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Apache Bug Lets Attackers Gain Root Access

Linux Journal - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:06

Apache HTTP web server users are being urged to update their servers to patch for a critical vulnerability that could give an attacker a way to gain root access. Researcher Charles Fol discovered the vulnerability and writes about it in detail here: https://cfreal.github.io/carpe-diem-cve-2019-0211-apache-local-root.html.

Apache
Categories: Linux News

Google Won't Allow DRM in an Open-Source Project, Collabora Announces the SPURV Project, WPS Office for Linux Version 11 Released, PyCharm 2019.1.1 Now Available, and KDE Plasma 5.15.4 Brings Many Bug Fixes and Improvements

Linux Journal - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:58

News briefs for April 4, 2019.

Google won't allow DRM in an open-source project. Samuel Maddock is building a browser called Metastream, an "Electron-based (Chromium derived), MIT-licensed browser hosted on GitHub. Its main feature is the ability to playback videos on the web, synchronized with other peers. Each client runs its own instance of the Metastream browser and transmits playback information to keep them in sync—no audio or video content is sent." He sent a request to Google for a license to implement Widevine in his browser, and received this reply, "I'm sorry but we're not supporting an open source solution like this", four months later. See also "After years of insisting that DRM in HTML wouldn't block open source implementations, Google says it won't support open source implementations" by Cory Doctorow for more on the story.

Collabora recently announced a new project called SPURV, which allows you to "run Android applications in the same graphical environment as regular Wayland Linux applications with full 3D acceleration." The announcement also notes that "For current non-Android systems, this work enables a path forward to running Android applications in the same graphical environment as traditional non-Android applications are run." Full build instructions are available on GitLab.

WPS Office for Linux version 11 (2019) was released recently. Linux Uprising reports that the new version of the office suite includes "support for high resolution screens, skin support, and interface updates." See the WPS Community site to download the Linux version.

PyCharm 2019.1.1 is now available. From the announcement: "PyCharm is the first JetBrains IDE to ship with the new JDK 11. This brings us improved performance and better rendering for our Jupyter Notebooks. Unfortunately, it also means that we ran into a couple of teething issues with the new JDK."

KDE Plasma 5.15.4 was released this week with more than three dozen bug fixes and improvements. According to Softpedia News, highlights of this release include "improvements to the Flatpak and Fwupd (firmware update) backends in the Plasma Discover package manager, better support for the latest Nvidia graphics drivers in the KWin window and composite manager, along with proper support for restoring the current desktop from session." See also the release announcement at KDE.org for more information and links to live images and downloads.

News Google open source drm Collabora Android Wayland WPS Office PyCharm KDE Plasma
Categories: Linux News

Open Source Is Winning, and Now It's Time for People to Win Too

Linux Journal - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:11
by Reuven M. Lerner

Teaching kids about open source? Don't forget to teach them ethics as well.

Back when I started college, in the fall of 1988, I was introduced to a text editor called Emacs. Actually, it wasn't just called Emacs; it was called "GNU Emacs". The "GNU" part, I soon learned, referred to something called "free software", which was about far more than the fact that it was free of charge. The GNU folks talked about software with extreme intensity, as if the fate of the entire world rested on the success of their software replacing its commercial competition.

Those of us who used such programs, either from GNU or from other, similarly freely licensed software, knew that we were using high-quality code. But to our colleagues at school and work, we were a bit weird, trusting our work to software that wasn't backed by a large, commercial company. (I still remember, as a college intern at HP, telling the others in my group that I had compiled, installed and started to use a new shell known as "bash", which was better than the "k shell" we all were using. Their response was somewhere between bemusement and horror.)

As time went on, I started to use a growing number of programs that fit into this "free software" definition—Linux, Perl and Python were the stars, but plenty of others existed, from Emacs (which I use to this day), sendmail (pretty much the only SMTP server at the time), DNS libraries and the like. In 1998, Tim O'Reilly decided that although the "free software" cause was good, it needed better coordination and marketing. Thus, the term "open source" was popularized, stressing the practical benefits over the philosophical and societal ones.

I was already consulting at the time, regularly fighting an uphill battle with clients—small startups and large multinationals alike—telling them that yes, I trusted code that didn't cost money, could be modified by anyone and was developed by volunteers.

But marketing, believe it or not, really does work. And the term "open source" did a great job of opening many people's minds. Slowly but surely, things started to change: IBM announced that it would invest huge amounts of money in Linux and open-source software. Apache, which had started life as an httpd server, became a foundation that sponsored a growing array of open-source projects. Netscape tumbled as quickly as it had grown, releasing its Mozilla browser as open-source software (and with its own foundation) before going bust. Red Hat proved that you could have a successful open-source company based on selling high-quality services and support. And these are just the most prominent names.

With every announcement, the resistance to using open source in commercial companies dropped bit more. As companies realized that others were depending on open source, they agreed to use it too.

