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Gaming

Games: Flotilla, Lair of the Clockwork God and Stellaris: Federations

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Gaming
  • Blendo Games have open sourced their strategic space adventure 'Flotilla'

    To celebrate Flotilla turning 10 years old, Blendo Games announced today that it's been made open source.

    Flotilla is a mixture of a space exploration adventure, with turn-based tactical combat and branching events when you do the exploring. It only gained Linux support last year, when Ethan Lee ported it from XNA to the FNA project.

  • Lair of the Clockwork God gains an unofficial Linux build for testing

    Announced today on Twitter, they mentioned this is not officially supported yet and they're looking for some help in testing. Just do note though, that this is one of those no promises deals so if you go and buy it specifically for Linux—you know what you're getting into. If you do own it and want to test, they're asking for the feedback in their Discord.

  • Stellaris: Federations releases on March 17 with a new trailer

    Today, Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio announced the huge Stellaris: Federations expansion will be releasing on March 17.

    Giving a much needed boost to the diplomacy systems in this grand-scale space strategy game, "players can build up the internal cohesion of their Federations and unlock powerful rewards for all members" and it sounds like it's going to make the meta game later in Stellaris much more interesting

Games: MoonQuest, Edgar - Bokbok in Boulzac, Radio General, Golf With Your Friends, Stardew Valley and More

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Gaming
  • Incredibly quirky exploration adventure 'MoonQuest' is out now - adds Linux support

    After being in development for 8 years, plus 18 months of that being in Early Access, MoonQuest from developer Ben Porter of Wizard Mode is now officially released.

    With procedural generation, each game you jump into gives you something new and weird to explore including wild forests, giant mountains and ancient ruins. Your quest? Bring light to a darkened world. Harvest resources, find treasure, and forge the weapons that will help you on your journey. A little Terraria-like in its presentation, with a destructible world too but the overall feel is vastly different and unique in its own right.

  • Take your chicken on a wild adventure in 'Edgar - Bokbok in Boulzac' - out now

    Take control of the outcast Edgar, a rather quirky individual who wears a tin hat and talks to their Chicken in 'Edgar - Bokbok in Boulzac' and it's out now. Note: Key provided by their PR team.

    Developed by the French team La Poule Noire, it's not particularly long game with the developer saying it takes 2-5 hours (my run through was about 2 hours) but it positively oozes charm. I actually fell a little bit in love with it when I completed the old demo previously, with this silly protagonist who calls their chicken "Precious" and things just continue getting more weird as the story goes on—what do you expect with a city where an 800 year old fire rages beneath the surface? Cultists, probably.

  • Upcoming strategy game 'Radio General' has you yell orders down a microphone

    Sitting in a tent during WW2 and all you have is a map and a radio, it's time to shout some orders and hopefully win. You quite literally do shout your orders too, you need a microphone for this as it's using speech recognition.

    While not a unique idea, a few others have done it, for it to be in a strategy game like this definitely is a bit more unusual. It's real-time too and as you get verbal reports back you then need to act fast and start making some decisions.

  • Golf With Your Friends to leave Early Access in Q2 this year

    Blacklight Interactive and Team17 have announced that their amusing multiplayer golf game, Golf With Your Friends, is leaving Early Access.

    They've not actually given an exact date yet but we at least have a release window now, with "Q2 2020" being mentioned. Blacklight did say we can expect plenty more content to be added in before the full release, and they only recently introduced some big updates too like a whole Worms-themed set and a Museum set too.

  • Stardew Valley turns 4, more free updates on the way

    Gamers can have a little extra farming, as a treat. Stardew Valley is confirmed to be getting another free content update as it just recently hit four years since release.

    After the release it's had multiple big updates already, with the 1.4 update going out last November so it's not exactly been long. That update was huge too adding in tons of new customization, a big farm screenshot feature, big multiplayer enhancements, gamepads improvements and much more.

  • Working on games and need some interface sounds? Kenney saves the day again

    Kenney is well-known for creating high-quality reusable art assets, they've done a huge amount you can buy and quite a lot are also public domain under the CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license so you really can do anything.

    They're also now doing audio assets! Giving developers in need something a little extra, on top of everything they already do. Just recently, they released the Interface Sounds pack which contains 100 public domain sound effects that anyone can download and use free (you can also donate). All high quality too—wonderful!

  • "Doosk" is a crossover mod that brings the weapons and gameplay from "Dusk" to "Doom"

    Considering we already have several mods of this type for Doom, that aim to mix elements from different popular FPS's (see GOL articles for BlooM, BorderDoom and DaggerHell Overkill as references), it was only a matter of time until someone decided to bring the insanity of Dusk as well…

Games: Sims4, League of Legends, Out of Space

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Gaming
  • How to play The Sims 4 game on Linux

    Sims4 is an online real-life simulation game that creates a virtual environment quite similar to the real world. For gamers, it is relatively similar to Second Life only that some of the features are different.

    With Sims4, players are provided with a platform to create a virtual character (a sim) of themselves. They control the sims to interact with other personalities and change with the game outlook. It’s more like having another life online. You can even create challenges like creating a single sim and ensuring that its family lasts for up to ten generations.

  • How to install League of Legends on Linux Mint 19.3

    In this video, we are looking at how to install League of Legends on Linux Mint 19.3.

  • Clean up a filthy spaceship in 'Out of Space', now out in full with Linux support

    Out of Space from developer Behold Studios (Chroma Squad, Galaxy of Pen & Paper) just recently released, and they added Linux support just before leaving Early Access.

    It's an odd and quite amusing game, where you and friends are basically space janitors cleaning up your spaceship. With support for local and online multiplayer (matchmaking and invites possible), as well as Steam Remote Play, there's plenty of opportunities to team up with someone to play.

Games: Out of Space, Dead Cells, Aquamarine, Children of Morta and More

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Gaming
  • Clean up a filfty spaceship in 'Out of Space', now out in full with Linux support

    Out of Space from developer Behold Studios (Chroma Squad, Galaxy of Pen & Paper) just recently released, and they added Linux support just before leaving Early Access.

    It's an odd and quite amusing game, where you and friends are basically space janitors cleaning up your spaceship. With support for local and online multiplayer (matchmaking and invites possible), as well as Steam Remote Play, there's plenty of opportunities to team up with someone to play.

  • Dead Cells: The Bad Seed now available for Linux on GOG

    DRM-free your thing? Shop on GOG regularly? Good news, Motion Twin/Evil Empire have now sorted the DLC situation for Linux on GOG with Dead Cells.

    Now even more people can enjoy the awesome looking and brilliant combat in Dead Cells, with the expanded content in the recent Dead Cells: The Bad Seed DLC which is absolutely worth picking up. It's helped me personally enjoy the game for quite a few more hours as it nicely mixes up with early game and the extras are excellent.

  • Quiet survival adventure 'Aquamarine' is fully funded and on the way to Linux

    Some good news to share today, as Aquamarine from Moebial Studios has managed to push through the noise and get fully funded on their Kickstarter campaign.

    This means another sweet looking game is on the way to Linux, plus with their funding level they managed to hit a few of their special stretch-goals to work on more features. With the campaign now over, they ended on $18,763 in funding so the game should be more lively thanks to the $15K goal of more animations and the $17K goal of an expanded soundtrack and audio effects.

  • Children of Morta still heading to Linux, developer Dead Mage confirms

    After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015, Dead Mage went onto launch their story-driven action RPG to a lot of positive reviews last year but so far Linux has been missing.

    It was a confirmed platform for release on their Kickstarter but since release, things have been a little quiet. The publisher, 11 bit studios didn't reply to our messages and the developer has been practically silent about it on their Steam page.

    Thankfully, Dead Mage themselves did email me early this morning to say "We are working on the Linux version and we are doing this because we love what Linux is all about Smile.". A short, sweet and to the point message. Not much to go in since the last reply in October 19 but good that it's happening.

  • Alternate-history WWII Story-driven tactical RPG 'Broken Lines' is out

    Set in an alternate version of WWII, Broken Lines from developer PortaPlay and Super.com is a story-driven tactical RPG and it's out with Linux support.

