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OS

Why a Chrome OS and Android merger isn't what we really need

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OS
Android

Lately I've been giving this question quite a bit of thought. I depend on both Chrome OS and Android. I use them throughout every day and would find my process a bit more challenging without them. When it was first announced that Chrome OS would be able to run Android apps, my initial thoughts were positive; I considered this move by Google to be the most logical step forward. It was clearly the best way to compete with the Microsoft Surface and to bring more users into the fold. Although chromebooks continually sell incredibly well, some consider Chrome OS to be less than a legitimate platform. Why? The lack of native apps. And that is why Google gave life to the Android Play Store on Chrome OS (at least for certain devices).

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FreeBSD-Based TrueOS Operating System Gets New Jail Tools, Automounting Feature

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OS
BSD

The developers of the FreeBSD-based TrueOS operating system (formerly PC-BSD) announced the release and general availability of a new stable build versioned 2017-02-22.

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Voyager 9 Linux Distro Enters Development, Now Based on Debian 9 "Stretch"

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OS
Linux
Debian

The developers of the Voyager Linux OS announced the availability of the first Beta build of the upcoming Voyager 9 release, which will be based on the soon-to-be-announced Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system.

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Debian-Based GParted Live 0.28.1-1 Released with Linux 4.9.6 and GParted 0.28.1

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OS
Debian

A day after announcing the release of GParted 0.28.1, which re-enabled the ability for users to resize or move primary disk partitions, Curtis Gedak is today releasing the GParted Live 0.28.1-1 distro.

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Also: GParted 0.28.1 Restores Ability to Resize or Move Primary Partitions, Fixes Bugs

This Custom Compiled Chromium OS Is Designed for Desktop and Laptop Computers

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OS

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informs us about the availability of the second build of his custom compiled Chromium OS distribution, ChromX, an open-source alternative to Google's Chrome OS for Chromebooks.

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ToaruOS 1.0 Released, Hobby OS/Kernel Written From Scratch Over 6+ Years

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OS

In the past on Phoronix we have mentioned ToaruOS a few times. It's a "hobby" kernel and operating system written mostly from scratch yet supports Mesa, GCC, Python, and more. It's been in development since 2011 while now the operating system's 1.0 release finally took place.

The ToaruOS developer wrote in about the Toaru 1.0 release that took place at the end of January. He wrote, "After six years of development, I am very happy to finally announce the 1.0 release of ToaruOS. While I would not consider this "complete" - there is still much work to be done - it is time to refocus my development, and with that comes the time to declare a stable release. ToaruOS 1.0 has been the result of over half a decade of effort, with contributions from a dozen people besides myself."

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Sailfish OS 2.1.0 now available to early access for Jolla devices

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OS

This is our biggest release in a while after Aurajoki. It marks thousands of bug fixes with fundamental improvements to the operating system and is now available for early access across Jolla devices.

2.1.0 is named after Finland’s Iijoki, located in Northern Ostrobothnia, which flows 370 kilometers into the gulf of Bothnia.

Iijoki brings major architectural changes to Sailfish OS by introducing Qt 5.6 UI framework, BlueZ 5 Bluetooth stack and basic implementations of 64-bit architecture. It also brings improvements to the camera software with faster shutter speeds, initial support for Virtual Private Networks (VPN), option to enlarge UI fonts to different levels and last but not least, a large number of bug and error fixes mostly reported by our community.

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Also: 2.1.0/Iijoki

Tizen Apps

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OS
Linux
Software
  • Smartphone App: Walkie Talkie app added to Tizen Store

    Last week, we have had a new Walkie Talkie app added to the Tizen Store, something a little different and a little fun, created by developer SomyaC. A walkie-talkie (more formally known as a Handheld Transceiver, or HT) is a hand- held, portable, two-way radio transceiver that lets you communicate directly between both handsets.

  • Smartphone App: Speed Test for Samsung Z1, Z2, Z3 is available in Tizen Store

    Do you know what is your internet speed on your Tizen smartphone? Do you know your internet connection download or upload speed? Anything about ping? Have you never test it? No problem! Developer Srabani S S Patra added a new app last week named Speed Test.

Jolla Releases Sailfish OS 2.1, Adds Copy & Paste To The Browser

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OS

Ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC17) happening later this month, Jolla has released Sailfish OS 2.1.

Sailfish OS 2.1 is now the latest release of this Finnish mobile phone operating system powered by Linux. It does add some new features, but nothing considered extraordinary by comparison to Android and iOS.

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Also: Sailfish OS 2.1.0 now available to early access for Jolla devices

Hands-On: Solus Linux and the Budgie desktop

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OS
Linux

I have heard from a number of people recently suggesting that I take a look at Solus Linux. Since I have not tried a completely new distribution in a while, and I don't want to get bored or stale, I decided this would be a good time to give it a try.

A quick perusal of the Solus web page seems promising. I like the fact that Solus is built from scratch, not just another Ubuntu (or whatever) derivative. I am also impressed by the fact that the Solaris team has developed the Budgie Desktop to suit their own needs and preferences. I think that says a lot about their competence and ambition.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • Linux Command Line Browser To Surf Internet
    Links is an open source text and graphical web browser with a pull-down menu system. It renders complex pages, has partial HTML 4.0 support (including tables and frames and support for multiple characters sets such as UTF-8), supports color and monochrome terminals and allows horizontal scrolling. It’s very useful for low resources computers because day by day the web pages are bigger and heavier. If your computer doesn’t have a suitable performance you’ll have some mistakes while you’re surfing. So, Links is much faster than any common web browser (with GUI) because it doesn’t load all the content of a website, for example, videos, flash, etc.
  • Stacer – The Linux System Optimizer You’ve Been Waiting For
    System optimizer apps are quite the thing on platforms such as Windows and Android. Their usefulness, however, is debatable considering how notorious they are when it comes to using system resources. On the Linux platform, however, we can almost always find the applications, a developer puts their time in developing to be mostly useful. Stacer is one such app created to better optimized your Linux PC in the sense that it packs quite the list of features you’d normally expect from an optimizer and more to give your system a refresh whenever you feel the need.
  • Ulauncher – A Lightweight Application Launcher for Linux
    Each Desktop environment has the own launcher and doing their job nicely but it take a while to launch the application whenever we are searching. Ulauncher is a lightweight application launcher that loads instant search results, usese low resources, and remembers your previous choices and automatically selects the best option for you. It’s written in Python and uses GTK as a GUI toolkit. When you are typing wrong application name, after few words or spelling, it will figure out what you meant. Use Ulauncher to open your files and directories faster with fuzzy search. Type ~ or / to start browsing. Press Alt+Enter to access the alt menu.

Linux Kernel and Graphics

Security News

  • Windows 10 least secure of Windows versions: study
    Windows 10 was the least secure of of current Windows versions in 2016, with 46% more vulnerabilities than either Windows 8 or 8.1, according to an analysis of Microsoft's own security bulletins in 2016. Security firm Avecto said its research, titled "2016 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study: Mitigating risk by removing user privileges", had also found that a vast majority of vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products could be mitigated by removing admin rights. The research found that, despite its claims to being the "most secure" of Microsoft's operating systems, Windows 10 had 395 vulnerabilities in 2016, while Windows 8 and 8.1 each had 265. The research also found that while 530 Microsoft vulnerabilities were reported — marginally up from the 524 reported in 2015 — and 189 given a critical rating, 94% could be mitigated by removing admin rights. This was up from 85% in 2015.
  • Windows 10 Creators Update can block Win32 apps if they’re not from the Store [Ed: By Microsoft Peter. People who put Vista 10 on a PC totally lose control of that PC; remember, the OS itself is malware, as per textbook definitions. With DRM and other antifeatures expect copyright enforcement on the desktop soon.]
    The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build doesn't add much in the way of features—it's mostly just bug fixes—but one small new feature has been spotted, and it could be contentious. Vitor Mikaelson noticed that the latest build lets you restrict the installation of applications built using the Win32 API.
  • Router assimilated into the Borg, sends 3TB in 24 hours
    "Well, f**k." Harsh language was appropriate under the circumstances. My router had just been hacked. Setting up a reliable home network has always been a challenge for me. I live in a cramped three-story house, and I don't like running cables. So my router's position is determined by the fiber modem in a corner on the bottom floor. Not long after we moved in, I realized that our old Airport Extreme was not delivering much signal to the attic, where two game-obsessed occupants fought for bandwidth. I tried all sorts of things. I extended the network. I used Ethernet-over-powerline connectors to deliver network access. I made a mystic circle and danced naked under the full moon. We lost neighbors, but we didn't gain a signal.
  • Purism's Librem 13 Coreboot Port Now "100%" Complete
    According to Purism's Youness Alaoui, their Coreboot port to the Librem 13 v1 laptop is now considered complete. The Librem 13 was long talked about having Coreboot over a proprietary BIOS while the initial models still had shipped with the conventional BIOS. Finally in 2017, they have now Coreboot at what they consider to be 100% complete for this Linux-friendly laptop.
  • The Librem 13 v1 coreboot port is now complete
    Here are the news you’ve been waiting for: the coreboot port for the Librem 13 v1 is 100% done! I fixed all of the remaining issues, it is now fully working and is stable, ready for others to enjoy. I fixed the instability problem with the M.2 SATA port, finished running all the tests to ensure coreboot is working correctly, fixed the headphone jack that was not working, made the boot prettier, and started investigating the Intel Management Engine issue.
  • Linux Update Fixes 11-Year-Old Flaw
    Andrey Konovalov, a security researcher at Google, found a use-after-free hole within Linux, CSO Online reported. This particular flaw is of interest because it appears to be situational. It only showed up in kernels built with a certain configuration option — CONFIG_IP_DCCP — enabled.

Kerala saves Rs 300 cr as schools switch to open software

The Kerala government has made a saving of Rs 300 crore through introduction and adoption of Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) in the school education sector, said a state government official on Sunday. IT became a compulsory subject in Kerala schools from 2003, but it was in 2005 only that FOSS was introduced in a phased manner and started to replace proprietary software. The decision made by the curriculum committee to implement it in the higher secondary sector has also been completed now. Read more