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Links 10/8/2021: The Case for GNU/Linux in 2021 and Fedora vs CentOS

  • GNU/Linux

    • A Case for Linux in 2021

      The beauty of Linux also lies in its customisability. While the GUI has improved to the extent where most modifications can be performed easily through a graphical interface, you will need to use the command line from time to time to update your existing apps or grab new apps from their respective repositories. On Linux, the command line is a powerful tool that provides an infinite amount of control over your computer if you know how to script on it. It might actually be a good time to learn these scripting languages too while we’re all working from home since Linux has seen heavy implementation outside in digital infrastructures outside of personal computing.


      Linux is also extremely scalable, making it apt for use on smart devices and IoT devices. It is also already being implemented in single-board computers as controllers for many DIY projects. For the software side of things, developers usually choose a scaled-down version of Linux like Puppy Linux (300MB) and Porteus (300MB), or for even smaller deployment like Tiny Core Linux that comes at 11MB for the command line version and a mere 16MB for the graphical user interface. Because these distros(Linux distribution operating systems) are so small, they can also run on very low memory chips: Tiny Core Linux works flawlessly on 64MB of RAM. This scalability makes it excellent for deployment in a variety of different products.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes 1.22: CSI Windows Support (with CSI Proxy) reaches GA
      • New in Kubernetes v1.22: alpha support for using swap memory

        The 1.22 release introduced alpha support for configuring swap memory usage for Kubernetes workloads on a per-node basis.

        In prior releases, Kubernetes did not support the use of swap memory on Linux, as it is difficult to provide guarantees and account for pod memory utilization when swap is involved. As part of Kubernetes' earlier design, swap support was considered out of scope, and a kubelet would by default fail to start if swap was detected on a node.

        However, there are a number of use cases that would benefit from Kubernetes nodes supporting swap, including improved node stability, better support for applications with high memory overhead but smaller working sets, the use of memory-constrained devices, and memory flexibility.

        Hence, over the past two releases, SIG Node has been working to gather appropriate use cases and feedback, and propose a design for adding swap support to nodes in a controlled, predictable manner so that Kubernetes users can perform testing and provide data to continue building cluster capabilities on top of swap. The alpha graduation of swap memory support for nodes is our first milestone towards this goal!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • KDE Gear ⚙️ 21.08: An imaginary ad for Konsole

        What would advertisements for different KDE apps look like? KDE Gear ⚙️ 21.08, an update to many of KDE's applications, comes out on Thursday, and we decided to give it a go.

      • Quit Recommending "Stable" Distros To New Users (#shorts) - Invidious

        For decades, when a new-to-Linux user asked "what distro should I use?", the standard answer was usually Ubuntu LTS, Mint or some other "static release" distro. Rolling release distros were generally not recommended because they were considered "unstable."

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 137

        Our first impressions of a relatively unusual distro. Plus your feedback about Syncthing, GitHub Copilot, and advice for a new Linux user.

      • Destination Linux 238: Careers In Open Source

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we have an interview with Vojtech Pavlik, Vice President of the Linux Systems Group at SUSE. We’re going to discuss job opportunities and things you can do to prepare yourself for a new career with an open-source company. Then we’re going to cover AMD’s and Valve’s latest endeavor to further improve Linux. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

    • Kernel Space

      • Librem 5 support in mainline Linux

        We in the Purism kernel team maintain a set of patches against the mainline Linux codebase that is released by Linus Torvalds on a regular basis. We need it in order to support the Librem 5 phone hardware for our users as mainline Linux doesn’t yet support everything needed.

        But our out-of-tree patchset also exists in order to test the kernel, improve it and work with the development community to include it in mainline Linux. It’s a “development tree” if you will, currently based on the v5.13.5 mainline release. We rebase it regularly. In an ideal world, at some point, the kernel we ship to users won’t include out-of-tree changes anymore.

      • Introduction to soliddriver-checks

        The OS kernel is central and fundamental to system functionality and integrity. A user needs to be able to trust in the security and stability of the OS kernel at the heart of their mission critical systems. This trustworthiness extends just the same to kernel modules delivered by third party vendors. Such third party modules (often device drivers) are necessary to exploit products and features that are not supported directly with the SUSE kernels.

