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Should You Run Linux Apps on Your Chromebook?

Saturday 19th of January 2019 01:00:00 PM
Linux apps now can run in a Chromebook's Chrome OS environment. However, the process can be tricky, and it depends on your hardware's design and Google's whims. It is somewhat similar to running Android apps on your Chromebook, but the Linux connection is far less forgiving. If it works in your Chromebook's flavor, though, the computer becomes much more useful with more flexible options. Still, running Linux apps on a Chromebook will not replace the Chrome OS. The apps run in an isolated virtual machine without a Linux desktop.

Blue Collar Linux: Something Borrowed, Something New

Tuesday 15th of January 2019 09:24:54 PM
Sometimes it takes more than a few tweaks to turn an old-style desktop design into a fresh new Linux distribution. That is the case with the public release of Blue Collar Linux. Blue Collar Linux has been under development for the last four years. Until its public release this week, it has circulated only through an invitation for private use by the developer's family, friends and associates looking for an alternative to the Windows nightmare. Another large part of his user base is the University of Wisconsin, where he engages with the math and computer science departments.

Top Open Source Tools for Staying on Time and on Task

Friday 11th of January 2019 06:53:06 PM
Keeping up to date with multiple daily activity calendars, tons of information, and long must-do lists can be a never-ending challenge. This week's Linux Picks and Pans reviews the best open source Personal Information Managers that will serve you well on whatever Linux distribution you run. In theory, computer tools should make managing a flood of personal and business information child's play. In practice, however, many PIM tool sets are isolated from your other devices. This, of course, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to share essential information across your smartphone, desktop, laptop and tablet.

Where Linux Went in 2018 - and Where It's Going

Wednesday 9th of January 2019 08:39:37 PM
For those who try to keep their finger on the Linux community's pulse, 2018 was a surprisingly eventful year. Spread over the last 12 months, we've seen various projects in the Linux ecosystem make great strides, as well as suffer their share of stumbles. All told, the year wrapped up leaving plenty to be optimistic about in the year to come, but there is much more on which we can only speculate. In the interest of offering the clearest lens for a peek into Linux in 2019, here's a look back at the year gone by for all things Linux.

Kodachi Builds Privacy Tunnel for Linux

Thursday 3rd of January 2019 01:00:00 PM
Online and Internet security are not topics that typical computer users easily comprehend. All too often, Linux users put their blind trust in a particular distribution and assume that all Linux OSes are equally secure. However, not all Linux distros are created with the same degree of attention to security and privacy control. A misconfiguration of a firewall, or misapplied Web browser privacy and modem settings, can trash the best-designed Linux safety strategies. Kodachi Linux offers an alternative to leaving your computer privacy and security to chance.

Breaking Up the Crypto-Criminal Bar Brawl

Friday 28th of December 2018 08:06:05 PM
As if e-commerce companies didn't have enough problems with transacting securely and defending against things like fraud, another avalanche of security problems -- like cryptojacking, the act of illegally mining cryptocurrency on your end servers -- has begun. We've also seen a rise in digital credit card skimming attacks against popular e-commerce software. Some of the attacks are relatively naive and un-targeted, taking advantage of lax security on websites found to be vulnerable, while others are highly targeted for maximum volume.

Q4OS: A Diamond in the Rough Gets Some Polish

Thursday 20th of December 2018 07:19:20 PM
Sometimes working with Linux distros is much like rustling through an old jewelry drawer. Every now and then, you find a diamond hidden among the rhinestones. That is the case with Q4OS. I took a detailed first look at this new distro in February 2015, primarily to assess the Trinity desktop. That was a version 1 beta release. Still, Trinity showed some potential. I have used it on numerous old and new computers, mostly because of its stability and ease of use. Every few upgrades I check out its progress.

Pantheon Desktop Makes Linux Elementary

Wednesday 12th of December 2018 08:39:28 PM
Developers of U.S.-based Elementary OS recently released the community's annual major update, Juno 5. What makes this distro so nontraditional is its own desktop interface, called "Pantheon." This desktop interface is somewhat of a hybrid, inspired by Apple's Debian Ubuntu-based OS X. It combines some similarities of the GNOME 3 Shell with the visual finesse of the OS X dock. Its Ubuntu underpinnings are anchored under the hood. What you see and use on the screen gives Elementary OS a distinct look and feel.

The Road Ahead for Open Source

Thursday 6th of December 2018 08:04:12 PM
Linux and the open source business model are far different today than many of the early developers might have hoped. Neither can claim a rags-to-riches story. Rather, their growth cycles have been a series of hit-or-miss milestones. The Linux desktop has yet to find a home on the majority of consumer and enterprise computers. However, Linux-powered technology has long ruled the Internet and conquered the cloud and Internet of Things deployments. Both Linux and free open source licensing have dominated in other ways.

