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Linux Apps Land On Beta Channel For A Lot Of Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

A recent update to the Beta Channel of Chrome OS has brought with it a very exciting surprise. The “Crostini Project,” a.k.a. Linux Apps on Chrome OS has been floating around the Developer Channel for some time and can be found on various devices such as the Pixelbook, Kaby Lake Chromeboxes and even Apollo Lake EDU Chromebooks.

Unfortunately, for those wanting to try out the new feature, moving to the sometimes-unstable Developer Channel was a requirement along with enabling the “Crostini” switch that has been hidden behind a flag.

The update to Chrome OS version 69.0.3497.35 in the Beta channel has not only advanced the Crostini Project but set Linux apps on by default meaning no need to enable any experimental flags.

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GNU/Linux on Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • How to install Linux apps on your Chromebook

    Chromebooks are great because they're simple: there's a lot you can get done with web services without exposing yourself to the troubles and security issues that plague more complex platforms.

    But if you need to do a bit more with your Chromebook, you have a few options. Most Chromebooks these days allow you to install apps from the Google Play Store, which should fill most productivity gaps. If not, you'll soon have one more option: installing Linux apps. To be clear, you've been able to install Linux apps on Chromebooks for years because Chrome OS is Linux. But, it's about to get much easier.

  • Top 5 Features Still Missing From Chrome OS

    Google’s Chrome OS gets a lot of things right, and the platform has evolved considerably over the years. Not only does it offer an always up-to-date version of the Chrome browser, but there are also Android apps, stylus input, and even Linux support on some devices. However, Chrome OS is far from perfect. You have to make compromises if you choose to live with a Chromebook, but you shouldn’t have to make quite this many. Here are the top five things Google should fix.

  • Walmart's selling an all-aluminum Chromebook with a comfy keyboard for just $220

    If you’re not considering a Chromebook when you're shopping for a notebook, you’re doing it wrong. Google's low-cost laptops are typically light, fast, secure, and have almost everything you need for remote work a.k.a. the Internet. Today, you can get in on the action for a great price. Walmart is selling the Acer Chromebook 14 (CB3-431-C6ZB) for $220. That’s about $30 to $40 cheaper than you’d usually pay for this laptop.

Akademy Report and Final GSoC Reports

Filed under
KDE
Google
  • Akademy 2018 Monday BoF Wrapup

    Monday was the first day of Akademy BoFs, group sessions and hacking. There is a wrapup session at the end of the day so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

  • GSoC’18 - Final Report

    Some of the tasks I had originally planned took a lot more time than expected. My last task was to add stats to games that track and store your overall game statistics. I’ve already began working on this and will get it merged after thoroughly getting it reviewed by my mentors.

    [...]

    I had a wonderful time contributing to GNOME since I started this February. The amazing community and even more amazing mentors helped me learn new things and guided me all along the way which I would like to thank them for. I will surely keep contributing to GNOME.

  • Google Summer of Code 2018 Final Report: Automatic Builds with Clang using Open Build Service

    Debian package builds with Clang were performed from time to time through massive rebuilds of the Debian archive on AWS. The results of these builds are published on clang.debian.net. This summer project aimed to automate Debian archive clang rebuilds by substituting the current clang builds in clang.debian.net with Open Build System (OBS) builds.

    Our final product consists of a repository with salt states to deploy an OBS instance which triggers Clang builds of Debian Unstable packages as soon as they get uploaded by their maintainers.

GSoC Projects Under GNU's Umbrella: GNUnet and Guix

Filed under
GNU
Google
OSS
  • GSoC 2018 - GNUnet Web-based User Interface

    In the context of Google Summer of Code 2018, my mentor (Martin Schanzenbach) and I have worked on creating and extending the REST API of GNUnet. Currently, we mirrored the functionality of following commands:

    gnunet-identity
    gnunet-namestore
    gnunet-gns
    gnunet-peerinfo

    Additionally, we developed a website with the Javascript framework Angular 6 and the design framework iotaCSS to use the new REST API. The REST API of GNUnet is now documented with Sphinx.

