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FSF/GNU//SFC/LibrePlanet Talks and News

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  • What college students do and don't know about free software

    Given the rapid growth of free software, it seems reasonable that free software communities might expect undergraduate students in computer science or software engineering programs would graduate with an understanding of free software and the ability to make project contributions. However, many students are not being taught core tools and concepts such as licenses, version control, and issue trackers as part of their degree program. This presentation will summarize the results of recent field research on the state of undergraduate education about free software; discuss the gap between undergraduate computing education and community expectations; and explore both the reasons for the gap and approaches to bridging it.

  • Engaging nonprofits: why free software is essential to the social good
  • Karen Sandler Wins the Prestigious Free Software Award

    This past Saturday at the LibrePlanet conference, Conservancy's Executive Director, Karen Sandler won the most prestigious Award in the area of software freedom: the Free Software Foundation's annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software. The award is given annually by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to an individual who has made “a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.”

    Richard Stallman, President of the FSF, presented Sandler with the award during a ceremony. Stallman highlighted Sandler's dedication to software freedom. Stallman told the crowd that Sandler's “vivid warning about backdoored nonfree software in implanted medical devices has brought the issue home to people who never wrote a line of code. Her efforts, usually not in the public eye, to provide pro bono legal advice to free software organizations and [with Software Freedom Conservancy] to organize infrastructure for free software projects and copyleft defense, have been equally helpful.”.

  • Sharing strategies for welcoming newcomers into FLOSS projects: First-timers-only, list moderation, and more

    Since early 2016, Public Lab has worked to make our free software projects more welcoming and inclusive, and to grow our software contributor community in diversity and size. We have learned from and incorporated strategies from other communities like the Hoodie Project, SpinachCon, and, and shared our own ideas, and this session will cover a range of principles and strategies that have emerged across a number of separate efforts in different FLOSS projects. Topics will include: 1) friendliness, 2) Codes of Conduct, 3) first-timers-only issues, 4) welcoming pages, 5) social media outreach, 6) code modularity, 7) ladders of participation, 8) continuous integration, 9) friendly bots, and 10) evaluation.

  • The WordPress Philosophy: The Four Freedoms

    This is the second post in a series on the WordPress Philosophy. Last month I described why WordPress has a Philosophy and why WordPress users should care about that and understand it. This article is the first of 8 that will explore the tenants of the WordPress Philosophy.

    We’re going to start at the end. The most foundational tenant of the WordPress Philosophy is the last one: “Our Bill of Rights”. I believe this is foundational to understanding all the previous tenants of the philosophy.

    Similarly to the United States of America’s Bill of Rights, this Bill of Rights is all about freedom. This is often called “The Four Freedoms”...

Linux and GNU Leftovers

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  • Linus Torvalds says new Linux lands next week and he’s sticking to that … for now

    Linus Torvalds is pretty sure he’ll release version 4.16 of the Linux kernel next week.

    The development cycle for this version has been quiet. So quiet that Linus’ weekly pronouncements have been brief, dull and unremarkable, just like each weekly code rollup.

    But in the last week, Torvalds told the kernel mailing list on Sunday March 25th, “rc7 is much too big for my taste.”

    “By this time in the release, things should have calmed down more than they apparently have.”

    The problem this week was the arrival of “2.5 weeks worth of networking stuff, and that makes rc7 look

  • Linux Foundation Launches LF Deep Learning Foundation to Accelerate AI Growth
  • V-EZ: AMD Releases New Easy-To-Use Vulkan Middleware, Simplified API

    AMD's GPUOpen group in cooperation with Khronos today is announcing V-EZ, a new project of theirs designed to make the barrier to entry for the Vulkan graphics API lower. V-EZ provides a middleware layer and simplified API for making it easier to get started with Vulkan development.

  • Etnaviv Gallium3D Wires In Performance Monitor Support

    With the latest Etnaviv DRM code there is now performance counters support for being able to read the hardware counters via perfmon domains. The patches have now been published for making use of these Vivante performance counters from user-space.

  • RadeonTop 1.1 Brings GTT Reporting, Updated PCI IDs

    Besides DriConf or the newer ADRICONF, another tool for open-source Radeon Linux driver users for monitoring their GPU(s) is RadeonTop. RadeonTop 1.1 is now available as the independent project's latest feature release.

  • Vega 12 Support Now Queued In DRM-Next For Linux 4.17

    The Vega 12 Linux kernel patches posted last week will now be appearing in the Linux 4.17 kernel with the work having been merged into DRM-Next.

    Details on what the Vega 12 GPU is remain scarce, but most readers are speculating that it's either for a discrete mobile GPU or a successor to the Radeon RX 500 "Polaris" GPUs.... Time will tell, but based on the timing of these kernel patches, hopefully we won't need to wait too much longer to find out.

  • Intel Axes its Linux Graphics Update Tool

    Intel has announced it is ‘discontinuing’ the ‘Intel Graphics Update Tool for Linux‘.

    The tool (which was known as “Intel Graphics Installer for Linux” for a while) was created in 2013 to give Linux users a reliable way to upgrade to the latest stable firmware, driver and other components for Intel graphics chips.

    Owners of newer Intel hardware often had to use the tool in order to get the most from their GPU when using Linux.

    Ubuntu and Fedora were the officially supported distros the tool targeted, but users of related distributions, including Linux Mint, often made use of it too.

  • Tar Picks Up Support For Zstd Compression

    The latest program joining the Zstd bandwagon is Tar.

    Zstd is now the latest compression format supported by GNU Tar along with Gzip, Bzip2, Lzip, LZMA, Lzop, and XZ.

  • GNU Toolchain Update – Spring 2018

LOL! Google Thinks Arch Linux is Based on Ubuntu

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Search ‘Ubuntu based distros’ on Google and laugh at the recommendations as Google shows Arch, Debian etc in the search result.

Ubuntu is based on Debian. Debian is not based on other distribution. Arch Linux is a distribution independent of Debian or any other Linux distribution.

This is what every Linux user already knows.

But not Google, apparently.

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GNU Foliot and GNU Radio

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  • GNU Foliot version 0.9.7

    This is a maintenance release, which brings GNU Foliot up-to-date with Guile-2.2, which introduced an incompatible module - goops related - change.

  • SDR’s Hard Side Shown in DARPA Hackfest

    During these few-times-a-year hackfests, we worked crazy-long hours, lived on fast food, and de-prioritized sleep– an energizing combination that fostered collaboration and focused our attentions in uniquely fruitful ways. As a result of some of our hackfests, core and prominent features were created that still reside inside GNU Radio today.


    Out of the many decades of work on free and open source software (FOSS) projects have come debugged and optimized software that now is helping us address technical challenges more quickly and effectively that we could before these tools became available. Although this remains true, we learned from our hackfest experience in California that there still are many hard problems to solve.

Linus Torvalds Remembers the Days Before ‘Open Source’

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Advocating fiercely for the term free software was Richard Stallman, who notes that the free software movement began in 1983, and argues that “In 1998, a part of the free software community splintered off and began campaigning in the name of ‘open source’…”

“The two terms describe almost the same category of software, but they stand for views based on fundamentally different values. Open source is a development methodology; free software is a social movement. For the free software movement, free software is an ethical imperative, essential respect for the users’ freedom. By contrast, the philosophy of open source considers issues in terms of how to make software ‘better’ — in a practical sense only… Most discussion of ‘open source’ pays no attention to right and wrong, only to popularity and success.”

In the 2001 documentary “RevolutionOS,” Eric Raymond counters that the problem with the phrase “free software” is the connotations it brings up for business executives.

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LibrePlanet Day 2: no software freedom? That's incompossible!

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The second day of LibrePlanet 2018 began on a contemplative note with Seth Schoen's keynote speech, "Incompossibilities: Ubiquitous Engineering Tradeoffs." No, that's not a typo: "incompossible" describes multiple things that can't exist at once -- conditions in which it's impossible to satisfy every requirement.

Schoen, who is a Senior Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, explored the impossibility of creating absolutely perfect software, discussing how the inherent tradeoffs in software development echo those in political science, ethical philosophy, and more.

Other morning sessions included a roundup of device and personal privacy technology; a workshop on free software desktops for kids; a talk on the progress the free software community has made on diversity (and how we still have a way to go); a talk about the necessity of ethical standards in the free software world; and more.

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A look at 100% free modern GNU/Linux distributions

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It's a common misconception that Linux Mint, is entirely free; just for example. This statement could be taken as true, if looked at from the perspective of cost to the end-user, you; however not if taken at the perspective of free meaning freedom.

Many packages, drivers, and applications used in modern GNU/Linux distributions are not open-sourced, and therefore not really 'free' in the same sense.

There are some users who make the switch to GNU/Linux, away from systems like Windows and MacOS, for the explicit purpose of using only free software, operating systems, drivers, and everything in between, as a way of 'taking back their computing' or other similar concepts.

Whatever the reason one may have, there are a number of distributions to choose from, so here's a few to pique your curiosity.

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Another year, another great Linux conference – Scale16x

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Red Hat

From March 8th to 11th, 2018 the Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) took place in beautiful Pasadena for the third year in a row, previous edition were held in hotels near LAX. This was the 16th edition of the conference -hence the #Scale16x hashtag that flooded social media those days- and my personal 8th.

I’ve been saying it for a while now that I think that the conference is just getting better by every year, but this year I heard several comments that this is one of the best and most important community driven conferences in the world. Rough estimations tell that there were around 3,000 attendees this year.

As a long time tradition now, the Fedora community held some activities in the conference, as well as a booth in the exhibition floor. This year, I had the privilege and pleasure of promoting Fedora, answer question from people that showed interest in (or are already users of) Fedora or simply saluting people that stopped by. I have to say that it pleasantly surprised me the growing number of spanish-speaking people that attended this year. I was accompanied in booth duty with long time Fedora contributors -but above all great Friends- Perry Rivera, Scott Williams and my newest Fedora friend Michael Singh. Unofficialy, but always willing to help, RedHat’s Tom ‘Spot’ Callaway was also supporting our booth and we always appreciate it and thank him for his work.

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Also on Red Hat: Analysts Bullish On Red Hat Ahead Of Q4 Earnings

GNU/Linux Preloaded on Mintbox Mini 2 and Atari

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  • Linux Mint announces Mintbox Mini 2 tiny desktop PC with Intel inside

    As with the original Mini, the Mini 2 will come in standard and Mini Pro editions when they become available in June, with similar or lower price tags to their predecessors. The Mini 2 ships with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of solid-state storage, whereas the Mini Pro 2 doubles the RAM and boosts storage capacity to a 120GB SSD. While the Mini 2 is a mere $4 more than the first Mini ($299 versus $294), the $349 Mini Pro 2 is actually $45 cheaper than the previous version.

  • The Atari VCS Console will Run Linux OS to Keep that Atari Homebrew Feel

    It is 2018 and Atari is back in the console game. Didn’t think I’d be typing that one even after they announced the Ataribox last summer. Now, the re-branded Atari VCS was supposed to launch back in December 2017, but was delayed for a “number of factors” however, the company plans to be much more open about the console’s development process in the coming months. While the console probably won’t be releasing anytime soon, Atari Connect COO Michael Arzt was on-site at GDC this week to answer questions about the console. Granted, what he could say was relatively limited, but it did give us some idea of where things are in production. “Delaying the release gave us a chance to go back and look at everything again, and we found a few other things we wanted to change as well,” Arzt said. He didn’t go into detail about the delay or what else would be changing, after all, that’s old news.

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More in Tux Machines

Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28

  • The state of Thunderbolt 3 in Fedora 28
    Fedora 28 is around the corner and I wanted to highlight what we did to make the Thunderbolt 3 experience as smooth as possible. Although this post focuses on Fedora 28 for what is currently packaged and shipping, all changes are of course available upstream and should hit other distributions in the future.
  • Thunderbolt 3 Support Is In Great Shape For Fedora 28
    Red Hat developers have managed to deliver on their goals around improving Thunderbolt support on the Linux desktop with the upcoming Fedora 28 distribution update. This has been part of their goal of having secure Thunderbolt support where users can authorize devices and/or restrict access to certain capabilities on a per-device basis, which is part of Red Hat's Bolt project and currently has UI elements for the GNOME desktop.

New Heptio Announcements

Android Leftovers

New Terminal App in Chome OS Hints at Upcoming Support for Linux Applications

According to a Reddit thread, a Chromebook user recently spotted a new Terminal app added to the app drawer when running on the latest Chrome OS Dev channel. Clicking the icon would apparently prompt the user to install the Terminal app, which requires about 200 MB of disk space. The installation prompt notes the fact that the Terminal app can be used to develop on your Chromebook. It also suggests that users will be able to run native apps and command-line tools seamlessly and securely. Considering the fact that Chrome OS is powered by the Linux kernel, this can only mean one thing. Read more