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Gentoo

Gentoo-Based Porteus Kiosk 4.7 Brings More Mitigations Against Spectre Flaws

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Gentoo

Powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.14.50 kernel, Porteus Kiosk 4.7.0 is the second release of the operating system in 2018 and comes five months after version 4.6 to introduce more mitigations against the Spectre security vulnerabilities, though the next-gen Spectre flaws require microcode firmware updates for Intel CPUs.

"Newly discovered "Spectre Next Generation" vulnerabilities require updated microcode from Intel which is not available yet. Please consider enabling automatic updates service for your kiosks to receive latest fixes and patches as soon as they become available," reads today's announcement.

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The story of Gentoo management

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Gentoo

I have recently made a tabular summary of (probably) all Council members and Trustees in the history of Gentoo. I think that this table provides a very succinct way of expressing the changes within management of Gentoo. While it can’t express the complete history of Gentoo, it can serve as a useful tool of reference.

What questions can it answer? For example, it provides an easy way to see how many terms individuals have served, or how long Trustee terms were. You can clearly see who served both on the Council and on the Board and when those two bodies had common members. Most notably, it collects a fair amount of hard-to-find data in a single table.

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A short history of Gentoo copyright

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Gentoo
Legal

As part of the recent effort into forming a new copyright policy for Gentoo, a research into the historical status has been conducted. We've tried to establish all the key events regarding the topic, as well as the reasoning behind the existing policy. I would like to shortly note the history based on the evidence discovered by Robin H. Johnson, Ulrich Müller and myself.

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Encryption in Gentoo and GNOME

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Gentoo
GNOME
  • On OpenPGP (GnuPG) key management

    Over the time, a number of developers have had problems following the Gentoo OpenPGP key policy (GLEP 63. In particular, the key expiration requirements have resulted in many developers wanting to replace their key unnecessarily. I’ve been asked to write some instructions on managing your OpenPGP key, and I’ve decided to go for a full blog post with some less-known tips. I won’t be getting into detailed explanations how to use GnuPG though — you may still need to read the documentation after all.

    [...]

    Signing keys are used to sign data, i.e. to prove its authenticity. Using multiple signing subkeys is rather trivial — you can explicitly specify the key to use while creating a signature (note that you need to append ! to key-id to force non-default subkey), and GnuPG will automatically use the correct subkey when verifying the signature. To reduce the wear of your main signing subkey, you can create a separate signing subkey for Gentoo commits. Or you can go ever further, and have a separate signing subkey for each machine you’re using (and keep only the appropriate key on each machine).

  • Fractal Hackfest, Strasbourg (day 2)

    The encryption is a needed feature but encryption is hard to do in rooms. Matrix uses public-key cryptography, for rooms they are using Megolm, that's a protocol to exchange encrypted messages with more than one and share that message keys in a one-to-one secure communication.

    I don't know a lot about this E2E because for me it's more important to have the client working with a basic functionality before the encryption. So you should read the official doc because maybe this that I'm writing here is completely wrong.

    To do all this E2E key sharing, client side encryption and communication, Riot has three different implementations of the same lib, so they have this code in the JavaScript SDK, the same ported to iOS version in ObjectiveC and the same ported to Android in Java. Below this lib there's the libolm that does the real encryption.

Copyright 101 for Gentoo contributors

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Gentoo
Legal

While the work on new Gentoo copyright policy is still in progress, I think it would be reasonable to write a short article on copyright in general, for the benefit of Gentoo developers and contributors (proxied maintainers, in particular). There are some common misconceptions regarding copyright, and I would like to specifically focus on correcting them. Hopefully, this will reduce the risk of users submitting ebuilds and other files in violation of copyrights of other parties.

First of all, I’d like to point out that IANAL. The following information is based on what I’ve gathered from various sources over the years. Some or all of it may be incorrect. I take no responsibility for that. When in doubt, please contact a lawyer.

Secondly, the copyright laws vary from country to country. In particular, I have no clue how they work across two countries with incompatible laws. I attempt to provide a baseline that should work both for US and EU, i.e. ‘stay on the safe side’. However, there is no guarantee that it will work everywhere.

