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Infographic: Linux Mint Challenges Windows 10 In Small Business Productivity Speed Tests

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Linux is typically less resource-hungry than Microsoft's Windows 10, and that gives it a distinct advantage on under-powered desktops and laptops. Linux is constantly celebrated for reviving older hardware (think low-powered Atom processors and a scant 1GB or 2GB of RAM) that struggles to run smoothly under Windows. It's an advantage I haven't (yet) had the opportunity to test in the real world, though. Thankfully, community member James Dawson who owns and operates Melbournes's DXM Tech Support did some testing and published a fantastic infographic illustrating the speeds of various productivity and business tasks using a "cheap and cheerful" HP laptop.

Read more

UNIX/BSD: ADGS and "Unix-Based Environment", HAMMER vs. HAMMER2 Benchmarks (DragonFlyBSD)

Filed under
BSD
  • QF RDI's ‘Innovation Coupon’ funding initiative to support private sector

    Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI) has marked the launch of its new funding initiative, ‘Innovation Coupon’, by signing an agreement with its first beneficiary, ADGS – a local private sector SME that sells a suite of products that utilise artificial intelligence (AI), behavioural biometrics, and emergent behaviour.

    [...]

    ADGS is working to port its security solution from a Windows to a Unix-based environment. The ADGS team will use QF RDI’s award to employ external support in order to allow the company to continue its expansion.

  • HAMMER vs. HAMMER2 Benchmarks On DragonFlyBSD 5.6

    With the newly released DragonFlyBSD 5.6 there are improvements to its original HAMMER2 file-system to the extent that it's now selected by its installer as the default file-system choice for new installations. Curious how the performance now compares between HAMMER and HAMMER2, here are some initial benchmarks on an NVMe solid-state drive using DragonFlyBSD 5.6.0.

Games: Dead Mage, Slime Rancher and HyperRogue

Filed under
Gaming

Arc Menu Extension Now Lets You Pin Your Fave Apps to the Sidebar

Filed under
Software

If you’re a fan of the Arc menu extension for GNOME Shell you may be interested to hear that an update is on the way.

A new version of the traditional-style app menu, which is particularly popular with Dash to Panel users, is currently pending approval over the GNOME Extensions website.

What does it bring? Personalisation.

Arc Menu replaces the full-screen app launcher in GNOME Shell with a more traditional ‘start menu’ design. It’s searchable, has bookmarks for important folders, shortcuts for key system actions, and lets you manage your session.

It also lets you browse installed applications based one their category. The whole of the left-hand sidebar is dedicated to this purpose.

Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: mintCast, Test and Code, LINUX Unplugged

Filed under
Interviews

Security: Mozilla Patch for Firefox and Getting Started with OpenSSL

Filed under
Security
  • Zero-Day Flaw In Firefox Is Getting Exploited By Hackers; Update Now!

    Mozilla has issued a warning of a zero-day flaw in Firefox browser that is currently being exploited in the wild. But the good news is that an emergency patch has been released for the same so you should update your browser now!

    The vulnerability was discovered by Google’s Project Zero security team...

  • Security vulnerabilities fixed in Firefox 67.0.3 and Firefox ESR 60.7.1

    A type confusion vulnerability can occur when manipulating JavaScript objects due to issues in Array.pop. This can allow for an exploitable crash. We are aware of targeted attacks in the wild abusing this flaw.

  • Getting started with OpenSSL: Cryptography basics

    This article is the first of two on cryptography basics using OpenSSL, a production-grade library and toolkit popular on Linux and other systems. (To install the most recent version of OpenSSL, see here.) OpenSSL utilities are available at the command line, and programs can call functions from the OpenSSL libraries. The sample program for this article is in C, the source language for the OpenSSL libraries.

    The two articles in this series cover—collectively—cryptographic hashes, digital signatures, encryption and decryption, and digital certificates. You can find the code and command-line examples in a ZIP file from my website.

