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Linspire Server 2018 Released

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Linspire Server 2018 to the public. Linspire Server 2018 is based on Ubuntu Server 16.04. Linspire Server 2018 is a solution for medium to small businesses as well as education facilities. Linspire Server 2018 is available today and will be free to download and use under a self support license. Commercial support is available for customers who want that piece of mind.

Linspire Server 2018 boots by default into a customized XFCE environment for a GUI environment to ease the complexity for customers coming from Windows Server or macOS Server. We use DWM as a secondary window manager and users can use the server as a command line only environment as well.

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AsteroidOS, an open-source Wear OS alternative, now available as a stable release

Filed under
GNU
Linux

A few years ago, a French computer science student named Florent Revest undertook a project to keep Android Wear smartwatches from dying of obsolescence. That project is called AsteroidOS, built entirely on GNU/Linux libraries and technologies, and in its current state, it's fairly basic. Even so, for all fans of open source software out there, this is pretty damn great.

This is the stable release of v1.0 and it works on a few select watches: Asus ZenWatch, Asus ZenWatch 2, Asus ZenWatch 3, LG G Watch, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, and Sony Smartwatch 3. Each has a different level of support – e.g. the Urbane's sensors aren't working at time of writing – but AsteroidOS is a mostly fully-functioning smartwatch operating system.

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Open source vs free software: what's the difference?

Filed under
GNU
OSS

February 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the official recognition of open source software. However, the debate regarding the differences, if any, between 'open source' and 'free' software continues unabated.

Richard Stallman, who is credited with developing the concept of 'free software' in the 1980s, says the term 'free software' has nothing to do with cost. For him, free software is a social movement, a philosophy, while open source is a development methodology.

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IWD 0.2 Released for Linux, Microsoft Desperate to Stop GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • IWD 0.2 Released For Advancing Intel's Linux WiFi Daemon

    Last week marked the release of IWD 0.2, the second public release of this WiFi daemon for Linux systems destined as a replacement for WPA Supplicant.

    It was back at the end of 2016 that the code was made public while now there is finally the second version release. IWD 0.2 brings support for several new features as well as several bug fixes.

  • Microsoft's Linux Adoption: How Things Change [Ed: Surely Matt Hartley understands how Embrace, Extend, Extinguish works, no? Seems so...]

    When Microsoft began promoting themselves as the company that "Loves Linux," some Linux community members were skeptical. Some even believed that Microsoft's move to embrace Linux was based on the once tried and true “embrace, extend, extinguish” approach to technology we've seen in the past. And this concern is based on a hisory of the past use of this strategy.

    While it's a valid to worry about Microsoft's motivation behind their self-claimed embrace of Linux, I think Microsoft's motivation is more selfish than a desire to extinguish Linux would suggest. Based on their activity with cloud computing and more recently, the Internet of Things (IoT), I believe Microsoft is looking to utilize technology that has proven itself in those fields - Linux is that technology.

    Linux is a means to an end for Microsoft. It allows the software giant to participate with greater efficiency by utilizing existing toolsets. The official reasoning that Microsoft offers is Linux and open source in general provides a great ecosystem. An ecosystem Microsoft is now (apparently) motivated to give back code to. My own concern, however, is how much of this code being given back upstream is good for the community.

     

    The concern that I have is I believe the code being sent upstream must always benefit Microsoft directly or indirectly in some way. I haven't seen any examples of Microsoft providing code that benefits projects that are unrelated to their own efforts. Perhaps I missed something along the way, but due to their anti-FoSS history, it's unreasonable to expect Microsoft to give back to projects that might not benefit them directly or indirectly. And yes, Microsoft's sponsorship of various Linux conventions is an example of indirect benefit to Microsoft.

GNU/Linux on Laptops/Desktops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Chrome OS to get neat new tricks alongside support for Linux apps
  • What's new in Chrome OS and Chromebooks at Google I/O 2018
  • Google Chrome OS now has a built-in Linux virtual machine and aims to be a better tool for coders
  • The Eric Lundgren Story: When Free isn’t Free

    If you told me that one day I might be writing an article defending Microsoft’s draconian ideas on software licenses, I’d never have believed it. Yet here we are. I don’t like the way Microsoft licenses their software, and I imagine many Hackaday readers feel the same way. But at the same time I recognize they have the right, as the creator of said software, to license it however they see fit. If we celebrate legal victories over those who would violate the terms of the GNU GPL license, we cannot in the next breath condone the violation of proprietary licenses simply because they run counter to the hacker ethos.

    As a community we fought back against people selling prints of Creative Commons Non-Commercial models downloaded from Thingiverse, a scenario nearly identical to the one Eric has found himself in. Ignorance to the fine print doesn’t absolve you from being held accountable; just because you found it for free online doesn’t mean you can put it into mass production and pocket a profit.

    When he chose to use proprietary software for his computer refurbishment plans, he took on the burden of following the restrictive licenses such software is bound by. Had he decided instead to put into production install discs for Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distribution, things would have gone very differently. His goals of putting old computers back into service would have been met, and he would have not been in violation of the software’s license. But that’s not the choice he made.

  • Open Source Software: What Is It and Which is the Best?

    Linux is probably the most well known of the open source projects, which first came into being in 1991. Due to the source code being freely available and viewable, it is easy to make and distribute your own version. You obviously have to have the programming chops for that though.

    The most well-known version of Linux is arguably Ubuntu. But there are others which are just as popular including Debian, Puppy Linux (a very lightweight 200MB version ideal for older computers), Linux Mint, and Fedora. My personal favorite is a security-focused version called Tails which deserves an article all of its very own.

    Linux can be installed on a computer or it can be run as a Live CD or portable app. If you partition your computer, it can be dual-booted alongside Windows.

GNU/Linux Releases: CRUX 3.4, Antergos 18.5, SparkyLinux 4.8

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Best Linux applications (2018)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Over the years, I have compiled several articles detailing the best-of software for Linux and Windows, starting as early as 2008, and then making the last bundle in 2012. Six years is a very long time in the software sphere, so I thought about making another compilation.

My criteria for the inclusion and nomination are relatively simple: Applications need to be robust and stable, they need to accessible, the installation process should be relatively straightforward, and ideally, these will be cross-platform tools that run on other operating systems, too. There's a certain degree of personal taste, too, but I believe my choices are pragmatic, useful and fun. With the necessary expectation for a certain amount of hype, let us proceed. And do note, in some cases, you will see older and/or official screenshots, but that's mostly for aesthetic purposes.

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Also: Testing out Sumatra: a tool for managing iterations of simulations/analyses

System76 vs. The LVFS Firmware Updating Service

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

This week the latest open-source drama was a differing of opinions between Richard Hughes of Red Hat who maintains Fwupd and LVFS for Linux firmware updating from the desktop and that of Linux PC vendor System76.

Richard Hughes volleyed a blog post that recommend not buying System76 hardware for those wanting firmware updates via LVFS (the Linux Vendor Firmware Service). He wrote that post based upon System76 not currently using UEFI UpdateCapsule for BIOS updates, System76 developing a Rust tool to flash the embedded controller, and them rolling out their own firmware update handler that officially targets Ubuntu and Pop!_OS. Richard then encouraged Linux users to buy Dell XPS laptops instead.

Richard's post in full can be read here.

On Friday, System76 responded to those accusations. According to System76, Richard expressed via email that the approach System76 is using for firmware updating likely wouldn't work with LVFS and also their distributing of a proprietary firmware flashing tool likely wouldn't be approved by Red Hat legal and they also found flashing the embedded controler from user-space to be sub-optimal.

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Get Privacy Tools on Ubuntu 18.04

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

If you are already aware about 2013 global privacy case, I believe you care about your internet privacy by now. If you just switched to Ubuntu, here's a list of user-friendly programs (free software only) and search engine to protect your privacy. You will find my recommendation of a web search engine, a specific web browser, add-ons, email client enhancements, and password storage. This list accompanies the previous list of 20 useful programs for 18.04.

[...]

Free software is not gratis software but software that the user is free. Free software is about the user's right, either individually or collectively, to control over the software. If you run your activities with nonfree software (also called proprietary), you don't control the whole things software does within your computer, which only means there is somebody else controlling you and the computers. To protect your privacy, you should make sure you run only free software and relies only on privacy-respecting internet services.

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GNU: LibreJS 7.14, Hiring, and GNU Guix

Filed under
Development
GNU
  • LibreJS 7.14 released

    GNU LibreJS aims to address the JavaScript problem described in Richard Stallman's article The JavaScript Trap. LibreJS is a free add-on for GNU IceCat and other Mozilla-based browsers. It blocks nonfree nontrivial JavaScript while allowing JavaScript that is free and/or trivial.

  • Contract opportunity: JavaScript Developer for GNU LibreJS

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a contract JavaScript Developer to work on GNU LibreJS, a free browser add-on that addresses the problem of nonfree JavaScript described in Richard Stallman's article The JavaScript Trap. This is a temporary, paid contract opportunity, with specific deliverables, hours, term, and payment to be determined with the selected candidate. We anticipate the contract being approximately 80 hours of full-time work, with the possibility of extension depending on results and project status.

  • Paper on reproducible bioinformatics pipelines with Guix

    I’m happy to announce that the bioinformatics group at the Max Delbrück Center that I’m working with has released a preprint of a paper on reproducibility with the title Reproducible genomics analysis pipelines with GNU Guix.

    We built a collection of bioinformatics pipelines called "PiGx" ("Pipelines in Genomix") and packaged them as first-class packages with GNU Guix. Then we looked at the degree to which the software achieves bit-reproducibility, analysed sources of non-determinism (e.g. time stamps), discussed experimental reproducibility at runtime (e.g. random number generators, the interface provided by the kernel and the GNU C library, etc) and commented on the practice of using “containers” (or application bundles) instead.

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More in Tux Machines

openSUSE Tumbleweed Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Landed

As of today, the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system is now powered by the latest and most advanced Linux 4.17 kernel series, which landed in the most recent snapshot released earlier. Tumbleweed snapshot 20180615 was released today, June 17, 2018, and it comes only two days after snapshot 20180613, which added the Mesa 18.1.1 graphics stack and KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment, along with many components of the latest KDE Applications 18.04.2 software suite. Today's snapshot 20180615 continued upgrading the KDE Applications software suite to version 18.04.2, but it also upgraded the kernel from Linux 4.16.12 to Linux 4.17.1. As such, OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is now officially powered by Linux kernel 4.17, so upgrading your installs as soon as possible would be a good idea. Read more

today's howtos and leftovers

OSS Leftovers

  • Using Open Source Software in a SecDevOps Environment
    On 21 June 2018 the Open Source Software3 Institute is hosting a discussion that should be of high interest to enterprise technologists in the DC/Northern Virginia, Maryland area. From their invite: Come hear from our panelists about how the worlds of Open Source Software and the Secure Development / Operations (SecDevOps) intersect and strengthen one another. SecDevOps seeks to embed security in the development process as deeply as DevOps has done with operations, and Open Source Software is a major factor in Security, Development, and Operations. Tickets are free, but you need to register soon because seating is limited.
  • TenFourFox FPR8b1 available
    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 8 beta 1 is now available (downloads, release notes, hashes). There is much less in this release than I wanted because of a family member in the hospital and several technical roadblocks. Of note, I've officially abandoned CSS grid again after an extensive testing period due to the fact that we would need substantial work to get a functional implementation, and a partially functional implementation is worse than none at all (in the latter case, we simply gracefully degrade into block-level divs). I also was not able to finish the HTML input date picker implementation, though I've managed to still get a fair amount completed of it, and I'll keep working on that for FPR9. The good news is, once the date picker is done, the time picker will use nearly exactly the same internal plumbing and can just be patterned off it in the same way. Unlike Firefox's implementation, as I've previously mentioned our version uses native OS X controls instead of XUL, which also makes it faster. That said, it is a ghastly hack on the Cocoa widget side and required some tricky programming on 10.4 which will be the subject of a later blog post.
  • GNU dbm 1.15
    GDBM tries to detect inconsistencies in input database files as early as possible. When an inconcistency is detected, a helpful diagnostics is returned and the database is marked as needing recovery. From this moment on, any GDBM function trying to access the database will immediately return error code (instead of eventually segfaulting as previous versions did). In order to reconstruct the database and return it to healthy state, the gdbm_recover function should be used.

Server: GNU/Linux Dominance in Supercomputers, Windows Dominance in Downtime

  • Five Supercomputers That Aren't Supercomputers
    A supercomputer, of course, isn't really a "computer." It's not one giant processor sitting atop an even larger motherboard. Instead, it's a network of thousands of computers tied together to form a single whole, dedicated to a singular set of tasks. They tend to be really fast, but according to the folks at the International Supercomputing Conference, speed is not a prerequisite for being a supercomputer. But speed does help them process tons of data quickly to help solve some of the world's most pressing problems. Summit, for example, is already booked for things such as cancer research; energy research, to model a fusion reactor and its magnetically confined plasma tohasten commercial development of fusion energy; and medical research using AI, centering around identifying patterns in the function and evolution of human proteins and cellular systems to increase understanding of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, or addiction, and to inform the drug discovery process.
  • Office 365 is suffering widespread borkage across Blighty
     

    Some users are complaining that O365 is "completely unusable" with others are reporting a noticeable slowdown, whinging that it's taking 30 minutes to send and receive emails.