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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

Kontron takes Raspberry Pi into Industry 4.0 with Codesys

“The integrated development environment Codesys for programmable logic controllers according to the IEC 61131-3 standards is hardware-independent software for application development in industrial automation,” according to Kontron. “Thanks to its open interfaces and security features, Codesys has distinguished itself as an industry 4.0 platform and facilitates data exchange between IIoT networks.” Prior to this, Codesys has been available for Kontron’s PiXtend – a similar product that takes a standard Pi rather than a Compute Module. Of this, the company said: Codesys V3 lets you memory-program controls. An integrated web visualisation tool is available for displaying your control elements, diagrams and graphics on your smartphone, tablet or PC.” Read more

Security: Windows, Microsoft Malware, GPS Bug, and Some Exaggeration/FUD

  • Sophisticated Spearphishing Campaign Targets Government Organizations, IGOs, and NGOs - blackMORE Ops

    The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are engaged in addressing a spearphishing campaign targeting government organizations, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). A sophisticated cyber threat actor leveraged a compromised end-user account from Constant Contact, a legitimate email marketing software company, to spoof a U.S.-based government organization and distribute links to malicious URLs.[1] CISA and FBI have not determined that any individual accounts have been specifically targeted by this campaign.

  • Malicious NPM Packages Caught Running Cryptominer On Windows, Linux, macOS Devices [Ed: Lousy anti-journalist sites try to blame the victims for having received malware from Microsoft itself]

    Three JavaScript libraries uploaded to the official NPM package repository have been unmasked as crypto-mining malware, once again demonstrating how open-source software package repositories are becoming a lucrative target for executing an array of attacks on Windows, macOS, and Linux systems.

  • GPS Daemon (GPSD) Rollover Bug

    Critical Infrastructure (CI) owners and operators, and other users who obtain Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) from Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, should be aware of a GPS Daemon (GPSD) bug in GPSD versions 3.20 (released December 31, 2019) through 3.22 (released January 8, 2021).

  • New Linux kernel memory corruption bug causes full system compromise [Ed: This is "local privilege escalation", i.e. vastly less severe than all those back doors in Windows, but so-called 'security' firms aren't meant to talk about state-mandated holes]

    Researchers dubbed it a “straightforward Linux kernel locking bug” that they exploited against Debian Buster’s 4.19.0.13-amd64 kernel.

today's howtos

  • Inspect the capabilities of ELF binaries with this open source tool

    Capa is an open source project from Mandiant (a cybersecurity company). In the project's own words, capa detects capabilities in executable files. Although the primary target of Capa is unknown and possibly malicious executables, the examples in this article run Capa on day-to-day Linux utilities to see how the tool works. Given that most malware is Windows-based, earlier Capa versions only supported the PE file format, a dominant Windows executable format. However, starting with v3.0.0, support for ELF files has been added (thanks to Intezer).

  • What you need to know about Kubernetes NetworkPolicy | Opensource.com

    With a growing number of cloud-native applications going to production through Kubernetes adoption, security is an important checkpoint that you must consider early in the process. When designing a cloud-native application, it is very important to embed a security strategy up front. Failure to do so leads to lingering security issues that can cause project delays and ultimately cost you unnecessary stress and money. For years, people left security at the end—until their deployment was about to go into production. That practice causes delays on deliverables because each organization has security standards to adhere to, which are either bypassed or not followed with a lot of accepted risks to make the deliverables. Understanding Kubernetes NetworkPolicy can be daunting for people just starting to learn the ins and outs of Kubernetes implementation. But this is one of the fundamental requirements that you must learn before deploying an application to your Kubernetes cluster. When learning Kubernetes and cloud-native application patterns, make your slogan "Don't leave security behind!"

  • 3 tips for printing with Linux

    I have a confession to make. This may be an unpopular opinion. I actually enjoy reading documents on a piece of paper as opposed to digitally. When I want to try a new recipe, I print it out to follow it so I don't have to continually swipe my mobile device to keep up with the steps. I store all my favorite recipes in sheet protectors in a binder. I also like to print out coloring pages or activity sheets for my kids. There are a ton of options online or we create our own! Though I have a fond appreciation for printed documents, I have also had my fair share of printing nightmares. Paper jams, low ink, printer not found, the list of frustrating errors goes on and on. Thankfully, it is possible to print frustration-free on Linux. Below are three tutorials you need to get started printing on Linux. The first article walks through how to connect your printer to your Linux computer. Then, learn how to print from anywhere in your house using your home network. The last article teaches you how to print from your Linux terminal so you can live out all your productivity dreams. If you are in the market for a new printer, check out this article about choosing a printer for Linux.

  • 3 basic Linux user management commands every sysadmin should know [Ed: But those have nothing to do with Linux… they’re part of shadow-utils.]

    I like logical commands; commands that are simple, straightforward, and just make sense. When I delivered Linux sysadmin training, I found Linux user management commands to be easy to explain.

