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A look at Peek screen recorder for GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Have you ever found yourself wanting to record something on your screen for a few moments, to show someone else?

I’m not talking videogame streaming or anything on that big of a level, but rather more the need to show someone where to find a menu item, or how to change a configuration setting, or other similar examples. If so, Peek could become your new best friend, for recording GIFs or other silent videos of what's happening on your screen.

Peek is likely the most simplistic tool I have ever used for this purpose, but I don’t say that in a bad way, if anything it makes it even more of a pleasure to work with.

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GNU/Linux on Chromebooks

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Google

Best Linux server distro of 2018

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server

As a free and open source operating system, Linux is the ideal candidate for setting up your own server. The community of developers behind each Linux distribution (distro) regularly review the source code of their chosen OS to make sure it's free of bugs.

When it comes to servers, the emphasis should obviously be on stability. While upgrades are a good thing on the face of it, they have the potential to interfere with the smooth running of your server.

We’ve highlighted some of our favourite Linux server distros in this article, including operating systems that offer long term support, stability, and ideally a fast setup process.

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10 Great LXDE Themes

Filed under
GNU
Linux

When it comes to Linux desktop environment aesthetics, the LXDE desktop environment is probably the weakest. The default skin it comes with, to be frank, is kind of dated and bland. Not to worry! Since this desktop environment is on Linux, you can tear it apart and make it look however you’d like!

So why not make a list dedicated to great themes you can install right now into your LXDE session? I should mention, since this is LXDE, you’ll be able to use both XFCE4 themes as well as GTK2+ themes. (And the panel even has support for images if you want.)

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“The printer story” redux: a testimonial about the injustice of proprietary firmware

Filed under
GNU

I’ve always supported free software, but never felt the concrete importance of it until proprietary firmware threatened to cause a big problem, in terms of money, time, and environmental impact, for the company where I work. It’s a mid-sized company, employing about one thousand people. It’s highly production-oriented, and we need to print about two or three thousand paper sheets per week only for the production plans, on a special kind of paper. This number doesn’t include any reprints or further needs, so the total printed pages can be even higher.

We used to print everything with an old printer, which worked fine, but it didn't have an integrated stapler, and required a lot of human time to staple all the sheets as needed. After a production increase and the consequent increase in printing of orders, we asked for a new printer with an integrated stapler.

After some weeks of testing and a lot of work to try and make the printer handle our production orders, we faced a big problem: the printer couldn’t do what we needed. If we tried to print on the special paper, the printer printed perfectly but automatically disabled the stapler, because it’s developed to not work with a thicker sheet of paper. We would need a more complex (and expensive) stapling system. If we modified the paper settings to “normal paper,” the stapler would work fine, but the printing came out faded.

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Also: Guix welcomes Outreachy, GSoC, and Guix-HPC interns

GNU/Linux Distributions

Filed under
GNU
Linux

GNU: The GNU C Library 2.28 and Guix on Android

Filed under
GNU
  • Glibc 2.28 Upstream Will Build/Run Cleanly On GNU Hurd

    While Linux distributions are still migrating to Glibc 2.27, in the two months since the release changes have continued building up for what will eventually become the GNU C Library 2.28.

    The Glibc 2.28 work queued thus far isn't nearly as exciting as all the performance optimizations and more introduced with Glibc 2.27, but it's a start. Most notable at this point for Glibc 2.28 is that it will now build and run cleanly on GNU/Hurd without requiring any out-of-tree patches. There has been a ton of Hurd-related commits to Glibc over the past month.

  • Guix on Android!

    Last year I thought to myself: since my phone is just a computer running an operating system called Android (or Replicant!), and that Android is based on a Linux kernel, it's just another foreign distribution I could install GNU Guix on, right? It turned out it was absolutely the case. Today I was reminded on IRC of my attempt last year at installing GNU Guix on my phone. Hence this blog post. I'll try to give you all the knowledge and commands required to install it on your own Android device.

  • GNU Guix Wrangled To Run On Android

    The GNU Guix transactional package manager can be made to run on Android smartphones/tablets, but not without lots of hoops to jump through first.

AV Linux Multimedia-Focused OS Gets New Stable Release with Meltdown Patches

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

AV Linux, the open-source GNU/Linux distribution designed for multimedia content creation, has been updated recently to version 2018.4.2, a release that adds Meltdown mitigations, updated components, and various other enhancements.

Probably the most important change in the AV Linux 2018.4.2 release is the implementation of the KPTI (Kernel page-table isolation) patch to protect users against the Meltdown security vulnerability, but only for 64-bit installations. The distribution is now powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.9.76 kernel, and users can disable the KPTI patch at boot.

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Nearly 15 million Nintendo Switches are now hackable (other NVIDIA Tegra X1 devices too)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Gaming
Gadgets

Earlier this year hackers started to show evidence of an exploit that allowed you to load custom software on a Nintendo Switch game console. Theoretically that opens the door for homebrew applications, modified games, or even running an alternate operating system such as a GNU/Linux distribution on Nintendo’s latest game system. It could also make it possible to run pirated games, which is why console makers usually don’t encourage this sort of thing.

But now a team of hackers called ReSwitched have described a bootrom vulnerability called Fusée Gelée that makes it possible for anyone to hack a Nintendo Switch… assuming you’re willing to do a little hardware hacking too.

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How to Run Android Apps and Games on Linux

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux

Want to run Android apps on Linux? How about play Android games? Several options are available, but the one that works the best is Anbox, a useful tool that runs your favorite Android apps on Linux without emulation.

Here’s how to get it up and running on your Linux PC today.

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Also: 8 Best Android Apps For Kids To Help Children Learn With Fun | 2018 Edition

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More in Tux Machines

GNU/Linux on the Desktop Versus Proprietary Forms

  • Why I use a Mac computer, but an Android phone
    Yes, you could use a flavour of Linux on cheaper hardware, but then you trade the great Mac graphical interface with the ones available to Linux. You can fight me in the comments, but deep down you know I’m right. MacOS comes with Bash, and many of the tools those familiar with Linux would expect to have by default in their favourite distribution, including basics like “whois”, which aren’t installed in Windows by default.
  • Everything you knew about Chromebooks is wrong
    The original assumed vision of the Chromebook platform was a laptop and operating system capable of running only the Chrome web browser. You could do anything you wanted, as long as you wanted to stay on the web at all times. Today, the best new Chromebooks can runs apps from three additional operating systems. Not only do Chromebooks run apps, but they run more apps without dual- or multi-booting than any other computing platform. Chromebooks can run apps from Android, Linux and Windows concurrently in the same session.
  • Games, Tests and GitLab CI
    We are getting midterm of the GNOME 3.30 development cycle and many things already happened in the Games world. I will spare the user facing news for later as today I want to tell you about development features we desperatly needed as maintainers: tests and continuous integration. TL;DR: GLib, Meson, Flatpak and GitLab CI make writing and running tests super easy!

Graphics: Vulkan and Vega M

  • Vulkan Virgl Has Kicked Off For Supporting This Graphics/Compute API Within VMs
    Of the hundreds of projects for this year's Google Summer of Code, there are many interesting GSoC 2018 projects but one of those that I am most excited for is Vulkan-Virgl for getting this modern API supported with hardware acceleration by guest virtual machines. As implied by the name, this effort is based upon the Virgl project started by David Airlie and originally tasked with getting OpenGL acceleration to guest VMs using a fully open-source Linux driver stack. Virgl has been in good shape for a while now with OpenGL, while this summer the hope is to get the Vulkan API support going for opening up VMs to using this high-performance graphics and compute API.
  • AMDVLK Driver Lands Half-Float Additions, Many Other Improvements
    There's been another weekly-ish public code push to the AMDVLK open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver stack and this time around it's heavy on feature work. There has been a fair amount of changes pertaining to half-float (FP16) support including support for the AMD_gpu_shader_half_float extension, prepping for VK_AMD_gpu_shader_half_float_fetch, FP16 interpolation intrinsics and register settings, and more.
  • Vega M Graphics On Intel Kabylake G CPUs Are Beginning To Work Under Linux
    We have been covering the Linux driver upbringing of "Vega M" for the Vega/Polaris graphics found in select newer Intel "Kabylake G" processors. The code is still in flight before it will work in all released versions of the Linux driver components, but for those willing to build the code or rely upon third party repositories, Vega M is now working on Linux. As I have covered in various past articles, the open-source driver support for Radeon Vega M is queued into DRM-Next for the upcoming Linux 4.18 kernel cycle, Mesa 18.1 albeit with new hardware I always recommend using the latest Git (current Mesa 18.2), and there are also binary GPU microcode files needed too.

Plasma 5.13 – Amazing Tux, How Sweet Plasma

Plasma 5.13 is (going to be) a very nice release. It builds on the solid foundation that is the LTS edition, and adds cool, smart touches. The emphasis is on seamless integration of elements, which is what separates professionals from amateurs. It’s all around how the WHOLE desktop behaves, and not individual programs in isolation. And Plasma is making great strides, offering a polished version of an already mature and handsome product, with extra focus on fonts, media and browser connectivity and good performance. There are some rough patches. Apart from the obvious beta issues, those goes without saying, KDE Connect ought to be a true multi-phone product, the network stack really needs to be spotless, and that means full Microsoft Windows inter-operability, Spectacle should allow for configurable shadows and alpha channel, and I want to see if the decorative backend has been cleaned up, i.e. can you search and install new themes and icons without encountering useless errors and inconsistencies. But all in all, I’m quite impressed. The changes are big and noticeable, and above all, meaningful. You don’t just get features for the sake of it, you get things that improve the quality and consistency of the desktop, that maximize fun and productivity, and there’s deep thought in orchestrating it all together. It ain’t just a random bunch of options that happen to work. I like seeing patterns in things, and I’m happy when there’s functional harmony. This spring season of distro testing hasn’t been fun, and Plasma 5.13 is balm for my weary wrists, so hurting from all that angry typing. More than worth a spin, and highly recommended. Full steam on, Tuxers. Read more Also: This week in Usability & Productivity, part 20

Sad News! Development Stopped for Korora and BackSlash Linux

It seems more and more small distributions are facing a had time. Recently we saw the crisis at Void Linux. Now we have two more small Linux distributions calling it quit, albeit temporarily. Read more