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Site News

Mollom Issues

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TUX MACHINES has been having some issues with the spam filter, so people who regularly submit material, including comments, may have struggled to do so over the past fortnight of so. If that's the case, please re-attempt and report any issue you encounter to us (feedback button on the right).

Spring in Tux Machines

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Tux Machines traffic

Tux Machines traffic has been increasing during spring. The DDOS attacks are behind us thankfully, the latest problem is just a lot of spam, which we are deleting as soon as we can.

Blog posts

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D

UE TO a growing SPAM problem (dozens per day making the front page), we have disabled -- temporarily at least -- the ability of random visitors to create new blog posts after registering for an account. We apologise in advance to any legitimate users this restriction may affect.

Catchup Mode

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IN the coming days we will prioritise very recent news and of course important news, but at the same time we shall be catching up with some older but important news that we missed. This means that some older items (one or two weeks old) may occasionally appear. In lieu with requests from readers we will also stop abbreviating long summaries of news, such as today's leftovers and howto roundups.

On Break

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KDE laptops

THIS COMING WEEK, starting Tuesday in particular, will be a lot less busy than usual because Rianne and I are flying away and will be absent for a couple of weeks. Depending on availability of Wi-Fi, we ought to be able to still post some links, just not the usual volume of links.

We kindly ask anyone who is interested and willing to submit links highlighting relevant news, as every registered user can do that. It will greatly help us run the site while we are very far away in east Asia.

Holidays Calm

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Xmas
Our living room this past weekend

TOMORROW is my birthday, so we are going away to Liverpool for a while. Over the holidays we won't be too active in this site, at the very least because there is no major news, no announcements of substance, and we also wish to spend some time with our extended family.

As always, anyone in Tux Machines can create an account and submit stories to the front page (as of late only spammers have been doing that almost every morning). We encourage readers to submit any links which they find relevant and of interest to the community.

Tux Machines is under attack

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My husband has been spending many of his hours fighting blow by blow in the back end, saving Tux Machines from a cyber attacker who really spent his freaking time hammering the website in an attempt to cripple Tux Machines. At first I was bit astonished by how the website behaved while I was posting some articles, I thought of checking the load to make sure the server worked well and to see that every visitor's page request had been served well, only to know that slowness of the website was been masterminded by an attacker. Perhaps this person is so desperate to put the Tux Machines website down, perhaps an enemy of FOSS and Linux advocacy.

We want to reaffirm our visitors and readers and apologise for the slight inconvenience and weired behavior of the website for the previous hours. All we have done is to protect our readers and visitors from this an acceptable gesture even until now he/she has been trying to penetrate the website. My message to this attacker is, leave Tux Machines in peace and go find some games to play with.

Windows-Shocked

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There are rogue bots hammering on this site all day long. It has gone on for quite a few days and it is getting worse. The bots are getting harder to block. Strategies are changing. They are all acting like zombies/botnet and they all have a "Microsoft Windows" in their HTTP header.

The corporate media seems preoccupied with a bug in GNU Bash. It predicts gloom and doom, just as it did when there was a bug in OpenSSL that Microsoft partners dubbed "heartbleed" (although not so much actually happened in terms of damages).

Perhaps it is time to remind that media that Microsoft, with its back doors, is causing turbulence on the Web. Among the outcomes there are GNU/Linux Web sites that are brought down, with administrators who work around the clock trying to block Windows-running PCs from trying to take down their sites.

Rogue Bots

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Aggregators in Tux Machines have been universally disabled (temporarily we hope) after a week or so of heavy load that took the site down (well, over capacity and hence not accessible). The culprit seems to be mostly -- although not exclusively -- a bunch of bots that hammer on the aggregators with spammy requests. It's sad that so many hours need to be spent just keeping script kiddies out of the site, resulting in fewer bits of output, slower pageloads (performance degradation), and restlessness (monitoring alerts all day long), not to mention crafting of rules that merely keep the site running. Running Tux Machines is not quite as peaceful and trivial/simple as it may seem from the outside. It's like a full-time job, or at least it feels like it, especially whenever the site gets flooded by rogue bots, necessitating special attention 24/7.

Recent Changes in Tux Machines

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Work

TODAY we have taken a bit of a break. It's Sunday after all. But here is a bit of a site status update.

The site's design has evolved a bit and it hopefully makes navigation a little better. SPAM is still a problem, but we do our best to keep it out of the sight of visitors. It's the result of a permissive policy that lets everyone publish a story, blog post, etc.

In terms of server load, we are still coping most of the time, but sometimes there's a flood of SPAM/rogue traffic that renders the server virtually unreachable. We use some ad hoc filters for to address this nuisance, but if we are away, then the site can be paralysed for a long time. We still need to find better solutions to that.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you may have and thanks for reading Tux Machines.

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More in Tux Machines

Software: MapSCII, Notelab, Pageclip, Wine

  • MapSCII – The World Map In Your Terminal
    I just stumbled upon an interesting utility. The World map in the Terminal! Yes, It is so cool. Say hello to MapSCII, a Braille and ASCII world map renderer for your xterm-compatible terminals. It supports GNU/Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. I thought it is a just another project hosted on GitHub. But I was wrong! It is really impressive what they did there. We can use our mouse pointer to drag and zoom in and out a location anywhere in the world map.
  • Notelab – A Digital Note Taking App for Linux
    This post is on an app that brings the power of digital note-taking to PC users across the platform spectrum. If note-taking with a stylus then you would like this one, and in fact, I couldn’t have given Notelab (an open source Java-based application,) a better introduction. The team of creatives has done a good job already.
  • Pageclip – A Server for Your HTML Forms
    Data collection is important to statisticians who need to analyze the data and deduce useful information; developers who need to get feedback from users on how enjoyable their products are to use; teachers who need to carry out census of students and whatever complaints they have, etc. The list goes on. Seeing how convenient it can be to use services that are cloud-based wouldn’t it be nice if you could collect form data in the cloud as easily as creating a new HTML document? Well, Pageclip has come to the rescue.
  • Wine 3.0 Release Lets You Run Windows Applications on Linux More Effectively
    The Wine team has announced the release of Wine 3.0. This comes after one year of development and comes with 6000 individual changes with a number of improvements and new features. ‘This release represents a year of development effort and over 6,000 individual changes. It contains a large number of improvements’. The free and open source compatibility layer, Wine lets you run Windows applications on Linux and macOS. The Wine 3.0 release has as major highlights Direct3D 10 and 11 changes, Direct3D command stream, graphics driver for Android and improved support for DirectWrite and Direct2D.

today's howtos

GNOME: Themes, GTK and More

  • 5 of the Best Linux Dark Themes that Are Easy on the Eyes
    There are several reasons people opt for dark themes on their computers. Some find them easy on the eye while others prefer them because of their medical condition. Programmers, especially, like dark themes because they reduce glare on the eyes. If you are a Linux user and a dark theme lover, you are in luck. Here are five of the best dark themes for Linux. Check them out!
  • GNOME Rolls Out The GTK Text Input Protocol For Wayland
    GNOME developers have been working on a new Wayland protocol, the "gtk_text_input" protocol, which now is implemented in their Mutter compositor. Separate from the zwp_text_input protocol, the gtk_text_input protocol is designed for representing text input and input methods associated with a seat and enter/leave events. This GNOME-catered protocol for Mutter is outlined via this commit with their protocol specification living in-tree to Mutter given its GNOME focus.
  • Wine, Mozilla, GNOME and DragonFly BSD
    While GNOME is moving to remove desktop icon support in version 3.28, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will continue to ship with an older version of Nautilus (3.26) in an effort to keep this age-old practice alive, at least for its upcoming LTS release. In more GNOME-related news, version 3.28 of the Photos application will include a number of enhancements to its photo-editing arsenal, such as shadows and highlight editing, the ability to alter crop orientation, added support for zoom gestures and more. For a complete list, visit the project's roadmap.

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat Satellite: Patch Management Overview and Analysis
    We review Red Hat Satellite, a patch management solution for enterprise Linux systems.
  • Analysts Expect Red Hat Inc (RHT) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $761.96 Million
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) Shares Move -0.17%
  • A Modularity rethink for Fedora
    We have covered the Fedora Modularity initiative a time or two over the years but, just as the modular "product" started rolling out, Fedora went back to the drawing board. There were a number of fundamental problems with Modularity as it was to be delivered in the Fedora 27 server edition, so a classic version of the distribution was released instead. But Modularity is far from dead; there is a new plan afoot to deliver it for Fedora 28, which is due in May. The problem that Modularity seeks to solve is that different users of the distribution have differing needs for stability versus tracking the bleeding edge. The pain is most often felt in the fast-moving web development world, where frameworks and applications move far more quickly than Fedora as a whole can—even if it could, moving that quickly would be problematic for other types of users. So Modularity was meant to be a way for Fedora users to pick and choose which "modules" (a cohesive set of packages supporting a particular version of, say, Node.js, Django, a web server, or a database management system) are included in their tailored instance of Fedora. The Tumbleweed snapshots feature of the openSUSE rolling distribution is targeted at solving much the same problem. Modularity would also facilitate installing multiple different versions of modules so that different applications could each use the versions of the web framework, database, and web server that the application supports. It is, in some ways, an attempt to give users the best of both worlds: the stability of a Fedora release with the availability of modules of older and newer packages, some of which would be supported beyond the typical 13-month lifecycle of a Fedora release. The trick is in how to get there.