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Tuesday, 21 Aug 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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How to Burn Blu-ray Disks in Ubuntu/Linux

Filed under
Ubuntu

K3b is a free disk burning utility for KDE but can run in any Linux distributions with proper packages installed. K3b is very simple to use yet powerful utility and capable of handling CD, DVDs with operations such as burning, re-writing, erasing, copying etc. This is how you can burn Blu-ray disks in Ubuntu, Linux systems using K3b.

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Fedora News and Red Hat's Finances

Filed under
Red Hat

Steam and Wine in Steam Play

Filed under
Gaming
  • Steam for Linux now lets you play (some) Windows games on Linux

    Valve’s Steam game platform supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. But up until recently it was up to developers to decide which operating systems to support… and the vast majority are Windows-only, followed by a smaller number of apps that support macOS and around 3 thousand that support Linux.

    But now the number of Steam games available to Linux users is a little longer… not because developers have ported their games to support the operating system, but because Valve has launched a new version of Steam Play that makes is possible to play some Windows games on Linux computers.

  • Steam Can Now Run Some Major VR Apps Without Microsoft Windows

    Valve released an update for Steam on Linux that should allow some of the most popular VR games to run on VR-ready computers without Microsoft Windows installed.

    The new feature could hold enormous potential for Valve to support next generation standalone VR headsets based on Linux or SteamOS. In the near-term, the feature could also lower the cost for some early adopters who want to enjoy top tier games like Doom VFR, Google Earth VR and Beat Saber but don’t feel like shelling out the cost for a Windows 10 license alongside their shiny new VR-ready PC. It might also have an effect on VR arcades which could bypass the cost of Microsoft’s operating system.

    The new feature is described as follows: “Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.”

  • Valve makes Windows games playable on Linux with Steam Play update

    Heads up developers, if your players have been asking for a Linux-compatable version of your game, Valve's announced that delivering that version should be much easier going forward.

    In a post on the Steam community forums, Valve representative Pierre-Loup Griffais announced that Valve is releasing a new version of Steam play that includes a new feature for Linux users. Using an improved version of the compatibility software Wine known as Proton, Griffais states that Linux users can now play games on Steam that are meant to run on Windows.

  • Steam gets built-in tools to let you run Windows games on Linux – now available in beta

    Valve’s name for its cross-platform initiative – is getting a major update, with built-in tools allowing you to run Windows games on Linux. We saw the first hints of the feature last week, and today Valve has confirmed it. It’s available right now in beta, so if you want to test the compatibility features on your own Linux install you don’t have to wait.

  • Steam adds Proton, making Windows games playable on Linux (at least in theory)

    Last week we wrote about Valve potentially folding support for a WINE-style compatibility wrapper into Steam, allowing Linux machines to play Windows games with minimal hiccups. Now it’s a reality. Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais made the announcement on the “Steam for Linux” group today.

    The forum post is long and very detailed, and if you’re personally invested in Linux gaming it’s probably worth a read.

  • Steam Play beta lets Linux gamers play some Windows-only titles

    There were whispers about it just last week but now it’s totally official. Steam Play, which was originally intended as a single-purchase system for buying games that run on Windows, Mac, and Linux, is taking cross-platform compatibility to the next level. Yes, Valve is now testing running Windows games on Steam on Linux. And, much to the satisfaction of Linux and open source advocates, it’s doing it the right way by building on and supporting initiatives that will benefit not just Steam but the entire Linux ecosystem as well.

Security: X.Org Server, USBHarpoon, Kubernetes Penetration Testing

Filed under
Security
  • Three New Security Advisories Hit X.Org's X11 Library

    It's been a while since last having any big security bulletins for the X.Org Server even though some of the code-base dates back decades and security researchers have said the security is even worse than it looks and numerous advisories have come up in recent years. But it's not because X11 is bug-free as today three more security bulletins were made public affecting libX11.

    Today's security advisory pertains to three different functions in libX11 that are affected by different issues. The security issues come down to off-by-one writes, a potential out of boundary write, and a crash on invalid reply.

