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July 2017

Why You Should Reconsider Debian

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Debian has a reputation for being an expert's Linux distribution. System administrators and users who remember when Linux's main interface was the command line, but for the ordinary user, it is a distribution to be feared. It took a comprehensive revamp, the story goes, to make Debian suitable for users in the form of derivative distributions like Linux Mint and Ubuntu that focus on user-friendliness. However, the truth is, far from being intimidating, Debian has plenty to offer any level of user.

Sure, two decades ago, Debian was intimidating. In 1999, I took three tries to install it for the first time myself. But way back then, every distribution was hard to install.

Times have changed since then, and Debian has changed with it. These days, Debian has nothing on the truly challenging distributions, like Arch, Gentoo, or Linux From Scratch. It is simply more comprehensive.

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Servers: Containers, Ansible, and Puppet

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  • Kubernetes 1.7 Improves Container Security and API Aggregation

    The open-source Kubernetes 1.7 release is now available, providing users with new features to help manage and secure container infrastructure.

    Kubernetes 1.7 is the second major release of the open-source container orchestration platform so far in 2017 and follows the Kubernetes 1.6 release that debuted in March at the CloudNative Con/Kubecon event in Berlin, Germany. The Kubernetes project was first developed by Google and has been an open-source project run by the Linux Foundation's Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) since July 2015.

  • Why Portability is Not the Same Thing as Compatibility

    The Container Host *is* the Container Engine, and Container Image Compatibility Matters

    Have you ever wondered, how are containers are so portable? How it’s possible to run Ubuntu containers on CentOS, or Fedora containers on CoreOS? How is it that all of this just magically works? As long as I run the docker daemon on all of my hosts, everything will just work right? The answer is….no. I am here to break it to you – it’s not magic. I have said it before, and I will say it again, containers are just fancy Linux processes. There is not even a container object in the Linux kernel, there never has been. So, what does all of this mean?

  • LinchPin: A simplified cloud orchestration tool using Ansible

    Late last year, my team announced LinchPin, a hybrid cloud orchestration tool using Ansible. Provisioning cloud resources has never been easier or faster. With the power of Ansible behind LinchPin, and a focus on simplicity, many cloud resources are available at users' fingertips. In this article, I'll introduce LinchPin and look at how the project has matured in the past 10 months.

    Back when LinchPin was introduced, using the ansible-playbook command to run LinchPin was complex. Although that can still be accomplished, LinchPin now has a new front-end command-line user interface (CLI), which is written in Click and makes LinchPin even simpler than it was before.

  • Building Puppet's unofficial forge community

    A Puppet module might only be some 500 lines of code and a bunch of tests, but that doesn't mean it's effortless to maintain. Puppet modules should run on a range of operating systems and support a range of Puppet versions (and hence, Ruby versions)—and that in and of itself makes it quite challenging.

    So while a single person could easily write a Puppet module, what happens when that person gets sick? Changes jobs? Or simply loses interest?

What Motivates Torvalds, What Excites Larabel About Linux, and Latest Linux Foundation Announcements

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  • Video: Linus Torvalds Explains How Linux Still Surprises and Motivates Him

    Linus Torvalds took to the stage in China for the first time Monday at LinuxCon + ContainerCon + CloudOpen China in Beijing. In front of a crowd of nearly 2,000, Torvalds spoke with VMware Head of Open Source Dirk Hohndel in one of their famous “fireside chats” about what motivates and surprises him and how aspiring open source developers can get started. Here are some highlights of their talk.

  • What Excites Me The Most About The Linux 4.12 Kernel

    If all goes according to plan, the Linux 4.12 kernel will be officially released before the weekend is through. Here's a recap of some of the most exciting changes for this imminent kernel update.

  • The Linux Foundation Announces 18 New Silver Members

    With the support of its members, The Linux Foundation hosts open source projects across technologies including networking, security, cloud, blockchain and more. This collaborative development model is helping technology advance at a rapid pace in a way that benefits individuals and organizations around the world.

  • Diversity Empowerment Summit Facilitates Inclusion and Culture Change

    Check out the session highlights for the new Diversity Empowerment Summit (DES), which will take place Sept. 14, 2017, in Los Angeles as part of Open Source Summit North America.

Games: Steam Summer Sale, Cossacks 3, Micro Machines: World Series, The Witcher 3, and GTA 5

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FreeDOS Anniversary

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  • FreeDOS is 23 years old

    I have been involved in open source software for a long time, since before anyone coined the term "open source." My first introduction to Free software was GNU Emacs on our campus Unix system, when I was an undergraduate. Then I discovered other Free software tools. Through that exposure, I decided to installed Linux on my home computer in 1993. But as great as LInux was at the time, with few applications like word processors and spreadsheets, Linux was still limited—great for writing programs and analysis tools for my physics labs, but not (yet) for writing class papers or playing games.

    So my primary system at the time was still MS-DOS. I loved DOS, and had since the 1980s. While the MS-DOS command line was under-powered compared to Unix, I found it very flexible. I wrote my own utilities and tools to expand the MS-DOS command line experience. And of course, I had a bunch of DOS applications and games. I was a DOS "power user." For me, DOS was a great mix of function and features, so that's what I used most of the time.

  • FreeDOS Is 23 Years Old, and Counting

    The FreeDOS Project has just reached its 23rd birthday! This is a major milestone for any free software or open-source software project.

    If you don't know about FreeDOS, it's a small project that replaces MS-DOS, which was the mainstay operating system for most personal computers in the 1980s and 1990s. During that era, I was a huge MS-DOS fan. I used DOS for everything and considered myself a DOS "power-user". I even wrote my own utilities and tools to expand the MS-DOS command-line environment and make DOS more useful.

    I was aware of other operating systems, of course. In the early 1990s, my university installed Windows in the PC computer labs. But if you remember Windows 3.1 at the time, it was a pretty rough environment. I didn't like that you could interact with Windows only via a mouse; there was no command line. I preferred working at the command line.

First Calamares 3.1 Point Release Is Out to Improve Salting for User Passwords

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After a long wait, the Calamares 3.1 stable branch of the universal Linux installer received its first point release, an incremental bugfix update that adds various improvements, and fixes some of the latest issues or crashes that have been reported lately by users.

Calamares 3.1.1 is now available for download for OS integrators who want to ship it on their upcoming ISO snapshots for their GNU/Linux distributions, and it looks like it includes salting improvements for user passwords, better support for very small screens with 800x600 resolutions, and adds the Crashreporter debugging facility for the first time in the release tarball.

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Kubernetes 1.7 released

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If you're using containers in production, you know you need a DevOps tool to manage them. For many companies, Kubernetes is that program. The fast-developing, open-source, container-orchestration package has just released its newest version, Kubernetes 1.7, just over three months since the developers released Kubernetes 1.6.

Haven't heard of Kubernetes? You will. Natasha Woods, a Linux Foundation senior PR manager, asked, "What do Wink,, Box, Buffer, GolfNow, and Ticketmaster have in common? The way they run their infrastructure. Taking a page from giants like Google, these companies are tapping into container orchestration technology Kubernetes."

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Calculate Linux 17.6 released

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We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 17.6, marking the 10th anniversary of the project.

This new version features installation in LXC/LXD containers, theme customization, more stability with automagic dependencies support, better security as editing the kernel params now requires a password and system update can be only performed by users authorized to do so. You will find the details below.

Calculate Linux Desktop featuring KDE (CLD), Cinnamon (CLDC), Mate (CLDM), or Xfce (CLDX) environments, Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Scratch Server (CSS), Timeless and Calculate Linux Container (CLC) are available for download.

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Linux Graphics: Radeon/AMD/Vega and Mesa

  • ROCm 1.6 Radeon Open Compute Released

    Just as scheduled, last night marked the release of Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) v1.6 being released.

  • AMD Silently Updates AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 Linux Driver

    AMD has silently pushed out an updated AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 driver but the changes are unknown.

  • The First Radeon Vega Frontier Linux Benchmark Doesn't Tell Much

    We have some OpenGL numbers for Radeon Vega Frontier Edition on AMDGPU-PRO under Linux.

    Unfortunately it looks very unlikely to receive a review sample of the newly-launched Radeon Vega Frontier Edition, but when searching, I was pleased to find someone last week had uploaded some initial Radeon Vega Frontier Edition numbers... Though sadly, it's just for Xonotic with OpenGL. Unfortunately not any more demanding OpenGL/OpenCL/Vulkan results, but I'll keep monitoring to see for more Vega result uploads as more get their hands on the hardware.

    I have been able to verify that it's an authentic upload, the IP address makes sense for who it likely is, etc. The driver version is 4.5.13489. The AMDGPU-PRO 17.20 Frontier Edition driver publicly released this week is 4.5.13486, so it's slightly different from the launch-day driver.

  • Valve Begins Working On OpenGL External Objects Support For Mesa

    Andres Rodriguez of Valve has published initial support for the OpenGL EXT_external_objects within Mesa, the new GL extensions likely to be part of OpenGL 4.6.

  • Mesa 17.1.4 Brings More Intel Skylake and AMD Radeon Performance Improvements

    Mesa developer Andres Gomez is pleased to inform the Linux community about the immediate availability of the fourth maintenance update to the Mesa 17.1 3D Graphics Library for GNU/Linux distributions.

    Yes, that's right, Mesa 17.1.4 is now available and it brings a bunch of performance improvements for Intel and AMD Radeon users. This seems to be the biggest update of the series so far, and includes a large number of patches for the Intel i965 OpenGL graphics driver.

  • Mesa 17.1.4 Released

    Mesa 17.1.4 is now available as the newest stable point release for the Mesa 17.1 series.

