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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Now Certified on Select Intel NUC Mini PCs and Boards for IoT Development, LibreOffice 6.0.5 Now Available, Git 2.8 Released and More

il y a 11 heures 16 minutes

News briefs for June 22, 2018.

Canonical yesterday announced that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is certified on select Intel NUC Mini PCs and boards for IoT development. According to the Ubuntu blog post, this pairing "provides benefits to device manufacturers at every stage of their development journey and accelerates time to market." You can download the certified image from here.

In other Canonical news, yesterday the company released a microcode firmware update for Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the Spectre vulnerability, Softpedia reports. The updated amd64-microcode packages for AMD CPUs are available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), "all AMD users are urged to update their systems."

The Document Foundation announces the release of LibreOffice 6.0.5 this morning. This release "still represents the bleeding edge in terms of features—and as such is targeted at early adopters, tech-savvy and power users—but is also ready for mainstream users and enterprise deployments." You can download LibreOffice here.

Git 2.18 was released yesterday, Phoronix reports. Besides several other improvements and bug fixes, the most significant new feature is the introduction of the wire protocol (protocol_v2), which is "designed to be much faster and is already being used at Google and elsewhere due to the significant performance benefits". See the release announcement for all the details.

Google's Measure recently received a much needed update, and the app is now available for all ARCore-compatible phones running Android 7.0 and up. According to the Engadget post, "Measure enables you to estimate the length, width and areas of items in the natural word (by dragging specially designed tools) and save images of them for future reference."

News Canonical Ubuntu Spectre IOT LibreOffice git Google Android
Catégories: Linux News

Drawing Feynman Diagrams for Fun and Profit with JaxoDraw

il y a 13 heures 19 minutes
by Joey Bernard

I've been covering chemistry software in my last few articles, so this time, I decided to move to physics and introduce a package called JaxoDraw. In physics, there's a powerful technique for visualizing particle interactions at the quantum level. This technique uses something called Feynman diagrams, invented by physicist Richard Feynman. These diagrams help visualize what happens when one or more particles have some kind of interaction. I say one or more because a single particle could spontaneously kick out other particle/anti-particle pairs and then swallow them back up again. Needless to say, quantum physics is weird.

When first developed, theoretical physics was mostly done either with pen and paper or on a chalkboard. Not much thought was given as to how you could render these drawings within a document being written on a computer. JaxoDraw is meant to help fill in that gap in document layout and provide the ability to render these drawings correctly and give output you can use in your own documents.

JaxoDraw is written in Java, so it should run under almost any operating system. Unfortunately, it isn't likely to be in the package repository for most distributions, so you'll need to download it from the project's website. But, because it's packaged as a jar file, it's relatively easy to run.

Download the binary package, unpack it on your machine, and then you'll want to open a terminal and change directory to the location where you unpacked JaxoDraw. You can start it simply by typing the following:

java -jar jaxodraw-2.1.0.jar

This opens a blank workspace where you can start your diagram. On the left-hand side of the window, you'll see a palette of all of the available drawing elements that you can use to generate your diagram.

Figure 1. When you first open JaxoDraw, you see a blank workspace where you can start diagramming your quantum particle interaction.

To see what's involved, let's draw an electron interacting with a photon. This happens when energy is absorbed or emitted by an electron. Since you're looking at an interaction, you'll want to start by selecting the vertex button from the palette and then draw one in the window. Coming into this vertex will be a fermion line for the electron and a photon line for the incoming electromagnetic energy. The interaction happens at the vertex, with a second fermion line coming out the other end. You can continue adding more elements, including loops or bezier lines, and you also have the choice of other particle types, such as scalar particles, ghost particles or gluons.

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Catégories: Linux News

The EU Parliament Legal Affairs Committee Vote on Directive on Copyright, David Clark Cause and IBM's Call for Code, Equus' New WHITEBOX OPEN Server Platform and More

jeu, 06/21/2018 - 08:15

News briefs for June 21, 2018.

Yesterday the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee voted in favor of "the most harmful provisions of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market", Creative Commons reports. The provisions include the Article 11 "link tax", which requires "anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online." The committee also voted in favor of Article 13, which "requires online platforms to monitor their users' uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering." There are still several steps to get through before the Directive is completely adopted. See EDRi for more information.

