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First Arch Linux ISO Snapshot Powered by Linux Kernel 4.18 Is Here

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GNU
Linux

September 2018's snapshot of the popular Arch Linux operating system is here and it's the first to be powered by the latest Linux 4.18 kernel series.

Arch Linux 2018.09.01 has arrived this week as the first snapshot to bump the kernel packages, the core of every Linux-based operating system, to the most recent and advanced Linux 4.18 kernel series.

Last month's ISO snapshot, Arch Linux 2018.08.01, still used the Linux 4.17.11 kernel because Linux kernel 4.18 hit the streets about two weeks later, on August 12, 2018.

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Top 10 Unix Based Operating Systems

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Linux

The UNIX operating system was created more than four decades ago at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories. With continuous development since its inception, UNIX has made its presence from tiny embedded devices to servers and supercomputers. This article provides a brief history, philosophy, specification of UNIX and discusses top ten operating systems of the UNIX systems.

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Q4OS 2.6 Release

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GNU
Linux

An update to the Q4OS 2 Scorpion stable LTS is immediately available for download. The new 2.6 release is based on and upgrades to the latest stable versions of the Trinity R14.0.5 desktop and Debian 9.5 Stretch projects. Q4OS specific fixes and patches are revised and provided as well. All the updates are immediately available for existing Q4OS users from the regular Q4OS repositories. You can download installation media images from the Downloads section of the Q4OS website.

Q4OS Scorpion LTS release supported for 5 years is based on Debian 9 Stretch featuring the Trinity 14.0.5 and KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environments, it's available for 64bit/x64 and 32bit/i686pae computers as well as i386 systems without PAE extension. ARM 64bit/arm64 and 32bit/armhf ports are provided as well. Q4OS offers its own exclusive utilities and features, specifically the 'Desktop profiler' application for profiling your computer into different professional working tools, 'Setup' utility for smooth installation of third-party applications, a 'Welcome Screen' with several integrated shortcuts to make system configuration easier for novice users, LXQT, XFCE, Cinnamon and LXDE alternative environments installation options and many more.

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Linux Maintainers' Summit Moved to Edinburgh

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Linux
  • Maintainer's Summit moved to Edinburgh

    The Maintainer's Summit, which is an invite-only gathering of 30 or so kernel developers to discuss process issues with Linus Torvalds, has moved from November 12 in Vancouver, Canada to October 22 in Edinburgh, Scotland in conjunction with Open Source Summit Europe. The technical side of the discussions will still be held as the Kernel Summit track at the Linux Plumbers Conference November 13-15 in Vancouver. There was, it seems, some confusion about the Maintainer's Summit, as Theodore Y.

  • make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

    The Linux Kernel Maintainers' Summit was planned for Vancouver, Canada, in October – but it's been moved to Edinburgh, Scotland.

    [...]

    After a probably-frenzied weekend discussing the snafu with the invite-only conference committee, Ts'o wrote, “ultimately there were only two choices that were workable” – go ahead without Torvalds, or move the summit.

    And so it happens that everybody would rather ask the 30 or so attendees due to attend the summit to change their plans and head for Edinburgh instead of Vancouver, even though Torvalds suggested they go ahead without him.

    As Daniel Vetter, a kernel engineer from Intel, observed on Twitter: “Linus books the wrong flight and they decide to move the entire conference. It's ... a cult.”

Linux Mint 19.1 "Tessa" Announced, Will Arrive in November or December 2018

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Linux

Based on the recently released Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, Linux Mint 19.1 will be dubbed "Tessa" and it is expected to arrive sometime later this year at the end of November or in early December, according to project leader Clement Lefebvre.

"The second release in the Linux Mint 19.x series will be named “Tessa”. Linux Mint 19.1 is estimated to be released around November/December 2018 and will be supported until 2023," wrote Clement Lefebvre in a short blog post published today.

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Raspberry Pi HAT does hydroponic root zone monitoring

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Linux

Autogrow has released open source files for building an “OpenMinder” root zone monitor HAT and API for the Raspberry Pi that manages water, pH, and nutrient usage in hydroponic farming.

Auckland, New Zealand based AgTech firm Autogrow has launched an OpenMinder project for DIY water management and root zone monitoring by releasing schematics and other open source files for building a Raspberry Pi HAT add-on board. The system, which came to our attention from a bizEdge New Zealand story, is designed in response to increasing restrictions on water usage and pesticide and fertilizer runoff. A commercial version is due in Q4 2019.

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Open Source Summit and 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference

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Linux
OSS
  • Open Source Summit: Innovation, Allies, and Open Development

    August was an exciting month for Linux and open source, with the release of Linux kernel 4.18, a new ebook offering practical advice for enterprise open source, and the formation of the Academy Software Foundation. And, to cap it off, we ended the month with a successful Open Source Summit event highlighting open source innovation at every level and featuring keynote presentations from Linus Torvalds, Van Jones, Jim Zemlin, Jennifer Cloer, and many others.

    In his welcoming address in Vancouver, The Linux Foundation’s Executive Director, Jim Zemlin, explained that The Foundation’s job is to create engines of innovation and enable the gears of those engines to spin faster.

  • LSS/OSS NA 2018 [Ed: Microsoft bought a keynote from the Linux Foundation. Yesterday the Foundation linked to 3 Microsoft promotional things. One was a month old, the other 3 months old. Makes one wonder if some Microsoft people now have editorial control at there too.]

    There was a talk on security in Zephyr and Fuchsia. While the focus of the conference is Linux, there's a growing interest in running Linux in conjunction with processors running other operating systems. Zephyr is an open source RTOS targeted at processors with a smaller footprint than Linux. Most of the security improvements have been adding features to take advantage of the MMU/MPU. One of those features was userspace support, which is always a bit of a surprise to hear as a new feature. Fuchsia is Google's new microkernel operating system. There's some argument that microkernels offer more security than Linux since more parts can run in userspace. Much of the talk was about the resource and namespace model. There's been a good deal of work put into this but it was noted much of this is still likely to be reworked.

    [...]

    Someone from Microsoft talked about Azure Sphere. Azure Sphere is Microsoft's attempt at an IoT based microprocessor that runs Linux. The real challenge is that the device has 4MB. The talk focused on what kinds of optimizations they had to do to get it to run in that space. There's been similar attempts before but 4MB is still incredibly impressive. I'll be keeping an eye out when the patches go upstream (and maybe buy a device).

  • Devicetree Microconference Accepted into 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference

    We are pleased to announce the the Devicetree Microconference has been accepted into the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference!

    [...]

    Additional possible issues to be discussed may include potential changes to the Flattened Device Tree (FDT) format, reducing the Devicetree memory and storage size in the Linux kernel, creating new architecture to provide solutions to current problems, updating the Devicetree Specification, and using devicetrees in constrained contexts.

Compact thin client runs on Raspberry Pi 3 B+

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Clientron has launched an “S-Cube Pi 3 B+ Thin Client” built around the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ SBC with Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDP, and VMware Horizon View support.

The S-Cube Pi 3 B+ Thin Client is the first thin client we’ve seen built around the new Raspberry Pi 3 B+ SBC. This is Clientron’s first Arm-based thin client, as well as its smallest and most power efficient model to date, running on less than 5 Watts.

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My Linux Desktop Manifesto

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GNU
Linux

It’s time.

27 years after the creation of Linux, I firmly believe, we are finally at a point of quality usability for the Linux desktop. “The year of the Linux Desktop” has been a joke for a long time, as the fractured FLOSS community has struggled to gain a footing on the average desktop.

There’s a reason.

The community has always prided itself in its choice. Don’t like something? Replace it. Want to change something? Fork it. Choice is great, and a free individual certainly appreciates it. But, it hinders development. Let’s be honest, there aren’t a ton of us working on the desktop. What small community has been hard at work over all of these years, has always been split. Just in desktop environments we have GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, MATE, Cinnamon, Unity, Budgie, Pantheon, Deepin, etc. And that’s not listing off all of the dead projects over the years. Same goes for the applications, we have two or three or four relatively popular applications that fill the same needs, in every area. We rebase, refactor, rewrite, rebuild, replace, rework. We duplicate efforts endlessly.

But, even with this fracturing and duplication of work, we finally have a solid base to use. I’ve been using Linux for 15+ years, all of them as a desktop. I’ve witnessed its evolution, its hardships, its victories. 2018 is the year I’ve finally witnessed the Linux Desktop “just work”. The installers are easy, the applications are mature, the desktop environments are capable and stable. Drivers auto-detect, configuration auto-define, graphics auto-adjust. Networked printers of all things, automatically detect and install. It’s all quite impressive.

