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GNU

Networking and Servers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server
  • How We Knew It Was Time to Leave the Cloud

    In my last infrastructure update, I documented our challenges with storage as GitLab scales. We built a CephFS cluster to tackle both the capacity and performance issues of NFS and decided to replace PostgreSQL standard Vacuum with the pg_repack extension. Now, we're feeling the pain of running a high performance distributed filesystem on the cloud.

  • Hype Driven Development
  • SysAdmins Arena in a nutshell

    Sysadmins can use the product to improve their skills or prepare for an interview by practicing some day to day job scenarios. There is an invitation list opened for the first testers of the product.

Desktop GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • PINEBOOK Latest News: Affordable Linux Laptop at Only $89 Made by Raspberry Pi Rival, PINE

    PINE, the rival company of Raspberry Pi and maker of the $20 Pine A64, has just announced its two below $100-priced Linux laptops, known as PINEBOOK. The affordable Linux laptop is powered by Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-bit processor and comes with an 11.6" or 14" monitor.

  • Some thoughts about options for light Unix laptops

    I have an odd confession: sometimes I feel (irrationally) embarrassed that despite being a computer person, I don't have a laptop. Everyone else seems to have one, yet here I am, clearly behind the times, clinging to a desktop-only setup. At times like this I naturally wind up considering the issue of what laptop I might get if I was going to get one, and after my recent exposure to a Chromebook I've been thinking about this once again.

    I'll never be someone who uses a laptop by itself as my only computer, so I'm not interested in a giant laptop with a giant display; giant displays are one of the things that the desktop is for. Based on my experiences so far I think that a roughly 13" laptop is at the sweet spot of a display that's big enough without things being too big, and I would like something that's nicely portable.

  • What is HiDPI and Why Does it Matter?

GNU/FSF

Filed under
GNU
  • The Three Software Freedoms

    The government can help us by making software companies distribute the source code. They can say it's "in the interest of national security". And they can sort out the patent system (there are various problems with how the patent system handles software which are out of the scope of this article). So when you chat to your MP please mention this.

  • Leapfrog Honoring the GPL
  • A discussion on GPL compliance

    Among its many activities, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) is one of the few organizations that does any work on enforcing the GPL when other compliance efforts have failed. A suggestion by SFC executive director Karen Sandler to have a Q&A session about compliance and enforcement at this year's Kernel Summit led to a prolonged discussion, but not to such a session being added to the agenda. However, the co-located Linux Plumbers Conference set up a "birds of a feather" (BoF) session so that interested developers could hear more about the SFC's efforts, get their questions answered, and provide feedback. Sandler and SFC director of strategic initiatives Brett Smith hosted the discussion, which was quite well-attended—roughly 70 people were there at a 6pm BoF on November 3.

  • Join us as a member to give back for the free software you use

    At the FSF, we run our own infrastructure using only free software, which makes us stand out from nearly every other nonprofit organization. Virtually all others rely on outside providers and use a significant amount of nonfree software. With your support, we set an example proving that a nonprofit can follow best practices while running only free software.

  • The Free Software Foundation is in need of members

Moving From Microsoft to GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Is Linux the Right Choice for My Business?

    In these hard-economic times, cutting expense is among the keys to the success of a business. Licensing costs can be a huge drain on the wallet of any service. Of course, Microsoft Windows servers are still the standard in a lot of offices, however, there is an unsung hero out there simply waiting to be discovered by more business-owners. This article is obviously describing Linux. While it does have some appeal in both the general public and economic sectors, it is widely used for servers and still not a really popular operating system for workstations but among geeks. Why? You might ask. Microsoft has the marketplace cornered and remains the norm simply by being the standard. This is not to state that Microsoft does not produce quality software application; this post indicates absolutely nothing of the sort. Microsoft got where they are today by their sweat and devoted developers, in no way is this article lessening the quality of Microsoft or their line of products.

  • Moving with SQL Server to Linux? Move from SQL Server to MySQL as well! [Ed: SQL Server DOES NOT (!) run on Linux]

    Over the recent years, there has been a large number of individuals as well as organizations who are ditching the Windows platform for Linux platform, and this number will continue to grow as more developments in Linux are experienced. Linux has for long been the leader in Web servers as most of the web servers run on Linux, and this could be one of the reasons why the high migration is being experienced.

  • Does Linux community trust Microsoft?

    Does actually Linux community like Microsoft? Does actually Linux community trust Microsoft? I cannot answer the first question for sure, but I have a sure answer for the second question.

Parental Controls for Linux Unleashed

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

For years, one of the overlooked areas for the Linux desktop was access to “effective” parental controls. Back in 2003, I remember the now defunct Linspire (then known as Lindows) offered a proprietary option called SurfSafe. Surprisingly, at least back then, the product worked very well in providing accurate content filtering capabilities; something that was not,in fact, available and easy-to-use at that time.

Years later, an open-source alternative was released to the greater Linux community known as GNOME Nanny. Fantastic in terms of usage control, its web content web filter was laughably terrible. As expected, crowd-sourcing a filtering list isn’t a great solution. And like SurfSafe, the project is now defunct.

Read more

Mofo Linux: The Raw Materials for Security

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Ubuntu

The developers of Mofo Linux talk a good game. From the name’s origin in abusive street slang to its self-description on the home page as “Linux designed to defeat state censorship and surveillance,” Mofo presents itself as a champion of security and privacy. Nor is the claim unjustified. However, rather than putting security and privacy into the hands of ordinary users, Mofo simply presents the tools and leaves users to figure them out with a minimum of help. The result is a promising distribution that with only slightly more work, could be a leading one.

Just possibly, though, this approach is a deliberate tactic, and not the carelessness it appears. Based on Ubuntu, the current release of Mofo offers nothing different in the way of productivity tools. It uses Unity for a desktop, and its applications are the standard GNOME ones. In fact, Mofo shows such little interest in such matters that it does not bother to change the title bar in the installer from Ubuntu.

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Happily Announcing Mageia 5.1

Filed under
GNU
Linux
MDV

As we’re getting closer to the end of the year, Mageia has a present for you! We are very pleased to announce the release of Mageia 5.1!

This release – like Mageia 4.1 was in its time – is a respin of the Mageia 5 installation and Live ISO images, based on the Mageia 5 repository and incorporating all updates to allow for an up to date installation without the need to install almost a year and a half worth of updates. It is therefore recommended for new installations and upgrades from Mageia 4.

The new images are available from the downloads page, both directly and through torrents.

Read more

Also: After a long wait, Mageia was released! Well, sort of...

4MLinux 20.1 released.

Filed under
GNU
Linux

This is a minor maintenance release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel. The release ships with the Linux kernel 4.4.34, which restores PAE support that "magically" disappeared in 4MLinux 20.0 (sorry Smile. Additionally, some popular programs (Double Commander, Dropbox, Firefox, Java RE, Opera, PeaZip, Thunderbird, Wine) have been updated, too.

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Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Reviews

Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability.

Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package.

Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties. Others offer new adopters something unique that makes using them fun and productive.

Refracta is one of the few full-service Linux distros that makes an easy and more convenient replacement for pocket Linux options such as Puppy Linux. Not all Linux distros that install to a USB drive -- and have the ability to save files and system settings in a persistent mode -- work equally well.

Read more

Christmas Gift Ideas For Linux Fans

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Crikey, folks: it’s December, and that means Christmas is shortly to be thrust upon us, whether we’re ready or not!

It can be tricky to come up with gift ideas for Linux users in your life. And since you’ve probably got more than enough turkey on your plate this holiday season — ho, ho, ho — we thought we’d be swell and save you from getting snowed under trying to find something to buy.

Or to put it in a less breathy sentence: we’ve got some top Linux gift ideas to help make festive shopping a little easier this season.

Read more

Also: Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro & Linux Don't Mix

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More in Tux Machines

Google and Mozilla

  • Google Rolls Out Continuous Fuzzing Service For Open Source Software
    Google has launched a new project for continuously testing open source software for security vulnerabilities. The company's new OSS-Fuzz service is available in beta starting this week, but at least initially it will only be available for open source projects that have a very large user base or are critical to global IT infrastructure.
  • Mozilla is doing well financially (2015)
    Mozilla announced a major change in November 2014 in regards to the company's main revenue stream. The organization had a contract with Google in 2014 and before that had Google pay Mozilla money for being the default search engine in the Firefox web browser. This deal was Mozilla's main source of revenue, about 329 million US Dollars in 2014. The change saw Mozilla broker deals with search providers instead for certain regions of the world.

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Understanding SELinux Roles
    I received a container bugzilla today for someone who was attempting to assign a container process to the object_r role. Hopefully this blog will help explain how roles work with SELinux. When we describe SELinux we often concentrate on Type Enforcement, which is the most important and most used feature of SELinux. This is what describe in the SELinux Coloring book as Dogs and Cats. We also describe MLS/MCS Separation in the coloring book.
  • The Internet Society is unhappy about security – pretty much all of it
    The Internet Society (ISOC) is the latest organisation saying, in essence, “security is rubbish – fix it”. Years of big data breaches are having their impact, it seems: in its report released last week, it quotes a 54-country, 24,000-respondent survey reporting a long-term end user trend to become more fearful in using the Internet (by Ipsos on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation). Report author, economist and ISOC fellow Michael Kende, reckons companies aren't doing enough to control breaches. “According to the Online Trust Alliance, 93 per cent of breaches are preventable” he said, but “steps to mitigate the cost of breaches that do occur are not taken – attackers cannot steal data that is not stored, and cannot use data that is encrypted.”
  • UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor
    Among the many unpleasant things in the Investigatory Powers Act that was officially signed into law this week, one that has not gained as much attention is the apparent ability for the UK government to undermine encryption and demand surveillance backdoors. As the bill was passing through Parliament, several organizations noted their alarm at section 217 which obliged ISPs, telcos and other communications providers to let the government know in advance of any new products and services being deployed and allow the government to demand "technical" changes to software and systems.
  • EU budget creates bug bounty programme to improve cybersecurity
    Today the European Parliament approved the EU Budget for 2017. The budget sets aside 1.9 million euros in order to improve the EU's IT infrastructure by extending the free software audit programme (FOSSA) that MEPs Max Anderson and Julia Reda initiated two years ago, and by including a bug bounty approach in the programme that was proposed by MEP Marietje Schaake.
  • Qubes OS Begins Commercialization and Community Funding Efforts
    Since the initial launch of Qubes OS back in April 2010, work on Qubes has been funded in several different ways. Originally a pet project, it was first supported by Invisible Things Lab (ITL) out of the money we earned on various R&D and consulting contracts. Later, we decided that we should try to commercialize it. Our idea, back then, was to commercialize Windows AppVM support. Unlike the rest of Qubes OS, which is licensed under GPLv2, we thought we would offer Windows AppVM support under a proprietary license. Even though we made a lot of progress on both the business and technical sides of this endeavor, it ultimately failed. Luckily, we got a helping hand from the Open Technology Fund (OTF), which has supported the project for the past two years. While not a large sum of money in itself, it did help us a lot, especially with all the work necessary to improve Qubes’ user interface, documentation, and outreach to new communities. Indeed, the (estimated) Qubes user base has grown significantly over that period. Thank you, OTF!
  • Linux Security Basics: What System Administrators Need to Know
    Every new Linux system administrator needs to learn a few core concepts before delving into the operating system and its applications. This short guide gives a summary of some of the essential security measures that every root user must know. All advice given follows the best security practices that are mandated by the community and the industry.
  • BitUnmap: Attacking Android Ashmem
    The law of leaky abstractions states that “all non-trivial abstractions, to some degree, are leaky”. In this blog post we’ll explore the ashmem shared memory interface provided by Android and see how false assumptions about its internal operation can result in security vulnerabilities affecting core system code.

GNU/FSF

  • The Three Software Freedoms
    The government can help us by making software companies distribute the source code. They can say it's "in the interest of national security". And they can sort out the patent system (there are various problems with how the patent system handles software which are out of the scope of this article). So when you chat to your MP please mention this.
  • Leapfrog Honoring the GPL
  • A discussion on GPL compliance
    Among its many activities, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) is one of the few organizations that does any work on enforcing the GPL when other compliance efforts have failed. A suggestion by SFC executive director Karen Sandler to have a Q&A session about compliance and enforcement at this year's Kernel Summit led to a prolonged discussion, but not to such a session being added to the agenda. However, the co-located Linux Plumbers Conference set up a "birds of a feather" (BoF) session so that interested developers could hear more about the SFC's efforts, get their questions answered, and provide feedback. Sandler and SFC director of strategic initiatives Brett Smith hosted the discussion, which was quite well-attended—roughly 70 people were there at a 6pm BoF on November 3.
  • Join us as a member to give back for the free software you use
    At the FSF, we run our own infrastructure using only free software, which makes us stand out from nearly every other nonprofit organization. Virtually all others rely on outside providers and use a significant amount of nonfree software. With your support, we set an example proving that a nonprofit can follow best practices while running only free software.
  • The Free Software Foundation is in need of members

today's howtos