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Linux

Looking for Alternatives to Systemd

Filed under
Linux

Apart from philosophical and security concerns, I have over time amassed quite a collection of startup and shutdown scripts on my Slackware boxen. I prefer to be able to have full control over what my machines do and hand crafted and edited scripts have never let me down so far. If it's written correctly, it works and does exactly as it says on the tin. That's the beauty of an old-fashioned operating system like Slackware. You may be running a VPN server, offer VNC or ssh login and whatnot. The most reliable way to control them is via your own scripts - and you will know where you put them, thereby learning more about the system you're using. I'm afraid systemd is more of an abstraction layer that will separate users from understanding what us actually being called, what is actually going on under the hood. It may be fine for professional admins who, once they have learned the new commands, will know what they're doing as they know their Linux, but for a lot of private users this will just be a step towards another 'walled garden' operating system that they don't understand. Of course, many don't want to and only want to use an appliance that does the job, and that is fine. It is dumbing down nevertheless and potentially dangerous, in a time when everyone needs to understand the implications of the technology they're using, not the least to safeguard themselves and their families.

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CompuLab's Fitlet Is A Very Tiny, Fanless, Linux PC With AMD A10 Micro

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

CompuLab, the manufacturer of the Fitlet based in Israel, describes their new line-up as, "a fanless mini PC with high performance, excellent graphics, up to 4 LAN ports and 5 year warranty. filtet is among the smallest PCs available and packs more features than any similar PC...For those familiar with the Intel® NUC – fitlet is somewhat similar. Just much smaller, fanless, with more features, and more powerful than NUCs in its price range."

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OpenWrt 15.05 RC2 Gets Linux Kernel 3.18.14 LTS and Support for New Boards

Filed under
Linux

The upcoming OpenWrt "Chaos Calmer" 15.05 open-source firmware for wireless routers is now closer to a final release, as the team has announced that the second RC (Release Candidate) version is available for testing.

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Antergos Linux Lowers the Arch Barrier

Filed under
Linux

Antergos is considerably more user-friendly than other Arch Linux distros, but it doesn't eliminate all of Arch's quirks. Users who are already familiar with Arch but want a quicker installation method will appreciate what Antergos brings to the Linux table. Those less familiar with the Arch Linux methodologies are sure to be much less enthusiastic about using the OS.

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More Of The Linux Kernel's x86 Assembly Code Gets Rewritten In C

Filed under
Linux

More of the Linux kernel's complicated and poorly maintained x86 Assembly code continues to be rewritten in modern and clean C.

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Also: OMAP DRM Gaining Atomic Mode-Setting For Linux 4.2

Phoronix on Graphics

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Gallium3D

OpenGL

NVIDIA

AMD

Chromebooks Spread Out, with Acer and Microsoft Responding

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

If you stay tuned to news from U.S. school districts, you'll see that school systems are purchasing Chromebooks at a steady clip. Westwood High School in Massachussetts is buying Chromebooks to issue to students who will return them once they graduate. The Bell-Chatham school board has approved Chromebook purchases for students, as has the Sumner School District.

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Surveillance-oriented Nest Cam offers optional cloud analytics

Filed under
Linux

Google’s Nest upgraded its Linux-based automation line with a new “Nest Protect,” and a 1080p “Nest Cam” surveillance cam with optional cloud analytics.

In 2013 and 2014, it seemed we were covering Linux-based home automation gizmos almost every week, but by the end of last year, the market grew saturated, and acquisitions overtook startups. This year, we’ve seen a relatively quiet stretch as the predators digest their prey.

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Dell is back in bed with Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Dell is at it again... selling Linux powered laptops. Jack Wallen explains why and what this means for the Linux desktop operating system.

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Impressions of a Chromebook and Linuxy Goodness

Filed under
Linux

Feeling like something different, I recently bought a HP Chromebook 11. In this article I give my impressions on the device itself and also some Linux-specific goodness thanks to something caled Crouton, plus a few thoughts on working in the "cloud".

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Wayland, Radeon, Mir, Vulkan

  • Igalia Continues Working On Wayland & Accelerated Media Decode In Chromium On Linux
    Months ago we had reported on Igalia's efforts for improving hardware video/media acceleration on the Chromium browser stack for Linux and getting Chromium ready for Wayland but it's been relatively quiet since then with no status updates. Fortunately, a Phoronix reader pointed to a fresh round of ongoing work in this space. Igalia is working on supporting the V4L2 VDA (Video Decode Acceleration) on the Linux desktop for video/image decode of H.264, VP8, VP9, etc. Up to now the V4L2 VDA support was just used on ARM and under Chrome OS. This is part of the consulting firm's work on delivering first-rate Wayland support for Chromium -- it's a task they have been working on for quite some time.
  • Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2 Released With RenderDoc Interoperability
    AMD's GPUOpen group has announced the release of Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2, it's open-source GPU performance profiler. What's significant about this release is initial interoperability with the popular RenderDoc debugger. Beginning with Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2, there is beta support for allowing a profile be triggered from RenderDoc and for displaying data across the opposite tool along with synchronization between the two utilities.
  • Mir Is Running On Arch Linux; Mir Also Progressing With EGLStreams Support
    Prominent Mir developer Alan Griffiths of Canonical has published his latest weekly update on the status of this Linux display server that continues working on supporting Wayland clients. First up, via the UBports community, Mir is now working on Arch Linux after some basic changes and packaging work. So similar to Ubuntu and Fedora and others, it's now easy to run Mir on Arch Linux if so desired.
  • VK9 - Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan - Hits 26th Milestone
    It's been a wild week for the various Direct3D-over-Vulkan projects with VKD3D 1.0 being released for the initial Direct3D 12 over Vulkan bits from the ongoing work in the Wine project to DXVK continuing to get better at its D3D11-over-VLK support. There's also an update on the VK9 front.
  • Wine-Staging 3.9 Fixes D3D 10/11 Gaming Performance Regressions
    One day after the exciting Wine 3.9 update with VKD3D work and more, the Wine-Staging code has been updated against this latest development release. While since the revival of Wine-Staging earlier this year there has been more than 900 out-of-tree/experimental patches against this Wine branch, with Wine-Staging 3.9 that patch count comes in at 895 patches. It's great to see with more of the changes working their way into upstream Wine after being vetted while other patches are no longer relevant. Also decided this week is that Wine-Staging developers will rely upon the WineHQ bug infrastructure for handling the submission of new Wine-Staging patches so that the work is much easier to track by users/developers in seeing the status and background on proposed patches for the staging tree.