This week IBM and creator David Clark Cause announced the Call for Code, which "aims to unleash the collective power of the global open source developer community against the growing threat of natural disasters." See also here for more information on how to answer the Call for Code and "create applications that improve disaster preparedness, build resilient communities, and safeguard the health and well-being of individuals and institutions."

Equus Compute Solutions recently announced the release of its new WHITEBOX OPEN family of servers and storage solutions that are "custom, cost-optimized open-hardware platforms". The WHITEBOX OPEN servers use OpenBMC (the open-source implementation of the Baseboard Management Controller firmware stack), coreboot and LinuxBoot to customize the server BIOS and OCP slots that accommodate multi-vendor network cards.

Google added a Guest app to its Fuchsia OS. According to the post, the app enables Linux apps to run within Fuchsia as a virtual machine, using a library called Machina "that permits closer integration with the OS than is available with typical emulators." launched a commercial Machine Data Platform, as well as a new version of its open-source SQL database for the Internet of Things and machine data, Linux Insider reports. CrateDB 3.0 features faster performance, enhanced security and "gives mainstream SQL developers access to machine data applications that previously were available only with NoSQL solutions."

News EU IBM Community Servers Hardware Google IOT
Catégories: Linux News

The LJ Password Generator Tool

jeu, 06/21/2018 - 08:08
by Dave Taylor

Mnemonic passwords generally stink. A random sequence of letters, digits and punctuation is more secure—just don't write down your passwords, like the knucklehead antagonist does in Ready Player One!

In the password generating tool from my last article, at its most simple, you specify the number of characters you want in the password, and each is then chosen randomly from a pool of acceptable values. With the built-in RANDOM in the Linux shell, that's super easy to do:

okay="abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ" okay="${okay}0123456789<>/?,>;:[{]}\|=+-_)(^%$#@!~ length=10 ltrs=${#okay} while [ $length -ge 0 ] do letter="${okay:$RANDOM % $ltrs:1}" result="$result$letter" length=$(( $length - 1 )) done echo "Result: $result"

In the actual script, I set okay to a single value rather than build it in two steps; this is just for formatting here online. Otherwise, ltrs is set to the length of $okay as a speedy shortcut, and the result is built up by using the string slicing syntax of:


To extract just the fourth character of a string, for example, ${string:4:1}, this works fine and is easy. The result speaks for itself:

$ sh Result: Ojkr9>|}dMr

And, a few more:

Result: Mi8]TfJKVaH Result: >MWvF2D/R?r Result: h>J6\p4eNPH Result: KixhCFZaesr

Where this becomes a more complex challenge is when you decide you don't want to have things randomly selected but instead want to weight the results so that you have more letters than digits, or no more than a few punctuation characters, even on a 15–20 character password.

Which is, of course, exactly what I've been building.

I have to admit that there's a certain lure to making something complex, if nothing else than just to see if it can be done and work properly.

Adding Weight to Letter Choices

As a result, the simple few lines above changed to this in my last article:

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Catégories: Linux News

Facebook Open-Sources BOLT, Google Introduces VR180 Creator for Linux, 2018 Open Source Job Report Now Available and More

mer, 06/20/2018 - 08:08

News briefs for June 20, 2018.

Facebook yesterday announced it is open-sourcing BOLT, its "binary optimization and layout tool that accelerates large-scale applications". According to the Facebook post, "BOLT optimizes placement of instructions in memory, thereby reducing CPU execution time by 2 percent to 15 percent. Unlike previous tools to address instruction starvation, BOLT works with applications built by any compiler, including GCC or Clang. Today, we are open-sourcing BOLT so that engineers everywhere can use it alongside complementary technologies like AutoFDO to achieve performance gains for their apps."

Google recently introduced VR180 Creator for Mac and Linux. This new tool makes it easy to create and edit high-quality VR videos. To learn more about VR180 Creator, visit here, and to download, go here.

The 2018 Open Source Job Report is now available from The Linux Foundation and Dice. Some key findings include: "Linux is back on top as the most in-demand open source skill category, making it required knowledge for most entry-level open source careers" and "Containers are rapidly growing in popularity and importance, with 57% of hiring managers seeking that expertise, up from only 27% last year."

openSUSE Tumbleweed has three new snapshots this week, adding a bunch of improvements for KDE users—most notably, the update to Plasma 5.13. In addition, the Linux kernel updated from 4.16.12 to 4.17.1 and fixed some btrfs and KVM issues. See the openSUSE blog post for a description of all the updates.

