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January 2022

today's leftovers and howtos

Filed under
Misc
HowTos
  • Debian tweaks its resolution process

    The vote has concluded in the Debian project on a general resolution affecting the way such resolutions are discussed in the future. The changes, as proposed by Russ Allbery, have been adopted with the required three-to-one supermajority, though the overall level of voting was low. The new process is mostly as described in this article from October with a few changes. The end result may be to shorten the discussion period for controversial issues and make the end of that period more predictable.

  • SUSE Rancher streamlines operations at Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court | SUSE Communities

    We are back in Brazil this week to discover how SUSE Rancher has streamlined the judicial apparatus responsible for safeguarding Brazil’s constitution, at the highest judicial institution in the country.

    Demands on the Supreme Federal Court (STF) are constantly growing; with a 21% increase in cases year on year. To maintain excellent service levels, the organization has embarked on an extensive digital transformation program.

  • How to determine OS of the remote host

    When performing digital reconnaissance or penetrating testing, it’s important to fingerprint a network by understanding what operating system is used on a remote a host.

    Nmap is a great tool for this job. Although normally associated with the cybersecurity field and penetration testing, Nmap can also be used for benevolent purposes, such as a system administrator taking an inventory of what operating systems all the systems on his network are running.

  • How to determine OS of the remote host

    When performing digital reconnaissance or penetrating testing, it’s important to fingerprint a network by understanding what operating system is used on a remote a host.

    Nmap is a great tool for this job. Although normally associated with the cybersecurity field and penetration testing, Nmap can also be used for benevolent purposes, such as a system administrator taking an inventory of what operating systems all the systems on his network are running.

    Using nmap for this kind of job does not mean that you can identify remote OS with 100% accuracy, but nmap certainly equips you with a solid educated guess. In this tutorial, you will learn how to determine the operating system of a remote host by using Nmap on a Linux system.

  • How to Lock Your Terminal Sessions on Linux With vlock

    vlock lets you lock your terminal on Linux so no one else can tamper with your system through the command line in your absence.

    You may be running commands on your Linux terminal, but might need to step out for a second to get a cup of coffee or do some other task, but you don't want someone else to be able to run commands on your machine when you're away from keyboard. What do you do?

    vlock is a command-line program that will lock your Linux terminal, as well as virtual consoles.

Free Software Leftovers

Filed under
Software
  • Redis 7.0 Is Near With "Significant Performance Optimizations" - Phoronix

    The first release candidate of Redis 7.0 was made available today. Getting us excited about this updated in-memory key-value database are "significant performance optimizations" among other improvements.

    Redis 7.0-rc1 comes with performance optimizations and more but as well a number of changes that break backwards compatibility support for this popular open-source project. The performance work for Redis 7.0 includes "significant" memory savings from various optimizations, lower copy-on-write memory overhead, memory efficiency improvements, improvements to fsync to avoid large writes to disk, improved latency, and more.

  • The Apache Weekly News Round-up: week ending 28 January 2022

    Farewell, January --we're wrapping up the month with another great week. Here are the latest updates on the Apache community's activities...

  • LibreOffice project and community recap: January 2022

GNU hello 2.12 released

Filed under
GNU

Programming Leftovers

Filed under
Development
  • Perl Annual Report - 2021

    Thanks to the Team PWC, I completed one more year of weekly challenge. It may not sound a big deal but for me it is. I wouldn't have done without the support of the team. I would like to mention one name, Colin Crain, our in-house, Perl reviewer for the hard work in reviewing Perl solutions every week without fail for so many months now.

  • Rakudo Weekly News: 2022.05 foo = 42

    Ralph Mellor published a Request For Comments allowing for a new syntax to define constants in the Raku Programming Language. And quite some discussion followed, and some clarifications. In any case, it caused the creation of one new module in the ecosystem: immutable.

  • No, Linus Torvalds is not Bitcoin's legendary creator Satoshi Nakamoto

    One of the great tech mysteries is "Who really is Bitcoin's inventor, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto?" Recently, some people thought Linus Torvalds, the developer behind both the world's most popular operating system, Linux, and its most popular development tool, the Git distributed version control (DVC) system, had also claimed he was the world's most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, inventor: The perplexing Satoshi Nakamoto.

  • d-ptr pitfalls | [bobulate]

    A “smart” pointer manages a chunk of memory it points to. Examples in Qt include QScopedPointer and QSharedPointer. C++ standard examples are std::shared_ptr and std::unique_ptr.

    Smart pointers need a particular implementation: the Qt source code implements the Q-flavored ones (in Qt source code, and there’s only one Qt source code), but the standard ones are implemented by multiple standard libraries. There’s GNU libstdc++ and LLVM libcxx, for instance. There are differences in the implementations.

