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Wednesday, 24 Jul 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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Ubuntu MATE 19.10 Alpha Arrives, But Only for the GPD MicroPC

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Did you know that Ubuntu MATE is besties with the GPD Pocket & Pocket 2?

Well it is; the pair of pocket-sized PCs, which were made possible through various crowdfunding efforts, got their own, customised, and 100% official Ubuntu MATE 18.10 install image last year, and a follow-up with the 19.04 release this year.

I guess making a custom-spun ISO is the distro equivalent of weaving a friendship bracelet!

Accordingly, it’s no major surprise to learn Ubuntu MATE 19.10 will also come tailored for use on China-based GPD’s latest mini-marvel, the GPD MicroPC.

Interestingly, the device is sold with Ubuntu MATE 18.10 pre-loaded.

Read more

IBM and Red Hat Leftovers

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Big Blue’s Red Hat Brings A Big Change Of Heart

    Perhaps, many years hence, we will call the company that, more than any other, created the enterprise computing environment Big Purple now that it has acquired the company that made open source software in the enterprise safe, sane, and affordable.

    Twenty years ago next month, Red Hat went public and everything about enterprise software changed. A company with some tens of millions of dollars in revenues, providing subscription support for a commercial Linux distribution for systems within a few months had a ridiculous market capitalization in excess of $20 billion and the mad dash for open source projects to be commercialized was on.

    Fast forward two decades, and Red Hat is the touchstone for how to work with upstream open source software projects related to datacenter infrastructure and to bring them downstream to harden them to be enterprise grade, package them up, and then sell support for them. Red Hat is by far and away the most successful provider of commercial support for open source code, and has moved well beyond its foundational Enterprise Linux distribution, mostly through key acquisitions including the companies behind the GNU compilers, JBoss application server, the KVM hypervisor, the Gluster parallel file system, the Ceph object storage, the innovative CoreOS Linux distribution, and the Ansible software provisioning tools as well as the OpenShift container controller (a mix of in-house and Kubernetes code these days), the OpenStack cloud controller, and the CloudForms hybrid cloud management system (also largely done in-house). Red Hat, we think, still needs to have a heavy duty open source database management system distribution – perhaps several different ones with different architectural tenets – but it was also perhaps prescient in that it stayed out of the Hadoop storage and data analytics racket, which has not panned out as planned.

  • Splunk Connect for OpenShift: All About Objects

    This is the second post of our blog series on Red Hat OpenShift and Splunk Integration. In the first post, we showed how to send application and system logs to Splunk. The second part is focused on how to use Splunk Kubernetes Objects.

  • Command Line Heroes season 3 episode 2: Learning the BASICs

    Command Line Heroes explores how beginner languages bring people into the world of programming. BASIC lowered the barrier to entry. Now, the next generation is getting their start modifying games, like Minecraft. Listen to the episode.

  • Introducing Red Hat Smart Management for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    How do you want to manage your systems? That probably depends a lot on the type of environment you have -- whether your systems are primarily on-prem, or if they reside in the cloud. Or a mixture of both. Either way, Red Hat is looking to meet you where you're at and provide management tools to suit your needs with Red Hat Smart Management.

    We introduced Red Hat Smart Management at Red Hat Summit earlier this year in Boston as a layered add on for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), as well as including Red Hat Insights with RHEL subscriptions.

Librem One Design Principles: Services You Can Trust

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Our hardware and software puts users back in control of computing–but, you may be wondering, can we do the same with our services? With Librem One, the answer is yes. We have big, no, huge dreams about what we can achieve with your support and the wealth of free software that already exists. But we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground.

In this post we will outline the touchstones we have used to do just that–engineer trustworthy services that everyone can use–with a design process called user-centered software engineering. We hope it will facilitate communication with friends and colleagues as we hack towards a common goal… and also show all non-technical readers that human beings are at the center of our bits and bytes. So, how did we do it?

