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Links 31/5/2021: 4MLinux 36.1, BlankOn 12 Beta, Linux 5.13 RC4, GNU M4 1.4.19 and Gnuastro 0.15

  • GNU/Linux

    • Why Your Hardware Does Not Work with Libre Distros

      This article supplies the reasons on why some of your hardware like wifi or GPU does not work with libre software distro like Trisquel GNU/Linux, Debian and others. In short, it is because the difference between the operating system and the device requirements. The solution relies on either the manufacturer or the users to solve this issue. This is a compilation and summary of several important resources in Libre Software Community where GNU/Linux is a fundamental part of. This also includes Glossary at the end. Read the explanation below.

    • Grab a coffee and come read the latest Sunday Section - May 30

      Time to round-up some of the smaller items we unfortunately didn't get time to go over this week, grab a coffee and relax with a short read of some good stuff.

      First up - Flatpak 1.11.1 officially solves the issue of newer Proton versions not running correctly inside Steam Flatpak, look out for distribution updates. Linux gaming with compatibility layers just got even better - nice!

      On the subject of compatibility layers for running Windows games on Linux, the community-built Proton-6.9-GE-2 has been released as a quick follow-up to solve issues with Resident Evil Village. If you want to know more about Proton and Steam Play, see our dedicated area.

      The KDE camp have been continuing their mass clean-up of Plasma to improve all aspects of it. Developer Nate Graham released the usual blog post to go over recent works done. One of the huge and exciting bits from this week is that Plasma has seen a major reliability improvement for Wayland on NVIDIA hardware!

      7 Days to Die got a Alpha 19.5 release bringing Twitch Integration along with: Voxel mesh pooling, Chunk decal and model dither fading, Distant terrain decreases mesh detail when farther, a gfx dtmaxlod console command and also allowing selection of steering mode on controllers by pressing DPad down. The performance improvements should make it smoother than ever. You can buy it from Humble Store and Steam.

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: May 30th, 2021

      Thank you everyone for the love you showed during this week by retweeting, liking, commenting, and whatnot. Thank you to everyone who followed us on social media, and a big thank you to everyone who donated so far. If you want to donate too, you can do it here (any amount is welcome).

      This week has been really interesting, but slow in Linux news. We only saw new releases of AlmaLinux, Oracle Linux, and Nitrux, and a new major release of the Inkscape SVG editor. Other than that, Fedora Linux 34 users received the latest Linux 5.12 kernel, and StarLabs adds Coreboot 5 support to two of its Linux laptops.

    • Linux Magazine's Latest Issue

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Git Bug: Bug Tracking Directly Inside Git!

        Bug tracking is useful for any project regardless of it's size and today we're looking at a bug tracker that integrates directly into git and fits inside your existing git workflow.

      • This Week in Linux 153: Audacity CLA Controversy, Ubuntu DMCA Notice, Have I Been Pwned, Inkscape

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a new announcement from DLN regarding the Fedora Podcast. In Distro News, we’ve got new releases from AlmaLinux OS, Lakka and a new Floppy related distro. We’ve got some legal news to discuss this week as Audacity is back in the news with some more controversial stuff going on. A user was informed by their ISP that apparently downloading Ubuntu is somehow bad. In Security News were going to talk about Firefox’s new security architecture Firefox Fission and apparently FBI is going to begin sharing breach / password data with the public. I’ll you know what that’s all about as well as so much more coming up on this week episode of TWIL, Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.13-rc4
        So after two small rc releases, the other show finally dropped, and
        rc4 is fairly sizable.

        It's not the biggest rc4 we've ever had, but it's certainly up there, believably competing for the title.

        That said, exactly because of the calm rc2 and rc3, the size of rc4 doesn't worry me, and I think the 5.13 release looks fairly normal. This bump is just because we had some stable work finally hit my tree. Notably the networking tree, but there's a lot of driver tree fixes too.

        The fixes are fairly spread out, and mostly small. Some of the bigger chunks are for new self tests (both bpf and kvm), and outside of those new tests the diffstat looks nice and flat (ie lots of smaller changes rather than big peaks). Networking (both core and drivers) does stand out, but there are filesystem fixes too (xfs, nfs, cifs), various random driver subsystems (sound, i2c, tty, usb, iio, scsi, spi..). And some arch updates (mostly kvm-related, but small arm64, s390, MIPS fixes - and some powerpc perf event descriptions too).

        Please do go test, and let's make sure 5.13 is solid.

      • Linux 5.13-rc4 Releases As A "Fairly Sizable" Test Release

        Linux 5.13-rc4 is out this US Memorial Day weekend and it has ticked up to being a rather large weekly test release.

        We are now mid-way through the Linux 5.13 cycle and 5.13-rc4 has ticked up to being a larger release compared to the prior small release candidates.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RenderDoc 1.14 Released With Support For Vulkan's Shader Printf - Phoronix

          RenderDoc 1.14 was released on Friday as the newest feature update to this open-source, cross-platform / cross-API graphics debugger.

          Notable with RenderDoc 1.14 is now supporting Vulkan's debug printf functionality for printing values / debug statements from shaders. RenderDoc 1.14 supports displaying print statements from shaders in Vulkan. Simple but very useful for debugging while writing shaders in being able to "printf" as desired.

        • AMDGPU To Expose More Information About GPU Throttling Status - Phoronix

          The AMD Radeon "AMDGPU" kernel driver for Linux is poised to report more graphics throttling status information to user-space.

          For those wondering if their graphics card is throttling and if it's due to power, current, or temperature reasons, the AMDGPU open-source kernel driver is being equipped with a throttler status field to be reported to user-space via the gpu_metrics data.

        • Cairo Graphics Sees Major Improvements To Its SVG Backend - Phoronix

          The Cairo 2D vector graphics library used by the likes of GTK, Mozilla, WebKit, and many other open-source projects is seeing some big strides made on its SVG back-end.

        • X.Org Server Lands X Input 2.4 Touchpad Gestures

          While there are no signs of X.Org Server 1.21 shipping anytime soon, being merged today to the Git code-base is bumping X Input to version 2.4 with the introduction of touchpad gestures.

