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Links 16/9/2021: Unifont 14.0.01, LibreOffice on ODF 1.3, Mozilla Pushing Ads (Sponsored 'Firefox Suggest'), and Microsoft Pushes Proprietary Direct3D via Mesa

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Seamless Updates could pave the way for firmware updates without a reboot

        Intel is developing technology that could reduce down time for some computers, by allowing the UEFI/BIOS firmware to be updated without the need for a reboot.

      • Linux 5.14.4
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.4 kernel.

        All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-5.14.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.13.17
      • Linux 5.10.65
      • Linux 5.4.146
      • Microsoft Adds An EGL Implementation To Mesa For Windows

        Microsoft is increasingly investing in Mesa as part of working on their Windows Subsystem for Linux graphics support as well as also getting OpenGL and OpenCL working on Windows implemented over Direct3D 12. In fact, Microsoft is one of the gold sponsors for this week's X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC2021).

      • HP OMEN Laptops To Be Better Supported With Linux 5.16 - Phoronix

        HP's higher-end "OMEN" laptop series is set to see better support with the next kernel cycle.

        While just missing out on the Linux 5.15 merge window, one of the early changes queued up so far this week in any of the "-next" branches is the x86 platform drivers picking up HP OMEN laptop support within the HP WMI driver.

      • Orange Publishes An In-Kernel eBPF-Powered Cache - Can Speed Up Memcached By ~18x - Phoronix

        French telecommunications giant Orange has published "BMC" as the (e)BPF Memory Cache providing a cache focused on memcached usage within the Linux kernel.

        Orange's open-source BPF Memory Cache allows for handling memcached requests before the standard network stack and is said to be crash-safe and this module requires no other kernel modules. Additionally, the memcached user-space software itself can run unmodified atop BMC.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Reverse Engineering, Open-Source Driver Writing Continues For Apple's M1 GPU - Phoronix

          Alyssa Rosenzweig spoke today at the virtual X.Org Developers Conference about the ongoing work for bringing up Linux display and graphics support on the Apple M1 graphics processor.

          While there has been much progress this year bringing up Linux on the Apple M1 SoC, the display/graphics bring-up is particularly involved and will likely prove to be the most challenging aspect from its reverse engineering to driver writing.

        • Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 21.Q3 Released For Linux - Phoronix

          AMD today released their quarterly update to the Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise graphics driver package, which includes an updated Linux build as well.

          Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 21.Q3 is their latest Linux driver package aiming to provide the latest driver support for their workstation GPUs/accelerators on RHEL/CentOS 7 and 8, Ubuntu 20.04.2, Ubuntu 18.04.5, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3.

        • AMD Publishes Initial Firmware For Yellow Carp APUs - Phoronix

          A small but important step forward is seeing AMD recently publishing their binary firmware files in advance of new GPU/APU launches for rounding out their Linux driver support stack.

          Last month AMD published the Van Gogh APU firmware files in advance of hardware like the Steam Deck shipping at large. Now this morning the Yellow Carp APU firmware files are also published well in advance of the APUs being officially launched.

        • Raspberry Pi V3DV Driver Still Working On Vulkan 1.1 Conformance, More Performance

          Iago Toral of Igalia kicked off the first day of the virtual XDC2021 developer conference today by sharing a status update on V3DV as the open-source Mesa Vulkan driver most notably used for Raspberry Pi 4 and newer.

          The current status of the V3DV driver shouldn't be too surprising to regular Phoronix readers as we frequently cover its milestones. In any case, this year V3DV has enjoyed seeing Vulkan 1.0 conformance, much of the Vulkan 1.1 extensions implemented but not yet officially conformant, better WSI platform integration, and a lot of work on enhancing the performance. V3DV is maturing greatly when it comes to the performance though the developers are still working to maximize its performance potential.

    • Applications

      • Cockpit 253

        SELinux alerts can now be selected and dismissed in bulk, which is simpler than having to expand and dismiss them individualy. Having a clean alert state is especially helpful when building policies, as newer alerts become more obvious.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Directory structure of the Linux operating system explained – VITUX

        Unlike the Windows system, Linux does have a lot of different directory structures which we will be discussing today. In Linux, all the directories retain from the root or base directory (/). Inside the base directory, if you use the ls command to list the file and dir you could also see some symlinks that point to other directories using ( → ). The symlinks also known for symbolic links is the type of file in Linux that points to another file or directory in the system. It is kind of similar to shortcuts in windows.

        If you are new to Linux understanding directory structure is the initial phase. Without it, you might get headaches while managing the files and directories. So this article will help you cover up and understanding the directory structure of Linux OS. To demonstrate this article I have used Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

      • diziet | Get source to Debian packages only via dgit; "official" git links are beartraps

        dgit clone sourcepackage gets you the source code, as a git tree, in ./sourcepackage. cd into it and dpkg-buildpackage -uc -b.

        Do not use: "VCS" links on official Debian web pages like; "debcheckout"; searching Debian's gitlab ( These are good for Debian experts only.

      • Ping Command Not Found? Install Ping on Ubuntu

        Usually, the ping command is already installed on most Linux systems.

        But in some rare cases like when you have Ubuntu minimal install or you are running Ubuntu in a Docker container, the ping command is missing. If you try to use it, you will see the ping not found error.

      • Build a data sharding service with DistSQL |

        If you're reading this, then you're probably familiar with the data query and programming language, SQL (Structured Query Language). It's also used as the standard language for management systems for accessing data, querying, updating, and managing relational database systems. Like standard SQL, DistSQL, or Distributed SQL, it is a built-in SQL language unique to ShardingSphere that provides incremental functional capabilities beyond standard SQL. Leveraging ShardingSphere's powerful SQL parsing engine, DistSQL provides a syntax structure and syntax validation system like that of standard SQL, making DistSQL more flexible while maintaining regularity. ShardingSphere's Database Plus concept aims at creating an open source distributed database system that is both functional and relevant to the actual database business. DistSQL is built on top of the traditional database to provide SQL capabilities that are both standards-compliant and feature ShardingSphere's functionality to enhance conventional database management.

