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Best Free Linux Application Launchers

We’ve recently expressed our opinion on the Linux desktop scene with Best Linux Desktop Environments: Strong and Stable, and our follow-up article Linux Desktop Environments: Pantheon, Trinity, LXDE. These desktop environments provide good application launchers. But there’s still a place for a different approach, using a standalone application launcher. Application launchers play an integral part in making the Linux desktop a more productive environment to work and play. They represent small utilities which offers the desktop user a convenient access point for application software and can make a real boost to users’ efficiency. An application launcher helps to reduce start up times for applications by indexing shortcuts in the menu. Furthermore, this type of software allows users to search for documents and other files quicker by indexing different file formats. This makes them useful for launching almost anything on a computer including multimedia files, games, and the internet. Application launchers often support plug-ins, adding to their versatility. Read more

Events: All Things Open, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, State of Enterprise Open Source in 2018

  • All Things Open 2018 – How To Jump Start a Career in Open Source (video)
    Last October I was in Raleigh, North Carolina speaking at All Things Open. I gave a lightning talk on how to jump start a career in open source, in just 6 minutes. The topic is near and dear to my heart, so as a lightning talk it was fun to promote the full session I gave earlier this Summer in one of the most amazing venues I’ve ever spoken at. The talk includes links to the recording of that venue and the complete story I told. After the talk I posted the slides, but we’ve been waiting on the video recording of the session and it’s arrived!
  • Seven Remarkable Takeaways From Massive Kubernetes Conference
    The 8,000 attendees attending the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s(CNCF) KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Kubernetes conference this week in Seattle demonstrated the exponential growth in interest in this complex, technical combination of open source technologies. I attend many technology conferences, most recently a blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of things conference (see my article from that event). Compared to blockchain in particular as well as AI, my first KubeCon takeaway is that Kubernetes actually works. ... For my seventh takeaway, I saved the most remarkable for last: women are leading the Kubernetes charge. Yes, you read that right. While the audience at KubeCon was perhaps 90% male, the keynote speakers were more than half female.
  • The State of Enterprise Open Source in 2018
    It would have been difficult to predict the magnitude of open source’s role in today’s platforms and the explosion of choice on offer in today’s computing world thanks to its massive adoption. On the industry side, IBM’s purchase of Linux giant Red Hat this year for an astounding $34 billion has come as an even bigger surprise. The state of open source in 2018, and especially, the IBM’s Red Hat purchase, were discussed in this podcast with Rachel Stephens, an analyst with of RedMonk, and Michael Coté, director, marketing, at Pivotal Software, hosted by Libby Clark, editorial director, and Alex Williams, founder and editor-in-chief, of The New Stack.

Devices/Embedded: Omega2 Pro, Power of Zephyr RTOS, ELC Europe

  • Open source Omega2 module gives way to a “Pro” SBC
    Onion’s “Omega2 Pro” update to its WiFi-enabled Omega2 board boosts RAM to 512MB and flash to 8GB and adds real-world USB and micro-USB ports. The Pro model runs OpenWrt on a 580MHz MIPS SoC. Boston-based Onion launched its IoT-oriented Omega computer-on-module on Kickstarter in early 2015 and returned the next year with an Omega2 model that switched the 400MHz Atheros AR9331 with a similarly MIPS-based, OpenWrt-driven 580MHz MediaTek MT7688 SoC that supported additional I/O. The open source module was also available in an Omega2 Plus model that added a microSD slot and doubled RAM and flash to 128MB and 32MB, respectively.
  • The Power of Zephyr RTOS
    The Zephyr Project is a scalable real-time operating system (RTOS) supporting multiple hardware architectures; it’s optimized for resource-constrained devices and built specifically with security in mind. To learn more, we talked with Thea Aldrich, Zephyr Project Evangelist and Developer Advocate, about the goals and growth of the project. The first question that comes to mind is what’s the need for Zephyr when the Linux kernel already exists? Aldrich explained that Zephyr is great in those cases where Linux is too big. “It’s a really small footprint, real-time operating system built with security and safety in mind for highly constrained environments,” she said.
  • A crash course in embedded Linux software deployment
    At ELC Europe, Mender.io’s Mirza Krak surveyed popular techniques for deploying embedded Linux software, including cross-dev strategies, IDEs, Yocto-OE package management, config utilities, network boot, and updating software. While many Embedded Linux Conference talks cover emerging technologies, some of the most useful are those that survey the embedded development tools and techniques that are already available. These summaries are not only useful for newcomers but can be a helpful reality check and a source for best practices for more experienced developers.

PDFArranger: Merge, Split, Rotate, Crop Or Rearrange PDF Documents (PDF-Shuffler Fork)

PDFArranger is an application for merging or splitting PDF files, as well as rotating, cropping and rearranging PDF document pages, using a simple graphical user interface. The tool, which is a graphical front-end for PyPDF2, is a fork of PDF-Shuffler that aims to "make the project a bit more active". It runs on Linux, but there's also experimental Windows support. Read more