          The X Input work to support touchpad gestures with the X.Org Server are now merged in place for the X.Org Server. The libXi support has already landed while the xf86-input-libinput driver handling has yet to be merged.

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA vs. AMD Linux Gaming Performance For End Of May 2021 Drivers - Phoronix

        With May quickly drawing to a close, here are some fresh Linux gaming benchmark figures for the latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards on their respective latest Linux graphics drivers while looking at the performance across a variety of OpenGL and Vulkan games/workloads.

        The latest AMD Radeon RX 6000 "RDNA2" and NVIDIA RTX 30 "Ampere" graphics cards were tested based on the cards I have available.

        Off an Ubuntu 21.04 install, on the NVIDIA side was the NVIDIA 465.31 latest driver while on the AMD side their newest open-source stack is made up of using Linux 5.13 Git and Mesa 21.2-devel via the Oibaf PPA.

    • Applications

      • Sublime Text 4 Is Here: What’s New for Linux Devices?

        Sublime Text has soared in popularity as one of the most loved GUI text editors across multiple platforms. After over three years of Sublime Text 3's release in 2017, the much-loved text editor is back with its newest release.

        Sublime Text 4 is here, and it brings many improvements and new features to the table, but what's new for Linux devices? Let's find out.

        ARM64 Linux Support

        Before this release, Sublime Text 4 was not available for devices that use ARM processors like the Raspberry Pi. Although ARM64 builds were available for experimental use through a private beta program earlier, you can get yourself an ARM64 build right from the install page and enjoy programming on the go.

      • Play Video as Animated Wallpaper in Ubuntu via This Tool

        Want to play a video as animated background wallpaper? There’s now a new tool to do the job via GPU rendering.

        Gpu Video Wallpaper is the project. As the name indicates, it uses GPU for rendering video with low CPU usage.

        The software uses MPV to play video file. So mp4, mkv, flv, gif, and large list of video formats are supported. And it plays video animated wallpaper in Dual- or Multi-monitors.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • IRC: run it or use it, but try to avoid doing both

        I habve only one piece of unrequested advice for anyone who thinks about running (or owning, I guess) an IRC network and/or *using* an IRC network: pick one or the other, but never both.

        If you run the servers, don't hang out on channels and chat.

        If you hang out in channels and chat, don't run the servers.

        Otherwise, there's a good chance you will end up in some kind of squeeze, whether from other people, or inflicted by yourself (and ON yourself) in some fit of prideful stupidity.

      • Contributing to Gemini ecosystem

        About a year ago I found out about Gemini protocol. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a new Internet protocol (which together with its accompanying gemtext format) aims to build an alternative “web, stripped right back to its essence”. It appealed to my love for minimalism and I built a few things for its ecosystem.

        Regardless of your views of Gemini, or familiarity, the greater lesson here is that even with a simple protocol, useful programs almost never are. Similar messages are echoed by others such as Text Editing Hates You Too (2019).

        This post requires no knowledge of Gemini protocol specifications. Each section focuses on one project, explaining why and how it was built. Feel free to skip “How” sections as it can go deep into technical details.

      • Installing Tryton Chart of Accounts for Switzerland

        I wanted to make it easy for more people to try the new Chart of Accounts discussed in my previous blog.

        Therefore, I've published it as a Debian package for users of the current stable version of Debian 10, buster.

      • Russell Coker: Wifi Performance on Linux

        Wifi usually just works. In the past I haven’t had to worry much about performance as for home use things have always been bearable and at work it’s never been my job so I just file a bug report with the relevant people when things go wrong. But a few years ago I had some problems.

        For my home network I got a free Wifi AP which wasn’t performing well.

        My AP supported 802.11 modes b/g or g/n (b, g, and n are slow, medium, and fast speeds). I initially had the AP running in b/g mode because I had an 802.11b USB wifi device that I used. When I replaced that with one that did 802.11g I tried changing the AP to g/n mode but performance was even worse on my laptop (although quite good on phones) so I switched back.

        For phones it appeared to work well giving 54Mb/s while on my laptop (a second hand Thinkpad X1 Carbon) it was giving 11Mb/s at best and often much less than that. The best demonstration of problems was to start transferring a large file while pinging a system on the LAN the AP was connected to. Usually it would give ping times of 1s or more, sometimes 5s+ ping times. While this was happening the “Invalid misc” count increased rapidly, often by more than 100 per second.

        The results of Google searches suggest that “Invalid misc” is due to interference and recommend changing the channel. My AP had been on channel 1 which had performed poorly, channels 2-8 were ok, and channel 9 seemed reasonably good. As an aside trying all channels manually is not a good idea, it takes a lot of time and gives little useful data. After changing to channel 9 it still only gave about 500KB/s when transferring large files with ping times of about 100ms, but that’s a big improvement. I tried running “iwlist scanning” to scan the Wifi network for other APs, that showed that channel 1 was used a lot but didn’t make it clear what I should do other than that.

      • How to install / enable SSH server on Ubuntu - Ubuntu 21.04 & old
      • Install Apache Tomcat on AlmaLinux 8 - Linux Shout

        Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server that allows you to run web applications written in Java. Just like the popular Apache web server, Tomcat is also developed and maintained by a free community of developers.

      • How To Install Polr on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Polr on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Polr is a free and open-source link shortener written in PHP and Lumen. It allows you to host your own URL shortener, brand your URLs, and gain control over your data.

        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 Polr open-source link shortener on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Run Linux Commands in the Background

        Linux commands are a great way of interacting with the system using the terminal. However, sometimes it can take a while to finish the task at hand. This forces users to wait for a considerable time or spawn a new shell altogether.

        Luckily, you can run Linux commands in the background by following some simple methods. The rest of this article illustrates some of these methods.

