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today's howtos and programming bits

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Development
HowTos
  • CentOS 8 Package Management with DNF on the Command Line
  • AdamW’s Debugging Adventures: “dnf is locked by another application”
  • Managing user accounts with Cockpit
  • Download Ubuntu 19.10 ISO image to install on VirtualBox VM
  • GNU poke: Dealing with alternatives - Unions in Poke

    Computing with data whose form is not the most convenient way to be manipulated, like is often the case in unstructured binary data, requires performing a preliminary step that transforms the data into a more convenient representation, usually featuring a higher level of abstraction. This step is known in computer jargon as unmarshalling, when the data is fetch from some storage or transmission media or, more generally, decoding.

    Once the computation has been performed, the result should be transformed back to the low-level representation to be stored or transmitted. This is performed in a closing step known as marshalling or, more generally, encoding.

    Consider the following C program whose purpose is to read a 32-bit signed integer from a byte-oriented storage media at a given offset, multiply it by two, and store the result at the same offset.

  • Android NDK r21 moves to beta

    Android announced that NDK r21 is now in beta. Android NDK is a toolset for implementing parts of an app in native code. The release — which is the first long term support release — includes improved defaults for better security and performance.

    One of the key features in the release is an update to GNU Make to version 4.2, which provides a number of bug fixes, and enables ‘–output-sync’ to avoid interleaving output with error messages, the team explained. This is enabled by default with ndk-build.

    Additionally, GDB, the GNU project debugger, has been updated to version 8.3, which includes fixes for debugging modern Intel CPUs.

  • What is the history behind C Programming and Unix?

    If you think C programming and Unix are unrelated, then you are making a big mistake. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, if the Unix engineers at Bell Labs had decided to use another programming language instead of C to develop a new version of Unix, then we would be talking about that language today.

    The relationship between the two is simple; Unix is the first operating system that is implemented with a high-level C programming language, got its fame and power from Unix. Of course, our statement about C being a high-level programming language is not true in today’s world.

    This article is an excerpt from the book Extreme C by Kamran Amini. Kamran teaches you to use C’s power. Apply object-oriented design principles to your procedural C code. You will gain new insight into algorithm design, functions, and structures. You’ll also understand how C works with UNIX, how to implement OO principles in C, and what multiprocessing is.

More in Tux Machines

Thermostats, Locks and Extension Add-ons – WebThings Gateway 0.10

Happy Things Thursday! Today we are releasing WebThings Gateway 0.10. If you have a gateway using our Raspberry Pi builds then it should already have automatically updated itself. This new release comes with support for thermostats and smart locks, as well as an updated add-ons system including extension add-ons, which enable developers to extend the gateway user interface. We’ve also added localisation settings so that you can choose your country, language, time zone and unit preferences. From today you’ll be able to use the gateway in American English or Italian, but we’re already receiving contributions of translations in different languages! Read more

A technical comparison between the snap and the Flatpak formats

Since we’ve already discussed the snap layout and architecture in greater details in the previous weeks, let’s start with a quick overview of Flatpak. Much like snaps, Flatpak packages come with necessary components contained inside standalone archives, so they can be deployed and maintained with simplicity on a range of Linux distributions. Runtime and image components are bundled into a single file using the OCI format. In general, Flatpak applications are built against runtimes, but they can also contain additional libraries inside their own bundles. A Linux system with the Flatpak binary (primary command) installed and configured can then run Flatpak applications. At the moment, there are 21 distributions that offer Flatpak support. Furthermore, applications are sandboxed using Bubblewrap, which utilises kernel security and namespace features to set up unprivileged containers. Communication outside the sandbox is possible through a mechanism of portals, which allows granular access to system resources. Flatpak packages are available to end users primarily through Flathub, an app store and build service that is (semi)-officially associated with the Flatpak project. Submissions to Flathub are done as pull requests through GitHub, and require approval from the store admins. Similarly, publishers of proprietary software have to manually request inclusion of their applications. Flatpak applications are also sometimes available as manual download links. There is no automatic update mechanism available by default. Read more

Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

There are some specific linux distros out there that specially target the new and casual Linux users, most notably, Linux Mint and Zorin OS. In this article we will compare them.

Zorin OS vs Linux Mint

Both of these distros have earned a solid reputation from the community for being two of the most user-friendly distros of all. Both of them use Ubuntu as the core. Thus, both of them offer similar functionality at the core. However, the real magic is how each of them builds up on top of it. Both Linux Mint and Zorin OS comes up with different feel and vibe. While both of them are extremely user-friendly and robust, there are some key differences between them. That’s the beauty of Linux. Read more

Top GIF Recorders For Linux

Whether you pronounce it as ‘gif’ or ‘jif’, it’s still a no-brainer that the Graphics Interchange Format is the most widely used image format there is today, gaining in popularity exponentially. This surging bitmap image format is used for a number of purposes, most of which include producing eye-catching animations to improve digital marketing. However, due to its convenience of storing multiple images in the same file while retaining file compression, it is also now considered a popular alternative to screen recording. While there’s a lot of support for GIFs on Windows and other operating systems like Android, they can also readily be produced on Linux with a lot of flexibility and in the best quality. Let’s look at some of the most popular GIF recorder tools used to produce GIFs on Linux. Read more