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Links 6/1/2021: Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Released, Violent Insurrection in the United States


  • GNU/Linux

    • Dell expands its Optiplex Ultra line of PC-in-a-monitor-stand computers

      Both the OptiPlex 7090 Ultra and OptiPlex 3090 Ultra are available with up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory, M. 2230 PCIe NVMe SSD and/or 2.5 inch hard drives, and support for Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux.

    • New Dell Optiplex 7090 Ultra PC hidden in monitor stand

      Both the Dell OptiPlex 7090 Ultra and OptiPlex 3090 Ultra are available with up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory and feature M. 2230 PCIe NVMe SSD and/or 2.5 inch hard drives, as well as offering support for either Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux operating systems depending on your preference.

    • From Unix to Linux: Key Trends in the Evolution of Operating Systems (Part 3)

      The previous article in this series examining the roots of Linux and Unix was something of an apotheosis to the BSD operating system. BSD remains significant in computer history, and important installations of BSD can still be found. Marshall Kirk McKusick, when commenting on the article, said that today, FreeBSD can be found in the Sony Playstation, Netflix servers, Juniper routers, and elsewhere. Indeed, BSD is important enough for the Linux Professional Institute to offer certification as a BSD Specialist. But somehow BSD got passed by in the 1980s as Unix became the most important operating system in the world. The attention went to other variants, even though some—such as SunOS, the flagship software of Sun Microsystems—were based on BSD.


      Bauer also attributes the burgeoning of GNU/Linux to two distinguishing traits: the strength of its distributions and the license under which it was developed. Regarding distributions, he says: "From very early on users could choose between militantly free distributions like Slackware and Debian, commercial distributions with structured training and support programs like Red Hat and SuSE, and all points between. But this diversity hasn't (yet) led to any disruptive schisms in Linux kernel development. Early in Linux's evolution, this combination of commercial support contracts and kernel-development stability helped make Linux a viable choice for hosting network services for large corporations."

      Bauer's other point concerns the GNU General Public License (GPL), which requires anyone distributing the software to donate back any changes they make. BSD's license falls into the permissive camp, which allows users to build on the software without opening up their changes. Although it makes sense that the more restrictive license would increase contributions, I am not persuaded that it makes a big difference. Companies that use free software have many incentives to get their changes back into the "core" regardless of legal constraints.

      Several reviewers of this article report that the GPL's legal pressure increases the efforts made by companies to contribute back their code. McKusick claims, however, that FreeBSD has more committers than Linux, making the process for accepting commits easier to navigate.


      In this article, we saw the failure of two important attempts to unify and drive forward Unix. BSD and the OSF both withered even as Unix became critical to computing.

      Perhaps part of their problem was that both BSD and the OSF depended on fairly traditional development processes. Version control was primitive (CVS came into use only during the late 1980s) and testing was seen as a task for a separate QA team. The management of people and personalities was even less understood. Under such conditions, an orderly and convivial development model for Unix seemed impossible.

      But the Internet was growing and with it new opportunities for collaborative production. The final article in this series starts with that elusive promise. Programmers were exploring new models for distributed development in the early 1990s, including a 19-year-old computer science student named Linus Torvalds.

    • Kernel Space

      • Google Continues Work On Linux "Restricted DMA" For Situations Like Remote WiFi Attacks - Phoronix

        Google engineers continue working on the Linux kernel around "Restricted DMA" for helping to protect systems that lack DMA access control for hardware without an IOMMU.

        Protected DMA aims to help prevent data leakage or corruption stemming from DMA access to system memory unexpectedly for systems without an IOMMU. One of the lead motivators for this work is due to PCI Express giving full system memory access and there already being proven vulnerabilities like WiFi firmware exploits that could escalate to a full system exploit even remotely via WiFi. Google's Project Zero illustrated such WiFi attacks in 2017.

      • Bootlin welcomes Thomas Perrot in its team - Bootlin's blog

        Since December 1st, 2020, we’re happy to have in our team an additional engineer, Thomas Perrot, who joined our office in Toulouse, France.

      • Various helpful feedback

        I will still attempt to get the 5.10.x kernel to be "AMD friendly", for those who want to run EasyOS on modern AMD hardware.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Raspberry Pi "VC4" DRM Driver Sees 10/12 BPC Color Depth With Linux 5.12 - Phoronix

          With Linux 5.12 the Broadcom BCM2711 SoC used by the Raspberry Pi 4 will see 10 and 12-bit color support with the VC4 Direct Rendering Manager driver.

          Currently the open-source VC4 DRM driver that is used by the Raspberry Pi 4 and newer has just been exposing 8-bit color support while 10/12-bit support is pending for Linux 5.12 for those with capable displays.

        • HDMI Forum Closing Public Specification Access Is Hurting Open-Source GPU Drivers

          It's been recently elaborated why the likes of FreeSync support over HDMI aren't coming to the open-source drivers, at least not yet... It stems from the decision by the HDMI Forum to prevent public access to the HDMI specification, which in turn is hurting open-source graphics drivers.

          With the HDMI specification no longer being public but only to "HDMI Adopters" is complicating the open-source GPU driver support. Even for those that are part of the HDMI Forum like AMD in turn cannot provide an open-source implementation of features covered by the closed spec for in turn potentially and indirectly opening up aspects of it to the public.

