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November 2017

System76 will disable Intel Management engine on its Linux laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

System76 is one a handful of companies that sells computers that run Linux software out of the box. But like most PCs that have shipped with Intel’s Core processors in the past few years, System76 laptops include Intel’s Management Engine firmware.

Intel recently confirmed a major security vulnerability affecting those chips and it’s working with PC makers to patch that vulnerability.

But System76 is taking another approach: it’s going to roll out a firmware update for its recent laptops that disables the Intel Management Engine altogether.

Read more

KDE: Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released, KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond

Filed under
KDE
  • Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released

    We are happy to announce that Qt 3D Studio 1.0 has now been released. Qt 3D Studio provides a 3D user interface authoring system that caters for both software developers and graphic designers.

  • Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released, Powered By NVIDIA's Open-Source Code

    The Qt Company is today shipping Qt 3D Studio, its new 3D user-interface authoring system for both developers and designers.

    Qt 3D Studio 1.0 has a Studio Editor for creating interactive 3D presentations and applications, the Qt 3D Studio Viewer for testing new 3D designs in action, and is supported across Windows / macOS / Linux.

    Of course, this new 3D Studio is powered by the Qt5 tool-kit. This new software package is made possible and based upon NVIDIA's huge code contribution to Qt earlier this year of opening the NVIDIA DRIVE Design Studio that became the basis for Qt 3D Studio.

  • KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond
  • KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond

    The KDE community has spoken and it has chosen the proposals which will define the general direction of the KDE project over the next three or four years.

    How does the KDE community decide where it wants to take the project? Well, every once in a while, we hold a Request for Proposals, if you will. All members of the community are encouraged to submit their grand ideas which will lay out long-term targets. Proposals are voted on democratically, again, by the community. This ensures it is truly the community that guides the KDE project to wherever the community wants it to go.

How Open Source Will Enable Smart Cities

Filed under
OSS

Go back a hundred years and services like electricity and running water — let alone phones — would have all been considered luxuries. Now, we see these services as critical infrastructure that could cause a serious threat to life and societal order if they were to break down.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a bigger part of our world, creating a marriage of software and hardware that ranges from the exceedingly useful to the overly creepy, it is also finding its way into many of the utilities that we depend on for modern living.

What we define as infrastructure is being rapidly altered by the growth of IoT and the move towards smart cities. We depend on traffic lights, security cameras and garbage removal to keep our cities livable, and we would quickly take notice if these services faltered.

As these devices and systems start to get brains, they become vulnerable to attacks like Mirai or the one that targeted the Ukrainian power grid. There is the added challenge of how to protect smart infrastructure, recognizing that it has major differences from the way that we defend power plants.

Historically, critical infrastructure projects have been tougher targets for hackers as their operational technologies (OT) relied on legacy systems that were not widely connected to the internet. As cases such as Stuxnet and more recent cyberattacks on electrical power systems have shown, these systems are vulnerable to external hackers, despite their supposedly high level of security and regulation.

Read more

Security: Uber, Amazon, Updates, Reproducible Builds, Mirai and Tizi

Filed under
Security

Open Source Operating Systems: FreeRTOS and Genode OS

Filed under
OS
OSS
  • Announcing FreeRTOS Kernel Version 10

    The number of connected IoT devices worldwide is in the billions and growing rapidly. Many of these edge devices – from fitness trackers to sensors to washing machines to automotive transmissions – use low-cost, low-powered microcontrollers with extremely limited memory and compute capability. For some IoT use cases, very predictable response times can also be critical (think: automotive). A standard operating system won’t work here: you need a real-time operating system (RTOS) that works in very constrained systems.

  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.11

    In contrast to most releases, which are focused on one or two major themes, the development during the release cycle of version 17.11 was almost entirely driven by the practical use of Genode as a day-to-day OS by the entire staff of Genode Labs. The basis of this endeavor is an evolving general-purpose system scenario - dubbed "sculpt" - that is planned as an official feature for the next release 18.02. The name "sculpt" hints at the approach to start with a minimalistic generic live system that can be interactively shaped into a desktop scenario by the user without any reboot. This is made possible by combining Genode's unique dynamic reconfiguration concept with the recently introduced package management, our custom GUI stack, and the many ready-to-use device-driver components that we developed over the past years.

