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Wednesday, 17 Jan 18 - 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 OSS Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 5:11pm
Story Security: Hospital With Windows, Reproducible Builds, Intel, Transmission and More Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 5:08pm
Story Graphics: AMDGPU, Mesa, Nouveau Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 4:21pm
Story Linux and GNU Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 4:20pm
Story Microsoft versus (or inside) Linux Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 3:57pm
Story Barcelona is moving to Linux; why not Dhaka? Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 3:44pm
Story KDE Plans to Introduce New Apps and Plasma Stability Improvements in 2018 Rianne Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 3:38pm
Story Games: SteamOS, RimWorld, Yooka-Laylee, FTL: Faster Than Light, Pictopix, Red Strings Club Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 3:08pm
Story KDE: Reasons to Get Excited, Plasma Weather, Plasma on ARM and Qt on Mobile Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 2:50pm
Story Today in Techrights Roy Schestowitz 16/01/2018 - 2:40pm

Flatpak Support Getting More Mature in KDE Plasma's Discover Package Manager

Filed under
KDE

Those interesting in installing Flatpak universal Linux apps on their KDE Plasma-based GNU/Linux distros, should know that Flatpak support in the Plasma Discover package manager is now more mature and ready for production. It can handle multiple Flatpak repos, as well as installing of packages from the Flathub repository.

With the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS desktop environment, Plasma Discover will support different backends, including Flatpak and Snappy, allowing users to search, download and install Flatpak and Snap apps. However, such a backend doesn't come installed by default, so you'll have to add it manually.

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KDE Frameworks 5.42 Open-Source Software Suite Released for KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS

Filed under
KDE
OSS

KDE Frameworks 5.42.0 is out now just in time for the soon-to-be-released KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS Beta desktop environment, and includes numerous improvements and bug fixes for various components like Baloo, Breeze icons, KActivities, KCoreAddons, KDeclarative, KDED, KDBusAddons, KConfig, KDocTools, KHTML, KEmoticons, KFileMetaData, KI18n, KIO, KInit, Kirigami, and KJobWidgets.

It also improves things like KNewStuff, KNotification, KRunner, KWayland, KTextEditor, KWallet Framework, KWidgetsAddons, KXMLGUI, NetworkManagerQt, Plasma Framework, Prison, QQC2StyleBridge, Sonnet, syntax highlighting, KPackage Framework, as well as KDELibs 4 support and extra CMake modules. The complete changelog is available below for more details on the new fixes.

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Retpoline Backported and a New Benchmark

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • Retpoline Backported To Linux 4.9, Linux 4.14 Kernels

    Retpoline support for mitigating the Spectre vulnerabilities will soon be present in the Linux 4.9 and 4.14 stable kernels.

    Greg Kroah-Hartman has sent out the latest patches for the Linux 4.9 and 4.14 point releases, which now include the Retpoline support.

  • ADATA XPG SX6000: Benchmarking A ~$50 USD 128GB NVMe SSD On Linux

    While solid-state drives have generally been quite reliable in recent years and even with all the benchmarking I put them through have had less than a handful fail out of dozens, whenever there's a bargain on NVMe SSDs, it's hard to resist. The speed of NVMe SSDs has generally been great and while it's not a key focus on Phoronix (and thus generally not receiving review samples of them), I upgrade some of the server room test systems when finding a deal. The latest is trying an ADATA XPG SX6000 NVMe SSD I managed to get for $49.99 USD.

New Raspberry Pi: Zero

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Debugging and Compiling

Filed under
Development
GNU
  • How debuggers really work

    A debugger is one of those pieces of software that most, if not every, developer uses at least once during their software engineering career, but how many of you know how they actually work? During my talk at linux.conf.au 2018 in Sydney, I will be talking about writing a debugger from scratch... in Rust!

    In this article, the terms debugger/tracer are interchangeably. "Tracee" refers to the process being traced by the tracer.

