Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Site News

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

Filed under
Site News

Non-cached site traffic still increasing

Stats chart for Tux Machines

Tux Machines has been my favourite GNU/Linux news site since I first discovered it around 2005. I publicly recommended Tux Machines for several years. Susan knew how to select important stories and she contributed objective articles of her own.

Running Tux Machines

Filed under
Site News

Roy Schestowitz

TUX Machines has become an integral part of our life right here in this humble home. It's a rewarding experience but also a demanding experience. I personally write my articles in the lounge (which is no 'press room') and it requires many hours of digging and researching news. In Tux Machines, unlike in Techrights for example, it's mostly about finding news of high relevance and importance, and finding them fast! Timing counts. We don't want readers to waste their time wading/going through irrelevant, unimportant and out-of-date reports.

24/7 coverage of news is easy for us. Rianne works mostly at daytime, whereas I usually work at nights (customers are mostly government/public sector and they require 24/7 coverage). When Rianne is working I take over the responsibilities at Tux Machines and vice versa. We swap responsibilities like this when it comes to housework as well; we work out together when we are out of the house (also separately in terms of gym sections, e.g. cardiovascular/weights). This week we go to yoga classes as much as 5 times, but we usually just to Town for other facilities like pool, table tennis, sauna (men and women separately), gym, etc. This is our main escape from Tux Machines; given Wi-Fi (scarce coverage but definitely existent in Manchester City Centre), we sometimes update Tux Machines while out of the house as well.

The site forums are now open for participation and every registered member can add blog posts and push them to the front page (now that we've got the spam epidemic under control). Please do consider participating. This week, as in previous weeks, we are seeing a ~10% growth in traffic (week-to-week), perhaps owing to the slight redesign, loading speeds (Varnish cache), and very frequent updates. We check for news once in a few hours in order to keep abreast of breaking events.

Running Tux Machines will hopefully become more of a community effort over time. Anyone who is logged in can now submit stories. Unless this gets abused by spammers, we will keep it that way.

Mollom Works

Filed under
Site News

Drupal's very own Mollom is a Free/Open Source (collaboratively-developed and freely-shared) software for battling script kiddies and fighting against SPAM. The past 2 weeks were difficult because spammers exploited the fact that we had opened up the site for registration/subscription (to leave comments). After exploring some options for dealing with the problem (spam making it to the front page even!) we found that Mollom was good enough to eliminate almost 100% of all of spam (so far). Hence, for the time being, it seems safe to say now that we beat the script kiddies. Thanks, Mollom!

Mollom

First Month on the New Server (Updated)

Filed under
Site News

Tux Machines behind Varnish cache proxy

Chart for Tux Machines

Summary: Tux Machines growth and a note regarding SPAM prevention after a week or so of experiments

Here are the first four weeks' log sizes, plotted with LibreOffice and demonstrating week-to-week growth since the site's nameservers changed and the server moved to CoPilotCo. After 4 weeks all logs get deleted (logrotate) to ensure privacy through lack of data retention (except short term in case of DDOS).

Opening Up Communications (Updatedx5)

Filed under
Site News

Script kiddies can't get their way

Diversity

Summary: Script kiddies made it impractical to manage comments and forum posts; we are trying to tackle this issue today

IN ANOTHER attempt to restore user registrations, this time on the new server which has just been configured for mail, we are enabling anyone to quickly self-register (takes less than a minute and requires no verification), then immediately post comments, forum posts, etc.

Site Update (Updatedx2)

Filed under
Site News

Newspaper

Summary: Recent changes at Tux Machines, in just a nutshell

INSPIRED in part by Slashdot, we recently added topical icons to submissions, applying these changes retroactively to over 50,000 older pages. The idea was, this can improve orientation by helping to quickly associate text with topics. More minor modifications were made as well, some textual and some layout related. They are subtle but they can be seen. After receiving feedback regrading icons size we made further modifications. Regarding social media buttons, some of the ones we initially found were unbelievably privacy-infringing (allowing Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. to see visitors of this site), so we disabled them immediately and replaced them with static buttons. Right now we can assure that whenever loading pages in this Web site nothing except our security-aware network gets contacted. We share no data about visitors (with anyone) and Apache logs get shredded for good after a few weeks, leaving sufficient trail just in case of attacks on the site, which would merit investigation. Log rotation is similarly privacy-respecting at the cache level, which leads to the following point.

Today, after the above changes had been made and stability attained (there were some network disruptions yesterday), we also updated Drupal, ensuring it is secure and fully up to date (the latest minor bugfix release is a month old). There is still an issue with Varnish and until we tackle this issue users who are not logged in might be getting error pages. One way to overcome this is to append "?something" to the URL requested. This bypasses the Varnish cache until we finish our investigation of this issue and resolve it for good.

Update: The issue with Varnish turns out to be a conflict between two caching layers. It's fixed now. If you spot an issue, still, please let us know.

