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Friday, 24 Oct 14 - 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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Typesort icon Title Author Replies Last Post
linpc srlinuxx 03/09/2008 - 11:57am
ondiskgoblinx srlinuxx 04/09/2007 - 9:36pm
linuxextremedesktop srlinuxx 20/08/2007 - 2:13am
ondisk-mint srlinuxx 11/08/2007 - 3:58pm
adadheader srlinuxx 27/04/2007 - 1:18am
pclos srlinuxx 27/04/2007 - 4:39am
adadcontent srlinuxx 29/04/2007 - 8:54pm
salesad srlinuxx 01/05/2007 - 5:38pm
easyS srlinuxx 03/05/2007 - 7:03pm
ondisk-pclos-header srlinuxx 24/05/2007 - 3:25pm

Promote Windows Users to Admins with the Debian-Based Rescatux 0.32 Beta 2

Filed under
Debian

Rescatux works like a regular Live CD distro, but it has a very specific purpose. Despite the name, this is not really a recovery tool, or at least not for data. It's designed to help in the recovery of entire operating systems by repairing the boot process, the Grub, the MBR for Windows OS, and so on. It also comes with some nice features related to the users of a particular system, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Rescatux is based on Debian, so the GUI should not be too alien for regular users. It has very low hardware requirements and it should be able to run on basically any system from the past decade.

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Intel GVT-g GPU Virtualization Moves Closer

Filed under
Development

For months we have been talking about Intel XenGT as mediated graphics pass-through support so virtual machines can access Intel Haswell HD Graphics GPUs from the host under Linux and the GPU shared directly with the VMs running on the system. This work is finally closer to being realized to end-users with the code working towards being mainlined.

XenGT is Intel's solution for GPU access from VMs on Linux that work with their DRM driver. XenGT though has been re-branded to Intel GVT-g as explained in my most recent Intel GPU virtualization article. The news today is that the XenGT / GVT-g patches that affect the Intel DRM kernel graphics driver are closer to landing.

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Build It! Must-Have Open Source Development Tools

Filed under
OSS

These days, there is big demand for strong web and application development skills in the job market. The good news is that there are many open source tools to help you with your web project or application, and given the costs of proprietary development environments, they can save you a lot of money. Here are many good examples of development tools and tutorials, with some unsung choices that you may not have considered.

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Mesa 10.4 Might Re-Enable HyperZ For R600g/RadeonSI

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

The performance of the upcoming Mesa 10.4 might be better out-of-the-box for R600g and RadeonSI Gallium3D driver users if a new patch is accepted to re-enable HyperZ by default.

HyperZ is an important performance-boosting feature that's been available in the open-source AMD Linux drivers for years but tends to often get flipped on/off every once in a while when bugs are reported about HyperZ causing corruption or stability problems by users. Currently in Mesa Git the HyperZ support is disabled by default in the R600g and RadeonSI drivers.

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Bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers

Filed under
Debian

The Debian Multimedia Maintainers have been quite active since the
Wheezy release, and have some interesting news to share for the Jessie
release. Here we give you a brief update on what work has been done and
work that is still ongoing.

Let's see what's cooking for Jessie then.

Frameworks and libraries
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Support for many new media formats and codecs.

The codec library libavcodec, which is used by popular media playback
applications including vlc, mpv, totem (using gstreamer1.0-libav), xine,
and many more, has been updated to the latest upstream release version
11 provided by Libav [libav]. This provides Debian users with HEVC
playback, a native Opus decoder, Matroska 3D support, Apple ProRes, and
much more. Please see [libav-changelog] for a full list of functionality
additions and updates.

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Ubuntu 14.10 ships, but not yet with convergence

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.10 moves to Linux 3.16, and offers performance and stability improvements, Netflix on Chrome support, and an easier loading process for the Android SDK.

After recently celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Canonical’s Ubuntu project released a modest 14.10 (“Utopic Unicorn”) update with most of the enhancements happening on the server and cloud versions. For example, support for LXC (Linux Containers) virtualization and the OpenStack cloud computing platform has been improved.

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On the Security of Containers

Filed under
Linux
Security

I agree that the security of a container isn’t any better than a well-secured application using sys_setcap(), a custom suite of SeLinux labels, and a roll-your-own use of Linux namespaces. However, that’s precisely what Linux containers are. Containers are not contradictory to other, existing best-practices. They’re not contradictory to VMs, but work well with them. It’s not contradictory to SeLinux or AppArmor, but works with them. In fact, when you come down to it, once you start tweaking and configuring all of the security tunables in Linux to secure your application as much as possible, you’ll realize that you’ve simply rolled your own container solution.

