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Debian

Debian-Based Q4OS Linux Operating System for Raspberry Pi Goes Stable

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Linux
Debian

Q4OS emphasizes the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE), which continues the legacy of the old KDE 3.5 desktop. The latest release, Q4OS 2.5, was available only for 64-bit (x86_64) and 32-bit (i686 PAE) hardware architectures, but now it can also be installed on ARM hardware like the Raspberry Pi, Pine64, and Pinebook.

"Q4OS on Raspberry Pi performs at lightning speed due to its exceptionally low hardware requirements," say the devs in the announcement. "All the native Q4OS features, for example "Desktop profiler" and "Setup tool," are available and fully functional within the Raspberry Pi Q4OS edition."

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Ubuntu, Debian, RHEL, and CentOS Linux Now Patched Against "Foreshadow" Attacks

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Red Hat
Security
Debian
Ubuntu

Both Canonical and Red Hat emailed us with regards to the L1 Terminal Fault security vulnerability, which are documented as CVE-2018-3620 for operating systems and System Management Mode (SMM), CVE-2018-3646 for impacts to virtualization, as well as CVE-2018-3615 for Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX). They affect all Linux-based operating system and machines with Intel CPUs.

"It was discovered that memory present in the L1 data cache of an Intel CPU core may be exposed to a malicious process that is executing on the CPU core. This vulnerability is also known as L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF). A local attacker in a guest virtual machine could use this to expose sensitive information (memory from other guests or the host OS)," reads the Ubuntu security advisory.

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Hands-on with Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 Beta

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Debian
HowTos

I have been out of touch for the past six months, because I accepted a teaching position in Amsterdam. The amount of time that required, and the weekly commute from Switzerland (yes, really, weekly), was vastly more than I expected, and left me no time to do justice to my blog. But now I am back again, and determined to manage my time more effectively and keep up with blogging.

Although I haven't been writing, I certainly have been keeping up with news and developments in the Linux world. What really inspired me to get busy and write again was the announcement of LMDE 3 (Cindy) Beta. Hooray! How long have we been waiting for this? It feels like years. Oh, that's because it has been years.

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Debian GNU/Linux project to mark 25th birthday on Thursday

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Debian

The Debian GNU/Linux project will turn 25 on Thursday, with the Linux distribution having made its debut on 16 August in 1993 under the leadership of the late Ian Murdock.

In its original manifesto, Murdock stated: "Many distributions have started out as fairly good systems, but as time passes attention to maintaining the distribution becomes a secondary concern."

Maintaining a Debian system was made simple after some developers created a package management system known as apt.

Apt — and its derivatives like aptitude and synaptic — have served to make the task of updating a Debian system simple. With apt, the secondary concern that Murdock referred to was effectively taken care of. Incidentally, there are now about 29,000 packages available in Debian.

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Also new (Debian-related news):

  • DebConf 18
  • Google Summer of Code 2018- Final Report

    This project aims at developing tools and packages which would simplify the process for new applicants in the open source community to get the required setup. It would consist of a GUI/Wizard with integrated scripts to setup various communication and development tools like PGP and SSH key, DNS, IRC, XMPP, mail filters along with Jekyll blog creation, mailing lists subscription, project planner, searching for developer meet-ups, source code scanner and much more! The project would be free and open source hosted on Salsa (Debian based Gitlab)

    I created various scripts and packages for automating tasks and helping a user get started by managing contacts, emails, subscribe to developer’s lists, getting started with Github, IRC and more.

The House of Elive Linux Revamped!

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GNU
Linux
Debian

I visited the www.elivecd.org, the page that houses Elive. This is one Linux distro that caught my eye in 2009 and that I have been following ever since.

The site is being redecorated and renovated, which is a great change to reflect the polished nature of the distro that Thanatermesis (Samuel Flores Baggen) crafts there.

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Also: DebConf in Taiwan!

Debian: DebConf 18, nacho and Tomu

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Debian
  • DebConf 18 – Day 2

    Although I have already returned from this year’s DebConf, I try to continue to write up my comments on the talks I have attended. The first one was DebConf 18 – Day 1, here we go for Day 2.

  • Final GSOC 2018 Report

    This is the final report of my 2018 Google Summer of Code project. It also serves as my final code submission.

