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Wednesday, 21 Mar 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 Titlesort icon Author Replies Last Post
Story 3 open source genealogy tools for mapping your family tree Roy Schestowitz 17/12/2015 - 1:15pm
Story 3 open source personal finance tools for Linux Roy Schestowitz 07/01/2016 - 10:45am
Story 3 tools that make scanning on the Linux desktop quick and easy Roy Schestowitz 23/09/2014 - 8:05pm
Story 4 open source alternatives to Dreamweaver Roy Schestowitz 24/03/2016 - 10:40am
Story 4 open source tools I used to write a Linux book Roy Schestowitz 06/07/2016 - 8:10am
Story 4 steps to creating a thriving open source project Roy Schestowitz 26/05/2015 - 3:48pm
Story 4 tips for how to migrate to Drupal Roy Schestowitz 20/02/2015 - 12:49pm
Story 4 versatile boards for fast, inexpensive IoT development Roy Schestowitz 10/10/2016 - 8:44am
Story 5 open access journals for open source enthusiasts Roy Schestowitz 21/10/2014 - 8:04am
Story 5 open source projects to join in 2015 Roy Schestowitz 05/01/2015 - 6:23pm

Review: ArchMerge 6.4.1

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The distribution I have been asked most frequently to cover so far in 2018 is ArchMerge, an Arch-based project which runs the Xfce desktop environment and can be installed using the Calamares system installer. If the description sounds familiar, it should, as this summary could equally well apply to Archman, SwagArch and one edition of the Revenge OS distribution.

There are two main features which set ArchMerge apart from its close relatives. First, ArchMerge is available in two flavours. The full featured desktop edition ships with three graphical user interfaces (Xfce, Openbox and i3). A second, minimal flavour is available for people who want to start with a text console and build from the ground up.

The other point which helps ArchMerge stand out from the crowd of Arch-based distributions is its documentation. Arch Linux is famous for its detailed wiki, and rightfully so. ArchMerge takes a slightly different approach and, instead of supplying detailed pages for virtually every aspect of the distribution, the project supplies quick overviews and tutorials for common tasks and issues. These overviews are each accompanied by a video which shows the user how to perform the task.

The ArchMerge website places a strong emphasis on learning and the tutorial pages guide visitors through how to install the distribution, how to configure the desktop, how to install additional software and how to set up file synchronizing through Dropbox. There is also a section dedicated to fixing common problems, a sort of FAQ for distribution issues. Since there are videos for the topics covered, we are shown where to go and what each step should look like, rather than just being given a written description.

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Tails 3.6.1 is out

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This release fixes several security issues and users should upgrade as soon as possible.

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Linux 4.9.88, 4.4.122, and 3.18.100, More Security Patches in Linux 4.16

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Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS Will Ship with a New Default Layout Called "Familiar"

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Ubuntu MATE's lead developer Martin Wimpress announced that the forthcoming Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system would sport a brand-new default layout for new installations.

If you plan on installing or reinstalling Ubuntu MATE this spring, the upcoming 18.04 release sports a new default layout called "Familiar." According to Martin Wimpress, the new layout is based on the Traditional layout with the menu-bar replaced by Brisk Menu, which was used in previous Ubuntu MATE releases.

The decision to replace the Traditional layout with the Familiar one was taken due to some technical issues when the development team tried to update it for Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). Traditional will still be available, but not enabled by default, and bears no changes.

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Atom 1.25

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  • Atom 1.25

    Atom 1.25 has been released on our stable channel and includes GitHub package improvements, improved syntax highlighting and code folding, Python and HTML language improvements and more.

  • GitHub's Atom Hackable Text Editor Gets Performance, Responsiveness Improvements

    GitHub released a new stable version of their open-source and cross-platform Atom hackable text editor with a bunch of enhancements, bug fixes, a new Electron version, as well as performance and responsiveness improvements.

    Atom 1.25 is now available for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms, and it is packed with improvements for the GitHub package to let you stage and view changes affecting file mode modifications, additions to symbolic links, as well as the ability for the Diff view to no longer reset its scrolling position.

