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ReactOS Is a Promising Open Source Windows Replacement

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OS
OSS
Reviews

ReactOS is the closest working clone of the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS that currently is available. Its developers are meeting their stated goal of creating a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems: NT4, 2000, XP, Windows 2003, Vista and Windows 7.

What they have not fully explained is how ReactOS avoids the vulnerabilities that render the outdated OSes unsafe to use online today. The Windows OS security flaws may not be a pressing issue, though, since the developers have created a clone rather than duplicating Windows code.

Open source fans might be drawn to future developments of ReactOS for the same reasons of choice and freedom that draw them to the Linux OS families.

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CoreOS launches Torus, a new open source distributed storage system

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OSS

CoreOS today announced the launch of Torus, its latest open source project. Just like CoreOS’s other projects, Torus is all about giving startups and enterprises access to the same kind of technologies that web-scale companies like Google already use internally. In the case of Torus, that’s distributed storage.

The idea behind Torus is to give developers access to a reliable and scalable storage system for applications that have been deployed on containers using the Google-incubated Kubernetes container management service.

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Also: Presenting Torus: A modern distributed storage system by CoreOS

Mozilla turns Firefox OS into IoT hub

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OS
Moz/FF

As an operating system, Firefox OS has undergone a massive transformation in the past 24 months – it’s far more than just a web browser nowadays. But now Mozilla is looking to take Firefox to the next level by using it as a hub for a plethora of Internet of Things projects.

Mozilla is currently working on four IoT projects behind the scenes: Project Smart Home, Project Link, Project Sensor Web and Vaani. Each of the projects will deal with IoT technology in different ways, but all are aimed at making the end consumer’s home and devices smarter. In a blog post, Mozilla’s SVP of Connected Devices, Ari Jaaksi, posted: “Everything is connected around us. This revolution has already started and it will be bigger than previous technology revolutions, including the mobile smartphone revolution. Internet of Things, as many call it today, will fundamentally affect all of us.”

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Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction

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OS
Security

This is the first in a multipart series on Qubes OS, a security-focused operating system that is fundamentally different from any other Linux desktop I've ever used and one I personally switched to during the past couple months. In this first article, I provide an overview of what Qubes is, some of the approaches it takes that are completely different from what you might be used to on a Linux desktop and some of its particularly interesting security features. In future articles, I'll give more how-to guides on installing and configuring it and how to use some of its more-advanced features.

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Solus Project Announces New Tool for Enabling Better Steam Integration on Linux

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OS
Linux

Ikey Doherty and the Solus Project are proud to announce today the availability of a new project that aims to better integrate the Steam client on various GNU/Linux operating systems.

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Custom Chromium OS Build Now Available for 64-Bit Laptop and Desktop Computers

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OS

GNU/Linux and Android-x86 developer Arne Exton has informed Softpedia today, May 26, 2016, about the immediate availability for download of his custom Chromium OS build.

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CentOS Linux 6.8 Officially Released, Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8

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Linux

CentOS developer and maintainer Johnny Hughes today, May 25, 2016, had the great pleasure of announcing the release and immediate availability for download of the CentOS Linux 6.8 operating system.

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CentOS 7 KDE: not for home users

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Linux
Reviews

Whom can I recommend CentOS to? Probably to people I mentioned in the very beginning of this article: students who want to dedicate their life to system administration. You need to learn how to search for the answers, how to do things manually. That is your profession. That is your bread. CentOS gives you a brilliant opportunity to learn all of that along with learning the system itself.

But CentOS is not for home users who want things done quickly and easily, I'm afraid.

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Solus OS

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OS

For the seasoned users among you, chances are you may have previously heard about the development of the Solus operating system – for both good and bad reasons. For those less aware of the behind-the-scenes antics, you might want to check out our full interview with its founder, Ikey Doherty, back in LU&D 162.

Following on from a successful launch, the project looks to offer a stable, and alternative, take on the more common GNOME-based distributions. Without doubt, Solus’ most distinguishing feature is its unique graphical interface: Budgie. The Budgie desktop has been written from the ground up, enabling easy integration into other distros and is essentially an open source project in its own right.

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Major CoreOS Linux Alpha Vulnerability Patched

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Linux
Security

A major vulnerability in CoreOS Linux Alpha has been patched, with the issue limited to versions 104x.0.0 of the distribution.

In the blog post Major Remote SSH Security Issue in CoreOS Linux Alpha, Subset of Users Affected the CoreOS Security Team described the issue saying:

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More in Tux Machines

Future of Mozilla

  • Servo Is Planning For More GPU-Accelerated WebRender Improvements
    As mentioned in today's This Week in Servo newsletter, their Q3 roadmap plans have been published. Among the work to be tackled by Mozilla developers working on the next-generation Servo layout engine this quarter includes finishing the development of WebRender, experiments around WebRender 2, Stylo as the sryle system in Gecko integration work, and continuing with the Servo nightly builds support. There's also work around Promise API, Autolander migration, Android work, auto-updating, JavaScript error reporting, Web Font loading, performance improvements, correcting more layout bugs, etc. You can see the current road-map via this GitHub page.
  • What Happens to Mozilla and its Deal with Yahoo?
    In late 2014, many observers were flummoxed to see that Yahoo and Mozilla had announced a "strategic five-year partnership" agreement which would make Yahoo the primary search option for Firefox. Mozilla was up for renewal negotiations for its deal with Google, which had historically subsidized more than 90 percent of Mozilla's revenues, to the tune of more than $300 million per year at times. In return, for lots of money, Google got primary search placement in the Firefox browser over the years. Last week, though, Verizon,announced its intention to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion. What are the implications for Mozilla and its deal? Here are the details.

