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Best Linux Desktops for Business

Filed under
GNU
Linux

When choosing a Linux distro for your business, one of the factors you should consider is which desktop environment works best for your company. This can be made more complex when you consider individual workflows. In this article, I'll share some of the best desktop environments for the enterprise environment while addressing different types of workflows.

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FSF Gets Huge Donation From Pineapple Fund

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GNU
  • Free Software Foundation receives $1 million donation from Pineapple Fund

    The anonymous Pineapple Fund has donated $1 million worth of Bitcoin to promote and defend free software, computer user freedom, and digital rights.

    BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Tuesday, January 30, 2018 -- The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced it has received a record-breaking charitable contribution of 91.45 Bitcoin from the Pineapple Fund, valued at $1 million at the time of the donation. This gift is a testament to the importance of free software, computer user freedom, and digital rights when technology is interwoven with daily life.

    "Free software is more than open source; it is a movement that encourages community collaboration and protects users' freedom," wrote Pine, the Pineapple Fund's founder. "The Free Software Foundation does amazing work, and I'm certain the funds will be put to good use."

  • FSF Receives One Million Dollars Worth Of Bitcoin

    The Free Software Foundation's largest-ever single contribution came in the form of one million dollars worth of Bitcoin.

    The Free Software Foundation announced today it received a donation of 91.45 Bitcoin. As of writing, 1 BTC is roughly $10,364. FSF plans to use the proceeds to "empower free software activists and developers around the world."

GNU/Linux Distrros: Solus and Netrunner Rolling

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GNU
Linux
  • Solus Devs Promise Boot Optimizations, Release Solus Plasma Early Access ISO

    While it doesn't look like there will be a Solus 4 release in January, we're looking forward to the upcoming optimizations that the Solus devs have planned for the next snapshot.

    Communications Manager Joshua Strobl shares with us today some details on the latest goodies that landed in the software repositories of Solus, as well as various of the upcoming improvements that the team plans for the next release of the Linux-based operating system. First thing first, in case you missed it, they released LDM (Linux Driver Management) 1.0.

  • Netrunner Rolling Linux OS Gets Its First Release in 2018, Here's What's New

    The development team behind the Netrunner Rolling Linux operating system announced last week the release of the first snapshot in 2018 with the latest update and some new features.

    Netrunner Rolling 2018.01 is here to replace last year's 2017.07 version and ships with the Linux 4.14 kernel, Mozilla Firefox 57.0 "Quantum" web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 52.5.0 email and news client, LibreOffice 5.3 office suite, KDE Plasma 5.11.5 desktop environment, the KDE Applications 17.12.0 and KDE Frameworks 5.41.0 software suites, as well as Qt 5.10.

Acer Chrome OS Tablet spotted at Bett Education Expo

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GNU
Linux
Google

Google’s offering two open source operating systems, Android and Chrome OS, has drawn some criticism and market confusion. But this didn’t stop Chrome OS from carving out a sizeable market chunk for itself, primarily in the education field. With growing Android App support, it now appears to be expanding on to tablets as well. A photo has emerged in a now-deleted tweet that appears to be an Acer tablet running Chrome OS.

At the recently concluded Bett education and technology show in London, Acer officially unveiled three Chrome OS devices: two Chromebooks and a Chromebox. However, one of the attendee at the event, Alister Payne, managed to get a photo of one more Chrome OS device from Acer. The photo, posted on Twitter by @Alister_Payne, clearly shows what would be the first Chrome OS tablet. There’s a visible Acer logo on the bottom bezel. The tweet has now been deleted, but not before ChromeUnboxed, preserved it.

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Quick Look at the Arch Based Indie Linux Distribution: MagpieOS

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GNU
Linux

Most of the Linux distros that are in use today are either created and developed in the US or Europe. A young developer from Bangladesh wants to change all that.

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Why my next laptop isn't gonna be a Mac, either

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GNU
Linux
Mac

Tell me how Apple's doing their users a favour by getting rid of those crufty niche tools that "nobody" uses anyway, and how I can just deal. If this is what you want from your computer vendor, then good for you because by golly you're getting it, good and hard. For me, this MacBook's staying on Sierra and I'll wipe it with Linux or FreeBSD when Sierra doesn't get any more updates. Maybe there will be a nice ARMbook around by then because I definitely won't be buying another Mac.