  • Genode OS 17.11 Reworks Its "Nitpicker" GUI Server

    Genode is the open-source operating system framework designed for "highly secure" special-purpose operating systems from embedded platforms to desktops while subscribing to a Unix philosophy and going for an L4 micro-kernel approach. The Genode OS 17.11 represents another quarter's worth of changes.

    A lot of the work represented by Genode OS 17.11 is on beating the operating system platform into shape to be a day-to-day OS. Among the changes to find is its GUI stack being reworked, scroll-wheel emulation and pointer acceleration finally, other input handling improvements, all x86 micro-kernels now using the GRUB2 boot-loader, Nim programming language usage, and more.

Kernel: Linux 4.14.3, 4.9.66, 4.4.103, 3.18.85 and Linux Foundation Pieces

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.14.3
  • Linux 4.9.66
  • Linux 4.4.103
  • Linux 3.18.85
  • Four new stable kernels

    Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.14.3, 4.9.66, 4.4.103, and 3.18.85 stable kernels. As usual, they contain fixes throughout the tree; users of those series should upgrade.

  • A Closed-Source Apple File-System APFS Driver For Linux Announced

    With macOS High Sierra finally ditching the HFS+ file-system and switching all macOS users over to Apple's new file-system, APFS, you may find the need to read a APFS file-system from another non-macOS device. Now it's possible with an APFS Linux file-system driver, but it's closed-source and doesn't yet have write capabilities.

    Paragon Software who has also developed a commercial Microsoft ReFS Linux file-system driver as well as an EXT4 driver for Windows has now developed an Apple File-System (APFS) driver for Linux systems.

  • What OPNFV Makes Possible in Open Source

    OPNFV provides both tangible and intangible benefits to end users. Tangible benefits include those that directly impact business metrics, whereas the intangibles include benefits that speed up the overall NFV transformation journey but are harder to measure. The nature of the OPNFV project, where it primarily focuses on integration and testing of upstream projects and adds carrier-grade features to these upstream projects, can make it difficult to understand these benefits.

    To understand this more clearly, let’s go back to the era before OPNFV. Open source projects do not, as a matter of routine, perform integration and testing with other open source projects. So, the burden of taking multiple disparate projects and making the stack work for NFV primarily fell on Communications Service Providers (CSPs), although in some cases vendors shouldered part of the burden. For CSPs or vendors to do the same integration and testing didn’t make sense.

  • The Evolving Developer Advocate Role — A Conversation with Google’s Kim Bannerman

    At this year’s Cloud Foundry Summit Europe, the story was about developers as the heroes. They’re the ones who make the platforms. They are akin to the engineers who played such a pivotal role in designing the railroads, or in modern times made the smartphone possible. This means a more important role for developer advocates who, at organizations such as Google, are spending a lot more time with customers. These are the subject matter experts helping developers build out their platforms. They are gathering data to develop feedback loops that flow back into open source communities for ongoing development.

Faulty Graphics Driver From NVIDIA

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • NVIDIA Confirms Linux Driver Performance Regression, To Be Fixed In 390 Series

    If you think recent NVIDIA Linux driver releases have been slowing down your games, you are not alone, especially if you are running with a GeForce graphics card having a more conservative vRAM capacity by today's standards.

    Long time ago Nouveau contributor turned NVIDIA Linux engineer Arthur Huillet confirmed there is a bug in their memory management introduced since their 378 driver series that is still present in the latest 387 releases.

  • NVIDIA has confirmed a driver bug resulting in a loss of performance on Linux

    It seems there's a performance bug in recent NVIDIA drivers that has been causing a loss of performance across likely all GPUs. Not only that, but it seems to end up using more VRAM than previous drivers too.

    User HeavyHDx started a thread on the official NVIDIA forum, to describe quite a big drop in performance since the 375 driver series. So all driver updates since then would have been affected by this.

