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Review: FreedomBox 2019-07-10 "Buster"

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Reviews

FreedomBox is the most recent distribution to be added to the DistroWatch database. What is FreedomBox? According to the project's website:
FreedomBox is designed to be your own inexpensive server at home. It runs free software and offers an increasing number of services ranging from a calendar or Jabber server to a wiki or VPN. Our web interface allows you to easily install and configure your apps.
On the technical side, FreedomBox is based on Debian. The latest version is based on Debian 10 "Buster". Unlike some Debian projects, FreedomBox is a "pure blend" which means all the packages it uses, or develops, can be found in the Debian repositories. This keeps FreedomBox close to upstream and completely compatible with Debian.

FreedomBox can be purchased bundled with hardware running an ARM CPU or downloaded as a compressed disk image to be installed on existing hardware. The distribution has disk images that run on 32-bit (x86), 64-bit (x86_64) and several flavours of ARM-powered boards. These flavours are available in Stable, Testing and Daily branches, depending if we want a fixed or rolling release operating system. I decided to try the Stable version for 64-bit machines.

The 64-bit image file is a 386MB download which unpacks to 3.8GB when uncompressed. This image file can be written to an SD card or USB thumb drive. By default, FreedomBox runs from the thumb drive or SD card rather than having a typical install process where packages are written to a hard drive. People who wish to perform a customized hard drive install can install Debian first and then add the FreedomBox software on top with a few commands.

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Peter Bengtsson: How much faster is Redis at storing a blob of JSON compared to PostgreSQL?

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Server
OSS

First of all, I'm still a PostgreSQL fan-boy and have no intention of ceasing that. These times are made up of much more than just the individual databases. For example, the PostgreSQL speeds depend on the Django ORM code that makes the SQL and sends the query and then turns it into the model instance. I don't know what the proportions are between that and the actual bytes-from-PG's-disk times. But I'm not sure I care either. The tooling around the database is inevitable mostly and it's what matters to users.

Both Redis and PostgreSQL are persistent and survive server restarts and crashes etc. And you get so many more "batch related" features with PostgreSQL if you need them, such as being able to get a list of the last 10 rows added for some post-processing batch job.

I'm currently using Django's cache framework, with Redis as its backend, and it's a cache framework. It's not meant to be a persistent database. I like the idea that if I really have to I can just flush the cache and although detrimental to performance (temporarily) it shouldn't be a disaster. So I think what I'll do is store these JSON blobs in both databases. Yes, it means roughly 6GB of SSD storage but it also potentially means loading a LOT more into RAM on my limited server. That extra RAM usage pretty much sums of this whole blog post; of course it's faster if you can rely on RAM instead of disk. Now I just need to figure out how RAM I can afford myself for this piece and whether it's worth it.

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Server: Proxmox, KubeVirt and Containers

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Server
  • VMware vSphere vs Proxmox: Which is best for your business?

    Choosing a virtualisation tool can be tricky, so we've put two of the most popular side by side
    Customers are faced with a host of considerations when it comes to trying to decide on what virtualisation and containerisation software to use, and the differences between vendors are not always clear.

    In order to better inform buyers, we've decided to take a look at two of the best-known software packages out there, Proxmox and VMware vSphere, and break down what it is they do and how they may benefit your business.

  • KubeVirt Joins Cloud Native Computing Foundation

    This month the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) formally adopted KubeVirt into the CNCF Sandbox. KubeVirt allows you to provision, manage and run virtual machines from and within Kubernetes. In joining the CNCF Sandbox, KubeVirt now has a more substantial platform to grow as well as educate the CNCF community on the use cases for placing virtual machines within Kubernetes. The CNCF onboards projects into the CNCF Sandbox when they warrant experimentation on neutral ground to promote and foster collaborative development.

    For our part, Red Hat has been a contributor and advocate for KubeVirt and we’ve been leveraging it to play with some technologies you may remember. At Red Hat Summit you watched us demonstrate the capabilities of a Kubernetes Native platform bringing together the capabilities of VMs, containers, networking and storage. If you’re an OpenShift customer you may have started to play with Container-native virtualization (CNV), available via tech preview — this uses KubeVirt under the hood.

  • Software Development, Microservices & Container Management – Part II – Why Containers and Cloud Native Application Platform?

    Lots of the developers, Solution Architects and Business Owners have doubts for Virtualization versus Containers and Cloud Native Application Platform; lots of questions are being discussed based on such doubts; Are containers and PaaS replacing Virtual Machines? What are the benefits Containers and Cloud Native Application Platform over a VM offering?

Server: Openwashing, Containous and Red Hat

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Server
  • Are ground systems about to have an open source moment?

    Bogdan compared the open architecture configuration to an iPhone. While the iPhone software is designed by Apple, it’s built so that non-Apple companies can build hundreds of apps that users can pick and choose from to install onto the platform. Similarly, DoD’s ground systems need to be built with a common framework that multiple vendors can design applications for.

  • Containous releases Traefik 2.0 open source edge router

    With the movement toward cloud-native application deployment, there has been a corresponding need for cloud-native networking technology. One of the most successful efforts in the space comes from startup Containous, with its open source Traefik edge router technology.

    Traefik 2.0 became generally available on Sept. 17, providing users with new TCP routing support and an improved API to help direct traffic in cloud-native deployments, including the Kubernetes container orchestration platform. The new Traefik release builds on the experience the company has gained through its large user base. According to Containous, it has had over 1 billion downloads of Traefik from the Docker Hub repository for container applications.

  • Boosting banks’ customer experience with operational efficiency

    The way banking is being conducted around the world is changing, especially with customers who are always connected through mobile phones and with 5G not far away in many places.

    Coupling that with the rising levels of wage growth entrepreneurship and government policies for financial inclusion, banking's traditional customer journeys and distribution models won’t scale nor reach the average consumer, and will be significantly cost-prohibitive for the average bank to service. The idea that a consumer needs to visit a branch doesn’t even come into their equation.

    Moreover, the consumption of banking products from FinTechs, including unsecured lending, peer-to-peer payments, merchant payments, and business credit, is on the rise. Providers like Ascend Money and Rakuten are fast, simple and digital-first. Simply put, they engender customer satisfaction.  

UCS 4.4-2: Second Point Release

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Looking back at the first point release (UCS 4.4-1 in June 2019), our REST API for the Univention Directory Manager was still in beta stadium. Good news: the interface for accessing the directory service is stable now. The API connects applications to the UCS directory service; access is granted via a web service using HTTPS, and data is exchanged JSON format. So, the REST API offers the same functionality as the udm command line tool.
For example, it simplifies the maintenance of user properties or computer objects from connected systems. Developers of applications offered in the Univention App Center also benefit from the new, standardized access because they are no longer limited to the UDM Python interface. The REST API of the Univention Directory Manager is by default activated on all UCS 4.4-2 DC Master and DC Backup instances.

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The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache Rya as a Top-Level Project

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OSS

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today Apache® Rya™ as a Top-Level Project (TLP).

Apache Rya (pronounced "ree-uh") is a Cloud-based Big Data triple store (subject-predicate-object) database used to process queries in milliseconds. The project was originally developed at the Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences, and was submitted to the Apache Incubator in September 2015.

"We are very excited to reach this important milestone showing the maturity of the project and of the community around it," said Dr. Adina Crainiceanu, Vice President of Apache Rya and Associate Professor of Computer Science at the U.S. Naval Academy. "RDF (Resource Description Framework) triple data format is simple and flexible, making it easy to express diverse datasets such as connections between users on social media, financial data and transactions, medical data, and many others. Rya provides a scalable solution to store and query such data. The publication of the first research article about Rya garnered interest from industry, academia, and several government agencies. Bringing the project to ASF allowed collaboration and increased pace of development."

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Also: Apache Promotes Rya To Being A Top-Level Project

Databases: Percona and InfluxDB

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Server
OSS

Server: Kubernetes and So-Called 'DevOps'

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Server
  • Kubernetes Project Releases Version 1.16

    SUSE, and the SUSE CaaS Platform team in particular, congratulates the Kubernetes Project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation on the release of Kubernetes 1.16.
    The most major change in this release is actually a feature that is already in widespread use. Custom Resource Definitions (CRD) are a major foundation of Kubernetes extensibility and are used by many features and projects; however, they have been in beta since version 1.7, over two years ago. They finally graduate to general availability (GA) and stable status in this release, meaning that anyone using the current version of the feature and its API can expect compatibility for any future 1.x release as well as any 2.x release yet to come.

  • The use of open source software in DevOps has become strategic for organizations of all sizes

    A higher percentage of top performing teams in enterprise organizations are using open source software, according to a survey conducted by DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and Google Cloud. Additionally, the proportion of Elite performers (highest performing teams) nearly tripled from last year, showing that DevOps capabilities are driving performance.

  • Kubernetes 1.16 Offers New Promise for IPv6 Cloud Native Deployments

    Kubernetes, for the un-initiated is a container orchestration platform that is deployed and supported in all the major public cloud provides and is also widely used on-premises as well. Every new Kubernetes update has features that are in alpha, beta and those that have reached general availability. In the 1.16 update, for networking professionals there is one alpha feature that stands above all others : IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack.

    "If you enable IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack networking for your Kubernetes cluster, the cluster will support the simultaneous assignment of both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses," the Kubernetes feature documentationstates.

    The dual stack will support both Kubernetes Pods, which represent a set of running containers; as well as Kubernetes Services, which provide a way to abstract an application running on a set of Pods as a network service. The Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal (KEP) that defines the dual-stack feature, notes that Kubernetes has provides support for IPv6-only clusters as alpha features since the Kubernetes 1.9release which debuted in December 2017.

  • No, Kubernetes is Not the New OpenStack, Says Canonical

    It’s easy to think of Kubernetes as the great disruptor of earlier generations of cloud-native platforms, such as OpenStack. But that view would be just as wrong as assuming that Kubernetes and containers have totally killed off old-school virtual machines. That’s what Stephan Fabel of Canonical had to say in an interview about the past, present and future of Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies within the enterprise.

    [...]

    As a result of these differences, Fabel says OpenStack and Kubernetes each serve distinct types of workloads. For example, OpenStack might appeal to telcos, which are “more prone to adopting configuration management type approaches, where workloads have to be stateful and long-running.” Kubernetes, meanwhile, is better-suited for workloads that are deployed as REST- or HTTP-based services.

    To help prove his point about the continued relevance of OpenStack, Fabel says Canonical is on track to witness “the most commercial activity in OpenStack” ever in the coming quarter, with business coming from a variety of verticals. Clearly, Fabel says, OpenStack remains a go-to solution for enterprises of many different stripes.

Server: Kubernetes/OpenShift, OpenStack, and Red Hat's Ansible

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Red Hat
Server
  • 9 steps to awesome with Kubernetes/OpenShift presented by Burr Sutter

    Burr Sutter gave a terrific talk in India in July, where he laid out the terms, systems and processes needed to setup Kubernetes for developers. This is an introductory presentation, which may be useful for your larger community of Kubernetes users once you’ve already setup User Provisioned Infrastructure (UPI) in Red Hat OpenShift for them, though it does go into the deeper details of actually running the a cluster. To follow along, Burr created an accompanying GitHub repository, so you too can learn how to setup an awesome Kubernetes cluster in just 9 steps.

  • Weaveworks Named a Top Kubernetes Contributor

    But anyone who knows the history of Weaveworks might not be too surprised by this. Weaveworks has been a major champion of Kubernetes since the very beginning. It might not be too much of a coincidence that Weaveworks was incorporated only a few weeks after Kubernetes was open sourced, five years ago. In addition to this, the very first elected chair of the CNCF’s Technical Oversight Committee, responsible for technical leadership to the Cloud Native Foundation was also headed up by our CEO, Alexis Richardson(@monadic) (soon to be replaced by the awesome Liz Rice (@lizrice) of Aqua Security).

  • Improving trust in the cloud with OpenStack and AMD SEV

    This post contains an exciting announcement, but first I need to provide some context!

    Ever heard that joke “the cloud is just someone else’s computer”?

    Of course it’s a gross over-simplification, but there’s more than a grain of truth in it. And that raises the question: if your applications are running in someone else’s data-centre, how can you trust that they’re not being snooped upon, or worse, invasively tampered with?

  • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 Enhances Infrastructure Security and Cloud-Native Integration Across the Open Hybrid Cloud

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15, the latest version of its highly scalable and agile cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution. Based on the OpenStack community’s "Stein" release, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 15 adds performance and cloud security enhancements and expands the platform’s ecosystem of supported hardware, helping IT organizations to more quickly and more securely support demanding production workloads. Given the role of Linux as the foundation for hybrid cloud, customers can also benefit from a more secure, flexible and intelligent Linux operating system underpinning their private cloud deployments with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Accelerates Past Major Adoption Milestone, Now Manages More Than Four Million Customer Systems Worldwide

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that more than four million customer systems worldwide are now automated by Red Hat Ansible Automation. Customers, including Energy Market Company, Microsoft, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Surescripts all use Red Hat Ansible Automation to automate and orchestrate their IT operations, helping to expand automation across IT stacks.