    Let’s start with a review of the SSL in the OpenSSL name.

Python: Leading, Developing for Android and New RCs

Filed under
Development
  • Leading in the Python community

    Naomi began her career in the Classics; she earned a PhD in Latin and Ancient Greek with a minor in Indo-European Linguistics, as she says, "several decades ago." While teaching Latin at a private school, she began tinkering with computers, learning to code and to take machines apart to do upgrades and repairs. She started working with open source software in 1995 with Yggdrasil Linux and helped launch the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Linux User Group.

  • What’s the Best Language for Android App Developers: Java or Python?

    Few things can be so divisive among developers as their choice of programming languages. Developers will promote one over the other, often touting their chosen language’s purity, speed, elegance, efficiency, power, portability, compatibility or any number of other features.

    Android app developers are no exception, with many developers divided between using Java or Python to develop their applications. Let’s look at these two languages and see which is best for Android app developers.

  • Python 3.7.4rc1 and 3.6.9rc1 are now available

    Python 3.7.4rc1 and 3.6.9rc1 are now available. 3.7.4rc1 is the release preview of the next maintenance release of Python 3.7, the latest feature release of Python. 3.6.9rc1 is the release preview of the first security-fix release of Python 3.6. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2019-06-28, no code changes are planned between these release candidates and the final releases. These release candidates are intended to give you the opportunity to test the new security and bug fixes in 3.7.4 and security fixes in 3.6.9. We strongly encourage you to test your projects and report issues found to bugs.python.org as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that these are preview releases and, thus, their use is not recommended for production environments.

Latest From Libinput

Filed under
Linux
  • libinput and tablet proximity handling

    This is merely an update on the current status quo, if you read this post in a year's time some of the details may have changed

    libinput provides an API to handle graphics tablets, i.e. the tablets that are used by artists. The interface is based around tools, each of which can be in proximity at any time. "Proximity" simply means "in detectable range". libinput promises that any interaction is framed by a proximity in and proximity out event pair, but getting to this turned out to be complicated. libinput has seen a few changes recently here, so let's dig into those. Remember that proverb about seeing what goes into a sausage? Yeah, that.

  • libinput and the Dell Canvas Totem

    We're on the road to he^libinput 1.14 and last week I merged the Dell Canvas Totem support. "Wait, what?" I hear you ask, and "What is that?". Good question - but do pay attention to random press releases more. The Totem (Dell.com) is a round knob that can be placed on the Dell Canvas. Which itself is a pen and touch device, not unlike the Wacom Cintiq range if you're familiar with those (if not, there's always lmgtfy).

  • Libinput 1.14 Will Support Dell's Totem Input Device

    Dell announced the Totem two years ago while the Linux support is finally getting in order. However, there isn't yet any notable applications/tool-kits at least on Linux that support utilizing this specialized input device.

    Red Hat input expert Peter Hutterer, who also maintains libinput, has blogged about the Totem support addition for the upcoming libinput 1.14. If you are interested in this unique input device, Peter's post has all the interesting technical bits.

Jami/Ring, finally functioning peer to peer communication client

Filed under
Software

Some years ago, in 2016, I wrote for the first time about the Ring peer to peer messaging system. It would provide messaging without any central server coordinating the system and without requiring all users to register a phone number or own a mobile phone. Back then, I could not get it to work, and put it aside until it had seen more development. A few days ago I decided to give it another try, and am happy to report that this time I am able to not only send and receive messages, but also place audio and video calls. But only if UDP is not blocked into your network.

The Ring system changed name earlier this year to Jami. I tried doing web search for 'ring' when I discovered it for the first time, and can only applaud this change as it is impossible to find something called Ring among the noise of other uses of that word. Now you can search for 'jami' and this client and the Jami system is the first hit at least on duckduckgo.

