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Lights, Camera, Open Source: Hollywood Turns to Linux for New Code Sharing Initiative

Linux Journal - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 08:08
by Gabriel Avner

Software has permeated all industries, bringing us technologies to help create fantastic products and even works of art.No longer confined to sectors whose products are software-focused, everyone from the automotive to the medical industries are writing their own code to meet their needs, some of which may surprise you.

In looking to code smarter, faster and more efficiently, developers across the globe and industries are turning to open-source components that allow them to add powerful features to their work without having to write everything from scratch themselves. One of the latest groups to embrace the Open Source movement is the entertainment industry.

Similar to many other initiatives that have come together in recent years to support the sharing of code between companies, a number of key players under the umbrella of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have teamed up with The Linux Foundation to establish the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF). Members include companies like Disney, Google, Dreamworks, Epic Games and Intel, just to name a few.

Facing the Reality of Open Source

The drive for these entertainment industry players to team up with The Linux Foundation comes after a two-year study by the AMPAS’ Science and Technology Council into how the sector was using open source. Their survey found that some 84% were using open source in their work, specifically in the fields of animation and visual effects.

However, even as these actors understood the benefits of using open-source projects that were being developed by others, maintaining an ecosystem of sharing software between often competing interests proved to be a challenge. Issues of governance, licensing, multiple versions of libraries and siloed development by individual companies proved to be significant pain points.

According to information available from the ASWF, they are providing much of the infrastructure for the projects, including running their CI server on Jenkins where code can go through the build, test and eventually release for use by the members. Using a centralized system, developers at the various member companies can upload their code to the ASWF repository and CI where it is then available to the other teams.

They note that along with support for Linux, their CI infrastructure will offer service for Windows and Mac desktops and servers, an important requirement in an industry with a high level of Apple usage.

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Categories: Linux News

A Look at KDE's KAlgebra

Linux Journal - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 07:00
by Joey Bernard

Many of the programs I've covered in the past have have been desktop-environment-agnostic—all they required was some sort of graphical display running. This article looks at one of the programs available in the KDE desktop environment, KAlgebra.

You can use your distribution's package management system to install it, or you can use Discover, KDE's package manager. After it's installed, you can start it from the command line or the launch menu.

When you first start KAlgebra, you get a blank slate to start doing calculations.

Figure 1. When you start KAlgebra, you get a blank canvas for doing calculations.

The screen layout is a large main pane where all of the calculations and their results are displayed. At the top of this pane are four tabs: Calculator, 2D Graph, 3D Graph and Dictionary. There's also a smaller pane on the right-hand side used for different purposes for each tab.

In the calculator tab, the side pane gives a list of variables, including predefined variables for things like pi or euler, available when you start your new session. You can add new variables with the following syntax:

a := 3

This creates a new variable named a with an initial value of 3. This new variable also will be visible in the list on the right-hand side. Using these variables is as easy as executing them. For example, you can double it with the following:

a * 2

There is a special variable called ans that you can use to get the result from your most recent calculation. All of the standard mathematical operators are available for doing calculations.

Figure 2. KAlgebra lets you create your own variables and functions for even more complex calculations.

There's also a complete set of functions for doing more complex calculations, such as trigonometric functions, mathematical functions like absolute value or floor, and even calculus functions like finding the derivative. For instance, the following lets you find the sine of 45 degrees:

sin(45)

You also can define your own functions using the lambda operator ->. If you want to create a function that calculates cubes, you could do this:

x -> x^3

This is pretty hard to use, so you may want to assign it to a variable name:

cube := x -> x^3

You then can use it just like any other function, and it also shows up in the list of variables on the right-hand side pane.

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Categories: Linux News

Support for a LoRaWAN Subsystem

Linux Journal - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 08:08
by Zack Brown

Sometimes kernel developers find themselves competing with each other to get their version of a particular feature into the kernel. But sometimes developers discover they've been working along very similar lines, and the only reason they hadn't been working together was that they just didn't know each other existed.

Recently, Jian-Hong Pan asked if there was any interest in a LoRaWAN subsystem he'd been working on. LoRaWAN is a commercial networking protocol implementing a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) allowing relatively slow communications between things, generally phone sensors and other internet of things devices. Jian-Hong posted a link to the work he'd done so far: https://github.com/starnight/LoRa/tree/lorawan-ndo/LoRaWAN.

