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Tux Machines Turns 12

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Site News

THE past few weeks were exceptionally busy for the site as readership grew considerably and the site turned 12. Originally, the site did not share Linux news but had various other sections. Years later Susan Linton made it the success story it is today and in 2013-2014 we only modernised the theme and kept the old tradition, format, etc. We hope this pleases longtime readers of the site. Comments on how the site is run are always taken into account.

SPAM Moderation

There has been a system in place to help prevent SPAM since the last major SPAM incident, but sometimes we still overlook some SPAM which gets into the front page, taking advantage of our very liberal and open submissions system (to enable participation by the whole community of users). If any spam still manages to sneak into the front page (often with pesky JavaScript redirects), please get in contact with us ASAP so that we can take action. Thanks to Christine Hall for the latest headsup.

Malicious Spam

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Site News

FOR those who may be wondering, we didn't get compromised or anything. We never had any such incidents. What happened earlier is that some spammer, who had created an account before we limited account creation (due to spam), made the spam expandable to the whole screen, covering many of the pages with that spam (overlay). We are working on code to help prevent such spamming so that legitimate users can post comments etc. without spammers ruining the experience for everyone else.

Baidu Stages De Facto DDOS Attacks (Updated)

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Site News

Summary: A 2-hour investigation reveals that Tux Machines is now the victim of an arrogant, out-of-control Baidu

TUX MACHINES has been mostly offline later this morning. It has evidently become the victim of Baidu's lawlessness, having fallen under huge dumps of requests from IP addresses which can be traced back to Baidu and whose requests say Baidu as well (we tried blocking these, but it's not easy to do by IP because they have so many). They don't obey robots.txt rules; not even close! It turns out that others suffer from this as well. These A-holes have been causing a lot of problems to the site as of late (slowdowns was one of those problems), including damage to the underlying framework. Should we report them? To who exactly? Looking around the Web, there are no contact details (in English anyway) by which to reach them.

Baidu can be very evil towards Web sites. Evil. Just remember that.

Update: 3 major DDOS attacks (so far today) led to a lot of problems and they also revealed that not Baidu was at fault but botmasters who used "Baidu" to masquerade themselves, hiding among some real and legitimate requests from Baidu (with Baidu-owned IP addresses). We have changed our firewall accordingly. We don't know who's behind these attacks and what the motivations may be.

With the latest Kubuntu 15.10 (Wily)

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Just talk

I love the KDE desktop—I really do. However… here are some grumbles.

Record Week

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Site News

Encounter with a penguin

QUIETLY but surely, last week marked an important milestone, with traffic at the back end (not the cache layer*) exceeding 1.8 million hits, thus establishing a new record. So far this week it looks as though we are going to break this record again. We hope that the new format, which places emphasis on high importance links (as standalone nodes) and puts less important links in topical groups (grouping like games or howtos), makes reading the site more convenient and makes keeping abreast of the news easier, without getting overloaded in a way that is not somewhat manageable (links inside groups are typically less important, as intended). We're open to any suggestions readers may have to ensure we remain a leading syndicator of GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source software news. Any feedback can improve the site.

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* It is difficult to measure what happens at the Varnish layer as it's shared among several domains, including Techrights.

Back to Normal Next Week

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Site News

IN CASE it's not already obvious, we have been posting fewer links since the 14th of this month because we are both away and we catch up with some news only when time permits. Today's hot day (38 degrees) will probably allow us to stay indoors more time than usual and therefore post some more links (from Rianne's laptop), but a week for now is when we'll properly catch up with everything that was missed and gradually get back to normal, hopefully for a long time to come.

Please bear with us while we enjoy our last chance to have a summer vacation. It's already cold back home in Manchester.

Acer Chromebook 15 for Linux and Wimbledon

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Reviews

Earlier this month my husband and I needed a replacement for the Chromebook that I had installed Linux on after Christmas because the keyboard developed a fault. This was a good opportunity to get an upgrade and to connect the 28-inch monitor to it, allowing us to watch Wimbledon over the Internet (we don't watch TV).

Unboxing photos:

Setting up the machine:

It comes with Chrome OS, but I don't want that:

Switch to developer mode:

Setting it up to not be so locked down:

With Roy's help, installing Ubuntu LTS:

Nearly done:

Running KDE/Plasma (my favourite):

Running XFCE:

Running Unity (which I still try to use on a daily basis after using KDE for years):

We have since then bought a cabinet for the external screen and Roy finished building it 2 days ago, so now we can watch shows while we work (4 screen combined using Synergy).

Operating Systems in Tux Machines

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Site News

Summary: Some numbers to show what goes on in sites that do not share information about their visitors (unlike Windows-centric sites which target non-technical audiences)

THE common perception of GNU/Linux is that it is scarcely used, based on statistics gathered from privacy-hostile Web sites that share (or sell) access log data, embed spyware in all of their pages, and so on. Our sites are inherently different because of a reasonable -- if not sometimes fanatic -- appreciation of privacy at both ends (server and client). People who read technical sites know how to block ads, impede spurious scripts etc. These sites also actively avoid anything which is privacy-infringing, such as interactive 'social' media buttons (these let third parties spy on all visitors in all pages).

Techrights and Tux Machines attract the lion's share our traffic (and server capacity). They both have dedicated servers. These are truly popular and some of the leaders in their respective areas. Techrights deals with threats to software freedom, whereas Tux Machines is about real-time news discovery and organisation (pertaining to Free software and GNU/Linux).

The Varnish layer, which protects both of these large sites (nearly 100,000 pages in each, necessitating a very large cache pool), handles somewhere between a gigabyte to 2.5 gigabytes of data per hour (depending on the time of day, usually somewhere in the middle of this range, on average).

The Apache layer, which now boasts 32 GB of RAM and sports many CPU cores, handled 1,324,232 hits for Techrights (ranked 6636th for traffic in Netcraft) in this past week and 1,065,606 for Tux Machines (ranked 6214th for traffic in Netcraft).

Based on VISITORS Web Log Analyzer, this is what we've had in Techrights:

Windows: (36.2%)
Linux: (31.8%)
Unknown: (e.g. bots/spiders): (23.0%)
Macintosh: (8.8%)
FreeBSD: (0.1%)

As a graph (charted with LibreOffice):

Techrights stats

Tux Machines reveals a somewhat different pattern. Based on grepping/filtering the of past month's log at the Apache back end (not Varnish, which would have been a more sensible but harder thing to do), presenting the top 3 only:

Tuxmachines stats

One month is as far as retention goes, so it's not possible to show long-term trends (as before, based on Susan's summary of data). Logs older than that are automatically deleted, as promised, for both sites -- forever! We just need a small tail of data (temporarily) for DDOS prevention.

Mollom Issues

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Site News

TUX MACHINES has been having some issues with the spam filter, so people who regularly submit material, including comments, may have struggled to do so over the past fortnight of so. If that's the case, please re-attempt and report any issue you encounter to us (feedback button on the right).

Spring in Tux Machines

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Site News

Tux Machines traffic

Tux Machines traffic has been increasing during spring. The DDOS attacks are behind us thankfully, the latest problem is just a lot of spam, which we are deleting as soon as we can.

5 Best Data Recovery Tools For Linux To Recover Data Or Deleted Partitions

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Reviews


5 best data recovery tools for linux

Atleast once in life, most of us do wrong with the important data on our computer and then we think we must not have deleted this, whether some important documents or lectures' videos or bunch of important projects. Instead of cursing yourselves for such a foolish mistake, let's do some work. Let's try to recover that deleted data out from our HD. Here I am reviewing 5 of the best Data recover tools that can help recovering deleted data on Linux.

Read At LinuxAndUbuntu

Blog posts

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Site News

D

UE TO a growing SPAM problem (dozens per day making the front page), we have disabled -- temporarily at least -- the ability of random visitors to create new blog posts after registering for an account. We apologise in advance to any legitimate users this restriction may affect.

Happy Easter and Remarkable Spring

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Just talk

Happy Easter

Catchup Mode

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Site News

IN the coming days we will prioritise very recent news and of course important news, but at the same time we shall be catching up with some older but important news that we missed. This means that some older items (one or two weeks old) may occasionally appear. In lieu with requests from readers we will also stop abbreviating long summaries of news, such as today's leftovers and howto roundups.

On Break

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Site News

KDE laptops

THIS COMING WEEK, starting Tuesday in particular, will be a lot less busy than usual because Rianne and I are flying away and will be absent for a couple of weeks. Depending on availability of Wi-Fi, we ought to be able to still post some links, just not the usual volume of links.