    One important difference lies in the implementation of the destructor of a std::unique_ptr. The LLVM implementation replaces an internal pointer by a nullptr and then calls the destructor of the held object, while GNU calls the destructor of the held object and leaves the internal pointer alone (the std::unique_ptr is being destroyed anyway, so why bother updating the pointer-value).

    This becomes visible in some situations where a not-completely-destroyed smart pointer is used: with the GNU implementation it may still hold a valid pointer, with LLVM it holds nullptr. Some will crash, some will not – it doesn’t really matter because to get into this situation you need to be in Undefined Behavior territory anyway and you should be glad that your computer doesn’t catch fire, fall over, and then sink into the swamp.

    The visible symptom in a backtrace is an unexpectedly nullptr “smart” pointer.

What New Features Can You Expect in Linux Mint 20.3?

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The year 2022 has arrived with Linux Mint’s newest version, 20.3 Una, in tow. The titular OS carries over the enhancements of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and a mix from Ubuntu's interim versions released simultaneously.

Linux firmware 1.187 and stable kernel 5.4 power up this new release, making it an elaborate yet stable version with a deep-set dark mode user interface. Nonetheless, the real highlights are Mint's up-to-date software repository and robust feature augmentations, which improve the distro's overall experience.

Let's take a look at what new features the latest Linux Mint release has brought to the table.

Read more

Gentoo on a PinePhone, postmarketOS on a PinePhone, and Other PinePhone Stories

Filed under
OS
Gadgets
  • PinePhone community poll results

    Throughout January we ran a poll asking people about how they use their PinePhones. Some poll results are quite predictable while others yielded unexpected results. Before we start, let me put on my academic hat for just one minute. This is a small, self-reported and not representative sample. A total of 3079 respondents took part in the poll – which amounts to less than 5% of all PinePhone owners. I’d therefore hesitate to extrapolate any of the results to the entire PinePhone community. I find it more likely that this sample reflects the most active community members and people following our project. It is also worth mentioning that some questions posed in the poll weren’t exactly well phrased, and that the poll itself did not follow any established conventions. But this was never meant to be a comprehensive study – it is instead, at best, a peak at the overarching trends of the most active portion of the community. To this end, when describing the results I’ll use descriptive generalizations, such as ‘more than half’ or ‘the majority’, rather than exact numbers or percentages I feel that this is more in line with the nature of the data and the general spirit of the poll. For what it’s worth, I’ll also share some of my thoughts and insights as we review the results. Exact numbers and percentages are, however, included in the graphs.

  • Lilbits: NYT buys Wordle, AYA NEO Next crowdfunding preview, Linux Smartphone news, and Samsung Galaxy S22 series leaks

    In other recent news, developers have been making a lot of progress in creating software for the new PinePhone Pro Linux-friendly smartphone with a Rockchip RK3399 processor, although there’s still a lot of work to do. Meanwhile PinePhone maker Pine64 has released the results of a recent poll that gives us an idea of which mobile Linux distributions and users interfaces are most popular… at least among the most engaged PinePhone users. And the New York Times has acquired popular word game Wordle with a promise that it won’t get put behind a paywall… yet.

    [...]

    Now that developers and early adopters have received some of the first PinePhone Pro smartphones, some folks have been running into charging issues when trying to use a “dumb” USB charger rather than a smarter USB-C charger or when the battery is completely drained. Megi, who has put an impressive amount of work into maintaining a Linux kernel that enables support for PinePhone and PinePhone Pro hardware, explains the issue in-depth and notes that some mobile Linux distributions for the PinePhone Pro have already merged Megi’s work-in-progress USB Type-C support into their kernel trees… but they may not always have the latest updates.

  • megi's PinePhone Development Log
  • Gentoo on a PinePhone Pro

    With the release of the PinePhone Pro it is time for an other blog, I've been using the PinePhone Pro since the Developer Editions came out. And I have been working very hard on getting Gentoo to support the PinePhone Pro.

  • Demo of postmarketOS running on the PinePhone Pro [Martijn Braam / YouTube]

Videos/Audiocasts/Shows: Linuxfx Copying Vista 11 and Some More 'Telemetry' Scoundrel

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Linuxfx Brings Everything Wrong With Windows To Linux - Invidious

    I have had a lot of viewer requests asking me to look at really unique Linux distribution called Linuxfx. What makes this Linux distro so different? Well, it tries to mimic Windows 11, both in look and feel, as well as in function. The Linuxfx desktop is built using KDE Plasma.