  • USBHarpoon: How “Innocent” USB Cables Can Be Manipulated To Inject Malware

    Back in 2014 Black Hat Conference, crypto specialists Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell introduced the concept of BadUSB — a USB security flaw which allows attackers to turn a USB into a keyboard which can be used to type in commands.

    Now, a researcher from SYON Security has managed to build a modified USB charging cable that will enable hackers to transfer malware on your PC without you even noticing it. Behind the hood is the BadUSB vulnerability.

    [...]

    While BadUSB is gradually climbing the ladder towards the mainstream cyber attacks, people are also coming up with the corresponding firewalls to tackle the new age attacks.

  • Open Source 'Kube-Hunter' Does Kubernetes Penetration Testing

    Aqua Security released the open source kube-hunter tool for penetration testing of Kubernetes clusters, used for container orchestration.

    "You give it the IP or DNS name of your Kubernetes cluster, and kube-hunter probes for security issues -- it's like automated penetration testing," the company said in an Aug. 15 blog post.

    The tool -- with source code available on GitHub -- is also packaged by the company in a containerized version, which works with the company's kube-hunter Web site where test results can be seen and shared.

Linux-Friendly Hardware From Tranquil PC and Aaeon

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Rugged, Linux-ready mini-PC showcases Ryzen V1000

    Tranquil PC open pre-orders on a fanless, barebones “Mini Multi Display PC” mini-PC with AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC, 4x simultaneous 4K DisplayPort displays, 2x GbE, and up to 32GB DDR4 and 1TB storage.

    Manchester, UK based Tranquil PC has launched the first mini-PC based on the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000. The Mini Multi Display PC is named for the Ryzen V1000’s ability to simultaneously drive four 4K displays, a feature supported here with 4x DisplayPorts. The NUC-like, aluminum frame system is moderately rugged, with 0 to 40°C support and IP50 protection.

  • Apollo Lake Pico-ITX SBC has dual GbE ports and plenty of options

    Aaeon’s Apollo Lake powered “PICO-APL4” SBC offers a pair each of GbE, USB 3.0, and M.2 connections plus HDMI, SATA III, and up to 64GB eMMC.

    Aaeon has spun another Pico-ITX form-factor SBC featuring Intel Apollo Lake processors, following the PICO-APL3 and earlier PICO-APL1. Unlike those SBCs, the new PICO-APL4 has dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, among other minor changes.

State Certifies LA County’s New Open-Source Vote Tally System

Filed under
OSS

Los Angeles County’s open-source vote tally system was certified by the secretary of state Tuesday, clearing the way for redesigned vote-by-mail ballots to be used in the November election.

“With security on the minds of elections officials and the public, open-source technology has the potential to further modernize election administration, security and transparency,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Los Angeles County’s VSAP vote tally system is now California’s first certified election system to use open-source technology. This publicly-owned technology represents a significant step in the future of elections in California and across the country.”

The system — dubbed Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) Tally Version 1.0 — went through rigorous security testing by staffers working with the secretary of state as well as an independent test lab, according to county and state officials.

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Mesa and NVIDIA Graphics on Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Collabora's Mesa EGLDevice Work To Better Support Multiple GPUs

    As covered earlier this month, Emil Velikov at Collabora has been working on EGLDevice support for Mesa. These EGL extensions originally developed by NVIDIA are being pursued by Mesa developers for better dealing with the enumeration and querying of multiple GPUs on a system.

    Right now there is the DRI_PRIME environment variable to allow toggling between systems primarily with two GPUs (namely, Optimus notebooks have been the main use-case) but using EGLDevice support by the Mesa drivers the matter of GPU selection for OpenGL rendering can be made by the application/toolkit developer and for other scenarios like multi-GPU systems running without a display server.

  • NVIDIA 396.54 Linux Driver Released To Fix A OpenGL/Vulkan Performance Bug

    One day after announcing the GeForce RTX 2070/2080 series, NVIDIA has released a new Linux driver. But it's not a major new driver branch at this time (that's presumably coming closer to the 20 September launch date) with the Turing GPU support, but is a point release delivering a practical bug fix.

