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Interviews

Qubes: The Open Source OS Built for Security

Filed under
Linux
Interviews
Security

No matter how good the code review process is, or how high the standards for acceptance, applications will always have bugs, says Joanna Rutkowska, founder and CEO of Invisible Things Lab. So will drivers. And filesystems.

“Nobody, not even Google Security Team, can find and patch all those bugs in all the desktop apps we all use,” Rutkowska says in the Q&A interview, below.

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OpenDaylight executive director spells out where this open source SDN efforts stand

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Interviews
OSS

So if I compare it to Linux. Linux is in my computer, in my car, it’s in a million things outside of the server room. In the same way I think a large percentage of OpenDaylight will be used and leveraged that way. You will have a few people who grab the code, compile it themselves and deploy it in their environment, but mostly for a proof of concept (POC). If an end user hears about SDN and thinks it’s great, they might find themselves needing to POC 15 different solutions. Do I need an overlay? Well, you’ve got to look at three or four overlays out there because they all do things differently. And if you want to figure out how to use OpenFlow, well there are different flavors of OpenFlow, so you’re going to pull a couple of different ones.

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Torvalds says he has no strong opinions on systemd

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

Linux creator Linus Torvalds is well-known for his strong opinions on many technical things. But when it comes to systemd, the init system that has caused a fair degree of angst in the Linux world, Torvalds is neutral.

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Open Source is driving disruption in technology: Interview with Nithya Ruff of SanDisk

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Interviews
OSS

Nithya A. Ruff is the director of SanDisk Open Source Strategy Office. The company recently joined The Linux Foundation and we met up with her at LinuxCon to understand SanDisk’s plans for Linux and Open Source.

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There is no reason at all to use MySQL: Michael Widenius

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Interviews
OSS

MySQL was once the most popular open source database (it still is), but it’s popularity and deployment is declining under the ownership of Oracle. The founder of MySQL Michael Widenius “Monty” was not happy when Oracle announced to acquire MySQL through Sun Microsystem. He created MariaDB, an open source, drop-in replacement of MySQL, which is gaining popularity lately.

It’s not only become the default database of the leading open source operating systems, but is also replacing MySQL at WikiMedia and other major organizations and companies. Recently SkySQL merged with MariaDB’s parent company Monty Program Ab, increasing its developer force. We reached out to Monty to talk about the changing database landscape. Read on…

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Interview with GNU remotecontrol

Filed under
GNU
Interviews

GNU remotecontrol is a web application serving as a management tool for reading from and writing to multiple IP enabled heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) thermostats, and other building automation devices. While various IP thermostat manufacturers have offered web portals exclusively for their users to remotely access and adjust the settings of individual thermostats, they do not provide a unified management tool for multiple thermostats. The goal of GNU remotecontrol is to provide this management tool for individuals and companies alike.

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How Amazon Web Services Uses Linux and Open Source

Filed under
Linux
Interviews
OSS

Amazon Web Services first launched in 2006 with one instance and one operating system: Amazon Linux. The cloud computing giant has since expanded to offer customers the option of running on more than 30 instance types and more than 10 operating systems, but Linux, Xen and other open source projects remain the core technologies behind AWS.

“We view open source as a companion to AWS's business model,” said Chris Schlaeger, director of software development at Amazon Web Services and managing director of the Amazon Development Center Germany GmbH.

Schlaeger, who leads the team that develops Amazon’s cloud computing service, EC2, as well as Amazon Linux, will give a keynote presentation at CloudOpen Europe, Oct. 13-15 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Here he discusses how AWS uses Linux, the Amazon Linux operating system, the company's new development offices in Germany, and what he'll cover in his keynote presentation.

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Raspberry Pi-powered in-car computer project shifts up a gear

Filed under
Development
Linux
Interviews

After watching classic TV shows such as Knight Rider and Street Hawk in his youth, IT professional and Raspberry Pi enthusiast Derek Knaggs was inspired to create a low-cost in-car computer using a Raspberry Pi.
The Pi sits in the centre console of his Ford Focus, wired to the display of an Xtrons DVD player (optional) as well as two TFT screens in the rear headrests. Control is via a Xenta wireless keyboard with mouse touchpad, while a smartphone can be used as a wireless hotspot to give the Pi an internet connection on the move.
Having recently added a reverse camera to his already top-notch project, we caught up with Derek to learn more about it…

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Matthew Garrett's Advice on Hardware, Linux Kernel Careers, and Fruit Flies

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

The most popular questions posed to Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett during his Reddit AMA this week related to kernel hacking and hardware issues. But Garrett, a senior security engineer at Nebula, answered frankly on a variety of subjects that ranged from technical issues in the kernel, to his workstation setup, to how to kill fruit flies and why he likes the movie Hackers. Here is a digest of some of the more kernel-related questions and answers (plus a fruit fly question, for more flavor.)

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Benjamin Kerensa on Firefox OS & Internet Freedom

Filed under
Interviews
Moz/FF

According to the Mozilla Developer Network, Firefox OS is an open source mobile operating system based on Linux, open web standards and Mozilla’s Gecko technology.

But there’s more to it that that: Firefox OS is about reinventing what mobile platforms can be, about pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the Web on mobile and about enabling entirely new segments of users to come online with their smartphone at various levels of participation, from users to developers.

Mozilla's Benjamin Kerensa
Benjamin Kerensa, Mozilla’s Early Feedback Community Release Manager.
Earlier this week, I took some time to talk with Benjamin Kerensa, the Early Feedback Community Release Manager for Mozilla, to discuss Firefox OS and the community around it.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME and Fedora

  • RFC: Integrating rsvg-rs into librsvg
    I have started an RFC to integrate rsvg-rs into librsvg. rsvg-rs is the Rust binding to librsvg. Like the gtk-rs bindings, it gets generated from a pre-built GIR file.
  • 1+ year of Fedora and GNOME hardware enablement
    A year and a couple of months ago, Christian Schaller asked me to pivot a little bit from working full time on Fleet Commander to manage a new team we were building to work on client hardware enablement for Fedora and GNOME with an emphasis on upstream. The idea was to fill the gap in the organization where nobody really owned the problem of bringing up new client hardware features vertically across the stack (from shell down to the kernel), or rather, ensure Fedora and GNOME both work great on modern laptops. Part of that deal was to take over the bootloader and start working closer to customers and hardware manufacturing parnters.
  • Fedora Atomic Workstation: Works on the beach
    My trip is getting really close, so I decided to upgrade my system to rawhide. Wait, what ? That is usually what everybody would tell you not to do. Rawhide has this reputation for frequent breakage, and who knows if my apps will work any given day. Not something you want to deal with while traveling.
  • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for February

Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks (and Proprietary Opera)

  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks Like Waterfox, Pale Moon, or Basilisk
    Mozilla Firefox is an open source project, so anyone can take its code, modify it, and release a new browser. That’s what Waterfox, Pale Moon, and Basilisk are—alternative browsers based on the Firefox code. But we recommend against using any of them.
  • Opera Says Its Next Opera Release Will Have the Fastest Ad Blocker on the Block
    Opera Software promoted today its upcoming Opera 52 web browser to the beta channel claiming that it has the faster ad blocker on the market compared to previous Opera release and Google Chrome. One of the key highlights of the Opera 52 release will be the improved performance of the built-in ad blocker as Opera claims to have enhanced the string matching algorithm of the ad blocker to make it open web pages that contain ads much faster than before, and, apparently than other web browsers, such as Chrome.

Graphics: Glxinfo, ANV, SPIR-V

  • Glxinfo Gets Updated With OpenGL 4.6 Support, More vRAM Reporting
    The glxinfo utility is handy for Linux users in checking on their OpenGL driver in use by their system and related information. But it's not often that glxinfo itself gets updated, except that changed today with the release of mesa-demos-8.4.0 as the package providing this information utility. Mesa-demos is the collection of glxinfo, eglinfo, glxgears, and utilities related to Mesa. With the Mesa-demos 8.4.0 it is predominantly glxinfo updates.
  • Intel ANV Getting VK_KHR_16bit_storage Support Wrapped Up
    Igalia's Jose Maria Casanova Crespo sent out a set of patches today for fixes that allow for the enabling of the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension within Intel's ANV Vulkan driver. The patches are here for those interested in 16-bit storage support in Vulkan. This flips on the features for storageBuffer16BitAccess, uniformAndStorageBuffer16BitAccess, storagePushConstant16 and the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension. This support is present for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics and newer. Hopefully the work will be landing in Mesa Git soon.
  • SPIR-V Support For Gallium3D's Clover Is Closer To Reality
    It's been a busy past week for open-source GPU compute with Intel opening up their new NEO OpenCL stack, Karol Herbst at Red Hat posting the latest on Nouveau NIR support for SPIR-V compute, and now longtime Nouveau contributor Pierre Moreau has presented his latest for SPIR-V Clover support. Pierre has been spending about the past year adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's "Clover" OpenCL state tracker. SPIR-V, of course, is the intermediate representation used now by OpenCL and Vulkan.

Security: Updates, Tinder, FUD and KPTI Meltdown Mitigation

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Tinder vulnerability let hackers [sic] take over accounts with just a phone number

    The attack worked by exploiting two separate vulnerabilities: one in Tinder and another in Facebook’s Account Kit system, which Tinder uses to manage logins. The Account Kit vulnerability exposed users’ access tokens (also called an “aks” token), making them accessible through a simple API request with an associated phone number.

  • PSA: Improperly Secured Linux Servers Targeted with Chaos Backdoor [Ed: Drama queen once again (second time in a week almost) compares compromised GNU/Linux boxes to "back doors"]
    Hackers are using SSH brute-force attacks to take over Linux systems secured with weak passwords and are deploying a backdoor named Chaos. Attacks with this malware have been spotted since June, last year. They have been recently documented and broken down in a GoSecure report.
  • Another Potential Performance Optimization For KPTI Meltdown Mitigation
    Now that the dust is beginning to settle around the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation techniques on the major operating systems, in the weeks and months ahead we are likely to see more performance optimizations come to help offset the performance penalties incurred by mitigations like kernel page table isolation (KPTI) and Retpolines. This week a new patch series was published that may help with KPTI performance.