      • Linux "sev_secret" Patches For Tapping Confidential Computing Secret Areas In AMD SEV - Phoronix [Ed: "Confidential Computing" has nothing to do with confidentiality, it's just a brand [1, 2]]

        The latest AMD SEV work happening to the Linux kernel for benefiting EPYC servers with virtualization is the new "sev_secret" module for allowing guests to access confidential computing secret areas.

        AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization does allow guest VM owners to inject "secrets" into the virtual machines without the host or hypervisor being able to read those secrets. At present though the Linux kernel doesn't allow accessing of these secrets from within guest virtual machines.

      • Oracle Sends Out Newest Patches For Trenchboot / Secure Launch For The Linux Kernel - Phoronix

        For more than one year now Oracle engineers have been working on Trenchboot support for securely booting the Linux kernel. Sent out today is the third revision of this work for establishing a dynamic root of trust for measurement.

        Trenchboot is centered around improving boot security and integrity. Oracle engineers have been involved with working on Trenchboot integration for the GRUB boot-loader and related components, including this Linux kernel support that has yet to land. Trenchboot relies on Intel's TXT/SKINIT and AMD-V support for the hardware support around the integrity measurements.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Ansible Tower Install and Configure - Unixcop

        Automation needs a boost of work in a limited time. Obtain the most of your investment with an enterprise automation platform that delivers agility and flexibility. No matter where you are on your automation journey with ansible tower.

        Ansible Tower (previously ‘AWX’) is a web-based that makes Ansible easy to use. It will be the center for all of your automation tasks. The tower is free for usage for up to 10 nodes and comes bundled with fantastic support from Ansible.

        It can be installed in many ways. OpenShift based deployments are limited to the only Tower. Deployment from Automation Hub on OpenShift is not possible. Deployed on Automation Hub. You can check more detail, refer to OpenShift Deployment and Configuration.

      • Install SQLITEBROWSER on RockyLinux 8.4
      • How to Fix "semanage command" Not Found Error in CentOS - Unixcop

        I am trying to configure a pgadmin4 with correct and default security context values using a script. it has semanage command to make changes in SELinux policy to allow access to pgAdmin but I suddenly encountered the following error.

      • How to install Viber on Linux Lite 5.4

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Vivaldi on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • How to install SMG4 - If Mario Was In FNF on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install SMG4 - If Mario Was In FNF on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Install PostgreSQL with pgAdmin on CentOS 8 - Unixcop

        PostgreSQL is the most advanced RDBMS and pgAdmin is a web UI for Postgres. Here, you will see how to install PostgreSQL with pgAdmin on CentOS / RHEL 8.

      • How To Install VMware Workstation on Linux Mint 20 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VMware Workstation on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, VMware is a mature and stable virtualization solution that allows you to run multiple, isolated operating systems on a single machine. This enables one to have Virtual machines of different operating systems running off the host resources. The VMware Tools offer several useful functionalities such as faster graphics performance, shared folders, shared clipboards, drag and drop operations, and more.

        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 the step-by-step installation of VMware Player/ Workstation on a Linux Mint 20.1 (Ulyssa).

      • SFTP Command, How to Use it Practically for Secure File Transfer

        In this tutorial we’re going to show you with practical examples how to use the sftp command to securely transfer files.

      • zypper command to manage packages on suse Linux

        zypper is a command line tool for package management in openSUSE and SUSE Enterprise Linux. It using the 'libzypp' library for installing, updating, searching and removing packages a well as for managing repositories, perform various queries, and more.

      • Minishift OKD on Linux or macOS - Unixcop

        Minishift requires a hypervisor to provision a virtual machine on the OpenShift cluster. OpenShift is one of the popular PaaS platforms.

        It is provided by Red Hat. It is Kubernetes based docker container orchestration platform on the foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Fix "Vagrant failed to initialize at a very early stage" Error - OSTechNix

        Today, I started RHEL 8 vagrant machine and got this error - Vagrant failed to initialize at a very early stage. This was the first time I get such error.

      • Hashicorp vagrant with VirtualBox - Unixcop

        Hashicorp Vagrant is an open-source product for building and maintaining portable virtual software development environments, e.g., for VirtualBox, KVM, Hyper-V, Docker containers, VMware, and AWS. In addition, it tries to simplify the software configuration management of virtualization for development productivity. Ruby Language was used for the creation of vagrant.