      • HP ML110 Gen9 « etbe - Russell Coker

        I bought this is because the ML350p Gen8 turned out to be too noisy for my taste [1]. I’ve just been editing my page about Memtest86+ RAM speeds [2], over the course of 10 years (high end laptop in 2001 to low end server in 2011) RAM speed increased by a factor of 100. RAM speed has been increasing at a lower rate than CPU speed and is becoming an increasing bottleneck on system performance. So while I could get a faster white-box system the cost of a second-hand server isn’t that great and I’m getting a system that’s 100* faster than what was adequate for most tasks in 2001.

        HP makes some nice workstation class machines with ECC RAM (think server without remote management, hot-swap disks, or redundant PSU but with sound hardware). But they are significantly more expensive on the second hand market than servers.

        This server cost me $650 and came with 2*480G “DC” grade SSDs (Intel but with HPE stickers). I hope that more than half of the purchase price will be recovered from selling the SSDs (I will use NVMe). Also 64G of non-ECC RAM costs $370 from my local store. As I want lots of RAM for testing software on VMs it will probably turn out that the server cost me less than the cost of new RAM once I’ve sold the SSDs!

      • Solo sé que sé querer, que tengo Dios y tengo fe.: On configuring RAK LoRa devices, or how to avoid their Windows-only serial application

        tl;dr: use a serial terminal which can buffer input and send it all at once, lines should end with \CR\LF.

        I'm am currently working on bringing up a LoRa network in Bahía Blanca. Parts of the nodes I need to set up are made by RAK Wireless.

        According to their documentation the nodes can be configured by using a serial connection to them. So I quickly turned to minicom for it, with no avail. Somehow I could read whatever the device was writing to my machine but could not write any commands back to it.

      • How To Install Python With Conda

        Installing Python using Anaconda is very easy. Let us first install the latest version of Anaconda.

      • Spell Checking Your Programming From The Linux Command Line | Hackaday

        For most of us who didn’t do well in high school English class, spell checkers are a real game-changer. Sure, you can still swap a “to” and a “too,” but a spell checker will catch a lot of typos. But what about in your source code? You usually don’t spell check source code and even if you did, the rules are funny. After all, “my_proejct” is a perfectly fine variable name, but you probably meant “my_project.” That’s where a program called typos comes in. It aims to be a spell checker for source code that is fast enough and with a low enough false positive rate that you can run it against changed code and reject spelling problems.

      • How To Install Vim Text Editor on Debian 10 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Vim Text Editor on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Vim is an open-source and free tool with a command-line interface and a Graphical User Interface. It is especially useful for editing config files and programs written in shell, python, Perl, c/c++, and more. The latest release of Vim includes a few new features, bug fixes, and documentation updates.

        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 the Vim command line text editor on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Install Apache Tomcat on AlmaLinux 8 - Linux Shout

        Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server that allows you to run web applications written in Java. Just like the popular Apache web server, Tomcat is also developed and maintained by a free community of developers.

      • How to Run AnyDesk in Ubuntu in 4 Simple Steps - Softonic

        AnyDesk is a popular remote access program that can be used to gain access and control over another device that also has AnyDesk installed. Available on all devices, you can also run AnyDesk on Ubuntu.

        AnyDesk is actually perfectly suited to the Linux operating system. This makes it a valuable program that allows you to also gain cross-platform control over different devices when you need to. But how do you run AnyDesk on Ubuntu?

      • Using I2C devices with Raspberry PI Pico and MicroPython
      • Speedtest CLI on Ubuntu [How To Install] - howtodojo

        In this tutorial we learn how to install and use Speedtest CLI on Ubuntu. Running speedtest CLI can be beneficial in hosting environment to check whether the provided bandwidth is as advertised.

        Speedtest CLI can also be used to check our own internet connection. Running from command line should provide better test compared to browser based test since command line will have cleaner test environment, for example no browser plugins.

        We will install the official speedtest command line application provided by ookla.

    • Games

      • Learning More about ProtonGE with GloriousEggroll

        After our recent interview with the creator of GamerOS, we are back with a new guest, the now famous GloriousEggroll for his magnificent contributions to the Proton’s ecosystem in the shape of ProtonGE. If you are not familiar with ProtonGE, we introduced it before, but in short, it’s a build of Proton that integrates the latest patches that make it to WINE development (and much more…) before Valve usually does. You can see it as the bleeding edge version of Proton, the one that you can use with the latest games and usually have better luck than vanilla Proton. Thanks to ProtonGE it was possible to play Forza Horizon 4 right on release on Linux, for example.

      • Overwatch Players Reportedly Getting Banned for Strange Reason

        Bans happen for many reasons in games. Whether it's cheating, exploiting a bug, or simply harassing other players, the list goes on and on. Games and the companies that develop and serve them have a duty to protect the integrity of the game and the safety of their players. However, when the ban reason is for something that seems superficial, fans will begin to question the results.

        Instances like this can happen when a player is running an unknown program in the background. The game's anti-cheat client sees something that could be registered as a program assisting with cheating and the player catches a ban for something that wasn't their fault. While not the entire story, this was part of the reason Blizzard banned 5,000 accounts this past week.

        A Twitter user and former pro-Overwatch player named @Carter_OW reported that 5,000 accounts for Overwatch had been banned due to playing on Linux. This composed everyone that had been playing the game on Linux for the week. While Overwatch is not capable of running on straight Linux, players utilize a program called WINE ("Wine Is Not an Emulator") to run Windows applications, which includes Overwatch. Evidently, this occurred to any user using version 5.x of WINE, whereas users had reported issues running the game in version 6.0. The latest stable version of WINE has players reporting the game crashing.

      • PC gaming on Linux: how hard can it be?

        It’s not exactly that straightforward, but you get the picture. The price of hardware isn’t the only reason that Mac gaming isn’t a bigger deal. But on PC you can also install Linux, and in recent times Linux gaming has strong support from the likes of Valve alongside the thriving community.

        For me, I’m in the position of trying to learn Linux but also love gaming. So how hard can it be to combine the two? Not nearly as bad as you might be thinking.


        This is the part that really surprised me the first time I started looking seriously at using Linux to game on. Drivers are enough of an issue on Windows 10 at times, but surprisingly the situation on Linux could be considered better.

        Take my gaming PC, for example. At the moment it’s running an AMD Radeon GPU, and I don’t even have to install drivers. An open-source driver, Mesa, is built into Linux Mint (and many other distros) and it just works out of the box. There are newer drivers out there, but updating to these isn’t difficult with access to a web browser and a search engine.

        Nvidia graphics cards are a little different, but there are both open source and proprietary drivers to use with these. Trying Linux Mint on a gaming laptop with an Nvidia RTX 2060, imagine my delight when the built-in driver manager popped up at first boot with a choice between the latest versions of each. It just knew what I needed on that specific machine and made it easy to install.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • A Switchy Week In Tok

          Tok is now equipped with a quick switcher for fast and efficient keyboard navigation between chats. Simply Ctrl+K, type in your chat's name, and press enter.

        • Welcoming GSoC 2021 students

          After gaining some experience being a GSoC (backup) mentor last year I am mentoring a GSoC student again this year. As it worked out to have a co-mentor, I could convince Ralf to join me in this role to support Suraj Kumar Mahto in his project to replace the current KMyMoney online quote support with the general online quote functionality found in the Alkimia library. The Alkimia version provides a lot more functionality for the end user and is already found in the KMyMoney version based on KDE4. Suraj already brings some experience of working in and with the KDE community and contributed to multiple projects in the last year.

          Vice versa, I am co-mentoring Ralf’s student on his quest to add pretty printers for debugging support of Qt/KDE applications. Ebuka is currently using the Community Bonding phase to get acquainted with the KDE community, its procedures, infrastructure and alike.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Record Live Audio immediately with GNOME Gingerblue 0.4.1

          GNOME Gingerblue 0.4.1 is available and builds/runs on GNOME 40 systems such as Fedora Core 34.

          It supports immediate, live audio recording in compressed Ogg encoded audio files stored in the private $HOME/Music/ directory from the microphone/input line on a computer or remote audio cards through USB connection through PipeWire ( with GStreamer ( on Fedora Core 34 (

          See the GNOME Gingerblue project ( for screenshots, Fedora Core 34 x86_64 RPM package and GNU autoconf installation package ( for GNOME 40 systems and for the GPLv3 source code in my GNOME Git repository.

        • Visvesh Subramaniam: Redesigning Health's MainView

          We will redesign the Health app and add a few more features. The motivation for this redesign is to display important information on the main view and the other data must be easily accessible to the user. Data can be step-count, calories burnt, weight measurements etc.

          This project is written in rust and it uses gtk-rs. This was one of the existing project ideas. The following sections describe the subparts of the project.

    • Distributions

      • elementary OS 6 Beta Available Today

        Developers and testers, it’s the day you’ve been waiting for: elementary OS 6 Beta is available now! We first started talking publicly about elementary OS 6 in August of last year. In the time since, we’ve been hard at work tackling the ambitious scope of work we laid out for ourselves while also dealing with the fallout of a global pandemic, travel restrictions, and loss in our own circles of family and friends.

        Despite all of that, we’re proud of the work we’ve done and are excited to get it into the hands of developers and testers as we work to complete the stable release.

      • Let's Try elementary OS 6 Beta
      • Reviews

        • Review: EndeavourOS 2021.04.17

          Endeavour ran quickly for me, offered me just enough tools to get up and running, was stable, and worked with all of my hardware. I feel like Xfce is a suitable desktop for the audience Endeavour is reportedly targeting (users with enough experience to be comfortable with the command line) as it balances performance with features. Plus people can install alternative desktops if they wish.

          The one piece I felt was missing from Endeavour was a graphical package manager. The distribution previously featured one and I think removing it was unfortunate. When running distributions that start with a minimal number of desktop applications I appreciate the convenience of being able to quickly browse and install popular applications and items I use most days. Thanks to Arch's large collection of up to date software Endeavour can provide everything I want, but installing all of these packages through pacman gets tedious compared to a nice, point-n-click experience.

          This concern aside, I really like what the Endeavour team is doing. I'm already finding it faster and more reliable than Antergos was and the project is offering a pleasant, up to date platform without distractions or clutter. I don't think I encountered a bug during my entire time with the distribution, which is a pleasant change of pace. People who like the appeal of Arch's rolling release model while also appreciating a convenient system installer and pre-configured desktop environments will feel right at home with this distribution.

      • New Releases

        • 4MLinux 36.1 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.4.115. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.47, MariaDB 10.5.8, and PHP 7.4.18 (see this post for more details). You can update your 4MLinux by executing the "zk update" command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

        • MAKULU CORE 2021 RELEASED !

          The new MakuluLinux Core 2021 is now Live and ready for Download, Grab your Copy CLICK HERE

        • BlankOn 12 Beta Launched for Public Testing

          Last month, BlankOn, a Indonesian GNU/Linux distro and computer operating system, represented by release coordinator Slamet Santoso launched Alpha Development version of XII Verbeek after the previous version XI Uluwatu released three years ago. BlankOn was featured on Ubuntu Buzz for years (see here, here, and here) then seemed to be dormant since 2018 but this year it proves it's alive. This Alpha 1 version can already be downloaded by anyone and the team invites all to report issues, bugs, and errors to improve the development. Most notable changes are the switch to GNOME from Manokwari as the user interface as well as Calamares as the system installer replacing Partoedi among other changes. BlankOn users also got a new bootloader displaying all historical codenames. Finally, this invitation is mainly for people who know or willing to learn Indonesian language.

        • Linux distribution antiX 19.4 with improved installer and SeaMonkey

          The lightweight Linux distribution antiX was released in the new version 19.4 “Grup Yorum” after seven months. The distribution based on Debian Buster is primarily intended for older computers with AMD64 and 32-bit x86 processors, but it also runs on the latest hardware.

          Instead of systemd, which is often criticized as heavy and too complex, antiX relies on classic System-V-Init and alternatively on runit. This means that the distribution differs from its parent Debian.

          antiX can be run as Live Linux from DVD / CD and USB memory, but can also be installed on the hard drive of the computer. Media are available for the pure text console and for the graphic desktop.

      • Debian Family

        • LE 9.2 and LE10 fix for widevine

          Today we are releasing a LibreELEC update to primarily fix Widevine, its that piece of software that allows playback of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other paid video services.

          The new version of widevine (4.10.2252.0 or newer) is mandatory to keep it working after May 31, 2021. With that new version (that is taken from ChromeOS) all ARM devices need additional libraries to make it work again. Sadly its not that simple and some not too nice workarounds came in place to keep it working due changes at ChromeOS.

          The Generic (PC / Intel / AMD / Nvidia) images need no changes.

        • Anton Gladky: 2021/05, FLOSS activity

          This is my third month of working for LTS. I was assigned 12 hrs and worked all of them.

        • Glibc bumped to 2.33 in OpenEmbedded

          I have bumped glibc from 2.31 to 2.33 in the Dunfell release of OpenEmbedded, and recompiled everything for EasyOS. Some packages needed fixes, it was pretty straightforward -- search my OE tarball (not yet uploaded) for files with "#20210528" or "# 20210528" string in them.

          A problem arose with the 'rust' package requiring glibc 2.32 or 2.33. Very annoying, as rust is required to compile Firefox and SeaMonkey. So I bit the bullet and got the glibc recipes out of the "hardknott" release of OE (the latest), and did a complete recompile.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Comcast sends DMCA threats to a subscriber for downloading Ubuntu GNU/Linux

          I’m a bit late on this one, but here it is.

          The US ISP Comcast, or as I call them, Comcrap (and yes, I’m a subscriber, because they are the only ISP option in my area due to government sanctioned monopoly), sent a subscriber a DMCA threat for having downloaded the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system. For those who may be unaware, Canonical, the company that produces Ubuntu, encourages people to share as many copies as they want to.

          That’s also the terms of the licenses under which the OS components themselves are licensed, which is why Canonical can do this.

          The only time that Canonical has sent anyone a DMCA notice that I am aware of, was that time that the Motion Picture Association of America used Xubuntu to create a spyware program that universities could run that would report students directly to the MPAA if they downloaded a movie.

          Ironically, the MPAA violated the GNU GPL and other licenses in the process, effectively managing to commit piracy, and when they didn’t respond to the DMCA letter, their hosting company stepped in and took it down. (Sony also violated the LGPL license of LAME in their “XCP” Windows rootkit malware in 2005.)

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.2 - New Features and Release Details

          There are plenty of new features and fixes that are coming up in the next LibreOffice 7.2. Some of them are much needed and long-awaited. Here are some of the major new features that LibreOffice 7.2 brings for you.

        • Annual Report 2020: TDF and LibreOffice infrastructure

          LibreOffice’s infrastructure team is responsible for maintaining the hardware, virtual machines and services that enable the wider community to develop, market, test, localize and improve the software. The public infrastructure is powered by around 50 kernel-based virtual machines (KVMs) spread across four hypervisors, plugged to an internal 10Gbps switch, hosted at Manitu in St. Wendel (Germany), and managed with libvirt and its KVM/QEMU driver. The virtual disk images are typically stored in GlusterFS volumes – distributed across the hypervisors – except for some transient disks (such as cache) where the IOPS requirement is higher and the redundancy less important.

          In 2020, the infra team added various new services, such as the new SilverStripe-based Extensions and Templates site. Some background to the technical and design decisions behind the site are here on the blog.

          Meanwhile, Discourse was investigated as a likely AskBot replacement, while several VMs for deployment tests outside the scope of infra were handed over (such as decidim). The infra team worked on Moodle (an e-learning platform), build bots, integration of the Weblate translation platform into the TDF development dashboard, and a crashtest box (sponsored by Adfinis).

        • Get printed copies of LibreOffice handbooks!

          LibreOffice’s Documentation Team writes, updates and translates many handbooks. These are full of tips, tricks and tutorials covering the whole office suite. You can find PDF and ODT versions on this page – but sometimes it’s nice to have a hard-copy, printed version, right?

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • m4-1.4.19 released
            GNU M4 1.4.19 has been released.  This stable release is a minor
            update, collecting several years of portability improvements, as well
            as a couple of minor optimizations to performance.  Notable
            improvements in this release include translations of output in various
            languages, and better stack overflow detection on several systems that
            previously required the use of GNU libsigsegv.

            GNU 'm4' is an implementation of the traditional Unix macro processor. It is mostly SVR4 compatible, although it has some extensions (for example, handling more than 9 positional parameters to macros). 'm4' also has built-in functions for including files, running shell commands, doing arithmetic, etc. Autoconf needs GNU 'm4' for generating 'configure' scripts, but not for running them.
          • Gnuastro 0.15 released
            Dear all,

            I am happy to announce the 15th official release of GNU Astronomy Utilities (Gnuastro).

            Gnuastro is an official GNU package, consisting of various command-line programs and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the links below respectively:


            Many new features have been added in this release and many bugs have been fixed. For example, two new installed scripts now allow 1) creation of radial profiles (written and maintained by Raúl Infante-Sainz) and 2) making SAO DS9 "region" files from a catalog to visualize objects in SAO DS9 (written with the help of Samane Raji). The Table program now has more very useful options (for example to randomly select rows from a large table) and the Query program can now access Galactic extinctions from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED). For a very complete review of the new features, please see [1] below.

