being the most recent release. That trend won’t continue hereon-in; the next elementary OS release will in fact be version 5.0, and not 0.5 as many had expected.

Why the switch?

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Security: Linux Kernel Runtime Guard (LKRG), Windows Malware, and Black Duck's Latest FUD

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Security
  • OpenWall unveils kernel protection project

    The folk at OpenWall have called for assistance to create a security module to watch Linux kernels for suspicious activity.

    In the company's explanation, the Linux Kernel Runtime Guard (LKRG) is described as a module that “attempts to post-detect and hopefully promptly respond to unauthorised modifications to the running Linux kernel (integrity checking) or to credentials (such as user IDs) of the running processes (exploit detection).”

    Developed by Adam Zabrocki (@adam_pi3) and now championed by OpenWall, the first cut of the code landed last week.

  • Complex PZChao Windows malware has more than one string to its bow

    Security firm Bitdefender says it has been monitoring a complex custom-built piece of Windows malware, that it has named PZChao because of the name of the domain at which its command and control server resides.

  • Monero Cryptocurrency Miner Leverages NSA Exploit

    In a growing development, attackers have leveraged an exploit found in almost all generations of Microsoft Windows. EternalBlue is a security vulnerability that allowed WannaCry to run rampant in over 150 different countries and took down parts of the National Health Service (NHS), as well as Petya/NonPetya (a strain of ransomware that inspired NATO to assemble an entire cyber operation to combat it).

  • Monero mining botnet uses NSA exploit to infect Windows servers

    Microsoft Windows servers around the globe are playing host to a mining botnet known as Smominru Monero, which may have made as much as US$3.6 million for its operators based on the current value of the Monero cryptocurrency.

  • Health tech and open source– what should manufacturers do to keep medical devices safe? [Ed: Black Duck spreads FUD, as usual. Pretends to be doing journalism, but here it just promotes its proprietary things.]

Meet India’s women Open Source warriors

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OSS

As Vaishali Thakker, a 23-year old open source programmer looked over the hall filled with around 200 people, she didn’t know how to react to what she had just heard. Thakker was one of the five women on the stage at PyCon India 2017, a conference on the use of the Python programming language, in New Delhi. The topic of the discussion was “Women in open source.”

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Also: Open-source turns 20: here’s how the movement influenced PCs

GNU: FreeIPMI 1.6.1 and GNU Hurd Update

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GNU
  • FreeIPMI 1.6.1 Released With Performance Improvements, Better IPv6 Support

    Albert Chu of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced the release this weekend of FreeIPMI, the GNU project implementing Intelligent Platform Management Interface v1.5/2.0 support.

    This in-band/out-of-band IPMI software features many improvements with its v1.6.1 milestone.

  • GNU Hurd Hardware Support Remains In Very Rough Shape For 2018

    Yesterday at FOSDEM 2018 Hurd developer Samuel Thibault talked about the work done on this GNU kernel for a PCI arbiter to allow different user-land drivers to access PCI devices concurrently. During this PCI arbiter talk he also went over the current state of the hardware support and recent achievements for GNU Hurd.

    Sadly, the hardware state is pretty much the same as what he summarized two years ago at FOSDEM. GNU Hurd remains mainly focused on i686 kernel support, their 64-bit kernel can now boot but overall is in rough shape, their layer for getting network cards working remains based off the Linux 2.6.32 drivers, there is IDE and AHCI driver support for SATA, preliminary sound support through the userland Rump, etc.

Games: Project Contingency, Dead Cells, Full Metal Furies, Swords of Ditto

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Gaming

SUSE releases live patching for big iron, real-time OS update

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Security
SUSE

Germany-based Linux vendor SUSE Linux has launched live patching for its enterprise Linux distribution that runs on IBM Power Systems and also a service pack for its real-tine enterprise distribution that will enable systems running it to handle both real-time and non-real-time workloads on a single virtual machine.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Worth Saving?

    A friend the other day casually called Linux Journal "the journal of record for the Open Source community". I think that's a good description of what we were for 23 years—because one sign of our "of record" status is how many people have told us that they have a collection of LJ issues going back many years.