Read more

Also: joining social media at DebConf19

Programming Leftovers: Python, Go, LLVM and More

Filed under
Development
  • Python List Sorting with sorted() and sort()

    In this article, we'll examine multiple ways to sort lists in Python.

    Python ships with two built-in methods for sorting lists and other iterable objects. The method chosen for a particular use-case often depends on whether we want to sort a list in-place or return a new version of the sorted list.

  • ExpressPython: Lightweight, portable Python editor for small scripts

    There are many IDEs for Python, and it’s time for one more. ExpressPython is a lightweight, small code editor for Python 3. Originally built to help teach students how to code, it can be used in programming competitions, or just when you need a fast, small, clean code editor.
    There are a wide variety of Python IDEs and code editors available for programmers. Between PyCharm, VS Code, IDLE, Spyder, just to name a few, programmers have many to choose from depending on their needs and preferences. Add one more editor to the fray.

    ExpressPython is a small, lightweight Python 3 editor that can help with learning and competitive programming, such as coding challenges. Its creator started work on it in 2014 in order to fulfill a few needs, such as the ability to work offline.

    It is not made with the intent of becoming a fully-featured IDE, and does not include debugging features. However, it does have a few noteworthy features, so let’s take a look.

  • Google's Go team decides not to give it a try

    The Go language will not be adding a "try" keyword in the next major version, despite this being a major part of what was proposed for version 1.14.

    Go, an open source language developed by Google, features static typing and native code compilation. It is around the 15th most popular language according to the Redmonk rankings.

    Error handling in Go is currently based on using if statements to compare a returned error value to nil. If it is nil, no error occurred. This requires developers to write a lot of if statements.

    "In general Go programs have too much code-checking errors and not enough code handling them," wrote Google principal engineer Russ Cox in an overview of the error-handling problem in Go.

  • LLVM 9.0 Feature Work Is Over While LLVM 10.0 Enters Development

    Feature work is over on LLVM 9.0 as the next release for this widely-used compiler stack ranging from the AMDGPU shader compiler back-end to the many CPU targets and other innovative use-cases for this open-source compiler infrastructure.

    Ongoing LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg branched the LLVM 9.0 code-base this morning while in turn opening LLVM 10.0 development on trunk/master. This also marks the 9.0 branching for all LLVM sub-projects.

  • Mu at EuroPython

    Mu made a number of appearances at last week’s wonderful EuroPython 2019 conference in Basel, Switzerland.

  • PyCharm 2019.2 Release Candidate

    PyCharm 2019.2 is almost ready to be released, and we’re happy to announce that a release candidate is available for download now.

Security: EvilGnome Scaremongering, Intel Defects, New Patches and the "Desktop Security Nightmare"

Filed under
Security
  • EvilGnome Is A Linux Spyware That Records Audio And Steals Your Files [Ed: FOSSBytes has moved on from pushing non-FOSS misinformation to actually doing anti-FOSS FUD. Painting malware one needs to actually install as a real threat.]
  • CPU vulnerability mitigations keeping Linux devs busy: SUSE's Pavlík [Ed: Intel defects now waste software developers' time. They should just replace/recall those billions of defective chips]

    A veteran Linux kernel developer at Germany-based SUSE says the one thing that keeps him and his team busy these days is CPU vulnerability mitigations...

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (bzip2), Fedora (freetds, kernel, kernel-headers, and knot-resolver), openSUSE (bubblewrap, fence-agents, kernel, libqb, libu2f-host, pam_u2f, and tomcat), Oracle (vim), SUSE (kernel, LibreOffice, libxml2, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (libmspack and squid, squid3).

  • The Desktop Security Nightmare

    Many of us have extremely sensitive data on our systems. Emails to family, medical or bank records, Bitcoin wallets, browsing history, the list goes on. Although we have isolation between our user account and root, we have no isolation between applications that run as our user account. We still, in effect, have to be careful about what attachments we open in email.

    Only now it’s worse. You might “npm install hello-world”, and audit hello-world itself, but get some totally malicious code as well. How many times do we see instructions to gem install this, pip install that, go get the other, and even curl | sh? Nowadays our risky click isn’t an email attachment. It’s hosted on Github with a README.md.

    Not only that, but my /usr/bin has over 4000 binaries. Have every one been carefully audited? Certainly not, and this is from a distro with some of the highest quality control around. What about the PPAs that people add? The debs or rpms that are installed from the Internet? Are you sure that the postinst scripts — which run as root — aren’t doing anything malicious when you install Oracle Virtualbox?

    [...]

    One thing a person could do would be to keep the sensitive data on a separate, ideally encrypted, filesystem. (Maybe even a fuse one such as gocryptfs.) Then, at least, it could be unavailable for most of the time the system is on.

    Of course, the downside here is that it’s still going to be available to everything when it is mounted, and there’s the hassle of mounting, remembering to unmount, password typing, etc. Not exactly transparent.

    I wondered if mount namespaces might be an answer here. A filesystem could be mounted but left pretty much unavailable to processes unless a proper mount namespace is joined. Indeed that might be a solution. It is somewhat complicated, though, since nsenter requires root to work. Enter sudo, and dropping privileges back to a particular user — a not particularly ideal situation, and complex as well.

    Still, it might well have some promise for some of these things.

Audiocasts/Shows: Ubuntu Podcast, Python Podcasts, User Error

Filed under
Interviews
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S12E15 – Diablo

    This week we’ve been buying a new phone and playing with QEMU. We discuss the release fo Debian 10, Ubuntu users saying “Thank you”, Nvidia drivers, WSL and Ubuntu MATE for the GPD MicroPC. We also round up some events and tech news.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 15 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Mark Johnson, Martin Wimpress and Stuart Langridge are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Episode #139: f"Yes!" for the f-strings
  • Episode #221: Empowering developers by embedding Python

    How do we get kids excited about programming? Make programming tangible with embedded devices. Did you know that after kids learned to code with the BBC micro:bit, 90% of kids "thought coding was for everyone" and 86% said it made CS topics more interesting?

  • Old and Insecure | User Error 70

    Whether Linux is inherently secure, the next phase of online interaction, and wasting our free time.

    Plus where to focus your contributions, and a tricky hypothetical question.

Graphics: Nouveau, Wayland's Weston and Libinput

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • The Open-Source NVIDIA "Nouveau" Driver Gets A Batch Of Fixes For Linux 5.3

    Originally on Thursday was finally the Nouveau-next 5.3 pull request that offered improvements to the display color management, fixes to Secure Boot on newer hardware, and Turing TU116 mode-setting support. But that was rejected by the DRM maintainers for being way too late as usually the cut-off for new feature material is when hitting RC6 on the previous cycle, just not days before the end of the current merge window. Not that those changes were all too exciting or notable, but this pushes back the color management and other work to Linux 5.4.

    Nouveau DRM maintainer Ben Skeggs of Red Hat as a result today sent in Nouveau-fixes 5.3. This pull request has support still for the TU116 GPU since that shouldn't regress any existing support as well as having fixes around KMS, a memory leak, and a few other basic fixes.

  • Wayland's Weston Lands A Pipewire Plug-In As New Remote Desktop Streaming Option

    Wayland's Weston compositor for the past year has provided a remoting plug-in for virtual output streaming that was built atop RTP/GStreamer. Now though a new plug-in has landed in the Weston code-base making use of Red Hat's promising PipeWire project.

    The PipeWire plug-in was merged into Weston today and is similar to the GStreamer-powered remoting plug-in but instead leverages PipeWire. The compositor's frames are exported to PipeWire and the same virtual output API is shared between these plug-ins. The virtual outputs can be configured using the weston.ini configuration file. Any PipeWire client in turn can read these frames.

  • Libinput 1.14 RC Arrives With Better Thumb Detection & Dell Canvas Totem Support

    Linux input expert Peter Hutterer of Red Hat shipped the much anticipated release candidate today for libinput 1.14, the open-source input handling library used by both X.Org and Wayland systems.

  • libinput 1.13.901
    The first RC for libinput 1.14 is now available.
    
    We have new and improved thumb detection for touchpads, thanks to Matt
    Mayfield. On Clickpad devices this should make interactions where a thumb is
    resting on the touchpad or dropped during an interaction more reliable. A
    summary of the changes can be found here:
    https://who-t.blogspot.com/2019/07/libinputs-new-thumb-detection-code.html
    
    The Dell Canvas Totem is now supported by libinput. It is exposed as a new
    tool type through the tablet interface along with two new axes. Note that
    this is only low-level support, the actual integration of the totem needs
    Wayland protocol changes and significant changes in all applications that
    want to make use of it. A summary of the changes can be found here:
    https://who-t.blogspot.com/2019/06/libinput-and-dell-canvas-totem.html
    
    Touch-capable tablets now tie both devices together for rotation. If you set
    the tablet to left-handed, the touchpad will be rotated along with the
    tablet. Note that this does not affect the left-handed-ness of the touchpad,
    merely the rotation. 
    
    Tablet proximity out handling for tablets that are unreliably sending
    proximity out events is now always timeout-based. It is no longer necessary
    to add per-device quirks to enable this feature and it is completely
    transparent on devices that work correctly anyway. A summar of the
    changes can be found here:
    https://who-t.blogspot.com/2019/06/libinput-and-tablet-proximity-handling.html
    
    Tablets that send duplicate tools (BTN_TOOL_PEN and BTN_TOOL_ERASER) now
    ignore the latter. This is an intermediate fix only but at least makes those
    tablets more usable than they are now. Issue #259 is the tracker for this
    particular behaviour if you are affected by it.
    
    The handling of kernel fuzz has been slightly improved. Where our udev rule
    fails to reset the fuzz on the kernel device, we disable the hysteresis and
    rely on the kernel now to handle it. Previously our hysteresis would take
    effect on top of the kernel's, causing nonresponsive behaviour.
    
    Note to distribitors: the python-evdev dependency has been dropped, the
    tools that used it are now using python-libevdev instead.
    
    And of course a random assortment of fixes, improvements, etc. Many thanks
    to all contributors and testers.
    
    As usual, the git shortlog is below.
    

Powered by Plasma: ALBA Synchrotron in Barcelona, Spain

Filed under
KDE

As you go about your daily tasks, you’re probably unaware that Plasma runs on the computers in one of Europe’s largest research facilities. We were also oblivious – until we met Sergi Blanch-Torné at FOSDEM 2019.

We’re always looking for interesting stories from people who use KDE software at their workplace, in school, or in government institutions. You can imagine our delight, then, when we met Sergi Blanch-Torné at this year’s FOSDEM.

Sergi is a Controls Software Engineer at ALBA, a KDE user, and a Free software advocate and contributor. Not only was he willing to tell us about his favorite KDE apps, but he also works at one of the most amazing places on Earth! In this interview, he tells us what it’s like to work at ALBA, and answers the burning question: “what even is a synchrotron?”.

ALBA is a third-generation synchrotron radiation facility in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park, in Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain. Managed by the Consortium for the Construction, Equipping and Exploitation of the Synchrotron Light Source (CELLS), it is jointly funded by the Spanish and the Catalonian Administration.

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Kernel: F2FS, AMDGPU/AMDKFD, RISC-V

Filed under
Linux
  • F2FS Is The Latest Linux File-System With Patches For Case-Insensitive Support

    Following EXT4 getting initial (and opt-in) support for case-insensitive directories/files, the Flash-Friendly File-System has a set of patches pending that extend the case-folding support to this F2FS file-system that is becoming increasingly used by Android smartphones and other devices.

    Sent out today were a revised set of two patches and just 300+ lines of code that implement case-folding support inside the F2FS file-system. This case-folding support for case-insensitive file-name look-ups is based upon the support found within EXT4 on the latest kernels.

  • AMDGPU/AMDKFD Queue Up Early Linux 5.3 Fixes For Navi & More

    While the Linux 5.3 kernel merge window isn't even over until this weekend when it will kick off with 5.3-rc1 and headlining new features like Radeon RX 5700 series support, AMD has already sent in a batch of AMDGPU/AMDKFD fixes. Making these fixes notable are some early fixes around the new open-source Radeon RX "Navi" support.

  • RISC-V's Kernel Support Continues Maturing With Linux 5.3

    With the RISC-V support in Linux 5.3 there is now support for huge-pages, image header support (based on the ARM64 kernel image header), initial page table setup is split into two stages, CONFIG_SOC support has been started with initially catering to the SiFive SoCs, high resolution timers and dynamic ticks have now made it into the default RISC-V 64-bit default configuration, and other low-level work.

deepin 15.11 - Better Never Stops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian

deepin is a Linux distribution devoted to providing a beautiful, easy to use, safe and reliable system for global users.
deepin is an open source GNU/Linux operating system, based on Linux kernel and mainly on desktop applications, supporting laptops, desktops, and all-in-ones. It preinstalls Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) and nearly 30 deepin native applications, as well as several applications from the open source community to meet users' daily learning and work needs. In addition, about a thousand applications are offered in Deepin Store to meet users' various requirements.
Welcome to deepin 15.11 release. Compared with deepin 15.10, deepin 15.11 comes with new features - Cloud Sync in Control Center and disc burning function in Deepin File Manager. Besides, kwin window manager was fixed and optimized for better stability and compatibility, and a number of bugs were fixed. In deepin 15.11, you will enjoy smooth and better user experiences!

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Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Server Planning A New Means For Automated Installations

Filed under
Ubuntu

Canonical's server team is working on a new means of carrying out automated installations of Ubuntu Server in time for their 20.04 LTS release.

Traditionally Ubuntu Server has supported automated installations in the same manner of Debian as they had been relying upon the text-based Debian Installer and thus allowed using pre-seeds. But since Ubuntu 18.04 LTS when they rolled out their new text-based installer for Ubuntu Server that isn't based on the long-standing Debian Installer, they lost the pre-seed support.

Rather than trying to support pre-seeds as in the same format as the Debian Installer, they are working on a new approach they hope to have ready by Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS. Their proposed approach is using YAML as the format for specifying the server installation data and makes different assumptions about what to do in the case of missing data and other behavior.

Read more

Also: Robot lifecycle management with Ubuntu

Buying a Linux-ready laptop

Filed under
Linux

Recently, I bought and started using a Tuxedo Book BC1507, a Linux laptop computer. Ten years ago, if someone had told me that, by the end of the decade, I could buy top-quality, "penguin-ready" laptops from companies such as System76, Slimbook, and Tuxedo, I probably would have laughed. Well, now I'm laughing, but with joy!

Going beyond designing computers for free/libre open source software (FLOSS), all three companies recently announced they are trying to eliminate proprietary BIOS software by switching to Coreboot.

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Use HackMD to collaborate on open source projects

Filed under
OSS

HackMD.io is an open source, collaborative Markdown editor. It allows people to share, comment, and collaborate on documents. As open source software, users can choose between using the online platform or installing it as a local service using the upstream project CodiMD.

HackMD's primary feature is obviously the text editor; it leverages the Markdown language, provides handy tools like inserting checkboxes and horizontal separator lines, and allows users to visualize the Markdown rendering while they're working on a document. But HackMD's real power is in enabling collaboration. Let's have a closer look at those features.

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SBC runs Yocto or Debian on STM32MP1 SoC

Filed under
Linux
Debian

i2SOM offers its PanGu SBC based on ST’s dual-core STM32MP1 series SoC. It supports both Yocto and Debian and provides 1GB DRAM, HDMI, Ethernet, LCD, USB OTG, USB Host, TF Card, audio and other interfaces.

i2SOM has unveiled its PanGu SBC based on the STMicroelectronics (ST) STM32MP1 series SoC. The PanGu Board uses the STM32MP157AAA3 version of the SoC series. This version combines a 650MHz Arm dual-core Cortex-A7 core and 209MHz Cortex-M4 coprocessor with an FPU, MPU, and DSP instructions.

The PanGu Board integrates HDMI, 1000Mbps Ethernet, LCD, USB OTG, USB Host, TF Card, audio and other interfaces. The 70 mm × 105.5mm form factor board is designed for applications including industrial systems, the IoT, portable consumer electronics, automotive electronics and others. The PanGu supports Yocto Linux as well as the Jessie version of Debian.

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Indian politicians are missing a huge edutech leap by ignoring Raspberry Pi and Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Around a decade ago, an India-based company called Datawind got a nod from the Central government to make and market a low-cost tablet PC called Aakash for students in the country. About half a decade before that — 2004, to be exact — the country launched GSAT-3 aka EDUSAT, its first satellite to be used entirely for the education sector.

Cut to the present, and it is more than two months since Datawind shut down permanently. Meanwhile, EDUSAT was deactivated in 2010, and has since been moved to a part of space that the world refers to as "graveyard orbit."

They were both examples of a political class thinking a little too ahead of time when it came to the technology needed for education. Something similar is now happening at the other end of the spectrum: While the world is agog about the latest iteration of the Raspberry Pi and an increasing number of people is adopting one or the other distro of Linux, most of India seems to be oblivious to both.

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Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Re: [DNG] EvilGnome

    Basically, this doesn't strike me as even a tiny bit interesting. The template of '$EVILCODE does $STUFF to your system if you run it' raises the obvious question of 'What about _not_ running it?' By and large, code doesn't run itself, so failure to answer that 'one interesting question' means the interesting bit got omitted.

  • Web server security – Part 0: How to start

    Many server hardening or server security guides directly start with installing software packages and changing some configuration files. This is fine for experienced server administrators. However, people who try to set up their first server hit on problems and most importantly they very likely forget things that aren’t covered by such guides.

    So, please do not start to set up your first server by blindly following any guide on the internet (including our guides!).

  • “Sudo Mastery, 2nd Edition” open for tech review

    I need all reviews back by 5 August. This gives me time (if everything goes well) to have the book in print for vBSDCon. Assuming they accept my proposal, that is.

Daniel Pocock: Codes of Conduct and Hypocrisy

Filed under
OSS
Debian

In 2016, when serious accusations of sexual misconduct were made against a volunteer who participates in multiple online communities, the Debian Account Managers sent him a threat of expulsion and gave him two days to respond.

Yet in 2018, when Chris Lamb decided to indulge in removing members from the Debian keyring, he simply did it spontaneously, using the Debian Account Managers as puppets to do his bidding. Members targetted by these politically-motivated assassinations weren't given the same two day notice period as the person facing allegations of sexual assault.

Two days hardly seems like sufficient time to respond to such allegations, especially for the member who was ambushed the week before Christmas. What if such a message was sent when he was already on vacation and didn't even receive the message until January? Nonetheless, however crude, a two day response period is a process. Chris Lamb threw that process out the window. There is something incredibly arrogant about that, a leader who doesn't need to listen to people before making such a serious decision, it is as if he thinks being Debian Project Leader is equivalent to being God.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 10 tells us that Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations. They were probably thinking about more than a two day response period when they wrote that.

Any organization seeking to have a credible code of conduct seeks to have a clause equivalent to article 10. Yet the recent scandals in Debian and Wikimedia demonstrate what happens in the absence of such clauses. As Lord Denning put it, without any process or hearing, members are faced with the arbitrary authority of the despot.

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