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Debian

EasyOS Buster-series version 2.1.6 released

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian

There are some bug fixes, but the big news is the incorporation of the 'nm-applet' GUI tray applet, for network management. The source is patched so as to integrate with EasyOS. In particular, it can be popped-up by clicking on the "connect" icon on the desktop -- after booting 2.1.6, try it!
Networkmanager is now better integrated, so that the user can switch between the older network management systems, such as SNS and PupDial. The Connection Wizard is still available by right-clicking on the "connect" icon, or in the Setup menu.

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Sparky 5.9

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian

SparkyLinux 5.9 “Nibiru” is out. This is a quarterly update of live/install media of the stable line, which is based on Debian 10 “Buster”.

The base system has been upgraded from Debian stable repos as of October 4, 2019.
It works on the Linux kernel 4.19.67 LTS.
As usually, new iso/img images provide small bug fixes and improvements as well.

Sparky project page and Sparky forums got new skins; no big changes about the colors but they are much mobile devices friendly now.

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Resurrecting Ancient Operating Systems on Debian, Raspberry Pi, and Docker

Filed under
OS
Linux
Debian

I wrote recently about my son playing Zork on a serial terminal hooked up to a PDP-11, and how I eventually bought a vt420 (ok, some vt420s and vt510s, I couldn’t stop at one) and hooked it up to a Raspberry Pi.

This led me down another path: there is a whole set of hardware and software that I’ve never used. For some, it fell out of favor before I could read (and for others, before I was even born).

The thing is – so many of these old systems have a legacy that we live in today. So much so, in fact, that we are now seeing articles about how modern CPUs are fast PDP-11 emulators in a sense. The PDP-11, and its close association with early Unix, lives on in the sense that its design influenced microprocessors and operating systems to this day. The DEC vt100 terminal is, nowadays, known far better as that thing that is emulated, but it was, in fact, a physical thing. Some goes back into even mistier times; Emacs, for instance, grew out of the MIT ITS project but was later ported to TOPS-20 before being associated with Unix. vi grew up in 2BSD, and according to wikipedia, was so large it could barely fit in the memory of a PDP-11/70. Also in 2BSD, a buggy version of Zork appeared — so buggy, in fact, that the save game option was broken. All of this happened in the late 70s.

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Debian: Reports From Thorsten Alteholz and Molly de Blanc, Project of Joey Hess

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Debian
  • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (September 2019)

    September marked the end of summer and the end of my summer travel. Paid and non-paid activities focused on catching up with things I fell behind on while traveling. Towards the middle of September, the world of FOSS blew up, and then blew up again, and then blew up again.

  • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in September 2019

    This month I accepted 246 packages and rejected 28. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 303.

  • Joey Hess: Project 62 Valencia Floor Lamp review

    From Target, this brass finish floor lamp evokes 60's modernism, updated for the mid-Anthropocene with a touch plate switch.

    The integrated microcontroller consumes a mere 2.2 watts while the lamp is turned off, in order to allow you to turn the lamp on with a stylish flick. With a 5 watt LED bulb (sold separately), the lamp will total a mere 7.2 watts while on, making it extremely energy efficient. While off, the lamp consumes a mere 19 kilowatt-hours per year.

Debian Edu FAI

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Debian

Over the past month I worked on re-scripting the installation process of a Debian Edu system (minimal installation profile and workstation installation profile for now) by utilizing FAI [1].

My goal on this is to get the Debian Edu FAI config space into Debian bulleye (as package: debian-edu-fai) and provide an easy setup method for the FAI installation server on an existing Debian Edu site.

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Also from Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS/ELTS (September 2019)

Debian Reports/Posts From Mike Gabriel, Ben Hutchings, Abhijith PA and Norbert Preining

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Debian
  • Mike Gabriel: Install ActivInspire Smart Board Software on Debian 10

    From one of my customers, I received the request to figure out an installation pathway for ActivInspire, the Promethean smart board software suite. ActivInspire is offered as DEB builds for Ubuntu 18.04. On a Debian 10 (aka buster) system the installation requires some hack-around (utilizing packages from Debian jessie LTS).

  • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, September 2019

    I prepared and, after review, released Linux 3.16.74, including various security and other fixes. I then rebased the Debian package onto that. I uploaded that with a small number of other fixes and issued DLA-1930-1.

    I backported the latest security update for Linux 4.9 from stretch to jessie and issued DLA-1940-1 for that.

  • Abhijith PA: Debian packaging session

    Last week I conducted a workshop on Debian packaging at MES College of Engineering, Kuttipuram in accordance with Frisbee 19, yearly conference by IEEE cell of this college. Thanks to Anupa from ICFOSS who contacted and arranged me to take this session. I was accompanied by Subin and Abhijith from FOSSers. The time span was from 9:30 AM to 04:30 PM. Since it was a big time slot we took from the Free software evangelism –> GNU/Linux –> Debian –> how contributing to community projects can help your career.

  • Norbert Preining: 10 years in Japan

    After loosing my job at JAIST, and six months of unemployment, a lucky coincidence gifted me with a great job at an IT company in Tokyo, that allows me to work remotely from my home. I am incredibly thankful to everyone there who helped made this happen. It is a complete new world for me. After 25 years in academics being thrown into a Japanese company (all Japanese, I am the only foreigner), with business meetings, client support, etc was something unexpected for me. Maybe I count it as one of the big achievements that I manage to function properly in this kind of environment.

    I still try to keep up my research work, publishing articles every year, and as far as possible attending conferences. My OSS activities haven’t changed a lot, and I try to keep up with the projects for which I am responsible.

    What the future brings is even less unclear: Now that we have to think about the education of our daughter, moving is getting more and more a point of discussion. I really detest Japanese education system, in particular junior high school which I consider a childhood and personality killer. OTOH, we have settled into a very nice place here in Ishikawa, and at my age moving is getting more and more burdensome, not to speak of another job change. So I feel torn between returning to Europe, or remaining here in Japan. Let us see what the future brings.

Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 to Be Dubbed "Debbie," New Linux Mint Logo Unveiled

Filed under
Linux
Debian

Clement Lefebvre has revealed today the codename of the upcoming LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) 4 operating system series as "Debbie," which he said it suits the Debian base quite well. As you know, the LMDE edition is based on Debian GNU/Linux instead of Ubuntu as the regular Linux Mint OS is, providing a rolling release model. No release data was announced for Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 though.

Meanwhile, work on the recently announced Linux Mint 19.3 release, which should hit the streets later this year based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, is ongoing as the development team managed to improve the localization of the default date format in the Language configuration tool for both the Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments.

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Debian/Ubuntu Leftovers

Filed under
Debian
Ubuntu
  • Sparky news 2019/09

    The 9th monthly report of 2019 of the Sparky project:

    • Sparky 2019.09 (semi-)rolling based on Debian testing “Bullseye” released
    • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.3.1 & 5.2.17
    • added to repos: Riot, Anydesk
    • build Bauh, a nice GUI tool which lets you install Flatpack and Snap packages, but it needs newer deps than can not be installed from Debian testing/Sid repos in this moment; have to wait
    • Sparky project page and Sparky forums got new skins; no big changes about the colors but they are much more mobile devices friendly now
    • Nemomen finished translating Sparky tools to Hungarian; thank’s a lot!
    • Sparky forums have been moved to a subdomain: https://forum.sparkylinux.org

  • Ubuntu Blog: Design and Web team summary –27 September 2019

    This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. The first week was spent at an Engineering Sprint in Paris France. The second week was back home. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 598

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 598 for the week of September 22 – 28, 2019.

Debian Leftovers

Filed under
Debian
  • Jonathan McDowell: Life with a Yubikey

    At the past two DebConfs Thomas Goirand of infomaniak has run a workshop on using a Yubikey, and been generous enough to provide a number of devices for Debian folk. Last year I was fortunate enough to get hold of one of the devices on offer.

    My primary use for the device is to hold my PGP key. Generally my OpenPGP hardware token of choice is the Gnuk, which features a completely Free software stack and an open hardware design, but the commonly available devices suffer from being a bit more fragile than I’d like to regularly carry around with me. The Yubikey has a much more robust design, being a slim plastic encapsulated device. I finally set it up properly with my PGP key last November, and while I haven’t attached it to my keyring I’ve been carrying it with me regularly.

  • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in September 2019

    Attended the launch event of OpenUK, a new organisation with the purpose of supporting the growth of free software, hardware and data. It was hosted at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and turned out to be quite the night to be attending Parliament.

    As part of my duties of being on the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative and Software in the Public Interest I attended their respective monthly meetings and participated in various licensing and other discussions occurring on the internet, as well as the usual internal discussions regaring logistics, policy etc.

  • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities (2019-09)

    It’s been a busy month on a personal level so there’s a bunch of my Debian projects that have been stagnant this month, I hope to fix that over October/November.

  • TeX Live/Debian updates 20190930

    TeX Live 2019 has seen already many updates since the initial upload to Debian, most of which I have never reported about. Today I have uploaded a new set of packages, based on the tlnet archives of 20190930.

  • Ben Hutchings: Kernel Recipes 2019, part 1

    This conference only has a single track, so I attended almost all the talks. All of them were recorded and videos should be available soon. This time I didn't take notes but I've summarised all the talks I attended.

  • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS and ELTS - September 2019

    Here is my transparent report for my work on the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and Debian Extended Long Term Support (ELTS), which extend the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

    In September, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability - I was assigned 23.75h for LTS (out of 30 max) and 20h for ELTS (max).

    I was again able to factor out some time between LTS and ELTS.

    The qemu update required more testing than I expected, as it's used with lots of different CPU and disk backends.

  • Russ Allbery: Haul post

    It's been quite a while since I made one of these, and I... may have been supporting a lot of authors financially despite my huge to-read pile.