  • GCC 8.0 Moves On To Only Regression/Documentation Fixes

    The GCC 8 compiler is on to its last stage of development

Security: Meltdown and Spectre, GPG and SSH, Mageia Updates

Filed under
Security
  • Beware! Fake Spectre & Meltdown Patches Are Infecting PCs With “Smoke Loader” Malware [Ed: Welcome to Microsoft Windows]

    One of the most common tactics employed by notorious cybercriminals involves taking advantage of the popular trends and creating fraudulent websites/apps to trick users. It looks like some of the players have tried to exploit the confusion surrounding Meltdown and Sprectre CPU bugs.

    Forget buggy updates which are causing numerous problems to the users, Malwarebytes has spotted a fake update package that installs malware on your computer. The firm has identified a new domain that’s full of material on how Meltdown and Spectre affect CPUs.

    [...]

    The fake file in the archive is Intel-AMD-SecurityPatch-10-1-v1.exe.

  • An update on ongoing Meltdown and Spectre work

    Last week, a series of critical vulnerabilities called Spectre and Meltdown were announced. Because of the nature of these issues, the solutions are complex and requires fixing delicate code. The fixes for Meltdown are mostly underway. The Meltdown fix for x86 is KPTI. KPTI has been merged into the mainline Linux tree and many stable trees, including the ones Fedora uses. Fixes for other arches are close to being done and should be available soon. Fixing Spectre is more difficult and requires fixes across multiple areas.

    Similarly to Meltdown, Spectre takes advantage of speculation done by CPUs. Part of the fix for Spectre is disallowing the CPU to speculate in particular vulnerable sequences. One solution developed by Google and others is to introduce “retpolines” which do not allow speculation. A sequence of code that might allow dangerous speculation is replaced with a “retpoline” which will not speculate. The difficult part of this solution is that the compiler needs to be aware of where to place a retpoline. This means a complete solution involves the compiler as well.

  • CPU microcode update code for amd64
  • Using a Yubikey for GPG and SSH
  • Inspect curl’s TLS traffic

    Since a long time back, the venerable network analyzer tool Wireshark (screenshot above) has provided a way to decrypt and inspect TLS traffic when sent and received by Firefox and Chrome.

  • Mageia Weekly Roundup 2018 – Week 2

    The year is definitely under way, with an astonishing 412 packages coming through commits – mostly for cauldron, but a few are the last remaining updates for Mageia 5, as well as important security updates for Mageia 6.

    Among those updates are all the kernel and microcode updates – our thanks to tmb and our untiring devs for these – to begin hitting Meltdown and Spectre on the head.

    A big hand for the upstream kernel team, as well as our own packagers, QA testers and everyone else that was involved in getting this tested and released.

Games: CRYENGINE, Epic Car Factory, Godot, Depth of Extinction, Yuzu, GPD

Filed under
Gaming

Graphics: Mir, Vulkan, Mesa

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Experimental XDG-Shell Support For Mir's Wayland Support

    Mir's Wayland support continues being hacked on and now being tackled is support for the XDG-Shell protocol.

    A proof of concept implementation for the XDG Shell protocol has been posted for Mir. The XDG-Shell protocol as a reminder is used for managing surfaces under Wayland compositors for dealing with window dragging, resizing, stacking, and other actions.

  • Vulkan 1.0.68 Published

    Coming just over one week since Vulkan 1.0.67 is now the Vulkan 1.0.68 graphics/compute programming specification update.

    Given the short time from Vulkan 1.0.67 to 1.0.68, this updated version does not introduce any new extensions. Vulkan 1.0.68 just has documentation fixes: correcting some typos and making other clarifications for helping developers understand expected behavior of some elements of Vulkan.

  • Intel's Mesa Driver Is A Step Closer To ARB_gl_spirv Support

    Igalia has sent out the fourth version of their patches for wiring in ARB_gl_spirv support into the Mesa OpenGL driver. This extension is the last main blocker from Intel having OpenGL 4.6 support and allows for SPIR-V ingestion support for better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan.

