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Software

Software: Bareos (Backup), Converting Audio & Video Files, Slack Lockin

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  • Bareos 17.2 published

    Bareos has already presented the release candidate for the new version 17.2 at this year’s Open Source Backup Conference in Cologne, Germany. As of now, the final release is officially published. There are many new features in the web UI as well as under the hood. Most new features were sponsored by customers.

    Especially professional users with large environments will benefit from the new database optimization (de-normalization of the file table), which leads to significant speed-increase when backing up millions or more files.

  • Great Apps to Convert Audio & Video Files

    The growth in digital media has come with a plethora of video formats that never existed in the past, and this means many players are not able to understand these formats. One of the remedies you have in such a case is to ensure you use a video converter to change the formats to ones that can be read by your players. In this case, you have many options and most of the apps available are free of charge. Here are a few you might want to consider.

  • Changing how we use Slack solved our transparency and silo problems

    My first (open source) thought was: "Hey, why aren't we using IRC, or some other open source tool, for this?" I quickly realized that didn't matter, as our open source engineers weren't the only people using Slack. People from all areas of the company—even senior leadership—were adopting Slack in droves, and, in some cases, convincing their management to pay for it!

Software: Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.4, drat 0.1.4, digest 0.6.13, Cockpit 158, Weblate 2.18 and More

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Software: Kdenlive, Kubernetes, Movie Monad

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  • Kdenlive 17.12.0 Release Brings Bug Fixes to the Famed Linux Video Editor

    One of the best video editors for Linux, Kdenlive has released its most recent version 17.12.0. This may be the last major release that uses the current code base.

    According to the release statement, Kdenlive 17.12.0 “is a maintenance release focused on stability, while feature development is going in next year’s 18.04 version”.

  • Kubernetes 1.9 Enables Apps Workloads

    Kubernetes 1.9 was became generally available on Dec. 15, marking what is the final release for 2017 for the open-source container orchestration system. Kubernetes 1.9 is the fourth major release of Kubernetes in 2017 and follows the 1.8 release the became generally available on Sept. 28.

    Among the new features in Kubernetes 1.9 is the general availability of the Apps Workloads API which is the culmination of months of effort across several groups of APIs within Kubernetes.

  • Movie Monad is a Simple Linux Video Player Built with Haskell

    Admittedly you probably aren’t on the hunt for a new video player (what with there being plenty of players already available) but it never hurts to be aware of options.

    And Movie Monad, which is written in Haskell and uses GTK and Gstreamer, ticks the deliciously simple box that I, if no-one else, look for. The app can play local video files and remote video files with ease.

Oracle Releases VirtualBox 5.2.4 to Fix GNOME Login Screen Bug with 3D Enabled

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Oracle released on Tuesday a new minor enhancement and bugfix update to the company's open-source and cross-platform VirtualBox virtualization software for Linux, Mac, and Windows systems.

VirtualBox 5.2.4 comes about one month after the November release of VirtualBox 5.2.2, and it's a small update fixing a few regressions and bugs reported by users lately. For starters, the user interface received better HiDPI support and support for adjusting desktop file for X11 window managers.

Read more

Original: Changelog for VirtualBox 5.2

Software: GIMP, Flatpak, MKVToolNix, Vivaldi, PPSSPP Emulator, PowerfulSeal

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  • GIMP 2.10 Adds a Dockable Cache & Swap Monitor

    It’s called ‘Dashboard’ and it is a dockable dialog that provides at-a-glance info on how GIMP is using cache and swap space.

    GIMP devs say the feature could be useful for anyone looking to improve the performance of GIMP as it lets them see how the editor copes with the default settings. I imagine the feature will also prove popular with developers who work on GIMP, too!

  • Flatpak Now Updates Apps from Both System and User Installations by Default

    Alex Larsson released at the end of last week a new stable update of the Flatpak 0.10 Linux application sandboxing and distribution framework (formerly XDG-App) for GNU/Linux distributions.

    Bringing a month's worth of improvements, Flatpak 0.10.2 is out with support for OSTree 2017.14, which is required for building the new release. An interesting feature of Flatpak 0.10.2 is the ability of the "flatpak update" command to update apps from both system and user installations by default.

  • MKVToolNix Open-Source MKV Manipulation Tool Gets Its Last Release in 2017

    MKVToolNix, the open-source and cross-platform collection of tools developed by Moritz Bunkus for manipulating the MKV (Matroska) media container format, received its last release in 2017.

    Bringing a month's worth of improvements and bug fixes, MKVToolNix 19.0.0 is here to update the mkvmerge component to take the first keyframe within 1ms of the requested value into consideration when splitting by duration, by timestamps or by timestamp-based parts.

  • Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

    Google asked rival browser Vivaldi to add uninstall instructions on its website download page – something Google doesn't do itself – after deactivating Vivaldi's advertising account earlier this year.

    Vivaldi is among the many software vendors that advertise products with the search giant. AdWords customers appear at the top of a search for related keywords with a small "Ad" in a box next to them.

    "Google deactivated our advertising account a couple of days after I had a few interviews where I talked about privacy issues," Vivaldi CEO and co-founder Jon von Tetzchner told us. "This is the second time they did this, but this time there was no indication in the AdWords interface that we had been blocked.

  • Vulkan Support Is In The Works For The PPSSPP Emulator

    The Vulkan graphics API has been particularly popular with some gaming console emulators from the Dolphin Emulator to RetroArch. The latest emulator now working on Vulkan support is PPSSPP on Linux.

  • PowerfulSeal: A testing tool for Kubernetes clusters

    Bloomberg has adopted Kubernetes, the open source system for deploying and managing containerized applications which has gained a great deal of industry momentum, in its infrastructure. As a result, systems are becoming more distributed than ever before, running on machines scattered around the globe and across the cloud. This means there are more moving parts, any of which could fail for a long list of reasons.

    Systems engineers want to feel confident that the complex systems they’ve built will withstand problems and keep running. To do that, they run batteries of elaborate tests designed to simulate all sorts of problems. But it’s impossible to imagine every potential problem, let alone plan for all of them.

Software: darktable, Epiphany, Chromium

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  • darktable 2.4 to Support Sony a7R III 35mm Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera

    The developers of the open-source, free, and cross-platform darktable RAW image editor announced the availability of the second Release Candidate for the upcoming and highly anticipated 2.4 release.

    darktable 2.4 RC2 comes only one week after the first Release Candidate, and it promises to bring support for Sony's newest Alpha a7R III mirrorless digital camera (Sony ILCE-7RM3). Besides that, there are a few improvements to increase the overall stability, reliability, and compatibility of the application.

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  • Epiphany Stable Flatpak Releases

    The latest stable version of Epiphany is now available on Flathub. Download it here. You should be able to double click the flatpakref to install it in GNOME Software, if you use any modern GNOME operating system not named Ubuntu. But, in my experience, GNOME Software is extremely buggy, and it often as not does not work for me. If you have trouble, you can use the command line:

  • Hello Chromium 63 – goodbye NaCl

    December usually is a busy month, with the focus at work to wrap up as much of the ongoing projects as possible and prepare for the christmas holidays. And when there’s a lot of (paid) work to do, the voluntary work gets second place. That’s why there was not really a lot of time to churn out a Chromium 63 SlackBuild script. Two weeks ago the first sources for release 63 appeared online and fixed a lot of (security) bugs. Last week saw an update and this is what I grabbed and packaged, because you can’t wait too long with addressing security issues.

    Those of you who had examined my chromium-dev.SlackBuild a while ago will already know that the SlackBuild for versions beyond 63 needed a bit of re-work to cope with changes at the source level. I am glad I did that in November, as it made the transition for the stable browser much easier.

Applications: Gradio, PDF Editors (LibreOffice), Cozy, MuPDF, Atom and More

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  • New Version of Linux Radio Player ‘Gradio’ Released

    Talking of finding stations, the ‘add station’ and ‘search’ pages are now combined, while the Library no longer contains a separate tab for collections. The collection feature is still included, but is now surfaced when selecting multiple stations in the library.

    Various parts of the UI have been tweaked, including the selection toolbar, application menu and the collections popover.

    And, for peace of mind, your connection to the community-powered radio-browser.info database is now encrypted.

  • Best Free PDF Editors For PC, Mac, Linux, Android & iOS

    LibreOffice is one of the best free Office alternatives to Microsoft Office suite. You also get the ability to open and edit the PDF files. If your PDF file contains just pictures/graphics, LibreOffice will automatically suggest the drawing tools to let you modify it. In case of text-oriented documents, you will get the necessary word formatting tools to help you edit it.The user interface may not be the best around but LibreOffice is a free-to-use open-source software with no purchases required.

  • Linux Release Roundup: Cozy, MuPDF, Atom + More

    It’s a Sunday, which means it’s time for me to round-up a rabble of recent Linux releases that did get a mention during the week.

    With a lot of people busy getting ready for Christmas (and other festivals that happen this time of year) there aren’t too many major releases to mention from the past week, but there is a modest set of minor updates issued you may want to know about.

    This might be the final Linux Release Roundup before Xmas. If, like some sort of weekly Santa, you only pop by to read these posts I’ll use this moment to say thank you, and wish you a merry denomatively-appropriate holiday.

Software and howtos

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HowTos

Software: Top 5 Linux Music Players, Udeler, and Thomas

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  • Top 5 Linux Music Players

    No matter what you do, chances are you enjoy a bit of music playing in the background. Whether you’re a coder, system administrator, or typical desktop user, enjoying good music might be at the top of your list of things you do on the desktop. And, with the holidays upon us, you might wind up with some gift cards that allow you to purchase some new music. If your music format of choice is of a digital nature (mine happens to be vinyl) and your platform is Linux, you’re going to want a good GUI player to enjoy that music.

    Fortunately, Linux has no lack of digital music players. In fact, there are quite a few, most of which are open source and available for free. Let’s take a look at a few such players, to see which one might suit your needs.

  • Udeler – A Cross-Platform Udemy Course Video Downloader

    I assume many of our readers are familiar with a number of online study education centers. Some of them focus on programming and computer science related topics alone while others have a wider topic range. Some websites are completely free or paid, and other offer both paid and free courses.

    Just like Khan Academy and Code Academy, Udemy is no newcomer to this domain. It’s a website where you can learn a variety of courses online at your own pace with some of them being available for free.

  • Thomas – A Simple Pomodoro Timer App for Linux

    One of the best methods you can implement to be more productive is time management. It allows you to keep track of how much time it takes you to get work done and how often you exceed your deadlines.

    Timer apps these days seem to have chosen a favorite technique to help users stay sharp and productive as is evident in apps like Gnome Pomodoro and Take a Break. The Pomodoro technique is a common pick.

Wine 3.0 RC2

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Mozilla: Code of Conduct, Kelly Davis, Celebrate Firefox Internet Champions

  • ow We’re Making Code of Conduct Enforcement Real — and Scaling it
    This is the first line of our Community Participation Guidelines — and an nudge to keep empathy at center when designing response processes. Who are you designing for? Who is impacted? What are their needs, expectations, dependencies, potential bias and limitations?
  • Role Models in AI: Kelly Davis
    Meet Kelly Davis, the Manager/Technical Lead of the machine learning group at Mozilla. His work at Mozilla includes developing an open speech recognition system with projects like Common Voice and Deep Speech (which you can help contribute to). Beyond his passion for physics and machine learning, read on to learn about how he envisions the future of AI, and advice he offers to young people looking to enter the field.
  • Celebrate Firefox Internet Champions
    While the world celebrates athletic excellence, we’re taking a moment to share some of the amazing Internet champions that help build, support and share Firefox.

Canonical Ubuntu 2017 milestones, a year in the rulebook

So has Canonical been breaking rules with Ubuntu is 2017, or has it in been writing its own rulebook? Back in April we saw an AWS-tuned kernel of Ubuntu launched, the move to cloud is unstoppable, clearly. We also saw Ubuntu version 17.04 released, with Unity 7 as the default desktop environment. This release included optimisations for environments with low powered graphics hardware. Read more Also: Ubuntu will let upgraders ‘opt-in’ to data collection in 18.04

The npm Bug

  • ​Show-stopping bug appears in npm Node.js package manager
    Are you a developer who uses npm as the package manager for your JavaScript or Node.js code? If so, do not -- I repeat do not -- upgrade to npm 5.7.0. Nothing good can come of it. As one user reported, "This destroyed 3 production servers after a single deploy!" So, what happened here? According to the npm GitHub bug report, "By running sudo npm under a non-root user (root users do not have the same effect), filesystem permissions are being heavily modified. For example, if I run sudo npm --help or sudo npm update -g, both commands cause my filesystem to change ownership of directories such as /etc, /usr, /boot, and other directories needed for running the system. It appears that the ownership is recursively changed to the user currently running npm."
  • Botched npm Update Crashes Linux Systems, Forces Users to Reinstall
    A bug in npm (Node Package Manager), the most widely used JavaScript package manager, will change ownership of crucial Linux system folders, such as /etc, /usr, /boot. Changing ownership of these files either crashes the system, various local apps, or prevents the system from booting, according to reports from users who installed npm v5.7.0. —the buggy npm update.

Windows 10 WSL vs. Linux Performance For Early 2018

Back in December was our most recent round of Windows Subsystem for Linux benchmarking with Windows 10 while since then both Linux and Windows have received new stable updates, most notably for mitigating the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities. For your viewing pleasure today are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Windows 10 WSL performance against Linux using the latest updates as of this week while also running some comparison tests too against Docker on Windows and Oracle VM VirtualBox. Read more