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Links 24/3/2021: Manjaro Linux 21.0 and New Firefox Release

Posted in News Roundup at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Best Linux Laptops That You Can Buy For Home and Office Usage

        If you are looking for the best Linux laptops for your home and office usage, then you are in the right place. As you already know, Linux is becoming mainstream day by day. Normally mass users go for Windows or macOS because of the convenience and hardware compatibility. But with the hard work of the open-source community, Linux is improving too. You can run Linux on an ARM or x86 hardware that is compatible with Windows. Rather you are getting more flexibility and security with Linux.

        This is why people tend to use Linux in workplaces. And, this leads us to the portability aspect of Linux computers. Of course, you can use any portable machine, especially a laptop, to run Linux natively. But some laptops are optimized specially for running Linux and open-source software. They are also equipped with Linux-compatible drivers. You will be surprised to know that some laptops even come with Linux preinstalled.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 357 – Surfboard Building Lunch

        First up, in our Wanderings, I do a little scripting, Joe drops a laptop, Moss is feeling phone-y, Tony walks a thousand miles, Josh visits Piggly Wiggly, Bo battles trolls, Mike gets a new-to-you Q2u

        Then, in the News, new LibreOffice and Audacity, 7zip is native, Calamares can use more butter, and a new kernel is coming

        In Security, how easy it is to buy up your information

      • PCLinuxOS 2021.02 overview Promo #Shorts

        A promo for the PCLinuxOS 2021.02 Overview video For the full video https://youtu.be/nNkP_bFV458 PCLinuxOS is a user-friendly Linux distribution with out-of-the-box support for many popular graphics and sound cards, as well as other peripheral devices. The bootable live DVD provides an easy-to-use graphical installer and the distribution sports a wide range of popular applications for the typical desktop user, including browser plugins and full multimedia playback

      • LHS Episode #402: Payment Required

        Hello and welcome to the 402nd installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts start by wrapping up the most recent QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo. Afterwards, discussion topics range from in-person ham radio events that are (currently) still happening to Garuda Linux, Audacity, Kooha, Raspberry Pi pico SDRs and much more. Thank you for listening we hope you have a fantastic week.

      • Back in the Freedom Dimension | LINUX Unplugged 398

        We share our favorite networking trick of all time, and then chat with the blokes behind a new WireGuard-powered service.

        Plus our reaction to RMS’s return to the FSF, some big project updates, picks, and more!

        Special Guests: Dalton Durst and Daniel Fore.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel’s Preliminary Rust Code Seeing 64-bit POWER Support

        Excitement is building around initial support for the Rust language within the Linux kernel that arrived in Linux-Next and is now seeing more developer interest.

        This very preliminary infrastructure work around supporting Rust code within the Linux kernel and an example module in tow continues to mature within Linux-Next while awaiting to see if it will try to be mainlined in a few weeks for the 5.13 cycle. Now that activity is happening, more upstream kernel developers are taking note.

      • Linus Torvalds on where Rust will fit into Linux

        This isn’t just a theory being pushed by Rust enthusiasts. A great deal of Rust in Linux is already being pushed out into the market. Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently released Bottlerocket Linux for containers and it has a great deal of Rust in it.

        Sylvestre Ledru, a Mozilla director by day and Debian Linux developer by night, has ported a Rust version of Coreutils to Linux using the LLVM compiler infrastructure and its Clang C language front-end and tooling infrastructure. Coreutils are the GNU shell core utilities. With these, Ledru has booted Linux and run the most popular Debian packages. This isn’t, Ledru admits, production-ready yet, but with a lot of elbow grease, it works today. Eventually, it may replace GNU Coreutils.

        Why do any of this in the first place? Rust is popular because it lends itself more easily to writing secure software. Samartha Chandrashekar, an AWS Product Manager, said it “helps ensure thread safety and prevent memory-related errors, such as buffer overflows that can lead to security vulnerabilities.” Many other developers agree with Chandrashekar.

      • AMD Sends Out Latest Patches For HMM-Based SVM Memory Manager – Phoronix

        Published back in January was the initial work on a HMM-based SVM memory manager for the open-source Radeon compute stack. A second version of that work is now available as it continues working towards the mainline kernel.

        This Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) memory manager implementation makes use of the Linux kernel’s modern Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) code. As part of working on continuing to advance their ROCm compute stack and preparing for their big HPC/super-computer deployments using a combination of AMD EPYC CPUs and Radeon GPUs, this SVM memory manager is being worked on. This work is critical for heterogeneous computing in letting the GPU transparently access program addresses coherently with the CPU.

      • Linux Kernel Patches Sent Out For A More Powerful Virtual M68k Machine – Phoronix

        Right now when it comes to Motorola 68000 “m68k” emulation with Linux the most powerful target is the Quadra 800 that is limited to just 1GB of RAM and specific interfaces. But on the way is the new “Virtual M68k Machine” that is much more powerful.

        The Macintosh Quadra 800 is from 1993 with its Motorola 68040 running at 33MHz with 8MB of RAM. Linux and QEMU has supported the Quadra 800 as an emulated target but this new Virtual M68k Machine will allow for greater capacity and more modern amenities. The QEMU side support for the new Virtual M68k Machine is coming with QEMU 6.0 while the Linux kernel bits for this virtual machine were sent out today in patch form.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 21.1 Will Aim To Be Out By Mid-May – Phoronix

          With Mesa 21.0 released earlier this month following a one month delay, the Mesa 21.1 release calendar has now been published for that next quarterly feature release.

          Mesa 21.1 has been under development since 21.0 was branched off in January and as such a lot of work has already accumulated while there still are a few weeks to build up more feature code. Mesa 21.1 is planned for branching and the first release candidate around 14 April. Following that mid-April branching, weekly release candidates will continue until the official release is ready.

        • Mesa Could Fork Older “Classic” Display Drivers Out To A Separate “Mesa Classic-LTS” Branch – LinuxReviews

          Dylan Baker, release-manager for the Mesa graphics stack used by all the GNU/Linux distributions, is proposing to rid the Mesa of older “classic” display drivers by moving them to a separate “classic-lts” branch. Users of integrated Intel graphics provided by chips prior to Broadwell would have to switch to the new “classic-lts” graphics library to keep their computers working if Mesa goes forward with Bakers proposal.


          The story on the Intel side is a bit different. The modern Intel Iris graphics driver can only be used with Broadwell-series hardware or newer. The Intel Haswell was launched in 2013. The integrated graphics hardware on those chips can only be used with the “classic” i965 OpenGL driver. Many people still use Haswell, and even older chips, today. I have a family-member who uses one. That person does not use GNU/Linux, or free software in general, so that persons life would not be affected if Mesa removes support for Haswell-era hardware from the from the main branch. People who do use free software operating systems would have to either switch to the proposed new “classic-lts” Mesa branch or a proprietary operating system like Microsoft Windows.
          Switching to a “classic-lts” Mesa branch may not be that difficult for those who would need to do so – depending on what GNU/Linux distributions decide to do. The “GL Vendor-Neutral Dispatch library” (libglvnd) makes it possible to have several OpenGL libraries installed side-by-side. Distributions could simply ship both the modern Mesa branch and the classic-lts and none of the affected users would notice that their machine happens to be one using “classic-lts”.

        • Proposal Raised For Dropping Mesa’s Classic OpenGL Drivers From Mainline This Year – Phoronix

          It’s been proposed in the past but never acted upon yet but the idea of dropping/retiring Mesa’s “classic” OpenGL drivers from the mainline code-base and letting them potentially live on in an “LTS” branch has once again been brought up.

          Mesa developer Dylan Baker has brought up the idea of removing the classic drivers from Mesa master following next quarter’s 21.1 release. The Mesa 21.1 branch would then be forked after Mesa 21.1 is EOL’ed to create a “classic-lts” branch. That classic-lts branch would disable the Gallium3D and Vulkan drivers to just focus on these classic drivers. That branch in turn would only see new build and critical bug fixes. Thanks to GLVND, these classic LTS drivers could be installed in parallel along with newer versions of Mesa.

        • Alejandro Piñeiro: Improving v3dv pipeline caching

          After some investigation, we found that the game was calling ClearAttachment twice every frame. The implementation of those ClearAttachments was relying on a full job with a graphics pipeline. On v3dv by default any pipeline is created with a pipeline cache (provided by the user, or a default pipeline). On v3dv (and in general any Vulkan driver) the main cached data are the compiled shaders, so the main objective of the pipeline cache is avoiding full shader re-compilation on compatible pipelines that are used really often. Why was that time spent on linking shaders?

          The issue was that for each pipeline lookup on the pipeline cache we were doing two cache lookups. The first one against a cache with the shaders in NIR, that is the main intermediate representation for shaders in Mesa (more info about intermediate representation here). And then we used those shaders to fill up the key for a second cache lookup, that if succesful, will return the compiled shader on Broadcom (QPU) assembly format.

          The reason of this two-step lookup is that to compile a shader we call the common (for both OpenGL and Vulkan) Broadcom compiler, and we use some data structures that contain info that will affect the compilation (like if blending is enabled). When we implemented the pipeline cache support, for simplicity, we used the same data structures as part of the cache key. But as such keys were filled with info coming from the NIR shaders, those needed to be linked together on the case of the graphics pipelines.

          When we analyzed how to improve it, we realized that in order to identify the compiled shader, we don’t really need the NIR shaders, as the info derived from them are implicit to the SPIR-V shaders provided to create the pipeline. Those NIR shaders are only really needed to compile the shader. The improvement here was using a different data structure as part of the cache key, and replace the two-cache-lookup with a one-cache-lookup. We needed to do some additional changes, as there were parts of the code that assumed that the NIR shaders would be available, but now if possible we are skipping getting them.

        • V3DV Pipeline Caching Work Leads To Greater Raspberry Pi Vulkan Performance

          Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias of Igalia wrote a new blog post today outlining the V3DV work on pipeline caching to further enhance the performance. By going from a two-cache to one-cache lookup and other improvements, one of the V3DV test cases dropped from taking 11.4 seconds down to 0.8 seconds. (Meanwhile no pipeline caching yielded a 125 second run-time). With some games/software like the Unreal Engine 4 Shooter demo, it meant several FPS gains.

        • Radeon ROCm 4.1 Released – Still Without RDNA GPU Support

          ROCm 4.0 released back in December with “CDNA” GPU support while now ROCm 4.1 has been released as the newest quarterly feature release to this open-source Radeon compute stack focused primarily on HPC/data-center needs.

          ROCm 4.1 delivers on several new features but before anyone asks, no, there still is not any GFX10/RDNA GPU support for either the Radeon RX 5000 or RX 6000 series. The ROCm compute support remains focused on Vega GPUs and CDNA GPUs, the AMD Instinct MI100. There remains full-support-but-not-guaranteed coverage for Polaris and Hawaii GPUs. Those with the newer RDNA consumer GPUs wanting to use the Radeon Open eCosystem stack, you are left waiting still with ROCm 4.1. The ongoing delay in RDNA GPU support for ROCm appears to be due to AMD’s focus on getting everything up to par with the CDNA GPU support with forthcoming super-computer deployments and other big ticket HPC customers.

    • Applications

      • The Older v2 Tor Onion Domain Name Format Is Axed In The Latest Tor Alpha Release

        The Tor Onion Router has had support for location hidden services with a special .onion address for a really long time. Support for .onion services was initially introduced in 2005. Tor dropped the first .onion format shortly after it was introduced and replaced it with a v2 format that is still widely used today. A new and improved v3 format was introduced in January 2015. A few services use it, most don’t. Those who don’t will soon be forced to as support for the older v2 .onion format was removed with the release of Tor

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using a Linux DAW With a USB-Connected MIDI Keyboard

        If you’re a musician and want to record and monitor using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) running in a Linux environment you’ve probably found that the USB connection from the DAW to your Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controller isn’t always straightforward.

        Well, here are solutions for three DAWs, organized from easiest to hardest. The most basic setups are covered for systems with just a computer and a MIDI controller.

      • Linux on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: Managing security and access to your cloud made easy with short training videos

        In the last Training Tuesday blog, we introduced you to training videos on Linux on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Today, we continue this series and present a set of free, short videos that demonstrate the security configurations needed to allow access to your Linux cloud instances.

      • News Hotfix: Nitrux 1.3.7 / How to create a chroot in Nitrux

        In the past days, an update was pushed accidentally to a package (nitrux-repository-settings version 0.7.21 and 0.7.22) to our repository that, when applied, could end up causing severe problems. We have already removed the affected versions from our repository.

      • LFCA: Learn Basic Networking Commands – Part 4

        At any given time when using your PC which is connected to a router, you will be part of a network. Whether you are in an office environment or simply working from home, your computer will be in a network.

      • Linux WC command with examples | FOSS Linux

        Previously, we have written articles on various Linux commands like ls, ps, scp, history, and many more present on our website. Today, we will take a look at the WC command.

        WC stands for “Word Count.” And as the name implies, the wc command is used for counting purposes. It prints out the number of lines, word count, byte, and characters count present in the file passed to the command.

      • How to Install a Desktop Environment (GUI) on an Ubuntu 20.04 Server – ByteXD

        In Linux, this GUI (Graphical User Interface) is referred to as a Desktop Environment.

        A desktop environment is a collection of components that make up the graphical user interface (GUI) – it’s made out of widgets, icons, toolbars, wallpapers, and more. I think of it as a theme, but going even further than that. A desktop environment changes the look and feel of your system much more than a theme.

        What’s more, you have quite few great options to choose from.

        Linux servers don’t come with a desktop environment installed by default, and in most cases it’s not needed. However there are cases when you do require a graphical user interface on your Linux server to get your work done.

      • How To Install Node.js on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Node.js on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Node.js is a widely-used program that lets you use your JavaScript skills outside the confines of the browser. Using Node.js, you can build anything from a simple command-line tool to dynamic HTTP servers and APIs. And it’s open-sourced and constantly being updated by both enterprise and open-source developers. Npm is the default package manager for Node.js that helps developers to share and reuse their code.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Node.js on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Download, Install & Use ExpressVPN on Linux

        ExpressVPN is one of the rare VPNs to support various Linux distributions natively. So, let’s show you the steps you need to take to set-up and use ExpressVPN on your Linux computer.

      • How to install Baldi’s Basics on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Baldi’s Basics on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install Skype on Linux Mint 20.1

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Skype on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • Notes on keyboard configuration in X Windows: Keyboard layout, Modifier Key and Compose Key | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        Before I dive into X Windows, I need to mention Miguel Farah’s excellent and comprehensive Web pages on keyboard layouts and standards:


        There are umpteen articles, blog and forum posts available on the Web covering keyboard configuration for X Windows, but my notes below may be of help to someone. I briefly cover keyboard layout configuration (non-persistent) from the command line in a pseudo terminal in an X Windows session, and also how to make the configuration persist. I also cover how to configure a ‘Modifier Key‘ and a ‘Compose Key‘, two different things.

      • Creating A Dmenu Script For Web Bookmarks And History

        In recent weeks, I’ve spent a lot more time scripting than I typically do. I keep finding problems that I want to solve, and the best way to solve them is with some shell scripting and dmenu.

      • How to hide folders and show hidden files in Ubuntu

        Ubuntu allows you easily to hide and show folders and files using the file manager.

      • How to install the Evolution RSS reader plugin on Linux

        Ever wanted to catch up with your favorite RSS feeds in the Evolution email client? Thanks to the Evolution RSS reader plugin, you can! It adds RSS functionality that you can use to catch up on your favorite RSS feed items. Here’s how to set it up.

      • Getting Started With Dpkg on Debian-Based Linux Distros

        The software that you run on your PC is what makes it truly personal. It tells a lot about what you work with, what you like to do, or your hobbies.

        This guide takes a look at how to manage software packages using the Debian Package Manager (dpkg) on Debian-based Linux distros like Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, and Kali, etc. Debian software packages have the .deb extension.

        Software management is one of the most common tasks that you will do on your personal computer or as a system administrator.