Linux Mint 19 'Tara' Cinnamon will be faster

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Is Linux Mint slow? Hell, no! The operating system is plenty fast. Speed is in the eye of the beholder, however, and the Mint developers apparently thought app-launching seemed slow when using the Cinnamon desktop environment. They didn't have any proof, but they felt that both Mate and Xfce were faster in this regard.

Well, rather than allow their feelings to remain unproven, the Mint devs decided to come up with a speed test to see if they were correct. Guess what? They were! Windows build time was four times slower with Cinnamon compared to Metacity, while recovery time was nearly four times slower too. So yes, app-launching on Cinnamon -- as of today -- is slow comparatively. The big benefit to pinpointing a problem, however, is that it is the first step in solving it. And so, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon will be faster as a result.

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antiX-17.1 released

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antiX-17.1 (Heather Heyer) released

This is primarily an upgrade of antiX-17 with a new Meltdown/Spectre patched kernel and a few new applications for users to enjoy.

As usual we offer the following completely systemd-free flavours for both 32 and 64 bit architecture.

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UBports Continues Work On Moving From Ubuntu 15.04 Base To 16.04

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For those still holding out the dream for Ubuntu on phones/tablets, the UBports community continues their work in updating their Ubuntu Touch fork to riding off a 16.04 Xenial base rather than the existing Ubuntu 15.04.

UBports is working on Ubuntu 16.04 support to eventually replace their 15.04 stable base. Ubuntu 18.04 isn't being pursued yet due to the Mir changes around Wayland support, and just being a much different target than going from 15.04 to 16.04.

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Coming Soon: Shotwell 0.28, KDE Applications 18.04

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  • On the way to 0.28

    Shotwell 0.28 “Braunschweig” is out.

    Half a year later than I was expecting it to be, sorry. This release fixes 60 Bugs! Get it at GNOME’s download server, from GIT or in the Shotwell PPA really soon™. A big thank you to all contributors that make up all the bits and pieces for such a release.

  • Dolphin Getting More Improvements For KDE Applications 18.04 & Other KDE Happenings

    KDE contributor Nathaniel Graham is out with another recap of the usability and productivity improvements made this past week by the KDE community.

    The Dolphin file manager has been seeing improvements recently. The latest Dolphin work includes help for installing Konsole if it's not available when trying to launch the terminal pane, reporting of a symlink's target fi

Android/Google: Pixel 2, Xiaomi Kernel Source, David Kleidermacher on Security

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  • Google Pixel 2 Portrait Mode Tech Is Now Open Source

    The tech behind the portrait mode on Google Pixel 2  has been made open source by the company. For those who not familiar with it, one of the main draw to the algorithm in the Pixel 2’s camera app is excellent subject isolation without needing additional apparatus such as specialized lens or second camera.

  • Xiaomi releases Oreo kernel source code for the Mi A1

    Xiaomi promised that the Mi A1 would receive Oreo by the end of 2017, and the company hit a buzzer-beater by rolling out Android 8.0 to the Android One device on December 30th. But the kernel source code was nowhere to be found, a violation of the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2), and an affront to the development and enthusiast community. It's about two-and-a-half months late, but Xiaomi has finally released the Android 8.0 Oreo source code for the Mi A1.

  • Google Says Android Is as Secure as Apple's iOS and Wants You to Know That

    Google's Android security chief David Kleidermacher told CNET today that the Linux-based Android mobile operating system the company develops for a wide range of devices is now as secure as Apple's iOS.

    Google recently published its "Android Security 2017 Year In Review" report where the company talks about how Android security has matured in the last few years and how it fights to find new ways to protect Android users from malware and all the other nasty stuff you obviously don't want to have on your mobile phone or tablet.

If you owned a 'fat' PlayStation 3 you could be entitled to $65 from Sony because of Linux option

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Cast your mind back to when Sony released the original PlayStation 3, and you may well remember claims that the console was also a "computer". The claims were such that Sony suggested that owners could install Linux -- which, technically speaking, they could.

However, installing Linux on a PS3 also posed something of a security issue, and Sony backtracked on the "Other OS" feature, killing it will a firmware update. Unsurprisingly, a lawsuit followed, and the result of this is that you could in line for a pay-out.

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today's leftovers

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  • Zorin OS 12.3 Linux Distro Released: Download The Perfect Windows Replacement

    While listing out the best distros for a Linux beginner, the ease of use and installation are the most critical factors. Such qualities make distros like Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Zorin OS the most recommended options. In case you’re also concerned about your privacy and security, a shift to the world of Linux becomes a more obvious option.

    Calling itself a replacement for Windows and macOS, Zorin OS has been established as a beginner-friendly option that offers a smooth ride while making the transition. The latest Zorin OS 12.3 release works to strengthen the basics of the operating system and polishes the whole experience.

  • Ramblings about long ago and far away

    I had originally run MCC (Manchester Computer Center Interim Linux) in college but when I moved it was easier to find a box of floppies with SLS so I had installed that on the 486. I would then download software source code from the internet and rebuild it for my own use using all the extra flags I could find in GCC to make my 20Mhz system seem faster. I instead learned that most of the options didn't do anything on i386 Linux at the time and most of my reports about it were probably met by eye-rolls with the people at Cygnus. My supposed goal was to try and set up a MUD so I could code up a text based virtual reality. Or to get a war game called Conquer working on Linux. Or maybe get xTrek working on my system. [I think I mostly was trying to become a game developer by just building stuff versus actually coding stuff. I cave-man debugged a lot of things using stuff I had learned in FORTRAN but it wasn't actually making new things.]

  • EzeeLinux Show 18.13 | Running Linux On Junk

    A talk about the advantages of running Linux on junk hardware.

  • Best 50 HD Wallpapers for Ubuntu

    Wallpapers are useful in many ways depending on the visual it contains for example if there is a motivational quote on it, it helps to motivate you. The images are the best type of wallpaper because they have an impact on the mind of a human being. So if you are a working professional and have to work continuously on a computer then your desktop cab be a source of inspiration and happiness.

    So today we are going to share 50 best HD Wallpapers for your Ubuntu which will keep your desktop fresh.

  • Ubuntu Tried Adding Synaptics Support Back To GNOME's Mutter

    GNOME developers previously dropped support for Synaptics and other input drivers from Mutter in favor of the universal libinput stack that is also Wayland-friendly. Canonical developers tried to get Synaptics support on X11 added back into Mutter but it looks clear now that was rejected.

    Canonical's Will Cooke reported in this week's Ubuntu happenings that they were trying to add upstream support for Synaptics to Mutter, complementing the libinput support. While it's great Canonical trying to contribute upstream to GNOME, Synaptics support was previously dropped as being a maintenance burden and with libinput support getting into rather good shape.

  • Long live Release Engineering

    y involvement in Fedora goes back to late 2003 early 2004 somewhere as a packager for I started by getting a few packages in to scratch some of my itches and I saw it as a way to give back to the greater open source community. Around FC3 somewhere I stepped up to help in infrastructure to rebuild the builders in plague, the build system we used before koji and that we used for EPEL(Something that I helped form) for awhile until we got external repo support in koji.

    I was involved in the implementation of koji in Fedora, I joined OLPC as a build and release engineer, where I oversaw a move of the OS they shipped from FC6 to F8, and laid a foundation for the move to F9. I left OLPC when Red Hat opensourced RHN Satellite as “spacewalk project” I joined Red Hat as the release engineer for both, after a brief period there was some reorganisation in engineering that resulted in me handing off the release engineering tasks to someone closer the the engineers working on the code. As a result I worked on Fedora full time helping Jesse Keating. When he decided to work on the internal migration from CVS to git I took over as the lead.


    Recently I have accepted a Job offer to become the manager of a different team inside of Red Hat.

Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures and Recent Torvalds Interview

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  • Linux 4.17 Spring Cleaning To Drop Some Old CPU Architectures

    Longtime Linux kernel developer Arnd Bergmann is working to drop a number of old and obsolete CPU architectures from the next kernel cycle, Linux 4.17.

    The obsolete CPU architectures set to be removed include Blackfin, CRIS, FR-V, M32R, MN10300, META (Metag), and TILE. Managing to escape its death sentence is the Unicore32 architecture with its port maintainer claiming it's still actively being used and maintained.

  • [Older] Linus Torvalds Interview by Kristaps


    Interviewer: we all know who Linus is, but not many people know he’s also a proficient diver. Why don’t we start at the beginning: where you first started diving, and when you started to take diving seriously.

    Actually, it was related to open source, in some way. [...]

Software: KDE, DocKnot and More

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  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 10

    Today’s Usability & Productivity status is jam-packed with awesome stuff that I think you’re all really gonna love.

  • DocKnot 1.03

    This is the software that I use to generate documentation for my software. Currently, it just handles README,, and the top-level web page for the package.

  • Linux Release Roundup: Amarok Sees First Release in 3 Years

    The past 7 days have been pretty dang busy in Linux release land. We’ve taken a look at the best GNOME 3.28 features, recapped the latest Firefox 59 changes, and made ourselves comfortable with the latest changes to Linux audiobook player Cozy.


today's howtos/technical

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Graphics: X.Org Foundation Board of Directors and Vulkan

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  • Six Candidates Are Vying For This Year's X.Org Foundation Board

    There are six candidates running for this year's X.Org Foundation Board of Directors with four seats being open this election.

    Those six candidates for this year's X.Org elections include Eric Anholt (Broadcom), Robert Foss (Collabora), Bryce Harrington (Samsung), Keith Packard (HP), Laurent Pinchart (Ideas on Board), and Harry Wentland (AMD).

  • Vulkan 1.1.71 Released As The First Update To Vulkan 1.1

    The first point release to the Vulkan 1.1 release from earlier this month is now available. Vulkan 1.1 promoted a lot of functionality to core while also officially adding sub-groups and protected content support. This Vulkan 1.1.71 point release adds a new extension and fixes.

    This first point release to Vulkan 1.1 is officially version 1.1.71. This is because when Vulkan 1.1 was created, Khronos decided not to reset the patch number... Vulkan 1.1 was technically 1.1.70 and not 1.1.0. So now with this first update it's bumped to Vulkan 1.1.71.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Updated With Improvements For Sub-Groups & Multi-View

    The AMD developers working on their official cross-platform "AMDVLK" Vulkan driver have updated their open-source code-base for Linux users.

    On Friday the AMD developers pushed to the open-source repository their latest work, their first update since introducing Vulkan 1.1 support back on launch day earlier this month.

Programming: Google Opens Maps APIs, Survey, Firefox Addons and GCC

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  • China's open source AI, a GitHub tool for licensing, and more news
  • Google Opens Maps APIs and World Becomes Dev Playground

    Google this week announced that it will open its Maps APIs to video game developers, which could result in far more realistic settings in augmented reality games. With access to real-time map updates and rich location data, developers will have many choices of settings for their games.

    The APIs will provide devs with what Google has described as a "living model of the world" to use as a foundation for game worlds. Developers will have access to more than 100 million 3D buildings, roads, landmarks and parks from more than 200 countries around the globe.

  • Developers dread Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2, SharePoint - survey

    Stack Overflow’s annual survey has revealed the tools and tech that developers love to hate: Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2 and SharePoint.

    According to the poll, which took in the views of more than 100,000 devs, Rust is the most loved programming language for the third year running. It is closely followed by Kotlin, which makes its debut in the survey.


    At the other end of the spectrum is Visual Basic 6, which has been voted most dreaded programming language. Visual Basic 6 is also linked to lower pay, with Stack Overflow saying that devs using it are “paid less even given years of experience”.

  • [Firefox] March Add(on)ness: Momentum (2) vs Grammarly (3)
  • Intel SGX Enclave Support Added To GCC

    The latest feature addition to the GCC compiler this week is support for Intel's new "ENCLV".

    ENCLV is a new intrinsic that is part of the Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX). The Enclave happens to be a trusted execution environment embedded into a process with isolated memory regions of Enclaves are protected areas of execution and the ENCLV instruction is needed to put application code into that special mode.

