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The End of Tux Machines' Strongest Year

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Tux Machines 2020

TODAY is the last day of the last month of this year if not decade. We're pleased to close this year with record traffic levels. In 2019 we increased our coverage of programming-centric matters, especially when the underlying frameworks/languages were Free/libre software.

Earlier this year we also celebrated our 15th anniversary. There are three of us working behind the scenes to make the site up to date and keep it up (online). We're all passionate users of GNU/Linux who want to spread the word and encourage more people to use the platform.

In 2019 not only did we see record traffic levels; we also saw an unprecedented level of success for GNU/Linux in the adoption sense. Rianne is responsible for "Android leftovers" and remember that each Android device has Linux (or "Tux") in it. Google explored alternatives, but we haven't heard of these for months. It's nowadays very difficult to run a company or start a company without Linux -- no matter if in the server or device space. Let's hope Tux Machines will be around -- and online -- for many years to come. Happy new year.

Moving Into 'Christmas Mode'

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Slow news day

Summary: Fewer news items in days to come and potentially some planned downtime as well

AS ONE can expect, we won't be able to find much news over the next few days, and perhaps be 'low volume' for as long as a week or more to come (a problem to news addicts or neophiles). We'll try to also upgrade/migrate the site if all goes according to plan. In that case, there might be limited downtime (scheduled, altogether expected, no need to panic).

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.

Keep the Bees Going

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Bee

MANCHESTER is known as the city of "working bees" because of the work ethics or its hard-working people. Working bees are the symbol of Manchester, where my wife and I are based and spend each day -- morning, afternoon, evening and sometimes night -- posting updates here in Tux Machines.

The end of the year is fast approaching. Literally 22 days left, i.e. 3 weeks and a day. We wish to thank those who tipped up yesterday to keep us going. We accept donations through PayPal and we're grateful for any contribution readers can make, even if as meager as a cup of coffee's worth. It gives my wife and I motivation to continue and circulate updates as soon as we find them. Thank you! Smile

Tux Machines Entering a Third Decade Soon

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Put your tuxedo on

Tux Machines 2020
Getting better over time?

SUSAN created this site a very long time ago, more than a decade and a half in the past. Susan did a spectacular job. With regular news updates she managed to grow the site in terms of pages, screenshots, reviews, readers, and contributors. We are eternally thankful to her.

Rianne and I have run the site since 2013. 2020 is around the corner (just over 3 weeks left!) and that makes another new decade. In terms of site traffic we continue to grow. Other than Rianne and I posting news updates 'around the clock' there's already a systems administrator who volunteered to help keep the site chugging along. We are very thankful to him. He prefers to remain unnamed. So Tux Machines is basically not a one-person operation. It is basically a team of three people now (in addition to various people who add posts/links). Rianne (based in the UK) usually takes the lead with breaking stories, I tend to post summaries or clusters of related links and system integrity/uptime is assured from Scandinavia. The hypervisor is physically in the United States. We're a sort of international team with no income source (other than our jobs).

If you enjoy the site and find it handy, maybe you wish to drop us a tip for Christmas as a token of gratitude. Anything helps, even a cup of coffee's worth. Coffee helps keep us awake to post more links. Wink

130,000!

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LOC number

YAY! It's Tux Machines' 130 thousandth post! (node)

Keeping a Web Site Safe and Available With or Without a CDN

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PostgreSQL

THE site Tux Machines is and has been online for over 15 years. It has not suffered security-related incidents. The same is true for Techrights, which soon turns 13. Tux Machines uses Gallery and Drupal, whereas Techrights uses MediaWiki, WordPress and Drupal. WordPress is its most important component as it contains over 26,000 posts. Tux Machines has about 130,000 nodes in Drupal. We don't use a CDN as we have a reasonably powerful server that can cope with the load on its own. For security we use best practices and keep critical issues plugged. I was recently asked for advice on these matters and explained things as follows.