We kindly ask anyone who is interested and willing to submit links highlighting relevant news, as every registered user can do that. It will greatly help us run the site while we are very far away in east Asia.

Airdroid - Transfer Files Between Android Phones/Tablets And Linux (Any Distribution)

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Reviews
 
airdroid transfer file between android phone/tablet and linux mint ubuntu

We often need to transfer large amount data in the form of mp3 Songs, Video Songs, Movies and most importantly, large Games between android phones/tablets and Linux machine. Transferring via USB cable takes time, so let's do it with 'Airdroid' easily and quickly.
 
 
 
 

Read at LinuxAndUbuntu

Opera 27 Stable Web Browser Released With Tab Preview Back, Install In Ubuntu, Linux Mint And Others ubuntu Derivatives

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News


opera 27 stable web browser released for install Linux mint/Ubuntu

Today Opera team released Opera 27 version with couple of major changes and with lots of fixes. This is the first stable release of 2015. Opera keeps on coming with beta releases that have several fixes. Although the beta versions were also good and can be used without any problems. This one is the stable release of Opera Web Browser containing two major changes and lots of fixes. Lets see at the changes in this release.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Subsonic 5.1 Media Streamer Released, Install In Ubuntu/Linux Mint

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Linux


Subsonic 5.1 Released, Install In Ubuntu/Linux Mint

Subsonic is a nice free, multi-platform web basedmedia streamer, make large collection of music handling easy. You can share music with your frineds or stream your favorite music anywhere. You can stream to multiple players simultaneously.
 
 
 
 

Read at LinuxAndUbuntu

Ubuntu Flavors 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2 Released

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Linux


Picture

Ubuntu flavors 15.04 alpha 2 has been released for testing. Ubuntu Unity does not take part in the alpha releases. Flavors like Kylin, Ubuntu Gnome, Lubuntu and Kubuntu alpha 2 relases are available.




Read at LinuxAndUbuntu

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More in Tux Machines

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Stardew Valley is now in beta for Linux
    The Stardew Valley developer tweeted out a password for a beta, but after discussing it with them on their forum I was able to show them that we can't actually access it yet. While what I was telling them may not have been entirely correct (SteamDB is confusing), the main point I made was correct. Normal keys are not able to access the beta yet, but beta/developer keys can, as it's not currently set for Linux/Mac as a platform for us.
  • Physics-based 3D puzzler Human: Fall Flat released on Steam for Linux
    Human: Fall Flat is an open-ended physics puzzler with an optional local co-op mode, developed by No Brakes Games, and available now on Steam for Linux.
  • 7 Mages brings a touch more of traditional dungeon crawling to Linux
    Controlling a party of adventurers, exploring dungeons and fighting weird magical creatures is an RPG tradition as old as the genre. Expect all that and more in this modern iteration of the classical dungeon crawler.

Linux and Graphics

Security News

  • Security advisories for Monday
  • EU to Give Free Security Audits to Apache HTTP Server and Keepass
    The European Commission announced on Wednesday that its IT engineers would provide a free security audit for the Apache HTTP Server and KeePass projects. The EC selected the two projects following a public survey that took place between June 17 and July 8 and that received 3,282 answers. The survey and security audit are part of the EU-FOSSA (EU-Free and Open Source Software Auditing) project, a test pilot program that received funding of €1 million until the end of the year.
  • What is your browser really doing?
    While Microsoft would prefer you use its Edge browser on Windows 10 as part of its ecosystem, the most popular Windows browser is Google’s Chrome. But there is a downside to Chrome – spying and battery life. It all started when Microsoft recently announced that its Edge browser used less battery power than Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera on Windows 10 devices. It also measured telemetry – what the Windows 10 device was doing when using different browsers. What it found was that the other browsers had a significantly higher central processing unit (CPU), and graphics processing unit (GPU) overhead when viewing the same Web pages. It also proved that using Edge resulted in 36-53% more battery life when performing the same tasks as the others. Let’s not get into semantics about which search engine — Google or Bing — is better; this was about simple Web browsing, opening new tabs and watching videos. But it started a discussion as to why CPU and GPU usage was far higher. And it relates to spying and ad serving.
  • Is Computer Security Becoming a Hardware Problem?
    In December of 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed into the Ohio River, killing 46 people. The cause was determined to be a single 2.5 millimeter defect in a single steel bar—some credit the Mothman for the disaster, but to most it was an avoidable engineering failure and a rebuttal to the design philosophy of substituting high-strength non-redundant building materials for lower-strength albeit layered and redundant materials. A partial failure is much better than a complete failure. [...] In 1996, Kocher co-authored the SSL v3.0 protocol, which would become the basis for the TLS standard. TLS is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS and is responsible for much of the security that allows for the modern internet. He argues that, barring some abrupt and unexpected advance in quantum computing or something yet unforeseen, TLS will continue to safeguard the web and do a very good job of it. What he's worried about is hardware: untested linkages in digital bridges.
  • Your Smart Robot Is Coming in Five Years, But It Might Get Hacked and Kill You
    A new report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security forecasts that autonomous artificially intelligent robots are just five to 10 years away from hitting the mainstream—but there’s a catch. The new breed of smart robots will be eminently hackable. To the point that they might be re-programmed to kill you. The study, published in April, attempted to assess which emerging technology trends are most likely to go mainstream, while simultaneously posing serious “cybersecurity” problems. The good news is that the near future is going to see some rapid, revolutionary changes that could dramatically enhance our lives. The bad news is that the technologies pitched to “become successful and transformative” in the next decade or so are extremely vulnerable to all sorts of back-door, front-door, and side-door compromises.
  • Trump, DNC, RNC Flunk Email Security Test
    At issue is a fairly technical proposed standard called DMARC. Short for “domain-based messaging authentication reporting and conformance,” DMARC tries to solve a problem that has plagued email since its inception: It’s surprisingly difficult for email providers and end users alike to tell whether a given email is real – i.e. that it really was sent by the person or organization identified in the “from:” portion of the missive.
  • NIST Prepares to Ban SMS-Based Two-Factor Authentication
    The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the latest draft version of the Digital Authentication Guideline that contains language hinting at a future ban on SMS-based Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). The Digital Authentication Guideline (DAG) is a set of rules used by software makers to build secure services, and by governments and private agencies to assess the security of their services and software. NIST experts are constantly updating the guideline, in an effort to keep pace with the rapid change in the IT sector.
  • 1.6m Clash of Kings forum accounts 'stolen'
    Details about 1.6 million users on the Clash of Kings online forum have been hacked, claims a breach notification site. The user data from the popular mobile game's discussion forum were allegedly targeted by a hacker on 14 July. Tech site ZDNet has reported the leaked data includes email addresses, IP addresses and usernames.
  • Hacker steals 1.6 million accounts from top mobile game's forum
    [Ed: vBulletin is proprietary software -- the same crap Canonical used for Ubuntu forums]

The saga continues with Slackware 14.2

Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution and has been maintained since its birth by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware has a well deserved reputation for being stable, consistent and conservative. Slackware is released when it is ready, rather than on a set schedule, and fans of the distribution praise its no-frills and no-fuss design. Slackware adheres to a "keep it simple" philosophy similar to Arch Linux, in that the operating system does not do a lot of hand holding or automatic configuration. The user is expected to know what they are doing and the operating system generally stays out of the way. The latest release of Slackware, version 14.2, mostly offers software updates and accompanying hardware support. A few new features offer improved plug-n-play support for removable devices and this release of Slackware ships with the PulseAudio software. PulseAudio has been commonly found in the audio stack of most Linux distributions for several years, but that is a signature of Slackware: adding new features when they are needed, not when they become available. In this case PulseAudio was required as a dependency for another package. Slackware 14.2 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. There is also an ARM build. While the main edition of Slackware is available as an installation disc only, there is a live edition of Slackware where we can explore a Slackware-powered desktop environment without installing the distribution. The live edition can be found on the Alien Base website. Both the live edition and the main installation media are approximately 2.6GB in size. For the purposes of this review I will be focusing on the main, installation-only edition. Booting from the install media brings us to a text screen where we are invited to type in any required kernel parameters. We can press the Enter key to take the default settings or wait two minutes for the media to continue booting. A text prompt then offers to let us load an alternative keyboard layout or use the default "US" layout. We are then brought to a text console where a brief blurb offers us tips for setting up disk partitions and swap space. The helpful text says we can create partitions and then run the system installer by typing "setup". Read more