Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish


Chromebooks: GNU/Linux Software on Chrome OS

Filed under
  • Chrome OS’s app ecosystem is a mess, but the ‘App Service’ could fix it

    If nothing else, a unified marketplace could make Chrome OS’s Linux app support a more beginner friendly experience, as there are presently no app discovery methods included. Currently, to install Linux applications, one needs to use the “apt” command or manually download and install .deb files.

  • The best Linux apps for your Chromebook

    Slowly but surely, Google is bringing support for Linux applications to Chrome OS. Even though the feature is primarily aimed at developers, like those who want to get Android Studio running on a Pixelbook, there are plenty of apps that can benefit normal users. We already have a guide about installing Linux apps on Chrome OS, but if you're not sure what to try, this post may point you in the right direction.

    This isn't a simple compilation of the best Linux apps, because plenty of those exist already. Instead, the goal here is to recommend solutions for tasks that cannot be adequately filled by web or Android apps. For example, serious photo editing isn't really possible through the web, and options on the Play Store are limited, but Gimp is perfect for it.

  • Fact Check: ‘Rammus’ Is NOT The Next Google Chromebook

    Speculation is fun. Scouring the Chromium repositories and looking for juicy morsels is exciting to us and often times it takes some serious mental acrobatics to create educated hypothesis on upcoming devices that are more than simple conjecture.

    Despite our best attempts, occasionally we miss the mark but it isn’t for lack of trying. With that being said, often times some simple fact checking goes a long way. The articles that filled my news feed last week about Google’s “mysterious Rammus” device are a perfect example of flat out bad reporting and failure to do an ounce of research before vomiting an article that is click bait, plain and simple.

  • VPN TUN support coming soon to Linux on Chromebooks with Crostini

    One of the benefits to running Linux desktop apps on a Chromebook via Project Crostini is having access to more apps that work in a business environment. But one of the fairly standard requirements in many businesses is using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, for security reasons. Chrome OS network traffic can be securely routed through an Android VPN client but that security doesn’t extend to Linux apps in a Crostini container.

  • Chrome is getting a unified app management page, includes Android apps on Chromebooks

    According to the folks at Chrome Story, Chrome's Canary channel just picked up a new app management page, triggered via a new flag. Although it's present across desktop platforms, on Chrome OS this page contains not only Chrome apps (which Google is still trying to retire) but Android apps as well. That's right, Chrome OS is finally picking up a unified way to manage apps — but Linux applications sadly aren't included just yet.

Chromebook and Mozilla's Strategy Competing With Chrome

Filed under
  • Chromebook Instant Tethering Now Works On More Android Devices

    One of the advantages of having a Chromebook device is the fact that you can utilize Instant Tethering — a Chrome OS feature that allows you to share an Android phone’s cellular connection with a Chromebook.

  • Acer Announces New Chromebase Models (Reminder: That’s a Chrome OS All-in-One)

    It’s been quite a while since we heard anything about a “Chromebase,” the informal term for an all-in-one desktop computer based on ChromeOS (as opposed to a Chromebook). Acer announced two new designs based on Intel 8th-gen processors.

    The Chromebase 2412 and its more button-down “Chromebase for Meetings 24Vs” variant hide all of their computer guts behind a 24-inch, 1080p touchscreen. Said guts include a maximum Core i7-8550U processor (a screamer for ChromeOS), 4-8GB of RAM, and 32-128GB of storage. The computers come with a USB-C port, plus four USB 3.1 ports, HDMI-out, an SD card slot, and an Ethernet port. Both machines have a standard VESA mount—a nice touch, and one that’s not always included for all-in-one designs.

  • Mozilla Finally Blocks Auto-Playing Audio In Firefox 66

    irefox users will finally get rid of annoying auto-playing audio with the introduction of a new feature designed to block audible multimedia content from auto-playing.

    The browser will “only allow a site to play audio or video aloud via the HTMLMediaElement API once a web page has had user interaction to initiate the audio, such as the user clicking on a ‘play’ button,” writes Mozilla’s software engineer Chris Pearce.