Deepin Builds a Better Linux Desktop

Wednesday 5th of December 2018 09:01:50 PM
Deepin 15.8, released last month, is loaded with more efficient layout tweaks that give the distribution greater functionality and maturity. Deepin, based in China, shed its Ubuntu base when with the 2015 release of version 15, which favored Debian Linux. That brought numerous subtle changes in the code base and software roots. Ubuntu Linux itself is based on Debian. The chief distinguishing factor that accounts for Deepin's growing popularity is its homegrown Deepin Desktop Environment.

How to Use a VPN for Safer Online Shopping

Tuesday 4th of December 2018 07:43:24 PM
With the holidays fast approaching, are you looking to buy presents online? The holiday season has become synonymous with online shopping. This isn't really surprising as physical stores usually attract crowds of deal hunters. This often conjures up images of throngs of people waiting in line outside the store, some even camping out. This activity is tolerable for some and even fun for others. However, for many others, it's not worth the hassle. Why would it be, when there are perfectly legitimate and convenient alternatives online?

Void Linux: Built From Scratch for Full Independence

Thursday 29th of November 2018 07:31:14 PM
Void Linux offers an unusual alternative to many of the traditional Linux distros affiliated with a larger Linux family such as Debian or Ubuntu or Arch. Void Linux is an independently developed, rolling-release, general-purpose operating system. That means that its software is either homegrown or plain-vanilla compiled. Some of Void Linux's under-the-hood specifics include its own package management system, dubbed "XBPS," for X-binary Package System, an initialization system called "runit," and integration of LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL.

Free Personal Finance Apps You Can Take to the Bank

Wednesday 21st of November 2018 01:00:00 PM
Today's Linux platform accommodates a number of really good financial applications that are more than capable of handling both personal and small-business accounting operations. That was not always the case, however. Not quite 10 years ago, I scoured Linux repositories in a quest for replacement applications for popular Microsoft Windows tools. Back then, the pickings were mighty slim. Often, the only recourse was to use Windows-based applications that ran under WINE. The best of the Linux lot were GnuCash, HomeBank, KMyMoney and Skrooge.

Acumos Project's 1st Software, Athena, Helps Ease AI Deployment

Friday 16th of November 2018 01:00:00 PM
The LF Deep Learning Foundation has announced the availability of the first software from the Acumos AI Project. Dubbed "Athena," it supports open source innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning. The goal is to make critical new technologies available to developers and data scientists everywhere. Launched earlier this year, Acumos is part of a Linux Foundation umbrella organization, the LF Deep Learning Foundation, that supports and sustains open source innovation in AI, ML and DL.

Getting Clarity on the Private vs. Public Cloud Decision

Wednesday 14th of November 2018 07:08:59 PM
News flash: Private cloud economics can offer more cost efficiency than public cloud pricing structures. Private, or on-premises, cloud solutions can be more cost-effective than public cloud options, according to a report by 451 Research and Canonical. That conclusion counters the notion that public cloud platforms traditionally are more cost-efficient than private infrastructures. Half of the enterprise IT decision-makers who participated in the study identified cost as the No. 1 pain point associated with the public cloud.

Google Shows Off New Android Dev Tools

Tuesday 13th of November 2018 08:20:02 PM
Google has announced support for a range of new Android tools for application developers, chief among them the creation of a new support category for foldable devices. After years of speculation, it finally looks as though foldable screen smartphones are headed to market. Google's dev announcement followed closely on the heels of Samsung's announcement of a folding phone/tablet prototype. The Android tools will take advantage of the new display technology, which literally bends and folds, noted Google's Stephanie Cuthbertson.

IBM Dons Red Hat for Cloudy Future

Friday 9th of November 2018 05:07:05 PM
IBM's deal to acquire Red Hat caught everyone by surprise when it was announced less than two weeks ago. While concerns spread quickly about what it would mean for the largest enterprise Linux platform, IBM and Red Hat executives assured employees and customers that Red Hat would continue to operate independently -- at least for now. Intel made a similar acquisition of Wind River, the leader in embedded operating systems, in 2009. In a similar manner, that deal could have been viewed negatively by competitors.

Got a Screwdriver? GalliumOS Can Turn Chromebooks Into Linux Boxes

Thursday 8th of November 2018 08:39:36 PM
GalliumOS is a Chromebook-specific Linux variant. It lets you put a real Linux distro on a Chromebook. My recent review of a new Chromebook feature -- the ability to run Linux apps on some Chromebook models -- sparked my interest in other technologies that run complete Linux distros on some Chromebooks without using ChromeOS. GalliumOS is not a perfect solution. It requires making a physical adjustment inside the hardware and flashing new firmware before the GalliumOS installation ISO will boot. However, it can be a handy workaround.

Overcoming Your Terror of Arch Linux

Wednesday 7th of November 2018 07:58:04 PM
A recent episode of a Linux news podcast I keep up with featured an interview with a journalist who had written a piece for a non-Linux audience about giving it a try. It was surprisingly widely read. The writer's experience with some of the more popular desktop distributions had been overwhelmingly positive, and he said as much in his piece and during the interview. However, when the show's host asked whether he had tried Arch Linux, the journalist immediately and unequivocally dismissed the idea, as if it were obviously preposterous.

How to Protect Your Online Privacy: A Practical Guide

Wednesday 7th of November 2018 01:00:00 PM
Do you take your online privacy seriously? Most people don't. They have an ideal scenario of just how private their online activities should be, but they rarely do anything to actually achieve it. The problem is that bad actors know and rely on this fact, and that's why there's been a steady rise in identity theft cases from 2013 to 2017. The victims of these cases often suffer a loss of reputation or financial woes. If you take your online privacy seriously, follow this 10-step guide to protect it.

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Audiocasts: Linux in the Ham Shack (LHS), Linux Action News, Open Source Security Podcast and Let’s Encrypt

  • LHS Episode #266: #$%&! Net Neutrality
    Welcome to the first episode of Linux in the Ham Shack for 2019. In this episode, the hosts discuss topics including the 2018 RTTY Roundup using FT-8, Cubesats and wideband receivers in space, the ORI at Hamcation, Wekcan, Raspberry Pi-based VPN servers, the LHS Linux distributions, CW trainers and much more.
  • LHS Episode #267: The Weekender XXII
    Welcome to the 22nd edition of the LHS Weekender. In this episode, the hosts discuss upcoming amateur radio contests and special event stations, Open Source events in the next fortnight, Linux distributions of interest, news about science, technology and related endeavors as well is dive into food, drink and other hedonistic topics.
  • Linux Action News 89
    Another troubling week for MongoDB, ZFS On Linux lands a kernel workaround, and 600 days of postmarketOS. Plus our thoughts on the new Project Trident release, and Mozilla ending the Test Pilot program.
  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 130 - Chat with Snyk co-founder Danny Grander
  • The ACME Era | TechSNAP 395
    We welcome Jim to the show, and he and Wes dive deep into all things Let’s Encrypt.

Review: Sculpt OS 18.09

The Sculpt OS website suggests that the operating system is ready for day to day use, at least in some environments: "Sculpt is used as day-to-day OS by the Genode developers." Though this makes me wonder in what capacity the operating system runs on the machines of those developers. When I tried out the Haiku beta last year, the operating system had some limitations, but I could see how it could be useful to some people in environments with compatible hardware. In theory, I could browse the web, perform some basic tasks and develop software on Haiku. With Sculpt though, I was unable to get the operating system to do anything, from a user's point of view. The small OS could download packages and load some of them into memory, and it could display a graph of related components. Sculpt could connect to my network and mount additional storage. All of this is good and a fine demo of the Genode design. However, I (as a user) was unable to interact with any applications, find a command line, or browse the file system. All of this put a severe damper on my ability to use Sculpt to do anything useful. Genode, and by extension Sculpt OS, has some interesting design goals when it comes to security and minimalism. However, I don't think Sculpt is practical for any end-user tasks at this time. Read more

This Week in Linux, Chrome OS, and Death of Windows 10 Mobile

  • Episode 51 | This Week in Linux
    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we got some new announcements from Inkscape, Purism, Solus, Mozilla, and Steam. We’ll also check out some new Distro releases from Netrunner, Deeping, Android X86 and more. Then we’ll look at some new hardware offerings from Purism and Entroware. Later in the show will talk about some drama happening with a project’s licensing issues and then we’ll round out the episode with some Linux Gaming news including some sales from Humble Bundle. All that and much more!
  • Chrome OS 73 Dev Channel adds Google Drive, Play Files mount in Linux, USB device management and Crostini backup flag
    On Tuesday, Google released the first iteration of Chrome OS 73 for the Dev Channel and there are quite a few new items related to Project Crostini, for Linux app support. Some things in the lengthy changelog only set up new features coming soon while others add new functionality. Here’s a rundown on some of the Crostini additions to Chrome OS 73.
  • Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020
    Microsoft has formally set the end date for support of its all-but-forgotten Windows 10 Mobile platform. The Redmond code factory said today that, come December 10, it's curtains for the ill-fated smartphone venture. The retirement will end a four-year run for a Microsoft phone effort that never really got off the ground and helped destroy Nokia in the process. "The end of support date applies to all Windows 10 Mobile products, including Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise," Microsoft declared.