Keepsafe yesterday launched a privacy-focused mobile browser. According to the TechCrunch post, you can lock the browser with a PIN or use Touch ID, Face ID or Android Fingerprint. You also can block social, advertising and analytics trackers, but still allow caching and cookies, or you can open a private tab, which erases everything as soon as you close it. The browser is available for free on Android or iOS.

News Facebook Application Development Google Audio/Video openSUSE KDE Plasma Privacy Mobile Android
Catégories: Linux News

Open Hardware: Good for Your Brand, Good for Your Bottom Line

mer, 06/20/2018 - 07:15
by VM Brasseur

With the rise of IoT, we're inside a short window where "open" is a strong differentiator for hardware products. Is your company ready to take advantage of it?

I don't know how to put this, but Hardware is kind of a Big Deal, and thanks to the Internet of Things (aka IoT), it's getting bigger every year. The analyst firm IDC expects spending on IoT to reach nearly $800 billion USD by the end of 2018. A study by Intel shows that by 2025, the global worth of IoT technology might be as high as more than $6 trillion USD; whereas Forbes reports that the global market could be nearly $9 trillion USD in 2020.

These statistics are based on the traditional model of closed design and development of the chips, boards and objects that will make these devices a reality. However, what if hardware developers were to learn from and leverage the popularity of free and open-source software (aka FOSS)? What if the future of IoT were Open? It's my belief that the device developers who apply the lessons of FOSS to hardware development will be those best positioned to become the powerhouses of that $9 trillion market. Similarly to software, open hardware will be seen first as a differentiator (rather than an eccentricity) and later, as the industry matures, as the default operating mode for hardware development.

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Catégories: Linux News

Cooking with Linux (without a Net): Video editing on Linux using Kdenlive and ArcoLinux, too!

mar, 06/19/2018 - 16:16

Please support Linux Journal by subscribing or becoming a patron.

It's another Tuesday and another excuse to sip some red while doing some live Linux and open-source experimentation. Yes, it's time for Cooking with Linux (without a Net), and on today's show, I'll show you how to edit a video using the Kdenlive video editor, how to trim said video, adjust audio, fade between clips and apply all sorts of fun effects. Then, I'll show you how to turn that masterpiece into a video format suitable for uploading to YouTube! All of it live, on camera, and without the benefit of post video editing—therefore providing a high probability of falling flat on my face. Once we're done doing art, I'll try out ArcoLinux, another distribution you've probably never heard of, and I'll go through the installation for you. If it wasn't already obvious, this is a pre-recorded video of a live show.

Cooking with Linux Audio/Video Distributions
Catégories: Linux News

Red Hat Launches Process Automation Manager 7, Brackets Editor Releases Version 1.13, Qt Announces New Patch Release and More

mar, 06/19/2018 - 08:54

News briefs for June 19, 2018.

Red Hat today launched Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7, which is "a comprehensive, cloud-native platform for developing business automation services and process-centric applications across hybrid cloud environments". This new release expands some key capabilities including cloud native application development, dynamic case management and low-code user experience. You can learn more and get started here.

The free, open-source Brackets editor, which focuses on web development/design, released version 1.13 of its code editor this week. Linux Uprising reports that the new release features "the ability to opening remote files, drag and drop support for the FileTreeFiew, an option to automatically update Brackets, and bug fixes". See also the release notes on GitHub for more info.

Qt announced the release of version 5.11.1 today. This release is the first patch release for the 5.11 series and doesn't include any new functionality, but it does provide more than 150 bug fixes and 700 important changes. See the Change Files page for details.

Today, June 19th, has been declared FreeBSD Day. Visit the website for information on ways you can help them celebrate this 25th anniversary.

Happy Birthday to It's FOSS! Visit the website for giveaways and more details on It's FOSS's 6th birthday celebration.

News Red Hat Cloud Web Development qt FreeBSD
Catégories: Linux News

Removing All Syscall Invocations from Kernel Space

mar, 06/19/2018 - 08:08
by Zack Brown

There's an effort under way to reduce and ultimately remove all system call invocations from within kernel space. Dominik Brodowski was leading this effort, and he posted some patches to remove a lot of instances from the kernel. Among other things, he said, these patches would make it easier to clean up and optimize the syscall entry points, and also easier to clean up the parts of the kernel that still needed to pretend to be in userspace, just so they could keep using syscalls.

The rationale behind these patches, as expressed by Andy Lutomirski, ultimately was to prevent user code from ever gaining access to kernel memory. Sharing syscalls between kernel space and user space made that impossible at the moment. Andy hoped the patches would go into the kernel quickly, without needing to wait for further cleanup.

Linus Torvalds had absolutely no criticism of these patches, and he indicated that this was a well desired change. He offered to do a little extra housekeeping himself with the kernel release schedule to make Dominik's tasks easier. Linus also agreed with Andy that any cleanup effort could wait—he didn't mind accepting ugly patches to update the syscall calling conventions first, and then accept the cleanup patches later.

Ingo Molnar predicted that with Dominik's changes, the size of the compiled kernel would decrease—always a good thing. But Dominik said no, and in fact he ran some quick numbers for Ingo and found that with his patches, the compiled kernel was actually a few bytes larger. Ingo was surprised but not mortified, saying the slight size increase would not be a showstopper.

This project is similar—although maybe smaller in scope—to the effort to get rid of the big kernel lock (BKL). In the case of the BKL, no one could figure out for years even how to begin to replace it, until finally folks decided to convert all BKL instances into identical local implementations that could be replaced piecemeal with more specialized and less heavyweight locks. After that, it was just a question of slogging through each one until finally even the most finicky instances were replaced with more specialized locking code.

Dominik seems to be using a similar technique now, in which areas of the kernel that still need syscalls can masquerade as user space, while areas of the kernel that are easier to fix get cleaned up first.

Note: if you're mentioned above and want to post a response above the comment section, send a message with your response text to

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Catégories: Linux News

Total War: WARHAMMER II Coming to Linux, Red Hat Announces GPL Cooperation Commitment, Linspire 8.0 Alpha 1 Released and More

lun, 06/18/2018 - 09:14

News briefs for June 18, 2018.

Feral Interactive announced this morning that Total War: WARHAMMER II is coming to Linux and macOS this year. You can view the trailer here. Pricing and system requirements will be announced closer to the release.

Starting today, Red Hat announced that "all new Red Hat-initiated open source projects that opt to use GPLv2 or LGPLv2.1 will be expected to supplement the license with the cure commitment language of GPLv3". The announcement notes that this development is the latest in "an ongoing initiative within the open source community to promote predictability and stability in enforcement of GPL-family licenses".

Linspire announced the release of 8.0 Alpha 1 yesterday. This release marks the beginning stages of the new Linspire release, scheduled for around Christmas, and is not intended for use in production environments. New features include Ubuntu 18.04 Base, new GUI layout, kernel 4.15/0-23, Mate 1.20.1, Google Chrome 67 and more.

Yesterday marked the end of security support for for Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie", Softpedia News reports. If you haven't already done so, upgrade now.

Phoronix reports on feautres that didn't make it for the mainline Linux kernel 4.18. Work that isn't being mailined includes Bcachefs, NOVA, Reiser4, WireGuard, LLVM Linux and more.

News gaming Red Hat GPL Linspire Debian Distributions kernel
Catégories: Linux News

Introducing PyInstaller

lun, 06/18/2018 - 06:30
by Reuven M. Lerner

Want to distribute Python programs to your Python-less clients? PyInstaller is the answer.

If you're used to working with a compiled language, the notion that you would need to have a programming language around, not just for development but also for running an application, seems a bit weird. Just because a program was written in C doesn't mean you need a C compiler in order to run it, right?

But of course, interpreted and byte-compiled languages do require the original language, or a version of it, in order to run. True, Java programs are compiled, but they're compiled into bytecodes then executed by the JVM. Similarly, .NET programs cannot run unless the CLR is present.

Even so, many of the students in my Python courses are surprised to discover that if you want to run a Python program, you need to have the Python language installed. If you're running Linux, this isn't a problem. Python has come with every distribution I've used since 1995. Sometimes the Python version isn't as modern as I'd like, but the notion of "this computer can't run Python programs" isn't something I've had to deal with very often.

