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Debian

SparkyLinux 5.11 Released with Latest Debian Buster Updates

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Linux
Debian

SparkyLinux 5.11 arrives almost two months after SparkyLinux 5.10.1 to bring all the latest updates and security fixes from the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series.

Among some of the updated components included in this release, there’s the Mozilla Firefox 68.6.0 ESR web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.6.0 email and news client, as well as the LibreOffice 6.1.5 office suite.

Under the hood, SparkyLinux 5.11 is using the Linux 4.19.98 LTS kernel for 32-bit and 64-bit systems, and Linux kernel 4.19.97 LTS for ARMhf architectures.

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Sparky 5.11

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Debian

A quarterly update point release of live/install media of Sparky 5.11 “Nibiru” of the stable line is out. This is a release based on Debian 10 “Buster”.

Changes:
– the base system upgraded from Debian stable repos as of March 1, 2020
– Linux kernel 4.19.98 LTS (PC)
– Linux kernel 4.19.97 LTS (ARMHF)
– added 9 new nature wallpapers captured by Aneta, Pavbaranov and me
– Sparky repository changed to the named “nibiru” (“stable” works as before); no need to manually change the repo; see also: https://sparkylinux.org/sparky-named-repos/
– Firefox 68.6.0 ESR
– Thunderbird 68.6.0
– LibreOffice 6.1.5

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LMDE4: How Much Does Debian Matter?

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Linux
Reviews
Debian

LMDE4 works as intended. It is a more polished release overall than last year's version 3. It proves the developer's experimental intent. Linux Mint certainly can carry on with relatively minor changes should there ever be a parting of ways over the continued use of the Ubuntu Linux base.

What could make LMDE a better proposition going forward? Adding more diversification with a choice of MATE and Xfce desktops.

That would put the Debian-based Linux Mint variant on a more equal footing. In turn, the additional options could create interest in a Debian Linux-based alternative for potential new Linux Mint users who do not want the Cinnamon desktop.

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Debian LTS Work and Tone Policing

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Debian
  • Debian LTS work, March 2020

    I was assigned 20 hours of work by Freexian's Debian LTS initiative, and carried over 0.75 hours from February. I only worked 12.25 hours this month, so I will carry over 8.5 hours to April.

    I issued DLA 2114-1 for the update to linux-4.9.

  • Debian LTS and ELTS - March 2020

    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 March, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability - I was assigned 30h for LTS (out of 30 max; all done) and 20h for ELTS (out of 20 max; I did 0).

    Most contributors claimed vulnerabilities by performing early CVE monitoring/triaging on their own, making me question the relevance of the Front-Desk role. It could be due to a transient combination of higher hours volume and lower open vulnerabilities.

  • Malaysia de-mystifies tone policing

    When the leaders of free software organizations want to avoid answering questions about money and conflicts of interest, one of their most popular fudges is to have some sidekick come in and complain about the tone of the question. These are the tone police. Beware.

    What, then, is the correct tone for women and volunteers to use when asking husbands and leaders about money?

    The Malaysian Government has provided an insight: try to sound like the cartoon character Doraemon.

    [...]

    In her infamous talk about enforcement at FOSDEM 2019, Molly de Blanc insists that it is necessary to follow through on community guidelines. She even gives a horrendous picture of a cat behind bars, how would Doraemon feel looking at that?

    This is no laughing matter unfortunately. A recent survey found one in five women still believe husbands deserve to beat ‘disobedient’ wives as they enforce Codes of Conduct in the home.

    As we read that, we couldn't help wondering if the rate of domestic homicides will increase in 2020 and if so, is the Code of Conduct to blame for that?

Debian Development: Sparky Report, Debian Archive Kit, and More

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Development
Debian
  • Sparky news 2020/03

    The 3rd monthly #stayhome report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

    • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.6.0
    • ChourS2008 translated a few Sparky wiki pages to Russian, thanks a lot
    • Nemoman keep translating Sparky wiki pages to Hungarian, thanks a lot
    • I keep translating wiki pages to Polish as well
    • Sparky 2020.03 & 2020.03.1 of the rolling line released
    • Sparky 4.12 of the oldstable line released
    • added to our repos: ClipGrab, CudaText
    • Sparky repos changed to the named: oldstable-> tyche; stable-> nibiru; testing-> potolo; the old ones work as before alongside to the new ones; see also: sparkylinux.org/sparky-named-repos/
    • added Chines (zh_CN) fonts and other stuff to be installed via APTus-> System-> Install Locales tool (v0.4.27)

  • Jonathan Wiltshire: neuraldak

    We are proud to announce that dak, the Debian Archive Kit, has been replaced by a neural network for processing package uploads and other archive maintenance. All FTP masters and assistants have been re-deployed to concentrate on managing neuraldak.

    neuraldak is an advanced machine learning algorithm which has been taught about appropriate uploads, can write to maintainers about their bugs and can automatically make an evaluation about suitable licenses and code quality. Any uploads which do not meet its standards will be rejected with prejudice.

    [...]

    In terms of licensing , neuraldak has been seeded only with the GPL license. This we consider the gold standard of licenses, and its clauses will be the basis for neuraldak evaluating other licenses as it is exposed to them.

  • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities March 2020

    The dh-make-perl feature requests, file bug report, File::Libmagic changes, autoconf-archive change, libpst work and the purple-discord upload were sponsored by my employer. All other work was done on a volunteer basis.

  • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS (March 2020)

    In March 2020, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 10.25 hours (of 10.25 hours planned).

Debian: Uyuni 2020.03, Chris Lamb's Work, Lomiri and Dissent Against DPLs

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Debian
  • Uyuni 2020.03 released — with enhanced Debian support!

    Uyuni is a configuration and infrastructure management tool that saves you time and headaches when you have to manage and update tens, hundreds or even thousands of machines.

    Uyuni is a fork of Spacewalk that leverages Salt, Cobbler and containers to modernize it. Uyuni is the upstream for SUSE Manager (the main difference is support: with SUSE Manager you get it from SUSE; with Uyuni you get it from the community) and our development and feature discussion is done in the open.

    Last week we released Uyuni 2020.03, with much improved Debian support, coming from the community: we have got client tools (both the Salt stack and the traditional stack) for Debian 9 and 10, and bootstrapping support!

  • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in March 2020
  • UBports: Packaging of Lomiri Operating Environment for Debian (part 02)

    Before and during FOSDEM 2020, I agreed with the people (developers, supporters, managers) of the UBports Foundation to package the Unity8 Operating Environment for Debian. Since 27th Feb 2020, Unity8 has now become Lomiri.

  • Donald Trump resigns, releases Non-Platform for 2020 election

    Happy April Fool's Day! We're sad to report that we didn't make up anything in the above email forgery. The shocking news is that all of it is fact.

Release of openmediavault 5 (Usul)

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GNU
Linux
Debian

After a long development phase i am happy to announce the release of openmediavault 5 (Usul).

A big thank you goes to all translators, forum moderators and bug reporters for their contributions and support.

The main features at a glance:

Using Debian 10 (Buster).

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Debian Leftovers and Developers' Takes

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Debian
  • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Using Zoom's web client on Linux

    Like too many institutions, the school where I teach chose to partner up with Zoom. I wasn't expecting anything else, as my school's IT department is a Windows shop. Well, I guess I'm still a little disappointed.

    Although I had vaguely heard of Zoom before, I had never thought I'd be forced to use it. Lucky for me, my employer decided not to force us to use it. To finish the semester, I plan to record myself and talk with my students on a Jitsi Meet instance.

    I will still have to attend meetings on Zoom though. I'm well aware of Zoom's bad privacy record and I will not install their desktop application. Zoom does offer a web client. Sadly, on Linux you need to jump through hoops to be able to use it.

  • Mike Gabriel: Mailman3 - Call for Translations (@Weblate)

    Over the last months I have found an interest in Mailman3. Given the EOL of Python2 in January 2020 and also being a heavy Mailman2 provider for various of my projects and also for customers, I felt it was time to look at Mailman2's successor: Mailman3 [1].

    One great novelty in Mailman3 is the strict split up between backend (Mailman Core), and the frontend components (django-mailman3, Postorius, Hyperkitty). All three are Django applications. Postorius is the list management web frontend whereas Hyperkitty is an archive viewer. Other than in Mailman2, you can also drop list posts into Hyperkitty directly (instead of sending a mail to the list). This makes Hyperkitty also some sort of forum software with a mailing list core in the back. The django-mailman3 module knits the previous two together (and handles account management, login dialog, profile settings, etc.).

  • Sven Hoexter: Looking into Envertech Enverbridge EVB 202 SetID tool

    Disclaimer: I'm neither an experienced programmer nor proficient in reverse engineering, but I like at least to try to figure out how things work. Sometimes the solution is so easy, that even I manage to find it, still take this with a grain of salt.

    I lately witnessed the setup of an Envertech EnverBridge ENB-202 which is kind of a classic Chinese IoT device. Buy it, plug it in, use some strange setup software, and it will report your PV statistics to a web portal. The setup involved downloading a PE32 Windows executable, with an UI that basically has two input boxes and a sent button. You've to input the serial number(s) of your inverter boxes and the ID of your EnverBridge. That made me interested in what this setup process really looks like.

    The EnverBridge device itself has on one end a power plug, which is also used to communicate with the inverter via some Powerline protocol, and a network plug with a classic RJ45 end you plug into your network. If you power it up it will request an IPv4 address via DHCP. That brings us to the first oddity, the MAC address is in the BC:20:90 prefix which I could not find in the IEEE lists.

  • Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana: My free software activities in February 2020

    I started to talk with Maristela from IEP - Instituto de Engenharia do Paraná and after some messages and I joined a meeting with her and other members of Câmara Técnica de Eletrônica, Computação e Ciências de Dados.

    I explained about FLISOL in Curitiba to them and they agreed to host the event at IEP. I asked to use three spaces: Auditorium for FLISOL talks, Salão Nobre for meetups from WordPress and PostgreSQL Communities, and the hall for Install Fest.

    Besides FLISOL, they would like to host other events and meetups from Communities in Curitiba as Python, PHP, and so on. At least one per month.

  • Covid 19 and the Indian response.

    There have been lot of stories about Coronavirus and with it a lot of political blame-game has been happening. The first step that India took of a lockdown is and was a good step but without having a plan as to how especially the poor and the needy and especially the huge migrant population that India has (internal migration) be affected by it. A 2019 World Economic Forum shares the stats. as 139 million people. That is a huge amount of people and there are a variety of both push and pull factors which has displaced these huge number of people. While there have been attempts in the past and probably will continue in future they will be hampered unless we have trust-worthy data which is where there is lots that need to be done. In the recent few years, both the primary and secondary data has generated lot of controversies within India as well as abroad so no point in rehashing all of that. Even the definition of who is a ‘migrant’ needs to be well-established just as who is a ‘farmer’ . The simplest lucanae in the later is those who have land are known as ‘farmers’ but the tenant farmers and their wives are not added as farmers hence the true numbers are never known. Is this an India-specific problem or similar definition issues are there in the rest of the world I don’t know.

    [...]

    What is worrying though that people can be infected twice or more as seems to be from Singapore or China and elsewhere. I have read enough of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton books to be aware that viruses can do whatever. They will over time mutate, how things will happen then is anybody’s guess. What I found interesting is the world economic forum article which hypothesis that it may be two viruses which got together as well as research paper from journal from poteome research which has recently been published. The biggest myth flying around is that summer will halt or kill the spread which even some of my friends have been victim of . While a part of me wants to believe them, a simple scientific fact has been viruses have probably been around us and evolved over time, just like we have. In fact, there have been cases of people dying due to common cold and other things. Viruses are so prevalent it’s unbelivable. What is and was interesting to note is that bat-borne viruses as well as pangolin viruses had been theorized and shared by Chinese researchers going all the way back to 90’s . The problem is even if we killed all the bats in the world, some other virus will take its place for sure. One of the ideas I had, dunno if it’s feasible or not that at least in places like Airports, we should have some sort of screenings and a labs working on virology. Of course, this will mean more expenses for flying passengers but for public health and safety maybe it would worth doing so. In any case, virologists should have a field day cataloging various viruses and would make it harder for viruses to spread as fast as this one has. The virus spread also showed a lack of leadership in most of our leaders who didn’t react fast enough. While one hopes people do learn from this, I am afraid the whole thing is far from over. These are unprecedented times and hope that all are maintaining social distancing and going out only when needed.

Systemd-Free antiX 19.2 Released with Latest Debian Buster Updates

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Debian

Coming three months after the first point release, antiX 19.2 is here to provide the community with an up-to-date installation media for new deployments, but also to add some extra features.

One of these extra features is support for the runit init system, a UNIX init scheme with service supervision, which was bacakported from Debian Sid (Unstable).

If you want to install antiX with the runit init system, you must download special ISO images that are only made for 32-bit systems. The rest of the ISOs are using the sysvinit init system.

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Sparky 2020.03.1

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GNU
Linux
Debian

New iso images of Sparky 2020.03.1 of the (semi-)rolling line have been generated.

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