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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 6:45pm
Story Drill: New Desktop File Search Utility That Uses Clever Crawling Instead Of Indexing Roy Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 6:30pm
Story Amp Up Your Linux Music Library With DeaDBeeF Roy Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 5:30pm
Story AMD Radeon VII Linux Performance vs. NVIDIA Gaming On Ubuntu For Q2'2019 Rianne Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 4:54pm
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 4:49pm
Story An Early Look At Some PHP 7.4 Performance Benchmarks Rianne Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 4:41pm
Story Bringing the Benefits of Linux Containers to Operational Technology Rianne Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 4:38pm
Story Open-spec Omega2 LTE SBC features Cat 4 and GNSS Rianne Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 4:35pm
Story Stable kernels 5.1.4, 5.0.18, 4.19.45, 4.14.121 , and 4.9.178 Rianne Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 4:27pm
Story The Document Foundation releases LibreOffice 6.2.4 Roy Schestowitz 22/05/2019 - 4:00pm

A Look At The MDS Cost On Xeon, EPYC & Xeon Total Impact Of Affected CPU Vulnerabilities

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

This weekend I posted a number of benchmarks looking at the performance impact of the new MDS/Zombieload vulnerabilities that also included a look at the overall cost of Spectre/Meltdown/L1TF/MDS on Intel desktop CPUs and AMD CPUs (Spectre). In this article are similar benchmarks but turning the attention now to Intel Xeon hardware and also comparing those total mitigation costs against AMD EPYC with its Spectre mitigations.

This article offers a look at the MDS/Zombieload mitigations on a 1st Gen Skylake Xeon Scalable server as well as a Kabylake Xeon E3 server for reference. Following that is a look at the total CPU vulnerability mitigation costs for 1st Gen Xeon Scalable, 2nd Gen Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake), and an AMD EPYC 2P server as well for its Spectre mitigations.

As expected given Intel's guidance last week of their latest Xeon processors being mitigated for MDS, indeed, the dual Xeon Platinum 8280 Cascade Lake server reported it was not affected by the MDS mitigations and thus not enabled. So for the MDS tests up first it's just some reference results using a dual Xeon Gold 6138 Skylake server running Ubuntu 19.04 with the Linux 5.0 patched kernel and reference results side-by-side for a separate Xeon E3-1275 v6 server.

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Four new Arduino Nano boards break price/performance/size barriers

Filed under
Linux

Arduino expanded its line of 45 x 18mm Nano boards with a $10 “Arduino Nano Every” model, a faster WiFi/BT-enabled IoT model, and two BLE boards. The new models offer price, performance, and size improvements over earlier Arduinos.

At the start of this weekend’s Bay Area Maker Faire, which could be its last in that locale (see farther below), Arduino opened pre-orders for four new 45 x 18mm Nano form-factor boards to join its earlier, Nano 3. Shipments are due in mid-June for the Arduino Nano Every replacement for the Nano 3, as well as the higher-end, WiFi-enabled Nano 33 IoT. There’s a mid-July ship date for the Bluetooth-equipped Nano 33 BLE and Nano 33 BLE Sense wearable modules.

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The Two Solitudes of GNOME and KDE

Filed under
KDE
GNOME

Novelist Hugh MacLennan once described Canada as “two solitudes” — an English-speaking one and a French-speaking one, neither of which had much to do with the other. The description is decades out-dated, and today a dozen solitudes might be more accurate. However, the phrase echoes in my mind whenever I think of the gulf today between GNOME technologies and KDE software compilations. Although both are based on the Linux kernel, the expectations and philosophies are different enough that they might almost be different operating systems.

The difference has not always existed. When GNOME and KDE began in the late 1990s, both were scrambling hard to match desktops on other operating systems. Widgets aside, the differences were minimal. For years the two graphical interfaces regularly traded places on reader surveys, with perhaps a slight edge for GNOME, depending on the magazine or site conducting the survey. Flame wars could be fierce, but like many flame wars, the fierceness reflected how trivial the differences mostly were — at least, after KDE’s Qt toolkit became free software. The difference was largely one of branding.

