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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

today's howtos

Why You Still Don’t Need Antivirus Software on Linux in 2020

There’s a division of opinion when it comes to the question; does Linux need antivirus? Well, the short answer is no. Some say viruses for Linux are rare; others say Linux’s security system is secure and much safer than other operating Windows. So, is Linux really secure? While no single operating system is entirely secure, Linux is known to be much more reliable than Windows or any operating system. The reason behind this is not the security of Linux itself but the minority of viruses and malware that exist for the operating system. Viruses and malware are incredibly rare in Linux. They do exist though the likelihood of getting a virus on your Linux OS is very low. Linux based operating systems also have additional security patches that are updated regularly to keep it safer. The userbase of Linux is tiny when compared to Windows. While Operating systems like Windows and Mac house all kinds of users, Linux is inclined more towards advanced users. In the end, It all comes down to the caution taken by the user. Can you get viruses on Linux? Yes, before you assume anything, viruses and malware can affect any operating system. No operating system is 100% safe, and it’s a fool errand to look for one. Like Windows and Mac OS, you can get viruses on Linux. However rare they are, they still exist. On the official page of Ubuntu, a Linux based OS, it is said that Ubuntu is highly secure. A lot of people installed Ubuntu for the sole purpose of having a dependable OS when it comes to the security of their data and sensitive details. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Matthew Garrett: What usage restrictions can we place in a free software license?

    Growing awareness of the wider social and political impact of software development has led to efforts to write licenses that prevent software being used to engage in acts that are seen as socially harmful, with the Hippocratic License being perhaps the most discussed example (although the JSON license's requirement that the software be used for good, not evil, is arguably an earlier version of the theme). The problem with these licenses is that they're pretty much universally considered to fall outside the definition of free software or open source licenses due to their restrictions on use, and there's a whole bunch of people who have very strong feelings that this is a very important thing. There's also the more fundamental underlying point that it's hard to write a license like this where everyone agrees on whether a specific thing is bad or not (eg, while many people working on a project may feel that it's reasonable to prohibit the software being used to support drone strikes, others may feel that the project shouldn't have a position on the use of the software to support drone strikes and some may even feel that some people should be the victims of drone strikes). This is, it turns out, all quite complicated. But there is something that many (but not all) people in the free software community agree on - certain restrictions are legitimate if they ultimately provide more freedom. Traditionally this was limited to restrictions on distribution (eg, the GPL requires that your recipient be able to obtain corresponding source code, and for GPLv3 must also be able to obtain the necessary signing keys to be able to replace it in covered devices), but more recently there's been some restrictions that don't require distribution. The best known is probably the clause in the Affero GPL (or AGPL) that requires that users interacting with covered code over a network be able to download the source code, but the Cryptographic Autonomy License (recently approved as an Open Source license) goes further and requires that users be able to obtain their data in order to self-host an equivalent instance.

  • Install Metabase on Ubuntu 18.04 with Nginx and SSL – Google Cloud
  • OpenBSD Foundation 2019 campaign wrapup

    Our target for 2019 was CDN$300K. Our community's continued generosity combined with our corporate donors exceeded that nicely. In addition we received the largest single donation in our history, CDN$380K from Smartisan. The return of Google was another welcome event. Altogether 2019 was our most successful campaign to date, yielding CDN$692K in total.

  • have fun with free software – truly Open Source Karaoke „SingStar“ style Performous on GNU Linux

    An open-source karaoke, band and dancing game where one or more players perform a song and the game scores their performances. Supports songs in UltraStar, Frets on Fire and StepMania formats. Microphones and instruments from SingStar, Guitar Hero and Rock Band as well as some dance pads are autodetected.

  • Reintroducing Telegram: privately funded private chat with open source apps

    I started to write an article about the latest update for Telegram, when I realized I might only be speaking to a select few in-the-know users. Far fewer than I think should be interested, anyway. Telegram is a private chat system with end-to-end encryption support and cross-platform functionality. It’s privately funded by a guy named Pavel Durov, whose only goal seems to be “fast and secure messaging that is also 100% free.”

  • Daniel Silverstone: Subplot volunteers? (Acceptance testing tool)

    Subplot is a tool for capturing and automatically verifying the acceptance criteria for a software project or a system, in a way that's understood by all stakeholders. In a software project there are always more than one stakeholder. Even in a project one writes for oneself, there are two stakeholders: oneself, and that malicious cretin oneself-in-the-future. More importantly, though, there are typically stakeholders such as end users, sysadmins, clients, software architects, developers, and testers. They all need to understand what the software should do, and when it's in an acceptable state to be put into use: in other words, what the acceptance criteria are. Crucially, all stakeholders should understand the acceptance criteria the same way, and also how to verify they are met. In an ideal situation, all verification is automated, and happens very frequently. There are various tools for this, from generic documentation tooling (word processors, text editors, markup languages, etc) to test automation (Cucumber, Selenium, etc). On the one hand, documenting acceptance criteria in a way that all stakeholders understand is crucial: otherwise the end users are at risk of getting something that's not useful to help them, and the project is a waste of everyone's time and money. On the other hand, automating the verification of how acceptance criteria is met is also crucial: otherwise it's done manually, which is slow, costly, and error prone, which increases the risk of project failure. Subplot aims to solve this by an approach that combines documentation tooling with automated verification.

