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NethServer: Linux without All That Linux Stuff

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OS
Linux

Okay, that title really isn't fair. NethServer has all the Linux stuff, it's just that you don't have to interact with it in the traditional way in order to reap the benefits. NethServer is a web-based management software package built on top of CentOS. You can download it as a separate distribution, but truly, it's just software on top of CentOS. In fact, the installationmethods are either "install the NethServer distro" or "add the NethServer repository to your existing CentOS install". I really like that.

The concept behind NethServer isn't a new one. Lots of distributions are designed to simplify managing a server. I've written about ClearOS, Untangle and several others in the past. Plus, you always can just install Webmin on your server and get a "roll your own" web-administered system. The thing I like about NethServer is how well it allows you to configure services while not doing anything proprietary underneath. I think the interface is simple and intuitive as well.

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Sway 0.11 Released

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OS
GNU
Linux

FreeDOS 1.2

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OS

The official announcement is on our website at www.freedos.org—but since I announced the FreeDOS 1.2 RC1 and RC2 here, I figured I'd make a brief mention on this blog too.

We're very excited for the new FreeDOS 1.2 distribution! We've added lots of new features that you should find useful and interesting.

Thanks to everyone in the FreeDOS Project for their work towards this new release! There are too many of you to recognize individually, but you have all helped enormously. Thank you!

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Also: FreeDOS 1.2 Released With New Installer & More Commands

GNU Hurd 0.9 & Mach 1.8 Released: Adds Ethernet Multiplexer, Mach Drops ACPI

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OS
GNU

There is an early GNU Christmas with the release of GNU Hurd 0.9 joined by GNU Mach 1.8. Yep, another rare released update to Hurd.

GNU Hurd 0.9 supports its boot program running as an unprivileged user, an Ethernet multiplexer has been merged to support better virtual interfaces, the addition of the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) library, and many bug fixes.

GNU Mach meanwhile as the microkernel upon which GNU Hurd systems are based, has seen many changes with version 1.8. Mach 1.8 has significantly reworked its memory management system, the virtual memory system now uses a red-black tree for allocations, and improved debugging / error reporting. There are also many bug fixes in Mach and GNU Mach has dropped its partial ACPI support.

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Difference Between Linux And BSD | Open Source Operating Systems

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OS
Linux
OSS
BSD

When you start to get out of the Windows ecosystem, the very first thing you see is macOS. But, chances are less that you may go for it, mostly because of the price tag. Moving further, you come across Linux flaunting its open source badge. Most people confuse Linux as an operating system and it has been a topic of controversy for a long time. Thus, some people refer a Linux operating system as GNU/Linux.

Soon, you start realizing how diverse is the Linux ecosystem with numerous Linux distributions and their derivatives. You almost believe that Linux and its family is the representative of the open source community. But there is a lesser-known family of operating systems known as the BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), which also counts as one of the major names in the open source community.

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Q4OS - Part 4 - Life Without Windows

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OS

The point of this series is to work out whether I can truly ditch Windows and use Q4OS as my sole operating system.

All of the office features I need are available in LibreOffice so for the most part I don't need Microsoft Office at all.

The only thing I need Microsoft Office, or should I say Microsoft Word for is to make sure the formatting of my CV is correct and I can use the online version of Microsoft Word for that.

The mission of living life without Windows is still very much on the go. Q4OS is extremely stable. As well as working out the Office stuff I have also used it to watch Breaking Bad on Netflix and for researching and writing the articles at Lifewire.com.

There is only one more snag. I am a software developer and I develop Windows software. I will show you how I am overcoming that snag next week.

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SemiCode OS — New Linux Distro For Programmers And Web Developers

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OS
Linux

Very often Linux enthusiasts complain regarding the fragmentation due to hundreds of distributions. Each distribution has its own libraries, kernel configuration, pre-installed software, etc. However, the same variety makes Linux unique. Every person can create his/her own Linux distro and customize it.