BSD: HAMMER2, Split, and ZFS

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  • HAMMER2 Gets Many Fixes On The Latest DragonFlyBSD Git

    The HAMMER2 file-system has been available with install-time support since DragonFlyBSD 5.0 while the latest Git code continues to revise this next-generation FS for DragonFly. Landing overnight in DragonFlyBSD were several HAMMER and HAMMER2 improvements.

  • [Older] Exploring permutations and a mystery with BSD and GNU split filenames


    In summary, gsplit's default file naming behavior is to add a letter to the prefix and suffix of a filename whenever it reaches 26^r - 26 files (with r being the current length of the suffix), so you don't need to worry about running out of filenames (just disk space, haha).  

  • Turbocharging ZFS Data Recovery


    Besides being able to display the new debug information, zdb has another new feature that brings its capabilities on par with the kernel: the ability to set global libzpool variables.  

Security Leftovers

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  • As U.S. indicts foreign hackers, American cyber spies fear arrests in tit-for-tat action

    Federal prosecutors call it a “naming and shaming” strategy against hackers working for adversary nations, but former U.S. cyber spies worry they will be the ones ending up in a foreign prison.

    Repeatedly in recent years, U.S. prosecutors have filed criminal charges against hackers working for foreign governments, saying that even if the hackers never get hauled into a U.S. courtroom, the indictments serve as a warning shot across the bow of nations like China, Iran and Russia.

  • Linus Torvalds Slams AMD CPU flaw security report

    The spectre and meldown security vulnerabilities have woken up the industry to potential security flaws in hardware that can be exploited to compromise the integrity of the native computer security role based authentication.

    Now a new report has indicated potential vulnerabilities on AMD, but Linus Torvalds has jumped into this discussion and shot down this report is not technically sound.

  • Gray Hat


    Marcus Hutchins stopped one of the most dangerous cyberattacks ever. Then the FBI arrested him. Does a hacker [sic] hero always have to have a past?

  • [Crackers] could kill patients by attacking their pacemakers, warns Royal Academy of Engineering


    The experts cautioned that pacemakers or wearable health monitors which are linked up to the [I]nternet or internal computer networks could also provide a gateway for [crackers] to plant ransomware into systems, potentially crippling in the NHS or government departments.

  • Security Vulnerability Hidden in Scarlett Johansson Image
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Security: Updates, Synopsys/Black Duck FUD, and Software Security Over Convenience

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • With Much of the Data Center Stack Open Source, Security is a Special Challenge [Ed: Black attacking FOSS again in order to sell its proprietary products; does proprietary software have no security issues? Which cannot be fixed, either?]
  • Synopsys reveals its open-source rookies of the year [Ed: Anti-FOSS company Black Duck, which markets its proprietary software by attacking FOSS (it admitted being anti-GPL since inception, created by Microsoft employee), wants the public to think of it as a FOSS authority]
  • Software security over convenience
    Recently I got inspired (paranoid ?) by my boss who cares a lot about software security. Previously, I had almost the same password on all the websites I used, I had them synced to google servers (Chrome user previously), but once I started taking software security seriously, I knew the biggest mistake I was making was to have a single password everywhere, so I went one step forward and set randomly generated passwords on all online accounts and stored them in a keystore.

MIPI-CSI camera kit runs Linux on Apollo Lake

Congatec’s rugged, Linux-driven “Conga-CAM-KIT/MIPI” camera kit combines its Intel Apollo Lake based Conga-PA5 SBC with a MIPI-CSI 2 camera from Leopard Imaging and other components. Congatec announced a Conga-CAM-KIT/MIPI camera kit, also referred to as the MIPI-CSI 2 Smart Camera Kit. The kit runs a Yocto Project based Linux distribution on Congatec’s Conga-PA5, a Pico-ITX SBC with Intel’s Apollo Lake Atom, Pentium, and Celeron SoCs. Also included is a MIPI-CSI 2 camera (LI-AR023Z-YUV-MIP) from Leopard Imaging based on ON Semiconductor’s AR0237 HD sensor. Extended temperature ranges are supported. Read more

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