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Categories: Linux News

Fedora 30 Beta Released, Chef Releasing All of Its Software as Open Source, elementary Adopting Flatpak for AppCenter, Unreal Engine 4.22 Now Available and VMware Lawsuit Dropped

Linux Journal - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 08:36

News briefs for April 3, 2019.

Fedora 30 Beta was released yesterday. Highlights include new desktop environment choices, DNF performance improvements, GNOME 3.32 and updated versions of many packages, such as Golang, Bash, Python and more. For more details, see the Fedora 30 Change set.

Chef has announced it is releasing all of its software as open source. According to DevOps.com, "Chef has decided to open source its entire portfolio of IT automation software as part of an effort to make it easier for organizations to construct a DevOps pipeline using the company's software. A part of that effort, Chef also launched the Chef Enterprise Automation Stack—which combines Chef Infra for managing infrastructure, Chef InSpec for maintaining compliance, Chef Habitat for managing applications, Chef Automate for managing hybrid clouds and Chef Workstation, a starter kit for launching Chef—within a single distribution of Chef software. Chef Infra is the original Chef project around which the company was launched."

elementary announced it is adopting Flatpak for AppCenter and its third-party developer ecosystem. The post makes clear that "while Flathub is a great place to get popular cross-platform apps, we still want AppCenter to be the best place to get apps that are specially developed for elementary OS." Also from the announcement: "Moving to Flatpak doesn't mean moving away from our focus on native apps, from enabling developers to get paid with pay-what-you-want downloads, or from the online AppCenter Dashboard where each app is carefully tested, reviewed, and curated before being published to users in AppCenter. We'll be providing our own hosted and curated Flatpak repo for AppCenter, much like we provide our own hosted and curated Debian repo today."

Unreal Engine 4.22 is now available. Major features with this new release include real-time ray tracing and path tracing, high-level rendering refactor, C++ iteration time improvements and much more. According to the Unreal Engine announcement, "This release includes 174 improvements submitted by the incredible community of Unreal Engine developers on GitHub!"

Linux developer Christopher Helwig has dropped the VMware lawsuit after a German court dismissed the case. ZDNet reports that "after the German Hamburg Higher Regional Court dismissed Helwig's appeal, he has decided that it would be pointless to appeal the decision." ZDNet summarized the background: "The heart of the lawsuit had been that Hypervisor vSphere VMware ESXi 5.5.0 violated Linux's copyright. That's because VMware had not licensed a derivative work from Linux under the GNU General Public License (GPL). True, VMware had disclosed the vmklinux component under the GPL, but not the associated hypervisor components. Or, as Helwig put it, 'VMware uses a badly hacked 2.4 kernel with a big binary blob hooked into it, giving a derived work of the Linux kernel that's not legally redistributable.'" See the article for more details on the history of the case.

News Fedora GNOME Chef DevOps elementary OS Unreal Engine VMware
Categories: Linux News

What Linux Journal's Resurrection Taught Me about the FOSS Community

Linux Journal - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 06:30
by Kyle Rankin

"Marley was dead, to begin with."—Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

As you surely know by now, Linux Journal started in 1994, which means it has been around for most of the Linux story. A lot has changed since then, and it's not surprising that Linux and the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community are very different today from what they were for Linux Journal's first issue 25 years ago. The changes within the community during this time had a direct impact on Linux Journal and contributed to its death, making Linux Journal's story a good lens through which to view the overall story of the FOSS community. Although I haven't been with Linux Journal since the beginning, I was there during the heyday, the stroke, the decline, the death and the resurrection. This article is about that story and what it says about how the FOSS community has changed.

It's also a pretty personal story.

A Bit about Me

Although it's true that I sometimes write about personal projects in my articles and may disclose some personal details from time to time, I generally try not to talk too much about my personal life, but as it's useful to frame this story, here we go. I grew up in an era when personal computers were quite expensive (even more so, now that I account for inflation), and it wasn't very common to grow up with one in your home.

In high school, I took my first computer class in BASIC programming. This class fundamentally changed me. Early on in the class I knew that I wanted to change any past career plans and work with computers instead. My family noticed this change, and my grandparents and mother found the money to buy my first computer: a Tandy 1000 RLX. Although there certainly were flashier or more popular computers, it did come with a hard drive (40MB!), which was still pretty novel at the time. Every time I learned a new BASIC command in school, I would spend the following evenings at home figuring out every way I could use that new-found knowledge in my own software.

I never got internet access during high school (my mom saw the movie WarGames and was worried if I had internet access, I might accidentally trigger a house call from the FBI). This just made it all the more exciting when I went to college and not only got a modern computer, but also high-speed campus internet! Like most people, I was tempted to experiment in college. In my case, in 1998 a neighbor in my dorm brought over a series of Red Hat 5.1 floppies (the original 5.1, not RHEL) and set up a dual-boot environment on my computer. The first install was free.

Desktop Linux in the Late 1990s

If you weren't around during the late 1990s, you may not realize just how different Linux was back then, but hopefully a screenshot of my desktop will help illustrate (Figure 1).