  • GSoC 2018 report: Cuirass Web interface

    For the last three months I have been working with the Guix team as a Google Summer of Code intern. The title of my project is "GNU Guix (Cuirass): Adding a web interface similar to the Hydra web interface".

    Cuirass is a continuous integration system which monitors the Guix git repository, schedules builds of Guix packages, and presents the build status of all Guix packages. Before my project, Cuirass did not have a web interface. The goal of the project was to implement an interface for Cuirass which would allow a user to view the overall build progress, details about evaluations, build failures, etc. The web interface of Hydra is a good example of such a tool.

    In this post, I present a final report on the project. The Cuirass repository with the changes made during the project is located at http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/guix/guix-cuirass.git. A working instance of the implemented interface is available at https://berlin.guixsd.org/. You can find more examples and demonstrations of the achieved results below.

KDE and GNOME GSoC: Falkon, WikiToLearn, Nautilus and Pitivi

Filed under
KDE
Google
GNOME
  • The Joy of GSoC Smile

    Wooo... this is the last day of coding phase of GSoC. I am writing this blog to share my experience and work done in the coding phase. I want to specially thank my mentor David Rosca for his help, suggestions and reviews. This was my first exposure to the KDE community and I am proud that it was great. I really enjoyed the whole program from proposal submission - intermediate evals - then now this final evaluation. Also, I had learned a lot working on my project. Frankly speaking, I didn't knew about i18n and l10n much but with the help of my mentor now I have a quite good understanding of how these works and are implemented. I can truly say this was one of my best summer vacations.

  • What’s next for WikiToLearn?

    Google Summer of Code is finishing and many things have been done on WikiToLearn since previous post. A little recap is needed.

    Talking with mentors has been crucial because they told me to focus on finishing CRUD interaction with API backend instead of working on “history mode” viewer.

  • GSoC 2018 Final Evaluation

    As GSoC is coming to an end, I am required to put my work altogether in order for it to be easily available and hopefully help fellow/potential contributors work on their own projects. 

    [...]

    At its prestige, through this project we will have tests both for most critical and used operations of Nautilus, and for the search engines we use. Further on, I’ll provide links for all of my merge requests and dwell a bit on their ins and outs while posting links to my commits:

  • GTK+ 4 and Nautilus </GSoC>

    Another summer here at GNOME HQ comes to an end. While certainly eventful, it unfortunately did not result in a production-ready Nautilus port to GTK+ 4 (unless you don’t intend to use the location entry or any other entry, but more on that later).

  • Pitivi Video Editor Gains UI Polish, Video Preview Resizing

    The latest Google Summer of Code 2018 is allowing some excellent work to be done on some excellent open source projects.

    Among them Pitivi, the non-linear video editor built using GTK and Gstreamer and offering up a basic video editing feature set.

    Over the past few months, Harish Fulara, a Computer Science student, has worked on improving the application’s greeter dialog and on adding support dynamic resizing of the video preview box.

GNU/Linux on Laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Dell's Thunderbolt TB16 Dock Can Work With Linux & Drive Dual 4K Displays

    When it came to settling on the latest-generation Dell XPS 13 as my main production workhorse with Fedora Workstation 28, besides the laptop's own traits like its build quality, specs relative to price, and other factors, another important requirement was the ability to drive two 4K displays when at my desk. The Dell XPS 13 has no issue driving dual 4K screens via the Dell Thunderbolt TB16 dock.

  • Chrome OS update makes installing Linux apps easier
  • Chrome OS update simplifies installing Linux applications

    A recent Chrome OS update has made the installation of Linux applications as simple as most of the popular distributions.

    Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel and it’s been possible to install applications designed for the latter for some time using tools like Crouton.

    However, installing Linux apps on Chrome OS has never been friendly to beginners and required users to be in developer mode and have some knowledge of the command line. A recent OS update has changed matters.

    [...]

    Linux distros have been around since the 90s and continue to build up a roster of desktop-optimised apps. For Chrome OS to ever be considered a serious work platform to rival Windows and Mac, it needed to embrace Linux apps.

  • 28 older Chromebooks now support Linux apps

    More Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung have received Linux app support. The change, which landed Thursday, will apply to some Chromebooks that released in 2015-2017, running Intel Braswell architecture and Kernel 3.18.

  • Chrome OS now supports installing arbitrary Linux packages

    Samsung recently presented the Galaxy Tab S4 as the ultimate productivity portable device but initial reviews have been rather scathing. Thanks to its timing, Samsung’s premium tablet is being compared to the likes of the cheaper iPad, the cheaper Surface Go, and, closer to home, Chromebooks. The latter, especially, is getting more and more talented and the latest experimental feature nearly turns it into that ultimate productivity OS. That is if you live and breathe Linux.

  • Linux Apps Coming To Older Braswell Chromebooks

    The addition of Linux apps to Chrome OS via the Crostini Project seems to be expanding at an exponential rate lately. Google has been content not sharing any insight into the project apart from the advantages it brings to developers but the latest update points at a larger target than just techies developing software.

    According to the commit, a decent number of Braswell-powered Chromebooks will soon be getting Linux app support.

Browsers That Spy

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox Advance Uses Your Browser History to Recommend Web Content

    If you’re short on things to read — seriously? — be sure to check out the latest experiment in the Firefox Test Pilot program.

    It’s called Advance and it aims to ‘advance’ you past the site you’re currently gawping at and on to the next. How? By giving you a list of articles and web pages based on your browsing history, of course.

    Don’t scream. Honestly. This feature is not part of the default browser (not yet, anyway). You have to explicitly choose to enable it.

    [...]

    Now, before anyone screams “I already use this! It’s called Google Chrome!” let me stress that this is an entirely optional, opt-in feature for Firefox. You have to go out of your way to install it. It is not part of the default install. If you don’t want it, you don’t have to use it.

    You remain in control when Advance is running. You can, at any point, see what browser history Laserlike has processed and — GDPR box check — request the deletion of that information.

    Advance by Firefox limits its remit to your search history, specifically web page addresses. It doesn’t monitor what you write/say/do when using a website, or the specific content that’s on it.

  • Dev Channel Update for Desktop

    The dev channel has been updated to 70.0.3514.0 for Windows & Linux, and 70.0.3514.2 for Mac.  

  • Chrome 70 Dev Release With Shape Detection API

    While Chrome 69 was released last week, today Google has shipped their latest "dev" release of Chrome 70 for interested testers.

    New Chrome 70 dev channel releases are available today for Linux, macOS, and Windows. Key features for Chrome 70 is the introduction of the Shape Detection API, disabling some touch event APIs by default on desktop hardware, CSS Grid Layout behavior updates, WebUSB support within dedicated worker contexts, several security enhancements, and various other minor updates.

Sharing open source alternatives to Google's online tools

Filed under
Google
OSS

In an earlier article, the crew from French non-profit Framasoft discussed their mission to help people slip the bonds of internet giants and take control of their own data. While promoting free and open source software is at the core of Framasoft's mission, the group is also dedicated to educating people about both free software and free culture. What's refreshing is that the group's approach isn't steeped in ideology. Instead, they're more concerned with helping people take back their privacy and digital freedom.

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Can You Get By with a Chromebook in College?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

When heading off to college, finding the right laptop for your money is a challenge—you don’t want to spend more than you have to, but not having enough laptop is arguably worse. That’s what makes Chromebooks so appealing.

Chromebooks have a relatively low entry point for everything they offer. Since the operating system is so lightweight, even modest hardware can keep everything running nice and snappy. Where a Windows laptop for a similar price can get bogged down quickly, a Chromebook will often remain zippy even during heavier use.

Given the low price point and very usable performance, Chromebooks are often looked at by college students—but it may not be that straightforward. There are several things to think about before jumping right into a Chromebook to make sure it’s the right choice for you.

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Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary, Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android
Google
Debian
  • Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary

    Google’s Chrome OS can now install and run Debian Linux packages with the .deb extension, at least in the Canary channel. This happens by simply double-clicking the file in your file browser. From there, the automated installer takes over. Once a Linux application is installed, it will be available in your terminal, invoked in the same way as a Chrome OS app, and some apps may show up in your Chrome OS launcher, depending on the metadata present in them and whether they support such operations. Most Linux apps that have a graphical user interface fall into this category, though there are many command line utilities out there for Linux users to enjoy. Both are now available to Chrome OS users. You still cannot replace default Chrome OS utilities, so don’t expect to run an i3 desktop with a brand new ALSA media handler unless you’re willing to gut your Chromebook entirely and install Linux.