    A squad of soldiers crash land in the middle of enemy territory. With no leaders alive and no available orders, the group must find a way to deal with their situation and internal conflicts, before a mysterious fog engulfs them and enemy forces hunt them down. Broken Lines is a game about a group of soldiers under immense pressure, losing hope and directions, while still trying to put up a fight.

  • GOG update their refund policy giving gamers more time to decide

    Today, the DRM-free store GOG announced a few changes to how they will handle refunds for games purchased through them.

    In short you will now get 30 days to refund a title from GOG, which includes games currently in development which previously only gave you two weeks. Even if you've downloaded it and played it, GOG say if it's within 30 days of asking they will give you a refund.

    A good policy, 30 days is a pretty good amount of time to refund a game. However, it can be open to abuse of course. Sounds like they will keep an eye on people doing it often though, as they said "we reserve the right to refuse refunds in individual cases".

  • Speculation: porting studio Feral Interactive could be in some trouble (updated: they're fine)

    Feral Interactive, the porting company that has made many games available on Linux (as well as macOS and mobile) may be in a spot of trouble.

    Reported first on Phoronix, as found out from the UK's Companies House, they're being given a "First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off" which is not exactly a good sign for any company. What this means, is that they have a few months before they might cease to legally exist. There can be a few reasons for this, like not sending in their accounts or an annual confirmation statement. Looking at Feral, it seems theirs are overdue as they should have been done by 31 December 2019.

  • Game Porting Firm Feral Interactive's Days Could Be Numbered With Compulsory Strike-Off

    Prominent Linux and macOS game porting firm Feral Interactive looks like it may be dissolving, (edit) but fortunately turned out to be an accounting error.

  • Stadia gets GRID, SteamWorld Dig 2 and SteamWorld Quest for March Pro subs - Spitlings is out

    Another round-up is here for the Stadia game streaming service, going over some recent news and new games available.

    Google have announced that for Stadia Pro subscribers in March you're getting three games which are: GRID, SteamWorld Dig 2, and SteamWorld Quest. We already knew the SteamWorld games would be available for Pro subs, since that was mentioned in the announcement about them coming to Stadia but we didn't know it was so soon. GRID is quite a nice surprise though, that might even pull a few people back in since the initial Pro time for most people is now up. Farming Simulator 19 Platinum Edition will be leaving Stadia Pro, so if you do want it make sure you claim it before February 29.

  • The T'au invade Warhammer 40,000: Gladius in a new expansion out now

    Proxy Studios and Slitherine yesterday released a big new expansion for Warhammer 40,000: Gladius focusing on the T'au race, as they've joined the fight for the domination of Gladius Prime.

  • Valve make some needed improvements to the Steam Search

    After testing out a bunch of changes to the way Steam Search works in a Steam Labs experiment, Valve has now rolled it out for everyone with new features.

    Steam Labs is the area of Steam where they experiment more, let people opt into new features and they also pull in outside developers to do some prototypes. This expanded Steam Search is one of such experiments. Valve said the improvements to it started as "an exploration of new ranking algorithms, but based upon user feedback it expanded to include the many quality of life improvements in today's release".

Games: Ultimate Chicken Horse, Dota Underlords, Overclocking With GreenWithEnvy

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Gaming
  • Hilarious party-platformer 'Ultimate Chicken Horse' free update due next month

    Ultimate Chicken Horse, a party-platform where you build the platforms as you go is getting a sweet free update with some new toys to play with next month.

    A game you absolutely need to play too! After only just getting into it myself thanks to the Humble Sweet Farm Bundle last month, it was pretty hilarious to try. Clever Endeavour Games have now announced the "A·cobra·tic Update" which is due out on March 12, for all platforms and it's free.

    It's going to include a new Snake character (who rides a Skateboard), two new levels and four new blocks. Along with "a handful of improvements, minor additions to the game, and plenty of bug fixes". The new blocks flamethrower, one-way gate, cannon and beehive sound like they will be fun to screw with others.

  • Dota Underlords from Valve is out with the City Crawl campaign mode

    Valve's latest game, Dota Underlords, has today left Early Access and with it comes a huge patch full of new content and features.

    The biggest addition to the Underlords strategy game is the City Crawl campaign. A single-player mode, that explains a bit about what's going on. It seems "Mama Eeb" passed away, leaving a power vacuum in White Spire, with the four Underlords attempting to take control. City Crawl is where you do that, as you go through various different types of challenges and while doing so earn new outfits for the Underlords.

  • Linux Gaming: Overclock your Nvidia GPU on Linux with GreenWithEnvy

    Overclocking your Nvidia card on Linux used to be a nightmare. There was lots of different commands you had to type into the terminal, and there was no easy way to monitor your temperature and fan speeds. Thanks to Roberto Leinardi’s program GreenWithEnvy, you can now overclock with a simple, clean GUI.

Games: Lazr, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearts of Iron IV, Spiritfarer, Black Mesa, ΔV: Rings of Saturn, The Turing Test

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Gaming
  • With clever cloth simulation the cyberpunk platformer 'Lazr' is funded

    With a campaign that had quite a dicey ending, Lazr, an action platformer with some really fun use of cloth physics/simulation has now been funded on Kickstarter.

    Against the goal of $10,000 they ended with $10,432. Sadly, right before it ended they had a sudden drop in funding from other $12,300 which means two stretch-goals didn't make it and the campaign as a whole almost didn't make it.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive adds the first Agent customization with Patches

    Valve are pushing out more customization options to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, with the ability to add Patches sewn into Agent's outfits.

    Customization is big of course, it's part of the reason other games (Fortnite) are so popular. Looks like Valve want to get a bigger piece of the pie too. With the new Battle Pass system introduced with the Shattered Web Operation, it brought with it new Agents so you don't have to just have the standard look.

  • Hearts of Iron IV's espionage-themed expansion, La Résistance, is a fun addition to a hard-fought war

    You could be excused for thinking that the latest expansion for Hearts of Iron IV is all about the plucky resistance fighters and partisans that fought various occupying forces and oppressive governments during the Second World War. While they certainly feature in new mechanics, there they’re not the main attraction of this sizeable expansion. Instead, La Résistance’s major features can be split into two broad camps: the introduction of espionage and skullduggery and unique focus trees and content for Iberian nations and France.

    The new espionage system adds a new layer of strategy to the game. Its fundamentals are simple: spend resources to establish an agency, recruit agents and then send them off in missions to further your aims. It’s a system that’s rather intuitive and offers a degree of flexibility in how you choose to grow your spy agency. In the various games that I played I found that it didn’t require much micromanagement and that I was able to approach warfare in slightly different ways each time around thanks to the help of my agents.

    The types of missions available are plentiful and, honestly, slightly overwhelming when it comes to actually deciding what I wanted to go for. This is in part because of the very long time it takes to infiltrate other countries, crack their codes or plan some of the more useful operations like winning over potential quislings so that future occupations are smoother. For typical aggressor nations, like Germany, it’s simply not worth the bother to send your two or so agents to France in the early years to destabilize them. By the time that you’re able to do anything useful in these infiltrated countries, you’re likely already on the verge of overwhelming them militarily anyways. The spy game plays best for long-term calculations, against foes who you have the luxury of time to undermine thoroughly.

  • First gameplay teaser for Spiritfarer, a 'cozy management game about dying' is out

    Spiritfarer has me so extremely curious, coming from Thunder Lotus Games (Sundered, Jotun) it's a 'cozy management game about dying' and a short gameplay teaser is out.

    This is one I actually missed, when it and others had a short demo up for The Game Awards recently (I was too busy enjoying CARRION) so this is the first proper footage I've seen of it. In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella, a ferrymaster to the deceased. It's your job to care for their spirits before they get released into the afterlife. A highly unusual setting for such a sim although it has the usual mechanics like mining, farming and so on but the setting definitely hits a new spot.

  • Half-Life remake 'Black Mesa' will finally hit 1.0 on March 5

    After a very long 14 year development cycle (yes really) and almost 5 years in Early Acces, the Half-Life remake Black Mesa is finally going properly release on March 5.

    In an announcement on Steam, they mentioned how hard it has been and how they nearly quit multiple times but they're just about at the finishing line now. They even mentioned how their first game industry job came as a result of their free work on Black Mesa, which did eventually turn into their actual job and they feel Black Mesa is "the best, most polished, and most fun version of the game yet" and that the "anticipation and excitement around our project is beyond flattering.".

