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Xfce Screensaver 0.1.4 Released and the GNOME Metered Data Survey

Filed under
GNU
Linux
GNOME
  • Xfce Screensaver 0.1.4 Released

    Featuring numerous performance improvements and an improved low-power resource footprint, Xfce Screensaver 0.1.4 continues to improve screen locking on Xfce.

  • Tether Often? Take the GNOME Metered Data Survey

    In some parts of the world (even here in Blighty) many internet packages come with a usage limit, traffic shaping or “data cap”. For many, myself included these restrictions are part and parcel of going online.

    I often tether my Ubuntu laptop to my (data-capped) mobile internet, mostly when if i’m working from a cafe with a dodgy or insecure network.

    Using a computer with a data limit certainly affects the way you use it, the websites you access (and how long they stay open), the apps you run (or have running in the background), and so on.

    Overage charges can be costly. Traffic slowdowns often inopportune. Nixed connections the absolute worst.

New Release of GNU Parallel and New FSF-Endorsed Products From ThinkPenguin

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GNU
  • GNU Parallel 20190322 ('FridayforFuture') released

    GNU Parallel 20190322 ('FridayforFuture') has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
    The change in signalling makes this release experimental for users that send SIGTERM to GNU Parallel.

  • Seven new devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc. now FSF-certified to Respect Your Freedom

    Thursday, March 21st, 2019 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to seven devices from ThinkPenguin, Inc.: The Penguin Wireless G USB Adapter (TPE-G54USB2), the Penguin USB Desktop Microphone for GNU / Linux (TPE-USBMIC), the Penguin Wireless N Dual-Band PCIe Card (TPE-N300PCIED2), the PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Card Dual Port (TPE-1000MPCIE), the PCI Gigabit Ethernet Card (TPE-1000MPCI), the Penguin 10/100 USB Ethernet Network Adapter v1 (TPE-100NET1), and the Penguin 10/100 USB Ethernet Network Adapter v2 (TPE-100NET2). The RYF certification mark means that these products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy.

    [...]

    "I've always believed that the biggest difficulty for users in the free software world has been in obtaining compatible hardware, and so I'm glad to be participating in the expansion of the RYF program" said Christopher Waid, founder and CEO of ThinkPenguin.

    ThinkPenguin, Inc. was one of the first companies to receive RYF certification, gaining their first and second certifications in 2013, and adding several more over the years since.

    "ThinkPenguin has excelled for years in providing users with the tools they need to control their own computing. We are excited by these new additions today, and look forward to what they have in store for the future," said the FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.

  • FSF Certifies A USB Microphone For Respecting Your Freedom Plus Some Network Adapters

    The Free Software Foundation has announced the latest batch of hardware it has certified for "Respecting Your Freedom" as part of its RYF program.

    Seven more devices from Linux-focused e-tailer Think Penguin have been certified for respecting your freedoms and privacy in that no binary blobs are required for use nor any other restrictions on the hardware's use or comprising the user's privacy.

Top 10 Android Emulators for Linux To Enjoy Android Apps in Linux

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OS
Android
GNU
Linux

Since smartphone came into our life, it has been influencing almost every spectrum of our socio-cultural movements. As a Linux power user, being able to run smartphone applications right into your computer means a lot to many. Android, the de-facto smartphone operating system used by people worldwide also leverages the Linux ecosystem to achieve its objectives. Android emulators are pieces of computer applications that let you run your favorite Android apps or games directly from your Linux system. In this guide, we’ll outline the top 10 best Android Emulators for Linux that you can use today to run playstore apps right into your Linux machine.

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The Many Flavors of Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

Linux is not as popularly used in both the security- and user-focused computing worlds as other OSes such as Windows and macOS, but it can still be used for both. In fact, depending on your needs, there are many different flavors of Linux you can use.

And the different versions have key differences between them. Aside from security user-focused distros, there are what can be considered unique Linux distros that have their own specific uses, weird as they may be. This article will detail some of the many flavors of Linux available today and will leave you with a better understanding of their differences, and you will be in a better position to select the distro of Linux for your needs.

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Distros: New Fedora Respins, Zorin Beta and Septor 2019.2

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GNU
Linux
  • F29-20190319 updated Live isos released

    The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F29-20190319 Live ISOs, carrying the 4.20.16-200 kernel.

    This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have 1.2GB of updates)).

    This set also includes a updated iso of the Security Lab.

    A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, Southern-Gentlem for testing these iso.

  • And the next version of Zorin OS is…

    After a long development cycle, we’re excited to introduce the Beta of the next major version of our operating system: Zorin OS 15. Creating a Linux desktop operating system that’s designed for everyone – not only the engineers & power users – has always been the mission of Zorin OS, ever since the first release nearly 10 years ago. Zorin OS 15 takes this decade-long effort and amplifies it to the next level. Every aspect of the user experience has been re-considered and refined in this new release, from how apps are installed, to how you get work done, to how it interacts with the devices around you. The result is a desktop experience that combines the most powerful desktop technology with the most user-friendly design.

    This is a pre-release Beta version which we have created to get your feedback & bug reports on what we’ve built so far.

  • Septor 2019.2 - changes

    Tor Browser is fully installed (8.0.7)
    System upgrade from Debian testing repos as of March 19, 2019

What’s New in ArcoLinux 19.2 and MakuluLinux Core

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GNU
Linux

Sway – A Tiling Wayland i3-Compatible Compositor

Filed under
GNU
Linux

I have covered window tiling editors/managers previously with apps like herbstluftwm and Tilix so check them out if you haven’t already.

Sway is a free and open source tiling Wayland compositor that is compatible with the i3 window manager, uses the same configuration syntax, and works with most of the software designed for i3.

Sway makes use of all the available space on your screen and automatically adjusts window sizes as you open more apps and you can navigate between apps with your keyboard.

App windows can be arranged horizontally, vertically, stacked, or tabbed and you can change their size as well as split windows into containers of several windows all without touching your mouse. You could, however, use your mouse to rearrange windows and even take windows out of the tiling grid and manipulate them.44

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New From RMS: Install Fests: What to Do about the Deal with the Devil

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GNU
Linux

Install fests invite users to bring their computers so that experts can install GNU/Linux on them. This is meant to promote the idea of free software as well as the use of free software. In practice, these two goals conflict: users that want to reject nonfree software entirely need to choose their computers carefully to achieve that goal.

The problem is that most computers can't run with a completely free GNU/Linux distro. They contain peripherals, or coprocessors, that won't operate unless the installed system contains some nonfree drivers or firmware. This happens because hardware manufacturers refuse to tell us how to use their products, so that the only way to figure out how is by reverse engineering, which in most cases has not yet been done.

This presents the install fest with a dilemma. If it upholds the ideals of freedom, by installing only free software from 100%-free distros, partly-secret machines won't become entirely functional and the users that bring them will go away disappointed. However, if the install fest installs nonfree distros and nonfree software which make machines entirely function, it will fail to teach users to say no for freedom's sake. They may learn to like GNU/Linux, but they won't learn what the free software movement stands for. In effect, the install fest makes a tacit deal with the devil that suppresses the free software movement's message about freedom and justice.

The nonfree software means the user sacrifices freedom for functionality. If users had to wrestle with this choice, they could draw a moral lesson from it, and maybe get a better computer later. But when the install fest makes the compromise on the user's behalf, it shelters the user from the moral dimension; the user never sees that something other than convenience is at stake. In effect, the install fest makes the deal with the devil, on the user's behalf, behind a curtain so the user doesn't recognize that it is one.

I propose that the install fest show users exactly what deal they are making. Let them talk with the devil individually, learn the deal's bad implications, then make a deal—or refuse!

As always, I call on the install fest itself to install only free software, taking a strict stance. In this way it can set a clear moral example of rejecting nonfree software.

My new idea is that the install fest could allow the devil to hang around, off in a corner of the hall, or the next room. (Actually, a human being wearing sign saying “The Devil,” and maybe a toy mask or horns.) The devil would offer to install nonfree drivers in the user's machine to make more parts of the computer function, explaining to the user that the cost of this is using a nonfree (unjust) program.

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Also: RMS article: "Install fests: What to do about the deal with the devil"

LinHES R8.6 Released

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GNU
Linux

The LinHES Dev team is pleased to announce the release of LinHES R8.6!

LinHES R8.6 updates MythTV to 30-fixes as well as updates to the kernel, system libraries, graphics drivers and many other parts of LinHES.

Release notes and upgrade instructions can be found here.

Read more

Also: Tails 3.13 is out

Ten Years After Part III - A Storied Conclusion

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Old habits are indeed hard to break, and especially if you don't really understand the reason why those habits have to change. The idea of a software repository just didn't make sense to most of our Reglue kids at first. I cannot count the times when I went to troubleshoot a problem on a Reglue computer to find the desktop riddled with .exe files of failed installations.

What isn't really surprising is that the kids did eventually pick up the whole installation process on their Linux machines, and mostly came to prefer it. But the parents? Not so much. I wish I had recorded some of the calls I got from irate parents or guardians because they couldn't install XYZ software on the computer. It didn't take me long to make sure to make sure that Mom or Dad were present when I explained that part during the orientation. At times, I had to remind those adults that the computer and software was engineered for the benefit of the student, not as a household computer. I mean, get TurboTax on your own machine. It helped some, but still....Adults, right?

[...]

By far the most vocal complaints concerned "needed" software not being available on Linux. We might as well just call out The Terrible Two. Photoshop and Microsoft Office. Now remember, the bulk of my work was done between 2005 and 2009. I never offered any excuses for Photoshop. The Gimp isn't Photoshop, no matter how you twist or turn it and trying to tell someone who uses Photoshop scholastically or professionally that The Gimp can replace Photoshop is a fools errand. Sure it can do a lot of what Photoshop can do but it's those pesky little items that The Gimp lacks that everyone got all bunched up over.

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More in Tux Machines

Events: SREcon19 Americas, Scale, FudCon and Snapcraft Summit Montreal

  • SREcon19 Americas Talk Resources
    At SREcon19 Americas, I gave a talk called "Operating within Normal Parameters: Monitoring Kubernetes". Here's some links and resources related to my talk, for your reference.
  • Participating at #Scale17x
    Everytime somebody asks me about Scale I can only think of the same: Scale is the most important community lead conference in North America and it only gets better by the years. This year it celebrated its seventeenth edition and it just struck me: with me being there this year, there have been more Scales I have attended than I have not. This is my nineth conference out of 17. The first time that I attended it was 2011, it was the edition followed by FudCon Tempe 2010 which happened to be my first Fedora conference and it was also the first time I got to meet some contributors that I had previously collaborated with, many of which I still consider my brothers. As for this time, I almost didn’t make it as my visa renewal was resolved on Friday’s noon, one day after the conference started. I recovered it that same day and book a flight in the night. I couldn’t find anything to LAX -as I regularly fly- so I had to fly to Tijuana and from there I borrowed a cart to Pasadena. Long story short: I arrived around 1:30 AM on Saturday.
  • Snapcraft Summit Montreal
    Snapcraft is the universal app store for Linux that reaches millions of users and devices and serves millions of app installs a month. The Snapcraft Summit is a forward-thinking software workshop attended by major software vendors, community contributors and Snapcraft engineers working at every level of the stack.

today's howtos

Draw On Your Screen with this Neat GNOME Shell Extension

Ever wish you could draw on the Linux desktop or write on the screen? Well, there’s a new GNOME Shell extension that lets you do exactly that: draw on the Linux desktop. You may want to point out a bug, highlight a feature, or provide some guidance to someone else by sending them an annotated screenshot. In this short post we’ll show you how to install the add-on and how to use it. Read more

Fedora 31 Preparing To Start Removing Packages Depending Upon Python 2

Python 2 support will formally reach end-of-life on 1 January 2020 and Fedora 31 is preparing for that by working to drop packages (or parts of packages) that depend upon Python 2. Fedora has been pushing for a Python 2 to Python 3 migration for many cycles now -- as most Linux distributions have -- while with Fedora 31 they are planning a "mass Python 2 package removal" if necessary. They are planning to closely track the state of packages depending upon Python 2 to either drop the packages or allow packagers to easily abandon Python 2 parts of programs. Read more