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Munich's U-turn, Fedora 27 on Halloween, Back to Linux

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In the story that wouldn't die, Munich's Linux reversal in in the news again as the city's administrative committee recommended moving to a uniform Windows-based deployment throughout city government by 2020. Elsewhere, Fedora 27 is scheduled for release on October 31, 2017 and kde.org got a new look. Former Linux user Paul Cutler has returned to the fold and Blogger Dedoimedo compared Fedora's Xorg to Wayland.

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Kodi Illegal, Open Source Now a Word

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Seems the top story today was the arrest of five individuals for selling devices loaded up with Open Source Kodi. Apparently the kits came with add-ons that allowed users to stream pirated content. In other news, Merriam-Webster has added the word "Open Source" to its database of official words, along with 1000 others. Jonathan Terrasi described his Linux awakening and blogger Dedoimedo said the GNOME version of openSUSE 42.2 is better than Plasma, but it still doesn't redeem the mediocre release.

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Best Distros, openSUSE Whoops, Debian 9 One Step Closer

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In the latest Linux news, the news.opensuse.org got hacked and displayed "KurDish HaCk3rS WaS Here" for a while Monday and while the site has been restored, no comment on the hack has been issued. Elsewhere, Debian 9.0 has entered its final freeze in the last steps in preparations for release. FOSS Force has named their winner for top distro of 2016 and Swapnil Bhartiya shared his picks for the best for 2017. Blogger DarkDuck said MX-16 Xfce is "very close to the ideal" and Alwan Rosyidi found Solus OS is giving Elementary OS a run for its money. Phoronix.com's Michael Larabel explained why he uses Fedora and Jeremy Garcia announced the winners of the 2016 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards.

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Bodhi Needs Testers, Build Your Own PC

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Jeff Hoogland today posted that time has come to polish up Swami and asked for his bravest users to install the newest to give it a go. Tails is the latest distribution to deprecate their 32-bit architecture and GIMP 2.8.20 was released. Liam Tung reported on a new self-assembled laptop able to run Linux and Rick Broida suggested some light-weight distros for such cases. Just in case you actually take that route, Jamie McKane shared some tips for first time computer assemblers.

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Best Distros for Mac Users and Everyone Else

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Derrik Diener today said that a lot of Mac users jumped ship recently and he has some Linux suggestions for them. Adam Shepherd shared his list of best distributions for desktop users, enterprise servers, and security buffs. Most of his picks are very familiar. Elsewhere, GIMPer Alexandre Prokoudine blogged of the 2.10 blockers and Mozilla has pulled the plug on Firefox OS. In case you missed it, LibreOffice 5.3 was announced yesterday with the most features ever in a single release and Carla Schroder posted a quick down and dirty tutorial to becoming an Arch user.

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Also: GIMP 2.10 Coming, GIMP May Re-Target To GTK4 Rather Than GTK3

GIMP 2.10 blockers and the road to 3.0

KDE Plasma 5.9 Released, 5.10 Previewed; Steam Machines RIP

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Jonathan Riddell announced for the KDE team the arrival of Plasma 5.9, the next big update to the desktop family. This release brings some new features such as Global Menus and a new network configuration module. And if that wasn't enough KDE for you, Eike Hein blogged of some of the goodies being cooked up for 5.10. The Register reported on a bug in Cryptkeeper that triggered its removal from Debian, other distros are waiting for upstream fixes. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said Linux is the right choice for those who appreciate a modicum of privacy and Mairin Duffy said today to come join in the Fedora IRC chats.

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Top Ubuntu Mistakes, F26 Wallpaper Hunt, Linux GOTY

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It's that time of development again when the Fedora Design Team sends out their call for supplemental wallpapers. Artists and photographers are encouraged to participate. Matt Hartley discussed today some of the mistakes new users make with Ubuntu and offered up his best advice for avoiding them. TecMint compiled the top five reasons to install Linux and the second round of voting has begun in FOSS Force's Best Distro of 2016 contest. Some familiar names graced Google's Code-in winners and Gaming On Linux has identified the best games of 2016 through a user polling survey.

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Mint 18.1 KDE & Xfce, Bodhi 4.1.0, ftp.kernel.org RIP

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Clement Lefebvre announced the releases of Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce following earlier releases of MATE and Cinnamon versions. Mint 18.1 is a long term supported release meaning it will get security updates until 2021. Jeff Hoogland announced an update to Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, dubbed 4.1.0. This release brings all the security and bug updates since the 4.0.0 release as well as a new dark theme for the native Moksha desktop. The Fridge announced 17.04 Alpha 2 as the community wallpaper drive got underway and a new KDE laptop has surfaced.

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Also:

  • Linux Mint 18.1 KDE and Xfce released

    The Linux Mint team has just released the long term support release Linux Mint 18.1 as a KDE and Xfce edition to the public.

    The new version of Linux Mint brings software updates and refinements mostly. First, some information on Linux Mint 18.1 being a long term support release.

    The Mint team will support Linux Mint 18.1 with security updates until 2021. Future versions of Linux Mint will use the same base package as Linux Mint 18.1 until 2018. This ensures that it is easy to update to new versions.

  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” KDE released!
  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” Xfce released!

Best Distro, systemd Exploit, KDE neon Scare

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The Linux world keeps on turning and while I've been under the weather a KDE neon download scare rocked users recently as well as a newly discovered exploit in systemd. The exploit is said to "open the door to privilege escalation attacks, creating a means for hackers to root systems." Elsewhere, FOSS Force is running their annual Readers' Choice Awards Poll for the best Linux desktop distribution for the year ended a few weeks ago. Firefox 51.0 was released with a new logo and Arch is deprecating the 32-bit architecture images. Jamie Watson test several more distros on his new notebook and Jesse Smith reviewed GoboLinux saying, "I applaud the developers' efforts in making something unusual and interesting."

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2017 Desktops, neon Goes Calamares, Spices Changes

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Desktop choice is a hallmark of Linux and Jack Wallen today predicted which will become more popular in 2017. His list may surprise you. In other news, Jonathan Riddell said today that KDE neon would be switching installer from its current Ubiquity to another gaining in popularity. It's currently in the developer version, but it'll soon make its way into the user recommended version. Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre today announced changes to the Cinnamon desktop applets. He said he was concerned about security of 3rd party contributions given last year's security breach. Elsewhere, Robin Miller defended his Ubuntu choice saying, "So call me mass-average. Call me boring. Call me one of the many, the humble, the Ubuntu users!"

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Red Hat: OpenShift and Awards

  • OpenShift Commons Briefing: OpenShift 3.11 Release Update with Scott McCarty (Red Hat)
    In this briefing, Red Hat’s Scott McCarty and numerous other members of the OpenShift Product Management team gave an in-depth look at Red Hat’s OpenShift’s latest release 3.11 and some insights in to the road ahead.
  • Awards roll call: Red Hat awards, June to October 2018
    Depending on the weather in your region, it’s safe to say that the seasons are changing so it’s a good time to look back at what was a busy few months for Red Hat, especially when it came to industry awards for our technical and product leadership. In recent months, Red Hat products and technologies took home twenty awards, highlighting the breadth and depth of our product portfolio as well as the expertise that we provide to our customers. In addition, Red Hat as a company won five awards recognizing its growth and culture as a leader in the industry.
  • More advice from a judge - what it takes to win a Red Hat Innovation Award
    Last year I penned the below post to provide insight into what the judges of the Red Hat Innovation Awards are looking for when reviewing submissions. Looking back, I would give almost the identical advice again this year...maybe with a few tweaks. With all the stellar nominations that we receive, the question I often get is, “how can we make our entry standout?” There’s no magic formula for winning the Red Hat Innovation Awards, but there are things that the other judges and I look for in the entries. Overall, we’re looking for the project that tells a compelling story. It’s not just about sharing what Red Hat products and services you used, we want to hear the full narrative. What challenges did you face; how you implemented the project; and ultimately, what was the true business impact and transformation that took place? Submissions that are able to showcase how open source culture and values were key to success, or how the project is making a difference in the lives of others, are the entries that most often rise to the top.

today's howtos

OSS Leftovers

  • How to be an effective and professional member of the Samba user and development Community
    For many years we have run these lists dedicated to developing and promoting Samba, without any set of clear guidelines for people to know what to expect when participating.  What do we require? What kind of behavior is encouraged?
  • Blockcerts Updates Open Source Blockchain Architecture
    Learning Machine is making changes to its Blockcerts Credential Issuer, Verifier and Wallet to enable native support for records issuance and verification using any blockchain. Blockcerts was launched by Learning Machine and MIT Media Lab in 2016 as new way to allow students to receive digital diplomas through an app, complementing a traditional paper degree. Blockcerts was originally designed to be blockchain-agnostic, which means that open standards can be used to anchor records in any blockchain. The Blockcerts Universal Identifier recognizes which blockchain is being used and verifies accordingly. Currently, the open source project has added support for bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, but anyone can add support through the project's GitHub page.
  • First full featured open-source Ethereum block explorer BlockScout launched by POA Network
  • Amsterdam-based ING Bank Introduces Open-Source Zero Knowledge Technology
  • ING Bank Launches Open Source Privacy Improvement Add-On for Blockchains
  • Imec tool accelerates DNA sequencing 10x
    As a result, in a typical run, elPrep is up to ten times faster than other software tools using the same resources. It is designed as a seamless replacement that delivers the exact same results as GATK4.0 developed by the Broad Institute. elPrep has been written in the Go programming language and is available through the open-source GNU Affero General Public License v3 (AGPL-3.0).
  • On the low adoption of automated testing in FOSS
    A few times in the recent past I've been in the unfortunate position of using a prominent Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) program or library, and running into issues of such fundamental nature that made me wonder how those issues even made it into a release. In all cases, the answer came quickly when I realized that, invariably, the project involved either didn't have a test suite, or, if it did have one, it was not adequately comprehensive. I am using the term comprehensive in a very practical, non extreme way. I understand that it's often not feasible to test every possible scenario and interaction, but, at the very least, a decent test suite should ensure that under typical circumstances the code delivers all the functionality it promises to. [...] Most FOSS projects, at least those not supported by some commercial entity, don't come with any warranty; it's even stated in the various licenses! The lack of any formal obligations makes it relatively inexpensive, both in terms of time and money, to have the occasional bug in the codebase. This means that there are fewer incentives for the developer to spend extra resources to try to safeguard against bugs. When bugs come up, the developers can decide at their own leisure if and when to fix them and when to release the fixed version. Easy! At first sight, this may seem like a reasonably pragmatic attitude to have. After all, if fixing bugs is so cheap, is it worth spending extra resources trying to prevent them?
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  • Chrome for Linux, Mac, and Windows Now Features Picture-in-Picture by Default
    Chromium evanghelist at Google François Beaufort announced today that Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support is now enabled by defualt in the Google Chrome web browser for Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms. Google's engineers have been working for months to add Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support to the Google Chrome web browser, but the long-anticipated feature is finally here, enabled by default in the latest version for Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The feature lets you detach a video in a floating window so you can watch it while doing something else on your computer.
  • Teaching With an Index Card: the Benefits of Free, Open-Source Tools
  • Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems
    The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.
  • Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine
    How To Mechatronics has pulled together detailed instructions and a great video explaining how to make an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine whose gears can create arbitrary vector images out of precision-bent continuous lengths of wire.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.4: Updates and Extensions
    The first update in a little while brings us release 0.0.4 of RApiDatetime which got onto CRAN this morning via the lovely automated sequence of submission, pretest-recheck and pretest-publish. RApiDatetime provides seven entry points for C-level functions of the R API for Date and Datetime calculations. The functions asPOSIXlt and asPOSIXct convert between long and compact datetime representation, formatPOSIXlt and Rstrptime convert to and from character strings, and POSIXlt2D and D2POSIXlt convert between Date and POSIXlt datetime. This releases brings asDatePOSIXct as a seventh courtesy of Josh Ulrich. All these functions are all fairly useful, but not one of them was previously exported by R for C-level use by other packages. Which is silly as this is generally extremely carefully written and tested code.
  • 6 JavaScript books you should know
    If there was ever the potential for a giant book list it's one based on our favorite Javascript books. But, this list is short and easy to digest. Maybe it will help you get started, gently. Plus, check out three of our top Javascript articles with even more books, resources, and tips.

Security: Telstra, Google+ and Facebook Incidents, and Latest Updates