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Advice for Buying and Setting Up Laptops When You're Traveling or On-Call

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The key to a good on-call or travel laptop is to get something cheap. As computers have continued to get faster, the fact is that many people can get their general work done (especially in a pinch) with laptops that are many years old. This is especially true on a Linux desktop, even if you aren't someone who spends a decent amount of time on a terminal.

Used Thinkpads are a great choice for travel laptops, because they have good Linux compatibility and are rugged and easy to repair with replacement parts that are easy to find. Because so many organizations have used them as company laptops, you almost always can find a used one cheap on an auction site. Keep an eye out for a model that is listed as having no OS. Those laptops tend to be cheaper because people want to avoid having to install an OS, but as Linux users, we would just overwrite the OS anyway! I've consistently found that if I'm patient, I can get a Thinkpad with reasonable specs for less than $50 on auction sites. If you are willing to splurge on extra RAM or an SSD, these old machines can be surprisingly speedy.

Another option, especially if you want a more portable laptop, is a Chromebook. Although these machines normally are designed to run a limited, secured OS that centers on Google services, they also can run Linux well once you switch into developer mode. Some people use cheap Chromebooks as their default travel computers since they just want to check Gmail and browse the web while traveling. Personally, I found a used Acer C710 for $40 and was able to add RAM and an SSD from a spare Thinkpad, and it turned out to be a rather capable Qubes-compatible machine.

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Parrot 3.11 release notes

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GNU
Linux
Security

Parrot 3.11 is now available for download.

This new release introduces many improvements and security fixes compared to the previous versions. It includes by default all the spectre/meltdown security patches currently available and an updated version of the Linux 4.14 kernel.

A new car hacking menu now contains a collection of useful open source tools in the automotive industry to test real world cars or simulate CANBus networks.

Metasploit and postgresql are now patched to work flawlessly out of the box in live mode.

Other important updates include Firefox 58, increased installer stability, many updated security tools and some important graphic improvements.

Parrot Studio was reintroduced with many improvements, this special derivative of Parrot is designed for multimedia production as an improved version of Parrot Home for workstations, with many useful productivity tools pre-installed.

This release will probably be the last version of the 3.x series (except for eventual security updates), and we wanted to include some of the changes that we planned for parrot 4.x as a gift for our community.

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Difficult Windows, Chromebooks Software

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Maxim Burgerhout: "User-friendly" Windows

    So for some app my kids want to use, I needed to setup Windows. And a printer. I have a Samsung M2070W, and I have had it for years. It has not always been easy to use (hell no!), but it generally works after a few kicks in the groin.

    I’ve used it with my iPad, with various Android devices, and various Linux distributions. And now, I needed to set it up in Windows.

    [...]

    I guess. Unless you count the fact that many devices need vendor drivers to begin with, because Windows doesn’t ship with them.

    Well anyway, luckily, Linux seems to identify and use my printer just fine. 

  • The Best Apps and Tools for Chromebooks

    We’re going to break this down into different categories to help make it easier to find what you’re looking for. The one thing to note here is that Android apps are placed throughout the various categories where they make the most sense, but we also include a section at the end for Android apps that don’t fall into any one specific category. Pretty simple, really.

Netrunner Rolling 2018.01

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Netrunner Rolling 2018.01 KDE-focused Manjaro Linux-based operating system is here

    There are many Linux-based operating systems out there, but not many I would call great. My absolute favorite is Fedora, as I am a GNOME fan that likes using a distro that focuses on truly free and open source software. Not to mention, it quickly gets many updated packages while also retaining stability. So yeah, Fedora is great.

    Another great Linux distro? Netrunner Rolling. This Manjaro-based operating system uses KDE Plasma for its desktop environment. As the name implies, it follows a rolling release, meaning it is constantly being updated to fresh packages -- no major upgrades needed. It has a lot of polish and many quality pre-installed programs which indicates the developers truly care about the overall user experience. Quite frankly, it reminds me of Windows 7 -- in a good way -- which also makes it a wise choice for those unhappy with the much-maligned Windows 10. Today, Netrunner Rolling gets its first ISO refresh of 2018.

  • Netrunner Rolling 2018.01 released

    The Netrunner Team is happy to announce the release of Netrunner Rolling 2018.01 – 64bit ISO.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME and Fedora

  • RFC: Integrating rsvg-rs into librsvg
    I have started an RFC to integrate rsvg-rs into librsvg. rsvg-rs is the Rust binding to librsvg. Like the gtk-rs bindings, it gets generated from a pre-built GIR file.
  • 1+ year of Fedora and GNOME hardware enablement
    A year and a couple of months ago, Christian Schaller asked me to pivot a little bit from working full time on Fleet Commander to manage a new team we were building to work on client hardware enablement for Fedora and GNOME with an emphasis on upstream. The idea was to fill the gap in the organization where nobody really owned the problem of bringing up new client hardware features vertically across the stack (from shell down to the kernel), or rather, ensure Fedora and GNOME both work great on modern laptops. Part of that deal was to take over the bootloader and start working closer to customers and hardware manufacturing parnters.
  • Fedora Atomic Workstation: Works on the beach
    My trip is getting really close, so I decided to upgrade my system to rawhide. Wait, what ? That is usually what everybody would tell you not to do. Rawhide has this reputation for frequent breakage, and who knows if my apps will work any given day. Not something you want to deal with while traveling.
  • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for February

Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks (and Proprietary Opera)

  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks Like Waterfox, Pale Moon, or Basilisk
    Mozilla Firefox is an open source project, so anyone can take its code, modify it, and release a new browser. That’s what Waterfox, Pale Moon, and Basilisk are—alternative browsers based on the Firefox code. But we recommend against using any of them.
  • Opera Says Its Next Opera Release Will Have the Fastest Ad Blocker on the Block
    Opera Software promoted today its upcoming Opera 52 web browser to the beta channel claiming that it has the faster ad blocker on the market compared to previous Opera release and Google Chrome. One of the key highlights of the Opera 52 release will be the improved performance of the built-in ad blocker as Opera claims to have enhanced the string matching algorithm of the ad blocker to make it open web pages that contain ads much faster than before, and, apparently than other web browsers, such as Chrome.

Graphics: Glxinfo, ANV, SPIR-V

  • Glxinfo Gets Updated With OpenGL 4.6 Support, More vRAM Reporting
    The glxinfo utility is handy for Linux users in checking on their OpenGL driver in use by their system and related information. But it's not often that glxinfo itself gets updated, except that changed today with the release of mesa-demos-8.4.0 as the package providing this information utility. Mesa-demos is the collection of glxinfo, eglinfo, glxgears, and utilities related to Mesa. With the Mesa-demos 8.4.0 it is predominantly glxinfo updates.
  • Intel ANV Getting VK_KHR_16bit_storage Support Wrapped Up
    Igalia's Jose Maria Casanova Crespo sent out a set of patches today for fixes that allow for the enabling of the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension within Intel's ANV Vulkan driver. The patches are here for those interested in 16-bit storage support in Vulkan. This flips on the features for storageBuffer16BitAccess, uniformAndStorageBuffer16BitAccess, storagePushConstant16 and the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension. This support is present for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics and newer. Hopefully the work will be landing in Mesa Git soon.
  • SPIR-V Support For Gallium3D's Clover Is Closer To Reality
    It's been a busy past week for open-source GPU compute with Intel opening up their new NEO OpenCL stack, Karol Herbst at Red Hat posting the latest on Nouveau NIR support for SPIR-V compute, and now longtime Nouveau contributor Pierre Moreau has presented his latest for SPIR-V Clover support. Pierre has been spending about the past year adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's "Clover" OpenCL state tracker. SPIR-V, of course, is the intermediate representation used now by OpenCL and Vulkan.

Security: Updates, Tinder, FUD and KPTI Meltdown Mitigation

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Tinder vulnerability let hackers [sic] take over accounts with just a phone number

    The attack worked by exploiting two separate vulnerabilities: one in Tinder and another in Facebook’s Account Kit system, which Tinder uses to manage logins. The Account Kit vulnerability exposed users’ access tokens (also called an “aks” token), making them accessible through a simple API request with an associated phone number.

  • PSA: Improperly Secured Linux Servers Targeted with Chaos Backdoor [Ed: Drama queen once again (second time in a week almost) compares compromised GNU/Linux boxes to "back doors"]
    Hackers are using SSH brute-force attacks to take over Linux systems secured with weak passwords and are deploying a backdoor named Chaos. Attacks with this malware have been spotted since June, last year. They have been recently documented and broken down in a GoSecure report.
  • Another Potential Performance Optimization For KPTI Meltdown Mitigation
    Now that the dust is beginning to settle around the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation techniques on the major operating systems, in the weeks and months ahead we are likely to see more performance optimizations come to help offset the performance penalties incurred by mitigations like kernel page table isolation (KPTI) and Retpolines. This week a new patch series was published that may help with KPTI performance.