Jami will by default encrypt messages as well as audio and video calls, and try to send them directly between the communicating parties if possible. If this proves impossible (for example if both ends are behind NAT), it will use a central SIP TURN server maintained by the Jami project. Jami can also be a normal SIP client. If the SIP server is unencrypted, the audio and video calls will also be unencrypted. This is as far as I know the only case where Jami will do anything without encryption.

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Codethink open sources part of onboarding process

Filed under
OSS

Here at Codethink, we’ve recently focused our energy into enhancing the onboarding process we use for all new starters at the company. As we grow steadily in size, it’s important that we have a well-defined approach to both welcoming new employees into the company, and introducing them to the organization’s culture.

As part of this overall onboarding effort, we’ve created How to Git going in FOSS: an introductory guide to the world of free and open source software (FOSS), and some of the common technologies, practices, and principles associated with free and open source software.

This guide was initially aimed at work experience students and summer interns. However, the document is in fact equally applicable to anyone who is new to free and open source software, no matter their prior experience in software or IT in general. How to Git going in FOSS is hosted on GitLab and consists of several repositories, each designed to be a self-guided walk through.

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11 Free and Open Source Video Editing Software

Filed under
Software

Here is a comprehensive list of top free and open source video editors available on Linux, Windows and macOS along with their main features.
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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Continues Speeding Ahead For Open-Source Mali Graphics

    Panfrost only made its initial debut as part of the recent Mesa 19.1 release for providing open-source Arm Mali Bifrost/Midgard graphics driver support on Linux independent of Arm and their official binary driver. While the resources are limited, so far Panfrost is making stellar progress. 

    Panfrost continues making terrific progress for providing open-source Arm Mali graphics support. In part, this is made by possible by lead developer Alyssa Rosenzweig currently interning for the summer at Collabora where she appears to be primarily working on this currently OpenGL ES 2.0 class driver and continuing to strive for competitive performance with Arm's official Linux GLES driver.

  • The big Civilization VI "June 2019 Update" for Gathering Storm is now live

    Firaxis Games, Aspyr Media and 2K today put out a rather large update to Civilization VI, the June 2019 for Gathering Storm adds in some new features and comes with plenty of balance changes and bug fixes.

  • Free and open source software is being sold commercially in the Microsoft Store

    Ever since Microsoft, one of the original and squarely proprietary tech giants, pivoted from software to services some years back, its relationship with free and open source software seems to have improved.

    For one thing, Microsoft replies on such things as open source flagship Linux for its cloud infrastructure. And the company also made a series of moves indicating it was now a better, gentler version of its old self, seeking not only to use open source software but also contribute back to it.

  • The Best Free Photoshop Alternatives

    GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is more than just a photo editor. It also has sophisticated image manipulation tools, which will appeal to pros as well as regular uers.  

    GIMP has the expected assortment of basic features, including cropping and straightening to adjusting brightness, contrast, and color balance to name a few. Plus it has more advanced tools, like layers, content rescaling, and animation, plus the ability to add blur, noise, and distortion, among other effects.

    In fact GIMP offers most of the features that Photoshop has, even if it is missing things like other color modes besides RGB and the capability for non-destructive editing. Even better, GIMP’s interface is very customizable, and its features are expandable. Since it is open source, GIMP community members can create plugins, and they often do, sharing them to the rest of the community for free.

  • Nvidia and ARM join forces to eighty-six x86 supercomputers

    Team Green, which has a thing for making lunchbox-sized supercomputers, will be making its CUDA-X AI and high-performance computing (HPC) software work nicely with the ARM ecosystem, which means a load of processors based on CPUs and architectures coming out of the Cambridge chip designer.

  • When the Atari ST Was the Future of Computing

    The Atari 520ST was Atari's first 16-bit salvo in the personal computer wars of the 1980s. A

  • New vulnerabilities may let hackers remotely SACK Linux and FreeBSD systems
  • Linux Kernel Bug Knocks PCs, IoT Gadgets and More Offline
  • Oregon prisons ban dozens of technology and programming books over security concerns

    “There’s absolutely nothing in there that would pose a security risk. The books are written for consumers - people at home,” he said. “There’s very little about there in networking and there’s certainly nothing about breaking into networks.”

    Prison officials said the bans aren’t arbitrary or a blanket prohibition on technology-focused books. Instead, they’re a reflection of the resources available to inmates.

    “We allow our folks in custody to have a lot of access to computers,” said Kelly Raths, the department’s central mailroom administrator.

    Inmates in Oregon facilities can have USB drives, allowing them to store college papers or legal pleadings and transport them between computers, Raths said. Classrooms inside prisons have networked computers.

  • Slimbook Launches New "Apollo" Linux PC, First Beta for Service Pack 5 of SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Is Out, NVIDIA Binary Drivers for Ubuntu Growing Stale, DragonFly BSD v 5.6 Released and Qt v. 5.12.4 Now Available

    Slimbook, the Spanish Linux computer company, just unveiled a brand-new all-in-one Linux PC called the "Apollo". It has a 23.6 inch IPS LED display with a 1920x1080 resolution, and a choice between an Intel i5-8500 and i7-8700 processors. It comes with up to 32GB of RAM and integrated Intel UHD 630 4K graphics. Pricing starts at $799.

Linux Distributions for IoT: A Guide to Making the Right Choice

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Linux distributions may be popular for IoT initiatives, but making the wrong choice can have dire consequences.

Read more

Also: Kontron unveils Whiskey Lake-UE module and updates Coffee Lake COM to 9th Gen chips

Programming/Development: C++, Go, Mozilla/Firefox and Python

Filed under
Development
  • Deliverable 1 : [✓]

    Seems okay, far better than the initial results. Although I should say, I deviated from what I thought I would need to write. First I assumed that I don’t have to write another boost::graph wrapper for KisPaintDevice, but I had to. That was one heck of an experience. In one of the last few posts, I ranted on Dmitry’s interpretation of the Graph, turns out we were on the same page but I understood his explanation the wrong way. I should put more attention to details from now on I guess.

    All the pixels are connected to each other, but they only have an edge between them if they are adjacent. If in center, the out degree would be 8, if in corners, 3 and if in edges, 5. There are some other cases too, but I will leave them for the moment.

    While writing the wrapper, I also got to know some of the cool features and techniques of C++, which I will be writing posts on as soon as I get some time, concepts, traits, avoiding virtual functions and what not. It is commendable that how boost approaches boost::astar_search, there is not a single virtual function, you don’t have to inherit anything (you can though for safety), just templates and traits, you are done.

  • Go Creeping In

    I’ve seen the inside of the Google and Amazon tech stacks. There are common threads that run through them and also, I bet, through most BigTechCos. Here and there down the stack is a lot of C++ and vestigial remnants from earlier days, Perl or PHP or whatever. Out in front of humans, of course, JS. But in between, there are oceans and oceans of Java; to a remarkable degree, it runs the Internet. Except for, here and there, you find a small but steadily increasing proportion of Go.

  • Stand by for FPR14 SPR1 chemspill

    Mozilla has shipped a fix for MFSA2019-18 in Firefox 67.0.3 and 60.7.1. This exploit has been detected in the wild, and while my analysis indicates it would require a PowerPC-specific attack to be exploitable in official TenFourFox builds (the Intel versions may be directly exploited, however), it could probably cause drive-by crashes and we should therefore ship an urgent fix as well. The chemspill is currently undergoing confidence tests and I'm shooting to release builds before the weekend. For builders, the only change in FPR14 SPR1 is the patch for bug 1544386, which I will be pushing to the repo just as soon as I have confirmed the fix causes no regressions.

  • PyPI Now Supports Two-Factor Login via WebAuthn
  • Understanding Python assignment
  • How to Publish Your Own Python Package to PyPI
  • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #373 (June 18, 2019)
  • EuroPython 2019: Community Discounts
  • EuroPython 2019: Inviting European Python Conference Organizers

All Linux, all the time: Supercomputers Top 500

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server

Starting at the top, two IBM-built supercomputers, Summit and Sierra, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, respectively to the bottom -- a Lenovo Xeon-powered box in China -- all of them run Linux.

Linux supports more hardware architectures than any other operating system. In supercomputers, it supports both clusters, such as Summit and Sierra, the most common architecture, and Massively Parallel Processing (MPP), which is used by the number three computer Sunway TaihuLight.

When it comes to high-performance computing (HPC), Intel dominates the TOP500 by providing processing power to 95.6% of all systems included on the list. That said, IBM's POWER powers the fastest supercomputers. One supercomputer works its high-speed magic with Arm processors: Sandia Labs' Astra, an HPE design, which uses over 130-thousand Cavium ThunderX2 cores.

And, what do all these processors run? Linux, of course.
.
133 systems of the Top 500 supercomputers are using either accelerator or co-processor setups. Of these most are using Nvidia GPUs. And, once more, it's Linux conducting the hardware in a symphony of speed.

Read more

Red Hat and SUSE Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat
SUSE
  • Are DevOps certifications valuable? 10 pros and cons
  • Kubernetes 1.15: Enabling the Workloads

    The last mile for any enterprise IT system is the application. In order to enable those applications to function properly, an entire ecosystem of services, APIs, databases and edge servers must exist. As Carl Sagan once said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

    To create that IT universe, however, we must have control over its elements. In the Kubernetes universe, the individual solar systems and planets are now Operators, and the fundamental laws of that universe have solidified to the point where civilizations can grow and take root.

    Discarding the metaphor, we can see this in the introduction of Object Count Quota Support For Custom Resources. In English, this enables administrators to count and limit the number of Kubernetes resources across the broader ecosystem in a given cluster. This means services like Knative, Istio, and even Operators like the CrunchyData PostgreSQL Operator, the MongoDB Operator or the Redis Operator can be controlled via quota using the same mechanisms that standard Kubernetes resources have enjoyed for many releases.

    That’s great for developers, who can now be limited by certain expectations. It would not benefit the cluster for a bad bit of code to create 30 new PostgreSQL clusters because someone forgot to add a “;” at the end of a line. Call them “guardrails” that protect against unbounded object growth in your etcd database.

  • Red Hat named HPE’s Partner of the Year at HPE Discover 2019

    For more than 19 years, Red Hat has collaborated with HPE to develop, deliver and support trusted solutions that can create value and fuel transformation for customers. Our work together has grown over these nearly two decades and our solutions now include Linux, containers and telecommunications technologies, to name just a few. As a testament to our collaboration, HPE has named Red Hat the Technology Partner of the Year 2019 for Hybrid Cloud Solutions.

  • Demystifying Containers – Part II: Container Runtimes

    This series of blog posts and corresponding talks aims to provide you with a pragmatic view on containers from a historic perspective. Together we will discover modern cloud architectures layer by layer, which means we will start at the Linux Kernel level and end up at writing our own secure cloud native applications.
    Simple examples paired with the historic background will guide you from the beginning with a minimal Linux environment up to crafting secure containers, which fit perfectly into todays’ and futures’ orchestration world. In the end it should be much easier to understand how features within the Linux kernel, container tools, runtimes, software defined networks and orchestration software like Kubernetes are designed and how they work under the hood.

  • Edge > Core > Cloud: Transform the Way You Want

    For more than 25 years, SUSE has been very successful in delivering enterprise-grade Linux to our customers. And as IT infrastructure has shifted and evolved, so have we. For instance, we enabled and supported the move to software-defined data centers as virtualization and containerization technologies became more prevalent and data growth demanded a new approach.