    ...]

    The main project was nacho, the web frontend for the guest accounts of the Debian project. The software is now in a state where it can be used in a production enviroment and there is already work being done to deploy the application on Debian infrastructure. It was a lot of fun programming that software and i learned a lot about Python and Django. My mentors gave me valuable feedback and pointed me in the right direction in case i had questions. There are still some ideas or features that can be implemented and i’m sure some feature requests will come up in the future. Those can be tracked in the issue tracker in the salsa repository. An overview of the activity in the project, including both commits and issues, can be seen in the activity list.

    The SSO evaluations i did give an overview of existing solutions and will help in the decision making process. The README in the evaluation repository has a table taht summarizes the findings of the evaluations.

  • I am Tomu!

    While I was away for DebConf18, I received the Tomu boards I ordered on Crowdsupply a while ago while the project was still going through crowdfunding.

Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary, Android Leftovers

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Android
Google
Debian
  • Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary

    Google’s Chrome OS can now install and run Debian Linux packages with the .deb extension, at least in the Canary channel. This happens by simply double-clicking the file in your file browser. From there, the automated installer takes over. Once a Linux application is installed, it will be available in your terminal, invoked in the same way as a Chrome OS app, and some apps may show up in your Chrome OS launcher, depending on the metadata present in them and whether they support such operations. Most Linux apps that have a graphical user interface fall into this category, though there are many command line utilities out there for Linux users to enjoy. Both are now available to Chrome OS users. You still cannot replace default Chrome OS utilities, so don’t expect to run an i3 desktop with a brand new ALSA media handler unless you’re willing to gut your Chromebook entirely and install Linux.

  • Debian Linux Packages Now Working In Chrome OS Developer Channel

    A recent update to the experimental Canary Channel of Chrome OS brought about the ability to install Debian packages with a simple double-click. The only prerequisite being you are on a Chromebook or Chromebox that has support for the Crostini Project.

    Now, thanks to our Brother in Chrome Kevin Tofel, we’ve learned this ability has already found its way into the Developer channel of Chrome OS. Again, there are some requirements but if your device supports the Crostini Linux project, you can have this feature up and running with just a few, simple steps.

  • Android Q Name Predictions: What’s Next “Dessert” For Android 10?

    Now that Google has officially released Android Pie marking August 6th as the new “Pie” day, we are wondering what will Google call its next Android version: Android Q. In the past, we’ve also prepared a list of Android P names.

  • 6 Best Song Finder Apps For Android To Identify Songs By Tune
  • Google introduces Android 9 Pie

Debian: .Deb Packages in Chrome OS, GHDL Back in Debian

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Debian
  • Installing Linux app on Chromebooks gets easier with support for .deb packages

    You can already run some Linux applications on some Chromebooks thanks to Google’s Project Crostini software. But as I noted when testing Crostini on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 last month, the feature is still very much a work in progress.

    For now it’s not available if you’re using the stable channel version of Chrome OS, it doesn’t run on all Chromebooks, and you have to jump through some hoops to enable Crostini. Once you do that, you’ll find that you generally need a little Linux know-how to find and install applications using the command-line apt tool.

  • Chrome OS Can Now Install Debian Linux Packages

    A few weeks back, I was tinkering around in the Canary channel and through some hacky loops and multiple attempts, I was able to install a Linux installer that allowed me to launch Debian(.deb) Linux packages on my Chromebox.

    Granted, the workaround was in vain as I got Steam up and running just to find that GPU support is still nowhere to be seen but hey, the installation worked so the experiment was a success.

  • GHDL Back in Debian

    As I have noted, I have been working on packaging the VHDL simulator GHDL for Debian after it has dropped out of the archive for a few years. This work has been on slow burner for a while and last week I used some time at DebConf 18 to finally push this to completion and upload it. ftpmasters were also working fast, so yesterday the package got accepted and is now available from Debian unstable.

    The package you get supports up to VHDL-93, which is entirely down to VHDL library issues. The libraries published by IEEE along with the VHDL standard are not free enough to be suitable for Debian main. Instead, the package uses the openieee libraries developed as part of GHDL, which are GPL’ed from-scratch implementations of the libraries required by the VHDL standard. Currently these only implement VHDL-89 and VHDL-93, hence the limitation.