Security: The Microsoft Cyber Attack, VPNFilter, Compliance, Docker

  • « The Microsoft Cyber Attack » : a German Documentary from the ARD on Relations Between Microsoft and Public Administration Now Available in English

    On February 19th, 2018, the German public broadcaster (ARD) aired a documentary on Microsoft relations with public administrations. Part of the inquiry is about the Open Bar agreement between Microsoft and the French ministry of Defense, including interviews of French Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, Leïla Miñano, a journalist, and Étienne Gonnu of April.

    The documentary is now available in English thanks to Deutsche Welle (DW), the German public international broadcaster, on its Youtube channel dedicated to documentaries : The Microsoft Cyber Attack. It should be noted that April considers itself as a Free software advocate, rather than open source, as the voice-over suggests.

  • VPNFilter UNIX Trojan – How to Remove It and Protect Your Network
    This article has been created to explain what exactly is the VPNFilter malware and how to secure your network against this massive infection by protecting your router as well as protecting your computers. A new malware, going by the name of VPNFilter has reportedly infected over 500 thousand router devices across most widely used brands such as Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR as well as TP-Link, mostly used in homes and offices. The cyber-sec researchers at Cisco Talos have reported that the threat is real and it is live, even thought the infected devices are under investigation at the moment. The malware reportedly has something to do with the BlackEnergy malware, which targeted multiple devices in Ukraine and Industrial Control Systems in the U.S.. If you want to learn more about the VPNFilter malware and learn how you can remove it from your network plus protect your network, we advise that you read this article.
  • FBI: Reboot Your Router Now To Fight Malware That Affected 500,000 Routers
  • Compliance is Not Synonymous With Security
    While the upcoming GDPR compliance deadline will mark an unprecedented milestone in security, it should also serve as a crucial reminder that compliance does not equal security. Along with the clear benefits to be gained from upholding the standards enforced by GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and other regulatory bodies often comes a shift toward a more compliance-centric security approach. But regardless of industry or regulatory body, achieving and maintaining compliance should never be the end goal of any security program. Here’s why:
  • Dialing up security for Docker containers
    Docker containers are a convenient way to run almost any service, but admins need to be aware of the need to address some important security issues. Container systems like Docker are a powerful tool for system administrators, but Docker poses some security issues you won't face with a conventional virtual machine (VM) environment. For example, containers have direct access to directories such as /proc, /dev, or /sys, which increases the risk of intrusion. This article offers some tips on how you can enhance the security of your Docker environment.

Programming: Fonts, Jupyter, and Open Source FPGAs

  • 11 Best Programming Fonts
    There are many posts and sites comparing fonts for programming and they are all amazing articles. So why I repeated the same subject here? Since I always found myself lost in dozens of fonts and could not finger out which one was best for me. So today I tried many fonts and picked up the following fonts for you. These fonts are pretty popular and easy to get. And most importantly, all these fonts are FREE!
  • New open-source web apps available for students and faculty
    Jupyter is an open source web environment for writing code and visualizing data. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly popular across a wide range of academic disciplines. [...] JupyterHub is a variation of the Jupyter project, which adds support for user account management and enterprise authentication. The TLT instance allows students and faculty to log in with their credentials for full access to their own Jupyter environment and provides direct access to their Penn State Access Account Storage Space (PASS). Using PASS for storage provided a large persistent storage space that students and faculty were already familiar with and was easily accessible from the local lab systems or their personal devices.
  • An Ultrasound Driver With Open Source FPGAs
    Ultrasound imaging has been around for decades, but Open Source ultrasound has not. While there are a ton of projects out there attempting to create open ultrasound devices, most of this is concentrated on the image-processing side of things, and not the exceptionally difficult problem of pinging a sensor at millions of times a second, listening for the echo, and running that through a very high speed ADC. For his entry into the Hackaday Prize, [kelu124] is doing just that. He’s building an ultrasound board that’s built around Open Hardware, a fancy Open Source FPGA, and a lot of very difficult signal processing. It also uses some Rick and Morty references, so you know this is going to be popular with the Internet peanut gallery. The design of the ultrasound system is based around an iCE40 FPGA, the only FPGA with an Open Source toolchain. Along with this, there are a ton of ADCs, a DAC, pulsers, and a high voltage section to drive the off-the-shelf ultrasound head. If you’re wondering how this ultrasound board interfaces with the outside world, there’s a header for a Raspberry Pi on there, too, so this project has the requisite amount of blog cred.

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