    The sole change listed in today's NVIDIA 396.54 driver update is, "Fixed a resource leak introduced in the 390 series of drivers that could lead to reduced performance after starting and stopping several OpenGL and/or Vulkan applications."

Games: GOG, Radiis, Humble Spooky Horror Bundle 2018, Steam Play

Filed under
Gaming
  • Grab your Harpoon as Nantucket is now available for Linux on GOG

    Nantucket, the rather interesting seafaring strategy game from Picaresque Studio now has a Linux version on GOG that was released today. The Linux version was officially released earlier this month after a few months of being in beta, so it's good to see a GOG release have a reasonably quick turnaround.

  • Strategy game Radiis has no moving units, only buildings and it's out now

    If you're after a strategy game that brings things back to basics and has no moving units, take a look at Radiis. Developed by Urban Goose Games and release last month, Radiis will have you conquer a map using only buildings and it strangely works.

  • The Humble Spooky Horror Bundle 2018 is live with three Linux games

    The Humble Spooky Horror Bundle 2018 just launched and while it doesn't have all titles on Linux, what it does have for us is good.

  • Valve’s “Steam Play” uses Vulkan to bring more Windows games to Linux

    Valve announced today a beta of Steam Play, a new compatibility layer for Linux to provide compatibility with a wide range of Windows-only games.

    We've been tracking Valve's efforts to boost Linux gaming for a number of years. As of a few months ago, things seemed to have gone very quiet, with Valve removing SteamOS systems from its store. Last week, however, it became clear that something was afoot for Linux gaming.

    The announcement today spells out in full what the company has developed. At its heart is a customized, modified version of the WINE Windows-on-Linux compatibility layer named Proton. Compatibility with Direct3D graphics is provided by vkd3d, an implementation of Direct3D 12 that uses Vulkan for high performance, and DXVK, a Vulkan implementation of Direct3D 11.

Looking for a new OS? Try these Debian Linux-based systems

Filed under
Debian

The Linux-based OS Debian is 25 years old, and during its lifetime this child of the 90s has spawned its own family of operating systems.

Debian derivatives come in all shapes and sizes, from user-friendly Linux Mint to the macOS replacement Elementary OS to the privacy-centric Tails.

This gallery rounds up some of the most notable and popular Debian derivatives, as highlighted by The Debian Project and DistroWatch.

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Also: Debian Developers Discuss Process For Salvaging Packages

OSS: Foundries.io, Mastodon, Bonita, NCC Group, Akraino Edge Stack and Progress Spark Toolkit

Filed under
OSS
  • Foundries.io promises standardized open source IoT device security

    IoT devices currently lack a standard way of applying security. It leaves consumers, whether business or individuals, left to wonder if their devices are secure and up-to-date. Foundries.io, a company that launched today, wants to change that by offering a standard way to secure devices and deliver updates over the air.

    “Our mission is solving the problem of IoT and embedded space where there is no standardized core platform like Android for phones,” Foundries.io CEO George Grey explained.

  • Foundries.io Launches microPlatforms for an Always-Secure Internet of Things

    Emerging from two years in stealth mode, Foundries.io™ today announced the world's first commercially available, continuously updated LinuxⓇ and Zephyr™ microPlatform™ distributions for the embedded, IoT, edge and automotive markets. Supported by a newly announced partner program, these microPlatforms™ enable devices from light bulbs to connected cars to always be secure and updated to the latest available firmware, operating system and application(s).

  • Will a new, open source Twitter replace the flawed old one?

    If you type Mastodon into Google around now you’ll probably happen upon a hairy chap called Brent Hinds who is apparently selling off his huge collection of guitars and amplifiers. For as well as being a prehistoric elephant, Mastodon is a beat combo and, latterly, a newish social network being promoted as “Twitter without the Nazis” or, less hysterically, “Twitter minus its bad bits”.

