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Gentoo

Console-bound systemd services, the right way

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Gentoo

Let’s say that you need to run on your system some sort server software which instead of daemonising, has a command console permanently attached to standard input. Let us also say that said console is the only way for the administrator to interact with the service, including requesting its orderly shutdown – whoever has written it has not implemented any sort of signal handling so sending SIGTERM to the service process causes it to simply drop dead, potentially losing data in the process. And finally, let us say that the server in question is proprietary software so it isn’t really possible for you to fix any of the above in the source code (yes, I am talking about a specific piece of software – which by the way is very much alive and kicking as of late 2020). What do you do?

According to the collective wisdom of World Wide Web, the answer to this question is “use a terminal multiplexer like tmux or screen“, or at the very least a stripped-down variant of same such as dtach. OK, that sort of works – what if you want to run it as a proper system-managed service under e.g. OpenRC? The answer of the Stack Exchange crowd: have your init script invoke the terminal multiplexer. Oooooookay, how about under systemd, which actually prefers services it manages not to daemonise by itself? Nope, still “use a terminal multiplexer”.

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Distribution kernel for Gentoo

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Linux
Gentoo

The Gentoo Distribution Kernel project is excited to announce that our new Linux Kernel packages are ready for a wide audience!

The project aims to create a better Linux Kernel maintenance experience by providing both ebuilds that can be used to configure, compile, and install kernel entirely through the package manager as well as prebuilt binary kernels.

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Portage 3.0 stabilized

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Gentoo

We have good news! Gentoo’s Portage project has recently stabilized version 3.0 of the package manager.

What’s new? Well, this third version of Portage removes support for Python 2.7, which has been an ongoing effort across the main Gentoo repository by Gentoo’s Python project during the 2020 year (see this blog post).

In addition, due to a user provided patch, updating to the latest version of Portage can vastly speed up dependency calculations by around 50-60%. We love to see our community engaging in our software! For more details, see this Reddit post from the community member who provided the patch. Stay healthy and keep cooking with Gentoo!

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Also: Gentoo's Portage 3.0 Stabilized With Much Faster Dependency Calculations

Portage 3.0 stabilized

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Gentoo

We have good news! Gentoo’s Portage project has recently stabilized version 3.0 of the package manager.

What’s new? Well, this third version of Portage removes support for Python 2.7, which has been an ongoing effort across the main Gentoo repository by Gentoo’s Python project during the 2020 year (see this blog post).

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Is an umbrella organization a good choice for Gentoo?

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Gentoo

The talk of joining an umbrella organization and disbanding the Gentoo Foundation (GF) has been recurring over the last years. To the best of my knowledge, even some unofficial talks have been had earlier. However, so far our major obstacle for joining one was the bad standing of the Gentoo Foundation with the IRS. Now that that is hopefully out of the way, we can start actively working towards it.

But why would we want to join an umbrella in the first place? Isn’t having our own dedicated Foundation better? I believe that an umbrella is better for three reasons:

1. Long-term sustainability. A dedicated professional entity that supports multiple projects has better chances than a small body run by volunteers from the developer community.
2. Cost efficiency. Less money spent on organizational support, more money for what really matters to Gentoo.
3. Added value. Umbrellas can offer us services and status that we currently haven’t been able to achieve.

I’ll expand on all three points.

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Gentoo-Based PBXware 6.1 Turnkey Telephony Platform Released with New Features

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Gentoo

Based on Gentoo Linux, PBXware is a turnkey distribution that aims to provide small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises, contact centers and ITSPs (Internet Telephony Service Providers) with flexible, reliable, and scalable communication systems and VoIP solutions based on Open Source technologies and software.

PBXware 6.1 is a major update that introduces several new features, such as Directory Sync Management (DSM), which enable validation of users via an LDAP server. This also makes it faster for users to sync Extensions, as well as to allow them to select custom settings for Extensions and apply different changes.

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Gentoo on Android 64bit Release

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Android
Gentoo

Gentoo Project Android is pleased to announce a new 64bit release of the stage3 Android prefix tarball. This is a major release after 2.5 years of development, featuring gcc-10.1.0, binutils-2.34 and glibc-2.31.

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Also: Gentoo On Android 64-Bit Sees New Release After 2+ Years

The 10 Best Gentoo Linux Derivatives To Explore in 2020

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Linux
Gentoo

Gentoo Linux derivatives can be the ideal choice for the professional Linux users who don’t want to compromise about the system stability and performance. Some of you might know nothing about Gentoo Linux. Unlike other Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Kali, etc., Gentoo is quite unfamiliar...

Only the veteran Linux users know about this. And, the people who know about its potential hardly go back to any other distributions. The exclusivity of the Gentoo Linux is that you need to build the whole flashable image from the source code. That sometimes may require a few days based on your machine’s strength.

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Gentoo: 200th Gentoo Council Meets and TheMightyBuzzard Adopts Gentoo

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Gentoo
  • 200th Gentoo Council meeting

    Way back in 2005, the reorganization of Gentoo led to the formation of the Gentoo Council, a steering body elected annually by the Gentoo developers. Forward 15 years, and today we had our 200th meeting! (No earth shaking decisions were taken today though.) The logs and summaries of all meetings can be read online on the archive page.

  • Site Potpourri for Mother's Day [Updated]

    Servers, Part 1. Behind the scenes, TheMightyBuzzard spent the weekend setting up a new server, aluminum. We are gradually moving to a Gentoo Linux base for our servers. Rather than pre-compiled binaries that get downloaded and run locally, Gentoo provides source code for download that one compiles and builds locally. At the moment we have three Gentoo-based servers (lithium, magnesium, and aluminum), one server on CentOS (beryllium), and the rest are on Ubuntu. By moving to Gentoo Linux, we get a streamlined server with a smaller attack surface as only the things we need are built into the kernel. That lone CentOS server? It has been with us from the start and has been no end of a hassle. Several services "live" on it and these need to be migrated before we can retire it. The first stage of that process is underway as Deucalion has been working on bringing up IRC on aluminum. In turn, other services will be brought over. Then we can (finally!) retire beryllium for good! Next on the list are sodium and boron (aiming to have completed by June.) Along with that, there have been new (security and otherwise) releases of other services that site depends on. We intend to get those upgraded as we move to an entirely Gentoo platform. Please join me in wishing them well on the migrations and upgrades!

Reviving Gentoo Bugday

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Gentoo

Reviving an old tradition, the next Gentoo Bugday will take place on Saturday 2020-06-06. Let’s contribute to Gentoo and fix bugs!

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Godot Engine, Lutris, XCOM, KeeperRL, Ampersat, Europa Universalis and More

  • X11 display server progress report

    I'm Camille, aka PouleyKetchoupp. I use Godot as an indie game developer (Nekomatata) and I've been a Godot contributor for a while (Github). Recently I was hired to work as a contractor on fixes and improvements for the Linux port of Godot 4. Most of the work was dedicated to fixing regressions due to the new Display Server used for window management, which allows support for multiple windows. I've also spent some extra time fixing old issues we had with X11 which required some refactoring in how the engine communicates with the X server. Some of them will be available in a later Godot 3.2 release as well. In this post I'm summarizing all the changes I've made in the X11 Display Server, in order to (hopefully) clarify how the X server works and how Godot communicates with it.

  • Godot Engine to get improved Linux support in the upcoming Godot 4 release | GamingOnLinux

    While the free and open source game engine Godot Engine already has Linux support, for both exported games and the full editor, it's set to get even better in Godot 4.0. In a blog post written by Camille Mohr-Daurat, they mentioned how they've been hired by the Godot team to work as a contractor on fixes and improvements for the Linux port of Godot. Camille Mohr-Daurat is an indie developer who actually uses Godot too at Nekomatata, where they created the unique ping-pong battler Punch Pong. So this is a real fun example of open source in action. Godot 4.0 will be coming with a new windowing system, so that you can separate parts of the Godot Engine editor from the main window. A lot of their work is focused on ensuring that works great on Linux with X11, which seems like there's a lot of work involved, because there's places where X11 doesn't have APIs to handle things where it does on other platforms like Windows and macOS - with drag and drop between windows being one mentioned example they've had to solve directly.

  • Lutris game launcher has a huge new Beta update out for testing | GamingOnLinux

    Lutris is the impressive all-in-one solution for managing games on Linux, bundling tons of sources of Linux releases from different stores under one roof as well as emulators, compatibility layers and more. Just recently on October 19 they put up the Beta of the new 0.5.8 release, and it includes some pretty huge changes and improvements all across the application. The way it actually works under the hood has been completely changed in many ways, along with the way you add games to it. Instead of manually importing games, it now attempts to sync up with your library across other stores like GOG, Humble and Steam. Adding games from the Lutris website using their scripts to set things up is also now in its own section, just called Lutris and it no longer depends on having install scripts for 3rd party services as Lutris will now run stuff with an "auto-generated" script but scripts on the Lutris database will take precedence if available

  • XCOM-ish combat and HOMM-styled world exploration Fort Triumph has a major update and sale | GamingOnLinux

    Possibly one of my favourite strategy game releases of 2020, Fort Triumph blends together XCOM styled combat with HOMM (Heroes of Might and Magic) exploration into quite a gem that doesn't take itself too seriously. What makes it fun is the environment interactions during battles, as you push rocks and drop trees onto enemies - it never gets old. It appears the team at CookieByte Entertainment have been busy too, with a huge free first post-release content upgrade out now. They've added in 27 new locations/events to the world map, and with some of these encounters you can add/remove traits from your heroes. Some of these encounters mix up the combat too, with some being unique Physics-only battles where you can only move around parts of the environment and not use normal abilities which sounds pretty hilarious.

  • KeeperRL, the open source dungeon building sim is getting a price bump in November | GamingOnLinux

    Fancy becoming a dungeon master? Well, if you're watching the pennies you might want to go and pick up KeeperRL before they price gets bumped up. This excellent open source building sim that mixes in RPG and roguelike elements has a lot to like about it, and it's been continually improved over 7 years now. Since it's had a lot added to it, and the developer has been working almost full time on it, they're going to be increasing the price from $14.99 to $20 on November 15. Plenty of notice if you were thinking about picking it up. Keep in mind they also said there will be no discounts planned until the big 1.0 release, so it's not going to be cheaper again any time soon.

  • Ampersat is an upcoming hack and slash shooter where everyone is ASCII | GamingOnLinux

    Mixing together ASCII characters and enemies, along with a full colour world, the hack and slash shooter Ampersat seems like a rather unique blend. A little weird too, with styles that usually clash and don't make sense together. You're the "at sign", the ampersat, and enemies are also these flat characters yet the world is 3D and full of colour. It looks bizarre but it works. Solo developer Gaterooze, Ink mentioned it was inspired by elements of Gauntlet and Smash TV to Zelda and a dash of Angband that "distils some favourite childhood gaming experiences into a fresh, fun hybrid that sees you killing a lot of monsters, finding a lot of loot, freeing captured letters and growing from a world-weary warrior mage into a powerful smashing/blasting machine".

  • Free copy of Europa Universalis II on GOG, with a huge Paradox Interactive sale going on | GamingOnLinux

    Paradox Interactive are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Europa Universalis series so they're giving away Europa Universalis II and putting a bunch of other games on sale. For the free game, simply head to GOG.com and find the big banner. It doesn't support Linux like Paradox's later games, since it's a proper classic from way back in 2001 but you can try your luck with the Wine compatibility layer if you really want it.

  • Try the demo for Pyramid Plunge, a lighthearted platformer with a really odd couple | GamingOnLinux

    Ah yes, dangerous ancient pyramids with traps and deadly creatures, why not let a totally unprepared couple explore it? That's what you're doing in Pyramid Plunge as you run, carry your partner, fart to get airtime are more. The result is actually quite hilarious, mixing together challenging random generation with a sprinkle of comedy from the two wildly different characters that have a bit of banter between them like a true couple would. You don't see many platformers come along like this, what joy.

  • Proton: The Native Port Killer?

    The thrill surrounding the announcement of Street Fighter V coming to Linux was real. It was a few years after SteamOS was announced. After years of silence, fans started to doubt that this was becoming a reality. It wasn’t until two years after the initial release of Proton that Valve started to work with Capcom to try and make the Windows version compatible with Linux. Some people are still salty that it took this long to get here, and even more upset that this isn’t a native port. On the other hand, fans like myself are pleased that Valve/Capcom held to their word, even though they may have compromised a bit by making it Proton-compatible. The same goes for Rocket League. End-users like myself naturally get upset when delays happen, even though we don’t understand what it’s like to be on the developer’s side. Several months came and went after the original announcement, and finally the Mac and Linux versions of the game went live on Steam. Fast forward a few years later, and Psyonix decides to drop the ball for said versions, leaving it up to Proton to pick up the slack on Linux and bootcamp for Mac OS. Don’t even get me started on the fact that they basically abandoned support on Steam altogether in favor of the Epic Crap Store.

today's howtos

System76 Thelio Mega is a quad-GPU Linux desktop powered by Ryzen Threadripper

System76 began its life as a Linux computer seller only. Essentially, the company would sell re-branded laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. To provide a class-leading experience, however, System76 also provided top-notch customer service, helping Linux beginners get started with a little hand-holding when needed. This focus on service continues today, and it is largely responsible for the company's success and longevity. Seeking to better control its own destiny, the company branched out from only being a computer-seller and transformed into a maker too. It's handcrafted Thelio desktops are powerful works of art, comprised of wood, metal, and good ol' fashioned American elbow grease. Yes, these Thelio machines are made in the USA -- Colorado, specifically. System76 has even created its own operating system -- the Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS, which has been very well received by the Linux community. This Linux distro will work on most computers -- not just Sytem76 machines. If you want vanilla Ubuntu, don't worry -- the company continues to offer that OS as an option when buying one of its computers. Read more

Sailfish OS: Shared mobile devices

The need for device sharing has become increasingly important for our partners. And it’s easy to understand why: imagine a scenario where a mobile device is required for executing certain actions during a business process. Each workstation has a mobile device and when a work shift changes the previous shift logs out of it and the new shift logs in. In this case the mobile device is more of a shared resource than a personal device. One of the major new features that we’re excited to have included in the latest 3.4 Pallas-Yllästunturi release is the ability to have multiple users on the same device that can be switched between in this way. For regular everyday use of Sailfish OS this doesn’t have any impact, the device owner (the primary user) works just as it used to. However, release 3.4 will have a new ‘defaultuser’ (devices flashed prior to 3.4.0 keep ‘nemo’ user, but it’s only the name that’s different). The new ‘defaultuser’ name is mostly visible behind the scenes for application developers; end users can ignore this detail. Read more