If we take a look at the vast list of various Linux distributions, there are specialized solutions for hackers, power users, artists, and gamers. But, there’s a dearth of distros that claim to serve the unique needs of programmers, probably, because most Linux-based operating systems are customizable and a developers can install all the useful tools in no time.

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Make Ubuntu Work Like ChromeOS

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OS
Ubuntu

It might surprise some of you that with a little effort, you can make Ubuntu work like ChromeOS. Best of all, you can do so and still keep Ubuntu's advantages. In this article, I'll share some tips and thoughts on how you can run Ubuntu with similar features to those found in ChromeOS.

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Release for CentOS Linux 7 (1611) on x86_64

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OS
Linux

I am pleased to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 7
(1611) for 64 bit x86 compatible machines.

Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux
7 and is tagged as 1611, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3

As always, read through the Release Notes at :
http://wiki.centos.org/Manuals/ReleaseNotes/CentOS7 - these notes
contain important information about the release and details about some
of the content inside the release from the CentOS QA team. These notes
are updated constantly to include issues and incorporate feedback from
the users.

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Alo: CentOS Linux 7 "1611" Released

Compute like it's 1989

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OS
GNU
Linux

For many of us, when we look around at the state of computing in 2016, we nod and think, "Yes, today is what I expected when I thought about what The Future would be like." Sure, we haven't got flying cars yet, but today's technology is flashy. We swipe fingers across screens instead of pressing buttons, and I'm told we are all very excited about all of the latest virtual reality headsets and augmented reality gadgets.

So now seems as good a time as any to look back at how people of the past used to compute, and back to the days when a "desktop" computer was so called because it took up 80 percent of your desktop. The days when the term "computer" actually meant "a machine for computation."

Why bother looking back 30-year-old computing? After all, the computers back then were clunky, slow, and awkward, weren't they? Sure, they were, but the great thing about living in The Future is that we have the power to look back at the Old Ways and cherry pick information from them for modern technology. The truth is, there's power in simplicity, and old computing was simple out of necessity.

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Security Leftovers

  • Stop using SHA1 encryption: It’s now completely unsafe, Google proves
    Security researchers have achieved the first real-world collision attack against the SHA-1 hash function, producing two different PDF files with the same SHA-1 signature. This shows that the algorithm's use for security-sensitive functions should be discontinued as soon as possible. SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) dates back to 1995 and has been known to be vulnerable to theoretical attacks since 2005. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has banned the use of SHA-1 by U.S. federal agencies since 2010, and digital certificate authorities have not been allowed to issue SHA-1-signed certificates since Jan. 1, 2016, although some exemptions have been made. However, despite these efforts to phase out the use of SHA-1 in some areas, the algorithm is still fairly widely used to validate credit card transactions, electronic documents, email PGP/GPG signatures, open-source software repositories, backups and software updates.
  • on pgp
    First and foremost I have to pay respect to PGP, it was an important weapon in the first cryptowar. It has helped many whistleblowers and dissidents. It is software with quite interesting history, if all the cryptograms could tell... PGP is also deeply misunderstood, it is a highly successful political tool. It was essential in getting crypto out to the people. In my view PGP is not dead, it's just old and misunderstood and needs to be retired in honor. However the world has changed from the internet happy times of the '90s, from a passive adversary to many active ones - with cheap commercially available malware as turn-key-solutions, intrusive apps, malware, NSLs, gag orders, etc.
  • Cloudflare’s Cloudbleed is the worst privacy leak in recent Internet history
    Cloudflare revealed today that, for months, all of its protected websites were potentially leaking private information across the Internet. Specifically, Cloudflare’s reverse proxies were dumping uninitialized memory; that is to say, bleeding private data. The issue, termed Cloudbleed by some (but not its discoverer Tavis Ormandy of Google Project Zero), is the greatest privacy leak of 2017 and the year has just started. For months, since 2016-09-22 by their own admission, CloudFlare has been leaking private information through Cloudbleed. Basically, random data from random sites (again, it’s worth mentioning that every site that used CloudFlare in the last half year should be considered to having fallen victim to this) would be randomly distributed across the open Internet, and then indefinitely cached along the way.
  • Serious Cloudflare bug exposed a potpourri of secret customer data
    Cloudflare, a service that helps optimize the security and performance of more than 5.5 million websites, warned customers today that a recently fixed software bug exposed a range of sensitive information that could have included passwords and cookies and tokens used to authenticate users. A combination of factors made the bug particularly severe. First, the leakage may have been active since September 22, nearly five months before it was discovered, although the greatest period of impact was from February 13 and February 18. Second, some of the highly sensitive data that was leaked was cached by Google and other search engines. The result was that for the entire time the bug was active, hackers had the ability to access the data in real-time by making Web requests to affected websites and to access some of the leaked data later by crafting queries on search engines. "The bug was serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines," Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming wrote in a blog post published Thursday. "We are disclosing this problem now as we are satisfied that search engine caches have now been cleared of sensitive information. We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence."