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Redcore Linux Makes Gentoo Easy

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Linux
Gentoo

Raise your hand if you’ve always wanted to try Gentoo Linux but never did because you didn’t have either the time or the skills to invest in such a challenging installation. I’m sure there are plenty of Linux users out there not willing to admit this, but it’s okay, really; installing Gentoo is a challenge, and it can be very time consuming. In the end, however, installing Gentoo will result in a very personalized Linux desktop that offers the fulfillment of saying, “I did it!”

So, what’s a curious Linux user to do, when they want to experience this elite distribution? One option is to turn to the likes of Redcore Linux. Redcore does what many have tried (and few have succeeded in doing) in bringing Gentoo to the masses. In fact, Sabayon Linux is the only other distro I can think of that’s truly succeeded in bringing a level of simplicity to Gentoo Linux that many users can enjoy. And while Sabayon is still very much in active development, it’s good to know there are others attempting what might have once been deemed impossible.

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[Old] Distributions are becoming irrelevant: difference was our strength and our liability

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo

For someone that has spent the past thirteen years defining himself as a developer of a Linux distribution (whether I really am still a Gentoo Linux developer or not is up for debate I’m sure), having to write a title like this is obviously hard. But from the day I started working on open source software to now I have grown a lot, and I have realized I have been wrong about many things in the past.

One thing that I realized recently is that nowadays, distributions lost the war. As the title of this post says, difference is our strength, but at the same time, it is also the seed of our ruin. Take distributions: Gentoo, Fedora, Debian, SuSE, Archlinux, Ubuntu. They all look and act differently, focusing on different target users, and because of this they differ significantly in which software they make available, which versions are made available, and how much effort is spent on testing, both the package itself and the system integration.

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Review: Sabayon and Antergos

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Gentoo
Reviews

Sabayon is a Gentoo-based distribution which is available in many desktop editions as well as a server edition. Sabayon strives to provide a working system out-of-the-box, saving the user a lot of time when it comes to configuring the operating system. Sabayon provides several categories of installation media. The project uses a rolling release model and the distribution's many editions are provided in Stable, Monthly and Daily snapshots. It has been about a year since the last Stable set of installation media was produced and so I decided to explore one of the monthly snapshots.

I began with the MATE edition of Sabayon's Monthly snapshot, a 2GB download which I confirmed downloaded properly using the distribution's checksums. Booting from the live media brought up a menu asking if we would like to start a live desktop environment, launch a text-based installer, start in safe mode or launch a live text console. I was surprised when taking the live desktop option booted the distribution to a text console and showed me a login prompt.

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SystemRescueCd

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GNU
Linux
Gentoo

If you accidentally delete data or format a disk, good advice can be expensive. Or maybe not: You can undo many data losses with SystemRescueCd.

The price for mass storage devices of all types has been falling steadily in recent years, with a simultaneous increase in capacity. As a result, users are storing more and more data on local storage media – often without worrying about backing it up. Once the milk has been spilled, the anxious search begins for important photos, videos, correspondence, and spreadsheets. SystemRescueCd can help in these cases by providing a comprehensive toolbox for every computer, with the possibility of restoring lost items.

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Calculate Linux 17.12.2 released

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Gentoo

We are pleased to announce the release of Calculate Linux 17.12.2, based on Gentoo 17.0. Therefore, the whole of the packages were rebuilt and some fixes done.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat Woes and Fedora 29 Plans

  • Shares of open-source giant Red Hat pounded on weaker outlook
  • Fedora 29 Aims To Offer Up Modules For Everyone
    The latest Fedora 29 feature proposal is about offering "modules for everyone" across all Fedora editions. The "modules for everyone" proposal would make it where all Fedora installations have modular repositories enabled by default. Up to now the modular functionality was just enabled by default in Fedora Server 28. The modular functionality allows Fedora users to choose alternate versions of popular software, such as different versions of Node.js and other server software components where you might want to stick to a particular version.

GNU Make, FSFE Newsletter, and FSF's BLAG Removal

  • Linux Fu: The Great Power of Make
    Over the years, Linux (well, the operating system that is commonly known as Linux which is the Linux kernel and the GNU tools) has become much more complicated than its Unix roots. That’s inevitable, of course. However, it means old-timers get to slowly grow into new features while new people have to learn all in one gulp. A good example of this is how software is typically built on a Linux system. Fundamentally, most projects use make — a program that tries to be smart about running compiles. This was especially important when your 100 MHz CPU connected to a very slow disk drive would take a day to build a significant piece of software. On the face of it, make is pretty simple. But today, looking at a typical makefile will give you a headache, and many projects use an abstraction over make that further obscures things.
  • FSFE Newsletter June 2018
  • About BLAG's removal from our list of endorsed distributions
    We recently updated our list of free GNU/Linux distributions to add a "Historical" section. BLAG Linux and GNU, based on Fedora, joined the list many years ago. But the maintainers no longer believe they can keep things running at this time. As such, they requested that they be removed from our list. The list helps users to find operating systems that come with only free software and documentation, and that do not promote any nonfree software. Being added to the list means that a distribution has gone through a rigorous screening process, and is dedicated to diligently fixing any freedom issues that may arise.

Servers: Kubernetes, Oracle's Cloudwashing and Embrace of ARM

  • Bloomberg Eschews Vendors For Direct Kubernetes Involvement
    Rather than use a managed Kubernetes service or employ an outsourced provider, Bloomberg has chosen to invest in deep Kubernetes expertise and keep the skills in-house. Like many enterprise organizations, Bloomberg originally went looking for an off-the-shelf approach before settling on the decision to get involved more deeply with the open source project directly. "We started looking at Kubernetes a little over two years ago," said Steven Bower, Data and Infrastructure Lead at Bloomberg. ... "It's a great execution environment for data science," says Bower. "The real Aha! moment for us was when we realized that not only does it have all these great base primitives like pods and replica sets, but you can also define your own primitives and custom controllers that use them."
  • Oracle is changing how it reports cloud revenues, what's it hiding? [iophk: "probably Microsoft doing this too" (cloudwashing)]
     

    In short: Oracle no longer reports specific revenue for cloud PaaS, IaaS and SaaS, instead bundling them all into one reporting line which it calls 'cloud services and licence support'. This line pulled in 60% of total revenue for the quarter at $6.8 billion, up 8% year-on-year, for what it's worth.

  • Announcing the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 for ARM
    Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 for the ARM architecture.
  • Oracle Linux 7 Now Ready For ARM Servers
    While Red Hat officially launched RHEL7 for ARM servers last November, on Friday Oracle finally announced the general availability of their RHEL7-derived Oracle Linux 7 for ARM. Oracle Linux 7 Update 5 is available for ARM 64-bit (ARMv8 / AArch64), including with their new Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 based on Linux 4.14.

Graphics: XWayland, Ozone-GBM, Freedreno, X.Org, RadeonSI

  • The Latest Batch Of XWayland / EGLStream Improvements Merged
    While the initial EGLStreams-based support for using the NVIDIA proprietary driver with XWayland was merged for the recent X.Org Server 1.20 release, the next xorg-server release will feature more improvements.
  • Making Use Of Chrome's Ozone-GBM Intel Graphics Support On The Linux Desktop
    Intel open-source developer Joone Hur has provided a guide about using the Chrome OS graphics stack on Intel-based Linux desktop systems. In particular, using the Chrome OS graphics stack on the Linux desktop is primarily about using the Ozone-GBM back-end to Ozone that allows for direct interaction with Intel DRM/KMS support and evdev for input.
  • Freedreno Reaches OpenGL ES 3.1 Support, Not Far From OpenGL 3.3
    The Freedreno Gallium3D driver now supports all extensions required by OpenGL ES 3.1 and is also quite close to supporting desktop OpenGL 3.3.
  • X.Org Is Looking For A North American Host For XDC2019
    If software development isn't your forte but are looking to help out a leading open-source project while logistics and hospitality are where you excel, the X.Org Foundation is soliciting bids for the XDC2019 conference. The X.Org Foundation is looking for proposals where in North America that the annual X.Org Developers' Conference should be hosted in 2019. This year it's being hosted in Spain and with the usual rotation it means that in 2019 they will jump back over the pond.
  • RadeonSI Compatibility Profile Is Close To OpenGL 4.4 Support
    It was just a few days ago that the OpenGL compatibility profile support in Mesa reached OpenGL 3.3 compliance for RadeonSI while now thanks to the latest batch of patches from one of the Valve Linux developers, it's soon going to hit OpenGL 4.4. Legendary open-source graphics driver contributor Timothy Arceri at Valve has posted 11 more patches for advancing RadeonSI's OpenGL compatibility profile support, the alternative context to the OpenGL core profile that allows mixing in deprecated OpenGL functionality. The GL compatibility profile mode is generally used by long-standing workstation software and also a small subset of Linux games.