    • Applications

      • theBeat – audio player

        Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

        theBeat is an audio player that’s based on Phonon, the multimedia API provided by KDE and is the standard abstraction for handling multimedia streams within KDE software.

        theBeat is free and open source software built using Qt.

      • gdu Is A Fast Console Disk Usage Analyzer (Alternative To ncdu, du, Etc.)

        du is a new console disk usage analyzer developed with speed in mind. It's written in Go, and available for Linux, macOS and Microsoft Windows.

        gdu (Go Disk Usage) is very similar to ncdu, a popular console disk usage analyzer, with one major difference: speed. gdu makes use of parallel processing, being especially created for solid state drives (SSD). It also works with hard disk drives (HDD), but its performance gain compared to other tools is not so great in this case.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using the Find Command in Linux

        There’s a very powerful Linux command that can save you lots of headaches when used in the right places. It’s called find. It walks through the file tree, starting from the provided path. Next, it prints each directory and file, including its path relative to the current working directory. Let’s explore the find command in Linux together!

      • NixOS Development Environments

        When developing and running software, and many times, you need a very particular set of libraries in your environment. You achieve this with virtual environments, containers, and other tricks. However, you do not necessarily need all that. One common case is when you program in Python, you must choose between the two big versions. This has caused many headaches for users and developers alike. You can avoid all this if your libraries are designated, especially for one run. This may sound impossible or unnecessary, but it is very convenient for rare use cases and development.


        Using NixOS requires a bit more effort than other distributions. Having said that, if you want to develop software, the effort is worth it. You will keep your main system cleaner and can hop between projects without creating troublesome conflicts between environments.

      • Getting started with GIT on Linux

        Git is a distributed version control system. It is used for tracking changes in any files. It was designed for coordinating work among programmers operating on source code during the software development process. In this article, I will show you the commands to perform basic operations on a Git repository. We will use the Ubuntu server as an OS. The same commands can work on any of the operating systems and just the installation part will be different.

      • How to Check A Software Package Details in Ubuntu Linux | UbuntuHandbook

        Looking for detailed information about a software package, e.g., maintainer, dependencies, sources, installed size, etc?

        There are a few tools to tell the information of software packages in classic .deb format in Ubuntu Linux. And here I’m going to show you one by one.

      • How to Configure FTP with TLS in Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is primarily used to transfer files between computers. FTP works in client-server architecture, in which the client asks for a file from the server and the server returns the required file to the client. On the client machine, the FTP client application is used to communicate with the server. It is also possible to access the FTP server on the browser. By default, FTP communicates over an insecure channel, but it is possible to configure FTP to transfer data over a secure channel. In this tutorial, you will learn how to configure an FTP server with TLS and then use FileZilla as a client application to connect with the FTP Server.

      • How to Configure SPICE Server in Debian 10

        The Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments or SPICE is a protocol used to access and control remote desktops of virtual machines. It is based on client-server model, where a server (SPICE server) is installed on the host machine and runs a guest VM to be accessed over the Internet. The guest VM is remotely controlled by an client system running a Spice client.

        QEMU, a open source machine emulator and virtualizer, uses SPICE server to provide remote desktop capabilities. QEMU executes the guest code directly on the host CPU. This improves performance QEMU itself uses KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), a linux kernel module, to perform hardware virtualization.

      • How to Install Vagrant Virtual Machine Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Vagrant is a command-line tool used by developers to manage different virtual machines. To use Vagrant in their system, users need to have either VirtualBox, or Hyper-V, or Docker installed in their systems. The plugin system of Vagrant also provides VMware support. Vagrant is used by developers on large scale to set-up their development environment and make use of it all across the various operating systems.

        Vagrant can be installed on various Linux platforms, here we will use Ubuntu as the basis. In this tutorial, we will walk users through the installation of Vagrant on an Ubuntu 20.04 system. We will be using VirtualBox as the virtualization backend.

      • How to Ping Ports on a Remote Host - buildVirtual

        This article is all about the different methods you can use to ping ports to help in troubleshooting network connectivity issues. The ping command is available across just about every device you can log in to, making it the go to tool to use to verify network connectivity to a remote host.

      • How to Upload a File using PHP & Ajax - Anto Online

        This post will show you how to upload a file using PHP & Ajax. File handling can sometimes require quite unique solutions. The conventional way of file upload is using a <form> tag. This solution works for many cases. But you might need to add some innovation when you need to upload without the form tag to avoid submitting the form.

        Practically speaking

        There are some points where submitting a form might not be useful. For example, you can be working on a products page. And, you want to give the user the option to upload and delete the product images. In this case, you do not want the form to submit. At the same time, you would want to update the images.

      • GIMP: How to Resize Image?

        While GIMP offers a ton of value and power, oftentimes, people find it difficult to operate. It’s understandable as GIMP isn’t the simplest image editor out there. While having tons of features is a boon, it also complicates things for novice users. However, once learned, GIMP is quite powerful.

        In image editing, readjusting the dimensions of an image is a common task. For the most part, image resizing is necessary if it’s too large to fit the target job. For example, an image with 1920x1080px resolution needs to be scaled down for the thumbnail.

        GIMP offers simple methods to resize an image to the desired dimension.

      • How to Use AWK on Linux – Linux Hint

        The utilities Linux offer often follow the UNIX philosophy of design. Any tool should be small, use plain text for I/O, and operate in a modular manner. Thanks to the legacy, we have some of the finest text processing functionalities with the help of tools like sed and awk.

        In Linux, the awk tool comes pre-installed on all Linux distros. AWK itself is a programming language. The AWK tool is just an interpreter of the AWK programming language. In this guide, check out how to use AWK on Linux.

      • How to Use Termux to Run Command Line Linux Apps in Android – Linux Hint

        This article covers a guide on the “Termux” Android app that allows you to run command-line programs and scripts on Android devices.

        Termux is an open-source terminal emulator application that works on Android devices. It also works as a sort of mini Linux OS, packed with many tools and utilities you commonly see in desktop Linux distributions. You can use Termux to install and run numerous command-line apps through its own package manager. No root access is required to install and run Termux on Android. You can even use a lightweight desktop environment GUIs without hardware acceleration through Termux (via VNC), but they may be slow and not exactly usable on small screen touch devices. Termux is extremely popular among developers and other users who want to access CLI Linux apps on Android. It is the closest thing you get to a Linux OS on Android, and it is a pleasure to use with its touch-optimized interface suitable for small screen devices. Termux features additional keyboard actions making it easy to input symbols, and also features auto-completion through the <TAB> action key located in the top row of the on-screen keyboard.

      • How to enable HTTPS and SSL termination in a Quarkus app - Red Hat Developer

        When it comes to the container world, it is common to have an application deployed to a cluster that needs to be secured. In this article, I will show you how to enable HTTPS and SSL termination for a Quarkus application that is running in Red Hat OpenShift.

      • How to install deepin 20.1 - YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install deepin 20.1.

      • Neomutt Beginner Tutorial – Linux Hint

        “All email clients suck, this one just sucks less!” Quote from the lead developer. Checking email requires a web-based front-end or a separate mail client. These require graphical environments, with few exceptions. Neomutt is one such exception. With Neomutt, you can check your emails on the command line in a separate application. You may be limited when it comes to web-based emails, but there are workarounds also for that inconvenience.

      • Linux “getopts” Example – Linux Hint

        “getopts” is a very useful command in Linux that is mostly incorporated within bash scripts to take flags and arguments as inputs from the user. To further elaborate on the usage of this command in Linux Mint 20, we will be sharing with you two different examples of its usage in this article.

      • Visualize Apache Logs with ELK Stack – Linux Hint

        Monitoring and analyzing logs for various infrastructures in real-time can be a very tedious job. When dealing with services like web servers that constantly log data, the process can very be complex and nearly impossible.

        As such, knowing how to use tools to monitor, visualize, and analyze logs in real-time can help you trace and troubleshoot problems and monitor suspicious system activities.

        This tutorial will discuss how you can use one of the best real-time log collections and analyzing tools- ELK. Using ELK, commonly known as Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana, you can collect, log, and analyze data from an apache web server in real-time.

      • What is Cat EOF in Bash Script? – Linux Hint

        The EOF operator is used in many programming languages. This operator stands for the end of the file. This means that wherever a compiler or an interpreter encounters this operator, it will receive an indication that the file it was reading has ended. Similarly, in bash, the EOF operator is used to specify the end of the file. When this operator is paired with the “cat” command in bash, it can be used to serve various other purposes.

        It is generally used either to print the text of a file in the terminal or to copy the contents of a file to another specified location. The “cat” command, followed by the file name, allows you to view the contents of any file in the Linux terminal. However, instead of performing this step to view the contents of a file, we can simply incorporate this step into our bash script to serve the same purpose. This article shows you the usage of the Cat EOF operator in a bash script in Linux Mint 20 with examples.

      • OpenLDAP beginner guide – Linux Hint

        OpenLDAP is a free and open-source implementation of LDAP(Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). Many organizations use the LDAP protocol for centralized authentication and directory access services over a network. OpenLDAP is developed by the OpenLDAP Project and organized by the OpenLDAP Foundation.

      • Linux vmstat Command Tutorial for Beginners – Linux Hint

        As a system administrator, or even as a normal computer user, you may want to keep a keen eye on all the activities and operations taking place in your computer system. Obviously, you cannot break your hardware to see what is happening; rather, you will need a software utility to do so.

        The vmstat command in Linux is used for this exact purpose. Vstat is an acronym that stands for Virtual Memory Statistics Reporter and performs this very operation on your system. This article provides a beginner’s guide on the vmstat command in Linux Mint 20.

      • Linux lsblk Command Tutorial For Beginners

        Wikipedia defines a device file or special file as an interface to a device driver that appears in a file system as if it were an ordinary file. Block devices include Hard disks, Flash drives, Optical media, etc.

        This tutorial discusses how to use the lsblk command to display information about block devices in a system. The tool utilizes the /sys virtual filesystem to fetch information about the devices. However, it’s worth noting that the tool does not display the RAM disk in the output.

      • Linux Kernel Makefile Explained – Linux Hint

        In software development, the process of creating and managing large code repositories can become very complex easily. To manage and reduce this complexity, software developers organize code in small files that link to specific modules. Developers can compile each of these files separately and then link them together to create a final software executable.

        An example of this is C projects made up of source code files in .c extensions and software interfaces in .h extensions. Each source file gets compiled together with the header files to create. o objects linked together using libraries, thereby creating executable files.

