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Exo 0.12.6 Released

Pet, 06/14/2019 - 06:35

With Xfce 4.14 rapidly approaching, development efforts have shifted to bug fixes. Exo 0.12.6 is no exception, with several old and new bugs finally meeting their end.

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today's howtos

Pet, 06/14/2019 - 05:55

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System76's supercharged Linux-powered Gazelle laptop is finally available

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 22:41

Today is Thursday, which is one of the worst days of the week. I mean, I suppose it is better than Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but it can't hold a candle to Friday, Saturday, or Sunday -- otherwise known as the weekend. So, yeah, Thursday is typically not something to get excited about.

With all of that said, today is a pretty special Thursday for the Linux community. Why? Well, the System76 Gazelle laptop is finally available! This is a laptop we reported on last month, and at the time, System76 only promised it would be available in June 2019. Well, June 13 of 2019 is apparently the exact day it goes on sale, as you can get it now.

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Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 is Available Now

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 19:36

The famous Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) begins roll out via Windows Insider previews.

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4-channel temp measurement HAT can be stacked eight high per Pi

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 17:17

MCC has released a stackable, $149 “MCC 134 Thermocouple Measurement HAT” for the Raspberry Pi with 4x isolated, 24-bit thermocouple inputs and a thermocouple detection feature.

Measurement Computing Corp. (MCC) has launched its third DAQ HAT for the Raspberry Pi, this time taking on temperature measurement. The $149 MCC 134 Thermocouple Measurement HAT follows its MCC 118 voltage measurement DAQ HAT with eight ±10 V inputs and sample rates up to 100 kS/s and its MCC 152 voltage output and digital I/O HAT with dual 0-5 V analog outputs at up to 5 kS/s and 8x configurable DIO.

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Comparing LibreOffice 6.2 Versions: AppImage, Flatpak, and Snap

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 17:14

LibreOffice for GNU/Linux nowadays is available in 3 different universal formats, as alternative to the native format (DEB and RPM). This is an advancement that benefits us all greatly. Those 3 are AppImage, Flatpak, and Snap formats, sorted alphabetically. We, GNU/Linux users in many different distros, can obtain latest LibreOffice safely from one same source, by using one among these AFS methods. It is interesting for me to compare LibreOffice 6.2, the latest stable version now, by installation procedures, size, execution time, menubar, theme, access rights, and drag-and-drop. To make this comparison, I use Ubuntu 18.04 64-bit installed in Minimum Mode (without LibreOffice). I hope this comparison gives everybody good sight to both LibreOffice (the program) and AFS (the package formats).

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New node.js LTS, GNU Debugger, libvirt Updates Arrive in Tumbleweed Snapshots

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 17:12

One of those key packages was an update of the GNU Debugger, gdb 8.3, which was released in the 20190607 snapshot. The debugger enabled ada tests on ppc64le and riscv64; multitarget builds for riscv64 were also enabled. The snapshot also added unit test for Logical Volume Manager (LVM) over Modular Disk (MD) with the update of libstorage-ng 4.1.127. Several patches and bug fixes were applied with the update of libvirt 5.4.0, which also made an improvement to avoided unnecessary static linking that results in both the disk and memory footprint being reduced. Libvirt also introduced support for the md-clear CPUID bit. The python-libvirt-python 5.4.0 package added all new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and constants in libvirt 5.4.0. Text editor vim 8.1.1467 had multiple fixes, but the Tumbleweed snapshot introduced some new bugs and is currently trending at an 86 rating, according to the snapshot reviewer.

The two previous snapshots recorded an exceptional stable rating of 98 according to the snapshot reviewer.

Snapshot 20190606 updated just two packages. The nodejs10 package put out a new upstream Long-Term-Support (LTS) version with nodejs10 10.16.0, which upgraded upgrade openssl sources to 1.1.1b and libuv to 1.28.0. The other package update in the snapshot was xfdesktop 4.12.5; the package for the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment fixed icon sizes in settings, reset the desktop icon order and fixed a timer leak.

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Kernel: Nouveau, ACRN, and RADV Vulkan Driver

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 17:10
  • Linux Kernel Set To Expose Hidden NVIDIA HDA Controllers, Helping Laptop Users

    If you are a user of the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" Linux graphics driver on laptops and have found no audio support, that is likely to be fixed by an upcoming kernel patch that should make its way to the Linux 5.3 kernel.

    Modern NVIDIA GPUs have an onboard HDA controller but primarily in the case of recent notebooks, they tend to be hidden -- depending upon a bit in the GPU configuration space it's possible to "hide" the controller. When it's hidden, the controller won't get initialized and you'll lose out on functionality like HDMI audio.

  • Linux 5.3 Kernel Picking Up Support For ACRN Guest Hypervisor Support

    The Linux 5.3 mainline kernel will be picking up support for enabling Linux guests on the ACRN hypervisor.

    ACRN is the lightweight hypervisor announced by Intel last year during the Embedded Linux Conference. ACRN is a lightweight hypervisor focused on real-time and safety-critical workloads and optimized with IoT deployments in mind. Those unfamiliar with ACRN can learn more at ProjectACRN.org.

