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NixOS 16.03 "Emu" Operating System Released with systemd 229 and Linux 4.4 LTS

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OS
Linux

NixOS developer Domen Kožar announced the release of the NixOS 16.03 operating system, which is considered an update to the previous version, NixOS 15.09.

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NixOS 16.03 Released

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OS
Linux

NixOS 16.03 is codenamed "Emu" and it's out today as the latest stable release of this interesting Linux distribution.

NixOS 16.03 isn't the most exciting of releases but has Nix 1.12.2, systemd 229, the Linux 4.4 kernel, GCC 5.3, Glibc 2.23, Binutils 2.26, and other package updates. There's also been work on improving bitwise reproducible builds.

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Apricity OS Is Clean and Classy

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OS
Reviews

Apricity OS targets newbies and professionals alike. It has a well-thought-out design. Its execution makes both the GNOME and the Cinnamon editions very functional.

The overall performance of the distro is impressive. I am looking forward to the release of the nonbeta version.

Apricity OS is a Linux distro that will make you rethink why you use your existing operating system. It is a distro worth checking out.

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Thoughts on Sailfish OS

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OS

For the better part of the last month I have been using Sailfish OS as the daily operating system on my mobile device. For those who are unfamiliar, Sailfish is a Linux powered mobile operating system that largely builds on Qt technology.

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Budgie Desktop 10.2.5 Lands with a Multitude of Refinements, It's Now Stateless

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OS
Linux

Just a few moments ago, March 27, 2016, Josh Strobl from the Solus Project had the great pleasure of announcing the release and immediate availability of Budgie Desktop 10.2.5.

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The brainBAND project from Samsung with Tizen Micro OS

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OS
Linux

The brainBAND project is in its infancy, with many changes ahead, but Samsung’s newest initiative (said to run on Tizen Micro OS, the IoT system expected to be unveiled next month at Samsung’s SDC 2016 Conference) opens up a world of possibilities for athletes and has the potential to ensure that American football remains a beloved national sport for centuries to come. Athletes give us the best of their efforts on the field; they too, have the right to medical treatment that ensures they continue to “play” the sport, not live or die from it.

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A Screencast Look at GalliumOS

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OS

When a group of talented people get together to create a Linux distribution optimized for use on Chromebooks, a suitable way of giving thanks is to install that operating system on a Chromebook and make a screencast showcasing the operating system at work. Back in December 2015, I did that with the outstanding GalliumOS distro.

I would love to buy a laptop with a Chromebook form factor and GalliumOS pre-installed. If any company launches a crowdfunding campaign to make that happen, you’ll likely read about that right here on FOSS Force.

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Lubuntu-Based LXLE 14.04.4 "Posh Paradigm" Linux OS Officially Released

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OS
Ubuntu

Today, March 24, 2016, the developers of the LXLE distribution of GNU/Linux have been proud to announce the release and immediate availability for download of the final LXLE 14.04.4 operating system.

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CoreOS CTO: Containers Are the Next Linux Package Manager

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OS

When they founded CoreOS, Brandon Philips and Alex Polvi set out to essentially redesign the Linux operating system for distributed systems.

They began by looking at the areas where they thought the whole server infrastructure space could be improved. Then zeroed in on one of the hurdles of distributed systems: deployments -- including application lifecycle management. They also realized that managing the lifecycle of all the files on disk -- the traditional job of a package manager -- is really hard.

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Rust's Redox OS could show Linux a few new tricks

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OS

Redox uses Rust for its kernel-level code to provide more memory safety considerations than C allows by default. But the project doesn't simply rewrite Linux in a new language. Redox discards as much from Linux's version of the Unix tradition as it keeps.

As explained in the project's wiki and design documents, Redox uses a minimal set of syscalls -- a deliberately smaller subset than what Linux supports so as to avoid legacy bloat. The OS also uses a microkernel design to stay slender, in contrast to Linux's monolithic kernel.