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Categories: Linux News

25 Years Later: Interview with Linus Torvalds

Linux Journal - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 12:59
by Robert Young

Linux Journal's very first issue featured an interview between LJ's first Publisher, Robert Young (who went on to co-found Red Hat among other things), and Linus Torvalds (author of the Linux kernel). After 25 years, we thought it'd be interesting to get the two of them together again. You can read that first interview from 1994 here.

Interview: Linus Torvalds and Robert Young

Robert Young: It is a great pleasure to have an excuse to reach out to you. How are you and your family? Your kids must be through college by now. Nancy and I and our three daughters are all doing well. Our eldest, Zoe, who was 11 when Marc and I started Red Hat, is expecting her second child—meaning I'm a grandparent.

Linus Torvalds: None of my kids are actually done with college yet, although Patricia (oldest) will graduate this May. And Celeste (youngest) is in her senior year of high school, so we'll be empty-nesters in about six months.

All three are doing fine, and I suspect/hope it will be a few years until the grandparent thing happens.

Bob: When I first interviewed you back in 1994, did you think that you'd be still maintaining this thing in 2019?

Linus: I think that by 1994 I had already become surprised that my latest project hadn't just been another "do something interesting until it does everything I needed, and then find something else to do" project. Sure, it was fairly early in the development, but it had already been something that I had spent a few years on by then, and had already become something with its own life.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is not that I necessarily expected to do it for another few decades, but that it had already passed the bump of becoming something fairly big in my life. I've never really had a long-term plan for Linux, and I have taken things one day at a time rather than worry about something five or ten years down the line.

Bob: There is a famous old quote about the danger of achieving your dreams—your running joke back in the day when asked about your future goals for Linux was "world domination". Now that you and the broader Open Source/Free Software community have achieved that, what's next?

Linus: Well, I stopped doing the "world domination" joke long ago, because it seemed to become less of a joke as time went on. But it always was a joke, and it wasn't why I (or any of the other developers) really did what we did anyway. It was always about just making better technology and having interesting challenges.

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Categories: Linux News

Free to All: 25th Anniversary Issue of Linux Journal, Download Now

Linux Journal - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 10:24

We feel in the mood to celebrate. Free 25th Anniversary Issue of Linux Journal for everyone! Follow this link to get yours: https://www.linuxjournal.com/free_issue 

Linux Journal
Categories: Linux News

The 25th Anniversary Issue

Linux Journal - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 09:12
by Bryan Lunduke

"Linux is an independent implementation of the POSIX operating system specification (basically a public specification of much of the Unix operating system) that has been written entirely from scratch. Linux currently works on IBM PC compatibles with an ISA or EISA bus and a 386 or higher processor. The Linux kernel was written by Linus Torvalds from Finland, and by other volunteers."

Thus begins the very first Letter from the Editor (written by Phil Hughes), in the very first issue of Linux Journal, published in the March/April issue in 1994...25 years ago—coinciding, as fate would have it, with the 1.0.0 release of the Linux kernel itself (on March 14th).

A quarter of a century.

Back when that first issue was published, Microsoft hadn't yet released Windows 95 (version 3.11 running on MS-DOS still dominated home computing). The Commodore Amiga line of computers was still being produced and sold. The music billboards were topped by the likes of Toni Braxton, Ace of Base and Boyz II Men. If you were born the day Linux Journal debuted, by now you'd be a full-grown adult, possibly with three kids, a dog and a mortgage.

Yeah, it was a while ago. (It's okay to take a break and feel old now.)

In that first issue, Robert Young (who, aside from being one of the founders of Linux Journal, you also might recognize as the founder of Red Hat) had an interview with Linus Torvalds.

During the interview, Linus talked about his hope to one day "make a living off this", that he'd guesstimate Linux has "a user base of about 50,000", and the new port of Linux to Amiga computers.

A lot changes in a quarter century, eh?

To mark this momentous occasion, we've reunited Robert Young with Linus Torvalds for a new interview—filled with Linus' thoughts on family, changes since 1994, his dislike of Social Media, and a whole lot more. It is, without a doubt, a fun read. (We're also republishing the complete original 1994 interview in this issue for reference.)

And, if you're curious about the history of Linux Journal, Kyle Rankin's "What Linux Journal's Resurrection Taught Me about the FOSS Community" provides an excellent—and highly personal—look over the last roughly 20 years of not just Linux Journal, but of Linux and free software itself. He even includes pictures of his ahem "super-leet Desktop from 1999". How can you go wrong?

Then we thought to ourselves, "How do we celebrate 25 years of talking about Linux?" The answer was obvious: by looking to the future—to where we (the Linux community) are going. And what better way to understand the future of Linux than to talk to the kids who will shape the world of Linux (and free and open-source software) to come.

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Categories: Linux News

Official Raspberry Pi Mouse and Keyboard Now Available, SUSE to Become Largest Independent Linux Company, Google Fixed Two Critical Android Security Vulnerabilities, Canonical Announces AWS IoT Greengrass as a Snap and Qt 3D Studio 2.3 Released

Linux Journal - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:51

News briefs for April 2, 2019.