  • Debian Linux Packages Now Working In Chrome OS Developer Channel

    A recent update to the experimental Canary Channel of Chrome OS brought about the ability to install Debian packages with a simple double-click. The only prerequisite being you are on a Chromebook or Chromebox that has support for the Crostini Project.

    Now, thanks to our Brother in Chrome Kevin Tofel, we’ve learned this ability has already found its way into the Developer channel of Chrome OS. Again, there are some requirements but if your device supports the Crostini Linux project, you can have this feature up and running with just a few, simple steps.

  • Android Q Name Predictions: What’s Next “Dessert” For Android 10?

    Now that Google has officially released Android Pie marking August 6th as the new “Pie” day, we are wondering what will Google call its next Android version: Android Q. In the past, we’ve also prepared a list of Android P names.

  • 6 Best Song Finder Apps For Android To Identify Songs By Tune
  • Google introduces Android 9 Pie
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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • Uber Open Sources Its Large Scale Metrics Platform M3
    Uber's engineering team released its metrics platform M3, which it has been using internally for some years, as open source. The platform was built to replace its Graphite based system, and provides cluster management, aggregation, collection, storage management, a distributed time series database (TSDB) and a query engine with its own query language M3QL. [...] M3's query engine provides a single global view of all metrics without cross region replication. Metrics are written to local regional M3DB instances and replication is local to a region. Queries go to both the regional local instances as well as to coordinators in remote regions where metrics are stored. The results are aggregated locally, and future work is planned wherein  any query aggregation would happen at the remote coordinators.
  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Dev.to
    This week’s highlighted project comes courtesy of a community of developers who hope that their codebase will be used to foster communities like theirs, focused on education and collaboration among peers of any skill level. Dev.to’s codebase is open-source as of last week week and the community-building platform’s developers think that further community involvement in development will lead to great things. [...] Halpern made sure to clarify in the post that this release is not simply a library for creating the types of community-driven communication platforms that dev.to embodies, but the for-profit company’s entire codebase. “However, that is a perfectly valid use case in the future,” Halpern wrote in a post leading up to the release. “If you are interested in contributing such that we can eventually help people stand up their own version of this platform for their own business or society, we’ll definitely welcome that input.” The platform is a Ruby on Rails app with a Preact front-end. The company is hard at work on native apps for iOS and Android but say its technology choices are fluid.
  • RLS 1.0 release candidate
    The current version of the Rust Language Server (RLS), 0.130.5, is the first 1.0 release candidate. It is available on nightly and beta channels, and from the 3rd September will be available with stable Rust. 1.0 for the RLS is a somewhat arbitrary milestone. We think the RLS can handle most small and medium size projects (notable, it doesn't work with Rust itself, but that is large and has a very complex build system), and we think it is release quality. However there are certainly limitations and many planned improvements. It would be really useful if you could help us test the release candidate! Please report any crashes, or projects where the RLS gives no information or any bugs where it gives incorrect information.
  • Mozilla brings back Stylish Add-on to Firefox after it was Banned Last Year
    The Stylish add-on, with which you can give websites their very own style, is back for Firefox. This improvement has been welcomed by many users. The history of this Add-on is quite complicated as it was supposedly twice removed and added back before it was removed again. Now it has been added back as reported by Vess (@VessOnSecurity). [...] The add-on Stylish has been brought back in the Mozilla’s add-on storehouse. What users should know: This expansion was criticized some time prior as a user data collector and has been prohibited and banned a year back from Mozilla’s Add-on store. Owing to its notoriety of collecting data of users’ website visits in a way which makes it convenient to reveal users’ identity to third parties, Google and Mozilla banned it last year. It is indeed surprising as to why Mozilla decided to bring it back to its browser after it was criticized for compromising users’ identity.
  • LibreOffice 6.1: A week in stats
    On August 8, we announced LibreOffice 6.1, a new version of the suite with many great features and updates created by our worldwide community. Let’s look at some stats from the last week!
  • Graphos 0.7 released
    Graphos 0.7 has been released a couple of days ago!
  • Tesla open sources its security software, Hollywood goes open source, and more news
  • How Changa Bell is taking an ‘open source’ approach to grow the Black Male Yoga Intiative
  • As Academic Publishers Fight And Subvert Open Access, Preprints Offer An Alternative Approach For Sharing Knowledge Widely
    That's certainly true, but is easy to remedy. Academics who plan to publish a preprint could offer a copy of the paper to the group of trusted journalists under embargo -- just as they would with traditional papers. One sentence describing why it would be worth reading is all that is required by way of introduction. To the extent that the system works for today's published papers, it will also work for preprints. Some authors may publish without giving journalists time to check with other experts, but that's also true for current papers. Similarly, some journalists may hanker after full press releases that spoon-feed them the results, but if they can't be bothered working it out for themselves, or contacting the researchers and asking for an explanation, they probably wouldn't write a very good article anyway. The other concern relates to the quality of preprints. One of the key differences between a preprint and a paper published in a journal is that the latter usually goes through the process of "peer review", whereby fellow academics read and critique it. But it is widely agreed that the peer review process has serious flaws, as many have pointed out for years -- and as Sheldon himself admits. Indeed, as defenders note, preprints allow far more scrutiny to be applied than with traditional peer review, because they are open for all to read and spot mistakes. There are some new and interesting projects to formalize this kind of open review. Sheldon rightly has particular concerns about papers on public health matters, where lives might be put at risk by erroneous or misleading results. But major preprint sites like bioRxiv (for biology) and the upcoming medRxiv (for medicine and health sciences) are already trying to reduce that problem by actively screening preprints before they are posted.
  • MUMPS Masochism part I: Line and Block Scope

