Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux

Regain your focus: Manage your push notifications in Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

I have been working in a professional IT environment of a large organization for over 20 years and during that time I have seen a lot of different visions and opinions on individual and collective productivity. What I have noticed in all those years is how many people think that you are a bad-ass professional if you can do an insane amount of tasks simultaneously. But let’s be honest, doing many things at the same time is not the same as doing things right. But gradually, cracks start to appear in the common opinion that it is always good to multitask. More and more studies show that multitasking undermines focus. And focus is necessary to not waste valuable time due to finding back your concentration as a result of an attention switch. Focus makes sure that you can deliver some high-quality results instead of just many, but probably mediocre results. In this article I want to delve deeper into the backgrounds behind focus, productivity, the impact of notifications on your productivity, and the things that you should consider in allowing and managing your push notifications under Linux.

[...]

In the introduction I already indicated that nowadays we are increasingly questioning the importance of being good at multitasking, and that perhaps single-tasking is much better. There is, however, a nuance, since multitasking can be fine in itself, as long as all the tasks you want to perform don’t require an equal amount of brain activity and attention. For example, if you like to listen to music during your study time, it is better to listen to instrumental music instead of music in which lyrics play the leading role. With spoken text, you unconsciously interpret and shift your attention from your main task to the music, so you constantly need to refocus back again to your main task. But if you still want to listen to music with vocals, then it is advisable to only listen to music that you have known for years instead of listening to songs with song texts that you have never heard before. New texts subconsciously require more of your attention than texts that you have already known for years. Multitasking is therefore only great when it comes to a combination of simple activities alongside your main task, such as making simple sketches, creating doodles, playing with an elastic band, or chewing your pencil, during a colleague’s presentation or while reading an advice report or listening to a teacher. These doodles and fiddling with a piece of rubber do not require brain effort, so you can keep all your real focus on the main task. But constantly looking at your messages on your mobile phone while listening to a presentation of your colleague, will lead to a loss of focus and loss of information, and of course this is not the nicest and most respectful thing to do in front of a presenting colleague.

Read more

IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 142 is available for testing

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

Only days after finally releasing our new DNS stack in IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 141, we are ready to publish the next update for testing: IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 142.

This update comes with many features that massively improve the security and hardening of the IPFire operating system. We have also removed some more components of the systems that are no longer needed to shrink the size of the operating system on disk.

We have a huge backlog of changes that are ready for testing in a wider audience. Hopefully we will be able to deliver those to you in a swift series of Core Updates. Please help us testing, or if you prefer, send us a donation so that we can keep working on these things.

Read more

Manjaro Linux 19.0 MATE Edition Is Out Now with MATE 1.24 Desktop

Filed under
Linux

Released earlier this week, Manjaro Linux 19.0 shipped with the official flavors, including Xfce, GNOME, KDE Plasma, and Architect. Now, users can download and use the latest release of the Arch Linux-based distribution with the MATE desktop environment too.

Manjaro Linux 19.0 MATE Edition comes with the same under-the-hood components and changes included in the main editions, such as the Linux 5.4 LTS kernel, Pamac 9.3 package management system with Flatpak and Snap support, as well as improved and polished tools.

On top of that, the MATE edition brings all the features of the latest MATE 1.24 desktop environment, such as support for NVMe drives, improved support for HiDPI/4K displays, support for mouse acceleration profiles, as well as embedded color profiles and Wayland support for Eye of MATE.

Read more

Congatec’s 3.5-inch SMARC carrier supports four i.MX8 modules

Filed under
Android
Linux

Congatec’s 3.5-inch “Conga-SMC1” carrier supports all its i.MX8-family SMARC 2.0 modules ranging from the i.MX8X to the i.MX8 QuadMax and offers 2x GbE, 5x USB, and 2x MIPI-CSI2. There’s also a kit that adds a 13MP Basler camera.

Congatec has added a smaller (146 x 102mm) and presumably more affordable SMARC 2.0 carrier board alternative to its 294 x 172mm Conga-SEVAL. The 3.5-inch form-factor Conga-SMC1 carrier supports all its Linux-driven, NXP i.MX8-family SMARC modules. There’s also a Conga-MIPI/Skit-ARM kit version with a 13-megapixel MIPI-CSI Basler camera for embedded vision (see farther below).

Congatec also announced some new cooling systems for its 3.5-inch SBCs starting with its only current model: the Whiskey Lake based Conga-JC370.

Read more

STMicro Updates STM32MP1 Family with 800 MHz Cortex-A7 Processors

Filed under
Android
Linux

Until last year, all STM32 microcontrollers were based on Arm Cortex-M “MCU” cores, but that changed with the introduction of STM32MP1 Cortex-A7 + Cortex-M4 processor a year ago.

That meant for the first time, we had an STM32 processor with an MMU capable of running Linux or Android. The company had three product lines...

All available in four different packages, and with or without hardware security (parts with A and C suffix) meaning we had a total of 24 parts.

Read more

Price of Raspberry Pi 4B with 2GB RAM Drops to $35 Permanently

Filed under
Linux

Raspberry Pi 1 Model B was introduced to the world almost exactly 8 years ago on February 29, 2012, and to celebrate the Raspberry Pi Foundation decided to permanently lower the price of Raspberry Pi 4B with 2GB RAM to $35.

This was made possible due to falling RAM prices. The 1GB RAM version will still be sold for $35 to industrial and commercial customers due to long term support commitments. Sadly, the 4GB RAM version remains at $55, so no discount for this version for now.

Read more

Kernel: LWN and Phoronix Articles About Latest Discussions and Linux Developments

Filed under
Linux
  • Filesystem UID mapping for user namespaces: yet another shiftfs

    The idea of an ID-shifting virtual filesystem that would remap user and group IDs before passing requests through to an underlying real filesystem has been around for a few years but has never made it into the mainline. Implementations have taken the form of shiftfs and shifting bind mounts. Now there is yet another approach to the problem under consideration; this one involves a theoretically simpler approach that makes almost no changes to the kernel's filesystem layer at all.

    ID-shifting filesystems are meant to be used with user namespaces, which have a number of interesting characteristics; one of those is that there is a mapping between user IDs within the namespace and those outside of it. Normally this mapping is set up so that processes can run as root within the namespace without giving them root access on the system as a whole. A user namespace could be configured so that ID zero inside maps to ID 10000 outside, for example; ranges of IDs can be set up in this way, so that ID 20 inside would be 10020 outside. User namespaces thus perform a type of ID shifting now.

    In systems where user namespaces are in use, it is common to set them up to use non-overlapping ranges of IDs as a way of providing isolation between containers. But often complete isolation is not desired. James Bottomley's motivation for creating shiftfs was to allow processes within a user namespace to have root access to a specific filesystem. With the current patch set, instead, author Christian Brauner describes a use case where multiple containers have access to a shared filesystem and need to be able to access that filesystem with the same user and group IDs. Either way, the point is to be able to set up a mapping for user and group IDs that differs from the mapping established in the namespace itself.

  • Keeping secrets in memfd areas

    Back in November 2019, Mike Rapoport made the case that there is too much address-space sharing in Linux systems. This sharing can be convenient and good for performance, but in an era of advanced attacks and hardware vulnerabilities it also facilitates security problems. At that time, he proposed a number of possible changes in general terms; he has now come back with a patch implementing a couple of address-space isolation options for the memfd mechanism. This work demonstrates the sort of features we may be seeing, but some of the hard work has been left for the future.
    Sharing of address spaces comes about in a number of ways. Linux has traditionally mapped the kernel's address space into every user-space process; doing so improves performance in a number of ways. This sharing was thought to be secure for years, since the mapping doesn't allow user space to actually access that memory. The Meltdown and Spectre hardware bugs, though, rendered this sharing insecure; thus kernel page-table isolation was merged to break that sharing.

    Another form of sharing takes place in the processor's memory caches; once again, hardware vulnerabilities can expose data cached in this shared area. Then there is the matter of the kernel's direct map: a large mapping (in kernel space) that contains all of physical memory. This mapping makes life easy for the kernel, but it also means that all user-space memory is shared with the kernel. In other words, an attacker with even a limited ability to run code in the kernel context may have easy access to all memory in the system. Once again, in an era of speculative-execution bugs, that is not necessarily a good thing.

  • Revisiting stable-kernel regressions

    Stable-kernel updates are, unsurprisingly, supposed to be stable; that is why the first of the rules for stable-kernel patches requires them to be "obviously correct and tested". Even so, for nearly as long as the kernel community has been producing stable update releases, said community has also been complaining about regressions that make their way into those releases. Back in 2016, LWN did some analysis that showed the presence of regressions in stable releases, though at a rate that many saw as being low enough. Since then, the volume of patches showing up in stable releases has grown considerably, so perhaps the time has come to see what the situation with regressions is with current stable kernels.
    As an example of the number of patches going into the stable kernel updates, consider that, as of 4.9.213, 15,648 patches have been added to the original 4.9 release — that is an entire development cycle worth of patches added to a "stable" kernel. Reviewing all of those to see whether each contains a regression is not practical, even for the maintainers of the stable updates. But there is an automated way to get a sense for how many of those stable-update patches bring regressions with them.

    The convention in the kernel community is to add a Fixes tag to any patch fixing a bug introduced by another patch; that tag includes the commit ID for the original, buggy patch. Since stable kernel releases are supposed to be limited to fixes, one would expect that almost every patch would carry such a tag. In the real world, about 40-60% of the commits to a stable series carry Fixes tags; the proportion appears to be increasing over time as the discipline of adding those tags improves.

  • Finer-grained kernel address-space layout randomization

    The idea behind kernel address-space layout randomization (KASLR) is to make it harder for attackers to find code and data of interest to use in their attacks by loading the kernel at a random location. But a single random offset is used for the placement of the kernel text, which presents a weakness: if the offset can be determined for anything within the kernel, the addresses of other parts of the kernel are readily calculable. A new "finer-grained" KASLR patch set seeks to remedy that weakness for the text section of the kernel by randomly reordering the functions within the kernel code at boot time.

  • Debian discusses how to handle 2038

    At this point, most of the kernel work to avoid the year-2038 apocalypse has been completed. Said apocalypse could occur when time counted in seconds since 1970 overflows a 32-bit signed value (i.e. time_t). Work in the GNU C Library (glibc) and other C libraries is well underway as well. But the "fun" is just beginning for distributions, especially those that support 32-bit architectures, as a recent Debian discussion reveals. One of the questions is: how much effort should be made to support 32-bit architectures as they fade from use and 2038 draws nearer?

    Steve McIntyre started the conversation with a post to the debian-devel mailing list. In it, he noted that Arnd Bergmann, who was copied on the email, had been doing a lot of the work on the kernel side of the problem, but that it is mostly a solved problem for the kernel at this point. McIntyre and Bergmann (not to mention Debian as a whole) are now interested in what is needed to update a complete Linux system, such as Debian, to work with a 64-bit time_t.

    McIntyre said that glibc has been working on an approach that splits the problem up based on the architecture targeted. Those that already have a 64-bit time_t will simply have a glibc that works with that ABI. Others that are transitioning from a 32-bit time_t to the new ABI will continue to use the 32-bit version by default in glibc. Applications on the latter architectures can request the 64-bit time_t support from glibc, but then they (and any other libraries they use) will only get the 64-bit versions of the ABI.

    One thing that glibc will not be doing is bumping its SONAME (major version, essentially); doing so would make it easier to distinguish versions with and without the 64-bit support for 32-bit architectures. The glibc developers do not consider the change to be an ABI break, because applications have to opt into the change. It would be difficult and messy for Debian to change the SONAME for glibc on its own.

  • UEFI Boot Support Published For RISC-V On Linux

    As we've been expecting to happen with the Linux EFI code being cleaned up before the introduction of a new architecture, the RISC-V patches have been posted for bringing up UEFI boot support.

    Western Digital's Atish Patra sent out the patch series on Tuesday for adding UEFI support for the RISC-V architecture. This initial UEFI Linux bring-up is for supporting boot time services while the UEFI runtime service support is still being worked on. This RISC-V UEFI support can work in conjunction with the U-Boot bootloader and depends upon other recent Linux kernel work around RISC-V's Supervisor Binary Interface (SBI).

  • Linux Kernel Seeing Patches For NVIDIA's Proprietary Tegra Partition Table

    As an obstacle for upstreaming some particularly older NVIDIA Tegra devices (namely those running Android) is that they have GPT entry at the wrong location or lacking at all for boot support. That missing or botched GPT support is because those older devices make use of a NVIDIA proprietary/closed-source table format. As such, support for this proprietary NVIDIA Tegra Partition Table is being worked on for the Linux kernel to provide better upstream kernel support on these consumer devices.

    NVIDIA Tegra devices primarily rely on a special partition table format for their internal storage while some also support traditional GPT partitions. Those devices with non-flakey GPT support can boot fine but TegraPT support is being worked on for handling the upstream Linux kernel with the other devices lacking GPT support or where it's at the wrong sector. This issue primarily plagues Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 era hardware like some Google Nexus products (e.g. Nexus 7) while fortunately newer Tegra devices properly support GPT.

  • Intel Continues Bring-Up Of New Gateway SoC Architecture On Linux, ComboPHY Driver

    Besides all the usual hardware enablement activities with the usual names by Intel's massive open-source team working on the Linux kernel, one of the more peculiar bring-ups recently has been around the "Intel Gateway SoC" with more work abound for Linux 5.7.

    The Intel Gateway SoC is a seemingly yet-to-be-released product for high-speed network packet processing. The Gateway SoC supports the Intel Gateway Datapath Architecture (GWDPA) and is designed for very fast and efficient network processing. Outside of Linux kernel patches we haven't seen many Intel "Gateway" references to date. Gateway appears to be (or based on) the Intel "Lightning Mountain" SoC we were first to notice and bring attention to last summer when patches began appearing for that previously unknown codename.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: The Linux Link Tech Show, FLOSS Weekly, Linux Headlines and Arch/Manjaro

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 846

    nodejs 12, raspberry pi, 3d printing, air frying

  • FLOSS Weekly 567: DeepCode

    DeepCode alerts you about critical vulnerabilities you need to solve in your code. DeepCode finds critical vulnerabilities that other automated code reviews don't, such as Cross-Site Scripting, Path Traversal or SQL injection. DeepCode finds critical vulnerabilities that other automated code reviews don't, such as Cross-Site Scripting, Path Traversal or SQL injection with 90% precision.

  • 2020-02-26 | Linux Headlines

    Brave joins forces with the Wayback Machine, the Linux Foundation teams up with IBM to fight climate change, and The Document Foundation puts out a call to the community.

  • Linux Apps I Use At Work

    Linux Apps I Use At Work This video will go over all the applications I use on my Work PC. I go over my email, file browser, and many other features. As a life long Windows user, I was able to optimize my workflow once I moved to Linux and pick up a lot of productivity.

  • Manjaro 19.0 KDE Plasma Edition overview | #FREE OPERATING SYSTEM.

    In this video, I am going to show an overview of Manjaro Linux 19.0 KDE Plasma Edition and some of the applications pre-installed.

  • Manjaro 19.0 XFCE Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Manjaro 19.0 XFCE.

The Best Tips for Lazy but Smart Linux Home Users

Filed under
Linux

You have probably seen the abundance of smart homes and how they make life easier. These smart homes have been made possible by the Internet of Things and can help users turn lights on and off or play music just by the command of your voice.

To make this possible, you need to have the right hardware and software that can undertake these tasks. Some smart home users have chosen to use Linux to power their homes and have had great success at it.

You need to know the facts about Linux first before using it and familiarize yourself with working around it. Here are some of the best tips for lazy but smart Linux home users to create the best setup.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Regain your focus: Manage your push notifications in Linux

I have been working in a professional IT environment of a large organization for over 20 years and during that time I have seen a lot of different visions and opinions on individual and collective productivity. What I have noticed in all those years is how many people think that you are a bad-ass professional if you can do an insane amount of tasks simultaneously. But let’s be honest, doing many things at the same time is not the same as doing things right. But gradually, cracks start to appear in the common opinion that it is always good to multitask. More and more studies show that multitasking undermines focus. And focus is necessary to not waste valuable time due to finding back your concentration as a result of an attention switch. Focus makes sure that you can deliver some high-quality results instead of just many, but probably mediocre results. In this article I want to delve deeper into the backgrounds behind focus, productivity, the impact of notifications on your productivity, and the things that you should consider in allowing and managing your push notifications under Linux. [...] In the introduction I already indicated that nowadays we are increasingly questioning the importance of being good at multitasking, and that perhaps single-tasking is much better. There is, however, a nuance, since multitasking can be fine in itself, as long as all the tasks you want to perform don’t require an equal amount of brain activity and attention. For example, if you like to listen to music during your study time, it is better to listen to instrumental music instead of music in which lyrics play the leading role. With spoken text, you unconsciously interpret and shift your attention from your main task to the music, so you constantly need to refocus back again to your main task. But if you still want to listen to music with vocals, then it is advisable to only listen to music that you have known for years instead of listening to songs with song texts that you have never heard before. New texts subconsciously require more of your attention than texts that you have already known for years. Multitasking is therefore only great when it comes to a combination of simple activities alongside your main task, such as making simple sketches, creating doodles, playing with an elastic band, or chewing your pencil, during a colleague’s presentation or while reading an advice report or listening to a teacher. These doodles and fiddling with a piece of rubber do not require brain effort, so you can keep all your real focus on the main task. But constantly looking at your messages on your mobile phone while listening to a presentation of your colleague, will lead to a loss of focus and loss of information, and of course this is not the nicest and most respectful thing to do in front of a presenting colleague. Read more

Android Leftovers

Access an independent, uncensored version of Planet Debian

Please update your bookmarks and RSS subscriptions to use the new links / feeds below. A number of differences of opinion have emerged in the Debian Community recently. People have expressed concern about blogs silently being removed from Planet Debian and other Planet sites in the free software universe. These actions hide the great work that some Debian Developers are doing and undermines our mutual commitment to transparency in the Debian Social Contract. Read more