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Review: Sabayon and Antergos

Mon, 2018-03-12 02:49

Sabayon is a Gentoo-based distribution which is available in many desktop editions as well as a server edition. Sabayon strives to provide a working system out-of-the-box, saving the user a lot of time when it comes to configuring the operating system. Sabayon provides several categories of installation media. The project uses a rolling release model and the distribution's many editions are provided in Stable, Monthly and Daily snapshots. It has been about a year since the last Stable set of installation media was produced and so I decided to explore one of the monthly snapshots.

I began with the MATE edition of Sabayon's Monthly snapshot, a 2GB download which I confirmed downloaded properly using the distribution's checksums. Booting from the live media brought up a menu asking if we would like to start a live desktop environment, launch a text-based installer, start in safe mode or launch a live text console. I was surprised when taking the live desktop option booted the distribution to a text console and showed me a login prompt.

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Linux 4.16-rc5

Mon, 2018-03-12 02:40
  • Linux 4.16-rc5

    This continue to be pretty normal - this rc is slightly larger than
    rc4 was, but that looks like one of the normal fluctuations due to
    timing of pull requests, not due to anything distressing. In
    particular, this past week we had both a networking pull and a drm
    pull, which accounts for a fait chunk of it all.

    In addition to the networking updates (both drivers and core
    networking) and the drm stuff (mainly some amdgpu display handling
    updates), there's the usual arch fixes (mostly x86 this time -
    microcode handling and some syscall cleanups) and various random
    driver fixes (rdma, md, scsi, watchdog). Plus some misc stuff:
    filesystems (overlayfs, xfs) some core kernel code, and tooling
    (mainly perf and selftests).

    Nothing particular stands out, the appended shortlog gives a flavor of
    the details.


  • Linux 4.16-rc5 Kernel Released

    Development on the Linux 4.16 kernel continues moving along smoothly and tonight the 4.16-rc5 kernel is released.

  • The Big AMDKFD Change Set For Linux 4.17 Has Been Submitted

    Oded Gabbay sent in his pull request today of the AMDKFD driver updates targeting the Linux 4.17 kernel. Notably this includes the long-awaited dGPU support in inching AMD/GPUOpen ROCm compute support with OpenCL off a mainline kernel for select discrete GPUs.

    Most significant with this AMDKFD (AMD Kernel Fusion Driver) changes for Linux 4.17 is the discrete Radeon GPU support for initialization and queue handling. Unfortunately though it ended up being incomplete as the GPUVM support is still missing due to that code still being discussed by developers. Additionally, Vega compute support isn't yet ready for mainline AMDKFD.

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Debian: Chris Lamb as Debian Project Leader, webkitgtk in Debian Stretch: Report Card

Sun, 2018-03-11 15:10
  • Debian Project Leader Elections 2018: Candidate

    We're now into the campaigning period. We have 1 candidates this year: Chris Lamb

  • Debian Project Leader Elections 2018 Has One Candidate

    The nomination period for the Debian Project Leader 2018 elections is now over and Chris Lamb is the only one nominated this year after having nominated himself this weekend. The campaign period is now active through the end of the month while the DPL voting will take place for the first two weeks of April.

  • webkitgtk in Debian Stretch: Report Card

    webkitgtk is the GTK+ port of WebKit. webkitgtk provides web functionality for many things including GNOME Online Accounts’ login panels; Evolution’s HTML email editor and viewer; and the engine for the Epiphany web browser (also known as GNOME Web).

    Last year, I announced here that Debian 9 “Stretch” included the latest version of webkitgtk (Debian’s package is named webkit2gtk). At the time, I hoped that Debian 9 would get periodic security and bugfix updates. Nine months later, let’s see how we’ve been doing.

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Netrunner 18.03 Idolon Released

Sun, 2018-03-11 14:53
  • Netrunner 18.03 Idolon

    Netrunner 18.03 ships the latest packages from Debian’s Testing Snapshot repository.

    From 18.03 onwards, we also decided to include even more packages directly from upstream, so it will be most compatible when enabling the continously updating testing repo.

  • KDE-Focused Netrunner 18.03 Linux Distribution Released

    Netrunner 18.03 "Idolon" has been released as the latest version of this KDE-focused desktop Linux distribution derived from Debian's testing repository.

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Microsoft headlined a major Linux conference

Sun, 2018-03-11 10:20

Earlier today (March 10th, 2018), Microsoft delivered the headlining keynote of the Southern California Linux Expo — one of the largest Linux and Free Software conferences in the world. I repeat: Microsoft. Headlined. A Linux Festival. It was confusing to many. And Microsoft did not disappoint… they managed to say some distinctly anti-Open Source things in their 1 hour on stage.

