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Fedora 23 EOL, Bye to FBDEV, Installfests of Yore

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With Fedora 25 safely out of the door, time has come to bid adieu to version 23. Users are urged to upgrade. Elsewhere, Robin Miller looked back at an activity that older Linux users may remember, the Linux installfest. Michael Larabel reported today that the kernel may drop framebuffer device drivers and Dustin Kirkland shared Ubuntu's security overview.

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Also: neon User LTS, openSUSE Upgrades, Best Distro Poll

Korora 25 Unleashed, Best KDE Distro, Notorious B.U.G.

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Fedora-based Korora 25 was released Wednesday in 64-bit versions. Users are urged to upgrade. Elsewhere, Jack Wallen was seriously impressed by Fedora 25 and blogger DarkDuck said ROSA R8 is "near-perfect." Bruce Byfield discussed obstacles to Linux security just as a new kernel vulnerability comes to light. Dedoimedo declared the best KDE distro of 2016 and FOSSBYTES has 10 reasons to use Ubuntu.

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Longer Fedora Cycles, 2017 Predictions, New Bodhi Guide

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The top story today was Fedora developers' considering lengthening their developmental cycles and releasing only once a year. Matthew Miller said "PR is a legitimate input into planning." Bryan Lunduke is back with his prognostications for 2017 and Bruce Byfield has seven tips for using Plasma. DistroWatch Weekly reviewed Fedora 25 and Roger Carter penned an extensive user guide for Bodhi Linux 4.0.

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Mageia 5.1 Released, Tumbleweed's Latest, Most Secure

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The Mageia project today announced the release of stopgap version 5.1, an updated "respin" of 5.0 and all updates. The Daily Dot posted their picks for the most sure operating systems and the Hectic Geek is "quite pleased" with Fedora 25. Matthew Garrett chimed in on Ubuntu unofficial images and Dedoimedo reviewed Fedora-based Chapeau 24.

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DistroWatch Rankings and openSUSE Happiness, Devuan is Two

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Today in Linux news the Devuan project is two years old while the world waits for its inaugural release. Jesse Smith was happy with openSUSE 42.2 saying, "openSUSE succeeded in providing a stable, responsive environment." Elsewhere, KDE and NTP are fundraising and OMG!Ubuntu! looked at the difference 10 years can make in a distribution's ranking. Canonical said today that Mir isn't only for Unity and a newly funded sci-fi game looks promising indeed.

systemd-less Devuan may have turned two recently, but the project has yet to release 1.0. As Phoronix.com's Michael Larabel noted a beta was released in April but the project has been a bit quiet since. Larabel also said that systemd "hate" has calmed down this year, implying interest has probably waned in a systemd-free alternative. I think folks might still be interested in testing a release if and when a stable version is announced.

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Korora 25 Upgrades, Mageia 6 Delays, Gift Ideas

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The Korora project announced a bit of good news for user waiting for the latest release while Mageia users will have to continue to wait. opensource.com published a gift buying guide for Open Source fans and it looks like the netbook is back is back. Gary Newell reviewed Q4OS 1.8 and makeuseof.com today reminded us of why we use Linux.

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Kubuntu Cautiously Good, openSUSE 42.2 Upgrade Smooth

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Today in Linux news, the Fedora project discussed some upcoming features in version 25, headed up by GNOME 3.22. Dedoimedo test drove Kubuntu 16.10 and found Plasma to be its greatest shortcoming, mirroring what I thought of the latest openSUSE. Speaking of which, Neil Rickert blogged his thoughts on the openSUSE 42.2 experience and Jim Dean imparted a bit of information for Korora users.

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openSUSE 42.2 Leap Released, Fedora 25 a GO

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openSUSE 42.2 Leap was released Wednesday, November 16, as scheduled. "openSUSE Leap 42.2 is made to give stability-minded users and conservative technology adopters peace of mind." On the other side of town, Fedora 25 was declared "GOLD" and it's all "GO" for release Tuesday, November 22. Paul Brown gave an overview and history of SUSE at Linux.com and The Document Foundation posted videos online of their 2016 conference.

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Mint 18.1 Pushed to December, Linux Dominates Supercomputing

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Linux first appeared on the TOP500 supercomputer list in 1998, which was populated mostly by Unix. Today Linux runs 498 of those top 500 supercomputers, proving once again that Linux is dominating the world. Elsewhere, Clement Lefebvre said the Mint 18 update will probably be pushed into December due to continuing work on Cinnamon 3.2. Turns out there was a bit more intrigue behind the Munich Linux desktop dump and Jonathon Riddell has issued a user upgrade advisory for KDE neon users.

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openSUSE Leap Goes Gold, Fedora 25 Delayed a Week

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Today in Linux news openSUSE 42.2 Leap has gone Gold Master in time for next Wednesday's release. On the other side of town Fedora 25 has been delayed a week, pushing its release to November 22, 2016. Sam Varghese and John Grogan reported on the latest from SUSECon 2016, with one covering a Red Hat spy in attendance. Eric Hameleers released his latest liveslak and ISOs. The Hectic Geek compared Ubuntu 16.10 flavors and Carla Schroder examined Ubuntu's enterprise chops.

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Fedora: Qubes, rpminspect, rpminspect, and ProcDump

  • PoC to auto attach USB devices in Qubes

    Here is PoC based on qubesadmin API which can auto attach USB devices to any VM as required. By default Qubes auto attaches any device to the sys-usb VM, that helps with bad/malware full USB devices. But, in special cases, we may want to select special devices to be auto attached to certain VMs. In this PoC example, we are attaching any USB storage device, but, we can add some checks to mark only selected devices (by adding more checks), or we can mark few vms where no device can be attached.

  • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.9 released

    Very large packages (VLPs) are something I am working on with rpminspect. For example, the kernel package. A full build of the kernel source package generates a lot of files. I am working on improving rpminspect's speed and fixing issues found with individual inspections. These are only showing up when I do test runs comparing VLPs. The downside here is that it takes a little longer than with any other typical package.

  • Fedora pastebin and fpaste updates

    A pastebin lets you save text on a website for a length of time. This helps you exchange data easily with other users. For example, you can post error messages for help with a bug or other issue. The CentOS Pastebin is a community-maintained service that keeps pastes around for up to 24 hours. It also offers syntax highlighting for a large number of programming and markup languages.

  • ProcDump for Linux in Fedora

    ProcDump is a nifty debugging utility which is able to dump the core of a running application once a user-specified CPU or memory usage threshold is triggered. For instance, the invocation procdump -C 90 -p $MYPID instructs ProcDump to monitor the process with ID $MYPID, waiting for a 90 % CPU usage spike. Once it hits, it creates the coredump and exits. This allows you to later inspect the backtrace and memory state in the moment of the spike without having to attach a debugger to the process, helping you determine which parts of your code might be causing performance issues.

Programming: Interview With Guido van Rossum, Python Picks and New Release of Picolibc From Keith Packard

  • Interview Guido van Rossum: “I'd rather write code than papers.”

    Guido van Rossum (1956) is the founding father of the Python programming language, one of the most popular development tools in the world. In 2019 CWI will award him the Dijkstra Fellowship. What led you to come up with a brand new programming language during your time at CWI? “I started at CWI as a junior programmer on a research team with Lambert Meertens, Leo Geurts and Steven Pemberton. They wanted to develop a language which would enable people without programming experience – such as scientists – to start writing computer programs fairly quickly.” “It was at the time that Basic was on the rise due to the arrival of the microcomputer. Meertens looked at this inadequate language with horror. ‘Stamp out Basic!’ Was his motto. In the end, ABC, as our language was called, would not work. The target group could not use it on their microcomputers, which were not powerful enough for it, while Unix users already had other tools. Those users thought ABC was an odd man out.” “Then I came across the so-called Amoeba project. That was a distributed operating system based on a microkernel, developed by Andrew Tanenbaum at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Sape Mullender at CWI. Not aiming at popularizing their operating system, their first and foremost goal was writing papers. Scientifically it was a breakthrough indeed: those papers are still being studied. I myself was not a researcher but a programmer on that project. I must say thought that there was an atmosphere at CWI in which programmers had a major input in the projects.”

  • Python Tears Through Mass Spectrometry Data

    At the November 2019 Python Frederick event, Conor Jenkins showed the group how mass spectrometry works and how Python saves huge amounts of time when processing the large amount of data produced by a mass spec analysis.

  • Wingware News: Wing Python IDE 7.1.3 - November 14, 2019

    Wing 7.1.3 adds improved and expanded documentation and support for matplotlib, improves the accuracy of code warnings, fixes automatically debugging child processes on Windows with Python 3.8, fixes installing the remote agent from .rpm or .deb installations, solves several issues with runtime type introinspection, allows Open from Project and similar navigation commands from non-Browse vi mode, improves debugger reliability, and fixes about 30 other minor usability issues.

  • Easily specifying colours from the default colour cycle in matplotlib

    Another quick matplotlib tip today: specifically, how easily specify colours from the standard matplotlib colour cycle. A while back, when matplotlib overhauled their themes and colour schemes, they changed the default cycle of colours used for lines in matplotlib. Previously the first line was pure blue (color='b' in matplotlib syntax), then red, then green etc. They, very sensibly, changed this to a far nicer selection of colours.

  • Typing Mercurial with pytype

    Following the recent introduction of Python type annotations (aka "type hints") in Mercurial (see, e.g. this changeset by Augie Fackler), I've been playing a bit with this and pytype. pytype is a static type analyzer for Python code. It compares with the more popular mypy but I don't have enough perspective to make a meaningful comparison at the moment. In this post, I'll illustrate how I worked with pytype to gradually add type hints in a Mercurial module and while doing so, fix bugs! The module I focused on is mercurial.mail, which contains mail utilities and that I know quite well. Other modules are also being worked on, this one is a good starting point because it has a limited number of "internal" dependencies, which both makes it faster to iterate with pytype and reduces side effects of other modules not being correctly typed already.

  • Two Books About the Kivy GUI Framework

    The Kivy Python GUI framework is intriguing. Not only it’s cross-platform but also supports Android. Java is too verbose and low level for me and Kivy is an opportunity for developing native Android apps without leaving Python. Outside of the Kivy project documentation, there are few third-party advanced tutorials that go in more depth than the official tutorials. So, before diving into the code of the Kivy demos, I wanted some books to explore more features and get a broader picture of the framework and what it can do. I found two potentially interesting books: Building Android Apps in Python Using Kivy with Android Studio: With Pyjnius, Plyer, and Buildozer by Ahmed Fawzy Mohamed Gad (Apress, 2019), and Kivy - Interactive Applications and Games in Python - Second Edition by Roberto Ulloa (Packt, 2015).

  • A Qt GUI for logging

    A question that comes up from time to time is about how to log to a GUI application. The Qt framework is a popular cross-platform UI framework with Python bindings using PySide2 or PyQt5 libraries. The following example shows how to log to a Qt GUI. This introduces a simple QtHandler class which takes a callable, which should be a slot in the main thread that does GUI updates. A worker thread is also created to show how you can log to the GUI from both the UI itself (via a button for manual logging) as well as a worker thread doing work in the background (here, just logging messages at random levels with random short delays in between).

  • Picolibc 1.1 Released With POSIX File I/O Support

    Longtime X11 developer Keith Packard has spent a lot of time in recent months while being employed by SiFive working on Picolibc as a new C library for embedded systems. Picolibc is designed solely for embedded use-cases at this point and was formerly developed by Keith under the name newlib-nano. Picolibc 1.1 is out now as the project's second stable release.

  • Picolibc Version 1.1

    Picolibc development is settling down at last. With the addition of a simple 'hello world' demo app, it seems like a good time to stamp the current code as 'version 1.1'.

VXL Launches CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo), a Truly Portable Linux Micro Thin Client

VXL, a leader in thin clients, endpoint management and digital signage software solutions, launches its new, low cost, CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo). An ultra-compact and highly portable USB key, CoGo repurposes legacy PCs into a fully functional Linux thin client. Available with a lifetime perpetual license and priced at a highly competitive $77 including first year support, CoGo offers users up to a massive 50% saving over equivalent software solutions. CoGo allows businesses to extend the life of ageing PC hardware by using it to access server-hosted computing sessions or virtual desktop infrastructure. Users simply plug CoGo into a PC and boot from it. The VXL Gio Linux firmware is instantly useable without overwriting the local OS and the converted PC can be managed as thin client. Read more

ALT Linux: Worthy Linux Alternatives, With a Catch

ALT Linux may have a problem with getting English language updates on some of its most recent product releases. The primary geographic audience it serves may not make English a top priority. Yet many of its products are available with the English language intact. The great variety of Linux distros available make ALT Linux a very viable source of options for anyone looking to sample the flexibility the Linux operating system offers. I like the starter kit inventory maintained by the ALT Linux developers. Distro hoppers particularly can focus on trying dozens of desktop varieties without having to adjust to separate distro designs. All of the ALT Linux distros share a common, simple design for ease of use and reliability. Read more