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FSF and FSFE: Showcase and Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy

  • The FSF tech team: doing more for free software

    At the Free Software Foundation (FSF), we like to set big goals for ourselves, keeping a relatively small group of dedicated activists determined to cover a lot of ground in a short time.The FSF tech team, for example, has just four members -- two senior systems administrators, one Web developer, and a part-time chief technology officer -- yet we manage to run over 120 virtual servers. These run on about a dozen machines hosted at four different data centers. These include many public-facing Web sites and community services, as well as every single IT requirement for the staff: workstations, data storage and backup, networking, printing, accounting, telephony, email, you name it. We don't outsource any of our daily software needs because we need to be sure that they are done using only free software. Remember, there is no "cloud," just other people's computers. For example: we don't outsource our email, so every day we send over half a million messages to thousands of free software hackers through the community mailing lists we host. We also don't outsource our Web storage or networking, so we serve tens of thousands of free software downloads -- over 1.5 terabytes of data -- a day. And our popularity, and the critical nature of the resources we make available, make us a target for denial of service attacks (one is ongoing as we write this), requiring constant monitoring by the tech team, whose members take turns being ready for emergency work so that the resources our supporters depend on stay available. As hard as we work, we still want to do more, like increasing our already strict standards on hardware compliance, so in 2020, we will finish replacing the few remaining servers that require a non-free BIOS. To be compliant to our own high standards, we need to be working with devices that are available through Respects Your Freedom retailers. We plan to add new machines to our farm, so that we can host more community servers like the ones we already host for KDE, SugarLabs, GNU Guix, Replicant, gNewSense, GNU Linux-Libre, and FSFLA. We provide completely virtual machines that these projects use for their daily operations, whether that's Web hosting, mailing lists, software repositories, or compiling and testing software packages. We know that many software projects and individual hackers are looking for more options on code hosting services that focus on freedom and privacy, so we are working to set up a public site that anybody can use to publish, collaborate, or document their progress on free software projects. We will follow strict criteria to ensure that this code repository hosts only fully free software, and that it follows the very best practices towards freedom and privacy.

  • Report from the 2019 FSFE Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy

    Report from the 2019 FSFE Community Meeting in Bolzano, Italy This year's FSFE Community Meeting took place from Friday 15 November to Saturday 16 November 2019 as part of SFSCon - an annual Free Software event in the city of Bolzano in South Tyrol, Italy. As in previous editions, embedding our community meeting in another event gave us the opportunity to meet different parts of our own community as well as to connect with people from other communities. On Friday, SFScon started officially and the NOI Techpark transformed into the interim capital of Free Software with talks and booths. Of course, the FSFE booth was also part of it and the booth team commandeered the whole area by installing a balloon chain and putting up posters. The rumours that the booth team gave away free pizza (not as in freedom) to gain more attention, are highly exaggerated, though.

SUSE/OpenSUSE: SUSE Doc Day at SUSECON 2020, OpenSUSE Board Election and More

  • Yes We Do it Again: SUSE Doc Day at SUSECON 2020

    A Doc Day is a time when a group of people gathers to collaborate on writing documentation on one or more given topics. The main premise for our Doc Day is to get a group of interested people – YOU – in a room together and have you work towards shared goals. To help you feel more comfortable, we will give a short overview of our documentation, how we usually work, and how you can contribute. Of course, you cannot write entire manuals or guides in one single day. But you can help us to improve existing documentation by reviewing, editing and updating it. In addition, we will use the Doc Day to kick-off the creation of new guides and papers for topics that you think are not yet covered (well enough).

  • openSUSE Board election 2019-2020 – Call for Nominations, Applications

    Two seats are open for election on the openSUSE Board. Gertjan Lettink completed his second term. Simon Lees completed his first term and thus he is eligible to run as a Board candidate again should he wish to do so.

  • status.opensuse.org updated

    Our infrastructure status page at https://status.opensue.org/ is using Cachet under the hood. While the latest update brought a couple of bugfixes it also deprecated the RSS and Atom feeds, that could be used to integrate the information easily in other applications. While we are somehow sad to see such a feature go, we also have to admit that the decision of the developers is not really bad - as the generation of those feeds had some problems (bugs) in the old Cachet versions. Instead of fixing them, the developers decided to move on and focus on other areas. So it's understandable that they cut off something, which is not in their focus, to save resources.

  • SSL cipher updates

    Sometimes it's a good idea to follow best practices. This is what we did by following the recommendations for "general-purpose servers with a variety of clients, recommended for almost all systems" from https://ssl-config.mozilla.org/.

qBittorrent 4.2.0 Adds Support For Libtorrent 1.2, New Features

qBittorrent 4.2.0 was released recently featuring support for libtorrent 1.2, some minor new features, as well as WebUI updates. qBittorrent is a free and open source BitTorrent client for Windows, macOS, OS/2, Linux and FreeBSD, written in C++ (Qt) and Python (for its optional search engine). It comes with a Qt GUI, but it can also be used on a headless server, without requiring the X window system -- in both GUI and headless mode you can remote control it through its web user interface. The application comes with pretty much everything you'd need in a BitTorrent client, from sequential downloading and bandwidth scheduling to a torrent creation tool, anonymous mode, integrated search engine, RSS feed reader and downloader with advanced filters, IP filtering, and of course support for DHT, PeX, encrypted connections, LSD, UPnP and NAT-PMP port forwarding support, µTP, magnet links, private torrents and more. Read more

10 skills every Linux system administrator should have

I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Oh, great, someone else telling me that I need soft skills." Yes, that's what I'm telling you. Honing your interviewing skills can not only determine if you get a particular job, it can also be a major factor in the salary you get. It's true. Let's say, for example, that the salary range for a mid-level SA job is $56k to $85k per year. You might be fully qualified for the top of the range, but the company offers you $70k instead and mentions some nonsense about growth potential or they tell you that they'll bring you along when the time is right. You need to practice answering questions. Answer the question that's asked. Don't give so much information that you see eyes glazing over, but giving answers that are too short will make you appear arrogant or flippant. Give enough examples of your work to let the interviewer(s) know that you know what you're talking about. They can ask for more details if they want to. You have to learn to watch other people's behaviors. Are they listening to you? Are they focused on you and the interview? Do they look as though you haven't said enough when you pause to allow them to speak or ask another question? Watch and learn. Practice with other system administrators in your group. Do mock interviews with the group. I know it might sound silly, but it's important to be able to speak to other people about what you do. This practice can also be good for you in speaking with managers. Don't get too deep into the weeds with non-technical people. Keep your answers concise and friendly, and offer examples to illustrate your points. Read more