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GNU

Starting With GNU/Linux and GNU/Linux on Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
  • A beginner’s guide to Linux

    The key difference is that Linux is open source. In the most simple terms, it just means that no one single person or corporation controls the code. Instead, the operating system is maintained by a dedicated group of developers from around the world. Anyone who is interested can contribute to the code and help check for errors. Linux is more than an operating system; it is a community.

  • Why Linux apps on Chromebooks are a really big deal (really!)

    It may have gotten lost in the shuffle of all the Android P news at Google's I/O conference last week, but fear not, dear friends: Chrome OS has definitely not been forgotten.

    Google's been making steady progress in advancing its Chromebook operating system over the past several months, particularly around its efforts to further align Android and Chrome OS and turn Chromebooks into all-purpose productivity machines and Android tablet replacements. Practically every week, in fact, there's some new and noteworthy feature being added into the platform (something we've talked about a great deal in my weekly newsletter as of late).

    And though it wasn't in the keynote, a massive new development did sneak its way into Chrome OS during I/O: the quietly announced ability for Chromebooks to run Linux apps as if they were native applications, without the need for any complex and security-defeating configurations. Linux app support is on its way to the Pixelbook to start — currently in that device's developer channel and likely becoming available much more broadly before long.

Is GIMP’s 2.10 Release Catching up with Photoshop?

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GNU
Reviews

Of the many notable new features, GIMP 2.10 has ported most of its image processing capabilities to GEGL, a data flow based image processing framework that is free software (its source code is in GNOME git).

GEGL provides floating point processing and non-destructive image processing capabilities, “allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more”.

GIMP’s lack of multi-core processing has historically caused performance issues, which is a true deterrent in the graphics processing world.

Moreover, the program can now utilise parallel processing, which is a big deal for various reasons, namely, more efficient processor usage through use of multiple cores.

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Talos II Lite

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Raptor Launching Talos II Lite POWER9 Computer System At A Lower Cost

    For those that have been interested in the Talos II POWER-based system that is fully open-source down to the firmware but have been put off by its cost, Raptor Computer Systems today announced the Talos II Lite that is a slightly cut-down version of the Talos II Workstation.

    The Talos II Lite is still a very competent beast of a system and features a single POWER9 CPU socket, EATX chassis, 500W ATX power supply, and is sold as a barebones package. The Talos II Lite motherboard supports up to the 22-core POWER9 CPU, eight DDR4 ECC RAM slots, one PCI Express 4.0 x16 slot, one PCI Express 4.0 x8 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port.

  • A little Talos of your very own

    Overall, that $3300 really does translate into greatly improved expandability in addition to the beefier power supplies, and thus it was never really an option for my needs personally. Maybe my mini:Quad analogy wasn't so off base. But if you want to join the POWER9 revolution on a budget and give Chipzilla the finger, as all right-thinking nerds should, you've now got an option that only requires passing a kidneystone of just half the size or less. It ships starting in July.

GNU: guix, gnucash, and glibc

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GNU
  • Tarballs, the ultimate container image format

    The tarball format is plain and simple, it’s the one we know and love, and it’s been there “forever” as its name suggests. The tarball that guix pack produces can be readily extracted on another machine, one that doesn’t run Guix, and you’re done. The problem though, is that you’ll need to either unpack the tarball in the root file system or to play tricks with the unshare command, as we saw in the previous post. Why can’t we just extract such a tarball in our home directory and directly run ./opt/gnu/bin/guile for instance?

  • Using GnuCash as a Freelancer to Track Finances and Prepare Taxes

    I don't own a credit card (by choice), so keeping a close eye on my finances is really important, but I think whether or not you have a credit card, it’s a good idea to track all of your financial transactions.
    It’s really the only way you’ll know what’s coming in and what’s going out. This is a great habit to do even if you don’t have any problems keeping a positive balance – and I would say it's essential to do if you struggle with debt.
    Luckily I have no debt but I've seen a number of people turn around their whole financial situations just by starting to keep a ledger of all of their transactions.

  • Who controls glibc?

    The removal of an old joke from the GNU C Library manual might not seem like the sort of topic that would inspire a heated debate. At times, though, a small action can serve as an inadvertent proxy for a more significant question, one which is relevant to both the developers and the users of the project. In this case, that question would be: how is the project governed and who makes decisions about which patches are applied?