Security Leftovers

  • Change all the passwords (again)
    Looks like it is time to change all the passwords again. There’s a tiny little flaw in a CDN used … everywhere, it seems.
  • Today's leading causes of DDoS attacks [Ed: The so-called 'Internet of things' (crappy devices with identical passwords) is a mess; programmers to blame, not Linux]
    Of the most recent mega 100Gbps attacks in the last quarter, most of them were directly attributed to the Mirai botnet. The Mirai botnet works by exploiting the weak security on many Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The program finds its victims by constantly scanning the internet for IoT devices, which use factory default or hard-coded usernames and passwords.
  • How to Set Up An SSL Certificate on Your Website [via "Steps To Secure Your Website With An SSL Certificate"]
  • SHA-1 is dead, long live SHA-1!
    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard that some researchers managed to create a SHA-1 collision. The short story as to why this matters is the whole purpose of a hashing algorithm is to make it impossible to generate collisions on purpose. Unfortunately though impossible things are usually also impossible so in reality we just make sure it’s really really hard to generate a collision. Thanks to Moore’s Law, hard things don’t stay hard forever. This is why MD5 had to go live on a farm out in the country, and we’re not allowed to see it anymore … because it’s having too much fun. SHA-1 will get to join it soon.
  • SHA1 collision via ASCII art
    Happy SHA1 collision day everybody! If you extract the differences between the good.pdf and bad.pdf attached to the paper, you'll find it all comes down to a small ~128 byte chunk of random-looking binary data that varies between the files.
  • PayThink Knowledge is power in fighting new Android attack bot
    Android users and apps have become a major part of payments and financial services, carrying an increased risk for web crime. It is estimated that there are 107.7 million Android Smartphone users in the U.S. who have downloaded more than 65 million apps from the Google App Store, and each one of them represents a smorgasbord of opportunity for hackers to steal user credentials and other information.
  • Red Hat: 'use after free' vulnerability found in Linux kernel's DCCP protocol IPV6 implementation
    Red Hat Product Security has published details of an "important" security vulnerability in the Linux kernel. The IPv6 implementation of the DCCP protocol means that it is possible for a local, unprivileged user to alter kernel memory and escalate their privileges. Known as the "use-after-free" flaw, CVE-2017-6074 affects a number of Red Hat products including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Openshift Online v2. Mitigating factors include the requirement for a potential attacker to have access to a local account on a machine, and for IPV6 to be enabled, but it is still something that will be of concern to Linux users. Describing the vulnerability, Red Hat says: "This flaw allows an attacker with an account on the local system to potentially elevate privileges. This class of flaw is commonly referred to as UAF (Use After Free.) Flaws of this nature are generally exploited by exercising a code path that accesses memory via a pointer that no longer references an in use allocation due to an earlier free() operation. In this specific issue, the flaw exists in the DCCP networking code and can be reached by a malicious actor with sufficient access to initiate a DCCP network connection on any local interface. Successful exploitation may result in crashing of the host kernel, potential execution of code in the context of the host kernel or other escalation of privilege by modifying kernel memory structures."

Android Leftovers

today's howtos