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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Open Sauce’s Mr Sweary has gone off on lawyers making money on GPL enforcement.
Linus Torvalds waded into the Software Freedom Conservancy and Bradley Kuhn over the question of enforcing compliance of the GPL General Public Licence.
Software Freedom Conservancy head Karen Sandler made a mistake when she suggested that Linuxcon in Toronto should include a session on GPL enforcement.
A number of developers think that while discussing enforcement issues was topical and necessary, doing it at a conference of this kind could well lead to people who took part being deposed later on by lawyers for their own cases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
[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.