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Things you’ll need when seeking GNU/Linux support online

Sun, 2018-03-11 09:14

You broke something. Congratulations! You’re one of the millions of people across the globe, who have broken their system, perhaps without having any clue whatsoever about how you even did it...

Okay, so, you’ve tried some searches online, you’ve asked your other computer savvy friends, and you’ve also dug out your favourite hammer – just incase you need to break something. Being real though, there’s many times where you may need to seek out help online using forums, IRC, or mailing lists.

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today's leftovers

Sun, 2018-03-11 05:56

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Android: Android-x86, Android beats iOS, Android P

Sun, 2018-03-11 05:53

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OSS: More on Ghostery, Model of an idealised Moist Atmosphere, and Openwashing AMP

Sun, 2018-03-11 05:51
  • Ghostery Goes Open Source, Reveals Two Proposed Revenue Streams

    Ad-blocker Ghostery published its entire programming code on Thursday. By going open source, the company aims to clear the air on its old business model and invite others to contribute to its continuing development.

  • Making climate models open source makes them more useful

    Here’s an example. In a paper from last yearI looked at the temperature and wind changes in the upper atmosphere close to the Equator. I didn’t need to know what happened in the ocean, and I didn’t need any chemistry, polar ice, or even clouds in my model. So I wrote a much simpler model without these ingredients. It’s called “MiMA” ( Model of an idealised Moist Atmosphere), and is freely available on the web.

  • Google claims it’s going to build its proprietary AMP using Web standards

    Google has said that it wants to bring the benefits of its AMP specification to sites that stick with Web standards, offering them the same prominent search positioning that it currently only gives to sites using its proprietary tech.

    The 2015 introduction of Google's AMP, "Accelerated Mobile Pages," has been deeply contentious within the Web community. AMP is based on HTML, JavaScript, and other related technologies, with a bunch of non-standard alterations and restrictions to, Google says, achieve a number of things that are useful, especially for mobile browsers.

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Events: LF's Open Networking Summit, Free Software Events in Europe in 2018, Belated FOSDEM Coverage

Sun, 2018-03-11 05:50
  • Hands-On Learning at Open Networking Summit for Your SDN/NFV Deployments

    If you are attending ONS, you know the value of open source projects. You know they are going to play a critical role in your ongoing or upcoming SDN/NFV transformation. Open source projects have become very successful in the enterprise space and they are poised to do the same in the communications service provider (CSP) arena.

    That leads to a question—how can you learn more about these projects, determine their value for your specific environment and map out your organization’s next steps? Certainly, you can review online materials on your own. However, if you are like me and learn best when another human being is providing or explaining the material starting with the basics, at an unhurried pace, then the ONAP and OPNFV training sessions offered onsite at Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles are something to consider. These training courses will empower you to integrate open source into your NFV/SDN deployments.

  • Free Software Events in Europe in 2018

    If you know a Free Software and Open Source Software related event in Europe, happening in 2018, that is not yet listed here but that you think is in interest to the FSFE community, please leave it in this pad or contact me directly. All valid events will be imported from here into our wiki calendar.

    Valid events do not need to be a conference, they can be install fests or other activities. But to be in interest for our community, they have to be for the general public and happen in Europe.

  • Avoiding license violations in a large organization

    Over the years, I have heard people from the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) say many times that most free-software license violations are not intentional. Indeed, the SFC's principles of community-oriented enforcement say that "most GPL violations occur by mistake, without ill will". I've always had some difficulty in believing that; after all, how hard can it be to create a GPL repository on GitHub and sync the code into it? But it is also said that managing programmers is like herding cats. It was therefore interesting to hear a large-scale cat herder talk at FOSDEM 2018 about the license violations that occurred in their organization and what he and his colleagues did about it.

    Andreas Schreiber works for DLR, Germany's national aeronautics and space research center. DLR has some 8,000 employees across 40 institutions at 20 sites; of those, around 1,500 work on software development. Schreiber said its annual budget of some €150M for software development makes DLR one of the largest software developers in Germany. However, it is primarily an academic institution. Unlike many large commercial software developers, its software is largely written by people employed because of their expertise in such fields as aeronautics and space transportation, who have no formal computer science background, and often no formal training in software development.


    Schreiber also noted that both NASA and ESA have developed their own open-source licenses, whereas DLR has deliberately chosen not to do that. Given widespread concerns about license proliferation, and that NASA's license is both non-free and GPL-incompatible, this seems a good decision. In addition, in response to a later question, Schreiber said his group has tried mandating licenses for DLR projects, but that just did not work in the DLR culture, where researchers are used to doing what they like, how they like. Imposing a single institutional license would have been difficult; instead, the group provides advice and support, it will even recommend if asked to, but it doesn't mandate.