The official Raspberry Pi keyboard and mouse are now available. You can purchase them now from approved Raspberry Pi resellers. The keyboard is available in six layouts (English (UK), English (US), Spanish, French, German and Italian) with more in the works. The mouse is a " three-button, scroll-wheel optical device with Raspberry Pi logos on the base and cable, coloured to match the Pi case". View a video of the products for more details.

SUSE is on track to become the largest independent Linux company. ZDNet reports that this is due to IBM acquiring Red Hat and SUSE's growth for the past seven straight years. The ZDNet post quotes SUSE CEO Nils Braukmann, "We believe that makes our status as a truly independent open source company more important than ever. Our genuinely open-source solutions, flexible business practices, lack of enforced vendor lock-in, and exceptional service are more critical to customer and partner organizations, and our independence coincides with our single-minded focus on delivering what is best for them."

Google fixed two critical security vulnerabilities in yesterday's 2019-04-01 patch level. According to Bleeping Computer, the issues CVE-2019-2027 and CVE-2019-2028 "are critical vulnerabilities impacting the Media framework which could allow potential remote attackers to make use of specially crafted files 'to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process.'" These vulnerabilities impact all Android 7.0 or later devices, but users should be safe after applying the latest patch.

Canonical released AWS IoT Greengrass as a snap today. The AWS IoT Greengrass software "brings local compute, messaging, data caching, sync, and ML inference capabilities to your IoT device. IoT and embedded developers can now easily install and get started with IoT Greengrass in seconds on an ever-expanding list of Linux distributions. By combining IoT Greengrass as a snap and Ubuntu Core, an IoT-focused OS built entirely from snaps, device manufacturers and system integrators can build an IoT appliance in weeks with no compromise on security and long-term support." You can get the snap here.

Qt 3D Studio 2.3 was released yesterday. This version introduces a new font rendering engine, Variant Tags and several performance improvements. See the Qt 3D Studio documentation page for more details.

News Raspberry Pi SUSE Google Android Security Canonical IOT Qt 3D Studio
Categories: Linux News

Free Penguin Party Stickers!

Linux Journal - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 09:57
by Carlie Fairchild

Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below to receive free Penguin Party 3"x4" stickers!

Linux Journal

9597 Jones Rd, #331

Houston, TX 77065

USA

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Categories: Linux News

Linux Kernel 5.1-rc3 Is Out, Gmail Turns 15, UbuntuMATE 18.04 Beta 1 for Raspberry Pi Is Now Available, Sabayon 19.03 Released and Debian Receives Handshake Donation

Linux Journal - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 09:09

News briefs for April 1, 2019.

Linux kernel 5.1-rc3 was released yesterday. Linus Tovalds writes, "The rc3 release is bigger than normal, which is obviously never anything I want to see, but at the same time it's early enough in the rc series that it's not something I really worry about. Yet. And while it's bigger, nothing really unusual stands out. The single biggest patch in there (by far - it's in fact about a third of the whole rc3 patch) is just removal of the mt7621-eth staging driver, which is because the regular mediatek ethernet driver now handles that hardware."

Gmail turns 15 today! See the Google Blog for details on new features: Smart Compose is getting smarter, and you now can schedule when emails are delivered to someone's mailbox.

UbuntuMATE 18.04 Beta 1 for Raspberry Pi has been released. Martin Wimpress writes that the beta is available for "Raspberry Pi Model B 2, 3 and 3+, with separate images for armhf (ARMv7 32-bit) and arm64 (ARMv8 64-bit). We have done what we can to optimise the builds for the Raspberry Pi without sacrificing the full desktop environment Ubuntu MATE provides on PC". High-level features include the Ubuntu kernel ("fully maintained by the Ubuntu Kernel and Security teams"), automatic online filesystem expansion, Ethernet and WiFi, Bluetooth, support for USB booting and much more. Go here to download.

Sabayon 19.03 was released yesterday. New features of the Gentoo-based distro include a new build infrastructure, full disk encryption support, support for 32-bit UEFI, Linux kernel 4.20, Python 3 and more. In addition, the project is working on a completely new wiki. You can Sabayon it from here.

Debian recently announced it received a $300,000 donation from Handshake. This contribution will "help Debian to continue the hardware replacement plan designed by the Debian System Administrators, renewing servers and other hardware components and thus making the development and community infrastructure of the Project more reliable."

News kernel Gmail Google Ubuntu MATE Raspberry Pi Sabayon Debian Handshake Distributions
Categories: Linux News

Linux Journal at 25

Linux Journal - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 06:30
by Doc Searls

It's been great. And we'll make it greater.

Most magazines have the life expectancy of a house plant.

Such was the betting line for Linux Journal when it started in April 1994. Our budget was a shoestring. The closest our owner, SSC (Specialized System Consultants) came to the magazine business was with the reference cards it published for UNIX, C, VI, Java, Bash and so on.

