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OS

elementary 5 "Juno"

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OS
Interviews
Reviews

In the spring of 2014 (nearly five years ago), I was preparing a regular presentation I give most years—where I look at the bad side (and the good side) of the greater Linux world. As I had done in years prior, I was preparing a graph showing the market share of various Linux distributions changing over time.

But, this year, something was different.

In the span of less than two years, a tiny little Linux distro came out of nowhere to become one of the most watched and talked about systems available. In the blink of an eye, it went from nothing to passing several grand-daddies of Linux flavors that had been around for decades.

This was elementary. Needless to say, it caught my attention.

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postmarketOS – A Linux Distribution for Mobile Devices

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OS
Android

Not too long ago, I published an article on TecMint about 13 Most Promising New Linux Distributions to Look Forward in 2019 in which I listed a distro for mobile phones, Bliss OS.

Today, I introduce to you a free, open source, and futuristic project that aims to bring mobile devices together in one swoop.

postmarketOS is a touch-optimized, security-focused, and pre-configured Alpine-based Linux distribution created to be compatible with several old and new devices.

Below is an introduction from the developers themselves,

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Ethical Hacking, Ubuntu-Based BackBox Linux OS Is Now Available on AWS

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OS
Ubuntu

If you want to run BackBox Linux in the cloud, on your AWS account, you should know that the ethical hacking operating system is now available on the Amazon Web Services cloud platform as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) virtual appliance that you can install with a few mouse clicks.

The BackBox Linux operating system promises to offer Amazon Web Services users an optimal environment for professional penetration testing operations as it puts together a collection of some of the best ethical hacking tools, which are already configured and ready for production use.

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postmarketOS at FOSDEM 2019

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OS
Android

Last weekend was FOSDEM 2019, Europe's biggest event for open-source and free software developers to meet, share ideas and collaborate. A few postmarketOS developers and community members attended, as well as several other Linux phone project members. Of course, besides just walking around and attending several interesting talks, we also took this opportunity to do some work!

The PINE64 company was present with their own stand, and a PINE64 community meeting in the evening. They showed off their almost ready PinePhone development kits, and some other neat hardware like a fully open-source IP camera, their new Pinebook Pro and PineTablet. Since @z3ntu, @MartijnBraam and @PureTryOut took their Pine A64-LTS kits with them (which uses basically the same hardware as will be in the PinePhone), we decided to do some work improving our port, and we got the screen working for the first time!

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Ex-CopperheadOS dev spits fire as CEO says project not dead

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OS
Android

Followers of PiunikaWeb may remember that we published an article yesterday about the ‘demise’ of CopperheadOS and possible alternatives.

The term ‘demise’ is intentionally kept under quotes, as CopperheadOS is not actually dead. The company, Copperhead Limited, is still selling the privacy focused OS bundled with second generation Google Pixel phones.

James Donaldson, CEO of Copperhead Limited, posted a quick (and surprising) tweet after the original story got published.

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The demise of CopperheadOS and rise of its successors

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OS
Android

Remember CopperheadOS? The privacy centric, Google-less version of Android with enforced security hardening was created by a two-man team based on Toronto. Their startup, Copperhead Limited, used to sell Nexus and Pixel phones with preinstalled CopperheadOS.

Unfortunately it did not last long. The differences in business policy led to a fight between the CEO James Donaldson and the lead developer Daniel Micay. James ultimately fired Daniel.

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UNIX: Building The Most Important OS in the World

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OS
Sci/Tech

If you’ve ever used a smartphone, lost track of time browsing through website after website, or played a video game on a Next-Gen console, you have used the Unix operating system or one of its derivatives.

Linux is the spiritual successor to the original Unix system and Mac OSX is built off of Unix. Unix-based or derived systems are used in gigantic server farms, processing nearly all of the world’s Internet traffic. The Internet of Things and other embedded systems use Unix or its successors and Unix-based Linux has even been used in the International Space Station to run essential equipment.

All of this is possible because Kenneth Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and their colleagues couldn’t watch a beloved project fall victim to corporate cost-cutting.

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Embedded Linux OS LibreELEC 9.0 Released with Kodi 18 "Leia," Here's What's New

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OS
Linux

LibreELEC 9.0 (Leia) is now available featuring the recently released Kodi 18.0 "Leia" open-source and cross-platform media center software, which brings numerous new features and enhancements like retro gaming support, DRM support to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime content, and RDS (Radio Data System) support.

Also improved in Kodi 18 "Leia" is the Blu-ray support to allow you to watch 4K, 8K, and HDR content, Mir/Wayland support on Linux, Bluetooth support, Music Library, VDADecoder support, as well as the default "Estuary" skin. All these and much more are now available for LibreELEC users too.

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OpenWrt 18.06.2 released with major bug fixes, updated Linux kernel and more!

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OS
Linux
Security

Last week the team at OpenWrt announced the second service release of the stable OpenWrt 18.06 series, OpenWrt 18.06.2.

OpenWrt is a Linux operating system that targets embedded devices and provides a fully writable filesystem with optional package management. It is also considered to be a complete replacement for the vendor-supplied firmware of a wide range of wireless routers and non-network devices.

