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Linux Apps Land On Beta Channel For A Lot Of Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

A recent update to the Beta Channel of Chrome OS has brought with it a very exciting surprise. The “Crostini Project,” a.k.a. Linux Apps on Chrome OS has been floating around the Developer Channel for some time and can be found on various devices such as the Pixelbook, Kaby Lake Chromeboxes and even Apollo Lake EDU Chromebooks.

Unfortunately, for those wanting to try out the new feature, moving to the sometimes-unstable Developer Channel was a requirement along with enabling the “Crostini” switch that has been hidden behind a flag.

The update to Chrome OS version 69.0.3497.35 in the Beta channel has not only advanced the Crostini Project but set Linux apps on by default meaning no need to enable any experimental flags.

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GNU/Linux on Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • How to install Linux apps on your Chromebook

    Chromebooks are great because they're simple: there's a lot you can get done with web services without exposing yourself to the troubles and security issues that plague more complex platforms.

    But if you need to do a bit more with your Chromebook, you have a few options. Most Chromebooks these days allow you to install apps from the Google Play Store, which should fill most productivity gaps. If not, you'll soon have one more option: installing Linux apps. To be clear, you've been able to install Linux apps on Chromebooks for years because Chrome OS is Linux. But, it's about to get much easier.

  • Top 5 Features Still Missing From Chrome OS

    Google’s Chrome OS gets a lot of things right, and the platform has evolved considerably over the years. Not only does it offer an always up-to-date version of the Chrome browser, but there are also Android apps, stylus input, and even Linux support on some devices. However, Chrome OS is far from perfect. You have to make compromises if you choose to live with a Chromebook, but you shouldn’t have to make quite this many. Here are the top five things Google should fix.

  • Walmart's selling an all-aluminum Chromebook with a comfy keyboard for just $220

    If you’re not considering a Chromebook when you're shopping for a notebook, you’re doing it wrong. Google's low-cost laptops are typically light, fast, secure, and have almost everything you need for remote work a.k.a. the Internet. Today, you can get in on the action for a great price. Walmart is selling the Acer Chromebook 14 (CB3-431-C6ZB) for $220. That’s about $30 to $40 cheaper than you’d usually pay for this laptop.

Akademy Report and Final GSoC Reports

Filed under
KDE
Google
  • Akademy 2018 Monday BoF Wrapup

    Monday was the first day of Akademy BoFs, group sessions and hacking. There is a wrapup session at the end of the day so that what happened in the different rooms can be shared with everyone including those not present.

  • GSoC’18 - Final Report

    Some of the tasks I had originally planned took a lot more time than expected. My last task was to add stats to games that track and store your overall game statistics. I’ve already began working on this and will get it merged after thoroughly getting it reviewed by my mentors.

    [...]

    I had a wonderful time contributing to GNOME since I started this February. The amazing community and even more amazing mentors helped me learn new things and guided me all along the way which I would like to thank them for. I will surely keep contributing to GNOME.

  • Google Summer of Code 2018 Final Report: Automatic Builds with Clang using Open Build Service

    Debian package builds with Clang were performed from time to time through massive rebuilds of the Debian archive on AWS. The results of these builds are published on clang.debian.net. This summer project aimed to automate Debian archive clang rebuilds by substituting the current clang builds in clang.debian.net with Open Build System (OBS) builds.

    Our final product consists of a repository with salt states to deploy an OBS instance which triggers Clang builds of Debian Unstable packages as soon as they get uploaded by their maintainers.

GSoC Projects Under GNU's Umbrella: GNUnet and Guix

Filed under
GNU
Google
OSS
  • GSoC 2018 - GNUnet Web-based User Interface

    In the context of Google Summer of Code 2018, my mentor (Martin Schanzenbach) and I have worked on creating and extending the REST API of GNUnet. Currently, we mirrored the functionality of following commands:

    gnunet-identity
    gnunet-namestore
    gnunet-gns
    gnunet-peerinfo

    Additionally, we developed a website with the Javascript framework Angular 6 and the design framework iotaCSS to use the new REST API. The REST API of GNUnet is now documented with Sphinx.

  • GSoC 2018 report: Cuirass Web interface

    For the last three months I have been working with the Guix team as a Google Summer of Code intern. The title of my project is "GNU Guix (Cuirass): Adding a web interface similar to the Hydra web interface".

    Cuirass is a continuous integration system which monitors the Guix git repository, schedules builds of Guix packages, and presents the build status of all Guix packages. Before my project, Cuirass did not have a web interface. The goal of the project was to implement an interface for Cuirass which would allow a user to view the overall build progress, details about evaluations, build failures, etc. The web interface of Hydra is a good example of such a tool.

    In this post, I present a final report on the project. The Cuirass repository with the changes made during the project is located at http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/guix/guix-cuirass.git. A working instance of the implemented interface is available at https://berlin.guixsd.org/. You can find more examples and demonstrations of the achieved results below.

KDE and GNOME GSoC: Falkon, WikiToLearn, Nautilus and Pitivi

Filed under
KDE
Google
GNOME
  • The Joy of GSoC Smile

    Wooo... this is the last day of coding phase of GSoC. I am writing this blog to share my experience and work done in the coding phase. I want to specially thank my mentor David Rosca for his help, suggestions and reviews. This was my first exposure to the KDE community and I am proud that it was great. I really enjoyed the whole program from proposal submission - intermediate evals - then now this final evaluation. Also, I had learned a lot working on my project. Frankly speaking, I didn't knew about i18n and l10n much but with the help of my mentor now I have a quite good understanding of how these works and are implemented. I can truly say this was one of my best summer vacations.

  • What’s next for WikiToLearn?

    Google Summer of Code is finishing and many things have been done on WikiToLearn since previous post. A little recap is needed.

    Talking with mentors has been crucial because they told me to focus on finishing CRUD interaction with API backend instead of working on “history mode” viewer.

  • GSoC 2018 Final Evaluation

    As GSoC is coming to an end, I am required to put my work altogether in order for it to be easily available and hopefully help fellow/potential contributors work on their own projects. 

    [...]

    At its prestige, through this project we will have tests both for most critical and used operations of Nautilus, and for the search engines we use. Further on, I’ll provide links for all of my merge requests and dwell a bit on their ins and outs while posting links to my commits:

  • GTK+ 4 and Nautilus </GSoC>

    Another summer here at GNOME HQ comes to an end. While certainly eventful, it unfortunately did not result in a production-ready Nautilus port to GTK+ 4 (unless you don’t intend to use the location entry or any other entry, but more on that later).

  • Pitivi Video Editor Gains UI Polish, Video Preview Resizing

    The latest Google Summer of Code 2018 is allowing some excellent work to be done on some excellent open source projects.

    Among them Pitivi, the non-linear video editor built using GTK and Gstreamer and offering up a basic video editing feature set.

    Over the past few months, Harish Fulara, a Computer Science student, has worked on improving the application’s greeter dialog and on adding support dynamic resizing of the video preview box.

GNU/Linux on Laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Dell's Thunderbolt TB16 Dock Can Work With Linux & Drive Dual 4K Displays

    When it came to settling on the latest-generation Dell XPS 13 as my main production workhorse with Fedora Workstation 28, besides the laptop's own traits like its build quality, specs relative to price, and other factors, another important requirement was the ability to drive two 4K displays when at my desk. The Dell XPS 13 has no issue driving dual 4K screens via the Dell Thunderbolt TB16 dock.

  • Chrome OS update makes installing Linux apps easier
  • Chrome OS update simplifies installing Linux applications

    A recent Chrome OS update has made the installation of Linux applications as simple as most of the popular distributions.

    Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel and it’s been possible to install applications designed for the latter for some time using tools like Crouton.

    However, installing Linux apps on Chrome OS has never been friendly to beginners and required users to be in developer mode and have some knowledge of the command line. A recent OS update has changed matters.

    [...]

    Linux distros have been around since the 90s and continue to build up a roster of desktop-optimised apps. For Chrome OS to ever be considered a serious work platform to rival Windows and Mac, it needed to embrace Linux apps.

  • 28 older Chromebooks now support Linux apps

    More Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung have received Linux app support. The change, which landed Thursday, will apply to some Chromebooks that released in 2015-2017, running Intel Braswell architecture and Kernel 3.18.

  • Chrome OS now supports installing arbitrary Linux packages

    Samsung recently presented the Galaxy Tab S4 as the ultimate productivity portable device but initial reviews have been rather scathing. Thanks to its timing, Samsung’s premium tablet is being compared to the likes of the cheaper iPad, the cheaper Surface Go, and, closer to home, Chromebooks. The latter, especially, is getting more and more talented and the latest experimental feature nearly turns it into that ultimate productivity OS. That is if you live and breathe Linux.

  • Linux Apps Coming To Older Braswell Chromebooks

    The addition of Linux apps to Chrome OS via the Crostini Project seems to be expanding at an exponential rate lately. Google has been content not sharing any insight into the project apart from the advantages it brings to developers but the latest update points at a larger target than just techies developing software.

    According to the commit, a decent number of Braswell-powered Chromebooks will soon be getting Linux app support.

Browsers That Spy

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox Advance Uses Your Browser History to Recommend Web Content

    If you’re short on things to read — seriously? — be sure to check out the latest experiment in the Firefox Test Pilot program.

    It’s called Advance and it aims to ‘advance’ you past the site you’re currently gawping at and on to the next. How? By giving you a list of articles and web pages based on your browsing history, of course.

    Don’t scream. Honestly. This feature is not part of the default browser (not yet, anyway). You have to explicitly choose to enable it.

    [...]

    Now, before anyone screams “I already use this! It’s called Google Chrome!” let me stress that this is an entirely optional, opt-in feature for Firefox. You have to go out of your way to install it. It is not part of the default install. If you don’t want it, you don’t have to use it.

    You remain in control when Advance is running. You can, at any point, see what browser history Laserlike has processed and — GDPR box check — request the deletion of that information.

    Advance by Firefox limits its remit to your search history, specifically web page addresses. It doesn’t monitor what you write/say/do when using a website, or the specific content that’s on it.

  • Dev Channel Update for Desktop

    The dev channel has been updated to 70.0.3514.0 for Windows & Linux, and 70.0.3514.2 for Mac.  

  • Chrome 70 Dev Release With Shape Detection API

    While Chrome 69 was released last week, today Google has shipped their latest "dev" release of Chrome 70 for interested testers.

    New Chrome 70 dev channel releases are available today for Linux, macOS, and Windows. Key features for Chrome 70 is the introduction of the Shape Detection API, disabling some touch event APIs by default on desktop hardware, CSS Grid Layout behavior updates, WebUSB support within dedicated worker contexts, several security enhancements, and various other minor updates.

Sharing open source alternatives to Google's online tools

Filed under
Google
OSS

In an earlier article, the crew from French non-profit Framasoft discussed their mission to help people slip the bonds of internet giants and take control of their own data. While promoting free and open source software is at the core of Framasoft's mission, the group is also dedicated to educating people about both free software and free culture. What's refreshing is that the group's approach isn't steeped in ideology. Instead, they're more concerned with helping people take back their privacy and digital freedom.

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Can You Get By with a Chromebook in College?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

When heading off to college, finding the right laptop for your money is a challenge—you don’t want to spend more than you have to, but not having enough laptop is arguably worse. That’s what makes Chromebooks so appealing.

Chromebooks have a relatively low entry point for everything they offer. Since the operating system is so lightweight, even modest hardware can keep everything running nice and snappy. Where a Windows laptop for a similar price can get bogged down quickly, a Chromebook will often remain zippy even during heavier use.

Given the low price point and very usable performance, Chromebooks are often looked at by college students—but it may not be that straightforward. There are several things to think about before jumping right into a Chromebook to make sure it’s the right choice for you.

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Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary, Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android
Google
Debian
  • Debian Linux Package Support Hits Chrome OS Canary

    Google’s Chrome OS can now install and run Debian Linux packages with the .deb extension, at least in the Canary channel. This happens by simply double-clicking the file in your file browser. From there, the automated installer takes over. Once a Linux application is installed, it will be available in your terminal, invoked in the same way as a Chrome OS app, and some apps may show up in your Chrome OS launcher, depending on the metadata present in them and whether they support such operations. Most Linux apps that have a graphical user interface fall into this category, though there are many command line utilities out there for Linux users to enjoy. Both are now available to Chrome OS users. You still cannot replace default Chrome OS utilities, so don’t expect to run an i3 desktop with a brand new ALSA media handler unless you’re willing to gut your Chromebook entirely and install Linux.

  • Debian Linux Packages Now Working In Chrome OS Developer Channel

    A recent update to the experimental Canary Channel of Chrome OS brought about the ability to install Debian packages with a simple double-click. The only prerequisite being you are on a Chromebook or Chromebox that has support for the Crostini Project.

    Now, thanks to our Brother in Chrome Kevin Tofel, we’ve learned this ability has already found its way into the Developer channel of Chrome OS. Again, there are some requirements but if your device supports the Crostini Linux project, you can have this feature up and running with just a few, simple steps.

  • Android Q Name Predictions: What’s Next “Dessert” For Android 10?

    Now that Google has officially released Android Pie marking August 6th as the new “Pie” day, we are wondering what will Google call its next Android version: Android Q. In the past, we’ve also prepared a list of Android P names.

  • 6 Best Song Finder Apps For Android To Identify Songs By Tune
  • Google introduces Android 9 Pie
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More in Tux Machines

Kate/KTextEditor Picks Up Many Improvements To Enhance KDE Text Editing

Even with KDE's annual Akademy conference happening this past week in Vienna, KDE development has been going strong especially on the usability front. The Kate text editor and the KTextEditor component within KDE Frameworks 5 have been the largest benefactors of recent improvements. This KDE text editing code now has support for disabling syntax highlighting entirely if preferred. When using syntax highlighting, there have been many KTextEditor enhancements to improve the experience as well as improvements to the highlighting for a variety of languages from JavaScript to YAML to AppArmor files. Read more

KStars v2.9.8 released

KStars 2.9.8 is released for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It is a hotfix release that contains bug fixes and stability improvements over the last release. Read more Also: KDE Itinerary - How did we get here?

today's leftovers and howtos

  • Project curl governance
    Over time, we've slowly been adjusting the curl project and its documentation so that we might at some point actually qualify to the CII open source Best Practices at silver level. We qualified at the base level a while ago as one of the first projects which did that. Recently, one of those issues we fixed was documenting the governance of the curl project. How exactly the curl project is run, what the key roles are and how decisions are made. That document is now in our git repo.
  • How to install OwnCloud 10 on CentOS 7 and RHEL 7
  • How to Get Google Camera Port for Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1
  • How to check your CentOS Version
  • 5 Practical Examples of chgrp command in Linux
  • Trinity Desktop R14.0.5 Brings Modern Compiler Support and Security Fixes
    Trinity Desktop, the Linux desktop environment which is forked from KDE 3, has just released an update bringing Trinity Desktop to version R14.0.5. Because Trinity Desktop is a “traditional desktop” based on KDE 3 and focuses on function rather than a lot of special effects, its benefits are typically things like increased battery life on laptops, and just overall efficiency for the user.
  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 32
    I’m back from Akademy, and I can’t wait to share some of the cool stuff that happened there over the past week. I’m going to post the video of my talk as soon as it’s up. But first, I know what you’re all really waiting for: this week’s Usability & Productivity update. Though we were all quite busy, somehow everyone managed to accomplish an enormous amount of work, too!
  • Reminder: Shotwell Facebook publishing no longer working
    As announced earlier, since August 1st, 2018 Shotwell cannot publish to Facebook any more. The API that Shotwell used for that was removed and it is currently not clear to me how developers that do not use Android, iOS or Facebook’s web SDKs should provide similar functionality.
  • Gentoo on Integricloud
    Integricloud gave me access to their infrastructure to track some issues on ppc64 and ppc64le. Since some of the issues are related to the compilers, I obviously installed Gentoo on it and in the process I started to fix some issues with catalyst to get a working install media, but that’s for another blogpost. Today I’m just giving a walk-through on how to get a ppc64le (and ppc64 soon) VM up and running.
  • Industrial Mini-ITX board pumps up with Coffee Lake
    Commell’s “LV-67X” Mini-ITX board runs on 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” processors, with up to 32GB DDR4, 3x SATA, triple 4K displays, USB 3.1, and PCIe x16 and mini-PCIe expansion. The LV-67X, which shares some of the layout and feature set of its Intel Apollo Lake based LV-67U board, is the first industrial Mini-ITX board we’ve seen with Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. (Going forward, we’ll likely use the caffeinated nickname rather than “8th Gen” because Intel also applies the 8th Gen tag to the transitional and similarly 14nm Kaby Lake-G chips as well as the new, 10nm Cannon Lake processors.)
  • Unofficial OpenGApps for Android Pie 9.0 Released for ARM and ARM64 Platforms

Red Hat and Fedora News