    It's sort of an open secret that I sometimes use ANSI M, better known as MUMPS. It was developed in the 60's, and it definitely still looks like something from the 60's. But it's 1,000 times uglier than anything from that decade. I've made plenty of people, from software testers at work to other developers on IRC, recoil in horror from showing them samples of even relatively mundane code like a simple "Hello, World!".

  • OpenSSH Username Enumeration
     

    We realized that without this patch, a remote attacker can easily test whether a certain user exists or not (username enumeration) on a target OpenSSH server

Microsoft Openwashing

  • Microsoft open sources new framework for Windows driver development [Ed: openwashing Microsoft Windows by pretending that when you write proprietary drivers for a proprietary O/S that does DRM, spies on users etc. you actually do something "open"]
  • Microsoft to Open Source Its Network Replication Software [Ed: Microsoft is openwashing some more of its entirely proprietary 'offerings', a hallmark of a company of liars. Come to us! The traps are free, the cages will be "open".]
  • GitHub goes off the Rails as Microsoft closes in [Ed: Microsoft will take GitHub off the rail like it did Skype and LinkedIn (totally lost)]
    GitHub's platform group is about 155 people at the moment and growing, said Lambert. And much of the group's focus is on breaking GitHub apart. GitHub is about a third of the way through an architectural change that began last year. The company is moving away from Ruby on Rails toward a more heterogeneous, composable infrastructure. Ruby still has a place at GitHub – Lambert referred to the company as a Ruby shop, but he said there's more Go, Java and even some Haskell being deployed for services. The goal, he explained, is to make GitHub's internal capabilities accessible to integrators and partners. "Our monolith is starting to break up and we're starting to abstract things into services," said Lambert. "The platform we've chosen to put them on is Kubernetes."

Android Leftovers

Benchmarks Of Btrfs RAID On Four Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs

With the MSI MEG X399 CREATION that we received as part of the launch package for the Threadripper 2950X and Threadripper 2990WX it includes the XPANDER-AERO that provides 4-way M.2 NVMe SSD slots on a PCI Express x16 card. The XPANDER-AERO is actively cooled and could be passed off as a small form factor graphics card upon a very cursory examination. With this card I've been running tests on four Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs in RAID to offer stellar Linux I/O performance. Here are some initial benchmarks using Btrfs. Read more