            Here is the compressed source and the GPG detached signature for this release. To uncompress Lzip tarballs, see [2]. To check the validity of the tarballs using the GPG detached signature (*.sig) see [3]:

   (3.6MB) (5.8MB) (833B) (833B)

            Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums (other ways to check if the tarball you download is what we distributed):

            40edf2537bdbefd795d1b87bcdbec461 gnuastro-0.15.tar.gz 849cbb80ac0ccd165f723576fc71f212 gnuastro-0.15.tar.lz 541b04d8d3c03da96c20ca79c703deadef811e7e gnuastro-0.15.tar.gz 3ed75e80babbb4e1cc7568243d980c53af217a8a gnuastro-0.15.tar.lz

            For this release Pedram Ashofteh Ardakani, Natáli D. Anzanello, Raul Infante-Sainz, Carlos Morales-Socorro, François Ochsenbein, Samane Raji and Zahra Sharbaf directly contributed to the source of Gnuastro. I am also very grateful to Mark Calabretta, Sepideh Eskandarlou, Raul Infante-Sainz, Clotilde Laigle, Alberto Madrigal, Juan Miro, Carlos Morales-Socorro, Sylvain Mottet, Francois Ochsenbein, Samane Raji, Zahra Sharbaf, Leigh Smith, Alfred M. Szmidt, Ignacio Trujillo and Richard Wilbur for their very useful comments, suggestions and bug fixes that have now been implemented in Gnuastro.

            If any of Gnuastro's programs or libraries are useful in your work, please cite _and_ acknowledge them. For citation and acknowledgment guidelines, run the relevant programs with a `--cite' option (it can be different for different programs, so run it for all the programs you use). Citations _and_ acknowledgments are vital for the continued work on Gnuastro, so please don't forget to support us by doing so.

            This tarball was bootstrapped (created) with the tools below. Note that you don't need these to build Gnuastro from the tarball, these are the tools that were used to make the tarball itself. They are only mentioned here to be able to reproduce/recreate this tarball later. Texinfo 6.7 Autoconf 2.71 Automake 1.16.3 Help2man 1.48.3 ImageMagick 7.0.11-13 Gnulib v0.1-4650-gc45faf7f4 Autoconf archives v2021.02.19-1-ge68e8f6

            The dependencies to build Gnuastro from this tarball on your system are described here:

      • Programming/Development

        • Vincent Fourmond: QSoas quiz #2: averaging several Y values for the same X value

          This second quiz may sound like the first one, but in fact, the approach used is completely different. The point is to gather some elementary statistics from a series of experiments performed under different conditions, but with several repeats at the same conditions.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: td 0.0.3 on CRAN: Maintenance release

          The still recent-ish td package for accessing the twelvedata API for financial data has been updated on CRAN yesterday, and is now at released version 0.0.3.

          A few URLs were updated to please the lint checker, and a Depends: on R 4.0.0 or later was added. We then realized (as always just after the release …) that the core issue was an incorrect version comparison which we already fixed in the git repo.

        • Create Your Own Free Website Checker

          Do you have 1 more websites that you want to check to see if they are up? Sick of paid services or of the limited capability of free services? Well this article will teach you how to create your own free website checker.

          It personally has been incredibly useful for me to be able to check my own websites, as often as I want, for free. I have many domains and many subdomains, and while I to maintain the sites well, occasionally they will go down, or have their SSL certificates expire etc, which will prevent users from seeing the site.

          This article will teach you how to check your own websites using a little bit of Python code.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Replacing XML::XPath with XML::LibXML in Perl

            I’ve seen people recommend XML::LibXML on sites like PerlMonks and mailing lists, so I thought I’d give it a try for a new personal project. It’s mostly a drop-in replacement, with familiar syntax: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • Is the medium the message?

      Amidst the covid19 pandemic, almost all conferences and meetings have been taking place online. Among them, there is a series of events held by free software (foss) communities, social and solidarity economy cooperatives and groups that defend human rights. Throughout this post, I will refer to them as TGFs (the good folks). No doubt, a critical part of an online conference is the bundle of platforms and tools that power the conference - from registration and presentation to interaction and streaming. Just a moment, is it really a critical part?

      Looking into the set of tools adopted by many TGFs you may deduce that the medium does not matter. In many cases, proprietary tools and platforms notorious for censoring and abusive moderation have been used. So, the end justify the means, isn’t it? People will eventually judge us by the great things we are going to say and do during an event, not by the medium we have chosen, right?

      First, the end does not justify the means; this is a slippery slope that in many cases throughout the history of the humankind has led well-intention causes to catastrophic results. But let’s avoid dramas and too much of an abstraction.

    • 16 efficient breakfasts of open source technologists from around the world
    • Science

      • A growing number of governments hope to clone America’s DARPA

        Using messenger RNA to make vaccines was an unproven idea. But if it worked, the technique would revolutionise medicine, not least by providing protection against infectious diseases and biological weapons. So in 2013 America’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) gambled. It awarded a small, new firm called Moderna $25m to develop the idea. Eight years, and more than 175m doses later, Moderna’s covid-19 vaccine sits on the list of innovations for which DARPA can claim at least partial credit, alongside weather satellites, GPS, drones, stealth technology, voice interfaces, the personal computer and the [Internet].

    • Hardware

      • USB Cables and Cameras

        This page has summaries of some USB limits [1]. USB 2.0 has the longest cable segment limit of 5M (1.x, 3.x, and USB-C are all shorter), so USB 2.0 is what you want for long runs. The USB limit for daisy chained devices is 7 (including host and device), so that means a maximum of 5 hubs or a total distance between PC and device of 30M. There are lots of other ways of getting longer distances, the cheapest seems to be putting an old PC at the far end of an Ethernet cable.

      • SID Music Rabbit Hole – CubicleNate's Techpad

        I recently fell into a YouTube rabbit hole looking for Commodore 64 SID music based on classic 80s hits. There are a lot of great compositions out there of various production quality. In my searching, I found this particular d64 download that was well put together that I have greatly enjoyed. I am continually impressed by what people are able to do with this wonderfully charming, old, hardware. I hope that the fun people have with it continues for many years. I look at it as just another art form and personal expression which I find to be absolutely incredible.

        If you have the Versatile Commodore Emulator (VICE) installed on your computer, you can easily enjoy the music with a custom media player interface. I, personally, enjoyed it on The C64 Maxi in my living room but it will certainly run on the actual hardware as well.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Secret Chats Show How Cybergang Became a Ransomware Powerhouse [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Where once criminals had to play psychological games to trick people into handing over bank passwords and have the technical know-how to siphon money out of secure personal accounts, now virtually anyone can obtain ransomware off the shelf and load it into a compromised computer system using tricks picked up from YouTube tutorials or with the help of groups like DarkSide.

