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Pine64 Linux PinePhone could get Moto Mod functionality

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With the focus given to Huawei’s US ban, there has also been some discussion about Android, Google’s hold on the platform, and truly free (as in freedom) alternatives to the world’s biggest mobile OS. There has never been a shortage of alternative mobile platforms, many of them revolving around Linux, but there has been a dearth of companies making devices that run and support such platforms. Pine64 is one of those few and it is now sharing some development in its quest to make a privacy-respecting open source smartphone.

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Arch Linux OS Challenge: Install Arch 'The Easy Way' With These 2 Alternative Methods

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Before you attempt these alternative Arch installation methods, I highly recommend installing Arch the traditional way: from the command line, step-by-step, using the classic Arch ISO. Why? Because you'll gain a deeper understanding of your hardware and what goes into installing a desktop Linux operating system. As a result, you'll appreciate these relatively unattended methods even more, and have a stronger grasp of what they're actually doing.

A classic Arch install isn't as crazy difficult as you think. There's an official, exhaustive guide on the Arch Linux Wiki, and our challenge community has created this excellent document full of tips and tricks. Give it a spin inside a Virtual Machine first, then try it for real!

Before we jump in, one quick word of warning: The Arch Linux Wiki's Installation Guide is the only officially supported method for installing Arch. Move forward at your own risk, and don't rely on the developers of these projects for help.

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Fedora: Applications for Writing Markdown, Community Platform Engineering Team, Securing Linux with Ansible

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Red Hat
  • Fedora Magazine: Applications for writing Markdown

    Markdown is a lightweight markup language that is useful for adding formatting while still maintaining readability when viewing as plain text. Markdown (and Markdown derivatives) are used extensively as the priumary form of markup of documents on services like GitHub and pagure. By design, Markdown is easily created and edited in a text editor, however, there are a multitude of editors available that provide a formatted preview of Markdown markup, and / or provide a text editor that highlights the markdown syntax.

    This article covers 3 desktop applications for Fedora Workstation that help out when editing Markdown.

  • Fedora Community Blog: State of the Community Platform Engineering team

    About two years ago the Fedora Engineering team merged with the CentOS Engineering team to form what is now called the Community Platform Engineering (CPE) team. For the team members, the day to day work did not change much.

    The members working on Fedora are still fully dedicated to work on the Fedora project on those working on CentOS are still fully dedicated to CentOS. On both projects its members are involved in infrastructure, release engineering, and design. However, it brought the two infrastructures and teams closer to each other, allowing for more collaboration between them.

    There are 20 people on this consolidated team.

  • Christopher Smart: Securing Linux with Ansible

    The Ansible Hardening role from the OpenStack project is a great way to secure Linux boxes in a reliable, repeatable and customisable manner.

    It was created by former colleague of mine Major Hayden and while it was spun out of OpenStack, it can be applied generally to a number of the major Linux distros (including Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, Debian, SUSE).

    The role is based on the Secure Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) out of the Unites States for RHEL, which provides recommendations on how best to secure a host and the services it runs (category one for highly sensitive systems, two for medium and three for low). This is similar to the Information Security Manual (ISM) we have in Australia, although the STIG is more explicit.

Licensing Changes

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  • CockroachDB changes its open-source licensing model [Ed: Waffling tom avoid saying it became proprietary]

    Cockroach Labs has announced that it is switching CockroachDB away from the Apache License version 2 (APL).

    According to Cockroach Labs, its business model has long relied on the assumption that “companies could build a business around a strong open source core product without a much larger technology platform company coming along and offering the same product as a service.” But this is no longer the case, the company explained.

  • Another open-source database company will tighten its licensing strategy, wary of Amazon Web Services [Ed: Another reminder that all the cloudwashing by corporate media is an assault on FOSS because people are shamed into ceding control, giving all money and data to GAFAM]

    Cockroach Labs, the New York-based database company behind the open-source CockroachDB database, will change the terms of the license agreement in the next version of the open-source project to prohibit cloud providers like Amazon Web Services from offering a commercial version of that project as a service.

  • CockroachDB shelters from AWS extermination under Business Software License [Ed: Amazon's assault on FOSS using the AWS/cloudwashing craze yields results; FOSS becoming proprietary software and GAFAM couldn't care less.]

    Cockroach Labs has become the latest open source vendor to run for cover from AWS and other cloud vendors, by relicensing its CockroachDB under the Business Source License.

    In a post explaining the move, the companies’ founders wrote “We’re witnessing the rise of highly-integrated providers take advantage of their unique position to offer “as-a-service” versions of OSS products, and offer a superior user experience as a consequence of their integrations.” They cited AWS’ forked version of ElasticSearch.

  • Latest FSF Updates To Software Licenses

    If you've ever felt confused about open source licensing you are not alone. The good news is that the Free Software Foundation has a highly informative and well-maintained list of licenses, not only for software but also for documentation and for other works, drawing a distinction between free and non-free.

    The fact that that the Personal Public Licence Version 3a and the Anti-996 Licence have both been added to the non-free list isn't really the important bit of this news item. It is that the existence of the Various Licences and Comments about Them that deserves being better known.

GNU/Linux Desktop: RPM 4.15, QtFM, Passpartout: The Starving Artist, KDE Google Summer of Code and Microsoft Peter Arrested

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  • RPM 4.15 With Better Performance & New Features Will Make It Into Fedora 31

    On Friday the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) signed off on the plan to upgrade RPM for Fedora 31. 

    The plan is a go to use RPM 4.15 for Fedora 31 as what will be the latest-and-greatest RPM4 release when F31 ships this autumn. RPM 4.15 is an exciting improvement with greater parallelism to yield faster builds, a dynamic build dependency generator, experimental chroot operations for non-root users, better Lua support, UTF-8 handling improvements, and a heck of a lot more.

  • QtFM file Manager has been Added recently in SparkyLinux Repository

    There is a new tool called QtFM is available for Sparkers.

    This package is built and tested on Sparky 5/Debian Buster 64 and 32 bit only.

    It’s the first build of QtFM on Sparky so register a bug if you find any problem.


  • Passpartout: The Starving Artist now available on GOG with Linux support

    Bob Ross, the game? Passpartout: The Starving Artist, originally released back in 2017 has now landed on GOG and they've managed to include the Linux build right away.

  • Announcing Our Google Summer of Code 2019 Students

    These students will be working with our development teams throughout the summer, and many of them will join us this September at Akademy, our annual community meeting.

    Krita will have four students this year: Alberto Flores will work with the SVG pipe/animated brush, Kuntal M. is porting the magnetic lasso, Sharaf Zaman will port Krita to Android, and Tusooa Windy will bring a better undo/redo for Krita.

    digiKam will mentor three students this year. Thanh Trung Dinh will bring AI Face Recognition with the OpenCV DNN module to digiKam, Igor Antropov will improve the Faces Management workflow, and Ahmed Fathy will make a zoomable and resizable brush for Healing Clone Tool.

  • Ars Technica reporter Bright charged with child sex solicitation [Ed: He not only “wrote regularly about Microsoft"; Microsoft Peter was a Microsoft PR mole inside Ars Technica and they paid him how much for 9 years? Half a million bucks?]


    Bright's last story for Ars was filed on 22 May, the day he was arrested. He wrote regularly about Microsoft and its software and hardware.

Condres OS Introduces new Control Center, which will be shipped in the future release

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Condres is a user-friendly Linux distribution based on the independently developed Arch operating system.

It’s supporting almost all the popular desktop environments like Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, server edition, minimal edition (CLI).

The developers of Condres has introduced a new graphical control center.

It’s still in beta stage. I hope, it will be shipped in the future release.

The new control center, which now completely replaces the Condres Settings Manager and Octopi.

There are many features added in control center, which has been revised and has now reached beta 2.

Finally the system tray finds updates in real time using pacman-helper.

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Desktop GNU/Linux: Comparison, Installation, Nostalgia, Podcasts and More

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  • Best Linux desktop of 2019

    The desktop is a critical aspect of your Linux experience, providing you with a user-friendly way to interact with your computer. Unlike Windows or Mac, Linux doesn't tie you to a single desktop. Switching desktop environments is incredibly straightforward – just install a new one, log out and choose it from the login screen. You can install as many desktop environments as you like, although you can only use one at a time.

    In this guide, we've rounded up seven of the most popular desktops, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Before you dive in, however, take some time to think about what you want from your desktop.

    A desktop environment is more than the wallpaper which appears when you log in. It also includes a window manager and usually a set of utilities. It may come in the form of a pre-assembled package, such as Gnome or KDE, or it may be assembled by the distro maintainer, such as CrunchBang++'s Openbox or Puppy's JWM.

    Most desktops can be tweaked and skinned to look radically different, so if you like your current desktop's look but not much else, you can probably customise – or even source a special version – of another environment to keep that familiar look and feel. Even when desktop environments come as part of a pre-assembled package, they may vary between distributions. KDE, in particular, can look radically different depending on your chosen flavour of Linux.

  • Attempting to install Linux on a new laptop [Ed: In order to promote Vista 10 or WSL Microsoft will always strive to make installing and keeping GNU/Linux harder. For decades it was breaking the MBR and then there's AARD.]

    My Dell Mini-9 (also known as the Inspiron 901) laptop is now 10 years old. It came with a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, 512M of memory, an 8GB SSD, and Ubuntu preinstalled. I upgraded the memory to 2GB a few years after I got it, and it's been my travel laptop the entire time I've owned it. But its battery died about two years ago, and its SSD is no longer large enough to allow Ubuntu to upgrade to the latest versions. A new battery and adding a 16GB SD card returned the unit to usability, but it has become obvious that it is time for a replacement.

    Dell no longer offers any Inspiron laptops with Linux preinstalled (their Linux preinstalled laptops are the XPS series and since they start at $779, they're well outside my price range), but historically their laptops have been fairly Linux friendly. When I found the Inspiron 11" 3000 series on sale last year for $150 it looked like it might be the ideal replacement. So I hopefully ordered one.

    This laptop comes with an AMD E2-9000e processor with Radeon R2 graphics, 4GB of memory, a 32GB eMMC drive, and Windows 10 Home preinstalled. It has one USB 2 port, one USB 3 port, an HDMI video port, and a slot for a micro-SD card. Getting it with Linux was not an option, nor is there an option to download a Linux bootable iso for it, though curiously both the system setup guide and the service manual list Linux as a supported operating system. It is offically an Inspiron 3180, Reg model P24T, Reg Type No P24T003. Its small size and light weight make it an ideal travel laptop.

  • Adversarial Interoperability: Reviving an Elegant Weapon From a More Civilized Age to Slay Today's Monopolies

    Today, Apple is one of the largest, most profitable companies on Earth, but in the early 2000s, the company was fighting for its life. Microsoft's Windows operating system was ascendant, and Microsoft leveraged its dominance to ensure that every Windows user relied on its Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc). Apple users—a small minority of computer users—who wanted to exchange documents with the much larger world of Windows users were dependent on Microsoft's Office for the Macintosh operating system (which worked inconsistently with Windows Office documents, with unexpected behaviors like corrupting documents so they were no longer readable, or partially/incorrectly displaying parts of exchanged documents). Alternatively, Apple users could ask Windows users to export their Office documents to an "interoperable" file format like Rich Text Format (for text), or Comma-Separated Values (for spreadsheets). These, too, were inconsistent and error-prone, interpreted in different ways by different programs on both Mac and Windows systems.

    Apple could have begged Microsoft to improve its Macintosh offerings, or they could have begged the company to standardize its flagship products at a standards body like OASIS or ISO. But Microsoft had little motive to do such a thing: its Office products were a tremendous competitive advantage, and despite the fact that Apple was too small to be a real threat, Microsoft had a well-deserved reputation for going to enormous lengths to snuff out potential competitors, including both Macintosh computers and computers running the GNU/Linux operating system.


    Scratch the surface of most Big Tech giants and you'll find an adversarial interoperability story: Facebook grew by making a tool that let its users stay in touch with MySpace users; Google products from search to Docs and beyond depend on adversarial interoperability layers; Amazon's cloud is full of virtual machines pretending to be discrete CPUs, impersonating real computers so well that the programs running within them have no idea that they're trapped in the Matrix.

    Adversarial interoperability converts market dominance from an unassailable asset to a liability. Once Facebook could give new users the ability to stay in touch with MySpace friends, then every message those Facebook users sent back to MySpace—with a footer advertising Facebook's superiority—became a recruiting tool for more Facebook users. MySpace served Facebook as a reservoir of conveniently organized potential users that could be easily reached with a compelling pitch about why they should switch.

    Today, Facebook is posting 30-54% annual year-on-year revenue growth and boasts 2.3 billion users, many of whom are deeply unhappy with the service, but who are stuck within its confines because their friends are there (and vice-versa).

    A company making billions and growing by double-digits with 2.3 billion unhappy customers should be every investor's white whale, but instead, Facebook and its associated businesses are known as "the kill zone" in investment circles.

  • Why was a BogoMip bogus?

    I woke up this morning wondering something I hadn't in years. Why was Linux' BogoMip bogus?

    I first installed Slackware Linux from a huge stack of 3.5" floppy disks. My life was changed. This was in the 1.0.X kernel days.

    I stopped dicking around with Linux as my desktop OS when OS X bridged the gap. I have not made zlilo in over 2 decades, but this morning I woke up wondering about BogoMips!?

    BogoMips were the computing speed measurement of note at my first internet start-up, an ISP and datacenter, and every new Intel or Intel-compatible CPU was curiously investigated by our tech team. When we'd boot a Linux kernel, we would watch carefully to see "the number of million times per second a processor can do absolutely nothing".

  • Ubuntu Studio: Updates for June 2019

    We hope that Ubuntu Studio 19.04’s release has been a welcome update for our users. As such, we are continuing our work on Ubuntu Studio with our next release scheduled for October 17, 2019, codenamed “Eoan Ermine”.

  • Mind the Apps | User Error 67

    It’s another #AskError special. Meditation and mindfulness, friends making obvious mistakes, and AppImage popularity.

    Plus cashless society, and hoarding phone apps.

  • Episode 20: Advertising is Broken, but Linux Isn't.

    Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Don Marti, of Mozilla and formerly of Linux Journal, about ad technology, privacy, and the Linux community.

The $149 PinePhone Linux smartphone will support modular add-ons

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The upcoming PinePhone is expected to be an inexpensive, but versatile smartphone designed to run GNU/Linux operating systems. Yesterday we took a look at some of the operating systems that are already being ported to run on the PinePhone. But it looks like the software isn’t the only thing that’s actively under development.

Pine64 has posted an update on the state of the smartphone’s hardware with new details about the phone’s battery, hardware kill switches, and a previously announced feature — support for swappable back covers that can add functionality to the $149 smartphone.

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The Finest Linux Tablet You Can Build

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For the last few years now, we’ve all had access to tiny, affordable Systems on a Module. These wunderchips are complete Linux systems with WiFi, a halfway decent GPU, and enough memory to run a real system. This is the perfect platform to base a tablet build on, the only problem is that someone has to actually do it. The DLT One is the ‘Damn Linux Tablet’ from [Prof. Fartsparkle]. It’s the answer to the question of when someone is going to build a tablet computer around one of these cheap Systems on a Chip that are floating around.

With many modules to choose from, the first task is actually choosing one of these Linux modules. [Fartsparkle] ended up with the Nvidia Jetson Nano, an impressive little board that has one distinct advantage: it’s drop-in compatable with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, the Raspberry Pi-on-an-SODIMM. Given a single chassis, [Prof. Fartsparkle] can simply upgrade his tablet by getting a newer version of the Jetson Nano (or the Compute Module).

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PinePhone $149 Linux smartphone could support Ubuntu, Sailfish, Maemo, LuneOS and more

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The PinePhone is a cheap, Linux-ready smartphone that’s expected to ship in limited quantities later this year. It’s not exactly a high-power device by modern smartphone standards, but with an expected starting price of $149, it will be a lot more affordable than some of the other Linux phones on the horizon.

It’s also starting to look like the PinePhone could be a very versatile device.

Pine64 has been sending out development kits for a while, and it looks like developers are porting a number of GNU/Linux-based operating systems to the platform.

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