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Ubuntu and Debian/Freexian News

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  • A Simple App Menu Editor for Ubuntu

    If you’re looking for an easy way to edit application launchers and menu entries on Ubuntu you’ll want to check out AppEditor.

    AppEditor is an easy to use

    Alacarte has been the go-to menu editor for almost as long as I’ve been using Ubuntu. It’s still perfectly functional, but it hasn’t really changed since then.

    ‘AppEditor’ would probably be better named Menu Entry Editor or Launcher Editor, or something other than App Editor as, rather than edit apps, it lets you edit app menu entries for apps, rather than the apps itself.

  • Canonical got Juju eyeballs for storage

    Canonical’s is mixing new potions in its Juju charm store.

    Juju is Canonical’s open source modelling tool for cloud software — it handles operations designed to deploy, configure, manage, maintain and scale applications via the command line interface, or through its optional GUI.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, January 2017

Debian: The SysVinit Migration, Debian Debates, and package-hosting repository,

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  • The SysVinit upstream project just migrated to git

    Surprising as it might sound, there are still computers using the traditional Sys V init system, and there probably will be until systemd start working on Hurd and FreeBSD. The upstream project still exist, though, and up until today, the upstream source was available from Savannah via subversion. I am happy to report that this just changed.

  • futures of distributions

    Seems Debian is talking about why they are unable to package whole categories of modern software, such as anything using npm. It's good they're having a conversation about that, and I want to give a broader perspective.

  • What is Debian all about, really? Or: friction, packaging complex applications

    This weekend, those interested in Debian development have been having a discussion on the debian-devel mailing list about "What can Debian do to provide complex applications to its users?". I'm commenting on that in my blog rather than the mailing list, since this got a bit too long to be usefully done in an email.

  • Updated my package-repository

    Yesterday I overhauled my Debian package-hosting repository, in response to user-complaints.

Debian and Canonical’s Juju

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  • Everything about the Mini-DebConf in Hamburg in May 2018

    With great joy we are finally offically announcing the Debian MiniDebConf which will take place in Hamburg (Germany) from May 16 to 20, with three days of Debcamp style hacking, followed by two days of talks, workshops and more hacking. And then, Monday the 21st is also a holiday in Germany, so you might choose to extend your stay by a day! (Though there will not be an official schedule for the 21st.)

  • Xerox printers on Debian - an update

    I think the lamest part of my current job is that we heavily rely on multifunction printers. We need to print a high volume of complicated documents on demand. You know, 1500 copies of a color booklet printed on 11x17 paper folded in 3 stapled in the middle kind of stuff.

    Pardon my French, but printers suck big time. The printer market is an oligopoly clusterfuck and it seems it keeps getting worse (looking at you, Fuji-Xerox merger). None of the drivers support Linux properly, all the printers are big piles of proprietary code and somehow the corporations selling them keep adding features no one needs.

  • Debian won Linux Journal's Readers' Choice Award for Best Linux Distribution!
  • Storage Made Easy adds Charm to Canonical’s Juju ecosystem

i.MX6 UL based COM/SBC hybrid has FPGA with programmable ZPU core

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Technologic’s rugged, open-spec “TS-4100” COM/SBC hybrid runs Linux on an i.MX6 UL, and offers a microSD slot, 4GB eMMC, a micro-USB OTG port, optional WiFi/BT and baseboard, and an FPGA with a programmable ZPU core for offloading real-time tasks.

Technologic Systems has begun sampling its first i.MX6 UL (UltraLite) based board, which is also its first computer-on-module that can double as an SBC. The 75 x 55mm TS-4100 module features a microSD slot, onboard eMMC, a micro-USB OTG port with power support, and optional WiFi and Bluetooth. Like most Technologic boards, such as the popular, i.MX6-based TS-4900 module, it offers long-term support and -40 to 85°C support, and ships with schematics and open source Linux images (Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian Jesse).

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Debian and Ubuntu: Readers' Choice Awards, Reproducible Builds, LXD, Servers and Ubuntu LoCo Council

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  • Best Linux Distribution

    This year we're breaking up our Readers' Choice Awards by category, so check back weekly for a new poll on the site. We started things off with Best Linux Distribution, and nearly 10,000 readers voted. The winner was Debian, with many commenting "As for servers, Debian is still the best" or similar.

    One to watch that is rising in the polls is Manjaro, which is independently based on the Arch Linux. Manjaro is a favorite for Linux newcomers and is known for its user-friendliness and accessibility.

  • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #146
  • LXD weekly status #34
  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 13 February 2018

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team.

