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Arch Linux 2017.12.01 Now Available to Download as the Last ISO Snapshot in 2017

Mon, 2017-12-04 18:19

Arch Linux 2017.12.01 is out, and it's the last ISO snapshot of the acclaimed GNU/Linux distribution to be released in 2017. Still powered by a kernel from the Linux 4.13 series, namely version 4.13.12, Arch Linux 2017.12.01 brings all the updates that have been released during the entire month of November 2017.

While Arch Linux is already powered by the latest Linux 4.14 LTS kernel as of December 3, 2017, unfortunately, the last ISO snapshot of 2017 is using the Linux 4.13 kernel, which reached end of life last month. This means that you'll still have to upgrade the kernel when installing the distro using the Arch Linux 2017.12.01 ISO image.

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Chakra GNU/Linux Users Get KDE Plasma 5.11.4 Desktop, KDE Applications 17.08.3

Mon, 2017-12-04 18:13

Originally based on Arch Linux, Chakra GNU/Linux is a rolling Linux-based operating system built on top of the latest KDE software. Once Chakra GNU/Linux is installed on your personal computer, you will receive updates forever, without the need to download a new ISO snapshot and reinstall the entire OS.

As of December 1, 2017, Chakra GNU/Linux users can update their installations to the latest KDE Plasma 5.11.4 desktop environment, as well as both KDE Applications 17.08.3 and KDE Frameworks 5.40.0 software suites. Under the hood, the distro is now powered by Linux kernel 4.13.11 or Linux kernel 4.4.93 LTS, and systemd 235.

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LiFT Scholarship Winners: Teens and Academic Aces Learn Open Source Skills

Mon, 2017-12-04 18:10

Four people have been named recipients of the seventh annual Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarships for 2017 in the “Academic Aces” and “Teens in Training” categories.

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Security-Oriented Alpine Linux 3.7 Has UEFI Support, GRUB Support in Installer

Mon, 2017-12-04 18:06

Alpine Linux 3.7.0 comes six months after the 3.6 series, which received only two maintenance updates during its release cycle, and it's a major release that introduces support for UEFI machines, as well as support for the GRUB bootloader in the installer.

Many of the distro's core components have been updated to new versions, and Alpine Linux 3.7.0 ships with the Linux 4.9.65 LTS kernel, GCC 6.4 and LLVM 5.0 compilers, Rust 1.22 and Go 1.9 programming languages, as well as Node.js 8.9 LTS, Perl 5.26, and latest PostgreSQL 10 database engine.

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4MLinux 23 Distro Gets First Point Release, Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.9.61

Mon, 2017-12-04 18:04

4MLinux 23.1 is the latest version of the independently developed GNU/Linux distribution, and it's a minor maintenance update that bumps the kernel packages to Linux 4.9.61 LTS and upgrades the components of the 4MLinux Server bundle to Apache 2.4.29, MariaDB 10.2.10, and PHP 7.0.25.

"This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 4.9.61. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.29, MariaDB 10.2.10, and PHP 7.0.25 (see this post for more details)," said Zbigniew Konojacki in the release announcement.

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Raspberry Pi: Hands on with Raspbian Stretch plus Debian Stretch Pi desktop for PC and Mac

Mon, 2017-12-04 17:19

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a new version of the Raspbian GNU/Linux operating system, based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux (Stretch), for all models of Raspberry Pi and for PC and Mac systems.

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Top 20 GNOME Extensions You Should Be Using Right Now

Mon, 2017-12-04 13:38

The capacity of your GNOME desktop can be enhanced with extensions. Here is a list of the best GNOME extensions to save you the trouble of finding them on your own.