Still, GNOME and KDE each slowly developed its own ecosystem of applications. A few applications like OpenOffice.org were shared, presumably because developing alternative for large applications was difficult. Moreover, the popularity of some apps like Firefox overwhelmed native alternatives like KDE’s Konqueror. But in categories like music-players, archivers, and CD burners, each slowly started to developed its own set of tools.

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4 New Arduino Nano Boards Are Here: More Powerful Than Before

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The open source Arduino Project was started long back in 2003 as a program for students to help them tinker with sensors and their applications without spending tons of money. Over the course of time, this open source platform evolved and facilitated the launch of various versions of the Arduino hardware.

Adding another chapter to Arduino’s hardware journey, the Italian boardmakers have announced the launch of four new products that will remind you of the classic Arduino Nano 3. The 4 Arduino product in the lineup serve different purposes, so let’s briefly tell you about them:

Read more

Direct: What’s new at Maker Faire Bay Area 2019

Games: Google Stadia and More Ports to GNU/Linux

Filed under
Gaming
  • Google Stadia GPU To Be Based on 14nm AMD Vega Architecture

    The details of Google Stadia GPU have been leaked online. The streaming console from Google will use a Vega Graphics from AMD, instead of the speculated Navi.

    The information comes from the Khronos’ Vulcan API product listings. The Google Stadia is listed as “Google Games Platform Gen 1 AMD GCN 1.5)”

  • A quick look at some fun games & expansions released with Linux support in 2019 so far

    We’re closing in on the midway point of 2019 so let’s slow down for a moment, take a step back and look at some of the top games released with Linux support so far this year.

    Note: I am not counting Early Access or in-Beta titles and only including games that support Linux, so for those looking for something new you can expect a full completable experience with any of these titles. Also, it’s in no particular order as this isn’t meant as a best to worse compilation. Also, some may have had their official Linux releases later than the other platforms.

  • Oxygen Not Included release delayed until July, Klei making sure it's nicely polished

    Klei Entertainment have decided to delayed the full release of Oxygen Not Included, with it moving to July.

    They're going to have open testing around the end of June, sounds like it's all going well but sometimes extra time is just needed. Game development is complicated and Oxygen Not Included needs some more testing and polishing. They said "We’re feeling good about the content of this final update and we really think you will like what we have cooking but if we launch as scheduled, the update would not have seen much testing and it’s just not as polished as we (or you) would like.".

  • Terraria has sold 27 million copies, 12 million on PC and it continues to expand

    Re-Logic have announced that Terraria has officially sold a massive 27 million copies, 12 million of those being on PC and they're not stopping.

    Sounds like it's going to be a big year for Terraria, they're teasing some big updates for the PC version. Sounds like they might be showing some new stuff off during the 2019 PC Gaming Show next month, although they made it clear they're "not going to be the latest Epic exclusive" and they will stay on Steam like they've been since the beginning.

  • Point & click adventure 'Lord Winklebottom Investigates' fully funded and coming to Linux

    Lord Winklebottom Investigates, a very quirky murder mystery, point and click adventure has managed to get funding and so it's coming to Linux.

  • Minimalistic puzzle game 'Simple Dot' looks rough but it's an interesting experience overall

    Simple Dot has a simple idea, balls drop from a bucket and you have to draw lines to get them into a bucket somewhere else. It's out now with same-day Linux support and I gave it a run to see if it's worth your time.

Software: k3OS and Moving to Free Software

Filed under
Software
  • k3OS Takes Kubernetes to the Edge

    In the tradition of embedded Linux comes k3OS, an open source project for managing Kubernetes instances on embedded platforms at the edge. k3OS combines a Linux distro with a k3s Kubernetes distro in one. It simplifies the path to quickly stand up clusters and maintain them over time. Let’s explore how two paths meet taking Kubernetes to the edge, and how you can get started running it today.

  • What proprietary tool do you need open source alternative to?

    Taking the plunge from easy and familiar proprietary tools we use every day to unknown and open source tools can be a challenge. When do you find the time to do the research to choose the right option for you? How do you choose? What will be daily repercussions be? Will the positive outweigh the negative?

    To help take some of the guesswork out of it for you, we've been writing articles that present you with some open source alternatives and how they work. We hope this will give you some insight into what the daily cost and benefits could be for you given your unique needs and lifestyle.

  • Health Port: Creates Holistic Solution for Open Source Electronic Health Records

    The medical industry has been slow to embrace modern record-keeping technology. Health Port is bringing next-generation blockchain technology to Electronic Health Records (EHR). The idea behind Health Port is simple; make EHR technology simple, safe, and open source.

    Around the time that the internet bubble was in full swing, there is a good chance that your local doctors were still writing health care records by hand. The internet has been a big force in the world of data, but the medical industry has been left out of the internet data revolution.

    [...]

    The most important reason why EHRs need to be open is patient care. A person should have easy access to their medical history. When a person changes location or healthcare providers, making sure their medical records go with them shouldn’t be a hassle.

    An EHR isn’t special from a data handling perspective. Much like other sensitive personal information, it should be easy to share with authorized agents. In an emergency care scenario, this aspect of EHRs is even more important.

SUSE and Fedora Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat
SUSE
  • Introducing SUSE Enterprise Storage 6

    SUSE Enterprise Storage 6 enables IT organizations to seamlessly adapt to changing business demands while reducing IT operational expense by transforming their enterprise storage infrastructure with our intelligent software-defined storage solution.

    Based on the Ceph Nautilus release and built on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP1, SUSE Enterprise Storage 6 enables IT organizations to seamlessly adapt to changing business demands while reducing IT operational expense with new features focused on containerized and cloud workload support, improved integration with public cloud, and enhanced data protection capabilities

  • Introducing Fedora Summer Coding Class of Summer 2019

    Starting today, interns from the Fedora Summer Coding (F.S.C.) class of Summer 2019 start working on their projects. Three interns selected for Outreachy begin today, and another five interns selected for Google Summer of Code begin on Monday, May 27. The Fedora CommOps and Diversity and Inclusion teams worked together to interview all eight interns. This week on the Fedora Community Blog, we’ll introduce two interns each day of this week!

  • Getting set up with Fedora Project services

    In addition to providing an operating system, the Fedora Project provides numerous services for users and developers. Services such as Ask Fedora, the Fedora Project Wiki and the Fedora Project Mailing Lists provide users with valuable resources for learning how to best take advantage of Fedora. For developers of Fedora, there are many other services such as dist-git, Pagure, Bodhi, COPR and Bugzilla that are involved with the packaging and release process.

    These services are available for use with a free account from the Fedora Accounts System (FAS). This account is the passport to all things Fedora! This article covers how to get set up with an account and configure Fedora Workstation for browser single sign-on.

Kernel: Ted Tso is Switching to Hugo, Linux's vmalloc Seeing "Large Performance Benefits" With 5.2 Kernel Changes

Filed under
Linux
  • Ted Tso: Switching to Hugo

    With the demise of Google+, I’ve decided to try to resurrect my blog. Previously, I was using Wordpress, but I’ve decided that it’s just too risky from a security perspective. So I’ve decided my blog over to Hugo.

    A consequence of this switch is that all of the Wordpress comments have been dropped, at least for now.

  • Linux's vmalloc Seeing "Large Performance Benefits" With 5.2 Kernel Changes

    On top of all the changes queued for Linux 5.2 is an interesting last-minute performance improvement for the vmalloc code.

    The Linux kernel's vmalloc code has the potential of performing much faster on Linux 5.2, particularly with embedded devices. Vmalloc is used for allocating contiguous memory in the virtual address space and saw a nice optimization merged today on the expected final day of the Linux 5.2 merge window.

Security: CBS FUD, .NET Push and Intel Disaster Due to Defects

Filed under
Security
  • Security researchers discover Linux version of Winnti malware [Ed: This targets already-vulnerable servers and GNU/Linux has little to do with that. It can be proprietary software on top of it.]

    Chronicle says it discovered this Linux variant after news broke last month that Bayer, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, had been hit by Chinese hackers, and the Winnti malware was discovered on its systems.