He specifically wanted to know "should we add the definitions into corresponding kernel header files now, if LoRaWAN will be accepted as a subsystem in Linux?" The reason he was asking was that each definition had its own number. Adding them into the kernel would mean the numbers associated with any future LoRaWAN subsystem would stay the same during development.

However, Marcel Holtmann explained the process:

When you submit your LoRaWAN subsystem to netdev for review, include a patch that adds these new address family definitions. Just pick the next one available. There will be no pre-allocation of numbers until your work has been accepted upstream. Meaning, that the number might change if other address families get merged before yours. So you have to keep updating. glibc will eventually follow the number assigned by the kernel.

Meanwhile, Andreas Färber said he'd been working on supporting the same protocol himself and gave a link to his own proof-of-concept repository: https://github.com/afaerber/lora-modules.

On learning about Andreas' work, Jian-Hong's response was, "Wow! Great! I get new friends :)"

That's where the public conversation ended. The two of them undoubtedly have pooled their energies and will produce a new patch, better than either of them might have done separately.

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Categories: Linux News

The First Beta of the /e/ OS to Be Released Soon, Canonical's Security Patch for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Parrot 4.2.2 Now Available, Open Jam 2018 Announced and Lightbend's Fast Data Platform Now on Kubernetes

Linux Journal - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:30

News briefs for September 12, 2018.

Gaël Duval writes that the first beta of the /e/ OS will be released soon. See his post for more information on how to test it and a list of supported Android devices.

Canonical yesterday released a Linux kernel security patch for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS that addresses two recnetly discovered vulnerabilities. See Softpedia News for more information, and update now if you haven't already.

Parrot, the Debian-based distro for "security experts, developers and crypto-addicted people", released verion 4.2.2 this week. This new version is powered by the latest 4.18 kernel and features a new version of the Debian-Installer, updated firmware packages, the latest LibreOffice 6.1 release, Firefox 62 and more. See the release notes for all the updates.

Open Jam, the open-source game jam, will run this year from October 5–8th: "Participants will build an open source game from scratch in 80 hours, play and judge other games, and compete for a chance to have their game featured at All Things Open." See the announcement on Opensource.com for all the details and how to participate.

Lightbend announced yesterday that version 2.0 of its Fast Data Platform is now available on Kubernetes, making it the "most complete platform for developing and operating microservices-based AI, ML, IoT and other streaming data-based applications. Visit the Lightbend website for more information.

News /e/ Android Mobile Canonical Ubuntu Security Parrot gaming Kubernetes
Categories: Linux News

IRC's 30th Birthday; Mozilla Working on New JavaScript APIs for VR; Arch Linux Answering Questions on Reddit; Microsoft Splits Its Visual Studio Team Services; and Hortonworks, IBM and Red Hat Announce the Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative

Linux Journal - Tue, 09/11/2018 - 07:00

News briefs for September 11, 2018.

IRC recently celebrated its 30 birthday. The internet chat system was developed in 1988 by Jarkko Oikarinen at the Department of Information Processing Science of the University of Oulu. See the post on the University of Oulu website for more details.

Mozilla yesterday announced it is beginning a new phase of work on JavaScript APIs "that will help everyone create and share virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects on the open web". Mozilla's new WebXR Device API has two goals: 1) "To support a wider variety of user inputs, such as voice and gestures, giving users options for navigating and interacting in virtual spaces"; and 2) "To establish a technical foundation for development of AR experiences, letting creators integrate real-world media with contextual overlays that elevate the experience." For more information, see the Immersive Web Community Group.

The Arch Linux team is answering questions on Reddit. The post also mentions they are looking for new contributors. See the Arch Linux wiki for more information.

Microsoft is splitting its Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) into five separate Azure-branded services, which will be called Azure DevOps, Ars Technica reports. In addition, the Azure Piplines component—"a continuous integration, testing, and deployment system that can connect to any Git repository"—will be available for open-source projects, and "open-source developers will have unlimited build time and up to 10 parallel jobs".

Hortonworks, IBM and Red Hat yesterday announced the Open Hybrid Architecture Initiative, a "new collaborative effort the companies can use to build a common enterprise deployment model that is designed to enable big data workloads to run in a hybrid manner across on-premises, multi-cloud and edge architectures". For the initial phase, the companies will work together to "optimize Hortonworks Data Platform, Hortonworks DataFlow, Hortonworks DataPlane and IBM Cloud Private for Data for use on Red Hat OpenShift, an industry-leading enterprise container and Kubernetes application platform".