    So I asked myself, what other magazines do people tend to keep, that might be models for Linux Journal as it grows into something much bigger in the world—while doing a better job than ever tending its Linux roots?

  • Poll: Best Linux Distribution

    e're working on 2018 Readers' Choice Awards. First poll... which do you consider to be the best distribution?

  • Linux Desktop Success – Unleaded Hangout

    Linux Desktop Success. What’s it going to take to get us there? Have we already hit the tipping point with ChromeOS? Perhaps instead, it’s a matter of greater OEM adoption? We discuss.

  • Portworx Delivers STORK as an Open Source Stateful Storage Project

    Acronym fans rejoice! Just weeks after releasing a wonderfully acronym-free reference configuration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Portworx unveiled an avian-based tag for a new open source stateful storage project.

    The Storage Orchestrator Runtime for Kubernetes, more fluidly known as STORK, uses the extensibility of Kubernetes to support stateful applications. This allows DevOps teams to run stateful applications – think databases, queues, and key-value stores – on Kubernetes.

  • Radeon Linux Graphics Stack, RadeonSI Shaders Update From FOSDEM 2018

    In addition to the Nouveau driver crew talking about their Vulkan plans and other open-source work, Nicolai Hähnle of AMD represented the company's work on their Radeon Linux graphics driver stack(s) and the work they have going on for improving their GPU driver support.

  • Some thoughts on The Lion’s Song, a narrative-rich adventure

    This point and click game meshes stories of people trying to create and discover new truths in prewar Vienna. I’ve completed the episodic series and have a few thoughts to share.

  • Looking for ways to spice up your gaming? Here’s a few games with awesome mods

    With the continuous stream of new releases, it’s sometimes hard to remember that there's still plenty of excuses to fire up games you already own. User-made modifications are one of the best things about being a PC gamer and so I’ve taken the time to make a very biased list of games that have great mods.

    For the uninitiated, a mod or modification is some sort of change that’s made to an existing game by fans and players. It can be anything from massive graphical overhauls, new story lines to simple interface tweaks or changing the game balance and difficulty. While not really limited to PC games anymore, it's still something that's predominantly with the platform.

  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 4

    This was a big week for Usability & Productivity. Before I get to the list of improvements we landed, I’d like to make an exciting announcement: we’re scoping out the work to add FUSE support to KIO for remote locations like Samba shares. This should vastly improve the experience of interacting with files on Samba and FTP locations (among others) when using non-KDE software with KDE Plasma. No timelines or promises yet, but it’s now on our radar screens.

  • The Real Reason Red Hat Is Acquiring CoreOS
  • TRUE Private Wealth Advisors Purchases New Holdings in Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT)
  • Fedora Red Team on ITProTV

    Back at BSidesDE — which was awesome, BTW — I was interviewed by ITProTV, and had the opportunity to discuss the Fedora Red Team.

  • Free software log (January 2018)

    The only sofware releases I got out this month were both for work: versions 0.4.0 and 0.4.1 of groupy, the client library for Merou, the authorization management system we use. We're not doing formal releases of the latter yet, just building from Git, and probably need to settle on a final public project name before we do.

    At some point I'll build proper software release pages for both of these, since I seem to be doing most of the release management for groupy.

  • January 2018 report: LTS

    I have already published a yearly report which covers all of 2017 but also some of my January 2018 work, so I'll try to keep this short.

  • January 2018 is gone

    It is not that there were not interesting topics to write about.  I could have posted, for example, about the release of the Elive beta 2.9.22, which promised Korean and Japanese support. However, I could not even get the release.

  • Nokia HMD Comeback? First Year Finishes with 8.5 Million Smartphones Shipped and 1.0% Market Share by Year-End

    I will still wait, in case any other analysts report any Nokia numbers. When we have all data in, I'll do a forecast for this year.

Events: Debian, FOSDEM, Ubucon Europe, Ceph Day

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OSS
  • WordPress.com tracking pictures and a minidebconf in Pune

    I had mentally prepared myself for newbie questions but refreshingly, even though there were lot of amateurs, most of them had used Debian for sometime. So instead of talking about why we need to have Debian as a choice or why X disto is better than Y we had more pointed topical questions. There were questions about privacy as well where Debian is strong and looking to set the bar even higher. I came to know much later than Kali people are interested in porting most of their packages and maintain it in main, more eyes to see the code, a larger superset of people would use the work they do than those who would only use kali and in time higher quality of packages which is win-win to all the people concerned.

  • Talk Scheduling At Conferences

    I’m at FOSDEM this weekend; it’s a large conference. They seem to find one or two new rooms to use every year, and it now sprawls across most of the ULB campus in Brussels.

    It has rather surprised me that several otherwise experienced and excellent devroom organizers (naming no names) have organized their rooms on the mistaken belief that switching between speakers, and having people exit and enter the room, happens instantaneously. It doesn’t.

  • Ubucon Europe 2018: Last call for papers & current status event

    You're on time for submit a conference, workshop, stand or podcast for the next Ubucon!!

  • Ceph Day Germany 2018 - Update

    The German Ceph Day 2018 in Darmstadt is finally only a few days away (07. February 2018).

    The agenda is now complete. There are 13 talks and a short Q&A session planed during the day.

    Already 150 attendees signed up and due to the support of our latest sponsor Intel we now are able to host for up to 175 interested members of the big Ceph community. There are only a limited number of tickets left, be quick to register for one while they are still available.

OSS: Coreboot, Chromium, Firefox, LibreOffice, GRUB, GNU Compiler Collection

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OSS
  • A Cloud/Hosting Provider Is Using Coreboot On Thousands Of Servers

    A European cloud and dedicated server provider that designs their own servers is now designing their own BIOS using Coreboot and using this in production on thousands of servers.

    The Online.net dedicated server provider and their Scaleway cloud division have taken to using Coreboot paired with the Intel FSP and TianoCore and using it on their thousands of servers. Online.net/Scaleway is owned by France's Iliad Group and the company is big enough that they design their own x86/ARM server hardware and have now taken to designing their own BIOS by building off Coreboot.

  • Igalia's Battle Getting Chromium Running Nicely On Wayland

    Igalia has been one of the companies working on improving Chromium's support for Wayland and they shared their story about it at this weekend's FOSDEM 2018 event in Brussels.

    The Igalia consulting firm has been spending a lot of time and resources on improving Chromium's support for Wayland and getting it to parity with the X11 code paths. With their work they have upstream in mind and work to get as much code as possible back upstream in the Google sources.

  • February’s Featured Extensions
  • Firefox users urged to update their browsers immediately due to critical security flaw

    If left unpatched, the critical vulnerability (CVE-2018-5124) could allow remote attackers to execute malicious code on computers which are infected, Cisco's threat team said in its security advisory.

  • Microsoft confirms Office 2019 will be for Windows 10 only

     

    But with online offerings like those from Google and Box and open source alternatives like LibreOffice, which has just released its latest version, Microsoft could be about to learn another lesson in the "you're not the only game in town, lads" department. All these offerings give options at least equal to Microsoft Office and will work across everything from Linux and Mac and even Chrome OS via the web.

  • GRUB 2.04 Should Be Released Later This Year

    It's been nine months since the release of GRUB 2.02 while the GRUB 2.04 stable release should be out by year's end.

    GRUB developer and one of the upstream maintainers Daniel Kiper who works for Oracle provided an update on GRUB2 development at this weekend's FOSDEM event in Brussels.

  • Intel Icelake Support Lands In GCC 8

    Back in November I wrote about a GCC patch for the Intel Icelake CPU target and now that code has finally been merged for the GNU Compiler Collection ahead of the upcoming GCC 8.1 release.

Open Hardware: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and RISC-V

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Raspberry-Pi DVB transmitter: The benefits of open-source hardware

    I was first alerted to the benefits of open-source some years ago while talking to a couple of very experienced engineers. These guys, who worked for a multi-billion-dollar company with a global footprint, had been asked by their manager to complete a project in a ridiculously short time frame.

