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Top 15 Best Security-Centric Linux Distributions of 2019

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GNU
Linux
Security

Being anonymous on the Internet is not particularly the same as surging the web safely, however, they both involve keeping oneself and one’s data private and away from the prying eyes of entities that may otherwise take advantage of system vulnerabilities in order to harm targeted parties.

There is also the risk of surveillance from the NSA and several other top-level organizations and this is why it is good that developers have taken it upon themselves to build privacy-dedicated distros that host an aggregate of tools that enable users to achieve both online autonomy and privacy.

In as much as these privacy-centric Linux distros are targetted at a niche in the Linux community, many of them are robust enough to be used for general-purpose computing and many more can be tweaked to support requirements for virtually any specific user base.

A common factor across almost all privacy-centric Linux distros is their relationship with Tor given that many of them come with Tor’s solid anonymity network service built-in and this, in turn, gives users an environment for them to live in safely without any data logs whatsoever, unlike most VPN providers that will still log your real IP address while still being able to see whatever data you may be transmitting at the point of exit of VPN servers.

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Fedora, Slackware and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

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GNU
Linux
  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-46

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 29 will reach end of life on 26 November. Elections voting begins next week. Candidates must submit their interviews before the deadline or they will not be on the ballot.

  • Slackware November ’19 release of OpenJDK 8

    Today, icedtea-3.14.0 was released. IcedTea is a software build framework which allows easy compilation of OpenJDK.

    The new IcedTea release will build you the latest Java8:  OpenJDK 8u232_b09. This release syncs the OpenJDK support in IcedTea to the official October 2019 security fixes that Oracle released for Java. The release announcement in the mailing list for distro packagers has details about all the security issues and vulnerabilities that are addressed.

    I have built Slackware packages for the new Java 8 Update 232 and uploaded them already. Please upgrade at your earliest convenience. Java is still widespread which makes it a popular target for vulnerability attacks.

  • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/46

    This has been a busy week, with 5 successfully tested snapshots delivered to you, the users (1107, 1109, 1110, 1111 and 1112).

Events: The Linux App Summit (LAS), Capitole du Libre and Lakademy

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GNU
Linux
  • LAS 2019, Barcelona

    The Linux App Summit (LAS) is a great event that bring together a lot of linux application developers, from the bigger communities, it's organized by GNOME and KDE in collaboration and it's a good place to talk about the Linux desktop, application distribution and development.

  • Capitole du Libre 2019

    The Capitole Du Libre is a french event that takes place at INP-ENSEEIHT in Toulouse. It is an event dedicated to free and open source softwares. The Capitole Du Libre 2019 will happen this weekend on 16th-17th November.

    There will be a Debian booth with the DebianFrance team, I will be there to help them. A lot of interesting talks will be presented, see the schedule here.

  • First Day of Lakademy

    Next day, we got up early to move to the Universidade Federal da Bahia and began the Lakademy. Some members went to buy some groceries and some went directly and prepared the room. After a round of presentations, Lakademy was declared online! I spent most of the time reviewing ROCS code and wrote some fixes for redundant code and a problem with the interface that was introduced in the last commits. After that, I listed some tasks that could be done this week. We ended the first day with some good drinks in some fun places in Salvador. Smile

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Journal People, Linux Headlines and Python Bytes

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GNU
Linux

Updates on Librem 5 Shipping and Development

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Birch’s 10kΩ Resistor Fun, Devices Prepping for Shipping

    Purism is working to solve no shortage of problems; making a phone with a never-before used CPU for mobile, to authoring an entire mobile OS, to designing the hardware from scratch. Not to forget forging a social purpose company, avoiding toxic funding, and solving digital civil rights by creating products that are convenient to use and look good. All because of your continued support.

    Many of our customers are interested in what goes on behind the scenes when making a phone, so we wanted to share for transparency the kinds of issues that can come up. For instance, with our Birch batch, we sent our hardware engineers the very first phones off of the line ahead of schedule so they could perform quality control testing. We discovered a 10kΩ resistor was missing from the PCBA!

  • The Librem 5 "Birch" Batch Was Missing A Resistor But Now Fixed

    Librem 5 "Birch" batch was supposed to be shipping from 29 October to 26 November. They are now preparing to start shipping this second iteration of the Librem 5 Linux smartphone after early units in this batch were missing a resistor.

    The missing resistor on the Librem 5 phone PCB led to a non-working USB port. It's not clear how the resistor ended up missing from this batch or if it had been in place for the Aspen batch or not.

  • Librem 5 October 2019 Software Update

    The Librem 5 software team were busy in October, improving power consumption and heat generation through kernel and driver changes. The team also refactored and improved integration between various apps by using libfolks as a common foundation, added new features to keyboard, Settings, Shell and Compositor and squashed many bugs.

  • Purism Outlines Librem 5 Software Work During October - Including Battery / Thermal

    Purism has finally published their blog post outlining the software work they accomplished during October on bringing up the Librem 5 smartphone.

    October's software efforts included kernel items like working to improve the battery life and reduce the heat output of the work-in-progress Librem 5 as well as maturing their user-space components.

VXL Launches CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo), a Truly Portable Linux Micro Thin Client

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GNU
Linux

VXL, a leader in thin clients, endpoint management and digital signage software solutions, launches its new, low cost, CloudDesktop On the Go (CoGo). An ultra-compact and highly portable USB key, CoGo repurposes legacy PCs into a fully functional Linux thin client. Available with a lifetime perpetual license and priced at a highly competitive $77 including first year support, CoGo offers users up to a massive 50% saving over equivalent software solutions.

CoGo allows businesses to extend the life of ageing PC hardware by using it to access server-hosted computing sessions or virtual desktop infrastructure. Users simply plug CoGo into a PC and boot from it. The VXL Gio Linux firmware is instantly useable without overwriting the local OS and the converted PC can be managed as thin client.

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OpenWrt 19.07.0 first release candidate

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GNU
Linux

The OpenWrt community is proud to announce the first release candidate of the upcoming OpenWrt 19.07 stable version series. It incorporates over 3700 commits since branching the previous OpenWrt 18.06 release and has been under development for about one a half years.

With this release the OpenWrt project brings all supported targets back to a single common kernel version and further refines and broadens existing device support. It also provides initial support for the new ath79 target, the future device tree based successor of the popular ar71xx target.

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Also: OpenWrt 19.07 RC Offers WPA3 Configuration Support, All Targets On Same Kernel Version

5 Eye-Catching GTK Themes by Vinceliuice

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GNU
GNOME

Few GTK theme makers are as prolific as ~vinceliuice, an open source designer based in Jinan, China.

Vince’s theme portfolio is wildly unlike anyone else’s. It’s packed full of eye catching designs boasting dramatic visual elements and modern design sensibilities.

So good, in fact, that I’ve written this post to spotlight 5 of the best themes made by vinceliuice — themes that showcase this designer’s colourful creativity and theme crafting skill.

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Linux Presentation Software that Shines

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GNU
Linux
Software

A presentation software is a tool used to show information in the form of a slide show, a presentation of a series of still images.

Presentation software helps a speaker keep structure to a presentation when standing in front of an audience. Like any good composition tool, this type of application should help the presenter focus on the substance of the presentation. Effective presentation software will also help the audience follow the matters being discussed, whether it is being conducted in a business or personal setting. This type of software is a presenter’s best friend helping information to be communicated effectively at events, meetings, conferences, lectures, sales presentations, and more. Embellishing the presentation with smooth transitions, text, photo and video will help retain the attention of the audience, bring out the key ideas that are being shared, and make the presentation more professional.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 7 high quality open source Linux presentation software. The software listed below will help make your slides look stunning. Whether you are teaching a lesson, pitching a product, delivering a keynote, or trying to promote a worthy cause, these tools will help bring simplicity and engagement to your presentations. Hopefully there will be something of interest for anyone who needs to produce professional quality presentations.

