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On Safety Razors and Technology

Filed under
Server
OSS

Think Windows on one side, vs Linux (and the BSDs) on the other (with macOS initially being in the middle and increasingly swaying to becoming even more constraining than Windows). Think proprietary gaming consoles and mobile IAP-chasing games, vs game platforms that encourage participation like TIC-80 and LÖVE. Think US-centric proprietary social networks (Facebook, Twitter) and services (Dropbox, Google Suite) vs distributed social networks (Mastodon, Pleroma, Diaspora etc.) and self-hosted services (Nextcloud, Cryptpad etc.).

What are most people sacrificing to the altar of promised convenience? Literally both time and money: our attention, higher costs; also our autonomy (you’re locked in) and our privacy (… so platform owners can mine your attention and monetize what they observe of your behavior).

If you believe in capitalism, this is bad news. If you don’t it’s even worse.

[...]

But in other jurisdictions like the US, regulation might be a long time coming, except maybe in California (plus the companies we’re trying to unshackle users from are mostly US-based). So a lot of the solution has to be bottom up.

We simply need to lower barriers to entry, both actual and perceived, to using the platforms we’re championing. Some involve compromises (e.g. Flatpak is a great way to abstract away the differences between Linux distributions, to the point that it’s easier to install proprietary apps, including Steam – which improves the availability of games on Linux despite, yes, being proprietary). Some involve corporate backing (e.g. Fedora on Lenovo laptops). A lot would involve being more welcoming to newcomers, and bridging the actual usability gaps there are.

It’s hard enough to overcome incumbency and the network effect. Let’s not make it harder for ourselves.

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Announcing Istio 1.6.14

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Server

This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.6.13 and Istio 1.6.14

Read more

More:

  • ISTIO-SECURITY-2020-011
  • Support for Istio 1.6 has ended

    As previously announced, support for Istio 1.6 has now officially ended.

    At this point we will no longer back-port fixes for security issues and critical bugs to 1.6, so we heartily encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of Istio (1.8) if you haven’t already.

Servers: Kubernetes, Sysadmin and More

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Server
  • Kubectl: Developer tips for the Kubernetes command line - Red Hat Developer

    Get started with in-cluster configuration, sudo-like user impersonation, and the new kubectl debug command in the kubectl Kubernetes CLI.

  • New developer onboarding features in Red Hat OpenShift 4.6 - Red Hat Developer

    Developers asked for a more intuitive path to the developer perspective, so we’ve created one.

    Starting with OpenShift 4.6, non-privileged users logging into the OpenShift console for the first time will land on the developer perspective by default.

    Once in the developer perspective, first-time users are offered a guided tour of the user interface (UI). Developers who opt-in to the tour are guided through UI areas, starting with the topology view. The demonstration in Figure 1 shows how to launch the guided tour.

  • Time management: must-have tools and strategies for sysadmins | Enable Sysadmin

    Learn to be intentional about planning out your daily tasks and remember to leave time for yourself, your family, and your friends.

  • Advantages of Using Linux Virtual Machine or Linux Server Hosting

    With Linux, you do not need to worry about security, and you can download software from the Internet. Many online sites offer you Linux hosting and Linux server hosting. However, you have to check for the reliability and quality of the website. It should be an established website with many years of experience.

    You can check the Linux hosting and Linux server hosting providers and determine which one will suit your requirements. They should have enough information on their website so that you can get all the relevant details. The website should also explain the technicalities well. The website should provide details about the services offered and the cost that you will have to pay.

4 Best Free and Open Source Linux FTP Servers

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Server
Software

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a time-honored method of transferring files to and from a remote network site. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and server applications. The FTP client connects to the FTP server, and enables the user to send and retrieves files from that server.

FTP is one of many different file transfer protocols that are used. Other examples include the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), BitTorrent, the SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), and Secure Copy (SCP).

In recent years, FTP’s popularity for general downloading files has declined. Linux distributions and software are now often downloaded by using direct downloads using a web browser, by BitTorrent, metalink, or by using a download utility. FTP is often tucked away as a download option even if it is available. While FTP can cause bandwidth problems it nevertheless remains a great way of moving large files.

The downside to using FTP is that it doesn’t necessarily take internet security risks into account. SFTP, the more advanced version of the same technology, enables you to manage files on your server just like FTP does. However, it uses a previously-established Secure Shell (SSH) connection to maintain the safety of your files and the site as a whole.