However, not everyone runs Linux, and not everyone's computer has Python on it. What can you do about that? More specifically, what can you do when your clients don't have Python and aren't interested in installing it? Or what if you just want to write and distribute an application in Python, without bothering your users with additional installation requirements?

In this article, I discuss PyInstaller, a cross-platform tool that lets you take a Python program and distribute it to your users, such that they can treat it as a standalone app. I also discuss what it doesn't do, because many people who think about using PyInstaller don't fully understand what it does and doesn't do.

Running Python Code

Like Java and .NET, Python programs are compiled into bytecodes, high-level commands that don't correspond to the instructions of any actual computer, but that reference something known as a "virtual machine". There are a number of substantial differences between Java and Python though. Python doesn't have an explicit compilation phase; its bytecodes are pretty high level and connected to the Python language itself, and the compiler doesn't do that much in terms of optimization. The correspondence between Python source code and the resulting bytecodes is basically one-to-one; you won't find the bytecode compiler doing fancy things like inlining code or optimizing loops.

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Catégories: Linux News

Caption This!

sam, 06/16/2018 - 07:15
by LJ Staff

It's another cartoon in need of a caption! You submit your caption, we choose three finalists, and readers vote for their favorite. The winning caption for this cartoon will appear in the August issue of Linux Journal.

To enter, simply type in your caption in the comments below or email us,

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Catégories: Linux News

Easy SSH Automation

ven, 06/15/2018 - 08:30
by Adam McPartlan

A script a day will allow you some freedom to play and build other useful and more complicated scripts. Every day, I attempt to make my life easier—by this I mean, trying to stop doing the repetitive tasks. If a process is repeatable; it can be scripted and automated. The idea to automate everything is not new, but try automating a command on a remote host.

SSH is very flexible, and it comes with many options. My absolute favorite is its ability to let you run a command on a remote server by passing the -t flag. An example:

ssh -t 'cat /etc/hosts'

This will ssh to, then run cat /etc/hosts in your shell and return the output.

For efficiency, you could create an ssh-key pair. It's a simple process of creating a passwordless public and a private keypair. To set this up, use ssh-keygen, and accept the defaults ensuring you leave the password blank:

ssh-keygen Generating public/private rsa key pair. Enter file in which to save the key (/home/adam/.ssh/id_rsa): y Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): LEAVE BLANK Enter same passphrase again: Your identification has been saved in /home/nynet/.ssh/id_rsa. Your public key has been saved in /home/nynet/.ssh/ The key fingerprint is: SHA256:jUxrQRObADE8ardXMT9UaoAcOcQPBEKGU622646P8ho ↪ The key's randomart image is: +---[RSA 2048]----+ |B*++*Bo.=o | |.+. | |=*= | +----[SHA256]-----+

Once completed, copy the public key to the target server. To do this, use ssh-copy-id:

ssh-copy-id /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: Source of key(s) to be installed: "/home/adam/.ssh/" /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: attempting to log in with the new key(s), ↪to filter out any that are already installed /usr/bin/ssh-copy-id: INFO: 1 key(s) remain to be installed -- if ↪you are prompted now it is to install the new keys's password: ******** Number of key(s) added: 1

You will be asked for the password of the target server.

If you have set this up correctly, you won't be asked for your password next time you ssh to your target.

Execute the original example. It should be quicker now that you don't need to enter your password.

If you have a handful of servers and want to report the running kernel versions, you can run uname -r from the command line, but to do this on multiple devices, you'll need a script.

Start with a file with a list of your servers, called server.txt, and then run your script to iterate over each server and return the required information:

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Catégories: Linux News

Purism's Future Plans for PureOS, Malicious Docker Images, Samsung's New Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop and More

ven, 06/15/2018 - 08:27

News briefs for June 15, 2018.

Purism detailed some of its future plans for PureOS in a blog post this morning. The team is looking into Librem 5 specific-image builds, and besides the ARM64 architecture, they also are "researching usage of OSTree, Flatpak, and a couple of other new technologies to use by default in PureOS on the desktop and/or the phone". In addition, "PureOS is planning to host its own Flathub instance (dedicated to Freedom, of course) so upstream developers can just package their app and submit it to PureOS's flathub if they don't want to trouble themselves with system-wide dependencies." Also, part of Purism's plans for handling apps includes developing "an ethical app store that will provide users with an option to donate, 'pay what you want', or 'subscribe' (support as a patron) the apps you use".