  • SUSE OpenStack Cloud Technology Preview Takes Flight

    We are pleased to announce that as of today we are making a technology preview of a containerized version of SUSE OpenStack Cloud available that will demonstrate a future direction for our product. The lifecycle management for this technology preview is based on an upstream OpenStack project called Airship, which SUSE has been using and contributing to for some time. This follows our open / open policy of upstream first and community involvement.

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More in Tux Machines

Arc Menu Extension Now Lets You Pin Your Fave Apps to the Sidebar

If you’re a fan of the Arc menu extension for GNOME Shell you may be interested to hear that an update is on the way. A new version of the traditional-style app menu, which is particularly popular with Dash to Panel users, is currently pending approval over the GNOME Extensions website. What does it bring? Personalisation. Arc Menu replaces the full-screen app launcher in GNOME Shell with a more traditional ‘start menu’ design. It’s searchable, has bookmarks for important folders, shortcuts for key system actions, and lets you manage your session. It also lets you browse installed applications based one their category. The whole of the left-hand sidebar is dedicated to this purpose. Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: mintCast, Test and Code, LINUX Unplugged

Security: Mozilla Patch for Firefox and Getting Started with OpenSSL

  • Zero-Day Flaw In Firefox Is Getting Exploited By Hackers; Update Now!
    Mozilla has issued a warning of a zero-day flaw in Firefox browser that is currently being exploited in the wild. But the good news is that an emergency patch has been released for the same so you should update your browser now! The vulnerability was discovered by Google’s Project Zero security team...
  • Security vulnerabilities fixed in Firefox 67.0.3 and Firefox ESR 60.7.1
    A type confusion vulnerability can occur when manipulating JavaScript objects due to issues in Array.pop. This can allow for an exploitable crash. We are aware of targeted attacks in the wild abusing this flaw.
  • Getting started with OpenSSL: Cryptography basics
    This article is the first of two on cryptography basics using OpenSSL, a production-grade library and toolkit popular on Linux and other systems. (To install the most recent version of OpenSSL, see here.) OpenSSL utilities are available at the command line, and programs can call functions from the OpenSSL libraries. The sample program for this article is in C, the source language for the OpenSSL libraries. The two articles in this series cover—collectively—cryptographic hashes, digital signatures, encryption and decryption, and digital certificates. You can find the code and command-line examples in a ZIP file from my website. Let’s start with a review of the SSL in the OpenSSL name.

Python: Leading, Developing for Android and New RCs

  • Leading in the Python community
    Naomi began her career in the Classics; she earned a PhD in Latin and Ancient Greek with a minor in Indo-European Linguistics, as she says, "several decades ago." While teaching Latin at a private school, she began tinkering with computers, learning to code and to take machines apart to do upgrades and repairs. She started working with open source software in 1995 with Yggdrasil Linux and helped launch the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Linux User Group.
  • What’s the Best Language for Android App Developers: Java or Python?
    Few things can be so divisive among developers as their choice of programming languages. Developers will promote one over the other, often touting their chosen language’s purity, speed, elegance, efficiency, power, portability, compatibility or any number of other features. Android app developers are no exception, with many developers divided between using Java or Python to develop their applications. Let’s look at these two languages and see which is best for Android app developers.
  • Python 3.7.4rc1 and 3.6.9rc1 are now available
    Python 3.7.4rc1 and 3.6.9rc1 are now available. 3.7.4rc1 is the release preview of the next maintenance release of Python 3.7, the latest feature release of Python. 3.6.9rc1 is the release preview of the first security-fix release of Python 3.6. Assuming no critical problems are found prior to 2019-06-28, no code changes are planned between these release candidates and the final releases. These release candidates are intended to give you the opportunity to test the new security and bug fixes in 3.7.4 and security fixes in 3.6.9. We strongly encourage you to test your projects and report issues found to bugs.python.org as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that these are preview releases and, thus, their use is not recommended for production environments.