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Linux

Is GNOME the best Linux desktop?

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Linux

I think GNOME is mostly a "love it" or "hate it" kind of desktop these days. The folks who love it defend it passionately while the ones who hate it will deride it with their last breath. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of middle ground in the GNOME Wars.

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Linus Torvalds and other developers are leaving Bitcoins on the table

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Linux

I reached out to Tip4Commit to find out just how many people were not collecting tips. One of its creators, Arsen Gasparyan, got back to me with some data. He shared with me that, as of last week, Tip4Commit supported 337 GitHub projects, for which 9,076 tips have been earned (a tip is earned when a pull request for a commit on a supported project is accepted), totaling about 3.34 Ƀ (worth about $2,650 at today's Bitcoin exchange rate of $793.20). However, only 1.956 Ƀ has been received by 67 users, meaning 1.384 Ƀ, a little under $1,100 or about 40% of the value of all tips, has gone unclaimed.

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ARM is not about the status quo : Open source breeds new architectures

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Linux
Hardware

“The rise of open source has opened doors for new architectures; the ARM partnership entering the market has already changed people’s perception of what’s possible; you’ll see that it’s going to drive a faster pace of innovation. Think of what happened in the phone ecosystem. It changed so much over the last five years in terms of what’s possible, and that’s been largely because there’s been a huge number of choices and innovation in terms of supply chain, in terms of new IP that’s being integrated. I expect to see the same thing happen in the data center space because now you have all these choices and people are innovating at different paces but it’s still overall accelerating the pace of innovation in the market,” said Mandyam.

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CompuLab Utilite: A Tiny, Low-Power, Low-Cost, ARM Linux Desktop

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Linux

When it comes to Linux-friendly hardware vendors one of my favorite companies to deal with at Phoronix is CompuLab. The Israeli PC vendor isn't just rebadging some OEM systems and slapping on a Tux sticker nor are they assembling some x86 systems that individuals could easily build at a lower cost. We have reviewed several interesting low-power Linux PCs from them in the past and today may be one of their most interesting products yet, the Freescale i.MX6-based Utilite. In this review is a look at the Utilite Pro, which is my new favorite pre-assembled ARM Linux desktop.

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First impressions of Antergos installation

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Linux

One of the amazing things about Linux is the fact that there is always something new out there to learn. A new package manager, a different desktop environment, a different philosophy, a completely different ethos.

While you never quite start from scratch, there can be a significant learning curve when approaching a new distribution, and particularly when you enter a radically different paradigm.

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Is the x86 server ready for open source?

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Linux
OSS

This week theCUBE covered the Open Compute Project Summit (#OCPSummit). As the name implies, this conference is part of the open source movement, but with a twist. When most people hear “open source” they think software — Linux, OpenStack, KVM and other major open source projects. This conference is about open source hardware, and in particular, x86 servers.

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February 2014 Issue of Linux Journal: Web Development

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Linux

Spiders are really cool. Granted, they're terrifying, but they're still
really cool. They keep the pest population down, they create super heroes,
and they socialize with little girls eating curds and whey, but most
impressively, they make webs.
Their
ability to develop such intricate and useful constructions with nothing
more than spinnerets and a little ingenuity is impressive. Also impressive
is the ability for programmers to develop applications for
our Web, the
World Wide Web, and make them accessible instantly to anyone on the planet.
Applications usually take more than one evening to build, but with this
issue of Linux Journal, we hope to make your Web-weaving a little more
efficient, and your Web a little more awesome.

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What will drive mainstream desktop Linux?

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Linux

There are a couple significant reasons why Linux is a distant third, which I've covered elsewhere. However, one important area that needs to be addressed, which I haven't covered before, is product development. I'm going to pretend that I am a NFL analyst assessing each Linux distro's product and explaining what each distro needs to improve on to be appealing enough for the average consumer. Now when I go through this analysis, I need to assess each distro as if I am buying a branded PC with that distro. Why? Because that's how most consumers expect to purchase a PC. The difficult part with a lot of the Linux distros is that there is not that "appliance" that "works out of the box" perception that consumers get when they use it. After all, many people are used to using Windows PCs, Macs, and tablets that just work, including apps that came with each device. They expect that same kind of reliability when they use any PC. So let's start the analysis with the latest device that comes very close to that, which is the Chromebook.

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Cloud Migration Service Shifts From IBM i To Linux

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Linux

Even though we don't talk about it much, there are companies throwing in the towel and looking for IT solutions that do not include IBM i, Power Systems, or IBM. One of the companies with a track record of working in the IBM i migration business is Infinite Corporation, which last week introduced a new cloud-based migration plan called Infinite i. It will compete head-to-head with IBM i-based clouds.

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Debian 7: MATE

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Linux

In our last episode, I had decided that I was going to do a clean install of Debian 7 on the new computer. What I really want is to install the MATE desktop (pronounced Ma-Tay). I've liked MATE a lot since using it with Linux Mint -- but Debian doesn't (yet) make a MATE install disk. For Debian 7, the choices are Gnome 3, KDE 4, LXDE, or XFCE. I did not want to install all the baggage of Gnome or KDE. And I'm already using LXDE, which is clean and fast. So that's what I installed as my starting point.

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Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Microsoft says its best not to fiddle with its Windows 10 group policies (that don't work)

    On Monday, we revealed that a security researcher had used a packet sniffer to show that many settings designed to prevent access to the internet were being ignored with connections to a range of third party servers including advertising hubs.

  • What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course
    Google Project Zero's Windows bug-hunter and fuzz-boffin Tavis Ormandy has given the world an insight into how he works so fast: he works on Linux, and with the release of a personal project on GitHub, others can too. Ormandy's project is to port Windows DLLs to Linux for his vuln tests (“So that's how he works so fast!” Penguinistas around the world are saying). Typically self-effacing, Ormandy made this simple announcement on Twitter (to a reception mixing admiration, humour, and horror):
  • Hacked in Translation – from Subtitles to Complete Takeover
    Check Point researchers revealed a new attack vector which threatens millions of users worldwide – attack by subtitles. By crafting malicious subtitle files, which are then downloaded by a victim’s media player, attackers can take complete control over any type of device via vulnerabilities found in many popular streaming platforms, including VLC, Kodi (XBMC), Popcorn-Time and strem.io. We estimate there are approximately 200 million video players and streamers that currently run the vulnerable software, making this one of the most widespread, easily accessed and zero-resistance vulnerability reported in recent years.
  • A Samba remote code execution vulnerability
    Distributors are already shipping the fix; there's also a workaround in the advisory for those who cannot update immediately.

KDE, Qt, GTK and GNOME News

  • KDE Plasma 5.8.7 LTS Desktop Environment Released with over 60 Improvements
    KDE has announced today the release and immediate availability of the seventh maintenance update to the long-term supported KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment. KDE Plasma 5.8.7 LTS is now considered the latest stable and most advanced version of the KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS (Long Term Support) desktop environment, which some of you out there are probably using on your favorite GNU/Linux distributions instead of a short-lived branch like KDE Plasma 5.9 or the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.10 release.
  • Summer of Coding!
    After a month of dread and panicking about the fact that Google Summer of Code results are announced in the middle of exam season... I'm happy to say I'll be doing the Rust plugin for KDevelop!
  • Qt 5.9 Release Candidate Available For Testing
  • Qt 5.9.0 RC released
    We have released Qt 5.9.0 RC today. You can update it at the top of your Qt 5.9 beta(4) online installation or do clean installation by using qt online installer. Detailed instructions here: https://wiki.qt.io/How_to_get_snapshot_via_online_installer .
  • The Road to GTK+ 4 Continues, New Milestone Adds Initial OS X and Meson Support
    A new milestone was released recently, GTK+ 3.91.0, which adds quite a bunch of improvements and bug fixes, but also some new APIs and compatibility with other supported operating systems besides those based on the Linux kernel. For example, GTK+ 3.91.0 implements initial support for Apple's macOS platform, which will make it possible to run apps written in GTK+ 4 on OS X.
  • Epiphany Browser Updated for GNOME 3.25.2 with New Shortcuts for Switching Tabs
    Ahead of today's GNOME 3.25.2 desktop environment development release, the team of developers behind the Epiphany web browser have released the second milestone towards the Epiphany 3.26 stable series, due out later this year.