    According to a blog post by Chris Gardner with Forrester Research, who was the author of The Forrester Wave™: Infrastructure Automation Platforms, Q3 2019, "Infrastructure automation isn’t just on-premises or the cloud. It’s at the edge and everywhere in between."1 Since its launch in 2013, Red Hat Ansible Automation has provided a single tool to help organizations automate across IT operations and development, including infrastructure, networks, cloud, security and beyond.

Server: Ubuntu 19.10 Release Schedule, IBM LinuxONE III with Ubuntu and SUSE on Cloud Foundry Foundation and More LF

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Server
SUSE
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu 19.10 Release Schedule and Expected Features

    This is a continually updated article to inform you about Ubuntu 19.10 release date, features and other important things associated with it.

    The development for Ubuntu 19.10 is nearing its end and it’s time to look at what new features and improvement this new release brings.

    Ubuntu 19.10 is an important release because it will set the course of development for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (long term support). I have always felt that the LTS version release takes a lot of features from its predecessor.

    In other words, Ubuntu 19.10 will be a glimpse of the features you would be getting in Ubuntu 20.04.

  • Announcing the new IBM LinuxONE III with Ubuntu

    Enterprises today need the most secure, and flexible system to support their initiatives, and for that system to grow and evolve for tomorrow. The latest LinuxONE system was designed to support mission-critical initiatives and allow enterprises to be innovative as they design and scale their environment. LinuxONE III provides features for advanced data protection and privacy, enterprise resiliency and scalability, and cloud enablement and integration.

    Reliability and continuity are critical to the success of any business. With this release, they’ll benefit from up to 10:1 consolidation for key workloads, and up to 190 cores and 40TB of memory. And with 99.999%* availability and up to 7.4x better resilience, enterprises can confidently run and scale their business-critical workloads. The new LinuxONE III provides the highest levels of availability and scalability, so business-critical workloads run flawlessly, recover quickly, and grow seamlessly.

  • Project Quarks: Native Cloud Foundry for Kubernetes

    At the recent Cloud Foundry Summit EU in the Netherlands, Vlad Iovanov of SUSE gave a keynote demo of Project Quarks, the project that integrates Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes, by packaging the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime as containers instead of virtual machines. Vlad explains the current capabilities of Quarks, with a look at its future as a Kubernetes Operator. It’s a fairly technical topic, but Vlad uses creative diagrams and an understandable demo to show the power of Quarks.

    Cloud Foundry Foundation has posted all recorded talks from CF Summit EU on YouTube. Check them out if you want to learn more about what is happening in the Cloud Foundry world! I’ll be posting more SUSE Cloud Application Platform talks here over the coming days. Watch Vlad’s talk below...

  • Broad Deployment Of Cloud Foundry Almost Double In Just 2 Years

    As businesses embark on their digital transformation journey, developers are driving innovation across cloud native environments for building into the future. According to a recently released report by Cloud Foundry Foundation, 45 percent of user respondents describe their Cloud Foundry use as “broad” compared to 30 percent in 2018 and 24 percent in 2017. The report also revealed that 39 percent of developers are deploying applications in less than one day.

    What points out towards a healthy and growing community of developers is the fact that almost one in five respondents started using Cloud Foundry in just the last 12 months.

  • The Linux Foundation to Host Open Source Project for Drone Aviation Interoperability

    The Linux Foundation today announced it will host the InterUSS Platform Open Source Project to enable trusted, secure and scalable interoperability between UAS Service Suppliers (USSs) that advances safe, equitable and efficient drone operations. Initial contributors include both industry and regulatory organizations Wing, AirMap, Uber and the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).

    Similar to the evolution of cities, our skies are becoming busier with traffic. In an effort to unleash innovation and ensure safety, aviation regulators around the world are implementing UAS Traffic Management (UTM, also referred to as U-Space) to support rapidly increasing and highly diverse drone operations. Under UTM, a set of USSs (also known as U-Space Service Providers orUSPs) assist drone operators to conduct safe and compliant operations. USSs can provide service in overlapping airspace and share data when required to support services such as a strategic deconfliction of flight plans and remote identification and industry is developing standards for this data sharing through organizations such as ASTM International. The InterUSS Project provides a forum for collaboration and development of standards-compliant, open source implementations that facilitate communication in the UTM/U-Space environment.

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More in Tux Machines

Desktop GNU/Linux: Rick and Morty, Georges Basile Stavracas Neto on GNOME and Linux Format on Eoan Ermine

  • We know where Rick (from Rick and Morty) stands on Intel vs AMD debate

    For one, it appears Rick is running a version of Debian with a very old Linux kernel (3.2.0) — one dating back to 2012. He badly needs to install some frickin’ updates. “Also his partitions are real weird. It’s all Microsoft based partitions,” a Redditor says. “A Linux user would never do [this] unless they were insane since NTFS/Exfat drivers on Linux are not great.”

  • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Every shell has a story

    … a wise someone once muttered while walking on a beach, as they picked up a shell lying on the sand. Indeed, every shell began somewhere, crossed a unique path with different goals and driven by different motivations. Some shells were created to optimize for mobility; some, for lightness; some, for speed; some were created to just fit whoever is using it and do their jobs efficiently. It’s statistically close to impossible to not find a suitable shell, one could argue. So, is this a blog about muttered shell wisdom? In some way, it actually is. It is, indeed, about Shell, and about Mutter. And even though “wisdom” is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, it is expected that whoever reads this blog doesn’t leave it less wise, so the word applies to a certain degree. Evidently, the Shell in question is composed of bits and bytes; its protection is more about the complexities of a kernel and command lines than sea predators, and the Mutter is actually more about compositing the desktop than barely audible uttering.

  • Adieu, 32

    The tenth month of the year arrives and so does a new Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) update. Is it a portent that this is the 31st release of Ubuntu and with the 32nd release next year, 32-bit x86 Ubuntu builds will end?

Linux Kernel and Linux Foundation

  • Linux's Crypto API Is Adopting Some Aspects Of Zinc, Opening Door To Mainline WireGuard

    Mainlining of the WireGuard secure VPN tunnel was being held up by its use of the new "Zinc" crypto API developed in conjunction with this network tech. But with obstacles in getting Zinc merged, WireGuard was going to be resorting to targeting the existing kernel crypto interfaces. Instead, however, it turns out the upstream Linux crypto developers were interested and willing to incorporate some elements of Zinc into the existing kernel crypto implementation. Back in September is when Jason Donenfeld decided porting WireGuard to the existing Linux crypto API was the best path forward for getting this secure networking functionality into the mainline kernel in a timely manner. But since then other upstream kernel developers working on the crypto subsystem ended up with patches incorporating some elements of Zinc's design.

  • zswap: use B-tree for search
    The current zswap implementation uses red-black trees to store
    entries and to perform lookups. Although this algorithm obviously
    has complexity of O(log N) it still takes a while to complete
    lookup (or, even more for replacement) of an entry, when the amount
    of entries is huge (100K+).
    
    B-trees are known to handle such cases more efficiently (i. e. also
    with O(log N) complexity but with way lower coefficient) so trying
    zswap with B-trees was worth a shot.
    
    The implementation of B-trees that is currently present in Linux
    kernel isn't really doing things in the best possible way (i. e. it
    has recursion) but the testing I've run still shows a very
    significant performance increase.
    
    The usage pattern of B-tree here is not exactly following the
    guidelines but it is due to the fact that pgoff_t may be both 32
    and 64 bits long.
    
    
  • Zswap Could See Better Performance Thanks To A B-Tree Search Implementation

    For those using Zswap as a compressed RAM cache for swapping on Linux systems, the performance could soon see a measurable improvement. Developer Vitaly Wool has posted a patch that switches the Zswap code from using red-black trees to a B-tree for searching. Particularly for when having to search a large number of entries, the B-trees implementation should do so much more efficiently.

  • AT&T Finally Opens Up dNOS "DANOS" Network Operating System Code

    One and a half years late, the "DANOS" (known formerly as "dNOS") network operating system is now open-source under the Linux Foundation. AT&T and the Linux Foundation originally announced their plan in early 2018 wish pushing for this network operating system to be used on more mobile infrastructure. At the time they expected it to happen in H2'2018, but finally on 15 November 2019 the goal came to fruition.

Security Patches and FUD/Drama

Android Leftovers