We need to consolidate and focus.

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3 Best Free Photoshop Alternatives for Ubuntu, Linux

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Linux

Photoshop is a raster graphics image editor and manipulator developed by Adobe. This decade old software is a de facto standard for the photographic industry. However, it is a paid product and doesn't run on Linux. Here are three free amazing softwares which can act as an alternative to photo editing software Photoshop.

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Red Hat's "DevOps" Hype Again and Analysis of last Night's Financial Results

OSS Leftovers

  • Deutsche Telekom and Aricent Create Open Source Edge Software Framework
    Deutsche Telekom and Aricent today announced the creation of an Open Source, Low Latency Edge Compute Platform available to operators, to enable them to develop and launch 5G mobile applications and services faster. The cost-effective Edge platform is built for software-defined data centers (SDDC) and is decentralized, to accelerate the deployment of ultra-low latency applications. The joint solution will include a software framework with key capabilities for developers, delivered as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and will incorporate cloud-native Multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies.
  • A Deeper Look at Sigma Prime's Lighthouse: An Open-Source Ethereum 2.0 Client
  • Notable moments in Firefox for Android UA string history
  • Dweb: Creating Decentralized Organizations with Aragon
    With Aragon, developers can create new apps, such as voting mechanisms, that use smart contracts to leverage decentralized governance and allow peers to control resources like funds, membership, and code repos. Aragon is built on Ethereum, which is a blockchain for smart contracts. Smart contracts are software that is executed in a trust-less and transparent way, without having to rely on a third-party server or any single point of failure. Aragon is at the intersection of social, app platform, and blockchain.
  • LLVM 7.0.0 released
  • Parabola GNU/Linux-libre: Boot problems with Linux-libre 4.18 on older CPUs
    Due to a known bug in upstream Linux 4.18, users with older multi-core x86 CPUs (Core 2 Duo and earlier?) may not correctly boot up with linux-libre 4.18 when using the default clocksource.
  • Visual Schematic Diffs in KiCAD Help Find Changes
    In the high(er)-end world of EDA tools like OrCAD and Altium there is a tight integration between the version control system and the design tools, with the VCS is sold as a product to improve the design workflow. But KiCAD doesn’t try to force a version control system on the user so it doesn’t really make sense to bake VCS related tools in directly. You can manage changes in KiCAD projects with git but as [jean-noël] notes reading Git’s textual description of changed X/Y coordinates and paths to library files is much more useful for a computer than for a human. It basically sucks to use. What you really need is a diff tool that can show the user what changed between two versions instead of describe it. And that’s what plotgitsch provides.

LWN's Latest (Today Outside Paywall) Articles About the Kernel, Linux

  • Toward better handling of hardware vulnerabilities
    From the kernel development community's point of view, hardware vulnerabilities are not much different from the software variety: either way, there is a bug that must be fixed in software. But hardware vendors tend to take a different view of things. This divergence has been reflected in the response to vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre which was seen by many as being severely mismanaged. A recent discussion on the Kernel Summit discussion list has shed some more light on how things went wrong, and what the development community would like to see happen when the next hardware vulnerability comes around. The definitive story of the response to Meltdown and Spectre has not yet been written, but a fair amount of information has shown up in bits and pieces. Intel was first notified of the problem in July 2017, but didn't get around to telling anybody in the the Linux community about it until the end of October. When that disclosure happened, Intel did not allow the community to work together to fix it; instead each distributor (or other vendor) was mostly left on its own and not allowed to talk to the others. Only at the end of December, right before the disclosure (and the year-end holidays), were members of the community allowed to talk to each other. The results of this approach were many, and few were good. The developers charged with responding to these problems were isolated and under heavy stress for two months; they still have not been adequately thanked for the effort they put in. Many important stakeholders, including distributions like Debian and the "tier-two" cloud providers, were not informed at all prior to the general disclosure and found themselves scrambling. Different distributors shipped different fixes, many of which had to be massively revised before entry into the mainline kernel. When the dust settled, there was a lot of anger left simmering in its wake.
  • Writing network flow dissectors in BPF
    Network packet headers contain a great deal of information, but the kernel often only needs a subset of that information to be able to perform filtering or associate any given packet with a flow. The piece of code that follows the different layers of packet encapsulation to find the important data is called a flow dissector. In current Linux kernels, the flow dissector is written in C. A patch set has been proposed recently to implement it in BPF with the clear goal of improving security, flexibility, and maybe even performance.
  • Coscheduling: simultaneous scheduling in control groups
    The kernel's CPU scheduler must, as its primary task, determine which process should be executing in each of a system's processors at any given time. Making an optimal decision involves juggling a number of factors, including the priority (and scheduling classes) of the runnable processes, NUMA locality, cache locality, latency minimization, control-group policies, power management, overall fairness, and more. One might think that throwing another variable into the mix — and a complex one at that — would not be something anybody would want to attempt. The recent coscheduling patch set from Jan Schönherr does exactly that, though, by introducing the concept of processes that should be run simultaneously. The core idea behind coscheduling is the marking of one or more control groups as containing processes that should be run together. If one process in a coscheduled group is running on a specific set of CPUs (more on that below), only processes from that group will be allowed to run on those CPUs. This rule holds even to the point of forcing some of the CPUs to go idle if the given control group lacks runnable processes, regardless of whether processes outside the group are runnable. Why might one want to do such a thing? Schönherr lists four motivations for this work, the first of which is virtualization. That may indeed be the primary motivation, given that Schönherr is posting from an Amazon address, and Amazon is rumored to be running a virtualized workload or two. A virtual machine usually contains multiple processes that interact with each other; these machines will run more efficiently (and with lower latencies) if those processes can run simultaneously. Coscheduling would ensure that all of a virtual machine's processes are run together, maximizing locality and minimizing the latencies of the interactions between them.
  • Machine learning and stable kernels
    There are ways to get fixes into the stable kernel trees, but they require humans to identify which patches should go there. Sasha Levin and Julia Lawall have taken a different approach: use machine learning to distinguish patches that fix bugs from others. That way, all bug-fix patches could potentially make their way into the stable kernels. Levin and Lawall gave a talk describing their work at the 2018 Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, Canada. Levin began with a quick introduction to the stable tree and how patches get into it. When a developer fixes a bug in a patch they can add a "stable tag" to the commit or send a mail to the stable mailing list; Greg Kroah-Hartman will then pick up the fix, evaluate it, and add it to the stable tree. But that means that the stable tree is only getting the fixes that are pointed out to the stable maintainers. No one has time to check all of the commits to the kernel for bug fixes but, in an ideal world, all of the bug fixes would go into the stable kernels. Missing out on some fixes means that the stable trees will have more security vulnerabilities because the fixes often close those holes—even if the fixer doesn't realize it.
  • Trying to get STACKLEAK into the kernel
    The STACKLEAK kernel security feature has been in the works for quite some time now, but has not, as yet, made its way into the mainline. That is not for lack of trying, as Alexander Popov has posted 15 separate versions of the patch set since May 2017. He described STACKLEAK and its tortuous path toward the mainline in a talk [YouTube video] at the 2018 Linux Security Summit. STACKLEAK is "an awesome security feature" that was originally developed by The PaX Team as part of the PaX/grsecurity patches. The last public version of the patch set was released in April 2017 for the 4.9 kernel. Popov set himself on the goal of getting STACKLEAK into the kernel shortly after that; he thanked both his employer (Positive Technologies) and his family for giving him working and free time to push STACKLEAK. The first step was to extract STACKLEAK from the more than 200K lines of code in the grsecurity/PaX patch set. He then "carefully learned" about the patch and what it does "bit by bit". He followed the usual path: post the patch, get feedback, update the patch based on the feedback, and then post it again. He has posted 15 versions and "it is still in progress", he said.

PostgreSQL 11: something for everyone

PostgreSQL 11 had its third beta release on August 9; a fourth beta (or possibly a release candidate) is scheduled for mid-September. While the final release of the relational database-management system (currently slated for late September) will have something new for many users, its development cycle was notable for being a period when the community hit its stride in two strategic areas: partitioning and parallelism. Partitioning and parallelism are touchstones for major relational database systems. Proprietary database vendors manage to extract a premium from a minority of users by upselling features in these areas. While PostgreSQL has had some of these "high-tier" items for many years (e.g., CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY, advanced replication functionality), the upcoming release expands the number considerably. I may be biased as a PostgreSQL major contributor and committer, but it seems to me that the belief that community-run database system projects are not competitive with their proprietary cousins when it comes to scaling enterprise workloads has become just about untenable. Read more