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2 scientific calculators for the Linux desktop

Filed under
Linux

Every Linux desktop environment comes with at least a simple desktop calculator, but most of those simple calculators are just that: a simple tool for simple calculations.

Fortunately, there are exceptions; programs that go far beyond square roots and a couple of trigonometric functions, yet are still easy to use. Here are two powerful calculator tools for Linux, plus a couple of bonus options.

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deepin 15.5 - A different desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

deepin is a Debian-based Linux distribution which features the custom Deepin Desktop Environment along with several in-house desktop applications. The deepin project develops its own file manager, media players, software centre and settings panel, along with other desktop applications. Clearly, the deepin team is very busy working on a desktop solution, one which is easy to navigate.

deepin is available as a 3.2GB download for 64-bit x86 computers. Booting from the project's media gives us the option of starting the installation process, booting the operating system in failsafe mode or checking the media's integrity. In both of my test environments, deepin would boot and launch the installer (the first option), but was unable to boot in failsafe mode, whether run in UEFI or Legacy BIOS mode.

Taking the install option brings up a graphical environment where we are asked to select our preferred language from a list. In the upper-right corner of the screen there is an "X" which, when clicked, lets us abort the installation. Quitting the installer immediately powers off the computer. Once we have selected our language we are asked to create a username and password for ourselves. We can then select our time zone from a map of the world.

Partitioning comes next and here I encountered several options. We are asked whether we want Simple or Advanced partitioning. The Simple option takes over the entire hard drive, creating an ext4 file system. A 4GB swap file is set up on the root partition for us. This is the easy way forward, but it wipes out any other installed systems or partitions.

The Advanced option lets us select where to install the system's boot loader and presents us with a list of available partitions and free space. At first I wasn't able to find any way to add new partitions, but eventually found the button for adding and editing partitions is a grey icon on a grey background, making it difficult to spot. Once the button was found, setting up new partitions was fairly straight forward. The deepin installer will not proceed if the root partition is 16GB or smaller in size when we take the Advanced partitioning option. However, I found I could create a root partition smaller than 16GB if I used the Simple partitioning option. Once our partitions are assigned mount points, the installer copies its files to the computer and reboots the system.

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Also: What’s New in MX Linux 17

Linspire, Freespire and Black Lab Enterprise Linux Patched

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
  • Linspire 7.0.1 and Freespire 3.0.1 Released - Meltdown and Spectre fix

    This morning we have released Linspire 7.0.1 and Freespire 3.0.1 . With this release we have addressed the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in Intel Processors. We have included no new features.

  • Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.51 Released - Meltdown and Spectre Fix

    Today we have released Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.51. This release addresses the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in Intel Processors. We have included no new features. To apply the fix simply run your system updater and the fix will be applied.

    This update has been thoroughly tested and does not cause any issues or malfunctions

  • At CES, Spectre haunted tech executives in public and private meetings

    Despite being drenched and briefly thrust in to darkness, the largest annoyance for many top tech executives at CES was the shadow of Spectre.

    The world’s largest electronics show immediately careened toward the twin maladies dubbed Spectre and Meltdown, potentially exploitable weaknesses in the brains of PCs and servers world-wide.

Linux 4.15 RC8 and Linux Kernel Mailing List Downtime

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.15-rc8

    Ok, another week has gone by, and here's the promised rc8.

    I'm still hoping that this will be the last rc, despite all the
    Meltdown and Spectre hoopla. But we will just have to see, it
    obviously requires this upcoming week to not come with any huge
    surprises.

    The patches aren't huge, but architecture updates do end up being a
    largish part. That's partly due to the x86 "retpoline" support (well,
    the basic stuff that is uncontested), but also because the powerpc
    people decided they wanted to play too, so there's some low-level
    kernel entry changes there too. Aren't we lucky?

    Oh, and there's a small RISC-V update too.

    But outside of that, we've got driver updates (gpu, networking, usb,
    sound, NVMe), some core networking, and some tooling updates (mostly a
    few new x86 selftests). And some random misc fixlets (documentation,
    apparmor, crypto).

    Go forth and test. It all looks pretty solid to me,

    Linus

  • Kernel prepatch 4.15-rc8

    The 4.15-rc8 kernel prepatch is out for testing. Among other things, it includes the "retpoline" mechanism intended to mitigate variant 2 of the Spectre vulnerability. Testing of this change will be hard, though, since it requires a version of GCC that almost nobody has — watch LWN for a full article in the near future.

  • Linux 4.15-rc8 Released As The Last Before Final

    LINUX KERNEL --
    Linus Torvalds has released Linux 4.15-rc8 as the last planned release candidate prior to officially debuting Linux 4.15 next weekend.

    Linux 4.15-rc8 brings some BPF security improvements in the wake of the Spectre CPU vulnerabilities and there is the other smothering of bug/regression fixes too with this weekly Linux 4.15 release candidate.

