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Tuesday, 18 Sep 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Games: Crazy Justice, Subset Games and Overwatch Roy Schestowitz 1 18/09/2018 - 4:47am
Story You Think the Visual Studio Code binary you use is a Free Software? Think again. Roy Schestowitz 6 18/09/2018 - 4:43am
Story Devices/Embedded/Development Boards Roy Schestowitz 18/09/2018 - 4:39am
Story NYU applies open source Google AI to diagnose lung cancer Roy Schestowitz 18/09/2018 - 4:34am
Story Software: SMPlayer, FOSS and Peek Roy Schestowitz 18/09/2018 - 4:02am
Story Free/Libre/Open Hardware: DevBoy Modular Open Source System and RISC-V Roy Schestowitz 18/09/2018 - 3:57am
Story Programming: Ballerina Programming Language, D Language Front-End Is Trying Now To Get Into GCC 9 Roy Schestowitz 18/09/2018 - 3:19am
Story The Linux Kernel Adopts A Code of Conduct Roy Schestowitz 1 18/09/2018 - 2:34am
Story KDE: Krita and KGraphViewer Roy Schestowitz 18/09/2018 - 1:59am
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 18/09/2018 - 1:56am

4 scanning tools for the Linux desktop

Filed under
Linux

While the paperless world isn't here quite yet, more and more people are getting rid of paper by scanning documents and photos. Having a scanner isn't enough to do the deed, though. You need software to drive that scanner.

But the catch is many scanner makers don't have Linux versions of the software they bundle with their devices. For the most part, that doesn't matter. Why? Because there are good scanning applications available for the Linux desktop. They work with a variety of scanners and do a good job.

Read more

Openwashing and EEE, or 'Open' but Actually Proprietary

Filed under
OSS
  • Initial Flatpak support arrives for Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Aussie banks dragged into the 'open source' era via GitHub

    The open banking Data Standards Body, which is being run by the CSIRO's Data61 unit, is using the online service to manage feedback and comments for the technical standards that will govern the movement of data in the new economy. All decision proposals and final decisions for the open banking standards will be published on GitHub.

  • eBay Replatforming to Kubernetes, Envoy and Kafka: Intending to Open Source Hardware and Software

    eBay have discussed how they are conducting a replatforming initiative across their entire technology stack, which includes building and releasing as open source both the new hardware and software created. Open source is "fueling the transformation" of eBay's infrastructure, and they intend to use cloud native technologies like Kubernetes, Envoy, MongoDB, Docker and Apache Kafka.

    As part of a three-year effort to replatform and modernise their backend infrastructure, eBay has recently announced that they are building their own custom-designed servers "built by eBay, for eBay". The plan also includes making eBay's servers available to the public via open source in the fourth quarter of this year. Although many large scale technical organisations and cloud vendors custom build their own hardware, including Google, AWS and Azure, they do not typically release this as open source. eBay have stated that they "are using servers and hardware that we designed, reducing our dependence on third parties".

Torvalds Apologizes for His ‘Bad Behavior’, Takes a Break from Linux

Filed under
News

No more F-words and angry outbursts from Torvalds anymore? Linux creator Linus Torvalds is taking a break from Linux kernel development in order to take professional help for improving his behavior.
Read more

Security: Windows/NSA Back Doors, Election Cracking, and Open Source Security Podcast

Filed under
Security
  • Cryptocurrency mining attacks using leaked NSA hacking tools are still highly active a year later

    Yet, more than a year since Microsoft released patches that slammed the backdoor shut, almost a million computers and networks are still unpatched and vulnerable to attack.

  • Leaked NSA exploits are still used to infect at least 919K servers with cryptojacking malware [Ed: Microsoft gave the NSA back doors. It was inevitable that crackers who do not work for the US government would get in too.]

    Although Microsoft indicated that they have closed the backdoor used by this ransomware, more computers globally are not fully secured to prevent the infection by the malware. Interestingly, the hackers have shifted their game from asking for ransom and are now infecting new computers with cryptojacking malware.

  • Cybersecurity Is Only 1 Part of Election Security

    The DEF CON 2018 Voting Machine Hacking Village aimed to raise awareness in voting security through a full day of speakers and panel discussions along with a challenge for attendees to hack more than 30 pieces of voting equipment. A partnership with rOOtz Asylum offered youths between 8 and 16 years old an opportunity to hack replicas of the websites of secretaries of state to demonstrate that even hackers with limited years of experience can easily compromise critical systems. The goal was to break as many voting machine pieces as possible in order to draw attention to the vulnerabilities that will be present in the upcoming 2018 elections.

    The focus on election equipment, however, ignores the greater danger caused by hacking into the diverse collection of sensitive information that flows through political campaigns and the electoral process, and using that to influence and sow distrust among voters. While changing a vote or voting results can be traced back to a particular stakeholder, changing people's understanding of facts is far more insidious.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 114 - Review of "Click Here to Kill Everybody"

    Josh and Kurt review Bruce Schneier's new book Click Here to Kill Everybody. It's a book everyone could benefit from reading. It does a nice job explaining many existing security problems in a simple manner.

​Linus Torvalds takes a break from Linux

Filed under
Linux

In a surprising move, Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, is taking a break on his Linux kernel work to work on his behavior to other developers. In a note to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Torvalds wrote, "I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely."

If you follow the trials and tribulations of Linux's developments, this is mind-blowing. For the almost 30-years Torvalds has been working on the kernel, he's been famous--or infamous--for his outbursts towards programmers and others who didn't meet his high expectations.

Over the decades, Torvalds has torn into security developers, open-source lawyers, and other kernel developers, such as Sage, formerly Sarah, Sharp. Every few months, there would be another four-letter Torvalds eruption. This became publicly accepted, but privately it left bad blood.

Read more

Review: Linux Mint 3 Debian Edition (LMDE 3)

Filed under
Reviews

On the whole, I liked running LMDE 3 a lot. The distribution was easy to set up, I liked the quick access to common tools in the welcome window. The change from ranked upgrades to having the system safeguarded by Timeshift snapshots may make things a little harder for newcomers (it's harder to recover a system than to not have it break in the first place), but the new approach probably offers better security in the long run.

One thing I appreciated about LMDE 3 is that it looks beautiful. I usually don't focus much on a theme, or icon style, but Mint looks incredible to me. Everything is high contrast and attractive. The fonts are a little thin for my taste, but this can be easily changed with a few clicks in the settings panel.

I was a little disappointed the system installer defaults to using ext4 instead of Btrfs. Since Mint recommends and relies on Timeshift for system recovery, and Btrfs snapshots are much more efficient than rsync snapshots, it makes sense to me to use Btrfs by default. On a related note, when Timeshift is set up to use rsync snapshots, the rsync command will drag down system performance for about 20 minutes at a time. Having the snapshots run as a lower priority in the background would have avoided slowing down the desktop once a day.

I would have preferred if LMDE had shipped with MATE instead of Cinnamon. I realize Cinnamon is an in-house desktop project and it makes sense for the Mint developers to focus on using and promoting Cinnamon. However, since I suspect many of the people who want to use the Debian branch over the Ubuntu branch will be doing so for performance reasons, I think MATE would make the sensible default. MATE is lighter than Cinnamon, does not require special video driver/hardware support and will run better in virtual environments. Cinnamon is a solid desktop and I think it looks and performs wonderfully on physical hardware, it just doesn't feel like the optimal choice for people who want to run the lighter, more conservative Debian branch of Mint.

Finally, I want to give credit to the Mint team for integrating Flatpak support into the software manager. It is easy to find Flatpaks without having them blend in with other packages, potentially confusing users. I think Flatpak support was handled well by the Mint team.

