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Linux Calculated, Faint Shadow of OpenMandriva, Big Bother Absolutely

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Today in Linux news Blogger DarkDuck said that OpenMandriva has become a faint shadow of its namesake. That was despite getting it to work fairly well. Elsewhere, Techphylum offered a brief overview of Calculate Linux and Jack Germain said Absolute Linux was "the equivalent of driving a stick shift automobile with a crank-to-start mechanism." OMG!Ubuntu! reported on that 13 foot robot, that was said to be the "soldier of the future" somewhere, is programmed using Ubuntu and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols warned Linux will become more and more a target of hackers.

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Distro Excitement 2017, Image Viewers, LibO Calendar

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Today in Linux news The Document Foundation offered a 2017 wall calendar to print off and hang on your wall. Elsewhere, OMG!Ubuntu! shared their picks for distros to watch in 2017 and Fedora has 17 image viewers for 2017. Sourceforge and TecMint have resolutions for administrators and developers as Google heads to Linux.conf.au 2017.

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Lotsa Gaming Stuff, RMS Message, Promising Distros of 2017

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Most notable today and yesterday was the number of articles about Linux gaming. From console games to the most popular of the year, folks seem to be gaming out the end of 2016. Elsewhere, Tux4Ubuntu aims to bring the plucky penguin back to Ubuntu and Jack Wallen explored the "small footprint" LXLE. The Linux Experiment shared tips for Linux security and MakeTechEasier highlighted security with Firejail.

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Year of Linux Desktop, Bluestar Report, LibO Extensions

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Today in Linux news Matt Hartley asked if 2017 just might be that fabled "year of the Linux desktop." Ada Ivanova has six suggestions in LibreOffice extensions while Bruce Byfield is afraid MUFFIN is "an over-hyped and misplaced effort." Christine Hall is back with more on Mint and I thought I'd share a few thoughts on my experience in Bluestar Linux.

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Also: 2016 was the Best Year for Linux

OpenMandriva 3.01, Mint Nonreview, Fedora LXQt

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Just before Christmas the OpenMandriva team announced an update to Lx 3.0 complete with Plasma 5.8.4 and Linux 4.9.0. Elsewhere, Christine Hall posted her review/non-review of Mint 18 and Gabriel Cánepa summarizes the top distros of the year. LinuxBSDos.com previewed Fedora 26 LXQt while Phoronix.com looked back at Fedora in 2016.

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Also: OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 – our holidays gift

Fedora's Step-child, KDE Interviews, Debian Auto-Update

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Today in Linux news Debian is considering automatic updates on upcoming releases. Debian isn't the only distro considering the move as security concerns increase. Elsewhere, Dedoimedo interviewed KDE developers Sebastian Kugler and Bhushan Shah who said KDE Plasma is moving in the right direction. Shawn Starr said he's tired of KDE being treated like a red-headed stepchild over there at Fedora and Christian Cawley suggested five distros to try in a virtual machine.

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Also: Debian considering automated upgrades

Debian Eyes Automatic Updates For New Installations

LibreOffice 5.2.4, Mint Upgrading, Weather Forecast

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The Document Foundation is celebrating today with their release of LibreOffice 5.2.4. The announcement also teased upcoming LibreOffice 5.3 that will feature the new MUFFIN interface. Elsewhere, there seems to be some disagreement as to whether Mint's heart is in their upgrades and Jonathan Corbet published his latest Linux Forecast. A couple of sites have gathered some fun activities for the long boring holiday season and, in case you missed it, Fedora 23 reached its end of life Tuesday.

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Best GNOME Distro, Linux All-in-One, PIXEL for PCs

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Today was another busy day in Linux news with the top story being the release of Red Hat's third quarter 2017 financial report. Third quarter revenue missed analysts' expectations and cut full year forecast along with the resignation of CFO all added up to a rough night for Red Hat stock. Elsewhere, Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the release of PIXEL for PC and Mac and The Document Foundation introduced MUFFIN, a "tasty new user interface" for LibreOffice. Blogger Dedoimedo chose the best GNOME distro of the year and Andy Weir covered Acer's new all-in-one PC that's available with Linux.

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Also: GTK 3.89.2 Released With Vulkan Renderer, Continued GDK/GSK Changes

5% Market Share, Linus Upset, Wonderful Bluestar

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Monday was a busy day in the Linux world, there were way too many good headlines to cover. One of the more interesting was a prediction from Jack Wallen who said that Linux should reach 5% market share in 2017. Bad news is, vulnerability discoveries are liable to increase as well. Elsewhere, Mr. Wallen reviewed Bluestar Linux, an Arch derivative featuring a customized Plasma desktop, making it sound so good it will be my next experiment. The Register spotted another scolding from Linus Torvalds and blogger Dedoimedo said Fedora 25 GNOME is "an interesting distro." Bryan Lunduke revived old 1992 BBS gaming and Adobe released an update for Flash.

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Debian vs. Fedora, MX Linux Team, 2016 Top Searches

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Today in Linux news Bruce Byfield compared and contrasted two of "the most influential Linux distributions of all time." While more alike than one imagines, Byfield outlined the differences as why to "pick one over another." Elsewhere, Dedoimedo interviewed the MX Linux team and discussed Xfce distributions in other posts. Michael Larabel reported today that the FBDEV maintainer has quit and Google blogged of the year's top searches.

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More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday
  • Recursive DNS Server Fingerprint Problem

    Our goal is to identify hijacked resolvers by analyzing their fingerprints, in order to increase safety of Internet users. To do that, we utilize data collected via RIPE Atlas (atlas.ripe.net).

  • Online developer tutorials are spreading XSS and SQL injection flaws

    The researchers, from across three universities in Germany and Trend Micro, checked the PHP code bases of more than 64,000 projects on Github and uncovered more than 100 vulnerabilities that they believe might have been introduced as a result of developers picking up the code that they used from online tutorials.

  • BrickerBot, the permanent denial-of-service botnet, is back with a vengeance

    BrickerBot, the botnet that permanently incapacitates poorly secured Internet of Things devices before they can be conscripted into Internet-crippling denial-of-service armies, is back with a new squadron of foot soldiers armed with a meaner arsenal of weapons.

  • Reproducible Builds: week 104 in Stretch cycle
  • Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files
    Webroot's security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering PCs in the process. Not only were people's individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service providers (MSPs), meaning companies and organizations relying on the software were hit by the cockup. Between 1200 and 1500 MST (1800 and 2100 UTC) today, Webroot's gear labeled Windows operating system data as W32.Trojan.Gen – generic-Trojan-infected files, in other words – and moved them into quarantine, rendering affected computers unstable. Files digitally signed by Microsoft were whisked away – but, luckily, not all of them, leaving enough of the OS behind to reboot and restore the quarantined resources.
  • How The Update Framework Improves Security of Software Updates
    Updating software is one of the most important ways to keep users and organizations secure. But how can software be updated securely? That's the challenge that The Update Framework (TUF) aims to solve. Justin Cappos, assistant professor at New York University, detailed how TUF works and what's coming to further improve the secure updating approach in a session at last week's DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas. Simply using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure a download isn't enough as there have been many publicly reported instances of software repositories that have been tampered with, Cappos said.
  • Security Updates for Ubuntu Phone to End in June
    Security updates for Ubuntu phone and tablet will end this June, Canonical has confirmed. Current OTA updates are currently limited to critical fixes and security updates — a decision we were first to tell you back in January. But after June 2017 Canonical “will no longer deliver any further updates”.
  • Canonical to stop supporting Ubuntu Phone in June
    Canonical had already announced development of its Ubuntu Phone software was ending. Now we know when the final nail goes in the coffin: June.
  • Malware Hunts And Kills Poorly Secured Internet Of Things Devices Before They Can Be Integrated Into Botnets
    Researchers say they've discovered a new wave of malware with one purpose: to disable poorly secured routers and internet of things devices before they can be compromised and integrated into botnets. We've often noted how internet-of-broken-things devices ("smart" doorbells, fridges, video cameras, etc.) have such flimsy security that they're often hacked and integrated into botnets in just a matter of seconds after being connected to the internet. These devices are then quickly integrated into botnets that have been responsible for some of the worst DDoS attacks we've ever seen (including last October's attack on DYN).

GNOME/GTK News

  • The Way GNOME Handles Wallpapers Really Annoys Me
    I love GNOME Shell — and no, not just because I’ve little choice now that is Ubuntu’s default desktop! But the more I use GNOME the more I learn that the desktop environment, like every other, has its own share of quirks, bugs and inconsistencies. Like the following appreciably niche niggle in the the way GNOME handles desktop wallpapers.
  • Drag-and-drop in lists
    I’ve recently had an occasion to implement reordering of a GtkListBox via drag-and-drop (DND). It was not that complicated. Since I haven’t seen drag-and-drop used much with list boxes, here is a quick summary of what is needed to get the basics working.

Containers News

  • How Kubernetes is making contributing easy
    As the program manager of the Kubernetes community at Google, Sarah Novotny has years of experience in open source communities including MySQL and NGINX. Sarah sat down with me at CloudNativeCon in Berlin at the end of March to discuss both the Kubernetes community and open source communities more broadly. Among the topics we covered in the podcast were the challenges inherent in shifting from a company-led project to a community-led one, principles that can lead to more successful communities, and how to structure decision-making.
  • How Microsoft helped Docker with LinuxKit and Moby Project [Ed: Microsoft 'helped'... embrace, extend, coerce; haven't Docker employees learned from history?]
    Today, supporting Linux is as critical to Microsoft as it is to Red Hat and SUSE.
  • How to make branding decisions in an open community
    On April 18, Docker founder Solomon Hykes made a big announcement via a pull request in the main Docker repo: "Docker is transitioning all of its open source collaborations to the Moby project going forward." The docker/docker repo now redirects to moby/moby, and Solomon's pull request updates the README and logo for the project to match. Reaction from the Docker community has been overwhelmingly negative. As of this writing, the Moby pull request has garnered 7 upvotes and 110 downvotes on GitHub. The Docker community is understandably frustrated by this opaque announcement of a fait accompli, an important decision that a hidden inner circle made behind closed doors. It's a textbook case of "Why wasn't I consulted?"

Ubuntu 17.04: Unity's swan song?

For the most part, not much has changed on Ubuntu's Desktop edition in the past year. Unity 7 has more or less remained the same while work was progressing on the next version of the desktop, Unity 8. However, now that both desktops are being retired in favour of the GNOME desktop, running Ubuntu 17.04 feels a bit strange. This week I was running software that has probably reached the end of its life and this version of Ubuntu will only be supported for nine months. I could probably get the same desktop experience and most of the same hardware support running Ubuntu 16.04 and get security updates through to 2021 in the bargain. In short, I don't think Ubuntu 17.04 offers users anything significant over last year's 16.04 LTS release and it will be retired sooner. That being said, I could not help but be a little wistful about using Unity 7 again. Even though it has been about a year since I last used Unity, I quickly fell back into the routine and I was once more reminded how pleasant it can be to use Unity. The desktop is geared almost perfectly to my workflow and the controls are set up in a way that reduces my mouse usage to almost nothing. I find Unity a very comfortable desktop to use, especially when application menus have been moved from the top panel to inside their own windows. While there are some projects trying to carry on development of Unity, this release of Ubuntu feels like Unity's swan song and I have greatly enjoyed using the desktop this week. While there is not much new in Ubuntu 17.04, the release is pretty solid. Apart from the confusion that may arise from having three different package managers, I found Ubuntu to be capable, fairly newcomer friendly and stable. Everything worked well for me, at least on physical hardware. Unity is a bit slow to use in a virtual machine, but the distribution worked smoothly on my desktop computer. Read more