  • Microsoft's Attack Surface Analyzer now works on Macs and Linux, too [Ed: Microsoft is now pushing .NET in the name of "security"]
  • Intel Loses 5X More Average Performance Than AMD From Mitigations: Report

    Intel has published its own set of benchmark results for the mitigations to the latest round of vulnerabilities, but Phoronix, a publication that focuses on Linux-related news and reviews, has conducted its own testing and found a significant impact. Phoronix's recent testing of all mitigations in Linux found the fixes reduce Intel's performance by 16% (on average) with Hyper-Threading enabled, while AMD only suffers a 3% average loss. Phoronix derived these percentages from the geometric mean of test results from its entire test suite.

    From a performance perspective, the overhead of the mitigations narrow the gap between Intel and AMD's processors. Intel's chips can suffer even more with Hyper-Threading (HT) disabled, a measure that some companies (such as Apple and Google) say is the only way to make Intel processors completely safe from the latest vulnerabilities. In some of Phoronix's testing, disabling HT reduced performance almost 50%. The difference was not that great in many cases, but the gap did widen in almost every test by at least a few points.

Licensing: Companies That Close Down FOSS 'in the Cloud' and Latest GPL Compliance at OnePlus

Filed under
OSS
Legal
  • Confluent says it has the first cloud-native Kafka streaming platform

    Open-source unicorn Confluent Inc. is ready to go head-to-head with cloud computing giants with the release of a cloud-native and fully managed service based upon the Apache Kafka streaming platform.

  • For open source vs. proprietary, AWS might have it both ways [Ed: Mac Asay, Adobe, proponent of calling proprietary "open". IDG has just received money from Adobe (“BrandPost Sponsored by Adobe”) and Asay is now publishing articles owing to his employer paying the media. He’s is some kind of editor at InfoWorld (IDG). So the corporations basically buy ‘journalism’ (their staff as editors) at IDG.]
  • Why Open Source Should Remain Open

    On one hand, the validation that comes along with major tech players offering open source fuels growth in the software. On the other, it also changes the platform from one that’s always been free and available to one that is only available with limitations and has red tape all around it. As some of these companies join in the open source community, they’re losing sight of the original goal and community. Instead, they are building artificial walls and shutting down many parts of what makes open source open. This isn’t a unique occurrence, it’s happening more and more frequently and is something that will completely rearrange the core of open source as we know it.

  • BREAKING: OnePlus 7 Pro root achieved on global and Indian variants, kernel source codes released

    OnePlus phones are known for their developer friendliness as well as strong aftermarket development community. The Chinese OEM prefers to mandate GPL and push kernel source codes in a timely manner, which is a godsend compared to most of their competitors.

  • OnePlus 7 / 7 Pro kernel source code is now out, expect custom ROMs soon

    OnePlus announced the most-awaited OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro last week. Both the smartphones are already on sale and can be bought in all the countries they are available. Even the OnePlus 7 Pro received its maiden update which brings April security patch and more. As usual, the kernel source for the OnePlus 7 series is now out too in a timely manner. Thus, users can expect custom ROMS sooner than later.

Audiocasts/Shows: Python Podcast, Linux Gaming News Punch, GNU World Order, Open Source Security and Linux Action News

Filed under
Interviews
  • Podcast.__init__: Hardware Hacking Made Easy With CircuitPython

    Learning to program can be a frustrating process, because even the simplest code relies on a complex stack of other moving pieces to function. When working with a microcontroller you are in full control of everything so there are fewer concepts that need to be understood in order to build a functioning project. CircuitPython is a platform for beginner developers that provides easy to use abstractions for working with hardware devices. In this episode Scott Shawcroft explains how the project got started, how it relates to MicroPython, some of the cool ways that it is being used, and how you can get started with it today. If you are interested in playing with low cost devices without having to learn and use C then give this a listen and start tinkering!

  • Linux Gaming News Punch - Episode 13, your weekly round-up podcast is here

    Grab a cup of coffee and come listen to some news you may have missed over the last week or so, as the Linux Gaming News Punch - Episode 13 has arrived.