Linux-Based Sailfish OS: Slush update from Jolla CEO

Filed under
Linux
  • Slush update from Jolla CEO

    It’s been busy and productive times with Sailfish OS in the past months and it is time for an update from the cockpit. It is also an exciting week here in Helsinki, Finland as we have Europe’s biggest tech conference Slush 2017 once again going on and we’re looking forward to see and discuss a lot of new innovations during these two days.

    [....]

    In this collaboration Jolla will be offering the Sailfish X as a core development environment, and Zipper develops and offers the blockchain platform for it. The platform will have its own currency ZIP to fuel the community and platform development. We are also preparing a tailored community program for developing new blockchain related applications and features to Sailfish OS, and further, our intention is to use ZIP tokens to spur community growth and contributions. We will come back to this program later on. Stay tuned!

  • Jolla's CEO Provides An End of Year Update On Sailfish OS

    Jolla CEO and co-founder Sami Pienimäki has provided an update about the company's ongoing efforts around their Sailfish OS Linux mobile operating system.

Games: MAME, GOG, Godot, and Rich Geldreich

Filed under
Gaming
  • MAME Emulator Now Supports Oriental Legend 2 and Knights of Valour 2 New Legend

    MAME, the open-source and cross-platform computer emulator software, has been updated this week to version 0.192, a release that incorporates support for new systems and games.

    One of the most important changes of the MAME 0.192 release appears to be the progress done so far for the IGS PGM2 software, which will excite lots of arcade fans. This was possible thanks to a newly built FPGA-based rig that allowed the devs to dump the internal programs from the ARM CPUs for the Knights of Valour 2 New Legend and Oriental Legend 2 games.

  • GOG now have Epic Pinball and the platformer Jazz Jackrabbit with Linux support

    GOG have revived some more classic games today as they have released Epic Pinball: The Complete Collection and Jazz Jackrabbit Collection which have Linux support.

  • Godot 3.0 Game Engine Reaches Beta

    Development on the Godot 3.0 game engine has been happening for the better part of two years while today it reached its much anticipated beta milestone that also marks the feature freeze for this open-source game engine release.

  • Dev snapshot: Godot 3.0 beta 1

    Godot 3.0's development officially entered the beta stage last week, which coincides for us with what we name the feature freeze: from now on, no new features will be merged in the master branch, as the focus will be fully on fixing existing issues to stabilize the current feature set. Don't worry though, Godot 3.1 will arrive soon after the 3.0 release to bring all the nice features that contributors are already working on.

  • Rich Geldreich On The Concerns Of Open-Sourcing In The Game Industry

    Former Valve developer Rich Geldreich who was responsible for a lot of the Linux/OpenGL work at Valve in the earlier days of Linux gaming and who has also spent time at Unity, Microsoft, and other companies before starting his own consulting firm, has second thoughts about open-sourcing in the game industry.

Red Hat News

Filed under
Red Hat

More in Tux Machines

This week in KDE: fixing up Plasma 5.20

Okular’s editable forms are no longer mis-rendered when inertially scrolling (Kezi Olio, Okular 1.11.2) When your scanner can almost but not quite fit a particular page size, Skanlite will now display the option to scan to that page size anyway (e.g. 215mm wide scan beds now give you the option to scan using the US Letter page size) (Kåre Särs, libksane 20.12) The text of Elisa’s keyboard shortcuts are now translated properly (Nikunj Goyal, Elisa 20.12) Clearing the clipboard history on Wayland no longer crashes Plasma (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.20) Improved the Plasma SVG cache heuristics such that various things which might sometimes be invisible after upgrading Plasma now show up like they’re supposed to (Arjen Hiemstra, Plasma 5.20) On Wayland, clicking on a Task Manager entry while that entry’s tooltip is visible no longer crashes Plasma (Vlad Zahorodnii, Plasma 5.20) On Wayland, clicking on a Task Manager thumbnail now activates that window, as you would expect (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.20) Read more Also: KDE Plasma 5.20 Should Be Crashing A Lot Less Under Wayland

