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Linux Accessibility For The Visually Impaired – For The Record

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GNU
Linux
Interviews

Linux Accessibility For The Visually Impaired. I received a comment from Milton asking me about text to speech options in Linux. He also wanted to know what I recommended for audio dictation under Linux. The first option is indeed, using FoSS awesomeness. However the later relies on Google’s Web Speech API. Also, here is that article on controlling your mouse cursor with your webcam and no hands.

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4 scanning tools for the Linux desktop

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Linux

While the paperless world isn't here quite yet, more and more people are getting rid of paper by scanning documents and photos. Having a scanner isn't enough to do the deed, though. You need software to drive that scanner.

But the catch is many scanner makers don't have Linux versions of the software they bundle with their devices. For the most part, that doesn't matter. Why? Because there are good scanning applications available for the Linux desktop. They work with a variety of scanners and do a good job.

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​Linus Torvalds takes a break from Linux

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Linux

In a surprising move, Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, is taking a break on his Linux kernel work to work on his behavior to other developers. In a note to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Torvalds wrote, "I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely."

If you follow the trials and tribulations of Linux's developments, this is mind-blowing. For the almost 30-years Torvalds has been working on the kernel, he's been famous--or infamous--for his outbursts towards programmers and others who didn't meet his high expectations.

Over the decades, Torvalds has torn into security developers, open-source lawyers, and other kernel developers, such as Sage, formerly Sarah, Sharp. Every few months, there would be another four-letter Torvalds eruption. This became publicly accepted, but privately it left bad blood.

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The Linux Kernel Adopts A Code of Conduct

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Linux

Prior to releasing Linux 4.19-rc4 and Linus Torvalds taking a temporary leave of absence to reflect on his behavior / colorful language, he did apply a Code of Conduct to the Linux kernel.

Previously the Linux kernel had a "Code of Conflict" that some might feel is rather harsh. But now it's been replaced by a Code of Conduct that is derived from the Contributor Covenant that has been used by the X.Org Foundation / FreeDesktop.org projects, among others.

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The Linux Kernel Has Grown By 225k Lines of Code So Far This Year From 3.3k Developers

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Linux

After writing yesterday about kernel contributions of AMD vs. NVIDIA vs. Intel, I kicked off the hours-long process of gitstats analyzing the Linux kernel Git repository for some fresh numbers on the current kernel development trends.

Even on an EPYC server with Optane 900p NVMe SSD storage, the gitstats process on the hearty Linux kernel repository is quite a task. But the process is done and offering a fresh look at the current Linux kernel activity in Git. Here are some of the findings:

The kernel repository is at 782,487 commits in total from around 19.009 different authors. The repository is made up of 61,725 files and from there around 25,584,633 lines -- keep in mind there is also documentation, Kconfig build files, various helpers/utilities, etc.

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Jono Bacon: Linus, His Apology, And Why We Should Support Him

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Development
Linux

I am also mindful of ego. None of us like to admit we have an ago, but we all do. You don’t get to build one of the most fundamental technologies in the last thirty years and not have an ego. He built it…they came…and a revolution was energized because of what he created. While Linus’s ego is more subtle, and thankfully doesn’t extend to faddish self-promotion, overly expensive suits, and forays into Hollywood (quite the opposite), his ego has naturally resulted in abrupt opinions on how his project should run, sometimes plugging fingers in his ears to particularly challenging viewpoints from others. His post today is a clear example of him putting Linux as a project ahead of his own personal ego.

This is important for a few reasons. Firstly, being in such a public position and accepting your personal flaws isn’t a problem many people face, and isn’t a situation many people handle well. I work with a lot of CEOs, and they often say it is the loneliest job on the planet. I have heard American presidents say the same in interviews. This is because they are the top of the tree with all the responsibility and expectations on their shoulders. Put yourself in Linus’s position: his little project has blown up into a global phenomenon, and he didn’t necessarily have the social tools to be able to handle this change. Ego forces these internal struggles under the surface and to push them down and avoid them. So, to accept them as publicly and openly as he did today is a very firm step in the right direction. Now, the true test will be results, but we need to all provide the breathing space for him to accomplish them.

So, I would encourage everyone to give Linus a shot. This doesn’t mean the frustrations of the past are erased, and he has acknowledged and apologized for these mistakes as a first step. He has accepted he struggles with understanding other’s emotions, and a desire to help improve this for the betterment of the project and himself. He is a human, and the best tonic for humans to resolve their own internal struggles is the support and encouragement of other humans. This is not unique to Linus, but to anyone who faces similar struggles.

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Also: Kernel prepatch 4.19-rc4; Linus taking a break

Linux 4.19-rc4 released, an apology, and a maintainership note

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Linux

Another week, another rc.

Nothing particularly odd stands out on the technical side in the
kernel updates for last week - rc4 looks fairly average in size for
this stage in the release cycle, and all the other statistics look
pretty normal too.

We've got roughly two thirds driver fixes (gpu and networking look to
be the bulk of it, but there's smaller changes all over in various
driver subsystems), with the rest being the usual mix: core
networking, perf tooling updates, arch updates, Documentation, some
filesystem, vm and minor core kernel fixes.

So it's all fairly small and normal for this stage. As usual, I'm
appending the shortlog at the bottom for people who want to get an
overview of the details without actually having to go dig in the git
tree.