      • How to Fix “No Route to Host” Connection Error on Linux – Make Tech Easier

        When you’re trying to connect to a service on Linux, “No route to host” is one of the last things you want to hear. It’s a broad message that means your computer can’t reach the target server, whether a local server daemon running on your system or a remote server that you can’t access for whatever reason. Here we show you how to fix the “no route to host” connection error in Linux.

      • How to use Gnome System Monitor on Linux

        Gnome System Monitor is an excellent system management application for the Linux desktop. It’s simple and easy to use. For this reason, it’s one of the most popular system monitoring tools in the Linux community. Here’s how to use it on your system.

      • How to install Exodus on Kodi on Ubuntu

        Kodi is an open-source, cross-platform media player and entertainment hub that lets you play streaming media such as podcasts, videos, music, documentaries, movies from the Internet, and local network storage. Exodus is one of the third-party add-ons users can add on Kodi. Exodus has a large collection of superior-quality movies and streaming media.

      • Install Vsftpd with SSL/TLS on Ubuntu 20.04

        Vsftpd (i.e. very secure FTP daemon) is an FTP server software for Linux and other Unix-like systems. An FTP server software facilitates the transfer of files from a client computer to the server and vice versa.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Vsftpd on Ubuntu 20.04 and enable secure file transfer (FTPS) via SSL/TLS.

      • How Install and Configure a Docker Swarm Cluster on CentOS 8

        Docker is an open-source tool that can be used to create, deploy and run applications using a container. The container allows you to package up an application with all required dependencies and ship it out as a single package.
        Docker Swarm is a clustering tool used for managing the Docker host. It allows you to make a group of Docker hosts into a single logical virtual server. This way you can scale your application horizontally and increase the number of the container instance. Docker swarm offers very useful features including, container self-healing, load balancing, container scale up and scale down, service discovery, and rolling updates.
        In this post, we will show you how to set up a Docker Swarm cluster on CentOS 8.

      • How to Connect your Android phone to Zorin OS with Zorin Connect – Real Linux User

        In the relatively limited number of years that I have been enthusiastically and intensively working with Linux and kept a close eye on everything related to this platform, I saw some Linux distributions rapidly growing into more and more user-friendly platform that move towards operating system that in my opinion should undoubtedly appeal to regular non tech savvy users who just want to do regular stuff on their computer or be creative on their computer without going through technical hurdles. In the first years I mainly used Linux Mint, a beautiful Linux distribution for both beginners and advanced users. But as a blogger I want to support a broad target group of starting Linux users, so I also look at other Linux distributions that I think could be very suitable for beginning and non techy users. One of those distributions, which I now also use as my primary platform, is Zorin OS 15.3. Zorin OS is a beautiful and very accessible and friendly operating system and offers a lot of functionality directly out of the box, which in other distributions often has to be installed or adjusted afterwards. One of these functionalities is the connection between your Zorin OS computer and your Android phone, which is supported in an impressive way through Zorin Connect. In this blog I will explain How to Connect your Android phone to Zorin OS with Zorin Connect.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 5.0.4 Is Released With 67 Bug-Fixes

        Wine 5.0.x is the “stable” branch of the Wine Is Not an Emulator API re-implementation that allows Windows software to be used on GNU/Linux operating systems. It is therefore nothing new in Wine 5.0.4, only bug-fixes for games and applications such as QIP Infium, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Future Pinball, Stellaris, Dolphin EasyReader and many more. Ubuntu-users may rejoice.

    • Games

      • To celebrate one year, Half-Life: Alyx is the cheapest it’s ever been

        For those who are lucky enough to have a VR kit, Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx has today hit one year old and so Valve are doing a small celebration. Despite it still not advertising Linux support on the store page, just a reminder that Valve did add a Linux version with Vulkan support back in May 2020.

        The community around the game has built up since Valve updated it post-released with Steam Workshop support, with over 800 mods now available for Alyx. Sifting through it, Valve teamed up with guest writer Craig Pearson to point out some of the top mods going.

      • Cozy narrative driven adventure game Forgotten Fields releases April 14

        Frostwood Interactive today announce that their latest title, Forgotten Fields, will debut on Steam and GOG on April 14th.

        This follows their successful Kickstarter campaign that saw over £10,000 in funding and a demo release during the Steam Summer Festival in 2020, Forgotten Fields will take you on a journey back home prior to it being sold off to another family to rekindle memories for Sid, a struggling author with a creative block.


        The developer, Frostwood Interactive, is made up of a single person – Armaan Sandhu. The studio was founded for the development of their first game, Rainswept, which released back in 2019 and that too supported Linux.

      • Challenging space survival adventure Derelict Void is out now

        FTL mixed with a little colony management and a brutal difficulty, that seems like what you get with the space survival adventure game Derelict Void that’s out now.

        Manage a ship, its crew and scavenge for resources while you fight the ruthless and unforgiving nature of the game that sees you learn as you go and die often. Originally funded on Kickstarter, a campaign we seemed to entirely miss that didn’t actually say it was coming to Linux but here it is.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Simon Steinbeiß/Xfce: Post 4.16 fatigue and what’s next

        After we successfully released Xfce 4.16 as an early Christmas gift to all users last year I personally fell into the typical “post release fatigue” (PRF). On the one hand I was exhausted, on the other hand that’s how far our plans had taken us so there were no clear next steps we had settled on (apart from taking a break and recharging :)).

        So what’s been going on since then…

        Xfce 4.16 maintenance

        First of all, we’ve done quite a few maintenance release of 4.16 to ensure it’s stability. We already provided lots of bugfix releases of 4.14 – some even very recently (Desktop, Appfinder) – but it looks like 4.16 may end up being (at least: among) the best maintained Xfce release so far.

      • Xfce 4.18 Planning Begins With An Eye On Wayland Application Support

        Now that Xfce 4.16 has been out for a while after successfully hitting its one-year release cycle goal and some maintenance updates to Xfce 4.16 have been made, planning for Xfce 4.18 is beginning.

        Xfce developer Simon Steinbeiß laid out some of the recent 4.16 maintenance work and early stage work around Xfce 4.18. Additionally, Xfce developers have been working to enhance their developer documentation to make it easier to attract new developers.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.38.5 Released with Support for Handling Monitor Changes During Screencasts

          Coming a month after the GNOME 3.38.4 point release, which probably most of you are already using on your Linux distros, the GNOME 3.38.5 update is here with more bug fixes and various improvements to make the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series more stable, secure, and reliable.

          Among the changes included in this point release, there’s support for handling monitor changes during screencasts in Mutter, the ability to set the resolution for Epson scanners in Simple Scan, better support for Firefox Sync in Epiphany, and improved freezes when switching workspaces.

        • Matthias Clasen: Input, revisited

          My last update talked about better visual feedback for Compose sequences in GTK’s input methods. I did not explicitly mention dead keys back then, but historically, X11 has treated dead keys and Compose sequences in exactly the same way.

        • Bringing FIDO2 device support to sandboxes

          Hardening user logins with 2FA is becoming must-feature of Web services; most of the services I use daily (such as GitLab instances) are already enabling it. Although it’s a bit cumbersome to enter secondary factor manually, using hardware tokens (such as FIDO2 authenticators) simplifies the process to a single tap, also making the entire authentication more secure based on public key cryptography.

          On the client side, major browsers provide built-in support for hardware tokens (at least CTAP1), though sandboxed applications cannot benefit from this without allowing direct access to the host hardware. To improve the situation, we had several discussions in forums last year and somehow reached a rough consensus: we need a proxy for those authenticator devices.

        • Julita Inca Chiroque: GNOME Latam 2021

          Today, we have “celebrated” a year of the lock-down in the UK. It is also been a year that I was not able to travel to anywhere to celebrate with the GNOME community all the advances that this organization has been done for years in pro-FLOSS.

    • Distributions

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro Linux 21.0 “Ornara” Released with Linux 5.10 LTS, KDE Plasma 5.21, and Pamac 10

          Dubbed “Ornara,” Manjaro Linux 21.0 comes hot on the heels of Manjaro ARM 21.02 to give you fresh live and installable ISO images that ship with the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series for top-notch hardware support, the Pamac 10 package manager with a new software-mode, optimized database interaction, speed improvements, and improved support for building AUR packages.