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Red Hat offers OpenStack training and exams in Paris

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Red Hat

OpenStack Summit Paris is a five-day conference for OpenStack software users, developers and administrators, with a main conference encompassing keynotes from leading figures in the OpenStack community and a design summit focused around collaborative working sessions. The event takes place 3-7 November – further details are available at: https://www.openstack.org/summit/openstack-paris-summit-2014/.

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LXLE 14.04.1 & 12.04.5 released.

Filed under
Software

Lastly, LXLE will be sticking with torrent only downloads which is a decentralized open source choice that was heavily influenced by Crunchbang. There is nothing wrong or inherently bad about using torrents vs direct downloads, plenty of questionable software is hosted on a server. Torrents receive a bad rap because many choose to use it for piracy, that's not the fault of the protocol that's the fault of users in general. Considering the size of the LXLE ISO it also makes technical sense since downloads speeds are far greater than with traditional direct downloads.

As a final note, release doesn't mean bug free, perhaps close but never perfect as proven often.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Gaming
HowTos

Going Dutch: the Netherlands Shares UK's Open Source Woes

Filed under
OSS

Not quite sure what that last bit means, but it's nonetheless good to have news from other countries grappling with the same issues as those in the UK. The fact that similar problems are found elsewhere suggests that maybe more could be done for those seeking to introduce open source in central government to meet up and swap their experiences - both good and bad.

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Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) Review

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), the latest operating system released by Canonical, is here right on time, six months after the previous version. We now take a closer look at the new OS and we'll try to see what has been changed and how it compares with previous iterations.

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Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 Released and Based on GNOME 3.12 – Screenshot Tour

Filed under
GNOME
Ubuntu

The GNOME flavor of Ubuntu is a newer one, although the devs have already made a few releases. It uses the stock GNOME stack and it’s had great success until now, despite the fact that it doesn't pack the latest version of the desktop environment. The developer has explained more than once why that is happening, but the good news is that people will be able to install GNOME 3.14 packages nonetheless.

The Ubuntu GNOME developers have more features to show than the Ubuntu base used, but that was to be expected, especially after the GNOME stack has been updated from the 3.10 branch to 3.12.

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Jeffrey McGuire From Acquia Explains Drupal 8, the GPL, and Much More

Filed under
Interviews
Drupal

Jeffrey McGuire

Tux Machines has run using Drupal for nearly a decade (the site is older than a decade) and we recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire, Open Source Evangelist at Acquia, the key company behind Drupal (which the founder of Drupal is a part of). The questions and answers below are relevant to many whose Web sites depend on Drupal.

1) What is the expected delivery date for Drupal 8 (to developers) and what will be a good point for Drupal 6 and 7 sites to advance to it?

 

Drupal 8.0.0 beta 1 came out on October 1, 2014, during DrupalCon Amsterdam. It’s a little early for designers to port their themes, good documentation to be written, or translators to finalise the Drupal interface in their language – some things are still too fluid. For coders and site builders, however, it’s a great time to familiarise yourself with the new system and start porting your contributed modules. Read this post by Drupal Project Lead, Dries Buytaert; it more thoroughly describes who and what the beta releases are and aren’t good for: “Betas are good testing targets for developers and site builders who are comfortable reporting (and where possible, fixing) their own bugs, and who are prepared to rebuild their test sites from scratch when necessary. Beta releases are not recommended for non-technical users, nor for production websites.”

 

With a full Release Candidate or 8.0.0 release on the cards for some time in 2015, now is the perfect time to start planning and preparing your sites for the upgrade to Drupal 8. Prolific Drupal contributor Dave Reid gave an excellent session at DrupalCon Amsterdam, “Future-proof your Drupal 7 Site”, in which he outlines a number of well-established best practices in Drupal 7 that will help you have a smooth migration when it is time - as well as a number of deprecated modules and practices to avoid.

 

2) What is the importance of maintaining API and module compatibility in future versions of Drupal and how does Acquia balance that with innovation that may necessitate new/alternative hooks and functions?

 

The Drupal community, which is not maintained or directed by Acquia or any company, has always chosen innovation over backward compatibility. Modules and APIs of one version have never had to be compatible with other versions. The new point-release system that will be used from Drupal 8.0.0 onwards - along with new thinking among core contributors and the broader community - may change this in future. There has been discussion, for example, of having APIs valid over two releases, guaranteeing that a Drupal 8 module would still work in Drupal 9 and that a Drupal 9 module would work in Drupal 10. Another possibility is that this all may be obviated in the future as moves toward broad intercompatibility in PHP lead to the creation of PHP libraries with Drupal implementations rather than purely Drupal modules.

