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Can You Use FreeBSD for a Developer Machine in 2020?

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BSD

I’ve been considering moving my blog back to a FreeBSD web server. I’d hosted it that way for years and recently switched it to a Linux machine so I could make Octopress work properly. It uses some old, outdated Ruby gems, and it just seemed easier.

But with a new redesign coming and a new Hugo back-end, I’ll be bringing my hosting machine back to FreeBSD.

I recently read FreeBSD is an amazing operating system, which got me thinking:

Can FreeBSD be a viable desktop operating system for developers in 2020?

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Programming/Development: Minicoin, GNU Gengetop and Python

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  • Building and testing on multiple platforms – introducing minicoin

    While working with large-scale (thousands of hosts), distributed (globally) systems, one of my favourite, albeit somewhat gruesome, metaphors was that of “servers as cattle” vs “servers as pets”. Pet-servers are those we groom manually, we keep them alive, and we give them nice names by which to remember and call (ie ssh into) them. However, once you are dealing with hundreds of machines, manually managing their configuration is no longer an option. And once you have thousands of machines, something will break all the time, and you need to be able to provision new machines quickly, and automatically, without having to manually follow a list of complicated instructions.

    When working with such systems, we use configuration management systems such as CFEngine, Chef, Puppet, or Ansible, to automate the provisioning and configuration of machines. When working in the cloud, the entire machine definition becomes “infrastructure as code”. With these tools, servers become cattle which – so the rather unvegetarian idea – is simply “taken behind the barn and shot” when it doesn’t behave like it should. We can simply bring a new machine, or an entire environment, up by running the code that defines it. We can use the same code to bring production, development, and testing environments up, and we can look at the code to see exactly what the differences between those environments are. The tooling in this space is fairly complex, but even so there is little focus on developers writing native code targeting multiple platforms.

    For us as developers, the machine we write our code on is most likely a pet. Our primary workstation dying is the stuff for nightmares, and setting up a new machine will probably keep us busy for many days. But this amount of love and care is perhaps not required for those machines that we only need for checking whether our code builds and runs correctly. We don’t need our test machines to be around for a long time, and we want to know exactly how they are set up so that we can compare things. Applying the concepts from cloud computing and systems engineering to this problem lead me (back) to Vagrant, which is a popular tool to manage virtual machines locally and to share development environments.

  • GNU Gengetopt - News: 2.23 released

    New version (2.23) was released. Main changes were in build system, so please report any issues you notice.

  • Abolishing SyntaxError: invalid syntax ...

    Do you remember when you first started programming (possibly with Python) and encountered an error message that completely baffled you? For some reason, perhaps because you were required to complete a formal course or because you were naturally persistent, you didn't let such messages discourage you entirely and you persevered. And now, whenever you see such cryptic error messages, you can almost immediately decipher them and figure out what causes them and fix the problem.

  • Sending email with EZGmail and Python
  • Creating and Importing Modules in Python

Programming/Development: GNU Releases, Bash, Python and JavaScript

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GNU

Programming: VIM, Python, Knative, Glibc and GCC

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Learn Linux Kernel Device Drivers With Linux Foundation Instructor Bill Kerr

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Linux

Bill Kerr has taught Linux Foundation courses in Linux Kernel internals, debugging, device drivers and application development for many years. He helped write the original Linux Foundation Training course materials and has been working with UNIX kernels for 35 years.

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8 Ways to Write a Better Linux SysAdmin Job Posting

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GNU
Linux

Linux system administrators are in high demand these days and many hiring managers say they're having a hard time finding talent to fill their open positions. It's critical, then, for companies seeking skilled admins to hone their recruiting process in order to stay competitive – and this starts with writing an effective job posting.

Unfortunately, many companies aren't hitting the mark. Job postings for sysadmin positions are largely similar; they’re boring and generic, according to New York City-based recruiter Steve Levy.

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Sourceforge Hijacks the Nmap Sourceforge Account

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Development

Hi Folks! You may have already read the recent news about Sourceforge.net
hijacking the GIMP project account to distribute adware/malware.
Previously GIMP used this Sourceforge account to distribute their Windows
installer, but they quit after Sourceforge started tricking users with fake
download buttons which lead to malware rather than GIMP. Then Sourceforge
took over GIMP's account and began distributing a trojan installer which
tries to trick users into installing various malware and adware before
actually installing GIMP.

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Slashdot Burying Stories About Slashdot Media Owned SourceForge

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Development

If you’ve followed any tech news aggregator in the past week, you’ve probably seen the story about how SourceForge is taking over admin accounts for existing projects and injecting adware in installers for packages like GIMP. For anyone not following the story, SourceForge has a long history of adware laden installers, but they used to be opt-in. It appears that the process is now mandatory for many projects.

People have been wary of SourceForge ever since they added a feature to allow projects to opt-in to adware bundling, but you could at least claim that projects are doing it by choice. But now that SourceForge is clearly being malicious, they’ve wiped out all of the user trust that was built up over sixteen years of operating. No clueful person is going to ever download something from SourceForge again. If search engines start penalizing SourceForge for distributing adware, they won’t even get traffic from people who haven’t seen this story, wiping out basically all of their value.

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SourceForge commits reputational suicide

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Despite seeming reformed last year, SourceForge has been caught red-handed abusing the reputations of open source projects

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More in Tux Machines

Debian Janitor: 8,200 landed changes landed so far

The Debian Janitor is an automated system that commits fixes for (minor) issues in Debian packages that can be fixed by software. It gradually started proposing merges in early December. The first set of changes sent out ran lintian-brush on sid packages maintained in Git. This post is part of a series about the progress of the Janitor. The bot has been submitting merge requests for about seven months now. The rollout has happened gradually across the Debian archive, and the bot is now enabled for all packages maintained on Salsa , GitLab , GitHub and Launchpad. Read more

Optimised authentication methods for Ubuntu Desktop

Still counting on passwords to protect your workstation? When set up properly, alternatives to passwords provide a streamlined user experience while significantly improving security. These alternative authentication methods can also easily be combined to create a custom and adaptive authentication profile. This whitepaper introduces three popular authentication methods that provide a solid alternative to passwords. Perhaps you’d like to configure your laptop for login using a YubiKey hardware token connected to a dock. Another option could be to login with a Duo push notification when not connected to the dock, but use a Google Authenticator one-time password when no network is available. Maybe you need a separate hardware token just for ssh authentication, and you always need to keep a long, complex password for emergency authentication should all other methods fail. All of these scenarios can be easily configured within Ubuntu. Read more

Open Hardware: Arduino, RISC-V and 96Boards

  • Arduino-controlled robot arm is ready to play you in a game of chess

    If you’re tired of playing chess on a screen, then perhaps you could create a robotic opponent like Instructables user Michalsky. The augmented board runs micro-Max source code, enabling chess logic to be executed on an Arduino Mega with room for control functions for a 6DOF robotic arm. The setup uses magnetic pieces, allowing it to pick up human moves via an array of 64 reed switches underneath, along with a couple shift registers. The Mega powers the robot arm accordingly, lifting the appropriate piece and placing it on the correct square.

  • New RISC-V CTO On Open Source Chip Architecture’s Global Data Center Momentum

    With more big international players on board, the foundation's new head of technology sees signs of "state of the art moving forward."

  • Snapdragon 410 based 96Boards CE SBC gets an upgrade

    Geniatech has launched a Linux-ready, $109 “Developer Board 4 V3” compliant with 96Boards CE that offers a Snapdragon 410E, GbE, 3x USB, 802.11ac, GPS, and-25 to 70°C support. Geniatech has released a V3 edition of its 96Boards CE form-factor Developer Board 4 SBC, the third update of the Development Board IV we covered back in 2016. Starting at $109, the Developer Board 4 V3 still runs Linux, Android, and Windows 10 IoT Core on Qualcomm’s 1.2GHz, quad -A53 Snapdragon 410m, although it has been upgraded to the 10-year availability Snapdragon 410E. Geniatech also sells a line of Rockchip based SBCs, among other embedded products.

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux in the Ham Shack and Linux Headlines

  • LHS Episode #360: Zapped

    Welcome to the 360th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short-topic show, the hosts discuss 1.2GHz distance records, a hybrid antenna for geosynchronous satellite operation, data mode identification for your smart phone, being pwned, Ubuntu 20.04.1, LibreOffice, HamClock and much more. Thanks for listening and hope you have a great week.

  • LHS Episode #361: The Weekender LIV

    It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

  • 2020-08-14 | Linux Headlines

    Google could be extending its Firefox search royalty deal, PyPy leaves the Software Freedom Conservancy, Ubuntu puts out a call for testing, Linspire removes snapd support, Microsoft showcases its open source contributions, and Facebook joins The Linux Foundation.