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On March 16th, 2020 Emma DE3 Debian 10 Buster the foxy distro!

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On March 16th 2020, the Emmabuntüs Collective is happy to announce the release of the new Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 3 1.01 (32 and 64 bits), based on Debian 10.3 Buster distribution and featuring the XFCE desktop environment.

This distribution was originally designed to facilitate the reconditioning of computers donated to humanitarian organizations, starting with the Emmaüs communities (which is where the distribution’s name obviously comes from), to promote the discovery of GNU/Linux by beginners, as well as to extend the lifespan of computer hardware in order to reduce the waste induced by the over-consumption of raw materials .

This new version of our distribution is based on the Emmabuntüs DE2 under Debian 10 Buster, with some noticeable improvements which were implemented during the development of the Alpha, RC and final versions : ISO file size significantly reduced, streamlining and consistency of the embedded software, better handling of the light/dark theme, added supports the installation in UEFI Secure boot mode (1), the simplified installation via Calamares in live mode, etc. This update version brings improvements in terms of ergonomics, startup time in live mode, screen tearing correction, and the addition of OpenBoard and Minetest software.

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Also: Emmabuntüs Debian Edition Has a New Release Based on Debian 10.3

Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 available for download

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At the time of writing, the Linux Mint project is still to announce the release of Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 4 but if you check out mirror services, you can grab the new version right now. The new update brings improvements that were shipped with Linux Mint 19.3 such as Cinnamon 4.4, new default software, a boot repair tool, and more.

According to the ISO status page, the 32- and 64-bit LMDE 4 images were approved for stable release in that last several hours. While no announcement has been made, you can download them by heading to the Linux Mint mirrors page, selecting a mirror, heading into the debian folder and looking for LMDE 4. If you cannot see the ISO in the mirror you chose, just look on another mirror and you should find a download link.

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Handling attacks on volunteers and their families

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Over the years, volunteers have done a lot to promote and contribute to free and open source software and the organizations/communities in this space. The leaders are not the only ones doing this work. Many people are quietly doing far more work than the leaders of some free software organizations.

In 2017, the now defunct FSFE Fellowship, which consisted of approximately 1,500 Fellows, voted for me to be their community representative. Not only did I have to represent those who voted for me, but also those who voted for other candidates. I also discovered that I was representing a Fellow who died leaving a EUR 150,000 bequest. Although I was only a volunteer, I took all those responsibilities seriously.

I didn't realize this at the beginning but representing the interests of donors and volunteers put me in opposition to some people who had not previously had to deal with the same level of committment from a community representative. The type of people who paid themselves salaries and took long periods of paternity leave after receiving that bequest.

Around that time, I was also dealing with some incredibly tragic circumstances in my family life. I resigned from some of my roles, for example, being a Google Summer of Code admin in Debian. Thanks to the never-ending creativity of open source politics, people immediately started rather offensive lies trying to connect me to trolling or even suggesting that I was expelled. It isn't coincidence when people say things like that about somebody elected by the volunteers. My only mistake was joining the FSFE in the first place.

In September 2018, Debian's leader (DPL) Chris Lamb had the Debian Account Managers move my key from the DD keyring to the inferior DM keyring.

They wanted me to feel humiliated.

They wanted me to continue contributing to Debian, but under their coercive control. You can see the entry on 20 September 2018 when I was moved from the DD to the DM keyring, not expelled.

The thing is, my responsibility is to my employer and clients. By exercising this control over me, those co-conspirators aspired to have the power of an employer without actually paying me.

In other words, they wanted me to be their slave and their puppet.

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Updated freeze policy for bullseye and (tentative) freeze dates

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As promised [1], here is another Bits from the release team. This time,
we'll inform you about our updated freeze policy for the bullseye
release and our (tentative) freeze dates.

For the bullseye release, we have updated our freeze policy. An
up-to-date copy can always be found on our web-site at [2]. There are
some changes with respect to the buster freeze policy that we like to
mention here (for full details, read [2]).

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Also: Debian 11 "Bullseye" To Begin Code Freeze In Early 2021

Sparky 4.12

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Sparky live/install media of the ‘oldstable’ line updated up to version 4.12.
Sparky 4 “Tyche” is based on the Debian 9 oldstable “Stretch”.

• all packages updated as of March 11, 2020
• reconfigured Sparky repositoy to the present one
• added a new Sparky public key

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Debian: BackupPC, Typography and Debian/Free Software Activities in February 2020

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  • Axel Beckert: Backup over Tor with BackupPC

    I have a Raspberry Pi at my parents home. They have internet access via some ISP using Carrier Grade NAT (CGN). Hence their home router is not reachable via IPv4 from the outside, they do have IPv6 and the devices can also be made accessible via IPv6 via the local router.
    Did that, was able to access my Raspberry Pi over IPv6 and SSH from the outside. So doing backup of that Raspberry Pi with BackupPC from the outside was a walk in the park.

    Unfortunately the IPv6 prefix seems to change occasionally and the router only allows to configure explicit IPv6 addresses in firewall rules — so after a prefix change the configured rules no more match the devices IPv6 addresses. Meh.

  • Antoine Beaupré: Font changes

    I have worked a bit on the fonts I use recently. From the main font I use every day in my text editor and terminals to this very website, I did a major and (hopefully) thoughtful overhaul of my typography, in the hope of making things easier to use and, to be honest, just prettier.

  • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in February 2020

    Welcome to Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in March) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

  • Utkarsh Gupta: Debian Activities for February 2020

    Here’s my (fifth) monthly update about the activities I’ve done in Debian this February.

Debian leader Hartman says one year at the helm will do for now

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When Hartman was elected leader in April last year, he told iTWire in an interview that one of his priorities was to improve the process of decision-making.

And he says that during his tenure as leader, that problem has been tackled, at least to some extent. "I think we've made good progress figuring out how to make decisions," he told iTWire.

"Unfortunately, some of the decisions have had no easy answers. Feelings build up, and just because we've decided doesn't magically make that go away. We need to remind ourselves that we are still a community and find a way to process these feelings. That's something I am very interested in working on, but it's not something I can work on alone."

Hartman, who has been a maintainer of the Kerberos software for Debian for many years, said that one of the keys to the success of the project was delegation. "We let individual maintainers have significant autonomy working on their own parts of Debian," he said. "Similarly, we put together teams to divide the work of Debian.

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LLVM Clang 10 Can Build Over 95% Of The Debian Package Archive

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While the Debian archive continues to be built with the GCC compiler by default and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future, Debian developers do continue experimenting with building the Debian archive under LLVM's Clang.

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SparkyLinux 2020.03 Released with Latest Debian Bullseye Updates

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Based on the Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” software repositories as of March 7th, 2020, the SparkyLinux 2020.03 release comes a month after SparkyLinux 2020.02 and includes all the security patches and software updates released upstream for an up-to-date live/installation media.

On top of that, SparkyLinux 2020.03 ships with the latest Calamares 3.2.20 graphical installer, which adds support for storing the used global storage filesystems, improves logging, and adds support for Alpine Linux’s apk package manager.

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Latest Debian Drama and De-escalation

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  • Debian Coup Explained

    We've recently seen hard evidence of Debian's harassment culture and methods used to silence people who speak up.

    On Sunday, a Debian Developer took some time out of his weekend and created a new package. Instead of thanking him, the Debian Project Leader (DPL), Sam Hartman, launched a ferocious attack in the bug tracking system, alleging the developer is inferior to other developers. Hartman provides no evidence. Hartman attacked the same volunteer who asked people to stop harassing him after his father died.

    In another rambling email, Hartman claims to be tearing up the constitution and declaring an absolute, god-given right to humiliate and shame people at will.

    Just last week, Debian announced full censorship of mailing lists. Censorship and control of the media prevent leaders from being held to account. These conditions enable rogue leaders to indulge themselves.

  • Ulrike Uhlig: Implementing feedback into our work culture

    Feedback is not about being right or wrong, it's first of all about being able to see how another person has experienced a situation. Active listening is a tool that helps with understanding. It might seem easy, but needs quite some practice — and a safe space. One part of active listening is to restate what you hear the other person say (by mirroring, or paraphrasing), to make sure you understood, and make sure they know you understood what they were trying to say. You can practise this: in a circle of three people, have one person tell how they experienced a (possibly conflictual) situation, have one person do the active listening, and the third person observing in order to give feedback to the active listener about how they did. Then switch roles, for example clockwise, until everyone has had every role.


    How do we get from German Christmas folklore, protestant work ethics, and the deeply rooted principles of disciplining and punishing to a feedback culture on eye level? It sounds a bit like going from the dark ages to a really cool science fiction utopia with universal peace, telepathy, and magic between all sentient beings on all inhabited planets in the cosmos — at least that's how I imagined it as a child, just like some of my heroes did: the cosmonaut girl who saves Earth, the boy who talks to space flowers that give him the capacity to fly, and the little onion who fights for justice (the Italian author was so popular on our side of the iron curtain that a soviet astronomer named a minor planet after him. His wife meanwhile immortalized Karl Marx.) — and some romantic part of me hangs on to these ideas.

    Feedback is not always easy to hear — and to give.

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More in Tux Machines

'Open Source' Response to COVID-19

  • Govt to top institutes: offer open source courses, e-learning modules

    The human resource development (HRD) ministry has asked top higher educational institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), to create e-learning modules for their own use and open source courses to help the larger education ecosystem. The ministry has asked them to adopt credit transfer to bring cohesion among institutions, and make online and offline education seamless, as the world battles the covid-19 pandemic.

  • Engineer Responds to Call with Open-Source, DIY Face Shield

    Like many hospitals and clinics around the country, UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin is facing a shortage of face shields stemming from supply chains challenged by the ongoing COVID-19 threat. However, unlike other communities, UW Health has Lennon Rodgers. Rodgers is the director of the Engineering Design Innovation Lab at the University of Wisconsin. When he received an urgent email asking about his ability to produce 1,000 face shields for UW staff, he went to work. His story was recently chronicled by

  • Designers pitch in to make open-source face shields

    It took less than a week for the director of the University Kansas Center for Design Research and some of his former students and colleagues to crank out an open-source design for a plastic face shield to help protect health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a few days, it has been freely downloaded around the world more than 4,500 times. And 10,000 of the shields already produced locally will soon be available to caregivers in The University of Kansas Health System. What’s more, almost anyone, anywhere with a computer-aided router and a common type of plastic sheeting can rapidly produce more of them.

  • An Open-Source Solution to Get E-Passes During Lockdown Online

    With a 21-day lockdown being imposed across India and the police using excessive force in certain cases to implement a curfew, there is a need to get valid passes as easily as possible to ensure essential services keep functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic. [...] The solution, according to a memo sent out by Sharad Sharma, co-founder iSPIRT, is a software app its volunteers developed in just 72 hours - Anumati. Here's what the app proposes by way of simplifying how to get passes.

Eclipse Theia 1.0

  • The Eclipse Foundation Releases Eclipse Theia 1.0, a True Open Source Alternative to Visual Studio Code
  • Eclipse Releases Open Source Alternative to Visual Studio Code [Ed: Why does everything need to be described in terms of what it is or they are to Microsoft?]

    The Eclipse Foundation has released Eclipse Theia 1.0, which it is promoting as "a true open source alternative" to Microsoft's lightweight Visual Studio Code (VS Code) source code editor. An extensible platform for building multi-language desktop and Web-based IDEs from the same codebase, Theia was started in 2016 as a project by Ericsson and TypeFox, and it became an Eclipse project in 2019. It's now one of the projects in the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group (ECD WG), an industry collaboration focused on delivering development tools for and in the cloud.

  • Eclipse Theia 1.0 is an open source alternative to VS Code

    The Eclipse Foundation, one of the leading global voices advancing open source software, released Eclipse Theia version 1.0. Intended to be a completely open source alternative to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, Eclipse Theia supports multiple languages and combines some of the best features of IDEs into one extensible platform. If the name rings any bells, the Theia project previously began elsewhere. It was initially created by Ericsson and TypeFox (founders of Gitpod and Xtext) in 2016 and moved to The Eclipse Foundation in May of 2018. To celebrate this milestone, explore some of its stand-out features and see what sets it apart from VS Code.

  • Eclipse Releases Theia - Open Source VSCode Alternative

    The Eclipse Foundation has released Theia, described as a true open source alternative to Microsoft’s popular Visual Studio Code. Theia is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud and Desktop IDEs. Theia has been designed to give is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud and Desktop IDE-like products for developers.The project team says it means that as an adopter you don't need to make an upfront decision about whether your new developer product should run in the cloud, on the desktop, or both.

Nate Graham on Latest KDE Improvements

  • This week in KDE: Moar performance!

    Some very nice performance fixes landed this week, which should substantially boost move and copy speeds for local transfers and transfers to and from Samba shares in particular. But that’s not all, and there’s more on the menu…

  • KDE Starts April With Big Performance Jump For Local I/O + 50~95% Faster Samba Transfers

    KDE developers managed to squeeze some long-problematic I/O optimizations into the KDE code-base this week along with other enhancements to make for a nice first week of April. The performance work for kicking off April includes: - 50~95% faster transferring of large files to/from Samba shares. This big speed-up is a Dolphin improvement for a 2012 bug report. This fast-copy support for the Samba code should now allow "mount-level copy performance" thanks to various architectural changes in the code.

Programming Literature: Jussi Pakkanen on Meson, Shing Lyu on Rust and "25 Best JavaScript Books for Newbie and Professional"

  • Jussi Pakkanen: Meson manual sales status and price adjustment

    The second part (marked with a line) indicates when I was a guest on CppCast talking about Meson and the book. As an experiment I created a time limited discount coupon so that all listeners could buy it with €10 off. As you can tell from the graph it did have an immediate response, which again proves that marketing and visibility are the things that actually matter when trying to sell any product. After that we have the "new normal", which means no sales at all. I don't know if this is caused by the coronavirus isolation or whether this is the natural end of life for the product (hopefully the former but you can never really tell in advance).

  • Shing Lyu: Lessons learned in writing my first book

    You might have noticed that I didn’t update this blog frequently in the past year. It’s not because I’m lazy, but I focused all my creative energy on writing this book: Practical Rust Projects. The book is now available on Apress, Amazon and O’Reilly. In this post, I’ll share some of the lessons I learned in writing this book. Although I’ve been writing Rust for quite a few years, I haven’t really studied the internals of the Rust language itself. Many of the Rust enthusiasts whom I know seem to be having much fun appreciating how the language is designed and built. But I take more joy in using the language to build tangible things. Therefore, I’ve been thinking about writing a cookbook-style book on how to build practical projects with Rust, ever since I finished the video course Building Reusable Code with Rust. Out of my surprise, I received an email from Steve Anglin, an acquisition editor from Apress, in April 2019. He initially asked me to write a book on the RustPython project. But the project was still growing rapidly thanks to the contributors. I’ve already lost grip on the overall architecture, so I can’t really write much about it. So I proposed the topic I have in mind to Steve. Fortunately, the editorial board accepted my proposal, and we decided to write two books: one for general Rust projects and one for web-related Rust projects. Since this is my first time writing a book that will be published in physical form (or as The Rust Book put it, “dead tree form”), I learned quite a lot throughout the process. Hopefully, these points will help you if you are considering or are already writing your own book.

  • The 25 Best JavaScript Books for Newbie and Professional

    JavaScript is a programming language that is object-oriented and used to make dynamic web pages by adding interactive effects. This client-side scripting language is used by almost 94.5% web pages available on the internet. The language is very easy but also known as one of the most misunderstood programming languages. You should choose the right guidelines so that you can get all the answers to your questions related to JavaScript. Here we will provide you with a list of the best Javascript books so that you can learn JavaScript and never become confused.