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Software

Internet: Remote Work, Daniel Stenberg on Curl and QUIC/HTTP/3

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Software
Web
  • Our Essential List of Free Software for Remote Work

    Team chat has already become an essential tool for teams looking to be more collaborative and less reliant on email. At Purism we use Matrix for team chat, 1 to 1 calls, video conferencing via Jitsi (open source video conferencing), adhoc file sharing and all our community chat channels. Matrix is a distributed (federated) network, similar to email, which means you can communicate across Matrix servers and compatible services.

    You can self host Matrix or use a public instance like our own free Librem Chat service part of Librem One. All the goodness of Matrix conveniently hosted for you and accessible with one account that also gives you access to Librem Social, our hosted Mastodon instance, and our premium services: end-to-end encrypted email and VPN.

    [...]

    Most office-based teams already have email and things like a company newsletter but we thought we’d share how we manage ours. Our company email and Librem Mail are powered by Dovecot and we use GNU Mailman for our newsletter and mailing lists.

  • Daniel Stenberg: A curl dashboard

    When I wrote up my looong blog post for the curl’s 22nd anniversary, I vacuumed my home directories for all the leftover scripts and partial hacks I’d used in the past to produce graphs over all sorts of things in the curl project. Being slightly obsessed with graphs, that means I got a whole bunch of them.

    I made graphs with libreoffice

    I dusted them off and made sure they all created a decent CSV output that I could use. I imported that data into libreoffice’s calc spreadsheet program and created the graphs that way. That was fun and I was happy with the results – and I could also manually annotate them with additional info. I then created a new git repository for the purpose of hosting the statistics scripts and related tools and pushed my scripts to it. Well, at least all the ones that seemed to work and were the most fun.

    Having done the hard work once, it felt a little sad to just have that single moment snapshot of the project at the exact time I created the graphs, just before curl’s twenty-second birthday. Surely it would be cooler to have them updated automatically?

  • A QUIC look at HTTP/3

    Each HTTP session requires a TCP connection which, in turn, requires a three-way handshake to set up. Once that is done, "we can send data in a reliable data stream", Stenberg explained. TCP transmits data in the clear, so everyone can read what is transferred; the same thus holds true for the non-encrypted HTTP protocol. However, 80% of requests today are using the encrypted version, called Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), according to statistics of Mozilla (Firefox users) and Google (Chrome users). "The web is getting more and more encrypted", Stenberg explained. HTTPS uses Transport Layer Security (TLS); it adds security on the top of the stack of protocols, which are (in order): IP, TCP, TLS, and HTTP. The cost of TLS is another handshake that increases the latency. In return, we get privacy, security, and "you know you're talking to the right server".

    HTTP/1 required clients to establish one new TCP connection per object, meaning that for each request, the browser needed to create a connection, send the request, read the response, then close it. "TCP is very inefficient in the beginning", Stenberg explained; connections transmit data slowly just after being established, then increase the speed until they discover what the link can support. With only one object to fetch before closing the connection, TCP was never getting up to speed. In addition, a typical web page includes many elements, including JavaScript files, images, stylesheets, and so on. Fetching one object at a time is slow, so browser developers responded by creating multiple connections in parallel.

    That created too many connections to be handled by the servers, so typically the number of connections for each client was limited. The browser had to choose which of its few allowed connections to use for the next object; that led to the so-called "head-of-line blocking" problem. Think of a supermarket checkout line; you might choose the one that looks shortest, only to be stuck behind a customer with some sort of complicated problem. A big TCP efficiency improvement was added for HTTP/1.1 in 1997: open TCP connections can be reused for other requests. That improved the slow-start problem, but not the head-of-line blocking issue, which can be made even worse.

Intel: Bleujour, IWD and OpenSWR

Filed under
Hardware
Software
  • Fanless Whiskey Lake mini-PCs include a model based on Intel NUC Elements

    Bleujour has launched a $836 and up “Kubb Passive” NUC system and is prepping an even smaller NUC Elements based Meta U mini-PC, both of which run Linux Mint on Intel’s Whiskey Lake.

    If you’re spending more time than usual on your computer in these days of quarantine, you may ask yourself: Why does my computer have to be so ugly? French embedded vendor Bleujour, which is known for its cutting-edge enclosure designs, would answer “C’est absurde!” In other words, your computer need not be ugly so long as you’re willing to pay a bit more for style.

  • Intel IWD 1.6 Wireless Daemon Released With MAC Randomization, Per-Network MAC Addresses

    Intel open-source developers have released IWD v1.6 as their open-source, embedded-friendly wireless daemon for Linux systems as an alternative to WPA_Supplicant.

    IWD 1.6 comes with some practical additions for privacy-minded users. IWD 1.6 now allows full MAC address randomization each time it (re)connects to a network as well as a per-network MAC address override option too.

  • Intel Working On OpenGL 4.x Support For Their OpenSWR Software Rasterizer In Mesa

    Intel is working to enable OpenGL 4.x functionality for their OpenSWR software rasterizer within Mesa.

