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Want to Make Linux Mint Look Like a Mac? This Theme Can Help

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

We’ve established how easy it is to make Ubuntu look like a Mac but theming Linux Mint, the popular Ubuntu-based offshoot, is a little trickier.

But no more.

It’s now possible to make Linux Mint look like a Mac too, and it’s all thanks to a customised version of the uncannily accurate macOS Mojave GTK theme we highlighted here, just a few weeks ago.

If you’ve longed to add some Cupertino styling to the Cinnamon desktop, keep reading!

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The Best Linux VPNs of 2018

Filed under
GNU
Linux

If the 20th century was defined by an explosive growth in technology, then the 21st century is beginning to be defined by personal security, or more pointedly, a lack thereof. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), once mainly a site-to-site connection tool for IT professionals, have evolved to become personal services that let individual users connect to the internet by using encrypted traffic that prevents third parties from snooping on their web activities.

This VPN evolution occurred because it has become increasingly easy for hackers to exploit constantly changing operating systems (OSes), applications, and networks. This means sophisticated tactics, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, aren't just being aimed at businesses anymore. It's happening to everyday folks who are frequenting their favorite coffee shop. This means these folks need to upgrade their security arsenal.

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GCC 8.2 Compiler Will Be Releasing Soon

Filed under
Development
GNU

Developers behind the GNU Compiler Collection intend to get release preparations underway soon for the GCC 8.2 compiler.

GCC8 remains open for bug/regression fixes and documentation updates with GCC 8.2 due to be the first point release under the GCC versioning policy where the May release of GCC 8.1 marked the project's first stable feature release of GCC8. New feature development meanwhile remains focused on GCC 9, which will be released initially as GCC 9.1 around early 2019.

So to no surprise, GCC 8.2 is set to carry just various regression fixes primarily as more developers began trying out this annually updated compiler following the recent stable release.

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Support increases for ETSI’s Open Source MANO

Filed under
GNU
Linux
OSS

Implementing NFV was always going to be a challenge for telcos and their vendor and integrator partners, more so with actually getting services into operation. Even if we leave aside the herculean task on onboarding VNFs, one of the biggest concerns has been orchestration. Constant network changes caused by the dynamic and agile architecture of NFV needs to be managed automatically by orchestrators.

For telcos, there are two different initiatives that are driving the management of network orchestration – and whilst, at times, they have been viewed as competitive, current thinking tends to place them as complementary (it all depends to whom you talk).

Back in 2016, ETSI created the Open Source MANO (management and network orchestration) industry standards group, built on the back of its ground-breaking efforts to develop a standards framework for telco NFV. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation is investing huge amounts of time and resources on its ONAP project (open network automation platform), after AT&T released its ECOMP work to open source and it merged with the China-led OPEN-O.

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Also: News of Note—ZTE closing in on lifting U.S. ban; ETSI OSM tops century mark for membership and more

FSF/GNU: Alyssa Rosenzweig, Sonali Singhal, DataBasin + DataBasinKit 1.0

Filed under
GNU
  • Introducing Alyssa Rosenzweig, intern with the FSF tech team

    Howdy there, fellow cyber denizens; 'tis I, Alyssa Rosenzweig, your friendly local biological life form! I'm a certified goofball, licensed to be silly under the GPLv3, but more importantly, I'm passionate about free software's role in society. I'm excited to join the Free Software Foundation as an intern this summer to expand my understanding of our movement. Well, that, and purchasing my first propeller beanie in strict compliance with the FSF office dress code!

    Anywho, I hail from a family of engineers and was introduced to programming at an early age. As a miniature humanoid, I discovered that practice let me hit buttons on a keyboard and have my textual protagonist dance on my terminal -- that was cool! Mimicking those around me, I hacked with an Apple laptop, running macOS, compiling in Xcode, and talking on Skype. I was vaguely aware of the free software ethos, so sometimes I liberated my code. Sometimes I did not. I was little more than a button masher with a flashing TTY; I wrote video games while inside a video game, my life firewalled from reality.

  • Sonali's Progress on the Free Software Directory, weeks 1-2

    The last few weeks have been very enlightening. I learned about MediaWiki extensions, like MobileFrontend, CSS, vim, and other mobile extensions. I installed MobileFrontend, and resolved a few issues I faced regarding HeaderTabs and in-line view. It feels great to have been able to get the basic structure for mobile view by now.

    As a part of my project to make the Free Software Directory mobile friendly, I can add extensions, modify the code, and format the pages the way I like. I have complete freedom to experiment on their development site as much as I want. It's wonderful to be able to work on something I really enjoy under the guidance of experienced mentors.

  • DataBasin + DataBasinKit 1.0 released

    DataBasin is a tool to access and work with SalesForce.com. It allows to perform queries remotely, export and import data, inspect single records and describe objects. DataBasinKit is its underlying framework which implements the APIs in Objective-C. Works on GNUstep (major Unix variants and MinGW on windows) and natively on macOS.

Top 5 MMORPGs for Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gaming

If you think Linux is only for servers and people who don't like watching YouTube videos or playing games, you're wrong! Linux is one of the most versatile operating systems in the world and is quickly developing into a beautiful environment where cool games can run natively.

For instance, Steam is now native to Linux! Not to mention, there are plenty of Linux-compatible games to try and most of them feature commercial quality. Sadly, MMORPGs are still a bit behind when it comes to Linux, but not for long! Still, there is a way around this as there are several cool games to try even when all you have is the dear old Linux. Below we'll list five of the most fun and entertaining MMORPGs that run natively on Linux.

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Minimum GCC Version Likely to Jump from 3.2 to 4.8

Filed under
Development
GNU

The question of the earliest GCC compiler version to support for building the Linux kernel comes up periodically. The ideal would be for Linux to compile under all GCC versions, because you never know what kind of system someone is running. Maybe their company's security team has to approve all software upgrades for their highly sensitive devices, and GCC is low on that list. Maybe they need to save as much space as possible, and recent versions of GCC are too big. There are all sorts of reasons why someone might be stuck with old software. But, they may need the latest Linux kernel because it's the foundation of their entire product, so they're stuck trying to compile it with an old compiler.

However, Linux can't really support every single GCC version. Sometimes the GCC people and the kernel people have disagreed on the manner in which GCC should produce code. Sometimes this means that the kernel really doesn't compile well on a particular version of GCC. So, there are the occasional project wars emerging from those conflicts. The GCC people will say the compiler is doing the best thing possible, and the kernel people will say the compiler is messing up their code. Sometimes the GCC people change the behavior in a later release, but that still leaves a particular GCC version that makes bad Linux code.

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A Look At The Windows 10 vs. Linux Power Consumption On A Dell XPS 13 Laptop

Filed under
GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

With the current-generation Dell XPS 13 XPS9370-7002SLV currently being tested at Phoronix, one of the areas I was most anxious to benchmark was the power consumption... For years it has been a problem of Linux on laptops generally leading to less battery life than on Windows, but in the past ~2+ years there has been some nice improvements within the Linux kernel and a renewed effort by developers at Red Hat and elsewhere on improving the Linux laptop battery life. Here are some initial power consumption numbers for this Dell XPS 13 under Windows 10 and then various Linux distributions.

The Dell XPS 13.3-inch laptop for testing features the Intel Core i7 8550U (quad-core + HT) CPU with UHD Graphics 620, 2 x 4GB RAM, 256GB PM961 NVMe Samsung SSD, and its panel is a 1920 x 1080 resolution. For some initial basic tests I ran Windows 10 out-of-the-box and compared that to fresh installs of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Fedora Workstation 28, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Clear Linux.

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How ProPublica Illinois Uses GNU Make to Load 1.4GB of Data Every Day

Filed under
GNU
Misc

I avoided using GNU Make in my data journalism work for a long time, partly because the documentation was so obtuse that I couldn’t see how Make, one of many extract-transform-load (ETL) processes, could help my day-to-day data reporting. But this year, to build The Money Game, I needed to load 1.4GB of Illinois political contribution and spending data every day, and the ETL process was taking hours, so I gave Make another chance.

Now the same process takes less than 30 minutes.

Here’s how it all works, but if you want to skip directly to the code, we’ve open-sourced it here.

[...]

GNU Make is well-suited to this task. Make’s model is built around describing the output files your ETL process should produce and the operations required to go from a set of original source files to a set of output files.

As with any ETL process, the goal is to preserve your original data, keep operations atomic and provide a simple and repeatable process that can be run over and over.

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Watch Desktop Linux Apps (like GIMP) Running on Chrome OS [Video]

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Linux fans enthusiastic about Google’s effort to bring desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS owe to themselves to watch the following video.

In it, technology YouTuber Lon Seidman demos the current state of the Crostini project (‘Crostini’ is the codename for the “run desktop and CLI Linux apps on Chrome OS” feature we keep gushing about) on both an Intel Chromebox and an ARM-based Chromebook.

This latter demo, of ARM support, is of particular interest.

I had (wrongly, it turns out) assumed Google would restrict Crostini to running on its higher-end Chromebooks, like the pricey Google Pixelbook and the ‘spensive Samsung Chromebook Plus.

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