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GNU

Organizing a Market for Applications

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GNU
Linux

The "Year of the Desktop" has been a perennial call to arms that's sunken into a joke that's way past its expiration date. We frequently talk about the "Year of the Desktop", but we don't really talk about how we would achieve that goal. What does the "Year of the Desktop" even look like?

What it comes down to is applications—rather, a market for applications. There is no market for applications because of a number of cultural artifacts that began when the Free Software was just getting up on wobbly legs.

Today, what we have is a distribution-centric model. Software is distributed by an OSV (operating system vendor), and users get their software directly from there via whatever packaging mechanism that OSV supports. This model evolved, because in the early-to-mid 1990s, those OSVs existed to compile the kernel and userspace into a cohesive product. Packaging of applications was the next step as a convenience factor to save users from having to compile their own applications, which always was a hit-or-miss endeavor as developers had different development environment from the users. Ultimately, OSVs enjoyed being gatekeepers as part of keeping developers honest and fixing issues that were unique to their operating system. OSVs saw themselves as agents representing users to provide high-quality software, and there was a feeling that developers were not to be trusted, as of course, nobody knows the state of their operating system better than they would.

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Belated Coverage of Wine/Proton

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GNU
Linux
Gaming
  • Steam Play Now Lets You Play Windows Games on Linux

    Valve made an announcement today which might put an end to Windows’ monopoly in PC gaming. A Wine-like compatibility wrapper has been integrated into Steam which should allow Windows games to run on Linux-based systems with relative ease.

  • WoW! Steam Play For Linux Now Lets You Play Windows Games

    According to the latest reports, the well-known American video game developer and digital distribution company, of course, I am talking about the Valve’s well-known Steam Play for Linux now lets you play Windows games.

  • Steam Play adds Linux compatibility to 27 games

    A week ago HEXUS reported upon sightings of compatibility tools being tested on Linux-based SteamOS systems. Much of what was gleaned from that pre-launch leakage has now materialised, as Valve has launched a new version of Steam Play. Steam Play aims to bring more titles with Linux support to Steam's catalogue, and two years ago Valve started working on improving the quality and performance of Windows compatibility solutions for Steam games. Now a new Steam Play Beta includes a modified distribution of Wine, called Proton, and DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan for compatibility and performance.

  • Steam Play update brings Windows games to Linux

    Valve has introduced an update to Steam Play which is designed to make a raft of previously Windows-only games playable on Linux.

    Announcing the Steam Play update on its website, Valve said: “In 2010, we announced Steam Play: a way for Steam users to access Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of Steam games with a single purchase. More than 3000 of the games that have been added to Steam after that point has included Linux support, with more titles being added every day. Since then, we’ve continued to look for ways to make more titles easily accessible to Linux users.

  • Steam for Linux Now Runs Windows-Only Games

    Valve has dropped a new version of Steam Play and upended our expectations in doing so. According to the company, it’s now possible to play games that were formerly considered Windows-exclusive in a Linux installation. To call this the Holy Grail of crossover computing would be an exaggeration — but not by much. Linux developers have worked on projects like Wine for decades with the explicit goal of improving game compatibility and performance when running Windows software under Linux. Now, according to Valve, that dream has been realized — or at least, it’s starting to be.

Big List of Most Popular Chromebook Brands Will Not Receive Linux Support Due to 3.14 Kernel

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GNU
Linux
Google

It turns out that unfortunately a lot of Chromebooks with the Linux 3.14 kernel aren’t going to be getting any Linux app support from Google – including Google’s own Chromebook Pixel series. This is quite a blow to the Chromebook Linux community, as many developers were always working on backporting the essential kernel modules such as vsock, trying their best to make vsock backward compatible – though it turned out that vsock isn’t backwards compatible with Linux kernel 3.14, but the point remains.

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Intel 'gags' Linux distros from revealing performance hit from Spectre patches

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GNU
Linux
Security

Open-source champion Bruce Perens has called out Intel for adding a new restriction to its software license agreement along with its latest CPU security patches to prevent developers from publishing software benchmark results.

The new clause appears to be a move by Intel to legally gag developers from revealing performance degradation caused by its mitigations for Spectre and Foreshadow or 'L1 Terminal Fault' (L1FT) flaw speculative attacks.

"You will not, and will not allow any third party to ... publish or provide any software benchmark or comparison test results," Intel's new agreement states.

The new term appeared with the fixes for 'L1 Terminal Fault' that were recently delivered to Microsoft and Linux distributions.

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8 New Raspbian Features to Start Using on Your Raspberry Pi

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Some 2 years ago, we published an article on the future of Raspberry Pi after millions of sales and the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been doing an excellent job since then. It is used in several of the most complicated projects including big data analysis, A.I research, and making both smart homes and modern robots, to mention a few.

Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi’s official supported OS has received a good number of features over the years and today we’re listing the new features as reasons why you should use it on your Raspberry Pi machine.

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Google confirms many older Chromebooks won't get Linux apps, including the 2015 Chromebook Pixel

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GNU
Linux
Google

Google announced earlier this year that Linux apps would eventually be supported on Chrome OS. The feature has been available for months in the Canary and Dev channels, and now works on a variety of Chromebooks from multiple manufacturers. A merged pull request on the Chromium Gerrit now confirms that any device running the Linux kernel 3.14 (or older) will never get Linux app support.

For context, Linux apps on Chrome OS run in a protected container, to prevent malicious software from interfering with the main system. This container requires features only found in recent versions of the Linux kernel, like vsock (which was added in Linux 4.8). Chromebooks usually stick with whatever kernel version they are shipped with, and many popular models are running older versions too old for containers.

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Wine and a Lot More Coverage Today About Wine-based “Proton”

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

Latest About Crostini: GNU/Linux Software on Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
Google
  • Google Makes it Easier to Run Linux Apps on Chromebooks

    Have you been patiently waiting for the ability to run Linux apps on your Chromebook since word of Crostini first surfaced?

    If so, your patience is about to be well rewarded.

    Google is preparing to roll out this exciting Chrome OS feature as part of its next OS update, giving more users the opportunity to install and run Linux apps on their Chromebook.

  • This Week In Chrome: #madebygoogle Chromebooks, Linux Apps And We Get A Facelift

    The “Crostini Project” that brought Linux apps to Chromebooks has seemingly accelerated in development as of late. What appeared to be a developer-centric experiment, has quickly spread to a large number of Chrome devices and has already moved into the Beta Channel of Chrome OS.

    You can now install Linux apps on dozens of Chromebook models by the flipping a switch in the Beta channel and executing a few simple lines of code. Even more exciting is the fact that support for Debian files is here meaning you can simply download the application file you want and double-click to install just like you would on any other OS.

    If that’s not enough, you can even install the Gnome Software Center and install apps from the “store.” All of these combined will surely bring Linux apps to the forefront of Chrome OS’s usability and versatility.

Bodhi Linux 5.0.0 Released

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GNU
Linux

Today I am very pleased to share the hard work of the Bodhi Team which has resulted in our fifth major release. It has been quiet the journey since our first stable release a little over seven years ago and I am happy with the progress this projected has made in that time.

For those looking for a lengthy change log between the 4.5.0 release and 5.0.0, you will not find one. We have been happy with what the Moksha desktop has provided for some time now. This new major release simply serves to bring a modern look and updated Ubuntu core (18.04) to the lightning fast desktop you have come to expect from Bodhi Linux.

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Also: UBOS Beta 15: status LEDs, Pagekite and Staff improvements

Moreutils – A Collection Of More Useful Unix Utilities

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GNU
Software
HowTos

We all know about GNU core utilities that comes pre-installed with all Unix-like operating systems. These are the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities of the GNU operating system. The GNU core utilities contains the commands, such as cat, ls, rm, mkdir, rmdir, touch, tail, wc and many more, for performing the day-to-day operations. Among these utilities, there are also some other useful collection of Unix utilities which are not included by default in the Unix-like operating systems. Meet moreutilis, a growing collection of more useful Unix utilities. The moreutils can be installed on GNU/Linux, and various Unix flavours such as FreeBSD, openBSD and Mac OS.

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More in Tux Machines

Hello GNOME 3.30!

GNOME 3.30 "Almeria" has been released at 5 September 2018 as announced in mailing list by Matthias Clasen. This version is a Stable version after 6 month development with GUADEC 2018 conference at Almeria, Spain. It brings improvements in its core apps Files, Games, Boxes, Settings, Builder, and it adds new app called Podcasts. In short, the 3.30 is a very attractive and comfortable desktop to use in mid-high computers with RAM 4GB or more. Also, Builder makes GNOME 3.30 amazingly easy for everyone to contribute back to GNOME Project. I tested GNOME 3.30 on Fedora Rawhide (as per 15 September 2018) as Ubuntu users still need to wait until 18.10 released. Thanks to all GNOME Developers and Contributors for bringing this awesome version. Here's my review. Enjoy! Read more

Purism Launches First Security Key with Tamper Evident Protection for Laptops

Developed in partnership with Nitrokey, a company known for manufacturing open-source USB keys that enable secure encryption and signing of data for laptops, Purism's Librem Key is dedicated to Librem laptop users, allowing them to store up to 4096-bit RSA keys and up to 512-bit ECC keys on the security key, as well as to securely generate new keys directly on the device. Librem Key integrates with the secure boot process of the latest Librem 13 and 15 laptops. "It’s not feasible or healthy to monitor your computing devices every second - and that's especially the case when you travel," says Kyle Rankin, Chief Security Officer at Purism. "With the Librem Key, we are giving Librem users the keys to completely lock their computer if they're in an unfamiliar network environment in the same way one would want to have the keys to their car if they needed to drive to an unfamiliar neighborhood." Read more

New SparkyLinux 5.5 "Nibiru" ISOs Released with Latest Debian Buster Updates

The new SparkyLinux 5.5 "Nibiru" Rolling images are now synced with the Debian Testing (soon to become Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster") software repositories as of September 17, 2018, which means that they are now shipping the Linux 4.18.6 kernel, the Calamares 3.2.1 installer, as well as the latest GCC 8 system compiler by default aas GCC 7 has been completely removed. "There are new live/install iso images of SparkyLinux 5.5 “Nibiru” available to download. The live system of MinimalGUI/CLI uses Debian’s Linux kernel 4.18.6 as default. The live system of LXQt, due to a problem with long loading the desktop, features Sparky’s Linux kernel 4.18.8 (32bit pae/64bit amd64) as default; and the Debian’s one as well," reads the release announcement. Read more

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