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Software

Software and Games: KStars, Opera, OpenStack, MariaDB and More

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Software
Gaming
  • KStars 2.9.6 is Released!

    I'm glad to announce the release of KStars 2.9.6 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. This is a minor bugfix release.

  • Opera 54 Browser Enters Beta with News on the Speed Dial, Update & Recovery Menu

    Opera has promoted its upcoming Opera 54 web browser to the beta channel, giving us a glimpse of what to expect from the final version, due for release sometime next month.

    Based on the open-source Chromium 67.0.3396.18 web browser, Opera 54 recently entered beta stages of development with a plethora of new features and improvements, among which we can mention a new Update & Recovery Opera menu page that makes it easier for users to update the web browser and reset it to its default state, including the ability to clear temporary data, such as cookies.

  • OpenStack at a Crossroads

    The OpenStack of a few years ago is dead, however. What has emerged from the hype cycle is a materially different foundation, mission and software stack, with a great deal of change still ahead of it.

  • The OpenStack Foundation grows beyond OpenStack

    The OpenStack Foundation has made a considerable change to its development process and governance structure by introducing two open source projects that are not part of the OpenStack cloud platform.

    This week, the organization launched version 1.0 of Kata Containers - a runtime system with an emphasis on speed and security, enabling users to boot a VM in as little as five seconds - and introduced a brand new project called Zuul, spinning out the software development and integration platform that has been used by the OpenStack community internally since 2012.

  • Oracle nemesis MariaDB tries to lure enterprise folk with TX 3.0

    Open-source database biz MariaDB has upped the ante in its war against Oracle, promising enterprise customers better compatibility with – and easier migration from – Big Red.

    The Finnish firm's latest offering, MariaDB TX 3.0, released for GA today, extends the number of use cases to include temporal processing and advanced data protection for sensitive and personally identifiable information, as well as Oracle compatibility.

    The broad aim is to tap into customers' grumbles over legacy vendor lock-in, while convincing the bigger customers that they can move to an open-source database without compromising performance.

  • The Humble Monthly Bundle just added two great Linux games

    For those that are interested, you can secure a copy of two great Linux games in the current Humble Monthly Bundle.

    Just added today are:

    Get Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!
    Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth

  • SC-Controller 0.4.3 Released, Support Steam Controller & Sony DS4 Over Bluetooth

    For those looking to manage your Steam Controller and other supported Linux gaming peripheral input devices outside of Steam, there is a new release of the independently-developed SC-Controller Linux user-space software.

    While Linux 4.18 is bringing the Steam Controller kernel driver, for those looking for a Steam Controller solution right now to enjoy this excellent gaming controller for now outside of Steam, SC-Controller fills that void.

Wine 3.9 Released

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Software

Software: Electronic Books, Zammad, BTFS and Containers

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Software
  • Best Free Linux e-book Tools – Updated (2018)

    An electronic book (commonly abbreviated e-book) is a text and image-based publication which can be read on a computer or other digital devices such as an e-book reader.

    The rise of multimedia digital downloads in recent years has been truly extraordinary. The impact has been so great in respect of digital music downloads. Digital music accounted for half of the all the revenue generated by the music industry in 2016 and amounted to a total of 7.8 billion U.S. dollars that year. Over the years, many music labels stopped releasing singles on a physical format. We do not foresee that major book publishing companies will abandon paperbacks. However, the expansion of digital downloads equally applies to books. The biggest booksellers have reported that they sell more digital books than paperbacks.

  • Zammad – An Open Source Help Desk and Support Ticket System

    Zammad is a free open source, fully featured web based ticketing system for helpdesk or customer support. It ships in with a multitude of features for handling customer communication through various channels such as social networks (Facebook and Twitter), live chat, e-mails as well as telephone. It has an API for integrating your telephone system into in and outgoing calls.

  • BTFS – A Bittorrent Filesystem Based On FUSE

    The torrents have been around for a long time to share and download data from the Internet. There are plethora of GUI and CLI torrent clients available on the market. Sometimes, you just can not sit and wait for your download to complete. You might want to watch the content immediately. This is where BTFS, the bittorent filesystem, comes in handy. Using BTFS, you can mount the torrent file or magnet link as a directory and then use it as any read-only directory in your file tree. The contents of the files will be downloaded on-demand as they are read by applications. Since BTFS runs on top of FUSE, it does not require intervention into the Linux Kernel.

  • Living in a Docker world

    Once upon a time, I worked at a startup that was looking to “Dockerize” its backend infrastructure. This developed into a running joke where the programmers on the team would ask me if I knew what Docker was, and I would say:

    “Yes, it’s like a boat.”

    This would frustrate the programmers, which was my intention. They would howl about how wrong I was, and they could never quite calm down enough to clarify how Docker wasn’t like a boat.

  • Systemd Introduces "Portable Services" Functionality, Similar To Containers

    The past several months Lennart Poettering has been working on a "portable services" concept and that big ticket new feature has now landed in Systemd. Portable services are akin to containers but different.

    Portable Services is a big addition to systemd at around six thousand new lines of code for this init system and also brings the new portablectl utility.

A free e-learning tool for creating digital content

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Software

It's common to see a software app stand still—no new versions, no updates. Eventually, it gets overtaken by advancing technology and its user base drifts away. Open source software is not immune to this fate, but it is easier to revive than commercial software, where optimistic accountants cling to the hope that it still holds financial value.

eXeLearning (also called eXeLearn, or eXe), an open source XHTML editor that was created with support from Auckland University of Technology, University of Auckland, and Tairawhiti Polytechnic, achieved a measure of popularity among its target audience. The introduction to the version 1 manual described it as "an authoring environment to assist teachers and academics in the design, development, and publishing of web-based learning and teaching materials without the need to become proficient in HTML or complicated web-publishing applications." Despite a few annoying glitches, I liked and recommended that program. However, development stalled around 2010 and eXeLearning fell off my recommended list. eXeLearning is back on my list now.

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Software: Discourse and More

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Software
  • Discourse – A Modern Forum for Community Discussion

    Discourse is a free, open source, modern, feature-rich and remarkable community-oriented forum software. It’s a powerful, reliable, and flexible platform that comes with a wide range of tools for community discussions.

    It is designed for building community discussion platforms, mailing list or chat room for your team, customers, fans, patrons, audience, users, advocates, supporters, or friends and most importantly, it seamlessly integrates with the rest of your established online platforms.

  • 4 Markdown-powered slide generators

    Imagine you've been tapped to give a presentation. As you're preparing your talk, you think, "I should whip up a few slides."

    Maybe you prefer the simplicity of plain text, or maybe you think software like LibreOffice Writer is overkill for what you need to do. Or perhaps you just want to embrace your inner geek.

    It's easy to turn files formatted with Markdown into attractive presentation slides. Here are four tools that can do help you do the job.

  • Faster Audio Decoding/Encoding Coming To Ogg & FLAC

    FLAC and Ogg now have faster audio encoding and decoding capabilities thanks to recent code improvements.

    Robert Kausch of the fre:ac audio converter project wrote in to inform us about recent changes he made to FLAC and Ogg for yielding faster performance. Kausch updated the CRC checks within FLAC and Ogg to a faster algorithm and those patches have now been accepted upstream.

Wine: VKD3D and DXVK

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Software
  • Wine's VKD3D 1.0 Released For Running Direct3D 12 Over Vulkan

    The Wine project has announced the release of VKD3D 1.0, the first official release of this Direct3D 12 over Vulkan layer primarily developed at CodeWeavers. VKD3D is the approach Wine is pursuing for getting Direct3D 12 games from Windows working on Wine under Linux or also under macOS when paired with MoltenVK.

    For the VKD3D 1.0 release there are D3D12 demos now working but features are known to be missing and bugs are expected. Geometry and tessellation shaders are among the big ticket items still left to be implemented in future releases.

  • DXVK 0.52 Brings More improvements For Direct3D 11 Over Vulkan

    While VKD3D 1.0 is out today for Direct3D 12 mapped over Vulkan, the DXVK project for running Direct3D 11 over Vulkan is also out with a new release today.

    Most prominent to the new DXVK 0.52 release is initial support for DXGI 1.2, the updated Microsoft DirectX Graphics Infrastructure that brings various updates for drivers. The initial DXGI 1.2 support in the process fixes at least Bioshock 2 Remastered as well as Frostpunk.

  • Vkd3d 1.0 Released

    This is the first release of vkd3d. A lot of Direct3D 12 features are still missing and bugs are expected. The current version was tested mainly with demo applications. A number of features that are being worked on have been deferred to the next development cycle. This includes in particular geometry and tessellation shaders support, various shader translation improvements, as well as various improvements for core Direct3D 12 methods.