An FTP server is a software application which enables the transfer of files from one computer to another. Here’s our recommendations.

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How Many Users Can Open Source Zoom Alternatives Handle?

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Server
OSS
Web

Zoom has been a boom since Coronavirus started, it seemed to be one of the very few software in the world capable of handling the planet’s digital transfer of most face-to-face communication since people were forced to stay in their homes during the quarantine. Governments, schools, universities, hospitals, companies, enterprises… All of them went to Zoom in order to face the new communication hassle.

Its stock market increased by %500 since the beginning of the pandemic, and tens of of millions of new users worldwide signed up for its premium plans. Everything sounded so great so far for Zoom, unlike most of the human race standing on the other side of the equation.

Until, an investigational report by the FTC showed that Zoom lied about its end-to-end encryption for years, and that its so-called E2E secure communication is actually false marketing. Of course, users and developers around the world had no way of verifying Zoom’s marketing claims easily since it was a proprietary, closed-source application. And thus, they were not able to check the source code by their selves to verify those claims.

Zoom being fully proprietary is why people started switching into open source zoom alternatives, like Jitsi, BigBlueButton and many others, so that they don’t remain in Zoom’s jail locking all their remote communications in one place.

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10 years and 10 million cores: charting OpenStack’s greatest achievements

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Server
Ubuntu

At the heart of OpenStack, as with many open source projects, is a thriving community. Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director at the newly renamed Open Infrastructure Foundation which sits behind OpenStack, feels this is it’s finest work. “OpenStack’s greatest achievement is our community – a growing group of diverse contributors, users, and vendors who have enabled OpenStack to be one of the top three most active open source projects, in addition to Linux and Chromium.”

And while not always seen as being ‘mainstream tech’, the numbers are staggering. Bryce continued: “Over 100,000 individuals from 187 countries continue to support a project that is running over 10 million cores in production, powering critical infrastructure like banks, telecoms, railroads, retailers, hospitals, and more. I am so proud of the work that our community puts in daily to keep the world running on OpenStack.”

One of the biggest issues any technology can experience is scalability. Growing fast enough to suit demand, but also ensuring that the tech can deliver consistent quality as it does so. But these views of community – and its growth – are echoed by Georgi Georgiev, CIO of Japan’s SBI Bits: “Finding the appropriate technologies to build a virtual environment is a challenge of its own. OpenStack solved this problem by putting together a great stack of projects, and more impressively, built a community around it to support. This is the best that could have happened for open source, with OpenStack being available freely to everyone, while also enabling companies to package it up and sell while improving the product together.”

Talking of growing fast, OpenStack’s complimentary nature as a companion to the ever scalable public cloud provides organisations with the best of both worlds according to Tytus Kurek, Product Manager, at Canonical: “Although public clouds have almost dominated the cloud computing market, OpenStack adoption continues to grow every year. This is because OpenStack continues to deliver a cost-effective extension to the public cloud infrastructure, allowing organisations to take control over their budget. As one of the biggest contributors to the OpenStack project, Canonical is looking forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring.”

Read more

Also: Why Linux Should Factor Into Your Security Strategy

Server: SysAdmin Stuff and Kubernetes

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server

  • Terraform vs Ansible: What's the Difference?

    The way DevOps as a culture is gaining momentum, tools like Ansible and Terraform witnessing a huge demand and popularity.

    Both tools are considered as Infrastructure as Code (IaC) solutions which helps in deploying code and infrastructure. While Ansible acts as a configuration management solution commonly abbreviated as “CM”, Terraform is a service orchestration or provisioning tool.

    Note that there are overlaps and these terms are not necessarily mutually exclusive. This is what confuses people and this is why I am going to compare Ansible and Terraform.

    I'll explain what are these tools used for, what are their pros and cons. This will help you decide whether you should use Ansible or Terraform in your projects.

  • An Introduction to the Kubernetes Operator Pattern (YouTube)

    Earlier this year I did a short talk for Halihax, a local technology community, providing an introduction to the Kubernetes operator pattern. This was my first attempt at giving any kind of a talk (outside of demos at work), but hopefully it will prove useful to someone out there.

  • Sysadmin tales: Take a look back at an old school IT prank | Enable Sysadmin

    Set your Wayback Machine to the early ’80s. Disco was dead and gone, pop rock was making waves, and consumer computers were available enough that some schools started figuring out that teaching computers was something they should do.

    My school was one of those—the lovely Manheim Township High School in Neffsville, PA. A classroom was repurposed as a computer lab, as the prior computer area was barely larger than a closet and only had four terminals connected to some type of "miniframe" computer, with one Apple II computer on a rolling cart.

    [...]

    Now, the cable to connect the computer to the monitor was pre-VGA; it was just a simple RCA connector, as everything was monochrome. No screws to help hold the connector on tight. My friend and I (I don’t recall who had the idea, but I’d like to think it was me) decided to cross-wire all the monitors, so the monitor for one seat was connected to the computer at another seat. We did it side-by-side where we had to, but the ones on the island were really fun as we could connect them so the computer on one side of the table would drive the monitor on the other side of the table.

  • Create your first Knative app | Opensource.com

    Knative is an open source community project that adds components to Kubernetes for deploying, running, and managing serverless, cloud-native applications. It enables more productive development with less interaction with Kubernetes' infrastructure.

    There is a large amount of information out there about Knative, networking, and serverless deployments, and this introductory tutorial covers just a bite-size amount of it. In this walkthrough, I'll use Knative with Minikube to create a Knative app—a simple container that prints messages in response to a curl command or in a web browser at a link provided by the deployment.

How I use Cockpit for my home's Linux server management

Filed under
Linux
Server
HowTos

Cockpit is a service for Linux that provides a web-based interface for managing and monitoring hosts. It can be deployed in any size organization, even a small office, and it's a great way for home users to maintain the family IT infrastructure. I use it to manage and monitor all of the computers in my house—including Raspberry Pi.

Cockpit is a free and open source software project released under the LGPL v2.1+. It is sponsored by Red Hat and included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the RHEL Web Console.

Read more

The 20 Best Kubernetes Tools For Managing DevOps Projects

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Server

Writing applications for multiple operating environments is one of the major requirements for a developer nowadays. Kubernetes has got the attention as it eliminates the restrictions and extends the core capabilities of the containers. Besides, discoverability, observability, horizontal scaling, and load balancing are the other benefits that Kubernetes can offer through its collection of pods that can perform similar functions. Management has become easy, and we can also use the Deployment Controller to achieve scalability, visibility, time savings, and control over versions. Kubernetes tools are also there to extend the functionalities and eliminate the imposed restrictions for better performance and help you check out the list of seemingly-exhaustive features of Kubernetes.

Read more

Kubernetes in Ubuntu

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Server
Ubuntu
  • Exploring ROS 2 with Kubernetes | Ubuntu

    Kubernetes provides many critical attributes that can contribute to a robust robotics platform: isolated workloads, automated deployments, self-configuring work processes, and an infrastructure that is both declarative and immutable. However, robots designed with ROS 2 face challenges in setting up individual components on Kubernetes so that all parts smoothly work together. In this blog series, we construct a prototype ROS 2 system distributed across multiple computers using Kubernetes. Our goal is not only to provide you with a working configuration, but also to help you understand why it succeeds and overcome future design challenges.

    Getting into Kubernetes can be a pretty steep learning curve, so our prototype will use MicroK8s to make it easy. MicroK8s is a lightweight pure-upstream Kubernetes distribution and offers low-touch, self-healing, highly-available clusters. Its low resource footprint makes it ideal for running on robot computers. Even with very little Kubernetes experience you’ll quickly have a complete cluster up and running.

    This article will introduce some of the core concepts for our prototype design. Follow-on articles instantiate a ROS 2 talker/listener prototype on a single computer, then extend the prototype with alternative options and distributing compute across multiple computers.

    [...]

    Within a single pod, containers can reach each other on the localhost address (127.0.0.1), and the host machine’s loopback interface is attached to each container. However, since all pods use the same actual interface, they must coordinate port usage so that no two pods communicate using the same port at the same time.

    Should multiple containers within a single pod listen on the same port (for example, identical containers all hosting a web server on port 80), a Kubernetes service can be defined to expose the application and route incoming to containers. However, Kubernetes services typically perform port or address translation which, as we discussed earlier, interferes with ROS 2 communications. Kubernetes services cannot be used for ROS 2 network traffic.

    Additionally, ROS 2 does not provide a method for managing ports used by RTPS. For example, a container can not change the standard RTPS discovery port of 7400, nor can a ROS 2 listener select a port other than its default. As a result, port usage can not be coordinated across multiple ROS 2 containers running in the same pod, and these containers generally will not be able to communicate.

  • How Kubernetes is transforming the industrial edge | Ubuntu

    In recent years, various platforms have emerged to support agile digital factory DevOps, but most industrial edge platforms have been held back by limitations to application scaling and management – and this is where Kubernetes at the edge comes in.

    Kubernetes is a container orchestration system. Containers make it possible to manage applications independently from their underlying technologies, and since factories are often highly heterogeneous environments, this independence is invaluable. Kubernetes simplifies matters even further by enabling an automated approach to scaling and managing large numbers of containerised applications across distributed infrastructure.

    Kubernetes is already well-established in the cloud arena, and the PAC RADAR report anticipates that it will soon gain traction at the industrial edge as organisations increasingly look to leverage cloud agility within their IoT environments. As the report explains: “Thanks to the latest innovations in the cloud world, we can predict quite easily what the next wave of ‘cloud-native’ innovations will bring to the industrial edge (and the data center). Kubernetes will be the next big thing at the edge, as it already is in the cloud.”

    In this respect, Canonical is ahead of the curve. MicroK8s is a fully containerised, lightweight, fast, and secure Kubernetes distribution optimised for edge and IoT production environments. As the report notes, MicroK8s has already reached 3,750 stars on GitHub – clearly demonstrating both its popularity and the developer appetite for Kubernetes at the edge. Additionally, MicroK8s offers a zero-ops experience, eliminating the main drawback to Kubernetes-based solutions identified in the report: complexity.

    Another advantage of Kubernetes is that it is multi-cloud, meaning it can integrate with cloud infrastructure across providers to enable further scalability beyond the edge. According to the report, this is another area in which Canonical excels thanks to Charmed Kubernetes: a composable Kubernetes distribution that can run on bare metal, VMware, Openstack and all major public clouds.

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today's howtos

  • How to install MySQL server on CentOS 8 Linux - nixCraft

    How do I install MySQL server 8.0 on CentOS 8 Linux server running on Linode and AWS cloud? How do I add and set up a new MySQL user and database account on the newly created CentOS server? Oracle MySQL server version 8.0 is a free and open-source free database server. It is one of the most popular database system used in web apps and websites on the Internet. Typically MySQL is part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache/Nginx, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP) stack. Popular open-source software such as WordPress, MediaWiki, and others profoundly used by MySQL as a database storage engine. Let us see how to install MySQL server version 8.x on CentOS 8 Linux server.

  • Linux Fu: VPN For Free With SSH | Hackaday

    If you see a lot of banner ads on certain websites, you know that without a Virtual Private Network (VPN), hackers will quickly ravage your computer and burn down your house. Well, that seems to be what they imply. In reality, though, there are two main reasons you might want a VPN connection. You can pay for a service, of course, but if you have ssh access to a computer somewhere on the public Internet, you can set up your own VPN service for no additional cost. The basic idea is that you connect to a remote computer on another network and it makes it look like all your network traffic is local to that network. The first case for this is to sidestep or enhance security. For example, you might want to print to a network printer without exposing that printer to the public Internet. While you are at the coffee shop you can VPN to your network and print just like you were a meter away from the printer at your desk. Your traffic on the shop’s WiFi will also be encrypted.

  • YANUB: yet another (nearly) useless blog: QSoas tips and tricks: using meta-data, first level

    By essence, QSoas works with \(y = f(x)\) datasets. However, in practice, when working with experimental data (or data generated from simulations), one has often more than one experimental parameter (\(x\)). For instance, one could record series of spectra (\(A = f(\lambda)\)) for different pH values, so that the absorbance is in fact a function of both the pH and \(\lambda\). QSoas has different ways to deal with such situations, and we'll describe one today, using meta-data. [...] QSoas is a powerful open source data analysis program that focuses on flexibility and powerful fitting capacities. It is released under the GNU General Public License. It is described in Fourmond, Anal. Chem., 2016, 88 (10), pp 5050–5052. Current version is 2.2. You can download its source code there (or clone from the GitHub repository) and compile it yourself, or buy precompiled versions for MacOS and Windows there.

  • Many ways to sort file content on Linux

    The Linux sort command can arrange command output or file content in a lot more ways than you might realize--alphabetically, numerically, by month and randomly are only some of the more interesting choices. In this post, we take a look at some of the more useful sorting options and explain how they differ.

