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Thursday, 21 Mar 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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Server: Containers, Quarkus, OpenShift, Kubernetes and More

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  • Unprivileged container builds using stacker

    One of the primary goals of user namespaces was to provide the ability for unprivileged users to have their own range of uids over which they would have privilege, with minimal need for setuid programs and no risk (barring bugs in the OS) of their privilege having effect on uids which are not “their own”.

    We’ve had user namespaces for awhile now. While there are some actions which cannot be done in a user namespace, such as mounting a loopback filesystem, there are many things, such as setting up a build environment with custom package installs, which used to be a challenge without privilege but are now simple.

  • Red Hat eyes cloud-native Java future with Quarkus

    Red Hat's latest initiative, Quarkus, aims to usher in a cloud-native Java future -- and shift the core of innovation in enterprise Java.

    Numerous efforts over the years have attempted to make Java more cloud-native, such as Google's Dalvik virtual machine used in Android. None has demonstrated as much promise as Red Hat Quarkus, which is based on two Oracle-led projects, GraalVM and Substrate VM, to build cloud-native Java applications that are much faster and smaller, in a Linux container as part of a Kubernetes deployment.

    GraalVM is a universal virtual machine that is used to run applications written in JavaScript, Python, Ruby, R, and Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based languages, including Java, Scala, Clojure, Kotlin, as well as low-level virtual machine-based languages, such as C and C++. Graal enables aggressive ahead-of time (AOT) compilation, so developers can compile their apps into native binary images and avoid the limitations of the JVM.

    Substrate VM, a subsystem of Graal, focuses on AOT compilation to collect Java to a native binary image, said Mark Little, vice president of engineering and CTO of JBoss Middleware at Red Hat.

  • OpenShift All-in-One (AIO) for Labs and Fun

    A common request from customers is how to run the actual Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) bits in a single node. This request often comes from customers that need to support training environments, dedicated single-user development environments or from technical architects wanting to validate concepts without deploying a full multi-node cluster. There are many options available for developers, from Minishift to CodeReady Workspaces. These are supported options which are a great solution for application developers that want to deploy to the platform. The use cases not addressed with these solutions are more platform and infrastructure related.

  • 7 pieces of contrarian Kubernetes advice

    You can find many great resources for getting smarter about Kubernetes out there. (Ahem, we’ve written a few ourselves.)

    That’s good news for IT teams and professionals looking to boost their knowledge and consider how Kubernetes might solve problems in their organization. The excited chatter about Kubernetes has gotten so loud, however, that it can become difficult to make sense of it all. Moreover, it can be challenging to sort the actual business and technical benefits from the sales pitches.

  • SwiftStack Announces World’s First Multi-Cloud AI/ML Data Management Solution

    “The SwiftStack solution accelerates data pipelines, eliminates storage silos, and enables multi-cloud workflows, thus delivering faster business outcomes,” said Jason Blum, CTO at GPL Technologies, an NVIDIA and SwiftStack elite partner. “SwiftStack provides us with the flexibility, technology leadership and breakthrough economics to build tailored solutions for our customers.” GPL Technologies has created multiple ways to implement the solution, with NVIDIA DGX-1 GPU server(s), NVIDIA GPU Cloud, and other leading system hardware.

  • Tetrate Aims To Make Service Mesh Accessible And Enterprise Ready

    After Kubernetes, open source projects such as Istio, Envoy and Linkerd get the maximum attention from the users and cloud native community. Google backs Istio while Envoy and Linkerd are a part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Since the current service mesh technologies are available only as stock open source projects, implementing and integrating them with the rest of the microservices infrastructure is complex.

Security: Updates, MITRE, Microsoft Holes and "DARPA Is Working On An Open Source And Hack-Proof Voting System"

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  • Security updates for Friday
  • MITRE names The Document Foundation as a CVE Numbering Authority (CNA)

    MITRE announced that The Document Foundation, the home of LibreOffice, has been approved as CVE Numbering Aut (CNA). The Document Foundation is at the center of one of the largest free open source software ecosystems, where enterprise sponsored developers and contributors work side by side with volunteers coming from every continent. The nomination is the result of significant investments in security provided by the LibreOffice Red Hat team under Caolán McNamara leadership.

