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Friday, 18 Jan 19 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Beginning of the End? srlinuxx 2 11/02/2005 - 6:24am
Story KDE 3.4beta2 Released! srlinuxx 3 11/02/2005 - 6:06pm
Forum topic Thank You. srlinuxx 13/02/2005 - 5:10pm
Story Firefox Putting on the Pressure srlinuxx 2 13/02/2005 - 6:17pm
Story More Competition srlinuxx 2 13/02/2005 - 6:22pm
Story LA County Considering Open Source srlinuxx 2 14/02/2005 - 2:31am
Story Cheech and Chong Didn't Inhale? srlinuxx 3 15/02/2005 - 3:32am
Story Danes accused Microsoft of blackmail srlinuxx 2 15/02/2005 - 6:35pm
Story HA! rm -rf Contest at Mad Penguin srlinuxx 2 15/02/2005 - 6:36pm
Story Is PCLOS 8.1 Close? srlinuxx 4 18/02/2005 - 6:46am

WLinux & WLinux Enterprise Benchmarks, The Linux Distributions Built For Windows 10 WSL

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Making the news rounds a few months back was "WLinux", which was the first Linux distribution designed for Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on Windows 10. But is this pay-to-play Linux distribution any faster than the likes of Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Debian already available from the Microsoft Store? Here are some benchmarks of these different Linux distribution options with WSL.

WLinux is a Linux distribution derived from Debian that is focused on offering an optimal WSL experience. This distribution isn't spun by Microsoft but a startup called Whitewater Foundry. WLinux focuses on providing good defaults for WSL with the catering of its default package set while the Debian archive via APT is still accessible. There is also support for graphical applications when paired with a Windows-based X client. For this easy-setup, quick-to-get-going Linux distribution on WSL, it retails for $19.99 USD from the Microsoft Store though often sells for $9.99 USD.

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Top 5 Linux Server Distributions

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Linux

However, in the name of opening your eyes to maybe something a bit different, I’m going to approach this a bit differently. I want to consider a list of possible distributions that are not only outstanding candidates but also easy to use, and that can serve many functions within your business. In some cases, my choices are drop-in replacements for other operating systems, whereas others require a bit of work to get them up to speed.

Some of my choices are community editions of enterprise-grade servers, which could be considered gateways to purchasing a much more powerful platform. You’ll even find one or two entries here to be duty-specific platforms. Most importantly, however, what you’ll find on this list isn’t the usual fare.

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New Release of HardenedBSD, New Show About BSDs and mintCast

Filed under
BSD

EVOC on Back Doors (ME) and Newt on an Arduino

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Touch-panel PCs offer a choice of Skylake or Bay Trail chips

    EVOC’s P15 and P17 panel PCs provide Intel Skylake-U or Bay Trail CPUs with IP66 protected 15- or 17-inch resistive displays, plus 2x to 4x GbE ports, up to 8x USB and 6x COM ports, and HDMI, VGA, mini-PCIe, and SATA.

    Like EVOC’s 15.6-inch PPC-1561 touch-panel PC from May 2008, EVOC’s fanless P15/P17 touch-panel PCs run on 6th Gen Skylake-U or Bay Trail Celeron J1900 processors. The 15-inch P15 and 17-inch P17 offer 5-wire resistive touch and a “next generation design” with “true flat display surface and narrow bezel,” says China-based EVOC. The front aluminum alloy panel offers IP66 waterproofing, dustproofing, and anti-vibration support, as well as over 7H-mohs hardness to prevent scratches, oil, dust, metal chip, and water mist damage.

  • Newt-Duino: Newt on an Arduino

    Here's our target system. The venerable Arduino Duemilanove. Designed in 2009, this board comes with the Atmel ATmega328 system on chip, and not a lot else. This 8-bit microcontroller sports 32kB of flash, 2kB of RAM and another 1kB of EEPROM. Squeezing even a tiny version of Python onto this device took some doing.

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Attackers Leverage Open Source in New BYOB Attack [Ed: A "phishing site impersonating the Office 365 login page," but hey, let's blame "open source"]

    An attack leveraging the open-source Build Your Own Botnet (BYOB) framework has reportedly been intercepted by Israeli cybersecurity firm Perception Point’s incident response team. According to the team, this appears to be the first time the BYOB framework has been found to be used for fraudulent activity in the wild.

