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Is Linux IoT a potential big new market for EUC vendors?

Filed under
Linux

One thing we’re seeing now is how Linux for IoT is clearly a big trend, with several well-known vendors developing Linux IoT operating systems. A 2018 survey from earlier this year found that it dominates IoT, with about 72% using Linux-based OSes.

This could have an effect on players big and small in our space, so let’s take a look at what’s going on.

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Also: What Do You Want To See Out Of The Redesigned, Next-Gen Raspberry Pi?

Stumbling into Linux and open source from Vietnam to Amsterdam

Filed under
Linux
OSS

Since the beginning of time... no, really, just the beginning of Opensource.com in 2010, our writers have shared personal stories of how they got into open source or Linux (many times both).

Some had friends in school remark "You don't know Linux? What's going on with you, dude?" Some came in through the gateway of gaming, and others were simply looking for alternatives.

When I came on the scene in 2012 as a newcomer to open source and Linux, I saw these stories as pure gold. They get to the heart of why people are so passionate about it and why they love talking about it with other people who "get it." Now I'm one of those people, too.

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Linux 4.20-rc3

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Linux

The only unusual thing last week was my travel - not any code issues.
That caused a few pulls to be delayed by a day or two, but nothing
else.

And now I'm back home, and 4.20-rc3 is out there.

The changes in rc3 are pretty tiny, which means that the statistics
look slightly different from the uysual ones - drivers only account
for less than a third of the patch, for example. But that really isn't
because of anything odd going on anywhere else, it all looks like just
random noise in the distribution of patches. So we have about one
third driver updates, one third arch updates, and one third "core"
(kernel, mm, fs, networking).

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Also: Linux 4.20-rc3 Kernel Released

Linux as a Library: Unikernels are Coming

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Linux

If you think about it, an operating system kernel is really just a very powerful shared library that offers services to many programs. Of course, it is a very powerful library, but still — its main purpose is to provide services to programs. Your program probably doesn’t use all of the myriad services the kernel provides. Even a typical system might not fully use all the things that are in a typical kernel. Red Hat has a new initiative to bring a technology called unikernels to the forefront. A unikernel is a single application linked with just enough of the kernel for it to execute. As you might expect, this can result in a smaller system and better security.

It can also lead to better performance. The unikernel doesn’t have to maintain devices and services that are not used. Also, the kernel and the application can run in the same privilege ring. That may seem like a security hole, but if you think about it, the only reason a regular kernel runs at a higher privilege is to protect itself from a malicious application modifying the kernel to do something bad to another application. In this case, there is no other application.

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Endless OS Switching To The BFQ I/O Scheduler For More Responsive Linux Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux

While Con Kolivas' kernel patch series decided to do away with BFQ support, the GNOME-aligned Endless OS Linux distribution has decided to do the opposite in move from CFQ as the default I/O scheduler over to BFQ.

Endless OS has decided to switch to the BFQ (Budget Fair Queuing) I/O scheduler since it prioritizes interactive workloads and should make for a better experience for its users particularly when applications may be upgrading in the background.

During heavy background I/O, Endless found that their launch time of LibreOffice went from taking 16 seconds with CFQ to just three seconds when using BFQ. Other tests were also positive for improving the interactivity/responsiveness of the system particularly during heavy background I/O.

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5 of the Best File Managers for Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

One of the pieces of software you use daily is a file manager. A good file manager is essential to your work. If you are a Linux user and want to try out file managers other than the default one that comes with your system, below is a list of the best Linux file managers you will find.

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Devices: Coreboot, Toradex and Digi, Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Another Micro-ATX Haswell Era Motherboard Working With Coreboot But Needs Tiny Blob

    There are many Sandy Bridge era motherboards that have been freed by Coreboot while if you are looking for more options on something (slightly) newer, a micro-ATX Haswell-era motherboard from ASRock now works under this open-source BIOS implementation.

    The ASRock H81M-HDS is the latest motherboard port now mainline in Coreboot. The ASRock H81M-HDS supports Haswell Core and Xeon CPUs, supports two DDR3/DDR3L DIMMs, one PCI Express x16 slot, onboard display outputs, four SATA ports, and multiple USB3/USB2 ports. This motherboard can be found refurbished still from some Internet shops for about $70 USD.