    Toward the end of April, Raymond Nicholson posted a patch to the glibc manual removing a joke that he didn't think was useful to readers. The joke played on the documentation for abort() to make a statement about US government policy on providing information about abortions. As Nicholson noted: "The joke does not provide any useful information about the abort() function so removing it will not hinder use of glibc". On April 30, Zack Weinberg applied the patch to the glibc repository.

    Richard Stallman, who added the joke sometime in the 1990s, asked that it not be removed. The resulting discussion touched on a number of issues. Carlos O'Donell, who has been trying hard to resolve the issue with some degree of consensus, suggested that the joke could hurt people who have had bad experiences associated with abortion. He proposed a couple of possible alternatives, including avoiding jokes entirely or discussing such issues in a different forum. Stallman, however, replied that "a GNU manual, like a course in history, is not meant to be a 'safe space'". He suggested the possibility of adding a trigger warning about functions that create child processes, since childbirth is "far more traumatic than having an abortion".

Linspire Server 2018 Released

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GNU
Linux

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Linspire Server 2018 to the public. Linspire Server 2018 is based on Ubuntu Server 16.04. Linspire Server 2018 is a solution for medium to small businesses as well as education facilities. Linspire Server 2018 is available today and will be free to download and use under a self support license. Commercial support is available for customers who want that piece of mind.

Linspire Server 2018 boots by default into a customized XFCE environment for a GUI environment to ease the complexity for customers coming from Windows Server or macOS Server. We use DWM as a secondary window manager and users can use the server as a command line only environment as well.

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AsteroidOS, an open-source Wear OS alternative, now available as a stable release

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GNU
Linux

A few years ago, a French computer science student named Florent Revest undertook a project to keep Android Wear smartwatches from dying of obsolescence. That project is called AsteroidOS, built entirely on GNU/Linux libraries and technologies, and in its current state, it's fairly basic. Even so, for all fans of open source software out there, this is pretty damn great.

This is the stable release of v1.0 and it works on a few select watches: Asus ZenWatch, Asus ZenWatch 2, Asus ZenWatch 3, LG G Watch, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, and Sony Smartwatch 3. Each has a different level of support – e.g. the Urbane's sensors aren't working at time of writing – but AsteroidOS is a mostly fully-functioning smartwatch operating system.

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Open source vs free software: what's the difference?

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GNU
OSS

February 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the official recognition of open source software. However, the debate regarding the differences, if any, between 'open source' and 'free' software continues unabated.

Richard Stallman, who is credited with developing the concept of 'free software' in the 1980s, says the term 'free software' has nothing to do with cost. For him, free software is a social movement, a philosophy, while open source is a development methodology.

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IWD 0.2 Released for Linux, Microsoft Desperate to Stop GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • IWD 0.2 Released For Advancing Intel's Linux WiFi Daemon

    Last week marked the release of IWD 0.2, the second public release of this WiFi daemon for Linux systems destined as a replacement for WPA Supplicant.

    It was back at the end of 2016 that the code was made public while now there is finally the second version release. IWD 0.2 brings support for several new features as well as several bug fixes.

  • Microsoft's Linux Adoption: How Things Change [Ed: Surely Matt Hartley understands how Embrace, Extend, Extinguish works, no? Seems so...]

    When Microsoft began promoting themselves as the company that "Loves Linux," some Linux community members were skeptical. Some even believed that Microsoft's move to embrace Linux was based on the once tried and true “embrace, extend, extinguish” approach to technology we've seen in the past. And this concern is based on a hisory of the past use of this strategy.

    While it's a valid to worry about Microsoft's motivation behind their self-claimed embrace of Linux, I think Microsoft's motivation is more selfish than a desire to extinguish Linux would suggest. Based on their activity with cloud computing and more recently, the Internet of Things (IoT), I believe Microsoft is looking to utilize technology that has proven itself in those fields - Linux is that technology.

    Linux is a means to an end for Microsoft. It allows the software giant to participate with greater efficiency by utilizing existing toolsets. The official reasoning that Microsoft offers is Linux and open source in general provides a great ecosystem. An ecosystem Microsoft is now (apparently) motivated to give back code to. My own concern, however, is how much of this code being given back upstream is good for the community.

     

    The concern that I have is I believe the code being sent upstream must always benefit Microsoft directly or indirectly in some way. I haven't seen any examples of Microsoft providing code that benefits projects that are unrelated to their own efforts. Perhaps I missed something along the way, but due to their anti-FoSS history, it's unreasonable to expect Microsoft to give back to projects that might not benefit them directly or indirectly. And yes, Microsoft's sponsorship of various Linux conventions is an example of indirect benefit to Microsoft.

GNU/Linux on Laptops/Desktops

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GNU
Linux
  • Chrome OS to get neat new tricks alongside support for Linux apps
  • What's new in Chrome OS and Chromebooks at Google I/O 2018
  • Google Chrome OS now has a built-in Linux virtual machine and aims to be a better tool for coders
  • The Eric Lundgren Story: When Free isn’t Free

    If you told me that one day I might be writing an article defending Microsoft’s draconian ideas on software licenses, I’d never have believed it. Yet here we are. I don’t like the way Microsoft licenses their software, and I imagine many Hackaday readers feel the same way. But at the same time I recognize they have the right, as the creator of said software, to license it however they see fit. If we celebrate legal victories over those who would violate the terms of the GNU GPL license, we cannot in the next breath condone the violation of proprietary licenses simply because they run counter to the hacker ethos.

    As a community we fought back against people selling prints of Creative Commons Non-Commercial models downloaded from Thingiverse, a scenario nearly identical to the one Eric has found himself in. Ignorance to the fine print doesn’t absolve you from being held accountable; just because you found it for free online doesn’t mean you can put it into mass production and pocket a profit.

    When he chose to use proprietary software for his computer refurbishment plans, he took on the burden of following the restrictive licenses such software is bound by. Had he decided instead to put into production install discs for Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distribution, things would have gone very differently. His goals of putting old computers back into service would have been met, and he would have not been in violation of the software’s license. But that’s not the choice he made.

  • Open Source Software: What Is It and Which is the Best?

    Linux is probably the most well known of the open source projects, which first came into being in 1991. Due to the source code being freely available and viewable, it is easy to make and distribute your own version. You obviously have to have the programming chops for that though.

    The most well-known version of Linux is arguably Ubuntu. But there are others which are just as popular including Debian, Puppy Linux (a very lightweight 200MB version ideal for older computers), Linux Mint, and Fedora. My personal favorite is a security-focused version called Tails which deserves an article all of its very own.

    Linux can be installed on a computer or it can be run as a Live CD or portable app. If you partition your computer, it can be dual-booted alongside Windows.

GNU/Linux Releases: CRUX 3.4, Antergos 18.5, SparkyLinux 4.8

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GNU
Linux
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More in Tux Machines

Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" Installer Updated with Linux Kernel 4.16 Support

Developed under the Debian Testing umbrella, the forthcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series just received today the third alpha milestone of its installer, which lets people install the Linux-based operating system on their personal computers, servers, and IoT devices, such as the Raspberry Pi. One of the most interesting changes that caught out eyes is the bump of the kernel support from Linux kernel 4.13, which was used in the second alpha build, to Linux kernel 4.16. Of course, this means that there's better hardware support, so chances are you'll be able to install the development version of Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" on newer machines or if you have some exotic components on your PC. Read more

The New Microsoft

  • Microsoft ICE Contract Draws Fire

    “ICE’s decision to accelerate IT modernization using Azure Government will help them innovate faster while reducing the burden of legacy IT. The agency is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud,” he wrote.

  • Microsoft faces outrage for blog post touting ICE contract

    As outrage grew online, a Microsoft employee quietly removed mention of ICE from the January press release this morning. Social media users noticed that, too. The company has since restored the press release's original language, and called its removal a "mistake."

  • Microsoft Removes Mention of ICE Cloud Work After Protests

    Microsoft Corp. scrubbed an online reference to its work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the agency faces criticism for its role in separating families at the U.S.-Mexican border.

  • Microsoft briefly removes blog post mentioning ICE contract after backlash
  • Microsoft's Ethical Reckoning Is Here

    Tech Workers Coalition, a labor group for tech industry employees, urged Microsoft employees to coordinate their opposition. “If you are a worker building these tools or others at Microsoft, decide now that you will not be complicit,” the group tweeted.

Android Leftovers

First Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 Release Candidate Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Here

The latest Ubuntu Touch update from UBports, OTA-3, was released last year near the Christmas holidays, but it was still based on Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), so if you though Ubuntu Phones are dead, think again, because the UBports team has been hard at work to bring you the OTA-4, which will be the first to rebase the operating system on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). "The main reason why the arrival of OTA-4 seemed to take so long is because Ubuntu Touch switched its base to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. This is a mammoth milestone for the project, because it allowed us to transition from the unsupported Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet to a Long Term Support (LTS) base," reads today's announcement. Read more Also: UBports' Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 RC Released, Upgrades To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS