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Debian

Debian and LaTeX

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Debian
  • Web services for writing academic LaTeX papers as a team

    I was surprised today to learn that a friend in academia did not know there are easily available web services available for writing LaTeX documents as a team. I thought it was common knowledge, but to make sure at least my readers are aware of it, I would like to mention these useful services for writing LaTeX documents. Some of them even provide a WYSIWYG editor to ease writing even further.

    There are two commercial services available, ShareLaTeX and Overleaf. They are very easy to use. Just start a new document, select which publisher to write for (ie which LaTeX style to use), and start writing. Note, these two have announced their intention to join forces, so soon it will only be one joint service. I've used both for different documents, and they work just fine. While ShareLaTeX is free software, while the latter is not. According to a announcement from Overleaf, they plan to keep the ShareLaTeX code base maintained as free software.

  • Debian/TeX Live 2017.20171031-1

    Halloween is here, time to upload a new set of scary packages of TeX Live. About a month has passed, so there is the usual big stream up updates. There was actually an intermediate release to get out some urgent fixes, but I never reported the news here. So here are the accumulated changes and updates.

  • Monthly FLOSS activity - 2017/10 edition
  • FLOSS Activities October 2017
  • Free software activities in October 2017

DebEX Barebone Linux Returns to LXDE, Now Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster"

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Debian

Powered by the Linux 4.13 kernel series and based on the Debian Testing (upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster") and Debian Sid repositories, DebEX Barebone LXDE Build 171030 replaces the LXQt desktop environment that was used in previous versions with LXDE, probably to make the ISO smaller and the OS a bit faster.

"The ISO has decreased from 1860 MB to 1330 MB, which makes it easier to run the system live from RAM," said Arne Exton in the release announcement. "That ability allows DebEX LXDE to be very fast, since reading and writing data from/to RAM is much faster than on a hard disk drive."

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Debian and Derivatives

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Debian
Ubuntu
  • Building packages without (fake)root

    Turns out that it is surprisingly easy to build most packages without (fake)root.

  • Elive 3.0 Is One Step Closer to Reality as Latest Beta Introduces Many Goodies

    The developers of the Debian-based Elive GNU/Linux distribution leveraging the Enlightenment desktop environment are still trying to finish the major Elive 3.0 release, and they just published a new Beta.

    Elive 2.9.12 Beta is here almost two months after the previous beta (versioned 2.9.8), and it looks like it's a big one, adding an extra layer of performance improvements to the desktop and window effects with up to 194%, as well as to video playback, which is now smoother than on previous betas.

    Elive's graphical installer, yes the one you don't have to pay to use it anymore, has been refactored in this new beta release to include a validator of characters for usernames, passwords, and hostnames, make the entire installation process a lot easier than before, and also fix numerous bugs, especially for the built-in browser.

  • And We’re Off: Development Begins on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver’

    Canonical’s Matthias Klose shared the news on the Ubuntu development mailing list.

    The first few weeks of every Ubuntu development cycle is spent syncing key packages from upstream sources, plumbing in the base infrastructure on which future changes lay, and so on.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Release Schedule

    For those of you unaware Ubuntu’s April (xx.04) releases follow a 27-week schedule (as opposed to October releases’ 25 week schedule, owing to the little matter of Xmas and New Year).

    During the cycle time 2 alpha milestones, 2 beta milestones and 1 release candidate build are issued for public testing. Ubuntu flavors often take advantage of all of these.

  • Help test Plasma 5.8.8 LTS and Krita 3.3.1 for Kubuntu Backports!

Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

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Debian
Ubuntu
  • How Can Debian Turn Disagreement into Something that Makes us Stronger

    Recently, when asked to engage with the Debian Technical Committee, a maintainer chose to orphan their package rather than discuss the issue brought before the committee. In another decision earlier this year, a maintainer orphaned their package indicating a lack of respect for the approach being taken and the process. Unfortunately, this joins an ever longer set of issues where people walk away from the TC process disheartened and upset.

    For me personally the situations where maintainers walked away from the process were hard. People I respect and admire were telling me that they were unwilling to participate in our dispute resolution process. In one case the maintainer explicitly did not respect a process I had been heavily involved in. As someone who values understanding and build a team, I feel disappointed and hurt thinking about this.

  • Full Circle Magazine #126
  • Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: GNOME Fixes & New Snaps

    I’ll be starting the weekly round-up posts again now that the release is out and 18.04 is getting under way. At this early stage in the development cycle we’re spending a week or so tidying up the loose ends from 17.10, SRUing the important fixes that we’ve found, getting ready to sync new packages from Debian, and generally doing the groundwork to give us a clear run at 18.04. As you know, 18.04 will be an LTS release and so we will be focusing on stability and reliability this cycle, as well as a few new features. I’ll give a more detailed view into 18.04 in the coming weeks.

Elive 2.9.12 beta released

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Debian

The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the beta version 2.9.12

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There's a DebEX Version with GNOME 3.26, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster"

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Debian

DebEX GNOME is a variant of the Debian-based DebEX operating system built around the GNOME desktop environment. The new release, DebEX GNOME Build 171026 is shipping with the latest GNOME 3.26 desktop environment by default, which is accompanied by the lightweight, GNOME 2-based, MATE 1.18 desktop environment.

Just like DebEX KDE Plasma, the DebEX GNOME Edition is based on the Debian Testing and Sid repositories, while the DebEX Barebone Edition remains based on Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" and Debian Unstable/Sid. The system is powered by Arne Exton's special kernel based on the Linux 4.13.4 kernel.

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antiX 17 "Heather Heyer" Offers a Systemd-Free OS Based on Debian GNU/Linux 9.2

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Debian

antiX 17 follows the trend of previous versions to offer users an operating system that does not include the widely used systemd init system. With this release, Gentoo's eudev device file manager for the Linux kernel is used by default instead of udev.

Designed to be fast, flexible, and light on resources, antiX 17 features a new option that lets users run a bleeding-edge Debian Testing (Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster") or Debian Sid platform. Also, it's now possible to set up and run a live encrypted system with persistence.

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DebEX KDE Plasma Is a Pure Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" Distro with Linux 4.13

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Debian

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton recently released a new build of his Debian-based DebEX KDE Plasma distribution, which is the first release based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" OS.

DebEX KDE Plasma Build 171023 is here to replace last year's Build 161001, bringing components from both the Debian Sid and Debian Testing repositories, which means that it doesn't contain any packages from Ubuntu, nor Kubuntu operating systems, thus making it a bleeding-edge GNU/Linux distribution.

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Should You Use Linux Mint's Debian or Standard Edition?

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GNU
Linux
Debian
Ubuntu

At first, users might wonder why Linux Mint offers both its Ubuntu-based Linux Mint Standard Edition and the Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). Since Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu all derive from the Debian repositories, isn't the family resemblance too close to bother?

To the casual user, the choice may appear to be no more than the result of Linux Mint trying to accommodate as many users as possible. However, depending on your needs and preferences, you may find that one edition suits your needs more than the other.

In general, the two editions have much in common. Both the Debian and the standard editions are available in 32- and 64-bit downloads that default to the Cinnamon or Mate desktops. Both use the same installer, and both open for the first time on desktops with similar wallpapers and tools. Both, too, can add other desktop environments from the Mint repositories that they both share. According to Linux Mint, LMDE is faster than the standard edition, but in practice the difference is slight enough that many users probably never notice.

However, look closer, and the differences start to appear -- although these difference have changed over the years. For example, it is no longer true that the LMDE is a rolling release -- one that adds new packages as they become available, rather than waiting for a general release -- although LMDE 1 was.

Also, contrary to a widely circulating story, LMDE 2 is fully capable of using Ubuntu PPA repositories for packages in development. The PPAs simply have to be added as a package source in /etc/apt/. Alternatively, their packages can be downloaded and installed using the dpkg command. Since Debian and Ubuntu have been different distros for well over a decade now, you may find that some packages from PPAs are not compatible with Debian, but these cases are relatively rare, particularly if you stick to productivity applications rather than core system components.

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Proxmox 5.1 Update Rebases the Virtual Environment to Debian 9.2, Linux 4.13

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Linux
Debian

Arriving more than three months after Proxmox VE 5.0 release, Proxmox VE 5.1 is a point release adding updated components based on the upstream repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 9.2 "Stretch" operating system, along with the Linux 4.13 kernel series and the latest Ceph 12.2 "Luminous" and ZFS 0.7.2 releases.

"Proxmox VE 5.1 comes with production-ready Ceph cluster packages. The virtualization platform integrates Ceph v12.2 Luminous, the long-term stable release of the software-defined storage solution. Users can now implement Ceph clusters as distributed storage solution in production," reads today's announcement.

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PlayOnLinux For Easier Use Of Wine

PlayOnLinux is a free program that helps to install, run, and manage Windows software on Linux. It can also manage virtual C: drives (known as Wine prefixes), and download and install certain Windows libraries for getting some software to run on Wine properly. Creating different drives using different Wine versions is also possible. It is very handy because what runs well in one version may not run as well (if at all) on a newer version. There is PlayOnMac for macOS and PlayOnBSD for FreeBSD. Read
more

Linux Kernel: KPTI, SEV, CBS

  • Experimental KPTI Support For x86 32-bit Linux
    For the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) support currently within the Linux kernel for addressing the Meltdown CPU vulnerability it's currently limited to 64-bit on the x86 side, but for the unfortunate souls still running x86 32-bit operating systems, SUSE is working on such support.
  • AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization Is Ready To Roll With Linux 4.16
    With the Linux 4.16 kernel cycle that is expected to begin immediately following the Linux 4.15 kernel debut on Sunday, AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology supported by their new EPYC processors will be mainline. Going back to the end of 2016 have been Linux patches for Secure Encrypted Virtualization while with Linux 4.16 it will finally be part of the mainline kernel and supported with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization.
  • Deadline scheduler part 2 — details and usage
    Linux’s deadline scheduler is a global early deadline first scheduler for sporadic tasks with constrained deadlines. These terms were defined in the first part of this series. In this installment, the details of the Linux deadline scheduler and how it can be used will be examined. The deadline scheduler prioritizes the tasks according to the task’s job deadline: the earliest absolute deadline first. For a system with M processors, the M earliest deadline jobs will be selected to run on the M processors. The Linux deadline scheduler also implements the constant bandwidth server (CBS) algorithm, which is a resource-reservation protocol. CBS is used to guarantee that each task will receive its full run time during every period. At every activation of a task, the CBS replenishes the task’s run time. As the job runs, it consumes that time; if the task runs out, it will be throttled and descheduled. In this case, the task will be able to run only after the next replenishment at the beginning of the next period. Therefore, CBS is used to both guarantee each task’s CPU time based on its timing requirements and to prevent a misbehaving task from running for more than its run time and causing problems to other jobs.

Graphics: Mesa and AMDGPU

  • Mesa 17.3.3 Released With RADV & ANV Vulkan Driver Fixes
    Mesa 17.3.3 is now available as the latest point release for the Mesa 17.3 stable series. This bi-weekly point release to Mesa presents several RADV Vega/GFX9 fixes, various Intel ANV Vulkan driver fixes, a DRI3 fix, and random fixes to the OpenGL drivers like RadeonSI, Etnaviv, and even Swrast.
  • R600g "Soft" FP64 Shows Signs Of Life, Enabling Older GPUs To Have OpenGL 4 In 2018
    Most pre-GCN AMD graphics cards are still limited to OpenGL 3.3 support at this time due to not supporting FP64. Only the HD 5800/6900 series on R600g currently have real double-precision floating-point support working right now so at present they are on OpenGL 4.3 rather than 3.3, but those other generations may be catching up soon thanks to the "soft" FP64 code.
  • AMDGPU DC Gets More Raven Ridge Improvements, Audio Fixes
    Harry Wentland of AMD has sent out the latest batch of patches for the AMDGPU DC display code stack. Fortunately it lightens up the DRM driver by about six thousand lines thanks to removing some unused code. Besides gutting out a chunk of unused code, the DC code has a few audio fixes (no word yet on supporting newer audio formats with DC), fixes on driver unload, a "bunch" of continued Raven Ridge display updates, and various other code clean-ups.
  • AMDGPU Firmware Blobs Updated For Video Encode/Decode
    There are updated AMDGPU microcode/firmware files now available for recent Radeon GPUs. The updated firmware files now available via the main linux-firmware.git repository are centered around the video blocks: UVD video decoding, VCE video encode, and the new VCN video encode/decode block with Raven Ridge.

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