Update #2: Yesterday we identified another issue and soon thereafter fixed it. After Twitter syndication had failed we realised that RSS feeds were not standards-compliant, due to a blank line at the start of each generated page in Drupal. This is a common issue and it is a nightmare to debug (requires a complete code review with help of GNU utilities like grep). After 4 hours of investigation I found the culprit and fixed the coding error. RSS feeds are back.

This is "See Ya Around"

Filed under
Site News

I started to say "this is goodbye," but just because I sold the site doesn't mean I won't be around Linuxville. I'm still writing at ostatic and I may turn up here now and again as well. I'll be looking around to expand my writing after the new year too, so you're not rid of me yet. But the sale on tuxmachines.org has been completed.

Sold! (tentatively)

Filed under
Site News

I guess tuxmachines.org has been sold for $1000. I know it's kinda low, but times have changed and the new owner plans to carry on the tuxmachines tradition.

going twice

Filed under
Site News

going twice

fair warning - going once....

Filed under
Site News

Well, I think I'm going to accept one of the two $1000 bids received, unless anyone else wants to bid...

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Programming: ThreadStack and Qt for WebAssembly

  • ThreadStack: Yet Another C++ Project Trying To Make Multi-Threading Easier
    ThreadStack is yet another C++ project trying to make it easier dealing with multiple CPU threads. This latest open-source C++ threading project comes out of academia research. ThreadStack is self-described by its developer, Erkam Murat Bozkurt, as "an innovative software which produces a class library for C++ multi-thread programming and the outcome of the ThreadStack acts as an autonomous management system for the thread synchronization tasks. ThreadStack has a nice and useful graphical user interface and includes a short tutorial and code examples. ThreadStack offers a new way for multi-thread computing and it uses a meta program in order to produce an application specific thread synchronization library." Erkam has been working the rounds trying to raise awareness for this research on the GCC and LLVM mailing lists.
  • Beta for Qt for WebAssembly Technology Preview
    WebAssembly is a bytecode format intended to be executed in a web browser. This allows an application to be deployed to a device with a compliant web browser without going through any explicit installation steps. The application will be running inside a secure sandbox in the web browser, making it appropriate for applications that do not need full access to the device capabilities, but benefits from a swift and uncomplicated installation process.
  • Qt for WebAssembly Tech Preview Reaches Beta
    As part of next month's Qt 5.11 tool-kit update, a new technology preview module will be WebAssembly support for running Qt5 user-interfaces within your web-browser.

today's howtos

Kernel and Graphics: BUS1, Linux 4.17 RC2, Wayland's Weston and Mesa

  • BUS1 Still Remains Out Of The Mainline Linux Kernel, But DBus-Broker Continues
    The BUS1 in-kernel IPC mechanism born out of the ashes of KDBUS still hasn't been mainlined in the Linux kernel, but its code is still improved upon from time to time. At least though DBus-Broker as a new performance-oriented D-Bus implementation continues gaining ground in user-space. DBus-Broker was announced last year as a new message bus implementation of D-Bus focused on high performance and reliability while continuing to offer compatibility with the original D-Bus implementation.
  • Linux 4.17-rc2 Kernel Released With Mostly Routine Changes
    Linus Torvalds has announced the availability of the second weekly test release for what is becoming the Linux 4.17 kernel.
  • Wayland's Weston Gets Optimizations For Its Pixman Renderer
    Wayland's Weston reference compositor with its Pixman software-based renderer back-end has received a number of performance optimizations. Fabien Lahoudere of Collabora posted a set of patches today to optimize the Pixman renderer for Weston. In particular, there are optimizations around compositing damage to the screen as well as optimizing the shadow buffer usage. The Weston Pixman renderer is often used as a software accelerated fallback in cases where no GPU hardware acceleration may be available. As implied by the name, it uses the long-standing Pixman library that is also used by Cairo, the X.Org Server, etc, for pixel manipulation on the CPU.
  • Panfrost Gallium3D Driver For ARM Mali Can Now Render A Cube
    The Panfrost open-source driver project previously known as "Chai" for creating an open-source 3D driver stack for ARM's Mali Midgard hardware now has a working shaded cube being rendered using the open-source code as part of its new "half-way" driver based on Gallium3D.

Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28

  • The state of Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28
    Fedora 28 is around the corner and I wanted to highlight what we did to make the Thunderbolt 3 experience as smooth as possible. Although this post focuses on Fedora 28 for what is currently packaged and shipping, all changes are of course available upstream and should hit other distributions in the future.
  • Thunderbolt 3 Support Is In Great Shape For Fedora 28
    Red Hat developers have managed to deliver on their goals around improving Thunderbolt support on the Linux desktop with the upcoming Fedora 28 distribution update. This has been part of their goal of having secure Thunderbolt support where users can authorize devices and/or restrict access to certain capabilities on a per-device basis, which is part of Red Hat's Bolt project and currently has UI elements for the GNOME desktop.