          Manjaro Linux 21.0 is available in the usual editions with the Xfce, KDE Plasma, and GNOME desktop environments. While the Xfce and GNOME editions are shipping with the same Xfce 4.16 and GNOME 3.38 releases that were available in Manjaro Linux 20.2 “Nibia,” the KDE Plasma edition has been upgraded to the latest KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environment series.

        • Download Manjaro Linux 21 Ornara with GNOME, Xfce, and KDE Plasma now!

          One of the most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems these days is the Arch-based Manjaro. Following a short testing period, version 21 of that distribution is now available for download. Code-named “Ornara,” Manjaro 21 uses the fairly new Linux kernel 5.10 LTS.

          Manjaro Linux 21 can be had with your choice of three desktop environments — GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.21, and Xfce 4.16. All three are great, but unfortunately, GNOME 40 has still not been finalized, so it is (obviously) not included here. If you do want to try an early version of the upcoming GNOME 40, you can download the recently released Fedora 34 Beta.

          “We are happy to publish our latest stable release 21.0 we named Ornara. Our last release Nibia was from January and a lot of things changed between those releases. For once, we dropped Gnome Initial Setup routine from our ISOs. It was nice to try out, but the feedback overall was not so great. Since we also have optional OEM ISOs for our manufacturers, we see no need to further investigate into GIS,” says The Manjaro Development Team.

        • Manjaro 21.0 Released With Linux 5.10 Kernel, GNOME 3.38 + Xfce 4.16 + KDE Plasma 5.21

          Manjaro 21.0 is out today as the newest feature release to this popular desktop Linux distribution built atop Arch Linux.

          Manjaro 21.0 is powered by the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel while continuing to keep Linux 5.4 LTS around for those wanting it on older hardware. Manjaro 21.0 is also making use of Pamac 10 graphical package manager, which released at the end of last year with performance improvements, optimized database interaction, systemd dynamic users, and other new features.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 Beta Released With PipeWire In Action, GNOME 40 Desktop

          Fedora 34 Beta is out today as the march is on towards this latest installment of this Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution.

          It should come as no surprise with Fedora continuously living on the bleeding-edge of open-source innovations, but Fedora 34 is going to be another big and exciting release. Particularly on the Fedora Workstation front, Fedora 34 is bringing GNOME 40 to the desktop, Btrfs transparent file-system compression is enabled, PipeWire is by default in place of PulseAudio, there is a new i3 desktop spin, and many other Fedora 34 changes.

          Fedora 34 beta is out this morning while the official F34 release is expected before the end of April.

        • Fedora Linux 34 Beta now available

          Today, the Fedora Project, a global community that works to help advance free and open source software, is pleased to announce the availability of Fedora Linux 34 Beta, the latest version of the Fedora Linux operating system. Fedora Linux 34 Beta continues the Fedora Project’s emphasis on delivering editions, each designed to address specific use cases for modern developers and IT teams.

          Fedora Linux 34 Beta sees a continued trajectory for a more coherent desktop interface for a better user experience with GNOME 40. We also continue to foster the development of emerging Fedora editions like Fedora CoreOS to better address the future of cloud-native, containerized infrastructure and development. Fedora Linux 34 Beta enables a coherent set of packaged application updates, streamlining new versions and enabling users to revert to previous versions.

        • Fedora Linux 34 beta rolled out

          As Matthew Miller, Red Hat’s Fedora Project Leader, has explained, “Fedora integrates thousands of ‘upstream’ open-source projects into a unified distribution on a six-month release cadence, and every so often Red Hat takes that collection, forks it off, and produces RHEL.” That remains the same.

          So, what does the new Fedora bring us? Besides the desktop, which is often the first and sometimes the only thing users think of, Fedora also comes with different editions, each designed to address specific use cases for modern developers and IT teams. This includes Fedora CoreOS. This version addresses the needs of cloud-native, containerized developers.

          As for the desktop, this new version uses the new GNOME 40 desktop. Its enhancements include a better desktop arrangement for search, windows, workspaces, and applications. It also includes multi-monitor improvements. It also enables users to choose between workspaces on only their primary displays or workspaces on all displays.

        • How to rebase to Fedora Silverblue 34 Beta

          Silverblue is an operating system for your desktop built on Fedora Linux. It’s excellent for daily use, development, and container-based workflows. It offers numerous advantages such as being able to roll back in case of any problems. If you want to update to F34 Beta on your Silverblue system, this article tells you how. It not only shows you what to do, but also how to revert back if anything unforeseen happens.

        • Video: Fedora Council Update: Respins SIG

          I’ve been an active member of the Fedora Respin SIG for a while now… and here is a Fedora Council meeting where the Fedora Respin SIG is discussed. Enjoy.

        • tmt hints: create a basic test

          For those who still haven’t heard: tmt is now fully-supported in Packit, Fedora Continuous Integration (CI) system, and the RHEL CI system. Now you can use the same concise and consistent config to enable tests across all of them, more easily open source tests, share test coverage across releases ,and run tests as early as possible.

          In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing short, bite-sized examples demonstrating tmt usage. With these, new users can get started quickly and existing users won’t miss various interesting and useful features hidden under the hood.

        • Quick tips for the OpenShift oc client | Enable Sysadmin

          If you’ve played around with Kubernetes, you are aware of the rapid evolution of the most widely used container orchestration platform. Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise-ready application platform built on Kubernetes and ready for production environments. With OpenShift 4, Red Hat aims to provide new releases at a frequent cadence. To help keep on top of all of the new changes, and to help and sysadmins and DevOps people who have to deal with multiple versions of your Kubernetes platform at the same time, I wrote this article hoping to help you more easily overcome challenges you may face.

        • Building a container by hand using namespaces: The mount namespace | Enable Sysadmin

          This article looks at the mount namespace and is the third in the Linux Namespace series. In the first article, I gave an introduction to the seven most commonly used namespaces, laying the groundwork for the hands-on work started in the user namespaces article. My goal is to build out some fundamental knowledge as to how the underpinnings of Linux containers work. If you’re interested in how Linux controls the resources on a system, check out the CGroup series, I wrote earlier. Hopefully, by the time you’re done with the namespaces hands-on work, I can tie CGroups and namespaces together in a meaningful way, completing the picture for you.

          For now, however, this article examines the mount namespace and how it can help you get closer to understanding the isolation that Linux containers brings to sysadmins and, by extension, platforms like OpenShift and Kubernetes.

        • Using Red Hat’s support tool at the command line to solve real-world problems

          The support tool allows you to interact with the Red Hat knowledge base, support tickets, analyze log files, and even set site-wide configuration options, all from the command line! At first glance, that may not seem like a big deal, but consider these real world scenarios.

          You come across some issues getting Nginx to play nice with your Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) server. You remember that there was a Knowledge Base (KB) article about that very same topic. One problem though: Copy+Paste doesn’t work between your browser and the remote virtual machine (VM) console you are working on. No problem! Install the redhat-support-tool, login to your Access account, search for that KB article, and copy that long command and all its options within your terminal!

          Here’s another scenario. You’ve run into some issues with a kernel module. You’re stumped. You want to put your support subscription to good use and ask one of our amazing engineers to give you a fresh perspective. No problem! Create a ticket from the terminal of your affected system, run an SOS report, and attach some debug logs all to the same ticket without ever leaving the terminal!

        • What’s coming for Node.js developers at NearForm event

          Red Hat is sponsoring the very first NearForm Presents event on Mar. 31, hosted by IBM. This online event will feature four talks on interesting topics related to Node.js Core, along with exciting workshop options.

      • Debian Family

        • Antoine Beaupré: Major email crash with syncmaildir

          TL:DR; lost half my mail (150,000 messages, ~6GB) last night. Cause uncertain, but possibly a combination of a dead CMOS battery, systemd OnCalendar=daily, a (locking?) bug in syncmaildir, and generally, a system too exotic and complicated.