    Mastodon was launched in August 2016 and received a guarded welcome. People got the idea: Mastodon was community owned, open source, decentralised, no advertising, no tracking, and no hate speech (probably) sort of outfit.

    Unlike Twitter, Mastadon comprises software ‘instances’, so it’s a federation of little sites which self-administer. If you live mostly in one instance, that doesn’t stop you from following and being followed by members of other instances.

  • What is a ‘living’ application?

    Essentially open source Business Process Management (BPM) software company Bonitasoft has introduced its Bonita 7.7 iteration release.

    This is BPM software with Intelligent Continuous Improvement (ICI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) capabilities.

    The company says that its ICI play here is a route to building what it has called adaptable ‘living’ applications.

    A living application then being one that can deliver changes in terms of continuous improvement, continuous integration, continuous deployment and continuous connectivity.

  • Open-source tool simplifies DNS rebinding

    A new open-source tool designed to make DNS rebinding attacks easier has been released.

    The kit, dubbed ‘singularity of origin’, was launched last week by a team from NCC Group.

    It simplifies the process of performing a DNS rebinding attack, where an attacker is able to takeover a victim's browser and break the single origin policy. This effectively allows an attacker to mask as the victim's IP address and potentially abuse their privileges to access sensitive information.

    The tool was created with pentesters in mind, and to increase awareness for developers and security teams on how to prevent DNS rebinding, the tool’s creators said.

    NCC Group’s Gerald Doussot and Roger Meyer, who wrote the tool, told The Daily Swig: “Many developers think it's safe to write software that has debug services listening only locally, but we've had several engagements where we were able to remotely compromise applications using DNS rebinding.

  • Open source community accelerates Akraino development for Edge Computing

    One of the most fascinating open networking projects to emerge earlier this year is the AT&T-initiated Akraino Edge Stack, which is being managed by the Linux Foundation. The objective of the Akraino project is to create an open source software stack that supports high-availability cloud services optimised for edge computing systems and applications.

    The project has now moved into its execution phase to begin technical documentation and is already backed and supported by a strong group of telecoms operators and vendors. They include Arm, AT&T, Dell EMC, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Juniper Networks, Nokia, Qualcomm, Radisys, Red Hat and Wind River.

  • Progress Open Sources ABL Code with Release of Spark Toolkit

    Progress, a provider of application development and digital experience technologies, has released the Progress Spark Toolkit, a set of open source ABL code and recommended best practices to enable organizations to evolve existing applications and extend their capabilities to meet market demands.

    Previously only available from Progress Services, the Spark Toolkit was created in collaboration with the Progress Common Component Specification (CCS) project, a group of Progress OpenEdge customers and partners defining a standard set of specifications for the common components for building modern business applications. By engaging the community, Progress says it has leveraged best practices in the development of these standards-based components and tools to enable new levels of interoperability, flexibility, efficiencies and effectiveness.

  • Open Source ABL code release with Spark Toolkit

    Progress has announced the release of Progress Spark Toolkit, a set of open source Advanced Business Language (ABL) code and recommended best-practices to enable organizations to evolve existing applications and extend their capabilities to meet market demands.

4 Neat New GTK Themes for Your Linux Desktop

Filed under
GNOME

The new Yaru/Communitheme theme might be the talk of the Ubuntu town right now, but it’s not the only decent desktop theme out there.

If you want to give your Linux desktop a striking new look ahead of the autumn then the following quad-pack of quality GTK themes might help you out.

Don’t be put off by the fact you will need to manually install these skins; it’s pretty to install GTK themes on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS above, providing you set hidden folders to show (Ctrl + H) in Nautilus first.

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Also: Getting Things GNOME

Python wriggles onward without its head

Filed under
Development

At the third annual PyBay Conference in San Francisco over the weekend, Python aficionados gathered to learn new tricks and touch base with old friends.

Only a month earlier, Python creator Guido van Rossum said he would step down as BDFL – benevolent dictator for life – following a draining debate over the addition of a new way to assign variables within an expression (PEP 572).

But if any bitterness about the proposal politics lingered, it wasn't evident among attendees.

Raymond Hettinger, a Python core developer, consultant and speaker, told The Register that the retirement of Python creator Guido van Rossum hasn't really changed things.

"It has not changed the tenor of development yet," he said. "Essentially, [Guido] presented us with a challenge for self-government. And at this point we don't have any active challenges or something controversial to resolve."

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • How to Install R on Ubuntu 18.04
  • How to Install HTTP Git Server with Nginx on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Everything You Need to Know about Linux Containers, Part I: Linux Control Groups and Process Isolation
  • Robert Roth: Five or More GSoC
  • Adventures with NVMe, part 2

    A few days ago I asked people to upload their NVMe “cns” data to the LVFS. So far, 643 people did that, and I appreciate each and every submission. I promised I’d share my results, and this is what I’ve found:

  • The Next Challenge For Fwupd / LVFS Is Supporting NVMe SSD Firmware Updates

    With UEFI BIOS updating now working well with the Fwupd firmware updating utility and Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) for distributing these UEFI update capsules, Richard Hughes at Red Hat is next focusing on NVMe solid-state drives for being able to ship firmware updates under Linux.

    Hughes is in the early stages at looking to support NVMe firmware updates via LVFS/fwupd. Currently he is hoping for Linux users with NVMe drives to send in the id-ctrl identification data on your drives to him. This data will be useful so he knows what drives/models are most popular but also for how the firmware revision string is advertised across drives and vendors.

  • [Older] Language, Networking Packages Get Updates in Tumbleweed

    There were two openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this past week that mostly focused on language and network packages.

    The Linux Kernel also received an update a couple days ago to version 4.17.13.

    The packages in the 20180812 Tumbleweed snapshot brought fixes in NetworkManager-applet 1.8.16, which also modernized the package for GTK 3 use in preparations for GTK 4. The free remote desktop protocol client had its third release candidate for freerdp 2.0.0 where it improved automatic reconnects, added Wave2 support and fixed automount issues. More network device card IDs for the Intel 9000 series were added in kernel 4.17.13. A jump from libstorage-ng 4.1.0 to version 4.1.10 brought several translations and added unit test for probing xen xvd devices. Two Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures fixes were made with the update in postgresql 10.5. Several rubygem packages were updated to versions 5.2.1 including rubygem-rails 5.2.1, which makes the master.key file read-only for the owner upon generation on POSIX-compliant systems. Processing XML and HTML with python-lxml 4.2.4 should have fewer crashes thanks to a fix of sporadic crashes during garbage collection when parse-time schema validation is used and the parser participates in a reference cycle. Several YaST packages receive updates including a new ServiceWidget to manage the service status with yast2-ftp-server 4.1.3 as well with yast2-http-server, yast2-slp-server and yast2-squid 4.1.0 versions.

  • Red Hat Inc Risk Points versus Technology
  • 10 Efficient Raspberry Add-ons To Enhance Performance - Part 8

    Sometimes you may find yourself in great need to improve the functionality of your Raspberry Pi. There is a good chance your Raspberry does not support the functionality you want. There is also a chance that it supports your dream functionality but with the help of an external tool. An add-on in other words. It is pretty obvious that your dream add-on exists in the market or someone somewhere is cracking an algorithm to build. Never mind, here we compile a list of the best add-ons to get for your Raspberry in 2018.

  • Secure Email Service Tutanota sees F-Droid Release

    Back in February, I reviewed an email provider called Tutanota. If you read the article, you will remember that I thought very highly of the service.

    In my eyes, there were very few downsides to using the encrypted mail service, one of them being that you couldn’t use third-party email clients like Thunderbird for desktop computers or K-9 Mail for mobile devices.

  • Motorola Announces Android Pie Updates for 8 smartphones excluding Moto E5 & G5
  • How To Unsend Emails On Gmail For Android?
  • Nerd Knobs and Open Source in Network Software

    Tech is commoditizing. I've talked about this before; I think networking is commoditizing at the device level, and the days of appliance-based networking are behind us. But are networks themselves a commodity? Not any more than any other system.

    We are running out of useful features, so vendors are losing feature differentiation. This one is going to take a little longer… When I first started in network engineering, the world was multiprotocol, and we had a lot of different transports. For instance, we took cases on IPX, VIP, Appletalk, NetBios, and many other protocols. These all ran on top of Ethernet, T1, Frame, ATM, FDDI, RPR, Token Ring, ARCnet, various sorts of serial links ... The list always felt a little too long, to me. Today we have IPv4, IPv6, and MPLS on top of Ethernet, pretty much. All transports are framed as Ethernet, and all upper layer protocol use some form of IP. MPLS sits in the middle as the most common "transport enhancer." The first thing to note is that space across which useful features can be created is considerably smaller than it used to be.

  • Meetings that make people happy: Myth or magic?

    People tend to focus on the technical elements of meeting prep: setting the objective(s), making the agenda, choosing a place and duration, selecting stakeholders, articulating a timeline, and so on. But if you want people to come to a meeting ready to fully engage, building trust is mission-critical, too. If you need people to engage in your meetings, then you're likely expecting people to come ready to share their creativity, problem-solving, and innovation ideas.

  • Building microprocessor architectures on open-source hardware and software

     

    "The real freedom you get from open source projects is much more, and more important than the fact that you don't have to pay for it," Frank Gürkaynak, Director of ETHZ's Microelectronics Design Center, writes in an article posted on All About Circuits. "Researchers can take what we provide and freely change it for their experiments. Startup companies can build on what we provide as a starting point and concentrate their time and energy on the actual innovations they want to provide. And people who are disturbed by various attacks on their systems [1, 2] have the chance to look inside and know what exactly is in their system."

  • Create DIY music box cards with Punchbox

    That first time almost brought tears to my eyes. Mozart, sweetly, gently playing on the most perfect little music box. Perfectly! No errors in timing or pitch. Thank you, open source—without Mido, Svgwrite, PyYAML, and Click, this project wouldn't have been possible.

  • Fund Meant to Protect Elections May Be Too Little, Too Late

    The Election Assistance Commission, the government agency charged with distributing federal funds to support elections, released a report Tuesday detailing how each state plans to spend a total of $380 million in grants allocated to improve and secure their election systems.

    But even as intelligence officials warn of foreign interference in the midterm election, much of the money is not expected to be spent before Election Day. The EAC expects states to spend their allotted money within two to three years and gives them until 2023 to finish spending it.

    Election experts have expressed skepticism that the money will be enough to modernize election equipment and secure it against state-sponsored cyber threats.

Moreutils – A Collection Of More Useful Unix Utilities

Filed under
GNU
Software
HowTos

We all know about GNU core utilities that comes pre-installed with all Unix-like operating systems. These are the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities of the GNU operating system. The GNU core utilities contains the commands, such as cat, ls, rm, mkdir, rmdir, touch, tail, wc and many more, for performing the day-to-day operations. Among these utilities, there are also some other useful collection of Unix utilities which are not included by default in the Unix-like operating systems. Meet moreutilis, a growing collection of more useful Unix utilities. The moreutils can be installed on GNU/Linux, and various Unix flavours such as FreeBSD, openBSD and Mac OS.

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Play Games From Your Nvidia GameStream-Enabled PC On Your Linux Desktop With Moonlight

Filed under
Gaming

Moonlight (or Moonlight Game Streaming) is an open source client implementation of Nvidia's GameStream that allows you to stream your games and applications from a GameStream-compatible PC to another device, be it another Windows computer, a macOS or Linux desktop, Chrome OS, or an Android or iOS device.

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Also: Wine Staging 3.14 Released With Nearly 900 Patches In Total

Top Linux Applications For Office Use

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The next time you encounter a laptop or PC, pay attention to the operating system. Most likely it is not open source because closed-source platforms such as Windows and macOS have captured most of the PC client OS market.
Open source OS programs such as Linux, makeup only a tiny bit of market share and rightly so - they still have a lot to do if they want to compete with the likes of MacOS and Windows in terms of appearance and functionality.