        To perform this process, software developers use tools, such as Make, to automate the build process and required file dependencies. Make uses Makefiles to manage the behavior of the compilation process.

      • Linux Chmod Command Tutorial for Beginners – Linux Hint

        Most of the fresh users to Linux are searching for a way via the command prompt to modify the file/directory permissions. Those users would be pleased to know that there is a command - dubbed or chmod, e.g. change mode - that help you do this quickly. Chmod modifies each document's rights by mode, in which the mode specifies the privileges to be updated. You may designate a mode with octal numerical or letters.

      • A Simple Guide to Create, Open, and Edit bash_profile

        The .bash_profile is used for customizing the user configuration settings. This file is located in the home directory and is mostly hidden. The .bash_profile files are considered as configuration scripts. They can include variable specifications, export variables, and login commands such as mail or news search.

      • How to Install PHP on Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04

        PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is one of the oldest server-side programming languages used to create Dynamic and Responsive Web-App.

        The most popular CMS and frameworks like WordPress, Magento, Joomla Drupal, and Laravel are written in PHP Language.

        In this guide will cover How to Install PHP on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 with the Apache and Nginx web-server.

      • How to Install Deepin Desktop in Arch Linux [Complete Guide]

        In this guide we explain the steps required to install beautiful Deepin Desktop in Arch Linux.

    • Games

      • Good News for Linux Gamers! An Unofficial Epic Games Store Launcher for Linux is in Works

        Linux gaming is getting more interesting as the open-source community is providing better support and tools for gamers. Now, yet another game launcher — Heroic Games Launcher is here to specifically act as a native alternative to Epic Games Store.

      • Check out some fresh footage of The Iron Oath, an upcoming turn-based tactical RPG | GamingOnLinux

        More turn-based tactical RPG goodness is coming to Linux (whenever it's finished) with The Iron Oath, and Curious Panda Games have released some more up to date footage.

        "The Iron Oath is a turn-based tactical RPG within a medieval fantasy setting. Lead, recruit and manage a band of mercenaries who will age, retire and die. Fulfill contracts over decades and centuries, and build your company's renown while navigating an ever-changing world."

        Originally funded on Kickstarter where the team managed to raise around $94,524 back in 2017, so it has been in development for a little while now. In March of 2020, they also announced that Humble Games picked them up as the publisher but they have 100% control still.

      • Loop Hero is a unique looking adventure deck-builder mix with an endless cycle of despair

        Loop Hero is a probably the most unique deck-building mix I've seen yet. Coming from Four Quarters and Devolver Digital later in 2021.

        Four Quarters originally created Loop Hero under the name of LooPatHerO during a Ludum Dare game jam, and it must have been promising enough since it's coming to a full expanded release. The good news is they will be doing a Linux build, as confirmed on Steam by the developer.

        "The Lich has thrown the world into a timeless loop and plunged its inhabitants into never ending chaos. Wield an expanding deck of mystical cards to place enemies, buildings, and terrain along each unique expedition loop for the brave hero. Recover and equip powerful loot for each class of hero for their battles and expand the survivors' camp to reinforce each adventure through the loop. Unlock new classes, new cards, and devious guardians on your quest to shatter the endless cycle of despair."

      • NERTS! Online is a new free to play online card game from Zachtronics out now | GamingOnLinux

        Zachtronics are well known for their excellent puzzle games which often sneak in some form of solitaire, this time around though they've put out a full solitaire style game you play online with friends in NERTS! Online.

        "Unlike the rest of our solitaire games, we did not invent Nerts. We learned about it from our artist Kyle, who has played it for years, and started playing it after lunch in the Zachtronics office. Over time we added more to it, including house rules, longer tournaments, and even a theme song."

      • Them's Fightin' Herds for Linux now planned for the 2.0 update and the port is 'done'

        We've been waiting a while now on the upcoming official Linux support for Them's Fightin' Herds and it's coming closer but we're seeing a delay.

        "Them’s Fightin’ Herds is an indie fighting game featuring a cast of adorable animals designed by acclaimed cartoon producer Lauren Faust. Beneath the cute and cuddly surface, a serious fighter awaits!"

        Originally funded during an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign back in 2015, it had Linux and macOS support down as stretch goals where the developer wanted extra funds to complete the ports. The team managed to raise far more than they set as their goals and it later released for Windows in May of 2020.

        Linux support was going to be launching with the 1.5 update, which is now going to be the 2.0 update for Linux.

      • Here's a few of the Linux games we're excited to see through 2021

        Looking forward to 2021 for gaming on Linux? We are and there's plenty of sweet indie games coming to get interested in and follow along. Now and then we like to stop, slow down a moment and just take it all in as so many announcements get lost in a vast ocean of news.

        Here's just a small slice of games and expansions confirmed for Linux desktop support through 2021, hand-picked for those that look like they could be worth keeping an eye on. Some have likely been mentioned across other articles but this is a fresh gathering for you. Some will be entering Early Access, some leaving to hit the big 1.0. Not everything has an up to date trailer but we're including one where we can.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Open-source contributors say they'll pull out of Qt as LTS release goes commercial-only

          The Qt Company has followed up on its plan to make long-term support releases commercial-only by closing the source for 5.15 today, earning protests from open-source contributors who say that the 6.0 release, which remains open, is not yet usable.

          Qt is a cross-platform application framework available both under open-source and commercial licences. It was around one year ago that the Qt Company stated its plan to make LTS releases commercial-only, along with some other changes designed to encourage open-source users either to contribute to the project or buy a commercial licence.

          On 8 December CTO and chief maintainer Lars Knoll noted the arrival of Qt 6.0, "the first release of a major new version."

          Qt 6.0 has a new graphics architecture which takes advantage of the native 3D graphics API of each platform on which it runs, as well as the next generation of QML (Qt Modeling Language) for defining a user interface. However, Knoll acknowledged that 6.0 still has limitations.

    • Distributions

      • The Linux distribution I was most thankful for in 2020 - EndeavourOS

        How do you know when someone uses Arch Linux? They will tell you. Welcome to an article telling you about how I use Arch Linux, well sort of anyway. It's a running joke in the Linux community and now one I am very much a part of.

        Over the many years I've used Linux since discovering it properly about 17 years ago, I've seen many distributions rise and fall. With that in mind, I've obviously used quite a lot of different distributions. Like many people, early on in my Linux life I was a "distro hopper", someone who can't sit still and has to keep trying everything out. Moving between the likes of Mandrake (before it was Mandriva), Fedora Core (the original Fedora name), openSUSE and eventually feeling quite at home when discovering Ubuntu.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa Available for Download. This is What’s New

          Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa release .ISOs are ready to download from the mirrors as they are still getting updates. The official announcement to follow shortly. Take a look at what's new in Linux Mint 20.1 and how to download/upgrade.

        • Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Is Now Available for Download, This Is What’s New

          Linux Mint 20.1 is based on the Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS point release in the Focal Fossa series and comes with the long-term supported Linux 5.4 kernel series. It comes as an update to the Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” release, which is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and supported until 2025.

          As expected, Linux Mint 20.1 includes various refinements, updated packages, as well as some new features to make your Linux Mint experience more enjoyable. But if you’re already using Linux Mint 20 and you have all the updates installed on your system, there’s no need to download the new ISO images.

        • OpenStack for telcos by Canonical

          OpenStack has been around for a good while now, and many of us associate it with the period of IT technology’s initial transition from individual appliance implementation on hardware, to cloud compute and virtualisation. And yet in 2020 we cannot skip this topic when talking telco infrastructure.

          So how is OpenStack still pertinent to telco organisations, and what in broad terms is new and exciting or worth discussing today about OpenStack?

          Simply put, OpenStack remains at the heart of the telco infrastructure, as it is still the primary building block across an entire stack, consisting – for example – of MAAS for bare metal provisioning, Kubernetes for container orchestration, and Juju for operators. When thinking about an infrastructure like this, there’s still a need today for a software that’s managing distributed compute network and storage resources, exposing them as a single pool that’s available for the end users. And we see OpenStack constantly gaining momentum in that space.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 2020 in Free Software

        Among other noteworthy trends in 2020, producing free and secure video conferencing software has become a higher priority in the past year.

        Looking back at 2020, it's impossible not to talk about the pandemic or the economy. However, free software businesses and communities suffered less than many organizations this year, for the simple reason that many of the precautions that others scrambled to put in place have been standard practice in free software for decades. For example, when everyone was advised to work from home, many Ubuntu employees were doing so already. Aside from a surge of interest in video conferencing, the pandemic has been largely business as usual in free software.

        For that reason, a thorough summary of trends and events in free software during 2020 is impossible. As usual, too much was happening. However, here is my pick of the key events of 2020 at every level from the corporate to the home desktop.


        Free software seems to have held its own in 2020 – which is more than many organizations can say. Noticeably, the list of top ten page hits on Distrowatch remained almost unchanged, which suggests this last year was not a time for innovation.

        A possibly more ominous note was struck in December by Hans Petter Jansson in his blog, "The Graying of GNOME," in which he tracks the origins of commits to GNOME over the years.

        Jansson concludes that GNOME "has hundreds of experienced and first-time contributors every year. It is well-organized and arguably well-funded compared to its peers." However, he also concludes that the project's commits peaked around 2010. Currently, fewer and fewer veterans do most of the work, and are not being replaced by newcomers. He adds that, while corporate sponsorship is probably required, the number of sponsors is thinning.

        Of course, in a year like 2020, just survival is an accomplishment.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Secure: Enable DNS Over HTTPS On Firefox

            You might have been familiar with being blocked to visit Wikipedia or Reddit or such sites in your country. That means your network, DNS path in particular, is not secure. If you can make it secure, you can visit that sites just like other sites normally. You can do that with the previous DNSCrypt Guide or fortunately these days it is even more simpler, enable Dns Over Https (DoH) on your web browser. This simple guide is applicable to Ubuntu, Mint, Trisquel (Abrowser), PureOS (PureBrowser), and any other GNU/Linux systems. Now let's go secure!

      • Programming/Development

        • Use of number_format() Function in PHP – Linux Hint

          The number_format() function is used to format the number of data. It is a built-in function of PHP that is also used to format a number with grouped thousands. It returns a string value based on the parameters used in this function. The purposes of using different parameters of this function and how this function can be used to format the number have been shown in this tutorial.

        • Use of mail() Function in PHP on Ubuntu – Linux Hint

          The mail() function is a built-in PHP function that is used to send email from the localhost. But some configurations are required to send email using this function. You will need the real mail server information for setting up the configuration. You can use the mail server information of your active hosting server, or you can use any free mail server information. A Gmail account and the SMTP server information of Gmail are used in this tutorial to send email using the mail() function.

        • Use of preg_match() Function in PHP – Linux Hint

          The regular expression is a particular pattern that can be used to match, search, and replace any particular string in text data. It is a powerful feature of any programming language. It is mainly used to perform different types of form validations, such as validating email, checking the phone format, validating the username and password fields of the login form, etc. Any particular content of the text can be search and replaced using a regular expression pattern. It is also called regex or RegExp. Different types of symbols are used to define the regex pattern.

          Many built-in functions exist in PHP for the regular expression. preg_match() function is one of them. This function is used for matching a particular pattern in string data. How the preg_match() function can be used in PHP for performing various tasks is explained in this tutorial.

        • Use of join() Function in PHP – Linux Hint

          join() function works similarly as the other built-in function of PHP named implode(). It is used to create a string value by combining the values of the array. This function uses a particular delimiter to combine the array values. The empty string(”) is used as the default delimiter of this function if no delimiter is used. How the join() function can be used in PHP is shown in this tutorial.

        • Use of implode() Function in PHP – Linux Hint

          implode() is a built-in function of PHP that generates a string value by combining the elements of an array with a delimiter. It works like another built-in function of PHP, join(). This function is used for various purposes in the script. For example, when we need to pass the string data with space from one script to another, then the string data can be converted into an array using another built-in function, explode(), before passing the data into another script. The original string data can be retrieved from the array in the second script using the implode() function. How this function can be used in a PHP script is shown in this tutorial.

        • Object Lifetime and Storage Duration in C++

          While creating an object, its location in memory has to be established, before it is initialized. Initialization means putting value into the location. The lifetime of an object starts just after initialization. When an object dies, its location (storage), which the object occupied is released and then the computer is shut down or the storage is taken up (used) by another object. Releasing a storage means, making the identifier or pointer that occupied the storage, invalid. The lifetime of an object ends, when its storage is released.

          Some time is needed to create an object. Some time is needed to kill an object. When talking about an object, two things are involved: the location which is the storage, and the value. The meaning of lifetime and storage duration are similar; but the duration is seen more from the point of view of the location than from the point of view of the value. The storage duration is the time from when a location is associated to an object to the time when the location is dissociated from the object.

          The rest of this article illustrates the object lifetime, and briefly explains the different storage durations. You should have basic knowledge in C++ in order to understand this article. You should also have knowledge in C++ scope.

        • MySQL Workbench Tutorial for Ubuntu

          MySQL Workbench is a cross-platform GUI client for MySQL database users and administrators. Workbench makes the task easier for database admins by providing important tools to manage databases and users, creating databases, running SQL queries, setting up and configuring servers, and many more.

          It is a powerful tool that enables us to visualize modules for creating, executing, and optimizing several queries. So, in this article, I am going to give a tour of MySQL Workbench and show you how to use it.

        • Guido van Rossum: Python creator whose work simplified coding

          This computer programming pioneer created the Python programming language, contributed a glob() routine to BSD Unix and aided in developing the ABC programming language.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • ViaSat Asks FCC To Investigate Space X For Space Pollution

        So we've already noted how Space X's Starlink low-orbit satellite broadband service isn't going to revolutionize the broadband industry. The service lacks the capacity to service dense urban or suburban areas, meaning it won't pose much of a threat to traditional cable and fiber providers. With a $100 monthly price tag and $500 hardware fee, it's not exactly a miracle cure for the millions of low-income Americans struggling to afford a broadband connection, either.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cairo, dovecot, and minidlna), Oracle (ImageMagick), Scientific Linux (ImageMagick), SUSE (clamav, dovecot23, java-1_8_0-ibm, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, p11-kit, and wavpack).

          • Microsoft: SolarWinds Attackers Viewed Our Source Code [Ed: More like Microsoft PR than news]

            Microsoft has revealed that the nation state group behind a recent global cyber-espionage campaign managed to view some of the firm’s source code.

          • Fix for key could not be looked up remotely

            The HKP protocol uses 11371/tcp for communication. In order to get the signed keys from the servers (using pacman-key), this port is required for communication.

          • RCE 'Bug' Found and Disputed in Popular PHP Scripting Framework | Threatpost

            Impacted are PHP-based websites running a vulnerable version of the web-app creation tool Zend Framework and some Laminas Project releases.

            Versions of the popular developer tool Zend Framework and its successor Laminas Project can be abused by an attacker to execute remote code on PHP-based websites, if they are running web-based applications that are vulnerable to attack.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • FBI Warns Assholes Are Now Combining Compromised IoT Devices With Swatting Because That's The Hell We Now Live In

              Late last year, it was discovered that yet another set of IoT devices were being turned against their owners by malicious people. It would be a stretch to call these losers "hackers," considering all they did was utilize credentials harvested from multiple security breaches to take control of poorly secured cameras made by Ring.

