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Arcan as Operating System Design

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OS

Time to continue to explain what Arcan actually “is” on a higher level. Previous articles have invited the comparison to Xorg ( part1, part2 ). Another possibility would have been Plan9, but Xorg was also a better fit also for the next (and last) article in this series.

To start with a grand statement:

Arcan is a single-user, user-facing, networked overlay operating system.

With “single-user, user-facing” I mean that you are the core concern; it is about providing you with controls. There is no compromise made to “serve” a large number of concurrent users, to route and filter the most traffic, or to store and access data the fastest anywhere on earth.

With “overlay operating system” I mean that it is built from user-facing components. Arcan takes whatever you have access to and expands from there. It is not hinged on the life and death of neither the Linux kernel, the BSD ones or any other for that matter. Instead it is a vagabond that will move to whatever ecosystem you can develop and run programs on, even if that means being walled inside an app store somewhere.

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A low-key good experience for Thor-oughly new penguins: Elementary OS 6, aka Odin

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OS
Reviews

Elementary OS is one of my favourite distros to review because it always brings interesting new ideas to the Linux desktop. It's a very opinionated distro and not for everyone, but so long as the elementary vision aligns with your own, I think it's one of the nicest, most polished distros around.

The key is aligning visions. If you like to endlessly tweak and customize your desktop experience, this is not the distro for you. Technically there is a "tweak" tool, similar to Gnome Tweaks, which allows you to do things like add a minimise button to elementary OS's windows and make other changes. That's helpful if there's just one or two things that are stopping you from loving elementary OS, but it's not going to make customising everything viable.

If, on the other hand, you just want a clean, attractive desktop that you don't have to fiddle with, offers most of the basic applications you need out of the box, and can be a set-it-and-forget it system, elementary OS Odin is an excellent choice.

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12 Best alternatives to replace Windows 10 to some extent

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OS
GNU
Linux

It is undeniable that Windows 10 captures the largest market for operating systems in computer users. But if you’re considering getting windows 10 then you need to also consider other alternatives which also give a good user experience and an easy-to-access interface. Below is the list of best alternatives to Windows 10.

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What To Do After Installing elementary OS 6

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OS

This is a recommendation for new elementary OS users who just had version 6 codenamed Odin. It includes apps, settings, and some enhancements you would and might need. Enjoy elementary OS experience!

There are work apps not included in elementary OS which we need to install ourselves for example LibreOffice, multimedia tools like Kdenlive, and games like TuxMath and 0 A.D. Follow this guide to get what you need: Guide to Install 20 Standard Apps on elementary OS.

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Missing Standard Apps on elementary OS and Guide To Install Them

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OS
GNU
Linux

elementary OS is a fast replacement to Windows or macOS. It comes with basic apps you need without ones you don't. Because of that, several standard apps like LibreOffice not included by default. This article presents you the apps and guide to install them to help you every time you have new elementary OS. We hope this would be useful to you!

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Sailfish OS Verla introduces a new sharing system, camera updates, and more

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OS

The summer is turning into autumn and it’s again time for a new Sailfish release – the third one this year, having the version number 4.2.0 and bearing the name Verla. The name follows our scheme of Unesco world heritage sites in Finland and Verla is a factory museum and its surrounding area, including an old groundwood mill founded at the end of the 19th century, a part of the history of the paper industry in Finland.
As usual, the changes go all over, some easier to notice and some deeper in the software stack. Let’s go now through some of the main items. More details can be found in the release notes.

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Quick News: One of the best apps for Tizen is now available on the Galaxy Watch 4

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OS

The PPT Controller app was one of the best apps for Tizen smartwatches. Now, the app has made a comeback and has been released onto the Galaxy Watch 4 series. If you were to head to the Play Store on the Galaxy Watch 4 and search for the PPT Controller app, you would be able to install it.

If you do not know what the PPT controller is, it is essentially a tool that can control PowerPoint presentations using your smartwatch. The app is free to use, but it only runs with Bluetooth, which can limit its functionality by a small amount. One cool feature is that the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic can control the PowerPoint presentation using the rotational bezel - nice hey?

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Microsoft Defender leads the user to assume Free and Open Source Software is malicious with scary red warnings.

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OS
Microsoft

Microsoft “Defender”, the questionable “free” antivirus software included with Windows, routinely flags Free and Open Source Software that I try to install as a potential virus.

So far, I’ve gotten warnings like these on LibreOffice installers, as well as PeaZip, HexChat, and QBitTorrent.

In fact, over on Reddit, some people even say Microsoft has been removing BitTorrent programs in general, without asking them first, even when there’s no malware at all in them. In fact, there’s so many complaints of Microsoft doing this, here’s an entire search result. Take your pick.

Windows itself meets the definition of spyware and adware set forth by the overall anti-spyware and anti-adware communities in the late 1990s, when the problem first emerged with the stuff piggybacking on software that claimed to be free of charge.

Windows “11” even had the entire OS crash and freeze on the dev and beta channels recently, because a lookup to a Microsoft ad server from the Start Menu failed to respond.

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postmarketOS Release: v21.06 Service Pack 2

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OS

The second service pack for postmarketOS v21.06 has been released. As usually, it brings improvements from edge to the stable release of postmarketOS, after careful testing by developers and brave community members on living on the edge.

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Qubes Now A Preinstall Option for Librem 14 and Mini

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OS

While we default to our own PureOS on our hardware, we have also supported the high-security QubesOS on Purism hardware ever since the Librem 13 v1 became the first hardware officially supported by the Qubes project. Since then we have continued to treat Qubes as a first-class citizen and ensured that it works well on new iterations of our hardware, up to and including our current Librem Mini and Librem 14 which we feel is the best laptop for running Qubes. We are pleased to announce this support now extends to pre-installing Qubes on the Librem Mini and Librem 14, for any customer who selects it as their OS of choice.

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More in Tux Machines

Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover protocol found leaking hundreds of thousands of credentials

A flaw in Microsoft's Autodiscover protocol, used to configure Exchange clients like Outlook, can cause user credentials to leak to miscreants in certain circumstances. The upshot is that your Exchange-connected email client may give away your username and password to a stranger, if the flaw is successfully exploited. In a report scheduled to be published on Wednesday, security firm Guardicore said it has identified a design blunder that leaks web requests to Autodiscover domains that are outside the user's domain but within the same top-level domain (TLD). Exchange's Autodiscover protocol, specifically the version based on POX XML, provides a way for client applications to obtain the configuration data necessary to communicate with the Exchange server. It gets invoked, for example, when adding a new Exchange account to Outlook. After a user supplies a name, email address, and password, Outlook tries to use Autodiscover to set up the client. Read more

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

  • Firefox Add-on Reviews: YouTube your way—browser extensions put you in charge of your video experience

    YouTube wants you to experience YouTube in very prescribed ways. But with the right browser extension, you’re free to alter YouTube to taste. Change the way the site looks, behaves, and delivers your favorite videos. [...] Though its primary function is to automatically play all YouTube videos in their highest possible resolution, YouTube High Definition has a few other fine features to offer.

  • Location history: How your location is tracked and how you can limit sharing it

    In real estate, the age old mantra is “location, location, location,” meaning that location drives value. That’s true even when it comes to data collection in the online world, too — your location history is valuable, authentic information. In all likelihood, you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail of location data every day, but there are a few things you can do to clean that up and keep more of your goings-on to yourself. [...] For some apps, location helps them function better, like navigating with a GPS or following a map. Location history can also be useful for retracing your steps to past places, like finding your way back to that tiny shop in Florence where you picked up beautiful stationery two years ago. On the other hand, marketing companies use location data for marketing and advertising purposes. They can also use location to conduct “geomarketing,” which is targeting you with promotions based on where you are. Near a certain restaurant while you’re out doing errands at midday? You might see an ad for it on your phone just as you’re thinking about lunch. Location can also be used to grant or deny access to certain content. In some parts of the world, content on the internet is “geo-blocked” or geographically-restricted based on your IP address, which is kind of like a mailing address, associated with your online activity. Geo-blocking can happen due to things like copyright restrictions, limited licensing rights or even government control.

  • An update on Memory Safety in Chrome [LWN.net]

    The Google security blog provides an overview of what is being done to address memory-safety problems in the Chrome browser.

  • Chrome 94 Released for Android, macOS, Windows, Linux: What's New | Technology News

    Chrome 94 stable update has been released by Google for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks and it brings new security features, new functionality, and bug fixes. Google Chrome 94 stable is the first version of Chrome of the new four-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome update was released every six weeks. Its features include HTTPS-First mode that makes users browsing more secure. Also, Google said that 19 different security issues were fixed in the Chrome 94 version. The update for Google Chrome was announced through a blog post on September 21. Chrome 94 introduces HTTPS-First mode. It is available in Chrome for desktop systems and for Android. HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP and many websites support it. With the latest update, the browser will also show a full-page warning when the user loads a site that doesn't support HTTPS. This ensures privacy when using public Wi-Fi. Google says this was previously planned for Chrome 92.

  • Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

    Google has released Chrome 94 for desktop and Android, complete with an "Idle Detection" API to detect user inactivity, despite privacy concerns expressed by Mozilla and Apple. New and changed features in Chrome 94 are listed here and include the removal of the AppCache feature, described as a "security and stability liability", and something which has "imposed a tax on all of Chrome's significant architectural efforts." There is also a new VirtualKeyboard API with more control over its shape and an event fired when it covers page content; more efficient low-level access to media encoders and decoders; and a new JavaScript Self Profiling API which enables developers to collect JavaScript performance profiles from end users.

Kernel: Google, Xen, and Mesa

  • Google Finally Shifting To "Upstream First" Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

    Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features. Google's Todd Kjos talked today during Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC2021) around their Generic Kernel Image initiative. With Android 12 and their Linux 5.10 based GKI image they have further cut down the fragmentation to the extent that it's "nearly eliminated". With the Android 12 GKI, most of the vendor/OEM kernel features have now either been upstreamed into the Linux kernel, isolated to vendor modules/hooks, or merged into the Android Common Kernel.

  • Google Finally Shifting To 'Upstream First' Linux Kernel Approach For Android Feature
  • Clang-format for Xen Coding Style Checking Scheduled - Xen Project

    At the moment there is no tool that would allow to format patches in Xen. The idea of Xen-checker is to use the clang-format approach as a base for Xen ‘checkpatch’ process. The new tool consists of modified .clang-format configuration file to automate Xen patches format checking and reformatting. The tool can be used as a pre-commit hook to check and format every patch automatically. Some features are missing in the clang configurator, so new clang-format options have been proposed for more flexible code formatting. Also, the purpose of the topic is to start the discussion about the existing rules for Xen code formatting to eliminate possible inaccuracies in the work of the Xen checker. This will make it easier to adhere to the unanimous decision.

  • Mesa Merge Pending For Vulkan Ray-Tracing On Older AMD GPUs - Phoronix

    Merged yesterday for Mesa 21.3 was open-source Vulkan ray-tracing for AMD RDNA2 / RX 6000 series GPUs with the RADV driver. Opened today now is a merge request that would provide Vulkan ray-tracing with RADV to pre-RDNA2 GPUs on this driver going back to the likes of Polaris, granted the performance is another story. Joshua Ashton known for his work on DXVK and other Direct3D-on-Vulkan efforts for Valve has opened the merge request to enable RADV Vulkan ray-tracing for older generations of AMD GPUs.

Astro Pi Mk II, the New Raspberry Pi Hardware Headed to the Space Station

While Izzy and Ed are still going strong, the ESA has decided it’s about time these veteran Raspberries finally get the retirement they’re due. Set to make the journey to the ISS in December aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon, the new Astro Pi MK II hardware looks quite similar to the original 2015 version at first glance. But a peek inside its 6063-grade aluminium flight case reveals plenty of new and improved gear, including a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8 GB RAM. The beefier hardware will no doubt be appreciated by students looking to push the envelope. While the majority of Python programs submitted to the Astro Pi program did little more than poll the current reading from the unit’s temperature or humidity sensors and scroll messages for the astronauts on the Astro Pi’s LED matrix, some of the more advanced projects were aimed at performing legitimate space research. From using the onboard camera to image the Earth and make weather predictions to attempting to map the planet’s magnetic field, code submitted from teams of older students will certainly benefit from the improved computational performance and expanded RAM of the newest Pi. As with the original Astro Pi, the ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have shared plenty of technical details about these space-rated Linux boxes. After all, students are expected to develop and test their code on essentially the same hardware down here on Earth before it gets beamed up to the orbiting computers. So let’s take a quick look at the new hardware inside Astro Pi MK II, and what sort of research it should enable for students in 2022 and beyond. Read more