Although Ubuntu and other distributions are a clear sign of progress, most companies are not yet ready to establish their employees with an open source operating system. The employees themselves are reluctant to use this operating system.

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True Believer

Filed under
GNU
Linux

With the fervor of the evangelical, I began to spread the word far and wide. I read incessantly, from Stallman to Torvalds, Searles, Moody, Knaapen, Raymond and Schroder, I learned the history and mechanics of Linux. I read not only of my new freedom but of the restrictions and limitations of other proprietary operating systems. The more I read, both my anger and excitement grew in equal measure. I took it upon myself to join The Movement against anything and anyone who stood in the way of spreading the news. This new way of operating your computer could indeed change the world. The Blog of helios began...

and so it went. Surely The Year of the Linux Desktop was at hand. Year, after year, after year. and surely. It wore on me year after year, breakthrough after failure, hope dashed by hopelessness. Until the harsh, glaring truth descended upon me like a shipping container full of anvils.....

We never had a prayer. We entered a race with all other contestants miles ahead.

I rattled off a list of names above. Those who have inspired me and in more than one case, probably saved me from something terribly grim. Glyn Moody is one of those names. Glyn has been an inspiration to me since the turn of the century. I've come to count on Glyn for insightful and brutally honest commentary. He's a brilliant writer and wastes no time with hyperbole. But aside from that, Glyn aided me at a time when I thought my life was over. To this day he has no idea, the part he played in turning me away from something horrible. We'll just leave it at that.

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Steam and Wine in Steam Play

  • Steam for Linux now lets you play (some) Windows games on Linux
    Valve’s Steam game platform supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. But up until recently it was up to developers to decide which operating systems to support… and the vast majority are Windows-only, followed by a smaller number of apps that support macOS and around 3 thousand that support Linux. But now the number of Steam games available to Linux users is a little longer… not because developers have ported their games to support the operating system, but because Valve has launched a new version of Steam Play that makes is possible to play some Windows games on Linux computers.
  • Steam Can Now Run Some Major VR Apps Without Microsoft Windows
    Valve released an update for Steam on Linux that should allow some of the most popular VR games to run on VR-ready computers without Microsoft Windows installed. The new feature could hold enormous potential for Valve to support next generation standalone VR headsets based on Linux or SteamOS. In the near-term, the feature could also lower the cost for some early adopters who want to enjoy top tier games like Doom VFR, Google Earth VR and Beat Saber but don’t feel like shelling out the cost for a Windows 10 license alongside their shiny new VR-ready PC. It might also have an effect on VR arcades which could bypass the cost of Microsoft’s operating system. The new feature is described as follows: “Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.”
  • Valve makes Windows games playable on Linux with Steam Play update
    Heads up developers, if your players have been asking for a Linux-compatable version of your game, Valve's announced that delivering that version should be much easier going forward. In a post on the Steam community forums, Valve representative Pierre-Loup Griffais announced that Valve is releasing a new version of Steam play that includes a new feature for Linux users. Using an improved version of the compatibility software Wine known as Proton, Griffais states that Linux users can now play games on Steam that are meant to run on Windows.
  • Steam gets built-in tools to let you run Windows games on Linux – now available in beta
    Valve’s name for its cross-platform initiative – is getting a major update, with built-in tools allowing you to run Windows games on Linux. We saw the first hints of the feature last week, and today Valve has confirmed it. It’s available right now in beta, so if you want to test the compatibility features on your own Linux install you don’t have to wait.
  • Steam adds Proton, making Windows games playable on Linux (at least in theory)
    Last week we wrote about Valve potentially folding support for a WINE-style compatibility wrapper into Steam, allowing Linux machines to play Windows games with minimal hiccups. Now it’s a reality. Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais made the announcement on the “Steam for Linux” group today. The forum post is long and very detailed, and if you’re personally invested in Linux gaming it’s probably worth a read.
  • Steam Play beta lets Linux gamers play some Windows-only titles
    There were whispers about it just last week but now it’s totally official. Steam Play, which was originally intended as a single-purchase system for buying games that run on Windows, Mac, and Linux, is taking cross-platform compatibility to the next level. Yes, Valve is now testing running Windows games on Steam on Linux. And, much to the satisfaction of Linux and open source advocates, it’s doing it the right way by building on and supporting initiatives that will benefit not just Steam but the entire Linux ecosystem as well.

