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EndeavourOS 2020: Possibly the Best Arch Linux Option

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OS
Linux
Reviews

I said at the start of this review that several factors make EndeavourOS a better choice for using Arch-based Linux distros. One final example is solving the infamous multi-boot snafu in Arch-based distros.

This is an upstream issue. The developer put a downstream fix into play. Using the EndeavourOS grub in all Arch distros should result in no more multi-boot failures.

EndeavourOS might well be the perfect solution to getting the best that Arch Linux offers. It is an ideal starting point to begin exploring what makes Arch-based distros different from the rest of Linux Land.

Depending on your choice of desktop environment, you can run EndeavourOS 2020 on computers with a minimum of either 2 GB or 4 GB ofRAM.

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Fairphone and /e/ team up to build open source, sustainable smartphone

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OS
OSS

Fairphone and e Foundation are teaming up and taking the rare step of selling a non-Google Android phone to the public. The Fairphone 3, a midrange smartphone originally released in September 2019, can now come pre-loaded with the /e/ OS, a fork of Android that replaces the usual suite of Google apps and services with open source options and /e/'s cloud services. The goal of the two companies is to produce a "privacy conscious and sustainable phone." (It's "/e/ OS" but, for some reason, only "e Foundation.")

The Fairphone 3 was originally released in August 2019 for €450 ($493). If you buy the pre-loaded /e/ version from /e/'s website, the phone is €480 ($525). The Fairphone 3 build of /e/ is freely available no matter where you buy the phone, but if you buy it from /e/, you're presumably financially supporting your phone's OS development.

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Parrot 4.9 Security OS Arrives with Linux Kernel 5.5, New Installer

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OS
Linux

Parrot 4.9 is here a little over a month after Parrot 4.8 and ships with the Linux 5.5 kernel series. This means that it brings better hardware support and improvements for Wi-Fi cards and Intel GPUs.

However, Linux 5.5 series has reached end of life with the Linux kernel 5.5.19 update released last week. This means it won’t be supported anymore, so if you can upgrade Parrot 4.9 to the latest Linux 5.6 kernel series, do it as soon as possible.

Another major improvement in the Parrot 4.9 release is a new installer, which is based on Calamares, the universal installer framework used by numerous GNU/Linux distributions, such as Lubuntu, Manjaro or KaOS.

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Sailfish OS Rokua is now available

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OS

Rokua forms part of Finland’s first UNESCO Geopark. In Rokua it is easy to see traces of the Ice Age. The park’s many esker ridges and wooded sandhills are blanketed with silvery lichens. Scattered through the park are many kettle hole lakes nestling in sandy hollows.
It has been almost a year since my previous blogpost aimed at a more tech savvy audience. With Sailfish OS Rokua it felt again like a good opportunity for such a blog post. The changes to the Sailfish OS user experience are available at the end of the document, if you want to skip the technical topics.
There are a lot of things that are not visible for a casual Sailfish OS user. This 3.3.0 release contains a vast number of updates for the lower level of the stack. We’ve included for example the updated toolchain, a new version of Python and many updates to core libraries such as glib2. In this blog I will go through a few of the changes and what they mean in practice for users, developers and Sailfish OS in general.

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Pop OS 20.04: When You Can Upgrade And The Best New Features

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OS

Let’s get the important date out of the way: System76 has announced that its in-house Linux distribution Pop!_OS 20.04 is officially headed our way on April 30. At that point you should start seeing an upgrade notification, although it’s possible to update to the beta right now. I’ve been running it on my Oryx Pro for the last week and so far it’s been rock solid.

Now that you know the magic date, let me outline a few of the highlights System76 has in store for the newest version of Pop!_OS.

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Endless OS 3.8.0 Released: A Mobile-Like Streamlined Linux Experience

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OS

Endless Computers, which builds a Linux-based operating system as well, has released a new point version Endless OS 3.8.0. The latest release comes with several improvements, changes, and updated hardware support. So, let’s see the list of new features.

Endless OS always ships with a customized desktop environment forked from GNOME. Not only that, but it also uses its own EOS shell to give an Android-like experience on the desktop computer. To further polish the visual design and look, OS v3.8.0 updates the GNOME to its latest version GNOME 3.36.

