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Gentoo

Meet Calculate Linux 20!

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Gentoo

For this new (year) release, Gentoo 17.1 was used as the base profile, all binary packages recompiled with GCC 9.2, and overlays managed with eselect. Calculate Linux will no longer come in 32 bits.

Are available for download: Calculate Linux Desktop featuring the KDE (CLD), Cinnamon (CLDC), LXQt (CLDL), Mate (CLDM) or else Xfce (CLDX and CLDXS) scientific, Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS) and Calculate Scratch Server (CSS).

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Also: Gentoo-Based Calculate Linux 20 Released To Ring In The New Year, Free Of 32-Bit Support

Calculate Linux 20 Now Available For Download

Michał Górny: A distribution kernel for Gentoo

Filed under
Linux
Gentoo

The traditional Gentoo way of getting a kernel is to install the sources, and then configure and build one yourself. For those who didn’t want to go through the tedious process of configuring it manually, an alternative route of using genkernel was provided. However, neither of those variants was able to really provide the equivalent of kernels provided by binary distributions.

I have manually configured the kernels for my private systems long time ago. Today, I wouldn’t really have bothered. In fact, I realized that for some time I’m really hesitant to even upgrade them because of the effort needed to update configuration. The worst part is, whenever a new kernel does not boot, I have to ask myself: is it a real bug, or is it my fault for configuring it wrong?

I’m not alone in this. Recently Михаил Коляда has talked to me about providing binary kernels for Gentoo. While I have not strictly implemented what he had in mind, he inspired me to start working on a distribution kernel. The goal was to create a kernel package that users can install to get a working kernel with minimal effort, and that would be upgraded automatically as part of regular @world upgrades.

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Also: Gentoo Developers Exploring The Possibility Of Shipping Distribution Binary Kernels

Chrome OS 79 Adds Media Controls in Lock Screen, Mouse Acceleration Control

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo
Google

Just a few days after the release of its Chrome 79 web browser, Google promoted the Chrome OS 79 Linux-based operating system for Chromebooks to the stable channel, rolling out now to all supported devices.

Based on the recently released Google Chrome 79 web browser, which landed for Linux, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms last week, Chrome OS 79 is here with a bunch of improvements and new features, starting with media controls in the lock screen to make it more convenient for users to control their media.

The new media controls in lock screen feature allows users to control their media right from the lock screen when they're listening to audio on their Chromebook. Users will be able to play, pause, and skip audio tracks Spotify, YouTube Music, and many other apps without unlocking their Chromebook.

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Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo

Drobbins has announced the new release of Funtoo Linux 1.4 on Sep 11, 2019.

This release is based on a 21 June 2019 snapshot of Gentoo Linux with significant updates to key parts of the system, such as compiler and OpenGL subsystem.

This is the fourth release of the Funtoo Linux 1.x series, which may be the last update of this release, as the developer said he would start developing 2.0 a month later.

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A Look at Redcore Linux: Gentoo based Linux Distribution

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo
Reviews

Many people in the technology world have heard, at least in passing, of the Linux distribution Gentoo. Gentoo is one of the most famous distributions to the point of becoming a joke; with it’s complexity and depth, installing Gentoo has been a daunting task for many.

Redcore is one of the latest distributions to attempt to bring the power of Gentoo to the everyday user.

I previously wrote an article in 2017 about Sabayon Linux, another popular Gentoo based system; but Redcore Linux holds its own and pulls its own weight.

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[Gentoo] AArch64 (arm64) profiles are now stable!

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Gentoo

The ARM64 project is pleased to announce that all ARM64 profiles are now stable.

While our developers and users have contributed significantly in this accomplishment, we must also thank our Packet sponsor for their contribution. Providing the Gentoo developer community with access to bare metal hardware has accelerated progress in acheiving the stabilization of the ARM64 profiles.

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Verifying Gentoo election results via Votrify

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Gentoo

Gentoo elections are conducted using a custom software called votify. During the voting period, the developers place their votes in their respective home directories on one of the Gentoo servers. Afterwards, the election officials collect the votes, count them, compare their results and finally announce them.

The simplified description stated above suggests two weak points. Firstly, we rely on honesty of election officials. If they chose to conspire, they could fake the result. Secondly, we rely on honesty of all Infrastructure members, as they could use root access to manipulate the votes (or the collection process).

To protect against possible fraud, we make the elections transparent (but pseudonymous). This means that all votes cast are public, so everyone can count them and verify the result. Furthermore, developers can verify whether their personal vote has been included. Ideally, all developers would do that and therefore confirm that no votes were manipulated.