And Linux wasn't even our original focus. Phil Hughes, who ran SSC, wanted to start a free (as in speech, not beer) software magazine, which was hardly a big box office idea. I was a member of the email group doing the planning for that, which started, as I recall, in late 1993. Then, in early 1994, Phil announced to the group that he had made up his mind after finding "this Finnish kid" who had written a UNIX of sorts called Linux.

It was clear to Phil, and to approximately nobody else, that Linux was going to kick the ass of every UNIX in the world, plus all other operating systems as well, including the big one headquartered a few miles away from SSC's office in Seattle.

So maybe that's why Linux Journal is still here. We rode (while helping raise) the wave of ass-kicking that Linux has done in the world since our first issue, starting 25 years ago this month.

Our first publisher was Bob Young, who quickly left to leverage his on-the-job learnings into a Linux startup he called Red Hat. When I first met Bob, years later, I told him Phil said, "I taught Bob how to spell Linux." To my surprise, Bob replied, "That's true!"

Linux Journal for its first decade or so was headquartered in the Ballard district of Seattle and was very committed to on-site work. Though we had far-flung writers (Marcel Gagné in Montréal and Reuven Lerner in Israel), it was expected that those who could easily fly or drive to our offices would do that as often as they could. So I would fly up to Seattle from my home in the Bay Area, sometimes for a week per month. It was a very convivial and energetic scene.

Linux was a very hot item while the bubble gassed up. In fact, there was nothing hotter. The two biggest IPOs in 1999 were Red Hat and VA Linux. One wag observed that more VC money was spent on booths at Linux World Expos during that time than money was actually made in sales by the same companies. We reaped derivative benefits in the form of VC-funded advertising.

Then, when the dot-com bubble burst, most of our VC-based advertisers vanished overnight, and our losses were huge.

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Categories: Linux News

Weekend Reading: Scary Tales from the Server Room

Linux Journal - Sat, 03/30/2019 - 07:00
by Carlie Fairchild

It's always better to learn from someone else's mistakes than from your own. This weekend we feature Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers as they tell stories from their years as systems administrators. It's a win-win: you get to learn from their experiences, and they get to make snide comments to each other. 

It's Always DNS's Fault!

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

I was suffering, badly. We had just finished an all-night switch migration on our production Storage Area Network while I was hacking up a lung fighting walking pneumonia. Even though I did my part of the all-nighter from home, I was exhausted. So when my pager went off at 9am that morning, allowing me a mere four hours of sleep, I was treading dangerously close to zombie territory...

Zoning Out

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

Sometimes events and equipment conspire against you and your team to cause a problem. Occasionally, however, it's lack of understanding or foresight that can turn around and bite you. Unfortunately, this is a tale of where we failed to spot all the possible things that might go wrong.

Panic on the Streets of London

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

I was now at the next phase of troubleshooting: prayer. Somewhere around this time, I had my big breakthrough...

Unboxing Day

by Kyle Rankin and Bill Childers

As much as I love working with Linux and configuring software, one major part of being a sysadmin that always has appealed to me is working with actual hardware. There's something about working with tangible, physical servers that gives my job an extra dimension and grounds it from what might otherwise be a completely abstract job even further disconnected from reality. On top of all that, when you get a large shipment of servers, and you view the servers at your company as your servers, there is a similar anticipation and excitement when you open a server box as when you open Christmas presents at home. This story so happens to start during the Christmas season...

 

 

 

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Categories: Linux News

Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" Beta Released, New Artwork for Mageia 7, Zorin OS Beta 15 Now Available, vChain Launches CodeNotary, and OpenSource Summit and Embedded Linux Conference Deadline for Proposals Is April 2

Linux Journal - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 08:49

News briefs for March 29, 2019.

The Ubuntu team announced the beta pre-release of the Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo" Desktop, Server and Cloud products. The beta release also includes images for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio and Xubuntu. Note that "The beta images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CD build or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of 19.04 that should be representative of the features intended to ship with the final release expected on April 18th, 2019." To upgrade to the beta from Ubuntu 18.10, follow the instructions here And to download the images, go here.

New artwork is coming for Mageia 7. The Mageia blog announced that the voting has concluded they are beginning to integrate the new artwork into Mageia 7 in preparation for its release. You can see the winning photographs here.

Zorin recently announced the release of the next major version of the OS: Zorin OS 15 beta. From the Zorin Blog: "Every aspect of the user experience has been re-considered and refined in this new release, from how apps are installed, to how you get work done, to how it interacts with the devices around you. The result is a desktop experience that combines the most powerful desktop technology with the most user-friendly design." Note that this is a pre-release and not recommended for use on production machines. You can download the beta here.

vChain recently released CodeNotary, a "global, de-centralized, blockchain secured" alternative to code-signing certificates. CTO and co-founder of vChain writes, "We at vChain, created CodeNotary to protect your hard work, increase user confidence and trust without spending a fortune. If you provide non-commercial software we provide a life-long free license of CodeNotary." See these two articles "vcn command line for vChain CodeNotary to sign code and more" and "With CodeNotary, you never have to pay for code signing certificates again" for more details. Non-commercial project owners and developers can get an "all-time" free license here

The deadline to submit a proposal for a talk at OpenSource Summit and Embedded Linux Conference is April 2, 2019. The two events will be held in San Diego, California, August 21–23, 2019. For OpenSource Summit proposals, go here, and for the Embedded Linux Conference, go here.

