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Thursday, 06 Aug 20 - 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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DRM and Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Software
  • Some Photoshop users can try Adobe’s anti-misinformation system later this year

    Adobe pitched the CAI last year as a general anti-misinformation and pro-attribution tool, but many details remained in flux. A newly released white paper makes its scope clearer. The CAI is primarily a more persistent, verifiable type of image metadata. It’s similar to the standard EXIF tags that show the location or date of a photograph, but with cryptographic signatures that let you verify the tags haven’t been changed or falsely applied to a manipulated photo.

    People can still download and edit the image, take a screenshot of it, or interact the way they would any picture. Any CAI metadata tags will show that the image was manipulated, however. Adobe is basically encouraging adding valuable context and viewing any untagged photos with suspicion, rather than trying to literally stop plagiarism or fakery. “There will always be bad actors,” says Adobe community products VP Will Allen. “What we want to do is provide consumers a way to go a layer deeper — to actually see what happened to that asset, who it came from, where it came from, and what happened to it.”

    The white paper makes clear that Adobe will need lots of hardware and software support for the system to work effectively. CAI-enabled cameras (including both basic smartphones and high-end professional cameras) would need to securely add tags for dates, locations, and other details. Photo editing tools would record how an image has been altered — showing that a journalist adjusted the light balance but didn’t erase or add any details. And social networks or other sites would need to display the information and explain why users should care about it.

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  • EFF and ACLU Tell Federal Court that Forensic Software Source Code Must Be Disclosed

           

             

    Can secret software be used to generate key evidence against a criminal defendant? In an amicus filed ten days ago with the United States District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania, EFF and the ACLU of Pennsylvania explain that secret forensic technology is inconsistent with criminal defendants’ constitutional rights and the public’s right to oversee the criminal trial process. Our amicus in the case of United States v. Ellis also explains why source code, and other aspects of forensic software programs used in a criminal prosecution, must be disclosed in order to ensure that innocent people do not end up behind bars, or worse—on death row.

             

    The Constitution guarantees anyone accused of a crime due process and a fair trial. Embedded in those foundational ideals is the Sixth Amendment right to confront the evidence used against you. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Confrontation Clause’s central purpose was to ensure that evidence of a crime was reliable by subjecting it to rigorous testing and challenges. This means that defendants must be given enough information to allow them to examine and challenge the accuracy of evidence relied on by the government.

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  • Powershell Bot with Multiple C2 Protocols

                     

                       

    I spotted another interesting Powershell script. It's a bot and is delivered through a VBA macro that spawns an instance of msbuild.exe This Windows tool is often used to compile/execute malicious on the fly (I already wrote a diary about this technique[1]). I don’t have the original document but based on a technique used in the macro, it is part of a Word document. It calls Document_ContentControlOnEnter[2]: [...]

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  • FBI Used Information From An Online Forum Hacking To Track Down One Of The Hackers Behind The Massive Twitter Attack

           

             

    As Mike reported last week, the DOJ rounded up three alleged participants in the massive Twitter hack that saw dozens of verified accounts start tweeting out promises to double the bitcoin holdings of anyone who sent bitcoin to a certain account.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay 9-Figure Fine for Violating FTC Agreement

                         

                           

    That means that the complaint is not related to last month’s high-profile [cr]ack of prominent accounts on the service. That security incident saw accounts from the likes of Joe Biden and Elon Musk ask followers to send them bitcoin. A suspect was arrested in the incident last month.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay Up to $250 Million in FTC Fine Over Alleged Privacy Violations

                         

                           

    Twitter disclosed that it anticipates being forced to pay an FTC fine of $150 million to $250 million related to alleged violations over the social network’s use of private data for advertising.

                           

    The company revealed the expected scope of the fine in a 10-Q filing with the SEC. Twitter said that on July 28 it received a draft complaint from the Federal Trade Commission alleging the company violated a 2011 consent order, which required Twitter to establish an information-security program designed to “protect non-public consumer information.”

                           

    “The allegations relate to the Company’s use of phone number and/or email address data provided for safety and security purposes for targeted advertising during periods between 2013 and 2019,” Twitter said in the filing.

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  • Apple removes more than 26,000 games from China app store

                     

                       

    Apple pulled 29,800 apps from its China app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to Qimai Research Institute.

                       

    The removals are in response to Beijing's crackdown on unlicensed games, which started in June and intensified in July, Bloomberg reported. This brings an end to the unofficial practice of letting games be published while awaiting approval from Chinese censors.

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  • Intuit Agrees to Buy Singapore Inventory Software Maker

                     

                       

    Intuit will pay more than $80 million for TradeGecko, according to people familiar with the matter, marking one of the biggest exits in Singapore since the Covid-19 pandemic. TradeGecko has raised more than $20 million to date from investors including Wavemaker Partners, Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

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  • Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax

           

             

    The probe comes after ProPublica first reported in February that antitrust experts viewed the deal as concerning because it could allow a dominant firm to eliminate a competitor with an innovative business model. Intuit already dominates online tax preparation, with a 67% market share last year. The article sparked letters from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., urging the DOJ to investigate further. Cicilline is chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security

           

  • DNS configuration recommendations for IPFire users

    If you are familiar with IPFire, you might have noticed DNSSEC validation is mandatory, since it defeats entire classes of attacks. We receive questions like "where is the switch to turn off DNSSEC" on a regular basis, and to say it once and for all: There is none, and there will never be one. If you are running IPFire, you will be validating DNSSEC. Period.

    Another question frequently asked is why IPFire does not support filtering DNS replies for certain FQDNs, commonly referred to as a Response Policy Zone (RPZ). This is because an RPZ does what DNSSEC attempts to secure users against: Tamper with DNS responses. From the perspective of a DNSSEC-validating system, a RPZ will just look like an attacker (if the queried FQDN is DNSSEC-signed, which is what we strive for as much of them as possible), thus creating a considerable amount of background noise. Obviously, this makes detecting ongoing attacks very hard, most times even impossible - the haystack to search just becomes too big.

    Further, it does not cover direct connections to hardcoded IP addresses, which is what some devices and attackers usually do, as it does not rely on DNS to be operational and does not leave any traces. Using an RPZ will not make your network more secure, it just attempts to cover up the fact that certain devices within it cannot be trusted.

    Back to DNSSEC: In case the queried FQDNs are signed, forged DNS replies are detected since they do not match the RRSIG records retrieved for that domain. Instead of being transparently redirected to a fradulent web server, the client will only display a error message to its user, indicating a DNS lookup failure. Large-scale attacks by returning forged DNS replies are frequently observed in the wild (the DNSChanger trojan is a well-known example), which is why you want to benefit from validating DNSSEC and more and more domains being signed with it.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (libx11, webkit2gtk, and zabbix), Fedora (webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (claws-mail, ghostscript, and targetcli-fb), Red Hat (dbus, kpatch-patch, postgresql-jdbc, and python-pillow), Scientific Linux (libvncserver and postgresql-jdbc), SUSE (kernel and python-rtslib-fb), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, sqlite3, squid3, and webkit2gtk). 

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  • Official 1Password Linux App is Available for Testing

    An official 1Password Linux app is on the way, and brave testers are invited to try an early development preview.

    1Password is a user-friendly (and rather popular) cross-platform password manager. It provides mobile apps and browser extensions for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Google Chrome, Edge, Firefox — and now a dedicated desktop app for Linux, too.

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  • FBI Warns of Increased DDoS Attacks

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a “private industry notification” last week that attackers are increasingly using amplification techniques in distributed denial-of-service attacks. There has been an uptick in attack attempts since February, the agency’s Cyber Division said in the alert.
    An amplification attack occurs when attackers send a small number of requests to a server and the server responds with numerous responses. The attackers spoof the IP address to make it look like the requests are coming from a specific victim, and the resulting responses overwhelms the victim’s network.

    “Cyber actors have exploited built-in network protocols, designed to reduce computation overhead of day-to-day system and operational functions to conduct larger and more destructive distributed denial-of-service amplification attacks against US networks,” the FBI alert said. Copies of the alert were posted online by several recipients, including threat intelligence company Bad Packets.

  • NSA issues BootHole mitigation guidance

    Following the disclosure of a widespread buffer-flow vulnerability that could affect potentially billions of Linux and Windows-based devices, the National Security Agency issued a follow-up cybersecurity advisory highlighting the bug and offering steps for mitigation.

