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Tux Machines Over the Past 15 Years

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Site News

2005

Tux Machines site in 2005

2010

Tux Machines site in 2010

2012

Tux Machines site in 2012

2013

Tux Machines site in 2013

Late 2013

Tux Machines site in late 2013

2014

Tux Machines site in 2014

2015

Tux Machines site in 2015

2019

Tux Machines site in 2019

Happy 15th Anniversary to Tux Machines

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Anniversary of Tux Machines

Summary: Anniversary of Tux Machines is today, a special anniversary too

Today Tux Machines is celebrating its 15th year of existing. When we bought the website it was about 10 years old, so kudos to Susan Linton who devoted time to make and keep the site on pace. We promise to keep the website up to date with lots of insightful OSS/FOSS/Linux/Android-related articles. We hope to continue the job well into the distant future.

Tell Us About Your (or Others') GNU/Linux Blogs

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THE MEDIA online is dying. It's no secret. Not all sorts of media are dying but traditional media struggles to survive. Causes for these have been explained for years if not more than a decade. This won't be the subject of this post.

Tux Machines does not produce a lot of original material. Susan used to publish GNU/Linux reviews (with galleries of screenshots), but other than that we mostly cluster and syndicate news. This has been the case for nearly 15 years (our anniversary is next month).

Each year it feels like mainstream media produces a lot less stories (not just about GNU/Linux but about anything, in general terms). So we're 'mining' more and more RSS feeds, typically of blogs. Do you have a GNU/Linux blog or know one/s you wish to recommend? Let us know in the IRC channel because we always hunt for more news sources, no matter if they're 'mainstream' or not as long as they're credible, reliable, and on topic.

Fifteenth Anniversary of Tux Machines Coming Soon

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NOT many Internet enterprises or even protocols outlast the Web. IRC is under attack, E-mail is being hijacked by large corporations (the business model of spying), and copyright monopolies compel ISPs to disconnect from USENET. Even without the Web there's a similar problem; not many sites last a decade; some last a few years until interest is lost or life-changing events cause stagnation and ultimately shutdown (it's not cheap to keep a domain registered and it can be technically difficult to keep a host going). Some sites or blogs remain active only for days, weeks, months. Not many sites have lasted 2 decades. Some become dormant and shelved. Some suffer the "Google Plus effect" (host decides it's not viable to carry on hosting, mostly for selfish "business reasons").

Tux Machines domainTux Machines remains very active. Every day, almost every hour. Even when we're on holiday (or abroad) we still log in and post the more crucial news. We never wink or lose a heartbeat. Dedication like this becomes almost addictive.

In less than a couple of months the site will turn 15. We're planning to celebrate locally somehow (a little party), knowing that it's a rare event and seeing how the Web becomes just "apps" and "social media" it's hard to guarantee we'll reach 20 (we sure hope so). Over the years we've considered modernising the site (CMS overhaul), but such novelty may entail bloat, speed losses, 'UX' erosion, and a lack of 'traditional' feel, maybe even issues associated with navigation, user familiarity, backward compatibility of URLs (we still use node numbers!) and so on.

Real-time Tux Machines Chat Over IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

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The first IRC server
"The first IRC server, tolsun.oulu.fi, a Sun-3 server on display near the University of Oulu computer centre." Credit/licence: CC BY 2.5, Urpo Lankinen

TUX MACHINES reached all-time record traffic in the past couple of weeks. This (raw) traffic now stands at about 4 million hits/week, with 3,970,777 hits in the past 6 days and 4,289,540 hits last week (predating these 6 days). It's just a shame that interaction with readers became hard; the forums had a severe spam issue, as did comments and submissions (by new registrants, always, more so at a later stage) -- to the point where it became impractical to allow any new registrations (except adding people manually upon request). The open/incognito registrants would overrun the site within minutes (we tried several times over the years and saw the effect immediately).

So we've decided to try IRC and have added "IRC" to the menu at the top with an applet (JavaScript) to make life easier for those who aren't familiar with IRC clients.

Here's how to join us. This is still experimental. Real-time updates with posts (as they are posted) will in due course be shown in the channel and we can all casually chat in real-time, too. We are also still working on our Android app these days.

Testers Wanted: Android App for Tux Machines Site

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APK icon

Diaspora logo Mastodon logo Pleroma logo

Tux Machines is turning 15 this summer and as we noted over the weekend, many people now access the site using mobile devices, for which the site provides a subpar experience due to legacy. RSS feeds are therefore recommended. There's our RSS feed for news, RSS feed for Tux Machines Blogs and another for Techrights, where I write my original articles.

Most readers, however, do not use RSS feeds. Consider the 700 followers of our Twitter account, the 2,365 followers of our Diaspora account, 1,080 followers of our Mastodon account, and 63 followers of our Pleroma account (so about 4,000 in total). Those are dependent on third parties (we do not self-host these platforms). Even if "apps" are used for access to these social media platforms/sites, the links would lead to Tux Machines Web pages, which don't render particularly well on small screens (phones). So we've made this simple "app" for the site, but we're still testing it. If anyone out there can try it on an Android device and report back to us, we'll appreciate it greatly and use the feedback to improve it.