  • Mesa Gets Patches For EGL_ANDROID_blob_cache

    An Intel open-source developer has sent out a set of patches implementing the EGL ANDROID_blob_cache extension for Mesa.

Best Linux desktop of 2018

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Best Linux desktop of 2018

    The desktop is a critical aspect of your Linux experience, providing you with a user-friendly way to interact with your computer. Unlike Windows or Mac, Linux doesn't tie you to a single desktop. Switching desktop environments is incredibly straightforward – just install a new one, log out and choose it from the login screen. You can install as many desktop environments as you like, although you can only use one at a time.

    In this guide, we've rounded up seven of the most popular desktops, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Before you dive in, however, take some time to think about what you want from your desktop.

    A desktop environment is more than the wallpaper which appears when you log in. It also includes a window manager and usually a set of utilities. It may come in the form of a pre-assembled package, such as Gnome or KDE, or it may be assembled by the distro maintainer, such as CrunchBang++'s Openbox or Puppy's JWM.

  • Best Linux distros 2018: the finest open source operating systems around

    Linux is widely-regarded as the discerning techie's operating system of choice, and with good reason. The open source OS has an awful lot to recommend it, and it's every bit as capable as Windows or macOS.

    One of the reasons Linux has proved to be so popular with developers, engineers and technical professionals is that it's almost infinitely versatile, with a wealth of customisation options. It's also got a reputation as being extremely secure.

    Linux doesn't just cater to traditional desktop PCs, either. There are also distros designed to run enterprise-grade applications and servers as well as desktop clients.

How To Boot Into Linux Command Line

Filed under
Linux

There may be times where you need or want to boot up a Linux system without using a GUI, that is with no X, but rather opt for the command line. Whatever the reason, fortunately, booting straight into the Linux command-line is very simple. It requires a simple change to the boot parameter after the other kernel options. This change specifies the runlevel to boot the system into.

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Barcelona and GNU/Linux (Now in Corporate Media)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source software

    THE SPANISH CITY OF BARCELONA plans to replace its Microsoft software with open source alternatives including Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange.

    Barcelona plans to invest 70 per cent of its annual software budget in open source this year, according to El Pais, with the aim of completing the transformation by spring 2019.

    Microsoft's Outlook and Exchange Server email software is to be replaced by Open-Xchange, Microsoft Office will be ditched in favour of Libre Office, and Mozilla's Firefox will be made the default browser across systems.

  • Barcelona becomes the poster child for Linux

    The City of Barcelona is migrating its computer systems away from Windows making it the poster child for Open Source rather than Munich which is frantically trying to migrate back.

    According to the Spanish newspaper El País, the City's strategy is first to replace all user applications with open-source alternatives until the underlying Windows operating system is the only proprietary software remaining. Then the operating system will be replaced with Linux.

    Commissioner of Technology and Digital Innovation at Barcelona City Council, Francesca Bria, said the transition would be completed before the current administration's mandate ends in spring 2019.

  • Barcelona gives Microsoft the boot in move to open source

    With this move Barcelona becomes the first city to join an initiative by Free Software Foundation Europe dubbed 'Public code, public money' which calls on public bodies to invest tax revenues in free reusable systems that are open to local businesses rather than proprietary licensed software.

  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source Linux software

    Catalan capital Barcelona is planning to ditch proprietary software products from Microsoft in favour of free, open source alternatives such as Open-Xchange email.

    That’s according to a report by Spain's national paper El Pais, which reports that Barcelona plans to invest 70% of its annual software budget in open source this year.

Dr. Lovesource: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the open

Filed under
OSS

I used to write code. I don't anymore. There are lots of reasons for this, including the fact that I wasn't very good at it. To clarify, I was, I think, good at writing code,1 but I wasn't very good at writing code.2 It turns out that I'm quite good at a variety of other things, so my career3 moved in a different direction—or, in fact, a variety of different directions. After a number of roles ranging from "Electronic Information Controller" to "Product and Programme4 Manager" through software engineering and pre-sales, I finally settled into something called "architecture." Which means that I mainly draw boxes and lines on whiteboards and expect people who are very good at writing code to make the boxes "real."