  • The new 'ΔV: Rings of Saturn' hard sci-fi space sim trailer has me itching to play

    ΔV: Rings of Saturn, a top-down hard sci-fi space simulation game backed up by real physics and science has a rather explosive new trailer out.

    Currently in Early Access, and something our contributor Scaine talks about highly, ΔV: Rings of Saturn from Kodera Software definitely seems like something a bit special. It's been through some huge updates in the last few months too from a major Godot Engine upgrade with improved performance to a bunch of new visual effects.

  • Norbert Preining: Gaming: The Turing Test

    In a world without Portal and The Talos Principle, The Turing Test would have been a great game. Fortunately there is Portal and The Talos Principle, which leaves The Turing Test as an interesting clone with a lot of (sometimes) challenging levels, but no real innovation.

Games: Humble Store, Bully: Scholarship and DOSBox

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Gaming
  • Humble Store has a 'Tabletop Sale' going, some good Linux games on offer

    It's the start of another glorious week for Linux gaming and another big sale is going on again. Over on the Humble Store, they have a Tabletop Sale now live.

  • How to play Bully: Scholarship Edition on Linux

    Bully: Scholarship Edition is a remaster of Rockstar Game’s “Bully,” a game about a young kid working his way through the social hierarchy of high school, meeting girls, making friends, and causing mischief. The game is an open world, which is typical of Rockstar. Here’s how to get it working on your Linux PC.

  • DOSBox – Run classic DOS games on your Linux PC

    DOSBox is an open-source software that creates a virtual MS-DOS compatible environment, including sound, graphics, and basic networking. It enables you to run DOS applications without any modifications.

    Using this wonderful app, you can run your classic DOS games and compilers like Wolfenstein 3D, Prince of Persia, Turbo C++, and MASM on your Linux PC.

    DOSBox makes use of Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), a library designed to allow low-level access to hardware components like a mouse, keyboards, sound system, and graphics. It has made the whole process of porting easier to various platforms. Currently, DOSBox runs on several platforms like different Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Linux Gamers And Creators Should Pay Attention To Arch-Based Salient OS

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OS
Linux
Gaming

Sometimes our field of vision or limited experience restricts us from seeing worthy alternatives. That’s especially true when it comes to desktop Linux; there is no shortage of quality Linux operating systems to test out. So when I argued here that System76’s Pop!_OS is perfect for gamers and produced this video demonstrating it, there were two passionate camps in the comments section. One side voiced cheerful agreement, but the other side basically said “Clearly you haven’t tried Salient OS.”

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Games: Space Grunts 2, Death and Taxes, Oxygen Not Included

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Gaming
  • Space Grunts 2 shows how versatile a deck-builder can be and it's good

    With how popular deck-builders have become, it's no surprise to see many developers have a go at it. Orangepixel have with Space Grunts 2 and after playing it, I'm really enjoying it. Note: Key provided by the developer.

    Currently in Early Access, released there back in September 2019 the developer seems to just keep adding more to it nearly every week. Given how many updates it's had, I took it for a spin to get some early thoughts on it. Space Grunts 2 has been, at least so far, one of the most unique feeling roguelikes thanks to their deck-building mechanic. Like other great roguelikes it's turn-based so nothing happens until you move, you take turns on the combat, and if you die and you need to start again. However, as you travel you collect cards which are you abilities.

  • The afterlife is an office job of choosing who lives and dies in Death and Taxes

    Placeholder Gameworks (great name!) have just recently released Death and Taxes, a game set in the afterlife where you take on the role of the Grim Reaper only it's not quite what you expect. Note: Key sent by the developer to our Steam Curator.

    Rather than go out dressed in a hooded-robe with a great big scythe, it's an office job. You get to give the stamp of approval on who lives and dies to keep chaos in check, based on people in life-threatening situations with your actions having certain consequences based on who sticks around. Inspired by the likes of "Papers, Please", "Reigns" and "Beholder".

  • Oxygen Not Included still 'fully in development' with first DLC hopefully this Autumn

    Klei Entertainment have given an update on their plans for continued support of the colony survival/building game Oxygen Not Included and they confirmed it's still 'fully in development'.