On the whole, the above points are minor style preferences for a distribution that I was impressed by. Mint's Debian edition performed smoothly, offered a lot of great software out of the box and was easy to use. I think the Debian branch might be slightly less appealing to beginners than the main, Ubuntu-based edition, but there are few practical differences and most people will probably find either branch works for them. I think LMDE will be a good fit for most people, whether beginners or more experienced users.

Read more

SQLite 3.25 Released

Filed under
OSS

The Linux Kernel Adopts A Code of Conduct

Filed under
Linux

Prior to releasing Linux 4.19-rc4 and Linus Torvalds taking a temporary leave of absence to reflect on his behavior / colorful language, he did apply a Code of Conduct to the Linux kernel.

Previously the Linux kernel had a "Code of Conflict" that some might feel is rather harsh. But now it's been replaced by a Code of Conduct that is derived from the Contributor Covenant that has been used by the X.Org Foundation / FreeDesktop.org projects, among others.

Read more

The Linux Kernel Has Grown By 225k Lines of Code So Far This Year From 3.3k Developers

Filed under
Linux

After writing yesterday about kernel contributions of AMD vs. NVIDIA vs. Intel, I kicked off the hours-long process of gitstats analyzing the Linux kernel Git repository for some fresh numbers on the current kernel development trends.

Even on an EPYC server with Optane 900p NVMe SSD storage, the gitstats process on the hearty Linux kernel repository is quite a task. But the process is done and offering a fresh look at the current Linux kernel activity in Git. Here are some of the findings:

The kernel repository is at 782,487 commits in total from around 19.009 different authors. The repository is made up of 61,725 files and from there around 25,584,633 lines -- keep in mind there is also documentation, Kconfig build files, various helpers/utilities, etc.

Read more

Jono Bacon: Linus, His Apology, And Why We Should Support Him

Filed under
Development
Linux

I am also mindful of ego. None of us like to admit we have an ago, but we all do. You don’t get to build one of the most fundamental technologies in the last thirty years and not have an ego. He built it…they came…and a revolution was energized because of what he created. While Linus’s ego is more subtle, and thankfully doesn’t extend to faddish self-promotion, overly expensive suits, and forays into Hollywood (quite the opposite), his ego has naturally resulted in abrupt opinions on how his project should run, sometimes plugging fingers in his ears to particularly challenging viewpoints from others. His post today is a clear example of him putting Linux as a project ahead of his own personal ego.

This is important for a few reasons. Firstly, being in such a public position and accepting your personal flaws isn’t a problem many people face, and isn’t a situation many people handle well. I work with a lot of CEOs, and they often say it is the loneliest job on the planet. I have heard American presidents say the same in interviews. This is because they are the top of the tree with all the responsibility and expectations on their shoulders. Put yourself in Linus’s position: his little project has blown up into a global phenomenon, and he didn’t necessarily have the social tools to be able to handle this change. Ego forces these internal struggles under the surface and to push them down and avoid them. So, to accept them as publicly and openly as he did today is a very firm step in the right direction. Now, the true test will be results, but we need to all provide the breathing space for him to accomplish them.

So, I would encourage everyone to give Linus a shot. This doesn’t mean the frustrations of the past are erased, and he has acknowledged and apologized for these mistakes as a first step. He has accepted he struggles with understanding other’s emotions, and a desire to help improve this for the betterment of the project and himself. He is a human, and the best tonic for humans to resolve their own internal struggles is the support and encouragement of other humans. This is not unique to Linus, but to anyone who faces similar struggles.

Read more

Also: Kernel prepatch 4.19-rc4; Linus taking a break

Linux 4.19-rc4 released, an apology, and a maintainership note

Filed under
Linux

Another week, another rc.

Nothing particularly odd stands out on the technical side in the
kernel updates for last week - rc4 looks fairly average in size for
this stage in the release cycle, and all the other statistics look
pretty normal too.

We've got roughly two thirds driver fixes (gpu and networking look to
be the bulk of it, but there's smaller changes all over in various
driver subsystems), with the rest being the usual mix: core
networking, perf tooling updates, arch updates, Documentation, some
filesystem, vm and minor core kernel fixes.

So it's all fairly small and normal for this stage. As usual, I'm
appending the shortlog at the bottom for people who want to get an
overview of the details without actually having to go dig in the git
tree.

Read more

Also: Linux 4.19-rc4 Released As Linus Temporarily Steps Away From Kernel Maintainership

Stable kernels 4.18.8, 4.14.70, 4.9.127 and 4.4.156

Filed under
Linux

Games: The Darkside Detective, "Proton NVIDIA Users", Pig Eat Ball, Wizard of Legend and Total War: WARHAMMER II

Filed under
Gaming
  • Adventure game 'The Darkside Detective: Season 2' is on Kickstarter

    Ready for more adventures? The Darkside Detective: Season 2 will follow on from the original and it's currently on Kickstarter.

  • For those on NVIDIA, the 396.54.05 driver seems to have some noteworthy performance improvements

    It seems NVIDIA have been working on some improvements to their Linux driver, as the 396.54.05 beta driver seems to have improved performance in various games.

    Tweeting about it, Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais said "Proton NVIDIA users: the latest 396.54.05 Vulkan Beta driver contains significant performance improvements in GPU-bound scenarios.". He also noted that those on Ubuntu can grab it from a different PPA provided by Canonical for easy installation.

    Looking around, it seems he's right on the money. Talking about it in our forum (also reddit), users noted improvements to games run on Linux. The improvements look pretty impressive too. The focus of everyone's testing seems to be DXVK which benefits from the new driver, so I went to test.

  • Pig Eat Ball is one of the weirdest games I've seen for a while, releasing with Linux support this month

    I've seen a lot of games in my time, yet developers somehow still find ways to surprised me. Pig Eat Ball looks totally weird, but also quite fun.

    Funded on Fig back in back in April, thanks to 252 backers along with a fair bit of help from Fig directly. The developer has now announced, that the release is expected on September 27th.

  • The rather good magical dungeon crawler 'Wizard of Legend' has a teaser out for the Sky Palace update

    Wizard of Legend, the dungeon crawler that has you take on the role of a Wizard is getting a fresh content update named Sky Palace.

    The update is going to include more enemy types, more special signature moves and a new location to fight in. I'm especially excited by this, because it's a really damn fun game to play by yourself and with others. I've enjoyed it just as much alone, as I have playing in local co-op with the mini-me.

  • Feral confirmed that Total War: WARHAMMER II on Linux will use Vulkan

    Good news for those who want games that perform well, as Feral Interactive confirmed that Total War: WARHAMMER II will use Vulkan on Linux.

GNU/Linux Desktop Themes

Filed under
GNU
Linux
GNOME
  • Plane Theme and Icons Gives Your Desktop An Appearance Boost

    Plane Theme and Icons Gives Your Desktop An Appearance Boost
    Another theme pack with icons for your Linux Desktop. Plane theme is designed to make desktop more elegant and simple, it goes very well along with its own icon pack. Now a days many themes are under development for Gnome and Plane is one of them, it is constantly updating since 2017, fixing and making theme look better. It has some parts from Arc and Adwaita themes, also some other themes inspired author to make Plane more eye catching.
    There are two versions in this theme: light version and dark version which gives comfort to your eyes. This pack includes Gnome shell themes as well, which lets you match your Gnome shell with your Gtk theme.
    Primarily, this pack targets Gnome Shell desktop but can be used on other desktops as well such as: Cinnamon, Xfce, Mate etc. Icons are designed to use with this theme pack but if you want then you can use them with any theme of your choice. Themes are available for Ubuntu 18.10/18.04 and Linux Mint 19 via our PPA. Icons available for Ubuntu 18.10/18.04/16.04/14.04/Linux Mint 19/18/17. If you find any kind of bug or problem with this theme pack then report it to author and it will get fixed in the next update.

