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Turnkey v14.2 Core Release - Improvements to Confconsole, including easy Let's Encrypt SSL certs

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Just shy of a year since our v14.1 release I am relieved to announce that Core v14.2 is finally ready for prime time!

It's been a while in the making, but v14.2 Core is now available for immediate launch in the cloud via the Hub. Amazon MarketPlace builds are on the way too, although no ETA at present. (Almost) all of the other builds (e.g. ISO, OVA, Xen, Proxmox etc.) can also be downloaded from the Core appliance page. Alternatively, all the currently appliance builds are available for direct download from one of our mirrors.

The highlights for this release include, a significant confconsole update, as well as new versions of TKLBAM and Webmin. It will also include a new OpenStack build courtesy of Tomas (from 'Home at Cloud').

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Windows Trying to Catch Up With Chromebooks

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  • Will Microsoft’s next attempt to take on cheap Chromebooks fare any better than its last?

    A few years before that, Microsoft tried to take on a different type of small, cheap notebook: the netbook. When Asus launched the original Eee PC in 2007 it ran a Linux-based operating system rather than Windows. For some people that was part of the appeal. For others, it was an obstacle to overcome.

    Part of what prompted me to start this website was the amount of interest there was in my articles about how to install Windows XP on the Eee PC.

    Microsoft lowered the Windows license fees for small, low-cost laptops and Linux netbooks became a thing of the past as more and more PC makers shipped models with Windows software. Then netbooks themselves sort of faded away.

    Or did they? Almost nobody uses the word “netbook” anymore, but their legacy lives on in affordable portable computers including Windows, Android, and iOS tablets and convertibles, cheap Windows notebooks, and perhaps most of all, in Chromebooks.

    Not all Chromebooks are dirt cheap. But some certainly are. And part of the reason is that device makers don’t have to pay for the operating system. Google gives it away for free.


    One problem is that new PCs aren’t just competing with Chromebooks. They’re also competing with older PCs. Can’t find a super-cheap 2017 model? Then consider picking up a refurbished 2016 model.

  • Are Chromebooks responsible for PC market growth?

    Chromebook sales have always been a bit of a mystery just like Microsoft’s own Surface sales, but we won’t know the full impact unless Google is willing to share how many are being used on a daily basis. Until then, it’s a guessing game of vague statements from analyst firms, or victory claims in small markets. Either way, it’s about time Chromebooks are considered as PCs by all involved.

  • Hasta la Windows Vista, baby! It's now officially dead – good riddance
  • Windows 10 Creators Update general rollout begins with a privacy dialogue [Ed: Microsoft and privacy do not belong in the same sentence. Vista 10 is malware.]

5 Linux Operating Systems That Offer Bleeding Edge Updates (and Time to Adopt These)

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  • 5 Linux Operating Systems That Offer Bleeding Edge Updates

    The words ‘bleeding edge’ suggest considerable risk. But a system that’s always improving and updating has its benefits. You might see gains in speed, along with security, for example. If you like that sort of thing (and are willing to take a bit of a risk), here are a few Linux operating systems you might want to try.

  • Windows as a service? Now, there’s an argument for Linux

    In particular, I recommend Linux Mint. It’s stable, it works like a fine-tuned watch, and it’s free. If you use the Cinnamon desktop, your users will think they’ve traveled back in time to the Windows XP desktop.

    Applications are easy to set up. These days, you just download and install them from an app store.

    Linux programs are also simple to use. Personally, I find that LibreOffice works just fine for office work. It’s latest version, 5.3.2, works better than ever with Microsoft Office’s OpenXML formats. And there’s always Google Docs.

    What’s that? You can’t live without Microsoft Office? Then don’t. You can run Office 365 on Linux. For that matter, when a user pointed out that OneDrive ran like a dog on Linux, Microsoft fixed it. Yes, you read that right. Microsoft fixed a serious bug with how a Microsoft app ran on Linux.

GnuTLS and reproducible builds

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  • [Older] Improving by simplifying the GnuTLS PRNG

    One of the most unwanted baggages for crypto implementations written prior to this decade is the (pseudo-)random generator, or simply PRNG. Speaking for GnuTLS, the random generator was written at a time where devices like /dev/urandom did not come by default on widely used operating systems, and even if they did, they were not universally available, e.g., devices would not be present, the Entropy Gathering Daemon (EGD) was something that was actually used in practice, and was common for software libraries like libgcrypt to include code to gather entropy on a system by running arbitrary command line tools.

  • [Older] GNUtls: GnuTLS 3.5.10

    Released GnuTLS 3.5.11 which is a bug fix release in the stable branch.

  • [Older] Practical basics of reproducible builds

    One issue though: people have to trust me -- and my computer's integrity.
    Reproducible builds could address that.

    My release process is tightly controlled, but is my project reproducible? If not, what do I need? Let's check!

  • [Older] Practical basics of reproducible builds 2

GNU Projects: Recent Releases

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More on Anbox

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Desktop GNU/Linux: Ubuntu, Dell, and Pinebook

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  • Where does the Ubuntu Linux desktop go from here?

    Seven years ago, Canonical moved the Ubuntu Linux desktop from the Gnome 3.x interface to its own Unity front-end. By the release of Ubuntu 11.10, Unity had become Ubuntu's default desktop. Even in these early days, Unity was meant to be more. The dream was for Unity to become a universal interface for PCs, smartphones, and tablets. It was a dream destined not to come true.

  • Our Trip to Dell | Linux Action Show 464
  • Pinebook Linux Laptop Now Shipping From $89

    Those that did not already pre-order the Pinebook Linux laptop, but would still like to get their hands on the new hardware will be pleased to know it is now shipping from just $89.

    To recap the Pinebook Linux laptop is fitted with a 64-bit Allwinner A64 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage and supports connectivity via both 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Android Inside GNU/Linux With Anbox

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  • Anbox Lets You Run Android Apps on the Linux Desktop

    Meet Anbox, a novel new way to run Android apps on the Linux desktop. “Anbox puts the Android operating system into a container, abstracts hardware access and integrates core system services into a GNU Linux system.

  • Anbox lets you run Android apps natively in Ubuntu, other GNU/Linux distros

    Want to run Android apps on a PC? Developers have been offering emulators like BlueStacks and Genymotion for years. But for the most part those applications set up a virtual machine that isolates your entire Android experience from the rest of your operating system.

    Anbox is a new open source system that lets you run Android apps on a PC natively, as if they were desktop applications. There’s no emulation required.

Pinebook Linux laptop is ready to ship for $89 and up (plus shipping)

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The Pinebook is a cheap, low-power laptop with an ARM-based processor. First unveiled in November, the Pinebook comes from the makers of the Pine A64 single-board computer and it uses the same processor as that tiny desktop.

Now the company is getting ready to begin shipping laptops to customers.

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Distro Releases

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  • Ubuntu-Based Black Lab Linux 8.2 Released with LibreOffice 5.3, Unity Interface

    Black Lab Software, through Roberto Dohnert, informs Softpedia today about the release and immediate availability for download of the second maintenance update to the Black Lab Linux 8 operating system series.

    Black Lab Linux 8.2 comes almost two months after the launch of the first point release, and while it still uses the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel from the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, it fixes over 270 bugs discovered during this time.

  • [Stable] OpenELEC 8.0 released

    OpenELEC 8.0 (internal version 8.0.0) release has been published. Users running older OpenELEC releases or with auto-update disabled will need to manually update. If you would like to update from an older OpenELEC release please read update instructions/advice on the Wiki before updating. Manual update files can be obtained from the downloads page.

  • OpenELEC Mediacenter OS 8.0 Released

    OpenELEC 8.0 was released this weekend as the newest version of this mediacenter / multimedia focused Linux distribution.

    OpenELEC 8.0 pulls in the Linux 4.9 kernel, Mesa 17.0, and a wealth of other packages. OpenELEC 8.0 is paired with Kodi 17.1 for serving your multimedia needs.

  • Tiny Core Linux 8.0 Operating System Arrives with BusyBox 1.25.1 and GCC 6.2.0
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More in Tux Machines


  • GNOME's JavaScript Component Will Be Seeing More Improvements For 3.26
    GJS -- the GNOME JavaScript system that allows for GObject introspection and other capabilities via JavaScript on the desktop -- is planning for further improvements with GNOME 3.26.
  • Show desktop icon in Gnome 3 - Where and how
    Despite my recently found liking for Gnome 3, largely because of Fedora 24 and Fedora 25, plus some rigorous work with extensions like Dash to Dock, it is still a highly inefficient desktop environment. The unnecessary touch emphasis is there, regardless of what anyone says, and it makes things difficult. For instance, Show desktop. This is an action slash widget in pretty much every other desktop, and despite occasional setbacks and regressions, it's always been there, a loyal companion in the moment of need. Not so in Gnome 3. Not just hidden. Not there at all. And what if you want it? Far from trivial. Hence this tutorial.
  • There's a script that makes the GNOME launcher a bit more organised
    I follow a great many sources for news and one that popped up in my feed is the 'gnome-dash-fix' script. It sorts out the mess that is the GNOME application launcher.

