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srlinuxx's blog

gentoo's april fools

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Gentoo's April Fools Joke? Imagine my surprize when I logged into the gentoo forum and saw this! I actually kinda like it, if you forget how hard it is to read. I have to get like 6 inches from the monitor. Big Grin Well, there's a bit of a discussion whether this is actually a real theme or just a joke. hmmm. Big Grin

A Month With Fluxbox - Part 1

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In anticipation of the April Gentoo Monthly Screenshots thread on my favorite forum, I've been working on beautifying my desktop for the last several days.

I've used KDE forever it seems, but this month I wanted to post something a little different. And in keeping with the spirit of the thread, I'm going to run fluxbox all April long and post my thoughts on using it here at tuxmachines at the end. Today I'd like to share of the things I've done so far to "purty it up".

Diversity in PC cases

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I saw this thread on gentoo forum about cardboard pc cases and thought I'd pass along some of the fun.

A Peak at MDK 10.2-b2 AMD64

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Submitted by Anonymous

Anonymous writes, "It took about 10-12 minutes to install. I selected the default installation. You need all 3 cd's if you are doing the default install though it appears to only need 3-4 packages from the 3rd cd.

Boot up speed was about the same as the x86 version. The noticable difference came after logging into the desktop. This is where you begin to notice the speed difference from accessing the menus to launching applications.

slashdot effect

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Site News

I can only apologize for the slowness and inaccessibility of the site past coupla days and that one other occurrence last month I guess it was. I was /.'d last month and osnews'd yesterday (continuing today). I can't really do much about it right now. I subscribe to bellsouth's largest business pipe in our area, but it's still quite limited upstream. The only way I can think of to alleviate this condition is to perhaps consider off-site hosting. I don't really want to do this for several reasons, but the main one is the financial considerations. Fortunately (or unfortunately - depending upon how you look at it) this only happens once in a while, so I guess I'll (we'll?) have to just live with it for now. If this issue continues to come up, I'll look at my alternatives more closely.

Some folks have joked that my site had been taken down, and for now this hasn't been true. As my logs will testify, my server continued to function at all times, saddly I ran out of pipe. I have a fair amount of confidence in apache (and drupal) to handle large loads and hopefully we won't have to deal with that issue.

Anyway, all that to say, thanks so much for visiting my little corner of the web. It's gratifying to receive so many hits on my original work, yet it's kinda a double-edge blade, and you, the visitor, bear the brunt. I'm sorry I don't have the bandwidth to handle those large loads so no one is denied access or their visit is painfully slow. I can't thank you enough for visiting and your comments. And of course, special thanks to pclinuxonline, Slashdot, osnews, userlocal and all the others for carrying my stories.

Thank you sincerely,

KDE 3.4 Out?

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Well, no, not officially, but distro developers are beginning to leak them. They appeared in this morning's gentoo portage (masked) and PLD mirrors.

Scheduled to be officially released Wednesday, March 16, the natives are getting restless. Myself? Definitely. I'm debating whether to start the download now or wait. I'm also debating whether to use ebuilds or tarballs. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Interesting Application

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Welcome to DaNa
It Does Nothing for Everybody

Enjoy the new NaDa™ 0.5 !

NaDa™ is a new concept. A thought, really. It is very light : 1 byte. It doesn't take long to fetch. It doesn't take long to understand. It doesn't disturb your habits nor does it makes you feel insecure. It is a reassuring piece of software that does nothing, and does it very well. That's a lot !

Compatible with all Mac OSs, including OS X Panther, all Windows™ versions, all flavors of UNIX/Linux, Amiga, BeOS, everything you can think of, because we strongly believe that NaDa™ does nothing for everybody.


pclo news feed

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Site News

I do apologize for the missing pclinuxonline news feed. Seems there is a story with a bad character in it causing a little problem for drupal to pull in. It should be cleared up and return to the news block in a few days when that story rotates out of the feed. Didn't want anyone to think I removed my best supporter from my site. No way, no how, na uh.

Just my luck too, right when I got a story they were kind enough to carry. Tongue

KDE user's look at Gnome-2.10

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I guess it's no secret that I'm a KDE user. But every once in a while I like to login to others to see what's new. As such, this will be a newbie's look at gnome.

Cooker (Mandrake 10.2b3) Woes

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Since my not-so-kind review of Mandrake's latest beta release, I've been trying in vain to update to the latest cooker in hopes of putting out a more positive review for them given their popularity and loyalty of users. The issues I mentioned were not isolated to my install and I've been hoping for some fixes.

Slackware 10.1

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On February 7 Slackware released its 10.1 version of its famous linux distribution. With the death of one of my harddrives the other night and the resulting loss of 10.0, I finally found the time to give it a try.

Mdk 10.2 beta 3

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I lost my hdb night before last and with it went my installs of Sorcerer, Fedora, Vector, One Base, SUSE, a couple older PCLOS, a couple older gentoos, mdk cooker, and most hurtful my Slackware 10.0.

Having a spare coupla partitions on hda I thought I just had to replace my cooker and slack. So, I set off to download the latest of each.

Upon returning home from work last night I wanted to set up mandrake and take screenshots, thinking that'd make a good story for my fledgling site.

It took like no time to install and I noticed some new features in the installer, but nothing earth shattering. I was anxious to login to my new install and look around and take my screenshots.

Weird *ss Weather

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Just talk

You'd think after living in TN for 25 years, no make that 35 years, I'd be used to this weird weather. One saying that's become cliche around here is 'If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes - it'll change'. Yet it never seems to cease to amaze me. It's been raining here for several days now, it was raining when I went to bed last night and a thunderstorm awoke me this morning. This thunderstorm was a little spookier than most because the sky had taken on this eerie greenish-yellowish cast. Well, we practically-native Tennesseans know that's one of the warning signs of tornado activity, another thing we should be used to by now.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Acer updates Chromebook 15 with 12-hour battery life -- $199 exclusively at Walmart
    Chromebooks are not for everyone, but for many home users, it is absolute perfection. If you live in the web browser -- as many people do nowadays -- laptops running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS are a godsend because they are maintenance free. No need for confusing OS upgrades or anti-virus software. It just works, and it works well. Since they can now run Android apps too, they could become a serious threat to Microsoft and Windows 10. One of the most attractive aspects of Chromebooks is price -- they are often quite affordable. Today, Acer refreshes its 15.6 inch Chromebook 15 with a mind-boggling 12 hours of battery life. Best of all? It starts at $199. Yes, this model will get Android app support in a future update too.
  • Of Life, Linux and Karma Angels
    Angel filed appeal after appeal only to be denied on every attempt. Texas is an "at will" employment state so being terminated for cause can mean anything. Over the next few weeks, Angel became more and more fearful of losing her house, as she had just purchased it a year before. On top of that, her HP desktop had taken a nose dive into severe brokeness and that made it extra difficult for her to look for work. I put together a decent desktop for her and installed it that day, and was a Linux computer. Angel didn't have even the slightest problem with the new machine, and she wasn't particularly good at using one. So, let's put another slash in the falsehood that Linux is too hard for the everyday user. Most of them anyway. YMMV. To her glee, the OS picked up and configured her Epson all in one without her lifting a finger to do so. She almost clapped for happiness, stating that in Windows, installing that printer had been a nightmare, even with the included driver CD. And just to pinpoint the time frame for you, it was the summer of 2006.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to launch on Linux in November, Mac version delayed
    Feral Entertainment has announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be launching on Linux in November. Feral Interactive is currently working on the Linux port of the game. In September the game development studio announced that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided would make its way to two additional platforms: Linux and Mac. The Linux version of the game will most likely make use of OpenGL or Vulkan to power its graphics engine.
  • Mad Max: It Came From The Desert to Linux
    First of all, let me get one thing straight out of the way, so you know where I come from. I did not like the recent Mad Max movie. Like, not at all. Not that I mind the post apocalyptic theme. I used to like the older Mad Max’s just fine (probably the first one the best). The new one…meh. The Max character had virtually no back story (as thin as a sheet of paper) and he was just acting like a crazy person from beginning to end. The story’s premise was boring and just an excuse for endless and not so impressive action scenes. So there was nothing redeeming it. I know this is not the mainstream opinion of the movie (everyone apparently thought it was the best thing ever since sliced bread) so I can only attribute this phenomenon to either mass hysteria or simply a clear decrease in movie expectations. The Force Awakens‘ success, despite being a mediocre movie and certainly underwhelming compared to the original trilogy, certainly echoes the same trend. I guess you cannot beat nostalgia. Just tag a Millennium Falcon on and you get a free ride no matter how incoherent the story or the characters are.
  • Budgie Remix 16.10 Overview
  • I Switched To OpenSuse Tumbleweed :)
  • 50-day Moving Average Of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) At $76.67
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) – Is this large market cap stock undervalued?
  • Fedora 25 new features, Perl removed from Build Root
    Fedora is the fast-paced bleeding-edge distribution of Red Hat. Fedora 25 is the second release of 2016 the other being Fedora 24. Let’s discover what lies in the future of this popular Linux distribution especially among developers.
  • "dnf update" considered harmful
    Updating a Linux distribution has historically been done from the command line (using tools like Debian's apt-get, openSUSE's zypper, or Fedora's yum—or its successor dnf). A series of crashes during system updates on Fedora 24 led Adam Williamson to post a note to fedora-devel and other mailing lists warning people away from running "dnf update" within desktop environments. It turns out that doing so has never truly been supported—though it works the vast majority of the time. The discussion around Williamson's note, however, makes it clear that the command is commonly run that way and that at least some users are quite surprised (and unhappy) that it isn't a supported option.
  • Supporting UEFI secure boot in Debian
    The Debian project can be accused of many things, but jumping too quickly on leading-edge technology is not one of them. That can be seen in, among other things, the fact that there is still not a version of the distribution that supports the UEFI secure boot mechanism. But, as Ben Hutchings explained during his 2016 Kernel Recipes talk, such support is in the works, and it will be implemented in a uniquely Debian-like manner.
  • The Lenovo Yoga Book Is the Future of Laptops, But It's Missing an Operating System
    For this review I spent a week with the Android version of Lenovo’s slick new backflipping laptop. Guts-wise it’s identical to the Windows 10 variant. They both feature Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processors, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of on-device storage, and 1920 x 1200 resolution displays. The Android version starts at $500 and the Windows version starts at $550.
  • Another Broken Nexus 5
    In late 2013 I bought a Nexus 5 for my wife [1]. It’s a good phone and I generally have no complaints about the way it works. In the middle of 2016 I had to make a warranty claim when the original Nexus 5 stopped working [2]. Google’s warranty support was ok, the call-back was good but unfortunately there was some confusion which delayed replacement. Once the confusion about the IMEI was resolved the warranty replacement method was to bill my credit card for a replacement phone and reverse the charge if/when they got the original phone back and found it to have a defect covered by warranty. This policy meant that I got a new phone sooner as they didn’t need to get the old phone first. This is a huge benefit for defects that don’t make the phone unusable as you will never be without a phone. Also if the user determines that the breakage was their fault they can just refrain from sending in the old phone.

Key financial blockchain technology is open sourced

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Linux 4.9's Efficient BPF-based Profiler
    Linux 4.9 skips needing the file entirely, and its associated overheads. I wrote about this as a missing BPF feature in March. It is now done.
  • UBIFS Working On File Encryption Support
    Following EXT4 file-system encryption and F2FS per-file encryption support, the UBIFS file-system is also bringing in encryption support built off this fscrypto framework used by EXT4/F2FS. In making use of fscrypto, the UBIFS file-system encryption support is similar to the EXT4/F2FS implementations and supports not only encrypting the file contents but also the file name. In making use of this framework, it only took around one thousand lines of new code to make it happen from the kernel-side while the user-space changes for supporting UBIFS encryption are still baking. UBIFS for those out of the look is the Unsorted Block Image File-System that's built atop UBI and designed for raw flash memory media.
  • An important set of stable kernel updates
  • Linux Kernels 3.16.38, 3.12.66, 3.10.104, and 3.2.83 Patched Against "Dirty COW"
    We reported the other day that an ancient bug, which existed in the Linux kernel since 2005, was patched in several recent updates, namely Linux kernel 4.8.3, Linux kernel 4.7.9, and Linux kernel 4.4.26 LTS. One day later, the maintainers of other supported Linux kernel branches patched the bug, which is dubbed by researchers as "Dirty COW" and documented as CVE-2016-5195. As such, today we'd like to inform those of running GNU/Linux distributions powered by kernels from the Linux 3.16, 3.12, 3.10, and 3.2 series that new updates are available for their systems.
  • Linux users warned over serious vulnerability affecting many versions
  • MuQSS - The Multiple Queue Skiplist Scheduler v0.112
    It's getting close now to the point where it can replace BFS in -ck releases. Thanks to the many people testing and reporting back, some other misbehaviours were discovered and their associated fixes have been committed.
  • Linux Raid mdadm md0
    Linux Raid is the de-facto way for decades in the linux-world on how to create and use a software raid. RAID stands for: Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Some people use the I for inexpensive disks, I guess that works too!
  • On Linux kernel maintainer scalability
    LWN's traditional development statistics article for the 4.6 development cycle ended with a statement that the process was running smoothly and that there were no process scalability issues in sight. Wolfram Sang started his 2016 LinuxCon Europe talk by taking issue with that claim. He thinks that there are indeed scalability problems in the kernel's development process. A look at his argument is of interest, especially when contrasted with another recent talk on maintainer scalability.
  • First comparison of Vulkan API vs OpenGL ES API on ARM
  • Prime Indicator Plus Makes It Easy To Switch Between Nvidia And Intel Graphics (Nvidia Optimus)
    The original Prime Indicator hasn't been updated since February, 2015. André Brait forked the indicator (while also using code from the Linux Mint version), improving it with both new functionality and bug fixes, and the new app is called Prime Indicator Plus. Using the nvidia-prime package, Ubuntu users can switch between Intel and Nvidia graphics by using Nvidia Settings (under PRIME Profiles), which then requires restarting the session (logout/login) to apply the changes. Prime Indicator makes this easier, by allowing you to switch graphics from the indicator menu, including triggering the logout.
  • Features You Will Not Find In The Mesa 13.0 Release
    While Mesa 13.0 is coming along for release next month with exciting features like OpenGL 4.5 for Intel, unofficial GL 4.4/4.5 for RadeonSI/NVC0, and the addition of the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver, there is some functionality that sadly won't be found in this release. Below are some features/functionality not currently found in Mesa 13.0. Some of the mentioned items have patches floating on the mailing list that weren't merged in time while other items are more along the lines of pipe-dreams that would have been fun to see in Mesa for 2016.
  • Crucial MX300: Good Linux Performance, 525GB SSD For Only $120 USD

Leftovers: Software

  • i2pd 2.10 released
    i2pd (I2P Daemon) is a full-featured C++ implementation of I2P client. I2P (Invisible Internet Protocol) is a universal anonymous network layer. All communications over I2P are anonymous and end-to-end encrypted, participants don't reveal their real IP addresses. I2P client is a software used for building and using anonymous I2P networks. Such networks are commonly used for anonymous peer-to-peer applications (filesharing, cryptocurrencies) and anonymous client-server applications (websites, instant messengers, chat-servers). I2P allows people from all around the world to communicate and share information without restrictions.
  • Pixeluvo Review | Photo Editor for Linux & Windows
    A review of Pixeluvo, a great photo editor available on Linux and Windows. Pixeluvo is not free or open source.
  • Blit, A Retrospective On My Largest Project Ever
    I’ve always been someone who’s liked art and programming. Especially combining the two. One of my favorite genres is pixel art, or sprites as they are also known. I’ve dabbled in making a few other art programs before, but nothing like this. Originally Blit supposed to be only a sprite animation tool that had a modern look and feel, but my ideas for it grew greater (*sigh* feature creep). There are many other sprinting tools out there like GrafX2, Aseprite, (and other 2D animation programs like TVPaint). I’m not saying that it’s wrong that they make their own GUI toolkit, but it feels kind of odd. I really wanted to bring these types of programs out of the days of the Amiga. After doing some initial research, I settled on using Qt.
  • An alert on the upcoming 7.51.0 release
    In two weeks time, on Wednesday November 2nd, we will release curl and libcurl 7.51.0 unless something earth shattering happens.
  • Desktop Gmail Client `WMail` 2.0.0 Stable Released
    WMail is a free, open source desktop client for Gmail and Google Inbox, available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • SpaceView: Ubuntu File System Usage Indicator
  • FunYahoo++: New Yahoo Messenger Plugin For Pidgin / libpurple [PPA]
    Yahoo retired its old Messenger protocol in favor of a new one, breaking compatibility with third-party applications, such as Pidgin, Empathy, and so on. Eion Robb, the SkypeWeb and Hangouts developer, has created a replacement Yahoo prpl plugin, called FunYahoo++, that works with the new Yahoo Messenger protocol. Note that I tested the plugin with Pidgin, but it should work with other instant messaging applications that support libpurple, like BitlBee or Empathy.
  • GCC Lands Loop Splitting Optimization
    The latest GCC 7 development code has an optimization pass now for loop splitting.
  • GCC 7 To End Feature Development Next Month
    Friday's GCC 7 status report indicates the feature freeze is coming up in just a few weeks. Red Hat developer Jakub Jelinek wrote in the latest status report, "Trunk which will eventually become GCC 7 is still in Stage 1 but its end is near and we are planning to transition into Stage 3 starting Nov 13th end of day time zone of your choice. This means it is time to get things you want to have in GCC 7 finalized and reviewed. As usual there may be exceptions to late reviewed features but don't count on that. Likewise target specific features can sneak in during Stage 3 if maintainers ok them."
  • GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') released [stable]
    GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
  • GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset released
    GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset has been released !
  • guile-ncurses 2.0 released
    I am pleased to announce the release of guile-ncurses 2.0 guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is a wrapper to the ncurses TUI library. It contains some basic text display and keyboard and mouse input functionality, as well as a menu widget and a form widget. It also has lower level terminfo and termios functionality.
  • Unifont 9.0.03 Released
    Unifont 9.0.03 is released. The main changes are the addition of the Pikto and Tonal ConScript Unicode Registry scripts.
  • PATHspider 1.0.0 released!
    In today’s Internet we see an increasing deployment of middleboxes. While middleboxes provide in-network functionality that is necessary to keep networks manageable and economically viable, any packet mangling — whether essential for the needed functionality or accidental as an unwanted side effect — makes it more and more difficult to deploy new protocols or extensions of existing protocols. For the evolution of the protocol stack, it is important to know which network impairments exist and potentially need to be worked around. While classical network measurement tools are often focused on absolute performance values, PATHspider performs A/B testing between two different protocols or different protocol extensions to perform controlled experiments of protocol-dependent connectivity problems as well as differential treatment.
  • The Domain Name System