    The vulnerability -- dubbed BootHole -- impacts devices and operating systems that use signed versions of the open-source GRUB2 bootloader software found in most Linux systems. It also affects any system or device using Secure Boot -- a root firmware interface responsible for validating the booting process -- with Microsoft's standard third party certificate authority. The vulnerability enables attackers to bypass Secure Boot to allow arbitrary code execution and “could be used to install persistent and stealthy bootkits,” NSA said in a press statement.

Mozilla: SameSite, SUMO, Firefox and More

Filed under
Moz/FF

           

  • Changes to SameSite Cookie Behavior – A Call to Action for Web Developers

    We are changing the default value of the SameSite attribute for cookies from None to Lax, per new IETF guidelines. This will greatly improve security for users. However, some web sites may depend (even unknowingly) on the old default, potentially resulting in breakage for those sites. At Mozilla, we are slowly introducing this change. And we are strongly encouraging all web developers to test their sites with the new default.

    [...]

    Testing in the Firefox Nightly and Beta channels has shown that website breakage does occur. While we have reached out to those sites we’ve encountered and encouraged them to set the SameSite attribute on their web properties, the web is clearly too big to do this on a case-by-case basis.

    It is important that all web developers test their sites against this new default. This will prepare you for when both Firefox and Chrome browsers make the switch in their respective release channels.

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  • New platform milestone completed: Python upgrade

    In 2020 a lot of the SUMO platform’s team work is focused on modernizing our support platform (Kitsune) and performing some foundational work that will allow us to grow and expand the platform. We have started this in H1 with the new Responsive and AAQ redesign. Last week we completed a new milestone: the Python/Django upgrade.

    Why was this necessary

    Support.mozilla.org was running on Python 2.7, meaning our core technology stack was running on a no longer supported version. We needed to upgrade to at least 3.7 and, at the same time, upgrade to the latest Django Long Term Support (LTS) version 2.2.

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  • Firefox 79 includes protections against redirect tracking

    A little over a year ago we enabled Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) by default in Firefox. We did so because we recognize that tracking poses a threat to society, user safety, and the autonomy of individuals and we’re committed to protecting users against these threats by default. ETP was our first step in fulfilling that commitment, but the web provides many covert avenues trackers can use to continue their data collection.

    Today’s Firefox release introduces the next step in providing a safer and more private experience for our users with Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0, where we will block a new advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. ETP 2.0 clears cookies and site data from tracking sites every 24 hours, except for those you regularly interact with. We’ll be rolling ETP 2.0 out to all Firefox users over the course of the next few weeks.

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  • Fast Company Recognizes Katharina Borchert as one of the Most Creative Business People

    We are proud to share that Katharina Borchert, Mozilla’s Chief Open Innovation Officer, has been named one of the  Most Creative People by Fast Company. The award recognizes her leadership on Common Voice and helping to diversify AI speech through machine learning. Katharina was recognized not just for a groundbreaking idea, but because her work is having a measurable impact in the world.

    [...]

    The full list also includes vintner, Krista Scruggs, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp, and Ryan Reynolds: “for delivering an honest message, even when it’s difficult”.

    “‘This is a real honor,” said Katharina, “which also reflects the contributions of an incredible alliance of people at Mozilla and beyond. We have a way to go before the full promise of Common Voice is realized. But I’m incredibly inspired by the different communities globally building it together with Mozilla, because language is so important for our identities and for keeping cultural diversity alive in the digital age. Extending the reach of voice recognition to more languages can only open the doors to more innovation and make tech more inclusive.”

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  • Latest Firefox rolls out Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0; blocking redirect trackers by default

    Today, Firefox is introducing Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) 2.0, our next step in continuing to provide a safe and private experience for our users. ETP 2.0 protects you from an advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. We will be rolling out ETP 2.0 over the next couple of weeks.

    Last year we enabled ETP by default in Firefox because we believe that understanding the complexities and sophistication of the ad tracking industry should not be required to be safe online. ETP 1.0 was our first major step in fulfilling that commitment to users. Since we enabled ETP by default, we’ve blocked 3.4 trillion tracking cookies. With ETP 2.0, Firefox brings an additional level of privacy protection to the browser.

    Since the introduction of ETP, ad industry technology has found other ways to track users: creating workarounds and new ways to collect your data in order to identify you as you browse the web. Redirect tracking goes around Firefox’s built-in third-party cookie-blocking policy by passing you through the tracker’s site before landing on your desired website. This enables them to see where you came from and where you are going.

