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Complexities in bringing Linux to Apple’s M1 Macs

Filed under
Linux
Mac

  • Open-source team details the complexities in bringing Linux to Apple’s M1 Macs

    The crowdfunding Asahi Linux project has published the first progress report detailing its effort to port Linux to the Apple Silicon platform with the M1 Macs. Apple’s new processor architecture is creating some difficulties…

  • Porting operating systems to Apple Silicon leagues harder than migrating software

    In its introduction of Apple Silicon to developers, Apple has provided assistance to developers to port their Intel-compatible apps over to M1. For developers performing more ambitious feats, such as porting Linux over to Apple Silicon, the task is multiple times harder.

    In a blog post about the Asahi Linux project, the team discusses its findings in trying to set up an alternative boot kernel on Apple Silicon systems. While most of the feature has been implemented, the lack of support for a command that allows the installation of a non-Apple kernel led to an attempt to document the undocumented system.

    The main hurdle faced was that Apple Silicon boots differently from PCs, and works "more akin to embedded platforms" like Android or iOS devices. There are differences and a "few bespoke mechanisms" in use, though Apple apparently made the boot process "feel closer" to an Intel Mac.

  • Open-Source Team Describes the Difficulties to Port Linux on M1 Macs

    Apple introduced the M1-powered Macs last year and the machines received a pretty good rating overall. To be exact, the M1 series flaunted enhanced performance and battery life. While the industry is yet to follow Apple's footsteps. Apart from software support, developers around the world are working to take advantage of the Apple Silicon. The crowdfunding Asahi Linux project published a new progress report that shares details on the complexities of port Linux on M1 Macs.

The problems with Apple aren't just outages, they are injustices

Filed under
GNU
Mac

This November, both everyday users and privacy advocates found new reasons to be concerned about Apple. After an update to the latest version of their operating system, users found that they were unable to launch applications that were not written by Apple itself. This problem was caused by an Apple server outage. But why did the unavailabilty of a remote server prevent a user from launching a program on their own computer?

It turns out that each time a program is opened on macOS, it phones home via the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) to see if that application is "okay" to launch: it asks the corporation permission each time a new application is encountered, sending potentially identifying information along with that request. While this function only made news because of the recent server outage caused by the release of the newest version of macOS, Big Sur, research indicates that the report-back has existed in the operating system since September 2018, with the release of macOS Mojave. This is a classic case of proprietary software serving as an instrument of unjust power.

Although Apple does not directly receive the name of the application, but rather information on who developed it, most developers have only a very limited number of apps on the App Store, making it easy for Apple to infer. More disturbing yet is the other identifying information that is sent along with the request, which includes the user's approximate location and the current date and time.

Because macOS is so restricted, it leaves everyone, including free software developers, powerless to help users prevent their application use from being reported back to Apple. Due to the way the system is engineered, free software firewalls like LuLu are unable to block the information from being sent to Apple domains. Furthermore, the information is sent unencrypted over the network, potentially allowing a snoop to see which applications a user was trying to launch on their own computer. The request also bypasses any VPN, letting Apple know their approximate location even if the user has taken steps to stay anonymous.

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macOS to FreeBSD migration a.k.a why I left macOS

Filed under
Mac
BSD

I think the title tells a lot about the story I’m going to tell you.

This is not a technical documentation for how I migrated from macOS to FreeBSD. This is a high-level for why I migrated from macOS to FreeBSD.

Not so long ago, I was using macOS as my daily driver. The main reason why I got a macbook was the underlying BSD Unix and the nice graphics it provides. Also, I have an iPhone. But they were also the same reasons for why I left macOS.

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Also: Fiddling with OpenBSD ports

macOS to FreeBSD migration a.k.a why I left macOS

Filed under
Mac
BSD

This is not a technical documentation for how I migrated from macOS to FreeBSD. This is a high-level for why I migrated from macOS to FreeBSD.

Not so long ago, I was using macOS as my daily driver. The main reason why I got a macbook was the underlying BSD Unix and the nice graphics it provides. Also, I have an iPhone. But they were also the same reasons for why I left macOS.