    • Games

      • Everything You Need to Know About Steam Deck - Make Tech Easier

        The Steam Deck is a handheld PC designed by Valve that looks like a Nintendo Switch but with high end PC components. However, given Valve’s track record concerning hardware (anyone remember the Steam Machine?), it remains to be seen whether the Steam Deck will be a new standard for the industry. Can the Steam Deck erode some of Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld market? Do they even want to? Who is the Steam Deck even for anyway? Read on to find out.

      • Polychromatic 0.7 Released, New UI / CLI to Control Razer RGB Lighting in Linux | UbuntuHandbook

        Got Razer peripherals? Polychromatic released version 0.7.0 with redesigned UI and command line interface to control the RGB lighting in Linux.

        For those never heard of Polychromatic, it’s a free open-source vendor agnostic front-end for managing lighting, RGB effects and some special functionality for keyboards, mouse, keypads and other gaming peripherals.

        It so far only supports OpenRazer as backend for Razer devices. Though it aims to add OpenRGB and phue for Philips Hue and more brands support.

      • Configure Your Gaming Mouse Under Linux With Piper

        Owning a gaming mouse for Linux can be kind of annoying because none of the official configurations are actually supported on Linux but luckily there's a solution and that solution is libratbag and piper. Piper is a gui interface for Libratbag so that's what we'll focus on today.

    • Distributions

      • Arch Family

        • This is why Valve is switching from Debian to Arch for Steam Deck's Linux OS

          We recently enjoyed some hands-on time with Valve's Steam Deck and got to talk to the engineers behind Valve's bold handheld project. While there are plenty of questions surrounding the hardware side of the Steam Deck, there's also the whole matter of the operating system to consider as well. Although it can, it won't be running Microsoft Windows out of the box, but rather Valve's own SteamOS 3.0 instead.

          There's a key change from the version of SteamOS designed for its failed Steam Machines project though, and that's a switch away from Debian as the core distribution over to Arch instead. Both are popular Linux distributions, but they're aimed at different markets and that makes for some fundamental differences between the two—most notably how they are updated.

          Debian, which is one of the oldest Linux distributions, has a defined update schedule in place and long term support of up to 10 years for specific releases. It uses a standard update model, where lots of smaller updates are grouped together and released as a big new version.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Which OS is best for you? Fedora vs CentOS

          Till now CentOS was supposed to be a downstream and stable OS. But as Red Hat already releases CentOS Stream, you must start looking for an alternative. Fedora is always one of the best choices for testing environments. Fedora is ideal for DevOps users and newbies. For a lot of users, CentOS is the first choice, such users can go for oracle. Both of the OS have their specific segments. Fedora and CentOS both have good community support and contribution. CentOS has good compatibility for even basic configurations and consumes very lesser resources. Fedora can be is used as a generic OS for laptops.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 695

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 695 for the week of August 1 – 7, 2021. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Building the bank of the future, today

          Canonical solves this problem with automation that decouples architectural choices from the operations code base that supports upgrades, scaling, integration and bare metal provisioning. From bare metal to cloud control plane, Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack uses automation and leverages model-driven operations.

          Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack is an enterprise grade OpenStack distribution that ensures private cloud best price-performance, providing full automation around OpenStack deployments and operations. Together with Ubuntu, it meets the highest security, stability and quality standards in the industry.

          Get in touch with us to learn how banks globally are using open source technologies including private cloud build using OpenStack on Ubuntu to deliver their digital strategy and stay at the forefront of innovation.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PgBouncer 1.16.0 released

          PgBouncer 1.16.0 has been released. This release contains a number of new features and important fixes. Highlights are: TLS settings can now be updated and reloaded in a running instance. The maximum length of passwords has been increased to accommodate requirements of cloud services. Cancel request handling has been improved in various ways and should be much more robust now.

        • PostgreSQL Weekly News - August 8, 2021

          PGConf NYC is happening December 3-4, 2021. The CfP is open, as are opportunities to sponsor.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: nanotime 0.3.3 on CRAN: Some Updates

          Leonardo and I are pleased to share that a new nanotime version 0.3.3 was released today, and arrived on CRAN. This release brings a new (plotting) demo, an updated documentation site, additional nanoduration and nanoperiod functionality, and enhanced testing.

          nanotime relies on the RcppCCTZ package for (efficient) high(er) resolution time parsing and formatting up to nanosecond resolution, and the bit64 package for the actual integer64 arithmetic. Initially implemented using the S3 system, it has benefitted greatly from work by co-author Leonardo who not only rejigged nanotime internals in S4 but also added new S4 types for periods, intervals and durations.

