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July 2018

Security: Updates, Marcus Hutchins (MalwareTech) and FUD

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IPFire Hardened Linux Firewall Distribution Gets Major Update, Here's What's New

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IPFire 2.21 Core Update 122 is now available to download as a drop-in replacement to the three-months-old IPFire 2.19 Core Update 120 and finally bump the version number from 2.19 to 2.21. However, this being a major update, it was split into two parts, so you'll have first to install the IPFire 2.19 Core Update 121 to be able to run the IPFire 2.21 Core Update 122 release.

"Please note, that we have split this update into two parts. First, you will need to install IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 121 and then, the second part will automatically be installed after. Please be patient and let the system complete the update. When everything is done, please reboot into the new kernel," said Michael Tremer in today's announcement.

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today's leftovers

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OSS Leftovers

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  • GSoC 2018 - booting from BTRFS works!

    Freeloader is now able to read files and follow symlinks from btrfs partition. One major issue is left here - case sensitivity. BTRFS is case-sensitive file system, so paths like /ReactOS/System32, /reactos/system32, /ReactOS/system32 are different here. But in Windows world most software is written assuming that case does not matter during path lookup. This thing is solved in WinBtrfs driver, but for Freeloader it can be a bit tricky. Right now I’ve implemented a hack for this, we will handle this later.

  • ReactOS Is Now Able To Boot From Btrfs

    The ReactOS "open-source Windows" operating system is now able to boot from a Btrfs file-system.

    Being worked on as part of this year's Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is Btrfs file-system support for ReactOS. The student developer Victor Perevertkin has been working on Btrfs support within the ReactOS boot-loader as well as other fixes needed to allow for ReactOS to be installed on and boot from a Btrfs file-system.

  • Holochain (HOT) Review – An Open-Source Framework Alternative to the Blockchain

    Holochain is an open-source framework for building decentralized, peer-to-peer applications that is an alternative to the blockchain. Its long-term goal is to create an uncloseable carrier for doing interaction that is completely peer-to-peer. In other words, a decentralized system for agency, autonomy and security. Holochain believes that this is not available today and that blockchain technology does not meet this need.

  • TenFourFox FPR9b1 available

    Before we begin: if you haven't seen it, check out the newly updated and refurbished TenFourFox FAQ, and consider this sobering thought on the state of web monitoring advertising.

    Also, for those of you who may be unaware, long-time Mozillian Gervase Markham passed away, surrounded by his family. He was ever a professional to the end. I didn't know him as well as some, but I'll always remember him, not least of which for his unwavering faith in the face of adversity and leaving us far too soon. Go with God.

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 9 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). There are several new features and many bug fixes in this version. FPR9 is also the first TenFourFox release to pull from the new extended support release, Firefox 60ESR, and we have updated the extended validation certificate roots and our certs'n'pins import script to pull from that source instead of the shortly-to-be-decommissioned 52ESR. All relevant security and stability patches on 60ESR so far have also been backported.

    On the bug fix side, there is a crash fix for media tracks from Raphael, updates to the ATSUI font blacklist (mostly for certain Japanese fonts) that can now block incompatible fonts through the CSS Font Loading API as well, updated timezone data for the ICU internationalization library, ICU security fixes, fixes for button sensing in events which should get around some weird glitchy things where the mouse buttons get ignored, and a dumb old bug with WiFi scanning. I also added a layout fix for button subelements that keep getting split apart, fixing problems on sites like Twitch and GoDaddy.

  • DataStax Getting Ready For IPO Targeting $46B Database Market
  • 7 Best Arduino Projects To Do In Summer

    The free time of summer vacations or continuous hours is for many an ideal time to start more complex or long projects associated with some of their passions. If Arduino is among your interests and you want to reinforce your maker spirit, we propose 7 arduino projects to do in summer.

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 107 - The year of the Linux Desktop and other hardware stories

A single-user, lightweight OS for your next home project

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What on earth is RISC OS? Well, it's not a new kind of Linux. And it's not someone's take on Windows. In fact, released in 1987, it's older than either of these. But you wouldn't necessarily realize it by looking at it.

The point-and-click graphic user interface features a pinboard and an icon bar across the bottom for your active applications. So, it looks eerily like Windows 95, eight years before it happened.

This OS was originally written for the Acorn Archimedes. The Acorn RISC Machines CPU in this computer was completely new hardware that needed completely new software to run on it. This was the original operating system for the ARM chip, long before anyone had thought of Android or Armbian.