      • The experience of writing a€ book €· Pablo Iranzo Gómez's blog

        I wanted to write about my experience (before I forget about it), and as some colleagues asked about it… here we go…

        As published in the blog entry RHEL8 Administration book, some colleagues and I wrote a book on RHEL8 administration, which can be bought here.

        Many years ago I started one about Linux, but every time a new paragraph was added, a lot of new ‘TO-DO’ items were appended as the information growth… and as it was a ‘solo’ project, I had other stuff to work on and was parked.

        Later last year (2020), Miguel approached asking if I was interested in helping him with his book, he started it, but the schedule was a bit tight, not impossible, but, having to work on the book at night, once kids are sleeping, you might be tired of work, etc… was not the best one, so after some thinking about it, I told him that I was willing to help with the task, which automatically, duplicated the available time for each chapter.

        Not all chapters were equal, I must admit, some took me more time to ‘start’, but I think it was a good experience, I learned a lot, and I think it will help others in the future.

      • What Is the curl Command in Linux and What Can You Do With It?

        The curl command in Linux is a great way to automate the process of uploading and downloading data from a server. Curl supports all significant protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, SFTP, FTP, and more.

        Features like pausing and resuming transfers, limiting bandwidth, proxy support, and user authentication make it a perfect command-line utility for data transfer.

        Let's take a deep dive and explore what is curl and how to use it.

      • How To Use Rmmod Command On Linux With Examples - Unixcop

        In this article, we’ll talk about how to use the rmmod command to remove modules from the Linux Kernel.

        rmmod command in Linux system is used to remove a module from the kernel. Most of the users still use modprobe with the -r option instead of using rmmod.

      • How To Configure LAMP with Debian 11 - Unixcop

        Today, we will discuss how to configure LAMP with Debian. The LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MariaDB, and Linux. We will understand all of the installation procedures steps by step.

      • Steps to Install and start with Dash on Debian 11 Bullseye - Linux Shout

        Dash is a framework from Plotly to program web apps for data analysis/visualization in Python, R, or Julia. Dash is based on React, a well-known Javascript web framework, and Flask, one of the most famous web servers in Python. Plotly also offers commercial solutions for hosting web apps, however as Dash is completely free and open-source you can install it on your own server that supports Python.

      • How to Change Your Password in Ubuntu

        Passwords are probably one of the most important and complicated aspects of any operating system, and the popular Linux-based OS, Ubuntu, is no exception to this rule.

        On the contrary, further to popular belief, changing user and root passwords on Ubuntu is extremely simple, and you don’t have to put in too much effort to accomplish this task.

        Since Ubuntu offers both graphical user interface and command-line options to the end-user, you have the choice to use either method to make the desired changes to your password.

      • How To Install VirtualBox on AlmaLinux 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VirtualBox on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, VirtualBox is a free and open-source hosted hypervisor for x86 virtualization, developed by Oracle Corporation. VirtualBox can run on Linux, Windows, macOS, and Solaris. It is an alternative to proprietary hypervisor VMware workstation and Kernel Virtual Machine.

        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 the VirtualBox on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Rocky Linux.

      • How to play Castle Crashers on Linux

        Castle Crashers is a 2D indie hack-and-slash video game developed by The Behemoth. The game was released in 2008 for Xbox 360. However, the game made it to other platforms later on. Here’s how to play Castle Crashers on Linux.

      • Oracle Java 17 Released as New LTS, Here’s How to Install it in Ubuntu | UbuntuHandbook

        Oracle announced the release of Java 17 as the new Long-Term Support (LTS) release.

        Java 17 LTS comes with thousands of performance, stability, and security updates, as well as 14 JEPs (JDK Enhancement Proposals). And Oracle will provide 8-year support for the release with security, performance, and bug-fix updates until 2029.

        According to the release note, the next LTS will be Java 21 planned for September 2023, which changes the LTS release circle for every three years to two years.

      • Proxmox VE Full Course: Class 7 - Creating Containers - Invidious

        LearnLinuxTV's full course on Proxmox Virtual Environment continues with the 7 class in the series, and this time it's all about containers. In this video, you'll see the process of launching LXC containers through Proxmox VE.

      • GNU Linux Debian 10 – kvm-qemu virtualization host – sata disk access performance problems with Windows 7 64Bit vm guest (only 32Bit works with virtio drivers crystal disk benchmark looking good)
    • Wine or Emulation

      • Open-Source Frontend for Emulators “RetroArch” Now Available on Steam for Windows and Linux Users

        Since its release way back in 2010, RetroArch has been one of the most popular game emulator interfaces. Over the years, it has received numerous upgrades and lets you play classic games from various retro consoles ranging from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 2.

        While the RetroArch team has been planning to launch this on Steam for more than a year, it is finally available to the masses!

        This means you can now emulate and play your favorite retro games without having to leave Steam.

        Sure, you can download it from their official website, but launching it directly from your Steam collection proves to be a hassle-free way for most users.

    • Games

      • Chilled puzzle game Unpacking is set to release on November 2 | GamingOnLinux

        On November 2 you'll be able to experience the joy of sorting through boxes in a new home thanks to Unpacking. Developed by Witch Beam, known for the ace twin-stick shooter Assault Android Cactus. A very different game to what they previously made of course, nice to see developers branch out.

        "Unpacking is a zen game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home. Part block-fitting puzzle, part home decoration, you are invited to create a satisfying living space while learning clues about the life you’re unpacking. Over the course of eight house moves, you are given a chance to experience a sense of intimacy with a character you never see and a story you’re never told."

      • The Humble Be the Bad Guy Bundle has Dungeons 3, Postal and more | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for a another set of games to get you through the week? The Humble Be the Bad Guy Bundle is out now with some goodies to get into if you like to be on the other side. As usual it's a varied mix so we'll point out what will work on Linux.

      • Legend of Keepers: Return of the Goddess expansion is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Legend of Keepers: Return of the Goddess is an expansion for the reverse dungeon crawler, where you're setting up a dungeon to keep away pesky heroes.

        As a reminder: you pick a boss and build up a dungeon with various trap rooms and rooms full of monsters to defend against invasions. Once heroes invade, you then watch and hope that your dungeon and boss hold their ground. It's pretty to get a little engrossed with it as it sucks away your time. This first expansion was not developed by the original team (Goblinz Studio / Goblinz Publishing) instead by their partners at TavroxGames, who made Neurodeck.

      • Steel Assault will offer some intense looking 16-bit retro-style action on September 28 | GamingOnLinux

        Coming from Zenovia Interactive and Tribute Games Inc, Steel Assault is a retro-styled 16-bit action platformer that's confirmed to release on September 28 and it's coming to Linux too. Game porter and FNA developer Ethan Lee confirmed it on Twitter to say "It's true! In addition to working as FNA support, I also brought the game to Nintendo Switch and Linux.".

        "Punch, whip, and zipline your way through a post-apocalyptic America in this 16-bit retro-style action platformer! Play as Taro Takahashi, a resistance soldier on a revenge mission against the dictator who lords over the ashes."

      • Couch gaming Linux distribution ChimeraOS has a new release | GamingOnLinux

        ChimeraOS (originally GamerOS) is a big-screen Linux gaming experience designed for couch gaming (think like SteamOS) and there's a brand new release available.

        While the current SteamOS is quite old and we're waiting on SteamOS 3 being released, this is the next best thing. In many ways it's a lot more than just booting into Steam Big Picture mode as it brings its own enhancements to work with other stores like Epic, GOG and more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita September Development Update

          Not directly development related, but the scammers who registered, and for ransomware attacks have lost those domains. Let’s hope that also means the scammers decide they have had enough and stop spamming people. It’s been quite a chore dealing with all the enquiries, but it’s better that people ask than that they blindly go with the flow!

          The Krita development fund now has over 150 subscription members — and about 250 occasional supporters per month. We’re still quite far from making it possible to fund more developers from the dev fund instead of — always fickle — store sales, so if you aren’t a member, please consider joining!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Why Many Linux App Developers Don’t Want Distros to Use Themes

          You may associate Linux with the freedom to make your desktop look however you want, but that’s not the case with GNOME. At least, not without knowing which extensions to install or how to read code. By default, GNOME is intended to look and feel a certain way, and many developers would prefer if Linux distributions didn’t change the appearance of their apps by using themes.

          Is it an issue when you change the theme on your own personal machine? No, you know what you're getting yourself into. But confusion can arise when the customized experience comes presented as the default.

        • Solus abandons GTK

          One of the leaders of the Solus Linux project, Joshua Strobl, announced his intention to abandon GTK in the development of both future versions of Budgie and the entire ecosystem of applications in Solus. On his blog, he made a number of criticisms of the current state and development plans of GTK, as well as the GNOME development philosophy.

          According to him, the widespread implantation of Adwaita as the only true desktop theme and the accompanying removal of part of the API for various kinds of customization has added headaches to developers who maintain the GNOME stack in distributions or integrate their applications into it. All suggested options for customizing the look and feel of GTK-based applications and related libraries are rejected, and members of the GNOME team are insolently rude in response in tickets and social media.

          Joshua also complains that GTK4, released a little less than a year ago, slightly complicated the code for working with widgets by prohibiting direct inheritance. But he sees a much more important problem with the abolition of the X11 API, in particular for obtaining the configuration of the connected monitors. Moving towards full support for Wayland, GNOME removed the X server polling functionality, instructing the developer to write their own interfaces to access X11 directly (or to APIs of other operating systems, if the application turned out to be cross-platform).

        • Rolled back to gtk2 version of yad

          EasyOS is staying with the gtk2 version of 'gtkdialog', in fact, I am hanging onto gtk2 apps indefinitely.

        • Introducing Emblem

          Emblem is a new design tool that generates project avatars, or emblems if you will, for your git forge or matrix room. To set a GitLab project avatar one can put a logo.png file at the root of the project, if there is no manually set project avatar it will be picked up automatically.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro Vs EndeavourOS Comparison 2021 (The Differences)

        The best non-Ubuntu distros are Manjaro Linux whereas EndeavourOS is seemed to be a well-known and popular arch-based distro. The first one is quite old in the market whereas the other one has made a new entry.

        Now, you might wonder which one is good, well for this you need to follow through the Manjaro vs EndeavourOS comparison below. We shall be comparing Xfce variants as they are popular and all from the process of installation to features and how they differ.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo eudev adopted by Eudev Project

          A recent LinuxQuestions thread discusses the depreciation of the eudev fork which was created by Gentoo a few years back in order to keep systemd at bay. This step by Gentoo sparks some serious doubts among LQ members about what Slackware should do – is the inclusion of systemd near, now that eudev is dead?

          Short recap: In November 2015 Slackware replaced its no longer maintained original udev with this new eudev (a standalone extract of udev out of the systemd sources but modified so that every dependency on systemd is removed). This change was actually my chance to announce the liveslak project as a ‘celebration to say farewell to udev‘.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Node.js circuit breakers for serverless functions | Red Hat Developer

          Using circuit breakers in Node.js applications helps mitigate failures when an application calls external services. For example, if the application calls a service to get a list of movies, and that service is not running, the circuit breaker helps the application fall back and find a different way to satisfy the request—or at least inform the user that the movie list is unavailable.

          In a previous article, I showed how to use circuit breakers with Node.js. Using circuit breakers with Red Hat OpenShift Serverless Functions introduces a new challenge, which we can solve with a slightly different implementation. I'll explain the issue first, then show you how to solve it.

