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Interviews

Fosshost Interview: Open Source Hosting Provider for FOSS Projects

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Interviews

Introduced here at 9to5Linux about four months ago, Fosshost is a not-for-profit hosting provider for FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) projects. They offer hosting services like virtualized infrastructure, mirrors, storage, collaboration, and domain name to open-source projects who meet their eligibility criteria.

Among the big names that Fosshost offers its services, there’s Debian GNU/Linux, GNOME, Xfce, The Tor Project, IPFire, Xubuntu, Armbian, Linux Lite, Manjaro Linux, Deepin Linux, FreeCAD, F-Droid, Qubes OS, Serpent OS, Ubuntu Unity, and many more.

I wanted to learn a bit more about this awesome initiative and their future endeavors, so I spoke with Thomas, the Founder of Fosshost.

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Emilia Torino shares what goes into keeping Ubuntu secure

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Interviews
Ubuntu

I’m from Argentina, and I did my undergrad in software engineering here. I worked for Intel in Argentina for six years – first as an intern and then as a fully-fledged software engineer. Then I received a Fulbright scholarship to do my master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. After finishing my Masters, I went back to Intel and then McAfee for a few more years, and then joined Canonical in 2019 as a Security Generalist.

I was looking for a new challenge. Even though I had more than ten years of industry experience and had been involved in security activities, the prospect of working for the team that makes Ubuntu secure was more than exciting! What’s more, I hadn’t previously been that deeply involved in open source projects. I knew that joining Canonical would offer different learning and career opportunities.

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20 Years of The FreeBSD Foundation: Interview With Deb Goodkin, Executive Director

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Interviews
BSD

Besides Linux distributions, FreeBSD is one such Unix-like operating system, which is free and open source. It is one of the oldest and most popular operating systems descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).

It is still actively maintained and used on desktops, servers, and embedded devices. As the FreeBSD Foundation recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, we spoke with Deb Goodkin, executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation, about the FreeBSD project.

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Richard Stallman: You can get arrested without a reason

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GNU
Interviews

The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement.

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Android 11—The Ars Technica Review

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Android
Interviews

Android 11 has finally arrived after a lengthy beta process that started approximately three years ago in February 2020. This is the 30th release of Android, if we're counting by API levels, and in a year when it seems nearly everything has been delayed or canceled, Google has managed to turn in one of the smaller Android releases.

Last year, Android 10 was a massive release, adding gesture navigation, a dark mode, Project Mainline, a dual-boot system, scoped storage, foldable smartphone support, and a million other things. In comparison, Android 11 is more limited. This being the annual Ars Technica review, however, there are of course still plenty of things to talk about—like yet another notification panel revamp, a new media player, chat bubbles, smart home controls, and more.

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The Android 11 interview: Googlers answer our burning questions

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Android
Google
Interviews

We've established a bit of a tradition here at Ars. Every year at Google I/O, we have a sit-down talk to learn more about Android directly from the people that make it. Of course, this year, just about every major event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, nothing is really normal, and Google I/O never happened.

We can still do interviews over the Internet though! So while it happened later in the year than normal, we were still able to hold our annual chat with some of the most important Googlers at Android HQ: Dave Burke, Android's VP of Engineering, and Iliyan Malchev, Principal Engineer at Android and the lead of Project Treble.

We came prepped with questions about the more mysterious corners of Android 11, which actually led to a lot of interesting talk about the future. You'll learn about a coming re-write of the Bluetooth stack, and there's lots of talk about modularity and easy updating (like plans will hopefully, someday, allow you to update the Linux kernel and developer APIs as easily as you download an app update).