  • Update now! Microsoft’s March 2019 Patch Tuesday is here

    If you were among the millions of users who updated Chrome last week to dodge a zero-day exploit, Microsoft has something for you in this month’s Patch Tuesday – a fix for a separate flaw targeting Windows 7 that is being used as part of the same attacks.

    To recap, the Chrome flaw (CVE-2019-5786) was first advised on 1 March with a ‘hurry up and apply the update’ follow-up a few days later when news of exploits emerged. The patch for that took Chrome to 72.0.3626.121.

  • DARPA Is Working On An Open Source And Hack-Proof Voting System

    Voting machines are vulnerable, and lawmakers are pushing hard to come up with a system that is impervious to hacks for fair results. Now, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a project to develop a $10 million open source and highly secure voting system. The new system will not only prevent hackers from hacking the machines but will also allow voters to verify that their vote has been recorded correctly.

    The open source voting system will be designed by Galois, an Oregon-based company and a government contractor. The company has previous experience in designing secure systems.


    The new machines will not have barcodes. After submitting the paper ballot in the optical-scan system, a cryptographic representation of votes will be printed on a receipt. After the elections would get concluded, the cryptographic representations will be uploaded on a website where voters can verify their choice.

    This process will bring transparency in the voting system which heavily relies on election officials currently.

Software: GSConnect, Watchman, Museeks and Essential System Tools

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  • GSConnect - Say Gee-es, and connect you Android to Gnome

    GSConnect seems like a nice, handy tool - and it does give Gnome users the functionality they require without having to install the full KDE set of libraries just to get KDE Connect to run. Now, I'd like to see this program support other phones too, like iPhone and Windows Phone, because the current set is limiting in its choice. But if you have an Android device, then you get a reliable, colorful productivity tool.

    I think the initial pairing can be easier to configure, as well as getting GSConnect installed. Most people will not necessarily find the extension - or use it, or be able to configure Gnome to use extensions, whereas KDE has this by default in the Plasma desktop. That aside, GSConnect works and behaves as it should, and it sits well in your Gnome environment, so there's no reason why you shouldn't give it a go. I think you'll be pleased.

  • Watchman – A File and Directory Watching Tool for Changes

    Watchman is an open source and cross-platform file watching service that watches files and records or performs actions when they change. It is developed by Facebook and runs on Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, and Solaris. It runs in a client-server model and employs the inotify utility of the Linux kernel to provide a more powerful notification.

  • Museeks – web-technologies based music player

    I’ve reviewed a fair few music players that embrace web-technologies, but I’m always looking for new entrants. One of our regulars asked me to take Museeks out for a spin. Always willing to try out new software, I took the bait! Only later did I realize that I’d tried a release of Museeks when it didn’t have FLAC support.

    Museeks is an Electron based cross-platform music player using React.js as its user interface framework, as well as Node.js and TypeScript.

    It’s important to appreciate Museeks is in a fairly early stage of development. The software’s initial release was way back in June 2016, but there’s been steady development since then.

  • 20 Excellent Ways to Manage Your System – Essential System Tools

    This is a series of cornerstone articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems.

    You’ve moved over from Windows or Mac OS X to the wonderful world of Linux. You’ve selected a Linux distro (after a bit of fruitful distro hopping), chosen a desktop environment, and studied the basic Linux commands. Now you want some really useful free applications. Well this article picks the finest open source software to help you manage your system.

    The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. There’s a wide range of software we’ve recommended. There’s genuinely useful utilities, productivity software, networking, backup, monitoring, system cleaning and much more. All to download for nothing.

    Every application featured in the series is open source goodness at its finest.

    The series is growing. We’re currently adding an essential system tool to the series every fortnight or so.