        • More than 10.000 customized ISO image created by FAIme

          The FAIme service was started in November 2017. After 3,5 years it created more than 10.000 customized installation and cloud images. And we still have enough CPU power and disk space for more users.

        • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (January and February 2021)

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Nicholas D. Steeves (sten)
          Nilesh Patra (nilesh)
          David Suárez Rodríguez (deiv)
          Pierre Gruet (pgt)
          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Antonio Valentino
          Boian Nikolaev Bonev
          Filip Hroch
          Maarten L. Hekkelman
          Xialei Qin
          Xiang Gao

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Best Ubuntu apps of 2021

          Use our collection of the best Ubuntu apps to transform your vanilla installation into a hot fudge sundae.

          An operating system stands or falls on the quality of its programs, and Linux distros are no exception. In fact, one of the major discussions during the development of a distro centers around the list of default apps.

          Linux distros are still primarily downloaded via online mirrors and stuffing them with apps will increase their size, making the downloads unfeasible for many people with bandwidth caps or slower connection speeds. And to many, the apps would just be useless bloat.

        • What is cloud native?

          The term cloud native is widely used when thinking about computing and software development, encompassing a wide range of concepts that are regularly used in technology.

        • Ubuntu Figuring Out Whether To FSCK Its File-Systems At Boot – Phoronix

          They are a bit late in doing so, but Ubuntu developers are working to figure out if it makes sense to run FSCK “file-system check” at boot time. It turns out Ubuntu Server and other Ubuntu installations making use of their Curtin installation component haven’t enabled the functionality for FSCK at boot but now they are (re)visiting the matter.

          This bug report from 2018 points out that Ubuntu Server is setting “fs_passno” to 0 which means no FSCK at boot. This is a regression and change in behavior from prior Ubuntu Server installs to Ubuntu 18.04 and beyond where they introduced their new Curtin-based Subiquity installer where FSCK is not happening. That bug wasn’t touched since early 2019 but is now being re-visited by Ubuntu developers.

        • Canonical: Flutter now ‘the default choice for future desktop and mobile apps’

          With an aim to expand the Linux app ecosystem, Ubuntu desktop engineering manager Ken VanDine has popped up in marketing material for Flutter to say that Google’s cross-platform framework is Canonical’s “default choice for future desktop and mobile apps”.

          Flutter is a framework using the Dart language that targets Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, and web applications – though the macOS and Linux versions are “considered beta quality”.

          Despite that limitation, Canonical declared last month that it would build new desktop installers in Flutter. Now the company has gone further, pointing developers to a statement by VanDine, who said that “Flutter is the default choice for future desktop and mobile apps created by Canonical” and that the Flutter SDK is available from the Snap Store, making it easy for developers to get started.

        • How does Ubuntu 16.04 entering Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) affect snap publishers? | Ubuntu

          At the end of April, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will reach the end of its five years of mainstream support and enter the Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) phase. If you’re a snap developer, and you have built or based your snaps on Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) packages and libraries, you may want to know how this milestone affects you. This blog post outlines the details of the change, the implications, and the future roadmap.


          To be able to continue building using the ESM base for local and on-premise builds, snap publishers and developers will need to obtain UA tokens. These tokens are free for all community users, for up to three machines, and up to 50 machines for Ubuntu members.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Conservancy’s Executive Director to Keynote AI Law & Ethics Conference

        After more than a decade of fighting for the right to see the source code of the heart device implanted in her own body, Karen will speak to a conference of AI researchers and industry professionals to help them understand the problems that are often ignored. Too often, our focus on the problems of massive data collection and AI algorithms that analyze it simply ignores the basic fact that so few people can even review the codebases and training sets that create this dystopia. Drawing on her own experience of living with proprietary software in her own body, Karen will introduce these researchers and praticitioners about the concept of software freedom and why it must be paramount in their minds when utilizing AI as part of their software.

      • OSI Election Update: Trust and Transparency in the 2021 Board Election

        We are committed to nothing less than complete restoration of trust in OSI elections, and transparency as to precisely what went wrong with our initial 2021 Board Election.

        While our Board was initially confident we could re-run a successful election starting today, lots of people have raised quite reasonable doubts–and then some less reasonable fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) seeped into the discourse. We’re changing plans accordingly.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 87 introduces SmartBlock for Private Browsing

            At Mozilla, we believe that privacy is a fundamental right and that everyone deserves to have their privacy protected while they browse the web. Since 2015, as part of the effort to provide a strong privacy option, Firefox has included the built-in Content Blocking feature that operates in Private Browsing windows and Strict Tracking Protection Mode. This feature automatically blocks third-party scripts, images, and other content from being loaded from cross-site tracking companies reported by Disconnect. By blocking these tracking components, Firefox Private Browsing windows prevent them from watching you as you browse.

            In building these extra-strong privacy protections in Private Browsing windows and Strict Mode, we have been confronted with a fundamental problem: introducing a policy that outright blocks trackers on the web inevitably risks blocking components that are essential for some websites to function properly. This can result in images not appearing, features not working, poor performance, or even the entire page not loading at all.

          • In March, we see Firefox 87

            Nearing the end of March now, and we have a new version of Firefox ready to deliver some interesting new features to your door. This month, we’ve got some rather nice DevTools additions in the form of prefers-color-scheme media query emulation and toggling :target pseudo-classes, some very useful additions to editable DOM elements: the beforeinput event and getTargetRanges() method, and some nice security, privacy, and macOS screenreader support updates.

          • Firefox 87 and Firefox ESR 78.9

            Firefox 87 has been released. This version introduces SmartBlock, “a new intelligent tracker blocking mechanism for Firefox Private Browsing and Strict Mode.”

          • Mozilla Accessibility: VoiceOver Support for macOS in Firefox 87

            Screen readers, an assistive technology that allows people to engage with computers through synthesized speech or a braille display, are available on all of the platforms where Firefox runs. However, until today we’ve had a gap in our support for this important technology. Firefox for Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS all work with the popular and included screen readers on those platforms, but macOS screen reader support has been absent.

            For over a year the Firefox accessibility team has worked to bring high quality VoiceOver support to Firefox on macOS. Last August we delivered a developer preview of Firefox working with VoiceOver and in December we expanded that preview to all Firefox consumers. With Firefox 87, we think it’s complete enough for everyday use. Firefox 87 supports all the most common VoiceOver features and with plenty of performance. Users should be able to easily navigate through web content and all of the browser’s primary interface without problems.

          • Firefox 87 Released with Privacy Tweaks, Leaner Library Menu

            Firefox 87.0 is the latest stable release and includes a modest set of changes. The update is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Ubuntu users will receive the update automatically at some point in the next few days.

            So what’s new?

            Well, Mozilla promise fewer website breakages when you use Firefox’s Private Browsing mode or have the ‘strict’ Enhanced Tracking Protection enabled. This is thanks to something called SmartBlock which provides stand-in scripts to ensure that well-known websites load both properly and promptly.

          • Firefox 87 Released with SmartBlock to Less Breakage in Private Browsing

            Mozilla Firefox 87.0 was released today with further efforts on improving user privacy.

            Firefox 87 introduced SmartBlock, a new intelligent tracker blocking mechanism for Private Browsing and Strict Tracking Protection Mode. By providing local stand-ins for blocked third-party tracking scripts, you’ll encounter less website breakage while fully protected from trackers.

            As today’s web is on the way to becoming https-only and browsers are taking steps to improve user privacy, the 87 browser release introduced new default HTTP Referrer policy instead of ‘no-referrer-when-downgrade’.

          • Firefox 87 Released With Privacy Improvements But Backs Out AVIF

            Mozilla Firefox 87.0 is out today as the newest release of this open-source, cross-platform web browser.

            Firefox 87 continues the ongoing trend of privacy and security improvements. Firefox 87 uses Mozilla’s new default HTTP Referrer policy, less website breakage when running in Privacy Browsing and Strict Enhanced Tracking Protection, and a variety of other improvements. Firefox 87.0 also comes with various accessibility improvements, full support for the macOS screen reader, and many bug fixes.

            Originally slated to be in Firefox 87 was AVIF image decoding support.

          • About:Community: Contributors To Firefox 87

            With the release of Firefox 87 we are delighted introduce the contributors who’ve shipped their first code changes to Firefox in this release, all of whom were brand new volunteers!

          • Welcome SmartBlock: Script Surrogates for the masses!

            Today Mozilla released Firefox 87, introducing SmartBlock, a new feature which “intelligently fixes up web pages that are broken by our tracking protections, without compromising user privacy [...] by providing local stand-ins for blocked third-party tracking scripts. These stand-in scripts behave just enough like the original ones to make sure that the website works properly. They allow broken sites relying on the original scripts to load with their functionality intact.”

            As long time NoScript users may recall, this is exactly the concept behind “Script Surrogates”, which I developed more than ten years ago as a NoScript “Classic” module.

            In facts, in its launch post Mozilla kindly wants “to acknowledge the NoScript and uBlock Origin teams for helping to pioneer this approach.”.

            It’s not the first time that concepts pioneered by NoScript percolate into mainstream browsers: from content blocking to XSS filters, I must admit it gets me emotional every time :)

      • FSF

        • Richard Stallman returns to the Free Software Foundation

          Richard Stallman, the founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), has announced he is returning to the foundation as a board member.

          Stallman founded the FSF in 1985 and was the acting president until about 18 months ago when he resigned over comments he made regarding Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged victims.

          At the time, Stallman said he was resigning over “a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”

          The announcement was made in a talk at LibrePlanet this week. “I’m now on Free Software Foundation’s board of directors once again,” he said. “Some of you will be happy at this, and some might be disappointed, but who knows. In any case, that is how it is. And I am not planning to resign a second time.”

        • OSI Response to RMS’s reappointment to the Board of the Free Software Foundation

          To fully realize the promise of open source, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is committed to building an inclusive environment where a diverse community of contributors feel welcome. This is clearly not possible if we include those who have demonstrated a pattern of behavior that is incompatible with these goals.

          Richard M. Stallman recently announced that he will be returning to the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), a statement that the FSF has not denied. We believe it is inappropriate for Stallman to hold any leadership position in the free and open source software community. If we do not speak out against this, our silence may be misinterpreted as support.

        • Richard Stallman Announcing His Return To The FSF’s Board Of Directors

          Richard Stallman founded the FSF in 1985. He was the acting president until about 18 months ago when he resigned over comments he made regarding Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged victims.

          Richard Stallman has always been a divisive figure. On one hand, he’s been the biggest champion of free software for decades. On the other hand, his rather absolutist take on free software has helped to create a faction within the Linux and open source communities wherein it is looked down upon to use any software that isn’t free.

          Stallman announced the news during a live stream for the FSF project LibrePlanet. He also mentioned that the announcement was meant to be made with a more formal video, but that “it didn’t get finished.”

        • Richard Stallman Is Finally Back In The FSF

          Back in 2019 Richard Stallman was removed from the FSF after some poorly thought out comments but in a recent announcement at LibrePlanet 2021 he has been reinstated to the Free Software Foundation board of directors.

        • Free software advocates seek removal of Richard Stallman and entire FSF board [Ed: Microsoft booster having a second go trying to remove RMS and destroy the FSF. Showing who’s (at least partly) in charge of this.]

          Open letter signed by hundreds: RMS “has no place” in free software community.

        • Ian Jackson: Signing the open letter about RMS [Ed: Same people who tried to CANCEL Torvalds also try to remove RMS now.]
        • Sean Whitton: rmsopenletter

          I was shocked to learn today that Richard Stallman has been reinstated as a member of the board of the Free Software Foundation. I think this is plain inappropriate, but I cannot see how anyone who doesn’t think that could fail to see the reinstatement as counterproductive.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Plan 9 Copyright Transferred To Foundation, MIT Licensed Code Released – Phoronix

            Nokia Bell Labs announced today that the copyright to the Plan 9 operating system software has been transferred to the Plan 9 Foundation for all future development of this novel distributed operating system that originated in the 80′s.

            In addition to the Bell Labs Plan 9 software copyright being transferred to the Plan 9 Foundation, the code to Plan 9 Editions 1/2/3/4 are now released under an MIT license by the foundation. Previously the Plan 9 code released by Lucent Technologies was under the Lucent Public License or GPLv2.

      • Programming/Development

        • Understanding Mach Try

          There is a lot of confusion around mach try. People frequently ask “How do I get task X in mach try fuzzy?” or “How can I avoid getting backed out?”. This post is not so much a tip, rather an explanation around how mach try works and its relationship to the CI system (taskgraph). Armed with this knowledge, I hope you’ll be able to use mach try a little more effectively.

        • Qt Desktop Days Returns!

          KDAB is bringing you another Qt Desktop Days this May! So, if you missed the first one that was held last September, or if you would like to attend a second, please join us May 19th-20th. That’s a little less than two months away!

          Qt Desktop Days is primarily a technical event and we want our content to be as relevant and interesting as possible to our audience. The target audience is developers programming with Qt, building software for desktop systems.

        • Using Qt datatypes in Standard Library unordered containers

          In this post, we’ll continue our discussion regarding hashing functions, tackling a specific problem, namely, how to use a Qt datatype as a key of a Standard Library unordered associative container.

          The Standard Library unordered associative containers (std::unordered_map, std::unordered_set, and so on), as well as other third party implementations (like the excellent robin-map), require, by default, a specialization of std::hash to be available for the key type we want to use.

        • How to Beat Coder’s Block – Five Tips to Help You Stay Productive

          As programmers, we all share a certain number of universal experiences.

          One is an enduring hatred of semicolons, brackets, and parentheses (who hasn’t wasted hours looking for the one of these they misplaced or omitted?).

          And another is learning to use compile-time for a convenient break when we don’t feel like getting anything done (I won’t tell if you don’t).

          But the most universal programming experience of them all is what is now known as coder’s block. That’s when you end up unable to produce any usable code for no discernible reason.

        • Generics in Go Explained with Code Examples

          Generics were proposed a few years ago for Go, and they have finally been accepted into the language earlier this year. And they’re scheduled to be officially released at the end of this year.

          How will Generics really affect Go? Will it change how we code?

          To really answer these questions, we will need to take a look at how generics work. Conveniently, the devs have provided us with a web compiler where we can experiment with generics ourselves.

        • Create Pixel Effects with JavaScript and HTML Canvas

          You can use JavaScript to create some amazing pixel effects.

          We’ve just published a course that will teach you how to use JavaScript to create really cool effects with images and text. You will learn multiple different particle effects with vanilla JavaScript and HTML canvas.

          This course was developed by Frank Dvorak. Frank loves to demonstrate his creative coding experiments on his own YouTube channel, and now he is sharing some of his coolest experiments with the freeCodeCamp community.

        • Live previews with Rails and Stimulus 2

          Who wouldn’t want a live preview for writing their great content? If you happen to be running Rails with Hotwire, it’s surprisingly easy with a small Stimulus controller.

          The core idea of our preview is that it’s rendered entirely on the backend. This is useful since we can reuse the logic both for presentation as well as actual changes. Whatever happens with the content can come from a single Ruby method. We’ll start with a small controller and a preview method:

        • Twenty Years of Geek Girl-ing

          I recently read a number of articles talking about what women in tech face daily. The one trending on medium currently was written by a developer with three years in the industry.

          Her experience is absolutely valid of course, but it only tells part of the picture. We’re missing the experience of the greybeards. In tech, the greybeards are the developers who came before you — the ones you go to for advice and wisdom. We’ve been around and have seen all sorts of things. We’re usually willing to share wisdom in exchange for coffee, chocolate, or whiskey.

          Yes, women can be greybeards too. Really. Doesn’t require actual facial hair.

        • Static energy: Crystal language hits v1.0 milestone, ARM and Windows support still needs polishing

          The first major release of the Crystal programming language happened this week as the project hit version 1.0. The much anticipated language has been created with the aims of offering the speed of C/C++ but with a programmer-friendly syntax as readable and easy to understand as Ruby.

          Crystal has been under development for around a decade and is described as a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. It is a compiled language with static type-checking and a syntax heavily influenced by the Ruby language.