  • An Incident Worth Noticing: Linux Kernel Mailing List Website Goes Down for Days

    Reality: the website goes down because it is hosted on a home server that suffered a power outage and needed the password to boot. Problem was that owner Jasper was on vacation when this incident happened.

GPD Win 2 – A Pocket-Sized Linux Games Machine?

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Gaming

Dream of owning a pocket-sized Linux games console? Well, your dream just inched a little nearer.

Early reviews of the 6-inch GPD Win 2 pocket computer claim that Linux runs “perfectly” — opening up the possibility to use the device as a portable Steam machine, with your full Linux games library literally in your hand.

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Linux 4.15-rc8 Bringing BPF Security Improvements For Fending Speculative Attacks

Filed under
Linux

With the Linux 4.15-rc8 kernel that is expected for release today as the final step before Linux 4.15, it's still seeing continued security improvements in the wake of the Spectre CPU vulnerabilities.

Landing in the mainline Git tree at this stage of the Linux 4.15 kernel cycle were some security features around BPF, the Berkeley Packet Filter and the related and popular Extended BPF (eBPF) virtual machine for the Linux kernel.

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Are Linux GUI Software Centers Any Good? Let’s Find Out!

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Linux

Over the years, Linux has made impressive strides towards being friendlier to new and non-technical users. One of the more common efforts is the creation of graphical software centers. Imagine what a boost having something akin to the Play Store would be on Linux. It’s a great idea, but do the GNOME and KDE Plasma actually pull it off?

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Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds 40-pin GPIO header to Zero W

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Linux

The $18 Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds a soldered 40-pin GPIO header to the Zero W for easier prototyping or taking advantage of the new GPIO Expander tool, which lets you access your Pi’s GPIO pins from a PC running Debian Stretch.

Raspberry Pi Trading has launched a variation on the Raspberry Pi Zero W that makes it more like a regular Raspberry Pi SBC and less like a computer-on-module. Designed for those who would prefer not to solder, the new Raspberry Pi Zero W adds a “professionally soldered” 40-pin GPIO header, enabling easier prototyping or a better fit for temporary projects that need the Zero W’s small size and wireless radios, but don’t require the permanence of soldered connections.

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LittleFS: A New File-System For ARM Embedded Devices

Filed under
Linux

LittleFS is a lightweight file-system that's being developed for embedded systems.

LittleFS as implied by the name is intended to be a "little" file-system for embedded devices, in particular "Internet of Things" style platforms. LittleFS strives to be a fail-safe file-system that can work with minimal amounts of RAM/ROM, power-loss resilient, and supports wear-leveling for flash memory.

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Hands on With System76’s Beautiful Linux Distro Pop!_OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux

When I saw that System 76 launched their #TryPopOS campaign last month I knew this was the perfect opportunity to really put Pop!_OS through its paces. I am a proud owner of the Galago Pro, which I purchased the day they launched pre-orders this Spring and it has been my primary computer since then. I use it for everything from writing articles, to browsing the internet, to light gaming, and though the machine as its quirks I am beyond happy with it.

Back when I ordered the laptop Pop!_OS wasn’t announced yet so my laptop came with stock Ubuntu, which I promptly replaced with Ubuntu GNOME. Since then I have tried a couple different options including Elementary OS, Manjaro GNOME Edition, and most recently I have settled on KDE Neon.

Everything I have thrown at it has worked great on it so far, but now it is time to try something different. Here is my experience with System 76’s Pop!_OS.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: GNOME Shell, Bug Tracking, GXml

  • How to Install GNOME Shell Extensions GUI / CLI
    GNOME Shell extensions are small and lightweight pieces of codes that enhance GNOME desktop’s functionality and improves the user experience. They are the equivalent of add-ons in your browser. For instance, you can have add-ons that download videos like IDM downloader or block annoying ads such as Adblocker. Similarly, GNOME extensions perform certain tasks e.g. Display weather and geolocation. One of the tools used to install and customize GNOME Shell extensions is the GNOME tweak tool. It comes pre-installed in the latest Linux distributions. This article we cover how to install GNOME Shell extensions from GUI and from the command line on various Linux distros.
  • Musings on bug trackers
    I love bugzilla, I really do. I’ve used it nearly my entire career in free software. I know it well, I like the command line tool integration. But I’ve never had a day in bugzilla where I managed to resolve/triage/close nearly 100 issues. I managed to do that today with our gitlab instance and I didn’t even mean to.
  • ABI stability for GXml
    I’m taking a deep travel across Vala code; trying to figure out how things work. With my resent work on abstract methods for compact classes, may I have an idea on how to provide ABI stability to GXml. GXml have lot of interfaces for DOM4, implemented in classes, like Gom* series. But they are a lot, so go for each and add annotations, like Gee did, to improve ABI, is a hard work.