Legacy: Dennis Ritchie's Lost Dissertation and FTP Fadeout

  • Discovering Computer Legend Dennis Ritchie's Lost Dissertation
  • FTP Fadeout

    Here’s a small piece of news you may have missed while you were trying to rebuild your entire life to fit inside your tiny apartment at the beginning of the COVID crisis: Because of the way that the virus shook up just about everything, Google skipped the release of Chrome version 82. Who cares, you think? Well, users of FTP, or the File Transfer Protocol. During the pandemic, Google delayed its plan to kill FTP, and now that things have settled to some degree, Google recently announced that it is going back for the kill with Chrome version 86, which deprecates the support once again, and will kill it for good in Chrome 88. (Mozilla announced similar plans for Firefox, citing security reasons and the age of the underlying code.) It is one of the oldest protocols the mainstream [Internet] supports—it turns 50 next year—but those mainstream applications are about to leave it behind. Today’s Tedium talks about history of FTP, the networking protocol that has held on longer than pretty much any other.

virt-manager 3.0.0 released!

Yesterday I released virt-manager 3.0.0. Despite the major version number bump, things shouldn't look too different from the previous release. For me the major version number bump reflects certain feature removals (like dropping virt-convert), and the large amount of internal code changes that were done, though there's a few long awaited features sprinkled in like virt-install --cloud-init support which I plan to write more about later. Read more Also: virt-install --cloud-init support

today's leftovers

  • 7 Alternatives to Google Earth

    Google Earth has received so much press coverage that many users will appreciate that it is one of the coolest applications to download. In brief, it is a feature-laden 3D virtual globe, map and geography browser which lets users zoom in on their world with fantastic detail. View satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the sky. This application allows the exploration of rich geographical content, save toured places and share with others. The software maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe. Google Earth is undoubtedly a very impressive application, and it is extremely hard not to admire the wealth of features that it offers. Its satellite images are unrivaled, it provides useful and accurate statistical information, and the software has many practical benefits, such as helping to find locations and give driving directions. In terms of functionality, this application earns our highest praise. We use the software on a regular basis on both desktop and mobile devices (the latter under Android). However, while Google Earth is available to download without charge, Google do not release the software under an open source license. In the past there have been attempts to reverse engineer Google Earth and implement its features in an open and extensible way. However, these actions were understandably frowned upon by Google. Instead we prefer to see the development of open source virtual globe software which uses freely licensed or public domain data. While the development of open source virtual globe applications may not, in itself, encourage Google to release its application or data under a similar license, it does give users the option to be able to have the freedom to do what they want. This route also helps to foster greater user community support to drive development often in the form of add-ons and plug-ins. There are a number of applications which are credible open source alternatives to Google Earth. While none of the software applications featured in this article have all of the features offered by Google Earth (although some offer some different features), and they are not exactly comparable, they are all worthy of investigating.

  • Warzone 2100 Lands Vulkan Renderer, Adaptive V-Sync For 20+ Year Old Game

    Warzone 2100 as the real-time strategy/tactics game that first premiered in 1999 before becoming open-source in 2004 and then fully open-source with game data in 2008 is now evolving in 2020 with Vulkan graphics support. The open-source Warzone 2100 game not only has a Vulkan back-end that was merged today but also OpenGL ES 2.0/3.0 support for those wanting to relive this late 90's computer game on mobile/embedded devices having only GLES drivers.

  • [NetBSD] Curses Library Automated Testing

    My GSoC project under NetBSD involves the development of the test framework of curses. This is the final blog report in a series of blog reports; you can look at the first report and second report of the series. The first report gives a brief introduction of the project and some insights into the curses testframe through its architecture and language. To someone who wants to contribute to the test suite, this blog can act as the quick guide of how things work internally. Meanwhile, the second report discusses some of the concepts that were quite challenging for me to understand. I wanted to share them with those who may face such a challenge. Both of these reports also cover the progress made in various phases of the Summer of Code. This being the final report in the series, I would love to share my experience throughout the project. I would be sharing some of the learning as well as caveats that I faced in the project.

