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Updated: 2 hours 8 min ago

Open source on Mars, in smartwatches, 3D printed art, and more

Monday 3rd of May 2021 07:00:00 AM

April was full of exciting news in the world of open source. Keep reading for some of the more interesting tidbits, including Linux out of this world... on Mars.

12,000 open source contributors help a helicopter fly on Mars

Linux had a big moment on April 19: The open source operating system powered Ingenuity, a NASA helicopter that was the first powered aircraft to fly on Mars.

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15 unusual paths to tech

Sunday 2nd of May 2021 07:00:00 AM

The lives we led before we arrived where we are now sometimes feel like a distant land full of memories we can't quite recall. And sometimes we have lived experiences that we'll just never forget. Many times those experiences teach us and help us appreciate where we are today. We may even wish for those days as we recount our past lives.

What did you do before tech? Tell us in the comments.

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Flipping burgers to flipping switches: A tech guy's journey

Saturday 1st of May 2021 07:00:00 AM

In my last week of high school in 1996, I quit my job at Carl's Jr. because I thought maybe without school, I'd have time to learn enough skills to get hired at a PC shop or something. I didn't know that I actually had incredibly marketable skills as a Linux sysadmin and C programmer, because I was the only tech person I'd ever known (except the people I chatted with on Undernet's #LinuxHelp channel).

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Access an alternate internet with OpenNIC

Friday 30th of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

In the words of Dan Kaminsky, the legendary DNS hacker, "the Internet's proven to be a pretty big deal for global society." For the Internet to work, computers must be able to find one another on the most complex network of all: the World Wide Web. This was the problem posed to government workers and academic IT staff a few decades ago, and it's their solutions that we use today.

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Building an open infrastructure for civic participation

Friday 30th of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

Open source is living through a curious moment: just like sharing movements in academia and communities once helped develop open source, open source is now inspiring the development of communities.

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Linux tips for using GNU Screen

Thursday 29th of April 2021 07:02:00 AM

To the average user, a terminal window can be baffling and cryptic. But as you learn more about the Linux terminal, it doesn't take long before you realize how efficient and powerful it is. It also doesn't take long for you to want it to be even more efficient, though, and what better way to make your terminal better than to put more terminals into your terminal?

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Encrypting and decrypting files with OpenSSL

Thursday 29th of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

Encryption is a way to encode a message so that its contents are protected from prying eyes. There are two general types:

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Share files between Linux and Windows computers

Wednesday 28th of April 2021 07:02:00 AM

If you work with different operating systems, it's handy to be able to share files between them. This article explains how to set up file access between Linux (Fedora 33) and Windows 10 using Samba and mount.cifs.

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5 ways to process JSON data in Ansible

Wednesday 28th of April 2021 07:01:00 AM

Exploring and validating data from an environment is a common practice for preventing service disruptions. You can choose to run the process periodically or on-demand, and the data you're checking can come from different sources: telemetry, command outputs, etc.

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How to create your first Quarkus application

Wednesday 28th of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

Programming languages and frameworks continuously evolve to help developers who want to develop and deploy applications with even faster speeds, better performance, and lower footprint. Engineers push themselves to develop the "next big thing" to satisfy developers' demands for faster deployments.

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Upgrade your Linux PC hardware using open source tools

Tuesday 27th of April 2021 07:01:00 AM

In my article on identifying Linux performance bottlenecks using open source tools, I explained some simple ways to monitor Linux performance using open source graphical user interface (GUI) tools. I focused on identifying performance bottlenecks, situations where a hardware resource reaches its limits and holds back your PC's performance.

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Perform Linux memory forensics with this open source tool

Tuesday 27th of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

A computer's operating system and applications use the primary memory (or RAM) to perform various tasks. This volatile memory, containing a wealth of information about running applications, network connections, kernel modules, open files, and just about everything else is wiped out each time the computer restarts.

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3 beloved USB drive Linux distros

Monday 26th of April 2021 01:45:00 PM

There are few Linux users who don't remember the first time they discovered you could boot a computer and run Linux on it without ever actually installing it. Sure, many users are aware that you can boot a computer to an operating system installer, but with Linux it's different: there doesn't need to be an install at all! Your computer doesn't even need to have a hard drive in it. You can run Linux for months or even years off of a USB drive.

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How we built an open source design system to create new community logos

Monday 26th of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

As interaction designers on Red Hat's User Experience (UX) Design and Ansible product teams, we worked for about six months to build a logo family with the Ansible community. This journey started even earlier when a project manager asked us for a "quick and easy" logo for a slide deck. After gathering a few requirements, we presented a logo to the stakeholders within a few days and without much need for iteration. A few months later, another stakeholder decided they would also benefit from having imagery for their materials, so we repeated the process.

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Play retro video games on Linux with this open source project

Sunday 25th of April 2021 07:01:00 AM

Playing adventure games has always been a big part of my experience with computers. From the earliest text-based adventure games to 2D pixel art, full-motion video, and 3D games, the adventure game genre has provided me with a lot of fond memories.

Sometimes I want to revisit those old games, but many were released before Linux was even a thing, so how do I go about replaying those games? I use ScummVM, which is honestly one of my favorite open source projects.

What is ScummVM

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Making computers more accessible and sustainable with Linux

Saturday 24th of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

There are many reasons to choose Linux for your desktop operating system. In Why everyone should choose Linux,'s Seth Kenlon highlighted many of the best reasons to select Linux and provided lots of ways for people to get started with the operating system.

