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Xen Project Hypervisor 4.12

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Software
  • Xen Project Hypervisor 4.12 Offers Smaller Code Size and Improved Security

    The Xen Project, an open source hypervisor hosted at the Linux Foundation, today announced the release of Xen Project Hypervisor 4.12. This latest release adds impressive feature improvements around security and code size, x86 architectural renewal and additional updates making the technology ideal for embedded and automotive industries.
    The leaner architecture in Xen 4.12 reduces the lines of code and in turn, reducing the potential for security vulnerabilities while making Xen an attractive option for use in mixed-criticality systems. Additionally, improving de-privileged QEMU, through defense-in-depth techniques, as well as improving VMI, reduces exposure to unknown security threats. This version of Xen will be more configurable, significantly reducing integration costs for business and organizations which customize Xen heavily. Additionally, Xen 4.12 continues to build upon previous versions regarding cleaner architecture, improved user experience, and future proofing.

  • Xen 4.12 Released With Better Security, Ability To Go HVM/PVH Or PV Only

    The Xen Project announced this week the release of Xen 4.12 as the latest feature update for this widely-used virtualization hypervisor.

    Xen 4.12 features a variety of security improvements, including the ability to limit its support to being PV-only or HVM/PVH-only depending upon your hypervisor target in order to reduce the memory footprint and limit the attack surface. Xen 4.12 also culminates with QEMU deprivilege support to limit any exploits on the QEMU front.

ncmpc – Frugal Music Player Daemon client

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Software

I’ve been spending most of this month sampling open source music including the studio albums from The Kyoto Collection. Wake Up is one of my favorite of their albums, a fusion of pop, electronic, new age, and instrumental music.

What better way to listen to open source music than with an open source music player. Over the past few months I’ve covered bags of open source graphical music players. They’ve been a mixed bag. Some genuinely excellent, others not meeting my (fairly) modest requirements. The music players I’m reviewed include Cantata, Nulloy, Museeks, Pragha Music Player, Yarock, qoob, aux.app, MellowPlayer, Kaku, Strawberry, Headset, and Qmmp.

In fact, it passed me by that I’ve only written about one console music player, the truly sublime musikcube. And musikcube remains one of my favorite music player by a country mile. So it would be inexcusable not to give more exposure to console based music players. I’ll try to rectify the position.

As I covered Cantata in my last article (a graphical MPD client), it makes sense to examine a console based MPD client. There’s quite a few available, but ncmpc caught my eye.

MPD is a free and open music player server. It plays audio files, organizes playlists and maintains a music database. In order to interact with it, a client program is needed. ncmpc is billed as a fully featured MPD client with a tiny memory footprint. It runs in the terminal, provides an intuitive to use ncurses user interface and comes with a large set of useful features, including the ability to search and browse your music library, create playlists and read song lyrics.

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Also: Cockpit 191

KDE Cantor - Sing me some math

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KDE
Software
Sci/Tech

It's a song, but it needs refinement. Cantor seems like a clever piece of software, but it lacks refinement and sophistication to match its own goals. I did only test Octave, but I think my findings are pretty indicative. After all, if there were issues with one backend, whatever they are, they need to be fixed. And these weren't trivial issues, either. Slow performance, memory and CPU noise, frozen interface, bad-looking figures.

The configuration also needs to be improved. All in all, it's very difficult doing what Cantor tries, so the idea is really cool. But it seems to be a complex task, and at the moment, it brings more woes than benefits. I'd like to see a smoother integration, and a clever wizard that lets you add backends. Maybe a smart clipboard to share code with other programs. I'd expect a fully HW-accelerated graphics module, so everything responds fast and looks peachy. Finally, Cantor mustn't work any worse than the native engines it represents, because it invalidates its own purpose by doing that (or rather not doing that, hi hi). At the moment, it's a raw product, and it needs a lot of fixes. But me likey, so I will be testing in the future. Unique software, here I go.

