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How Linux Makes Your Life Easier

There is a popular myth that Linux is complicated and hard to use by a non-techie. While there are distros and advanced Linux functionality that do require tech skills, this doesn’t mean Linux is hard to use. On the contrary, there are lots of things in the philosophy and functionality of Linux that make a user’s life easier. Read more

Containers: IBM, Yan Vugenfirer and HPC

  • IBM attempts to graft virtual machine security onto container flexibility
    IBM researchers have developed a new flavor of software container in an effort to create code that's more secure than Docker and similar shared kernel container systems. Docker and its ilk are considered less secure than VMs because the compromise of a shared kernel puts all associated containers at risk. With VMs, the kernel is separate from the host kernel, which reduces the risk of collateral damage.
  • Using Linux Containers to Manage Embedded Build Environments
    Linux container technology has been proposed by companies like Resin.io as a simpler and more secure way to deploy embedded devices. And, Daynix Computing has developed an open source framework called Rebuild that uses Linux containers in the build management process of embedded IoT development. At the 2017 Open Source Summit, Daynix “virtualization expert” Yan Vugenfirer gave a presentation on Rebuild called “How Linux Containers can Help to Manage Development Environments for IoT and Embedded Systems.” Vugenfirer started by reminding the audience of the frustrations of embedded development, especially when working with large, complex projects. “You’re dealing with different toolchains, SDKs, and compilers all with different dependencies,” he said. “It gets more complicated if you need to update packages, or change SDKs, or run a codebase over several devices. The code may compile on your machine, but there may be problems in the build server or in the CI (continuous integration) server.”
  • Building Containers with HPC Container Maker
    Containers package entire workflows, including software, libraries, and even data, into a single file. The container can then be run on any compatible hardware that can run the container type, regardless of the underlying operating system. Containers are finding increased utility in the worlds of scientific computing, deep learning, HPC, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, because they are reproducible, portable (mobility of compute), user friendly (admins don’t have to install everything), and simple, and they isolate resources, reduce complexity (reduction in dependencies), and make it easy to distribute the application and dependencies. Using containers, you have virtually everything you need in a single file, including a base operating system (OS), the application or workflow (multiple applications), and all of the dependencies. Sometimes the data is also included in the container, although it is not strictly necessary because you can mount filesystems with the data from the container.

NetBSD 8.0 Ready For Release With Spectre/Meltdown Fix, Initial USB 3.0 Support

The long overdue NetBSD 8.0 operating system update appears ready now to ship. The NetBSD 8.0 release images surfaced the other day on their FTP mirrors. However, as of writing no formal NetBSD 8.0.0 release announcement has yet to be issued. Read more

Debian Development and News

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, June 2018
    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.
  • PKCS#11 v2.20
    By way of experiment, I've just enabled the PKCS#11 v2.20 implementation in the eID packages for Linux, but for now only in the packages in the "continuous" repository. In the past, enabling this has caused issues; there have been a few cases where Firefox would deadlock when PKCS#11 v2.20 was enabled, rather than the (very old and outdated) v2.11 version that we support by default. We believe we have identified and fixed all outstanding issues that caused such deadlocks, but it's difficult to be sure.
  • Plans for DebCamp and DebConf 18
    I recently became an active contributor to the Debian project, which has been consolidated throughout my GSoC project. In addition to the great learning with my mentors, Lucas Kanashiro and Raphäel Hertzog, the feedback from other community members has been very valuable to the progress we are making in the Distro Tracker. Tomorrow, thanks to Debian project sponsorship, I will take off for Hsinchu, Taiwan to attend DebCamp and DebConf18. It is my first DebConf and I’m looking forward to meeting new people from the Debian community, learn a lot and make useful contributions during the time I am there.
  • Building Debian packages in CI (ick)
    I develop a number of (fairly small) programs, as a hobby. Some of them I also maintain as packages in Debian. All of them I publish as Debian packages in my own APT repository. I want to make the process for making a release of any of my programs as easy and automated as possible, and that includes building Debian packages and uploading them to my personal APT repository, and to Debian itself.
  • My DebCamp/DebConf 18 plans
    Tomorrow I am going to another DebCamp and DebConf; this time at Hsinchu, Taiwan.
  • Things you can do with Debian: multimedia editing
    The Debian operating system serves many purposes and you can do amazing things with it. Apart of powering the servers behind big internet sites like Wikipedia and others, you can use Debian in your PC or laptop. I’ve been doing that for many years. One of the great things you can do is some multimedia editing. It turns out I love nature, outdoor sports and adventures, and I usually take videos and photos with my friends while doing such activities. And when I arrive home I love editing them for my other blog, or putting them together in a video.