Screenshot Tux Machines app

Mobile Interfaces, Internet, Devices and UX

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A mobile phone

Summary: Visitors who use mobile phones get a subpar experience, but that's an issue that boils down to preservation versus novelty

TUX MACHINES is turning 15 later this year. Longtime readers may very well know that the appearance or the layout of this site barely changed over the years. The key components have been in place since the very start. We still use node IDs as URLs (not ideal, but that works), mobile devices are barely supported (they were barely used on the Net at the time the site started), and due to SPAM we can no longer allow new user registrations (they overwhelm the site with a flood of SPAM submissions, i.e. noise such as pornographic comments, abusive blog posts etc.) within hours. We know because we tried opening up these registrations several times in the past. Any loosening of these restriction means a complete and utter mess.

"Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'."

So-called 'UX' (buzzword for user interfaces/experience) in Tux Machines is far from ideal, especially for those who use a phone. We are aware of it, but the overhaul required to change that would be truly massive because of the number of pages, images, and the underlying framework, which was heavily modified and tailored for the existing user experience. I spent a lot of time making things work as they do. Susan had also invested a great deal of effort.

Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'. Taking all the implications into account (endless work associated with a change), we don't plan a site redesign/overhaul. Maybe in the distant future, but not any time soon. The RSS feed is already used by a lot of people, even desktop/laptop users. We have no ads and no surveillance in this site, so RSS feeds don't impact some "business model" or whatever. In fact, it helps lower the strain on the server.

Come and Join Tux Machines in Pleroma, Part of the Fediverse

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Pleroma logo

Summary: Tux Machines is on Pleroma.site, a lesser-known part of the Fediverse

Tux Machines has been on the Fediverse for quite some time (our Mastodon account), but months ago we also joined Pleroma, which is an exciting new alternative written in Elixir.

Just a few weeks ago somebody published this "Guide for GPlus [Google Plus] refugees to choose a new social network in the Fediverse" because "G+ will close on April 2nd. So to help people that haven’t decided yet where to go in the Fediverse I made some pointers. I divided this guide in a number of sections. Each section describes a certain use of social networks and which networks are most suitable for this specific use. Combine this with your preferred use of a social network and you should be able make a decision."

Pleroma too is part of the Fediverse and Pleroma.site, one large instance of Pleroma, recently completed hardware upgrades. GNU/Linux aficionados can follow us there.

Tux Machines Turns 14

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Man's clap

IN JUNE 2004 Tux Machines was registered, which makes this site nearly a decade and a half old. Running this site is more than a full-time job; it's not just a hobby but more like a 24/7 duty, not even with holidays or weekends off. But as long as people find the site useful, it makes all the work worthwhile. RIanne and I will keep refreshing our RSS feeds and keep this site abreast of the news.

Tux Machines Privacy Statement

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Summary: Today, May 25th, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into full effect; we hereby make a statement on privacy

AS a matter of strict principle, this site never has and never will accumulate data on visitors (e.g. access logs) for longer than 28 days. The servers are configured to permanently delete all access data after this period of time. No 'offline' copies are being made. Temporary logging is only required in case of DDOS attacks and cracking attempts -- the sole purpose of such access. Additionally, we never have and never will sell any data pertaining to anything. We never received demands for such data from authorities; even if we had, we would openly declare this (publicly, a la Canary) and decline to comply. Privacy is extremely important to us, which is why pages contain little or no cross-site channels (such as Google Analytics, 'interactive' buttons for 'social' media etc.) and won't be adding any. Google may be able to 'see' what pages people visit because of Google Translate (top left of every page), but that is not much worse than one's ISP 'seeing' the same thing. We are aware of this caveat.

Shall readers have any further questions on such matters, do not hesitate to contact us.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Leftovers: IBM, Mozilla and SUSE

  • What Is Razee, and Why IBM Open Sourced It
    The continuous delivery software that's been doing the heavy lifting on IBM's global Kubernetes platform is now open source.
  • View Source 5 comes to Amsterdam
    Mozilla’s View Source Conference is back for a fifth year, this time in Amsterdam, September 30 – October 1, 2019. Tickets are available now.
  • SUSE & SAP “A 20 years of Partnership”
  • SUSE on the IO500 List for HPC Storage
    If you haven’t been hanging around the Ceph world for a bit, you may not realize that Ceph was originally intended to provide a distributed file-system to service HPC clusters.  While this was the original intent, Ceph has taken a round-a-bout path to relevance in this space, especially given that we are only supporting multiple active MDS servers since the Luminous release.  The result is that we are, only now, really starting to see adoption in the HPC space, and mostly for the second tier storage needs. Enter, the science project.  Given an all-flash environment on SATA SSDS with a fast storage pool on Intel Optane for the metadata, would it be possible to provide a reasonable storage environment for HPC clusters?

GAFAM and 'Cloud': Google, Microsoft, Amazon and GitHub

  • Daniel Stenberg: Google to reimplement curl in libcrurl
    By throwing a lot of man power on it. As the primary author and developer of the libcurl API and the libcurl code, I assume that Cronet works quite differently than libcurl so there’s going to be quite a lot of wrestling of data and code flow to make this API work on that code. The libcurl API is also very versatile and is an API that has developed over a period of almost 20 years so there’s a lot of functionality, a lot of options and a lot of subtle behavior that may or may not be easy or straight forward to mimic. The initial commit imported the headers and examples from the curl 7.65.1 release.
  • Microsoft, you should look away now: Google's cloud second only to AWS in dev survey [Ed: Longtime Microsoft booster Tim Anderson  on Azure being a failure after so many entryism attempts and underhanded tactics]
    Coders use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) more than Microsoft Azure, though Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a comfortable lead, according to a Developer Ecosystem survey conducted by tools vendor JetBrains. Developer usage is 67 per cent AWS versus 28 per cent GCP and 21 per cent Azure, according to the new survey. Unfortunately, the question was posed in a different way in the 2018 survey, adding on-premises into the mix, but last year Azure and GCP had equal share after AWS. The survey had 19,000 participants invited via "Twitter ads, Facebook ads, Google Adwords and JetBrains' own communication channels," the tools vendor said, though "only the responses of 6,993 respondents were included in the report." Responses were removed to reduce bias, yet it warned "some bias may be present as JetBrains users may have been more willing on average to compete the survey".
  • Get your coat, you've pulled a Pull Panda: GitHub goes home with code collab specialists [Ed: Notice how Microsoft only takes GitHub in more of a proprietary software direction. That says a lot – they have plans and they’re really detrimental to FOSS]

Kernel: Linux Changes, Certifications, Graphics, PCI Express 6.0 and Bug

  • PowerCap/RAPL Code To Support Icelake Desktop / X / Xeon D With Linux 5.3
    While as of Linux 5.2 the support for Intel's Icelake CPUs appear production ready with all of the bits in place from new IDs to the much enhanced "Gen 11" graphics, there are a few stragglers of items to land with the upcoming Linux 5.3 merge window though could be back-ported to current series. Fortunately, we haven't found anything major to be missing. One of the latest bits of Icelake Linux support is handling of these next-generation processors within the PowerCap / RAPL (Running Average Power Limit) driver code. In particular, the desktop/workstation Icelake parts. This is the code for reading the estimated CPU package power consumption based on hardware performance counters and the ability to artificially limit the power draw of the processor via software.
  • Six Niche Linux Certifications
  • AMD Navi GPU stack bares all in Linux graphics driver update
    Eight Navi GPU variants have been spotted in Linux driver code. AMD’s next-gen RDNA graphics chips are set for launch on July 7, 2019 within the RX 5700 XT and RX 5700, but the red team has plenty of silicon in store for a range of applications. Including console, laptops, desktop, and mobile phones. The GPU codenames were spotted within Linux display drivers after the additional code was submitted and signed off by two AMD employees. The code adds support for Display Core Next, or DCN2, which “is the display block for Navi10.” Each entry following adds the necessary ASIC IDs for each Navi chip in the stack, starting with Navi 10 and down to Navi 21 LITE.
  • Nouveau Driver Picking Up NVIDIA TU116 GPU Support For Linux 5.3
    Building off the initial Turing mode-setting bits that were in place since Linux 5.0 and have continued stepping along to support newer variants on successive kernel releases, the Linux 5.3 kernel is slated to add support for the TU116 graphics processor.
  • PCI-SIG® Announces Upcoming PCI Express® 6.0 Specification to Reach 64 GT/s
  • PCI Express 6.0 Announced With 4-Times The Bandwidth Of PCIe 4.0
    With the increasing demand for bandwidth across a wide range of devices used in consumer and enterprise domains, PCI Express, the high-speed serial computer expansion bus standard has also evolved over the years. PCI Special Interest Group, a body that sets standards for PCIe, has announced PCI Express 6 that promises four times the bandwidth offered by PCIe 4.0 and twice of PCIe 5.0.
  • PCI Express 6.0 Announced For Release In 2021 With 64 GT/s Transfer Rates
    While PCI Express 4.0 up to this point has only been found in a few systems like Talos' POWER9 platforms and coming soon with the new AMD graphics cards and chipsets, the PCI SIG today announced PCI Express 6.0. PCI Express 5.0 was only announced last month with 32GT/s transfer rates while already the PCI SIG announced PCI Express 6.0.
  • Netflix researcher spots TCP SACK flaws in Linux and FreeBSD
  • TCP SACK Panic Flaw Could Compromise Production Linux Machines