        • Sophos claims to have found new barebones Windows ransomware

          Global security vendor Sophos claims to have discovered a new strain of Windows ransomware which is the final executable payload in a manual attack where every other stage is delivered through a PowerShell script. One of the entry points was an on-premise Microsoft Exchange Server installation.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • KDE on FreeBSD – IRC channels

        The KDE-FreeBSD team has moved its primary communications channel (on IRC) in with the rest of the FreeBSD world. You can now find us on Libera.Chat, in the #freebsd-desktop channel.

      • Public NetBSD IRC chat channels moved to Libera

        Due to the unfortunate situation regarding changes in administration on, and the resulting chaos, we have decided to move the public NetBSD IRC chat channels from freenode to

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • The Supreme Court of Brazil changed the rules for calculating the term of protection for patents and utility models

          The Supreme Court of Brazil declared on 6 May 2021 that part of article 40 of Brazilian Law 9,279/96 (“IP Act”) is unconstitutional. This article sets forth the way patent and utility model terms are calculated in Brazil.

          In a controversial judgment that changes patent protection in Brazil, the Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional to grant patents and utility models with terms calculated from grant date (10 years for patents and 7 years for utility models), one of the two ways of calculating patent term according to the IP Act. Therefore, from this judgment onwards, patent and utility model terms can only be calculated from filing date: 20 years term for patents and 15 years term for utility models.

          The impact of this decision cannot be underestimated as it will affect all patent and utility model applications moving forward as well as certain patents already granted, particularly patents in force with a term of 10 years from grant protecting pharmaceutical products and procedures, healthcare equipment and devices.

        • Huawei to request 5G patent royalties from Apple and Samsung

          Chief Legal Officer Song Liuping has promised that the company will charge lower rates than rivals Qualcomm, Nokia, and Ericsson. In fact, Huawei is capping royalties at $2.50 per smartphone.

          The aim is to generate between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion from patent fees and licenses issued from 2019 to 2021. That will be reinvested into 5G research in the hope of maintaining Huawei’s position as a leading 5G network equipment provider.

        • Software Patents

          • Apple receives a patent for new method that quickly finds and fixes typos on the iPhone [Ed: Software patents won't withstanding scrutiny in American courts, but the USPTO keeps granting them anyway]

            When the Apple iPhone was first introduced by Steve Jobs in January 2007, the question on everyone's mind was how will people be able to type using a virtual QWERTY keyboard. Research in Motion (RIM), the company that produced BlackBerry handsets, was probably one of the firms most impacted by the touchscreen iPhone. RIM co-CEO's Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis refused at first to give up the physical QWERTY keyboard.

            Balsillie said in November 2007, four months after the iPhone launched, that "as nice as the Apple iPhone is, it poses a real challenge to its users. Try typing a web key on a touchscreen on an Apple iPhone, that's a real challenge. You cannot see what you type." In May of the following year, Lazaridis stated, "The most exciting mobile trend is full QWERTY keyboards. I'm sorry, it really is. I'm not making this up."

      • Trademarks

        • Nike and Puma are Fighting Over “Footware” Trademark in the U.S. and the UK

          Nike and Puma appeared before the High Court of Justice in London on Monday for an appeal hearing in their bi-national battle stemming from Nike’s quest to register the word “footware” as a trademark – including with the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (“UKIPO”) – for use in connection with “computer hardware modules for receiving, processing, and transmitting data in Internet of things electronic devices; electronic devices and computer software that allow users to remotely interact with other smart devices for monitoring and controlling automated systems,” among other hardware and software products and services.

          Puma lodged an opposition to the trademark application that Nike filed with the UKIPO in March 2019, arguing that the “footware” mark is an “ordinary descriptive term for the goods and services” at issue (i.e., those in classes 9, 38 and 42), and an “obvious combination” of the words “footwear” and “hardware” or “software,” and as a result, merely informs consumers that the goods/services at play relate to footwear-specific hardware/software, instead of indicating their source. More than that, the German sportswear company claimed in its opposition filing that Nike’s use of “ware” had already become “customary in the relevant trade,” removing the chance that the term would serve as an indicator of source.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          TheFashionLaw discussed a trade mark fight between Nike and Puma, which is unfolding simultaneously in the US and in the UK. In both jurisdictions, Nike seeks to register “footware” as a trade mark for smart electronic devices. Puma has opposed this application, claiming that it is a descriptive term, resulting from the “obvious combination” of “footwear” and “hardware” or “software”.

      • Copyrights

        • Special 301 Report 2021: Trade Secrets, Patents and Technology Transfer

          Recently, the Annual Special 301 Report on IP Protection (the ‘Report’) was released by the Office of the United States Trade Representative. In our earlier posts, we have discussed the US’s relaxed stance on compulsory licensing (here) and the India-specific copyright and enforcement related issues (here) as discussed in the Report. In continuation of the same, in this post, we shall analyse the discussion of three other key aspects in the Report: India-specific trade secrets and patents issues, and the general stance on technology transfers.


          As far as patent issues are concerned, the Report had most of their same old consistent objections to the Indian regime that have been highlighted in earlier reports. These include issues such as narrow patentability criteria under the Patents Act, threat of patent revocations, costly and time consuming procedural formalities, and an objection to Section 3(d) of the Act that seeks to prevent evergreening of patents (discussed here, here, and here on the blog). There are, however, four interesting developments to note in this year’s report on patents as discussed below.

          First, the Report notes “Stakeholders continue to express concerns over vagueness in the interpretation of the India Patents Act”. This statement, however, is made in abstract without indicating in any manner what these uncertainties in interpretation are. This is similar to the broad brush objection made with respect to copyrights wherein the Report just broadly blames court cases and government memoranda to raise concerns regarding copyright protection in India without going into any specificities as discussed in the earlier post here. Notably, this objection regarding vagueness of interpretation was not present in last year’s Special 301 Report despite noting it to be a continuous objection by stakeholders. In doing so, the credibility of such an exercise also becomes questionable as it is using broad brush strokes to criticize intellectual property regimes of a country without exactly highlighting what it disagrees with.

