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December 2019

What is GNU/Linux?

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Most consumers can, with a little effort, name two desktop and laptop operating systems: Microsoft Windows and Apple's macOS. Few have ever considered any of the open-source alternatives found under the umbrella of GNU/Linux, though some may have done so without even knowing it—Google's Chrome OS uses the Linux kernel. To be honest, aside from the Chromebook platform, GNU/Linux systems are typically not best for people who rely on big-name software or don't like dabbling with a customizable, hands-on interface. However, if you're looking for a change of pace, don't want to pay for your software, and don't mind rolling up your sleeves, switching to GNU/Linux may not only be worthwhile, but make you a convert for life. This guide for nontechnical users will show you how.

Before diving headfirst into the wonky world of GNU/Linux systems, it's important to understand how they came about and some of the terms you may encounter while researching and using them. I'll start with a brief history of the big three: UNIX, Linux, and GNU.

UNIX is a proprietary, command-line-based operating system originally developed by Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson (among others) at AT&T's Bell Labs in the late 1960s and early 1970s. UNIX is coded almost entirely in the C programming language (also invented by Ritchie) and was originally intended to be used as a portable and convenient OS for programmers and researchers. As a result of a long and complicated legal history involving AT&T, Bell Labs, and the federal government, UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems grew in popularity, as did Thompson's influential philosophy of a modular, minimalist approach to software design.

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Making Slackware 14.1 Works with GLIM Multiboot USB

Filed under
GNU
Linux
HowTos

This tutorial explains the configuration files for Slackware 14.1 DVD 64-bit to work in LiveUSB multiboot mode with GLIM. This way you can have one flash drive containing multiple GNU/Linux OS installers including Slackware64 among them. This is my first time to ship Slackware USB ever and I am happy finally I could make it with GLIM. This is the result of my shipment to Sulawesi, Indonesia at December 2019. Happy hacking!

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Stable kernels 5.4.7, 4.19.92, and 4.14.161

  • Linux 5.4.7

    I'm announcing the release of the 5.4.7 kernel.

    All users of the 5.4 kernel series must upgrade.

    The updated 5.4.y git tree can be found at:
    git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.4.y
    and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
    https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 4.19.92
  • Linux 4.14.161

Programming: KDE at Congress, Java, C and Python

Filed under
Development
  • 36C3 Impressions

    I was given the opportunity to present our work on KDE Itinerary on the WikipakaWG stage (part of the joint presence of Wikimedia and the Open Knowledge Foundation). A big thanks for that again!

    The slides are here. At this point there is no released video recording yet, until that’s available you should still find the relive stream.

    Besides showing overall what we are doing and have built so far, and why this matters, we managed to have a few sneak preview screenshots of the latest developments that haven’t been shown anywhere before yet. Another such preview could be spotted in a presentation of another project at the event. So stay tuned for announcements in January Smile

    Following that I got a large amount of input and positive feedback, people seem to like the idea of a privacy first digital travel assistant. This also lead to a number of interesting contacts for possible collaborations in 2020, let’s see what comes out of this.

    KDE at Congress

    There were only very few KDE people at 36C3, and only very few talks covering KDE projects. I did spot a very well attended talk about Linux-based mobile platforms covering Plasma Mobile by someone I didn’t know yet, so there definitely seems to be interest in KDE’s work there.

    I mainly focused on mobility or open transport data topics for KDE Itinerary, that left little time to cover other things highly relevant for KDE like free mobile platforms, environmental impact of software, Free Software in public administration, or let alone the enormous field of privacy related topics.

    I’d therefore suggest KDE to attend with a larger team next time, not necessarily with a stationary presence, but with more people to present our work and to connect with others with overlapping interests.

  • Java retrospective #3 – most important thing for the community in 2019

    As 2019 draws to a close, we got in touch with some prominent members of the Java community to gather their thoughts on the events of the last year. In this five part series, we will look at what they had to say. In this third part, we asked what the most important thing for the Java community was in 2019.

  • Ringing In 2020 By Clang'ing The Linux 5.5 Kernel - Benchmarks Of GCC vs. Clang Built Kernels

    The main issue encountered when Clang'ing Linux 5.3 was the AMDGPU driver running into build problems. Fortunately, that was since resolved and with Linux 5.5 tests I recently did when building the kernel with Clang 9.0, the AMDGPU driver has worked out fine. With that resolved and no new Clang kernel compatibility problems introduced, it was a pleasant experience building Linux 5.5 with Clang simply by adjusting the CC environment variable.

  • Area of sinc and jinc function lobes

    The lobes are the regions between crossings of the x-axis. For the sinc function, the lobe in the middle runs from -π to π, and for n > 0 the nth lobe runs from nπ to (n+1)π. The zeros of Bessel functions are not uniformly spaced like the zeros of the sine function, but they come up in application frequently and so it’s easy to find software to compute their locations.