    Intel has begun publishing their slide decks and other information they were preparing for the GDC game developer conference before it was cancelled. This included an update on the oneAPI rendering toolkit. Much of the information is a repeat for anyone familiar with the likes of OpenVKL, Embree, and OSPray. The presentation can be found on devmesh.intel.com for those interested.

Cartesi Launches Linux Infrastructure For Developing Blockchain DApps

Filed under
Development
GNU
Linux
Software

“We are excited to be launching the first-ever Linux infrastructure that runs on top of a blockchain, while we complete our second round of funding,” says Cartesi CEO Erick de Moura. “Blockchains and decentralization will allow for a new exciting range of applications, but with the current state of DApps, the space is very limited, making it very difficult for mainstream adoption. So, we are striving to create serious change and increase the viability of DApp development on top of a blockchain.”

Currently, it is possible to develop directly on the blockchain, but the process is complex, lengthy, and the applications are left with very limited computational capabilities. As blockchain moves out of the shadows and into mainstream consciousness; programming and developing infrastructure must adapt to the new technology for other, non-crypto purposes.

Cartesi brings all the tools and capabilities available in modern operating systems to the decentralized web. The company’s solution provides a legitimate and fully-fledged Linux OS that magnifies the capabilities of decentralized applications without compromising on the security guarantees of blockchain. Cartesi enables programmers to code decentralized applications seamlessly, while maintaining the appeal of mainstream web apps. Moreover, Cartesi will reduce the barrier of entry for mainstream developers and veterans, by eliminating the need to learn new programming languages and domain-specific tools that often present limitations and a steep learning curve.

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Also: The shelves may be empty, but the disk is full: Not even Linux can resist the bork at times

Nextcloud: The Swiss Army Knife of Remote Working Tools

Filed under
Software
OSS
Web

Remote working culture has been booming for past few years in coding, graphics and other IT related fields. But the recent Coronavirus pandemic has made it mandatory for the companies to work from home if it’s possible for them.

While there are tons of tools to help you and your organization in working from home, let me share one open source software that has the features of several such tools combined into one.

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Calibre - a high-caliber software for anything e-book

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Software

What makes for a really good program? The usual suspects would be efficiency, stability and great functionality. But what about the frequency of use? Well, not if Calibre has anything to do with it. Because this is an application that I use relatively sparingly, and yet, it's an immensely useful, possibly even irreplaceable tool when you need to do any sort of e-book work. For authors, doubly so. Being one, ergo hint, ipso facto, then perhaps it's time for a review.

I've been using Calibre for years now - I've even written a short tutorial on how to convert KFX files a while back, but so far, I have failed to write a full, proper review. Because it's not just a program to convert among different e-book formats. It's so much more. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's begin.

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Wavemon – Display Live WiFi Signal Strength in Terminal

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Software

Looking for a wireless network manager? Wavemon is a command line ncurses-based wireless network monitoring application for Linux.

Wavemon displays live signal and noise levels, packet statistics, device configuration and network parameters of your wireless network hardware. It should work with all devices supported by the Linux kernel.

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Relax-and-Recover – Backup and Recover a Linux System

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Relax-and-Recover (ReaR in short) is a simple yet powerful, easy-to-setup, full-featured and leading open-source bare metal disaster recovery and system migration solution, written in Bash. It is a modular and configurable framework with numerous ready-to-use workflows for common situations.

ReaR creates a bootable rescue system and/or system backup in various formats. You can boot your bare metal server using the rescue system image and initiate a system restore from the backup. It can restore to different hardware where necessary, hence it can also be employed as a system migration tool.

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5 Best PDF Editors for Linux You Should Try in 2020

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Whether you know a lot about computers or you only know as little as you can get by with, you recognize what a PDF File format is. It’s the document format that has made digital documents widely acceptable. No matter where it was created or using what, a PDF document always looks the same as long as you have software that can read a PDF file. Naturally, PDF is also a popular file format on Linux and there are many PDF Editors on the platform as a result. Here are some of the best PDF editors for Linux, Ubuntu, and other Linux distributions. Try the following PDF editing apps and also check out these best application launchers for Linux.

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Audacious 4.0 released

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Software

This release switches to Qt 5 by default. The Qt UI has become quite polished by now. It will be quite familiar to users of the GTK2 UI, but it also brings a few nice-to-have improvements, such as a playlist view that is easier to navigate and sort.

GTK2 remains available and supported as a build option, but new features will only be added to the Qt UI going forward.

Some things that we wanted to get finished didn't make it into this release. In particular, the Qt port of the Winamp-like UI is still missing some key features such the Jump to Song window. Users of the Winamp-like UI may want to continue using GTK2 for now. The Windows builds are also still using GTK2, until some Windows-specific font size issues (on displays greater than 96 DPI) can be worked out in the Qt version.

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Also: Audacious 4.0 Released with Qt5 UI [How to Install]

5 Best Remote Desktop (Work from Home) Software of 2020

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Software

We list here 5 best and free remote desktop (RDP) software available in 2020 which you can immediately download and use in your Linux systems to connect remote devices - Linux or Windows i.e. you can do work from home by connecting to remote machines.
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