  • [NetBSD] RumpKernel Syscall Fuzzing

    The first and second coding period was entirely dedicated to fuzzing rumpkernel syscalls using hongfuzz. Initially a dumb fuzzer was developed to start fuzzing but it soon reached its limits. For the duration of second coding peroid we concentrated on crash reproduction and adding grammar to the fuzzer which yielded in better results as we tested on a bug in ioctl with grammar. Although this works for now crash reproduction needs to be improved to generate a working c reproducer. For the last coding period I have looked into the internals of syzkaller to understand how it pregenerates input and how it mutates data. I have continued to work on integrating buildrump.sh with build.sh. buildrump eases the task fo building the rumpkernel on any host for any target. buildrump.sh is like a wrapper around build.sh to build the tools and rumpkernel from the source relevant to rumpkernel. So I worked to get buildrump.sh working with netbsd-src. Building the toolchain was successfull from netbsd-src. So binaries like rumpmake work just fine to continue building the rumpkernel.

  • Full Circle Magazine #161
  • Bandwidth for Video Conferencing

    For the Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) I’ve run video conferences on Jitsi and BBB (see my previous post about BBB vs Jitsi [1]). One issue with video conferences is the bandwidth requirements. The place I’m hosting my video conference server has a NBN link with allegedly 40Mb/s transmission speed and 100Mb/s reception speed. My tests show that it can transmit at about 37Mb/s and receive at speeds significantly higher than that but also quite a bit lower than 100Mb/s (around 60 or 70Mb/s). For a video conference server you have a small number of sources of video and audio and a larger number of targets as usually most people will have their microphones muted and video cameras turned off. This means that the transmission speed is the bottleneck. In every test the reception speed was well below half the transmission speed, so the tests confirmed my expectation that transmission was the only bottleneck, but the reception speed was higher than I had expected. When we tested bandwidth use the maximum upload speed we saw was about 4MB/s (32Mb/s) with 8+ video cameras and maybe 20 people seeing some of the video (with a bit of lag). We used 3.5MB/s (28Mb/s) when we only had 6 cameras which seemed to be the maximum for good performance.

  • Get involved – Meet the TDF team

    Joining a free and open source software project, such as LibreOffice, is a great way to build your skills, gain experience for future career options, meet new people – and have fun! But sometimes, joining a large and well-established project can be a bit daunting at the start. So here we’ll introduce you to the small team at The Document Foundation, the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice. Most team members oversee certain sub-projects in the LibreOffice community – click on their names to learn more in interviews…

  • Emacs Builders (Together with Richard Stallman) Focus on Learn how to Construct a Extra 'Fashionable' Emacs
  • Lack of Qualified Linux Talent Impedes Enterprise Move to the Clouds

    The Linux Foundation has been working to address the shortage of Linux talent for many years with a combination of training and certification exams. Despite this, the breathtaking growth in Linux adoption, especially as the de facto OS of the cloud, means that there is still a shortage of qualified talent, according to Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager for training and certification at The Linux Foundation (LF). “We are always supportive of developments in the training ecosystem which help address this gap. In particular, we are finding that demand for our performance-based certification exams continues to be gated by individuals not feeling adequately prepared,” he told LinuxInsider. LF’s certification exams include Certified Kubernetes Administrator, Certified Kubernetes Application Developer, Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin, and Linux Foundation Certified Engineer. “ACG and LA both have excellent reputations for the quality of their open-source training content so we are pleased to see them come together to better serve the talent development needs of the open-source software ecosystem,” he added.

  • Last phase of the desktop wars?

    Economic pressure will be on Microsoft to deprecate the emulation layer. Partly because it’s entirely a cost center. Partly because they want to reduce the complexity cost of running Azure. Every increment of Windows/Linux convergence helps with that – reduces administration and the expected volume of support traffic. Eventually, Microsoft announces upcoming end-of-life on the Windows emulation. The OS itself , and its userland tools, has for some time already been Linux underneath a carefully preserved old-Windows UI. Third-party software providers stop shipping Windows binaries in favor of ELF binaries with a pure Linux API… …and Linux finally wins the desktop wars, not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be.