    Although it left Early Access back in July last year, since then they've been somewhat quiet on their wider plans. Not entirely silent though as they did release the "Meep's Manadatory Recreation Content Pack" free update, along with a big update to the Unity version used. Thanks to a recent roadmap post, we now know what their further plans are.

    For the first major DLC, they said it's going to be "quite sizable" with new game systems included. However, they're not giving a definite timeline on it as they're still testing and iterating on their ideas. They did at least give something of a release window, with something to show in the Summer to possibly release in the Autumn.

Games: Pathway, RimWorld and Dreamgate

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Gaming
  • Robotality give Pathway a big update with a challenging a Hardcore Mode

    Pathway, the strategy adventure set in the 1930s from Robotality recently had a huge update if you need something to challenge you this is it.

    Now when making a new game in Pathway, it gives you the option to make your profile a Hardcore Profile which can't be changed after. In this mode, the entire games plays as one long adventure with everything carrying over between sections. So if a character dies, they're gone. It also gives you all jeep upgrades and characters and higher difficulty.

  • RimWorld 1.1 is out with a first expansion with RimWorld - Royalty

    Ludeon Studios dropped a sneaky one, not only did they release the big RimWorld 1.1 update they also released the first big expansion named RimWorld - Royalty.

    First, a reminder on what the big 1.1 update brings for everyone: UI improvements for high resolutions, a new Quests tab, modding improvements, the Vanilla Animals mod is now part of the game adding in more animal variety, new armour, new weapons, an asexual trait was added and so on.

    As for the expansion, RimWorld - Royalty, Ludeon mentioned that their team has expanded to seven people which has allowed them to work on multiple things. This includes new free content, plus the brand new expansion and it sounds like more to come.

  • Deck-building card battler 'Dreamgate' is out in Early Access

    Dreamgate, a turn-based deck-building battler is now out in Early Access with Linux support giving you another game that wants you to have just one more turn.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat: The Vision of Fedora Project and Corporate IBM/Red Hat News

  • The Fedora Project's One Sentence Vision

    Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller recently talked about his vision for the Fedora Project over the next decade and it to become an "operating system factory", among other advancements he hopes to see out of the project in the 2020s. A one-sentence vision for Fedora is now drafted as their vision statement.

  • Let’s keep writing a new vision statement for Fedora

    If you compare it to the first draft, you’ll notice we shortened it to one sentence. We kept the parts we felt were most important: everyone benefiting from free & open source software and the attributes of the communities that make it. The word benefit is important here. It’s not enough that the software is there, waiting to be used. It has to be accessible and usable. This was much longer in our first draft, so shortening it here seems right. We also cut out the sentence about Fedora being a reference for everyone who shares this vision. We still want to be that, but that’s implied by the fact that we have this vision in the first place. Why bother expressing a vision that we wouldn’t want to be an influential part of? And frankly, it’s hard to get the wording right, especially in a way that works across languages and cultures.

  • Enable Git Commit Message Syntax Highlighting in Vim on Fedora

    When setting up new machines, I’m often frustrated by lack of syntax highlighting for git commit messages in vim. On my main workstation, vim uses comforting yellow letters for the first line of my commit message to let me know I’m good on line length, or red background to let me know my first line is too long, and after the first line it automatically inserts a new line break whenever I’ve typed past 72 characters. It’s pretty nice. I can never remember how I get it working in the end, and I spent too long today trying to figure it out yet again. Eventually I realized there was another difference besides the missing syntax highlighting: I couldn’t see the current line or column number, and I couldn’t see the mode indicator either. Now you might be able to guess my mistake: git was not using /usr/bin/vim at all! Because Fedora doesn’t have a default $EDITOR, git defaults to using /usr/bin/vi, which is basically sad trap vim. Solution:

  • Executive Q&A: Stephen Leonard, GM of IBM’s Cognitive Systems

    There is no single path that business executives travel. The best managers have significant talent that is then honed to a fine edge by training, experience and a willingness to take up new challenges. Employers contribute hugely to the process, of course, and it is difficult to think of a company that does a better job of recognizing, training and advancing new leaders than IBM. I recently had a chance to interview Stephen Leonard, General Manager of IBM’s Cognitive Systems where he is responsible for the development, sales and marketing of the company’s Power Systems solutions, as well as offerings for cloud computing platforms and data centers. Our discussion covered a wide range of issues and events that have colored Leonard’s 30+ years with IBM.