There are mainly two types of attacks (maybe three if one includes social engineering, e.g. tricking a citizen journalist/blogger/administrator into a trap):

1) capacity-based, e.g. DDOS attack

2) exploiting vulnerabilities to degrade/compromise site's quality of service (similar to (1) above but not the same), access site data (confidential), spy on people (writers/staff/visitors) without them being aware.

WordPress runs lots of stuff and powers a lot of the Web, maybe 20% (or more) of today's Web sites. It's regularly checked for security issues and bugs are regularly fixed. Updates can be set to automatic, which means they happen in the background without user intervention. I check the site for updates several times per day, e.g. this one from yesterday.

I've used WordPress for 15 years as an early adopter and developer.

What's known as the "core" of WordPress is generally secure if kept up to date, manually or automatically (for large sites it might make sense to apply patches manually to reduce risk of unnoticed incidents and enable quality control, patch assessment etc). It's also important to keep the underlying operating system and pertinent packages like PHP (programming language), mysql/psql (WordPress and Drupal typically use MariaDB or MySQL as the database, but PostgreSQL should be possible too) and Apache (there are simpler alternatives e.g. NGINX for Web server) up to date.

If we get to keep everything up to date, and moreover we don't install WordPress extensions that cannot be trusted or are no longer maintained (or scarcely maintained), we should be OK. The social engineering part involves stuff such as phishing, e.g. someone sending out an E-mail in an attempt to obtain passwords of privileged users.

If you use a CDN for content distribution, e.g. CloudFlare, then availability will be mostly down to the CDN company. WordPress generates pages on the fly (dynamic), but it has caching mechanisms that can be further improved with extensions. The CDN likely obviates the need for those. So, if the site is receiving 'too many' requests, the CDN can probably scale to deal with that (maybe a more expensive protection plan).

I peronsally would never use CloudFlare (for a lot of reasons), but to many people it's the only CDN that 'counts' or exists. Brand recognition perhaps.

Contact Private Internet Access (PIA) Managers to Help Save Linux Journal From Shutdown

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Private Internet Access

TUX MACHINES turned 15 almost exactly two months ago. The site has operational costs, as one can expect, mostly the hardware and bandwidth. We've thankfully had these resources very kindly donated to us last year, basically saving us the massive burden of bills somewhere around $10,000. Running a site with a lot of traffic isn't cheap and it isn't getting cheaper, either. As an overhead or addition to server maintenance (uptime requires habitual work on repairing databases, managing backups, patching of software and agonising system upgrades once in a few years) it takes a lot of time to compose new material and moderate to keep spam out.

A lot of the mainstream media is bashing Linux Journal right now. It makes it seem like its demise is a problem with GNU/Linux itself. These are villainous lies from self-serving foes of Linux, sometimes people who are aligned with Microsoft or salaried by Microsoft (we don't want to link to their provocative clickbait). But anyway, the bottom line is that keeping Linux Journal online may be costly and people should prepare for the possibility of Linux Journal becoming unavailable (offline) some time soon. I try very hard to prevent this (today and yesterday). "There is a real (and ever-growing) danger that a massive trove of GNU/Linux and Free software history will vanish unless urgent action is taken right now," I said. There are ways to avoid this (writers of that site need to unite in a union-like sense). I also secure my own sites from such a fate, having reached almost 13 years in Techrights. This week the site is experiencing all-time traffic records.

I've decided to contact Rick Falkvinge (Dick Greger Augustsson), founder of the Swedish Pirate Party and head of privacy at Private Internet Access, which owns Linux Journal. Bear in mind he used to work for Microsoft. We're still friendly online (we've exchanged some messages over the years) and he probably has sufficient clout at Private Internet Access to sway their decisions. In case they plan to shut down the site, we must act fast. Please contact him; as per his Web site, his E-mail address is x1bpsas66na001@sneakemail.com and any message he receives he can relay to other high-level people at the company. I don't personally know anyone else at that company, so that's the only contact I'm able to provide.

Photos: 15-Year Anniversary Party

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Tux Machines Over the Past 15 Years

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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.

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More in Tux Machines

Mesa 20.0 Released

  • mesa 20.0.0
    Hi list,
    
    I'd like to announce mesa 20.0.0 as available for download immediately. I'm very
    pleased that we could get all of the issues blocking the release nailed down
    quickly and make a release on time for once!
    
    This is a .0 release, and you may want to continue to to track 19.3.x until
    20.0.1 comes out in two weeks. 19.3.5 is planned to be the final 19.3 release
    and is planned for next Wednesday.
    
    Dylan
    
    Shortlog
    ========
    
    Alyssa Rosenzweig (3):
          pan/midgard: Fix missing prefixes
          pan/midgard: Don't crash with constants on unknown ops
          pan/midgard: Use fprintf instead of printf for constants
    
    Danylo Piliaiev (1):
          st/nir: Unify inputs_read/outputs_written before serializing NIR
    
    Dylan Baker (6):
          .pick_status.json: Update to 2a98cf3b2ecea43cea148df7f77d2abadfd1c9db
          .pick_status.json: Update to 946eacbafb47c8b94d47e7c9d2a8b02fff5a22fa
          .pick_status.json: Update to bee5c9b0dc13dbae0ccf124124eaccebf7f2a435
          Docs: Add 20.0.0 release notes
          docs: Empty new_features.txt
          VERSION: bump for 20.0.0 release
    
    Erik Faye-Lund (1):
          Revert "nir: Add a couple trivial abs optimizations"
    
    Francisco Jerez (6):
          intel/fs/cse: Make HALT instruction act as CSE barrier.
          intel/fs/gen7: Fix fs_inst::flags_written() for SHADER_OPCODE_FIND_LIVE_CHANNEL.
          intel/fs: Add virtual instruction to load mask of live channels into flag register.
          intel/fs/gen12: Workaround unwanted SEND execution due to broken NoMask control flow.
          intel/fs/gen12: Fixup/simplify SWSB annotations of SIMD32 scratch writes.
          intel/fs/gen12: Workaround data coherency issues due to broken NoMask control flow.
    
    Krzysztof Raszkowski (1):
          gallium/swr: simplify environmental variabled expansion code
    
    Marek Olšák (1):
          radeonsi: don't wait for shader compilation to finish when destroying a context
    
    Mathias Fröhlich (1):
          egl: Implement getImage/putImage on pbuffer swrast.
    
    Peng Huang (1):
          radeonsi: make si_fence_server_signal flush pipe without work
    
    Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer (1):
          radeonsi/ngg: add VGT_FLUSH when enabling fast launch
    
    Tapani Pälli (2):
          glsl: fix a memory leak with resource_set
          iris: fix aux buf map failure in 32bits app on Android
    
    Thong Thai (1):
          Revert "st/va: Convert interlaced NV12 to progressive"
    
    Timothy Arceri (1):
          glsl: fix gl_nir_set_uniform_initializers() for image arrays
    
    luc (1):
          zink: confused compilation macro usage for zink in target helpers.
    
    
    
    git tag: mesa-20.0.0
    
  • Mesa 20.0 Released With Big Improvements For Intel, AMD Radeon Vulkan/OpenGL

    The Mesa 20.0 release switches to the new Intel OpenGL driver default, Vulkan 1.2 support for both AMD Radeon and Intel drivers, the RadeonSI OpenGL driver now has GL 4.6 compliance as part of switching to NIR, the Valve-backed ACO code-path for RADV is in much better shape, and many other improvements. See our Mesa 20.0 feature overview to learn about this big update.