    While these tactics and techniques have historically been limited in used to financially backed advanced persistent threat (APT) groups, they are now more easily accessed by novice criminals, in part because of the more widespread popularity of plug-and-play hacking kits, researchers said.

  • Try ‘Puffer’: An Open-Source Free Live TV Streaming Service By Stanford

    A new free TV streaming service called “Puffer” has been launched as a part of a nonprofit academic research study by a group of Stanford researchers.

    The team, led by Francis Yan, a doctoral student from the computer science department at Stanford Universty, aims at improving Internet transmission and video-streaming algorithms by using AI.

  • H2O.ai Empowers MarketAxess to Innovate and Inform Trading Strategies

    H2O.ai, the open source leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), today announced that its open source platform, H2O, provides critical machine learning capabilities to MarketAxess, the operator of a leading electronic trading platform for fixed-income securities and the provider of market data and post-trade services for the global fixed-income markets. MarketAxess' Composite+, powered by H2O open source, delivers greater insight and price discovery in real-time, globally, for over 24,000 corporate bonds. Composite+ has won several awards for its use of AI including the Risk Markets Technology Award for Electronic Trading Support Product of the Year and the Waters Technology American Financial Technology Award for Best Artificial Intelligence Technology Initiative.

  • 2019 AI Trend To Watch: Open Source and RAPIDS

    Nvidia aims to increase its GPU platform usage by offering open source tools to help accelerate machine learning workloads.

  • How to Preserve Your Privacy on Android Without Tearing Your Hair Out

    It can seem intimidating, but you can gain some semblance of mobile privacy with a few quick tweaks.

    [...]

    If you had unlimited time and some familiarity with the Android platform, you could go to extremes like rooting to disable system components, flashing custom ROMs, or even building your own privacy-focused ROM. For most people, that’s not feasible. Not only are such activities incredibly complex, but they also make your phone less useful.

    The fact of the matter is, most Android users want access to the Play Store, Google apps, and high-security apps (e.g. banking) that rely on Google’s TrustZone system. However, you can make some simple but not always obvious changes to Android phones to preserve your privacy.

  • Blast from the Past: Retrieving Old Game Source Code

    Way back in 1985, I created games on the ZX Spectrum/Timex and CBM-64. A friend and I set up a small software house, and in addition to creating our own games, we also (and more lucratively) converted games for other publishers from CBM-64 to other formats.

    During this period, I wrote several original games in Z80 and 6502 assembler. I kept their sources on 5 1/4″ floppy disks, but after a few years I lost the floppy drive that could read the disks, and they were shoved in a cupboard. Somewhere between house moves, I lost the disks for all time.

    Fast-forward to this past December. In a store, I spotted a cheap game console for roughly $100 (get a look at this absolute unit, sold under the brand name “RetroPi”). It came with 18,000 games for various old computers and consoles, including SNES, ZX Spectrum and CBM-64. The hardware was a Raspberry PI clone in a case, and included Nintendo-type game controllers, along with HDMI and USB power cables.

    [...]

    I priced out the hardware for the console, and reckon it would cost about $70 for the Pi, controllers and cables, so I don’t feel ripped off… especially as it gave me a chance to play “Legend of Zelda” and “Secret of Mana” for the first time in 25 years via the SNES emulator!

  • How Open Source Culture Is Battling Skepticism Successfully

    The software industry has also witnessed vital changes. One of the biggest methods of evangelising this grown lies in open sourcing. One may think open source is just about free software and data, but, that is not the only thing; open source is about the code that becomes publicly available for people to modify and use it.

  • VLC, that magic open source video player, might be making a play for more consoles

    Speaking to VentureBeat, Jean-Baptiste Kempf revealed that VLC had reached three billion downloads to date and will continue to push HDR support as much as they can via the AV1 format, and further support VR videos.

    As far as gaming devices go, Kempf says that in addition to their already existing Xbox app they're also interested in releasing VLC for the Switch, Roku devices and the PS4. As VentureBeat points out these aren't a top priority given that only 12 people actually contribute to the VLC project, but it's something they're thinking about.

Server: OpenShift, Containers, SUSE, IBM and Kubernetes/Heptio

Filed under
Server

Linux Foundation: Upcoming Events and Hyperledger

Filed under
Linux
OSS
  • Check Out the 2019 Linux Foundation Events and Expand Your Open Source Experience

    The Linux Foundation just recently announced its 2019 events schedule, featuring all your favorite events as well as some brand-new ones to cover the latest technologies. Make plans now to speak or attend and expand your experience with open source.

  • The Role of Hyperledger in the Development of Smart Contracts

    Businesses constantly look to improve. A great part of that improvement is optimizing the costs-to-revenue ratio, which obviously favors revenue. Developing decentralized applications (dApps) with smart contracts has opened exciting avenues for businesses. Blockchain developers are exploring this practical aspect of smart contracts to create dApps that solve several issues current businesses struggle with: too many intermediaries, too much time, and too many conditions attached to executing a business transaction.

    The sum of these issues comes down to spending too much money on completing business contracts. Expectedly, the solution would be to reduce most of the complicated aspects to do business in a more affordable way than ever before.

    [...]

    The Hyperledger is different from other blockchain endeavors. It not only offers a dApp platform for creating practical solutions but it also provides collaborative partnership and unique smart contract technology as well as rich resources such as plug-in tools and frameworks that businesses can use in the process of dApp development. In the spirit of Linux, it also features a very active online community.

    Despite the permissioned blockchain model, it’s important to keep in mind Hyperledger’s open-source software orientation, which means the platform offers its newly developed code to partners for free. Apart from the membership fee, there are no additional fees for licenses and royalties. In a way, seeing blockchains as completely open or partially open networks is similar to the conundrum associated with the different benefits of open-source and proprietary software.

Programming: GCN, Python, Rust, RcppArmadillo

Filed under
Development

Games: Lost in Sky: Violent Seed, Steam and PlayOnLinux 5.0 Alpha 2

Filed under
Gaming
  • Lost in Sky: Violent Seed Bringing Co-Op Puzzle Platforming to Linux & Windows

    While action-platformers aren't in short supply in today's gaming market, there is a definite lack of co-op games in the genre despite that being a natural fit. Thankfully, the team behind List in Sky: Violent Seed saw that and is setting out to bring a new IP into the industry alongside a merging of numerous gaming concepts. In a sci-fi setting, you and a partner will team up and not only battle a ton of nasty-looking mutants, but also team up to solve puzzles. Puzzle-platformers have seen an upswing in popularity, but co-op ones haven't really been done before. That sub-genre is an even more natural fit than a co-op action-platformer since it's much easier to solve puzzles when you put your minds together.

  • Steam Beta Update Now Allows Per-Game Enabling Of Steam Play, Other Improvements

    It was just yesterday that Valve dropped a big Steam client update including several long sought improvements for Linux gamers. Today that's been succeeded by another rather nice beta upgrade. It was just yesterday that Valve dropped a big Steam client update including several long sought improvements for Linux gamers. Today that's been succeeded by another rather nice beta upgrade.

    [...]

    This update also fixes the incorrect scroll offset for the in-game overlay with Steam on Linux. Outside of the Linux-specific work are some Big Picture fixes and on Steam Input is support for the HORI Battle Pad and HORI Wireless Switch Pad.

  • Phoenicis PlayOnLinux 5.0 - Alpha 2 has been released

    We have rewritten from scratch our winebuild platform. To make it short, it is more reliable, more transparent, easier to setup and cross-platform compatible. Any project that needs to use wine could now potentially use it and take advantage of the 1828 different builds. (We admit that some of them are outdated, though).

    The winebuild project is open source, uses containers. You can install it on your machine in no time if you want to build wine by yourself.

today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

Android: Android Q, Fossil and Deprecating 32-Bit Android Apps

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Android

CNC milling with open source software

Filed under
OSS

I'm always looking for new projects to create with my 3D printer. When I recently saw a new design for a computer numeric code (CNC) milling machine that mostly uses 3D printed parts, I was intrigued. When I saw that the machine works with open source software and the controller is an Arduino running open source software, I knew I had to make one.

CNC milling machines are precision cutting tools used in creating dies, engravings, and models. Unlike other milling tools, CNC machines can move on three axes: the Z axis moves vertically, the X axis moves horizontally, and the Y axis moves backward and forward.

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Security: Jenkins, Polyverse, Rootkits, Cryptojacking and Kali Linux

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Security

Server Side Public License (SSPL) Fallout

Filed under
Red Hat
Server
OSS
  • Red Hat drops MongoDB over concerns related to its Server Side Public License (SSPL)

    It was last year in October when MongoDB announced that it’s switching to Server Side Public License (SSPL). Now, the news of Red Hat removing MongoDB from its Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora over its SSPL license has been gaining attention.

  • The Need for Sustainable Open Source Projects

    The point of the article is a lot of companies that support open source projects, like RedisDB, are moving to more closed source solutions to survive. The cloud providers are called out as a source of a lot of problems in this article, as they consume a lot of open source software, but do not really spend a lot of time or effort in supporting it. Open source, in this situation, becomes a sort of tragedy of the commons, where everyone thinks someone else is going to do the hard work of making a piece of software viable, so no-one does any of the work. Things are made worse because the open source version of the software is often "good enough" to solve 80% of the problems users need solved, so there is little incentive to purchase anything from the companies that do the bulk of the work in the community.

  • MongoDB’s licensing changes led Red Hat to drop the database from the latest version of its server OS

    After MongoDB decided last year that it was changing the license for its open-source database to a more restrictive version, Red Hat decided it would no longer include MongoDB in the latest version of its flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.

    The change apparently went unnoticed until a Hacker News thread took off earlier today, but it was included in the release notes for RHEL 8.0, which was released in beta last November. In those notes, Red Hat states “note that the NoSQL MongoDB database server is not included in RHEL 8.0 Beta because it uses the Server Side Public License (SSPL).”

MariaDB Platform X3

Filed under
Server
OSS
  • Unlock Hybrid Everything with MariaDB Platform X3

    As customers, we expect businesses to provide us with useful information. And as our expectations rise, so too must the usefulness of the information. For example, it’s useful to know a product is on sale. It’s more useful to know that it will be sold-out within hours. It’s also useful to know the balance on my credit card. But it’s even more useful to know if it’s going be higher than the automated payment I scheduled.

  • MariaDB Platform X3 combines transaction processing and analytics

    With MariaDB Platform X3, an organization may use a single database both for conventional customer-facing workloads (transactional, or OLTP) and internal business-intelligence workloads (analytical, or OLAP). The same data is available for either kind of work and is kept automatically in sync between the two sides.

    MariaDB Platform is priced at a flat per-node cost, regardless of whether nodes are OLTP or OLAP. This allows for more flexible deployments, where the number of nodes in a given deployment can be moved freely between OLTP and OLAP workloads as demand changes.

Open Source Startup ‘Tidelift’ raises $25m in series B funding

Filed under
News

Open Source startups are also booming with the rise of open source usage in the enterprise world. Tidelift is one such startup making it big with multi-million dollar fundings.
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Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp pose privacy risks, warns free software guru Richard Stallman

Filed under
GNU

Think twice before posting anyone’s photo on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, says free software guru Richard Stallman. As a few among the strongest centralised surveillance mechanisms in the world, even with a picture of the back of head, they would be able to track where you go and what you do, he added.
The software guru’s lecture titled Education Freedom Day lecture, organised by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software and Society for Promotion of Alternate Computing and Employment (SPACE) in Thiruvananthapuram, had first bewildered information technology professionals and academicians when he asked them to “switch-off the geo-location feature of your smartphone, if you are taking my photos”.
He said that 90% of the 1,000 free applications in Google Play stores can spy, according to the latest studies and asked why should the fleshlight application be linked to the server. Even the data on the sex toy go to the server, with its thermometer readings sharing the time of contact. He argued that owners of the firms who spy on a user’s personal data should be jailed. Richard Matthew Stallman, according to Wikipedia, “is an Amercian freedom activist and a computer programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in such a manner that a user receiving it, likewise receives with it the freedom to use, study, distribute and modify that software”.

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Security: Updates, Leaks, Kubernetes and Let's Encrypt

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Thursday
  • Oracle Releases First Critical Patch Update of 2019, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora to Drop MongoDB, The Linux Foundation Announces Its 2019 Event Lineup, Firefox Closing Its Test Pilot Program and GoDaddy to Support AdoptOpenJDK

    Oracle released its first Critical Patch Update of the year this week, which addresses 284 vulnerabilities. eWeek reports that "Thirty-three of the vulnerabilities are identified as being critical with a Common Vulnerabilities Scoring System (CVSS) score of 9.0 or higher."

  • Over 1 Billion Login Credentials Leaked, Here’s How to See if You Were Compromised

    Good morning! A whole slew of usernames and plaintext passwords were leaked for a number of different sites—at 772 million and 21 million respectively, it’s the largest data leak in history. Here’s how to make sure your information is still safe.

    This collection of email address and passwords—dubbed “Collection #1”—groups together several smaller breaches into a larger master file of sorts. This huge collection of data comes from several different sites, so your personal info may have been compromised from multiple different sources. That means your information could’ve been compromised multiple times—the same email address with different passwords.

  • Kubernetes security: 4 tips to manage risks

    Kubernetes has one of the liveliest (if not the liveliest) communities around. Getting involved is one of the best ways to get up to speed and stay abreast of best security practices. That community values the same thing you’re seeking: Making the most of Kubernetes’ power while minimizing any risks that come with its increasing adoption.

    “This community clearly cares deeply about security, and it emphasizes education and inclusion, so security staff can look forward to a helpful, educational community from whom they can learn,” Dang says.

    “Get educated and follow industry best practices, like the CIS Kubernetes Benchmark,” advises Amir Jerbi, CTO at Aqua Security. “Kubernetes is a complex system with many configuration options, any of which, if done wrong, could leave clusters open to attacks.”

    Plugging into the vibrant Kubernetes community is a great step toward ensuring your organization’s implementation isn’t creating unnecessary vulnerabilities.

  • Protect Your Websites with Let's Encrypt

    Back in the bad old days, setting up basic HTTPS with a certificate authority cost as much as several hundred dollars per year, and the process was difficult and error-prone to set up. Now we have Let's Encrypt for free, and the whole thing takes just a few minutes.

Programming: Django, PHP, Polonius and More

Filed under
Development
  • Django 2.2 alpha 1 released

    Django 2.2 alpha 1 is now available. It represents the first stage in the 2.2 release cycle and is an opportunity for you to try out the changes coming in Django 2.2.

    Django 2.2 has a salmagundi of new features which you can read about in the in-development 2.2 release notes.

  • Eliminating PHP polyfills

    The Symfony project has recently created a set of pure-PHP polyfills for both PHP extensions and newer language features. It allows developers to add requirements upon those functions or language additions without increasing the system requirements upon end users. For the most part, I think this is a good thing, and valuable to have. We've done similar things inside MediaWiki as well for CDB support, Memcached, and internationalization, just to name a few.

    But the downside is that on platforms where it is possible to install the missing PHP extensions or upgrade PHP itself, we're shipping empty code. MediaWiki requires both the ctypes and mbstring PHP extensions, and our servers have those, so there's no use in deploying polyfills for those, because they'll never be used. In September, Reedy and I replaced the polyfills with "unpolyfills" that simply provide the correct package, so the polyfill is skipped by composer. That removed about 3,700 lines of code from what we're committing, reviewing, and deploying - a big win.

  • Polonius and region errors

    Now that NLL has been shipped, I’ve been doing some work revisiting the Polonius project. Polonius is the project that implements the “alias-based formulation” described in my older blogpost. Polonius has come a long way since that post; it’s now quite fast and also experimentally integrated into rustc, where it passes the full test suite.

  • Serious Python released!

    Well, Serious Python is the the new name of The Hacker's Guide to Python — the first book I published. Serious Python is the 4th update of that book — but with a brand a new name and a new editor!

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Zombie Panic! Source, Dicey Dungeon, NVIDIA RTX, Steam Play, Battle Motion, Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, Feudal Alloy

  • The Beta of Zombie Panic! Source was updated recently, should work better on Linux
    Zombie Panic! Source is currently going through an overhaul, as part of this it's coming to Linux with a version now in beta and the latest update should make it a better experience. [...] I personally haven't been able to make any of the events yet, so I have no real thoughts on the game. Once it's out of beta and all servers are updated, I will be taking a proper look as it looks fun. No idea when this version will leave beta, might be a while yet.
  • Dicey Dungeons, the new unique roguelike from Terry Cavanagh and co introduces quests
    We have a lot of roguelikes available on Linux (seriously, we do) yet Dicey Dungeons from Terry Cavanagh, Marlowe Dobbe, and Chipzel still remains fresh due to the rather unique game mechanics. I still can't get over how fun the dice mechanic is, as you slot dice into cards to perform actions. It's different, clever and works really well.
  • Quake 2 now has real-time path tracing with Vulkan
    If you have one of the more recent NVIDIA RTX graphics cards, here's an interesting project for you to try. Q2VKPT from developer Christoph Schied implements some really quite advanced techniques.
  • Steam Play versus Linux Version, a little performance comparison and more thoughts
    Now that Steam has the ability officially to override a Linux game and run it through Steam Play instead, let's take a quick look at some differences in performance. Before I begin, let's make something clear. I absolutely value the effort developers put into Linux games, I do think cross-platform development is incredibly important so we don't end up with more lock-in. However, let's be realistic for a moment. Technology moves on and it's not financially worth it to keep updating old games, they just don't sell as well as newer games (with exceptions of course). As the years go on, there will be more ways to run older games better and better, of that I've no doubt.
  • Battle Motion, a really silly massive fantasy battle game will have Linux support
    Sometimes when looking around for new games I come across something that really catches my eye, Battle Motion is one such game as it looks completely silly.
  • Ravva and the Cyclops Curse looks like a rather nice NES-inspired platformer
    Another lovely looking retro-inspired platformer! Ravva and the Cyclops Curse from developer Galope just released this week with Linux support.
  • Become a fish inside a robot in Feudal Alloy, out now with Linux support
    We've seen plenty of robots and we've seen a fair amount of fish, but have you seen a fish controlling a robot with a sword? Say hello to Feudal Alloy.

Addressing Icons Themes (Again)

I wrote some time ago on how platforms have a responsibility to respect the identity of applications, but now there’s some rumblings that Ubuntu’s community-built Yaru icon set (which is a derivative of the Suru icon set I maintain) intends to ignore this and infringe upon applications’ brands by modifying their icons... [...] For instance, the entire point of the GNOME icon refresh initiative is to address visual mismatches between third-party app icons and GNOME icons and we been have reaching out to developers to see about updating their icons to new design—this is the appropriate approach for a platform visual overhaul, by the way—which could always use more help on. Now I don’t see this ever happening, but I have hopes that someday Ubuntu will fully embrace GNOME and promote it as its desktop solution—especially given the desktop is out of the scope of the Ubuntu business these days. Read more

Wine 4.0 RC7

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 4.0-rc7 is now available.The Wine development release 4.0-rc7 is now available.
  • Juicy like the good stuff, Wine 4.0 RC7 is out with a delightful aroma
    No need to worry about a sour aftertaste here, we're of course talking about the wonderful software and not the tasty liquid. As usual, they're in bug-fix mode while they attempt to make the best version of Wine they can and so no super huge features made it in.
  • Wine 4.0-RC7 Released With Fixes For Video Player Crashes, Game Performance Issues
    Wine 4.0 should be officially out soon, but this weekend the latest test release of it is Release Candidate 7 that brings more than one dozen fixes. Wine 4.0 remains in a feature freeze until its release, which will likely be within the next two weeks or so. Since last Friday's Wine 4.0-RC6, the RC7 release has 13 known bug fixes. Catching our interest are some game performance regressions being resolved, including for Hot Pursuit, Project CARS, Gas Guzzlers, and others. There are also video player crash fixes when opening audio or video files.

Wikipedia cofounder: How and why I transitioned to Linux—how you can, too

My first introduction to the command line was in the 80s when I first started learning about computers and, like many geeky kids of the time, wrote my first BASIC computer programs. But it wasn’t until my job starting Nupedia (and then Wikipedia) that I spent much time on the Bash command line. (Let me explain. “Bash” means “Bourne-again shell,” a rewrite of the class Unix shell “sh.” A “shell” is a program for interacting with the computer by processing terse commands to do basic stuff like find and manipulate files; a terminal, or terminal emulator, is a program that runs a shell. The terminal is what shows you that command line, where you type your commands like “move this file there” and “download that file from this web address” and “inject this virus into that database”. The default terminal used by Linux Ubuntu, for example, is called Gnome Terminal–which runs Bash, the standard Linux shell.) Even then (and in the following years when I got into programming again), I didn’t learn much beyond things like cd (switch directory) and ls (list directory contents). It was then, around 2002, that I first decided to install Linux. Back then, maybe the biggest “distro” (flavor of Linux) was Red Hat Linux, so that’s what I installed. I remember making a partition (dividing the hard disk into parts, basically) and dual-booting (installing and making it possible to use both) Linux and Windows. It was OK, but it was also rather clunky and much rougher and much less user-friendly than the Windows of the day. So I didn’t use it much. Read more