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Debian

Comparison Of Debian vs Arch Linux

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GNU
Linux
Debian

Debian and Arch Linux are what many distributions are based on. But what are they and what are their main differences? Can they be used as an operating system for a server or home computer?

In their development, they hold radically different views. Debian is the main GNU / Linux distribution with all the ensuing ones. Arch Linux – DIY distribution (do it yourself). But let’s talk about everything in order.

Let’s start comparing Debian and Arch Linux as usual with the installation. Debian has a graphical installer. Most of the questions are not difficult. Although some points could be automated, such as adding a Grub bootloader. In general, if you read the tips carefully, then even a beginner will cope with the installation. After that, only the basic set of programs will be available to you.

There are several installation images, by default a small image is offered with the installation of most packages from the Internet. There is also a kit for full installation. However, this is not the best solution, as multiple disks are used. But if you do not need several desktop shells, then download the live image with the desired environment. With it you will not only get acquainted with the distribution, but also get a quick installation.

Arch Linux does not have a graphical installer, it does not even have a text version. All commands must be registered manually, starting with the disk layout and ending with the installation of the environment and the bootloader. This method of installation scares away not only beginners but also experienced users.

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Google operates with a Debian developer to produce COVID-19 research simpler on Linux

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Google
Debian
Sci/Tech
Ubuntu

“The Bazel team jumped in to help Olek and the COVID-19 research community. Yun Peng, Software Engineer at Google with Olek Wojnar led the team of Bazel and Debian volunteers to move the project forward. The joint effort between Debian and Google has produced some great results, including packaging the Bazel bootstrap variant in 6 months’ time (Debian 11 — released in Late 2021; Ubuntu 21.04 — 22 April 2021),” clarifies Google.

The search giant further says, “Bazel is now available as an easy to install package distributed on Debian and Ubuntu. The extended Google team continues to work with Debian towards the next step of packaging and distributing Tensorflow on Debian and other Linux distributions.”

While Olek Wojnar deserves a lot of credit for this successful partnership, Google has clearly acquired significant praise as well. Not only has the search giant assisted amazingly in this case, yet it has for some time been a companion of both the open-source and Linux communities.

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Sean Whitton: consfigurator-live-build

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Debian

One of my goals for Consfigurator is to make it capable of installing Debian to my laptop, so that I can stop booting to GRML and manually partitioning and debootstrapping a basic system, only to then turn to configuration management to set everything else up. My configuration management should be able to handle the partitioning and debootstrapping, too.

The first stage was to make Consfigurator capable of debootstrapping a basic system, chrooting into it, and applying other arbitrary configuration, such as installing packages. That’s been in place for some weeks now. It’s sophisticated enough to avoid starting up newly installed services, but I still need to add some bind mounting.

Another significant piece is teaching Consfigurator how to partition block devices. That’s quite tricky to do in a sufficiently general way – I want to cleanly support various combinations of LUKS, LVM and regular partitions, including populating /etc/crypttab and /etc/fstab. I have some ideas about how to do it, but it’ll probably take a few tries to get the abstractions right.

Let’s imagine that code is all in place, such that Consfigurator can be pointed at a block device and it will install a bootable Debian system to it. Then to install Debian to my laptop I’d just need to take my laptop’s disk drive out and plug it into another system, and run Consfigurator on that system, as root, pointed at the block device representing my laptop’s disk drive. For virtual machines, it would be easy to write code which loop-mounts an empty disk image, and then Consfigurator could be pointed at the loop-mounted block device, thereby making the disk image file bootable.

This is adequate for virtual machines, or small single-board computers with tiny storage devices (not that I actually use any of those, but I want Consfigurator to be able to make disk images for them!). But it’s not much good for my laptop. I casually referred to taking out my laptop’s disk drive and connecting it to another computer, but this would void my laptop’s warranty. And Consfigurator would not be able to update my laptop’s NVRAM, as is needed on UEFI systems.

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Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

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Debian
Ubuntu

  • How To Install Brave Browser on Debian 10 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Brave Browser on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Brave is adapted from the Chromium project and runs smoothly on Linux Distributions. Brave browser is a free and open-source browser. it’s Fast, speed, security, and privacy by blocking trackers and still based on chromium so you have all the extension and features you might be looking for.

    This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Brave browser on a Debian 10 (Buster).

  • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in March 2021

    Things never turn out the way you expect, so this month I was only able to accept 38 packages and rejected none. Due to the freeze, the overall number of packages that got accepted was 88.

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  • Time to get testing Ubuntu 21.04 ahead of release, plus Canonical loses another face

    We seem to have missed the actual Ubuntu Testing Week but a late reminder is better than none at all right? With Ubuntu 21.04 coming soon it's time to report the bugs.

    Now is a good time to get testing, as the Beta version is out now and a Release Candidate is due around April 15 so this is your chance to make one of the top Linux desktop distributions as good as possible for the 21.04 release due on April 22. According to Steam stats and our own stats, Ubuntu is in the top three most used for gaming.

    [...]

    Additionally, announced today, is that Alan Pope is set to leave Canonical. Pope has been a huge force in the Ubuntu community over the years and recently as a Developer Advocate, along with their work on Snap packages and much more. Good luck for the future popey! This follows on from Canonical losing Martin Wimpress, their previous desktop lead back in February.

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  • How to make your first snap

    Snaps are a way to package your software so it is easy to install on Linux. If you’re a snap developer already or you’re a part of the Linux community, and you care about how software is deployed, and you’re well versed in how software is packaged, and are tuned into the discussions around packaging formats, then you know about snaps and this article isn’t for you. If you’re anyone who is not all of those things, welcome. Let me tell you how I packaged my first snap to make it easier for people to install on Linux. 

Debian: KDE, EasyOS, and Sparky Linux

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Debian
  • Debian KDE/Plasma and Digikam Status 2021-04-07 | There and back again

    Two months have passed since the last status update, but not much has changed since Debian is more or less frozen for the release of Bullseye, and only critical bugfixes are allowed. As reported before Debian/bullseye will have Plasma 5.20.5, Frameworks 5.78, Apps 20.12. Debian/experimental already carries Plasma 5.21.4 and Frameworks 5.80, and that is also the level at the OSC builds.

  • Osmo crash fixed

    Note that we use version 0.2.10 of osmo, as that is the last that uses libhtml2 for markup. Later versions of osmo require webkitgtk, which is an enormous package.
    libhtml2 is small and is used in a couple of other apps in EasyOS and the pups. One of them is Notecase, the other is Surfer (the small html file viewer used in EasyOS for viewing local help documents).
    So please don't recommend that we upgrade osmo! We will keep patching it for as long as we can.
    It is suggested in the Murga Forum thread linked-to above, that libxml2 version is to blame. I found that 2.8.0 is too old, a required function is missing. However, 2.9.0 works.
    What I have done is build the osmo executable by linking it statically with libxml2.a from the 2.9.0 package. This results in a somewhat larger 'osmo' binary, that works in EasyOS and there is no conflict with the later version libxml2 shared libraries in Easy.

  • Ventoy

    There is a new application available for Sparkers: Ventoy

Charles Plessy: Debian Analytica

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Debian

A couple of days ago I wrote on debian-vote@ that a junior analyst could study the tally sheets of our general resolutions and find the cracks in our community.

In the end, with a quite naïve approach and a time budget of a few hours, I did not manage anything of interest. The figure below shows one circle per voter and my position as a red dot. The circles are spaces according to the similarity of the vote profiles after I concatenated the results of all GRs until 2010.

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Debian: Utkarsh Gupta, Paul Wise, and Raphaël Hertzog

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Debian
  • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in March 2021

    This was my 27th month of active contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March 2019 and a DD on Christmas ‘19! \o/

    This month was a bit exhausting; lots of moving parts. With the financial year ending, it was even more crazy, with me running around to banks, CA, et al.

  • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities March 2021

    This month I didn't have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

  • Raphaël Hertzog: Challenging times for Freexian (3/4)

    By all accounts, Freexian is still a small company which relies largely on me in many aspects. The growth of its business is however providing enough financial margin to allow looking into ways to recruit external help, be it through direct hiring (for French residents) or via long term contracting (for people based in other countries).

    [...]

    But if we can manage to make a positive impact on Debian through the funding that Freexian brings, then I’m interested to grow the company so that we can pay more people to work on Debian. That growth likely would have to go through some more active sales work. At the same time, it is an opportunity for me to delegate (some of) the administrative work that lies solely on my shoulders (invoicing, day to day customer relationship, etc.).

Debian: Ben Hutchings, Chris Lamb, and the Freexian Team

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Debian
  • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, March 2021

    In March I was assigned 16 hours of work by Freexian's Debian LTS initiative and carried over 12.25 hours from earlier months. I worked 25.75 hours and will carry over the remainder.

    I eventually settled on an apparently working patch series to fix the futex security issue in Linux 4.9. This went through upstream stable review and was included in 4.9.260. I applied the same fixes to the Debian package, along with some other security and regression fixes. I uploaded it and issued DLA-2586-1.

  • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in March 2021

    One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. However, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into ostensibly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.

    The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

  • Challenging times for Freexian (2/4)

    Freexian’s “Debian LTS” service has so far been entirely successful, with a steady growth over the years. Thanks to this, and even if there are always new challenges, it is fair to say that the Debian LTS team has met its goal in the last few years.

    While this started from the desire to make LTS a reality, many sponsors are only looking for a way to give back to Debian through their company, and to make sure that Debian fits their needs.

    But if you look at the bigger picture outside of this small LTS area, you will easily find many issues that need to be addressed if we want Debian to meet the needs of corporate users. Those issues can have widely different types and complexity be. They can be as simple as missing the latest upstream version for an important package because the maintainer disappeared and nobody noticed before it was too late (i.e. the release was frozen); or a somewhat basic piece of software not yet packaged at all; or a release critical bug that was left unattended. On the other end of the spectrum, some corporate requirements will prove tougher to solve, for instance for large software suites that are complex to package, or could potentially have an impact elsewhere in Debian.

