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Gentoo

Retiring the multilib project

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Gentoo

I created the Multilib project back in November 2013 (though the effort itself started roughly a year earlier) with the goal of maintaining the multilib eclasses and porting Gentoo packages to them. Back in the day, we were even requested to co-maintain a few packages whose maintainers were opposed to multilib ports. In June 2015, last of the emul-linux-x86 packages were removed and our work has concluded.

The project continued to exist for the purpose of maintaining the eclasses and providing advice. Today, I can say that the project has served its purpose and it is time to retire it. Most of the team members have already left, the multilib knowledge that we advised on before is now common developer knowledge. I am planning to take care of the project-maintained eclasses personally, and move the relevant documentation to the general wiki space.

At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to tell the history of our little multilib project.

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Is Gentoo Linux an anachronism?

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Gentoo

When I started visiting the Gentoo Linux discussion forums in 2007 there were at least three pages of posts daily, if not more. These days there is usually one page. I’m sure the number of Gentoo Linux users has dropped significantly since then. Interest in the distribution has certainly decreased since its heyday: Google Trends – gentoo linux.

I don’t think the drop in interest is limited to individuals either. Articles such as ‘Flying Circus Internet Operations GmbH – Migrating a Hosting Infrastructure from Gentoo to NixOS‘ lead me to suspect that some companies have switched to other distributions over the years. NASDAQ’s use of ‘a modified version of Gentoo Linux’ was publicised in 2011 (How Linux Mastered Wall Street) but I do not know if it still uses the distribution and, in any case, that is only a single significant entity. I personally have never come across another user (corporation or individual) of Gentoo Linux, although I do know several companies and individuals using distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora.

Gentoo Linux is certainly not for everyone. In recent years the user base seems to have settled down to a smaller number of people, primarily consisting of enthusiasts who appreciate its advanced features and are prepared to put in the extra effort and time required to create and maintain a working installation. I’m sure it also still has a place in some specialised commercial applications, but I have my doubts its deployment comes anywhere near that of the major distributions such as Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, etc. If I were only interested in using an OS that enabled me to perform typical personal and professional tasks, I wouldn’t be using Gentoo Linux. Some people touted Gentoo Linux’s configurability as giving it a speed advantage over binary distributions but, having correctly installed and used Gentoo Linux and various other distributions on the same hardware, I cannot say I noticed an improvement in performance.

[...]

I personally would now only consider installing Gentoo Linux on a machine with at least 16 GB RAM and a CPU with at least four cores and a speed of circa 3 GHz or more. Additionally, although I have been a user of KDE in Gentoo Linux all these years, I would probably switch from KDE to a simpler, less resource-hungry and less feature-rich (some might say less ‘bloated’!) desktop environment such as LXQt in new installations of Gentoo Linux.

One thing that has improved a lot since I started using Gentoo Linux over a decade ago is the package manager Portage, at least in terms of dependency resolution and blockage handling. I used to have to do a lot more work to resolve problems during package upgrades; ‘merging world’ (upgrading installed packages) is generally a lot less troublesome than it used to be ten years ago. Portage is a lot slower than it used to be, but that’s because it does a lot more than it used to do. I used to have to use revdep-rebuild – a utility to resolve reverse dependencies and rebuild affected packages – frequently, but not any more. Building software from source code takes time, though, so plenty of RAM and a fast CPU are important for installing packages, however good the package manager itself.

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GNOME 40 available in Gentoo

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Gentoo
GNOME

GNOME 40 was released at the end of March, and yesterday I added the last bits of it to Gentoo. You may not think that's fast, and you'd be right, but it's a lot faster than any GNOME release has been added to Gentoo that I can recall. I wasn't looking to become Gentoo's GNOME maintainer when I joined the team 18 months ago. I only wanted to use a GNOME release that was a little less stale. So how did I get here?

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Gentoo Linux, A Powerful Distro For Advanced Users

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Gentoo

Gentoo Linux is not like other Linux distribution. Where more fashionable distributions worry about fast installation and ease of use, Gentoo worries about efficient compilation and degrees of customization. Gentoo Linux is one of the most advanced operating system in the open source world.