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  • Moth wants you to design a Firefox Theme for San Francisco Shock

    This summer we partnered with Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock to help the fans at home cheer on their 2019 Grand Finals Champions. This included Firefox Protection Plays and giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of the SF Shock players.

    Before the summer season ends, we wanted to do one last thing for the SF Shock team and their fans. One of the players, Moth, shared that Firefox is the only browser he uses. He learned about Firefox while studying software engineering in college. Firefox and Mozilla’s mission along with the open source ethos is what keeps him a loyal user. To celebrate that, we’re inviting SF Shock fans — and anyone else who might be interested — to design an original Firefox theme.

Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android

ExTiX 20.8 Is the First Distro to Let You Try Linux Kernel 5.8, Based on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS

Filed under
Linux
Ubuntu

ExTiX is where you can try the latest GNU/Linux technologies before they’re available in your favorite OS. The new release, ExTiX 20.8, is based on the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS point release to the Focal Fossa series and uses the recently released Linux 5.8 kernel series.

So if you want to test your hardware against Linux kernel 5.8 before installing it on your production machine, you can just download the ExTiX 20.8 live ISO and take it for a spin to see what works and what doesn’t.

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Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” Artwork by Sylvia Ritter Looks Astonishing, Made with Krita

Filed under
Ubuntu

Slated for release on October 22nd, 2020, the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10 release is codenamed “Groovy Gorilla,” continuing Canonical’s tradition to codename new Ubuntu releases in alphabetical order using animal names.

Sylvia Ritter is well known for her amazing artwork, and she did create artwork for all Ubuntu releases in the past. The latest was published today for Ubuntu 20.10, which you can right now her DeviantArt page.

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Red Hat changes certification rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic

Filed under
Red Hat

One of the best ways to get a job in tech is to have a certification. Yes, I know, you can do your work better than anyone with a certification, but try telling the human resources department that at a new company. Unfortunately, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it's harder than ever to take the tests you need to get or keep a certification. Red Hat, the Linux and cloud power, has an answer.

First, if you already have a Red Hat certification, which would expire between March 17, 2020, and December 31, 2020, it's been extended to January 1, 2021.

Next, Red Hat is launching remote certification exams for its four most popular certifications. These are...

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Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat

           

  • The Red Hat story
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  • Fedora Community Blog monthly summary: July 2020

    This is the second in what I hope to make a monthly series summarizing the past month on the Community Blog. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think. Stats In July, we published 20 posts. The site had 6,463 visits from 4,128 unique viewers. 

  • Fedora rawhide – fixed bugs 2020/07
  • Red Hat Virtualization: The now and the next

    We’re excited to announce that Red Hat Virtualization 4.4, the latest update to our mature and trusted virtualization solution for traditional virtual machine (VM)-based workloads, will be generally available this week. As the established virtualization landscape shifts towards cloud-native technologies, Red Hat Virtualization has continued to provide the ability for businesses to deploy, configure and manage traditional workloads. With this latest release, Red Hat Virtualization is now rebased to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 and offers a more seamless integration with Red Hat OpenShift, providing a solution that can launch the next-generation of cloud-native applications while providing a foundation for VMs today.

    From traditional to cloud-native, virtualization here and now

    Red Hat is uniquely positioned to provide virtualization solutions for both traditional and containerized applications. With Red Hat Virtualization, we remain committed to providing customers robust and stable datacenter virtualization based upon KVM. 

    Based on RHEL 8.2, Red Hat Virtualization 4.4 inherits all of the stability, performance and security improvements that you trust for your most business critical workloads while adding new capabilities that make it even easier to manage a large virtual environment. We’ve also  improved observability with new dashboards for the Data Warehouse (DWH) showing performance and capacity of all your critical inventory. This leads to actionable results with unique analysis and trends of which workloads need attention, and when you need to add more hardware. Other improvements for virtualization admin include easier network configuration with NetworkManager. 

  • Creating an enterprise service request bridge between ServiceNow ITOM and Red Hat Ansible Tower

    At Keyva, we see clients in all phases of their automation journey. Some organizations are just starting out and automating domain lifecycle tasks, such as provisioning firewall rules or automating server builds, while others may be well down the path of creating self-service IT capabilities. In most cases, regardless of where a team is on its journey, they eventually want to arrive at the point where they can provide self-service IT capabilities to the teams and users that want to consume them. 