News IRC Mozilla Arch Linux Microsoft open source DevOps Azure Red Hat Kubernetes Cloud Big Data OpenShift
Categories: Linux News

Stop Killing Your Cattle: Server Infrastructure Advice

Linux Journal - Tue, 09/11/2018 - 07:00
by Kyle Rankin

It's great to treat your infrastructure like cattle—until it comes to troubleshooting.

If you've spent enough time at DevOps conferences, you've heard the phrase "pets versus cattle" used to describe server infrastructure. The idea behind this concept is that traditional infrastructure was built by hand without much automation, and therefore, servers were treated more like special pets—you would do anything you could to keep your pet alive, and you knew it by name because you hand-crafted its configuration. As a result, it would take a lot of effort to create a duplicate server if it ever went down. By contrast, modern DevOps concepts encourage creating "cattle", which means that instead of unique, hand-crafted servers, you use automation tools to build your servers so that no individual server is special—they are all just farm animals—and therefore, if a particular server dies, it's no problem, because you can respawn an exact copy with your automation tools in no time.

If you want your infrastructure and your team to scale, there's a lot of wisdom in treating servers more like cattle than pets. Unfortunately, there's also a downside to this approach. Some administrators, particularly those that are more junior-level, have extended the concept of disposable servers to the point that it has affected their troubleshooting process. Since servers are disposable, and sysadmins can spawn a replacement so easily, at the first hint of trouble with a particular server or service, these administrators destroy and replace it in hopes that the replacement won't show the problem. Essentially, this is the "reboot the Windows machine" approach IT teams used in the 1990s (and Linux admins sneered at) only applied to the cloud.

This approach isn't dangerous because it is ineffective. It's dangerous exactly because it often works. If you have a problem with a machine and reboot it, or if you have a problem with a cloud server and you destroy and respawn it, often the problem does go away. Because the approach appears to work and because it's a lot easier than actually performing troubleshooting steps, that success then reinforces rebooting and respawning as the first resort, not the last resort that it should be.

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Categories: Linux News

GNU Nano Announces Version 3.0, ZFS on Linux Version 0.7.10 Released, Qt 3D Studio 2.1 Beta 1 Now Available, Tor Project's New Android App in the Works and Elive 3.0 Is Out

Linux Journal - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 08:46

News briefs September 10, 2018.

GNU Nano 3.0 "water flowing underground" was released yesterday. This release of the popular text editor speeds up file reading by 70%, doubles the speed of reading ascii text, changes the way words at line boundaries are deleted and much more.

ZFS on Linux has released version 0.7.10. According to the Phoronix post, the most notable change is the Linux 4.18 kernel is now supported, and the new version "also has build improvements, support for Debian DKMS builds, a default 4 KiB ashift is added to Amazon EC2 NVMe devices, and various other minor enhancements and several bug fixes". See the zfs-0.7.10 GitHub page for more details.

The Qt 3D Studio 2.1 Beta 1 release was announced this morning. The release features a new Boolean data type, a new project structure and improvements that make working with sub-projects more convenient. You can download the Qt online installer from here.

The Tor Project is working on an Android app for anonymous browsing, TNW reports. The official launch is scheduled for next year, but the alpha is available for testing from Google Play.

Elive 3.0 is out after eight years of development. The release announcement notes that "the result is simply amazing and the integration is gorgeous, it is not even possible to describe every inside feature and the new website only contains a small portion of its characteristics."

News GNU Nano Text Editor ZFS qt Tor Security Android Privacy Elive
Categories: Linux News

What Is the Point of Mozilla?

Linux Journal - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 08:07
by Glyn Moody

Is Mozilla a software organization or an advocacy group?

Few journeys in the world of open source have been as exciting as Mozilla's. Its birth was dramatic. Netscape, the pioneering company whose Netscape Navigator browser shaped the early Web, had enjoyed the most successful IPO up until then, valuing the 18-month-year-old company at nearly $3 billion. That was in 1995. Three years later, the company was in freefall, as the browser wars took their toll, and Microsoft continued to gain market share with its Internet Explorer, launched alongside Windows 95. Netscape's response was bold and unprecedented. On January 27, 1998, it announced that it was making the source code for the next generation of its web browser freely available under a GPL-like license.