Gentoo is a great way to learn about how your computer works. It is a special, different and powerful Linux distribution. Gentoo is a bare bones minimalist Linux distribution known for being hard to use and one of the hardest distributions to install. It is distributed as free and open source software and follows a rolling release model.

In Gentoo the user must configure everything. Unlike a binary Linux distribution, the source code is compiled locally according to the user’s preferences and is often optimized for the specific type of computer. At the same time a precompiled binaries are available for some larger packages or those with no available source code.

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Gentoo-Based Porteus Kiosk 5.2 Brings Linux 5.10 LTS, Updated VAAPI Stack

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Gentoo

It’s been about five months since the release of Porteus Kiosk 5.1, and Porteus Kiosk 5.2 is here as the second major update to the Porteus Kiosk 5.0 series announced last year in March bringing an updated kernel from the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS branch.

Linux 5.10.25 LTS is present in the Porteus Kiosk 5.2 installation images, which adds a new layer of hardware support to the kiosk-oriented distro. Basically, this means that you should now be able to install Porteus Kiosk on hardware where it wasn’t possible using previous releases.

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Moving commits between independent git histories

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Development
Gentoo

PyPy is an alternative Python implementation. While it does replace a large part of the interpreter, a large part of the standard library is shared with CPython. As a result, PyPy is frequently affected by the same vulnerabilities as CPython, and we have to backport security fixes to it.

Backporting security fixes inside CPython is relatively easy. All main Python branches are in a single repository, so it’s just a matter of cherry-picking the commits. Normally, you can easily move patches between two related git repositories using git-style patches but this isn’t going to work for two repositories with unrelated histories.

Does this mean manually patching PyPy and rewriting commit messages by hand? Luckily, there’s a relatively simple git am trick that can help you avoid that.

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Gentoo vs. Ubuntu Linux Comparison

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Linux
Gentoo
Ubuntu

Habit is the enemy of change. If you have been using Linux for a while, you may have gotten used to the distribution it offers. If your situation and computing needs changing, then you should think it over. If not, you might want to consider learning a new system for the benefit of apprehension. Knowledge is a very light burden to bear.

For many users, choosing Gentoo is a giant leap. A leap that they never take but can be a serious mistake if you have important reasons to use your computer or system of computers.

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Latest on Gentoo, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and SUSE

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Gentoo
SUSE
Ubuntu

  • lzip decompression support for xz-utils

    As of today, the most common implementation of the LZMA algorithm on open source operating systems is the xz format. However, there are a few others available. Notably, a few packages found in the Gentoo repository use the superior lzip format. Does this mean you may end up having to have separate decompressors for both formats installed? Not necessarily.

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  • Ubuntu Blog: Can AI help redefine the future of finserv?

    The last few years has been a time of major disruption in the Finserv sector. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has emerged as an important tool for providers of financial products and services to deliver more personalised and more sophisticated services to customers faster. The financial services sector is at the beginning of an exciting journey with AI – a journey that we believe will spark a revolution and redefine financial services. Kris Sharma, Financial Services Lead at Canonical has approached this subject from various perspectives.

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  • New openSUSE Step Project Looks to Build SUSE Linux Enterprise on More Architectures

    We’re delighted to announce a new project in the openSUSE Project family called openSUSE Step. openSUSE Step is a community effort to rebuild SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) from the released SLE sources packages. This is done openly in the openSUSE instance of the Open Build Service (OBS) with the intention to stay fully binary compatible and to be as closely source-compatible as possible with SLE.

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  • Accelerating Atmospheric Research at NCAR with HPE and SUSE | SUSE Communities