Buster is headed for a long hard freeze

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Debian

We are getting better and better accumulating RC bugs in testing. This is unfortunate because the length of the freeze is strongly correlated with the number of open RC bugs affecting testing. If you believe that Debian should have short freezes, then it will require putting effort behind that belief and fix some RC bugs – even in packages that are not maintained directly by you or your team and especially in key packages.

The introduction of key packages have been interesting. On the plus side, we can use it to auto-remove RC buggy non-key packages from testing which has been very helpful. On the flip-side, it also makes it painfully obvious that over 50% of all RC bugs in testing are now filed against key packages (for the lazy; we are talking about 475 RC bugs in testing filed against key packages; about 25 of these appear to be fixed in unstable).

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The State Of Debian Linux On Various Mobile Devices

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Debian

At this past week's DebConf18 Debian conference was an update on running Debian GNU/Linux on various mobile / ultra-portable devices.

Among the mobile devices covered for being able to run Debian in 2018 include:

- The Purism Librem 5 smartphone is expected to support Debian GNU/Linux, especially with Purism's "PureOS" being Debian-based. Purism still hopes to ship their first smartphone in early 2019.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: NVMe Firmware and GSConnect

  • Richard Hughes: NVMe Firmware: I Need Your Data
    In a recent Google Plus post I asked what kind of hardware was most interesting to be focusing on next. UEFI updating is now working well with a large number of vendors, and the LVFS “onboarding” process is well established now. On that topic we’ll hopefully have some more announcements soon. Anyway, back to the topic in hand: The overwhelming result from the poll was that people wanted NVMe hardware supported, so that you can trivially update the firmware of your SSD. Firmware updates for SSDs are important, as most either address data consistency issues or provide nice performance fixes.
  • Gnome Shell Android Integration Extension GSConnect V12 Released
    GSConnect v12 was released yesterday with changes like more resilient sshfs connections (which should make browsing your Android device from the desktop more reliable), fixed extension icon alignment, along with other improvements. GSConnect is a Gnome Shell extension that integrates your Android device(s) with the desktop. The tool makes use of the KDE Connect protocol but without using any KDE dependencies, keeping your desktop clean of unwanted packages.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Communitheme, Cantata & VS Code
    GSconnect is a magical GNOME extension that lets your Android phone integrate with your Linux desktop. So good, in fact, that Ubuntu devs want to ship it as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 18.10 release (though last I heard it probably just end up in the repos instead). Anyway, a new version of GSconnect popped out this week. GSconnect v12 adds a nifty new features or two, as well as a few fixes here, and a few UI tweaks there.

Red Hat Leftovers

  • Red Hat Advances Container Storage
    Red Hat has moved to make storage a standard element of a container platform with the release of version 3.1 of Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage (OCS), previously known as Red Hat Container Native Storage. Irshad Raihan, senior manager for product marketing for Red Hat Storage, says Red Hat decided to rebrand its container storage offering to better reflect its tight integration with the Red Hat OpenShift platform. In addition, the term “container native” continues to lose relevance given all the different flavors of container storage that now exist, adds Raihan. The latest version of the container storage software from Red Hat adds arbiter volume support to enable high availability with efficient storage utilization and better performance, enhanced storage monitoring and configuration via the Red Hat implementation of the Prometheus container monitoring framework, and block-backed persistent volumes (PVs) that can be applied to both general application workloads and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) infrastructure workloads. Support for PVs is especially critical because to in the case of Red Hat OCS organizations can deploy more than 1,000 PVs per cluster, which helps to reduce cluster sprawl within the IT environment, says Raihan.
  • Is Red Hat Inc’s (NYSE:RHT) ROE Of 20.72% Sustainable?
  • FPgM report: 2018-33