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OpenBSD and FreeBSD

Sun, 2018-03-11 05:47
  • Mike Larkin at bhyvecon 2018: OpenBSD vmm(4) update
  • How we conduct ourselves

    Overall, this self-censorship is a Good Thing™. When interacting with individuals from vastly different cultures, backgrounds or convictions, there are bound to be disagreements or clashes.


    I sincerely hope that I do not need to waste many keystrokes to state how awful this piece of text is. It is actively discriminatory, denies the hardships that some people may face, and censors criticism. It is extremely opinionated in its tone.

    Fortunately, the FreeBSD people had the sense to remove this section.


    But then why don’t the above rules mention anything about making fun of someone’s speech patterns or language skills (or lack thereof)? Surely disallowing those things is extremely relevant in an international community with many non-native speakers of English. As a matter of fact, an even more glaring omission is that it makes no statement on culture, country of origin, or nationality at all.

    Why does “misgendering”—an issue which affects a tiny fraction of the contributors—get a spot on that list, but not prejudice based on one’s skill in English, which affects a vast portion of contributors? Surely this can be included as well? But if we are going there, why not include even more? The Holocaust was a pretty bad thing that happened. Surely Holocaust denial should be somewhere on that list, too. Speaking of murder, perhaps we could also make it extra clear that it is not okay to boast about eating meat and other animal products in order to spite a vegan.


    The answer is not very surprising. The code of conduct is biased. It wears its bias on its sleeve: Feminism. Now, whether you are a feminist or not matters little. What matters is that the code of conduct tells you to practise inhibition around others, but practises none of it itself. I have conservatively marked all feminism-related (and LGBT-related) items with an asterisk. I could have been greedy and marked more items, but this seemed sufficient to me. If you start counting, you will see that give-or-take half of the items have an obvious feminist slant.

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Pakistan: Open source technologies to usher in better future

Sun, 2018-03-11 05:07

The Open Source Summit (OSS) 2018 was organized by Bahria University in collaboration with Open Source Foundation of Pakistan (OSFP) to collaborate, share information, learn about the latest technologies and gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions.

In China right now (Indian press):

  • China launches open-source platform as part of its quest to become AI world leader by 2030
  • China makes open-source platform to boost Artificial Intelligence

    China’s science and technology minister said on Saturday that the government had made an open-source platform to boost the development of artificial intelligence (AI), as part of a plan to make China a world-leader in this field by 2030. He said that offering AI on open-source platforms would help with its scientific development and help it rapidly expand, allowing the creation of a new generation of AI. “Open-source platforms are needed because AI can play a bigger role in development and make it easier for entrepreneurs to have access to resources,” Wan Gang said in a press conference to mark a session of the National People’s Assembly.

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Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Looks like a Brilliant Upgrade

Sun, 2018-03-11 04:57

I have to say folks, Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 is shaping up to be a one heck of a release.

It’s no secret that I think the nimble GNOME-based Budgie desktop is one of the best alternatives to GNOME Shell or Unity. It is lighter and leaner than either of those, but has a more cohesive and modern design than MATE or XFCE.

Naturally I’m also a fan of Ubuntu Budgie, the official Ubuntu flavor that uses the Budgie desktop by default. It provides all the benefits of Ubuntu and its ecosystem, but feathered beneath a clean, modern looking desktop interface.

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Technical Posts: Master Password in Firefox or Thunderbird, FakeIt, Rspamd, Feh, Vim and More

Sun, 2018-03-11 04:31
  • Master password in Firefox or Thunderbird? Do not bother!

    There is a weakness common to any software letting you protect a piece of data with a password: how does that password translate into an encryption key? If that conversion is a fast one, then you better don’t expect the encryption to hold. Somebody who gets hold of that encrypted data will try to guess the password you used to protect it. And modern hardware is very good at validating guesses.

    Case in question: Firefox and Thunderbird password manager. It is common knowledge that storing passwords there without defining a master password is equivalent to storing them in plain text. While they will still be encrypted in logins.json file, the encryption key is stored in key3.db file without any protection whatsoever. On the other hand, it is commonly believed that with a master password your data is safe. Quite remarkably, I haven’t seen any articles stating the opposite.

  • Power.Fake.It: PowerFake + FakeIt

    As I said in the introduction, PowerFake lacked the features of a complete mocking framework, and I was hoping to be able to integrate it with one or more mocking frameworks. So, I decided to try integrating it with FakeIt as the first target.

  • Install and integrate Rspamd
  • Feh: The Image Viewer For Your Terminal

    The Feh image viewer for Linux is a powerful utility that can display your images in a variety of ways. It runs in the X display server from the command line and uses modes to prepare the layout of one or multiple files. If you are looking for a lightweight image viewer that can be accessed from the terminal, Feh is the one for you.

  • 10 Tips for Using Vim Text Editor

    Vim is one of the best and commonly used text editor and could be used as IDE on Linux and MAC OS X. There are many Vim tips could help you to get your work done much more quicker and efficient if you are using Vim as your text editor. So, let’s check some of Vim Tips that could be helpful for your daily usage.

  • How to Install osTicket on Ubuntu 16.04
  • PHP Arrays Tutorial

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Programming: Portable Computing Language (POCL), C, and More

Sun, 2018-03-11 04:27

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Updated Oracle Roadmap Points To Post-11.4 Solaris Release Around 2020

Sun, 2018-03-11 04:16

Oracle published a SPARC and Solaris road-map updated for March 2018.

By now you should know about Solaris 11.4 that is currently in public beta.

But their March 2018 road-map update now indicates a "Solaris11.Next" for H2'2018 or H1'2020. Note that it's a "11.Next" and no mention of Solaris 12. It's still not clear if a Solaris 12 will happen given all the rumors following the mass layoffs at Oracle over the past number of months, but at least for now it's looking like it might be a Solaris 11.5 release around the end of next year or in early 2020.

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i3 v4.15 Tiling Window Manager Released

Sun, 2018-03-11 04:14

The i3 tiling window manager reached version 4.15 this weekend. The i3 v4.15 release contains a number of documentation improvements, additions to i3's editor and terminal, new default capabilities, the swap command now works with fullscreen windows, non-integer Xfi DPI values are now rounded, and a wide range of bugs have been fixed.

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Server: Supercomputing, Kubernetes and More

Sun, 2018-03-11 04:02
  • Supercomputing under a new lens: A Sandia-developed benchmark re-ranks top computers

    A Sandia National Laboratories software program now installed as an additional test for the widely observed TOP500 supercomputer challenge has become increasingly prominent. The program’s full name — High Performance Conjugate Gradients, or HPCG — doesn’t come trippingly to the tongue, but word is seeping out that this relatively new benchmarking program is becoming as valuable as its venerable partner — the High Performance LINPACK program — which some say has become less than satisfactory in measuring many of today’s computational challenges.

  • Bright Computing adds support for OpenHPC

    Today Bright Computing announced it has joined the Linux Foundation and will participate in the OpenHPC Community project. The latest release of Bright Cluster Manager provides the ability for Bright customers to easily integrate OpenHPC libraries and packages for use within a Bright cluster.

  • Kubernetes Becomes The First Project To Graduate From The Cloud Native Computing Foundation
  • Usenet, Authentication, and Engineering (or: Early Design Decisions for Usenet)

    A Twitter thread on trolls brought up mention of trolls on Usenet. The reason they were so hard to deal with, even then, has some lessons for today; besides, the history is interesting. (Aside: this is, I think, the first longish thing I've ever written about any of the early design decisions for Usenet. I should note that this is entirely my writing, and memory can play many tricks across nearly 40 years.)

  • The true costs of hosting in the cloud

    Should we host in the cloud or on our own servers? This question was at the center of Dmytro Dyachuk's talk, given during KubeCon + CloudNativeCon last November. While many services simply launch in the cloud without the organizations behind them considering other options, large content-hosting services have actually moved back to their own data centers: Dropbox migrated in 2016 and Instagram in 2014. Because such transitions can be expensive and risky, understanding the economics of hosting is a critical part of launching a new service. Actual hosting costs are often misunderstood, or secret, so it is sometimes difficult to get the numbers right. In this article, we'll use Dyachuk's talk to try to answer the "million dollar question": "buy or rent?"

  • Memcached DDoS Attacks Slow Down as Patching Ramps Up

    Days after the largest distributed denial-of-service attack in internet history, the attack size of memcached DDoS attacks is now on the decline.

    On March 5, Netscout Arbor Networks reported a 1.7-Tbps DDoS attack that was driven by the amplification of misconfigured memcached servers. While there were some initial fears that the attacks would continue to grow in size, the opposite has happened.

    "We're still seeing lots of them, but their average size is considerably smaller due to ongoing cleanup and mitigation efforts," Steinthor Bjarnason, senior network security analyst at Netscout Arbor, told eWEEK.

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