Currently, we are pretty much implicitly relying on developers doing that, and assuming that no protest implies successful verification. However, this is not really reliable, and given the unfriendly nature of our scripts I have reasons to doubt that the majority of developers actually verify the election results. In this post, I would like to shortly explain how Gentoo elections work, how they could be manipulated and introduce Votrify — a tool to explicitly verify election results.

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Michał Górny (Gentoo) and Daniel Kahn Gillmor (Debian) on OpenPGP Security

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo
Security
Debian
  • Michał Górny: SKS poisoning, keys.openpgp.org / Hagrid and other non-solutions

    The recent key poisoning attack on SKS keyservers shook the world of OpenPGP. While this isn’t a new problem, it has not been exploited on this scale before. The attackers have proved how easy it is to poison commonly used keys on the keyservers and effectively render GnuPG unusably slow. A renewed discussion on improving keyservers has started as a result. It also forced Gentoo to employ countermeasures. You can read more on them in the ‘Impact of SKS keyserver poisoning on Gentoo’ news item.

    Coicidentally, the attack happened shortly after the launch of keys.openpgp.org, that advertises itself as both poisoning-resistant and GDPR-friendly keyserver. Naturally, many users see it as the ultimate solution to the issues with SKS. I’m afraid I have to disagree — in my opinion, this keyserver does not solve any problems, it merely cripples OpenPGP in order to avoid being affected by them, and harms its security in the process.

    In this article, I’d like to shortly explain what the problem is, and which of the different solutions proposed so far to it (e.g. on gnupg-users mailing list) make sense, and which make things even worse. Naturally, I will also cover the new Hagrid keyserver as one of the glorified non-solutions.

  • Daniel Kahn Gillmor: WKD for debian.org

    By default, this will show you any matching certificate that you already have in your GnuPG local keyring. But if you don't have a matching certificate already, it will fall back to using WKD.

    These certificates are extracted from the debian keyring and published at https://openpgpkey.debian.org/.well-known/debian.org/, as defined in the WKD spec. We intend to keep them up-to-date when ever the keyring-maint team publishes a new batch of certificates. Our tooling uses some repeated invocations of gpg to extract and build the published tree of files.

    Debian is current not implementing the Web Key Directory Update Protocol (and we have no plans to do so). If you are a Debian developer and you want your OpenPGP certificate updated in WKD, please follow the normal procedures for Debian keyring maintenance like you always have.

Review: Sabayon 19.03

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Gentoo
Reviews

Sabayon's claim that it is a "beginner-friendly" distro that is "bleeding edge" and "stable and reliable" is a bit of a stretch. I doubt "beginners" will comprehend the instructions for what to do after installing Sabayon - and that is assuming inexperienced users will find the information in the first place. Similarly, the systemd and GNOME versions are rather old for a distro that claims to be "bleeding edge". That said, I did find Sabayon's GNOME edition to be stable and reliable, bar a few minor issues (such as the notification about the VirtualBox kernel service not running).

I don't think it is entirely fair to ask if Sabayon lives up to the bold marketing slogans on its home page. Personally, I see Sabayon as a friendly and interesting distro for tinkerers and distro-hoppers, and a very good one at that. I should also mention that, in general, Sabayon's use of language is refreshingly informal; both the graphical Rigo package manager and the wiki put a smile on my face more than once. Even Equo has some jokes built in - the command equo moo prints an ASCII cow that says "Entromoooo!".

Sabayon does still has some way to go to become the sophisticated operating system it wants to be. With 19.03 the distro switched from the Anaconda to the Calamares installer which, to my mind at least, is a good decision. However, contrary to what is claimed in the release notes, the disk encryption issue has not been resolved yet and the wiki still talks about how to find your way through the Anaconda installer. Work on the new wiki announced in the release notes seems to be at a very early stage.

I also couldn't fail to notice that Sabayon's forums are rather quiet. Lively forums don't necessarily equate to a thriving community, but the overall feeling I got is that Sabayon could do with a bit more momentum. That shouldn't discourage you from giving Sabayon a try though. On the contrary, if you are a Linux-loving tinkerer then Sabayon might be the distro for you.

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Gentoo News: Nitrokey partners with Gentoo Foundation to equip developers with USB keys

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Gentoo
Security

The Gentoo Foundation has partnered with Nitrokey to equip all Gentoo developers with free Nitrokey Pro 2 devices. Gentoo developers will use the Nitrokey devices to store cryptographic keys for signing of git commits and software packages, GnuPG keys, and SSH accounts.

Thanks to the Gentoo Foundation and Nitrokey’s discount, each Gentoo developer is eligible to receive one free Nitrokey Pro 2. To receive their Nitrokey, developers will need to register with their @gentoo.org email address at the dedicated order form.

A Nitrokey Pro 2 Guide is available on the Gentoo Wiki with FAQ & instructions for integrating Nitrokeys into developer workflow.

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