Although of huge symbolic importance for the still-young Free Software world—the term "open source" was coined only a month after Netscape's announcement—the release and transformation of the code for what became the Mozilla browser suite was fraught with difficulties. The main problem was trying to re-write the often problematic legacy code of Netscape Navigator. Mozilla 1.0 was finally released in 2002, but by then, Internet Explorer dominated the sector. The failure of the Mozilla browser to make much of an impact ultimately spurred development of the completely new Firefox browser. Version 1.0 was launched in 2004, after three years of work.

Microsoft's failure to update its flabby Internet Explorer 6 browser for more than five years meant that successive releases of Firefox were steadily gaining market share—and fans. As I wrote in Linux Journal in June 2008:

Three things are striking about the recent launch of Firefox 3. First, the unanimity about the quality of the code: practically everyone thinks it's better in practically every respect. Secondly, the way in which the mainstream media covered its launch: it was treated as a normal, important tech story—gone are the days of supercilious anecdotes about those wacky, sandal-wearing free software anoraks. And finally—and perhaps most importantly—the scale and intensity of participation by the millions of people who have downloaded the software in the last week.

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Categories: Linux News

Tor Browser 8.0 Released, EU Votes Next Week on Copyright Directive, Indico Launches Open-Source Project Finetune, Linux Mint 19.1 Release to Come Late Fall, KDE's Akademy 2018 Videos Now Available

Linux Journal - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 09:24

News briefs for September 7, 2018.

Tor Browser version 8.0 was released this week. This is the first stable release based on Firefox 60 ESR, and it includes "a new user onboarding experience; an updated landing page that follows our styleguide; additional language support; and new behaviors for bridge fetching, displaying a circuit, and visiting .onion sites." You can download it from here.

On September 12, the EU votes on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. Of particular concern are Article 13 upload filters, "which would scan all content uploaded to online platforms for any copyrighted works and prevent those works from going online if a match is discovered", and Article 11, which would require "anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online". See The Creative Commons for information on the issues. If you're in the EU, make your voice heard.

Indico, "provider of Enterprise AI solutions for intelligent process automation", announced a new open-source project named Finetune this week that enhances "the performance of machine learning for natural language processing". According to the press release, this project "offers users a single, general-purpose language model which can be easily tuned to solve a variety of different tasks involved in text and document-based workflows". See also the Indico blog for more background information.

Linux Mint announces that the 19.1 release, code-named Tessa, is scheduled for November or December 2018. The upcoming version will be supported until 2023.

KDE's Akademy 2018 videos are now all online. You can download them from the repository or view the YouTube Playlist.

News Tor Privacy EU Copyright AI Machine Learning Linux Mint KDE
Categories: Linux News

Book Review: Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Linux Journal - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 08:08
by Petros Koutoupis

I don't know where to begin—and I mean that in a very positive way. I can best describe Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) as a "literary documentary". The book provides a sort of oral history of the Valley from the legends who built it.

The author, Adam Fisher, grew up in Silicon Valley. He continues to live in the Bay Area, so he's been exposed to many of the early technologies created in the region. He eventually became a computer programmer and writer, writing for Wired magazine and other publications. Valley of Genius is his first book, but he wrote very little of it—and he didn't need to do much more than piece together the many interviews he conducted to form a wonderful and continuous narrative that begins as early as the 1950s.

The story starts off with the very first computer that was more than just a super calculator created by Doug Engelbart. With a small team, he built a prototype: the oN-Line System, or NLS. It even was equipped with a "mouse"! The story continues on to the first video games manufactured by Nolan Bushnell and company in their pre-Atari days.

The book also details how, in parallel, Engelbart's prototype inspired the computers of the future developed at Xerox PARC, while the Spacewar video game would motivate a young Steve Wozniak not only to help Steve Jobs create video games for the later Atari, but also eventually to build the original Apple computer.

The narrative progresses with the birth of Apple, the company, was born and took the world of personal computing by storm—at least initially. What followed was an emotional roller coaster. The Apple II was a success, and up until Jobs looked to Alan Kay's visions preserved in the Xerox Alto, Apple continued to fail, but then later turned it all around with the Macintosh, as the story goes.

The book covers the evolving hardware (and software), and how the culture it nurtured evolved along with it. It explores how the early versions of the internet connected the youngest and brightest, and how ideas were shared—all of them centered around the concept of openness.

It looks at how passionate people started flame wars, and how publications, such as Wired, captured those times and emotions best. The book explores how Wired also rode the internet wave by shifting some of that focus toward its HotWired website. It considers the early days of the internet, at a time when it was all research and bulletin-board systems (or BBSes), and the problem of how to navigate this new World Wide Web. It describes how early web browsers, such as Mosaic and Netscape Navigator (the Mosaic killer or Mozilla), solved this need—and with it, helping to open the internet to more users.

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Categories: Linux News

GNOME Releases Version 3.30, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm Coming Soon to Linux, Tails 3.9 Is Out, GIMP Receives $100,000 Donation and SoftMaker Office 2018 Now Free for Schools and Teachers

Linux Journal - Thu, 09/06/2018 - 08:46

News briefs for September 6, 2018.

GNOME announced the release of version 3.30, code-named Almería, yesterday. This version represents six months of work by the GNOME community and contains several improvements and new features, such as "new content reader mode in the Web application, search enhancements in the Files application, and improvements to screen recording and screen sharing. The Settings application now has a Thunderbolt panel to manage devices and dynamically shows hardware-related panels only when relevant hardware is detected". See release notes for more details.

Feral Interactive announces that Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, the award-winning narrative adventure game, will be released for Linux and macOS on September 13, 2018. You can pre-order the game from the Feral Interactive Store and view the trailer from Feral's YouTube Channel.

Tails 3.9, the "biggest release of the year" is out. With this new version, you can now install additional software automatically when starting Tails. Tails 3.9 also includes VeraCrypt integration. The release also contains many security fixes, so update now, if you haven't already. Download Tails from here.

GNOME recently received a $400,000 donation from Handshake.org and transferred $100,000 to GIMP. GIMP plans to use the funds for a "much overdue hardware upgrade for the core team members and organize the next hackfest to bring the team together, as well as sponsor the next instance of Libre Graphics Meeting".

SoftMaker Office is making its SoftMaker Office 2018 for Linux and Windows free for schools, universities and teachers. According to the press release, "Educational institutions can use the campus license not only in class, but also in administration. Teachers are also entitled to obtain a free license of the powerful Office package for private use." Collective orders from at least 10 students will receive the package at a discounted US$/EUR 9.95 per license instead of the regular US$/EUR 69.95.

News GNOME gaming Feral Interactive Tails GIMP SoftMaker Office Desktop Handshake
Categories: Linux News

Edit PDFs with Xournal

Linux Journal - Thu, 09/06/2018 - 07:00
by Kyle Rankin

Forget all of those magical command-line PDF incantations and edit your PDFs easily with Xournal.

Somehow, despite all the issues with proprietary clients and the history of security issues with Acrobat, PDFs have become the de facto standard for your average print-ready document shared around the office. Sure, people might use some kind of open document format or a cloud editor if they intend to edit a document, but if the goal is to print the document or lock its contents in place, most people these days will export it to a PDF.

Reading PDFs is typically fine on Linux, because Linux has plenty of applications that can open PDFs for viewing, and you easily can print PDFs under Linux as well. Even Adobe supplied a proprietary (and somewhat outdated) port of its Acrobat Reader for Linux. Some distributions also offer the ability to create a special software printer that converts any print job sent to it into a local PDF file.

The problem comes when people want to turn read-only print-ready PDFs into read-write documents you need to modify. As more people work in paperless offices with strictly digital documents and fewer people own fax machines, you are more likely to find official documents like contracts show up in your INBOX in PDF format. These contracts likely were created with a proprietary PDF editor tool, and they usually have blanks for you to fill in and often signature lines so you can add a real signature. Unfortunately, for the longest time, even if you were using Adobe's own Linux port of Acrobat Reader, you couldn't reliably edit these PDFs, and you certainly couldn't easily add a real signature.

A lot of Linux applications claim the ability to edit PDFs from graphical tools like GIMP, or the aforementioned Acrobat Reader or tools like Inkscape. In the past, I've even gone so far as to use command-line tools to convert a PDF into multiple pages of a different format, edit that format, then use the command-line tools to convert it back to a PDF.

Then I discovered Xournal. Xournal is a graphical tool that's designed for note-taking and sketching either with a keyboard and mouse or even with a tablet and stylus. This program is pretty common, and you should be able to install it in any major Linux distribution, but otherwise, you can download the software from its Sourceforge page.

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Categories: Linux News

GDB 8.2 Released, Kernel 4.19 Officially the Next LTS Series, Cloudera Launches Open-Source IoT Architecture and Purism's Librem 5 Production Update

Linux Journal - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 08:59

News briefs September 5, 2018.

GDB 8.2 has been released. This new version of the GNU Debugger includes support for RiscV ELF, various Python and Aarch64/Linux enhancements, improved flexibility for loading symbol files and more. For more details on all the changes, visit here, and you can download it from the ftp site: ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gdb.

Greg Kroah-Hartman confirmed that the Linux 4.19 kernel will officially be the next LTS series, Softpedia News reports. The 4.19 kernel will be an end-of-year release, likely out in mid-to-late October of this year.

Cloudera has launched an open-source, IoT architecture in collaboration with Red Hat and Eurotech. According to the press release, this end-to-end architecture is "based on open standards and is integrated, flexible and runs on multi- or hybrid-cloud environments", and it's "designed to provide the foundational components that organizations need to quickly and securely roll out IoT use cases".

Purism announces an update to the production and shipping schedule for the Librem 5, "the world's first ethical, user-controlled smartphone". Shipping is now planned for April 2019, due to two silicon bugs that were discovered in the Librem 5's CPU, which is manufactured by NXP. The phones are pre-selling for $599 and run Purism's Free Software Foundation-endorsed PureOS.

News GDB kernel IOT Purism Librem 5 Phone
Categories: Linux News

Bug Hunting Inlined Code

Linux Journal - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 08:08
by Zack Brown

The Linux kernel has various debugging tools. One is the kernel function tracer, which traces function calls, looking for bad memory allocations and other problems.

Changbin Du from Intel recently posted some code to increase the range of the function tracer by increasing the number of function calls that were actually compiled into the kernel. Not all function calls are ever actually compiled—some are "inlined", a C feature that allows the function code to be copied to the location that calls it, thus letting it run faster. The downside is that the compiled binary grows by the number of copies of that function it has to store.

But, not all inlined functions are specifically intended by the developers. The GNU C Compiler (GCC) also will use its own algorithms to decide to inline a wide array of functions. Whenever it does this in the Linux kernel, the function tracer has nothing to trace.

Changbin's code still would allow functions to be inlined, but only if they explicitly used the inline keyword of the C language. All other inlining done by GCC itself would be prevented. This would produce less efficient code, so Changbin's code never would be used in production kernel builds. But on the other hand, it would produce code that could be far more thoroughly examined by the function tracer, so Changbin's code would be quite useful for kernel developers.

As soon as he posted the patches, bug reports popped up all over the kernel in functions that GCC had been silently inlining. As a result, absolutely nobody had any objections to this particular patch.

There were, however, some odd false positives produced by the function tracer, claiming that it had found bugs that didn't actually exist. This gave a few kernel developers a slight pause, and they briefly debated how to eliminate those false positives, until they realized it didn't really matter. They reasoned that the false positives probably indicated a problem with GCC, so the GCC people would want to be able to see those false positives rather than have them hidden away behind workarounds.

That particular question—what is a kernel issue versus a GCC issue—is potentially explosive. It didn't lead anywhere this time, but in the past, it has led to bitter warfare between the kernel people and the GCC people. One such war was over GCC's failure to support Pentium processors and led to a group of developers forking GCC development into a competing project, called egcs. The fork was very successful, and it began to be used in mainstream Linux distributions instead of GCC. Ultimately, the conflict between the two branches was resolved only after the egcs code was merged into the GCC main branch, and future GCC development was handed over to the egcs team of developers in 1999.

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Categories: Linux News

The Gaming Issue of Linux Journal is Here!

Linux Journal - Tue, 09/04/2018 - 10:56
by Carlie Fairchild

Games for Linux are booming like never before. The revolution comes courtesy of cross-platform dev tools, passionate programmers and community support. Join us this month as we take a Deep Dive in to gaming.

Deep Dive features:

Also featured in this issue:

  • ModSecurity and nginx

  • Clearing Out /boot

  • VCs Are Investing Big into a New Cryptocurrency: Introducing Handshake

  • Edit PDFs with Xournal

  • FOSS Project Spotlight: Nitrux, a Linux Distribution with a Focus on AppImages and Atomic Upgrades

  • Stop Killing Your Cattle: Server Infrastructure Advice

Regular columns include:

  • Kyle Rankin's Hack and /: Two Portable DIY Retro Gaming Consoles
  • Shawn Powers' The Open-Source Classroom: Globbing and Regex
  • Reuven M. Lerner's At the Forge: Bytes, Characters and Python 2
  • Dave Taylor's Work the Shell: Creating the Concentration Game PAIRS with Bash, Part II
  • Zack Brown's diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development
  • Glyn Moody's Open Sauce: What Is the Point of Mozilla?