    They concluded that their only hope was to use open-source, which was an unusual decision for a company of that size and a bit of a culture shock. Open-source software has a long pedigree, of course, but most companies do not open up their hardware designs.

  • AFRL, NextFlex leverage open-source community to create flexible circuit system

    An Air Force Research Laboratory-led project in conjunction with NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Institute, has resulted in the first ever, functional samples of flexible Arduino circuit board systems made by using a flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing process, setting the stage for smart technologies for the internet of things (IoT) and sensor applications like wearable devices.

  • Pics from the FOSDEM SiFive talk
  • SiFive unleashed board
  • SiFive Introduces RISC-V Linux-Capable Multicore Processor

    Slowly but surely, RISC-V, the Open Source architecture for everything from microcontrollers to server CPUs is making inroads in the community. Now SiFive, the major company behind putting RISC-V chips into actual silicon, is releasing a chip that’s even more powerful. At FOSDEM this weekend, SiFive announced the release of a Linux-capable Single Board Computer built around the RISC-V ISA. It’s called the HiFive Unleashed, and it’s the first piece of silicon capable or running Linux on a RISC-V core.

Security: The Internet of Connected Sex Toys, Gas Stations, Hospitals With Windows and More

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Security
  • The Internet of Connected Sex Toys is every bit as horrifyingly insecure and poorly thought out as you imagine

    The rush to put networked sensors and controllers into sex toys is grounded in foolish, convenient untruths, like the idea that the incredibly sensitive data generated by these systems can be anonymized and then analyzed for insights without exposing users to risk.

    The sex tech industry has been a top-to-bottom series of farces and catastrophes. [...]

  • These app-controlled sex toys can be 'remotely taken over by hackers'

    In an advisory published Thursday (1 January), researchers said bugs in a customer database meant that attackers could have easily accessed user details, including "names, cleartext passwords and explicit image galleries" being stored by the company.

  • Flaws in Gas Station Software Let Hackers Change Prices, Steal Fuel, Erase Evidence

    Gas stations lose millions of dollars annually to gas fraud. Most of this fraud occurs when thieves use stolen credit and debit cards to fuel vehicles, resulting in chargebacks to service stations.

    But gas station owners in the US and elsewhere may have to worry about a new kind of fraud after two security researchers in Israel discovered multiple vulnerabilities in one automated system used to control fuel prices and other information at thousands of gas stations around the world.

    The vulnerabilities would allow an attacker to shut down fuel pumps, hijack credit card payments, and steal card numbers or access backend networks to take control of surveillance cameras and other systems connected to a gas station or convenience store's network. An attacker could also simply alter fuel prices and steal petrol.

  • Healthcare IT Systems: Tempting Targets for Ransomware

    Well, there’s no use in waiting, I suppose. Two Thursdays ago, Chicago-based electronic health records provider Allscripts Healthcare Solutions suffered a ransomware attack that paralyzed some of its services. This past Friday, the company announced it had completely recovered from the cyberattack. But not before a class action lawsuit [pdf] was filed against it by an orthopedic non-surgery practice for failing to secure its systems and data from a well-known cybersecurity threat, i.e., a strain of SamSam.

    The ransomware attack impaired Allscripts’ data centers in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, affecting a number of applications, such as its Professional EHR and Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) hosted services, which were mostly restored within five days, according to the company. Other services, like clinical decision support, analytics, data extraction, and regulatory reporting, took the longest to make operational again.

  • Pwn2Own 2018 Expands Targets and Raises Prize Pool to $2M

    The annual Pwn2own hacking competition run by Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) is set to return for 2018, along with a longer list of targets and more money for security researchers, than ever before.

    Pwn2own is a security researcher contest that typically has two events a year, with the primary event focused on browser and server technologies and a second event just for mobile technologies. The first event of 2018 is set for March 14-16 and will have five targets: virtualization, web browsers, enterprise applications, servers and a new Windows Insider Preview Challenge category.

  • Disable Flash Player!! Critical Vulnerability Gives Away Your System Controls
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