Programming/Development: JavaScript, Cookie, Rust, C++, Python and More

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  • JS Foundation and Node.js Foundation join forces

    People like to make fun of JavaScript. "It's not a real language! Who, in their right mind, would use it on a server?" The replies are: It's a real language and JavaScript is one of the most popular languages of all. For years, the enterprise server side had been divided into two camps: JS Foundation and Node.js Foundation. This was a bit, well, silly. Now, the two are coming together to form one organization: OpenJS Foundation.

    At the Open Source Leadership Summit in Half Moon Bay, CA, the Linux Foundation announced the long anticipated news that the two JavaScript powers were merging. The newly formed OpenJS Foundation mission is to support the growth of JavaScript and related web technologies by providing a neutral organization to host and sustain projects, and fund development activities. It's made up of 31 open-source JavaScript projects including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack.

  • Cookie – A Template-Based File Generator for Projects

    Cookie is similar to cookiecutter, a command-line utility that creates projects from project templates (stylistically referred to as “cookiecutters“) in any markup format or programming language. But unlike cookiecutter, Cookie creates pages from file templates.

    The templates are stored in the ~/.cookiecutters directory or the directory specified by $COOKIE_DIR. You can see examples of the main developer’s templates here.

  • Federico Mena-Quintero: A Rust API for librsv

    After the librsvg team finished the rustification of librsvg's main library, I wanted to start porting the high-level test suite to Rust. This is mainly to be able to run tests in parallel, which cargo test does automatically in order to reduce test times. However, this meant that librsvg needed a Rust API that would exercise the same code paths as the C entry points.

  • Template meta-functions for detecting template instantiation
  • Guido van Rossum: Why operators are useful

    This is something I posted on python-ideas, but I think it's interesting to a wider audience.

    There's been a lot of discussion recently about an operator to merge two dicts.

    It prompted me to think about the reason (some) people like operators, and a discussion I had with my mentor Lambert Meertens over 30 years ago came to mind.

    For mathematicians, operators are essential to how they think. Take a simple operation like adding two numbers, and try exploring some of its behavior.

  • Django Authentication — Login, Logout and Password Change/Reset
  • list all files in a git commit
  • Plot the sector performance graph
  • Create a new Python Project with Visual Studio 2019 RC IDE
  • Remove exclamation mark from a string with python
  • Return a reverse order list for a number with python
  • The final adjustment of the main menu page buttons
  • Codementor: How and why I built BlueThroat - An open source cloud migration tool
  • Codementor: Platforms, Python Practice Projects, and Picking Up Flask: A Blog Story
  • Why to DIY chatbots
  • littler 0.3.7: Small tweaks

    The eight release of littler as a CRAN package is now available, following in the thirteen-ish year history as a package started by Jeff in 2006, and joined by me a few weeks later.

    littler is the first command-line interface for R and predates Rscript. And it is (in my very biased eyes) better as it allows for piping as well shebang scripting via #!, uses command-line arguments more consistently and still starts faster. It also always loaded the methods package which Rscript converted to rather recently.

    littler lives on Linux and Unix, has its difficulties on macOS due to yet-another-braindeadedness there (who ever thought case-insensitive filesystems as a default where a good idea?) and simply does not exist on Windows (yet – the build system could be extended – see RInside for an existence proof, and volunteers are welcome!).

  • AWS Careers: On the Road to All 9 AWS Certifications
  • Certifications Aren't as Big a Deal as You Think [Ed: usually 'prove' you've trained for a particular corporation's product]

    For some reason, security certifications get discussed a lot, particularly in forums catering to those newer to the industry. (See, for example, /r/asknetsec.) Now I’m not talking about business certifications (ISO, etc.) but personal certifications that allegedly demonstrate some kind of skill on behalf of the individual. There seems to be a lot of focus on certifications that you “need” or that will land you your dream security job.

    I’m going to make the claim that you should stop worrying about certifications and instead spend your time learning things that will help you in the real world – or better yet, actually applying your skills in the real world. There are likely some people who will strongly disagree with me, and that’s good, but I want it to be a discussion that people think about, instead of just assuming certifications are some kind of magic wand.

    I don’t think certifications are bad – in fact, I’ve got a few myself. I’m a current holder of both the OSCP and OSCE from Offensive Security (back when you could get an OSCP and take the exam naked if you wanted) and I’ve formerly held RHCE, LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 and a handful of other minor certifications. In fact, I’m damn proud of all of them.

    I’ve been employed in the tech industry for over a decade, more than half of which has been doing security work. I’ve had the privilege (and responsibility) of interviewing a couple hundred people for tech roles in that time. I write this not for the ego boost, but in order to provide context for my viewpoint. One important note is that more than 7 years of that experience is with a single employer, which will obviously influence my thinking on this subject. It’s also important to note that this post (like others on my blog) is written in my personal capacity and does not necessarily represent the viewpoint or hiring practices of any employer, past, present, or future.

    Most roles in infosec require a wide range of knowledge and the understanding of how to apply that knowledge. There are many skillsets necessary beyond what can be taught in a short class for a certification. For example, none of the technical certifications spend any significant time on soft skills, but the good practitioners in our industry are excellent communicators and can at least understand the business priorities, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them.

GNU Guix: Documentation video creation

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Over the last few months, I have been working as an Outreachy intern with the GNU Guix crowd to develop videos presenting and documenting the project. My goal in this round as an Outreachy intern for the December 2018 to March 2019 period consists of creating introductory documentation videos about different topics for people who would like to use GNU Guix, admins and/or those who would like to join Guix community and don’t know where to start. Even interested or having a clear documentation, they might feel overwhelmed by it. I experienced this issue in the past with people in another context.

My main tasks consist of creating a workflow for automating as much as possible the process of creating the videos, as well as, of course, creating the videos themselves. Creating the videos is not that easy as it might seem, I have to design them (I cannot automate that part), let the audio match the video, and matching the exact timing is quite difficult. Something very important that I should mention is that the workflow currently allows translations to other languages.

It is a work in progress for too many reasons, specially because it keeps being improved all the time.

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Georges Basile Stavracas Neto on GNOME 3.32 and GTK4 Updates

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The most promoted improvement in this release is the improved performance. Having worked or reviewed some these improvements myself, I found it a bit weird that some people were reporting enormous changes on performance. Of course, you should notice that GNOME Shell is smoother, and applications as well (when the compositor reliably sends frame ticks to applications, they also draw on time, and feel smoother as well.)

But people were telling me that these changes were game changing.

There is a grey line between the actual improvements, and people just happy and overly excited about it. And I thought the latter was the case.

But then I installed the non-debug packages from Arch repositories and this is actually a game changer release. I probably got used to using Mutter and GNOME Shell manually compiled with all the debug and development junk, and didn’t really notice how better it became.

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  • Entries in GTK 4

    One of the larger refactorings that recently landed in GTK master is re-doing the entry hierarchy. This post is summarizing what has changed, and why we think things are better this way.

  • GTK4 Seeing Text Entry Improvements, Easier To Create Custom Entry Widgets

    Adding to the big list of changes to find with the yet-to-be-released GTK4 toolkit is some refactoring around the entry widgets to improve the text entry experience as well as making it easier to create custom entry widgets outside of GTK.


    This comes on top of many other GTK4 changes ranging from Wayland improvements to a big GDK rework, a Vulkan renderer, CSS improvements, exclusively relies upon the Meson build system, the introduction of the GTK Scene Kit (GSK), and many other changes building up over the past roughly three years. After failing to materialize in 2018, it's expected GTK 4.0.0 will make it out this year.

Fedora: Community Blog, GNU Tools Cauldron 2019, and Fedora Logistics

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Red Hat

  • FPgM report: 2019-11

    I?ve set up weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. The Fedora 30 Beta Go/No-Go and Release Readiness meetings are next week.

  • Two new policy proposals

    In addition, we realized that we don’t have an explicit policy about issuing bans in channels for persistent off-topic conversation. We want to give teams within Fedora autonomy to act on their own within the boundaries of our Four Foundations and community norms.

  • Internationalization (i18n) features for Fedora 30
  • GNU Tools Cauldron 2019

    Simon Marchi just announced that the next GNU Tools Cauldron will be in Montreal, Canada from Thursday September 12 till Sunday September 15.

  • Yum vs. DNF Is Still Causing Headaches For Fedora Logistics

    While the DNF package manager as the "next-generation Yum" has been in development for over a half-decade and has been the default over traditional Yum for a number of Fedora releases, it's still causing headaches for some and a subset of users still desiring that DNF be renamed to Yum.

    On newer Fedora installations, yum does already point to dnf and the experience these days at least from my personal perspective has been quite good with DNF being the default now since Fedora 22... I haven't had any real DNF troubles now in years, though with RHEL8 Beta even still calling it "yum", there are some oddities from being so ingrained to Yum for the past two decades especially for system administrators.

Mozilla: Christchurch, Mozilla Foundation and These Weeks in Firefox

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  • Mozilla statement on the Christchurch terror attack

    Like millions of people around the world, the Mozilla team has been deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attack against the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    The news of dozens of people killed and injured while praying in their place of worship is truly upsetting and absolutely abhorrent.

  • VP search update — and Europe

    A year ago, Mozilla Foundation started a search for a VP, Leadership Programs. The upshot of the job: work with people from around the world to build a movement to ensure our digital world stays open, healthy and humane. Over a year later, we’re in the second round of this search — finding the person to drive this work isn’t easy. However, we’re getting closer, so it’s time for an update.

    At a nuts and bolts level, the person in this role will support teams at Mozilla that drive our thought leadership, fellowships and events programs. This is a great deal of work, but fairly straightforward. The tricky part is helping all the people we touch through these programs connect up with each other and work like a movement — driving to real outcomes that make digital life better.

    While the position is global in scope, it will be based in Europe. This is in part because we want to work more globally, which means shifting our attention out of North America and towards African, European, Middle Eastern and South Asian time zones. Increasingly, it is also because we want to put a significant focus on Europe itself.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 55

Wine 4.4 Released

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  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 4.4 is now available.

    What's new in this release (see below for details):
    - New MSIDB tool for manipulating MSI databases.
    - Support for custom draw buttons in common controls.
    - Many more Media Foundation APIs implemented.
    - Various bug fixes.

  • Wine 4.4 Adds More Media Foundation APIs, Tool To Manipulate MSI Databases

    Wine 4.4 is out this evening as the latest bi-weekly point release for allowing Windows programs and games to run on Linux and other platforms.

    Wine 4.4 isn't particularly exciting on the gaming front but does have a new MSIDB tool for manipulating MSI databases, the ability to support custom draw buttons in common controls, more of the Windows Media Foundation APIs have been implemented, and the usual smattering of bug fixes.

  • Wine 4.4 is now available with more Media Foundation API work

    The latest and greatest from the Wine team is now out. Wine 4.4 continues their biweekly development releases to eventually become Wine 5.0.


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There is a new tool available for Sparkers: mkusb

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Also: Purism Planning For Three Hardware Kill Switches With The Librem 5

SUSE: Future and Independence

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  • The Future of SUSE: A Home for Truly Open Open Source Solutions

    While this might look like a big change for SUSE, the fact is that for myself and the rest of the leadership team here, it’s a fulfillment of a path we’ve been following for a long time.
    In fact, there are no changes to the essence of our mission, vision and strategy. We will continue our focus on the success of our customers and our commitments to our partners and open source communities and projects.
    Events and trends in IT make it clear that open source has become more important for enterprises than ever. We believe this makes our position as the largest independent open source company more important than ever. SUSE’s independence is aligned with a single-minded focus on delivering what is best for our customers and partners, coupled with full control over our own destiny.

  • SUSE Completes Move to Independence, Reaffirms Commitment to Customers, Partners and Open Source Communities as Industry’s Largest Independent Open Source Company

    SUSE® today announced the creation of the largest independent open source company following the completion of SUSE’s acquisition by growth investor EQT from Micro Focus. With its ongoing momentum, portfolio expansion and successful execution in the marketplace, as a standalone business SUSE is now even better positioned to focus on the needs of customers and partners as a leading provider of enterprise-grade, open source software-defined infrastructure and application delivery solutions that enable customer workloads anywhere – on premise, hybrid and multi-cloud – with exceptional service, value and flexibility.
    The newly independent SUSE has expanded its executive team, adding new leadership roles and experience to foster its continued momentum into this next stage of corporate development. Enrica Angelone has been named to the new post of chief financial officer, and Sander Huyts is SUSE’s new chief operations officer. Thomas Di Giacomo, formerly chief technology officer for SUSE, is now president of Engineering, Product and Innovation. All three report to SUSE CEO Nils Brauckmann.

  • SUSE completes its management transition

    Here's a SUSE press release hyping its transition to being "the largest independent open-source company".

  • SUSE Marks Its New Independence Under EQT Ownership

    It was in July of last year that Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners acquired SUSE from Micro Focus. That deal is now closed and SUSE is marking its independence today while proclaiming to be the largest independent open-source company.

Ritesh Raj Sarraf: Linux Desktop Usage 2019

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If I look back now, it must be more than 20 years since I got fascinated with GNU/Linux ecosystem and started using it.

Back then, it was more curiosity of a young teenager and the excitement to learn something. There’s one thing that I have always admired/respected about Free Software’s values, is: Access for everyone to learn. This is something I never forget and still try to do my bit.

It was perfect timing and I was lucky to be part of it. Free Software was (and still is) a great platform to learn upon, if you have the willingness and desire for it.

Over the years, a lot lot lot has changed, evolved and improved. From the days of writing down the XF86Config configuration file to get the X server running, to a new world where now everything is almost dynamic, is a great milestone that we have achieved.

All through these years, I always used GNU/Linux platform as my primary computing platform. The CLI, Shell and Tools, have all been a great source of learning. Most of the stuff was (and to an extent, still is) standardized and focus was usually on a single project.

There was less competition on that front, rather there was more collaboration. For example, standard tools like: sed, awk, grep etc were single tools. Like you didn’t have 2 variants of it. So, enhancements to these tools was timely and consistent and learning these tools was an incremental task.

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NetworkManager 1.16 and WireGuard in NetworkManager

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  • NetworkManager 1.16 released, adding WPA3-Personal and WireGuard support

    NetworkManager needs no introduction. In fifteen years since its initial release, it has reached the status of the standard Linux network configuration daemon of choice of all major Linux distributions. What, on the other hand, may need some introduction, are the features of its 28th major release.

    Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome: NetworkManager-1.16.

  • NetworkManager 1.16 Brings WireGuard Support, WiFi Direct/P2P

    NetworkManager 1.16 is now available as the newest feature release for this widely used Linux networking configuration component.

    NetworkManager 1.16 is a big feature release bringing support for WireGuard VPN tunnels, WiFi direction connections (WiFi P2P), SAE authentication, AP and ad-hoc support for the Intel IWD back-end, improved handling of DHCP router options, enhancements around network boot, and a lot of other enhancements.

  • WireGuard in NetworkManager

    NetworkManager 1.16 got native support for WireGuard VPN tunnels (NEWS). WireGuard is a novel VPN tunnel protocol and implementation that spawned a lot of interest. Here I will not explain how WireGuard itself works. You can find very good documentation and introduction at

  • Haller: WireGuard in NetworkManager

    Thomas Haller writes about the WireGuard integration in NetworkManager 1.16.

Pi Day: 5 Raspberry Pi projects for work or family

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People have been celebrating Pi Day on March 14 for more than 30 years, and 10 years ago it became an official national holiday in the United States. A quick Twitter or Google search will likely uncover dozens of pizza and pie deals in your area from retailers getting into the spirit. But many people like to take the celebration a step further by engaging a budding mathematician or technologist in a Pi-related project or challenge.

We thought we’d focus on another popular Pi in the tech world: the Raspberry Pi – a small computer that aims to put the power of digital tinkering into the hands of everyone. Below are five projects you can take on with your team or your kids on Pi Day or any day of the year. Of course, feel free to eat a slice of pie while you work.

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Program the real world using Rust on Raspberry Pi

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If you own a Raspberry Pi, chances are you may already have experimented with physical computing—writing code to interact with the real, physical world, like blinking some LEDs or controlling a servo motor. You may also have used GPIO Zero, a Python library that provides a simple interface to GPIO devices from Raspberry Pi with a friendly Python API. GPIO Zero is developed by community moderator Ben Nuttall.

I am working on rust_gpiozero, a port of the awesome GPIO Zero library that uses the Rust programming language. It is still a work in progress, but it already includes some useful components.

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Android Leftovers

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Linux Gaming: Usability And Performance Across 9 Distros [Introduction]

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Gaming. It’s one of the two main reasons people cite for not making the jump into desktop Linux waters (the other being the notable absence of Adobe creative software). Despite the significant steps Valve and other developers have taken toward Linux being recognized as a first-class citizen when it comes to PC gaming, it’s not quite there yet.

I recently posted a somewhat scathing look at the state of gaming on Linux. It took some folks by surprise. As I said in that piece, I’m a Linux advocate but I’m also a critic.

However, it would be a shame if I wasn’t equally critical of myself. In that piece I applauded the massive selection of available games on the platform and directed my frustration at the state of graphics drivers. I used Ubuntu as my main example and was (fairly) called out for lumping Linux into a single basket based on my experience with one popular distribution.

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Scaleway's EPYC Powered Cloud Is Delivering Competitive Performance & Incredible Value

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Scaleway, the European cloud company we previously have talked about on Phoronix for their usage of Coreboot on servers, this week announced new "general purpose" VMs powered by AMD EPYC processors. Curious about the performance, I fired up some benchmarks.

Scaleway's new general purpose virtual instances are powered by AMD EPYC CPUs with NVMe SSD storage and range from the petite "GP1-XS" with just four AMD EPYC cores / 16GB RAM / 150GB NVMe storage / 400 MBits/s bandwidth at €0.078/hr to the "GP1-XL" with 48 EPYC cores / 256GB RAM / 600GB NVMe / 2 Gbit/s bandwidth at €1.138/hr. The pricing for these EPYC instances is quite competitive compared to the Intel/AMD VM pricing at other cloud providers, notably Amazon EC2, as will be shown by some performance-per-dollar tests in this article.

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today's leftovers

  • Google is winning in education, but Apple and Microsoft are battling for market share
    Apple used to have the most devices in U.S. schools, but Google soared to the top after the release of the Chromebook in 2011. In 2018, Chromebooks made up 60 percent of all laptops and tablets purchased for U.S. K-12 classrooms, up from just 5 percent in 2012. Microsoft is second at 22 percent, followed by Apple, with 18 percent of shipments to U.S. schools in 2018, according to data from Futuresource Consulting.
  • Design and Web team summary – 15 March 2019
    This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. [...] We maintain the Vanilla css framework that most of the websites at Ubuntu and Canonical use. Here are a few patterns and websites that were updated.
  • The New York Times has released an open-source tool to let you manage all your internal knowledge more easily

    Library is a wiki at heart, but it uses the familiar Google Docs as its backend and editing interface, easing maintenance for a wide population of users (“we wanted to meet people where they already were, rather than trying to teach them something entirely new”).

  • We Built a Collaborative Documentation Site. Deploy Your Own With the Push of a Button.

    Our solution to this problem has worked well for us. We hope others will find value in the technology we built, so we’re releasing Library to the open source community.

  • foss-north 2019: Community Day
    I don’t dare to count the days until foss-north 2019, but it is very soon. One of the changes to this year is that we expand the conference with an additional community day. The idea with the community day here is that we arrange for conference rooms all across town and invite open source projects to use them for workshops, install fests, hackathons, dev sprints or whatever else they see fit. It is basically a day of mini-conferences spread out across town. The community day is on April 7, the day before the conference days, and is free of charge.
  • FSFE Newsletter March 2019
    This month's newsletter highlights the new project the FSFE recently joined and the funding opportunities it offers, that you may want to take advantage of. You can get the latest updates on the Copyright Directive reform and the hottest news regarding Article 13, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Editor's choice section this month you can find interesting news on developments with the Radio Equipment Directive, and find out who else have expressed their support for our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign and what they have to say about it.

Server Leftovers

  • Google Open Sources Sandboxed API
    Google on Monday announced that it has made available its Sandboxed API as open source in an effort to make it easier for software developers to create secure products. It’s not uncommon for applications to be affected by memory corruption or other types of vulnerabilities that can be exploited for remote code execution and other purposes. Using a sandbox ensures that the code responsible for processing user input can only access the resources it needs to, which mitigates the impact of a flaw by containing the exploit to a restricted environment and preventing it from interacting with other software components. While sandboxing can be highly useful, Google says it’s often not easy to implement. That is why the internet giant has decided to open source its Sandboxed API, which should make it easier to sandbox C and C++ libraries. The company has also open sourced its core sandboxing project, Sandbox2, which can be used on its own to secure Linux processes.
  • BMC Touches Clouds with Job Scheduler
    Clouds are growing quickly as IT executives look to find more flexibility and cut costs by adopting cloud and software as a service (SaaS) applications. But most enterprises aren’t getting rid of all their on-premise systems, which means somebody needs to connect those cloud and on-premise systems. One of those “somebodies” is BMC Software.
  • Midnight Commander Comes To IBM i
    IBM i professionals who work extensively with files in the IFS will be happy to hear a new software utility has been ported to the IBM i PASE environment that could save them a bunch of time. The open source software, called Midnight Commander, gives developers and administrators a handy command line experience that can help speed up tasks, especially when giving commands to large number of files stored on remote machines. Midnight Commander was originally developed in 1994 as a file utility for UNIX, which was beginning to emerge from software labs to challenge minicomputer platforms of the day, such as the AS/400, as well as early Windows operating systems. Miguel de Icaza, who’s known for founding the Mono project (among others), is credited with creating Midnight Commander, but over the years development of the product has become a group effort. The utility, which is distributed via a GNU license from, was largely modeled off Norton Commander, an MS-DOS utility developed in the 1980s by Norton. But Midnight Commander has evolved into its own thing over the years, and the resemblance to that old Norton product today largely is only in the name.

Top 10 New Linux SBCs to Watch in 2019

A recent Global Market Insights report projects the single board computer market will grow from $600 million in 2018 to $1 billion by 2025. Yet, you don’t need to read a market research report to realize the SBC market is booming. Driven by the trends toward IoT and AI-enabled edge computing, new boards keep rolling off the assembly lines, many of them tailored for highly specific applications. Much of the action has been in Linux-compatible boards, including the insanely popular Raspberry Pi. The number of different vendors and models has exploded thanks in part to the rise of community-backed, open-spec SBCs. Here we examine 10 of the most intriguing, Linux-driven SBCs among the many products announced in the last four weeks that bookended the recent Embedded World show in Nuremberg. (There was also some interesting Linux software news at the show.) Two of the SBCs—the Intel Whiskey Lake based UP Xtreme and Nvidia Jetson Nano driven Jetson Nano Dev Kit—were announced only this week. Read more

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