  • Putting Users and Publishers at the Center of the Online Value Exchange

    Publishers are getting a raw deal in the current online advertising ecosystem. The technology they depend on to display advertisements also ensures they lose the ability to control who gets their users’ data and who gets to monetize that data. With third-party cookies, users can be tracked from high-value publishers to sites they have never chosen to trust, where they are targeted based on their behavior from those publisher sites. This strips value from publishers and fuels rampant ad fraud.

    In August, Mozilla announced a new anti-tracking strategy intended to get to the root of this problem. That strategy includes new restrictions on third-party cookies that will make it harder to track users across websites and that we plan to turn on by default for all users in a future release of Firefox. Our motive for this is simple: online tracking is unacceptable for our users and puts their privacy at risk. We know that a large portion of desktop users have installed ad blockers, showing that people are demanding more online control. But our approach also offers an opportunity to rebalance the ecosystem in a way that is in the long-term interest of publishers.

    There needs to be a profitable revenue ecosystem on the web in order to create, foster and support innovation. Our third-party cookie restrictions will allow loading of advertising and other types of content (such as videos and sponsored articles), but will prevent the cookie-based tracking that users cannot meaningfully control. This strikes a better balance for publishers than ad blocking – user data is protected and publishers are still able to monetize page visits through advertisements and other content.

Web Browsers: Chrome and Firefox

Filed under
  • Firefox 65 takes a long time to close & high CPU usage

    Well, well, I've encountered a new, interesting and - ultimately - annoying problem. On one of my Windows machines, I upgraded Firefox to version 65. Then I noticed that the close sequence for the browser takes a very long time. Previously, this would be a very short thing - 1-2 seconds max. Now, it was taking a whole minute and eating one core worth of CPU. So I decided to dig into this issue more deeply and figure out whether this is something in my own setup or a fresh issue in Firefox.

    As always, the Internet wasn't very helpful. I had the usual slew of recommendations - update drivers, refresh this, refresh that. The worst kind of suggestions that completely ignore the problem or the reasons why it manifested. After all, if you don't understand the issue, making changes only masks the whole thing in the long run. To that end, I set about doing this the right way. Follow me.

  • Google Chrome 72 for Android Improves Privacy with Updated Incognito Mode

    Google released today the Chrome 72 mobile web browser for Android devices ahead of the desktop platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), an update that improves privacy and security.
    If you're a fan of the Google Chrome web browser and you use it on your Android smartphone or tablet, you should know that it's been updated to version 72.0.3626.76, a new stable release adding stability and performance improvements, as the company noted in the brief release announcement.

    To tackle various security and privacy issues that users have reported since previous updates, Google decided to update the built-in Incognito Mode of the Chrome web browser by making the media player controls and notifications incognito as well, which means that they're now invisible to the naked eye.

  • Chrome is right to remove the webRequest extension API

    …but the proposed declarativeNetRequest API isn’t a good replacement. So where does that leave us?

    Headline writers have had their fun over the last week playing on people’s mistrust of Google’s motivations and their governance of the Chromium web browser project. Despite the headlines: Google is not about to kill ad-blocking extensions in Chrome.

Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox Nightly, DevTools, and Chrome 72

Filed under

Web Browsers: Chromium, Chrome, and Firefox

Filed under
  • Working on the Chromium Servicification Project

    It’s been a few months already since I (re)joined Igalia as part of its Chromium team and I couldn’t be happier about it: right since the very first day, I felt perfectly integrated as part of the team that I’d be part of and quickly started making my way through the -fully upstream- project that would keep me busy during the following months: the Chromium Servicification Project.

    But what is this “Chromium servicification project“? Well, according to the Wiktionary the word “servicification” means, applied to computing, “the migration from monolithic legacy applications to service-based components and solutions”, which is exactly what this project is about: as described in the Chromium servicification project’s website, the whole purpose behind this idea is “to migrate the code base to a more modular, service-oriented architecture”, in order to “produce reusable and decoupled components while also reducing duplication”.

  • Google Chrome to get warnings for 'lookalike URLs'

    Once enabled, this new mechanism will show a dropdown panel under the Chrome address bar, asking the user if he really meant to type and access that URL, which Chrome deemed dangerous due to its close resemblance with a more legitimate site.

  • Google Chrome Will Soon Show Warnings If You Mistype URLs

    Often, we misspell a website’s name in the Google Chrome Omnibox and end up on some weird-looking webpages. And many times, these sting sites are bundled with pop-up ads or hold phishing web pages.

