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HOPE XII: A FOSS Operating System for e-Readers

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OS
OSS

Free and open source software (FOSS) was a recurring theme during many of the talks during the HOPE XII conference, which should probably come as no surprise. Hackers aren’t big fans of being monitored by faceless corporate overlords or being told what they can and cannot do on the hardware they purchased. Replacing proprietary software with FOSS alternatives is a way to put control back into the hands of the user, so naturally many of the talks pushed the idea.

In most cases that took the form of advising you to move your Windows or Mac OS computer over to a more open operating system such as GNU/Linux. Sound advice if you’re looking for software freedom, but it’s a bit quaint to limit such thinking to the desktop in 2018. We increasingly depend on mobile computing devices, and more often than not those are locked down hard with not only a closed proprietary operating system but also a “Walled Garden” style content delivery system. What’s the point of running all FOSS software at home on your desktop if you’re carrying a proprietary mobile device around?

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New SteamOS Stable Release Brings Latest Updates from Debian GNU/Linux 8.11

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OS
Debian

SteamOS 2.154 has been released today to the brewmaster channel as the new stable version of the operating system and it appears to be based on Debian GNU/Linux 8.11, the last point release of the Debian Jessie operating system series, which reached end of life last month on June 17, 2018.

According to Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais, SteamOS 2.154 contains the same updates that were pushed earlier this month to the SteamOS 2.151 beta release, so it should be considered a minor bugfix release as Valve continues to work on a major new version that would probably be based on Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" and feature updated kernel and graphics stacks.

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Also: SteamOS 2.154 Released As Valve Preps Kernel & Driver Upgrades

ReactOS 0.4.9 released

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OS

The ReactOS Project is pleased to announce the release of version 0.4.9, the latest in our accelerated cadence targeting a release every three months.

While a consequence of this faster cycle might mean fewer headliner changes, much of the visible effort nowadays comes in the form of quality-of-life improvements in how ReactOS functions. At the same time work continues on the underlying systems which provide more subtle improvements such as greater system stability and general consistency.

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Also: ReactOS 0.4.9 Officially Released As The First Self-Hosting Version, Better Stability

ReactOS 0.4.9 Officially Released with Self-Hosting Capabilities, New Features

Red Hat and CentOS Fix Kernel Bug in Latest OS Versions, Urge Users to Update

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OS
Red Hat
Security

It would appear the there was a bug in the previous Linux kernel update for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 and CentOS Linux 7.5 releases, which was released to address the Spectre V4 security vulnerability, making connection tracking information to not function correctly, which could lead to connectivity loss and leaking of configuration properties related to the respective connection tracking into other namespaces.

"Previously, the connection tracking information was not cleared properly for packets forwarded to another network namespace," said Red Hat in an advisory. "Packets that were marked with the "NOTRACK" target in one namespace were excluded from connection tracking even in the new namespace. Consequently, a loss of connectivity occasionally occurred, depending on the packet filtering ruleset of the other network namespaces."

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Also: Red Hat Open-Sources Scanner That Checks Linux Binaries For Spectre V1 Potential

Red Hat Continues Driving Wonderful Innovations In Fedora Workstation

Oracle Solaris 11.3 and Solaris 11.4

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OS
  • Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 34 Brings GCC 7.3, Other Package Updates

    While Solaris 11.4 is still in the oven being baked at Oracle, the thirty-fourth stable release update of Solaris 11.3 is now available.

  • Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU 34 released

    Full details of this SRU can be found in My Oracle Support Doc 2421850.1. For the list of Service Alerts affecting each Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU, see Important Oracle Solaris 11.3 SRU Issues (Doc ID 2076753.1).

  • Oracle Solaris 11.4 Open Beta Refresh 2

    As we continue to work toward release of Oracle Solaris 11.4, we present to you our third release of Oracle Solaris 11.4 open beta.

  • Oracle Solaris 11.4 Public Beta Updated With KPTI For Addressing Meltdown

    In addition to sending down a new SRU for Solaris 11.3, the Oracle developers left maintaining Solaris have issued their second beta of the upcoming Solaris 11.4.

    Oracle Solaris 11.4 Open Beta Refresh 2 is an updated version of their public beta of Solaris 11.4 originally introduced in January. They say this is the last planned public beta with the general availability release now nearing availability.

How to enable developer mode on a Chrome OS tablet (and install Linux using Crouton)

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OS
Linux
HowTos

Google’s Chrome OS is designed to be a relatively secure, simple operating system that’s easy to use and hard to mess up. But you can run stable channel, beta channel, or dev channel software on any Chromebook depending on whether you want the safest experience or buggy, bleeding-edge features.

There’s also an option called Developer Mode, which is different from the dev channel. It allows you to access files and settings that are normally protected and use a command shell to explore the system. It’s designed for developers and advanced users only, since it increases the chances that you’ll break your Chromebook. But enabling Developer Mode is also a prerequisite for using one my favorite Chrome OS hacks: a tool called Crouton that allows you to install Ubuntu or another GNU/Linux distribution and run it alongside Chrome OS.

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ReactOS 0.4.9 Available For Download

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OS

ReactOS 0.4.9 has been working on various kernel improvements, better Win32 compatibility / regression fixes, various DLL enhancements, pulling in some updated DLLs from Wine-Staging, and a variety of other improvements. The extensive technical list of changes for ReactOS 0.4.9 can be found via this Wiki page.

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Canonical Announces the New Minimal Ubuntu OS for Public Clouds and Docker Hub

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OS
Ubuntu

Engineered to provide both a small footprint and package selection, the new Minimal Ubuntu operating system is designed and optimized for automated use by the masses on public clouds and the Docker Hub, promising to offer users state-of-the-art security, outstanding performance, stability, and reliability at all times.

If you want to use the smallest possible Ubuntu base image for automated cloud operations on public clouds, you need to use the new Minimal Ubuntu operating system, which is more than 50 percent smaller than the standard Ubuntu Server image and offers up to 40 percent faster booting.

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SmartOS Announces New Builds Geared Toward VM & Cloud Server Administrators

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OS

Developers from the SmartOS project announced the release of build #20180705, which promises to help spread Solaris-based software on the headless server market. Most of the media attention regarding free and open-source operating systems these days focuses primarily on implementations of GNU/Linux and *BSD.

illumos, a fork of OpenSolaris, is set to take the world by storm however. It’s perhaps best known for the unusual lack of capitalization in its name, but developers are now really promoting it as a stable Unix system for extremely secure environments.

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SteamOS has a minor update to test the waters before a bigger update

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OS
Debian
Gaming

Really good to see this. SteamOS had a small update recently, which is testing the waters towards a bigger update.

If you've been wondering why SteamOS updates had been so quiet, it seems Valve has been working on updating their build infrastructure. They have another updating coming, to finally update the graphics drivers and kernel versions which will also be great to have.

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Direct: SteamOS update 2.151 pushed to brewmaster beta

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More in Tux Machines

Qt/KDE: Qt for Python, Inkscape Dark Theme on KDE Plasma, Atelier at Maker Faire and QtCon 2018!

  • Python and Qt: 3,000 hours of developer insight
    With Qt for Python released, it’s time to look at the powerful capabilities of these two technologies. This article details one solopreneur’s experiences. [...] The big problem with Electron is performance. In particular, the startup time was too high for a file manager: On an admittedly old machine from 2010, simply launching Electron took five seconds. I admit that my personal distaste for JavaScript also made it easier to discount Electron. Before I go off on a rant, let me give you just one detail that I find symptomatic: Do you know how JavaScript sorts numbers? Alphabetically. ’nuff said. After considering a few technologies, I settled on Qt. It’s cross-platform, has great performance and supports custom styles. What’s more, you can use it from Python. This makes at least me orders of magnitude more productive than the default C++.
  • Inkscape Dark Theme on KDE Plasma
    On KDE Plasma, it's very easy to setup Inkscape Dark Theme. To do so, go to System Settings > Application Style > GNOME/GTK+ Style > under GTK+ Style: switch all themes to Dark ones and give check mark to Prefer Dark Theme > Apply. Now your Inkscape should turned into dark mode. To revert back, just revert the theme selections. This trick works on Kubuntu or any other GNU/Linux system as long as it uses Plasma as its desktop environment.
  • Atelier at Maker Faire and QtCon 2018!
    On the weekend of November 3 and 4, it happened on Rio de Janeiro the first Maker Faire of Latin America. And I was able to do a talk about Atelier and the current status of our project. The event hold more than 1.500 people on the first day, that saw a lot of talks and the exposition of makers of all over the country that came to Rio to participate in this edition of the Maker Faire.