  • Sorting Data With Python

    All programmers will have to write code to sort items or data at some point. Sorting can be critical to the user experience in your application, whether it’s ordering a user’s most recent activity by timestamp, or putting a list of email recipients in alphabetical order by last name. Python sorting functionality offers robust features to do basic sorting or customize ordering at a granular level.

    In this course, you’ll learn how to sort various types of data in different data structures, customize the order, and work with two different methods of sorting in Python.

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (intel-microcode and libbsd), openSUSE (chromium, LibreOffice, and spectre-meltdown-checker), and SUSE (mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss and python-azure-agent).

  • How AI and Cybersecurity Will Intersect in 2020

    So much of the discussion about cybersecurity's relationship with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) revolves around how AI and ML can improve security product functionality. However, that is actually only one dimension of a much broader collision between cybersecurity and AI.

  • Best of TechBeacon 2019: Security is in the hot seat with privacy laws

    New laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union's General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) have put substantial pressure on organizations to bolster their security practices this year. Adding to the urgency were the near-constant reports of data breaches, an ever-evolving threat landscape, and a growing volume of attacks.

Applications: Scrapyard, NAS Software, GnuCash and Clementine

Filed under
Software
  • Scrapyard is an advanced bookmarks manager for Firefox

    Scrapyard is an open source extension for the Firefox web browser designed to improve bookmarking in Firefox in multiple ways. Firefox users may use it to bookmark pages but also content on pages, and store the data locally.

    Firefox's default bookmarks functionality is quite basic. Users may bookmark webpages or sites, add tags to bookmarks, use folders to sort bookmarks, and use Firefox's synchronization feature to sync bookmarks across devices.

    Firefox users who require more functionality need to rely on add-ons for that. Bookmarks Organizer is a handy extension to find dead or redirecting bookmarks.

  • 4 Best Open Source NAS Software for DIY server in 2020

    Before listing Linux or FreeBSD distros for creating network Attached storage OS, I would like to say there is no “best operating system” either for NAS or computer. The choice of an operating system depends heavily on what you are going to do with the NAS server. In this guide, we focus on software that understands a NAS server primarily as a system for the provision of data in your office or home. With the operating systems we mention in this article, you can copy data back and forth, perform backups, along with some advanced tasks (such as establishing a VPN connection or installing a mail server) including plugins to extend OS capabilities.

    Here we are about to list some best NAS solutions to help you if you are planning to data management using open-source software in 2020.

  • GnuCash 3.8

    GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

    GnuCash can keep track of your personal finances in as much detail as you prefer. If you are just starting out, use GnuCash to keep track of your checkbook. You may then decide to track cash as well as credit card purchases to better determine where your money is being spent. When you start investing, you can use GnuCash to help monitor your portfolio. Buying a vehicle or a home? GnuCash will help you plan the investment and track loan payments. If your financial records span the globe, GnuCash provides all the multiple-currency support you need.

  • Clementine Music Player 1.3.9 Released for Testing (How to Install)

    Clementine, an open-source audio player inspired by Amarok 1.4, released version 1.3.9 (then 1.3.92) a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu.

    Though the last version 1.3.1 was released more than 3 years ago, Clementine player is still in active development, and version 1.3.9 (as well as 1.3.92) was released in recent days as the test release. However, there’s no announcement, no change-log so far. They seem to be the development releases for the next major release.

My Linux Experience in 2019

Filed under
GNU
Linux

In summary, I can say that my experience with Linux during 2019 has been extremely satisfactory. I mean, my computers have been working great and the distros have been more stable than ever.

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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu’s Installer Slideshow Gets a Focal Refresh

Ubuntu’s installer slideshow isn’t something most of us spend an awful time looking at but for new users it serves an important educational goal. The Ubiquity desktop installer plays a slideshow during the main part of the install process. Each slide highlights a key feature or important function available in Ubuntu (or whichever Ubuntu flavour is being installed). The slideshow has been a staple part of Ubuntu (and many flavours) since it was introduced back in Ubuntu 10.10. For the upcoming release of Ubuntu 20.04 the look of the slideshow will better match the look of Yaru, Ubuntu’s default GTK theme (which recently got a big update of its own). Read more

Linux Mint with Windows 7 Theme

This article explains step by step to change GNU/Linux Mint operating system user interface to mimic W7 especially after its official support ended in this January 2020. You can practice this tutorial in Cinnamon Edition and you will install 2 types of theme plus 1 original wallpaper here. By this tutorial, I want to help people who find it's easier to migrate to Free Software if their desktop looks like their previous OS. I believe helping them are good and useful. And I hope by publishing this more people will come to help B00merang Project and others alike to develop these themes. I hope your switch from W7 to GNU/Linux goes easier, smoother, and perfect. Enjoy! Read more

Kernel/Graphics: AMD, Intel and Mesa

  • AMD vs. Intel Contributions To The Linux Kernel Over The Past Decade

    Driven by curiosity sake, here is a look at how the total number of AMD and Intel developers contributed to the upstream Linux kernel during the 2010s as well as the total number of commits each year from the respective hardware vendors.  These numbers were obtained by looking at the Linux kernel commits in Git from AMD.com and Intel.com addresses. Granted, sometimes developers from both companies will use their personal email addresses rather than the corporate ones, but for this comparison is looking solely at the Git commits from the respective corporate domains.

  • Linux k10temp Driver For AMD CPUs Updated To Better Handle Power/Temp Analysis

    As we have been eagerly talking about for the past week, the Linux kernel's k10temp driver was updated for better AMD CPU CCD temperatures and voltage/current reporting. Those improvements have been quickly evolving thanks to the work of the open-source community with AMD still sadly holding the datasheets concerning the power/temperature registers close to their vest. A new version of k10temp was sent out on Wednesday.  As reported earlier this week, these k10temp improvements could land for the upcoming Linux 5.6 but additional testing is needed. While Zen 2 CPUs have been shipping for months, these k10temp improvements are only coming now thanks to HWMON maintainer Guenter Roeck who continues working on this driver in cooperation with the community as AMD currently isn't releasing documentation/datasheets concerning the power/thermal registers or any reference code for that matter... Many Linux desktop users dream of seeing something someday like AMD Ryzen Master coming to Linux. 

  • Gutting Out Intel MPX Support To Be Finished Up In The Linux 5.6 Kernel

    The Linux support for Intel MPX has already been pretty much dead since the GCC 9 compiler dropped support for MPX. Kernel developers following that began working to remove MPX from the kernel over not having the compiler support, MPX not being widely used, and also not much code movement on the kernel side. Memory Protection Extensions (MPX) was talked up years ago by Intel for allowing the checking of pointer references at run-time to avoid buffer overflows and other potential related vulnerabilities. But in reality it didn't become too popular with developers while AddressSanitizer and other compiler sanitizer infrastructure has become more used and without the need for special bits in the CPU. Intel themselves meanwhile have deprecated MPX and say the support won't be available on future CPUs, hence not being concerned much about the Linux support departing.

  • Mesa 20.0 branchpoint planned for 2020/01/29, Milestone opened
    Hi list, due to some last minute changes in plan I'll be managing the 20.0
    release. The release calendar has been updated, but the gitlab milestone wasn't
    opened. That has been corrected, and is here
    https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/-/milestones/9, please add any issues
    or MRs you would like to land before the branchpoint to the milestone.
    
    Thanks,
    Dylan
    
  • Mesa 20.0 Feature Development Is Ending Next Week

    Mesa developers are planning to end feature work on Mesa 20.0 next week as this first quarter update to the Mesa 3D graphics stack. There has been a heck of lot building up for Mesa 20.0 including many ACO optimizations, many RadeonSI and RADV improvements around GFX10/Navi, Intel Gallium3D improvements, OpenGL 4.6 with NIR by default for RadeonSI, NIR support for LLVMpipe, Vulkan 1.2 for Intel ANV and Radeon RADV, and a whole lot more... My usual feature overview will be out after the code has been branched.

SUSE/OpenSUSE: Conferences, Fonts and SUSE CaaS Platform

  • 7 tips to survive booth duty at a conference-events

    If you contribute to an open-source community, there will be an "opportunity" that you will represent the community to a conference. You're expected to staff the booth and talk to people about the software. For some people, it looks like you are traveling and having fun. I have news for you. It's not like that. We are going to see some tips on how to survive the booth duty.

  • https://fontinfo.opensuse.org/ updated

    The information below might fall into the "unsung heroes of openSUSE" category - we think it is clearly worth to be mentioned and getting some applause (not saying that every user should owe the author a beer at the next conference ;-).

  • Introducing… Stratos for SUSE CaaS Platform

    Would you like to make your SUSE CaaS Platform clusters simpler and more intuitive to manage? Do you want to be able to manage multiple clusters from a single pane of glass, whether on premise or in public clouds? Would you like to be able to deploy applications to your clusters, no matter whether they are in a SUSE repository, other public repositories, or your organization’s private repositories? SUSE CaaS Platform is introducing a tech preview of Stratos Console, a powerful browser-based graphical interface that delivers multi-cluster, multi-cloud management. You can assess the status and health of all of your managed clusters at a glance with multi-cluster overview dashboards, then drill down into any cluster for fine grained management of its workloads and resources.