            • Oakland Privacy and the People of Vallejo Prevail in the Fight For Surveillance Accountability

              Introduced by then state-senator Jerry Hill, SB 741 requires an open and transparent process before a local government agency in California may acquire CSS technology. EFF explained this in our own letter to the Vallejo Mayor and City Council days after the illegal purchase had been approved. Specifically, the law requires an agency to write, and publish online for public review, a policy that ensures "the collection, use, maintenance, sharing, and dissemination of information gathered through the use of cellular communications interception technology complies with all applicable law and is consistent with respect for an individual's privacy and civil liberties."

              Despite notice from Oakland Privacy that the proposal violated SB 741, the Vallejo City Council on March 24, 2020, authorized their police department to purchase CSS technology from KeyW Corporation. Meanwhile, the City and the nation were adapting to shelter in place protocols intended to suppress the spread of COVID-19, which limited public participation in Vallejo’s CSS proposal.

              In his ruling, Solano County Superior Court Judge Bradley Nelson reasoned:

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Parler, Desperate For Attention, Pretends It Doesn't Need Section 230

        One of the more bizarre parts of the Parler debate is the weird insistence among many in the Trumpist set that somehow taking away Section 230 will magically lead to less moderation, rather than more. This is almost certainly untrue, because assuming a shift to more traditional distributor liability rules as were considered in place prior to Section 230, websites would potentially face liability for content that violated the law if they were shown to have knowledge of the law-violating material.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Philadelphia Residents On The Hook For $9.8 Million For Putting The Wrong Man In Prison For 28 Years

        Plenty of people can ruin lives. But no one can ruin lives like cops and prosecutors.

      • Pussygate to Peachgate: O, Just Shut It, DJ, On Your Way Out

        While the MSM wears sheepish grins to these crass doings (they’ve been there themselves here, here, here, and here), humankine just mows the koan and chews the cud, unsullied by these late, sad, sad ruminations.

        But even though Republicans are now just turning their backs on the Elephant Man in the Room, all-too-visible, and as naked as Dylan seemed to croak about president Nixon in “It’s Alright, Ma,” in that live, passionate Down In the Flood album version. Down in the Flood. Could be the anthem for our age, again. (Jesus, was the Bard from Duluth prescient or what?). Even though…We mustn’t get too fixated on Trump’s pixilations as we sort out what happened a couple of days ago in Georgia.

      • 'Justice Was Not Served': No Charges Against Kenosha Cop Who Shot and Paralyzed Jacob Blake

        "We feel this decision failed not only Jacob and his family, but the community that protested and demanded justice," said his attorneys.

      • “Medical Apartheid”: Israeli Vaccine Drive Excludes Millions of Palestinians in Occupied Territories

        Israel has administered COVID-19 vaccines faster than any country in the world, with more than 14% of Israelis receiving vaccines so far. Despite the fast rollout, human rights groups are expressing alarm over Israel’s decision not to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, where about 1,500 people have died during the pandemic. Israel has defended its actions citing the Oslo Peace Accords, which put Palestinian authorities in charge of healthcare in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian officials are facing a number of hurdles in launching their own vaccine campaign, including a shortage of money, lack of access to vaccines and lack of infrastructure to distribute a vaccine. “Israel actually is violating international law because it is denying its responsibility as an occupying power,” says Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a physician, member of the Palestinian Parliament and head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. “Israelis are getting the vaccines, and Palestinians are getting nothing.”

      • What We Can Learn About Activism Today in the Archives of Queer History

        In 1979 a young woman called the Lesbian Switchboard, a hotline in New York City, and a volunteer picked up. The caller was lonely and wanted to know where she could meet other people like her—women attracted to other women. Another person called, and she was in an interracial relationship and was looking for a safe and open place to take her Black girlfriend on vacation. Another caller was a trans man who wanted to know where he could find a general practitioner. The volunteer, drawing on the hotline’s ethic of providing help without shame, judgment, or personal input, gave the callers the information or comfort that the person could. At the end of the calls, the volunteer logged the details in a ruled notebook, such as “18-yr. old ♀, isolated. Doesn’t have any lesbian friends. No connection with lesbian community. In Bklyn.” Over 30 years later, Cait McKinney picked up the call logs, stored among the many boxes and collections at the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA) in New York City, and fit the pieces together in a new book, Information Activism.

      • Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast: Decolonising aid

        Over the summer of 2020, Black Lives Matter sparked a global conversation about race and inequality. We saw passion, energy, the tearing down of statues, and protests in the street.

        The police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and several other Black Americans forced many around the world to look introspectively and critically at systemic power imbalances. The aid sector was no exception, with growing calls for it to be decolonised.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Lawmakers Complain About Comcast's Bullshit Expanded Usage Caps

        Last November, Comcast announced it would be expanding its bullshit usage caps and overage fees into the Northeast. For years, the Northeast had avoided the utterly pointless cash grab that is broadband usage caps because Comcast faced at least a tiny bit of competition from (uncapped) Verizon FiOS. But as federal and state regulators have grown more toothless and pathetic, Comcast's eagerness to expand the surcharges has only grown.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • [Guest post] The Wuhan Submarine surfaces at Christmas in global Ericsson/Samsung SEP battle - The IPKat

          Ericsson and Samsung are re-negotiating a cross-licence of standards-essential patents. Samsung had an interesting Christmas present for Ericsson: an ex-parte anti-suit injunction from Wuhan, China on Christmas morning. Ericsson replied on Monday 28th with an Anti-Anti Suit Injunction (AASI) in the form of a Temporary Restraining Order from Marshall, Texas, and on New Year’s day it added eight patents to its US action. A full hearing of the Anti-Anti Suit injunction is scheduled for 7 January.