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Security News

  • Tuesday's security updates
  • New Open Source Linux Ransomware Divides Infosec Community
    Following our investigation into this matter, and seeing the vitriol-filled reaction from some people in the infosec community, Zaitsev has told Softpedia that he decided to remove the project from GitHub, shortly after this article's publication. The original, unedited article is below.
  • Fax machines' custom Linux allows dial-up hack
    Party like it's 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don't have their own Internet connection. The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device's fax line. The firmware is custom Linux, giving the printers a familiar networking environment for bad actors looking to exploit the fax line as an attack vector. Once they're in that ancient environment, it's possible to then move onto the network to which the the printer's connected. Yves-Noel Weweler, Ralf Spenneberg and Hendrik Schwartke of Open Source Training in Germany discovered the bug, which occurs because Epson WorkForce multifunction printers don't demand signed firmware images.
  • Google just saved the journalist who was hit by a 'record' cyberattack
    Google just stepped in with its massive server infrastructure to run interference for journalist Brian Krebs. Last week, Krebs' site, Krebs On Security, was hit by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took it offline, the likes of which was a "record" that was nearly double the traffic his host Akamai had previously seen in cyberattacks. Now just days later, Krebs is back online behind the protection of Google, which offers a little-known program called Project Shield to help protect independent journalists and activists' websites from censorship. And in the case of Krebs, the DDoS attack was certainly that: The attempt to take his site down was in response to his recent reporting on a website called vDOS, a service allegedly created by two Israeli men that would carry out cyberattacks on behalf of paying customers.
  • Krebs DDoS aftermath: industry in shock at size, depth and complexity of attack
    “This attack didn’t stop, it came in wave after wave, hundreds of millions of packets per second,” says Josh Shaul, Akamai’s vice president of product management, when Techworld spoke to him. “This was different from anything we’ve ever seen before in our history of DDoS attacks. They hit our systems pretty hard.” Clearly still a bit stunned, Shaul describes the Krebs DDoS as unprecedented. Unlike previous large DDoS attacks such as the infamous one carried out on cyber-campaign group Spamhaus in 2013, this one did not use fancy amplification or reflection to muster its traffic. It was straight packet assault from the old school.
  • iOS 10 makes it easier to crack iPhone back-ups, says security firm
    INSECURITY FIRM Elcomsoft has measured the security of iOS 10 and found that the software is easier to hack than ever before. Elcomsoft is not doing Apple any favours here. The fruity firm has just launched the iPhone 7, which has as many problems as it has good things. Of course, there are no circumstances when vulnerable software is a good thing, but when you have just launched that version of the software, it is really bad timing. Don't hate the player, though, as this is what Elcomsoft, and what Apple, are supposed to be doing right. "We discovered a major security flaw in the iOS 10 back-up protection mechanism. This security flaw allowed us to develop a new attack that is able to bypass certain security checks when enumerating passwords protecting local (iTunes) back-ups made by iOS 10 devices," said Elcomsoft's Oleg Afonin in a blog post.
  • After Tesla: why cybersecurity is central to the car industry's future
    The news that a Tesla car was hacked from 12 miles away tells us that the explosive growth in automotive connectivity may be rapidly outpacing automotive security. This story is illustrative of two persistent problems afflicting many connected industries: the continuing proliferation of vulnerabilities in new software, and the misguided view that cybersecurity is separate from concept, design, engineering and production. This leads to a ‘fire brigade approach’ to cybersecurity where security is not baked in at the design stage for either hardware or software but added in after vulnerabilities are discovered by cybersecurity specialists once the product is already on the market.

Ofcom blesses Linux-powered, open source DIY radio ‘revolution’

Small scale DAB radio was (quite literally) conceived in an Ofcom engineer’s garden shed in Brighton, on a Raspberry Pi, running a full open source stack, in his spare time. Four years later, Ofcom has given the thumbs up to small scale DAB after concluding that trials in 10 UK cities were judged to be a hit. We gave you an exclusive glimpse into the trials last year, where you could compare the specialised proprietary encoders with the Raspberry Pi-powered encoders. “We believe that there is a significant level of demand from smaller radio stations for small scale DAB, and that a wider roll-out of additional small scale services into more geographic areas would be both technically possible and commercially sustainable,” notes Ofcom. Read more

nginx

Case in point: I've been using the Apache HTTP server for many years now. Indeed, you could say that I've been using Apache since before it was even called "Apache"—what started as the original NCSA HTTP server, and then the patched server that some enterprising open-source developers distributed, and finally the Apache Foundation-backed open-source colossus that everyone recognizes, and even relies on, today—doing much more than just producing HTTP servers. Apache's genius was its modularity. You could, with minimal effort, configure Apache to use a custom configuration of modules. If you wanted to have a full-featured server with tons of debugging and diagnostics, you could do that. If you wanted to have high-level languages, such as Perl and Tcl, embedded inside your server for high-speed Web applications, you could do that. If you needed the ability to match, analyze and rewrite every part of an HTTP transaction, you could do that, with mod_rewrite. And of course, there were third-party modules as well. Read more

Linux and Open Source Hardware for IoT

Most of the new 21 open source software projects for IoT that we examined last week listed Linux hacker boards as their prime development platforms. This week, we’ll look at open source and developer-friendly Linux hardware for building Internet of Things devices, from simple microcontroller-based technology to Linux-based boards. In recent years, it’s become hard to find an embedded board that isn’t marketing with the IoT label. Yet, the overused term is best suited for boards with low prices, small footprints, low power consumption, and support for wireless communications and industrial interfaces. Camera support is useful for some IoT applications, but high-end multimedia is usually counterproductive to attributes like low cost and power consumption. Read more