Leftovers: KDE and Qt

  • KDE neon CMake Package Validation
    In KDE neon‘s constant quest of raising the quality bar of KDE software and neon itself, I added a new tool to our set of quality assurance tools. CMake Package QA is meant to ensure that find_package() calls on CMake packages provided by config files (e.g. FooConfig.cmake files) do actually work.
  • Aether Icon Theme
  • Krita 2017 Survey Results
    A bit later than planned, but here are the 2017 Krita Survey results! We wanted to know a lot of things, like, what kind of hardware and screen resolution are most common, what drawing tablets were most common, and which ones gave most trouble. We had more than 1000 responses! Here’s a short summary, for the full report, head to Krita User Survey Report.
  • Cutelyst 1.6.0 released, to infinity and beyond!
    Once 1.5.0 was release I thought the next release would be a small one, it started with a bunch of bug fixes, Simon Wilper made a contribution to Utils::Sql, basically when things get out to production you find bugs, so there were tons of fixes to WSGI module.
  • LaKademy 2017 just started!
    The Latin America KDE Summit, LaKademy, just started today in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The country is in the middle of a general strike, which I’m supporting, but the LaKademy couldn’t stop. We’ve been organizing this meeting for a year.
  • KDE Connect from the eyes of a newbie... What sorcery is this?
    Of course, I inferred it was something to connect a phone and a PC in some way and enabling the swapping of files in between the two devices, but I really did not care much about it. After all, that is what bluetooth is for, right? Today, I decided to give it a try on PCLOS.
  • 9 months of Atelier project, almost time to launch(or not) =D
  • Nextcloud Plugin for QuickShare
    So after a long hiatus I chose the Plasma QuickShare applet (which is sort of the Plasma5 replacement for the old Pastebin Plasmoid) as my point of re-entry into KDE code work. There was after all a deal of itches there I wanted scratched. It’s been quite a bit of fun figuring out the various interesting frameworks QuickShare is connected to at the backend. Anyways, some days ago I got a rudimentary Nextcloud plugin past review and pushed it, which should mean it’ll soon be coming to a 5.10-powered desktop near you :)
  • QNX as a desktop operating system
    On his spare time, Elad Lahav (a kernel developer at BlackBerry) built an experimental Qt-based desktop environment to try and see if he could use QNX as a desktop operating system. And it works!
  • Performance regression testing of Qt Quick
    We recently added a new toy to The Qt Project, and I wanted to give an overview on what it is and how it can be used.
  • Qt World Summit 2017 Call for Presentations
  • Give us a proper mimetype name for OpenCL C files!
    KDevelop, your cross-platform IDE, since version 5.1 has initial OpenCL language support.

Oh Snap – to boldly package where no one has packaged before

One of the great disadvantages of the Linux desktop is its software distribution mechanism. While the overall concept of central software repos works great and has been adapted into powerful Stores in commercial products, deploying and using programs, delivered as packages, is a tricky business. It stems from the wider fragmentation of the distro ecospace, and it essence, it means that if you want to release your product, you must compile it 150 odd ways, not just for different distributions but also for different versions of the same distribution. Naturally, this model scares away the big game. Recently though, there have been several attempts to make Linux packages more cross-distro and minimize the gap between distributions. The name of the game: Snap, and we’ve tasted this app-container framework before. It is unto Linux what, well, Windows stuff is unto Windows, in a way. Not quite statically compiled stuff, but definitely independent. I had it tested again in Ubuntu 17.04, and it would appear that Snap is getting more and more traction. Let’s have another look. Read more

Kubuntu 17.04 - the next generation

As usual, Kubuntu 17.04 does not give you any surprises. It is stable and reliable. It is reasonably resource-hungry. There are no wonders in this new release. Just a well-rounded distribution for everyday use. Yes, there are small bugs or inconveniences here and there, but they are not huge and can be easily fixed, replaced or lived with. The biggest of them for me, of course, is the lack of multimedia codecs. You can heal that easily. Read more