I did not want to write this post right after the migration, I wanted to take my time, use FreeBSD daily, see if I will ever miss macOS.

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Jussi Pakkanen: How Apple might completely take over end users' computers

Filed under
Mac

Many people are concerned about Apple's ongoing attempts to take more and more control of end user machines from their users. Some go so far as to say that Apple won't be happy until they have absolute and total control over all programs running on end user devices, presumably so that they can enforce their 30% tax on every piece of software. Whether this is true or not we don't really know.

What we can do instead is a thought experiment. If that was their end goal, how would they achieve it? What steps would they take to obtain this absolute control? Let's speculate.

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User-hostile Hardware

Filed under
Hardware
Microsoft
Mac
  • Linus Torvalds wants Apple’s new M1-powered Macs to run Linux

    Earlier this month, Apple revealed its own ARM-based M1 processor, along with new MacBooks and a desktop Mac Mini powered by this chip. Reviewers across the globe have been praising Apple‘s first attempt, giving it high marks for performance and battery life.

    All this positive coverage has tempted many to take the plunge and buy one of the new machines — even if some apps are not running natively at the moment. Even Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the Linux kernel, wants one.

    [...]

    Linux support on MacBooks would’ve made it a more attractive bet for programmers. However, I don’t think any engineers at the Cupertino campus plan to make that happen anytime soon. Sorry, Linus.

  • New Microsoft chip will come with added costs, says ex-NSA hacker

    Microsoft's new security chip, announced last week, will have an impact on hardware-only attacks, an American security professional says, adding that it could also assist in firmware security, but would result in added costs.

Proprietary Software and Security Issues

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
Security

Linux vs. macOS: 15 Key Differences You Need to Know

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

The tug of war between Linux and macOS continues to go through the test of time. The internet meme world concludes their major differences in the usual humorous manner. In their opinion, macOS is for the rich, and Linux is for the skilled. If we add the Windows operating system to this debate, then patience as an attribute would also be a highlight of discussion. However, no operating system is perfect, but there is a perfect being for each operating system.

The individual superiority in both Linux and macOS comes at a cost. This article is here to shed some light on the matter and, at the same time, remove the skeletons hiding in the two OS’s closets.

Linux vs. macOS

Since we are here to neither shame Linux nor macOS, we will look at the preference each operating system brings to the table when comparatively analyzed. However, the preferences might favor one operating system over the other. The final verdict will be in regards to performance flexibility and stability. It’s time to roll the dice on the first comparative topic.

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Security and Proprietary Software Leftovers

Filed under
Microsoft
Mac
Security

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, firefox, gdm, linux-hardened, matrix-synapse, salt, sddm, and wordpress), Debian (firefox-esr, libmaxminddb, and moin), Fedora (cifs-utils, firefox, galera, java-latest-openjdk, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, and wordpress), Gentoo (blueman, chromium, firefox, mariadb, qemu, salt, tmux, and wireshark), openSUSE (sddm), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (kernel-alt, microcode_ctl, and rh-nodejs12-nodejs), SUSE (kernel, microcode_ctl, openldap2, python-waitress, spice-vdagent, u-boot, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (firefox, intel-microcode, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-4.15, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-oem, linux-oem-osp1, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, and moin).

  • Less than 6 months to 16.04 ESM: 6 things to prepare | Ubuntu

    Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus will enter the extended security maintenance (ESM) period in April 2021. This article explains the ESM period and provides a guide for six key considerations when planning a migration path from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

    [...]

    2) Consider the full stack. The OS is a heart of the system, and an OS migration is a significant change that touches multiple aspects of your configuration, from the Linux kernel up to your applications. Remember to evaluate how the migration will impact your existing workloads and APIs as your current configuration might depend on specific versions of the applications and libraries that shipped with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. You will likely find newer versions of applications and libraries if you choose a more recent version of Ubuntu (you can find a few examples below). Those versions might not be fully compatible with your overall configuration anymore after the migration.

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  • Waves of attacks on US hospitals show a change in tactics for cybercriminals [iophk: Windows TCO]

                     

                       

    United States hospitals were targeted by two major cybersecurity attacks this fall: the first taking down Universal Health Services, a chain of hundreds of hospitals, and the second by a group called UNC1878 threatening hundreds of individual health care facilities all around the country. Targeting health care institutions directly marks a new approach for cybercriminals.

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  • Ransomware Hits Dozens of Hospitals in an Unprecedented Wave [iophk: Windows TCO]

                     

                       

    On Wednesday evening, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Health and Human Services warned that there is a "an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and health care providers," above and beyond the wave of attacks that have already occurred. The alert points to the notorious Trickbot trojan and Ryuk ransomware as the primary hacking tools involved in the attacks. Security analysts at private companies say that the activity is tied to the Russian criminal gang sometimes called UNC 1878 or Wizard Spider.

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  • Ransomware Group Turns to Facebook Ads

                     

                       

    It’s not clear whether this was an isolated incident, or whether the fraudsters also ran ads using other [cracked] Facebook accounts. A spokesperson for Facebook said the company is still investigating the incident. A request for comment sent via email to Campari’s media relations team was returned as undeliverable.

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  • On Apple's Piss-Poor Documentation

                     

                       

    However, as users rightly demand more complicated and fancy apps, the APIs often need to get more fancy and complicated as well. Suddenly you look up and, instead of only using screwdrivers and hammers, you’re using power tools and complicated saws, and everything is much more fiddly than it once was.

                       

    With real tools, you’d expect to receive an owner’s manual, which explains how to use the tool you’ve just purchased. A rough analogy exists for APIs, insofar as most platform vendors will provide documentation. This is basically the "owner’s manual" for that API.

                       

    Apple’s documentation has, for years, been pretty bad. Over the last couple years, it has gone from bad → awful → despicable → embarrassing. All too often, I go to research how to do something new, and use an API I’m not familiar with, only to be stymied by those three dreaded words:

    No overview available.

Apple backtracks on App Store removal threat for Unix shell iOS apps

Filed under
Mac

Developers of Linux and Unix shells have received warnings from Apple that their iOS apps violate App Store Review Guidelines, with the threat of termination from the App Store said to be reversed in at least one instance.

A shell is a tool that enables users to perform command-line operations on a device, which usually doesn't offer that sort of functionality, such as the lack of a terminal in iOS. These terminal emulator apps like a-Shell and iSH enable the use of many Unix commands in iOS, which can be useful for developers and power users.

However, according to a series of tweets on Sunday, it seems that the two apps have come under fire from Apple's App Store team for seemingly violating the App Store Review Guidelines. The iSH Twitter account advised it was informed by Apple it would be removing the app from the App Store on Monday.

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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla Leftovers

  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 91
  • Phabricator Etiquette Part 1: The Reviewer

    In the next two posts we will examine the etiquette of using Phabricator. This post will examine tips from the reviewer’s perspective, and next week will focus on the author’s point of view. While the social aspects of etiquette are incredibly important, we should all be polite and considerate, these posts will focus more on the mechanics of using Phabricator. In other words, how to make the review process as smooth as possible without wasting anyone’s time.

  • Robert O'Callahan: Visualizing Control Flow In Pernosco

    In traditional debuggers, developers often single-step through the execution of a function to discover its control flow. One of Pernosco's main themes is avoiding single-stepping by visualizing state over time "all at once". Therefore, presenting control flow through a function "at a glance" is an important Pernosco feature and we've recently made significant improvements in this area. This is a surprisingly hard problem. Pernosco records control flow at the instruction level. Compiler-generated debuginfo maps instructions to source lines, but lacks other potentially useful information such as the static control flow graph. We think developers want to understand control flow in the context of their source code (so approaches taken by, e.g., reverse engineering tools are not optimal for Pernosco). However, mapping potentially complex control flow onto the simple top-to-bottom source code view is inherently lossy or confusing or both. For functions without loops there is a simple, obvious and good solution: highlight the lines executed, and let the user jump in time to that line's execution when clicked on. In the example below, we can see immediately where the function took an early exit.

  • Marco Castelluccio: On code coverage and regressions

    There are two schools of thought when it comes to code coverage: those who think it is a useless metric and those who think the opposite (OK, I’m a bit exaggerating, there are people in the middle…). I belong to the second “school”: I have always thought, intuitively, that patches without tests are more likely to cause postrelease regressions, and so having test coverage decreases risk. A few days ago, I set out to confirm this intuition, and I found this interesting study: Code Coverage and Postrelease Defects: A Large-Scale Study on Open Source Projects. The authors showed (on projects that are very different from Firefox, but still…) that there was no correlation between project coverage and the amount of bugs that are introduced in the project and, more importantly, there was no correlation between file coverage and the amount of bugs that are introduced in the file.

today's howtos

Nvidia GPU Passthrough To Windows VM From Linux Host

Nvidia has now officially enabled GPU passthrough support for Windows virtual machines on GeForce graphics cards. In other words, this effectively means it?s possible to run a Linux machine and then run a virtual Windows machine within it, and hand that unfettered access to a graphics card. This is a big win for those wanting to run Windows games from within a virtual machine on your Linux desktop. They will be able to play Windows-based games using a virtual machine with GPU passthrough enabled. Read more

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Red Hat Satellite 6.8.6 has been released [Ed: They have unpublised this since.]

    We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.8.6 is generally available as of April 13, 2021.

  • A brief intro to Red Hat OpenShift for Node.js developers – IBM Developer

    Container-based deployment models are the modern way to develop and deliver your applications. The most common tool for building with containers is Kubernetes, an open-source container-orchestration system for automating computer application deployment, scaling, and management. Kubernetes has helped usher in a standardized way to deploy and manage applications at scale, but it can be a sprawling, difficult beast to manage when your application becomes more mature and more complex. A company will need to have a robust DevOps team to manage a full-fledged Kubernetes-based production system. [...] My colleague, JJ Asghar summed it up nicely: “OpenShift provides creature comforts to talk to the Kubernetes “API”—at the same level of robustness—as long as you’re willing to use the opinions OpenShift brings.” The good news? Those opinions are tried and tested, enterprise-ready choices with the backing and support of Red Hat. So, what do Node.js developers need to know about OpenShift deployment? This blog post covers the “what” and “how” of deploying your Node.js application in an OpenShift environment.

  • Fedora Community Blog: Community Blog monthly update: March 2021

    In March, we published 21 posts. The site had 5,520 visits from 3,652 unique viewers. 888 visits came from search engines, while 450 came from the WordPress Android app, and 386 came from Twitter and 208 from Reddit.

  • How Red Hat data scientists use and contribute to Open Data Hub

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) drive much of the world around us, from the apps on our phones to electric cars on the highway. Allowing such things to run as accurately as possible takes huge amounts of data to be collected and understood. At the helm of that critical information are data scientists. So, what’s a day on the job look like for data scientists at Red Hat? Don Chesworth, Principal Data Scientist, gives you a glimpse into his day-to-day in a short video (aptly named "A Day in the Life of a Red Hat Data Scientist") that’s now available on our website. Isabel Zimmerman, Data Science Intern, provides a look at some of the tools she uses on the job in "Using Open Data Hub as a Red Hat Data Scientist." We’ll cover some of the highlights in this post.

  • IBM Brings COBOL Capabilities to the Linux on x86 Environment

    IBM has announced COBOL for Linux on x86 1.1, bringing IBM's COBOL compilation technologies and capabilities to the Linux on x86 environment. According to the IBM announcement, COBOL for Linux on x86 can help modernize, integrate, and manage existing applications, data, and skill sets to ease an organization’s transformation into a more flexible business. To connect business components with suppliers, partners, employees, and clients, and to position organizations to quickly take advantage of opportunities and respond to challenges in real time, COBOL for Linux on x86 can help meet these challenges and enable use of existing COBOL code while upgrading applications with the newest technologies.

  • <./ul>