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2 scientific calculators for the Linux desktop

Filed under
Linux

Every Linux desktop environment comes with at least a simple desktop calculator, but most of those simple calculators are just that: a simple tool for simple calculations.

Fortunately, there are exceptions; programs that go far beyond square roots and a couple of trigonometric functions, yet are still easy to use. Here are two powerful calculator tools for Linux, plus a couple of bonus options.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Freedreno Gallium3D Lands A5xx Texture Tiling For Better Performance

    Freedreno lead developer Rob Clark has landed initial support for texture tiling with Qualcomm Adreno A5xx graphics hardware.

  • Nintendo Switch 'Yuzu' Emulator Announced for PC, Mac, Linux

    A new emulator that aims to open up the doors to Nintendo Switch-exclusive games has just been announced for computers. Named Yuzu, the emulator was created by the same team that designed Citra, a similar 3DS emulator. Yuzu's official website calls it an "experimental" open-source emulator, and has builds ready and maintained for PC, Mac, and Linux. The project is "in its infancy" for now, but has some pretty big goals on the horizon.

  • I pushed an implementation of myself to GitHub

    Roughly 4 years ago, I mentioned that there appears to be an esotieric programming language which shares my full name.

    I know, it is really late, but two days ago, I discovered Racket. As a Lisp person, I immediately felt at home. And realizing how the language dispatch mechanism works, I couldn't resist and write a Racket implementation of MarioLANG. A nice play on words and a good toy project to get my feet wet.

  • digest 0.6.14

    Another small maintenance release, version 0.6.14, of the digest package arrived on CRAN and in Debian today.

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • A "Newer" ASUS Mini-ITX AMD Motherboard Now Supported By Coreboot

    The ASUS AM1I-A as implied by the name is an AM1 socket motherboard for those Athlon/Sempron processors... Not nearly as exciting as if a Ryzen motherboard would be supported by Coreboot, but this motherboard isn't too old compared to some other Coreboot ports and can still be found from a few online shops albeit refurbished. The ASUS AM1I-A is a mini-ITX board with USB 3.0, DVI/HDMI/VGA outputs, and all the other usual candidates for an AM1 class motherboard.

  •  

  • Mozilla.Org: The Big SUMO Report: 2017

    Just like the year before, our activity and its results could be analysed from many perspectives, with dozens of data sources. Putting everything together, especially given our platform changes in 2018, is quite impossible – and the numbers have been affected by interruptions in tracking, as expected.

  • Open source software security challenges persist, but the risk can be managed [Ed: Maria Korolov writes an advert for anti-FOSS firms like Snyk and Black Duck]
  • Spectre Mitigation Added To GCC 8, Seeking Backport To GCC 7

    Hitting the GCC 8 compiler Git/SVN code this Sunday morning are the changes needed compiler-side for CVE-2017-5715 / Spectre mitigation.

    Veteran GNU toolchain developer H.J. Lu of Intel has committed the set of patches for introducing -mindirect-branch=, -mfunction-return= and -mindirect-branch-register for dealing with indirect branches from the compiler side and is also compiler features already used by the Linux kernel Retpoline patches when built with a supported compiler for full enforcement against Spectre vulnerabilities.

  • Tony Sebro to Join Conservancy Board of Directors & Outreachy Leadership

    Tony Sebro, who was Conservancy’s second full-time employee, is moving on to become Deputy General Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation, the home of Wikipedia. We say goodbye to Tony as a Conservancy employee today, but more importantly we welcome him to a number of new volunteer roles at our organization.

    Specifically, Conservancy’s Board of Directors has invited Tony to serve as an at-large Director. Tony has also joined the Project Leadership committee of Conservancy’s Outreachy project (our internship program for free and open source software contribution for underrepresented groups). We are thrilled that Tony will continue to contribute his expertise to our organization, and to formalize his participation with our key internship program.

  • Open source model, drugs for the masses

    Nearly one person dies of tubercolosis every two minutes in India, said Professor Jaykumar Menon, the award-winning international human rights lawyer and social entrepreneur. Professor Jaykumar began the Open Source Pharma Foundation, which looks at generating breakthroughs in affordable public healthcare; the initiative has drawn over $110 million in funding the likes of Tata Trusts, Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and the Soros Foundations. Speaking at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru, Menon said, "We are working on complex issues that affect Indian and global society. Our first target, therefore, is Mycobacterium tubercolosis, which inhabits approximately a quarter of the human population in India."

  • #DLNchat: Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Ed

    Can open educational resources, or OER, truly create more equity and access? That was the question at the heart of our #DLNchat on January 9, which centered around OER in Higher Education. Our special guest, Lisa Petrides, creator of OER Commons, kicked things off by defining the topic at hand: “OER are teaching & learning materials freely available for anyone to use. These materials typically reside in the public domain, or have an alternative copyright license, i.e. Creative Commons or GNU, that specify how the resource may be reused, adapted, and shared. To me OER is also about the democratization of access to education, and the pursuit and sharing of knowledge. And the ecosystem of open knowledge sharing is fundamental to teaching, to learning, and to equity."

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More in Tux Machines

Librem 5 Phone Progress Report

  • Librem 5 Phone Progress Report – The First of Many More to Come!
    First, let me apologize for the silence. It was not because we went into hibernation for the winter, but because we were so busy in the initial preparation and planning of a totally new product while orienting an entirely new development team. Since we are more settled into place now, we want to change this pattern of silence and provide regular updates. Purism will be giving weekly news update posts every Tuesday, rotating between progress on phone development from a technology viewpoint (the hardware, kernel, OS, etc.) and an art of design viewpoint (UI/UX from GNOME/GTK to KDE/Plasma). To kickoff this new update process, this post will discus the technological progress of the Librem 5 since November of 2017.
  • Purism Eyeing The i.MX8M For The Librem 5 Smartphone, Issues First Status Update
    If you have been curious about the state of Purism's Librem 5 smartphone project since its successful crowdfunding last year and expedited plans to begin shipping this Linux smartphone in early 2019, the company has issued their first status update.

Benchmarking Retpoline-Enabled GCC 8 With -mindirect-branch=thunk

We have looked several times already at the performance impact of Retpoline support in the Linux kernel, but what about building user-space packages with -mindirect-branch=thunk? Here is the performance cost to building some performance tests in user-space with -mindirect-branch=thunk and -mindirect-branch=thunk-inline. Read more

An introduction to Inkscape for absolute beginners

Inkscape is a powerful, open source desktop application for creating two-dimensional scalable vector graphics. Although it's primarily an illustration tool, Inkscape is used for a wide range of computer graphic tasks. The variety of what can be done with Inkscape is vast and sometimes surprising. It is used to make diagrams, logos, programmatic marketing materials, web graphics, and even for paper scrapbooking. People also draw game sprites, produce banners, posters, and brochures. Others use Inkscape to draft web design mockups, detail layouts for printed circuit boards, or produce outline files to send to laser cutting equipment. Read more

Behind the scenes with Pop!_OS Linux

In October, Linux PC maker System76 released its homegrown version of Linux, Pop!_OS, giving users the choice between its legacy Ubuntu operating system or the new Pop!_OS flavor of Linux. Recently Opensource.com gave away a System76 laptop with Pop!_OS installed, which made me curious about the company and this new version of Linux, so I spoke with Cassidy James Blaede, Pop!_OS's user experience (UX) designer. Blaede joined System76 in 2014, fresh out of college at the University of Northern Iowa and marriage to his wife, Katie. While in college, he co-founded the elementary OS project and interned at UX consultancy Visual Logic, both of which influenced his work for System76. He started at System76 as a front-end developer and was later promoted to UX architect. Read more