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postmarketOS: An Ultimate Linux Distro For Your Smartphones Is Coming

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OS
Linux

One of the key strengths of Linux-based operating systems is their ability to run on a variety of hardware, ranging from a decade old computers to the latest generation Intel chips. The kernel developers work day and night to keep our devices breathing running. In the past, we have also prepared a list of Linux distributions that are best suited for older computers with limited hardware requirements.

This brings us to the question — Why aren’t tons of Linux operating system options available for mobile devices? The mobile ecosystem is chiefly dominated by Android and iOS, with Android enjoying a presence on a wide range of devices. But, on the fronts of updates, even Android fails to deliver. Very often the top-of-the-line flagship devices are deprived of the latest updates just after 2-3 years. To solve this question, postmarketOS has appeared on the horizon.

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UNIX: Nintendo Switch, iPhone Debacle, SPARC/Solaris, Screencasting with OpenBSD and What’s So Bad About POSIX I/O

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OS
  • Every Nintendo Switch appears to contain a hidden copy of NES Golf [Ed: The Switch, some claim, runs FreeBSD]

    Turns out, this is somehow weirder. Your Nintendo Switch may already have a fully playable NES game just sitting inside of it.

  • How long should a $999 iPhone last?
  • [Older] R.I.P. SPARC and Solaris [iophk: "Larry doing favors for Bill at his own expense"]

    According to comments on thelayoff.com, “SPARC people are out.” “The entire SPARC core team has been let go as of Friday. It’s gone. No more SPARC. You can’t have a SPARC w/o a team to develop the core.”

  • [Old] Screencasting with OpenBSD
  • What’s So Bad About POSIX I/O?

    However, it is much less common to hear exactly why POSIX I/O is so detrimental to scalability and performance, and what needs to change to have a suitably high-performance, next-generation I/O model. To answer the question of why POSIX I/O is holding back I/O performance today and shed light on the design space for tomorrow’s extreme-scale I/O systems, it is best to take a critical look at what POSIX I/O really means.

CentOS 7.4 Is Now Available for 64-Bit, ARM64, ARMhfp, POWER7 & POWER8 Machines

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OS
Red Hat

CentOS developers Karanbir Singh and Jim Perrin announced the release of the CentOS 7.4 operating system for supported architectures, a release that brings all the latest updates and security patches.

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Solus 3 Brings Maturity and Performance to Budgie

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OS

Back in 2016, the Solus developers announced they were switching their operating system over to a rolling release. Solus 3 marks the third iteration since that announcement and, in such a short time, the Solus platform has come a long way. But for many, Solus 3 would be a first look into this particular take on the Linux operating system. With that in mind, I want to examine what Solus 3 offers that might entice the regular user away from their current operating system. You might be surprised when I say, “There’s plenty.”

This third release of Solus is an actual “release” and not a snapshot. What does that mean? The previous two releases of Solus were snapshots. Solus has actually moved away from the regular snapshot model found in rolling releases. With the standard rolling release, a new snapshot is posted at least every few days; from that snapshot an image can be created such that the difference between an installation and latest updates is never large. However, the developers have opted to use a hybrid approach to the rolling release. According to the Solus 3 release announcement, this offers “feature rich releases with explicit goals and technology enabling, along with the benefits of a curated rolling release operating system.”

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System76's Pop!_OS Linux Installer to Ship by Default with Ubuntu 18.04 Rebase

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OS

System76 devs continue to work on the first release of their Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS Linux distro, which is expected to land on the same day as Canonical's Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, on October 19, 2017.

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elementary OS Loki Users Get August's App Improvements and Security Updates

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OS

Daniel Foré, founder of the elementary OS project, an open-source initiative to provide a general use computer operating system based on the popular Ubuntu Linux distro, announced August's security and stability updates for Loki users.

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Zorin OS 12.2 Arrives as the Most Advanced Zorin Operating System Ever Released

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OS

The Zorin OS team announced the release and general availability of Zorin OS 12.2, the second maintenance update to the Zorin OS 12 series, and also the most advances Zorin OS version ever released.

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Chrome OS Will Soon Allow All Chromebook Owners to Rename USB Flash Drives

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OS

Google's Chromium evangelist François Beaufort is back with more goodies for Chromebook owners, recently revealing the fact that future versions of Chrome OS will allow users to rename attached USB flash drives.

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Solaris to Linux Migration 2017 Amid Layoffs

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OS
Server
  • Solaris to Linux Migration 2017

    Many people have contacted me recently about switching from Solaris (or illumos) to Linux, especially since most of the Solaris kernel team were let go this year (including my former colleagues, I'm sorry to hear). This includes many great engineers who I'm sure will excel in whatever they choose to work on next. They have been asking me about Linux because I've worked for years on each platform: Solaris, illumos, and Linux, in all cases full time and as a subject matter expert. I've also done some work on BSD, which is another compelling choice, but I'll discuss that another time. The following is my opinion and not an official guide to any OS.

    Switching from Solaris to Linux has become much easier in the last two years, with Linux developments in ZFS, Zones, and DTrace. I've been contributing (out of necessity), including porting my DTraceToolkit tools to Linux, which also work on BSD. What follows are topics that may be of interest to anyone looking to migrate their systems and skillset: scan these to find topics that interest you.

  • Oracle staff report big layoffs across Solaris, SPARC teams
  • Sun set: Oracle closes down last Sun product lines

    None of this is a real surprise. Oracle had cut former Sun engineers and developers by a thousand employees in January. In Oracle's most recent SPARC/Solaris roadmap, the next generation Solaris 12 had been replaced by Solaris 11.next and SPARC next -- incremental upgrades.

    Former Sun executive Bryan Cantrill reported, based on his conversations with current Solaris team members, that Oracle's latest layoffs were, "So deep as to be fatal: The core Solaris engineering organization lost on the order of 90 percent of its people, including essentially all management." James Gosling, Java's creator, summed it up: "Solaris ... got a bullet in the head from Oracle on Friday."

postmarketOS is a Touch-Optimized Linux Distro for Smartphones and Tablets

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OS
Linux

The same situation does not happen with old computers, though, mainly thanks to GNU/Linux distributions. You can actually take a 2007 computer and install a basic Linux distro on it, and it’ll run through most tasks (including web searching, multimedia playback, social networks and more) without a hitch. You will even get the latest security patches and most new features on your old computer. These distros also keep resource usage to a minimum, so while it definitely won’t be faster than a newer computer, it will work just fine for most of your casual needs. There is a small project hoping to bring that kind of support to Android phones and tablets, and that project is called postmarketOS

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BlueBorne Vulnerability Is Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Releases, Update Now

Canonical released today new kernel updates for all of its supported Ubuntu Linux releases, patching recently discovered security vulnerabilities, including the infamous BlueBorne that exposes billions of Bluetooth devices. The BlueBorne vulnerability (CVE-2017-1000251) appears to affect all supported Ubuntu versions, including Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) up to 16.04.3, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) up to 14.04.5, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) up to 12.04.5. Read more

Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS