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Munich's U-turn, Fedora 27 on Halloween, Back to Linux

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In the story that wouldn't die, Munich's Linux reversal in in the news again as the city's administrative committee recommended moving to a uniform Windows-based deployment throughout city government by 2020. Elsewhere, Fedora 27 is scheduled for release on October 31, 2017 and kde.org got a new look. Former Linux user Paul Cutler has returned to the fold and Blogger Dedoimedo compared Fedora's Xorg to Wayland.

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Kodi Illegal, Open Source Now a Word

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Seems the top story today was the arrest of five individuals for selling devices loaded up with Open Source Kodi. Apparently the kits came with add-ons that allowed users to stream pirated content. In other news, Merriam-Webster has added the word "Open Source" to its database of official words, along with 1000 others. Jonathan Terrasi described his Linux awakening and blogger Dedoimedo said the GNOME version of openSUSE 42.2 is better than Plasma, but it still doesn't redeem the mediocre release.

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Best Distros, openSUSE Whoops, Debian 9 One Step Closer

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In the latest Linux news, the news.opensuse.org got hacked and displayed "KurDish HaCk3rS WaS Here" for a while Monday and while the site has been restored, no comment on the hack has been issued. Elsewhere, Debian 9.0 has entered its final freeze in the last steps in preparations for release. FOSS Force has named their winner for top distro of 2016 and Swapnil Bhartiya shared his picks for the best for 2017. Blogger DarkDuck said MX-16 Xfce is "very close to the ideal" and Alwan Rosyidi found Solus OS is giving Elementary OS a run for its money. Phoronix.com's Michael Larabel explained why he uses Fedora and Jeremy Garcia announced the winners of the 2016 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards.

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Bodhi Needs Testers, Build Your Own PC

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Jeff Hoogland today posted that time has come to polish up Swami and asked for his bravest users to install the newest to give it a go. Tails is the latest distribution to deprecate their 32-bit architecture and GIMP 2.8.20 was released. Liam Tung reported on a new self-assembled laptop able to run Linux and Rick Broida suggested some light-weight distros for such cases. Just in case you actually take that route, Jamie McKane shared some tips for first time computer assemblers.

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Best Distros for Mac Users and Everyone Else

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Derrik Diener today said that a lot of Mac users jumped ship recently and he has some Linux suggestions for them. Adam Shepherd shared his list of best distributions for desktop users, enterprise servers, and security buffs. Most of his picks are very familiar. Elsewhere, GIMPer Alexandre Prokoudine blogged of the 2.10 blockers and Mozilla has pulled the plug on Firefox OS. In case you missed it, LibreOffice 5.3 was announced yesterday with the most features ever in a single release and Carla Schroder posted a quick down and dirty tutorial to becoming an Arch user.

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Also: GIMP 2.10 Coming, GIMP May Re-Target To GTK4 Rather Than GTK3

GIMP 2.10 blockers and the road to 3.0

KDE Plasma 5.9 Released, 5.10 Previewed; Steam Machines RIP

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Jonathan Riddell announced for the KDE team the arrival of Plasma 5.9, the next big update to the desktop family. This release brings some new features such as Global Menus and a new network configuration module. And if that wasn't enough KDE for you, Eike Hein blogged of some of the goodies being cooked up for 5.10. The Register reported on a bug in Cryptkeeper that triggered its removal from Debian, other distros are waiting for upstream fixes. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said Linux is the right choice for those who appreciate a modicum of privacy and Mairin Duffy said today to come join in the Fedora IRC chats.

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Top Ubuntu Mistakes, F26 Wallpaper Hunt, Linux GOTY

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It's that time of development again when the Fedora Design Team sends out their call for supplemental wallpapers. Artists and photographers are encouraged to participate. Matt Hartley discussed today some of the mistakes new users make with Ubuntu and offered up his best advice for avoiding them. TecMint compiled the top five reasons to install Linux and the second round of voting has begun in FOSS Force's Best Distro of 2016 contest. Some familiar names graced Google's Code-in winners and Gaming On Linux has identified the best games of 2016 through a user polling survey.

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Mint 18.1 KDE & Xfce, Bodhi 4.1.0, ftp.kernel.org RIP

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Clement Lefebvre announced the releases of Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce following earlier releases of MATE and Cinnamon versions. Mint 18.1 is a long term supported release meaning it will get security updates until 2021. Jeff Hoogland announced an update to Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, dubbed 4.1.0. This release brings all the security and bug updates since the 4.0.0 release as well as a new dark theme for the native Moksha desktop. The Fridge announced 17.04 Alpha 2 as the community wallpaper drive got underway and a new KDE laptop has surfaced.

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Also:

  • Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce released

    The Linux Mint team has just released the long term support release Linux Mint 18.1 as a KDE and Xfce edition to the public.

    The new version of Linux Mint brings software updates and refinements mostly. First, some information on Linux Mint 18.1 being a long term support release.

    The Mint team will support Linux Mint 18.1 with security updates until 2021. Future versions of Linux Mint will use the same base package as Linux Mint 18.1 until 2018. This ensures that it is easy to update to new versions.

  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” KDE released!
  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” Xfce released!

Best Distro, systemd Exploit, KDE neon Scare

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The Linux world keeps on turning and while I've been under the weather a KDE neon download scare rocked users recently as well as a newly discovered exploit in systemd. The exploit is said to "open the door to privilege escalation attacks, creating a means for hackers to root systems." Elsewhere, FOSS Force is running their annual Readers' Choice Awards Poll for the best Linux desktop distribution for the year ended a few weeks ago. Firefox 51.0 was released with a new logo and Arch is deprecating the 32-bit architecture images. Jamie Watson test several more distros on his new notebook and Jesse Smith reviewed GoboLinux saying, "I applaud the developers' efforts in making something unusual and interesting."

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2017 Desktops, neon Goes Calamares, Spices Changes

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Desktop choice is a hallmark of Linux and Jack Wallen today predicted which will become more popular in 2017. His list may surprise you. In other news, Jonathan Riddell said today that KDE neon would be switching installer from its current Ubiquity to another gaining in popularity. It's currently in the developer version, but it'll soon make its way into the user recommended version. Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre today announced changes to the Cinnamon desktop applets. He said he was concerned about security of 3rd party contributions given last year's security breach. Elsewhere, Robin Miller defended his Ubuntu choice saying, "So call me mass-average. Call me boring. Call me one of the many, the humble, the Ubuntu users!"

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Openwashing: Microsoft, Apple and Symphony Software Foundation

Linux Foundation: Real-Time Linux (RT Linux), LF Deep Learning Foundation, OpenTracing and More

  • Developers: Prepare Your Drivers for Real-Time Linux
    Although Real-Time Linux (RT Linux) has been a staple at Embedded Linux Conferences for years -- here’s a story on the RT presentations in 2007 -- many developers have viewed the technology to be peripheral to their own embedded projects. Yet as RT, enabled via the PREEMPT_RT patch, prepares to be fully integrated into the mainline kernel, a wider circle of developers should pay attention. In particular, Linux device driver authors will need to ensure that their drivers play nice with RT-enabled kernels. At the recent Embedded Linux Conference in Portland, National Instruments software engineer Julia Cartwright, an acting maintainer on a stable release of the RT patch, gave a well-attended presentation called “What Every Driver Developer Should Know about RT.” Cartwright started with an overview of RT, which helps provide guarantees for user task execution for embedded applications that require a high level of determinism. She then described the classes of driver-related problems that can have a detrimental impact to RT, as well as potential resolutions. One of the challenges of any real-time operating system is that most target applications have two types of tasks: those with real-time requirements and latency sensitivity, and those for non-time critical tasks such as disk monitoring, throughput, or I/O. “The two classes of tasks need to run together and maybe communicate with one another with mixed criticality,” explained Cartwright. “You must resolve two different degrees of time sensitivity.” One solution is to split the tasks by using two different hardware platforms. “You could have an Arm Cortex-R, FPGA, or PLD based board for super time-critical stuff, and then a Cortex-A series board with Linux,” said Cartwright. “This offers the best isolation, but it raises the per unit costs, and it’s hard to communicate between the domains.”
  • Clarifying the Linux Real Time Issue
    I recently posted an article about the increasing development and availability of Linux-powered automation devices. This is a clear industry trend that’s unavoidable for anyone following the automation technology industry. Shortly after posting the article, I heard from a reader who wrote: “I read your article and I am surprised that you would promote the idea that anyone would use Linux for anything critical. It isn’t even a real-time control system. It can be used for non-critical applications, but the article implies that industry is adopting it for everything.” This reader brings up a valid point. Linux is not a real-time OS in and of itself. As Vibhoosh Gupta of GE Automation & Controls noted in the original article, GE uses “Type 1 hypervisor technology to run a real-time OS, such as VxWorks, running traditional control loops alongside our PAC Edge technology operating on Linux.” [...] The Linux Foundation launched the RTL (Real Time Linux) Collaborative Project in October 2015. According to the Foundation, the project was “founded by industry experts to advance technologies for the robotics, telecom, manufacturing and medical industries. The aim of the RTL collaborative project is mainlining the PREEMPT_RT patch.” While there are plenty of mission critical applications running Linux OS with real-time extensions—as highlighted by GE, Opto and Wago—the Linux Foundation notes on its site that there remains “much work to be done.”
  • Linux Launches Deep Learning Foundation For Open Source Growth In AI
    The Linux Foundation has launched the LF Deep Learning Foundation, an umbrella organisation which will support and sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. The organisation will strive to make these critical new technologies available to developers and data scientists everywhere, said a statement published by LF. Founding members of LF Deep Learning include Amdocs, AT&T, B.Yond, Baidu, Huawei, Nokia, Tech Mahindra, Tencent, Univa, and ZTE, among others. LF Deep Learning, members are working to create a neutral space where makers and sustainers of tools and infrastructure can interact and harmonise their efforts and accelerate the broad adoption of deep learning technologies.
  • OpenTracing: Distributed Tracing’s Emerging Industry Standard
    What was traditionally known as just Monitoring has clearly been going through a renaissance over the last few years. The industry as a whole is finally moving away from having Monitoring and Logging silos – something we’ve been doing and “preaching” for years – and the term Observability emerged as the new moniker for everything that encompasses any form of infrastructure and application monitoring. Microservices have been around for a over a decade under one name or another. Now often deployed in separate containers it became obvious we need a way to trace transactions through various microservice layers, from the client all the way down to queues, storage, calls to external services, etc. This created a new interest in Transaction Tracing that, although not new, has now re-emerged as the third pillar of observability.
  • There’s a Server in Every Serverless Platform [Ed: "Serverless" is a lie. It's a server. One that you do not control; one/s that control/s you. Even Swapnil finally or belatedly gets it. The LF really likes buzzwords.]
    Serverless computing or Function as a Service (FaaS) is a new buzzword created by an industry that loves to coin new terms as market dynamics change and technologies evolve. But what exactly does it mean? What is serverless computing?
  • Take the Open Source Job Survey from Dice and The Linux Foundation
    Interest in hiring open source professionals is on the rise, with more companies than ever looking for full-time hires with open source skills and experience. To gather more information about the changing landscape and opportunities for developers, administrators, managers, and other open source professionals, Dice and The Linux Foundation have partnered to produce two open source jobs surveys — designed specifically for hiring managers and industry professionals.
  • Automotive Linux Summit & OS Summit Japan Schedule Announced [Ed: "Brian Redmond, Microsoft" so you basically go to an event about Linux and must listen to a talk from a company which attacks Linux with patent blackmail, bribes etc.]

Security: Updates, GrayKey, Google and Cilium

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Hackers Leaked The Code Of iPhone Cracking Device “GrayKey”, Attempted Extortion
    The mysterious piece of hardware GrayKey might give a sense of happiness to cops because they can get inside most of the iPhone models currently active, including the iPhone X. The $30,000 device is known to crack a 4-digit iPhone passcode in a matter of a few hours, and a six-digit passcode in 3 days, or possibly 11 hours in ideal scenarios. That’s why security experts suggest that iOS users should keep an alphanumeric passcode instead of an all-number passcode.
  • Someone Is Trying to Extort iPhone Crackers GrayShift With Leaked Code
    Law enforcement agencies across the country are buying or have expressed interest in buying GrayKey, a device that can unlock up-to-date iPhones. But Grayshift, the company that makes the device, has attracted some other attention as well. Last week, an unknown party quietly leaked portions of GrayKey code onto the internet, and demanded over $15,000 from Grayshift—ironically, the price of an entry-level GrayKey—in order to stop publishing the material. The code itself does not appear to be particularly sensitive, but Grayshift confirmed to Motherboard the brief data leak that led to the extortion attempt.
  • It's not you, it's Big G: Sneaky spammers slip strangers spoofed spam, swamp Gmail sent files
    Google has confirmed spammers can not only send out spoofed emails that appear to have been sent by Gmail users, but said messages also appear in those users' sent mail folders. The Chocolate Factory on Monday told The Register that someone has indeed created and sent spam with forged email headers. These not only override the send address, so that it appears a legit Gmail user sent the message, but it also mysteriously shows up in that person's sent box as if they had typed it and emitted themselves. In turn, the messages would also appear in their inboxes as sent mail.
  • Cilium 1.0 Advances Container Networking With Improved Security
    For last two decades, the IPtables technology has been the cornerstone of Linux networking implementations, including new container models. On April 24, the open-source Cilium 1.0 release was launched, providing a new alternative to IPtables by using BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter), which improves both networking and security. The Cilium project's GitHub code repository defines the effort as Linux Native, HTTP Aware Network Security for Containers. Cilium development has been driven to date by stealth startup Covalent, which is led by CEO Dan Wendlandt, who well-known in the networking community for his work at VMware on software-defined networking, and CTO Thomas Graf, who is a core Linux kernel networking developer.

Applications: KStars, Kurly, Pamac, QEMU

  • KStars 2.9.5 is out!
    Autofocus module users would be happy to learn that the HFR value is now responsive to changing seeing conditions. Previously, the first successful autofocus operation would set the HFR Threshold value of which subsequent measurements are compared against during the in-sequence-focusing step.
  • Kurly – An Alternative to Most Widely Used Curl Program
    Kurly is a free open source, simple but effective, cross-platform alternative to the popular curl command-line tool. It is written in Go programming language and works in the same way as curl but only aims to offer common usage options and procedures, with emphasis on the HTTP(S) operations. In this tutorial we will learn how to install and use kurly program – an alternative to most widely used curl command in Linux.
  • Pamac – Easily Install and Manage Software on Arch Linux
    Arch Linux is one of the most popular Linux distribution available despite its apparent technicality. Its default package manager pacman is powerful but as time always tells, it is a lot easier to get certain things done using a mouse because GUI apps barely require any typing nor do they require you to remember any commands; and this is where Pamac comes in. Pamac is a Gtk3 frontend for libalpm and it is the GUI tool that Arch Linux users turn to the most when they aren’t in the mood to manage their software packages via the terminal; and who can blame them? It was specifically created to be used with Pacman.
  • QEMU 2.12 Released With RISC-V, Spectre/Meltdown & Intel vGPU Action
    QEMU 2.12 is now officially available as the latest stable feature update to this important component to the open-source Linux virtualization stack.