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Recalbox 6.1.1

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OS
OSS

Recalbox is one of those projects which I suspect is quite good at what it sets out to do, its functions are just outside the realm of my usual experiences. I don't have compatible game controllers in my home to use with it, I am a keyboard and mouse user rather than game controller user. I don't need a game console or media centre as I have access to emulators and media applications on my workstation which adequately fill my needs. I'm not likely to fire up retro games and sit around with a group of people, passing controllers around the room.

However, if I were, I believe Recalbox would fill the role nicely. Apart from its unwillingness to use keyboard and mouse input for some functions, the system appears to offer a handful of good approaches. The interface is simple and geared towards the controllers its users are likely to have on hand. It ships with some free games out of the box. Recalbox also provides a lot of emulated platforms and some neat features such as the ability to rewind some (maybe all?) games to undo mistakes. The distribution appears to provide a simple, user-friendly appliance, at least while running on physical hardware. I wouldn't recommend running it in a virtual machine.

I also like that the distribution does not need to be installed. We only need to copy the image file to a removable device and plug it in. Also, when not being used as a gaming platform, Recalbox can launch Kodi and access media files. This, combined with the platform's ability to connect to local networks, make it an appealing option for people who want a Linux-based classic gaming platform in their home.

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CentOS 8 desktop perfection - the sequel

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OS
Red Hat

And this brings us to the end of this adventurous rollercoaster. Good stuff, bad stuff, good stuff again. Now, what worries is me is the newfound bipolar nature of the CentOS 8 desktop transformation. On one hand, some things are so much simpler, easier and faster than they were in the past editions of this distro. Significantly so. CentOS 8 is very modern, so there's none of that chasing the dinosaurs thing here. But on the other hands, lots of cool stuff is missing, or hasn't been added to the popular third-party repos, and I wonder why.

Has the distro waned in popularity - or the need for the extras? Do people use their computers differently now than they did when CentOS 6 or CentOS 7 came out? Perhaps the lack of cool software is a sign of the overall fatigue in the Linux space. Or something else entirely? All in all, you can accomplish a great deal in CentOS, and enjoy a lot of cool and fun things. Never forget this is essentially a server distro! But for the first time, I'm also sensing a great disturbance in the force, and there be negatory elements preventing me from having perfect fun. Well, I you find today's piece useful - and if you have any other asks, ask away. We're done.

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Endless 3.8.0 Beta 1 Trip Report

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OS

Endless have recently released the first beta of the 3.8 series for their Linux based operating system. As someone who used to work there in product, and is still friends with a number of Endless-ers I upgraded my personal machine and checked it out. This is a “trip report” of my notes and may be a little bitty but I hope it’s useful feedback for the developers and designers and maybe encourages a few other people to give Endless a go.

Things that are great

Always the first thing to comment on with a new Endless release but the upgrade process driven by ostree is still class leading. A quick download, reboot and you’re in. And the reassurance of a quick and reliable rollback as well, always handy when testing a beta!

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These three Linux features for Chromebooks are getting pushed back to Chrome OS 84 or later

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OS
Linux

I’ve been tracking several Chrome OS Linux — aka: Crostini — bugs and feature requests that were expected to arrive in Chrome OS 81 but didn’t make it.

Most of the reason for the situation is related to Google choosing to skip Chrome OS 82 due to changing work schedules in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. But some of the features won’t be in Chrome OS 83 either as a result of bug prioritization.
Here’s what’s getting punted to Chrome OS 84, or even 85...

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More in Tux Machines

Beelink GT-R Review – An AMD Ryzen 5 Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20.04

One issue I did encounter both in Windows and in Ubuntu was that my 4-port KVM was not properly recognized. I did get a rather poor HDMI signal to the monitor however the USB port was not working and by extension neither were my wireless keyboard and mouse. However, using a USB-C hub (2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x HDMI) worked fine as did using the various HDMI and USB ports directly including wirelessly connected peripherals. Another point to note is that the power cord from the device to the power adapter is slightly shorter than most and the power adapter itself is quite large meaning care needs to be taken when using a US/EU to AU adapter for example. Overall this is a powerful mini PC (relative to similar form factor devices but excluding the higher-end Intel NUCs and comparable models) and the addition of capable graphics makes gaming possible together with light video editing. Equipped with a very good selection of ports and features including multiple configurable storage options, the GT-R makes a great impression as one of the first AMD based mini PCs. The only negative is that the fans are quite noisy when the processor is under load. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Mesa To Join Other Open-Source Projects With "Main" For Primary Code Branch

    This week Mesa developers began drafting plans for transitioning their primary Git branch to "main", following the naming plans of other open-source projects using Git. With Git now allowing a configurable default branch and GitHub working to transition from "master" to "main" as their default Git branch name, various other open-source projects have also been working to change their default Git branch name. Most open-source projects have been settling for "main" as the best and most descriptive default branch name rather than alternatives like trunk, default, etc. Mesa developers are similarly aiming for a "main" transition.

  • Linux Weekly Roundup: Ubuntu 20.04.1, LibreOffice 7, Pinta – Aug 8, 2020

    Here’s a recap for the week in the form of weekly roundup, curated for you from the Linux and opensource world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming trends. This week there has been plenty of app updates, distribution release announced. With so many moving items happening all around the Linux and the open-source world, it is not always possible to cover the updates, especially the minor releases of news.

  • How to Apply Blur Effect in Ubuntu 20.04 Gnome Desktop
  • Install latest version apache on ubuntu from source
  • Setting Up Amavis and ClamAV on Ubuntu Mail Server
  • The weekend round-up: tell us what play button you've been clicking recently

    What's that? It's the weekend? It can't be already can it? Yes. It's time for the weekend chat about what we've been playing and what you've been playing. There's been so many good Linux supported releases lately I've been a bit spoilt for choice including these just in the last week: DemonCrawl, UnderMine, The Battle of Polytopia, Littlewood, Monster Crown, Core Defense and Hellpoint (plus plenty more I've missed).

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

    A Plague Tale: Innocence running through Steam Play on Linux.

  • Recovering 2.11BSD, fighting the patches

    Well, if we have patch 195, and all 195 patches, what's the problem? Why can't you do a simple for loop and patch -R to get back to original? And for that matter, why were no copies of the original saved?

    Turns out the root of both of these problems can be summarized as 'resource shortage'. Back in the day when this was released, 100MB disks were large. The release came on 2 mag tapes that held 40MB each. Saving a copy of these required a substantial amount of space. And it was more important to have the latest release, not the original release, for running the system. It was more efficient and better anyway.

    In addition to small disk space, these small systems were connected via USENET or UUCP. These connections tended to be slow. Coupled with the small size of the storage on the PDP-11s running 2.11BSD, the patches weren't what we think of as modern patches. The patches started before the newer unified diff format was created. That format is much more efficient that the traditional context diffs. In addition, compress(1) was the only thing that could compress things, giving poor compression ratios. The UUCP transport of usenet messages also mean that the messages had to be relatively short. So, this mean that the 'patches' were really an upgrade process, that often included patches. But just as often, it included instructions like this from patch 4: [...]

  • NetBSD on the NanoPi NEO2

    The NanoPi NEO2 from FriendlyARM has been serving me well since 2018, being my test machine for OpenBSD/arm64 related things.

    As NetBSD/evbarm finally gained support for AArch64 in NetBSD 9.0, released back in February, I decided to give it a try on this device. The board only has 512MB of RAM, and this is where NetBSD really shines. Things have become a lot easier since jmcneill@ now provides bootable ARM images for a variety of devices, including the NanoPi NEO2.

  • Linux kmod tools on macOS

    First, this does not mean you can load Linux kernel modules on macOS. This port is far more boring than that. Recently I migrated from Travis-CI over to GitHub Actions for rpminspect. I took some time to understand how GitHub Actions worked and expanded the CI tests to run across Fedora rawhide, the latest release of Fedora, Debian Testing, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE Leap, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, CentOS 8, CentOS 7, and Arch Linux. I wanted to prove that the software was portable across different distributions, but then that had me thinking about non-Linux platforms. GitHub Actions offers macOS as a platform, so what if I built things there too? Gaining access to a remote macOS VM (thanks, jbair), I was able to start working on porting rpminspect. The first problem I hit was the lack of libkmod from the Linux kmod project. Makes sense that this would not exist on macOS. All rpminspect does with libkmod is open and read Linux kernel modules, so porting it to macOS is technically possible. So I decided to give that a try.

  • We may wind up significantly delaying or mostly skipping Ubuntu 20.04

    The highest priority machines to upgrade are our remaining Ubuntu 16.04 machines, which will be going out of support in April of next year. Fortunately we don't have very many of them compared to our 18.04 machines, so there is not a huge amount of work to do. Unfortunately, most of our Exim based mail machines are 16.04 and the 20.04 version of Exim is a significantly disruptive upgrade, plus a number of the remaining machines are delicate to upgrade (our Samba server, for example).

    This opens up the issue of what Ubuntu version to upgrade these 16.04 machines to. Normally we'd upgrade them to Ubuntu 20.04, but normally we'd already be running less critical machines on 20.04 and getting experience with it; this time they'd be among our first 20.04 machines. On the other side, we're already running Ubuntu 18.04 in general and in some cases running the same services on 18.04 as we currently do on 16.04 (we have a couple of 18.04 Exim machines, for example). This makes upgrading most or all of our 16.04 machines to 18.04 instead of 20.04 a reasonably attractive proposition, especially for Exim based machines. We'd have to upgrade them again in two years when 22.04 comes out and 18.04 starts going out of support, but hopefully in two years the situation will be a lot different.

  • DebConf8

    Also this is my 6th post in this series of posts about DebConfs and for the last two days for the first time I failed my plan to do one post per day. And while two days ago I still planned to catch up on this by doing more than one post in a day, I have now decided to give in to realities, which mostly translates to sudden fantastic weather in Hamburg and other summer related changes in life. So yeah, I still plan to do short posts about all the DebConfs I was lucky to attend, but there might be days without a blog post. Anyhow, Mar de la Plata. When we held DebConf in Argentina it was winter there, meaning locals and other folks would wear jackets, scarfs, probably gloves, while many Debian folks not so much. Andreas Tille freaked out and/or amazed local people by going swimming in the sea every morning. And when I told Stephen Gran that even I would find it a bit cold with just a tshirt he replied "na, the weather is fine, just like british summer", while it was 14 celcius and mildly raining. DebConf8 was the first time I've met Valessio Brito, who I had worked together since at least DebConf6. That meeting was really super nice, Valessio is such a lovely person. Back in 2008 however, there was just one problem: his spoken English was worse than his written one, and that was already hard to parse sometimes. Fast forward eleven years to Curitiba last year and boom, Valessio speaks really nice English now.

  • 9 of the Best Firefox Addons for Social Media Enthusiasts

    Are you active in social media? If you’re using the Firefox browser, there are many extensions that will save you time, connect better with your audience, and boost your overall experience. The following is our shortlisted selection of some of the best Firefox addons for social media enthusiasts. Each has been verified for delivering what it promises and is quite easy to use. 1. Facebook Container For those active on the social scene, using Facebook is easier as a login option. [...] Love them or hate them, emojis may have become the official language of the Internet. If you’re running out of emoji styles to describe a specific mood or reaction, Emoji Cheatsheet just may give you the perfect idea. The emojis you click are automatically saved to your clipboard so that you can paste it on any social media site.

  • U is for Unreliable UI (or: Why Firefox's "Do this automatically this from now on" checkbox is so flaky, and how to work around it)

    It's been a frustration with Firefox for years. You click on a link and get the "What should Firefox do with this file?" dialog, even though it's a file type you view all the time -- PDF, say, or JPEG. You click "View in browser" or "Save file" or whatever ... then you check the "Do this automatically for files like this from now on" checkbox, thinking, I'm sure I checked this last time. Then a few minutes later, you go to a file of the exact same time, and you get the dialog again. That damn checkbox is like the button on street crossings or elevators: a no-op to make you think you're doing something.

NanoPi and Raspberry Pi

  • NanoPi NEO3

    A tiny, headless SBC based on the 64-bit quad-core RockChip RK3328 SoC along with up to 2GB RAM. I/O includes GbE and 3x USB (2x 3.0 + 1x 2.0), plus a 26-pin expansion header various GPIO signals.

  • Raspberry Pi makes Japanese keyboard

    It’s quite a complex keyboard, with three different character sets to deal with.

    ‘Figuring out how the USB keyboard controller maps to all the special keys on a Japanese keyboard was particularly challenging, with most web searches leading to non-English websites,’ say the Pi people, ‘we ended up reverse-engineering generic Japanese keyboards to see how they work, and mapping the keycodes to key matrix locations. We are fortunate that we have a very patient keyboard IC vendor, called Holtek, which produces the custom firmware for the controller.’

  • Raspberry Pi Release Japanese Keyboard Variant

    The Japanese keyboard is the latest layout available. Last month we saw the release of Swedish, Portuguese, Danish and Norwegian layouts of the official keyboard. All of the keyboards come with three USB 2.0 type-A ports, adding much needed extra ports to your Raspberry Pi. Available in two color choices, red and white or black and grey, this new keyboard has been designed to work with all three Japanese character sets.

  • The fastest USB storage options for Raspberry Pi

    After posting my tests concerning UASP support in USB SATA adapters, I got an email from Rob Logan mentioning the performance of some other types of drives he had with him. And he even offered to ship a few drives to me for comparisons!

Programming Leftovers

  • Fujitsu Begins Adding A64FX Support To GCC Compiler

    The Fujitsu A64FX ARM processor that has 48 cores per node and 32GB of HBM2 memory that currently powers the fastest supercomputer is beginning to see GCC compiler support. Fujitsu months ago upstreamed A64FX support to the LLVM/Clang compiler. It appears this ARMv8.2-based chip with 512-bit SIMD is using LLVM/Clang as its preferred compiler. But now Fujitsu is also upstreaming GCC support for their high performance A64FX.

  • Jussi Pakkanen: The second edition of the Meson manual is out

    I have just uploaded the second edition of the Meson manual to the web store for your purchasing pleasure.

  • Junichi Uekawa: Started writing some golang code.

    Started writing some golang code. Trying to rewrite some of the tools as a daily driver for machine management tool. It's easier than rust in that having a good rust compiler is a hassle though golang preinstalled on systems can build and run. go run is simple enough to invoke on most Debian systems.

  • Url Shortner in Golang

    I decided to write my own URL shortner and the reason for doing that was to dive a little more into golang and to learn more about systems. I have planned to not only document my learning but also find and point our different ways in which this application can be made scalable, resilient and robust.

  • LLVM Clang 11 Has A Nice Build Speed Improvement With New Feature For Pre-Compiled Headers

    There are many improvements in LLVM/Clang 11.0 due out in the weeks ahead though an interesting change merged prior to last month's code branching that slipped under our radar... If using the clang-cl driver for MSVC or when otherwise making use of pre-compiled headers (PCH) functionality, there is a new option that can offer significant build time speed-ups. When making use of Clang PCH functionality for leveraging pre-compiled headers, Clang 11.0 is introducing the -fpch-instantiate-templates option separate from the existing PCH options. This -fpch-instantiate-templates option instantiates templates already while generating a precompiled header instead of instantiating every time the pre-compiled header is used. Avoiding the instantiation each time the pre-compiled header is used can provide measurable build time improvements. Aside from the MSVC clang-cl drop-in, this feature though isn't enabled by default since it can result in errors if the source header file is not self-contained.

  • Call for Code Daily: open source projects and answered calls

    The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of August 3rd:

  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 6 Check-in

    Works towards analyzing multistage dockerfile. I combined the draft PR and the review from my mentors, the new commit is the first step of my plan. We split the multistage dockerfile into seperate dockefiles for build. Here are the changes in the new commit. 1. Modified function check_multistage_dockerfile() to return. 2. Remove function split_multistage_dockerfile() since we are working on the building stage. split_multistage_dockerfile() can be improved on analyze stage.

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxxix) stackoverflow python report
  • Send WhatsApp media/message using Python.

    Though there are many scripts available which are almost free but later on leads to getting blocked by Whatsapp. We can use Twilio Library for sending and receiving whatsapp messages even for WhatsApp bussiness.

  • Generate a random number in Java

    Java contains many ways to generate random numbers. The random number can be int, long, float, double, and Boolean. Math.random class and Random class are mostly used to generate random numbers in Java. The uses of these classes are shown in this tutorial by using various examples. [...] The random class has many methods to generate different types of random numbers, such as nextInt(), nextDouble(), nextLong, etc. So, the integer and fractional numbers can be generated by using the appropriate method of this class. You have to create an object to use in this class.

  • Open Source Jenkins CI/CD Project Graduates From CD Foundation

    Officially launched by the Linux Foundation in March 2019, the CD Foundation includes in its project portfolio some of the most widely used and deployed CI/CD tools, including Jenkins, Spinnaker and Tekton. The open source Jenkins CI/CD project gains more community participation and a roadmap for future improvements.