    Having lived through many harsh winters in the mountains of Pennsylvania and dangerous hurricanes that have hit the Carolinas, I admire the research involved in monitoring climate change, data simulations and predictive analysis. As one shining example at the center of that research, NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) performs weather modeling to climatology, spanning seconds to centuries. Their research demands high performance, long-term application repeatability and high reliability.
    Community is key at all levels, from interoperable software with HPE and SUSE to collaboration with other centers (e.g., NOAA, NASA, DOE). In fact, NOAA’s EPIC (Earth Prediction Innovation Center) relies on Cray supercomputers which are at the heart of its global prediction system. NOAA and NCAR collaborate in producing global weather simulations to predict future climate shifts.
    The cohesive platform provided by HPE Cray and SUSE Linux Enterprise enables seamless U.S. and global weather simulations. Today, NCAR’s “Cheyenne” supercomputer enables scientists across the country to study phenomena ranging from weather and climate to wildfires, seismic activity, and airflows that generate power at wind farms. Their findings lay the groundwork for better protecting society from natural disasters, lead to more detailed projections of seasonal and longer-term weather and climate variability and improve weather and water forecasts that are needed by economic sectors from agriculture and energy to transportation and tourism. Later this year, NCAR will make another giant leap forward with a new HPE Cray EX supercomputer with a 19.87 peak petaflops system that will work alongside the “Cheyenne” system.

Best Gentoo Linux Derivatives

Filed under
Linux
Gentoo

Getting started with Gentoo requires some knowledge of Linux inner workings. This can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you have never done it or you have relied on automated install methods for a long time. With that said, it is worthwhile finding out more about your system. You could find many interesting points that can help your private computing or even your career. Many corporations use the Gentoo base and create an internal distribution. One example is Chromium OS; many others are specialized versions for their needs.

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Daniel Lange: Installing System Rescue (CD) to a flash drive

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gentoo

System Rescue, the project formerly known as System Rescue CD, has moved from being based on Gentoo to being built on Arch Linux packages.

With this their ISO layout changed substantially so when updating my trusty recue USB flash drive, I could not just update the kernel, initrd and the root filesystem image as I had typically done every other year before.

The "Installing on a USB memory stick" documentation is good for Windows (use Rufus, it's nice) but rather useless for Linux. They recommend a dd or the fancy graphical version of that, called usbimager.

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More in Tux Machines

Python Programming

  • How to Send Email Using Python – Linux Hint

    The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) seems to be an e-mail standard for transmitting and directing messages among email systems. The smtplib package in Python creates an SMTP customer conference entity that could be cast off to direct an email to any computer on the Internet that has an SMTP or ESMTP listening service. In this tutorial, we will let you know about the methods to send emails using SMTP in your system. We have been using the Spyder new version to do our email send implementation via python in Ubuntu 20.04. Login from your Ubuntu 20.04 system to start implementing it.

  • Python String Concatenation Examples – Linux Hint

    In computing, string combining is an overall common process. Concatenating strings in Python may be expressed in a variety of ways. This tutorial will look at various methods for concatenating strings inside a Python application. To concatenate strings with a delimiter, we may use the join() method. It is beneficial to have a character sequence, such as a list or perhaps a tuple of characters. Then, use the join() method with an empty string whenever you don’t want a delimiter. Use these methods according to your needs. Whenever concatenation requires any formatting, just use format() as well as f-string functions. It’s worth noting that f-string only works with Python 3.6 and higher. Let’s have a look at each one of them.

  • Python Socket Programming – Linux Hint

    Socket programming is a method of allowing two nodes within a network to interact with one another. One socket (node) reads on a certain port upon an IP address. Whereas, the former one connects with it. The client connects towards a server and the server creates the auditor socket. These are the true foundations of online surfing. To put it simply, there is indeed a server as well as a client. Integrating the socket package and creating a basic socket are the first steps in socket programming. At the time of implementing this article, we have been using Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system. Here are some examples of Python Socket Programming.

  • Analyzing Data in Histogram in Python – Linux Hint

    In Data Visualization, we use graphs and charts to represent data. The visual form of data makes it easy for data scientists and everybody to analyze data and draw the results. The histogram is one of the elegant ways to represent distributed continuous or discrete data. And in this Python tutorial, we will see how we can analyze data in Python using Histogram. So, let’s get started!

Security Leftovers

  • G-7 agrees to fight forced labor, ransomware, corruption [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Group of Seven (G-7) leaders on Sunday announced their commitments to cutting forced labor practices out of global supply chains in a shot at China, as well as efforts to stop ransomware attacks and root out corruption.

    The three priorities will be outlined in a joint communique, to be released at the conclusion of the summit in the United Kingdom and signed by the heads of state of the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Italy, France, Japan and Germany.