    At a basic level, self-service IT requests require two primary pieces of functionality: a request portal and automated request fulfillment. Let’s briefly look at both components.

  • Powering digital transformation at Royal Bank of Canada with Red Hat platforms

    Enterprises across the globe are looking to transform their operations and services to better align with current conditions. To succeed, they also need to adopt the latest technologies. Even the most traditional businesses - such as banks and financial institutions - need to use innovative approaches to deliver leading-edge solutions to their clients and partners.  

    As our customers begin to evaluate their digital transformation options, they are looking for a trusted partner to work with and a proven infrastructure platform to innovate upon. These are  often the key factors for success. Take Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), for instance. RBC is in the top 10 of global banks with over 86,000 employees and a complex IT environment.  As a leader in technology and innovation, RBC has been at the forefront of digital transformation. The bank has been recognized with multiple industry awards and honors, and continues to innovate to better serve their customers.

Is the Python Community Becoming Toxic?

Filed under
Development

The Python community is amazing. I started learning Python over 15 years ago and the community was almost always very supportive in helping me figure things out. However, the past few years there seems to have been a shift. I’m not sure if it’s just because Python has grown so much in popularity or if it’s something more basic, such as people becoming more sensitive about things. Whatever it is, the community seems to be heading away from what it once was.

I first started thinking about this during Brett Cannon’s PyCon keynote about his experiences in the open-source community and how we need to be nice to each other. Too many people think they can be rude when requesting features or bug fixes. But he also mentioned that maintainers also need to have a good attitude and not drive away potential new contributors.

A couple months after this keynote was when Guido Van Rossum, creator of the Python language, suddenly retired as the head of Python. At the time, the reason given was that there was so much acrimony and fighting over PEP 572 that he stepped down early.

This year we saw multiple members of the PyTest team drop out of the project.

While Reddit and StackOverflow remain very popular, in my experience I have found them to be difficult to break into. The Reddit Python community, while very large and diverse, is full of trolls and the moderators don’t seem to follow Reddit’s own rules. I personally have had problems simply posting articles on there while others I know have been harassed because their project wasn’t deemed to be “Pythonic” enough. The PySimpleGUI project has been demonized repeatedly there, for example.

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Linux 5.9: close_range(), Keem Bay, and FSGSBASE

Filed under
Linux

  • Linux 5.9 Set To Bring "Close_Range" System Call - Coordinated With FreeBSD Developers

    The close_range() system call is intended to allow efficiently closing a range of file descriptors (or all file descriptors) of the calling task. This system call was devised in cooperation with FreeBSD developers. 

    FreeBSD developers merged their compatible close_range system call all the way back in April 2019 while now for Linux 5.9 in August 2020 this system call is deemed ready for inclusion. 

  • Linux 5.9 Adds Intel "Keem Bay" Support, 8 Snapdragon Smartphones, AMD EthanolX BMC, Old Tegra Tablets

    There are many ARM changes coming to Linux 5.9, including support for Intel's Keem Bay. 

    Keem Bay is the Intel SoC by way of their Movidius acquisition that is built for edge AI computing. Keem Bay is a SoC built with Arm Cortex A53 processors and an Intel Movidius VPU. Intel acquired Movidius in 2016 and has continued advancing their low-power, computer vision hardware. Intel published a DRM driver for Keem Bay and other driver changes while the pull request being talked about today is the actual ARM platform enablement. 

    Along with Keem Bay, new Arm SoC families being supported by the mainline Linux 5.9 kernel are Microchip SparX5 and Mediatek Infinity3 / Mercury5. 

  • After 5 Years, FSGSBASE Support Finally Ready For Linux To Enhance AMD/Intel Performance

    The Linux kernel work for making use of the x86_64 FSGSBASE instruction since Intel Ivy Bridge and since then AMD CPUs also is set to finally land with the in-development Linux 5.9 kernel. The FSGSBASE support has the possibility of helping Intel/AMD CPU performance especially in areas like context switching that had been hurt badly by Spectre/Meltdown and other CPU vulnerability mitigations largely on the Intel side. 

    Intel developers started the FSGSBASE Linux support around five years ago but never got through in getting it mainlined. Microsoft's Linux kernel engineer then a few months back decided to take up the work to try to get it mainlined as even Microsoft found value in the performance benefits. 

Games: xoreos, Vulkan, Poly Bridge 2, Unrailed! and More

Filed under
Gaming

  • xoreos, the FLOSS game engine for titles like Knights of the Old Republic has a new update

    xoreos is an in-development effort to create a free and open source game engine reimplementation of the BioWare Aurora Engine that powers games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

    It's finally had a new release with xoreos 0.0.6 and it still seems like quite early days for games being playable. This release appears to have laid the groundwork for more improvements to come. The biggest change is that the original Knights of the Old Republic now has a partially working tutorial, it doesn't sound like a lot but for a reimplementation project it's quite a big step forwards to show what it can be capable of.

  • Vulkan API gains new extension to aid translation layers

    Today, the Vulkan API 1.2.149 spec update went out and it includes another extension that's aimed at helping translation layers like DXVK. While we don't usually comment on such minor specification updates to Vulkan, we do pick it up in cases like this where it may directly benefit compatibility layers for Linux gaming.

    VK_EXT_4444_formats is the new extension, which was worked on by Joshua Ashton (original creator of D9VK, now part of DXVK) for Valve and Jason Ekstrand for Intel. This is actually Ashton's second extension, following on from the release of Vulkan 1.2.140 back in May.

  • The fab physics bridge-builder Poly Bridge 2 gets a huge free content update

    Already finished Poly Bridge 2? Looks like it's time to jump back in as Dry Cactus have just released a huge free content upgrade with lots of new goodies to play with.

    What is Poly Bridge 2? The sequel to the hit bridge-building physics puzzler from 2016, it brings with it new levels, new mechanics, a custom physics engine, workshop campaigns, and much more. It was already fun and it's constantly improved since release with all sorts of tweaks and little extras but this update released on August 2 is on a whole different level.

    World 5 has been added, bringing with it the Serenity Valley location with 16 brand new levels and challenges, along with new achievements to hunt down. If that's not enough for you the Sandbox Mode was also expanded with: a new theme and vehicle type, support for duplicating multiple selected items, accurate selection for boats and planes, undo support for multiple changes and a custom shape option.

  • Unrailed! is gearing up for launch with a discount before the price goes up

    Unrailed! is an absolutely fantastic co-op game from Indoor Astronaut and Daedalic Entertainment that has you frantically build a train track to keep your train going as far as possible.

    It entered Early Access back in September 2019, with Linux support arriving in February 2020 and now they're looking to the near-future with a full release approaching. They've not said exactly when but they have confirmed the price will be rising, so they've put it on a reasonably big discount (42%) until August 17.

  • Community Game Night - Rexuiz - LIVE

    This is another Community Game Night stream where you guys can join me in a game for some fun and laughs. You can also join me in my Discord channel's voice chat. Tonight, I'm trying out a new (for me) first person shooter called Rexuiz. It is a fork of the old Nexuiz game, which was great (Xonotic is also forked from Nexuiz). Rexuiz is available on Linux, Mac and Windows.

  • How to Install Itch on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

    Itch is a platform for independent digital creators with main focus on indie games. It was actually started as website to host, sell and download indie video games but these days, Itch also provides books, comics, tools, board games, soundtracks and more digital content from indie creators.

    As a user, you can download these digital content either for free or for a price set by the creator. All your downloads and purchases are synced to your account so that you can download them whenever you want.

Collabora Office 6.4 Brings Outstanding MS Office Interoperability, LTS Support

Filed under
LibO
Linux

Based on the upstream LibreOffice 6.4 source code, Collabora Office 6.4 is a major release that brings a plethora of new features and enhancements on top of the existing LibreOffice 6.4 features, as well as better performance and long-term support that businesses and professionals need to keep their businesses running.

Highlights include outstanding interoperability with any file format generated from MS Office, including word documents, presentations and spreadsheets, support for up to five characters in Padded Numbering, and the ability to add visible signatures to existing PDF documents.

Security and privacy are probably the most important thing when dealing with our digital lives, and Collabora Office 6.4 introduces new security features, such as the ability to encrypt PDF documents when sending them with the Mail Merge feature in Collabora Office Writer.

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An open source solution for continuous testing at scale

Filed under
OSS

In Sogeti's most recent World Quality Report, software testing ranked No. 1 in terms of its contributions to business objectives and growth, making it a key enabler for business digitalization. Despite this, the software testing industry still reports major pain points related to test maintenance, automation, tooling, and skills. Most of the tooling in common use lacks capabilities, is too complex to integrate, provides insufficient intelligence, or is too difficult to use.

Cerberus Testing provides a solution to these problems. It is a test automation solution built by retail companies to support digitalization initiatives and focuses on usability, scalability, and integration of the test lifecycle process.

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Security-Oriented Kodachi Linux 7.2 Released with One of the Best Secure Messengers

Filed under
Linux

Based on the latest Xubuntu 18.04 LTS point release, Kodachi Linux 7.2 codename “Defeat” comes with the newest Ubuntu kernel that’s patched against recent security vulnerabilities and full sync with the upstream Bionic Beaver repositories to provide users with an up-to-date installation media.

On top of that, the new release introduces new security features, such as Session Messenger, a popular private messenger that the Kodachi Linux team doubts as one of the best secure messengers and the Steghide UI utility for hiding encrypted text messages in images, text or audio files.

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Linux and Linux Foundation: 5.9 Kernel and LF Edge

Filed under
Linux

  • Intel SERIALIZE, Dropping Of SGI UV Supercomputer, i386 Clang'ing Hit Linux 5.9

    A number of x86-related changes were sent out today for the first full day of the Linux 5.9 merge window. 

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  • Btrfs Seeing Some Nice Performance Improvements For Linux 5.9

    With more eyes on Btrfs given the file-system is set to become the default for Fedora 33 desktop spins, there are some interesting performance optimizations coming to Btrfs with the in-development Linux 5.9 kernel. 

    On the performance front for Btrfs in Linux 5.9 there are optimized helpers for little-endian architectures to avoid little/big endian conversions around the on-disk format, tree-log/fsync optimizations yielding around a 12% lower maximum latency for the Dbench benchmark, faster mount times for large file-systems in the terabyte range, and parallel fsync optimizations. 

  • As IoT Continues to Evolve, LF Edge Explores the Edge Continuum in a New White Paper

    Earlier this month, LF Edge, an umbrella organization under The Linux Foundation, published a white paper updating the industry on their continued ecosystem collaboration. LF Edge brings together projects within the Foundation, that “aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system.”

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Plumbers Conference and Kernel Developments in METRICFS, FS-Cache, HWMON

  • Application Ecosystem Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce that the Application Ecosystem Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference! The Linux kernel is the foundation of the Linux systems, but it is not much use without applications that run on top of it. The application experience relies on the kernel for performance, stability and responsiveness. Plumbers is the perfect venue to have the kernel and app ecosystems under one roof to discuss and learn together and make a better application experience on the Linux platform.

  • Google Opens Patches For "METRICFS" That They Have Used Since 2012 For Telemetry Data

    The METRICFS file-system has been in use internally at Google since 2012 for exporting system statistics to their telemetry systems with around 200 statistics being exported per machine. They are now posting the METRICFS patches as open-source for review and possible upstreaming. A "request for comments" on METRICFS was sent out today on the Linux kernel mailing list. Their motives for now finally publishing these patches is as a result of the recent Statsfs proposal by a Red Hat engineer for a RAM-based file-system for exposing kernel statistics to user-space. METRICFS has a similar aim to Statsfs.

  • FS-Cache Rewritten But Even Its Developers Are Hesitant About Landing It For Linux 5.9

    FS-Cache provides the Linux kernel with a general purpose cache for network file-systems like NFS and AFS but also other special use-cases like ISO9660 file-systems. FS-Cache has been rewritten for better performance and reliability, among other benefits, and while it has been sent in as a pull request for Linux 5.9 even its own developers provide some caution over landing it this cycle. FS-Cache has seen work to "massively overhaul" it with a variety of improvements. The new and improved FS-Cache will now use async direct I/O in place of snooping for updated pages that in turn means less virtual memory overhead. The new FS-Cache implementation has simpler object management, changes to object invalidation, and a variety of other work.