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Also: Linux 4.19-rc4 Released As Linus Temporarily Steps Away From Kernel Maintainership

Stable kernels 4.18.8, 4.14.70, 4.9.127 and 4.4.156

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Linux

GNU/Linux Desktop Themes

Filed under
GNU
Linux
GNOME
  • Plane Theme and Icons Gives Your Desktop An Appearance Boost

    Plane Theme and Icons Gives Your Desktop An Appearance Boost
    Another theme pack with icons for your Linux Desktop. Plane theme is designed to make desktop more elegant and simple, it goes very well along with its own icon pack. Now a days many themes are under development for Gnome and Plane is one of them, it is constantly updating since 2017, fixing and making theme look better. It has some parts from Arc and Adwaita themes, also some other themes inspired author to make Plane more eye catching.
    There are two versions in this theme: light version and dark version which gives comfort to your eyes. This pack includes Gnome shell themes as well, which lets you match your Gnome shell with your Gtk theme.
    Primarily, this pack targets Gnome Shell desktop but can be used on other desktops as well such as: Cinnamon, Xfce, Mate etc. Icons are designed to use with this theme pack but if you want then you can use them with any theme of your choice. Themes are available for Ubuntu 18.10/18.04 and Linux Mint 19 via our PPA. Icons available for Ubuntu 18.10/18.04/16.04/14.04/Linux Mint 19/18/17. If you find any kind of bug or problem with this theme pack then report it to author and it will get fixed in the next update.

  • Shadow Icons Looks Great With All Themes, Install in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

    Shadow icon theme is a new comer for Linux desktop, it looks beautiful with all kind of themes. It is meant to be modern clean and customizable, the primary color of this set most likely bluish and many apps icons are in round shape. So basically this theme is mixture of round and normal (square) shape icons, lets see where this theme will head in the future, it should choose shape what users asks. As creator mentioned this icon theme is his first so please bare any bugs or missing icons. You can report bugs or suggest new icons to include in this set via this link. You can use Unity Tweak Tool, Gnome-tweak-tool to change themes/icons.

It's Looking Like WireGuard Could Be Ready In Time For Linux 4.20~5.0

Filed under
Linux
Security

The latest revised patches were sent out on Friday evening for WireGuard, the very promising secure VPN tunnel technology developed over the past few years by Jason Donenfeld.

This marks the fourth time these patches have been revised with this latest series fixing various issues discovered during earlier rounds of review, porting more crypto code to the new Zinc crypto library, documentation improvements, and other code improvements.

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Security: Updates, Mirai and Singapore's Massive Breach

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Mirai botnet hackers [sic] avoid jail time by helping FBI

    The three men, Josiah White, 21, Dalton Norman, 22, and Paras Jha, 22, all from the US, managed to avoid the clink by providing "substantial assistance in other complex cybercrime investigations", according to the US Department of Justice. Who'd have thought young hacker [sic] types would roll over and show their bellies when faced with prison time....

  • A healthcare IT foundation built on gooey clay
    Today, there was a report from the Solicitor General of Singapore about the data breach of the SingHealth systems that happened in July. These systems have been in place for many years. They are almost exclusively running Microsoft Windows along with a mix of other proprietary software including Citrix and Allscript. The article referred to above failed to highlight that the compromised “end-user workstation” was a Windows machine. That is the very crucial information that always gets left out in all of these reports of breaches. I have had the privilege of being part of an IT advisory committee for a local hospital since about 2004 (that committee has disbanded a couple of years ago, btw). [...] Part of the reason is because decision makers (then and now) only have experience in dealing with proprietary vendor solutions. Some of it might be the only ones available and the open source world has not created equivalent or better offerings. But where there are possibly good enough or even superior open source offerings, they would never be considered – “Rather go with the devil I know, than the devil I don’t know. After all, this is only a job. When I leave, it is someone else’s problem.” (Yeah, I am paraphrasing many conversations and not only from the healthcare sector). I recall a project that I was involved with – before being a Red Hatter – to create a solution to create a “computer on wheels” solution to help with blood collection. As part of that solution, there was a need to check the particulars of the patient who the nurse was taking samples from. That patient info was stored on some admission system that did not provide a means for remote, API-based query. The vendor of that system wanted tens of thousands of dollars to just allow the query to happen. Daylight robbery. I worked around it – did screen scrapping to extract the relevant information. Healthcare IT providers look at healthcare systems as a cashcow and want to milk it to the fullest extent possible (the end consumer bears the cost in the end). Add that to the dearth of technical IT skills supporting the healthcare providers, you quickly fall into that vendor lock-in scenario where the healthcare systems are at the total mercy of the proprietary vendors.

Recoll – A Full-Text GUI Search Tool for Linux Systems

We wrote on various search tools recently like in 9 Productivity Tools for Linux That Are Worth Your Attention and FSearch, and readers suggested awesome alternatives. Today, we bring you an app that can find text anywhere in your computer in grand style – Recoll. Recoll is an open-source GUI search utility app with an outstanding full-text search capability. You can use it to search for keywords and file names on Linux distros and Windows. It supports most of the document formats and plugins for text extraction. Read more

today's howtos

Linux Foundation for Sale

  • Open Source Summit EU Registration Deadline, Sept. 22, Register Now to Save $150 [Ed: Microsoft is the "DIAMOND" sponsor of this event, the highest sponsorship level! Linux Foundation, or the Zemlin PAC, seems to be more about Microsoft than about Linux.]
  • Building a Secure Ecosystem for Node.js [Ed: Earlier today the Zemlin PAC did this puff piece for Microsoft (a sponsor)]
  • The Human Side of Digital Transformation: 7 Recommendations and 3 Pitfalls [Ed: New Zemlin PAC-sponsored and self-serving puff piece]
    Not so long ago, business leaders repeatedly asked: “What exactly is digital transformation and what will it do for my business?” Today we’re more likely to hear, “How do we chart a course?” Our answer: the path to digital involves more than selecting a cloud application platform. Instead, digital, at its heart, is a human journey. It’s about cultivating a mindset, processes, organization and culture that encourages constant innovation to meet ever-changing customer expectations and business goals. In this two-part blog series we’ll share seven guidelines for getting digital right. Read on for the first three.