    But with Google Chrome, it will all be over soon. As first spotted by ZDNet, Google is set to instill a new feature that will warn users before accessing “lookalike” websites.

  • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!
  • Mozilla Improves Privacy Controls in Firefox 65

    Mozilla released its first web browser update for 2019 on Jan. 29, with the debut of Firefox 65.

    The open-source Firefox 65 web browser improves a number of different features and has a strong focus on helping to advance user privacy. Mozilla is integrating redesigned controls in the updated browser release to enable users to more easily identity and set the level of privacy protection they want. The privacy controls are part of Mozilla's larger effort to enhance tracking protection for web users.

    "Simplified content blocking settings give users standard, strict, and custom options to control online trackers," Mozilla states in the Firefox 65 release notes.

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome's Latest

Filed under
  • Reps OKRs – First half of the year 2019
  • Firefox 65: WebP support, Flexbox Inspector, new tooling & platform updates

    Well now, there’s no better way to usher out the first month of the year than with a great new Firefox release. It’s winter for many of us, but that means more at-home time to install Firefox version 65, and check out some of the great new browser and web platform features we’ve included within. Unless you’d rather be donning your heavy coat and heading outside to grit the driveway, that is (or going to the beach, in the case of some of our Australian chums).

  • Mozilla Introduces Firefox 65 for Improved Privacy Controls, New Version Automatically Blocks Slow-Loading Website Trackers

    Mozilla has been working on updating its browser to give more control to its users. As a result of it, Mozilla Firefox 65 has been officially launched today for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android platform. The new release of the browser will help with content blocking controls, WebP image support, AV1 support on Windows, and other bug fixes and improvement.

    Mozilla Firefox 65 is now available for download on for desktop users. People who are already using the Mozilla browser will be able to upgrade to the new version automatically. Firefox 65 rollout for Android users has started slowly and users will be able to download the app or update it once the complete rollout process takes place.

  • Chrome 72 Has Some Wayland Improvements, Eyes Deprecating FTP

    In addition to Mozilla releasing Firefox 65, the release calendars also aligned today with Google introducing the Chrome 72 web browser. 

    Chrome 72 is a notable update in that it deprecates TLS 1.0/1.1 while eyeing FTP deprecation in the future, offers up some Wayland improvements, crash reports support within Chrome's Reporting API, user activation API additions, and other changes.

  • Google Releases Chrome 72 for Linux, Windows, and Mac, Download Now

    After announcing the release of Chrome 72 for Android, Google promoted today the Chrome 72 web browser to the stable channel for Linux, Windows, and Mac computers too.

    Google is introducing the Chrome 72 web browser for desktop platforms, including Linux, Mac, and Windows, a release that promises to add yet another layer of stability and security improvements in an attempt to offer you a better and more secure browsing experience whenever you're using Google Chrome.

Web Browser Debacles

Filed under
  • Microsoft and Mozilla engineers battle over Chromium adoption via Twitter

    Microsoft may have waved the proverbial flag of surrender when it announced its new direction for its web browsing development, but one of the last remaining Chromium-adoption holdouts, Mozilla, just got some help from staunch advocates of competition, when faced by offbeat pressure from Microsoft engineers to convert.

  • Microsoft engineer spanked for proposing Mozilla gives up on Gecko Firefox rendering engine

    Microsoft’s recent decision to abandon their EdgeHTML rendering engine in favour of Google’s Chromium rendering engine has been somewhat controversial, not due to the (likely positive) impact on their users, but due to the effects it would have on the level of competition there is exists in the web rendering engine area. With Microsoft capitulating to Google, and Opera already using Chromium, it leaves Mozilla’ Gecko as the lone stand-out flying the banner of open web standards.

    It was therefore rather brave of Kenneth Auchenberg, a Microsoft program manager working for the Code team, to suggest it was time for Mozilla to already throw in the towel.

  • Google Chrome to add drive-by-download protection

    Firefox and Internet Explorer already have this feature, since at least 2015.

Security Holes and Google's Threat to Internet Security

Filed under
  • Open-source tool scans for hackable robots on the net [Ed: How to make FOSS sound dangerous and malicious rather than the back doors it helps uncover]

    The tool dubbed aztarna (“footprint” in Basque language) allows security researchers to audit robots connected to the web, locating and identifying robots and their components, not only in the open internet, but also upon industrial environments where robots operate.

  • World's favourite open-source PDF interpreter needs patching (again)

    Google Project Zero bug-hunter Tavis Ormandy took a "random look at the new release" of Ghostscript, and found a partly addressed vulnerability present in all versions up to 9.26.

  • Google's Proposed Changes to Chrome Could Weaken Ad Blockers

    THE WEB CAN be an annoying and creepy place. Big animated ads try to distract you from what you’re reading, while ads for products you’ve already bought stalk you. That’s led many people to install ad blockers or other tools to inhibit websites from tracking them. According to a survey by identity management company Janrain, 71 percent of respondents use ad blockers or some other tool to control their online experience. Google, which makes the bulk of its money from advertising, has even gone so far as to block ads on its Chrome browser on a small number of sites with particularly aggressive ads.

  • What is Chromium?

    Google has undertaken many projects over the years, building upon the success of its search engine which has held total dominance of the market share since most people can remember. The Chrome browser, in particular, is up there with some of its most well-known and widely used platforms and, just like the search engine, Google's browser has achieved considerable market dominance, despite being unfashionably late to the party.

  • Google planning changes to Chrome that could break ad blockers


    The problem for ad blockers comes with an API called webRequest. With the current webRequest API, the browser asks the extension to examine each network request that the extension is interested in. The extension can then modify the request before it's sent (for example, canceling requests to some domains, adding or removing cookies, or removing certain HTTP headers from the request). This provides an effective tool for ad blockers; they can examine each request that is made and choose to cancel those that are deemed to be for ads.

Google Still Advancing Android Replacement

Filed under
  • Apple veteran who worked on Mac for 14 years will help Google ‘kill’ Android

    Bill Stevenson is the engineer in question, who worked for Apple for 14 years. He’ll join Google in February, according to a LinkedIn post seen by 9to5Google. “I’m excited to share that this February I will be joining Google to help bring a new operating system called Fuchsia to market,” he said.

  • Google poaches 14-year Mac veteran from Apple to bring Fuchsia to market

    We learned in 2016 that Google was working on an entirely new operating system called Fuchsia. Development continues with new features and testing on a variety of form factors spotted regularly. Google has since hired 14-year Apple engineer Bill Stevenson to work on its upcoming OS, and help bring it to market.

fx_cast Adds Chromecast Support To Firefox

Filed under

While Firefox doesn't natively support Chromecast on desktop, there's a new third party tool called fx_cast, that adds Chromecast support to Firefox, on Windows, macOS and Linux.

fx_cast is currently "very work in progress". Its developers say it's currently incomplete and likely buggy.

fx_cast is made of two parts: a Firefox extension and a companion application that needs to run in the background. To work around Google's proprietary protocol, fx_cast needs a companion bridge application that uses Electron (a bit of an inception here) to be installed on the computer, which then connects with the receiver devices. Right now there are bridge companion app binaries for Linux (RPM and DEB) and macOS only. While Windows is supported, there are no Windows binaries for now because the fx_cast developer doesn't use Windows.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Hack Computer review

I bought a hack computer for $299 - it's designed for teaching 8+ year olds programming. That's not my intended use case, but I wanted to support a Linux pre-installed vendor with my purchase (I bought an OLPC back in the day in the buy-one give-one program). I only use a laptop for company events, which are usually 2-4 weeks a year. Otherwise, I use my desktop. I would have bought a machine with Ubuntu pre-installed if I was looking for more of a daily driver. Read more

KIT Scenarist is a Powerful Tool for Creating Screenplays

KIT Scenarist is an open source software for creating screenplays. You can use it for creating stories from the birth of the idea and before the transfer of the script to production. Read more

Android Leftovers

R.T. Russell's Z80 BBC Basic is now open source

As part of the work I’ve been doing with cpmish I’ve been trying to track down the copyright holders of some of the more classic pieces of CP/M software and asking them to license it in a way that allows redistribution. One of the people I contacted was R.T. Russell, the author of the classic Z80 BBC BASIC, and he very kindly sent me the source and agreed to allow it to be distributed under the terms of the zlib license. So it’s now open source! Read more