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5 Best Linux Distros for Security

Filed under
Linux
Security

Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy.

Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users.

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Linux Foundation and Linux

Filed under
Linux
  • How IoTivity and AllJoyn Could Combine

    At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect of AllJoyn. Burns briefly shared his opinion that not only was there no major technical obstacle to combining these two major open source IoT specs, but that by taking the best of both standards, a hybrid could emerge that improves upon both.

    Later in the day, Burns gave a technical overview of how such a hybrid could be crafted in “Evolving a Best-of-Breed IoT Framework.” (See video below.) Burns stated in both talks that his opinions in no way reflect the official position of OCF or the AllSeen Alliance. At the time of the ELC talk in April, Burns had recently left his job as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee at the AllSeen Alliance to take on the position of Chief IoT Software Technologist in the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corp.

  • ​Linus Torvalds' love-hate relationship with the GPL

    Linux's founder appreciates what the GNU General Public License has given Linux, but he doesn't appreciate how some open-source lawyers are trying to enforce it in court.

  • Linus Torvalds reflects on 25 years of Linux

    LinuxCon North America concluded in Toronto, Canada on August 25th, the day Linux was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief of open source at VMware, sat down for a conversation at the event and reflected upon the past 25 years. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.

  • 6 things you should know from Linux's first 25 years

    Red Hat was founded in 1993, two years after Linux was announced and the company has been one of the top contributors to Linux. There is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the project. Whitehurst pointed out that it’s hard to talk about the history of Red Hat without talking about Linux and vice versa.

  • There Is Talk Of Resuming OpenChrome VIA KMS/DRM Driver Development

    Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored.

Linux and Graphics

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

How To Turn On Num Lock Automatically On Startup In Linux

Filed under
Linux

One of the frustrating thing in most Linux distros is that the Num Lock is not enabled on startup. Whenever I start typing my password at system login screen, the focus goes out of the password field. It happens very often with people and this little problem is very irritating. But don't worry. You can set your Linux to enable Num Lock automatically on startup.

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more

Flatpak Universal Linux Package Supports Local Path References for Git Sources

Filed under
Linux

Alex Larsson from the Flatpak project has announced the release of a new maintenance update to the universal binary package format for Linux kernel-based operating systems.

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Linux Kernel News

Filed under
Linux
  • Windows 10 vs. Linux Radeon Software Performance, Including AMDGPU-PRO & RadeonSI

    As alluded to earlier and on Twitter, the past few days I have been working on a fresh Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux graphics/gaming performance comparison. This time it's looking at the latest Radeon performance using an R9 Fury and RX 480. Tests on Windows were obviously done with Radeon Software Crimson Edition while under Linux were the two latest AMD/RTG Linux driver options: the hybrid AMDGPU-PRO driver and the fully open-source driver via Linux 4.8 and Mesa 12.1-dev.

  • Linux Kernel 3.10.103 LTS Has Lots of MIPS Improvements, Updated Radeon Drivers

    Today, August 28, 2016, Linux kernel developer Willy Tarreau announced the release of the one hundred and third maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 3.10 kernel series.

    For some reason, the Linux 3.10 kernel branch is still getting updates, and this new version promises to add quite some improvements and updated drivers, as, according to the appended shortlog and the diff from the Linux kernel 3.10.102 LTS build, a total of 161 files have been changed, with 1800 insertions and 1293 deletions.

  • Collabora's Devs to Bring Performance Improvements to Emulated NVMe Devices

    We reported earlier this month that Collabora's developers contributed patches to the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel to bring the open source Intel graphics driver on par with its Windows equivalent.

    And now Softpedia was informed by Collabora's Mark Filion about some other interesting patches contributed by Collabora's developers to the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel. These patches promise to add huge performance improvements to emulated NVMe devices.

Linux 4.8 RC4

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.8-rc4

    Another week, another -rc.