  • How to install Luminance HDR

    Luminance HDR is an open-source GUI tool that provides an easy to use toolkit for HDR imaging. It is available on all major Linux operating systems and is excellent for photographers. In this guide, we will go over how to install Luminance HDR on Linux.

  • How to add a WordPress user sign up - Anto Online

    Adding an external user sign up page on a website allows users to register for different roles. Once registered, they can perform tasks such as adding new articles, new comments, and even performing other actions such as designing. Allowing a user to sign up is a common thing for bloggers and companies that accept guest posts. However, this feature can also be used to offer premium content for your members. But, this may require more custom fields and branding. The default WordPress sign up page contains fixed fields and a WordPress logo.

  • How to install Lyrebird on a Chromebook - a Discord Voice Changer

    Today we are looking at how to install Lyrebird, a voice changer for Discord on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

  • How to play Brawlhalla on Linux

    Brawlhalla is a free-to-play 2D fighting game. It was developed by Blue Mammoth Games, published by Ubisoft, and released on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and PC. In this guide, we’ll show you how to play it on Linux.

Games: RetroArch, PulseAudio, Anarch

  • You can now try the RetroArch Playtest on Steam for Linux | GamingOnLinux

    With the awesome RetroArch application for running emulators and all sorts coming to Steam, they now have a Playtest available you can opt into to try it out. Using the new dedicated Steam Playtest feature announced by Valve in early November, developers can have a banner on their Steam store page letting users request access. So the Libretro team have put this up, and as of today it also has Linux builds available for testing.

  • PulseAudio 14.0 Released With Better USB Gaming Headset Support - Phoronix

    While in 2021 we might begin to see PipeWire replacing PulseAudio by default at least on bleeding-edge distributions like Fedora, for now PulseAudio still is the dominant sound server used by desktop Linux distributions. Rolling out today is PulseAudio 14.0. PulseAudio 14.0 comes with many changes compared to PulseAudio 13.0 that shipped all the way back in September of 2019.

  • "Anarch", a new, public-domain Doom-like game coded from scratch in <256K

    I've argued that the video-game "Doom" is a sort of cultural version of Turing Completeness. Given that we're jamming computers and screens into just about any device these days, inevitably (and delightfully) someone gets it to run Doom: Watches, digital cameras, ATMs, pregnancy sticks. But you know what's even cooler? Creating your own new, original game in the exactly style of Doom, and making it so wildly resource-efficient that it fits in under 256K and will run on just about any computational device around. That's what the programmer Miloslav Číž has done, with his new game "Anarch". You can play it in your browser here or download it here; I just blasted away in it for a while, and it's a hoot — he neatly channels the mechanics and twitchy low-rez aesthetics of the original. Gameplay trailer is here; he put it in the public domain, and the code is all here on Gitlab.

Announcing Istio 1.6.14

This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.6.13 and Istio 1.6.14 Read more More:

  • ISTIO-SECURITY-2020-011
  • Support for Istio 1.6 has ended

    As previously announced, support for Istio 1.6 has now officially ended. At this point we will no longer back-port fixes for security issues and critical bugs to 1.6, so we heartily encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of Istio (1.8) if you haven’t already.

Moving into the future with the FSF tech team

The FSF is well-known for spearheading the advocacy and support of free software, not just by recommending it in the face of pervasive proprietary options, but also by condemning nonfree software altogether. Following this recommendation is hard, even for us, because of the ever-increasing dependency on software and computer networks that we are all subject to. To follow through with our commitment, our tech team maintains a large list of services that many other offices our size would have long ago been wrongly pressured into transferring to one of the handful of gigantic corporations that monopolize those services. Your work email account is most likely implemented through Gmail or Outlook; your office's software is likely to be served by Amazon Web Services, along with all the data backups; your company's customer service is likely to be managed through Salesforce or SAP, and so on. Make no mistake, this is true for your local government and school networks, too! In contrast, at the FSF, we never jumped on the outsourcing wagon, and we don't use any Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS) in our operations. We run our own email servers, telephony and fax service, print shop, full server stack, backups, networking, systems monitoring, accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and a long list of other tasks and software development projects, with a team of just four extremely dedicated technicians. And we implement this on hardware that has been carefully evaluated to meet very high ethical standards, criteria that we push for vendors to achieve through our "Respects Your Freedom" certification program. Read more