  • RADV Vulkan Driver Picks Up Fixes For Vega M Hardware

    While Vega M has been on the market for several months as the Radeon graphics processor found on Intel Kabylake-G chips, interestingly in the past few days have been a number of improvements for using the open-source Linux graphics stack on this hardware.

    A few days ago I reported on Vega M support coming to the ROCm compute stack. The latest improvement now for Vega M with Linux graphics are some practical RADV Radeon Vulkan driver fixes.

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Inkscape Founder & X.Org Veteran, Bryce Harrington, Rejoins Canonical

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 17:06

As a win for the Ubuntu Server team, the founder of Inkscape and longtime X.Org/graphics developer Bryce Harrington has returned to Canonical.

Bryce Harrington is the founder of the popular Inkscape vector graphics program, former engineer at the legendary Open Source Development Labs, and worked at Canonical for six years as the Ubuntu X.Org lead before joining the Samsung Open-Source Group a number of years ago where he worked on Wayland and more. On top of that, he's a current X.Org Foundation board member. But with the Samsung OSG effectively dead and Bryce not being there since the end of 2018, he's now found himself back at Canonical.

Also: New release: Vanilla framework 2.0

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The Fedora distribution Allows user to install multiple version of RPM packages using Modularity Repository

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 17:03

The Fedora distribution has introduced a new concept called Modularity Repository, which enables Fedora users to install different versions of a package from the distribution’s repositories.

This is not added recently in Fedora, it was shipped with Fedora 28 server edition as an optional repository with additional content.

A lot has changed since then, and now Modularity is a core part of the Fedora distribution.

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Ubuntu Devs Testing Chromium Browser Transition From Deb To Snap Package

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 16:56

Ubuntu will soon offer Chromium browser as a snap package instead of a regular deb package. This is not only for the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine, but also for the already released Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo), and for LTS releases, like Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver).

For a fist step, the Chromium deb package in Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) has been updated to install the stable snap on both upgrade or a new install. Once the transition is fully tested, "it will be rolled out to stable releases, starting with disco and then the LTSes".

After this, Chromium will no longer be available as a deb package for Ubuntu users, installing the snap package being the only option.

Ubuntu developer Olivier Tilloy mentioned that the transition from deb to snap is not being debated though, as it's "a firm plan that will eventually save a lot of engineering, builder and maintenance resources by removing the need to build every new version of chromium on all supported Ubuntu releases".

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June 2019 Krita Development Update

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 16:45

Time for another development update. The last one was in April. We skipped reporting on May, because doing a release takes a lot of time and effort and concentration! And then we had to do a bugfix release in the first week of June; the next release, Krita 4.2.2, will be out by the end of this month.

We’re still fixing bugs like crazy, helped by long-standing community member Ivan Yossi, who started fixing bugs full-time in May, too.

But then, we’re also getting a crazy number of bug reports. Honesty compels us to say that many of those reports are not so very valuable: there are many people with broken systems who report problems that we cannot solve in Krita, and many people report bugs without telling us anything at all. Hence we created a manual page on reporting bugs! But there are also many helpful bug reports that give us a chance to improve things.

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PHP 7.4.0 alpha 1 Released

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 16:37

PHP team is glad to announce the release of the first PHP 7.4.0 version, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha 1. This starts the PHP 7.4 release cycle, the rough outline of which is specified in the PHP Wiki.

Also: PHP 7.4 Alpha Released With FFI Extension, Preloading Opcache For Better Performance

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Security Leftovers

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 16:32
  • Securing The Nation With Insecure Databases: CBP Vendor Hacked, Exposing Thousands Of License Plate, Car Passenger Photos

    US Customs and Border Protection has suffered an inevitability in the data collection business. The breach was first reported by the Washington Post. It first appeared to affect the DHS's airport facial recognition system, but further details revealed it was actually a border crossing database that was compromised.

    The breach involved photos of travelers and their vehicles, which shows the CPB is linking people to vehicles with this database, most likely to make it easier to tie the two together with the billions of records ICE has access to through Vigilant's ALPR database.

    The breach involved a contractor not following the rules of its agreement with the CBP. According to the vendor agreement, all harvested data was supposed to remain on the government's servers. This breach targeted the vendor, which means the contractor had exfiltrated photos and plate images it was specifically forbidden from moving to its own servers.

  • PHP version 7.2.20RC1 and 7.3.7RC1
  • The GoldBrute botnet is trying to crack open 1.5 million RDP servers

    The latest round of bad news emerged last week when Morphus Labs’ researcher Renato Marinho announced the discovery of an aggressive brute force campaign against 1.5 million RDP servers by a botnet called ‘GoldBrute’.

  • New Brute-Force Botnet Targeting Over 1.5 Million RDP Servers Worldwide

    The campaign, discovered by Renato Marinho at Morphus Labs, works as shown in the illustrated image, and its modus operandi has been explained in the following steps: [...]