    As always, if you read GamingOnLinux every day this will all seem rather familiar. This bite-sized podcast is aimed at everyone who doesn't have the time for that.

  • GNU World Order_13x21
  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 146 - What the @#$% happened to Microsoft? [Ed: New PR strategy, same old EEE. Some people are easily fooled.]

    Josh and Kurt talk about Microsoft. They're probably not the bad guys anymore, which is pretty wild. They're adding a Linux kernel to Window. Can we declare open source the unquestionable winner now?

  • Linux Action News 106

    ZombieLoad's impact on Linux, AMP to start hiding Google from the URL, and the huge Linux switch underway.

    Plus the impact of Google suspending business with Huawei, the recent ChromeOS feature silently dropped, and more.

Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Richard W.M. Jones: NBD’s state machine

    Eric and I are writing a Linux NBD client library. There were lots of requirements but the central one for this post is it has to be a library callable from programs written in C and other programming languages (Python, OCaml and Rust being important), and we don’t control those programs so they may be single or multithreaded, or may use non-blocking main loops like gio and glib.

    An NBD command involves sending a request over a socket to a remote server and receiving a reply. You can also have multiple requests “in flight” and the reply can be received in multiple parts. On top of this the “fixed newstyle” NBD protocol has a complex multi-step initial handshake. Complicating it further we might be using a TLS transport which has its own handshake.

    It’s complicated and we mustn’t block the caller.

    There are a few ways to deal with this in my experience — one is to ignore the problem and insist that the main program uses a thread for each NBD connection, but that pushes complexity onto someone else. Another way is to use some variation of coroutines or call/cc — if we get to a place where we would block then we save the stack, return to the caller, and have some way to restore the stack later. However this doesn’t necessarily work well with non-C programming languages. It likely won’t work with either OCaml or Ruby’s garbage collectors since they both involve stack walking to find GC roots. I’d generally want to avoid “tricksy” stuff in a library.

  • PyDev of the Week: Adrienne Tacke

    This week we welcome Adrienne Tacke (@AdrienneTacke) as our PyDev of the Week! Adrienne is the author of Coding for Kids: Python: Learn to Code with 50 Awesome Games and Activities and her book came out earlier this year.

  • Python Programming - if, else and elif
  • Subsecond deployment and startup of Apache Camel applications

    The integration space is in constant change. Many open source projects and closed source technologies did not withstand the tests of time and have disappeared from the middleware stacks for good. After a decade, however, Apache Camel is still here and becoming even stronger for the next decade of integration. In this article, I’ll provide some history of Camel and then describe two changes coming to Apache Camel now (and later to Red Hat Fuse) and why they are important for developers. I call these changes subsecond deployment and subsecond startup of Camel applications.

  • Best Free Books to Learn about Lua

    Lua is a lightweight, small, compact, and fast programming language designed as an embeddable scripting language. This cross-platform interpreted language has a simple syntax with powerful data description constructs. It has automatic memory management and incremental garbage collection, making it ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping. Lua tries to help you solve problems with only hundreds of lines, or even less. To achieve this aim, Lua relies on extensibility.

    In the popularity stakes, Lua lags behind say Python, Perl, or Ruby for scripting purposes. As a barometer of its popularity, Lua is currently ranked in 33rd place on the TIOBE Index.

    Lua is not designed to develop standalone software. But Lua excels as a secondary language. Witness Lua cropping up in kernels, tools, and games. Lua was designed, from the beginning, to be integrated with software written in C and other conventional languages. But it’s also used as a standalone language.

    This language is free software distributed under the terms of the MIT license. Lua’s developers consist of a team at PUC-Rio, the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The language has been in development for 26 years.

    This article recommends free books to help you master programming in Lua. As the range of good free books is fairly limited, I close the article with a few carefully selected tutorials that are genuinely useful.

Linux kernel RDS flaw affects Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian and SUSE

Filed under
Linux

If you're not in the habit of keeping up to date with the latest version of the Linux kernel, now might be a good time to think about doing so. Systems based on versions of the kernel older than 5.0.8 suffer from a severe flaw in the implementation of RDS over TCP.

Left unpatched, the flaw could enable an attacker to compromise a system. The National Vulnerability Database entry says: "There is a race condition leading to a use-after-free, related to net namespace cleanup".

Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian and SUSE are all affected by the flaw, and security advisories have been issued for each Linux distro. It is worth noting that the "attack complexity" is rated as being "high", so while the impact of the security hole could be serious, the changes of a successful attack are relatively slim.

Read more

Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Am I Fomu ?

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

A few months ago at FOSDEM 2019 I got my hands on a pre-production version of the Fomu, a tiny open-hardware FPGA board that fits in your USB port. Building on the smash hit of the Tomu, the Fomu uses an ICE40UP5K FPGA instead of an ARM core.

I've never really been into hardware hacking, and much like hacking on the Linux kernel, messing with wires and soldering PCB boards always intimidated me. From my perspective, playing around with the Fomu looked like a nice way to test the water without drowning in it.

Since the bootloader wasn't written at the time, when I first got my Fomu hacker board there was no easy way to test if the board was working. Lucky for me, Giovanni Mascellani was around and flashed a test program on it using his Raspberry Pi and a bunch of hardware probes. I was really impressed by the feat, but it also seemed easy enough that I could do it.

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Also: ItsyBitsy Snek — snek on the Adafruit ItsyBitsy

Debian: DebConf19, David Kalnischkies and Joey Hess

Filed under
Debian
  • Lenovo Platinum Sponsor of DebConf19

    With this commitment as Platinum Sponsor, Lenovo is contributing to make possible our annual conference, and directly supporting the progress of Debian and Free Software, helping to strengthen the community that continues to collaborate on Debian projects throughout the rest of the year.

  • David Kalnischkies: Newbie contributor: A decade later

    Time flies. On this day, 10 years ago, a certain someone sent in his first contribution to Debian in Debbugs#433007: --dry-run can mark a package manually installed (in real life). What follows is me babbling randomly about what lead to and happened after that first patch.

    That wasn't my first contribution to open source: I implemented (more like copy-pasted) mercurial support in the VCS plugin in the editor I was using back in 2008: Geany – I am pretty sure my code is completely replaced by now, I just remain being named in THANKS, which is very nice considering I am not a user anymore. My contributions to apt were coded in vim(-nox) already.

  • Joey Hess: 80 percent

    I added dh to debhelper a decade ago, and now Debian is considering making use of dh mandatory. Not being part of Debian anymore, I'm in the position of needing to point out something important about it anyway. So this post is less about pointing in a specific direction as giving a different angle to think about things.

    debhelper was intentionally designed as a 100% solution for simplifying building Debian packages. Any package it's used with gets simplified and streamlined and made less a bother to maintain. The way debhelper succeeds at 100% is not by doing everything, but by being usable in little pieces, that build up to a larger, more consistent whole, but that can just as well be used sparingly.

    dh was intentionally not designed to be a 100% solution, because it is not a collection of little pieces, but a framework. I first built an 80% solution, which is the canned sequences of commands it runs plus things like dh_auto_build that guess at how to build any software. Then I iterated to get closer to 100%. The main iteration was override targets in the debian/rules file, to let commands be skipped or run out of order or with options. That closed dh's gap by a further 80%.

Pop!_OS 19.04 – Based on Ubuntu 19.04 and Use GNOME 3.32 as Default Desktop

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

Pop!_OS 19.04 is the latest release of Pop!_OS, based on Ubuntu 19.04 and use GNOME 3.32 as default desktop environment that brings several other features like new icon theme, fractional scaling, permission control for each application, granular control on Night Light intensity among many other changes. Also, include most of the gnome applications 3.32.

The changes that are exclusive to Pop!_OS 19.04, the new Refresh Install option allows you to reinstall the OS without losing your user account and data stored in Home.

Read more

Xfce 4.14 Coming Soon

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Xfce 4.14pre1 released!

    Note: A lot has happened since Xfce 4.12 was released four years ago and this announcement only covers the changes that were included in the latest development releases dubbed as Xfce 4.14pre1. Also, we have noticed some confusion by people or news outlets that seem to mistake xfdesktop for the “Xfce Desktop Environment”.