        • Made in Thailand CorgiDude RISC-V AI board aims to teach machine learning

          There’s a relatively small but active maker community in Thailand, and we’ve covered or even reviewed some made in Thailand boards including ESP8266 and ESP32 boards, a 3G Raspberry Pi HAT, and KidBright education platform among others.

          MakerAsia has developed CorgiDude, a board based on the version of Sipeed M1 RISC-V AI module with built-in WiFi, and part as a kit with a camera and a display used to teach machine learning and artificial intelligence with MicroPython or C/C++ programming.

        • How to Create A New React.Js Application

          React is an open-source JavaScript library for creating web frontend and UI components. It is developed and maintained by the Facebook and a large community of developers. This is also useful for creating mobile applications.

          We will use yarn package manager to create a reactjs application and make production build. Pm2 to run and monitor react application.

          This tutorial will help you to create a new React.js Application on a developer system. Also help you to run reactjs application and make a production build.

        • How to Add Video Calling to a React Native App

          Video calling has become an essential day to day activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. By using features such as chat apps, audio calling, and video calling, we have been able to stay connected with our friends and family.

        • Eclipse Foundation Launches Adoptium Working Group | TFiR: Interviews, News & Analysis by Swapnil Bhartiya

          The Eclipse Foundation has announced the formal establishment of the Adoptium Working Group in collaboration with the AdoptOpenJDK Technical Steering Committee.

          With this announcement, the Eclipse Foundation is bringing its vendor-neutral governance framework in support of the Eclipse Adoptium top-level project, which is based on the work previously done under the AdoptOpenJDK organization.

        • Red Hat joins the Eclipse Adoptium Working Group

          Red Hat is proud to be a founding strategic member of the Adoptium Working Group as AdoptOpenJDK transitions to its new home at the Eclipse Foundation.

          It started as a simple mission. In 2017 the AdoptOpenJDK project began delivering high-quality, open source Java binaries based on OpenJDK technology. After several years and impressive success, AdoptOpenJDK is joining the Eclipse Foundation as Eclipse Adoptium, and Red Hat is proud to be part of this effort.

        • Stephen Michael Kellat: Taking Stock In Late March 2021

          Apparently there are people talking about self-hosting their git repositories. There are multiple variations on this as seen elsewhere. There remains the option of using Gitea as well. No, I am not thinking of abandoning my git repos on Launchpad at this time.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Subject Verb Object notation; declarative Perl without the framework

            If you’ve read Curtis “Ovid” Poe’s articles on the declarative framework for Tau Station Link and Link, you are undoubtedly aware of many of the benefits this style of programming can bring. It decouples the “what” from the “how”, encourages discrete functions and prevents the OO trap of “god objects”. The result is software that is easy to test, robust and very flexible. Inserting steps, reording steps etc… are done much easier and more clearly than trying to figure this out in 300 lines of imperative code with four to six level deep if-else chains with for loops mixed in for good fun. However, the framework is tightly coupled to the game in spots and has a few other issues that make it not ready for general use.

        • Python

          • Python String Manipulation Handbook

            String manipulation is one of those activities in programming that we, as programmers, do all the time.

            In many programming languages, you have to do a lot of the heavy lifting by yourself.

            In Python, on the other hand, you have several built-in functions in the standard library to help you manipulate strings in many different ways.

            In this article I will show you how to work with strings specifically along with some nice tricks.

          • Web Scraping in Python – How to Scrape an eCommerce Website Using Beautiful Soup and Pandas

            In this post we are going to scrape an ecommerce website. We’ll get into each individual product page and retrieve our information from there. This is the website we are going to scrape – it’s an online shop that sells whisky.

            Do remember to check out the robots.txt file before scraping any website. You have to keep in mind that you can unnecessarily bring a website down and can harm their services. So, please do not flood their servers with scraping requests.

            You can learn more about effective web scraping techniques here before starting to scrape any website.

          • Django vs. SQLAlchemy Comparison

            As more and more technology is developed and improved over time, the number of users accessing the internet grows even more, and as a result of that, the amount of data that businesses and organizations have to deal with is growing exponentially. For a company to be successful, it needs to have tools and infrastructure that can deal with these large sets of data easily. This is exactly where the database comes into the picture which is mainly designed for the storage and collection of data. Moreover, its organized form allows users to easily manage and access the dataset. Database themselves require a management system that allows them to store and provide access to the data. Mostly, the language SQL is used to perform operations in a database, however, as your application grows and becomes more complex, it becomes extremely difficult to have an idea as to what exactly each operation is doing.

            An alternative to this that was developed was the ORM (Object Relational Mapping) frameworks that actually create a bridge in connecting the database and the programming language that you prefer using in creating your application. With Python being one of the most popular programming languages this year, we shall, therefore, take a look at and compare the pros and cons of two of its most popular and widely used ORMs, Django and SQLAlchemy, in this article.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Forecast – A simple Bash script for the weather service Yr.no

            Some time ago, my rather old (zsh!) script for checking the current weather from the weather service Yr.no broke, after some looking around I found a new alternative called Forecast.

            The script is written in Bash, and it’s pretty straightforward. It requires bash, curl and xsltproc.

          • How to Use until Loop in Your Shell Scripts

            In bash for, while, and until are three loop constructs. While each loop differs syntactically and functionally their purpose is to iterate over a block of code when a certain expression is evaluated.

            Until loop is used to execute a block of code until the expression is evaluated to be false. This is exactly the opposite of a while loop. While loop runs the code block while the expression is true and until loop does the opposite.


            You can use a break and continue statements inside while loop. The break statement will exit out of the loop and will pass the control to the next statement while the continue statement will skip the current iteration and start the next iteration in the loop.

            I am using the same infinite loop example. Here when the count is equal to five continue statement will jump over to the next iteration skipping the rest of the loop body. Similarly, the loop breaks when the count is equal to or greater than 10.

        • Rust

        • Java/JavaScript

          • String to Char Array Java Tutorial

            In this article, we’ll look at how to convert a string to an array of characters in Java. I’ll also briefly explain to you what strings, characters, and arrays are.

          • How to Use Supercharged Sorts in JavaScript

            And the answer is, of course, sure. Absolutely. The way Array.filter() works in JavaScript, it’s chainable. That means, when the first .filter() function returns, it can be fed straight into a second .filter(), and to as many filters as you like.

            But if we want to sort by more than one property, that seems a little trickier. After all, if we sort by one property, then sort by a second, we’ve lost the first.

            How about if we use something like .reduce() instead? We could use that to reduce the array to an object whose properties are the first sort values, then set each of those properties to an array of items containing those values, and sort them!

          • 3 new Java tools to try in 2021 | Opensource.com

            Despite the popularity of Python, Go, and Node.js for implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning applications and serverless functions on Kubernetes, Java technologies still play a key role in developing enterprise applications. According to Developer Economics, in Q3 2020, there were 8 million enterprise Java developers worldwide.

            Although the programming language has been around for more than 25 years, there are always new trends, tools, and frameworks in the Java world that can empower your applications and your career.

            The vast majority of Java frameworks are designed for long-running processes with dynamic behaviors for running mutable application servers such as physical servers and virtual machines. Things have changed since Kubernetes containers were unleashed in 2014. The biggest issue with using Java applications on Kubernetes is with optimizing application performance by decreasing memory footprints, speeding start and response times, and reducing file sizes.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Google’s Fuchsia Could Be Near 1st Developer Release

              This could be the time Android fans have been anxiously awaiting. They could be nearing the day when they get to dump Android for its replacement. Google’s Fuchsia, Android’s expected replacement, could be nearing its first developer release.


              9to5Google confidently believes that Google’s Fuchsia is nearing a release and that there will be regularly-timed releases after that. What the site is unsure of is what those first releases will look like. Because they will only be developer releases, they won’t be the finished product and could be bare bones.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Daniel Stenberg: Github steel [Ed: Microsoft is sending a gift to Curl... which keeps outsourcing the project to a proprietary software prison of Microsoft]

              I honestly don’t know what particular thing I did to get this, but GitHub gave me a 3D-printed steel version of my 2020 GitHub contribution “matrix”.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (dnsmasq, libmediainfo, and mariadb-10.1), Fedora (dotnet5.0, moodle, and radare2), Mageia (kernel and kernel-linus), Oracle (python27:2.7, python36:3.6, and python38:3.8), Red Hat (pki-core:10.6), and Ubuntu (privoxy).

          • Raising Security Awareness in Your Organization

            One of the biggest challenges security professionals face is making security simple for their organization’s workforce, the report states. “Having a strong technical or security background can be beneficial because it provides familiarity with the common technologies and behaviors” related to potential risks. However, the report states, “being ‘too technical’ can mean that individuals lack the skills to effectively communicate those risks or meaningfully engage employees.” To address this potential communication gap, the report recommends working with others to craft messaging that is easily understood.

          • WebAssembly Security, Now and in the Future

            WebAssembly is, as we explained recently, a binary format for software written in any language, designed to eventually run on any platform without changes. The first application of WebAssembly is inside web browsers, to make websites faster and more interactive. Plans to push WebAssembly beyond the Web, from servers of all sorts to the Internet of Things (IoT), create as many opportunities as security issues. This post is an introductory overview of those issues and of the WebAssembly security model.


            WebAssembly code runs closed into a sandbox managed by the VM, not by the operating system. This gives it no visibility of the host computer, or ways to interact directly with it. Access to system resources, be they files, hardware or internet connections, can only happen through the WebAssembly System Interface (WASI) provided by that VM.

            The WASI is different from most other application programming interfaces, with unique security characteristics that are truly driving the adoption of WASM on servers/edge computing scenarios, and will be the topic of the next post. Here, it is enough to say that its security implications greatly vary, when moving from the web to other environments. Modern web browsers are terribly complex pieces of software, but lay on decades of experience, and of daily tests from billions of people. Compared to browsers, servers or IoT devices are almost uncharted lands. The VMs for those platforms will require extensions of WASI and thus, in turn, surely introduce new security challenges.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • [Older] Three rather nasty bugs lurk in the Linux kernel

              Three recently unearthed vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel, located in the iSCSI module used for accessing shared data storage facilities, could allow root privileges to anyone with a user account.


              According to SC Media, if an attacker already had the execution on a box, either because you have a user account on the machine, or you’ve compromised some service that doesn’t have repaired permissions, you can do whatever you want.

              The vulnerabilities were spotted at the mythically themed GRIMM software security outfit by Adam Nichols.

              He said that while the vulnerabilities “are in code that is not remotely accessible, so this isn’t like a remote exploit”.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • That time that Facebook made Turkey happy

        In early 2018, Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish minorities in the Afrin District of northern Syria, arresting hundreds of its own residents for criticizing the operation. To minimize dissent, the Turkish government also asked Facebook to block posts from the People’s Protection Units. This is a mostly Kurdish militia group, known as the YPG, that among other things published on its Facebook page graphic images, including photos of mortally wounded fighters, writing in one post “this is the way NATO ally Turkey secures its borders”…


        Easy: keep the platform operational, to protect profits, before human rights: “Cutting off revenue from Turkey could harm Facebook financially, regulatory filings suggest.” Just like Twitter, banning Trump only when the block would benefit, not hurt the BOTTOM LINE.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Watch out! A splintered view of reality is coming

        Can you imagine a world like that? It’s really hard, isn’t it? I mean, “very splintered worldviews of reality” is not what we have today. Today we do not have social media platforms liek that, right? Platforms that carefully filter, for their exclusive profit, what every single user sees, for the only purposes of keeping her addicted, to control what she buys or votes. Nothing like that so far, on this planet, right?

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Daniel Pocock: Where does violence against women originate?

        Many people were both shocked and surprised by the intensity of police aggression at a recent vigil for murdered London woman Sarah Everard.

        When I saw the disturbing photo of Patsy Stevenson being pinned to the ground by male police officers, only days after one of their colleagues had been arrested for Everard’s murder, the first thing that came to mind were scenes I had witnessed and photographed myself half way around the world in Australia.

        It is important to think about it from the viewpoint of the police. This is not what they sign up for. They are acting on orders that come from the highest level of Government.

        The set of photos published below come from an event in 1998. Smart phones didn’t exist back then and digital cameras had only begun to appear. Very few students carried any form of camera and police could act with impunity. By chance, I lived across the road and I was shooting on a traditional SLR with film in it.

        The former Premier is well known for his military service. From time to time, an officer needs to show the troops and the enemy who is really in charge, as Lieutenant General Morrison did in this viral video.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Appellants Raise Due Process Issues in New Vision Gaming and Development v. SG Gaming [Ed: Patent maximalists that now pay blogs for propaganda (Patently-O for example) carry on promoting fake patents by seeking to abolish boards that review and invalidate these]

            Ever since institution of the post-grant review proceedings enacted under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act were implemented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (through the newly constituted Patent Trial and Appeal Board), parties (particularly patentees who lost patent rights thereby) have challenged the outcome on procedural, substantive, and constitutional grounds (see “Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC v. Lee”; “SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu; Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service”; “Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP “). The most recent (and legally creative) challenge is pending before the Supreme Court (see “U.S. Government Petitions for Certiorari in Arthrex Case”; “Arthrex Files Certiorari Petition in Arthrex Case”), wherein patentee Appellants (and respondents before the Court) argued an Appointments Clause violation because Administrative Patent Judges on the PTAB are principal officers not properly installed with Senate approval.

          • $2,500 for prior art on mCom IP

            On March 23, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 8,862,508. The ‘508 patent is currently owned by mCom IP, LLC, a Texas entity associated with patent monetization firm Dynamic IP Deals, LLC (d/b/a DynaIP).

            The ’508 patent generally relates to a system and method for delivering a retail banking multi-channel solution that unifies interactive electronic banking touch points to provide personalized financial services to customers and a common point of control for financial institutions is provided. It is currently being asserted against major US banks in the Western District of Texas, including PNC, US Bank, BBVA USA Bancshares, DH Corporation, CSI, Inc..

      • Copyrights

        • Book review: The Cambridge Handbook of Copyright Limitations and Exceptions

          This edited collection provides a stellar list of contributors, many of whom have been included in this Kats recent book review saga, such as Aplin and Bently, Emily Hudson and other leading authors, making this handbook the first to bring together comparative reflection of copyright limitations and exceptions.

          The book is presented in 22 chapters, organised into 5 parts, which reflect the 5 principle themes presented by the volume. This is something that immediately sets this handbook apart from many others that this Kat has had the pleasure of reading – whilst it is a handbook covering a range of ideas, there is clear narrative that makes you want to read it cover to cover, rather than what we more commonly do with handbooks, which is to take a more a la carte approach to chapters of interest.


          This part consists of 4 chapters that explore the role of international law in facilitating the global development of limitations and exceptions. The section begins with a chapter by Tanya Aplin and Lionel Bently, summising their arguments set out in their book, recently reviewed, Global Mandatory Fair Use, which focuses on Article 10(1) of the Berne Convention.

          Chapter 4, by Reto M. Hilty and Valentina Moscon describes the International Instrument for Permitted Uses developed by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. The destiny of this Instrument remains open, but the aspiration of the project is to influence international and national legislation. In chapter 5 Martin Senftleben analyses the Marrakesh Treaty and in chapter 6 considers international provisions made for limitations and exceptions under international agreements.


          This final part, consists of only one chapter, which is a shame as such an interesting topic could have benefited from further perspectives. Nevertheless, David Nimmer takes on the Part and the Chapter by looking at security measures and the future of US fair use. Nimmer argues that the fourth fair use factor that courts consider, namely; “the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted works”, premises copyright liability on predicting the future, which is further complicated by the development of technology.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)

  2. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned

  3. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day

  4. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day

  5. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers

  6. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered

  7. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)

  8. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)

  9. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day

  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023

  11. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day

  12. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day

  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023

  14. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day

  15. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day

  16. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers

  17. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day

  18. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’

  19. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active

  20. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”

  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023

  22. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort

  23. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that

  24. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day

  25. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”

  26. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day

  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023

  28. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"

  29. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.

  30. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software

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