More in Tux Machines

Canonical/Ubuntu: Design and Web Team, Ubuntu ZFS Support, Weekly Newsletter

  • Design and Web team summary – 11 October 2019

    This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. This cycle we had two sprints. The first was a web performance workshop run by the amazing Harry Roberts. It was a whirlwind two days where we learned a lot about networking, browsers, font loading and more. We also spent a day working on implementing a lot of the changes. Hopefully our sites will feel a bit faster. More updates will be coming over the next few months. The second sprint was for the Brand and Web team, where we looked at where the Canonical and Ubuntu brands need to evolve. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

  • Ubuntu ZFS support in 19.10: ZFS on root

    This is part 2 of our blog post series on our current and future work around ZFS on root support in ubuntu. If you didn’t yet read the introductory post, I strongly recommend you to do this first! Here we are going to discuss what landed by default ubuntu 19.10.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 600

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 600 for the week of October 6 – 12, 2019.

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: Linux Headlines, ArcoLinux 19.10.1 Run Through and More

  • 2019-10-15 | Linux Headlines

    A double dose of Python, AWS credits for open source projects, a new kernel development course from the Linux Foundation, and an exciting release for KDE Plasma.

  • A Chat with Allan Jude | Jupiter Extras 22

    Brent sits down for an in-person chat with Allan Jude for a retrospective storytelling of his beginnings in BSD, his long history with podcasting, BSDNow and Jupiter Broadcasting, a beginner's guide to the benefits of FreeBSD, with technical nuggets and nostalgic bits throughout. Allan Jude wears many hats including FreeBSD developer and member of the FreeBSD Core team, ZFS expert, co-founder and VP Engineering at Klara Inc., co-founder and VP Operations at ScaleEngine Inc., host of BSDNow, former host of TechSNAP among many others.

  • Podcast.__init__: Andrew's Adventures In Coderland

    Software development is a unique profession in many ways, and it has given rise to its own subculture due to the unique sets of challenges that face developers. Andrew Smith is an author who is working on a book to share his experiences learning to program, and understand the impact that software is having on our world. In this episode he shares his thoughts on programmer culture, his experiences with Python and other language communities, and how learning to code has changed his views on the world. It was interesting getting an anthropological perspective from a relative newcomer to the world of software. [...] Software development is a unique profession in many ways, and it has given rise to its own subculture due to the unique sets of challenges that face developers. Andrew Smith is an author who is working on a book to share his experiences learning to program, and understand the impact that software is having on our world. In this episode he shares his thoughts on programmer culture, his experiences with Python and other language communities, and how learning to code has changed his views on the world. It was interesting getting an anthropological perspective from a relative newcomer to the world of software.

  • 2019-10-14 | Linux Headlines

    Perl 6 is renamed, AWS goes metal with ARM, OnionShare just got a big upgrade, and Google has a new security dongle.

  • ArcoLinux 19.10.1 Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at ArcoLinux 19.10.1. Enjoy!

Red Hat: Red Hat Summit 2019, CFO Fired, Fedora 32, Dependency Analytics and Awards

  • Top 10 highlights at Red Hat Summit 2019

    As we careen into Fall, we at Red Hat have had a few months to catch our breath after another fantastic Red Hat Summit. Which means… we're busy planning for next year's Red Hat Summit. As we get everything lined up for next year, let's take a look back at some of the highlights from our time in Boston. [...] Every year the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology. The 2019 winners were: BP, Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, HCA Healthcare and Kohl's. In addition, HCA Healthcare was voted the 2019 Red Hat Innovator of the Year for its efforts to use data and technology to support modern healthcare. A cross-functional team of clinicians, data scientists and technology professionals at HCA Healthcare used Red Hat solutions to create a real-time predictive analytics product system to more accurately and rapidly detect sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition.

  • Red Hat Sacks CFO Over Alleged Workplace Standards Violation

    Red Hat CFO has been shown the door in alleged workplace standards violation.

  • Red Hat Developers Eyeing CPU Thermal Management Improvements For Fedora 32

    Several Red Hat developers are looking at improving the CPU thermal management capabilities for Fedora Workstation 32 and in turn possibly helping Intel CPUs reach better performance. The change being sought for Fedora Workstation 32 would be shipping Intel's thermal daemon (thermald) by default with Fedora 32 and with that carrying various hardware specific configuration data for helping CPUs reach their optimal thermal/power limits. Intel's open-source thermal daemon can already be installed on most Linux distributions as a separate package but isn't normally shipped by default. With Fedora Workstation 32 it could be shipped by default for its goal of trying to keep CPUs operating in the correct temperature envelop and to reach maximum performance.

  • What’s new in Red Hat Dependency Analytics

    We are excited to announce a new release of Red Hat Dependency Analytics, a solution that enables developers to create better applications by evaluating and adding high-quality open source components, directly from their IDE. Red Hat Dependency Analytics helps your development team avoid security and licensing issues when building your applications. It plugs into the developer’s IDE, automatically analyzes your software composition, and provides recommendations to address security holes and licensing problems that your team may be missing. Without further ado, let’s jump into the new capabilities offered in this release. This release includes a new version of the IDE plugin and the server-side analysis service hosted by Red Hat.

  • Awards roll call: Red Hat awards, July 2019 - October 2019

    As we head into the new season, we?d like to spread the excitement by sharing some of our latest awards and industry recognition. Since our last roundup, Red Hat has been honored with accolades highlighting our unique culture, our creative and design work and our expansive product portfolio.

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