        • Intel Fully Embracing LLVM For Their C/C++ Compilers - Phoronix

          Intel's next-generation C/C++ compilers are fully leveraging the LLVM compiler stack in place of their former proprietary compiler code-base. Intel has "complete[d] adoption" of LLVM moving forward for their C/C++ compiler needs.

          Intel's longtime compiler expert James Reinders wrote a blog post today outlining their use of LLVM for their specialized C/C++ compilers moving forward. "LLVM helps us with our goal to offer the best C/C++ compilers for Intel architecture. The latest Intel C/C++ compilers, using LLVM, deliver faster compiler times, better optimizations, enhanced standards support, and support for GPU and FPGA offloading...The benefits of adopting LLVM are numerous...We are committed to making this as seamless as possible while yielding numerous benefits for developers who use the Intel compilers."

        • What the GitOps Model Is and Why It's Taking Off | IT Pro [Ed: Hype wave, buzzword, and a passing fad]

          Why many DevOps teams are now considering the GitOps model as to be an essential part of their Kubernetes deployment strategy.

        • Perl/Raku

          • EV charge calculator from script to Dancer web

            Since my last post I wanted to take my EV charge calculator script and convert it into a web form. In this post I breakdown how I migrated the script to a Dancer2 web app.

            Just a minor note for those readers who may not be aware, Dancer2 is a "lightweight web-framework for Perl" as described in Dancer2 documentation and can be similar in comparison to Ruby Sinatra and Python Flask.

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.32 FirstCon Done

            The first Raku Conference is over: if you like the full experience, you can check out the video streams of Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. It was great to see such an event dedicated to the Raku Programming Language run so smoothly, thanks to Andrew Shitov, all the presenters and participants, as well as the sponsors!

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • South Africa Awards AI-Invented Patent In a World First [Ed: South Africa has added to its existing crises by making itself seem dumb, gullible, and lacking the basic understanding of patent law; South Africa does not even follow its very own patent law.]

          South Africa’s patent office has granted the world's first patent for a creation generated by an AI inventor, DABUS, on July 28. The patent is for “a food container based on fractal geometry,” and the issuance notice was published in the July 2021 Patent Journal.

          It should be noted that the country does not have a substantive patent examination system, thus the significance of the acceptance may be less than it would be in other jurisdictions; however, this development still represents an important milestone in the world of AI.

        • Green Globe Intl. Signs LOI to Acquire Patent to Make Marijuana Paper [Ed: Law firms and opportunists rushing to patent (monopolise) what was illegal before]
        • US patent community responds with shock and surprise to O’Malley CAFC retirement [Ed: No, IAM, there is no "patent community"; it's just a ruthless bunch of law firms which pay IAM to paint them as gentlemen]

          US patent practitioners agree that Kathleen O’Malley’s retirement from the CAFC is a loss, but while some hope her replacement has a similar IP background, others just want another intelligent and hard-working judge

        • Is the Federal Circuit too Trigger-Happy Invalidating Means Claims? [Ed: Dennis Crouch, funded by the overzealous patent litigation industry, is moaning about fake patents being taken away]

          Rain Computing has filed an interesting petition to the Supreme Court focusing on indefiniteness and means-plus-function claims. Rain Computing, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc., No. 21-170 (Supreme Court 2021). Rain’s asserted claims require a “user identification module configured to control access of … software application packages.” The Federal Circuit interpreted “module” as a non-structural nonce word. As such, the court interpreted the module element a means-plus-function limitation under 35 U.S.C. €§ 112(f). The problem though was that the specification did not disclose any corresponding structure “clearly linked” with the claimed function. As such, the Federal Circuit found the claims invalid as indefinite.


          I’ll note here that Rain Computing is represented by the Hsuanyeh Law Group, founded by Hsuanyeh Chang. Dr. Chang is also the listed inventor of the patent here and is CEO of the petitioner Rain Computing.

        • Take Care When Modifying The PTAB's Default Protective Order

          After an initial denial, the PTAB recently granted Unified Patents' motions for entry of protective order and for seal in Unified Patents, LLC v. Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, IPR2020-01048, Paper 33 (PTAB May 29, 2021) because the motions adequately persuaded the PTAB about the nature of the alleged confidential information to be sealed, and the measures did not impose restrictions on employees and representatives of the PTO.

          Generally, a party "may file a motion to seal where the motion to seal contains a proposed protective order, such as the default protective order set forth in the Office Patent Trial Practice Guide." 37 C.F.R. ۤ 42.54(a). The PTAB may enter a protective order to protect a party or person from disclosing confidential information upon a showing of "good cause." Id.; see also Garmin Int'l, Inc. v. Cuozzo Speed Techs. LLC, IPR2012-00001, Paper 34 (PTAB Mar. 14, 2013). A protective order entered by the Board may forbid the discovery or disclosure of confidential information or specify the terms of such discovery or disclosure, among other measures. See 37 C.F.R. ۤ 42.54(a) (enumerating non-exhaustive list of measures that may be included in protective order).

          On April 12, 2021, Unified Patents filed its initial motions for entry of protective order and for seal. The proposed protective order differed from the PTAB's default protective order, and Patent Owner agreed to this proposed order. However, the PTAB denied Unified Patents' motion for a protective order. The PTAB stated: "Section 2(D) of the proposed order imposes obligations on '[e]mployees and representatives of the United States Patent and Trademark Office who have a need for access to the confidential information,' that are not present in the Board's default protective order." Unified Patents, Paper 28 at 2. Departing from the default protective order, Unified Patents had moved a section pertaining to "Support Personnel" with language referencing "the foregoing persons" below a section pertaining to "The Office," creating such an obligation. Unified Patents, Paper 27, Attachment A.

        • When inventions invent [Ed: Truly ridiculous spin looking to justify patent monopolies for bots]

          In a globally groundbreaking decision, the Federal Court of Australia has held that an artificial intelligence (AI) system can be named as the inventor on a patent.

          Thaler v Commissioner of Patents[1] was a challenge brought by Dr Stephen Thaler against IP Australia in respect of both its assertion that the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) did not allow for non-human inventors, and its consequent rejection of his patent application.

        • Software Patents

          • Express Mobile Patent Narrowed After Ex Parte Reexamination [Ed: Software patents ought to be annulled completely rather than just "narrowed", but this system is now motivated by money, neither law nor logic]

            At the end of 2020, Unified filed two ex parte reexamination (Reexam) requests against patents owned by Express Mobile Inc., a prolific patent troll that has sued over eighty different companies for website development features. In early August 2021, the Reexam of U.S. Patent 7,594,168 concluded with a “Notice of intent to issue a Reexamination Certificate” that likely impacts Express Mobile’s infringement theories and still leaves open future questions about validity. The examiner narrowed claims that Express Mobile has argued repeatedly in court were much broader. For the first time, you can view every ex parte filing since 2000 on Unified’s Portal here.

            This reaffirms the Northern District of California’s and the Middle District of Florida’s stays of their cases involving the challenged patents. As the notice of intent comes less than one year after the filing of a request, patentees will be hard-pressed to argue that the ex parte reexamination process is too long to wait for a streamlining of their myriad infringement claims—if the patent is valid, it should be more likely that the reexamination will end quickly, and very little burden would be faced by the applicant due to a delay. On the other hand, if the challenged claims are invalid or substantially narrowed past the point of reasonable infringement, it would be a waste of resources to litigate. Additionally, in Express Mobile’s case, had the courts proceeded while the reexamination was still pending, the claim construction briefing would not have had the benefit of Express Mobile’s affirmative, binding disavowal of scope, and the examiner’s basis for allowance, itself probative for claim construction. See, e.g., Salazar v. Procter & Gamble Co., 414 F. 3d 1342, 1347-48 (Fed. Cir. 2005). That is particularly true here, where the examiner concluded that Express Mobile’s references to the specification amounted to a definition, i.e., lexicography. Notice of Intent, pp.7-8.


            Reexaminations are a valuable tool, particularly with Fintiv lingering. The Reexamination Unit has recently been processing requests much faster than the past, making their use to obtain stays a prudent option. Reexaminations are also a less expensive option (and sometimes faster way) to extract claim scope disavowals and highlight infringement theory weaknesses even though there is little control over what the examiner considers.

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