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Interviews

Flexibility, Choice, and Open Source Drive Oracle's Cloud Focus

Filed under
Linux
Interviews
OSS

Developer ecosystems grow and thrive in a vibrant and supported community – something Oracle believes in, has invested in, and continues to invest in with projects including EE4J, OpenJDK, MySQL, GlassFish, Java, Linux, PHP, Apache, Eclipse, Berkeley DB, NetBeans, VirtualBox, and Xen. This required significant investment in resources for developing, testing, optimizing, and supporting these open source technologies. As a Platinum member of the Linux Foundation and a member since day one, Oracle participates in a number of other Linux Foundation projects, including the Open Container Initiative (OCI), Xen Project, Hyplerledger, Automotive Grade Linux, and the R Consortium.

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Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Gabriel Rojo Argote

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

I started to get interested while studying at the Instituto Tecnológico de León in Guanajuato México. One of my professors taught a subject called "Introduction to Computing" and began to talk about the variety of operating systems that existed in the market. The professor put a lot of emphasis on the Unix and GNU/Linux operating systems, talking about the versatility and robustness they had. This sparked my interest in knowing GNU/Linux and, because it was distributed in disks in some city magazines, it was easy for me to be able to acquire a distribution—an easy route to use the operating system and get to know different free applications. I got involved little by little in the management of the same GNU/Linux.

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Canonical on Path to IPO as Ubuntu Unity Linux Desktop Gets Ditched

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Interviews
Ubuntu

In October 2010, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu open-source operating system and CEO of Canonical, announced his grand plan to build a converged Linux desktop that would work on mobile devices, desktops and even TVs. He called the effort "Unity" and poured significant financial resources into it.

Seven years later, the Unity dream is dead.

On Oct. 19, Ubuntu 17.10 was released as the first Ubuntu Linux version since 2010 that didn't use Unity as the default Linux desktop. In a video interview with eWEEK, Shuttleworth details the rationale behind his decision to cancel Unity and why he has now put his company on the path toward an initial public offering (IPO).

Because Ubuntu has moved into the mainstream in a bunch of areas, including the cloud, he said some of the things his company had been doing were never going to be commercially sustainable.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10 delivers new desktop and cloud enhancements

Running Android on Top of a Linux Graphics Stack

Filed under
Android
Linux
Interviews

Traditional Linux graphics systems (like X11) mostly did not use planes. But modern graphics systems like Android and Wayland can take full advantage of it.

Android has the most mature implementation of plane support in HWComposer, and its graphics stack is a bit different from the usual Linux desktop graphics stack. On desktops, the typical compositor just uses the GPU for all composition, because this is the only thing that exists on the desktop.

Most embedded and mobile chips have specialized 2D composition hardware that Android is designed around. The way this is done is by dividing the things that are displayed into layers, and then intelligently feeding the layers to hardware that is optimized to handle layers. This frees up the GPU to work on the things you actually care about, while at the same time, it lets hardware that is more efficient do what it does best.

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Dedoimedo interviews: Xfce team

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Interviews

Hi, I'm Sean! I'm an Xfce core developer, Xubuntu Technical Lead, and long-time Linux user. I love solving problems ... and maintaining a desktop environment means there's no shortage of those.

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An Interview With Neil McGovern, GNOME Foundation Executive Director: “Software Freedom, Users, And Technical Excellence Are Our 3 Pillars”

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Interviews
GNOME

Earlier this year in February, the GNOME Foundation announced the appointment of Neil McGovern as its new Executive Director. He is a well-known figure in Free Software community; he served as Debian Project Leader from 2014-15. The GNOME Project, apart from developing GNOME desktop, also takes care of multiple other emerging projects.

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Also: Travel to Berlin

How OpenBSD and Linux Mitigate Security Bugs

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

The talk will focus on two similar solutions implemented in Linux and OpenBSD kernels, designed to prevent a program from calling syscalls they should not call to improve security of software.

In both kernels (Linux and OpenBSD), unwanted syscalls can be blocked and the offending program terminated, but there are some differences between Linux and OpenBSD’s solution of the problem.

During my talk, I will analyze the differences between two similar techniques that are present in Linux and OpenBSD kernels that are used to mitigate security bugs (that could be used to attack software and escalate privileges on a machine).

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In pursuit of Purism

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Interviews

For GNU/Linux users wanting a laptop, it’s almost always easier to find the hardware you want and then install the distro of your choice – perhaps with some muttering about the ‘Windows tax’, or even making a stand and getting the Microsoft licence portion of the price refunded.

However, as Purism puts it: “The model of ‘buy hardware, install free software’ is ageing, due primarily to the fact that there is a growing cryptographic bond between proprietary non-free signed binaries and the hardware that they run on.”

There are one or two laptops available from manufacturers with Ubuntu pre-installed, although Dell doesn’t always make it easy to find them, and a few resellers who’ll do the install for you, such as System76 – but the sad truth is that most laptop manufacturers do not care about software freedom, at least not enough to take a risk in standing out from the herd.

If they don’t care, that’s probably because the public don’t exercise themselves much over the issue – although awareness of free and open source software is slowly growing, and the Raspberry Pi has put GNU/Linux into the hands of a new generation.

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Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf and More Blockchain

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Interviews
OSS

Open source-based business lessons from a seasoned CEO

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Interviews
OSS

The default now is to build from open and in the open. So that's a positive. The downside is that by open source being the default, we may be getting a little lazy. If you remember back 5-10 years, open sourcing was a big deal, and it forced a level of rigor that may have led, in some cases, to founders and early investors taking better approaches to building their company—for example, shifting towards SaaS wherever possible, in part because of the ability to demonstrate clear value versus their own open source.

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More in Tux Machines

Events: FOSDEM Samba Talks, USENIX Enigma, LCA (linux.conf.au) and FAST18

  • Authentication and authorization in Samba 4
    Volker Lendecke is one of the first contributors to Samba, having submitted his first patches in 1994. In addition to developing other important file-sharing tools, he's heavily involved in development of the winbind service, which is implemented in winbindd. Although the core Active Directory (AD) domain controller (DC) code was written by his colleague Stefan Metzmacher, winbind is a crucial component of Samba's AD functionality. In his information-packed talk at FOSDEM 2018, Lendecke said he aimed to give a high-level overview of what AD and Samba authentication is, and in particular the communication pathways and trust relationships between the parts of Samba that authenticate a Samba user in an AD environment.
  • Two FOSDEM talks on Samba 4
    Much as some of us would love never to have to deal with Windows, it exists. It wants to authenticate its users and share resources like files and printers over the network. Although many enterprises use Microsoft tools to do this, there is a free alternative, in the form of Samba. While Samba 3 has been happily providing authentication along with file and print sharing to Windows clients for many years, the Microsoft world has been slowly moving toward Active Directory (AD). Meanwhile, Samba 4, which adds a free reimplementation of AD on Linux, has been increasingly ready for deployment. Three short talks at FOSDEM 2018 provided three different views of Samba 4, also known as Samba-AD, and left behind a pretty clear picture that Samba 4 is truly ready for use. I will cover the first two talks in this article, and the third in a later one.
  • A report from the Enigma conference
    The 2018 USENIX Enigma conference was held for the third time in January. Among many interesting talks, three presentations dealing with human security behaviors stood out. This article covers the key messages of these talks, namely the finding that humans are social in their security behaviors: their decision to adopt a good security practice is hardly ever an isolated decision. Security conferences tend to be dominated by security researchers demonstrating their latest exploits. The talks are attack-oriented, they keep a narrow focus, and usually they close with a dark outlook. The security industry has been doing security conferences like this for twenty years and seems to prefer this format. Yet, if you are tired of this style, the annual USENIX Enigma conference is a welcome change of pace. Most of the talks are defense-oriented, they have a horizon going far beyond technology alone, and they are generally focused on successful solutions.
  • DIY biology
    A scientist with a rather unusual name, Meow-Ludo Meow-Meow, gave a talk at linux.conf.au 2018 about the current trends in "do it yourself" (DIY) biology or "biohacking". He is perhaps most famous for being prosecuted for implanting an Opal card RFID chip into his hand; the Opal card is used for public transportation fares in Sydney. He gave more details about his implant as well as describing some other biohacking projects in an engaging presentation. Meow-Meow is a politician with the Australian Science Party, he said by way of introduction; he has run in the last two elections. He founded BioFoundry, which is "Australia's first open-access molecular biology lab"; there are now two such labs in the country. He is also speaks frequently as "an emerging technology evangelist" for biology as well as other topics.
  • Notes from FAST18

    I attended the technical sessions of Usenix's File And Storage Technology conference this week. Below the fold, notes on the papers that caught my attention.

Security: Vista10 and uTorrent Holes Found by Google

  • Google drops new Edge zero-day as Microsoft misses 90-day deadline

    Google originally shared details of the flaw with Microsoft on 17 November 2017, but Microsoft wasn’t able to come up with a patch within Google’s non-negotiable “you have 90 days to do this” period.

  • Google Goes Public with Another Major Windows 10 Bug
    After revealing an Edge browser vulnerability that Microsoft failed to fix, Google is now back with another disclosure, this time aimed at Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709), but potentially affecting other Windows versions as well. James Forshaw, a security researcher that’s part of Google’s Project Zero program, says the elevation of privilege vulnerability can be exploited because of the way the operating system handles calls to Advanced Local Procedure Call (ALPC). This means a standard user could obtain administrator privileges on a Windows 10 computer, which in the case of an attack, could eventually lead to full control over the impacted system. But as Neowin noted, this is the second bug discovered in the same function, and both of them, labeled as 1427 and 1428, were reported to Microsoft on November 10, 2017. Microsoft said it fixed them with the release of the February 2018 Patch Tuesday updates, yet as it turns out, only issue 1427 was addressed.
  • uTorrent bugs let websites control your computer and steal your downloads

    The vulnerabilities, according to Project Zero, make it possible for any website a user visits to control key functions in both the uTorrent desktop app for Windows and in uTorrent Web, an alternative to desktop BitTorrent apps that uses a web interface and is controlled by a browser. The biggest threat is posed by malicious sites that could exploit the flaw to download malicious code into the Windows startup folder, where it will be automatically run the next time the computer boots up. Any site a user visits can also access downloaded files and browse download histories.

  • BitTorrent Client uTorrent Suffers Security Vulnerability (Updated)

    BitTorrent client uTorrent is suffering from an as yet undisclosed vulnerability. The security flaw was discovered by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who previously said he would reveal a series of "remote code execution flaws" in torrent clients. BitTorrent Inc. has rolled out a 'patch' in the latest Beta release and hopes to fix the stable uTorrent client later this week.

Red Hat introduces updated decision management platform

Troubleshoot a network? No problem. Write a 3,000 word article on Kubernetes cloud container management? When do you want it. Talk to a few hundred people about Linux's history? Been there, done that. Manage a business's delivery routing and shift scheduling? I'll break out in a cold sweat. If you too find the nuts and bolts of business processing management a nightmare, you'll want to check out Red Hat's latest program: Red Hat Decision Manager 7. Read more

KDE Says Its Next Plasma Desktop Release Will Start a Full Second Faster

According to the developer, the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment release will start a full second faster than previous versions because of the removal of the QmlObjectIncubationController component, which apparently slowed down the entire desktop, and promises to let users pin apps on the panel that contain spaces in their desktop file names. Goodies are also coming to the upcoming KDE Applications 18.04 software suite this spring, which makes creating of new files with the Dolphin file manager instantaneous, improves drag-and-drop support from Spectacle to Chromium, and lets users configure the Gwenview image viewer to no longer display the image action buttons on thumbnails when they hover with the mouse cursor over them. Read more