Subscribers, you can download your September issue now.

Not a subscriber? It’s not too late. Subscribe today and receive instant access to this and ALL back issues since 1994!

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Categories: Linux News

Nitrux 1.0.15 Released, Speck Code to Be Dropped from 4.19 Kernel, Wireshark Security Vulnerabilities, Fedora 29 Test Week and GUADEC Videos Now Available

Linux Journal - Tue, 09/04/2018 - 08:38

News briefs for September 4, 2018.

Nitrux 1.0.15 is now available. The new version provides software updates, bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as patches for security vulnerabilities. This version includes kernel version 4.18.5; Plasma 5 (5.13.4); KDE Apps (18.08); KF5 (5.50.0) and Qt 5 (5.11.1); Mesa (18.1.5) drivers for Vulkan, VDPAU and support for VP-API; and much more. You can download it from here, and see also the September 2018 issue of Linux Journal (which will be out today) for a FOSS Project Spotlight on this distribution.

The Speck encryption code will be dropped from the Linux 4.19 kernel. Phoronix reports that Google (who initially introduced Speck to the kernel for filesystem encryption for low-end Android devices) is instead working on a new HPolyC algorithm for those devices, "due to concerns over Speck potentially being back-doored by the US National Security Agency".

Wireshark discovered a number of security vulnerabilities that could be used to cause a system crash and denial-of-service (DOS) state. See ZDNet for details on the security flaws, and if you use Wireshark, update your software builds to versions 2.6.3, 2.4.9, 2.2.17 or later.

Fedora 29 developers are working on major improvements to Internationalization (i18n) support, including better font support, and improvements to the iBus input method. The team is holding a test week this week and invites the community to try out these new features. Visit the wiki page for more information on how to help out and test.

All the videos from GNOME's GUADEC Conference 2018—which brought together free software enthusiasts from around the world and was held in Almería Spain this past July—are now available at http://videos.guadec.org/2018.

News Nitrux Distributions kernel Security Wireshark Fedora GNOME
Categories: Linux News

Join the Linux Journal Crusade

Linux Journal - Tue, 09/04/2018 - 02:52
by Doc Searls

Linux Journal has been reporting on Linux every month since version 1.0 in April 1994.

Through the nearly 25 years that have passed since then, Linux has come to support approximately everything an operating system can, while Linux Journal has maintained its status as the leading magazine covering Linux and all Linux does (or at least as much as we can fit into more pages than ever).

Here is where Linux currently stands among the world's operating systems (stats via the Linux Foundation):

  • #1 Internet client (Android).
  • 82% of the smartphone market share (Android again).
  • 100% share of the supercomputer market.
  • 90% share of mainframe customers.
  • 90% of the public cloud workload.
  • 62% of the embedded systems market.
  • #2 to Windows in enterprise.

Linux is also at the base of countless open-source software stacks, which in turn support vast sums of productivity and economic benefit to countless verticals. Telecom, retail, automotive, energy, transportation, medicine, networking, entertainment and pharma are just a few of the big familiar ones.

Linux Journal's coverage has ranged just as widely, but we've also kept faith with the serious developers who made Linux a success in the first place and are still our core readership.

Our monthly issues are big. Where in print we were limited to less than 100 pages per issue, now we tend to run around 160–170 pages. Each issue also features a Deep Dive section, devoted to one topic in-depth, which is like a new ebook within each issue. And although we used to charge for our extensive archive (again, going back to 1994), we now provide access to all paying subscribers. The same subscribers also will get a free topical ebook with each renewal. (Currently it's SysAdmin 101 by our own Kyle Rankin, but we change it regularly.)

After we were acquired (by the parent company of Private Internet Access) early this year, we completely overhauled the LinuxJournal.com website, taking it from Drupal 6 to 8 and redesigning it to maximize simplicity and responsiveness. Our constant aim with the website is to make all our editorial matter (which we won't demean by calling it mere "content") easy and enjoyable to read on all devices. This may be one reason our subscriber base has grown nearly 20% so far this year.

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Categories: Linux News

Enter to Win: Daily Giveaways All Week!

Linux Journal - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 07:57
by Carlie Fairchild

Fun is to be had at Linux Journal this week! Linode is sponsoring Daily Giveaways all week long! 

Monday's giveaway is an ODROID-GO Game Kit. One randomly drawn winner will be chosen from all Monday entrants received before 11:59pm PDT / 6:59am GMT. The winner will be announced tomorrow. Come back Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and so forth for more fun giveaways!