  • LHS Episode #451: VSCode Deep Dive [Ed: Absolutely foolish of Linux in the Ham Shack to promote or sort of endorse proprietary software of Microsoft, which moreover spies for Microsoft]

    Hello and welcome to the 451st installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss the care and feeding of VSCode. VSCode is a developer environment and testing platform for almost any language and is cross platform, leveraging all the beast parts of your operating system and programming tools. We touch on everything from installing to configuring to using the platform for development, debugging and version control. We hope you find this discussion entertaining and informative. We also hope you have a great week.

  • Audacity Is Dead, Tenacity & Audacium Killed It - Invidious [Ed: The very high cost of so-called 'telemetry' scoundrel]

    A few months back the whole Audacity drama happened and a few forks spawned and from the flames, the 2 notable ones being Tenacity and Audacium but what state are these forks currently in and should you use them.

Games: Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer, More Steam Deck, and Epic Games Store

Filed under
Gaming
  • Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer - Part 10: For I Have Sinned | GamingOnLinux

    It was another shovelware collection that first introduced me to XEvil, in this case 300 Arcade Games by Cosmi Corporation made in 2000 for Microsoft Windows. This X11 classic was ported to DirectX by Micheal Judge, with the original game being first released by Steve Hardt in 1994 as a way to teach himself C++ as a sophomore. XEvil would grow in popularity from there, even being the star of organized tournaments similar to those done for Doom and Quake at the time.

    The version included on 100 Great Linux Games is actually the forked 1.5.5 Mutant Strain with inferior sprite work, worse controls, and choppier performance than the final stable 2.02 release. A controversial opinion in some quarters as the comments section of The Linux Game Tome illustrates, with people bemoaning the loss of the green chopper boys and black aliens, with some even pining for a return to the original black and white graphics.

    That final version of XEvil has near feature parity between the Linux and Windows releases, with one glaring omission. The interfaces are a little different but accomplish the same thing, with the Linux version having more graphics options but the Windows version supporting full screen. On Linux smooth scrolling is disabled by default and needs to be toggled due to the performance penalty, but it gave me no problems running on my Pentium III 500 Katmai.

  • Portal 2 gets an upgrade ready for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

    Ready for some more testing? Valve has put up a brand new update for Portal 2 as they ready up for the Steam Deck. As one of their most popular titles, it's no surprise to see upgrades coming in.

  • This tool will make playing Epic Games on Steam Deck much easier | TechRadar

    We’re less than one month away from the launch of the Steam Deck, and it looks like players might now find it easier to take more than just their Steam library out on the go.

    The main selling point of the handheld PC is its portability - at the expense of performance (compared to a powerful gaming PC), players can enjoy their Steam library no matter where they are. However, PC game libraries aren’t confined to just one platform; what if you want to play all those free Epic Games Store games you’ve collected?

    This is where Heroic comes in. It’s an open-source, Linux-compatible game launcher that can boot up Epic Games Store titles. Because the Steam Deck is a Linux-based PC (albeit in a handheld form), Heroic’s Linux compatibility means it should be fairly easy to install on the system.

    This means that you won’t need to muck around with trying to install a new operating system on your Steam Deck to run your Epic Games library - and (as noted by Forbes) the new 2.1.0. Heroic update (nicknamed “Rayleigh”) has added several Steam Deck-friendly features.

    First up is the newly added support for gamepads. While it’s unlikely the Steam Deck's controllers will be compatible right away, we suspect it won’t take long to make them work in Heroic now that the UI is already compatible with Xbox and PlayStation controllers.

elementary OS 7 Will Be Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Offer GTK4 Apps and Power Profiles

Filed under
Linux
News

Elementary Co-founder and CXO Cassidy James Blaede talks in a recent blog post about some of the features and enhancements that may or may not land in the final elementary OS 7 release.

First things first, the developer revealed the fact that elementary OS 7 is being built on top of the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) operating system series, which is also under heavy development over at Canonical’s labs.

Read more

Arch, a recap

Filed under
GNU
Linux

One of the things, that has kept me (increasingly) busy over the past few years is my involvement with the Linux distribution Arch Linux. While I have been using Linux for probably about 14 years it is frankly hard to pinpoint when exactly I went down the rabbit hole that this operating system/ ecosystem/ community is (relevant XKCD). However, I can elaborate on my motivation and where that got me.

As a musician of a varying background (from band-based rock music to solo performances on guitar or with a modular synthesizer) I have found myself evaluating the available pieces of software that are commonly used in music production (e.g. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and audio plugin-ins). Most of them are proprietary and only available for Windows or macOS (both proprietary as well). During my studies a lot of the software in use has also not been free, but was provided by the university with a student discount (e.g. Operating Systems (OSes), Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) or certain types of Visual Programming Languages (VPLs)). I got increasingly annoyed by dealing with intransparent proprietary OSes, vendor lock-in schemes, paying for software updates and being driven into software piracy for working with so-called industry standards.

Some time during the studies for my B.Sc. I decided to "try out Linux", not knowing what that would mean actually. So there I was, booting an Ubuntu Live CD and clicking around in an interface, that would install the OS alongside a still existing Windows 7. At that point I did not yet know about the joys of missing or failing device drivers. Many hard fights with the X Window System later I settled on Ubuntu Studio for a while, as it had many nice audio related pieces of software available out-of-the-box.

I have always been a person that is interested in "how things work". Soon I realized, that the Linux ecosystem consisted of people that thought quite similarly. Through various (often distribution specific) online documentation, forums, mailing lists and the documentation of software projects for the first time I felt as if I could actually learn something that mattered, because it was not sold in a box and instead had a community of like-minded people gathering around it. I found quite appealing that a lot of things were not polished and that some things were not easy, because it provided the sense of achieving something or getting good at something. Where in Windows land I would have reinstalled the OS upon getting intermittent bluescreens, in Linux land I just kept reading about a certain topic until I was able to fix it myself.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

7 Best Rufus Alternatives To Create Bootable USB In 2022

One of the first steps of trying out an operating system is installing the image of the same on a USB drive. Rufus is one of the most widely used tools to create bootable USBs, but you might not like it due to its UI or slow on your computer. Hence, in this article, let’s look at some of the best Rufus alternatives to create bootable USBs. Read more

Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Here's what's new and changed in Kodi 20 'Nexus' Alpha 1

    Yesterday, we revealed that the next big version of Kodi had hit an important milestone. Nightly builds of Kodi 20 'Nexus' have been available for months, but now there’s a much more stable release for users to download. Although it’s only a pre-release build, and therefore will likely have some bugs to watch out for, Kodi 20 'Nexus' Alpha 1's arrival will excite a lot of people. Team Kodi is very proud of this release, and highlights the following changes and new features.

  • MiTubo 1.0: playlist support, new “website” | Mardy

    Expanding a bit on the points above, the first thing worth saying is that the choice of releasing this version as “1.0” does not mean that it's more stable than the previous ones; it just means that I'm rather satisfied with the feature set, and that I believe that the program is ready for more widespread use. This is also the reason why I decided to prepare a web page for it: mardy.it/mitubo. I didn't go for a completely separate website, unlike what I previously did for Mappero Geotagger, PhotoTeleport and Imaginario (which reminds me that I haven't been working on the latter for a long time! I should try to correct this soon!), both because this way it's simpler to publish news about it (I'll continue doing that here, instead of cross-posting in two sites), and because having it in the same domain might be mutually beneficial for the SEO ranking of the blog and of MiTubo.

  • Adriaan de Groot: Blue Systems Farewell

    Calamares serves the needs of several dozen Linux distributions, large and small. I’ve been running the Calamares project for five years now, sponsored by Blue Systems who have supported the Calamares project since its beginning and through two maintainers now. After these five years, I have decided to hand in my badge and move on to different things. This means that I’m no longer paid to spend three days a week on Calamares and my involvement is going to be dialed back to incidental-volunteer-contributor. This means that maybe I’ll finally ignore Linux distro’s and sit down to make it work for FreeBSD.

  • Elevate from a normie to an elite internet user - Invidious
  • Strengthening digital infrastructure: A policy agenda for free and open source software

    While there is little debate that digital forces are playing an increasingly crucial role in the economy, there is limited understanding of the importance of the digital infrastructure that underlies this role. Much of the discussion around digital infrastructure has focused on broadband availability (which is certainly important), but the role of free and open source software (FOSS or OSS) has gone underappreciated. FOSS—software whose source code is public, is often created by decentralized volunteers, and can be freely used and modified by anyone—has come to play a vital role in the modern economy. It is baked into technology we use every day (cars, phones, websites, etc.), as well as into various aspects of critical infrastructure including our finance and energy systems.

  • Improve legibility and reduce layout shifts with x-height adjustments

    There’s more to setting the text size on your webpages than just the CSS font-size property. It only controls the size of majuscule (“uppercase”, e.g. “A”) letters, numbers, and punctuation. The size of minuscule (“lowercase”, e.g. “a”) letters is left up to the font. [...] Unfortunately, font-size-adjust is only supported in Firefox. It has been supported by this browser for over a decade already. It was implemented in Chrome for almost half a decade, but it has been left to rot behind the Experimental Web Platform features flag. It’s not implemented in Safari.

Linux and "Open" Devices