  • Ubuntu LoCo Council: Three month wrap-up

    The new LoCo Council has been a little lax with updating this blog. It’s admittedly taken us a little bit of time to figure out what exactly we’re doing, but we seem to be on our feet now. I’d like to rectify the blog issue by wrapping up the first three months of our reign in a summary post to get us back on track.

Devuan 2.0 Reaches Beta, Debian Without Systemd & Now Based On Stretch

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It's been a while since last having anything to report on Devuan, the Debian derivative focused on "init freedom" by shipping the Debian packages without any dependence on systemd. But just in time for Valentine's Day, Devuan 2.0 Beta is now available.

Devuan 1.0 was released last year and based on the Debian Jessie package set while the Devuan 2.0 development is tracking Debian Stretch. Thus with the switch to Devuan 2.0 comes a lot of upstream package updates while this distribution remains committed to shipping without systemd and still providing a GNU/Linux desktop experience.

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Seven Days with Elive 2.9.26 (Beta)

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If there is a distro release that I have been waiting for, that is surely Elive 3.0.

I had Elive 2.9.8 Beta installed, so I used the same partition for this upgrade. After downloading the image of this new beta (2.9.26) and copying it to a USB drive with ROSA image writer, I was ready to test it. I wanted to see if this distro is OK for a rather non-technical Linux user like me, who has not used the Enlightenment DE regularly. I also wanted to see its Japanese IME capabilities.

When I installed version 2.9.8, I encountered a frustrating problem: There is an issue with my graphic card. The distro booted correctly, but, when I installed it, the DE froze and complained about Enlightenment crashing because of a module problem. However, one can circumvent this by booting the distro using the "graphics problems" option, so, after it is installed, Elive works perfectly. Although the Elive installer bypassed that situation this time because it remembered my settings (awesome!), Megatotoro, who performed a clean install, was not that lucky and stumbled with the issue.

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Debian: Staszek Wawrykiewicz (TeX Live Team) Dies and Other DD News

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Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

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Debian: easy-peasy-devicetree-squeezy and more

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  • easy-peasy-devicetree-squeezy

    I've created a new program, with a silly name, that solves a silly problem with devicetree overlays. Seem that, alhough there's patches to fully support overlays, including loading them on the fly into a running system, it's not in the mainline kernel, and nobody seems to know if/when it will get mainlined.

    So easy-peasy-devicetree-squeezy is a hack to make it easy to do device tree overlay type things already. This program makes it easy peasy to squeeze together the devicetree for your board with whatever additions you need. It's pre-deprecated on release; as soon as device tree overlay support lands, there will be no further need for it, probably.


    It supports integrating into a Debian system so that the devicetree will be updated, with your additions, whenever the kernel is upgraded.

  • My Debian Activities in January 2018

    This was my forty third month that I did some work for the Debian LTS initiative, started by Raphael Hertzog at Freexian.

  • Debian packaging with Git notes

    I finally found the time today to update my notes on how I package for Debian using Git. They're rather long (even after dropping my beginner Git tutorial, which seemed pointless given how many good ones there are now), so I'm not including the full text here. Take a look if you're curious.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE: KDE Applications 18.04, KDE Connect, KMyMoney 5.0.1 and Qt Quick

  • KDE Applications 18.04 branches created
    Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.04 release to them :)
  • KDE Connect – State of the union
    We haven’t blogged about KDE Connect in a long time, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been lazy. Some new people have joined the project and together we have implemented some exciting features. Our last post was about version 1.0, but recently we released version 1.8 of the Android app and 1.2.1 of the desktop component some time ago, which we did not blog about yet. Until now!
  • KMyMoney 5.0.1 released
    The KMyMoney development team is proud to present the first maintenance version 5.0.1 of its open source Personal Finance Manager. Although several members of the development team had been using the new version 5.0.0 in production for some time, a number of bugs and regressions slipped through testing, mainly in areas and features not used by them.
  • Qt Quick without a GPU: i.MX6 ULL
    With the introduction of the Qt Quick software renderer it became possible to use Qt Quick on devices without a GPU. We investigated how viable this option is on a lower end device, particularly the NXP i.MX6 ULL. It turns out that with some (partially not yet integrated) patches developed by KDAB and The Qt Company, the performance is very competitive. Even smooth video playback (with at least half-size VGA resolution) can be done by using the PXP engine on the i.MX6 ULL.

Red Hat Leftovers

Debian Leftovers

  • RcppSMC 0.2.1: A few new tricks
    A new release, now at 0.2.1, of the RcppSMC package arrived on CRAN earlier this afternoon (and once again as a very quick pretest-publish within minutes of submission).
  • sbuild-debian-developer-setup(1) (2018-03-19)
    I have heard a number of times that sbuild is too hard to get started with, and hence people don’t use it. To reduce hurdles from using/contributing to Debian, I wanted to make sbuild easier to set up. sbuild ≥ 0.74.0 provides a Debian package called sbuild-debian-developer-setup. Once installed, run the sbuild-debian-developer-setup(1) command to create a chroot suitable for building packages for Debian unstable.
  • control-archive 1.8.0
    This is the software that maintains the archive of control messages and the newsgroups and active files on I update things in place, but it's been a while since I made a formal release, and one seemed overdue (particularly since it needed some compatibility tweaks for GnuPG v1).
  • The problem with the Code of Conduct
  • Some problems with Code of Conducts

OSS Leftovers

  • Can we build a social network that serves users rather than advertisers?
    Today, open source software is far-reaching and has played a key role driving innovation in our digital economy. The world is undergoing radical change at a rapid pace. People in all parts of the world need a purpose-built, neutral, and transparent online platform to meet the challenges of our time. And open principles might just be the way to get us there. What would happen if we married digital innovation with social innovation using open-focused thinking?
  • Digital asset management for an open movie project
    A DAMS will typically provide something like a search interface combined with automatically collected metadata and user-assisted tagging. So, instead of having to remember where you put the file you need, you can find it by remembering things about it, such as when you created it, what part of the project it connects to, what's included in it, and so forth. A good DAMS for 3D assets generally will also support associations between assets, including dependencies. For example, a 3D model asset may incorporate linked 3D models, textures, or other components. A really good system can discover these automatically by examining the links inside the asset file.
  • LG Releases ‘Open Source Edition’ Of webOS Operating System
  • Private Internet Access VPN opens code-y kimono, starting with Chrome extension
    VPN tunneller Private Internet Access (PIA) has begun open sourcing its software. Over the next six months, the service promises that all its client-side software will make its way into the hands of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community, starting with PIA's Chrome extension. The extension turns off mics, cameras, Adobe's delightful Flash plug-in, and prevents IP discovery. It also blocks ads and tracking. Christel Dahlskjaer, director of outreach at PIA, warned that "our code may not be perfect, and we hope that the wider FOSS community will get involved."
  • Open sourcing FOSSA’s build analysis in fossa-cli
    Today, FOSSA is open sourcing our dependency analysis infrastructure on GitHub. Now, everyone can participate and have access to the best tools to get dependency data out of any codebase, no matter how complex it is.
  • syslog-ng at SCALE 2018
    It is the fourth year that syslog-ng has participated at Southern California Linux Expo or, as better known to many, SCALE ‒ the largest Linux event in the USA. In many ways, it is similar to FOSDEM in Europe, however, SCALE also focuses on users and administrators, not just developers. It was a pretty busy four days for me.
  • Cisco's 'Hybrid Information-Centric Networking' gets a workout at Verizon
  • Verizon and Cisco ICN Trial Finds Names More Efficient Than Numbers
  • LLVM-MCA Will Analyze Your Machine Code, Help Analyze Potential Performance Issues
    One of the tools merged to LLVM SVN/Git earlier this month for the LLVM 7.0 cycle is LLVM-MCA. The LLVM-MCA tool is a machine code analyzer that estimates how the given machine code would perform on a specific CPU and attempt to report possible bottlenecks. The LLVM-MCA analysis tool uses information already used within LLVM about a given CPU family's scheduler model and other information to try to statically measure how the machine code would carry out on a particular CPU, even going as far as estimating the instructions per cycle and possible resource pressure.
  • Taking Data Further with Standards
    Imagine reading a book, written by many different authors, each working apart from the others, without guidelines, and published without edits. That book is a difficult read — it's in 23 different languages, there's no consistency in character names, and the story gets lost. As a reader, you have an uphill battle to get the information to tell you one cohesive story. Data is a lot like that, and that's why data standards matter. By establishing common standards for the collection, storage, and control of data and information, data can go farther, be integrated with other data, and make "big data" research and development possible. For example, NOAA collects around 20 terabytes of data every day.Through the National Ocean Service, instruments are at work daily gathering physical data in the ocean, from current speed to the movement of schools of fish and much more. Hundreds of government agencies and programs generate this information to fulfill their missions and mandates, but without consistency from agency to agency, the benefits of that data are limited. In addition to federal agencies, there are hundreds more non-federal and academic researchers gathering data every day. Having open, available, comprehensive data standards that are widely implemented facilitates data sharing, and when data is shared, it maximizes the benefits of "big data"— integrated, multi-source data that yields a whole greater than its parts.