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50 Best Ubuntu Apps You Should Be Using Right Now

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A comprehensive list of more than 50 essential Ubuntu applications that would surely help improve your Ubuntu experience.
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Linux 4.18-rc7

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So unless something odd happens, this should be the last rc for 4.18.

Nothing particularly odd happened this last week - we got the usual
random set of various minor fixes all over. About two thirds of it is
drivers - networking, staging and usb stands out, but there's a little
bit of stuff all over (clk, block, gpu, nvme..).

Outside of drivers, the bulk is some core networking stuff, with
random changes elsewhere (minor arch updates, filesystems, core

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Also: Linux 4.18-rc7 Released: Linux 4.18 Should Be Out Next Week

OpenMW 0.44.0 (Free Software) and Valve (DRM)

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  • OpenMW 0.44.0 Released!

    The OpenMW team is proud to announce the release of version 0.44.0! Grab it from our Downloads Page for all operating systems. This release brings a slew of new features and bug fixes, including a search bar for spells, a tab for advanced settings in the launcher, and multiple quicksaves.

  • Open source Morrowind game engine OpenMW 0.44 released

    A spell search bar will certainly be handy, but that's not all. The launcher now has an advanced settings tab, they added the option for fast travel services to change every companion, you can have multiple quick saves (very handy), an option to re-balance soul gem values based only on soul value, not soul times gem value and the OpenMW-CS (the editor) also gained multiple new features. There's also 87 noted bugs that were fixed, so it should be much more stable.

  • OpenMW 0.44 Released, Continues Advancing Open-Source Morrowind Re-Implementation

    It's been sixteen years since the release of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind while the open-source community continues working on their re-implementation of this game that was originally powered by the Gamebryo engine.

    OpenMW has been going strong an umber of years now for being an open-source re-implementation of Morrowind. This weekend marks the release of OpenMW 0.44 as the newest feature release.

  • Jay Pinkerton, the co-writer of Portal 2 is back at Valve

    The only confirmed new Valve games right now are Artifact and In the Valley of Gods (both of which are coming to Linux of course), so it will be interesting to see if we get a third Portal game or perhaps something else entirely. The official Valve Software website does state:

More in Tux Machines

Not-actually Linux distro review: FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE

Desktop layer aside, the entire FreeBSD operating system doesn't seem to get as much developer love and attention as the typical mainstream Linux distribution. It doesn't take much use before you discover minor errors and paper cuts that really shouldn't exist—like pkg search not returning metapackages, or the disk partitioner not accepting its own example arguments as valid. My personal biggest frustration with FreeBSD—and the major reason I switched from it to Linux in 2008—is the lack of automatic security upgrades. FreeBSD does have tools to discover vulnerabilities in packages and update them, but they aren't designed to run in the background. They demand either interactive operation by an active and knowledgeable admin or significant tooling that the FreeBSD operating system itself does not provide. Worse yet, FreeBSD has at least two and often three entirely separate package systems to maintain. The source-based ports tree, the binary package system, and the base FreeBSD operating system itself—each uses entirely different tools for maintenance. If that's not bad enough, ports and packages actually conflict with one another, requiring even more care to make sure neither gets clobbered during upgrades. Digital Ocean has an excellent overview of basic FreeBSD maintenance, which we would strongly advise any new FreeBSD admin to read and understand thoroughly. Read more

Android Leftovers

How to set up a remote school environment for kids with Linux

COVID-19 has suddenly thrown all of us into a new and challenging situation. Many of us are now working full-time from home, and for a lot of us (especially people who aren't used to working remotely), this is taking some getting used to. Another group that is similarly challenged is our kids. They can't go to school or participate in their regular after-school activities. My daughter's elementary school closed its classrooms and is teaching through an online, web-based learning portal instead. And one of her favorite extracurricular activities—a coding school where she has been learning Scratch and just recently "graduated" to WoofJS–has also gone to an online-only format. We are fortunate that so many of our children's activities can be done online now, as this is the only way they will be able to learn, share, and socialize for at least the next several months. Read more

LOOPFS File-System Proposed For Linux

LOOPFS is the latest Linux kernel file-system proposal. LOOPFS isn't a traditional Linux file-system for competing with the likes of EXT4, F2FS, Btrfs, and XFS but is a loop device file-system inspired by Android's BinderFS. Read more Also: Loopfs: A New Loop Device File System For Linux Direct: [PATCH 0/8] loopfs