  • Strange Apache Reload Issue « etbe - Russell Coker

    I recently had to renew the SSL certificate for my web server, nothing exciting about that but Certbot created a new directory for the key because I had removed some domains (moved to a different web server). This normally isn’t a big deal, change the Apache configuration to the new file names and run the “reload” command. My monitoring system initially said that the SSL certificate wasn’t going to expire in the near future so it looked fine. Then an hour later my monitoring system told me that the certificate was about to expire, apparently the old certificate came back! I viewed my site with my web browser and the new certificate was being used, it seemed strange. Then I did more tests with gnutls-cli which revealed that exactly half the connections got the new certificate and half got the old one. Because my web server isn’t doing anything particularly demanding the mpm_event configuration only starts 2 servers, and even that may be excessive for what it does. So it seems that the Apache reload command had reloaded the configuration on one mpm_event server but not the other!

  • Featured Unixcop Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) on CentOS 8 Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) on CentOS 8

    Data Integration ensures that information is timely, accurate, and consistent across complex systems. Although it is still frequently referred as Extract-Transform-Load (ETL), data integration was initially considered as the architecture used for loading Enterprise Data Warehouse systems. Data integration now includes data movement, data synchronization, data quality, data management, and data services. Oracle Data Integrator s built on several components all working together around a centralized metadata repository. Also these components – graphical modules, runtime agents and web based interfaces – in conjunction with other advanced features make ODI a lightweight, state of the art data integration platform. With its superior performance and flexible architecture, Oracle Data Integrator can_be used in various types of projects such as Data Warehousing, SOA, Business Intelligence or Application Integration.

  • Oracle Weblogic 14c on CentOS 8 - Unixcop

    Modern business environment demands Web and e-commerce applications that accelerate your entry into new markets like a boom ! help you find new ways to reach and retain customers, and allow you to introduce new products and services quickly. To build and deploy these new solutions, you need a proven, reliable e-commerce platform that can connect and empower all types of users while integrating your corporate data. Oracle WebLogic Server is a unified and extensible platform for developing, deploying and running enterprise applications, such as Java, for on-premises and in the cloud. Hi Guys ! Today, we will discuss about Oracle WebLogic server. We have got through some intro & now will have a glimpse of some architectural overview of this Oracle Middle ware product, Then we will go the how to’s. Don’t get bored till then ! WebLogic Server operates in the middle tier of a multi tier (or n-tier) architecture. A multi tier architecture determines where the software components that make up a computing system are executed in relation to each other and to the hardware, network, and users. Choosing the best location for each software component lets you develop applications faster; eases deployment and administration; and provides greater control over performance, utilization, security, scalability, and reliability.

  • Store Passwords Securely with Hashicorp Vault on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

    It is always not possible to remember all the secret keys, passphrases, and tokens. Sometimes managing and maintaining secrets might be challenging tasks. We may need to store such secrets somewhere which we can use when needed. Hashicorp Vault is a solution that can be used to store secrets. It protects all the secrets stored on it and keeps secured. In this article, we will learn how to install Hashicorp vault on ubuntu 20.04.

Open Hardware/Modding: New Hardware Based on RISC-V and Arduino Projects

  • M5Stamp C3 RISC-V board supports WiFI 4, Bluetooth 5.0 Long Range and 2 Mbps bitrate - CNX Software

    It was only last month that M5Stack launched the M5Stamp Pico module based on an ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP and heat-resistant plastic shell, but M5Stamp C3 board is already out with most of the same specifications and features but an ESP32-C3 RISC-V SoC replaces the ESP32 dual-core Xtensa processor. M5Stamp C3 offers WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 with high bitrate and long-range connectivity and comes with the same heat-resistant plastic shell, but the company also highlights the RSA-3072-based secure boot and the AES-128-XTS-based flash encryption as a more secure way to address Bluetooth security concerns.

  • Alibaba open sources four RISC-V cores: XuanTie E902, E906, C906 and C910 - CNX Software

    Alibaba introduces a range of RISC-V processors in the last few years with the Xuantie family ranging from the E902 micro-controller class core to the C910 core for servers in data centers. This also includes the XuanTie C906 core found in the Allwinner D1 single-core RISC-V processor. While RISC-V is an open standard and there’s a fair share of open-source RISC-V cores available, many commercial RISC-V cores are closed source, but Zhang Jianfeng, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence speaking at the 2021 Apsara Conference, announced that T-Head had open-sourced four RISC-V-based Xuantie series processor cores, namely Xuantie E902, E906, C906, and C910, as well as related software and tools.

  • SiFive Has A New RISC-V Core To Improve Performance By 50%, Outperform Cortex-A78 - Phoronix

    SiFive just shared word that at today's Linley Conference they teased their Performance P550 successor that will "set a new standard for the highest efficiency RISC-V processor available."

  • This tinyML device counts your squats while you focus on your form | Arduino Blog

    Getting in your daily exercise is vital to living a healthy life and having proper form when squatting can go a long way towards achieving that goal without causing joint pain from doing them incorrectly. The Squats Counter is a device worn around the thigh that utilizes machine learning and TensorFlow Lite to automatically track the user’s form and count how many squats have been performed. Creator Manas Pange started his project by flashing the tf4micro-moition-kit code to a Nano 33 BLE Sense, which features an onboard three-axis accelerometer. From there, he opened the Tiny Motion Trainer Experiment by Google that connects to the Arduino over Bluetooth and captures many successive samples of motion. After gathering enough proper and improper form samples, Manas trained, tested, and deployed the resulting model to the board.