  • Mesa 20.0 Is Imminent With New Intel OpenGL Default, Intel + RADV Vulkan 1.2, OpenGL 4.6 For RadeonSI

    With the release of Mesa 20.0 being imminent, here is a look at all of the new features for this first quarter update to the Mesa 3D stack for open-source OpenGL/Vulkan drivers. Highlights of the soon-to-be-out Mesa 20.0 are outlined below. Mesa 20.0 will be out as soon as today / this week unless delays happen over lingering bugs. - This is the first Mesa release where for those with Broadwell (Gen8) Intel graphics or newer the Intel Gallium3D driver is the new default for OpenGL support. This Intel Gallium3D driver is faster and in better shape than the i965 classic driver. That older OpenGL driver will stick around for supporting Haswell graphics and prior generations.

  • RADV Driver Adds VK_EXT_line_rasterization In Preparing For Eventual Vulkan CAD Apps

    Added to the Vulkan API last summer was VK_EXT_line_rasterization for line rasterization like employed by CAD applications. The open-source Mesa Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver is now supporting this extension.

Antitrust Laws and Open Collaboration

If you participate in standards development organizations, open source foundations, trade associations, or the like (Organizations), you already know that you’re required to comply with antitrust laws. The risks of noncompliance are not theoretical – violations can result in severe criminal and civil penalties, both for your organization and the individuals involved. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has in fact opened investigations into several standards organizations in recent years. Maybe you’ve had a training session at your company, or at least are aware that there’s an antitrust policy you’re supposed to read and comply with. But what if you’re a working group chair, or even an executive director, and therefore responsible for actually making sure nothing happens that’s not supposed to? Beyond paying attention, posting or reviewing an antitrust statement at meetings, and perhaps calling your attorney when member discussions drift into grey zones, what do you actually do to keep antitrust risk in check? Well, the good news is that regulators recognize that standards and other collaboration deliverables are good for consumers. The challenge is knowing where the boundaries of appropriate conduct can be found, whether you’re hosting, leading or just participating in activity involving competitors. Once you know the rules, you can forge ahead, expecting to navigate those risks, and knowing the benefits of collaboration can be powerful and procompetitive. We don’t often get glimpses into the specific criteria regulators use to evaluate potential antitrust violations, particularly as applicable to collaborative organizations. But when we do, it can help consortia and other collaborative foundations focus their efforts and take concrete steps to ensure compliance. In July 2019, the DOJ Antitrust Division (Division) provided a new glimpse, in its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs in Criminal Antitrust Investigations (Guidance). Although the Guidance is specifically intended to assist Division prosecutors evaluating corporate compliance programs when charging and sentencing, it provides valuable insights for building or improving an Organization’s antitrust compliance program (Program). At a high level, the Guidance suggests that an effective Program will be one that is well designed, is applied earnestly and in good faith by management, and includes adequate procedures to maximize effectiveness through efficiency, leadership, training, education, information and due diligence. This is important because organizations that detect violations and self-report to the Division’s Corporate Leniency program may receive credit (e.g. lower charges or penalties) for having an effective antitrust compliance program in place. Read more

today's howtos

Events: SUSECON, OpenShift Troubleshooting Workshop and Kubernetes Contributor Summit Amsterdam

  • Get Expert Guided Hands-On Experience at the SUSECON 2020 Pre-Conference Workshops

    Are you ready for SUSECON 2020? It’s coming up fast! Join us in Dublin Ireland from March 23 – 27 for a week packed with learning and networking.

  • Get Certified During SUSECON 2020

    Working in IT is not for the feint of heart; the work is demanding, and change is constant. Right now, your organization is undoubtedly seeking new ways to extend the value of their investment in IT and get more done faster.

  • The OpenShift Troubleshooting Workshop

    The first workshop in our Customer Empathy Workshop series was held October 28, 2019 during the AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) OpenShift Commons event in San Francisco. We collaborated with 5 Red Hat OpenShift customers for 2 hours on the topic of troubleshooting. We learned about the challenges faced by operations and development teams in the field and together brainstormed ways to reduce blockers and increase efficiency for users. The open source spirit was very much alive in this workshop. We came together with customers to work as a team so that we can better understand their unique challenges with troubleshooting. Here are some highlights from the experience.

  • [Kubernetes] Contributor Summit Amsterdam Schedule Announced