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10 Facts About Open Source You Need to Know

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It seems open source solutions are everywhere you look these days, and the promise of easily accessible and public code has become an attractive prospect to both individual developers and big companies like Microsoft (MSFT). You may consider yourself a GNU/Linux expert, but here are some facts you probably didn't know about the world of open source.

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Leftovers: OSS

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  • Why community managers must wade (not dive) into communities

    If you are part of an organization looking to get into the community-support game, you would do well to tread carefully and deliberately. Communities, particularly at the start of your involvement in them, can be delicate and fragile things. Stomping in there with big words and big plans and big brand engagement will cause a lot of damage to the community and its ecosystem, often of the irreparable sort.

  • How our high school replaced IRC with Mattermost

    The Mattermost project was named because the developers wanted to emphasize the importance of communication. And the design provokes a conceptual shift in classroom communications. Unlike email, Mattermost is a convenient virtual meeting room and a central dashboard for our district technology operations. When everyone connects in a transparent conversation stream, collaboration naturally happens in the open. I was incredibly fond of our internal IRC system, but I really love the Mattermost platform. It costs nothing more than a little server space and occasional software update attention. But even better, it serves as the communication hub for our Student Technology Help Desk, and helps our students collaborate during times when they are not together in the same physical space during a given class block.

  • A channel guide to Open Source success

    Much has changed within the storage channel over the past few years. New technologies, especially cloud-computing, have created innovative business models that have transformed not only what channel businesses sell, but the way they sell them too. As a result, many resellers have evolved into service providers in a process that is now fairly well understood.

    However, there is another, lesser-known evolution that is equally important: not only is the channel changing, but so too are customers. This new type of customer is comfortable with cloud technologies and with the increasingly related area of open source operating systems, which they are looking to use in new ways. If channel organisations are to capitalise on these customers then they need to understand how they can add value through open source.

  • Open source software altering telecom operator, vendor space

    The increased focus and adoption of open source software is bolstering telecom operator plans, forcing vendors to rethink strategy

  • Google will kill its Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July

    Google today announced plans to kill off the Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July. The tool, which lets users launch Chrome apps even if the browser is not running, will continue to live on in Chrome OS.

    As you might suspect, the Chrome app launcher was originally ported from Chrome OS. Google first started experimenting with bringing the app launcher to its desktop browser in May 2013. The Chrome app launcher debuted on Windows in July 2013, followed by OS X in December 2013, and finally Linux in July 2014.

  • GoDaddy Offers Amazon-like Cloud Services, Based on OpenStack

    Small business domain host GoDaddy is famous for its racy commercials and its long history of servicing domains, but now it is entering the cloud business and placing its bets on OpenStack. The company has expanded its hosting services to offer Cloud Servers and Bitnami-powered Cloud Applications. The new offerings are designed to help the individual developers, tech entrepreneurs and IT professionals to quickly build, test and scale cloud solutions.

  • Getting Started with LibreOffice 5.0 published

    The LibreOffice Documentation Team has published Getting Started with LibreOffice 5.0.

  • Blogging tool Ghost launches a beta desktop app for Mac, Windows, and Linux

    The Ghost open-source software project today announced the beta release of a desktop app for Mac, Windows, and Linux. The tool allows people to update their Ghost blogs right from the desktop, so you no longer need to go to a website to do that.

  • Boundless Launches Complete Open Source GIS Platform for the Enterprise
  • Swift programming language update introduces Linux support

    Almost two years after its launch and four months since it was open sourced, Swift 2.2 has been released by Apple. The update is a major one because it now runs on Linux. Officially, Swift runs on Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 15.10 but it won't be long until it unofficially arrives on other distros such as Arch and Manjaro via the Arch User Repository (or AUR).

Linux and FOSS Events

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  • Event planning tips from the Django Girls Budapest team

    Szilvi Kádár, Daniella Kőrössy, and I are the organizers of Django Girls Budapest, a free workshop that teaches women how to code. We held our first Django Girls workshop in December 2014, and we're currently planning our fourth event. We'd like to share some bits and pieces of event organizing advice, and we hope you'll find some useful ideas for your next event.

  • LibrePlanet day two in a nutshell

    We are just forty-eight hours after LibrePlanet 2016 successfully concluded. The second day carried the energy and excitement from Saturday, and attendance remained strong in all sessions.

  • Uganda to host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software and Digital Commons

    The Government of Uganda through National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) will host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Digital Commons (IDLELO 7) in August 2016. The conference aims to support uptake of Open Source in Uganda and the region.