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Interesting Facts About Linux That You Should Know

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GNU
Linux

There are many, especially those who are newly orientated with Linux, think that it is an operating system. But, the fact is, it is not an operating system; instead, it is a kernel. A kernel is the central part of an operating system. The name of the OS is GNU Linux OS, which has many other derivatives like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Kali Linux, and much more.

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More in Tux Machines

nuclear – desktop music player focused on free streaming

Linux has an abundance of mouthwatering array of excellent open source music players. But I’m always on the look out for fresh and newfangled music players. nuclear lets you stream music over the internet. It offers easy access to YouTube, SoundCloud, and Jamendo (the latter with partial support), and there’s a plugin system to add additional services. It therefore seeks to offer a unified music environment for managing music content. nuclear is an Electron based application written in the JavaScript programming language. It features hardware acceleration (using your GPU). Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • With Open-Source Caravan Wallet, Unchained Wants to Make Multisig Mainstream

    Revealed exclusively to Bitcoin Magazine in anticipation of the launch, Caravan is the latest tool in Unchained Capital’s suite of bitcoin investor products. Like the Collaborative Custody that came before it, Caravan is a multisignature bitcoin wallet, meaning it requires multiple devices/parties to sign off on a transaction before it is sent.

  • Texas A&M and Simon Fraser Universities Open-Source RL Toolkit for Card Games

    In July the poker-playing bot Pluribus beat top professionals in a six-player no-limit Texas Hold’Em poker game. Pluribus taught itself from scratch using a form of reinforcement learning (RL) to become the first AI program to defeat elite humans in a poker game with more than two players. Compared to perfect information games such as Chess or Go, poker presents a number of unique challenges with its concealed cards, bluffing and other human strategies. Now a team of researchers from Texas A&M University and Canada’s Simon Fraser University have open-sourced a toolkit called “RLCard” for applying RL research to card games.

  • Open Source Saturday aims to build coding skills

    A gap exists between those entering the workforce and those looking for talented workers in the tech industry.

  • How does Plume get all these ISP partnerships? Open source software

    Releasing Plume's front end as open source software (OSS) does more than accelerate the development pipeline for ISPs. It also overcomes a potential objection to adoption—vendor lock-in.

  • MemVerge Introduces Open Source Solution to Improve Spark Shuffle Processes

    MemVerge, the inventor of Memory-Converged Infrastructure (MCI), today announced MemVerge Splash, a first-of-its-kind, highly performant open source solution that allows shuffle data to be stored in an external storage system. MemVerge Splash is designed for Apache Spark software users looking to improve the performance, flexibility and resiliency of shuffle manager. Traditionally, when shuffle data is stored remotely, system performance can degrade due to network and storage bottlenecks which can negatively impact performance and stability. MemVerge Splash, working together with MemVerge's distributed system software named Distributed Memory Objects (DMO), solves these issues to make Spark highly performant through a high performance in-memory storage and networking stack.

  • BSC to Open Global Collaboration Facility to Develop Open Computer Architectures
  • New LOCA Facility to Develop Open Computer Architectures at BSC in Barcelona
  • Bangle.js open source hackable smartwatch £47

    If you are searching for a less restrictive smartwatch when it comes to operating systems, you may be interested in the new Bangle.js hackable smartwatch that can easily be customised and is completely open source. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Bangle smartwatch which is this month launched via Kickstarter to raise the required funds needed to make the jump from concept into production.

  • The Non-Contradiction of Proprietary Finance and Community Open Source Programming

    I work in financial services, typically quantitative technology applications. A recent employer of mine was an imagery company, providing satellite and drone-sourced data into finance and insurance. In this heady mix of finance and space, I worked with people from defence, aerospace, geospatial, surveying and satellite communications backgrounds who were intrigued and often surprised to hear about the relevance of open source and community programming in financial services. [...] Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are certainly driving open source, often with ulterior motives, consciously supporting the sale of proprietary tools and services. Unconsciously, they can be accused of driving liberal west coast values and weeding out smaller commercial competition - I will be fascinated to see the consequences of Google releasing its Quantitative Finance Tensorflow. I also acknowledge the historical and continuing proprietary tendencies of financial services. A finance technology VP once told me around Year 2000 that “open source would never take off in quantitative finance”. While factually wrong even then, his assumptions were reasonable – management reputation, internal risk management and regulators beyond wouldn’t want untraceable, dangerous code running key algorithms. Key algorithms and the packages and languages in which they were embedded were also differentiators, hence proprietary. At the time, institutions did what they could to make the most, hire the best and beat the rest, and proprietary languages and code were the norm.

  • Appear.in Vs. Jitsi: Subscription WebRTC Faces Off Against Open-Source VC

    Open-source video conferencing is one of the few remaining glimpses of the utopian potential of the internet. If you’re willing to get a little sentimental about what the internet is or was supposed to deliver, you can see it within the chat windows of apps such as Jitsi–emerging technologies developed and given away for free so that anyone and everyone can participate in the digital communications revolution. That’s the idealized version of Jitsi’s existence, anyway. The reality is that while the highly adaptable, open-source app is still free to use and deploy within personalized platforms, it has become something of a research and development unit for subscription content providers. So, Jitsi stands as a kind of glorified public Beta test of the latest video conferencing technology. Its logical counterpoint in many ways is Appear.in (recently rechristened Whereby). This WebRTC-powered video platform has taken the same open-access ideals of Jitsi and turned them into a commercial subscription service.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Gitea

    “The goal of this project is to make the easiest, fastest, and most painless way of setting up a self-hosted Git service. Using Go, this can be done with an independent binary distribution across all platforms which Go supports, including Linux, macOS, and Windows on x86, amd64, ARM and PowerPC architectures,” according to the project’s GitHub page.

  • Voyage Launches Open-Source Self-Driving Simulation Platform

    Voyage, which is developing self-driving vehicles, today announced the public release of Voyage Deepdrive, a free and open-source self-driving car simulator.

  • Ether1.org, Open Source Blockchain Project, Rolls-Out ethoFS - A Decentralized Website Hosting & File Sharing Protocol That Aims to Combat Web Censorship

    In an industry first move, Ether-1 (ether1.org) has completed a network wide deployment of their decentralized, immutable data hosting protocol called ethoFS. With their unique democratized and "decentralize everything" approach, this latest technological advancement furthers the ideals originally taken mainstream by people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. EthoFS (ethofs.com) combines blockchain technology and IPFS creating a simple to use hosting platform that allows anyone to store data across a network of nodes with several levels of redundancy and immutability built into the decentralized system. The ethoFS system prevents a multitude of attack vectors and censorship efforts to allow any data or website to be hosted beyond the reach of "big brother."

  • Project Alvarium: The Open-Source Project to Bolster IoT Security

    The Linux Foundation’s Project Alvarium aims to harness collective wisdom to create enterprise trust and drive IoT security.

  • Israeli-American Start-Up Launches Open Source AI Gun Detection System for Free

    Edgecase AI —a leading AI announces the launch of the largest open-source dataset for gun detection in the world using synthetic data.

  • Winter is coming even more quickly

    Motivated by my work at the DFINITY Foundation, I was looking into interpreters for WebAssembly written in Haskell, and found my colleagues John Wiegley’s winter: A straight-forward port of the WebAssembly reference interpreter, written in Ocaml by Andreas Rossberg (another colleague of mine … I guess there is a common theme here.) Obviously, an interpreter will never be as fast as a real compiler implementation (such as the one in v8, lucet or wasmtime). But for my purposes an interpreter is fine. Nevertheless, I don’t want it to be needlessly slow, and when I picked up wasm, it was clear that I had to work at least a little bit on performance.

  • Faster Winter 1/7: Vectors

Cheat sheet for Linux users and permissions

The Linux operating system is a true multi-user OS, meaning it assumes that there's data on every computer that should be protected, whether in the interest of privacy, security, or system integrity. Linux uses file ownership and permissions to manage file and folder access. For administrators who deal with different user environments all day, this system is easy to understand, calculate, and control. Read more

Android Leftovers