        • Dow CIO: Digital transformation demands rethinking talent strategy | The Enterprisers Project

          At Dow, we’ve been on a digital transformation journey for several years now, but over the past 18 months, we’ve had the opportunity to fast-track the use of digital capabilities across all of our business functions. We are well beyond the days when IT was leveraged primarily to drive productivity – we view IT as a core piece of the business and driver of value growth.

          Earlier this year, we announced a $400 million investment to accelerate digital throughout the company.

          We identified the key areas we know will improve the customer and employee experience while delivering the most value. Collaborating with our businesses and operational groups, we identified the key areas we know will improve the customer and employee experience while delivering the most value. One area I’m excited about is material science innovation and product commercialization. How we interact with our customers and innovate has completely changed during the pandemic, with the help of digital capabilities. For instance, when big in-person trade shows were put on hold, we began leveraging online forums and hosting virtual events with hundreds of bench scientists at once instead of one-off meetings, enabling customers to watch the events whenever convenient for them.

        • Take the 2021 Enterprisers Project reader survey

          2021 marks the eighth anniversary of The Enterprisers Project. Each year, we ask our readers to share feedback on the work we’re doing.

          Your responses have shaped the topics we cover, how we deliver articles, and importantly, your feedback has helped us better align our articles to your interests.

        • IT talent: 5 mentoring best practices for the hybrid work era

          CIOs who embrace a coaching role say that it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of their jobs. But mentoring IT talent looks different in a hybrid work environment.

          We asked CIOs who recently won the 2021 Capital CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards how they are creating opportunities for IT talent to stand out and rise to the next level - and how that has or hasn’t changed during the pandemic. The awards were presented by the Capital CIO Leadership Association, a professional community that annually recognizes CIOs for their excellence in technology leadership.

          Read on for CIO coaching and mentoring tips you can borrow on your team.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.9 with Puma Web Server

          Until Red Hat Satellite 6.8, the Passenger web/app server was a core component of Red Hat Satellite. Satellite used Passenger to run Ruby applications such as Foreman. Satellite 6.9 is no longer using the Passenger web server. The Foreman application (main UI and API server) was ported to use the Puma project. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of Puma and see how the application server switch affected performance of the Satellite server.

        • Using NGINX Ingress Controller on Red Hat OpenShift

          Network engineering for the high availability of application services is nothing new. However, as Kubernetes-based environments become more widespread, companies are beginning to look for innovative deployments across multiple types of infrastructures (on-premise, AWS, Azure, IBM Cloud). They then begin to ask what achieving successful application delivery looks like for those types of deployments.

          In our series on Davie Street Enterprises (DSE), we've used a fictitious company to illustrate how organizations have implemented protective measures against ransomware, transformed applications, and more.

          In this post, we’ll cover how Gloria Fenderson, DSE’s Senior Manager of Network Engineering, plans to use Red Hat OpenShift and the NGINX Ingress Controller to deliver applications on a cluster running across multiple types of underlying infrastructure. Both NGINX and Red Hat solutions are designed to enable the deployment of container-based environments across multiple clouds; we'll see now how easily this is accomplished.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The State of Robotics – August 2021 | Ubuntu

          Robotics is everywhere. Researchers and companies are all working on groundbreaking developments, either improving robotics to be state of the art or pursuing innovative applications. That is the main aim of this monthly blog; to show you what we are capable of doing today and to inspire you to think about the bigger picture. For the benefit of your current or future robotics project!

        • Canonical’s managed services achieve MSP Cloud Verify Certification

          Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, today announced the completion of the MSP Cloud Verify Certification (MSPCV) for its support and managed services. The MSPCV certification, further strengthens Canonical’s industry-leading open source offering, reassuring customers in all industries that they can securely consume open source in a regulated fashion that complies with all the industry standards and best practices.

          Organisations have a constant demand to simplify the way they consume open source solutions, and with over 85% of enterprises having an open-source mandate to increase agility and reduce costs, managing the technical complexity has become the main source of friction.

          Canonical has created an alternative approach providing managed services from within the same organisation where the technology itself is being developed to simplify the way open source is being consumed. By ensuring managed services teams are working side by side with the engineers that develop products such as OpenStack and Kubernetes, Canonical has created an efficient operational model providing production-level SLAs at the minimum time required to resolve any issue.

        • Ubuntu Linux Fundamentals - Learn Linux Server with Ubuntu

          If you understand Linux, you understand the operating system that powers much of the Internet. This beginner-level course will take you from knowing nothing about Linux to competency. Ubuntu's a great place to start learning Linux. It's a well maintained, full-featured, well documented and supported, free operating system. Unleash the power of Ubuntu's command-line tools. By the end, you'll know: 1)Linux fundamentals, 2)Ubuntu server 3)Configuring Remote Access with Secure Shell (SSH) 4)Remote Access Overview 5)Manage and secure your Server 6)Creating a Web Server With nginx and Securing nginx All that and more in this course will have you walking with the knowledge you need to be comfortable with Linux at home or at work.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi based kit tests liquid food quality

        An open-spec, RPi 3A+ based “Ï€-LAB” device on Kickstarter is equipped with a spectrometer, laser, 5MP camera, and touchscreen, and is designed to measure the quality of liquids such as olive oil.

        In Greece, as in much of the Mediterranean, debates about the quality of olive oil are taken seriously. To help settle such disputes and expand scientific inquiry to the masses, a photonics scientist named Georgios Violakis from the city of Heraklion on the olive-soaked island of Crete has gone to Kickstarter to launch a liquid analysis pocket lab called π-LAB (Pi-LAB).

        Powered by a Raspberry Pi Model 3A+, the open hardware/software device includes a spectrometer, laser, camera, and other components to measure and analyze liquids. It will ship with a database and AI-enhanced software optimized for testing olive oil quality but can also be used to analyze any other liquid, including coffee, honey, and wine.

      • Home Assistant project launches its own Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier

        The Home Assistant project has opened pre-orders on an open-spec, $149 “Home Assistant Amber” system based on an RPI CM4 with GbE, 3x USB, ZigBee, and M.2 M-key. $99 kit versions without the CM4 include a PoE model.

        Last year, the Home Assistant project celebrated the release of Home Assistant 2020.12 by offering its popular, Linux/Python-based home automation software pre-installed on a Odroid-N2+ Home Assistant Blue bundle with enclosure. Now, to celebrate its 8th birthday, the project has gone to Crowd Supply to launch its own Home Assistant Amber development board with enclosure built around a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.

      • Laser Cut Plywood Raspberry Pi Case - The DIY Life

        I recently reviewed the Ortur Laser Master 2 Pro, but rather than just engrave and cut a range of test pieces, I thought I could use the laser to make something useful. I decided to make up a Plywood Raspberry Pi Case, which is loosely based on my 3D printable Raspberry Pi Desktop Case.

        Here is my video of the unboxing and setup of the laser along with the build of the case. Read on for the full written instructions.

      • Topjoy Butterfly tablets with DES Slurry ePaper displays hit Kickstarter, ship in November (crowdfunding)

        Topjoy, makers of the Falcon mini laptop, are back with some new devices to share. This time around they’ve stuck to the winged creature theme with the Butterfly tablets. It’s a fitting choice, given the fact that butterflies generally have colorful, paper-like wings and the Butterfly tablets feature color ePaper displays.

        First unveiled in August, the 6 inch TopJoy Butterfly E601 and 7.8 inch Butterfly E701 tablets are expected to sell for $299 and $469, respectively when they begin shipping in November. But prices start as low as $169 and $249 during a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that just kicked off.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone is getting another (big) price hike - Liliputing

          The Purism Librem 5 is one of only a handful of smartphones designed to run free and open source GNU/Linux distributions like Purism’s custom PureOS software. It’s also one of the most expensive, currently selling for $899.

          But it’s going to get even more expensive soon. In a move foreshadowed earlier this year, Purism recently announced that prices will go up this fall due at least in part to rising supply chain costs due to the global chip shortage. Customers who place an order after November 1, 2021 will have to pay $1199. And in March, 2022 the price will go up to $1299.

        • LOLIN S2 Pico - A compact ESP32-S2 board with an OLED display - CNX Software

          If you’re into small MCU boards with an integrated display, you’re in luck as LOLIN launched the S2 Pico board with ESP32-S2 and an OLED display about at the time same as LILYGO T-Display RP2040 board we covered yesterday.

          Wemos/LOLIN S2 Pico board offers WiFi connectivity, a 128×32 OLED display, USB Type-C port for power and programming, as well as the usual GPIO headers in a compact 50×23 mm form factor.

        • Harp Uses Frikin’ Lasers | Hackaday

          We aren’t sure if you really need lasers to build [HoPE’s] laser harp. It is little more than some photocells and has an Arduino generate tones based on the signals. Still, you need to excite the photocells somehow, and lasers are cheap enough these days.

          Mechanically, the device is a pretty large wooden structure. There are six lasers aligned to six light sensors. Each sensor is read by an analog input pin on an Arduino armed with a music-generation shield. We’ve seen plenty of these in the past, but the simplicity of this one is engaging.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Status update, September 2021

          It’s a quiet, foggy morning here in Amsterdam, and here with my fresh mug of coffee and a cuddly cat in my lap, I’d like to share the latest news on my FOSS efforts with you. Grab yourself a warm drink and a cat of your own and let’s get started.

          First, a new project: visurf. I announced this a few days ago, but the short of it is that I am building a minimal Wayland-only frontend for the NetSurf web browser which uses vi-inspired keybindings. Since the announcement there has been some good progress: touch support, nsvirc, tabs, key repeat, and so on. Some notable medium-to-large efforts ahead of us include a context menu on right click, command completion and history, kinetic scrolling via touch, pinch-to-zoom, clipboard support, and a readability mode. Please help! It’s pretty easy to get involved: join the IRC channel at #netsurf on and ask for something to do.

          The programming language is also doing well. Following the codegen rewrite we have completed some long-pending refactoring to parts of the language design, which we intend to keep working on with further refinements in the coming weeks and months. We also developed a new frontend for reading the documentation in your terminal:

        • Chromium

          • Update your Chromium to 93.0.4577.82

            Today, I uploaded a set of Chromium 93.0.4577.82 packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current (32-bit as well as 64-bit).

            According to yesterday’s official announcement on the Google blog, this release patches a number of vulnerabilites and two of them are zero-day vulnerabilities that are actively being exploited online.

          • Chromium SFS runs as user chromium in EasyOS 3.0

            I downloaded one of peebee's Chromium SFSs, and copied the contents to a folder named 'chromium_93.0.4577.63-bk1_amd64'. I changed usr/lib64 to usr/lib, usr/bin/chromium to a symlink to usr/lib/chromium/chromium, and made sure that usr/share/pixmaps/chromium.png (48x48) exists.

        • Mozilla

          • Data@Mozilla: Data and Firefox Suggest

            Firefox Suggest is a new feature that displays direct links to content on the web based on what users type into the Firefox address bar. Some of the content that appears in these suggestions is provided by partners, and some of the content is sponsored.

            In building Firefox Suggest, we have followed our long-standing Lean Data Practices and Data Privacy Principles. Practically, this means that we take care to limit what we collect, and to limit what we pass on to our partners. The behavior of the feature is straightforward–suggestions are shown as you type, and are directly relevant to what you type.

          • Get where you’re going faster, with Firefox Suggest

            Today, people have to work too hard to find what they want online, sifting through and steering clear of content, clutter and click-bait not worthy of their time. Over time, navigation on the internet has become increasingly centralized and optimized for clicks and scrolling, not for getting people to where they want to go or what they are looking for quickly.

            We’d like to help change this, and we think Firefox is a good place to start.

            Today we’re announcing our first step towards doing that with a new feature called Firefox Suggest.

            Firefox Suggest is a new discovery feature that is built directly into the browser. Firefox Suggest acts as a trustworthy guide to the better web, surfacing relevant information and sites to help people accomplish their goals.

          • Open Letter to Mozilla – Google’s Browser dominance – is Firefox not listening to user’s needs/requests? – Linus view on it-security
          • Niko Matsakis: CTCFT 2021-09-20 Agenda

            The next “Cross Team Collaboration Fun Times” (CTCFT) meeting will take place next Monday, on 2021-09-20 (in your time zone)! This post covers the agenda. You’ll find the full details (along with a calendar event, zoom details, etc) on the CTCFT website.

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: What’s up with SUMO – September 2021

            September is going to be the last month for Q3, so let’s see what we’ve been up to for the past quarter.

          • Mozilla VPN adds advanced privacy features: Custom DNS servers and Multi-hop [Ed: Mozilla has chosen to post this on the same day it said it collects data on Firefox users to push ads (sorry, I mean “suggestions”) to them]

            Your online privacy remains our top priority, and we know that one of the first things to secure your privacy when you go online is to get on a Virtual Private Network (VPN), an encrypted connection that serves as a tunnel between your computer and VPN server. Today, we’re launching the latest release of our Mozilla VPN, our fast and easy-to-use VPN service, with two new advanced privacy features that offer additional layers of privacy. This includes your choice of Domain Name System (DNS) servers whether it’s the default we’ve provided, our suggested ad blocking, tracker blocking or ad plus tracker blocking DNS server, or an alternative one, plus the multi-hop feature which allows you to add two different servers to give you twice the amount of encryption. Today’s Mozilla VPN release is available on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android platforms (it will soon be available on iOS later this week).

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Call for Members for the Community Code of Conduct Committee Extended

          This message is being sent from the Community Code of Conduct Committee.

          As part of the community CoC policy, the Committee membership is to be refreshed on an annual basis.

          We are seeking up to three (3) volunteers to serve on the Committee for the coming year, October 1, 2021 - September 30, 2022. Members serve a minimum of one year, and a maximum of three years.

          We are extending the original call for volunteers issued in August in order to increase the diversity of the candidate pool. We are seeking people who reflect the demographics of the PostgreSQL community, with the goal to have members from multiple countries and varied demographics.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The transition of LibreOffice to ODF 1.3 is finished

          Earlier this year, allotropia software GmbH was awarded the Tender to finish transition of LibreOffice to ODF 1.3 (ODF 1.3 delta) (#202010-01) by The Document Foundation (TDF).

          The implementation is now finished, has received quite a bit of polishing and testing, and is available for production use in the LibreOffice 7.2 release.

          While ODF 1.3 support is widely available across the LibreOffice ecosystem since the beginning of this year, there was a number of improvements now possible, after the ODF TC cleaned up and improved the standard.


          We would like to thank The Document Foundation, and their countless donors, for funding these improvements to LibreOffice!

      • CMS

        • Ticketit: Open-source Laravel-based Ticketing System

          Laravel is a trending open-source modern PHP framework for building enterprise and complex as well as small apps.

          As Laravel becomes the number one PHP framework with its large community and rich ecosystem, developers may require to add a ticketing and support system to their apps. Well, with Ticketit it takes no time.

          Ticketit is a free self-hosted Laravel-based ticketing system. It can be integrated smoothly with other Laravel projects.

          Even though, the project is archived on GitHub, many Laravel developers are forking it and integrating it in their projects.

        • OpenSupports: A lightweight web-based support ticket system for SMB

          OpenSupports is a free web-based open-source ticket support system that combines simplicity and productivity.

          It offers a complete user system, a knowledge base with a frequently asked questions (FAQs) database, multi-languages support, and more.

        • QuickDesk: A Self-hosted Open-source Ticketing system [Ed: This one is no good because in spite of its silence it requires proprietary software ("...developed by ASP.NET MVC and uses SQL server.")]

          QuickDesk offers different level of users and views, It starts with super admin users who can modify and configure the system, system users like technical supports and agents.

          Another primary feature for QuickDesk is its custom reporting and report types and the ability to export them in spreadsheet formats.


          QuickDesk is released under GNU General Public License v3.0

        • A Guide to 5 Fair Selections of Open Source Ticketing Tools for Linux

          A customer trouble ticketing (help desk) is an assistance resource to solve a customer query. Companies often provide customer support using email, website, and/or telephone. The importance of ticketing software is a crucial part for any business to be successful.

          Your business can’t run properly without a satisfied client base. Increased customer retention is what businesses need. Right ticketing tools help ensure the best customer service for any business.

          Linux makes sure enterprises get the best possible customer service software for their businesses to have sustainable growth. Because a powerful set of ticketing software provides undivided support that the businesses deserve.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • New Intel Tremont Optimizations Heading To The GCC Compiler

            The GNU Compiler Collection has already supported Intel's Tremont cores as used by the low-power Jasper Lake platform. Now though coming to GCC are some optimizations to further enhance the performance when targeting the Tremont micro-architecture.

            The new GCC Tremont patches include updating the memcpy/memset inline strategies, updated handling around vector and SSE conversions, switching to using the Haswell scheduling mountain, enabling a number of other options.

          • Unifont 14.0.01 Released

            14 September 2021 Unifont 14.0.01 is now available. This adds glyphs for all new ranges in Unicode 14.0.0 Plane 0 and Plane 1.

      • Programming/Development

        • Steinar H. Gunderson: plocate in Fedora

          It seems that due to the work of Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek, plocate is now in Fedora Rawhide. This carries a special significance; not only in Fedora an important distribution, but it is also the upstream of mlocate. Thus, an expressed desire to replace mlocate with plocate over the next few Fedora releases feels like it carries a certain amount of support on the road towards world domination. :-)

        • Qt Creator 5.0.1 released

          Qt Creator 5.0.1 released

        • Perl/Raku

          • My Favorite Warnings: redundant and missing

            The redundant and missing warnings were added in Perl 5.22 to cover the case where a call to the printf or sprintf had more (redundant) or fewer (missing) arguments than the format calls for. The documentation says that they may be extended to other built-ins (pack and unpack being named specifically) but as of Perl 5.34.0 only the printf() built-ins are covered.

        • Python

          • 10 Python Code Challenges for Beginners

            One of the best ways to test and practice your skills with Python is by solving coding challenges. You can learn a lot from books and online courses, but coding isn't an armchair activity. You have to write some code to make genuine progress.

            Coding challenges are perfect for this. Coding challenges are small problems you can solve with code. Just because they're small doesn't mean they won't put your knowledge to the test. Each bite-size challenge will focus on skills that you'll use later working on complete software projects.

          • Python (numpy && matplotlib) solving one relatively difficult math problem

            The problem itself is to find all solutions of the following equation on real axis

            cos (cos (cos (cos (x)))) - sin (sin (sin (sin (x)))) = 0

            We intend to prove that equation above doesn't have any solution via creating a python script importing NumPy and Matplotlib. Just recall that the function understudy has a period of 2*pi .

        • Java

          • Oracle adds improvement cream to the newest LTS version of Java

            Long in the making, Oracle has finally released JDK (Java Development Kit) 17. This is the first long-term support (LTS) release to see the light of day since JDK 11 three years ago. True, new versions of Java appear every six months, in March and September. But they're only supported until the next one arrives. Java 17, on the other hand, will be supported for eight years.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • A way to spot computer-generated faces

        A small team of researchers from The State University of New York at Albany, the State University of New York at Buffalo and Keya Medical has found a common flaw in computer-generated faces by which they can be identified. The group has written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded them to the arXiv preprint server.

        Over the past couple of years, deepfake pictures and videos have been in the news as amateurs and professional editors alike have created images and videos that depict people doing things that they never actually did. Less reported but related is the increased use of computer-generated images of people that look human but who have never actually existed. Such images are created using generative adversary networks (GANs), and they have reportedly begun showing up on fake social media user profiles, which allows for catfishing and other types of nefarious activity.

    • Hardware

      • Take a Look at This Optical Keyboard

        Making keyboards is easy, right? Just wire up a bunch of switches matrix-style to a microcontroller, slap some QMK and a set of keycaps on there and you’re good to go. Well, yeah, that might work for cushier environments like home offices and Hackaday dungeons, but what if you need to give input under water, in a volatile area, or anywhere else you’d have to forego the clacking for something hermetically sealed? Mechanical switches can only take you so far — at some point, you have to go optical.

      • The Many Ways To Solve Your Enclosure Problems | Hackaday

        Most projects around here involve some sort of electronics, and some sort of box to put them in. The same is true of pretty much all commercially available electronic products as well.

        Despite that, selecting an enclosure is far from a solved problem. For simple electronics it’s entirely possible to spend more time getting the case just right than working on the circuit itself. But most of the time we need to avoid getting bogged down in what exactly will house our hardware.

        The array of options available for your housing is vast, and while many people default to a 3D printer, there are frequently better choices. I’ve been around the block on this issue countless times and wanted to share the options as I see them, and help you decide which is right for you. Let’s talk about enclosures!

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The case of the missing consultation response: missing submissions to the Agristack consultations

        Responses to our RTIs indicate that our submissions, as well as those from other organisations, on the Agristack consultation paper were not received. Together with the All India Kisan Sabha, we wrote to the Agristack Working Group and the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, re-submitting our suggestions and asking why they were not received in the first place.


        The PLCP is an important constituent of the law-making process. The policy is the only way citizens can have a direct impact on the framing of legislation, as the policy allows citizens and organisations to contribute their perspectives on potential legislation and provides them with a way to remedy any problems that they perceive.

        Consultations must be held with the aim of genuinely listening to feedback. Now, if consultations start being held only for the sake of “ticking off the checklist”, India’s democratic law-making process will be severely impacted. Moreover, when the suggestions of key stakeholders, such as, in this case, a farmers’ union like the AIKS, are ignored or not even registered, it is clear that the PLCP is being followed only in letter and not in spirit.

        In light of this situation, IFF and AIKS have written to the Chairperson of the IDEA Task Force and the DACFW, re-submitting our consultation responses and asking them why our earlier consultation responses were not received. The regulatory and technological framework proposed by the Agristack is radically different from what has existed hitherto, and so it is important the comments of the key stakeholders in this sector i.e. the farmers of India are engaged with.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Windows 96, wtf?

          Mikesoft Windows 96 is a seriously fun effort to re-create classic MS Windows inside your browser. It’s actually a bunch of efficient JavaScript code making good use of your browser’s WebGL and WebAssembly capabilities. The project has a Wiki that explains the workings and gives more background if you are curious.

          The web page loads fast and the Windows experience is uncanny. The Internet Exploder browser that’s included won’t load all pages I tried but at least it loads this blog

        • Former Intel, Defense Officials: House Bills Threaten Competitiveness [Ed: Proprietary software with back doors is a big part of the problem, but those officials are partly responsible for it, so they'll never admit it]

          Today a dozen prominent former intelligence and defense officials wrote U.S. House leadership to raise concerns about the security implications of the controversial House ‘breakup bills,’ in a letter first reported by Axios. The letter, signed by multiple former Directors or Deputy Directors of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency, among other critical roles, explains that “[r]ecent congressional antitrust proposals that target specific American technology firms would degrade critical R&D priorities, allow foreign competitors to displace leaders in the U.S. tech sector both at home and abroad, and potentially put sensitive U.S. data and IP in the hands of Beijing.”

          The former officials’ comments reinforce the severity of the threats that were apparent when the White House convened industry leaders to address cybersecurity risks in late August. Foreign threat actors pose a growing threat to U.S. national and economic security, and leading digital services are at the forefront of the U.S. response to that menace. Following high-profile attacks like the Solarwinds breach, President Biden labeled the issue a “core national security challenge” in remarks on August 25.

