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Tuesday, 16 Jan 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

Plasma 5.12 LTS beta available in PPA for testing on Artful & Bionic

Adventurous users, testers and developers running Artful 17.10 or our development release Bionic 18.04 can now test the beta version of Plasma 5.12 LTS. Read more Also: Kubuntu 17.10 and 18.04 Users Can Now Try the KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS Desktop

Leftovers: Proprietary Software, HowTos, and GXml

Debian Developers: Google Summer of Code, Quick Recap of 2017

  • RHL'18 in Saint-Cergue, Switzerland
    In between eating fondue and skiing, I found time to resurrect some of my previous project ideas for Google Summer of Code. Most of them are not specific to Debian, several of them need co-mentors, please contact me if you are interested.
  • Quick recap of 2017
         After the Stretch release, it was time to attend DebConf’17 in Montreal, Canada. I’ve presented the latest news on the Debian Installer front there as well. This included a quick demo of my little framework which lets me run automatic installation tests. Many attendees mentioned openQA as the current state of the art technology for OS installation testing, and Philip Hands started looking into it. Right now, my little thing is still useful as it is, helping me reproduce regressions quickly, and testing bug fixes… so I haven’t been trying to port that to another tool yet. I also gave another presentation in two different contexts: once at a local FLOSS meeting in Nantes, France and once during the mini-DebConf in Toulouse, France. Nothing related to Debian Installer this time, as the topic was how I helped a company upgrade thousands of machines from Debian 6 to Debian 8 (and to Debian 9 since then). It was nice to have Evolix people around, since we shared our respective experience around automation tools like Ansible and Puppet.

Devices: Raspberry Pi and Android

GeckoLinux: A Polished Distro Just Got Smoother

Filed under
Linux
Reviews

I was disappointed in GeckoLinux in only one situation. The practice of including a password for the live session demo mode was a new feature promised in this release. The product description hawks the convenience of not having to enter passwords for the live session user account.

Yet the brief documentation for the ISO download mentions the user password for the live session as "linux." I was hoping that the developer merely forgot to update the download information.

Alas, the new version still needs a password. Oh well, maybe the next release.

Otherwise, GeckoLinux 423 is a worthy release that provides improvements over the standard openSuse mindset.

Read more

Games: Opus Magnum, Killing Floor 2, Where The Water Tastes Like Wine

Filed under
Gaming
  • Opus Magnum is an exceptional puzzle game available for Linux

    I decided to bite the bullet and actually pick up a personal copy of Opus Magnum [Steam, Humble Store], I’m glad I did and it's fantastic.

    At first, it’s a little bit like there’s a tiny man inside your brain just shouting “AHH!” as there’s quite a lot to take in, but once you push through the initial brain overload it’s a brilliant experience. I wouldn’t say I was generally a huge puzzle game fan, but Opus Magnum absolutely fascinates me in ways I didn’t think possible.

  • Killing Floor 2 for Linux is 'indefinitely on hold' as they can't find a developer

    Sad news, as it seems there's just no chance of Killing Floor 2 coming to Linux any more as Tripwire can't find a developer.

    Going back to February of last year, Knockout Games sneaked out before that they were working on it, but not all contracts work out of course. I assumed they had parted ways, since later in August of last year Tripwire then said it wasn't in active development. I was hoping Knockout Games (or anyone) was just quietly working on it, but I guess not.

  • Where The Water Tastes Like Wine has a new trailer, musician Sting to star in it

    Where The Water Tastes Like Wine [Steam, Official Site] is an upcoming adventure game from Dim Bulb Games and Serenity Forge has a new trailer to show off some characters, the fun news is that the musician Sting is starring in it.

    Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, better know by his stage name of Sting is starring is this new adventure game along side some great actors like: Dave Fennoy (The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series), Cissy Jones (Firewatch), Kimberly Brooks (Mass Effect) and many more.

A Science Project: “Make The 486 Great Again!” – Modern Linux In An Ancient PC

Filed under
GNU
Linux

I asked the above quiz question during the Geekcamp tech conference in Nov 2017 during my emcee role. The theoretical answer as you can glean from the title of this post is the 486 which was first released in 1989. I determined that fact from this article where support for the 386 was dropped in Dec 2012.

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FUD Firms Versus Free Software (Licensing, Security, Gender)

Filed under
OSS

What Linux storage benchmarking tools are best?

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

The Linux hdparm tool enables administrators to establish a basic, low-level measure of disk performance. Using hdparm with the -t option takes advantage of the Linux disk cache, while the -t option also accesses the disk through the cache, but doesn't pre-cache the results. Low-level Linux storage benchmarking tools such as hdparm are very sensitive to file systems and other higher level constructs, however, so results can vary dramatically.

Admins often use the Linux dd -- data duplicator -- command for tasks such as backup and copy, but its interaction with storage can also enable sequential throughput for storage performance.

Flexible I/O Tester (FIO) is perhaps the most versatile and popular tool for benchmarking hard disk drive and solid-state drive devices. It enables administrators to run sequential read/write tests with varied I/O block sizes and queue depths.

Read more

Ubuntu 17.04 EoL and Patches

Filed under
Security
Ubuntu

Security: Meltdown and Spectre, Apple and More

Filed under
Security
  • Meltdown and Spectre Linux Kernel Status

    By now, everyone knows that something “big” just got announced regarding computer security. Heck, when the Daily Mail does a report on it , you know something is bad…

    Anyway, I’m not going to go into the details about the problems being reported, other than to point you at the wonderfully written Project Zero paper on the issues involved here. They should just give out the 2018 Pwnie award right now, it’s that amazingly good.

  • Linux Kernels 4.14.13, 4.9.76, and 4.4.111 Bring More Security Fixes, Update Now

    As promised, Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman released today new versions of the Linux 4.14, 4.9, and 4.4 kernel series to address some of the regressions from previous builds and fix more bugs.

    Linux kernels 4.14.13, 4.9.76 LTS, and 4.4.111 LTS are now available for download from kernel.org, and they include more fixes against the Spectre security vulnerability, as well as some regressions from the Linux 4.14.12, 4.9.75 LTS, and 4.4.110 LTS kernels released last week, as some reported minor issues.

  • Red Hat Researchers: Spectre Chip Vulnerability Likely Worse For VMs Than Containers
  • Watching the meltdown.

    I have been watching Meltdown and Spectre unfold from the sidelines. Other than applying available updates, I'm just watching and absorbing the process of the disclosure. This one appears mid way along a long road.

    I teach mostly administrators. I teach some developers. I teach those in, or desiring to be in, infosec. I like teaching security topics. I think securing systems requires more people thinking about security from the beginning of design and as an everyday, no big deal part of life. A question I ask with these newsworthy issues is what normal practices can mitigate even part of the problems?  There are two big basics - least privilege and patch management - to always keep in mind. Issues like ShellShock and Venom were mostly mitigated from the beginning with SElinux enabled (least privilege) and WannaCry had little impact on those systems patched long ago when the SMB bug was first found and fixed.

    However, in some cases, both exploits and accidents come from doing something that no one else thought of trying. This is why I like open source. There is the option (not always used) for more people trying different things and finding better uses as well as potential flaws. Any type of cooperation and collaboration can be the source of some of these findings including pull requests, conference talks, or corporations working with academic research projects.

  • macOS High Sierra's App Store System Preferences Can Be Unlocked With Any Password

    A bug report submitted on Open Radar this week reveals a security vulnerability in the current version of macOS High Sierra that allows the App Store menu in System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 77 - npm and the supply chain

    Josh and Kurt talk about the recent npm happenings. What it means for the supply chain, and we end with some thoughts on how maybe none of this matters.

City of Barcelona Kicks Out Microsoft in Favor of Linux and Open Source

Filed under
News

Barcelona city administration has prepared the roadmap to migrate its existing system from Microsoft and proprietary software to Linux and Open Source software.
Read more

NVIDIA GeForce vs. AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance At The Start Of 2018

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

Here is a fresh look at the NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon Linux graphics card performance as we start 2018. Testing was done using the latest Linux 4.15 Git kernel -- including the KPTI page table isolation support -- as well as using the newest Mesa 17.4-dev driver code for RadeonSI/RADV and on the NVIDIA side is their brand new 390.12 beta driver.

Read more

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Automotive Grade Linux Hits the Road Globally with Toyota; Amazon Alexa Joins AGL to Support Voice Recognition

    Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for the connected car, today announced that AGL is now in Toyota vehicles around the world. AGL also announced five new members, including Amazon Alexa, which joined as a Silver member.

    "Having AGL in vehicles on the road globally is a significant milestone for both AGL and the automotive open source community," said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at The Linux Foundation. "Toyota has been a strong proponent of open source for years, and we believe their adoption of an AGL-based infotainment system has set a precedent that other automakers will follow."

  • Intel Posts Initial Open-Source Graphics Driver Patches For Icelake "Gen 11" Hardware

    While Intel Cannonlake processors aren't out yet with their new "Gen 10" graphics hardware, Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has published their first graphics driver patches for Linux enablement of Icelake "Gen 11" hardware.

    Cannonlake CPUs will be shipping this year while Icelake is at least a year out, which will feature further improvements to the Intel onboard graphics. Intel OTC developers had posted their first GPU Linux driver patches last April for Cannonlake in order to get the support reviewed and upstream well ahead of the hardware launch.

  • Best free open source alternatives to Windows 10: What's the best open source OS?

    There will most likely be a learning curve involved with picking up an open source OS, but the community, customisation and cost (free) should definitely be enough to draw you in.

  • What is your favorite desktop Linux distribution?

    There are all sorts of reasons people take their pick. It could be based on familiarity, on the UI, on performance, on package availability, on stability, on support, or thousands of other factors. Every year, just once, we let you chime in and tell us your favorite.

    This year, in an effort to keep the conversation a little more focused, we're asking specifically, what's your favorite desktop distribution? And we're adding a few more choices this year. To be as fair as possible when it's impossible to list every distribution, we pulled the top 15 distributions according to DistroWatch over the past 12 months. It's not scientific—but it's something to start with, and we had to cull it down somehow.

  •  

  • MAMA Cross Spotted in Red Hat Inc (RHT) Shares
  • A small 2017 retrospective

    In the ARM space there was quite a lot of achievements. The big one being the initial support of aarch64 SBCs (finally!), I was very proud of the work we achieved here, it’s a single install path with uEFI/grub2 and a single install path. More work in the short term, by a team of cross team distro people, which took us a lot longer than I’d hoped, but the outcome is a lot better experience for end users and a much more supportable platform for those that need to support it moving forward! It was no means our only achievement with a lot of other ARM improvements including on the Raspberry Pi, accelerated GPUs, initial support for the 96boards platforms. Three is of coarse already LOTS of work in motion for the ARM architectures in 2018 and I’m sure it’ll be as fun and insanely busy as always but I feel we’re now going into it with a good base for the aarch64 SBCs which will rapidly expand in the devices we support moving forward!

  • Razer’s Project Linda Turns Your Phone Into A Breathtaking Laptop

    Project Linda is basically a dock that lets you seamlessly dock your Android-powered Razer Phone at the place where the touchpad usually resides (see picture below). Once you connect the phone, the 5.7-inch display becomes a touchpad; it can alternatively be used as a second screen. With the press of a button, a USB-C port inserts inside the phone.

  • Most popular Tizen Apps / Games downloaded in 2017

    In a past life (a couple of weeks ago), we used to report on the previous months Tizen apps that had been downloaded from the Tizen Apps Store. Now, we have a list of the Top 20 Tizen Apps / Games for the whole of 2017. This will be our last round-up of the Tizen Store and I’m doing this more out of nostalgia than anything else.

  • 8 Best Free Android Music Players | 2018 Edition

    Android smartphones come with a default music player for audio playback. So, why should you look for an alternate music player? Because the default player might not be feature-rich, it might not provide you with a satisfactory equalizer or its user interface might not be convenient. For instance, most devices nowadays come with Google Play Music as the default music player. It is simple and does the job, but lacks features like folder view in the library, the ability to edit tags for files and many other necessary tools.

  •  

Software: Cockpit, notmuch, Jumble Password, Tableau and GNOME

Filed under
Software
  • Cockpit 159

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 159.

  • notmuch release 0.26 now available

    Version 0.26 of the notmuch email client/indexer is available with a long list of new features. "It's now possible to include the cleartext of encrypted e-mails in the notmuch index. This makes it possible to search your encrypted e-mails with the same ease as searching cleartext."

  • Jumble Password – Create Unique IDs and Passwords on Linux

    Jumble Password is an electron-based utility app that you can use to create unique password combinations using your date of birth and name. It uses a random number permutation algorithm called the Fisher-Yates Shuffle Algorithm to jumble up sequences.

    A typical case scenario is if you want to create a password for a website project you’re working on. You can choose to enter random names or dates to get unique suggestions each time you hit the submit button.

  • Tableau adds in-memory data engine Hyper to Tableau 10.5, launches Tableau Server for Linux

    Tableau said its in-memory data engine, called Hyper, is generally available and will be included in Tableau 10.5. Hyper will be able to boost query speed by 5X and extract data and large data sets faster.

    With the move, Tableau gets into the database game. Typically, Tableau is extracting data from multiple data sets and joining them together.

    What Tableau is hoping to do is speed up time to insight and visualization. Tableau is also releasing Tableau Server on Linux and the ability to embed multiple visualizations in a single view with Viz in Tooltip.

  • Tableau’s data visualization platform now supports Linux, promises faster operations

    Tableau announced today that its new Hyper data engine is generally available to customers, providing a massive speed boost for existing processes through its business intelligence and analysis software.

  • GXml 0.16.0 Released

    GXml is a library for XML access and GObject serialization to XML, with a W3C DOM4 API implementation.

  • Vala Warnings output Improvements

    As for resent release of Vala 0.39.4, there are huge improvements if we talk about warnings output at Vala code and C code compilation level.

    One of the argument against Vala, has been the number of warnings you get for a valid Vala code at C level compilation. As an example you can check warnings for GXml in March 2017 about 230, some were my fault but other at C level.

today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

Debian Leftovers

Filed under
Debian

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Why isn't open source hot among computer science students?

    The technical savvy and inventive energy of young programmers is alive and well.

    This was clear from the diligent work that I witnessed while participating in this year’s PennApps, the nation’s largest college hackathon. Over the course of 48 hours, my high school- and college-age peers created projects ranging from a blink-based communication device for shut-in patients to a burrito maker with IoT connectivity. The spirit of open source was tangible throughout the event, as diverse groups bonded over a mutual desire to build, the free flow of ideas and tech know-how, fearless experimentation and rapid prototyping, and an overwhelming eagerness to participate.

    Why then, I wondered, wasn’t open source a hot topic among my tech geek peers?

    To learn more about what college students think when they hear "open source," I surveyed several college students who are members of the same professional computer science organization I belong to. All members of this community must apply during high school or college and are selected based on their computer science-specific achievements and leadership—whether that means leading a school robotics team, founding a nonprofit to bring coding into insufficiently funded classrooms, or some other worthy endeavor. Given these individuals’ accomplishments in computer science, I thought that their perspectives would help in understanding what young programmers find appealing (or unappealing) about open source projects.

  • Blue Brain Nexus: An open-source knowledge graph for data-driven science

    EPFL's Blue Brain Project today announces the release of its open source software project 'Blue Brain Nexus', designed to enable the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data management principles for the Neuroscience and broader scientific community. It is part of EPFL's open-science initiative, which seeks to maximize the reach and impact of research conducted at the school.

    The aim of the Blue Brain Project is to build accurate, biologically detailed, digital reconstructions and simulations of the rodent brain and, ultimately the human brain. Blue Brain Nexus is instrumental in supporting all stages of Blue Brain's data-driven modelling cycle including, but not limited to experimental data, single cell models, circuits, simulations and validations. The brain is a complex multi-level system and is one of the biggest 'Big Data' problems we have today. Therefore, Blue Brain Nexus has been built to organize, store and process exceptionally large volumes of data and support usage by a broad number of users.

  • Devery.io – a Blockchain Powered, Open-Source, Product Verification Protocol

    Devery.io are developing the Devery Protocol, aiming to provide a decentralized verification platform enabling the marking and tracking of items over the Ethereum blockchain.

  • What the Haven app shows us about the value of Open Source

    Christmas may have come a few days early this past December for security advocates with the introduction of the Haven app, bringing with it a fair amount of excitement, criticism, and an excellent opportunity to explore some of the less often discussed aspects of working with open source.

    For those who have been off of Twitter since the coverage started since Friday, the Haven app has been proposed as a solution for protecting your physical space from surveillance (or worse). Built for Android by the good folks over at the Guardian Project, the makers of great anonymity apps that help protect their users from surveillance, the app makes use of the phone’s sensors to detect intruders that might attempt to creep on your personal space.

  • Jet Villegas: Turning a Corner in the New Year

    2017 was quite a year beyond the socio-economic, geo-political, and bizarre. I, and many of my colleagues did what we could: find solace in work. I’ve often found that in uncertain times, making forward progress on difficult technical projects provides just enough incentive to continue for a bit longer. With the successful release of Firefox 57, I’m again optimistic about the future for the technical work. The Firefox Layout Engine team has a lot to be proud of in the 57 version. The winning combination was shipping big-ticket investments, and grinding down on many very difficult bugs. Plan “A” all the way!

  • Facebook has open-sourced encrypted group chat

    Facebook has responded to governments' criticism of cryptography by giving the world an open source encrypted group chat tool.

    It's hardly likely to endear the ad-farm to people like FBI Director Christopher Wray, who yesterday told an international infosec conference it was “ridiculous” that the Feds have seized nearly 8,000 phones they can't access. UK prime minister Theresa May has also called for backdoors in messaging services and for social networks to stop offering "safe spaces" for extremists.

  • Open source code recycling: Know your software supply chain

    GNU/Linux was able to fill this gap, truly reshaping software design and development. Rather than writing and updating proprietary, foundational code, various developers working at varying companies or on their own could use and enhance the basic software building blocks, thereby focusing the majority of their resources on higher stack-level innovations.

    And, it worked.

Security: Updates, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, IBM and Linux

Filed under
Security

Kubuntu 17.10 upgrade - Should you?

Filed under
KDE
Ubuntu

I am not joking. I seriously believe that software regressions should be punished. They destroy people's mood and will and desire to use programs, and the users start developing almost PTSD-like effects, not knowing when something is going to crash because no one bothered checking their fresh code. Jail time seems appropriate. Failing that, strict and rigorous validation procedures that currently DO NOT EXIST in the wider Linux world.

Zesty remains the perfect distro and the best Plasma release ever. It's so much ahead, I feel like shedding a tear every time I use it. In comparison, Awful Anteater is a pale shadow of what Kubuntu can do. So yes it works. But it brings crashes and unnecessary nonsense that just spoils everything. It's such a shame, and such a wasted opportunity. The upgrade itself was flawless. But it's not an upgrade. It's a version increase and a definite downgrade. Wait for the LTS. Or something. Oh, the humanity!

Read more

OSMC's December update is here with Debian Stretch and Kodi 17.6

Filed under
Debian

We hope you've had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As you may have noticed, we didn't release an OSMC update in November. After a lot of hard work, OSMC's slightly belated December update is here with Debian Stretch and Kodi 17.6. This yields a number of improvements, and is one of our largest OSMC updates yet:

Better performance
A larger number of software packages to choose from
More up to date software packages to choose from

We'd like to thank everyone involved with testing and developing this update.

Read more

Games on GNU/Linux

Filed under
Gaming
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More in Tux Machines

Plasma 5.12 LTS beta available in PPA for testing on Artful & Bionic

Adventurous users, testers and developers running Artful 17.10 or our development release Bionic 18.04 can now test the beta version of Plasma 5.12 LTS. Read more Also: Kubuntu 17.10 and 18.04 Users Can Now Try the KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS Desktop

Leftovers: Proprietary Software, HowTos, and GXml

Debian Developers: Google Summer of Code, Quick Recap of 2017

  • RHL'18 in Saint-Cergue, Switzerland
    In between eating fondue and skiing, I found time to resurrect some of my previous project ideas for Google Summer of Code. Most of them are not specific to Debian, several of them need co-mentors, please contact me if you are interested.
  • Quick recap of 2017
         After the Stretch release, it was time to attend DebConf’17 in Montreal, Canada. I’ve presented the latest news on the Debian Installer front there as well. This included a quick demo of my little framework which lets me run automatic installation tests. Many attendees mentioned openQA as the current state of the art technology for OS installation testing, and Philip Hands started looking into it. Right now, my little thing is still useful as it is, helping me reproduce regressions quickly, and testing bug fixes… so I haven’t been trying to port that to another tool yet. I also gave another presentation in two different contexts: once at a local FLOSS meeting in Nantes, France and once during the mini-DebConf in Toulouse, France. Nothing related to Debian Installer this time, as the topic was how I helped a company upgrade thousands of machines from Debian 6 to Debian 8 (and to Debian 9 since then). It was nice to have Evolix people around, since we shared our respective experience around automation tools like Ansible and Puppet.

Devices: Raspberry Pi and Android