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Open Up: Open Source Hardware — A Chat with Carl

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Hardware
Interviews
OSS

From a broader lens, to produce “open source hardware” means that we have developed and shared the recipe to create a high-end commercial product that can be learned from, adapted, and used by anyone else. In the same way we’ve stood on the shoulders of the Linux and open source software giants who came before us, we now get to be pioneers in developing open source hardware for those who come next. If you want to learn more how a computer is designed or how something is made, our schematics are the instructions for how to do it. It describes every step of the process, from each piece of the machine and its dimensions, to the type of aluminum used and how to bend it.
It’s similar to open source software in that you can learn from the product, adapt it to your needs, and distribute it. The difference is that it requires outside equipment to produce your own version. Open hardware has become more accessible with 3-D printing, but as we found when we were making acrylic prototypes of Thelio, you reach a point where it’s time to work with metal, which presents its own challenges. You have to cut it, bend it, and paint it, all of which requires specific equipment.

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Ankur Sinha: How do you Fedora?

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Red Hat
Interviews

Ankur is a Computational Neuroscientist and has just started his first post-doctoral fellowship at University College London and a FLOSS enthusiast trying to spread the message of FOSS and evidence based science. Ankur started using Linux a decade ago, when he was introduced to Linux in a LUG doing an install fest during his undergraduate degree.

Ankur found about Fedora after a distro hopping phase in 2008, and since then he has been a fedora user. His first memory of the Fedora community is an IRC workshop on packaging fonts that the Fedora India community had organised back in 2008. Talking to and meeting other community members has been one of the most exciting parts of the Fedora community for him. “I found this great bunch of people to hang out and geek out with! It was so much fun, and extremely educational both in terms of technical knowledge and the social/philosophical side of FOSS and life in general.”

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“It Just Works”: An Interview with Dexai Robotics

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Linux
Interviews
Sci/Tech

The simulators wind up using a lot of computational power, which is one of the reasons why we use System76. Portability is another. I really like the fact that I can run the full software stack on a laptop that I can always have with me. Previously, we had desktops sitting around in a lab environment, and people were often having to sign into them and borrow them. We needed a solution for new hires to have a computer they can rely on at all times.

A co-worker mentioned that she bought a machine from you guys back in 2019. After she recommended it, I did a little bit of digging online for the best Linux laptops available, and you all were named a fair amount in those searches—so I ordered one. I was pleasantly surprised with how it just worked right out of the box. I wasn’t fiddling with drivers, I wasn’t dealing with bootloader problems and figuring out how to get a working desktop environment up; I just opened it up and installed a bunch of software and I was ready to go.

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The Man Behind Linux Mint: An Interview With Clem Lefebvre

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Linux
Interviews

On the University campus our terminals were connected to a central Unix (IBM AIX) server. This was in the late 90s, we had Windows at home, which looked more modern and had more applications but which lacked many of the cool things we were learning at school (remote terminals, concurrent users, file permissions, proper shell, processes, semaphores, etc).

When we first heard about Linux we saw it as a way to run Unix at home. We didn’t have to be on campus to enjoy it anymore and we could develop, compile and run our projects at home in an environment that was very similar to Unix.

It was also our first encounter with Free Software principles and the pioneer community that formed around Linux and that blew our minds, that was something we wanted to be a part of. Linux has been a hobby of mine since then, it’s always something I’ve been using, reading about, tinkering with, and which I wanted to work with.

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More in Tux Machines

How anyone can contribute to open source software in their job

Imagine a world where your software works perfectly for you. It meets your needs, does things your way, and is the ideal tool to achieve great things toward your goals. Open source software stems from these roots. Many projects are built by engineers that have a problem and build a solution to solve it. Then they openly share their solution with others to use and improve. Unfortunately, building software is hard. Not everyone has the expertise to build software that works perfectly for their needs. And if the software developers building applications don't fully understand users' needs and how they do their job, the solutions they build may not meet the users' needs and may accidentally create a lot of gaps. Read more

5 open source tools I can't live without

Some time ago, I engaged with a Twitter thread that went viral among techies. The challenge? Pick only five tools that you cannot live without. I started to think about this in relation to my everyday life, and picking just five tools was not easy. I use many tools that I consider essential, such as my IRC client to connect with my colleagues and friends (yes, I still use IRC), a good text editor to hack on things, a calendar app to keep organized, and a videoconferencing platform when more direct interaction is needed. So let me put a twist on this challenge: Pick just five open source tools that boost your productivity. Here's my list; please share yours in the comments. Read more

How to Install Microsoft Edge Browser in Ubuntu and Other Linux

This guide explains the steps required to install Microsoft Edge Browser in Ubuntu and Other Linux. We explain both graphical and UI methods. Read more

today's leftovers

  • A Quick Look At Ubuntu 20.04 LTS vs. 20.10 With The Core i9 10900K - Phoronix

    With Ubuntu 20.10 due for release this week I have begun testing near-final Ubuntu 20.10 builds on many more systems in the lab. Larger than our normal distribution/OS comparisons, here is the culmination of running hundreds of benchmarks (366 tests to be exact) under both Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with all available updates and then again on the Ubuntu 20.10 development state while testing on Intel Comet Lake. Aside from specific improvements for bleeding-edge hardware like Intel Tiger Lake performing better on Ubuntu 20.10 or when looking at cases like the Intel and Radeon graphics performance being better on Ubuntu 20.10 due to the newer Linux kernel and Mesa, for general CPU/system workloads the performance has largely been found to be similar to that of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The other caveat is for workloads being built from source, Ubuntu 20.10 now ships with GCC 10 rather than GCC 9. GCC 10 doesn't normally yield any night-and-day differences in performance but in some cases for newer CPU microarchitectures there has been some improvements there or with features like LTO.

  • TSDgeos' blog: Make sure KDE software is usable in your language, join KDE translations!

    Translations are a vital part of software. More technical people often overlook it because they understand English well enough to use the software untranslated, but only 15% of the World understands English, so it's clear we need good translations to make our software more useful to the rest of the world. Translations are a place that [almost] always needs help, so I would encourage you to me (aacid@kde.org) if you are interested in helping. Sadly, some of our teams are not very active, so you may find yourself alone, it can be a bit daunting at the beginning, but the rest of us in kde-i18n-doc will help you along the way :)

  • News – WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 – WordPress.org

    WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 is now available for testing! This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site. [...] The current target for final release is December 8, 2020. This is just seven weeks away, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.

  • Google Patches Bug Used in Active Attacks Against Chrome

    Google has discovered and patched a serious vulnerability in Chrome that attackers are actively exploiting at the moment. The bug is a high-severity heap buffer overflow in FreeType, a free font-rendering engine that Chrome, among many other projects, uses. A member of Google’s Project Zero vulnerability research team discovered the vulnerability and subsequently found that attackers were already exploiting it. Google patched the flaw in Chrome 86.0.4240.111 for desktop browsers and the maintainers of the FreeType Project pushed out an emergency release of the library to fix it, as well. “I've just fixed a heap buffer overflow that can happen for some malformed .ttf files with PNG sbit glyphs. It seems that this vulnerability gets already actively used in the wild, so I ask all users to apply the corresponding commit as soon as possible,” Werner Lemberg, one of the original authors of the FreeType, said in an email to the FreeType announcement mailing list.

  • FreeType 2.10.4 Rushed Out As Emergency Security Release

    The FreeType text rendering library is out with version 2.10.4 today as an important security update.

  • Intel: replace thermal compound “every few years”

    Thermal compound (sometimes called thermal paste or grease) is applied to fill minuscule gaps in the materials in the heat spreader (the metal covering on top of the processor) and the heatsink. Eliminating these gaps is essential to ensuring efficient heat transfer into the heatsink. The thermal compound that is used in your computer generally won’t go bad or degrade in its useful lifespan. It will get displaced over time, however. You’d need higher temperatures than what you’ll typically find in a computer for other failure modes to come into effect. The displacement is caused by thermal cycling that results in an effect known as “thermally induced pump-out.” As the components heat up and cool down, the processors’ heat spreader (its metal top) and the heatsink will expand and contract. This effect will, over time, pump the thermal compound out from in between the two metal plates. You can find illustrations and a more technical explanation in the source links below.