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Cumulus Networks unveils updates to its Linux OS and NetQ

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OS
Linux

Cumulus Networks announced on Monday that it has released Cumulus Linux 4.0, which is its network operating system (OS), and version 2.4 of its NetQ network operations toolset.

Cumulus Networks' Partho Mishra, president and chief product officer, said Cumulus Linux 4.0 and NetQ 2.4 are key elements in the company's ongoing efforts to enable its customers' automation efforts across data centers and campus networks.

"From a solutions standpoint, our focus has been on developing automation and the capabilities that our customers are going after to make their data centers run like an AWS or Google," Mishra said. "The biggest thing they focus on is automation and they've made big strides working with us and using their own resources."

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Hardware, Science and History

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OS
Hardware
Sci/Tech
  • An Open Source Toolbox For Studying The Earth

    Fully understanding the planet’s complex ecosystem takes data, and lots of it. Unfortunately, the ability to collect detailed environmental data on a large scale with any sort of accuracy has traditionally been something that only the government or well-funded institutions have been capable of. Building and deploying the sensors necessary to cover large areas or remote locations simply wasn’t something the individual could realistically do.

    But by leveraging modular hardware and open source software, the FieldKit from [Conservify] hopes to even the scales a bit. With an array of standardized sensors and easy to use software tools for collating and visualizing collected data, the project aims to empower independent environmental monitoring systems that can scale from a handful of nodes up to several hundred.

  • The Early History of Usenet, Part II: Hardware and Economics

    There was a planning meeting for what became Usenet at Duke CS. We knew three things, and three things only: we wanted something that could be used locally for administrative messages, we wanted a networked system, and we would use uucp for intersite communication. This last decision was more or less by default: there were no other possibilities available to us or to most other sites that ran standard Unix. Furthermore, all you needed to run uucp was a single dial-up modem port. (I do not remember who had the initial idea for a networked system, but I think it was Tom Truscott and the late Jim Ellis, both grad students at Duke.)

    There was a problem with this last option, though: who would do the dialing? The problems were both economic and technical-economic. The latter issue was rooted in the regulatory climate of the time: hardwired modems were quite unusual, and ones that could automatically dial were all but non-existent. (The famous Hayes Smartmodem was still a few years in the future.) The official solution was a leased Bell 801 autodialer and a DEC DN11 peripheral as the interface between the computer and the Bell 801. This was a non-starter for a skunkworks project; it was hard enough to manage one-time purchases like a modem or a DN11, but getting faculty to pay monthly lease costs for the autodialer just wasn't going to happen. Fortunately, Tom and Jim had already solved that problem.

  • UNIX Version 0, Running On A PDP-7, In 2019

    WIth the 50th birthday of the UNIX operating system being in the news of late, there has been a bit of a spotlight shone upon its earliest origins. At the Living Computers museum in Seattle though they’ve gone well beyond a bit of historical inquiry though, because they’ve had UNIX (or should we in this context say unix instead?) version 0 running on a DEC PDP-7 minicomputer. This primordial version on the original hardware is all the more remarkable because unlike its younger siblings very few PDP-7s have survived.

    The machine running UNIX version 0 belongs to [Fred Yearian], a former Boeing engineer who bought his machine from the company’s surplus channel at the end of the 1970s. He restored it to working order and it sat in his basement for decades, while the vintage computing world labored under the impression that including the museum’s existing machine only four had survived — of which only one worked. [Fred’s] unexpected appearance with a potentially working fifth machine, therefore, came as something of a surprise.

Bill Wear, Developer Advocate for MAAS: foo.c

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OS
Development
Ubuntu

I remember my first foo. It was September, 1974, on a PDP-11/40, in the second-floor lab at the local community college. It was an amazing experience for a fourteen-year-old, admitted at 12 to audit night classes because his dad was a part-time instructor and full-time polymath.

I should warn you, I’m not the genius in the room. I maintained a B average in math and electrical engineering, but A+ averages in English, languages, programming, and organic chemistry (yeah, about that….). The genius was my Dad, the math wizard, the US Navy CIC Officer. More on him in a later blog — he’s relevant to what MAAS does in a big way.

Okay, so I’m more of a language (and logic) guy. But isn’t code where math meets language and logic?

Research Unix

Fifth edition UNIX had just been licensed to educational institutions at no cost, and since this college was situated squarely in the middle of the military-industrial complex, scoring a Hulking Giant was easy. Finding good code to run it? That was another issue, until Bell Labs offered up a freebie.

It was amazing! Getting the computer to do things on its own — via ASM and FORTRAN — was not new to me. What was new was the simplicity of the whole thing. Mathematically, UNIX and C were incredibly complex, incorporating all kinds of network theory and topology and numerical methods that (frankly) haven’t always been my favorite cup of tea. I’m not even sure if Computer Science was a thing yet.

But the amazing part? Here was an OS which took all that complexity and translated it to simple logic: everything is a file; small is beautiful; do one thing well. Didn’t matter that it was cranky and buggy and sometimes dumped your perfectly-okay program in the bit bucket. It was a thrill to be able to do something without having to obsess over the math underneath.

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Also: How to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 Daily Builds from Ubuntu 19.10

GNU Guix: Spreading the news

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OS
GNU

Developers keep adding crazy features, fixing bugs, and generally improving things. But how good is it if users aren’t aware of these new things? As an example, since June, our build farm has been offering lzip-compressed binaries, which results in better performance when installing software. But to take advantage of that, users need to be aware of its existence, and they need to upgrade their Guix daemon. Likewise, how do we get people to learn about the new guix deploy command that’s now available at their fingertips, about security issues that were fixed, about important infrastructure changes, new options added to existing commands, and so forth?

