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GNU Guix: Guix Reduces Bootstrap Seed by 50%

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GNU

We are delighted to announce that the first reduction by 50% of the Guix bootstrap binaries has now been officially released!

This is a very important step because the ~250MB seed of binary code was practically non-auditable, which makes it hard to establish what source code produced them.

Every unauditable binary also leaves us vulnerable to compiler backdoors as described by Ken Thompson in the 1984 paper Reflections on Trusting Trust and beautifully explained by Carl Dong in his Bitcoin Build System Security talk.

It is therefore equally important that we continue towards our final goal: A Full Source bootstrap; removing all unauditable binary seeds.

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Trouble in Atari VCS Land

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Gaming
  • Game over: Atari VCS architect quits project, claims he hasn’t been paid for six months

    The architect of Atari’s much-delayed retro console, the Atari VCS, has quit the project, claiming he hasn't been paid in six months. The departure could put the entire affair in doubt.

    Games industry veteran, one of the founding team members behind the Xbox, and Atari system architect, Rob Wyatt told The Register: “As of Friday, October 4th, I have officially resigned as the architect of the Atari VCS."

    The techie claimed "Atari haven't paid invoices going back over six months" to his design consultancy, Tin Giant, which was working on the VCS, adding: "As a small company, we have been lucky to survive this long.”

  • Things are going downhill for the Atari VCS as Rob Wyatt quits

    It's now confirmed that Rob Wyatt, someone who Atari made a big thing over joining them has quit citing non payment of invoices for at least six months.

    As confirmed by The Register who spoke to Wyatt, things have not been going well. Not only has Wyatt completely left the project, it sounds like Atari don't exactly know what they're doing. Originally, Atari said it would have their own Linux-based OS with an easy to use UI and their own store. According to sources The Register spoke to who've had direct contact with the VCS project, that might no longer happen. Sounds like it's turning into a regular Linux box now.

    No game developers have signed up to make original games, which is something I expected after their first announcement about actual games years after the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign was a retro streaming service. On top of that, they've not been able to pull in the big game engines like Unreal or Unity too.

Top 10 Linux distributions OS most popular in last 6 months of 2019

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GNU
Linux

It is really difficult to track all available Linux distributions because they are countless, daily some new project is coming in and some going out (dead). That’s why Linux newcomers can easily be confused, although some top options such as Ubuntu, Debian, CertnOS, Linux Mint, Deepin etc. are always there to start. However, if you want to know the top 10 most downloaded and used Linux distros in past six months then here is the list. In it, you will find real popular systems but also one or the other unknown masterpiece. Lately, one new Linux OS start getting much traction and able to rank at the first spot in this top 10 list of Linx distros i.e MX Linux.

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An Intro to Mastodon for GNU/Linux Users

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GNU
Linux

Mastodon is a Twitter-like social network that is free software-based and federated. Being free means society controls the software running behind the server, and being federated means the social network is independent against central authority. In Mastodon, we can follow & text to anybody in same social network but unlike Twitter, there are no ads and we can follow & talk to users in other social networks. Speaking technically, Mastodon is one among today's so-called Fediverse social networks, it's based on modern ActivityPub technology, its source code is written in Ruby language, and therefore we can easily host our own Mastodon servers. I wish to support wider adoption of Mastodon in our GNU/Linux community so I tried to write this very short introduction that I divided into only 3 parts. Start with JoinMastodon.org and go ahead!

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JACK2 1.9.13 Released As First Update In Nearly 2 Years For The Low-Latency Audio Server

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GNU
Linux
Software

While Red Hat is pursuing Pipewire with plans to fill the use-cases provided by the JACK(2) low-latency audio server, JACK2 isn't letting up and Sunday marked version 1.9.13 for the project and their first release since December 2017.

JACK2 1.9.13 is primarily driven by the introduction of a meta-data API, a long-standing request with JACK1 having added a meta-data API more than six years ago.

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Sparky 5.9

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GNU
Linux
Debian

SparkyLinux 5.9 “Nibiru” is out. This is a quarterly update of live/install media of the stable line, which is based on Debian 10 “Buster”.

The base system has been upgraded from Debian stable repos as of October 4, 2019.
It works on the Linux kernel 4.19.67 LTS.
As usually, new iso/img images provide small bug fixes and improvements as well.

Sparky project page and Sparky forums got new skins; no big changes about the colors but they are much mobile devices friendly now.

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GNU/Linux Communities at Telegram

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GNU
Linux

I listed here popular English-based GNU/Linux community's Telegram groups and also several FLOSS websites' Telegram channels like Kubuntu support group and OMG! Ubuntu site channel. To make it easier for you and me, I don't make distinction between official and unofficial ones. For some communities, like CentOS group below, I listed the non-English one while I didn't find the English one. I also listed more resources at the end so you can find more Telegram groups you would love. I wish everybody could join and make good friends there and I also want for more GNU/Linux communities to make their own Telegram groups. Enjoy!

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FSF and GNU

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GNU

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project were both started by Richard M. Stallman (RMS), and he served until recently as the head of both. Because of that, the relationship between the FSF and GNU has been fluid.

As part of our commitment to supporting the development and distribution of fully free operating systems, the FSF provides GNU with services like fiscal sponsorship, technical infrastructure, promotion, copyright assignment, and volunteer management.

GNU decision-making has largely been in the hands of GNU leadership. Since RMS resigned as president of the FSF, but not as head of GNU ("Chief GNUisance"), the FSF is now working with GNU leadership on a shared understanding of the relationship for the future. As part of that, we invite comments from free software community members at fsf-and-gnu@fsf.org.

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Desktop Leftovers

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GNU
Linux
  • Short Topix: Julian Assange To Remain Jailed Pending Extradition To U.S.

    Say what? Microsoft Windows 11 running a Linux kernel? What'chu smokin'? Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols wrote such a speculative article for ComputerWorld.

    And actually, it makes perfect sense. Look at the unmitigated disaster that the Windows 10 updates have been. Week after week after week, we hear about how the Windows 10 updates have wrecked users computers or have otherwise gone seriously awry. Most (if not all) Linux users are Windows refugees, usually fleeing from the lack of desktop choice under Windows, the never-ending assault of virii and virus scanners, the endless battle with malware, etc., etc., etc. The list is nearly as long as the number of Linux users.

    Replacing the NT kernel, which is basically rotten, with the Linux kernel is certainly doable. Vaughan-Nichols makes the argument that using the Linux kernel that is passionately and enthusiastically upkept by an army of programmers from around the world makes perfect sense. He goes on to argue that many Windows users won't even have to be aware that Windows is running on a Linux kernel, as Windows can still be made to look like Windows. But the insides, the very core, will get an upgrade in stability and security.

    Sure, it sounds crazy. But who could have predicted that Microsoft would go from wanting to bury Linux and calling it a cancer under Steve Ballmer, to expressing love for Linux under Satya Nadella? Who could have predicted that Microsoft would open its extensive patent library to Linux and the FOSS community -- for free?

    Vaughan-Nichols goes on to point out that Microsoft could release its own version of Linux today, if it chose to. There's nothing to stop them. But Microsoft developers have been busy laying the groundwork with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), mapping Linux API calls to Windows, and vice versa.

  • "LIBOUTPUT" Proposed As New Library For Helping To Bring Up New Compositors & More

    Coming out of informal discussions from this week's X.Org Developers Conference in Montreal, a "liboutput" library has been proposed as a theoretical new library for helping to bring up Wayland compositors, X11 window managers, and anything else wanting to interface with DRM/KMS kernel interfaces. 

  • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: oulik.jan

    My father of 91 uses Linux as well. (Lubuntu) With Windows, he often picked up a virus or other malware, and he has been running Linux virus free since six years now. He is very happy with Lubuntu. 

    My brothers were in the beginning quite negative about my father using Lubuntu, but now they tend to be neutral about it. 

    I tried to convince some friends of mine to use Linux, but they perceive it to be too complicated and too different. 

    Only two friends of mine like it. 

Video/Audio: 'Agony Unrated' on GNU/Linux, Noodlings and Destination Linux

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GNU
Linux
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