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Ditching Apple and Microsoft for GNU/Linux

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Microsoft
Mac
  • Switching to xmonad + Gnome – and ditching a Mac

    I have been using XFCE with xmonad for years now. I’m not sure exactly how many, but at least 6 years, if not closer to 10. Today I threw in the towel and switched to Gnome.

    More recently, at a new job, I was given a Macbook Pro. I wasn’t entirely sure what to think of this, but I thought I’d give it a try. I found MacOS to be extremely frustrating and confining. It had no real support for a tiling window manager, and although projects like amethyst tried to approximate what xmonad can do on Linux, they were just too limited by the platform and were clunky. Moreover, the entire UI was surprisingly sluggish; maybe that was an induced effect from animations, but I don’t think that explains it. A Debisn stretch install, even on inferior hardware, was snappy in a way that MacOS never was. So I have requested to swap for a laptop that will run Debian. The strange use of Command instead of Control for things, combined with the overall lack of configurability of keybindings, meant that I was going to always be fighting muscle memory moving from one platform to another. Not only that, but being back in the world of a Free Software OS means a lot.

  • Google is trying to poach Microsoft Azure partners by sending them free Chromebooks
  • Google’s Cloud Team Is Sending Chromebooks To Microsoft Partners

     

    Microsoft has its Azure platform, Amazon has AWS, Google is entering the arena with Google Cloud and each company is throwing serious money to grab a slice of this market as it continues to expand.

  • Windows loses the market share growth battle against Linux [Ed: Almost no site (that I've stumbled upon) mentions that the firm behind these numbers is Microsoft-connected. Microsoft sites like this one say Windows "market share collapsed from 90.45% to 88.77%." But no, it's more like 50%. ChromeOS, Android etc. are conveniently unaccounted for.]

    In August, Windows dropped to a 90.70% market share from 91.45% from July, despite Microsoft’s effort. This drop of 0.75% is the biggest one that the operating system had recorded since April 2016. Back then, the OS’s market share collapsed from 90.45% to 88.77%.

Dual Boot Happy Hacking Linux and Mac OS

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Linux
Mac

Last December, I created a new Linux distro called Happy Hacking Linux, specifically for developers who need fast, minimalist desktop that comes with a good package system. Arch Linux has been my favorite distro for past 10 years, because it lets you build your system by yourself, and gives more than 55.000 packages in its official and community package registires.

So I took Arch Linux, changed the logo with a cat wearing sunglasses (my wife drew it for me), built a new installation wizard from scratch, and automated what many developers do; setting up users, fonts, network, Xmonad desktop with default config, etc… This new installer is created using command-line dialogs, but it’s smart enough to detect if user is on a Macbook. It automatically sets up wifi, audio, also configures screen brightness, keyboard backlight buttons so you don’t have to.

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Also: This Project is Going to Create Linux Laptops … Based on PowerPC

Microsoft, Apple, and GNU/Linux on Laptops/Desktops

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Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Microsoft and Apple Lock-in

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Mac

Why I’m going back to Linux after five years of using macOS

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GNU
Linux
Mac

I’ve been a supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation since 2004. Their work on privacy, free expression and technology are all things I am passionate about. For the last year or so, I have become more concerned with privacy issues in technology. The rise in big data and how everything is tracking everything we do has given me significant concerns. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to which ecosystems I want to stay in. I’m not going to say I trust any of these technology companies, but I can control (or minimize) my footprint with some of these companies.

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Best Linux Distributions Again

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Linux
Mac
  • 4 of the Best Linux Distributions for Mac Users

    In late 2016 Apple released a new Macbook that they stated would be everything everyone wanted. The result was that the public wasn’t so happy with it. People found themselves needing to use dongles for everything, even SD card readers. The escape key and top command keys were replaced with a gimmicky “touch bar,” and as a result the Macbook had a lukewarm reception.

    As a result of all this, Linux PC manufacturer System76 reported getting the highest amount of Mac switchers in its history. It’s safe to say that when it comes to macOS, the honeymoon is over. Longtime users are starting to get fed up with Apple from the way they force everyone to use dongles, to their amateur file system, to the way their operating system takes away advanced functions longtime users are used to using.

  • [Older] Best Linux Distributions To Try In 2017

    Hey folks! Here is the new year of 2017. As a new year comes we all are excited to know what is new in the world of Linux. Whether you are a newbie or a regular user we want to know which are the best and awesome distro for this year to have a new experience. So Here am I who is gonna help you to see and choose the best Linux distro to try in 2017.

    My base of selection of OS will depend on updates, stability, standout features so that my readers can get the best experience without any problem.

Wine 2 Instead of Vista 10

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Linux
Microsoft
Software
Mac

Why I switched from OS X to GNU/Linux

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Linux
Mac

After I was done with my studies at the university I wanted to work for some company which worked with Open Source, I started at Pelagicore, where I still work. There we are creating custom Linux distributions for car manufacturers, we do UI work, we write Linux drivers, Linux middleware and so on. Because we work with Linux it is much more convinient to run Linux nativelly for developement too. At Pelagicore (almosc) all developers work on Linux desktops and laptops, I felt that I fit right in with my ThinkPad. And this was also why I used my iMac less and less, everybody around me was using Linux, it became cumbersome to do the overhead to get stuff running on the iMac which I already had running at work and on my laptop on Linux.

I started with Ubuntu, but quite fast switched to Debian testing with Gnome 3 because I learned about how Canonical treats everyone, their users (the [Amazon problem (http://www.zdnet.com/article/shuttleworth-defends-ubuntu-linux-integrating-amazon/) with Unity Dash search results, problems with their Intellectual Property Policy, etc.) It also helped that there was Jeremiah, who evangalizes debian day in day out at work.

In between I wanted to try out Arch Linux so I installed it on my ThinkPad, and man this was a performance boost, it felt like a new machine in comperison to Ubuntu. Nowadays I run Arch at work too. For stuff which doesn't work, like some specific version of Yocto, I wrap it into a docker container with a Ubuntu image for compatibility.

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From OSX to Ubuntu

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Linux
Mac
Ubuntu

I didn't debate this for days, I installed the latest available Ubuntu right away as it was the distribution I was using before moving to OSX (I even contributed to a book on it!). I was used to Debian-based systems and knew Ubuntu was still acclaimed for its ease of use and great hardware support. I wasn't disappointed as on the X1 everything was recognized and operational right after the installation, including wifi, bluetooth and external display.

I was greeted with the Unity desktop, which was disturbing as I was a Gnome user back in the days. Up to a point I installed the latter, though in its version 3 flavor, which was also new to me.

I like Gnome3. It's simple, configurable and made me feel productive fast. Though out of bad luck or skills and time to spend investigating, a few things were not working properly: fonts were huge in some apps and normal in others, external display couldn't be configured to a different resolution and dpi ratio than my laptop's, things like that. After a few weeks, I switched back to Unity, and I'm still happily using it today as it has nicely solved all the issues I had with Gnome (which I still like a lot though).

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GNU/Linux Desktop

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Linux
Microsoft
Mac
  • Want a Windows 10 PC in your pocket? GPD's tiny laptop will also run Ubuntu

    The maker of the GPD WIN, a 5.5-inch Windows 10 handheld game console released last year, is planning to launch a tablet-sized laptop, dubbed 'Pocket', which will run Windows or Ubuntu.

  • Troubleshooting tips for the 5 most common Linux issues

    Although Linux installs and operates as expected for most users, inevitably some users will run into problems. For my final article in The Queue column for the year, I thought it would be interesting to summarize the most common technical Linux issues people ran into in 2016. I posted the question to LinuxQuestions.org and on social media, and I analyzed LQ posting patterns. Here are the results.

  • Microsoft’s OS supremacy over Apple to end in 2017

    Apple will steal a march on Microsoft this year when for the first time this century shipments of devices powered by its operating systems outnumber those running Windows, research firm Gartner said today.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE on Android: CI, CD & SDK

I guess we all agree that one of the biggest stoppers to get a contribution out is the ability to get the system ready to start working on the contribution. Today I want to talk a bit about generating Android binaries from our machine. In the KDE Edu sprint we had the blatant realisation that it’s very frustrating to keep pushing the project while not being swift at delivering fresh packages of our applications in different systems. We looked into windows, flatpak, snap and, personally, I looked into Android once again. Nowadays, KDE developers develop the applications on their systems and then create the binaries on their systems as well. Usually it’s a team effort where possibly just one person in the team will be familiar with Android and have the development combo in place: Android SDK, Android NDK, Qt binaries and often several KDE Frameworks precompiled. Not fun and a fairly complex premise. Read more Also:

today's howtos

Linux Kernel and Security: LVM2, Containers, AMD

  • LVM2 Begins Work On Major Changes To Logical Volume Management
    LVM2 as the user-space tools for Logical Volume Management (LVM) on Linux is in the process of going through a big re-work.
  • Containers and Cloud Security
    The idea behind this blog post is to take a new look at how cloud security is measured and what its impact is on the various actors in the cloud ecosystem. From the measurement point of view, we look at the vertical stack: all code that is traversed to provide a service all the way from input web request to database update to output response potentially contains bugs; the bug density is variable for the different components but the more code you traverse the higher your chance of exposure to exploitable vulnerabilities. We’ll call this the Vertical Attack Profile (VAP) of the stack. However, even this axis is too narrow because the primary actors are the cloud tenant and the cloud service provider (CSP). In an IaaS cloud, part of the vertical profile belongs to the tenant (The guest kernel, guest OS and application) and part (the hypervisor and host OS) belong to the CSP. However, the CSP vertical has the additional problem that any exploit in this piece of the stack can be used to jump into either the host itself or any of the other tenant virtual machines running on the host. We’ll call this exploit causing a failure of containment the Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP). We should also note that any Horizontal Security failure is a potentially business destroying event for the CSP, so they care deeply about preventing them. Conversely any exploit occurring in the VAP owned by the Tenant can be seen by the CSP as a tenant only problem and one which the Tenant is responsible for locating and fixing. We correlate size of profile with attack risk, so the large the profile the greater the probability of being exploited.
  • Canonical Releases AMD Microcode Updates for All Ubuntu Users to Fix Spectre V2
    Canonical released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the well-known Spectre security vulnerability. The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed earlier this year and discovered to affect billions of devices made in the past two decades. Unearthed by Jann Horn of Google Project Zero, the second variant (CVE-2017-5715) of the Spectre vulnerability is described as a branch target injection attack.

Programming: 5 Pillars of Learning Programming, New Releases of Rust and Git

  • 5 Pillars of Learning Programming
    Learning how to program is hard. I often find that university courses and boot camps miss important aspects of programming and take poor approaches to teaching rookies. I want to share the 5 basic pillars I believe a successful programming course should build upon. As always, I am addressing the context of mainstream web applications. A rookie’s goal is to master the fundamentals of programming and to understand the importance of libraries and frameworks. Advanced topics such as the cloud, operations in general, or build tools should not be part of the curriculum. I am also skeptical when it comes to Design Patterns. They presume experience that beginners never have.
  • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Announcing Rust 1.27
    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.27.0. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.
  • Rust 1.27 Released With SIMD Improvements
    Most notable to Rust 1.27 is SIMD support via the std::arch module to make use of SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) instructions directly. Up to now Rust could already make use of LLVM's auto-vectorization support, but this lets Rust developers write SIMD instructions on their own and to allow for the proper Rust code to be executed based upon the CPU at run-time.
  • Git 2.18 Released With Initial Version Of Its New Wire Protocol
    Version 2.18 of the Git distributed revision control system is now available. Arguably most notable about Git 2.18 is the introduction of its new wire protocol "protocol_v2" that is designed to offer much greater performance. This new protocol is designed to be much faster and is already being used at Google and elsewhere due to the significant performance benefits.
  • Git v2.18.0
    The latest feature release Git v2.18.0 is now available at the usual places. It is comprised of 903 non-merge commits since v2.17.0, contributed by 80 people, 24 of which are new faces.