    The comprehensive changelog will be provided with the Xfce 4.14 final release, but here go some select highlights that were released in the last week (chosen subjectively by the author).

  • Xfce 4.14 Sees Its Long-Awaited Pre-Release

    The GTK3-ported Xfce 4.14 might see its long-awaited official release in the near future. In preparing for a hopeful August debut, the Xfce 4.14 pre-release is now available.

    It's been four years since the release of Xfce 4.12 and in addition to the GTK3 tool-kit re-tooling there has been a lot of UI improvements, vblank support added, colord integration, and many other feature additions.

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More in Tux Machines

Distros: Draco in Sparky, Fedora Issues and Optional Dependencies in Debian

  • Draco Desktop
    There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: Draco
  • Archiving 26 500 community Q&As from Ask Fedora
    Ask Fedora is the Fedora Linux community’s questions-and-answers portal, and it recently transitioned from a forum software called Askbot to Discourse. Changing the underlying forum software doesn’t have to be destructive but Ask Fedora decided to go with a nuke-and-pave migration strategy: They decided to start from scratch instead of copying user accounts and the user-contributed content to the new software. The first time I learned of the migration was a few days after it had happen. I’d run into an issue with my Fedora installation and went online looking for solutions. Every useful search result was from the old Ask Fedora site and every link returned an HTTP 404 Not Found error message as those answers hadn’t been migrated to the new Ask Fedora website.
  • Attention epel6 and epel7 ppc64 users
    If you are a epel6 or epel7 user on the ppc64 platform, I have some sad news for you. If you aren’t feel free to read on for a tale of eol architectures. ppc64 (the big endian version of power) was shipped with RHEL6 and RHEL7 and Fedora until Fedora 28. It’s been replaced by the ppc64le (little endian) version in Fedora and RHEL8.
  • Optional dependencies don’t work
    In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article. [...] Software is usually not built by end users, but by packagers, at least when we are talking about Open Source. Hence, end users don’t see the knob for the optional dependency, they are just presented with the fait accompli: their version of the software behaves differently than other versions of the same software. Depending on the kind of software, this situation can be made obvious to the user: for example, if the optional dependency is needed to print documents, the program can produce an appropriate error message when the user tries to print a document. Sometimes, this isn’t possible: when i3 introduced an optional dependency on cairo and pangocairo, the behavior itself (rendering window titles) worked in all configurations, but non-ASCII characters might break depending on whether i3 was compiled with cairo. For users, it is frustrating to only discover in conversation that a program has a feature that the user is interested in, but it’s not available on their computer. For support, this situation can be hard to detect, and even harder to resolve to the user’s satisfaction.

Servers: Kubernetes, Microservices, Containers and SUSE's Enterprise Storage 6

  • Is bare Kubernetes still too messy for enterprises?
    Kubernetes is touted as a computing cure-all, fixing up multicloud networking to data mobility. The open-source platform for orchestrating containers (a virtualized method for running distributed applications) may or may not be the panacea it’s hyped up to be. What is certain is that user-ready Kubernetes isn’t as easy as it sounds, so customers should shop carefully for a provider. Enterprise users of Kubernetes and containers may not guess just how many moving parts are under the covers. There are a ton of tiny pieces that have to line up just so in order for them to work, according to Mark Shuttleworth (pictured), founder and chief executive officer of Canonical Ltd. He likens these technologies to carefully constructed “fictions.”
  • Data as a microservice: Distributed data-focused integration
    Microservices is the architecture design favored in new software projects; however, getting the most from this type of approach requires overcoming several previous requirements. As the evolution from a monolithic to a distributed system takes place not only in the application space but also at the data store, managing your data becomes one of the hardest challenges. This article examines some of the considerations for implementing data as a service.
  • Container Adoption Shoots Up Among Enterprises In 2019: Survey
    Majority of IT professionals now run container technologies, with 90 percent of those running in production and 7 in 10 running at least 40 percent of their application portfolio in containers — an impressive increase from two years ago, when just 67 percent of teams were running container technologies in production. According to the joint 2019 Annual Container Adoption Survey released by Portworx and Aqua Security, enterprises have started making bigger investments in containers. In 2019, nearly one in five organizations is found to be spending over $1 million annually on containers (17%) as compared to just four percent in 2016.
  • SUSE Rolls Out Enterprise Storage 6
    SUSE has announced the latest version of its software-defined storage solution powered by Ceph technology. With SUSE Enterprise Storage 6, IT organizations can adapt to changing business demands. They may also reduce IT operational expense with new features focused on containerized and cloud workload support, improved integration with public cloud, and enhanced data protection capabilities, SUSE said.