          That challenge stands to be compounded at both an individual and national level if the wide-ranging bundle of tech regulatory proposals acted upon by the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year are enacted into law. As previously discussed here, these breakup bills threaten a panoply of collateral damage, including online trust & safety programs designed to keep Internet users safe, small business users of e-commerce services, and the ad-supported Internet writ large.

        • There is currently no way to run iTunes 12 on Ubuntu Linux

          Before I begin, I need to make clear to all the Apple fanboys that this is not me trying to ruin Apple’s product launch where they unveiled the latest iterations of the Mac, iPhone and whatnot. This is me being genuinely frustrated over something that shouldn’t be so hard. I just wanted to redeem an Apple/iTunes gift card. It’s supposed to be simple but thanks to strange decisions by Apple, it turned out to be a nightmare.

          It all began when I bought an iTunes Gift card so that I could pay off my Apple TV+ account. I do have a debit card linked to these accounts but I didn’t want to pay bank/card charges each time I am billed. Buying the card was easy, all I needed to do was open my banking app, tap on a few buttons and the card was delivered to my email.

        • Security

          • Kali Linux 2021.3 Released, Download ISO Now

            Offensive Security announces the general availability of Kali Linux 2021.3. You will find the support for OpenSSL, Kali-Tools, Kali Live VM Support, and most interesting feature or support that you will see on Kali Linux 2021.3 is support for Kali NetHunter Smartwatch.

          • Kali Linux 2021.3 Adds New Tools, Introduces Kali NetHunter Smartwatch

            Kali Linux 2021.3 is here and now you can even run this new version of Kali Linux on your TicHunter Pro smartwatch as well.

            Kali is a Linux distribution based on Debian, strongly focused on security and specifically designed for computer forensics and advanced penetration testing. It contains several hundred tools that are well-designed towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering.

            Kali Linux, which follows a rolling release model, has now been updated to version 2021.3, replete with updated tools, polished themes and new Kali Tools site.

          • Kali Linux 2021.3 Available to Download -

            Kali Linux 2021.3 Available to Download, Kali Linux 2021.3 is a Debian-based distribution with a collection of security and forensics tools. The project has published a new release, Kali Linux 2021.3, which introduces changes to the OpenSSL software. “OpenSSL – Wide compatibility by default – Keep reading for what that means.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, element-desktop, element-web, firefox, ghostscript, and hedgedoc), Fedora (kernel and openssl), openSUSE (ghostscript, htmldoc, and openssl-1_0_0), Oracle (libtirpc), Red Hat (cyrus-imapd, kernel, and kernel-rt), SUSE (ghostscript), and Ubuntu (apport, curl, and squashfs-tools).

          • Cybercriminals recreate Cobalt Strike in Linux [Ed: The media hardly talked about it until the likes of ZDNet could say "Linux"]
          • The SSID Stripping Vulnerability: When You Don’t See What You Get

            AirEye’s research team in collaboration with the Computer Science faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology have found a vulnerability, dubbed SSID Stripping, which causes a network name – aka SSID – to appear differently in the device’s “List of Networks” than its actual network name.

          • PureBoot Security Flaw for Librem 14 Patched – Purism

            PureBoot is our high-security boot firmware we offer on our Librem computers. In combination with a Librem Key, PureBoot allows you to detect tampering in the boot firmware itself, and in your OS’s kernel and other boot files.

            It detects tampering first by sending measurements of the boot firmware as it boots (containing among other things a trusted GPG keyring corresponding to keys on your Librem Key) at boot time to the computer’s TPM, and if the measurements match, the TPM releases a shared secret that PureBoot converts to a 6-digit HOTP code and sends to the Librem Key. If the code matches what the Librem Key itself generated, the Librem Key blinks green, letting you know the firmware can be trusted. If it doesn’t match, the Librem Key will blink a steady red LED indefinitely, warning you the firmware might be tampered with.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • U.S. to hold $130 mln of Egypt's military aid over human rights -State Dept

        The Biden administration will withhold $130 million worth of military aid to Egypt until Cairo takes specific steps related to human rights, a State Department spokesperson said on Tuesday.

        Secretary of State Antony Blinken's move is a break with his predecessors' policy of overriding a congressional check on military aid to Egypt. In the past, an exception was granted to free up Foreign Military Financing for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government, worth $300 million this fiscal year, on the basis that it was in the interest of U.S. national security.

        But rights groups, which had called on the administration to block the entire $300 million aid, expressed disappointment at the decision, saying it was a "betrayal" of the U.S. commitment to promote human rights.

    • Environment

      • Environmental threats are biggest challenge to human rights -UN

        The U.N. rights chief said the "triple planetary crises" of climate change, pollution and nature loss represented the biggest threat to human rights globally at the opening on Monday of a month-long session set to prioritise environmental issues.

        "As these environmental threats intensify, they will constitute the single greatest challenge to human rights of our era," said Michelle Bachelet, referring to recent "extreme and murderous" climate events such as floods in Germany and California's wildfires.

        "We must set the bar higher – indeed, our common future depends on it," she added.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Philippines' Duterte accused of stifling scrutiny in senate probes

        Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered members of his cabinet to get his consent before appearing at senate investigations, fuelling accusations from activists and some politicians of an attempt to stifle scrutiny.

        Duterte gave the directive in a recorded televised address aired on Tuesday after he said senators probing hisgovernment's use of more than $1 billion in pandemicfunds were using the hearings to further their political ambitions. read more

        "I will require every cabinet member to clear with me any invitation, and if I think he will be be harassed, berated...I will not allow (them to attend)," Duterte said.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • German Experiment Shows Horses Beating Local Internet Connections

        Thus, the experiment kicked off from the house of photographer [Klaus-Peter Kappest], who started an Internet transfer of 4.5GB of photos over the Internet. At the same time, a DVD was handed to messengers riding on horseback to the destination 10 kilometers away.

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