  • IBM Sterling enables intelligent orchestration of customer transactions across back-end record systems

    A deep understanding of customers’ wants and needs are key to driving supply-chain efficiencies and enhanced customer experiences. An intelligent call center solution equips customer care representatives (CSRs) with deep insights in a natural language-based conversation interface to solve complex customer queries. On a typical day, a CSR opens multiple tabs/applications to address a single query, spending an enormous amount of time on a customer call, thereby impacting the customer experience. This is especially detrimental during peak business hours, when it is important to resolve issues quickly since there is typically a backlog of waiting calls. Wouldn’t it impress the customer if the CSR proactively asked, “Are you calling about the accessories that you bought yesterday?”, along with a warning that the order may be delayed. Informing the customer and providing a discount voucher or a different added benefit results in a much happier customer. The heart of this improved customer experience is the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Assistant With Watson™, which infuses conversational AI capabilities into the IBM Sterling Call Center and enables intelligent orchestration of customer transactions across back-end record systems. It also surfaces recommendations and best next steps based to enable quick and easy decision-making for the CSRs. The Sterling Supply Chain Business Assistant With Watson appears as a pop-up over the IBM Sterling Call Center application and can be embedded into any other application. Sample insights are shown below.

  • Scaling Persistent Volume Claims with Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage v4.2

    For choosing a storage solution for dynamic provisioning of persistent volume claims (PVC) in OpenShift Container Platform, the time it takes to bind and prepare a PVC for the use with application pods is a crucial factor. For Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage v4.2 we performed a series of tests investigating how OCP v4.2 behaves from a scalability point of view. We wanted to know how fast application pods are starting when PVCs are from different storage classes provided, and to get get numbers which can be used when making decisions when choosing storage solution for OCP application pods. The test results presented in this document are recommended values for OpenShift Container Storage v4.2 and do not show the real limits for Openshift Container Storage v4.2, which are higher. We will conduct more scalability tests for future OpenShift Container Storage releases. For future OpenShift Container Storage releases we plan to target configurations for cases when more pods are running on the OpenShift Container Platform cluster and are actively requesting PVCs originating from Openshift Container Storage. In this document we describe test processes and results gathered during PVC scale test execution with Openshift Container Storage v4.2 showing why OpenShift Container Storage is the supreme storage solution for use cases where pod density and PVC allocation speed are key, as e.g. in CI/CD environments.

  • Red Hat Extends Partner Offerings to Drive Open Hybrid Cloud Innovation

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced enhancements to its partner offerings centered around open hybrid cloud innovation and in support of the growing demand for cloud-native solutions within the Red Hat ecosystem. Using the proven innovations of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and Red Hat OpenShift 4 as the foundation, Red Hat Partner Connect is expanding its certification programs and support services to better equip partners for an IT world built on hybrid and multicloud deployments. Red Hat Partner Connect provides many partnership opportunities, including certification offerings and enablement for software, hardware, services and cloud service providers that develop products and services for Red Hat hybrid cloud platforms. The program offers partners a set of tools and alignment opportunities to automate, accelerate and streamline modern application development for the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, Red Hat OpenShift. Certified partner products deliver interoperable, supported solutions to customers. Marketing and sales related benefits are also available to partners completing certification programs.

  • Which container platforms are right for your cloud-native strategy?

Events: Linux Security Summit, SUSECON, Canonical and Ubuntu

  • Linux Security Summit North America 2020: CFP and Registration

    Note that the conference this year has moved from August to June (24-26). The location is Austin, TX, and we are co-located with the Open Source Summit as usual. We’ll be holding a 3-day event again, after the success of last year’s expansion, which provides time for tutorials and ad-hoc break out sessions. Please note that if you intend to submit a tutorial, you should be a core developer of the project or otherwise recognized leader in the field, per this guidance from the CFP...

  • Learn about Fulfilling Your Organization’s Business Needs at SUSECON 2020!

    SUSECON 2020 is a unique opportunity to educate yourself about all the most important developments in enterprise open source technology, in one location, during more than 160 sessions, over five days. Register now – you don’t want to miss this opportunity!

  • Prepare for the Future With Roadmap Presentations at SUSECON 2020

    SUSECON 2020 is one of the best opportunities of the year to immerse yourself in SUSE technologies and get answers your questions about open source and SUSE solutions. This is the one time each year that we bring all our technology superstars together to talk about the future. Click here to register – you don’t want to miss it! By attending SUSECON 2020, you will have the opportunity to learn about forthcoming SUSE solutions to help your organization accomplish its business goals.

  • Canonical at the 9th OSM Hackfest, Madrid

    To all telecommunications service providers, global system integrators, research institutions, OSM community members and innovators all over the world: heads-up! The 9th OSM Hackfest starts in two weeks and Canonical as always will be there. We will lead hackfest sessions, answer any questions you may have and help drive the evolution of the OSM project. The event will be hosted by Telefonica in Madrid, Spain from 9th to 13th of March. NOTE: seats are limited, so don’t wait for any longer and register today. OSM (open source MANO) is an open-source project that enables telcos with MANO (management and orchestration) capabilities for VNFs (virtual network functions). It is hosted by ETSI and supported by 14 global telecommunications service providers with 137 organisations involved in total. Starting from release SEVEN, OSM now supports the possibility of deploying CNF (container network function) workloads on Kubernetes.

  • BSides SF 2020 CTF: Infrastructure Engineering and Lessons Learned

    Last weekend, I had the pleasure of running the BSides San Francisco CTF along with friends and co-conspirators c0rg1, symmetric and iagox86. This is something like the 4th or 5th year in a row that I’ve been involved in this, and every year, we try to do a better job than the year before, but we also try to do new things and push the boundaries. I’m going to review some of the infrastructure we used, challenges we faced, and lessons we learned for next year.

Purges in Free Software

  • What is a safe space?

    When foreign people come along with a different, but no less valid, Code of Conduct, zealots start screaming out for the comfort of their safe space. That is how we get the hysteria that precipitated the Hanau shooting and the lynching of Polish workers in the UK in the name of Brexit. The Third Reich may have been the ultimate example of the search for a safe space: a safe space for the white Aryan race. Nazis really believed they were creating a safe space. Germans allowed the Nazis to rule, in the belief that they were supporting a safe space. The golden rule of a safe space is that it is only safe for some. As George Orwell puts it, All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Tolerance and safe spaces are mutually exclusive.

  • The right to be rude

    The historian Robert Conquest once wrote: “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.” Today I learned that the Open Source Initiative has reached that point of bureaucratization. I was kicked off their lists for being too rhetorically forceful in opposing certain recent attempts to subvert OSD clauses 5 and 6. This despite the fact that I had vocal support from multiple list members who thanked me for being willing to speak out. It shouldn’t be news to anyone that there is an effort afoot to change – I would say corrupt – the fundamental premises of the open souce culture. Instead of meritocracy and “show me the code”, we are now urged tpo behave so that no-one will ever feel uncomfortable. The effect – the intended effect, I should say, is to diminish the prestige and autonomy of people who do the work – write the code – in favor of self-appointed tone-policers. In the process, the freedom to speak necessary truths even when the manner in which they are expressed is unpleasant is being gradually strangled. And that is bad for us. Very bad. Both directly – it damages our self-correction process – and in its second-order effects. The habit of institutional tone policing, even when well-intentioned, too easily slides into the active censorship of disfavored views.

Ubuntu 20.04 Default Wallpaper Revealed

Now, it’s fair to say that the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’ is shaping up to be fairly fantastic (and feature-filled). But every great Ubuntu release needs an equally great wallpaper to go alongside it. And with the ‘Disco Dingo’ and the ‘Eoan Ermine’ mascots making suitably strong impressions on their debuts last year, the flashy ‘Focal Fossa’ has some feverish expectations to live up to… So without any further ado here it is; feast your eyes on the funky, fresh new feline-themed wallpaper below. As I’m sure you’ll agree, it makes a mighty fine first impression! Read more Also: Ubuntu 20.04’s Default Wallpaper is Revealed…