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Watchdog: IRS botched Linux migration

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Poor IT governance prevented the IRS from making progress on a long-term effort to migrate 141 legacy applications from proprietary vendor software to open source Linux operating systems, according to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Under a migration plan developed in 2014, two-thirds of targeted applications and databases were supposed to have been successfully migrated by December 2016.

However, only eight of the 141 applications targeted have successfully transitioned to Linux as of February 2018. More than one third have not even started.

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Manjaro 18.0 Released – What’s New in Manjaro Illyria?

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Manjaro is an Arch Linux-based Operating System developed in Austria, Germany, and France with a focus on providing a beautiful user-friendly OS with the full power of Arch Linux to beginner computer users and experts at the same time.

If you are not already familiar with Manjaro Linux then the developers have recently given more reasons for you to by dropping its latest release, Manjaro 18.0, codenamed “Illyria“. This update brings both major and minor updates to the OS and makes its overall experience more pleasant.

It is fulfilling to see how well an OS that began as a hobby project has come this far with several UI scripts, support for NVIDIA’s Optimus technology, etc. right out of the box – features that come together to enhance its user experience.

For an overview of its features, check out the 10 Reasons to Use Manjaro Linux.

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Linux on the Desktop: Are We Nearly There Yet?

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The numbers are pretty stark: Linux might be the backbone of everything from embedded devices to mainframes and super computers. But it has just a 2% share of desktops and laptops.

It seems the only way to get most people to even touch it is to rip away everything you recognise as Linux to rebuild it as Android.

Until recently, I was in the 98%. I honestly wasn’t even conflicted. I used Linux most days both for work and for hobbies – but always in the cloud or on one of those handy little project boards that are everywhere now. For my daily driver, it was Windows all the way.

I guess what’s kept me with Windows so long is really that it’s just been good enough as a default option that I haven’t been prompted to even think about it. Which, to be fair, is a great quality in an operating system.

The last time I tried a dual boot Linux/Windows setup was about 15 years ago. I was using Unix at university, and was quite attracted to the idea of free and open source software, so I decided to give it a go.

This was back when, if you wanted to install Linux, you went to the newsagent and bought a magazine that had a CD-ROM on the front cover. I don’t exactly remember what distro it was – probably something like Slackware or Red Hat.

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FSF Licensing and Compliance Lab: 2018 and the future

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

I am the current licensing and compliance manager for the FSF, though I've had several roles in my time here. The Lab handles all the free software licensing work for the FSF. Copyleft is the best legal tool we have for protecting the rights of users, and the Lab makes sure that tool is at full power by providing fundamental licensing education. From publishing articles and resources on free software licensing, to doing license compliance work for the GNU Project, to handling our certification programs like Respects Your Freedom, if there is a license involved, the Lab is on the case.

When I started working at the FSF part-time in 2008, the GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3) was only a year old. Our Respects Your Freedom certification program didn't yet exist. The Free Software Directory wasn't yet a wiki that could be updated by the community at large. Things have changed a lot over the years, as has our ability to help users to understand and share freely licensed works. I'd like to take just a moment as 2018 draws to a close to look back on some of the great work we accomplished.

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Adobe and GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Programming: GCC, LLVM, Rust, Ruby and Python

Filed under
Development
GNU
  • GCC 9 Guts Out The PowerPC SPE Support

    It should come as no surprise since it was deprecated in this year's GCC 8 release, but the PowerPC SPE code has been removed.

    This isn't to be confused with conventional POWER/PowerPC but rather PowerPC SPE that is for the "Signal Processing Engine" on older FreeScale/IBM cores like the e500. It's not all that important these days and doesn't affect newer versions of the 64-bit Power support.

  • LLVM's OpenMP Runtime Picks Up DragonFlyBSD & OpenBSD Support

    Good news for those using the LLVM Clang compiler on OpenBSD or DragonFlyBSD: the OpenMP run-time should now be supported with the latest development code.

  • Nick Cameron: Rust in 2022

    In case you missed it, we released our second edition of Rust this year! An edition is an opportunity to make backwards incompatible changes, but more than that it's an opportunity to bring attention to how programming in Rust has changed. With the 2018 edition out of the door, now is the time to think about the next edition: how do we want programming in Rust in 2022 to be different to programming in Rust today? Once we've worked that out, lets work backwards to what should be done in 2019.

    Without thinking about the details, lets think about the timescale and cadence it gives us. It was three years from Rust 1.0 to Rust 2018 and I expect it will be three years until the next edition. Although I think the edition process went quite well, I think that if we'd planned in advance then it could have gone better. In particular, it felt like there were a lot of late changes which could have happened earlier so that we could get more experience with them. In order to avoid that I propose that we aim to avoid breaking changes and large new features landing after the end of 2020. That gives 2021 for finishing, polishing, and marketing with a release late that year. Working backwards, 2020 should be an 'impl year' - focussing on designing and implementing the things we know we want in place for the 2021 edition. 2019 should be a year to invest while we don't have any release pressure.