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Parole Media Player 1.0.2 Released

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Software

A new (more) stable version of the Xfce media player is now available! Parole 1.0.2 fixes several bugs and improves packaged releases for distributions.

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Also: Strawberry Music Player & Organizer Is A Fork of Clementine

8 Best Free Linux Personal Information Managers (Updated 2019)

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Software

A personal information manager (often known as a PIM tool) is a type of collaborative software that can help you manage your life by offering personal organizing functionality. This type of software enables you to more efficiently manage and plan your business and personal life by keeping track of contact information, appointments, tasks, diaries, to-do lists, and birthdays.

Some PIM tools offer additional functionality including project management features, email, and RSS feeds, offering a more integrated solution to your needs and requirements.

A good PIM is a valuable aid in planning. Computers are ideal for manipulating information as they allow modifications to be made without erasing or rewriting. As plans are subject to frequent modification, planning software can be very desirable. PIMs allow users to centrally collate different types of data, and to have access to that data much more easily than traditional methods.

Linux has a large number of PIM tools available, some of which offer innovative ways to consolidate information both for private and business use.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 of our favorite PIM tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wants to manage and track their personal information, and to help add some structure to their daily life.

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11 Best Notepad++ Alternatives For Linux

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Software

Notepadd++ is a completely free source code editor created as a replacement for Notepad on Windows – is written based on Scintilla in C++ and implements Win32 API and STL to ensure program sizes are small with high execution speed – features which have since made it become a family name among developers. Sadly, there isn’t a version available for Linux users.

Here’s a list of the best Notepadd++ alternatives that you can run on your Linux distribution and be satisfied.

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Also: Best PRTG Alternatives: Our Top 6 Monitoring Tools for 2019

10 Best File and Disk Encryption Tools for Linux

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GNU
Linux
Software
Security

It wasn’t too long ago that we published a list of 10 cool command line tools for your Linux terminal. Today, we turn our focus to encryption methods as we bring you a list of the best file and disk encryption software for your Linux machine.

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Proprietary WPS Office 2019 For Linux

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Software
  • WPS Office 2019 For Linux Released with Improved HiDPI Support

    WPS office for Linux 2019 was released with numerous new features and performance improvements. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04.

  • WPS Office 11 (2019) For Linux Released

    WPS Office for Linux version 11 (or 2019) was released the other day with new features and improvements, including support for high resolution screens, skin support, and interface updates.

    WPS Office, formerly known as Kingsoft Office, is an office suite for Windows, Linux, Android and iOS, that includes three components: WPS Writer, WPS Presentation and WPS Spreadsheet. The suite is compatible with Microsoft Office formats PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, XLS and XLSX, for both reading and writing.

File Sharing Software For Linux: Best 15 Reviewed From The Experts

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Software

File sharing software is one of the important elements for the modern online world. This sort of programs is required to share necessary files and documents among the team members, similar organizations or individuals. So despite being various user groups, documents or file transfer software is quite necessary nowadays. There are lots of offline and cloud-based file sharing platform available for all the major platforms including Linux, Windows OS, Mac OS, etc. But today here we will focus on only Linux system. Here you will get a resourceful list of top-notch file sharing software for Linux.

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Software: LibreOffice Icons, NetworkManager, Unison and HowTos

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Software
  • Sifr icon theme update

    For the next release LibreOffice Sifr icon theme get an update. Therefore 2.500 icons were drawn in inkscape so that Sifr is also available as svg theme.

  • NetworkManager 1.17.2 Kicks Off The March Towards NetworkManager 1.18

    Released a few weeks ago was NetworkManager 1.16 with WireGuard integration, WiFi Direct/P2P connection handling, and other new Linux networking features. NetworkManager 1.17.2 has now been kicked off as the first development release towards the next version. 

  • Essential System Tools: Unison – Excellent Console and Graphical File Synchronization Software

    This is the latest in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the summary page of this article.

    For this article, we’ll look at Unison, a cross-platform file-synchronization tool. There’s both a terminal-based interface, and a graphical interface using GTK+.

    The software offers two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then made up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the other.