  • vkd3d for Direct3D 12 to Vulkan in Wine has released the first stable version

    Today, the Wine developers officially announced that vkd3d for translating Direct3D 12 to Vulkan in Wine has reached 1.0.

Offline Computing – 10 Apps for the Digital Nomad

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Software

In today’s always-connected, constantly-inturrupted world, it can often be rewarding to go offline. Disconnecting from the Internet doesn’t mean you have to buy a yurt, live on beans, and get no work done though!

While there’s a ton of great apps in the Snap store which rely on a connection to function, there’s also a lot you can do offline. So whether you’re taking a trip that doesn’t offer (reasonably priced) in-flight wifi, or want to live life the digital nomad style, we’ve got some apps for you!

These all work offline, so once installed you can work, study & play without a connection.

Read more

Also: Linux Release Roundup: GNOME Twitch, Shotwell & GIMP

Software: Grafana, Heaptrack, Vim

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Software
  • Grafana – An Open Source Software for Analytics and Monitoring

    Grafana is an open source, feature rich, powerful, elegant and highly-extensible analytics and monitoring software that runs on Linux, Windows and MacOS. It is a de facto software for data analytics, being used at Stack Overflow, eBay, PayPal, Uber and Digital Ocean – just to mention but a few.

    It supports 30+ open source as well as commercial databases/data sources including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Graphite, Elasticsearch, OpenTSDB, Prometheus and InfluxDB. It allows you to dig deeply into large volumes of real-time, operational data; visualize, query, set alerts and get insights from your metrics from differen

  • Heaptrack v1.1.0 release

    Better memory profiling on Linux

    After more than a year of work, I’m pleased to release another version of heaptrack, the Linux memory profiler! The new version 1.1.0 comes with some new features, significant performance improvements and – most importantly – much improved stability and correctness. If you have tried version v1.0 in the past and encountered problems, update to the new v1.1 and try again!

  • Ten Years of Vim

     

    The philosophy behind Vim takes a while to sink in: While other editors focus on writing as the central part of working with text, Vim thinks it's editing.

     

    You see, most of the time I don't spend writing new text; instead, I edit existing text.

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A look at Spice-Up presentation software for GNU/Linux

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Software

As a student, presentations are second nature to me. I can’t even count the amount of times I have had to make visual presentations and slides of information over the course of the past couple years.

I’ve always been one to like to change things up, and get bored if I don’t, so rather than always using Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint, or even LibreOffice Impress, I’ve opted to use a handy little piece of software called “Spice-Up” on a few occasions.

Read more

Software: WiFi, GIMP, WordPress

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Software
  • WiFi hacker- 10 best Android & Desktop WiFi hacking apps free download

    Hacking is no more the specialty of experts and professionals only. With the emergence of user-friendly hacking tools, the art can be easily aced by average users too. A majority of people want to know the best, free WiFi hacker tools to learn to hack on smartphones and desktops.

    Despite the availability of so many hacking tutorials online, let us tell you that hacking is not as easy to learn. It cannot be learned overnight and requires in-depth research and dedication to become a pro at hacking.

  • GIMP 2.10.2 Released

    It’s barely been a month since we released GIMP 2.10.0, and the first bugfix version 2.10.2 is already there! Its main purpose is fixing the various bugs and issues which were to be expected after the 2.10.0 release.

  • GIMP 2.10.2 Released With HEIF Image Format Support

    Just shy of one month since the long-awaited debut of GIMP 2.10, the first stable point release is now available.

    Besides fixing bugs, there is new features too including support for HEIF images for importing and exporting, spherize and recursive transform filters added, improved histogram computation, and more.

  • GIMP 2.10.0 released. How to install it on Fedora or Ubuntu
  • WordPress 4.9.6 Update Helps Websites Prepare for GDPR

    The open-source WordPress content management system project announced its 4.9.6 update on May 17, providing users with privacy enhancements designed to help sites be compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

    GDPR is set to go into effect on May 25, requiring organizations to take steps to protect the privacy of end- user information. To be compliant with GDPR, organizations need to properly disclose how user data is stored and used.

    "It's important to understand that while the GDPR is a European regulation, its requirements apply to all sites and online businesses that collect, store, and process personal data about EU residents no matter where the business is located," WordPress developer Allen Snook wrote in a blog post.

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More in Tux Machines

GNU/Linux Desktops/Laptops and Windows Spying

  • Changes [Pop!_OS]

    For the last 12 years, my main development machine has been a Mac. As of last week, it’s a Dell XPS 13 running Pop!_OS 18.04.

    [...]

    Take note: this is the first operating system I’ve used that is simpler, more elegant, and does certain things better than macOS.

  • System76 Opens Manufacturing Facility to Build Linux Laptops
    As it turns out, System76 is making the transition from a Linux-based computer seller, into a complete Linux-based computer manufacturer. The Twitter photos are from their new manufacturing facility. This means that System76 will no longer be slapping their logo on other company’s laptops and shipping them out, but making their own in-house laptops for consumers.
  • Extension adding Windows Timeline support to third-party browsers should have raised more privacy questions
    Windows Timeline is a unified activity history explorer that received a prominent placement next to the Start menu button in Windows 10 earlier this year. You can see all your activities including your web browser history and app activity across all your Windows devices in one place; and pickup and resume activities you were doing on other devices. This is a useful and cool feature, but it’s also a privacy nightmare. You may have read about a cool new browser extension that adds your web browsing history from third-party web browsers — including Firefox, Google Chrome, Vivaldi, and others — to Windows Timeline. The extension attracted some media attention from outlets like MSPoweruser, Neowin, The Verge, and Windows Central.

Public money, public code? FSFE spearheads open-source initiative

Last September, the non-profit Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) launched a new campaign that calls for EU-wide legislation that requires publicly financed software developed for the public sector to be made publicly available under a free and open-source software license. According to the ‘Public Money, Public Code’ open letter, free and open-source software in the public sector would enable anyone to “use, study, share, and improve applications used on a daily basis”. The initiative, says the non-profit, would provide safeguards against public sector organizations being locked into services from specific companies that use “restrictive licenses” to hinder competition. The FSFE also says the open-source model would help improve security in the public sector, as it would allow backdoors and other vulnerabilities to fixed quickly, without depending on one single service provider. Since its launch, the Public Money, Public Code initiative has gained the support of 150 organizations, including WordPress Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, and Tor, along with nearly 18,000 individuals. With the initiative now approaching its first anniversary, The Daily Swig caught up with FSFE spokesperson Paul Brown, who discussed the campaign’s progress. Read more

Best Tools to Access Remote Linux Desktop

Nowadays, you can’t carry your system or laptop everywhere. So to make the things more manageable, there is a service of remote access that gives you full access to your system from anywhere. It is made possible by the Microsoft that developed a remote desktop protocol (RDP), which offers a graphical interface to connect to a remote system over a network connection. Read more

Ubuntu: Server Installer, IoT Security, Snaps, Xubuntu

  • The improved 18.04.1 LTS Server Installer - Call for testing!
    With the release of 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver the new server installer was introduced. At the time, it still lacked certain critical features which have now been implemented.
  • Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS Introducing Revised Server Installer, Adds Missing Features
    With the April release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on the server front was a brand new, in-house developed server installer created by Canonical to differentiate it from Debian's long-used text installer for the Ubuntu Server images. While it offered a fresh look and some new features, it shipped without many features common to Linux server installers. Fortunately, that is changing with the upcoming Ubuntu Server 18.04.1 release. As expected, Canonical is filling in the gaps with their new server installer dubbed Subiquity. With the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS release they will be shipping a new version of this installer. This updated installer now supports LVM, RAID, VLAN, and bonds -- important features missing originally from Ubuntu Server 18.04.0. The functionality is now in place with the latest daily images although the text-based user-interface is still being refined.
  • IoT Security at Scale: Managing end-to-end security
  • Perfectly Formed Snaps Challenge
    Snaps are perfect for the smaller things in life too. Looking away from the graphical flagship apps, the snap store hosts lightweight server daemons, command line utilities, developer tools and even tiny games. Recently, a couple of petite snaps were published in the store. Sparky is a simple game played in a terminal, and a modest 32KB on disk. Bash-Shell-RPG is similarly diminutive at only 8KB. Neither contain an excess of additional libraries, just the absolute minimum needed to function everywhere.
  • What’s New in Xubuntu 18.04 LTS
    Xubuntu 18.04 LTS is the latest release of Xubuntu, it now available to download and install on your laptop and PC. This release features latest version of Xfce 4.12 as default desktop, include latest Xfce components. Xubuntu 18.04 LTS also comes with an updated Greybird GTK+ theme that includes a new dark style, better HiDPI support, greater consistency between GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 apps, GTK+ 3 styles for Google Chrome and Chromium web browsers, smaller switches, and improved scales. However, the GTK Theme Configuration tool was removed and it’s no longer possible to override colors in themes.