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Software

today's howtos and proprietary software

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Software
HowTos
  • Everything you need to know to become an expert Linux admin - TechRepublic

    IT professionals have to be life-long learners with quarterly goals for improving their skills to keep up with the industry, particularly when it comes to Linux. System administrators should be constantly looking for new ways to improve their skills for managing Linux servers and distributions. 

    This roundup of TechRepublic Premium resources, by Linux expert Jack Wallen, can help you fill the holes in your skills gap. There is advice for mastering the command line as well as selecting the best GUI tool. Maybe your challenge is managing users or permissions? Wallen has got you covered with that task, too.

    Sysadmins can use any one of these resources to get smarter about Linux and bring value to the IT team.

  • PAM Bypass: when null(is not)ok

    Someone enters an IRC support channel and proclaims their dovecot server has been hacked and a non existing user sends spam email from their server. The initial reaction might be something along the lines of

    Wat

    With the following assumption that the user clearly did something wrong. Hosting email is difficult after all. I don’t quite recall how rest of the support went, but it was solved and the root cause was not found. However, we keep on rolling! Then someone posts about a similar incident on r/archlinux.

    Now, if this happens twice something is amiss! Arch has had a few issues with PAM lately, thus it could be that there is a configuration issue. Johannes and I try to reproduce, but I don’t get far and Johannes keeps on working on the issue.

  • How to install Discord on Linux Mint 20 - YouTube

    In this video, we are looking at how to install Discord on Linux Mint 20.

  • How to install Discord Canary on a Chromebook

    Today we are looking at how to install Disord Canary, the Alpha Builds of Discord, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

  • Build your own ruler in the massive Crusader Kings III update out now | GamingOnLinux

    Paradox has released the big 1.2 update to Crusader Kings III, with it comes a fun new feature that lets you properly design your initial ruler.

    Since the release you've been able to step into the shoes of pre-set historical monarchs and leaders. Carrying their legacy on through the ages, and across the world. Now though, Paradox are giving us much more control over our game and our leader. You can now design them yourself with various options including appearance, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and more with the results sometimes looking quite amusing. You start by choosing a location, then the option to design your own will be available.

    Unlike how it was handled with Crusader Kings II, this is an entirely free feature added to the base game.

  • Vivaldi Web Browser Now Has a Built-in Email Client

    A fully-featured email client is the latest feature to be added to Vivaldi, the Chromium-based web browser.

    The bods beavering away on the wannabe web fave have added a native IMAP and POP3 email client to the app, as well as a RSS feed reader, and multi-account friendly calendar. Other recent feature additions have included a word processor and a built-in arcade game.

    Although Vivaldi Mail (as the feature is known) is currently of a ‘pre-Beta quality’ it is fully functional and works relatively well already.

    On paper Vivaldi Mail will work with most modern e-mail services via IMAP or POP. Alas, for now, this doesn’t include Google or Gmail accounts.

The 10 Best Linux Backup Tools

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Software

If you are a high-end software developer, system admin, or content creator who changed their Alien ID to the Linux world, then this article piece is for you. There is no worse enemy to a committed Linux enthusiast than data loss. To deal with data loss, you must understand the essential services of backup tools software.

You might be thinking, well, my machine system has several partitions. One has my Linux operating system installed, and the remaining ones I use to back up the data that I continuously use and develop. Moreover, you might be considerate enough to acquire an external hard disk drive to store your important files. However, the game of data loss is like playing chess against a supercomputer. The odds are never in our favor. It is usually when everything is going smoothly that an unfortunate event tends to introduce itself.

An unstable surge could occur and put your entire machine system in an ICU state. Such circumstances tend to corrupt or put your important data in an irretrievable state. Furthermore, a filled coffee mug that puts your ingenious mind in an active and productive state could accidentally spill on your machine or external HDD and commit the highest level of treason. This coffee that keeps our minds awake could have the opposite effect on our machines and any other external storage devices. Worse still, you will be forced to stay awake the whole night to mourn your data loss because the dark shades of coffee you took are still in your system.

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Richard Hughes: fwupd 1.5.2

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If you’re running 1.5.0 or 1.5.1 you probably want to update to this release now as it fixes a hard-to-debug hang we introduced in 1.5.0. If you’re running 1.4.x you might want to let the libcurl changes settle, although we’ve been using it without issue for more than a week on a ton of hardware here. Expect 1.5.3 in a few weeks time, assuming we’re all still alive by then.

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Wine 6.0 Release Preparations Begin In Two Weeks

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With Wine on an annual stable release cadence for shipping new stable feature releases generally at the beginning of each calendar year after a year's worth of bi-weekly development snapshots, Wine 6.0 is due for release around January.

Following Friday's Wine 5.22 release, Wine project founder and leader Alexandre Julliard sent out word this morning that the processes will soon begin rolling for that Wine 6.0 release.

Two weeks from now for the next development release will also mark the start of the code freeze for Wine 6.0. Following that, the Wine 6.0 release candidates will continue until the official Wine 6.0.0 release is ready to ship.

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Kodi 19.x "Matrix" - Beta 1

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Lights! Camera! Action!

... nearly. It's Beta time for Kodi 19.x "Matrix", so let's take another step towards the Great Unveiling.

As we now move into Beta, this release is much more about fixes than features: while there will be the odd new functionality, we're concentrating very much more on getting everything working properly from this point.

To recap, then, one of the main objectives of 19.x "Matrix" is to release a production version of Kodi with Python 3 addons as early in 2021 as we can. That can only happen with enthusiastic community support, lots of good humour and willingness to see the best in others - well, that and coffee/beer (delete as applicable), of course!

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Also: Kodi 19 Now In Beta With Python 3 Addons, AV1 Software Decoding

ympd – MPD Web based GUI

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Linux offers a mouthwatering array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

I’ve covered a fair few MPD clients over the past year or so including Cantata, Ymuse, ncmpy, and ncmpc. My favorite of them is Cantata although Ymuse is a simple alternative. There’s lots of differences between these front-ends. For example, Cantata uses the Qt widget set, whereas Ymuse offers a GTK front-end. And ncmpy and ncmpc are terminal-based clients.

ympd takes a different route. It’s a web-based client. This software lets you use your web browser to interact with MPD. ympd runs without a dedicated web server or interpreters like PHP, NodeJS or Ruby. It’s tuned for minimal resource usage and has minimal dependencies. The software uses Websockets and Bootstrap/JavaScript.

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App Highlight of the Week: Compare Files and Folders Graphically in Linux With Meld

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The good old diff command may not be everyone’s cup of tea. On desktop Linux, you can use Meld GUI tool to compare files and folders for differences.
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Software: GNU Parallel, MPV Player, Musical Midi Accompaniment, Flatpak/Flathub

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  • GNU Parallel 20201122 ('Biden') released [stable]

    GNU Parallel 20201122 ('Biden') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/
    No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
    Please help spreading GNU Parallel by making a testimonial video like Juan Sierra Pons: http://www.elsotanillo.net/wp-content/uploads/GnuParallel_JuanSierraPons.mp4
    It does not have to be as detailed as Juan's. It is perfectly fine if you just say your name, and what field you are using GNU Parallel for.

  • MPV Player 0.33 Brings Nearly A Year's Worth Of Improvements

    MPV as the open-source, cross-platform media player based long ago off the MPlayer/MPlayer2 code-base is out with a new feature release ahead of the holiday season.

    MPV 0.33 is the first release since MPV 0.32 that happened back in January, thus there are a lot of changes in store.

  • Musical Midi Accompaniment: Understanding the Format | Adam Young’s Web Log

    Saxophone is a solo instrument. Unless you are into the sounds of Saxophone multiphonics, harmony requires playing with some other instrument. For Jazz, this tends to be a rhythms section of Piano, Bass, and Drums. As a kid, my practicing (without a live Rhythm section) required playing along with pre-recordings of tunes. I had my share of Jamie Aebersold records.

    Nowadays, the tool of choice for most Jazz muscians, myself included is iReal Pro. A lovely little app for the phone. All of the Real Book tunes have their chord progressions been posted and generated. The format is simple enough.

    But it is a proprietary app. While I continue to support and use it, I am also looking for alternatives that let me get more involved. One such tool is Musical MIDI Accompaniment. I’m just getting started with it, and I want to keep my notes here.

    First is just getting it to play. Whether you get the tarball or checkout from Git, there is a trick that you need to do in order to even play examples: regenerate the libraries.

  • Flatpak's New Repo Format For Greater Flathub Scalability, More Architectures To Come

    Flatpak and the Flathub "app store" and build service are rolling out a new repository format in order to scale better now that there are around one thousand applications on Flathub.

    Flathub continues seeing new Flatpak packages added to the service and thus better scalability is on the mind of developers, especially in wanting to support additional CPU architectures.

Ardour 6.4 Free Digital Audio Workstation Released with Support for VST3 Plugins

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The biggest new feature in Ardour 6.4 is support for plugins in Steinberg’s VST3 plugin format. Yes, that’s right, you can now use VST3 plugins in Ardour, and they work on all platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.

To use them, go to Preferences > Plugins and click the “Scan Now” button, which will automatically discover all the VST3 plugins you might have installed in your system. If you don’t have them installed in the standard location, you can specify the folder where they’re installed.

Read more

Software: KOpeningHours, PTS, RSS Guard, Grafana

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  • Introducing KOpeningHours

    While working on the train station maps for KDE Itinerary I came across OSM’s opening_hours tags on restaurants/shops/amenities/etc. Those contain a description for which time intervals a given thing is available/open, in a machine-readable format. Being able to evaluate this would be nice, as KDE Itinerary knows the time you are going to be at a train station, so we can make the map more useful by focusing on elements that are actually available while you are there.

    OSM’s format is extensively documented, and also used by other systems that we use already (such as OpenTripPlanner) or that might become relevant for us in the future (such as ParkAPI). Another place where we encounter a similar (but simpler) format is schema.org annotations in websites that Plasma Browser Integration evaluates.

    So, obviously we need this in a library we can use in all those cases.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 M1 Brings Improvements For Apple Silicon M1, Altra + More - Phoronix

    Out this weekend is Phoronix Test Suite 10.2-Harstad Milestone 1 as the first development snapshot of this next quarterly feature update to our cross-platform, open-source benchmarking software. 

    Over this quarter's Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 release there is a lot of work on the Phoronix Device Interface "Phodevi" as the software/hardware abstraction layer, various system logging improvements, improved user experience on the OpenBenchmarking.org auto comparison functionality, and other low-level changes. 

  • RSS Guard 3.8.2 - Neowin

    RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It's free, it's open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services - this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

  •                

  • How to Setup Prometheus, Grafana and Loki on NixOS

                     

                       

    When setting up services on your home network, sometimes you have questions along the lines of "how do I know that things are working?". In this blogpost we will go over a few tools that you can use to monitor and visualize your machine state so you can answer that. Specifically we are going to use the following tools to do this:

                       

    Grafana for creating pretty graphs and managing alerts
    Prometheus for storing metrics and as a common metrics format
    Prometheus node_exporter for deriving metrics from system state
    Loki as a central log storage point
    promtail to push logs to Loki

                       

    Let's get going!

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