    The Ministry of ICT has recently developed a Free Open Source Software (FOSS) Policy to provide guidance on deployment of Open Source Software and the use of Open Standards as a means of accelerating Innovation and local content development.

Polish eGovernment strategy advocates open source

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Poland’s new eGovernment strategy recommends that publicly financed software should use an open architecture, and consider publication under an open source licence. The eGovernment strategy twice emphasises the use of open source, for a new system of public registers and for a eInvoicing system that interoperates with a national document management system.

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Leftovers: OSS

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  • What is Maintainership?

    Why do we have maintainers in free software projects? There are various different explanations you can use, and they affect how you do the job of maintainer, how you treat maintainers, how and whether you recruit and mentor them, and so on.

    So here are three -- they aren't the only ways people think about maintainership, but these are three I have noticed, and I have given them alliterative names to make it easier to think about and remember them.

  • imagemagick as a resource for the budget-constrained researcher

    In this installment, I'll cover concatenating multiple image files into a multi-page pdf--a very handy trick the imagemagick utility convert makes possible. But first, a bit of grousing on the subject of academia, budget-constrained researching, and academic publishing.

    Pricing for on-line academic resources tends, not surprisingly, to be linked to budgetary allowances of large academic institutions: what institutions can afford to pay for electronic access to some journal or other, for example, will influence the fee that will be charged to anyone wishing to gain such access. If one is affiliated with such an institution--whether in an ongoing way such as by being a student, staff, or faculty member, or in a more ephemeral way, such as by physically paying a visit to one's local academic library--one typically need pay nothing at all for such access: the institution pays some annual fee that enables these users to utilize the electronic resource.

  • Kill extra brand names to make your open source project more powerful

    Over the past few weeks, I've shared some thoughts about several of the most common branding issues we see in our work with open source companies at New Kind. I've covered how to vet the name you are considering for an open source project and outlined the pros and cons of some of the most popular company, product, and project brand architecture scenarios we see in the open source world.

    Today I want to share one of the most common brand strategy mistakes I see open source project leaders make: the deep (possibly inherently human) need to name everything.

  • Can we talk about ageism?

    The free and open source community has been having a lot of conversations about diversity, especially gender diversity, over the last few years. Although there is still plenty to do, we've made some real strides. After all, the first step is admitting there is a problem.

    Another type of diversity that has gotten much less attention, but that is integral to building sustainable communities is age diversity. If we want free and open source software to truly take over the world, then we want to welcome contributors of all ages. A few months ago, I interviewed some women approaching or over fifty about their experiences in open source, and in this article, I'll share their perspectives.

  • Rust...

    Over the last holidays I plunged and started learning Rust in a practical way. Coming from a C++ background, and having a strong dislike of the whole concept of checking the correctness at runtime, like in, say, JavaScript, Rust is really promising.

  • FreeBSD 10.3-RC3 Now Available

    Marius Strobl has announced the availability of the third release candidate for FreeBSD 10.3: “The second release candidate build of the 10.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available. Noteworthy changes since 10.3-RC2: the requirement that for a root-on-ZFS setup, ZFS needs to account for at least 50 percent of the resulting partition table was removed from zfsboot; build configurations of csh(1) and tcsh(1) were changed to activate the SAVESIGVEC option, i. e. saving and restoring of signal handlers before/after executing an external command; FreeBSD SA-16:15 and CVE-2016-1885 have been resolved; the netwait rc(8) script has been changed to require firewall setup to be completed, otherwise a ping(8) to the IP address specified via the netwait_ip option may not succeed; in order to be able to work on upcoming Intel Purley platform system, including Skylake Xeon servers, the x86 kernels now align the XSAVE area to a multiple of 64 bytes

Linux and FOSS Events

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  • FOSSASIA 2016: Singapore

    FOSSASIA is an annual Free and Opensource conference that focuses on showcasing these FOSS technologies and software in Asia. It has talks and workshops that covers a wide range of topics – from hardware hacks, to design, graphics and software.

    This year, the conference is held in my home country, Singapore, at the Science Center. The Science Center is a place where people can see Science happen and learn how it works. It’s a pretty nice place to hold this conference and it is quite relevant as well, because technology is related to Computing Sciences and theories.

    My talk was approved and I was scheduled to talk on the Day 2 of the event. My talk is about Opening Up Yourself. Basically, it’s about Opensource VS Proprietary software and contributing to Opensource. I am also manning the Fedora booth for this year!

  • OSCON moves to Austin: Will the 18th OSCON be the best one yet?

    Did you know that O'Reilly's annual Open Source Convention, OSCON, is moving from their regular location of Portland, Oregon, to Austin, Texas (May 16-19)? As an Austin local, I'm ecstatic to have my favorite conference in my favorite city. I've always said (and read) that Austin and Portland are similar cities. Both are a little weird, both have that small town charm, and both have an amazing foodie scene. (And now they both have Voodoo Doughnuts!)

Kill extra brand names to make your open source project more powerful

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Over the past few weeks, I've shared some thoughts about several of the most common branding issues we see in our work with open source companies at New Kind. I've covered how to vet the name you are considering for an open source project and outlined the pros and cons of some of the most popular company, product, and project brand architecture scenarios we see in the open source world.

Read more

Joomla 3.5

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  • Joomla 3.5 Open-Source CMS Released with PHP 7 Support, Is Now Twice as Fast

    The Joomla project has released version 3.5.0 of their open-source PHP-based CMS, the last version in the 3.x branch, but one of crucial importance, adding many much-needed features, and of course, the obligatory bug fixes.

    First and foremost, Joomla 3.5 is the first Joomla version to fully support PHP 7, the latest major version of the PHP engine.

  • Joomla 3.5 Released, Promises Faster Websites

    Joomla released a new version of its open source web content management system today that company officials claim will improve user experience for both developers and administrators.

    Joomla version 3.5 contains nearly three dozen new features, they explained.

    Joomla is built on PHP and MySQL. The update will make website's faster because it offers PHP 7 support, said Joe Sonne, former Open Source Matters, Inc. board member and current member of the capital committee. Open Source Matters is the nonprofit organization that supports the Joomla Project.

Leftovers: OSS

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  • Data Shows Cloud Skills are in Much Demand, But There is a Shortage

    According to a LinkedIn report on the 25 Skills That Could Get You Hired in 2016, cloud and distributed computing ranked as the most in-demand skill globally last year. LinkedIn has a 19-page report available on Slideshare that breaks down the most in-demand job market skills by country.

  • Burda Launches Worldwide Coalition of Industry Partners and Releases Open-Source Online CMS Platform

    International media group Hubert Burda Media makes its Drupal 8 based Thunder Content Management System (CMS) available online as a free open-source platform for use and further development by other publishers. With this move, Burda joins forces with sector and industry partners including Acquia, Facebook, Microsoft,, and Valiton, aiming to develop the best open-source CMS platform for publishers. Burda believes that in today's world, successful media offerings result from the right combination of quality journalism and technology expertise. For the media company, this meant future-proofing its Content Management System by developing Thunder, an open-source system based on leading-edge technology, now available online free of charge for use and continuous development.

  • What Does Open Source Software Mean to the U.S. Federal Government?

    It may be five or ten years behind the curve, but the U.S. government has now declared its love for open source software -- or what it calls open source software, at least.

  • Apple Releases Swift 2.2 for OSX and Linux

    Apple has released Swift 2.2, the latest version of their mobile and server programming language. This version is the first official release that has been cotributed to by open-source developers, including contributions from 212 non-Apple contributors.


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Android/Google: Pixel 2, Xiaomi Kernel Source, David Kleidermacher on Security

  • Google Pixel 2 Portrait Mode Tech Is Now Open Source
    The tech behind the portrait mode on Google Pixel 2  has been made open source by the company. For those who not familiar with it, one of the main draw to the algorithm in the Pixel 2’s camera app is excellent subject isolation without needing additional apparatus such as specialized lens or second camera.
  • Xiaomi releases Oreo kernel source code for the Mi A1
    Xiaomi promised that the Mi A1 would receive Oreo by the end of 2017, and the company hit a buzzer-beater by rolling out Android 8.0 to the Android One device on December 30th. But the kernel source code was nowhere to be found, a violation of the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2), and an affront to the development and enthusiast community. It's about two-and-a-half months late, but Xiaomi has finally released the Android 8.0 Oreo source code for the Mi A1.
  • Google Says Android Is as Secure as Apple's iOS and Wants You to Know That
    Google's Android security chief David Kleidermacher told CNET today that the Linux-based Android mobile operating system the company develops for a wide range of devices is now as secure as Apple's iOS. Google recently published its "Android Security 2017 Year In Review" report where the company talks about how Android security has matured in the last few years and how it fights to find new ways to protect Android users from malware and all the other nasty stuff you obviously don't want to have on your mobile phone or tablet.