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Stardew Valley is now in beta for Linux
    The Stardew Valley developer tweeted out a password for a beta, but after discussing it with them on their forum I was able to show them that we can't actually access it yet. While what I was telling them may not have been entirely correct (SteamDB is confusing), the main point I made was correct. Normal keys are not able to access the beta yet, but beta/developer keys can, as it's not currently set for Linux/Mac as a platform for us.
  • Physics-based 3D puzzler Human: Fall Flat released on Steam for Linux
    Human: Fall Flat is an open-ended physics puzzler with an optional local co-op mode, developed by No Brakes Games, and available now on Steam for Linux.
  • 7 Mages brings a touch more of traditional dungeon crawling to Linux
    Controlling a party of adventurers, exploring dungeons and fighting weird magical creatures is an RPG tradition as old as the genre. Expect all that and more in this modern iteration of the classical dungeon crawler.

Linux and Graphics

Security News

  • Security advisories for Monday
  • EU to Give Free Security Audits to Apache HTTP Server and Keepass
    The European Commission announced on Wednesday that its IT engineers would provide a free security audit for the Apache HTTP Server and KeePass projects. The EC selected the two projects following a public survey that took place between June 17 and July 8 and that received 3,282 answers. The survey and security audit are part of the EU-FOSSA (EU-Free and Open Source Software Auditing) project, a test pilot program that received funding of €1 million until the end of the year.
  • What is your browser really doing?
    While Microsoft would prefer you use its Edge browser on Windows 10 as part of its ecosystem, the most popular Windows browser is Google’s Chrome. But there is a downside to Chrome – spying and battery life. It all started when Microsoft recently announced that its Edge browser used less battery power than Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera on Windows 10 devices. It also measured telemetry – what the Windows 10 device was doing when using different browsers. What it found was that the other browsers had a significantly higher central processing unit (CPU), and graphics processing unit (GPU) overhead when viewing the same Web pages. It also proved that using Edge resulted in 36-53% more battery life when performing the same tasks as the others. Let’s not get into semantics about which search engine — Google or Bing — is better; this was about simple Web browsing, opening new tabs and watching videos. But it started a discussion as to why CPU and GPU usage was far higher. And it relates to spying and ad serving.
  • Is Computer Security Becoming a Hardware Problem?
    In December of 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed into the Ohio River, killing 46 people. The cause was determined to be a single 2.5 millimeter defect in a single steel bar—some credit the Mothman for the disaster, but to most it was an avoidable engineering failure and a rebuttal to the design philosophy of substituting high-strength non-redundant building materials for lower-strength albeit layered and redundant materials. A partial failure is much better than a complete failure. [...] In 1996, Kocher co-authored the SSL v3.0 protocol, which would become the basis for the TLS standard. TLS is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS and is responsible for much of the security that allows for the modern internet. He argues that, barring some abrupt and unexpected advance in quantum computing or something yet unforeseen, TLS will continue to safeguard the web and do a very good job of it. What he's worried about is hardware: untested linkages in digital bridges.
  • Your Smart Robot Is Coming in Five Years, But It Might Get Hacked and Kill You
    A new report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security forecasts that autonomous artificially intelligent robots are just five to 10 years away from hitting the mainstream—but there’s a catch. The new breed of smart robots will be eminently hackable. To the point that they might be re-programmed to kill you. The study, published in April, attempted to assess which emerging technology trends are most likely to go mainstream, while simultaneously posing serious “cybersecurity” problems. The good news is that the near future is going to see some rapid, revolutionary changes that could dramatically enhance our lives. The bad news is that the technologies pitched to “become successful and transformative” in the next decade or so are extremely vulnerable to all sorts of back-door, front-door, and side-door compromises.
  • Trump, DNC, RNC Flunk Email Security Test
    At issue is a fairly technical proposed standard called DMARC. Short for “domain-based messaging authentication reporting and conformance,” DMARC tries to solve a problem that has plagued email since its inception: It’s surprisingly difficult for email providers and end users alike to tell whether a given email is real – i.e. that it really was sent by the person or organization identified in the “from:” portion of the missive.
  • NIST Prepares to Ban SMS-Based Two-Factor Authentication
    The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the latest draft version of the Digital Authentication Guideline that contains language hinting at a future ban on SMS-based Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). The Digital Authentication Guideline (DAG) is a set of rules used by software makers to build secure services, and by governments and private agencies to assess the security of their services and software. NIST experts are constantly updating the guideline, in an effort to keep pace with the rapid change in the IT sector.
  • 1.6m Clash of Kings forum accounts 'stolen'
    Details about 1.6 million users on the Clash of Kings online forum have been hacked, claims a breach notification site. The user data from the popular mobile game's discussion forum were allegedly targeted by a hacker on 14 July. Tech site ZDNet has reported the leaked data includes email addresses, IP addresses and usernames.
  • Hacker steals 1.6 million accounts from top mobile game's forum
    [Ed: vBulletin is proprietary software -- the same crap Canonical used for Ubuntu forums]