  • US, Russia Spar on Cyberattacks Ahead of Biden-Putin Summit [iophk: Windows TCO]

    The United States and Russia sparred Sunday about responsibility for debilitating cyberattacks as U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared for their summit in Geneva on Wednesday.

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC’s “This Week” show, “No responsible country should be in the business of harboring in any way criminal organizations engaged in cyberattacks, including ransomware.”

  • VW says data breach at vendor impacted 3.3 million people in North America

    Volkswagen Group of America said on Friday an unauthorized third party obtained limited personal information about customers and interested buyers from a vendor that its Audi Volkswagen brands and some U.S. and Canadian dealers used for digital sales and marketing.

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Fedora Classroom: RPM Packaging 101 - Fedora Magazine

    RPMs are the smallest building blocks of the Fedora Linux system. This session will walk through the basics of building an RPM from source code. You will learn how to set up your Fedora system to build RPMs, how to write a spec file that adheres to the Fedora Packaging Guidelines, and how to use it to generate RPMs for distribution. The session will also provide a brief overview of the complete Fedora packaging pipeline. While no prior knowledge of building RPMs or building software from its source code is required, some software development experience will be useful. The hope is to help users learn the skills required to build and maintain RPM packages, and to encourage them to contribute to Fedora by joining the package collection maintainers.

  • Application modernization patterns with Apache Kafka, Debezium, and Kubernetes | Red Hat Developer

    Ellen Ullman wrote this in 1998, but it applies just as much today to the way we build modern applications; that is, over time, with short-term plans, on top of legacy software. In this article, I will introduce a few patterns and tools that I believe work well for thoughtfully modernizing legacy applications and building modern event-driven systems. Note: Consider joining me for my session at Red Hat Summit 2021 on June 16, or at the Event-driven architecture virtual event on June 22. I will present about tools and patterns for application modernization at both sessions, and you will be able to ask me questions live.

  • Bee Travels: A microservices coding adventure | Red Hat Developer

    The microservice architectural style structures an application as a collection of services. These services are often large, monolithic applications that are broken into smaller services.

  • Project Shipwright and the future of Red Hat OpenShift builds | Red Hat Developer

    In Red Hat OpenShift, a build is the process of transforming source code and binaries into a container image that can run securely on a container platform. In this article, we'll introduce Project Shipwright, a framework for building container images on Kubernetes, and explore the future of builds in Red Hat OpenShift.

  • When IT careers stall: 5 tips to jump-start progress | The Enterprisers Project

    A career in software engineering or IT can sometimes feel like high-stakes gambling. New technologies and languages are always emerging and evolving, and new opportunities often involve taking risks and choosing between startups that could experience tremendous success – or flame out within months. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made things more treacherous. While many use moments of crisis to consider major life and career changes, a recent article from Harvard Business Review points out that in reality, “threatening situations prompt us to behave more conservatively,” leading to potentially stalled careers. The pandemic has had an even more acute effect on women in the workplace. According to a poll from CNBC and Survey Monkey, 22 percent of women have experienced a career setback within the past 12 months.

  • 4 ways CIOs can lead change management now

    These days, change is not novel. It is something that IT leaders have learned to embrace, accept, and even welcome, which has become particularly important over the past 14 months. We have had to be nimble and flexible in nearly every facet of our job and change management is no exception. Leading change management requires a solid foundation before moving forward with a strategy and these most recent challenges have accentuated the need for leaders to focus on being more intentional. This means being flexible with respect to employee schedules, understanding of the challenges they may have had working remotely or in their personal lives, and being deliberate about reaching out to them to make sure they’re happy, comfortable, and adjusting well to the different dynamics that the pandemic has introduced. Beyond the emotional well-being of employees, IT leaders need to ensure that employees have the tools necessary to be successful. Are they happy with the equipment they received at the start of the pandemic to facilitate remote work? Do they need anything else? Are they satisfied with the technical support that is available?

Games: Psychonauts 2, Starmancer, Book of Travels, Scarlet Hollow, Kitsune Tails, and More

  • Psychonauts 2 confirmed for launch on August 25, Linux still supported | GamingOnLinux

    It's nearly time for another truly wild adventure as Double Fine has confirmed an August 25 launch for Psychonauts 2. This was announced during the Xbox E3 showcase, since Double Fine are now part of Xbox Game Studios. The good news, is that Linux support is still confirmed and they mentioned this multiple times with no indication of any delays. "Razputin “Raz” Aquato, trained acrobat and powerful young psychic, has realized his lifelong dream of joining the international psychic espionage organization known as the Psychonauts! But these psychic super spies are in trouble. Their leader hasn't been the same since he was rescued from a kidnapping, and what's worse, there's a mole hiding in headquarters."

  • Space station building sim Starmancer enters Early Access on August 5 | GamingOnLinux

    After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2018, Starmancer from Ominux Games and publisher Chucklefish has now been confirmed to be available in Early Access on August 5. In Starmancer players build their own space station, taking on the role of the station A.I. tasked with sustaining human life, regrowing bodies for the thousands of minds trapped in your memory banks and defending the station at any cost. Starmancer offers gameplay with consequences, a living sandbox environment, crafting, and managing the daily lives of colonists. Create a fully functional space station that supports a utopian society where everyone is well fed, happy, and safe under the watchful eye of a benevolent A.I.

  • The tiny multiplayer online RPG 'Book of Travels' enters Early Access on August 9 | GamingOnLinux

    Book of Travels might end up being one of the most innovative online RPGs to come along in some time, and we'll be able to see what it's all about on August 9. "Join Book of Travels and become part of a unique social roleplaying experience that doesn’t hold your hand. Inspired by genre classics, this is a serene adventure that sets you adrift in a fairytale world... it’s also an invitation to roleplay without the restraints of linear missions and plotlines. Feel at liberty to travel the free wilds and vivid cities of the Braided Shore peninsula. Wander deep into the layers of this hand-drawn world, stumble upon its hidden places or unravel one of its many mysteries. There is no overarching goal and no real beginning or end, but for mortal characters the stakes can be high." They call it a TMORPG "tiny multiplayer online role-playing game", as you will be able to come across other players but in very small numbers per game. You also can't chat normally, as you need to learn the special symbol language used. [...] Everything we've seen still clearly has Linux there so we're good to go for it on August 9 for Early Access.

  • Horror-mystery novel Scarlet Hollow enters Early Access with two episodes out | GamingOnLinux

    After quite a success with the first episode being free, along with a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the second episode of Scarlet Hollow is now available. You can still play the first episode free but the main thing now being available at a cost in Early Access includes the second episode, along with more episodes coming up to a total of seven. Even if you're not usually into adventures styled like a visual novel, Scarlet Hollow is easily worth going through, especially with it being designed by award winning graphic novelist Abby Howard.

  • Kitsune Tails gets another sweet trailer ahead of release next year | GamingOnLinux

    Still due to release sometime next year for Linux and Windows (with Switch announced now too), Kitsune Tails is a platformer styled after beloved classics steeped in Japanese mythology and diverse relationships. It looks seriously cute too.

  • Firaxis Games launch the Civilization VI Anthology Edition to get it all | GamingOnLinux

    Now the New Frontier Pass expansions and free upgrades are done, it's not entirely clear if another pass will come along or if that's finally it but they say it offers the "complete Civilization VI experience", even though they sort-of teased more was coming by mentioning the last free update was the "final free update of the season". They key wording there being season. Otherwise, why wouldn't they just say it was the final and leave it as that?

  • Fleshy RPG with cosmic horror 'Death Trash' hits Early Access on August 5 with a demo soon | GamingOnLinux

    It was only a few days ago we mentioned that Death Trash, which looks simply incredible will be getting a demo for the Steam Next Fest soon but we now also know it will enter Early Access on August 5. With a fleshy gruesome post-apocalyptic world, Death Trash is six years in the making! While still unfinished, the developer believe the foundation is solid enough now to get it properly out in the world with gameplay that "feels satisfying and is complex enough, a good amount of content, a solid framework and tools, many design problems figured out, platform features implemented, and a plan where we want to go with the game".