If you owned a 'fat' PlayStation 3 you could be entitled to $65 from Sony because of Linux option

Cast your mind back to when Sony released the original PlayStation 3, and you may well remember claims that the console was also a "computer". The claims were such that Sony suggested that owners could install Linux -- which, technically speaking, they could. However, installing Linux on a PS3 also posed something of a security issue, and Sony backtracked on the "Other OS" feature, killing it will a firmware update. Unsurprisingly, a lawsuit followed, and the result of this is that you could in line for a pay-out. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Zorin OS 12.3 Linux Distro Released: Download The Perfect Windows Replacement
    While listing out the best distros for a Linux beginner, the ease of use and installation are the most critical factors. Such qualities make distros like Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Zorin OS the most recommended options. In case you’re also concerned about your privacy and security, a shift to the world of Linux becomes a more obvious option. Calling itself a replacement for Windows and macOS, Zorin OS has been established as a beginner-friendly option that offers a smooth ride while making the transition. The latest Zorin OS 12.3 release works to strengthen the basics of the operating system and polishes the whole experience.
  • Ramblings about long ago and far away
    I had originally run MCC (Manchester Computer Center Interim Linux) in college but when I moved it was easier to find a box of floppies with SLS so I had installed that on the 486. I would then download software source code from the internet and rebuild it for my own use using all the extra flags I could find in GCC to make my 20Mhz system seem faster. I instead learned that most of the options didn't do anything on i386 Linux at the time and most of my reports about it were probably met by eye-rolls with the people at Cygnus. My supposed goal was to try and set up a MUD so I could code up a text based virtual reality. Or to get a war game called Conquer working on Linux. Or maybe get xTrek working on my system. [I think I mostly was trying to become a game developer by just building stuff versus actually coding stuff. I cave-man debugged a lot of things using stuff I had learned in FORTRAN but it wasn't actually making new things.]
  • EzeeLinux Show 18.13 | Running Linux On Junk
    A talk about the advantages of running Linux on junk hardware.
  • Best 50 HD Wallpapers for Ubuntu
    Wallpapers are useful in many ways depending on the visual it contains for example if there is a motivational quote on it, it helps to motivate you. The images are the best type of wallpaper because they have an impact on the mind of a human being. So if you are a working professional and have to work continuously on a computer then your desktop cab be a source of inspiration and happiness. So today we are going to share 50 best HD Wallpapers for your Ubuntu which will keep your desktop fresh.
  • Ubuntu Tried Adding Synaptics Support Back To GNOME's Mutter
    GNOME developers previously dropped support for Synaptics and other input drivers from Mutter in favor of the universal libinput stack that is also Wayland-friendly. Canonical developers tried to get Synaptics support on X11 added back into Mutter but it looks clear now that was rejected. Canonical's Will Cooke reported in this week's Ubuntu happenings that they were trying to add upstream support for Synaptics to Mutter, complementing the libinput support. While it's great Canonical trying to contribute upstream to GNOME, Synaptics support was previously dropped as being a maintenance burden and with libinput support getting into rather good shape.
  • Long live Release Engineering
    y involvement in Fedora goes back to late 2003 early 2004 somewhere as a packager for I started by getting a few packages in to scratch some of my itches and I saw it as a way to give back to the greater open source community. Around FC3 somewhere I stepped up to help in infrastructure to rebuild the builders in plague, the build system we used before koji and that we used for EPEL(Something that I helped form) for awhile until we got external repo support in koji. I was involved in the implementation of koji in Fedora, I joined OLPC as a build and release engineer, where I oversaw a move of the OS they shipped from FC6 to F8, and laid a foundation for the move to F9. I left OLPC when Red Hat opensourced RHN Satellite as “spacewalk project” I joined Red Hat as the release engineer for both, after a brief period there was some reorganisation in engineering that resulted in me handing off the release engineering tasks to someone closer the the engineers working on the code. As a result I worked on Fedora full time helping Jesse Keating. When he decided to work on the internal migration from CVS to git I took over as the lead. [...] Recently I have accepted a Job offer to become the manager of a different team inside of Red Hat.

Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures and Recent Torvalds Interview

  • Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures
    Longtime Linux kernel developer Arnd Bergmann is working to drop a number of old and obsolete CPU architectures from the next kernel cycle, Linux 4.17. The obsolete CPU architectures set to be removed include Blackfin, CRIS, FR-V, M32R, MN10300, META (Metag), and TILE. Managing to escape its death sentence is the Unicore32 architecture with its port maintainer claiming it's still actively being used and maintained.
  • [Older] Linus Torvalds Interview by Kristaps

    Interviewer: we all know who Linus is, but not many people know he’s also a proficient diver. Why don’t we start at the beginning: where you first started diving, and when you started to take diving seriously.  

    Actually, it was related to open source, in some way. [...]