  • Corsair Commander Pro Driver Sent In To Linux 5.9

    The hardware monitoring (HWMON) subsystem has a new driver that is likely to excite some enthusiasts wanting greater control over thermal monitoring and fan control for their systems. The previously covered Corsair Commander Pro Linux driver is now coming with Linux 5.9. The Commander Pro offers six 4-pin fan ports with PWM controls, two RGB LED channels, and four thermal sensors. An interested user/developer created this Linux driver without the support from Corsair. The thermal and fan control support is in place with this new HWMON driver while the RGB lighting controls are available from OpenRGB.

Graphics: Mesa 20.1.5, Intel and AMD

  • mesa 20.1.5
    Hi all,
    
    I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.5, the fifth bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.
    
    The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-08-19.
    
    Cheers,
    Eric
    
    
  • Mesa 20.1.5 Released For The Latest Stable Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

    Mesa 20.1.5 provides the latest stable open-source Vulkan/OpenGL graphics drivers for the Linux desktop as the newest bi-weekly milestone. Mesa 20.2 remains under development as this quarter's feature release due out in about one month's time. Mesa 20.2 is running behind schedule as it should have been branched around the end of July but has yet to happen. In any case, more Mesa 20.2 feature work continues to land and more than likely will ship sometime in September. But until that occurs, Mesa 20.1 is the latest stable series.

  • Intel Workaround For Graphics Driver Regression: "The Platform Problem Going Crazy"

    Sent out over the weekend was a patch series for the Intel Linux kernel graphics driver entitled "Time, where did it go?" This set of 42 patches aims to provide incremental improvements to the driver to offset a performance regression in Linux 5.7 that Intel hasn't been able to track down. This increased complication of the driver to offset the regression is now under the microscope. The set of 42 patches by longtime Intel open-source developer Chris Wilson provides incremental improvements to reduce the execution latency. He was upfront that the intent of these improvements are to "basically offsets the small regressions incurred when compared to [Linux kernel] 5.7."

  • RadeonSI Resorts To Disabling SDMA For GFX9/Vega Due To APU Issues

    AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has resorted to disabling SDMA (System DMA) async DMA engine support for all GFX9/Vega hardware due to issues plaguing some APUs. While SDMA has the potential of helping performance, GFX9 (Vega) is now seeing the support disabled due to bugs seeming to only affect APUs. Though it's not entirely surprising as the open-source AMD Radeon Linux driver also is not enabling SDMA at this point for GFX8 (Polaris) or GFX10 (Navi) hardware either. Opened three months ago was the merge request for disabling SDMA on GFX9 and to back-port it to the stable series as well. Longtime AMD open-source developer Marek Olsak noted, "This is somewhat a radical step. All opinions welcome."

Audiocasts/Shows: Destination Linux, FLOSS Weekly, CrowPi and Linux Headlines

           
  • Destination Linux 185: Let’s Fix Linux Tech Support

    On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re transitioning from the topic of Bug Reporting last week to Tech Support in Linux this week. We’re going to check in on Wayland’s progress with Plasma’s new release, we have an sandbox MMO for gaming, and our popular tips/tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

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  • FLOSS Weekly 590: Rensselaer Center for Open Software - A Community of Open Source Developers

    RCOS is a group of RPI students who work on open-source projects. The goal of RCOS is to empower students to develop open-source solutions to real-world problems. They have created 300+ open source projects over the years. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk with Wes Turner, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Director of the Rensselaer Center for Open Source. They discuss teaching open source and the hardships that come along with that, especially with e-learning. They also discuss what the future could look like if we could have more open-source programs like RCOS in other universities.

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  • The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review

    The Best Raspberry Pi Laptop Kit | CrowPi 2 Review of the kit, usage, and examples. 

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  • 2020-08-05 | Linux Headlines

    LibreOffice 7 dodges its rebranding controversy, the Pinta bitmap editor sees its first new version in 5 years, Red Hat accommodates certification seekers with new pandemic-friendly rules, and ownCloud 10.5 brings background sync changes to the platform.

Gaming on Linux in 2020: Way Better Than You Think

Linux has always been seen as a rather rigid operating system for gaming. Many games used to be unavailable on Linux, and the ones that you could play used to have all sorts of bugs. However, the situation’s not the same anymore with Ubuntu 20.04. The OS is way better for gaming than you may think. In certain situations, games even run better on Linux than on Windows. This is quite impressive so let’s see what lead to Linux’s improvements. Read more Also: Narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory has new teaser trailer