    Everything looks normal, and it's been a bit quieter than rc3 too, so
    hopefully we're well into the "it's calming down" phase. Although with
    the usual timing-related fluctuation (different maintainers stagger
    their pulls differently), it's hard to tell a trend yet.

    Regardless, it all looks pretty small. I think the biggest thing in
    there is a skylake power management fix that came in as part of the
    gpu updates just before I was about to cut the rc4 release. Oh well.
    The other slightly larger change is some btrfs fixes.

    But on the whole those things don't look that scary, and the rest is
    all really pretty tiny fixes spread out: various driver subsystems
    (sound, rdma, block), kvm, and some arch updates.

    The usual shortlog below for the details -it's small and easy to scan
    to get a taste for the kind of things we've had.

    Go forth and test.

    Linus

  • Linux 4.8-rc4 Kernel Released

    Continuing his Sunday tradition, Linus Torvalds released a few minutes ago the Linux 4.8-rc4 kernel.

    This latest weekly development installment of the Linux 4.8 kernel features a variety of bug/regression fixes, including some last minute DRM fixes that made it into this kernel release.

  • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.8 RC4 with Skylake Power Management Fix

    It's Sunday evening, so guess what you'll be doing in the next few hours? Yes, that's right, Linus Torvalds has just announced the fourth RC (Release Candidate) version of the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel branch.

FOSS and Linux Events

Filed under
Linux
OSS
  • On speaking at community conferences

    Many people reading this have already suffered me talking to them about Prometheus. In personal conversation, or in the talks I gave at DebConf15 in Heidelberg, the Debian SunCamp in Lloret de Mar, BRMlab in Prague, and even at a talk on a different topic at the RABS in Cluj-Napoca.

  • TPM Microconference Accepted into LPC 2016

    Although trusted platform modules (TPMs) have been the subject of some controversy over the years, it is quite likely that they have important roles to play in preventing firmware-based attacks, protecting user keys, and so on. However, some work is required to enable TPMs to successfully play these roles, including getting TPM support into bootloaders, securely distributing known-good hashes, and providing robust and repeatable handling of upgrades.

    In short, given the ever-more-hostile environments that our systems must operate in, it seems quite likely that much help will be needed, including from TPMs. For more details, see the TPM Microconference wiki page.

  • More translations added to the SFD countdown

    Software Freedom Day is celebrated all around the world and as usual our community helps us to provide marketing materials in their specific languages. While the wiki is rather simple to translate, the Countdown remains a bit more complicated and time consuming to localize. One needs to edit the SVG file and generate roughly a 100 pictures, then upload them to the wiki.

    Still this doesn’t scare the SFD teams around the world and we are happy to announce three more languages are ready to be used: French, Chinese and German!

ConnochaetOS 14.2 Officially Released Based on Slackware 14.2 and Salix Linux

Filed under
OS
Linux
Slack

Henry Jensen from ConnochaetOS was happy and proud to announce the official release and general availability of the ConnochaetOS 14.2 GNU/Linux-libre operating system.

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Linux-compatible Hardware

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • EOMA68 modular laptop/desktop raises more than $150 thousand through crowdfunding, here’s what’s next

    The EOMA68 project is an effort to design a system of modular computing devices that use interchangeable PC cards. The processor, memory, storage, and operating system are all on a card that you can pop out of a laptop or desktop and replace with a different card.

    Theoretically any type of processor and operating system can run from an EOMA68 card, but the project is also designed to support free and open source software, which restricts some of the hardware that can be used… so the when founder Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton took to Crowd Supply to raise money to begin production of the first PC cards and laptop and desktop shells, the focus is on first-gen cards with low-power Allwinner A20 processors, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage.

  • Seeed Studio’s ReSpeaker Speaks All the Voice Recognition Languages

    Seeed Studio recently launched its third Kickstarter campaign: ReSpeaker, an open hardware voice interface. After their previous Kickstarted IoT hardware, such as the RePhone, mostly focused on connectivity, the electronics manufacturer from Shenzhen now tackles another highly contested area of IoT: Voice recognition.

  • Open-source Piton CPU can scale into million-core system
  • Open Source SNES to USB Converter Lets You Emulate Legally

    [Andrew Milkovich] was inspired build his own Super Nintendo cartridge reader based on a device we covered an eternity (in internet years) ago. The device mounts a real cartridge as a USB mass storage device, allowing you to play your games using an emulator directly from the cart.

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More in Tux Machines

Avidemux 2.6.13 Open-Source Video Editor Gets AAC/ADTS Import and Export

The developers of the Avidemux open-source and cross-platform video editor software have announced a new maintenance update in the 2.6 series, bringing multiple improvements, bug fixes, and a handful of new features. Read more

5 Best Linux Distros for Security

Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy. Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users. Read more

Linux Foundation and Linux

  • How IoTivity and AllJoyn Could Combine
    At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect of AllJoyn. Burns briefly shared his opinion that not only was there no major technical obstacle to combining these two major open source IoT specs, but that by taking the best of both standards, a hybrid could emerge that improves upon both. Later in the day, Burns gave a technical overview of how such a hybrid could be crafted in “Evolving a Best-of-Breed IoT Framework.” (See video below.) Burns stated in both talks that his opinions in no way reflect the official position of OCF or the AllSeen Alliance. At the time of the ELC talk in April, Burns had recently left his job as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee at the AllSeen Alliance to take on the position of Chief IoT Software Technologist in the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corp.
  • ​Linus Torvalds' love-hate relationship with the GPL
    Linux's founder appreciates what the GNU General Public License has given Linux, but he doesn't appreciate how some open-source lawyers are trying to enforce it in court.
  • Linus Torvalds reflects on 25 years of Linux
    LinuxCon North America concluded in Toronto, Canada on August 25th, the day Linux was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief of open source at VMware, sat down for a conversation at the event and reflected upon the past 25 years. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
  • 6 things you should know from Linux's first 25 years
    Red Hat was founded in 1993, two years after Linux was announced and the company has been one of the top contributors to Linux. There is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the project. Whitehurst pointed out that it’s hard to talk about the history of Red Hat without talking about Linux and vice versa.
  • There Is Talk Of Resuming OpenChrome VIA KMS/DRM Driver Development
    Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored.

Security News

  • New FairWare Ransomware targeting Linux Computers [Ed: probably just a side effect of keeping servers unpatched]
    A new attack called FaireWare Ransomware is targeting Linux users where the attackers hack a Linux server, delete the web folder, and then demand a ransom payment of two bitcoins to get their files back. In this attack, the attackers most likely do not encrypt the files, and if they do retain the files, probably just upload it to a server under their control.
  • How do we explain email to an "expert"?
    This has been a pretty wild week, more wild than usual I think we can all agree. The topic I found the most interesting wasn't about one of the countless 0day flaws, it was a story from Slate titled: In Praise of the Private Email Server The TL;DR says running your own email server is a great idea. Almost everyone came out proclaiming it a terrible idea. I agree it's a terrible idea, but this also got me thinking. How do you explain this to someone who doesn't really understand what's going on? There are three primary groups of people. 1) People who know they know nothing 2) People who think they're experts 3) People who are actually experts
  • Why the term “zero day” needs to be in your brand’s cybersecurity vocabulary
    Linux is “open source” which means anyone can look at the code and point out flaws. In that sense, I’d say Linus Torvalds doesn’t have to be as omniscient as Tim Cook. Linux source code isn’t hidden behind closed doors. My understanding is, all the Linux code is out there for anyone to see, naked for anyone to scrutinize, which is why certain countries feel safer using it–there’s no hidden agenda or secret “back door” lurking in the shadows. Does that mean Android phones are safer? That’s up for debate.