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Debian

Deepin 15.8 - Attractive and Efficient, Excellent User Experience

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Debian

Deepin is an open source GNU/Linux operating system, based on Linux kernel and desktop applications, supporting laptops, desktops and all-in-ones. deepin preinstalls Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) and nearly 30 deepin native applications, as well as several applications from the open source community to meet users’ daily learning and work needs. In addition, about a thousand of applications are offered in Deepin Store to meet your more needs. deepin, developed by a professional operating system R&D team and deepin technical community (www.deepin.org), is from the name of deepin technical community - “deepin”, which means deep pursuit and exploration of the life and the future.

Compared with deepin 15.7, the ISO size of deepin 15.8 has been reduced by 200MB. The new release is featured with newly designed control center, dock tray and boot theme, as well as improved deepin native applications, hoping to bring users a more beautiful and efficient experience.

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Limiting the power of package installation in Debian

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Debian

There is always at least a small risk when installing a package for a distribution. By its very nature, package installation is an invasive process; some packages require the ability to make radical changes to the system—changes that users surely would not want other packages to take advantage of. Packages that are made available by distributions are vetted for problems of this sort, though, of course, mistakes can be made. Third-party packages are an even bigger potential problem because they lack this vetting, as was discussed in early October on the debian-devel mailing list. Solutions in this area are not particularly easy, however.

Lars Wirzenius brought up the problem: "when a .deb package is installed, upgraded, or removed, the maintainer scripts are run as root and can thus do anything." Maintainer scripts are included in a .deb file to be run before and after installation or removal. As he noted, maintainer scripts for third-party packages (e.g. Skype, Chrome) sometimes add entries to the lists of package sources and signing keys; they do so in order to get security updates to their packages safely, but it may still be surprising or unwanted. Even simple mistakes made in Debian-released packages might contain unwelcome surprises of various sorts.

He suggested that there could be a set of "profiles" that describe the kinds of changes that might be made by a package installation. He gave a few different examples, such as a "default" profile that only allowed file installation in /usr, a "kernel" profile that can install in /boot and trigger rebuilds of the initramfs, or "core" that can do anything. Packages would then declare which profile they required. The dpkg command could arrange that package's install scripts could only make the kinds of changes allowed by its profile.

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Debian Packages To Eliminate Vendor-Specific Patches, Affecting Downstreams Like Ubuntu

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Debian

Debian packages have supported the concept of vendor-specific patches whereby when DPKG unpacks a source package on different operating systems / distributions (such as Debian vs. Ubuntu), different patches could be selectively applied. Ubuntu is one of the main benefactors of this feature while effective immediately these vendor-specific patches to source packages will be treated as a bug and will be unpermitted following the Debian 10 "Buster" release.

This vendor-specific patch behavior for DPKG is mainly to help downstreams of Debian such as Ubuntu (not to be confused with vendor-specific hardware patches, etc). This vendor-specific patching has been used where say Ubuntu wishes to make some customizations to a Debian package that are minor in nature or basic alterations, they could land the changes in upstream Debian as a vendor-specific patch that would then be applied to the source package when building on Ubuntu... But keeping the package unpatched on Debian, or vice-versa. It reduces the maintenance burden for those wanting to selectively make basic changes to a package without having to maintain multiple largely redundant packages.

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Debian in Events: Reproducible Builds and X2Go

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Debian
  • Chris Lamb: Review: The "Trojan Room" coffee

    I was recently invited to give a seminar at the Cambridge University's Department of Computer Science and Technology on the topic of Reproducible Builds.

  • Results produced while at "X2Go - The Gathering 2018" in Stuttgart

    Over the last weekend, I have attended the FLOSS meeting "X2Go - The Gathering 2018" [1]. The event took place at the shackspace make spacer in Ulmerstraße near S-Bahn station S-Untertürckheim. Thanks to the people from shackspace for hosting us there, I highly enjoyed your location's environment. Thanks to everyone who joined us at the meeting. Thanks to all event sponsors (food + accomodation for me). Thanks to Stefan Baur for being our glorious and meticulous organizer!!!

    Thanks to my family for letting me go for that weekend.

    Especially, a big thanks to everyone, that I was allowed to bring our family dog "Capichera" with me to the event. While Capichera adapted quite ok to this special environment on sunny Friday and sunny Saturday, he was not really feeling well on rainy Sunday (aching joints, unwilling to move, walk interact).

Updated Debian 9: 9.6 released

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Debian

The Debian project is pleased to announce the sixth update of its stable distribution Debian 9 (codename stretch). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available.

Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 9 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old stretch media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror.

Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release.

New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations.

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Fedora Community and Debian Work

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Red Hat
Debian

Debian Package Analysis and More

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Debian

Init system support in Debian

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Debian

The "systemd question" has roiled Debian multiple times over the years, but things had mostly been quiet on that front of late. The Devuan distribution is a Debian derivative that has removed systemd; many of the vocal anti-systemd Debian developers have switched, which helps reduce the friction on the Debian mailing lists. But that seems to have led to support for init system alternatives (and System V init in particular) to bitrot in Debian. There are signs that a bit of reconciliation between Debian and Devuan will help fix that problem.

The Devuan split was acrimonious, much like the systemd "debate" that preceded it. Many bits were expended in describing the new distribution as a waste of time (or worse), while the loudest Devuan proponents declared that systemd would cause the end of Debian and Linux as a whole. Over time, that acrimony has mostly been reduced to random potshots (on both sides); there is clearly no love lost between the pro and anti sides (whether those apply to systemd, Devuan, or both). Some recent developments have shown that perhaps a bit of thawing in relations is underway—that can only be a good thing for both sides and the community as a whole.