    To me, investing means paying down technical debt, looking at our processes, infrastructure, tooling, governance, and overheads to see where we can be more efficient in the long run, and working on 'quality of life' improvements for users, the kind that don't make headlines but will make using Rust a better experience. It's also the time to investigate some high-risk, high-reward ideas that will need years of iteration to be user-ready; 2019 should be an exciting year!

  • A Java Developer Walks Into A Ruby Conference: Charles Nutter’s Open Source Journey

    As a Java developer, Nutter began looking for an existing way to run Ruby within a Java runtime environment, specifically a Java virtual machine (JVM). This would let Ruby programs run on any hardware or software platform supported by a JVM, and would facilitate writing polyglot applications that used some Java and some Ruby, with developers free to choose whichever language was best for a particular task.

  • Good ciphers in OpenJDK
  • Don’t delete the same file in its own directory
  • Create a home button on the pause scene

Best Lightweight Linux Distros for Older Computers

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Don’t throw away that old Pentium III tower and CRT monitor just yet! While that old laptop in the closet may not be able to run Windows 10 or macOS Mojave, it doesn’t mean it’s destined for the dump.

Many Linux distributions are made specifically for utilizing the ancient, underpowered hardware found in older machines. By installing these lightweight distros, you can breathe new life into an old PC thought to be long past its prime. Here are the best lightweight Linux distros that we’ve picked out from the pile.

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Most Secure Operating Systems, VPN for GNU/Linux, and Latest GNU/Linux FUD

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
  • What’s the most secure operating system?

    Linux has a family of different free versions (known as distributions, or distros) to choose from, based on users’ computer skills. If you’re just getting started, check out Mint or Ubuntu. And because Linux is open-source, users can make copies of modified systems and give them away to friends in need.

  • Choose the Right VPN for Linux in 2019
  • Cryptomining campaign pulls new ‘Linux Rabbit’ malware out of its black hat [Ed: No, it's not ‘Linux Rabbit’ but ‘Weak Password Rabbit’; calling it Linux is rather misleading, distracts from the real problem.]
  • Linux malware: is it so hard to get it right? [Ed: Recognising Catalin Cimpaun for what he really is (and has always been): a clickbaiting troll. For CBS to employ him for ZDNet says a lot about the agenda.]

    Once again, so-called security researchers and tech writers have combined to provide misinformation about trojanised SSH scripts which can be run on a Linux server after said server is compromised through a brute-force attack and root status attained. And they call it Linux malware!
    Security firm ESET and ZDNet writer Catalin Cimpanu have both got it wrong in the past — the latter on numerous occasions as he simply does not seem to understand anything about the Linux security model — but both continue to persist in trying to pursue the topic. ESET has gone in the wrong direction on torrent files and clients too.

    Arguably, there is reason to do so: Linux and malware in the same headline do still serve as some kind of clickbait.

    [...]

    Cimpanu was more descriptive, but again made the same fundamental mistake. Malware can be created for any operating system, but the crucial question is how do you get it onto that system?

    [...]

    Cimpanu's former employer, Bleeping Computer, was also prone to screw-ups of this nature. Here is the editor of Bleeping Computer, Lawrence Abrams, expounding on ransomware targeting Linux servers.

    But then Bleeping Computer is a relatively small operation. One would have thought that ZDNet, which has tons of resources, would have a little more editorial quality control.

Community Member Monday: Iwan Tahari on LibreOffice migrations in Indonesia

Filed under
GNU
LibO
Linux

Many companies around the world use free and open source software (FOSS) to reduce costs, improve reliability, and free themselves from vendor lock-in. Today we talk to Iwan Tahari from FANS, an Indonesian shoe manufacturer, which has migrated to GNU/Linux and LibreOffice...

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Essential System Tools: Timeshift – Reliable system restore tool for Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

This is the twelfth in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For this article, we’ll look at Timeshift, a graphical and command-line tool similar to the System Restore functionality offered by Windows, and the Time Machine Tool in Mac OS. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the summary page of this article.

Timeshift is a GTK3-based, open source, system restore utility which takes incremental snapshots of the system using rsync and hard-links. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo all changes that were made to the system after the snapshot was taken. Snapshots can be taken manually or at regular intervals using scheduled jobs.

This application is designed to protect only system files and settings. User files such as documents, pictures and music are not protected. This ensures that your files remains unchanged when you restore your system to an earlier date.

For the avoidance of any doubt, if you’re looking for a complete backup solution (including data backups), you’ll need to use different software.

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More in Tux Machines

Slimbook & Kubuntu - Combat Report 3

And we're done. I am not sure what kind of message you're getting - or you think you're supposed to be getting from my articles. Overall, I am quite pleased with my Slimbook & Kubuntu experience. But if I had to choose, I wouldn't abandon my Windows. I simply cannot. The games, the office stuff, even simple image manipulation and text editing. All these are currently not the killer features of any which Linux desktop. That said, Kubuntu purrs nicely. Runs fast and true, and there are no crashes or errors. The desktop is extremely flexible and extensible, it's pleasing to use, and I'm having fun discovering things, even if they sometimes turn out to be bugs or annoyances. In general, it's the application side that needs to be refined, and then, the system can just become a background for you to be productive and enjoy yourselves. Until the next report. Read more

Games: Metropolisim, Monster Prom, Kingdom Two Crowns and Lots More

  • Metropolisim aims to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever, will have Linux support
    Metropolisim from developer Halfway Decent Games is releasing next year, with a pretty bold aim to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever.
  • Monster Prom, the dating sim that won me over is now available on GOG
    Visual novels and dating sims aren't something I'm usually into, however Monster Prom is actually funny and worth playing and it's now available on GOG. I know we have a number of GOG fans here, so hopefully this will be interesting for you. As always, we try to treat all stores equally with release info.
  • Kingdom Two Crowns will be coming to Linux after all with the Quality of Life update
    Kingdom Two Crowns, the third in the Kingdom series released recently for Windows and Mac. It looked like we weren't getting it, but it's now confirmed to be coming. In their new roadmap post on Reddit and Steam, under the "QoL #01 Update" (Quality of Life Update) they noted that they will add "Add SteamOS (Linux) Support". This update is due out sometime early next year. This is really nice news, it's good to know they didn't give up on supporting Linux after all.
  • Steam Link for the Raspberry Pi is now officially available
    After a rather short beta period, the Steam Link application for the Raspberry Pi is now officially out.
  • Valve in it for the 'long haul' with Artifact, first update out and a progression system due soon
    Artifact, the big new card game from Valve isn't doing so well but Valve won't be giving up any time soon. The first major update is out, with a progression system due soon. At release, it had around sixty thousand people playing and that very quickly dropped down hard. Harder than I expected, a lot worse than Valve probably thought it would too.
  • Bearded Giant Games open their own store with a 'Linux First Initiative'
    Bearded Giant Games, developer of Ebony Spire Heresy have announced their new online store along with a 'Linux First Initiative'. I know what you're thinking already "not another store", but fear not. For now, it's mainly going to be a place for them to sell their games directly. Speaking about it in a blog post, they mentioned how they hate having to check over multiple forums, channels, emails and so on to stay up to date and they wish "to spend more time giving love to my projects instead of updating 4 different distribution channels, translating pages, writing different press releases and making separate builds"—can't argue against that.
  • The Forgotten Sanctum, the final DLC for Pillars of Eternity II is out along with a patch
    Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire expansions come to a close with the release of The Forgotten Sanctum along with a major update now out.
  • Pre-order Meeple Station for instant beta access, what the developers say is like Rimworld in space
    Meeple Station, the space station building sim that the developers say is like Rimworld in space can now be pre-ordered with instant beta access. While we don't like the idea of pre-orders, getting access to the beta right away is a decent way to do it. Sadly, their Kickstarter campaign actually failed which I didn't notice. Making sure that wasn't the end of it, the developer Vox Games decided to go the Early Access route. They weren't left out in the cold of space though, as they also recently announced that Indie DB will be publishing their game. Under the label of Modularity, this will be the first title published by Indie DB.
  • Heroes of Newerth drops support for Linux and Mac
    Heroes of Newerth, the MOBA originally from S2 Games which is now handled by Frostburn Studios has dropped Linux and Mac support. [...] I'll be honest here, I couldn't care less about it personally. The last time i tried it, it was the single most toxic experience I've ever had in an online game. I've played a lot of online games and even so it was still at a level I had not seen before. I tried to go back to it a few times, never with a happy ending. Still, sad for any remaining Linux (and Mac) fans of the game. Looking over some statistics, it's not popular with viewers either. Around 180 on Twitch compared with nearly 100K for League of Legends and over 50K for Dota 2.
  • Unity 2018.3 With HDR Render Pipeline Preview, Updated PhysX & More
    Unity Tech is ending out the year with their Unity 2018.3 game engine update that brings a number of new features and improvements to its many supported platforms.

Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 4.0-rc2 is now available. What's new in this release (see below for details): - Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
  • Just when you think you can stop drinking, Wine 4.0 has another release candidate available
    Just before the weekend hits you in the face like a bad hangover when you realise it's Monday already, there's another bottle of Wine ready for you. Of course, we're not talking about the tasty liquid! Put down the glass, it's the other kind of Wine. The one used to run your fancy Windows programs and games on Linux. Doing their usual thing, developer Alexandre Julliard announced that the Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2 is officially out the door today. While this release is nothing spectacular it is an important one, the more bugs they're able to tick off the list the better the 4.0 release will be for more people to use it.

Android Leftovers