    [...]

    This major shift in our offering would also be an ideal opportunity to build a professional, free-software based infrastructure aimed at sustaining this business, making it easier to administer the various aspects of this work, and easily allowing many more sponsors to join (individuals included!).

    On a more pragmatic/operational note, this shift will bring a lot of challenges to the table, and those can hardly be handled with the current resources of Freexian: if we hope to properly implement this new strategy, we’ll need some additional help.

Freexian (Debian), Kubernetes and Ubuntu Leftovers

Filed under
Debian
Ubuntu
  • Challenging times for Freexian (1/4)

    Freexian’s success means that we have resources to invest into Debian projects. Plainly offering money has not worked so far, so I am looking to hire a “project manager” whose work would be to help spend that money in useful ways. At the same time, Freexian needs to adapt to cope with the growth: with new employees, with new infrastructure and a new offering. I want to give an idea of where we are headed, to try to inspire persons that share our values and our desire to improve Debian. Read on if you are interested.

    [...]

    When I created Freexian, it was out of a desire to be paid to work on Debian, and to be able to contribute during work time to the project that was so important to me. That goal has been met a long time ago.

    But ultimately what I strive to achieve for Debian is not entirely aligned with the work that Freexian’s customers are requesting. That’s why, in the “long term projects” of Freexian, I always kept “find a business model that can fund the Debian projects that I would like to do”, as well as “if that model works for me, build something so that other can benefit from it too”. The first occasion to experiment something appeared when Debian discussed Long Term Support and when I stepped up to setup a commercial offer to pay Debian contributors.

  • Emmanuel Kasper: Playing with cri-o, a container runtime built for Kubernetes

    Kubernetes is moving away from docker to alternative container engines presenting a smaller core having just the functionality needed.

  • Ubuntu Blog: Windows containers on Kubernetes with MicroK8s

    For the Linux-based part of a hybrid Kubernetes cluster, MicroK8s is a compelling choice. MicroK8s is a minimal implementation of Kubernetes which can run on the average laptop, yet has production grade features. It’s great for offline development, prototyping and testing, and if required you can also get professional support for it through Ubuntu Advantage.

  • Ubuntu in the wild – 30th of March 2021

    The Ubuntu in the wild blog post ropes in the latest highlights about Ubuntu and Canonical around the world on a bi-weekly basis. It is a summary of all the things that made us feel proud to be part of this journey. What do you think of it?

Detecting At-Risk Software Infrastructure

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Debian

In the paper—coauthored with Benjamin Mako Hill—we describe a general approach for detecting “underproduced” software infrastructure that consists of five steps: (1) identifying a body of digital infrastructure (like a code repository); (2) identifying a measure of quality (like the time to takes to fix bugs); (3) identifying a measure of importance (like install base); (4) specifying a hypothesized relationship linking quality and importance if quality and importance are in perfect alignment; and (5) quantifying deviation from this theoretical baseline to find relative underproduction.

To show how our method works in practice, we applied the technique to an important collection of FLOSS infrastructure: 21,902 packages in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Although there are many ways to measure quality, we used a measure of how quickly Debian maintainers have historically dealt with 461,656 bugs that have been filed over the last three decades. To measure importance, we used data from Debian’s Popularity Contest opt-in survey. After some statistical machinations that are documented in our paper, the result was an estimate of relative underproduction for the 21,902 packages in Debian we looked at.

One of our key findings is that underproduction is very common in Debian. By our estimates, at least 4,327 packages in Debian are underproduced. As you can see in the list of the “most underproduced” packages—again, as estimated using just one more measure—many of the most at risk packages are associated with the desktop and windowing environments where there are many users but also many extremely tricky integration-related bugs.

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Is Linux A More Secure Option Than Windows For Businesses?

There are many factors to consider when choosing an OS, security being among one of the most critical. The general consensus among experts is that Linux is the most secure OS by design - an impressive feat that can be attributed to a variety of characteristics including its transparent open-source code, strict user privilege model, diversity, built-in kernel security defenses and the security of the applications that run on it. The high level of security, customization, compatibility and cost-efficiency that Linux offers make it a popular choice among businesses and organizations looking to secure high-value data. Linux has already been adopted by governments and tech giants around the world including IBM, Google and Amazon, and currently powers 97% of the top one million domains in the world. All of today’s most popular programming languages were first developed on Linux and can now run on any OS. In this sense, we’re all using Linux - whether we know it or not! This article will examine why Linux is arguably the best choice for businesses looking for a flexible, cost-efficient, exceptionally secure OS. To help you weigh your options, we’ll explore how Linux compares to Windows in the level of privacy and protection against vulnerabilities and attacks it is able to offer all businesses and organizations. Read more