          Second, the Report praises the amendment which dilutes patent working disclosure norms through Form 27. Pankhuri has discussed in great detail why these changes are detrimental to the patent regime. What is worth noting is that they want the information submitted through Form 27 to be kept confidential. The purpose of disclosing local working details of patents is not to keep only the government abreast of the patentee’s operations. It is to make information regarding the patent’s working available, especially for generic companies who can potentially manufacture the products either through a voluntary license or by applying for a CL. This month, Delhi High Court’s directions to Roche revealed how little of the drug was available to Covid-19 patients due to absence of local manufacture and sole reliance on imports, underscoring the importance of working information in meeting public health needs. Making all of Form 27 information confidential would defeat the very purpose that disclosure norms are meant to achieve.

          Third, the Report raises concerns regarding the “lack of presumption of patent validity,” referring to the judicially reinforced statutory provision that the grant of a patent does not create any presumption of validity in favour of the patent, despite the fact that it has passed the IPO’s examination. This concern presumably arises from a recent refusal of interim injunction to AstraZeneca for the infringement of its patented anti-diabetic drug Dapagliflozin, where the claim of presumption of validity on the basis of the age (17 years), commercial success and lack of Opposition proceedings against the patent was outrightly rejected by the court. Unlike India, US law presumes the validity of an existing patent. While this is not surprising from the jurisdiction that considers “anything under the sun made by man” to be patentable, in recent years this policy has been criticized for creating a patentee-favouring environment, especially after research has revealed that patent examiners at the USPTO effectively rely on a miniscule section of the prior art available to them to determine an application’s patentability. Moreover, a bill had also been introduced in the US Congress in 2019 that seeks to weaken the presumption of patentability in case of pharma patents. The Report thus shows a lack of self-awareness, recommending a policy that has come under question in US itself. As regards the Indian patent regime, considering the number of errors that the Patent Office data reveals every year (see here and here), there seems to be no need for a presumption of patent validity.

          Fourth, while discussing issues surrounding effective adjudication of intellectual property disputes, the Report notes that “the United States is closely monitoring” the shutdown of the IPAB. It, however, does not specify any particular opinion on the development. As the readers might be aware, the IPAB has been a hot topic of discussion on the blog with its inefficacy constantly highlighted and its abolition considered to be a positive step. A compilation of the various posts published on the blog over the past decade discussing issues surrounding IPAB is available here.

        • Special 301 Report 2021: US’s Great U-turn on Compulsory Licensing

          Lost in the shadow of the US’s historic change of position on Waiver of IP rights in Covid-19 vaccines, the USTR’s latest Annual Special 301 Report has its own share of surprises to offer. The Report, as is known, is a much criticized annual exercise in ‘calling out’ countries for adopting IP policies that the US does not approve of – regardless of the fact that they’re made by sovereign nations to suit their own local realities. India, which enjoys the distinction of being featured in the ‘Priority Watch List’ for the 29th year in a row, shares the glory with 8 other countries this time. The report follows the usual pattern of criticizing various TRIPS compliant aspects of India’s IP laws which make it harder for American companies to sustain monopolies in India. While a detailed examination of the country report will be undertaken in a different post, this one looks into the more general issue of US’s relaxed stance on compulsory licensing, the strong criticism of which has characterized nearly every previous Special 301 Report in recent years.

        • Special 301 Report 2021: Copyrights, Enforcement, and the Same Old Complaints

          The Office of the United States Trade Representative (‘USTR’) recently released its Annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection (‘Report’). To borrow Swaraj’s description of an earlier Report, the Special 301 Report “is a unilateral measure taken by the USTR which essentially ranks countries according to how much the US appreciates their IP regimes, and this is used as a kind of [political] ‘shaming’ mechanism to coerce countries into ‘strengthening’ their IP regimes to match the TRIPS-plus standards that the US tries to promote.” As always, India has found its place in the ‘Priority Watch List’ indicating that the US does not agree with the IP law regime of the country at several points. Adyasha has analysed the softened stance towards compulsory licensing in the Report. In this post, I shall analyse India-specific copyright and enforcement related issues discussed in the Report.

        • Disaster Girl earning money through NFT and Hasbro losing the Monopoly EUTM

          Zoe Roth is the little girl (now full-grown adult) that many of us remember from the meme where a house was on fire in the background, and in the foreground, you could see this little girl with a devilish eye (could she be the one who burnt the house, many wondered at the time). Zoe became famous because of this photograph that her dad took when she was only 4. After years of being used as a meme, Zoe has now figured out a way of making profits from the original photo by selling it as an NFT.

          I am by no means an expert on the subject, but an NFT is a non-fungible token (unique, as opposed to Bitcoins) that uses the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrency. That way, the original photo is encrypted and tokened as the one and only original, allowing it to be identified and valued. It is the digital version of a Picasso if you want.


          Based on all the above, and pretty convincing testimony, the Court agreed with the BoA, concluding that Hasbro's intention "was indeed to take advantage of the EU trademark rules by artificially creating a situation where it would not have to prove genuine use of its earlier marks for the goods and services mentioned". Indeed, by claiming or opposing based on its 2010 trademark, said obligation (the obligation to use the trademark within the 5 following years of registration) was bypassed. As a result, the April 2010 filing was made in bad faith insofar as it covered goods and services already covered by the earlier marks, annulling registration for the goods and services already covered by the earlier trademark.

          We know all the above might sound confusing but be prepared for a post of what constitutes bad faith when it comes to trademark this month.

        • ACE/MPA Ask Cloudflare To Unmask Operators of Two Dozen Pirate Sites

          The MPA, acting on behalf of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, has obtained DMCA subpoenas to unmask the operators of more than two dozen pirate sites. The platforms, all of which use Cloudflare, stand accused of offering major movies including Tenet, Godzilla vs Kong, and Mortal Kombat. Included is IPTorrents, a private tracker that has proven elusive for a number of years.

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