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Flint OS, an operating system for a cloud-first world

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OS

Given the power of today's browser platform technology and web frontend performance, it's not surprising that most things we want to do with the internet can be accomplished through a single browser window. We are stepping into an era where installable apps will become history, where all our applications and services will live in the cloud.

The problem is that most operating systems weren't designed for an internet-first world. Flint OS (soon to be renamed FydeOS) is a secure, fast, and productive operating system that was built to fill that gap. It's based on the open source Chromium OS project that also powers Google Chromebooks. Chromium OS is based on the Linux kernel and uses Google's Chromium browser as its principal user interface, therefore it primarily supports web applications.

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The origin and evolution of FreeDOS

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OS

Over the years, developers have shared with me how they use FreeDOS to run embedded systems. My all-time favorite example is a developer who used FreeDOS to power a pinball machine. FreeDOS ran an application that controlled the board, tallied the score, and updated the back display. I don't know exactly how it was built, but one way such a system could work is to have every bumper register a "key" on a keyboard bus and the application simply read from that input. I thought it was cool.

People sometimes forget about legacy software, but it pops up in unexpected places. I used to be campus CIO of a small university, and once a faculty member brought in some floppy disks with old research data on them. The data wasn't stored in plaintext files, rather as DOS application data. None of our modern systems would read the old data files, so we booted a spare PC with FreeDOS, downloaded a shareware DOS program that could read the application data, and exported the data to plaintext.

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Solus Gets Driverless Printing, Improvements to Linux Steam Integration, More

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OS
Linux

Solus' communications manager Joshua Strobl is reporting today on the latest goodies and software updates that landed recently in the software repositories of the Linux-based operating system.

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Haiku OS Is Still Chugging Along To Get Its First Official Release Out

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OS

The BeOS-inspired Haiku OS has been around since 2002 and its alpha release came out five years ago while the beta and first "R1" stable release are still being pursued.

This week the open-source operating system project published a new report entitled Where is Haiku R1?

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Debian, Ubuntu, elementary OS, pfSense and Windows

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OS
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Debian
Ubuntu
  • My Free Software Activities in Jul-Sep 2017

    If you read Planet Debian often, you’ve probably noticed a trend of Free Software activity reports at the beginning of the month. First, those reports seemed a bit unamusing and lengthy, but since I take the time to read them I’ve learnt a lot of things, and now I’m amazed at the amount of work that people are doing for Free Software. Indeed, I knew already that many people are doing lots of work. But reading those reports gives you an actual view of how much it is.

  • OpenStack Development Summary – October 13, 2017

    Welcome to the seventh Ubuntu OpenStack development summary!

    This summary is intended to be a regular communication of activities and plans happening in and around Ubuntu OpenStack, covering but not limited to the distribution and deployment of OpenStack on Ubuntu.

    If there is something that you would like to see covered in future summaries, or you have general feedback on content please feel free to reach out to me (jamespage on Freenode IRC) or any of the OpenStack Engineering team at Canonical!

  • elementary OS 0.5 "Juno" GNU/Linux Distro Could Use Ubuntu's Snappy Technologies

    The guys over elementary OS, the popular GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, were interviewed recently by Canonical's Sarah Dickinson about upcoming integration of Snap packages into their infrastructure.

    As you are aware, there are three main universal binary packages available for GNU/Linux distributions, Snappy, Flatpak, and AppImage, and OS maintainers are free to implement which one they think it's best for their users, or even more of them.

    In the interview, elementary's devs revealed the fact that they want to go with Ubuntu's Snappy technologies to provide their users with a modern and secure confined app format because of the extra layer of security Snaps provide by design.

  • pfSense 2.4 BSD Operating System Debuts with New Installer, Drops 32-Bit Images

    Rubicon Communications' Jim Pingle announced the release of the pfSense 2.4.0 operating system, a major release that introduces support for new devices, new features, and numerous improvements.

    Based on the latest FreeBSD 11.1 operating system, the pfSense 2.4 release comes with an all-new installer based on bsdinstall and featuring support for the ZFS file system, UEFI machines, as well as multiple types of partition layouts, including the widely used GPT and BIOS.

  • Dutch privacy regulator says Windows 10 breaks the law

    The lack of clear information about what Microsoft does with the data that Windows 10 collects prevents consumers from giving their informed consent, says the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). As such, the regulator says that the operating system is breaking the law.

    To comply with the law, the DPA says that Microsoft needs to get valid user consent: this means the company must be clearer about what data is collected and how that data is processed. The regulator also complains that the Windows 10 Creators Update doesn't always respect previously chosen settings about data collection. In the Creators Update, Microsoft introduced new, clearer wording about the data collection—though this language still wasn't explicit about what was collected and why—and it forced everyone to re-assert their privacy choices through a new settings page. In some situations, though, that page defaulted to the standard Windows options rather than defaulting to the settings previously chosen.

Endless OS Is First Linux Distro to Support Flatpak Apps from Flathub by Default

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OS

Endless Computers announced today on their Twitter account that Endless OS has recently become the first GNU/Linux distribution to enable support for Flatpak apps from Flathub by default with the latest release.

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Q4OS 2.4 "Scorpion" Linux OS Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 9.2 "Stretch"

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OS
Linux

Keeping the spirit of the deprecated KDE 3.5 desktop environment alive, the developers of the Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution informed us today about the general availability of the new "Scorpion" series, a.k.a. Q4OS 2.x.

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ZorinOS Is a Great Linux Desktop For Any User

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OS
Linux
Reviews

No matter your desktop of choice, chances are you will feel right at home on the Zorin Desktop. With the latest release, ZorinOS has done a remarkable job of taking something that was already impressive and made it more stable, more usable, and more accessible than ever. If you’re a Windows 7 user, dreading having to migrate to Windows 10, you no longer have to sweat that change. Adopt ZorinOS 12 and keep working as you’ve done for years.

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NethServer 7.4 Linux Server OS Enters Beta Hot on the Heels of CentOS 7.4

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OS

NethServer's Alessio Fattorini just informed us today about the availability of the first Beta release of the upcoming NethServer 7.4 Linux server-oriented operating system, which is based on CentOS 7.4 and comes with various improvements.

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Are These the Toughest Linux Operating Systems to Install?

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OS
Linux

It’s important to keep in mind that no matter the Linux operating system you choose to install, what matters is getting it onto your computer and using it. Sure, there may be benefits or drawbacks to whatever setup you pursue, but that’s just how Linux is: various by nature.

What’s really important is choosing something that best suits you. If you want a high level of flexibility, then by all means, use something like Arch Linux. And if you want something more automated, that’s fine as well. It’s still Linux, after all.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • Canada’s Spy Agency Releases its Cyber-Defense Tool for Public
  • Canadian govt spooks open source anti-malware analytics tool
    The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) said the AssemblyLine tool is designed to analyse large volumes of files, and can automatically rebalance workloads.
  • Microservices served on blockchain, in open source
    Cloud application marketplace company Wireline is working with open source blockchain project developer Qtum The new union is intended to provide a conduit to consuming microservices at [web] scale using blockchain at the core. As we know, microservices offer the ability to create Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) without having to manage the underlying hardware and software infrastructure. [...] The Qtum a blockchain application platform combines the functions of Bitcoin Core, an account abstraction layer allowing for multiple virtual machines and a proof-of-stake consensus protocol aimed at tackling industry-use cases. The Qtum Foundation, headquartered in Singapore, is the decision-making body that drives the project’s development.
  • Rendering HTML5 video in Servo with GStreamer
    At the Web Engines Hackfest in A Coruña at the beginning of October 2017, I was working on adding some proof-of-concept code to Servo to render HTML5 videos with GStreamer. For the impatient, the results can be seen in this video here
  • Working Intel CET Bits Now Land In GCC8
    A few days back I wrote about Intel's work on Control-flow Enforcement Technology beginning to land in GCC. This "CET" work for future Intel CPUs has now landed in full for GCC 8. The bits wiring up this control-flow instrumentation and enforcement support are now all present in mainline GCC SVN/Git for next year's GCC 8.1 release.
  • Using Gitea and/or Github to host blog comments
    After having moved from FSFE’s wordpress instance I thought long about whether I still want to have comments on the new blog. And how I would be able to do it with a statically generated site. I think I have found/created a pretty good solution that I document below.

Security Leftovers

  • Where Did That Software Come From?
    The article explores how cryptography, especially hashing and code signing, can be use to establish the source and integrity. It examines how source code control systems and automated build systems are a key part of the software provenance story. (Provenance means “a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality.” It is increasingly being applied to software.)
  • Judge: MalwareTech is no longer under curfew, GPS monitoring [Updated]
    A judge in Milwaukee has modified the pre-trial release conditions of Marcus Hutchins, also known online as "MalwareTech," who was indicted two months ago on federal criminal charges. Under US Magistrate Judge William Duffin’s Thursday order, Hutchins, who is currently living in Los Angeles, will no longer be subject to a curfew or to GPS monitoring.
  • [Older] Leicester teen tries to hack CIA and FBI chiefs' computers
    A teenager attempted to hack senior US government officials' computers from his home. Kane Gamble, 18, from Coalville, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to 10 charges relating to computer hacking. His targets included the then CIA director John Brennan and former FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano.

Debian: pk4, Freexian and More

Kernel and Graphics: ZenStates, AMDGPU, RADV, Vulkan, NVIDIA

  • ZenStates Allows Adjusting Zen P-States, Other Tweaking Under Linux
    ZenStates is an independent effort to offer P-States-based overclocking from the Linux desktop of AMD Ryzen processors and other tuning. ZenStates-Linux is an open-source Python script inspired by some available Windows programs for offering Ryzen/Zen CPU overclocking from the desktop by manipulating the performance states of the processor.
  • AMDGPU DC Gets A Final Batch Of Changes Before Linux 4.15
    The AMDGPU DC display code has a final batch of feature updates that were sent in this weekend for DRM-Next staging and is the last set besides fixes for the "DC" code for the 4.15 target.
  • Valve Developer Lands VK_EXT_global_priority For RADV Vulkan Driver
  • Vulkan 1.0.64 Adds In Another AMD-Developed Extension
    Vulkan 1.0.64 is out this weekend as the newest specification refinement to this high-performance graphics/compute API. As usual, most of the changes for this minor Vulkan revision are just documentation clarifications and corrections. This week's update brings just under a dozen fixes.
  • NVIDIA TX2 / Tegra186 Display Support Isn't Ready For Linux 4.15
    While the Jetson TX2 has been out since this past March and it's a phenomenal ARM development board, sadly the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver support for it still isn't ready with the mainline Linux kernel. Thierry Reding of NVIDIA sent in the Tegra DRM driver changes for DRM-Next that in turn is staged for Linux 4.15. Reding commented that there is prepatory work for the TX2 (Tegra186) but it's not all ready for upstream yet.