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today's leftover

Mon, 2017-12-04 12:08
  • There’s cloud, and it can even be YOURS on YOUR computer

    The openstack.org market place lists 23 public cloud providers using OpenStack, so there is now no excuse to use any other type of cloud: for sure, there’s one where you need it. If you use a free software solution like OpenStack, then the question if you’re running on your own hardware, on some rented hardware (on which you deployed OpenStack yourself), or on someone else’s OpenStack deployment is just a practical one, on which you can always back-up quickly. That’s one of the very reason why one should deploy on the cloud: so that it’s possible to redeploy quickly on another cloud provider, or even on your own private cloud. This gives you more freedom than you ever had, because it makes you not dependent anymore on the hosting company you’ve selected: switching provider is just the mater of launching a script. The reality is that neither the FSFE or RMS understand all of this. Please don’t dive into the FSFE very wrong message.

  • Hacking with posters and stickers

    The FIXME.ch hackerspace in Lausanne, Switzerland has started this weekend's VR Hackathon with a somewhat low-tech 2D hack: using the FSFE's Public Money Public Code stickers in lieu of sticky tape to place the NO CLOUD poster behind the bar.

  • Valve's Timothy Arceri Lands Gallium3D NIR Optimizations

    Timothy Arceri who has been for the past year working on Linux GPU driver optimizations for Valve has just merged his latest patch series providing optimizations for the Gallium3D NIR linking phase.

    Arceri has been spending the past few weeks on NIR linking optimizations for Gallium3D drivers. While Freedreno and VC4 currently make use of the NIR intermediate repres

  • Rhumbline Advisers Trims Holdings in Red Hat Inc (RHT)
  • Fedora 27 Workstation Installation Steps with Screenshots

    Fedora has recently released its stable version of Fedora 27 in 3 different editions namely, Fedora 27 Workstation, Fedora 27 Server and Fedora 27 Atomic Host edition. In this article, we’ll looking at the step by step guide on installing Fedora 27 Workstation easily in your desktop or laptop.

  • My Free Software Activities in November 2017

    My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donors (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

  • My Debian Activities in November 2017

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Software: CRI-O, Deepin Clone, Monitoring Tools, Releases and More

Mon, 2017-12-04 12:07
  • CRI-O: All the runtime Kubernetes needs

    Alongside the huge rise in the use of container technology over the past few years, we've seen similar growth in Docker. Because Docker made it easier to create containers than previous solutions, it quickly became the most popular tool for running containers; however, that Docker solved only part of the problem was soon apparent. Although Docker was good for running containers locally on a single machine, it didn't work as well for running software at scale on a cluster. Instead, an orchestration system that helped schedule containers across multiple machines with ease and added the missing bits, such as services, deployments, and ingress, was needed. Projects, old and new, including Mesos, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes, stepped in to address this problem, but Kubernetes emerged as the most commonly used solution for deploying containers in production.

  • Deepin Clone – A System Backup and Restore Tool for Deepin OS Users

    There a variety of System backup and recovery tools you can choose from but today we concentrate on one for a single Linux distro alone – Deepin OS.

    Deepin OS is known for keeping everything within the family and developing their software for themselves. In other words, as a Deepin user, you seldom need to bother about apps because the dev team has that covered.

    Deepin Clone is a utility app with which you can backup, restore, and manage disk partitions. The open-source system backup and restore tool is developed by Deepin technology for its Deepin OS users.

  • Best Network Monitoring Tools For Linux

    Keeping control of our network is vital to prevent any program from overusing it and slows down the overall system operation. There are several network monitoring tools for different operating systems today. In this article, we will talk about 10 network monitoring tools for Linux that will run from a terminal, ideal for users who do not use GUI or for those who want to keep a control of the network use of a server through from ssh.

  • Linux Release Roundup: Etcher, Mailspring, PulseEffects + More

    We’re officially in Christmas season, but even the endless loop of xmas music in shopping centres isn’t enough to fudge the flow of Linux releases.

    This week’s round-up of recent updates includes a popular USB image writer, a modern email client, and an app designed for real audio enthusiasts.

  • A look at Skype for Linux
  • Syntax Highlighting Checker

    The KTextEditor Framework uses the syntax highlighting files provided by the KSyntaxHighlighting Framework since the KDE Frameworks release 5.28.