  • Ulrike Uhlig: Reasons for job burnout and what motivates people in their job

    Often, burnout is conceived as a weakness of the person experiencing it: "they can't work under stress", "they lack organizational skills", "they are currently going through grief or a break up, that's why they can't keep up" — you've heard it all before, right?

  • Hard disk reliability study - 2005-2020

    In other words, practically, if I keep two copies of any which data, the likelihood of data loss is 2.5% over a decade, or 0.06% for three disks. So this kind of confirms my backup strategy from a while back, and also shows that it is important for you to keep multiple copies of important files, if you want them to outlast your hardware. Conclusion There you go. I hope you find this 15-year-long study valuable. Of course, any techie like me could do it. All techies hoard hardware like mad, and I'm sure most of Dedoimedo readers have a bunch of computers and tons of hard disks strewn about, so it's just the matter of compiling the right data. And I'm sure every such compilation would be compelling. A compelling compiling, hi hi. If you have any comments or suggestions about my findings, I'd love to hear them. Again, I don't have a massive data center, so I can't do an accurate comparative study between vendors, disks sizes and alike, so do take my results with a pinch of cardamom. But I believe my numbers are quite indicative for home usage scenarios, so if you're mulling how to handle your data down the long trouser leg of time, you have some indication of where to start, and how to hedge your odds. Take care.

  • How 1500 bytes became the MTU of the internet

    On the face of it 1500 is a weird number, we would normally expect a lot of constants in computing to be based around mathematical constants, like powers of 2. 1500, however fits none of those.

    So where did 1500 come from, and why are we still using it?

  • Is it Possible to Identify DNS over HTTPs Without Decrypting TLS?

    Whenever I talk about DNS over HTTPS (DoH), the question comes up if it is possible to fingerprint DoH traffic without decrypting it. The idea is that something about DoH packets is different enough to identify them.

    [...]

    At this point, I would call the experiment a "proof of concept." It is not a conclusive experiment. I only collected a few minutes of traffic and went maybe to a dozen different sites. All tests were performed on a Mac using Firefox 71 and Cloudflare as a resolver. I may get around to do more testing during the day and will update this post accordingly.

  • More DNS over HTTPS: Become One With the Packet. Be the Query. See the Query

    Two days ago, I wrote about how to profile traffic to recognize DNS over HTTPS. This is kind of a problem for DNS over HTTPS. If you can see it, you may be able to block it. On Twitter, a few chimed in to provide feedback about recognizing DNS over HTTPS. I checked a couple of other clients, and well, didn't have a ton of time so this is still very preliminary:

    [..]

    But to come back to the initial observation: The DoH traffic had specific packet sizes it preferred. So I was looking at this since it didn't seem random, meaning it leaked information.

  • ‘This Is Disastrous’: How the Vinyl Industry Is Responding to the Apollo Masters Fire

    The day that everyone in the vinyl-manufacturing world has been worried about for years finally arrived. Earlier this month, Apollo Masters Corp., one of the two places in the world that produce the lacquer discs needed to assemble master plates for pressing records, burned down. The blaze reportedly took 82 firefighters and three hours to extinguish. No one was harmed, but the fire obliterated the Banning, California, facility responsible for, by most estimates, 70 to 85 percent of the lacquer plates used in vinyl production. There is now just one such factory in the world capable of producing that crucial item, MDC in Japan, leaving the global supply of vinyl in peril.

    “We’ve all been worried about this, we’ve had meetings about it within the industry,” says Cash Carter, chief operating officer at Kindercore Vinyl Pressing in Athens, Georgia. “We’ve gotten together with all the other pressing plants, lacquer cutters, everybody, and been like, ‘What happens if MDC or Apollo goes away? We’re all fucked.’ We were dreading that day, but not thinking it would actually happen — that before anything disastrous happened, someone would come in and fix what needed to be fixed.… Now, is the sky falling? No. But this is disastrous. I think there are going to be pressing plants that close because of this.… We’ve been saying we need to fix this for years. Now, we actually need to fix this.”

  • How Kubernetes Became The Standard For Compute Resources

Audiocasts/Shows: Choose Linux, BSD Now and TLLTS