  • Shadow Icons Looks Great With All Themes, Install in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

    Shadow icon theme is a new comer for Linux desktop, it looks beautiful with all kind of themes. It is meant to be modern clean and customizable, the primary color of this set most likely bluish and many apps icons are in round shape. So basically this theme is mixture of round and normal (square) shape icons, lets see where this theme will head in the future, it should choose shape what users asks. As creator mentioned this icon theme is his first so please bare any bugs or missing icons. You can report bugs or suggest new icons to include in this set via this link. You can use Unity Tweak Tool, Gnome-tweak-tool to change themes/icons.

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Wine-Staging 3.16 Released With ~880 Patches Still Atop Wine

    Busy since Friday's release of Wine 3.16, the volunteers maintaining the Wine-Staging tree with the various experimental/testing patches atop upstream Wine are out with their adjoining update that continues with just under 900 patches being re-based.

  • Some thoughts on State of Mind from Daedelic Entertainment
  • Summer’s End Roundup 2018

    Although it looked from the outside as if Mageians were sleeping through August, it wasn’t so! And now that it’s Autumn – fall for you folks in the North Americas – we’ll be more communicative, we promise.

  • Overriding misreported screen dimensions with KMS-backed drivers

    With Qt5 gaining support for high-DPI displays, and applications starting to exercise that support, it’s easy for applications to suddenly become unusable with some screens. For example, my old Samsung TV reported itself as 7″ screen. While this used not to really matter with websites forcing you to force the resolution of 96 DPI, the high-DPI applications started scaling themselves to occupy most of my screen, with elements becoming really huge (and ugly, apparently due to some poor scaling).

    It turns out that it is really hard to find a solution for this. Most of the guides and tips are focused either on proprietary drivers or on getting custom resolutions. The DisplaySize specification in xorg.conf apparently did not change anything either. Finally, I was able to resolve the issue by overriding the EDID data for my screen. This guide explains how I did it.

  • Technology streamlines computational science projects

    Researchers use ICE to study topics in fields including nuclear energy, astrophysics, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, neutron science and quantum computing, answering questions such as how batteries behave and how some 3-D-printed parts deform when exposed to heat.

    Several factors differentiate ICE from other workflow management systems. For example, because ICE exists on an open-source software framework called the Eclipse Rich Client Platform, anyone can access, download and use it. Users also can create custom combinations of reusable resources and deploy simulation environments tailored to tackle specific research challenges.

  • Google Chrome 69 gives worldwide web a stay of execution in URL box

    Google Chrome 70 arrived as a beta release on Thursday, bringing with it a handful of meaningful improvements and some more esoteric features of interest to developers.

    Available on the Chrome Beta channel for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows – the iOS beta requires participation in Apple's TestFlight program – Chrome 70 implements a Shape Detection API that allows web apps to do things like detect faces in images, read barcodes and parse text in images.

    The API is particularly promising for mobile web apps, which can now return the location of facial features within an image, turn barcodes and QR codes into strings and read Latin alphabet text found in pictures.

  • PostgreSQL 11 Won't Ship With Its Faster JIT Support Enabled By Default

    One of the coolest innovations landing this year in PostgreSQL was LLVM-based JIT support to speed up database queries. But it's not going to be enabled by default in the upcoming PostgreSQL 11 release.

    This functionality relies upon LLVM for JIT compiling SQL queries rather than passing those queries to the PostgreSQL interpreter. These LLVM JIT'ed queries have led to more efficient code being generated and particularly help with more complex queries.

  • n2k18 Hackathon report: Ken Westerback (krw@) on disklabel(8) work, dhclient(8) progress

Security: Windows Back Doors, Rogue Kodi Add-on, and Baseband OS (Back Door) in iPhone

Filed under
Security
  • Illegally Released NSA Hacker Tool EternalBlue Being Used to Mine Cryptocurrency [Ed: Microsoft's collusion with NSA for back doors continues to serve crackers well, enriching them.]

    One Year After Their Illegal Release, the NSA’s Classified Exploits Are Still Being Used to Mine Crypto

    One year ago, the National Security Agency suffered one of the worst leaks in its history: a series of classified exploits built by the NSA were stolen and published online. Today, those exploits continue to be used to attack cryptocurrency miners worldwide.

    One of the exploits, called EternalBlue, is a particularly effective backdoor exploit. EternalBlue can be used to silently break into virtually any Windows machine in the world.

    Hackers have used EternalBlue to install ransomware on thousands of computers worldwide. Government organizations, corporations, and even entire towns have ground to a halt due to EternalBlue ransomware attacks.

  • Kodi users fall victim to malware due to malicious add-on
  • x86 finds its way into your iPhone

    The baseband cpu is a standalone core that lives in your phone and is responsible for managing 2g/3g/4g/cdma/5g wireless communications. Given the absurd complexity of these standards, today a baseband cpu must be very powerful and enough general purpose, so the days of custom FPGA based IPs are long gone, at least for the main part. A lot has been said and written about basebands on modern smartphones, so I won’t repeat it. For our purpose, you just need to know that usually basebands are implemented using embedded friendly CPUs, like for example ARM (Cortex-M, Cortex-R or something inbetween), Qualcomm Hexagon (a kind of general purpose, VLIW dsp) or other more or less known architectures.

    Apple is nothing special in this regard, up until the iPhone8/iPhoneX, they used to have two different basebands, one for CDMA markets and one for everything else. The CDMA one was based on Qualcomm Hexagon dsp, while the GSM one was based on Intel XMMxxxx architecture. For those that like to play around with iPhone firmwares, you might have seen MAVxxx and ICExxx files in the ipsw, well those two files contain the firmware respectively for Qualcomm based devices (MAV) and Intel based ones (ICE).

    As you may know, Apple decided to drop Qualcomm and now they’re using exclusively Intel based basebands, so we will concentrate on this.

Software: Release of Foundry, Ducktype, AION Wallet

Filed under
Software
  • Release of Foundry (previously known as rlife) 0.2.0

    These past weeks, I’ve been working a lot on my side project and I’ve made a new release of it. First of all, the project has been renamed “Foundry” (instead of “rlife”). I wanted to find a better name for this project and as this project is now actually based on Vulkan (that was my primary objective when I started it), I thought it would be a good idea to give a name related to it. Plus, there was no crates already named “Foundry”.

  • Ducktype parser extensions

    When designing Ducktype, I wanted people to be able to extend the syntax, but I wanted extensions to be declared and defined, so we don’t end up with something like the mess of Markdown flavors. So a Ducktype file can start with a @ducktype/ declaration that declares the version of the Ducktype syntax and any extensions in use. For example:

  • AION Blockchain System Releases Desktop Wallets With Windows, Mac & Linux Compatibility

    AION has finally released its Desktop wallets; the product is Linux, Wndows and Mac compatible. The AION wallet underwent thorough tests and audits both internally and externally to have this milestone released for users. AION’s wallet is built for storing the AION altcoin as is the move by most of its peer competitors within the crypto space.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: Updates, Reproducible Builds, Microsoft's Spying Marketed as 'Security', and Xbash Hype

Games: Distance, Ballistic Overkill, GOG, Valve, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

today's howtos

Cozy Is A Nice Linux Audiobook Player For DRM-Free Audio Files

You could use any audio player to listen to audiobooks, but a specialized audiobook player like Cozy makes everything easier, by remembering your playback position and continuing from where you left off for each audiobook, or by letting you set the playback speed of each book individually, among others. The Cozy interface lets you browse books by author, reader or recency, while also providing search functionality. Books front covers are supported by Cozy - either by using embedded images, or by adding a cover.jpg or cover.png image in the book folder, which is automatically picked up and displayed by Cozy. When you click on an audiobook, Cozy lists the book chapters on the right, while displaying the book cover (if available) on the left, along with the book name, author and the last played time, along with total and remaining time: Read more