Holger Levsen alerted the debian-devel mailing list that the Debian "Buster" (i.e. Debian 10) release was in danger of shipping with only partial support for running without systemd. The problem is that two packages needed for running with System V init (sysvinit-core and systemd-shim) are not really being maintained. The shim is completely unmaintained and sysvinit-core has been languishing even though it has two maintainers listed.

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Debian Developers

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Debian
  • Neil McGovern: GNOME ED update – October

    As per usual, our main focus has been on the hiring of new staff members for the Foundation. We’ve completed a few second interviews and a couple of first interviews. We’re aiming to start making offers around the end of November. If you have put in an application, and haven’t heard back in a while, please don’t worry! It’s simply due to a large number of people who’ve applied and the very manual way we’ve had to process these. Everyone should hear back.

    We’ve also had some interesting times with our banking. The short version is, we’ve moved banks to another provider. This has taken quite a bit of work, but hopefully, this should be settling down now.

  • New and improved Frikanalen Kodi addon version 0.0.3

    If you read my blog regularly, you probably know I am involved in running and developing the Norwegian TV channel Frikanalen. It is an open channel, allowing everyone in Norway to publish videos on a TV channel with national coverage. You can think of it as Youtube for national television. In addition to distribution on RiksTV and Uninett, Frikanalen is also available as a Kodi addon. The last few days I have updated the code to add more features. A new and improved version 0.0.3 Frikanalen addon was just made available via the Kodi repositories. This new version include a option to browse videos by category, as well as free text search in the video archive. It will now also show the video duration in the video lists, which were missing earlier. A new and experimental link to the HD video stream currently being worked on is provided, for those that want to see what the CasparCG output look like. The alternative is the SD video stream, generated using MLT. CasparCG is controlled by our mltplayout server which instead of talking to mlt is giving PLAY instructions to the CasparCG server when it is time to start a new program.

  • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (September and October 2018)

    The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

    Joseph Herlant (aerostitch)
    Aurélien Couderc (coucouf)
    Dylan Aïssi (daissi)
    Kunal Mehta (legoktm)
    Ming-ting Yao Wei (mwei)
    Nicolas Braud-Santoni (nicoo)
    Pierre-Elliott Bécue (peb)
    Stephen Gelman (ssgelm)
    Daniel Echeverry (epsilon)
    Dmitry Bogatov (kaction)

    The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

    Sagar Ippalpalli
    Kurt Kremitzki
    Michal Arbet
    Daniel Pocock
    Peter Wienemann
    Alexis Bienvenüe
    Gard Spreemann

    Congratulations!

Intel and Debian Work Politics

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Debian
  • Now Intel signs up to open-source code of conduct after Torvalds' Linux hiatus

    Intel's open-source projects have now committed to the widely-adopted Contributor Covenant, a code of conduct that was recently taken up by Linux, following Linus Torvalds' brief break to reflect on his insensitive treatment of other kernel developers.

  • Debian Project announces quarterly anti-harassment transparency reports

    Martin Ferrari from the Debian anti-harassment team has announced that they’re going to be releasing transparency reports to the project’s mailing list. The team, which currently consists of Laura Arjona Reina, Martin Ferrari, and Molly de Blanc, is responsible for ensuring that project members abide by the project’s diversity statement and two code of conduct documents (1, 2).

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More in Tux Machines

Variscite unveils two i.MX8 QuadMax modules

Variscite announced Linux-powered “VAR-SOM-MX8” and “SPEAR-MX8” modules with an up to an i.MX8 QuadMax SoC plus up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC. It also previewed a VAR-SOM-6UL COM. At Embedded World next week in Nuremberg, Germany, Variscite will showcase its Linux and Android driven i.MX8-family computer-on-modules, including new VAR-SOM-MX8 and SPEAR-MX8 modules that feature NXP’s highest-end i.MX8 SoC up to a QuadMax model (see farther below). We have already covered most of the other showcased products, including the 14nm fabricated, quad -A53 i.MX8M Mini based DART-MX8M-Mini. When we covered the DART-MX8M-Mini in September, Variscite didn’t have an image or product page, but both are now available here Read more

Android Leftovers

Programming: Developer Happiness, Rblpapi 0.3.8 and Python

  • Developer happiness: What you need to know
    A person needs the right tools for the job. There's nothing as frustrating as getting halfway through a car repair, for instance, only to discover you don't have the specialized tool you need to complete the job. The same concept applies to developers: you need the tools to do what you are best at, without disrupting your workflow with compliance and security needs, so you can produce code faster. Over half—51%, to be specific—of developers spend only one to four hours each day programming, according to ActiveState's recent Developer Survey 2018: Open Source Runtime Pains. In other words, the majority of developers spend less than half of their time coding. According to the survey, 50% of developers say security is one of their biggest concerns, but 67% of developers choose not to add a new language when coding because of the difficulties related to corporate policies.
  • Rblpapi 0.3.8: Keeping CRAN happy
    A minimal maintenance release of Rblpapi, now at version 0.3.9, arrived on CRAN earlier today. Rblpapi provides a direct interface between R and the Bloomberg Terminal via the C++ API provided by Bloomberg (but note that a valid Bloomberg license and installation is required). This is the ninth release since the package first appeared on CRAN in 2016. It accomodates a request by CRAN / R Core to cope with staged installs which will be a new feature of R 3.6.0. No other changes were made (besides updating a now-stale URL at Bloomberg in a few spots and other miniscule maintenance). However, a few other changes have been piling up at the GitHub repo so feel free to try that version too.
  • Episode #200: Escaping Excel Hell with Python and Pandas
  • Testing native ES modules using Mocha and esm.

Games: Steam, Devil Engine, City Game Studio and More