The ODROID-GO Game Kit includes a special ODROID anniversary board with all the parts to put together your own game kit and see the workings behind such a device. It is not only a fun assembly project but also an educational tool to learn about all the hardware and software that goes into building such a device. Editor Kyle Rankin compares Adafruit's PiGRRL Zero vs. Hardkernel's ODROID-GO in this month's issue of Linux Journal -- make sure to check it out!

A special thanks to Linode who offers high performance SSD Linux servers for all of your infrastructure needs. We use Linode cloud hosting ourselves and so do many of our developer friends. Consider supporting Linode the way they support our Linux Journal community. Thanks again friends at Linode!

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Categories: Linux News

Linux Mint Debian Edition "Cindy" Released, MyCrypto Inc. Raises $4 Million Series A, John McAffee's Unhackable Crypto Wallet Hacked, The Linux Foundation Works to Improve Security of Open-Source Code and openSUSE 2019 Registration and Call for Papers

Linux Journal - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 07:36

Linux Mint Debian Edition "Cindy" is now available. LDME's goal is to be as similar as possible to Linux Mint, but with a Debian base instead of Ubuntu. See the release notes for more information.

MyCrypto Inc., "an open-source interface for storing, sending, and receiving digital assets", has raised $4 million Series A, CrunchBase reports. The start-up plans to build "the first mass consumer friendly gateway for cryptocurrency users."

In somewhat related news, John McAfee's $120 Android-based unhackable cryptocurrency wallet was hacked again. TechCrunch reports that "Security researchers have now developed a second attack, which they say can obtain all the stored funds from an unmodified Bitfi wallet" and that with this cold-boot attack, "it's possible to steal funds even when a Bitfi wallet is switched off."

The Linux Foundation plans to expand its Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) to improve the security of open-source code. eWeek notes that CII is "further trying to identify which projects matter to the security of the internet as a whole, rather than taking a broader approach of looking at every single open-source project".

Registration and calls for papers open for openSUSE 2019, which will be held in Nuremberg, Germany, May 24–26, 2019. Submission for calls for papers is open until February 3, 2019, and you can register for the conference up to the day of. Tracks for the conference include, openSUSE, open-source software, cloud and containers, embedded systems, and desktop and applications. Visit https://events.opensuse.org for more information and to register.

News Security Linux Mint Cryptocurrency openSUSE
Categories: Linux News

Two Portable DIY Retro Gaming Consoles

Linux Journal - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 07:33
by Kyle Rankin

A look at Adafruit's PiGRRL Zero vs. Hardkernel's ODROID-GO.

If you enjoy retro gaming, there are so many options, it can be tough to know what to get. The choices range from officially sanctioned systems from Nintendo all the way to homemade RetroPie projects like I've covered in Linux Journal in the past. Of course, those systems are designed to be permanently attached to a TV.

But, what if you want to play retro games on the road? Although it's true that you could just connect a gamepad to a laptop and use an emulator, there's something to be said for a console that fits in your pocket like the original Nintendo Game Boy. In this article, I describe two different portable DIY retro gaming projects I've built and compare and contrast their features.

Adafruit PiGRRL Zero

The RetroPie project spawned an incredible number of DIY retro consoles due to how easy and cheap the project made it to build a console out of the widely available and popular Raspberry Pi. Although most of the projects were aimed at home consoles, Adafruit took things a step further and created the PiGRRL project series that combines Raspberry Pis with LCD screens, buttons, batteries and other electronics into a portable RetroPie system that has a similar form factor to the original Game Boy. You buy the kit, print the case and buttons yourself with a 3D printer, and after some soldering, you have a portable console.

The original PiGRRL was based off the Raspberry Pi and was similar in size and shape to the original Game Boy. In the original kit, you also took apart an SNES gamepad, cut the electronics and used it for gamepad electronics. Although you got the benefit of a real SNES gamepad's button feedback, due to that Game Boy form factor, there were no L and R shoulder buttons, and only A and B buttons on the front, so it was aimed at NES and Game Boy games.

The PiGRRL 2 took the original PiGRRL and offered a number of upgrades. First, it was based on the faster Raspberry Pi 2, which could emulate newer systems like the SNES. It also incorporated its own custom gamepad electronics, so you could get A, B, X and Y buttons in the front, plus L and R buttons in the back, while still maintaining the similar Game Boy form factor.

Figure 1. PiGRRL 2

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