    The KSyntaxHighlighting Framework implements Kate’s highlighting system and meanwhile is used in quite some applications (e.g. LabPlot, KDE PIM). What is quite nice is that the KSyntaxHighlighting framework is nicely unit tested. And while we do not have tests for all highlighting files, we still provide some quality assurance through a compile time checker.

  • Get started developing games with Godot

    Making video games is a big deal, and creating even a simple video game is a lot of work. By using a game engine such as Godot, you can cut your workload by half.

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OSS Leftovers

Mon, 2017-12-04 11:59
  • What's the difference between a fork and clone?

    The concept of forking a project has existed for decades in free and open source software. To "fork" means to take a copy of the project, rename it, and start a new project and community around the copy. Those who fork a project rarely, if ever, contribute to the parent project again. It's the software equivalent of the Robert Frost poem: Two paths diverged in a codebase and I, I took the one less traveled by…and that has made all the difference.

    There can be many reasons for a project fork. Perhaps the project has lain fallow for a while and someone wants to revive it. Perhaps the company that has underwritten the project has been acquired and the community is afraid that the new parent company may close the project. Or perhaps there's a schism within the community itself, where a portion of the community has decided to go a different direction with the project. Often a project fork is accompanied by a great deal of discussion and possibly also community strife. Whatever the reason, a project fork is the copying of a project with the purpose of creating a new and separate community around it. While the fork does require some technical work, it is primarily a social action.

    There have been many forks throughout the history of free and open source software. Some notable ones are MariaDB forking from MySQL, NextCloud forking from OwnCloud, and Jenkins forking from Hudson.

  • Orange announces the Open Source release of its OCast software technology

    OCast is a software technology that allows you to use a smartphone to play videos on devices including TV set-top boxes, TV Sticks or TVs and control playback of the video (pause, fast forward and rewind, for example). Beyond video, OCast can also play and control slideshows, playlists and web apps.

  • Orange announces release of OCast as open source video software

    Orange announced the open source release of OCast, a multi-screen video software that enables smartphone users to play content on the TV. Orange Labs Services has been working with content management specialist Viaccess-Orca, an Orange subsidiary, to integrate OCast in Viaccess-Orca's portfolio of products for TV operators, and has also collaborated with Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories, which has tested the software in the early stages.

  • transcosmos joins the open-source Blockchain Community, “Enterprise Ethereum Alliance”

    transcosmos America Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of transcosmos inc. joined the “Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)”, a community of industry experts which promotes the adoption of Ethereum blockchain to enterprises and organizations, as of November 20, 2017.

  • Talking at GI Tracking Workshop in Darmstadt, Germany

    I consider “workshop” a bit of a misnomer for this event, because it was mainly talks with a panel at the end. I was an invited panellist for representing the Free Software movement contrasting a guy from affili.net, someone from eTracker.com, a lady from eyeo (the AdBlock Plus people), and professors representing academia. During the panel discussion I tried to focus on Free Software being the only tool to enable the user to exercise control over what data is being sent in order to control tracking. Nobody really disagreed, which made the discussion a bit boring for me. Maybe I should have tried to find another more controversial argument to make people say more interesting things. Then again, it’s probably more the job of the moderator to make the participants discuss heatedly. Anyway, we had a nice hour or so of talking about the future of tracking, not only the Web, but in our lives.

  • Chrome to stop third-party software injections because they make it crash

    To boost the stability of Chrome, Google has announced that it's going to start blocking third-party software from being injected into the browser.

    Third-party software such as anti-virus scanners and video driver utilities often injects libraries into running processes to do things like inspect network traffic, or add custom menu options to menus. Malicious software can also do the same to spy on users, steal passwords, and similar. Google has found that people who have such injected code are 15 percent more likely to see their browser crash. As such, it's going to start blocking such injections.

  • Oh, Nutanix, if you carry on like this you might actually creep into profit

    "2018, 2019 will be years when we embrace open source, Apache Software Foundation services even further to deliver consumer-grade developer building blocks in Xi.

  • Fundraising from the heart: Crafting powerful, authentic messages that move millions to support Wikipedia

    The Online Fundraising team at the Wikimedia Foundation relies heavily on A/B testing to understand what types of messages resonate with our readers. While the process behind the testing can be complicated, one lesson is simple: our messages must come from real people with a real love for Wikipedia. Here’s a window into how our messages come into being.

  • Scientific Search Engines Are Getting More Powerful

    ANURAG ACHARYA’S PROBLEM was that the Google search bar is very smart, but also kind of dumb. As a Googler working on search 13 years ago, Acharya wanted to make search results encompass scholarly journal articles. A laudable goal, because unlike the open web, most of the raw output of scientific research was invisible—hidden behind paywalls. People might not even know it existed. “I grew up in India, and most of the time you didn’t even know if something existed. If you knew it existed, you could try to get it,” Acharya says. “‘How do I get access?’ is a second problem. If I don’t know about it, I won’t even try.”

    [...] A laudable goal, because unlike the open web, most of the raw output of scientific research was invisible—hidden behind paywalls. People might not even know it existed. “I grew up in India, and most of the time you didn’t even know if something existed. If you knew it existed, you could try to get it,” Acharya says. “‘How do I get access?’ is a second problem. If I don’t know about it, I won’t even try.” 

  • What’s new in PHP 7.2: better security, code handling

    PHP 7.2, the latest version of the popular server-side web development language, has numerous features and fixes.

    The November 30, 2017, release is the second feature update to the PHP 7 series. PHP 7.0 debuted in December 2015 to much fanfare, with the upgrade offering double the performance of previous PHP iterations.

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Security: TED Talks, Kaspersky, and NSA

Mon, 2017-12-04 11:44

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Security: Linux/BillGates, Hyped Bug(fix), DNS over TLS

Mon, 2017-12-04 07:28
  • Notes on Linux/BillGates

    This post will include some notes on Linux/BillGates, hereafter referred to as just ‘BillGates’, and rather than being very in-depth as the previous blog, I will mostly list high-level notes and remediation or disinfection steps. Additionally, after the conclusion, you will find other resources if necessary.

  • Dirty COW redux: Linux devs patch botched patch for 2016 mess

    Linus Torvalds last week rushed a patch into the Linux kernel, after researchers discovered the patch for 2016's Dirty COW bug had a bug of its own.

    Dirty COW is a privilege escalation vulnerability in Linux's “copy-on-write” mechanism, first documented in October 2016 and affecting both Linux and Android systems.

  • New web browsing security tool arrives: DNS over TLS

    Net neutrality is on its death bed. With it gone, ISPs will be able to strip-data-mine your every move on the web. There are answers. One is Tenta's new secure Domain Name System (DNS) resolver, Tenta DNS. This receives and sends the directions to the websites you visit using the secure Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol.

    DNS is the internet's master phone book. When you type in a website address or click on a link, it turns human-readable domain names into machine-usable IP addresses. If you use your ISP's DNS server, which is the default, the ISP can watch your every move. Even if you use an ordinary third-party DNS server, such as Google Public DNS servers, 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4, and one of Cisco's OpenDNS servers, 208.67.222.222 or 208.67.220.220, your DNS requests are still made in the clear and your ISP can see where you're going.

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Review: Pop!_OS 17.10

Mon, 2017-12-04 07:16

Pop!_OS is a new Linux distribution from System76, a company that has been in the Linux hardware business for twelve years. Until recently, System76 computers shipped with Ubuntu as the only pre-installed operating system option, but now System76 is taking more control over the user experience offered on their computers by releasing their own Ubuntu-based distribution. I was recently at All Things Open, a technology conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, where System76 had a booth. At their booth, they had Pop!_OS 17.10 running on a laptop for people to try. Their booth was very busy, but during one of their brief lulls, I went over to their booth and had a brief chat, and I got one of the USB flash drives they were giving out with the Pop!_OS installation image on it.