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  • IP Aliasing : Assigning multiple IP addresses to single NIC
  • Use Git as the backend for chat
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Ubuntu: 5 Reasons to Upgrade, Sophia Sanles-Luksetich Interview, Ubuntu on Neural Compute Stick and Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter

  • 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo"
    On the surface, new versions of Ubuntu aren’t as big as they used to be. Like in the days before Canonical created its own Unity interface, the Ubuntu experience is now functionally similar to what you get in alternatives such as Fedora and openSUSE. But there are a few big reasons to be eager for what Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” has to offer, with some additions demonstrating just how nice it is to have Ubuntu desktop developers spending more time working directly on GNOME.
  • Women and Nonbinary People in Information Security: Sophia Sanles-Luksetich
    Sophia Sanles-Luksetich: I am a rookie information security consultant. I currently perform bug bounty triage for companies which I am not allowed to name, but let’s just say most folks have heard of these companies. Before I got into information security, I was an IT generalist who dabbled in a bit of programming, Linux and privacy. Ubuntu was actually my first OS. It’s funny to think now that my decision as a 12-year-old could have impacted my career so much ten years later. KC: I must admit that it’s unusual that Ubuntu was your first OS. But that’s great! I use Kubuntu on my work desktop. Did that make you delve into Debian a bit? SSL: Oh cool! I have dabbled with Debian a bit, but not as much as most folks would expect. I think I learned a lot more soft skills using Ubuntu at a young age. Like when I couldn’t download my favorite game as a kid, I spent hours reading error logs, documentation and forums to figure out how to get the game working on my computer. Open Source Software (OSS) is also very modular compared to a lot of closed source software, so learning how software is built on other software was a big help. Now everything is miles down a supply chain that most people can barely scratch the surface of, at least in my opinion. [...] KC: Excellent. How did you get into Ubuntu computing initially? SSL: We had a family computer that stopped working. Rather than buy a new Windows disk to fix it, I asked around to my friends. Funny enough, one of my friend’s dad worked in information security, and I played board games with him and his son. I asked his son to give me a copy, and he messed it up by downloading it onto the CD rather than doing an image transfer. Lucky for me, I had a bit more a competent IT friend, Rikki, who ripped me a fresh CD. It’s funny, too; she was a lot more like me then, I thought. We both started in theater and ended up getting into computers just because they are resourceful and we were both people who loved the convenience for record keeping. I think what got me into OSS, to begin with, was the idea that I never had to pay for it. I am a cheapskate. I can think of a good chunk of my IT experience that I learned by trying to get something for free. I learned how to torrent, how to not screw up your computer on harmful sites. Always a fun time! [...] SSL: I think if I could give one piece of advice to new cybersecurity folks, I would tell them all to volunteer at conferences and talk to the attendees. You will learn a lot just by talking to people in the field. Oh, and of course, don’t discount soft skills and the fundamentals.
  • How developers are using Intel’s AI tools to make planet Earth a better place
    Biswas first gathered plant data from Google images, then used TensorFlow (widely-used machine learning framework in the deep learning space) and Open Vino (Intel’s neural network optimisation toolkit) to build an AI model. Once the images and videos of plants were captured the model is used to identify the cause of the disease, possible cures and preventive measures. To run these solutions, Biswas used Intel 7th Gen i5 NUC mini PC. [...] Ma took a digital microscope and connected it to a modestly powerful Ubuntu based laptop with Intel’s Neural Compute Stick connected to it. The entire system cost less than $500. The neural network at the heart of the system was able to successfully determine the shape, colour, density, and edges of the Escherichia coli (E. coli) and the bacteria that causes cholera.
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 575
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 575

Android Leftovers

Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 now available to download with bug fixes and performance improvements

The Kodi Foundation made the release candidate for Kodi 18.2 available last week, and today you can grab the final version. As you’d expect, this is a bug fix release with no major new functionality, but there are a number of notable changes including improvements to the music database performance and a new Codec Factory for Android. Read more

howtos and programming leftovers