  • Toradex and Digi launch i.MX8X-based Colibri and ConnectCore COMs

    Toradex and Digi have released Linux-friendly i.MX8X-based modules via early access programs. The Colibri iMX8X and Digi ConnectCore 8X each provide WiFi-ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

    NXP’s i.MX8X SoC has made quite a splash this week. Eight months after Phytec announced an i.MX8X-based phyCORE-i.MX 8X module, Variscite unveiled a VAR-SOM-MX8X module and then Congatec followed up with the Qseven form-factor Conga-QMX8X and SMARC 2.0 Conga-SMX8X. Now Toradex and Digi are beginning shipments of i.MX8X based modules for early access customers.

  • New Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ launched for only $25

More Benchmarks Of The Performance Pullback In Linux 4.20

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux

Last night I published some benchmarks after finding Linux 4.20 is regressing in several workloads compared to Linux 4.18/4.19 and at least was affecting Intel Core i9 "HEDT" boxes. Here are more affected workloads regressing on Linux 4.20 and it's not just limited to high-end hardware.

This morning I decided to check in on my automated bi-daily kernel benchmarks on LinuxBenchmarking.com. It's all automated and thus don't necessarily have the time to look at the data too often (even though PTS' LinuxBenchmarking.com does also provide email notifications when auto-detecting possible regressions), but in looking back at the archived data it too captured a significant performance pullback on multiple systems on Linux 4.20.

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Microsoft's Vista 10 Disaster Returns, Privacy Violations, and Moving to GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

    The 1809 build of Windows 10 and Windows Server is fast becoming infamous. Microsoft pulled it shortly after release when it started deleting people's files, and stumbling in other ways. Redmond reissued the software on Tuesday, and today it's clear you shouldn't rush into deploying it, if installing it at all, in its present state.

  • Microsoft Just Crammed Ads Into Windows 10 Mail. When Will They Stop? [Ed: With Vista 10 the users are the product. The spies from Microsoft spy on them (sometimes illegally, but these people are above the law) and their real clients are advertisers.]

    Whether it’s pre-installing Candy Crush Saga, showing full-screen ads on your lock screen, or displaying banner ads in File Explorer, Microsoft has been shoehorning ads into every inch of Windows 10. The Mail app is getting them next.

    Update: Microsoft’s head of communications, Frank Shaw, just backpedaled on Twitter. He said “this is an experimental feature that was never intended to be tested broadly and is being turned off.” As Mehedi Hassan notes over at Thurrott, this is a strange claim because Microsoft has a detailed support page explaining these advertisements.

  • Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office

    Microsoft broke Euro privacy rules by carrying out the "large scale and covert" gathering of private data through its Office apps.

    That's according to a report out this month [PDF] that was commissioned by the Dutch government into how information handled by 300,000 of its workers was processed by Microsoft's Office ProPlus suite. This software is installed on PCs and connects to Office 365 servers.

    The dossier's authors found that the Windows goliath was collecting telemetry and other content from its Office applications, including email titles and sentences where translation or spellchecker was used, and secretly storing the data on systems in the United States. That's a no-no.

    Those actions break Europe's new GDPR privacy safeguards, it is claimed, and may put Microsoft on the hook for potentially tens of millions of dollars in fines. The Dutch authorities are working with the corporation to fix the situation, and are using the threat of a fine as a stick to make it happen.

  • How old were you when you first started using Linux?

    Whether you switched from another operating system, or are one of the lucky few who knew no OS before it, all of us were beginners at some point.

    How old were you when you started using Linux? Do you remember that time clearly, or is it so far in the past that it's but a faint memory?

    Regardless of the answer, let us know when it was, and maybe, a bit about what that experience has meant to you.

5 Easy Tips for Linux Web Browser Security

Filed under
Linux
Security
Web

If you use your Linux desktop and never open a web browser, you are a special kind of user. For most of us, however, a web browser has become one of the most-used digital tools on the planet. We work, we play, we get news, we interact, we bank… the number of things we do via a web browser far exceeds what we do in local applications. Because of that, we need to be cognizant of how we work with web browsers, and do so with a nod to security. Why? Because there will always be nefarious sites and people, attempting to steal information. Considering the sensitive nature of the information we send through our web browsers, it should be obvious why security is of utmost importance.

So, what is a user to do? In this article, I’ll offer a few basic tips, for users of all sorts, to help decrease the chances that your data will end up in the hands of the wrong people. I will be demonstrating on the Firefox web browser, but many of these tips cross the application threshold and can be applied to any flavor of web browser.

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