Ars Technica reported this week that "a single person or group may have made as much as $90,000 over 10 months by spreading 17 malicious images that were downloaded more than 5 million times from Docker Hub." A user first complained of the backdoor in September, but nothing was done, and 14 more malicious images were submitted. See Kromtech's report for more details on the cryptojacking. And note that "despite the images being pulled from Docker Hub, many servers that installed the images may still be infected."

Samsung yesterday announced its new Chromebook Plus 2-in-1 convertible laptop, running the Linux-based ChromeOS. The Chromebook Plus "is equipped with a built-in pen and offers a light, thin and stylish design that delivers versatility, portability and a premium experience at a competitive price point". It will be available starting June 24 from Best Buy for $499.99.

Fedora 29 will fully support the Boot Loader Specification, Phoronix reports. With this change Fedora hopes to "simplify the kernel installation process significantly and make it more consistent across the different architectures. This will also make it easier for automation tools to manage the bootloader menu options since it will just be a matter of adding, removing or editing individual BLS entry files in a directory."

Google released its Annual Diversity Report yesterday. See also The Verge's rundown of the numbers.

News Purism Docker Security Chromebook ChromeOS Fedora Google
Catégories: Linux News

openSUSE Leap 15 Now Offering Images for RPis, Another Security Vulnerability for Intel, Trusted News Chrome Extension and More

jeu, 06/14/2018 - 08:30

News briefs for June 14, 2018.

openSUSE Leap 15, released two weeks ago, is now offering images for Raspberry Pis, Beagle Boards, Arndale board, CuBox-i computers, OLinuXino and more. See the openSUSE blog post for more information on how "makers can leverage openSUSE Leap 15 images for aarch64 and Armv7 on Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices" and for download links.

Intel yesterday announced yet another security vulnerability with its Core-based microprocessors. According to ZDNet, Lazy FP state restore "can theoretically pull data from your programs, including encryption software, from your computer regardless of your operating system." Note that Lazy State does not affect AMD processors.

Adblock Plus creators, eyeo, have introduced a beta Chrome extension called Trusted News, which "will use blockchain to help you verify whether a site is trustworthy", Engadget reports. It currently uses four established fact-checker sites, but "the eventual plan is to decentralize the database with the Ethereum blockchain and use game-like token mechanics to reward everyday users for submitting feedback while protecting against trolls."

Untangle yesterday released NG Firewall 14.0. New features include "enhanced support of SD-WAN networking architectures in order to reduce costs for businesses with distributed, branch and remote offices and enable fast and flexible deployment, while ensuring a consistent security posture."

The Linux Foundation yesterday announced the schedule of sessions and speakers for its Open Source Summit North America, August 29–31, in Vancouver, BC. You can see the full schedule here.

News openSUSE Embedded Raspberry Pi IOT Intel adtech Chrome Security Linux Foundation
Catégories: Linux News

Piventory: LJ Tech Editor's Personal Stash of Raspberry Pis and Other Single-Board Computers

jeu, 06/14/2018 - 07:00
by Kyle Rankin

It's like an extra-geeky episode of Cribs featuring single-board computers.

I'm a big fan of DIY projects and think that there is a lot of value in doing something yourself instead of relying on some third party. I mow my own lawn, change my own oil and do most of my own home repairs, and because of my background in system administration, you'll find all sorts of DIY servers at my house too. In the old days, geeks like me would have stacks of loud power-hungry desktop computers around and use them to learn about Linux and networking, but these days, VMs and cloud services have taken their place for most people. I still like running my own servers though, and thanks to the advent of these tiny, cheap computers like the Raspberry Pi series, I've been able to replace all of my home services with a lot of different small, cheap, low-power computers.

Occasionally, I'll hear people talk about how they have a Raspberry Pi or some other small computer lying around, but they haven't figured out quite what to do with it yet. And it always shocks me, because I have a house full of those small computers doing all sorts of things, so in this article, I describe my personal "Piventory"—an inventory of all of the little low-power computers that stay running around my house. So if you're struggling to figure out what to do with your own Raspberry Pi, maybe this article will give you some inspiration.