HAT-compatible SBC runs Linux on i.MX6 ULL

Filed under
Linux
Debian
Ubuntu

Seeed’s “NPi i.MX6ULL Dev Board” runs Linux on NXP’s low-power ULL SoC with 512MB RAM, dual 10/100 LAN, USB host and Type-C, dual 40-pin GPIO, and either 8GB eMMC ($44) or 256MB NAND ($39).

Seeed, which has produced Linux hacker boards such as the RK3229-based, voice-control oriented ReSpeaker Core v2.0, has returned with a Raspberry Pi HAT compatible model for IoT that taps NXP’s power-sipping, Cortex-A7-based i.MX6 ULL. The 100 x 60mm NPi i.MX6ULL Dev Board has opened pre-orders for $39 or $44 depending on whether you choose 256MB NAND or 8GB eMMC flash.

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Python Programming Leftovers

  • How to Read SAS Files in Python with Pandas

    In this post, we are going to learn how to read SAS (.sas7dbat) files in Python. As previously described (in the read .sav files in Python post) Python is a general-purpose language that also can be used for doing data analysis and data visualization.

  • Daudin – a Python shell

    A few nights ago I wrote daudin, a command-line shell based on Python. It allows you to easily mix UNIX and Python on the command line.

  • How to Convert Python String to Int and Back to String

    This tutorial describes various ways to convert Python string to int and from an integer to string. You may often need to perform such operations in day to day programming. Hence, you should know them to write better programs. Also, an integer can be represented in different bases, so we’ll explain that too in this post. And there happen to be scenarios where conversion fails. Hence, you should consider such cases as well and can find a full reference given here with examples.

  • Thousands of Scientific Papers May be Invalid Due to Misunderstanding Python

    It was recently discovered that several thousand scientific articles could be invalid in their conclusions because scientists did not understand that Python’s glob.glob() does not return sorted results. This is being reported on by Vice, Slashdot and there’s an interesting discussion going on over on Reddit as well.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Open Source Security Podcast, Linux Action News and Manjaro 19.09.28 KDE-DEV Run Through

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 165 - Grab Bag of Microsoft Security News

    Josh and Kurt about a number of Microsoft security news items. They've changed how they are handling encrypted disks and are now forcing cloud logins on Windows users.

  • Linux Action News 127

    Richard Stallman's GNU leadership is challenged by an influential group of maintainers, SUSE drops OpenStack "for the customer," and Google claims Stadia will be faster than a gaming PC. Plus OpenLibra aims to save us from Facebook but already has a miss, lousy news for Telegram, and enormous changes for AMP.

  • GNU World Order 13x42

    On the road during the **All Things Open** conference, Klaatu talks about how to make ebooks from various sources, with custom CSS, using the Pandoc command.

  • Manjaro 19.09.28 KDE-DEV Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Manjaro 19.09.28 KDE-DEV.

Apple of 2019 is the Linux of 2000

Last week the laptop I use for macOS development said that there is an XCode update available. I tried to install it but it said that there is not enough free space available to run the installer. So I deleted a bunch of files and tried again. Still the same complaint. Then I deleted some unused VM images. Those would free a few dozen gigabytes, so it should make things work. I even emptied the trash can to make sure nothing lingered around. But even this did not help, I still got the same complaint. At this point it was time to get serious and launch the terminal. And, true enough, according to df the disk had only 8 gigabytes of free space even though I had just deleted over 40 gigabytes of files from it (using rm, not the GUI, so things really should have been gone). A lot of googling and poking later I discovered that all the deleted files had gone to "reserved space" on the file system. There was no way to access those files or delete them. According to documentation the operating system would delete those files "on demand as more space is needed". This was not very comforting because the system most definitely was not doing that and you'd think that Apple's own software would get this right. After a ton more googling I managed to find a chat buried somewhere deep in Reddit which listed the magical indentation that purges reserved space. It consisted of running tmutil from the command line and giving it a bunch of command line arguments that did not seem to make sense or have any correlation to the thing that I wanted to do. But it did work and eventually I got XCode updated. After my blood pressure dropped to healthier levels I got the strangest feeling of déjà vu. This felt exactly like using Linux in the early 2000s. Things break at random for reasons you can't understand and the only way to fix it is to find terminal commands from discussion forums, type them in and hope for the best. Then it hit me. Read more

Contributor License Agreement and Developer Certificate of Origin references

In the last few years I have come across the CLA topic several times. It is and will be a popular topic in automotive the coming years, like in any industry that moves from being an Open Source Producer towards becoming an Open Source Contributor. In my experience, many organizations take the CLA as a given by looking at the google, microsoft or intels of the world and replicate their model. But more and more organizations are learning about alternatives, even if they do not adopt them. What I find interesting about discussing the alternatives is that it brings to the discussion the contributor perspective and not just the company one. This enrichs the debate and, in some cases, leads to a more balanced framework between any organization behind a project and the contriibutor base, which benefits both. Throughout these years I have read a lot about it but I have never written anything. It is one of those topics I do not feel comfortable enough to write about in public probably because I know lots of people more qualified than I am to do so. What I can do is to provide some articles and links that I like or that have been recommended to me in the past. Read more