News Ubuntu Distributions Mageia Zorin OS vChain CodeNotary
Categories: Linux News

Creating Linux Command-Line Tools in Clojure

Linux Journal - Fri, 03/29/2019 - 07:00
by Mihalis Tsoukalos

Learn how the leiningen utility can help you manage your Clojure projects.

This article is a gentle introduction to the Clojure Functional Programming language that is based on LISP, uses the Java JVM and has a handy REPL. And, as Clojure is based on LISP, be prepared to see lots of parentheses!

Installing Clojure

You can install Clojure on a Debian Linux machine by executing the following command as root or using sudo:

# apt-get install clojure

Finding the version of Clojure you are using is as simple as executing one of the following commands inside the Clojure REPL, which you can enter by running clojure:

# clojure Clojure 1.8.0 user=> *clojure-version* {:major 1, :minor 8, :incremental 0, :qualifier nil} user=> (clojure-version) "1.8.0" user=> (println *clojure-version*) {:major 1, :minor 8, :incremental 0, :qualifier nil} nil

The first command gets you into the Clojure REPL, which displays the user=> prompt and waits for user input. The remaining three commands that should be executed within the Clojure REPL will generate the same output, which, in this example, shows that Clojure version 1.8.0 is being used. So, if you're following along, congratulations! You have just run your first Clojure code!

The leiningen Utility

The first thing you should do after getting Clojure is to install a very handy utility named leiningen, which is the easiest way to use and manage Clojure projects on your Linux machine. Follow the instructions at leiningen.org or use your favourite package manager to install leiningen on your Linux machine. Additionally, if you are using Clojure all the time and working with large Clojure projects, tools like Jenkins and Semaphore will automate your build and test phases and save you lots of time.

After installing leiningen, use the lein command (which is the name of the executable file for the leiningen package) to create a new project named hw:

$ lein new hw Generating a project called hw based on the 'default' template. The default template is intended for library projects, not applications. To see other templates (app, plugin, etc), try `lein help new`.

The preceding command will create a new directory named hw that will contain files and other directories. You'll need to make some changes to some of the project files in order to execute the project. First, you'll need to edit the project.clj that can be found inside the hw directory and make it as follows:

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Categories: Linux News

OpenDaylight Neon Released, Debian Welcomes Applications for Outreachy and GSoC, Odroid-N2 SBC Now on Sale, CloudFlare Launches BoringTun and RaspAnd Pie 9 Now Available

Linux Journal - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 08:51

News briefs for March 28, 2019.

LF Networking yesterday announced the release of OpenDaylight Neon. From the press release, "The Linux Foundation's first networking project and now part of LFN, OpenDaylight was founded in 2013 as an open source framework to accelerate adoption, foster innovation, and create a more open and transparent approach to SDN. Today, ODL has become the most pervasive open source SDN controller that helps power over 1B global network subscribers. Its 10th release, OpenDaylight Neon, demonstrates industry commitment to fostering an open, scalable and interoperable networking solution and supporting ecosystem of developers, integrators, and users."

Debian is welcoming applicants for Outreachy and GSoC. The application period for the May 2019 to August 2019 round of Outreachy has been extended until April 2, and Debian offers the following projects: "Continuous Integration for biological applications inside Debian", "Debian Continuous Integration: user experience improvements" and "Reproducible Builds". See Debian's Outreachy Wiki page for more information on how to apply. The application period for Google Summer of Code is open until April 9th. Students should see Debian's GSoC Wiki for more information on how to submit their applications.

The Odroid-N2 SBC has gone on sale for $63 (2GB RAM) or $79 (4GB) and will begin shipping on April 3. LinuxGizmos reports that this open-spec SBC from Harkernel "features a powerful new system-on-chip that has yet to appear on an open-spec hacker board: the Amlogic S922X." In addition, the Odroid-N2 "is available with 64-bit Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Linux 4.9.162 LTS and Android 9 Pie 'with full source code BSP and pre-built image together.'" See Hardkernel's $63 (2GB RAM) and $79 (4GB) pages and the Odroid-N2 Wiki for more details.

CloudFlare launches "BoringTun", a Rust-written WireGuard userspace implementation. Phoronix reports that "CloudFlare took to creating BoringTun as they wanted a user-space solution as not to have to deal with kernel modules or satisfying certain kernel versions. They also wanted cross platform support and for their chosen implementation to be very fast, these choices which led them to writing a Rust-based solution." See also the CloudFlare blog for more details.

RaspAnd Pie 9 was released recently. Softpedia News reports that this version of the RaspAnd OS supports Android 9.0, "allowing you to run the mobile OS from Google on your tiny Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ computers". The RaspAnd Build 190315 includes "the Linux 4.14.61 kernel and excellent Wi-Fi support for both Raspberry Pi 3 models". You can purchase RaspAnd Pie 9 from here for $9.

News OpenDaylight Networking Debian Outreachy Google Summer of Code ODROID SBCs Embedded Cloudflare WireGuard Rust Raspberry Pi RaspAnd OS Android Mobile
Categories: Linux News

Build a Custom Minimal Linux Distribution from Source, Part II

Linux Journal - Thu, 03/28/2019 - 06:30
by Petros Koutoupis

Follow along with this step-by-step guide to creating your own distribution.

In an article in the June 2018 issue of LJ, I introduced a basic recipe for building your own minimal Linux-based distribution from source code packages. The guide started with the compilation of a cross-compiler toolchain that ran on your host system. Using that cross-compiler, I explained how to build a generic x86-64 target image, and the Linux Journal Operating System (LJOS) was born.

This guide builds on what you learned from Part I, so if you haven't already, be sure to go through those original steps up to the point where you are about to package the target image for distribution.

Glossary

Here's a quick review the terminology from the first part of this series:

  • Host: the host signifies the very machine on which you'll be doing the vast majority of work, including cross-compiling and installing the target image.
  • Target: the target is the final cross-compiled operating system that you'll be building from source packages. You'll build it using the cross-compiler on the host machine.
  • Cross-Compiler: you'll be building and using a cross-compiler to create the target image on the host machine. A cross-compiler is built to run on a host machine, but it's used to compile for an architecture or microprocessor that isn't compatible with the target machine.
Gathering the Packages

To follow along, you'll need the following:

  • busybox-1.28.3.tar.bz2 (the same package used in Part I).
  • clfs-embedded-bootscripts-1.0-pre5.tar.bz2 (the same package used in Part I).
  • Dropbear-2018.76.tar.bz2.
  • Iana-etc-2.30.tar.bz2.
  • netplug-1.2.9.2.tar.bz2.
  • sysstat-12.1.1.tar.gz.

Note: I ended up rebuilding this distribution with the 4.19.1 Linux kernel. If you want to do the same, be sure to install the development package of the OpenSSL libraries on your host machine or else the build will fail. On distributions like Debian or Ubuntu, this package is named libssl-dev.

Fixing Some Boot-Time Errors

After following along with Part I, you will have noticed that during boot time, a couple errors are generated (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Errors generated during the init process of a system boot.

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Categories: Linux News

Vivaldi 2.4 Released, Chrome OS Stable Channel Updated to Version 73.0.3683.88, EU Parliament Approves the Directive on Copyright, Red Hat Announces Red Hat Satellite 6.5 Beta and Qtum Published an Arch User Repository Package for Arch Linux Systems

Linux Journal - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 08:28

News briefs for March 27, 2019.

Vivaldi 2.4 has been released. According to the ghacks.net post, this new version includes "new toolbar customization options, bookmark management improvements, and support for multiple user profiles among other features." You can download Vivaldi from here.

The Chrome OS stable channel was updated to version 73.0.3683.88 this week. According to the Google Blog, this version includes several bug and security fixes, and several new features, such as better Chrome OS out-of-memory management, reports additional telemetry data for Chrome OS devices, developers can share files/folders with Linux apps and much more.

EU Parliament yesterday approved the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the vote was 348–274). Creative Commons reports that "It retains Article 13, the harmful provision that will require nearly all for-profit web platforms to get a license for every user upload or otherwise install content filters and censor content, lest they be held liable for infringement. Article 11 also passed, which would force news aggregators to pay publishers for linking to their stories."

Red Hat today announced that Red Hat Satellite 6.5 beta is now available to current Satellite customers. From the announcement, "Red Hat Satellite is a scalable platform to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of your Red Hat infrastructure, regardless of where it is running. The Satellite 6.5 beta is focused on adding Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 as a supported version, so that when RHEL 8 is generally available our customers can immediately begin using it." Note that Satellite Beta 6.5 must be installed on RHEL 7. Support for RHEL 8 is coming later. Features the company is asking customers to review during beta testing include RHEL 8 support (application streams, system purpose and provisioning), content management, usability and security. Customers with Red Hat Satellite subscriptions can sign up here for the beta.

Qtum, the open-source public blockchain platform, yesterday published an Arch User Repository (AUR) package for Arch Linux-based systems. From the press release, "Developers now have access to complete and working installation of Qtum using the Arch Linux tools that they are accustomed to. Qtum gives developers the ability to use to open-source software by ensuring that the Qtum core technology runs across Arch or Arch Linux-based distributions. Focused on simplicity, Qtum's AUR package compiles Qtum on an Arch Linux system and generates a menu entry available on all desktops." See this Qtum blog post for more information on the AUR package.

News Vivaldi Chrome OS Google EU Copyright creative commons Red Hat RHEL Qtum Blockchain Arch Linux
Categories: Linux News

Downsides to Raspberry Pi Alternatives

Linux Journal - Wed, 03/27/2019 - 07:00
by Kyle Rankin

Learn about some of the risks when choosing an alternative to a Raspberry Pi for your project.

I have a lot of low-cost single-board computers (SBCs) at my house. And, I've written a number of articles for Linux Journal that discuss how I put those computers to use—whether it's controlling my beer fridge, replacing a rackmount file server, acting as a media PC connected to my TV or as an off-site backup server in my RV (plus many more). Even more recently, I wrote a "Pi-ventory" article where I tried to count up just how many of these machines I had in my home.

Although the majority of the SBCs I use are some form of Raspberry Pi, I also sometimes use Pi alternatives—SBCs that mimic the Raspberry Pi while also offering expanded features—whether that's gigabit Ethernet, faster CPUs, SATA ports, USB3 support or any number of other improvements. These boards often even mimic the Raspberry Pi by having "Pi" in their names, so you have Orange Pi and Banana Pi among others. Although Pi alternatives allow you to solve some problems better than a Raspberry Pi, and in many cases they provide hardware with better specifications for the same price, they aren't without their drawbacks. So in this article, I take a look at the downsides of going with a Pi alternative based on my personal experience.

Third-Party Support

The initial Raspberry Pi was a runaway success, and all of the subsequent models have sold incredibly well. There are only a few variants on the Raspberry Pi platform, and later hardware upgrades have done a good job at maintaining backward-compatibility where possible (in particular with overall board dimensions and placement of ports). There also have been only a few "official" Raspberry Pi peripherals through the years (the camera being the best example). When you have this many of a particular hardware device out in the world, and the primary vendor is mostly focused on the hardware itself, you have a strong market for add-ons and peripherals from third parties.

The secondary Raspberry Pi market is full of cases, peripherals and add-on hardware like USB WiFi dongles that promise to be compatible out of the box with earlier models that didn't include WiFi. Adafruit is a good example of an electronics vendor who has jumped into the Raspberry Pi secondary market with a lot of different hobbyist kits that feature the Raspberry Pi as the core computing and electronics platform. That company and others also have created custom add-on shields intended to stack on top of the Raspberry Pi and add additional features including a number of different screen options, sensors and even cellular support. There's even a company that offers a case to turn a Raspberry Pi into a small laptop.

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Categories: Linux News

Canonical Announces Full Enterprise Support for Kubernetes 1.14, Critical Security Update for Mozilla Thunderbird, Feral Interactive Releasing DiRT 4 for Linux March 28, Telegram Messaging Announces New Privacy Feature and Scalyr Launches PowerQueries

Linux Journal - Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:34

News briefs for March 26, 2019.

Canonical yesterday announced "full enterprise support for Kubernetes 1.14 using kubeadm deployments, its Charmed Kubernetes, and MicroK8s, its popular single-node deployment of Kubernetes". The Ubuntu Blog post quotes Carmine Rimi, Kubernetes product manager at Canonical: "'With this release, Canonical makes sure all container orchestration deployments and developers on Ubuntu benefit from the latest features of Kubernetes, as soon as they become available upstream.'" New features in Kubernetes 1.14 include Windows Node support, improved kubctl plugin system, durable local storage management and more.

Mozilla just released a critical security update for Thunderbird. Softpedia News reports that version 60.6.1 of Mozilla Thunderbird addresses two different security flaws, and that "both security vulnerabilities are marked with a critical severity rating, which means that users should deploy the patches as soon as possible." See the advisory for details.

Feral Interactive announces that DiRT 4 will be released for Linux and macOS on March 28th. DiRT was originally developed and published by Codemasters for PC and consoles. From the press release, "DiRT 4 delivers the intense thrill of all-terrain motorsport in an electrifying mix of disciplines. Players will hurtle through point-to-point Rally races, compete in events from the official FIA World Rallycross Championship, push trucks and buggies to the limit in exhilarating Landrush battles, and put their precision steering skills to the test in Joyride challenges." You can view the trailer here and preorder from the Feral Store for $59.99.

Telegram Messaging recently announced a new privacy feature that allows you to delete sent messages completely. According to LinuxInsider, the Telegram instant messaging service now lets you do two things: "First, it removes the previous 48-hour time limit for removing anything a user wrote from the devices of participants. Second, it lets users delete entire chats from the devices of all participating parties."

Scalyr yesterday announced PowerQueries, the company's first project launch of 2019. According to the press release, PowerQueries is "a new set of advanced log search functionality that leverages its existing real-time data processing engine so you can transform your data on the fly. PowerQueries lets users seamlessly pivot from facet-based search to complex log search operations for complicated data sets, such as grouping, transformations, filtering and sorting, table lookups and joins, enabling them to create sophisticated data processing pipelines."

News Canonical Kubernetes Ubuntu Mozilla Thunderbird Security Feral Interactive gaming Telegram Privacy instant messaging Scalyr
Categories: Linux News
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