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Haiku Monthly Activity Report

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OS
  • Haiku monthly activity report, January 2019

    waddlesplash spent a full week doing a major overhaul of the FreeBSD compatibility layer to port iflib, FreeBSD’s new ethernet driver subsystem. (The ipro1000 driver from FreeBSD 12 uses it now, so it had to be done sooner or later.) As a side effect of this work, PCI device probing and attaching for all FreeBSD-ported drivers is significantly faster and less error-prone (this probably trimmed ~half a second, and perhaps even more, off of boot time on all machines), and paves the way for eventual USB support.

    After overhauling the compat layer itself, waddlesplash finished porting ethernet and then WiFi drivers from FreeBSD 12. Thanks to the refactor, he rewrote the initialization code in the WiFi layer during this effort, which seems to have resulted in all “spontaneous WiFi disconnects” or “no networks shown” tickets tested so far to be reported as fixed! So, if you were experiencing those errors and haven’t retested, please do.

  • Haiku OS Ports More Networking Drivers From FreeBSD, Other Kernel Progress

    The Haiku open-source operating system project inspired by BeOS is out with their newest monthly report on the happenings.

    Following the long-awaited Haiku R1 beta release a few months ago, the Haiku developers remain as motivated as ever for advancing this long-standing operating system effort.

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today's leftovers

Software: 14 Excellent Free Plotting Tools and Texinfo 6.6

  • 14 Excellent Free Plotting Tools
    A plotting tool is computer software which helps to analyze and visualize data, often of a scientific nature. Using this type of software, users can generate plots of functions, data and data fits. Software of this nature typically includes additional functionality, such as data analysis functions including curve fitting. A good plotting tool is very important for generating professional looking graphics for inclusion in academic papers. However, plotting tools are not just useful for academics, engineers, and scientists. Many users will need to plot graphs for other purposes such as presentations. Fortunately, Linux is well endowed with plotting software. There are some heavyweight commercial Linux applications which include plotting functionality. These include MATLAB, Maple, and Mathematica. Without access to their source code, you have limited understanding of how the software functions, and how to change it. The license costs are also very expensive. And we are fervent advocates of open source software. The purpose of this article is to help promote open source plotting tools that are available. To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 14 excellent plotting tools. Many of the applications are very mature. For example, gnuplot has been in development since the mid-1980s. The choice of plotting software may depend on which programming language you prefer. For example, if your leaning towards Python, matplotlib is an ideal candidate as it’s written in, and designed specifically for Python. Whereas, if you’re keen on the R programming language, you’ll probably prefer ggplot2, which is one of the most popular R packages. With good reason, it offers a powerful model of graphics that removes a lot of the difficulty in making complex multi-players graphics. R does come with “base graphics” which are the traditional plotting functions distributed with R. But gpplot2 takes graphics to the next level.
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  • [GNU] Texinfo 6.6 released
    We have released version 6.6 of Texinfo, the GNU documentation format.

Bare-Metal Kubernetes Servers and SUSE Servers

  • The Rise of Bare-Metal Kubernetes Servers
    While most instances of Kubernetes today are deployed on virtual machines running in the cloud or on-premises, there is a growing number of instances of Kubernetes being deployed on bare-metal servers. The two primary reasons for opting to deploy Kubernetes on a bare- metal server over a virtual machine usually are performance and reliance on hardware accelerators. In the first instance, an application deployed at the network edge might be too latency-sensitive to tolerate the overhead created by a virtual machine. AT&T, for example, is working with Mirantis to deploy Kubernetes on bare-metal servers to drive 5G wireless networking services.
  • If companies can run SAP on Linux, they can run any application on it: Ronald de Jong
    "We have had multiple situations with respect to security breaches in the last couple of years, albeit all the open source companies worked together to address the instances. As the source code is freely available even if something goes wrong, SUSE work closely with open source software vendors to mitigate the risk", Ronald de Jong, President of -Sales, SUSE said in an interview with ET CIO.
  • SUSE Public Cloud Image Life-cycle
    It has been a while since we published the original image life-cycle guidelines SUSE Image Life Cycle for Public Cloud Deployments. Much has been learned since, technology has progressed, and the life-cycle of products has changed. Therefore, it is time to refresh things, update our guidance, and clarify items that have led to questions over the years. This new document serves as the guideline going forward starting February 15th, 2019 and supersedes the original guideline. Any images with a date stamp later than v20190215 fall under the new guideline. The same basic principal as in the original guideline applies, the image life-cycle is aligned with the product life-cycle of the product in the image. Meaning a SLES image generally aligns with the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server life-cycle and a SUSE Manager image generally aligns with the SUSE Manager life-cycle.

Steam's Slipping Grip and Release of Wine-Staging 4.2

  • Steam's iron grip on PC gaming is probably over even if the Epic Games Store fails
     

    It doesn’t matter though. Whether Epic succeeds or not, Steam has already lost. The days of Valve’s de facto monopoly are over, and all that matters is what comes next.

  • Wine-Staging 4.2 Released - Now Less Than 800 Patches Atop Upstream Wine
    Wine 4.2 debuted on Friday and now the latest Wine-Staging release is available that continues carrying hundreds of extra patches re-based atop upstream Wine to provide various experimental/testing fixes and other feature additions not yet ready for mainline Wine.  Wine-Staging for a while has been carrying above 800 patches and at times even above 900, but with Wine-Staging 4.2 they have now managed to strike below the 800 patch level. It's not that they are dropping patches, but a lot of the Wine-Staging work has now been deemed ready for mainline and thus merged to the upstream code-base. A number of patches around the Windows Codecs, NTDLL, BCrypt, WineD3D, and other patches have been mainlined thus now coming in at a 798 patch delta.