          Ericsson reacted quickly: on Monday 28th December they filed for and obtained an AASI in the form of a broad temporary restraining order and an anti-interference injunction. It is not specific to the injunction issued in Wuhan: it covers any action that might prevent Ericsson asserting its U.S. patents against Samsung. Ericsson also asked for and obtained an indemnity in case the Wuhan Court fines Ericsson for participating in its US case or asserting its United States patent rights for the amount of the fine. Because this was ex parte, there is to be a follow up inter partes hearing on 7 January.

          On 1 January Ericsson added eight patents to its US action. Samsung also filed its reply to the AASI, attaching a declaration by former Federal Circuit Judge Randall Rader. Judge Rader argues that in his experience from having visited some Chinese courts, the process in China will be transparent and fair. Judge Gilstrap will have to consider these arguments tomorrow, Thursday 7 January.

          Whatever happens this week, two learning points emerge. First, it appears that a Wuhan submarine will be, for now, a standard procedural step in FRAND disputes, closely followed by anti-anti-suit injunctions elsewhere. Secondly, drafting a patent license agreement to end on 31 December is a great way to spoil a holiday.

      • Copyrights

        • Part Of Apple's Abuse Of The DMCA Against Corellium Thrown Out... But Part Of It Lives On

          Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote about a very troubling case in which Apple sued Corellium, arguing that it was copyright infringement for the company to create a virtualization tool to let users create and interact with virtual iOS devices. As we noted, virtualization is a useful tool for a wide variety of issues, including security researchers and app developers. A key part of Apple's lawsuit was that this virtualization violated Section 1201 of the DMCA. As we've explained for years, DMCA 1201 is the "anti-circumvention" part of the DMCA, and has been widely abused to try to stop perfectly legitimate activity that has nothing to do with copyright infringement. DMCA 1201 is a bad law and honestly we'd be better to just toss the whole thing in the garbage.

        • Nintendo Mass DMCA Takedown Removes Hundreds of Fangames from Game Jolt

          Hundreds of non-commercial Nintendo fangames have been removed from the popular game publishing community Game Jolt after the platform complied with several DMCA takedown requests. Many of the affected games have dedicated fanbases including many die-hard Nintendo fans, some of whom now seem eager to revolt.

        • Sci-Hub: Scientists, Academics, Teachers & Students Protest Blocking Lawsuit

          Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society filed a lawsuit in India late December to compel local ISPs to block access to Sci-Hub and Libgen on copyright infringement grounds. With the case set for a hearing tomorrow, scientists, academics, teachers and students are calling on the government to prevent a blockade for the good of society.

Recent Techrights' Posts

The Ongoing Evolutionary Process of News-Reading (or News-Finding) on the World Wide Web
it gets worse
"It's Obvious There's No Future For Any of Us from Blizzard at Microsoft"
The rumours suggest that more Microsoft layoffs are on the way
[Meme] Who's the Boss?
"I thought EPC governed the Office"
Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) at the EPO and Why Workers' Salary is Actually Decreasing Each Year (Currency Loses Its Purchasing Power)
outline and update on a years-old blunder
Ongoing Media Campaign, Sponsored by Bill Gates, to Portray Critics of Gates Crimes as "Conspiracy" Cranks
In prior years we wrote about this PR tactic of Gates
End of an Era
The Web isn't just filled with marketing spam but actual disinformation
[Meme] Onboarding New EPO Staff
You read the patent application and grant within hours
The Legacy Prolific Writers Leave Behind Them
"Free Software Credibility Index" after more than 15 years
Phoronix in Google News
congratulating or welcoming Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.)
Google Fired Many Employees Working on Google News (Which Had Deteriorated and Became Gulag Noise, Littered and Gamed by Blogspam, Plagiarism, and Chatbot/Translator-Generated Spew), Now Comes the Likely 'Phase-out'
No wonder many yearn for the days of DMOZ and Web directories in general
IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 26, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, February 26, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Exposed: FSFE, Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), Legal Network & Modern Slavery
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 26/02/2024: Mastodon Trouble, RSS, and Zombie-scrolling
Links for the day
Links 26/02/2024: Suicide Crisis and Doctor Walkouts in South Korea
Links for the day
Why Do People Who Attack GNU/Linux Hate Women So Much?
My wife is being viciously targeted again
[Meme] Follow the Law, Not Corrupt Bosses
pressuring staff to break the rules to make more money
The EPO Uses Appraisals to Force Staff to Illegally Grant European Patents or Lose the Job. The Matter is Being Escalated en Masse to ILO-AT, Requesting a Review of Appraisal Reports.
it is only getting worse over time
Debian History Harassment & Abuse culture evolution
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 25, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Chronic Pain and a Hall of the Broken Things
Links for the day
Links 25/02/2024: New Rants About 'Hey Hi' Hype and JavaScript Bloat
Links for the day
Going Static Helped the Planet, Too
As we've been saying since last year
Chris Rutter, Winchester College, Clare College choir, Arm Ltd, underage workers & Debian accidental deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Blocking Crawlers and Moving to gemserv
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 24, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, February 24, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
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