Security: X.Org Server, USBHarpoon, Kubernetes Penetration Testing

  • Three New Security Advisories Hit X.Org's X11 Library
    It's been a while since last having any big security bulletins for the X.Org Server even though some of the code-base dates back decades and security researchers have said the security is even worse than it looks and numerous advisories have come up in recent years. But it's not because X11 is bug-free as today three more security bulletins were made public affecting libX11. Today's security advisory pertains to three different functions in libX11 that are affected by different issues. The security issues come down to off-by-one writes, a potential out of boundary write, and a crash on invalid reply.
  • USBHarpoon: How “Innocent” USB Cables Can Be Manipulated To Inject Malware
    Back in 2014 Black Hat Conference, crypto specialists Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell introduced the concept of BadUSB — a USB security flaw which allows attackers to turn a USB into a keyboard which can be used to type in commands. Now, a researcher from SYON Security has managed to build a modified USB charging cable that will enable hackers to transfer malware on your PC without you even noticing it. Behind the hood is the BadUSB vulnerability. [...] While BadUSB is gradually climbing the ladder towards the mainstream cyber attacks, people are also coming up with the corresponding firewalls to tackle the new age attacks.
  • Open Source 'Kube-Hunter' Does Kubernetes Penetration Testing
    Aqua Security released the open source kube-hunter tool for penetration testing of Kubernetes clusters, used for container orchestration. "You give it the IP or DNS name of your Kubernetes cluster, and kube-hunter probes for security issues -- it's like automated penetration testing," the company said in an Aug. 15 blog post. The tool -- with source code available on GitHub -- is also packaged by the company in a containerized version, which works with the company's kube-hunter Web site where test results can be seen and shared.

Linux-Friendly Hardware From Tranquil PC and Aaeon

  • Rugged, Linux-ready mini-PC showcases Ryzen V1000
    Tranquil PC open pre-orders on a fanless, barebones “Mini Multi Display PC” mini-PC with AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC, 4x simultaneous 4K DisplayPort displays, 2x GbE, and up to 32GB DDR4 and 1TB storage. Manchester, UK based Tranquil PC has launched the first mini-PC based on the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000. The Mini Multi Display PC is named for the Ryzen V1000’s ability to simultaneously drive four 4K displays, a feature supported here with 4x DisplayPorts. The NUC-like, aluminum frame system is moderately rugged, with 0 to 40°C support and IP50 protection.
  • Apollo Lake Pico-ITX SBC has dual GbE ports and plenty of options
    Aaeon’s Apollo Lake powered “PICO-APL4” SBC offers a pair each of GbE, USB 3.0, and M.2 connections plus HDMI, SATA III, and up to 64GB eMMC. Aaeon has spun another Pico-ITX form-factor SBC featuring Intel Apollo Lake processors, following the PICO-APL3 and earlier PICO-APL1. Unlike those SBCs, the new PICO-APL4 has dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, among other minor changes.

State Certifies LA County’s New Open-Source Vote Tally System

Los Angeles County’s open-source vote tally system was certified by the secretary of state Tuesday, clearing the way for redesigned vote-by-mail ballots to be used in the November election. “With security on the minds of elections officials and the public, open-source technology has the potential to further modernize election administration, security and transparency,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Los Angeles County’s VSAP vote tally system is now California’s first certified election system to use open-source technology. This publicly-owned technology represents a significant step in the future of elections in California and across the country.” The system — dubbed Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) Tally Version 1.0 — went through rigorous security testing by staffers working with the secretary of state as well as an independent test lab, according to county and state officials. Read more