OSS Leftovers

  • Infineon enables open source TSS ESAPI layer
    This is the first open source TPM middleware that complies with the Software Stack (TSS) Enhanced System API (ESAPI) specification of the Trusted Computing Group . “The ease of integration on Linux and other embedded platforms that comes with the release of the TPM 2.0 ESAPI stack speeds up the adoption of TPM 2.0 in embedded systems such as network equipment and industrial systems,” says Gordon Muehl, Global CTO Security at Huawei.
  • Open source RDBMS uses spurred by lower costs, cloud options
    As the volumes of data generated by organizations get larger and larger, data professionals face a dilemma: Must database bills get bigger in the process? And, increasingly, IT shops with an eye on costs are looking to open source RDBMS platforms as a potential alternative to proprietary relational database technologies.
  • Progress open sources ABL code in Spark Toolkit
    New England headquartered application development company Progress is flexing its programmer credentials this month. The Massachusetts-HQ’d firm has now come forward with its Progress Spark Toolkit… but what is it? The Progress Spark Toolkit is a set of open source ABL code combined with some recommended best-practices.
  • Mixing software development roles produces great results
    Most open source communities don’t have a lot of formal roles. There are certainly people who help with sysadmin tasks, testing, writing documentation, and translating or developing code. But people in open source communities typically move among different roles, often fulfilling several at once. In contrast, team members at most traditional companies have defined roles, working on documentation, support, QA, and in other areas. Why do open source communities take a shared-role approach, and more importantly, how does this way of collaborating affect products and customers? Nextcloud has adopted this community-style practice of mixing roles, and we see large benefits for our customers and our users.
  • FOSS Project Spotlight: SIT (Serverless Information Tracker)
    In the past decade or so, we've learned to equate the ability to collaborate with the need to be online. The advent of SaaS clearly marked the departure from a decentralized collaboration model to a heavily centralized one. While on the surface this is a very convenient delivery model, it simply doesn't fit a number of scenarios well. As somebody once said, "you can't FTP to Mars", but we don't need to go as far. There are plenty of use cases here on Earth that are less than perfectly suited for this "online world". Lower power chips and sensors, vessel/offshore collaboration, disaster recovery, remote areas, sporadically reshaping groups—all these make use of central online services a challenge. Another challenge with centralization is somewhat less thought of—building software that can handle a lot of concurrent users and that stores and processes a lot of information and never goes down is challenging and expensive, and we, as consumers, pay dearly for that effort. And not least important, software in the cloud removes our ability to adapt it perfectly for use cases beyond its owner's vision, scope and profitability considerations. Convenience isn't free, and this goes way beyond the price tag.
  • ProtonMail's open source encryption library, OpenPGPjs, passes independent audit
    ProtonMail, the secure email provider, has just had its credentials re-affirmed after its encryption library, OpenPGPjs, passed an independent security audit. The audit was carried out by the respected security firm, Cure53, after the developer community commissioned a review following the release of OpenPGPjs 3.0 back in March.
  • Uber Announces Open Source Fusion.js Framework
    Uber Announces Fusion.js, an open source "Plugin-based Universal Web Framework." In the announcement, Uber senior software engineer Leo Horie explains that Uber builds hundreds of web-based applications, and with web technologies changing quickly and best practices continually evolving, it is a challenge to have hundreds of web engineers leverage modern language features while staying current with the dynamic nature of the web platform. Fusion.js is Uber's solution to this problem.
  •  
  • ASAN And LSAN Work In rr
    AddressSanitizer has worked in rr for a while. I just found that LeakSanitizer wasn't working and landed a fix for that. This means you can record an ASAN build and if there's an ASAN error, or LSAN finds a leak, you can replay it in rr knowing the exact addresses of the data that leaked — along with the usual rr goodness of reverse execution, watchpoints, etc. Well, hopefully. Report an issue if you find more problems.
  • Oracle Open-Sources GraphPipe to Support ML Development
    Oracle on Wednesday announced that it has open-sourced GraphPipe to enhance machine learning applications. The project's goal is to improve deployment results for machine learning models, noted Project Leader Vish Abrams. That process includes creating an open standard. The company has a questionable relationship with open source developers, so its decision to open-source GraphPipe might not receive a flood of interest. Oracle hopes developers will rally behind the project to simplify and standardize the deployment of machine learning models. GraphPipe consists of a set of libraries and tools for following a deployment standard.
  • OERu makes a college education affordable
    Open, higher education courses are a boon to adults who don’t have the time, money, or confidence to enroll in traditional college courses but want to further their education for work or personal satisfaction. OERu is a great option for these learners. It allows people to take courses assembled by accredited colleges and universities for free, using open textbooks, and pay for assessment only when (and if) they want to apply for formal academic credit. I spoke with Dave Lane, open source technologist at the Open Education Resource Foundation, which is OERu’s parent organization, to learn more about the program. The OER Foundation is a nonprofit organization hosted by Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, New Zealand. It partners with organizations around the globe to provide leadership, networking, and support to help advance open education principles.
  • Tomu Is A Tiny, Open Source Computer That Easily Fits In Your USB Port
    There are a number of USB stick computers available in the market at varying prices. One of them that really stands out is Tomu — a teeny weeny ARM processor that can entirely fit inside your computer’s USB port. Tomu is based on Silicon Labs Happy Gecko EFM32HG309 Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller that runs at 25 MHz. It sports 8 kb of RAM and 60 kb of flash onboard. In spite of the small size, it supports two LEDs and two capacitance touch buttons.
  • RcppArmadillo 0.9.100.5.0
    A new RcppArmadillo release 0.9.100.5.0, based on the new Armadillo release 9.100.5 from earlier today, is now on CRAN and in Debian. It once again follows our (and Conrad's) bi-monthly release schedule. Conrad started with a new 9.100.* series a few days ago. I ran reverse-depends checks and found an issue which he promptly addressed; CRAN found another which he also very promptly addressed. It remains a true pleasure to work with such experienced professionals as Conrad (with whom I finally had a beer around the recent useR! in his home town) and of course the CRAN team whose superb package repository truly is the bedrock of the R community.
  • PHP version 7.1.21 and 7.2.9
    RPM of PHP version 7.2.9 are available in remi repository for Fedora 28 and in remi-php72 repository for Fedora 25-27 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS). RPM of PHP version 7.1.21 are available in remi repository for Fedora 26-27 and in remi-php71 repository for Fedora 25 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

GNU/Linux on Laptops and Desktops

  • Endless OS and Asus, Update on L1TF Exploit, Free Red Hat DevConf.US in Boston, Linux 4.19 Kernel Update
    Some of us may recall a time when ASUS used to ship a stripped down version of Xandros Linux with their line of Eee PC netbooks. Last week, the same company announced that Endless OS will be supporting non-OS offerings of their product. However it comes with a big disclaimer stating that ASUS will not officially support the operating system's compatibility issues.
  • The Chromebook Grows Up
    What started out as a project to provide a cheap, functional, secure and fast laptop experience has become so much more. Chromebooks in general have suffered from a lack of street-cred acceptance. Yes, they did a great job of doing the everyday basics—web browsing and...well, that was about it. Today, with the integration of Android apps, all new and recently built Chrome OS devices do much more offline—nearly as much as a conventional laptop or desktop, be it video editing, photo editing or a way to switch to a Linux desktop for developers or those who just like to do that sort of thing.
  • Windows 10 Linux Distribution Overload? We have just the thing [Ed: Microsoft is still striving to control and master GNU/Linux through malware, Vista 10]
  • What Dropbox dropping Linux support says
    You've probably already heard by now that Dropbox is nixing support for all Linux file systems but unencrypted ext4. When this was announced, much of the open source crowd was up in arms—and rightfully so. Dropbox has supported Linux for a long time, so this move came as a massive surprise.
  • Winds Beautifully Combines Feed Reader and Podcast Player in One Single App
    Billboard top 50 playlist is great for commuting. But I’m a nerd so I mostly prefer podcasts. Day after day, listening to podcasts on my phone has turned into a habit for the better and now, I crave my favorite podcasts even when I’m home, sitting in front of my computer. Thus began, my hunt for the perfect podcast app for Linux. Desktop Linux doesn’t have a huge selection of dedicated podcast applications. Of course, you can use Rhythmbox music player or VLC Media player to download podcasts (is there anything VLC can’t do?). There are even some great command line tools to download podcasts if you want to go down that road.
  • VirtualBox 5.2.18 Maintenance Update fixed VM process termination on RDP client disconnect
    Virtualbox developers released a maintenance update for virtualization solution on the 14th of August, 2018. The latest update raised the version of VirtualBox to 5.2.18. The improvements and additions have been welcomed by several users as it makes the virtualization product even more convenient to use.