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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

You Can Use Raspberry Pi 400 As a PC Keyboard and Mouse Combo

If you’re a fan of Pimoroni, you’re probably familiar with its software lead Phil Howard (aka Gadgetoid) and his developments in the Raspberry Pi community. Today we’re sharing an awesome project he put together using our favorite keyboard PC, the Raspberry Pi 400. Using the right cable and a bit of code, the Raspberry Pi 400 can function as a regular, USB HID keyboard. The best Raspberry Pi projects are easy to recreate and the only accessory you need to pull this project off is a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable. Read more

today's leftovers

  • DearPyGui 1.0.0 user interface Toolkit Released - itsfoss.net

    Published edition Dear PyGui 1.0.0 (the DPG), a cross-platform toolkit for GUI development in Python. The most important feature of the project is the use of multithreading and outsourcing of operations to the GPU to speed up rendering. The key goal of shaping the 1.0.0 release is to stabilize the API. Compatibility-breaking changes will now be proposed in a separate “experimental” module. To ensure high performance, the bulk of the DearPyGui code is written in C ++ using the Dear ImGui library , designed for creating graphical applications in C ++ and offering a fundamentally different operating model. The Dear PyGui source code is licensed under the MIT license. Declared support for Linux, Windows 10 and macOS platforms.

  • Software testing - a 32-year-old message

    And then, after having tested hundreds of Linux distributions, thousands of applications, every release of Windows since 3.11, and then some, I can definitely say that the slow, steady erosion of professional testing in the software world is noticeable. And by that mean, in those scenarios it actually existed, because in some domains, it's never been there, and it shows. If anything, the longer I keep my hands on this or that application or program, the more I'm convinced that the new, casual approach to quality is simply not working. There will be a moment of reckoning.

  • Issue #373 - Robotic tickles

    We thought we’d lead with the weirdest Raspberry Pi-powered thing, purely because we couldn’t resist the bizarre visual. These robotic hands move according to actions taken on social media. And they’re creepy. We like creepy. Another robot from the blog this week can solve your Sudoku in seconds, and a hackathon-winning student project can photograph any object and automatically turn it into an NFT.

  • ODROID-H2+ SBC discontinued due to supply shortage - CNX Software

    Hardkernel has just discontinued ODROID-H2+ single board computer based on the Intel Celeron J4115 Gemini Lake Refresh processor, which followed ODROID-H2 SBC itself being discontinued shortly after Intel decided to phase out Intel J4105 and other Gemini Lake processors. The reason given is the “uncertain situation of main component supply”, which could mean Celeron J4115 processor is hard to get (or expensive), or the Realtek RTL8125B chipset provides 2.5GbE networking. That means Hardkernel does not offer any x86 SBC at this time. That’s a shame before ODROID-H2+ was a well-supported SBC running Linux or Windows, and great value for money at $119, especially for people interested in the two 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports found on the board (and upgradeable to six), not to mention support for SO-DIMM memory and M.2 NVMe SSD.

  • Debian blocks VPN and Tor users from reading its Wiki. – BaronHK's Rants

    I understand that they don’t want VPN and Tor users messing up their Wiki anonymously, where it would be difficult to ban any one vandal, but to block people from even _reading it_ unless they unmask themselves is a bit heavy-handed. On Wikipedia, they block Tor and VPN users from editing, but you can read it all you want, and you can view the page’s source code if you are on a VPN. This is the right thing to do. I’m not sure why Debian is requiring us to de-anonymize ourselves just to read their Wiki. I wish that they would stop doing this.

  • Red Hat Announces Updates To Red Hat OpenShift And Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management For Kubernetes
  • How bare metal cloud is powering the telecommunications industry

    Bare metal clouds are gaining a lot of momentum in the telecommunications industry—but why? What is a bare metal cloud, and what are the benefits of using it? In this post, we answer these questions and more.

  • digiKam - digiKam Recipes 21.10.15 released

    It has been a while since the last update of digiKam Recipes. But that doesn’t mean I neglected the book. In the past few months, I’ve been doing a complete language review and adding new material. The new revision of digiKam Recipes features detailed information on how to move digiKam library and databases from one machine to another, how to access digiKam remotely from any machine, and how to import photos from an iOS device. The book now uses the Barlow font for better legibility along with a slightly improved layout.