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How I use OBS Studio to record videos for my YouTube channel

Friday 23rd of April 2021 07:01:00 AM

I manage a YouTube channel for the FreeDOS Project, where I record "how-to" videos with FreeDOS running inside the QEMU PC emulator software. When I started the channel in August 2019, I didn't know anything about recording videos. But with Open Broadcaster Software, also called OBS Studio, I've found recording these videos to be pretty straightforward. Here's how you can do it, too.

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Sustainable economic development begins with open thinking

Friday 23rd of April 2021 07:00:00 AM

To be successful, open organizations must have specific purposes, address achievable goals, perform clear tasks, effectively evaluate the results of their work, and introduce countermeasures or revisions to their operations. Open organization principles serve vital functions throughout this process.

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Restore an old MacBook with Linux

Thursday 22nd of April 2021 07:02:00 AM

Last year, I wrote about how you can give new life to an old MacBook with Linux, specifically Elementary OS in that instance. Recently, I returned to that circa 2015 MacBook Air and discovered I had lost my login password. I downloaded the latest Elementary OS 5.1.7 Hera release and could not get the live boot to recognize my Broadcom 4360 wireless chipset.

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11 open source ways to celebrate Mother Earth

Thursday 22nd of April 2021 07:01:00 AM

What could Earth Day have to do with open source you say? Well, a lot actually. Over the years, people have shared the many different open source projects out there that help us make a positive direct impact on the Earth, but also things that help us reduce, reuse, and recycle, putting less pressure on our planet's sensitive and precious balances.

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More in Tux Machines

Videos/Shows: Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04, Coder Radio, and KDE Breeze Redesign and Blue Ocean

NetBSD: aiomixer, X/Open Curses and ncurses, and other news

aiomixer is an application that I've been maintaining outside of NetBSD for a few years. It was available as a package, and was a "graphical" (curses, terminal-based) mixer for NetBSD's audio API, inspired by programs like alsamixer. For some time I've thought that it should be integrated into the NetBSD base system - it's small and simple, very useful, and many developers and users had it installed (some told me that they would install it on all of their machines that needed audio output). For my particular use case, as well as my NetBSD laptop, I have some small NetBSD machines around the house plugged into speakers that I play music from. Sometimes I like to SSH into them to adjust the playback volume, and it's often easier to do visually than with mixerctl(1). However, there was one problem: when I first wrote aiomixer 2 years ago, I was intimidated by the curses API, so opted to use the Curses Development Kit instead. This turned out to be a mistake, as not only was CDK inflexible for an application like aiomixer, it introduced a hard dependency on ncurses. Read more

Core Scheduling Looks Like It Will Be Ready For Linux 5.14 To Avoid Disabling SMT/HT

It looks like the years-long effort around CPU core scheduling that's been worked on by multiple vendors in light of CPU security vulnerabilities threatening SMT/HT security will see mainline later this summer with Linux 5.14. Linux core scheduling has been worked on by pretty much all of the hyperscalers and public cloud providers to improve security without disabling Hyper Threading. Core scheduling is ultimately about what resources can share a CPU core and ensuring potentially unsafe tasks don't run on a sibling thread of a trusted task. Read more

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Automating RHEL for Edge image rollback with GreenBoot

    With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.3, Red Hat announced an rpm-ostree version of RHEL targeted for Edge use cases called RHEL for Edge. One of the unique features of rpm-ostree is that when you update the operating system, a new deployment is created, and the previous deployment is also retained. This means that if there are issues on the updated version of the operating system, you can roll back to the previous deployment with a single rpm-ostree command, or by selecting the previous deployment in the GRUB boot loader. While this ability to manually roll back is very useful, it still requires manual intervention. Edge computing use case scenarios might be up in the tens or hundreds of thousands of nodes, and with this number of systems, automation is critical. In addition, in Edge deployments, these systems might be across the country or across the world, and it might not be practical to access a console on them in the event of issues with an updated image. This is why RHEL for Edge includes GreenBoot, which can automate RHEL for Edge operating system rollbacks. This post will cover an overview of how to get started with GreenBoot and will walk through an example of using GreenBoot.

  • Using Ansible to configure Podman containers

    In complex IT infrastructure, there are many repetitive tasks. Running those tasks successfully is not easy. Human error always presents a chance of failure. With help of Ansible, you perform all of the tasks through a remote host and, as the tasks are executed with playbooks, and those playbooks can be reused as many times as you need. In this article you will learn how to install and configure Ansible on Fedora Linux and describe how to use it to manage and configure Podman containers. Ansible Ansible is an open source infrastructure automation tool sponsored by Red Hat. It can deal with all the problems that come with large infrastructure, like installing & updating packages, taking backups, ensuring specific services are always running, and much more. You do this with a playbook which is written in YAML. Ansible playbooks can be used again and again, making the system administrator’s job less complex. Playbooks also eliminate repetitive tasks and can be easily modified. But we have many automation tools like Ansible, why use it? Unlike some other configuration management tools, Ansible is agentless: you don’t have to install anything on managed nodes. For more information about Ansible, see the Ansible tag in Fedora Magazine.

  • Getting better at counting rpm-ostree based systems

    Since the release of Fedora 32, a new mechanism has been in place to better count the number of Fedora users while respecting their privacy. This system is explicitly designed to make sure that no personally identifiable information is sent from counted systems. It also insures that the Fedora infrastructure does not collect any personal data. The nickname for this new counting mechanism is “Count Me”, from the option name. Details are available in DNF Better Counting change request for Fedora 32. In short, the Count Me mechanism works by telling Fedora servers how old your system is (with a very large approximation). This occurs randomly during a metadata refresh request performed by DNF.

  • Cockpit 244

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 244 and Cockpit Machines 244.

  • A brief introduction to Ansible Vault

    Ansible Vault is an Ansible feature that helps you encrypt confidential information without compromising security.