Primary NAS and Central Server

In "Papa's Got a Brand New NAS" I wrote about my search for a replacement for my rackmount server that acted as a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) for my house, along with a bunch of other services. Ultimately, I found that I could replace the whole thing with an ODroid XU4. Because of its octo-core ARM CPU, gigabit networking and high-speed USB3 port, I was able to move my hard drives over to a Mediasonic Probox USB3 disk array and set up a new low-power NAS that paid for itself in electricity costs.

In addition to a NAS, this server provides a number of backup services for my main server that sits in a data center. It acts as a backup mail server, authoritative DNS, and it also provides a VPN so I can connect to my home network from anywhere in the world—not bad for a little $75 ARM board.

Figure 1. Papa's New NAS

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Catégories: Linux News

Copyleft Terms May Become Unenforceable in 11 Countries under CPTPP

mer, 06/13/2018 - 12:35
by Jack Burton

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is an enormous (roughly 6,000-page) treaty between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam that was signed in Chile on March 8, 2018. So far, only Mexico and Japan have ratified it. CPTPP is almost identical to the original TPP, which included those 11 countries plus the United States. In early 2017, the US withdrew from the treaty, which its President had previously described as a "terrible deal".

CPTPP has many provisions of concern to the FOSS industries and communities in those countries. Open Source Industry Australia (OSIA) has raised a number of those issues with an Australian Senate committee's inquiry into CPTPP (see "CPTPP could still destroy the Australian FOSS industry" and "Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense & Trade regarding the 'Comprehensive & Progressive agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership'"). The figure below shows the likely consequences of one such provision, Art. 14.17 in the Electronic Commerce Chapter, which deals with transfer of or access to source code.

Linux Journal readers may be particularly concerned about one of those consequences: FOSS authors in the 11 CPTPP countries may lose the ability to use the courts to enforce the copyleft terms in licences such as the GPL.

To what extent that happens will depend on how each country decides two questions of legal interpretation: first, whether FOSS licences constitute "commercially negotiated contracts"; and second, how significant the omission of "enforcement" from the list of conditional actions in the provision may be.

At least some adverse consequences of Art. 14.17 are likely in any countries that ratify CPTPP regardless of the interpretation taken, and the risk of the more severe consequences in those countries seems grave.

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Catégories: Linux News

BrowserStack Announces Enhanced Open-Source Program, EU's Web Censorship Plan, Qt for Python Now Available and More

mer, 06/13/2018 - 08:41

News briefs for June 13, 2018.

BrowserStack this morning announced its enhanced open source program, which offers free testing of open source software on the BrowserStack Real Device Cloud. The press release states that "BrowserStack is doubling down on its support for open source projects with full and unlimited access to the BrowserStack platform and its capabilities. The goal is to empower open source developers with the tools and infrastructure necessary to test with speed, accuracy and scale." See the BrowserStack blog post "Supporting Open Source to Drive Community Innovation" for more on BrowserStack's commitment to open source.

Act now to stop the EU's web censorship plan. The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament is voting on June 20 on the proposed reform of EU copyright rules. According to the Creative Commons story, "the final copyright directive will have deep and lasting effects on the ability to create and share, to access and use education and research, and to support and grow diverse content platforms and information services. As it stands now, the copyright reform—especially Article 13—is a direct threat to the open web." If you're in the EU, you can go to and ask Members of the European Parliament to delete Article 13 from the copyright directive.

The first official release of Qt for Python (Pyside2) is now available. It's based on Qt 5.11, and the project will follow the general Qt release schedule and versions. It's available for open-source and commercial Qt Development users. See the Qt blog post for more details and links to download packages.

Notepad++ is now available as a Snap package for Linux, It's FOSS reports. The package actually runs through Wine, but you don't need to set up Wine first. For Ubuntu users, Notepad++ is available in the Software Center.

Facebook has released its Sonar debugging tool to the Open Source community, ZDNet reports. Sonar was developed by Facebook engineers "to help them manage the social network, including the implementation of new features, bug hunting, and performance optimization." By releasing Sonar, the hope is to give programmers a tool to help accelerate app development and deployment.

News open source Cloud Application Development EU censorship qt python Facebook
Catégories: Linux News

Linux Gets Loud

mer, 06/13/2018 - 08:08
by Joshua Curry

Exploring the current state of musical Linux with interviews of developers of popular packages.

Linux is ready for prime time when it comes to music production. New offerings from Linux audio developers are pushing creative and technical boundaries. And, with the maturity of the Linux desktop and growth of standards-based hardware setups, making music with Linux has never been easier.

Linux always has had a place for musicians looking for inexpensive rigs to record and create music, but historically, it's been a pain to maintain. Digging through arcane documentation and deciphering man pages is not something that interests many musicians.

Loading up Linux is not as intimidating as it once was, and a helpful community is going strong. Beyond tinkering types looking for cheap beats, users range in experience and skill. Linux is still the underdog when it comes to its reputation for thin creative applications though.

Recently, musically inclined Linux developers have turned out a variety of new and updated software packages for both production and creative uses. From full-fledged DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), to robust soft-synths and versatile effects platforms, the OSS audio ecosystem is healthy.

A surge in technology-focused academic music programs has brought a fresh crop of software-savvy musicians into the fold. The modular synth movement also has nurtured an interest in how sound is made and encouraged curiosity about the technology behind it.

One of the biggest hurdles in the past was the lack of core drivers for the wide variety of outboard gear used by music producers. With USB 2.0 and improvements in ALSA and JACK, more hardware became available for use. Companies slowly have opened their systems to third-party developers, allowing more low-level drivers to be built.


In terms of raw horsepower, the ubiquity of multicore processors and cheap RAM has enabled Linux to take advantage of powerful machines. Specifically, multithreaded software design available to developers in the Linux kernel offer audio packages that offload DSP and UI to various cores. Beyond OS multithreading, music software devs have taken advantage of this in a variety of ways.

A well known API called Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) handles multiple inter-application connections as well as audio hardware communication with a multithreaded approach, enabling low latency with both audio DSP and MIDI connections.

Ardour has leveraged multithreaded processing for some time. In early versions, it was used to distribute audio processing and the main interface and OS interaction to separate cores. Now it offers powerful parallel rendering on a multitude of tracks with complex effects.

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Catégories: Linux News

KDE Plasma 5.13 Now Available, OpenGear's New NetOps Automation Platform, New Zynthian Raspberry Pi Synthesizer and More

mar, 06/12/2018 - 08:33

News briefs for June 12, 2018.

KDE released Plasma 5.13.0 today. The team has "spent the last four months optimising startup and minimising memory usage, yielding faster time-to-desktop, better runtime performance and less memory consumption. Basic features like panel popups were optimised to make sure they run smoothly even on the lowest-end hardware. Our design teams have not rested either, producing beautiful new integrated lock and login screen graphics." New features in Plasma 5.13 include Plasma Browser Integration, redesigned system settings, new look for lock and login screens, improved KWin graphics compositor and more. See the release announcement for links to download pages for live images, distro packages and source.

OpenGear announced its new NetOps Automation platform, which "provides a solution for automation of NetOps workflows, enabling the management of the network from a central location, and eliminating the need for human intervention on the data center floor or at the edge of the network". NetOps is currently available as a beta product for select customers, and will be generally available in Q4 2018.

There's a new open-source Raspberry Pi synthesizer called Zynthian, which is a "swiss army knife of synthesis, equipped with multiple engines, filters and effects", Geeky Gadgets reports. The synthesizer is completely hackable and "offers an open platform for Sound Synthesis based on the awesome Raspberry Pi mini PC and Linux". See the main website for a video demo and to order.

Wine development release 3.10 is now available. New features include Swapchain support in direct 3D, updated Vulkan support, debugger support for Wow64 processes and more. See the announcement for more details and to download.

Devuan 2.0 ASCII has been released. Devuan is based on Debian Stretch, doesn't use systemd and it lets you choose between SysVinit and OpenRC init systems. With this release, Devuan provides various desktop environments, including Xfce, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon and LXQt. See the Devuan release notes and the It's FOSS post for more information on the distro.

News KDE Plasma Networking Raspberry Pi Wine Distributions
Catégories: Linux News