Our (frustrating!) experience has been that release notes, blog posts, and mailing list announcements aren’t quite enough to get the word out. There’s always people who’ll miss important info and realize when it’s already late, sometimes too late. Hence this simple idea: wouldn’t it be nice if important information would reach users right in their terminal?

[...]

Since it was applied a bit more than a month ago, we’ve already put the news mechanism to good use on quite a few occasions: giving users instructions on how to deal with locales after the last glibc upgrade, giving them upgrade info for CVE-2019-18192, telling them about new command-line options, and more.

In parallel, given that reading the mailing lists is akin to “drinking from a fire hose” as they say, Christopher Baines has been thinking about how to provide regular development updates to interested users and developers. Chris announced last week a prototype of a “Guix Weekly News” web site that would aggregate information about package updates automatically extracted from the Guix Data Service, along with manually written updates. It would seem that this service could readily grab info from channel news as well.

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Leaving Apple & Google – /e/ mobile OS next steps: a Roadmap for 2020

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OS
Gadgets

As the /e/ OS remains quite complex to install, we have partnered with a refurbisher to offer a range of smartphones pre-installed with /e/OS. It’s been available since summer 2019 in the EU, and with Australia/New Zealand coming very shortly. Arrangements for offering this in the US are also underway.

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Shows and Screencasts: Linux Headlines, Frank Karlitschek, Linux Action News and OpenIndiana 2019.10 Run Through

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OS
GNU
Linux
  • 2019-11-11 | Linux Headlines 46

    Steam gets support for Linux namespaces, some distributions are struggling with the shift from Python 2, Arch Linux supports reproducible builds, and GNOME has a new app in beta.

  • Will Europe Succeed At Democratizing The Cloud?

    Europe (led by Germany and France) is contemplating Gaia-X, its own cloud infrastructure to create interoperability among clouds and also allow local companies to compete in the cloud market dominated by US companies like AWS, Microsoft and Google. It’s an ambitious effort, but will it work? We sat down with Frank Karlitschek, founder of Nextcloud to discuss.

  • Linux Action News 131

    Google steps up support for older Chromebooks, Microsoft Edge is coming to Linux, and the App Defense Alliance teams up to fight Android malware.

    Plus Google Cardboard goes open source, and a neat machine-learning tool to pull songs apart.

  • OpenIndiana 2019.10 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at OpenIndiana 2019.10. Enjoy!

Devuan Posts From Former Apple Software Engineer

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OS
  • Linux Dying In Dependency Hell

    There is a concept in computer programming of “Dependency Hell”. It comes about, IMHO, when folks forget to follow the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid.) and / or just don’t pay attention to a couple of basics of computing. In particular, to realize that ALL change is incredibly expensive in time and effort while changes that are incompatible with other parts of the system (or other changes) can be lethal (to the project, product, or whole system).

    The Unix Way of “Do one small thing and do it well” comes from this understanding. One Small Thing done well is unlikely to change much. If I have a program that just takes a byte stream and directs it to a file, that’s not got a lot of room for “enhancements”, revisions, or bugs. If my “Init Systems” just launches a PID1 (Process ID #1) that launches some other processes listed in a script or configuration file, well, my init system is unlikely to ever need much change, revision, “enhancement”, nor will it have much in the way of bugs (if any). This has been fundamental and true for about 50 years of Unix history.

    What has happened relatively recently is an explosion of (gratuitous?) change and “enhancement” that looks to me like it is NOT making things better and IS making things worse. Simply because it makes for a huge growth in Dependency Hell issues.

  • The Joy Of Chroot – Devuan on XU4
  • Devuan 2.0 on Odroid XU4

KaOS Linux Brings Order to the Desktop

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OS
Linux
Reviews

KaOS' integration of the K Desktop extracts power and productivity while reducing distractions. Two things make KaOS an outstanding Linux distro choice: Beginners find it relatively easy to use; and advanced users can customize the environment to their hearts' content.

KaOS targets users who want a Linux distro that puts all of its resources toward working in one environment. You would think that all Linux distros should have that goal, right?

Distros with multiple desktops often suffer from fragmented goals with numerous side concerns. Most of the distros with single or even two desktop options fail to reach the same degree of application selection and performance-tweaking that you find in KaOS Linux.

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Stunning Desktop Linux OS Deepin v20 Has A Release Date

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OS
Linux

Minutes ago I wrapped up an interview with Wuhan Deepin Technology CTO Raphael Zhang and Deepin Development Manager Hualet Wang, and their answers were full of surprises and welcome news. Before I publish the full interview, I wanted to reserve this space for a cool announcement: Deepin v20 is heading into beta status mid-December and is expected to officially launch January 2020.

Deepin is both a desktop Linux distribution and standalone desktop environment, but the former has been making serious waves lately. Beginning with its recent Huawei partnership, which sees the Chinese device manufacturer shipping various MateBook laptops in China with Deepin preinstalled.

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OpenIndiana Hipster 2019.10 is here

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OS

We have released a new OpenIndiana Hipster snapshot 2019.10. The noticeable changes:

IPS was switched to Python 3 and updated to August 2019 OmniOS CE version.
More OI-specific applications have been ported from Python 2.7 to Python 3.5
DDU binary blobs were rewritten, driver database was update
A lot of packages were updated.

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Also: OpenIndiana Hipster 2019.10 Released For Advancing Open-Source Solaris

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