 

3) Which Free/libre software project do you consider to be the biggest competitor of Drupal?

 

The “big three” FOSS CMSs – Drupal, Wordpress, and Joomla! – seem to have settled into roughly defined niches. There is no hard and fast rule to this, but Wordpress runs many smaller blogs and simpler sites; Joomla! projects fall into the small to medium range; and Drupal projects are generally medium to large to huge and complex. Many tech people with vested interests in one camp or another may identify another project as “frenemies” and compete with these technologies when bidding for clients, but the overall climate between the various PHP and open source projects is friendly and open. Drupal is one of the largest free/libre projects out there and doesn’t compete with other major projects like Apache, Linux, Gnome, KDE, or MySQL. Drupal runs most commonly on the LAMP stack and couldn’t exist or work at all without these supporting free and open source technologies.

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

 

4) Which program -- proprietary or Free/libre software -- is deemed the biggest growth opportunity for Drupal?

 

Frankly, all things PHP. Drupal’s biggest growth opportunity at present is its role as an innovator and “meta-project” in the current “PHP Renaissance”. While fragmented at times in the past, the broader PHP community is now rallying around common goals and standards that allow for extensive compatibility and interoperability between projects. For the upcoming Drupal 8 release, the project has adopted object-oriented coding, several components from the Symfony2 framework, a more up-to-date minimum version of PHP (5.4 as of October 2014), and an extensive selection of external libraries.

 

On the one hand, Drupal being at the heart of the action in PHP-Land allows it and its community of innovators to make a more direct impact and spread its influence. On the other hand, it is now also able to attract even more developers from a variety of backgrounds to use and further develop Drupal. A Symfony developer (who has had a client website running on Drupal 8 since summer 2014) told me that looking under the hood in Drupal 8, “felt very familiar, like looking at a dialect of Symfony code.”

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

5) To what degree did Drupal succeed owing to the fact that Drupal and all contributed files are licensed under the GNU GPL (version 2 or 3)?

 

“Building on the shoulders of giants” is a common thread in free and open source software. The GPL licenses clearly promote a culture of mutual sharing. This certainly applies to Drupal, where I can count on huge advantages thanks to benefitting from more than twelve years of development, 100k+ active users, running something like 2% of the Web for thousands of businesses, and millions of hours of coding and best practices by tens of thousands of active developers. Our code being GPL-licensed and collected in a central repository on Drupal.org has allowed us to build upon the strengths of each other’s work in a Darwinian environment (”bad code dies or gets fixed” - Jeff Eaton) where the best code rises to the top and becomes even better thanks to the attention of thousands of site owners and developers. The same repository has contributed to a reputation economy where bad actors and dubious or dangerous code has little chance of survival.

 

The GPL 2 is business friendly in that the license specifically allows for commercial activity and has been court tested. As a result, there is very little legal ambiguity in adopting GPL-licensed code. It also makes clear cases for when code needs to be shared as open source and when it doesn't (allowing for sites to use Drupal but still have "proprietary" code). The so-called “Web Services Loophole” caused some controversy and discussion, but also opened the way to SaaS products being built on free/libre GPL code. Drupal Project Lead Dries Buytaert explained this back in 2006 (read the full post here):

 

“The General Public License 2 (GPL 2), mandates that all modifications also be distributed under the GPL. But when you are providing a service through the web using GPL'ed software like Drupal, you are not actually distributing the software. You are providing access to the software. Thus, a way to make money with Drupal is to sell access to a web service built on top of Drupal. This is commonly referred to as the web services loophole.”

 

Business models remain challenging in a GPL world; nothing is stopping me from selling you GPL code, but nothing is stopping you from passing it on to anyone else either. App stores, for example, are next to impossible to realise under these conditions. Most Drupal businesses are focused on value add services like site building, auditing and consulting of various kinds, hosting, and so on, with a few creating SaaS or PaaS offerings of one kind or another.

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

 

6) What role do companies that build, maintain and support Drupal sites play in Acquia's growth and in Drupal's growth?

 

Acquia was the first company to offer SLA-based commercial support for Drupal (a Service Level Agreement essentially says, “In return for your subscription, Acquia promises to respond to your problems within a certain time and in a certain manner”). The specifics of response time and action vary according to the level of subscription, but these allowed a new category of customer to adopt Drupal: The Enterprise.

 

Enterprise adoption – think Whitehouse.gov, Warner Music, NBC Universal, Johnson & Johnson – of Drupal resulted in increased awareness and therefore even further increased adoption (and improvement) of the platform over time. Everyone who delivers a successful Drupal project for happy clients improves Drupal for everyone else involved. The more innovative projects there are, the more innovation flows back into our codebase. The more happy customers there are, the more likely their peers are to adopt Drupal, too. Finally, the open source advantage also comes into play: it behooves Drupal service providers to give the best possible service and deliver the highest-quality sites and results. If they don’t, there is no vendor lock-in and being open source at scale also means you can find another qualified Drupal business to work with if it becomes necessary. Acquia and the whole, large Drupal vendor ecosystem simultaneously compete, cooperatively grow the project (in code and happy customer advocates), and act as each other’s safety net and guarantors.

 

NB – I use the term “open source” as synonymous shorthand for “FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, and/or Free/libre software”.

 

7) How does Acquia manage and coordinate the disclosure of security vulnerabilities, such as the one disclosed on October 15th?

Acquia as an organisation is an active, contributing member of the Drupal community and it adheres strictly to the Drupal project’s security practices and guidelines, including the Drupal project’s strict procedure for reporting security issues. Many of Acquia’s technical employees are themselves active Drupal contributors; as of October 2014, ten expert Acquians also belong to the Drupal Security Team. Acquia also works closely with other service providers, whether competitors or partners, in the best interests of all of us who use and work with Drupal. This blog post, “Shields Up!”, by Moshe Weizman explains how Acquia, in cooperation with the Drupal Security Team and some other Drupal hosting companies, dealt with the recent “Drupalgeddon” security vulnerability.

Xubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) Features a Pink Desktop

Filed under
Ubuntu

Xubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is now available for download, along with its Ubuntu GNOME, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and other flavors. The developers have made a few important changes that will definitely set this release apart.

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UBUNTU MATE SEES ITS FIRST RELEASE (14.10

Filed under
Ubuntu

Along with the other flavors, Ubuntu MATE 14.10 was released today. This is an unofficial (it will most probably become an official Ubuntu flavor in the near future) MATE-based Ubuntu flavor, "ideal for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor", which had its very first stable release today.

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Mature, easy-to-deploy Open Source Cloud computing software platform boasts improved efficiency and performance.

Filed under
OSS

The Apache CloudStack project announced the immediate availability of Apache CloudStack v4.4.1, the latest version of the turnkey Open Source cloud computing software platform used for creating private-, public-, and hybrid cloud environments.

Apache CloudStack clouds enable billions of dollars' worth of business transactions annually across their clouds, and its maturity and stability has led it to has become the Open Source platform for many service providers to set up on-demand, elastic public cloud computing services, as well as enterprises and others to set up a private or hybrid cloud for use by their own employees.

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ownCloud Asks Canonical to Remove Their Software from Ubuntu Repos, Sparks Fly

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Ubuntu

A member of the ownCloud security team has sent a request to Canonical asking them to remove all the packages from their repositories regarding this software stack. The problem is that things are not that simple.

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Mozilla's Webmaker App Could Spur Firefox OS App Developers

Filed under
Moz/FF

Mozilla continues to push ahead with its Firefox OS mobile operating system, which is arriving on phones in many markets around the world. In fact, the company has aligned its whole strategy around the mobile platform. The OS is gaining enough traction that many observers see it as eventually being competitive with iOS and Android phones, but I've made the point that If Firefox OS is to be a resounding success, it's going to need a very healthy ecosystem of apps to attract users. Apps count for a lot in the mobile game.

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Tiny Android SBC taps quad-core A31s SoC

Filed under
Android

Boardcon launched a 92 x 65mm “Compact A31S” SBC that runs Android 4.2.2 on a quad-core Allwinner A31s SoC backed up with 2GB of soldered RAM and 4GB flash.

Boardcon Embedded Design offers a wide variety of Android-based single board computers and COMs that incorporate Samsung system-on-chips, and now the Shenzhen-based OEM manufacturer is spreading out to the quad-core Allwinner A31s. The Compact 31S SBC is touted for its tiny dimensions, and indeed it’s pretty small considering all you’re getting here. It’s only 92 x 65mm, compared to 148 x 108mm for Boardcon’s Samsung Exynos4412 based EM4412 SBC.

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