  • 32 bit is dead - Long live 32 bit

    This is another follow-up post on the Intel processor vulnerabilities. Yay. With more bad news. Yay!

    Instead of a long build-up, I will just give you the point: 32 bit is broken

    Well, is that really news? Not really. The real news is that Intel processors are broken - but you already know that. You also know that there are fixes around. Patches for the kernel. Disabling Intel(R) Hyper-Threading.

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Customisable for the enterprise: the next-generation of drones

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 16:19

Drones, and their wide-ranging uses, have been a constant topic of conversation for some years now, but we’re only just beginning to move away from the hypothetical and into reality. The FAA estimates that there will be 2 million drones in the United States alone in 2019, as adoption within the likes of distribution, construction, healthcare and other industries accelerates.

Driven by this demand, Ubuntu – the most popular Linux operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT) – is now available on the Manifold 2, a high-performance embedded computer offered by leading drone manufacturer, DJI. The Manifold 2 is designed to fit seamlessly onto DJI’s drone platforms via the onboard SDK and enables developers to transform aerial platforms into truly smarter drones, performing complex computing tasks and advanced image processing, which in-turn creates rapid flexibility for enterprise usage.

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Games: Alive 2 Survive, Elemental War, Hair Dash, Catacomb Kids, In The Middle Of Zombies, Pathfinder: Kingmaker Enhanced Edition

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 16:16
  • Alive 2 Survive takes the swiping mechanic of Reigns and puts it into a survival game

    Releasing on Steam this Summer, Alive 2 Survive uses a similar swipe left or right mechanic found in the popular Reigns series and puts a survival game spin on it.

    Developed by Jamopolis, Alive 2 Survive has you swipe your way through life or death against hordes of zombies and hostile human encounters. Quite interesting to see this type of gameplay become a little more popular, I'm honestly surprised we haven't seen more attempt to do it.

  • Tower defense title 'Elemental War' is leaving Early Access next month

    If you're a Tower Defense addict, you might want to take a look at Elemental War which is leaving Early Access on July 19th.

    The developer sent over some keys for us to test and it's promising. Their upgrade system is quite different to other similar games, which is part of what makes Elemental War unique. While you have an assortment of different types of enemies, you also have special elemental enemies, which when defeated give you the ability to upgrade your towers and turn them into a special tower using that element.

  • Hair Dash looks like a hilarious two-button action game where your hair becomes a fist

    Punch left, punch right, swing a sword and…did my hair just turn into a massive fist? Hair Dash looks like good fun and it's available on Linux. It's not a finished game, currently in development by CleanCutGames but even so it already looks very impressive. The current development builds can be picked up cheaply DRM-free on itch.io, with a Steam release to come eventually.

  • Catacomb Kids, a very deadly platformer that just had a big update recently

    After not trying out Catacomb Kids since I covered it originally in 2015, I've come back to it to find a much improved game that's just as deadly.

    It's an action platformer, one that has a ton of procedural generation and a lot of hazards to overcome. So you need quick reactions but you also need to be a little tactical in your approach to it. As the developer says, it's streamlined but not "simple". You can even lure monsters to fight other monsters or lead them directly into the trap that almost ended you.

  • In The Middle Of Zombies, a promising in-development action game with Linux support

    In The Middle Of Zombies from Wabby's Land is a top-down action game about blowing up zombies, with a little survival and RPG-styled elements thrown in.

    Currently in development, what I've tested thanks to the developer providing a copy does seem promising. It's an semi open-world game, so you can travel around and mostly do what you want. It already includes a full inventory system, randomized resources, building interactions, a day and night cycle, plenty of Zombies, NPCs to find and trade with, vehicles to repair and drive and the list goes on.

  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker Enhanced Edition is out, along with Beneath The Stolen Lands DLC

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker has a massive free update with the Enhanced Edition which is now out and a big DLC is available now too with Beneath The Stolen Lands.

    It's probably an understatement to say it's "massive", as the changelog of things improved is so ridiculously long it's pretty hard to parse. The basics of it are: New classes, the ability to respec characters, new random encounters, new weapons, new enemies, plenty of UI-flow improvements, new and updated quests, audio improvements and the list feels like it goes on forever. They didn't have the best release but Owlcat Games have shown their dedication here.

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Huawei has an alternative for its Android alternative

Čet, 06/13/2019 - 12:18

Following the US government trade ban last month, Huawei lost business ties with several American companies, including Google, dealing a huge blow to its Android smartphone business. The Chinese phonemaker is building an Android-based operating system of its own now. However, building an OS from the scratch is by no means an easy task. While it continues working on its OS, supposedly called HongMeng OS in China, the company is also exploring other options, in case it has to completely forego Android.

There aren’t many options out there, but Huawei still seems to have zeroed in on one of them. A report from Russia suggests that the Chinese company may make Aurora OS its Android alternative. Aurora OS is a Russian-made mobile OS based on the open-source Sailfish OS Linux distribution developed by Finnish company Jolla.

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