OSS: 3scale, Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, LibreOffice Conference 2020, DataStax Openwashing and IGEL

  • Red Hat completes open sourcing of 3scale code
    At Red Hat we have always been proud of our open source heritage and commitment. We are delighted that more of the industry now shares our viewpoint, and more companies are looking to promote their open source bona fides of late. Open source software energizes developers and teams of committed developers working in parallel can outproduce the large development hierarchies of the last generation. We believe working upstream with open source communities is an important innovation strategy. Occasionally, however, innovation does originate in traditional commercial organizations under a proprietary development model. Three years ago, Red Hat discovered just such a company that was doing exciting things in the API economy.
  • Enbies and women in FOSS Wikipedia edit-a-thon
    To be brief, I’ll be hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon on enbies and women in free and open source software, on June 2nd, from 16:00 – 19:00 EDT. I’d love remote participants, but if you’re in the Boston area you are more than welcome over to my place for pancakes and collaboration times.
  • LibreOffice Conference 2020, it could be in your city
    LibreOffice Conference 2020 will be an event to remember, for a couple of reasons: it will be the 10th of a series of successful conferences, and it will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the LibreOffice project and the 20th of the FOSS office suite. In 2020, The Document Foundation will be on stage at many FOSS events around the world, and the LibreOffice Conference will be the most important of the year. Organizing this conference is a unique opportunity for FOSS communities, because the event will make the history of free open source software.
  • DataStax and the Modern Commercial Open Source Business
    One month ago, Google announced a set of partnerships with seven commercial open source providers. Among those announced was DataStax, which held its annual conference this year and, for the first time, an analyst day. While DataStax and the open source project it is based on, Cassandra, are differentiated on a technical basis, the company also represents an interesting contrast with its peers directionally both among the newly minted Google partners and more broadly. Of the seven commercial open source partners Google announced, for example, DataStax is one of two along with InfluxData that has not introduced a non-open source, hybrid license as a means of protecting itself from competition from the cloud providers. This is not, notably, because the company doesn’t seem them as a threat; asked about who the competition was in the analyst sessions, the CEO of DataStax candidly acknowledged that the company’s primary competitive focus was not on premise competition such as Oracle, but cloud-based managed services offerings.
  • IGEL Developing Linux Distro For Windows Virtual Desktop Users [Ed: IGEL used to support #GNU/Linux and now it's just helping Microsoft enslave GNU/Linux insider Windows with NSA back doors.]

Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet

Linux Mint no longer may be an ideal choice for above-par performance out of the box, but it still can serve diehard users well with the right amount of post-installation tinkering. The Linux Mint distro clearly is the gold standard for measuring Cinnamon desktop integration. Linux Mint's developers turned the GNOME desktop alternative into one of the best Linux desktop choices. Linux Mint Cinnamon, however, may have lost some of its fresh minty flavor. The gold standard for version 19.1 Tessa seems to be a bit tarnished when compared to some other distros offering a Cinnamon environment. Given that the current Linux Mint version was released at the end of last December, it may be a bit odd for me to focus on a review some five months later. Linux Mint is my primary driver, though, so at long last I am getting around to sharing my lukewarm experiences. I have run Linux Mint Cinnamon on three primary work and testing computers since parting company with Ubuntu Linux Unity and several other Ubuntu flavors many years ago. I have recommended Linux Mint enthusiastically to associates and readers in my personal and professional roles. Read more