For this review, I installed Pop!_OS 17.10 using the flash drive I got at All Things Open, but Pop!_OS ISOs are available to download on the System76 website. They have an image for computers with Intel and AMD graphics and a separate image for computers with NVIDIA graphics. The NVIDIA image comes with the proprietary NVIDIA drivers pre-installed. The Intel/AMD image is 1.75GB and the NVIDIA image is 1.91GB.

I should note that while System76 does sell hardware, a System76 computer is not required to run Pop!_OS. The testing for this review was done using the Lenovo Ideapad that I currently use for all of my reviews. There were no compatibility issues beyond a problem with my laptop's webcam that is consistent across every Linux distribution I have tried.

Also: Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver"

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4MLinux 23.1 released.

Mon, 2017-12-04 07:11

This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 4.9.61. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.29, MariaDB 10.2.10, and PHP 7.0.25 (see this post for more details). Additionally, some popular programs (Audacity, PeaZip, UNetbootin) have been updated, too.

You can update your 4MLinux by executing the "zk update" command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

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Goodbyes to Intel Back Doors (System76 and Even Dell)

Mon, 2017-12-04 07:08
  • Linux Computer Vendor System76 To Disable Intel ME Firmware

    System76, a vendor of Linux-based laptops, PCs, and servers, will join another Linux laptop maker, Purism, as well as Google and the NSA in disabling the Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware, which has recently been found to contain multiple vulnerabilities. Intel ME provides few to no benefits to consumer laptops, but Intel has been integrating it into all all of its chips since 2008 nonetheless.

    [...]

    We’ve only recently discovered, through Positive Technologies, a Russian security firm that has been working on disabling ME, that the NSA was the only one that could disable the ME via an undocumented High Assurance Platform (HAP) mode. This undocumented mode can now also be used to disable ME by Google, Purism, and System76.

  • Linux laptop-flinger says bye-bye to buggy Intel Management Engine

    In a slap to Intel, custom Linux computer seller System76 has said it will be disabling the Intel Management Engine in its laptops.

    Last month, Chipzilla admitted the existence of firmware-level bugs in many of its processors that would allow hackers to spy on and meddle with computers.

    One of the most important vulnerabilities is in the black box coprocessor – the Management Engine – which has its own CPU and operating system that has complete machine control. It's meant for letting network admins remotely log into servers and workstations to fix any problems (such as not being able to boot).

  • Dell also sells laptops with Intel Management Engine disabled

    Linux computer vendor System76 announced this week that it will roll out a firmware update to disable Intel Management Engine on laptops sold in the past few years. Purism will also disable Intel Management Engine on computers it sells moving forward.

    Those two computer companies are pretty small players in the multi-billion dollar PC industry. But it turns out one of the world’s largest PC companies is also offering customers the option of buying a computer with Intel Management Engine disabled.

    At least three Dell computers can be configured with an “Intel vPro™ – ME Inoperable, Custom Order” option, although you’ll have to pay a little extra for those configurations.

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Goodbyes to Linux Journal

Mon, 2017-12-04 07:06
  • ‘Linux Journal’ Sails Into the Sunset

    Linux Journal is no more. On Friday, publisher Carlie Fairchild wrote that unless “a savior” rides in to save the day, the magazine born in 1994, just two years after Linus Torvalds posted that he was working on an operating system, has already released its last issue.

    This is a publication that’s been with us since before the data center discovered the little operating system that can and before the internet forever changed the publishing industry. Linux Journal started its life printed on dead trees, and until relatively recently was delivered to subscribers’ homes by mail or purchased by non-subscribers at the local newsstand.

  • On the Demise of Linux Journal

    I think it’s probably hard for younger people to imagine what the Linux world was like 20 years ago. Today, it’s really not an exaggeration to say that the Internet as we know it wouldn’t exist at all without Linux. Almost every major Internet company you can think of runs almost completely on Linux. Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc. All Linux. In 1997, though, the idea of running a production workload on Linux was pretty far out there.

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