Security: Updates, Systematic Evaluation of Transient Execution Attacks and Defenses, New IoT Security Regulations and GPU Side-Channel Attacks

  • Security updates for Thursday
  • A Systematic Evaluation of Transient Execution Attacks and Defenses

    [...] we present a sound and extensible systematization of transient execution attacks. Our systematization uncovers 7 (new) transient execution attacks that have been overlooked and not been investigated so far. This includes 2 new Meltdown variants: Meltdown-PK on Intel, and Meltdown-BR on Intel and AMD. It also includes 5 new Spectre mistraining strategies. We evaluate all 7 attacks in proof-of-concept implementations on 3 major processor vendors (Intel, AMD, ARM). Our systematization does not only yield a complete picture of the attack surface, but also allows a systematic evaluation of defenses. Through this systematic evaluation, we discover that we can still mount transient execution attacks that are supposed to be mitigated by rolled out patches.

  • New IoT Security Regulations
    Due to ever-evolving technological advances, manufacturers are connecting consumer goods­ -- from toys to light bulbs to major appliances­ -- to the Internet at breakneck speeds. This is the Internet of Things, and it's a security nightmare. The Internet of Things fuses products with communications technology to make daily life more effortless. Think Amazon's Alexa, which not only answers questions and plays music but allows you to control your home's lights and thermostat. Or the current generation of implanted pacemakers, which can both receive commands and send information to doctors over the Internet. But like nearly all innovation, there are risks involved. And for products born out of the Internet of Things, this means the risk of having personal information stolen or devices being overtaken and controlled remotely. For devices that affect the world in a direct physical manner -- ­cars, pacemakers, thermostats­ -- the risks include loss of life and property.
  • University Researchers Publish Paper On GPU Side-Channel Attacks
    University researchers out of University of California Riverside have published a paper this week detailing vulnerabilities in current GPU architectures making them vulnerable to side-channel attacks akin to Spectre and Meltdown. With their focus on NVIDIA GPUs, UCLA Riverside researchers demonstrated attacks both for graphics and compute by exploiting the GPU's performance counters. Demonstrated attacks included a browser-based attack, extracting passwords / keystroke logging, and even the possibility of exposing a CUDA neural network algorithm.

VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2

  • Announcement: VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2 released
    Please do NOT use this VirtualBox Beta release on production machines! A VirtualBox Beta release should be considered a bleeding-edge release meant for early evaluation and testing purposes. You can download the binaries here: http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/6.0.0_BETA2 Please do NOT open bug reports at our public bugtracker but use our VirtualBox Beta Feedback forum at https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewforum.php?f=15 to report any problems with the Beta. Please concentrate on reporting regressions since VirtualBox 5.2! Version 6.0 will be a new major release. Please see the forum at https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=90315 for an incomplete list of changes. Thanks for your help! Michael
  • VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2 Adds File Manager For Host/Guest File Copies, OS/2 Shared Folder
    Last month Oracle rolled out the public beta of VirtualBox 6.0 though didn't include many user-facing changes. They have now rolled out a second beta that does add in a few more features. VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2 was released today and to its user-interface is a new file manager that allows the user to control the guest file-system with copying file objects between the host and guest. Also improved with VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2 is better shared folder auto-mounting with the VBox Guest Additions. This beta even brings initial shared folder support to the guest additions for OS/2.

Thunderbird version 60.3.1 now Available, Includes Fixes for Cookie Removal and Encoding Issues

Thunderbird happens to be one of the most famous Email client. It is free and an open source one which was developed by the Mozilla Foundation back in 2003, fifteen years ago. From a very basic interface, it has come a long way to be what it is today in 2018. With these updates, a recent one into the 60.x series from the 52.x series was a significant one. While the 60.x (60.3.0) update started rolling out, Mozilla was keen to push out 60.3.1. This new version of Thunderbird had a few bugs and kinks here and there which needed to be addressed which Mozilla did, most of them at least. Read more