  • October 2021 Web Server Survey [Ed: Microsoft became so irrelevant in Web servers that it is not even mentioned anymore and most tables don't even list Microsoft (it's miniscule, outside view)]

    In the October 2021 survey we received responses from 1,179,448,021 sites across 265,426,928 unique domains and 11,388,826 web-facing computers. This reflects a loss of 8.59 million sites, but a gain of 1.07 million domains and 20,800 computers. The number of unique domains powered by the nginx web server grew by 789,000 this month, which has increased its total to 79.5 million domains and its leading market share to 29.9%. Conversely, Apache lost 753,000 domains and saw its second-place share fall to 24.7%. Meanwhile, Cloudflare gained 746,000 domains – almost as many as nginx – but it stays in fourth place with an 8.15% share while OpenResty's shrank slightly to 14.5%. Cloudflare also made strong progress amongst the top million websites, where it increased its share by 0.24 percentage points to 18.2%. nginx is in second place with a 22.5% (+0.12pp) share but has closed the gap on Apache which still leads with 24.0% after losing 0.21pp. Apache also continues to lead in terms of active sites, where it has a total of 48.0 million. However, it was the only major vendor to suffer a drop in this metric, with a loss of 277,000 active sites reducing its share down to 23.9% (-0.29pp). In terms of all sites, nginx lost the most (-9.99 million) but remains far in the lead with a total of 412 million.

  • Chrome OS 94 Released - itsfoss.net

    The release of the operating system Chrome OS 94 has been published , based on the Linux kernel, the upstart system manager, the ebuild / portage build toolkit, open components and the Chrome 94 web browser . The user environment of Chrome OS is limited to a web browser, and instead of standard programs, web applications are used, however, Chrome OS includes a full-fledged multi-window interface, desktop and taskbar. Chrome OS 94 is available for most current Chromebooks. Enthusiasts have formed unofficial assemblies for ordinary computers with x86, x86_64 and ARM processors. Source texts are distributed under the free Apache 2.0 license.

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (squashfs-tools, tomcat9, and wordpress), Fedora (openssh), openSUSE (kernel, mbedtls, and rpm), Oracle (httpd, kernel, and kernel-container), SUSE (firefox, kernel, and rpm), and Ubuntu (linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4).

  • Apache Releases Security Advisory for Tomcat   | CISA

    The Apache Software Foundation has released a security advisory to address a vulnerability in multiple versions of Tomcat. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause a denial of service condition.

  • Security Risks of Client-Side Scanning

    Even before Apple made their announcement, law enforcement shifted their battle for back doors to client-side scanning. The idea is that they wouldn’t touch the cryptography, but instead eavesdrop on communications and systems before encryption or after decryption. It’s not a cryptographic back door, but it still a back door — and brings with it all the insecurities of a back door. I’m part of a group of cryptographers that has just published a paper discussing the security risks of such a system. (It’s substantially the same group that wrote a similar paper about key escrow in 1997, and other “exceptional access” proposals in 2015. We seem to have to do this every decade or so.) In our paper, we examine both the efficacy of such a system and its potential security failures, and conclude that it’s a really bad idea.

  • The Open Source Security Foundation receives $ 10 million in funding - itsfoss.net

    The Linux Foundation has announced a $ 10 million commitment to the OpenSSF (Open Source Security Foundation), an effort to improve the security of open source software. Funds raised through royalties from parent companies of OpenSSF, including Amazon, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Ericsson, Facebook, Fidelity, GitHub, Google, IBM, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Red Hat, Snyk, and VMware …

Videos/Shows: Ubuntu 21.10, LHS, and Chris Titus

  • Ubuntu 21.10 - Full Review - Invidious

    Ubuntu 21.10 finally features the GNOME 40 desktop, better Wayland support, and more. In this video, I'll give you my thoughts on "Impish Idri" and we'll go over some of the new features. I'll talk about the installation process, Wayland changes,

  • LHS Episode #435: The Weekender LXXX

    It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

  • Time to Rice and Make the Best Looking Desktop - Invidious

    We have our script that sets up the system... now we make our script to automatically make our desktop the best looking one out there!