More on Barcelona Moving to Free Software

  • Barcelona Aims To Oust Microsoft In Open Source Drive
    The city of Barcelona has embarked on an ambitious open source effort aimed at reducing its dependence on large proprietary software vendors such as Microsoft, including the replacement of both applications and operating systems.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft software for open source software
    Barcelona, one of the most popular cities in the Europe is now switching to open-source software by replacing Microsoft Windows, Office and Exchange with Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange respectively. The city council is already piloting the use of Ubuntu Linux desktops along with Mozilla Firefox as the default browser. With this move, Barcelona city is planning to save money over the years by reducing software/service licensing fees. They are also planning to hire new developers to write open-source software. The open-source product will also be made available to other Spanish municipalities and public bodies further afield allowing them the opportunity to save money on software licences.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source Linux software
    Catalan capital Barcelona is planning to ditch proprietary software products from Microsoft in favour of free, open source alternatives such as Open-Xchange email. That’s according to a report by Spain's national paper El Pais, which reports that Barcelona plans to invest 70% of its annual software budget in open source this year.

OSS Leftovers

  • Open Source turns 20
    While open source software is ubiquitous, recognized across industries as a fundamental infrastructure component as well as a critical factor for driving innovation, the "open source" label was coined only 20 years ago. The concept of open source software - as opposed to free software or freeware - is credited to Netscape which, in January 1998, announced plans to release the source code of its proprietary browser, Navigator, under a license that would freely permit modification and redistribution. This code is today the basis for Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) regards that event as the point at which "software freedom extended its reach beyond the enthusiast community and began its ascent into the mainstream".
  • Coreboot 4.7 Released With 47 More Motherboards Supported, AMD Stoney Ridge
    Coreboot 4.7 is now available as the latest release of this free and open-source BIOS/UEFI replacement. Coreboot 4.7 is the latest tagged release for this project developed via Git. This release has initial support for AMD Stoney Ridge platforms, Intel ICH10 Southbridge support, Intel Denverton/Denverton-NS platform support, and initial work on supporting next-gen Intel Cannonlake platforms.
  • Thank you CUSEC!
    Last week, I spoke at CUSEC (Canadian Undergraduate Software Engineering Conference) in Montreal.   I really enjoy speaking with students and learning what they are working on.  They are the future of our industry!  I was so impressed by the level of organization and the kindness and thoughtfulness of the CUSEC organizing committee who were all students from various universities across Canada. I hope that you all are enjoying some much needed rest after your tremendous work in the months approaching the conference and last week.
  • Percona Announces Sneak Peek of Conference Breakout Sessions for Seventh Annual Percona Live Open Source Database Conference
  • The Universal Donor
    A few people reacted negatively to my article on why Public Domain software is broadly unsuitable for inclusion in a community open source project. Most argued that because public domain gave them the rights they need where they live (mostly the USA), I should not say it was wrong to use it. That demonstrates either parochialism or a misunderstanding of what public domain really means. It should not be used for the same reason code known to be subject to software patents should not be used — namely that only code that, to the best efforts possible, can be used by anyone, anywhere without the need to ask permission (e.g. by buying a patent license) or check it it’s needed (e.g. is that PD code PD here?) can be used in an open source project. Public domain fails the test for multiple reasons: global differences in copyright term, copyright as an unalienable moral rather than as a property right, and more. Yes, public domain may give you the rights you need. But in an open source project, it’s not enough for you to determine you personally have the rights you need. In order to function, every user and contributor of the project needs prior confidence they can use, improve and share the code, regardless of their location or the use to which they put it. That confidence also has to extend to their colleagues, customers and community as well.

Ubuntu: Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04, Lubuntu 17.04 EoL

  • Ubuntu Core: A secure open source OS for IoT
    Canonical's Ubuntu Core, a tiny, transactional version of the Ubuntu Linux OS for IoT devices, runs highly secure Linux application packages, known as "snaps," that can be upgraded remotely.
  • Introducing the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04
    Ubuntu’s changed a lot in the last year, and everything is leading up to a really exciting event: the release of 18.04 LTS! This next version of Ubuntu will once again offer a stable foundation for countless humans who use computers for work, play, art, relaxation, and creation. Among the various visual refreshes of Ubuntu, it’s also time to go to the community and ask for the best wallpapers. And it’s also time to look for a new video and music file that will be waiting for Ubuntu users on the install media’s Examples folder, to reassure them that their video and sound drivers are quite operational. Long-term support releases like Ubuntu 18.04 LTS are very important, because they are downloaded and installed ten times more often than every single interim release combined. That means that the wallpapers, video, and music that are shipped will be seen ten times more than in other releases. So artists, select your best works. Ubuntu enthusiasts, spread the word about the contest as far and wide as you can. Everyone can help make this next LTS version of Ubuntu an amazing success.
  • Lubuntu 17.04 has reached End of Life
    The Lubuntu Team announces that as a non-LTS release, 17.04 has a 9-month support cycle and, as such, reached end of life on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Lubuntu will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates for 17.04, and we strongly recommend that you update to 17.10, which continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes.