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Links 23/06/2022: Pango 1.90, First Beta for Krita 5.1 and Microsoft Bricks/Breaks Windows Server Again

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Chrome UboxedChromebooks have become the Swiss Army Knife of computing [Ed: No, proper GNU/Linux did this and still does this. ChromeOS is spyware.]

        11 years. 11 short years since the Chromebook was first released to the public. (ChromeOS was introduced in 2009 but the first consumer Chromebook actually launched in May of 2011.) In just over a decade, ChromeOS has evolved into a massive ecosystem the like so of which, not even Sundar himself could have predicted. You may have heard someone say “a Chromebook is nothing more than a browser” and once upon a time, that would have been fairly accurate. Problem is, that synopsis has stuck around entirely too long and has created a stigma around ChromeOS that prevents many from even giving a Chromebook a chance.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The BSD Now PodcastBSD Now 460: OpenBSD airport folklore

        Containerd gains support for launching Linux containers on FreeBSD, OpenBSD 7.1 on PINE64 RockPro64, true minimalistic window manager does not exist, OpenBSD folklore, HardenedBSD May 2022 Status Report, DragonFlyBSD 6.2.2 out, and more

    • Kernel Space

      • LWN/dev/userfaultfd

        The userfaultfd() system call allows one thread to handle page faults for another in user space. It has a number of interesting use cases, including the live migration of virtual machines. There are also some less appealing use cases, though, most of which are appreciated by attackers trying to take control of a machine. Attempts have been made over the years to make userfaultfd() less useful as an exploit tool, but this patch set from Axel Rasmussen takes a different approach by circumventing the system call entirely.

        A call to userfaultfd() returns a special file descriptor attached to the current process. Among other things, this descriptor can be used (with ioctl()) to register regions of memory. When any thread in the current process encounters a page fault in a registered area, it will be blocked and an event will be sent to the userfaultfd() file descriptor. The managing thread, on reading that event, has several options for how to resolve the fault; these include copying data into a new page, creating a zero-filled page, or mapping in a page that exists elsewhere in the address space. Once the fault has been dealt with, the faulting thread will continue its execution.

        A thread will normally encounter a page fault while running in user space; it may have dereferenced a pointer to a not-present page, for example. But there are times that page faults can happen within the kernel. As a simple example, consider a read() call; if the buffer provided to read() is not resident in RAM, a page fault will result when the kernel tries to access it. At that point, execution will be blocked as usual, but it will be blocked in the kernel rather than in user space.

      • LWNZoned storage

        Zoned storage is a form of storage that offers higher capacities by making tradeoffs in the kinds of writes that are allowed to the device. It was the topic of a storage and filesystem session led by Luis Chamberlain at the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM). Over the years, zoned storage has been a frequent topic at LSFMM, going back to LSFMM 2013, where support for shingled magnetic recording (SMR) devices, which were the starting point for zoned storage, was discussed.

        Chamberlain began with the news that a zoned storage microconference had been accepted for this year's Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC). He encouraged attendees to submit topics and hoped it was an opportunity to introduce more user-space developers to zoned-storage concepts. LPC will be held September 12-14 in Dublin, Ireland.

      • LWNRetrieving kernel attributes

        At the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM), Amir Goldstein and Miklos Szeredi led a discussion on a new interface for extracting information from kernel objects using the filesystem extended-attributes (xattr) interface. Since Szeredi was not present in Palm Springs, he co-led the session virtually over Zoom audio, which was the only filesystem session with a virtual leader at LSFMM this year. Szeredi's proposal for an interface of that sort had been posted just the day before the session.

        Goldstein started things off by noting that there are several use cases where there is a need for a new API to obtain bits of information from the kernel, so it seems like a good idea to create a common API that can meet those needs. Szeredi proposed the getfattr mechanism, which builds on the xattr interface; Goldstein said that he was happy with the idea, as were Szeredi and Dave Chinner, who suggested the idea a year or so ago. In addition, other than an objection to binary data, Greg Kroah-Hartman was "not unhappy" with the idea.

        Szeredi took over to describe the proposal in more detail. The intent is to be able to get attributes from some kernel objects; those could be mounts or inodes, but processes or other objects are possible as well. There are several existing interfaces for getting this kind of information, but each has a different way to access the attributes, so it would be nice to have a unified interface, he said.

        The xattr API was repurposed for his proposal. It uses a different namespace for the new attributes, however, in order to ensure that legacy code will not break due to unexpected new attributes. For example, listxattr() would not return attributes from the new namespace. One objection to the interface is that it is not efficient enough if there is a need to retrieve multiple attributes. Szeredi said that would need to be tested to see if it is truly a problem, but if so, the API could be extended with a bulk-retrieval mechanism.

      • LWNA discussion on readahead

        Readahead is an I/O optimization that causes the system to read more data than has been requested by an application—in the belief that the extra data will be requested soon thereafter. At the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM), Matthew Wilcox led a session to discuss readahead, especially as it relates to network filesystems, with assistance from Steve French and David Howells. The latency of the underlying storage needs to factor into the calculation of how much data to read in advance, but it is not entirely clear how to do so.

        Wilcox began by describing readahead a bit. If user space is reading a file one byte at a time, Linux does not actually read the data that way; instead, it issues reads for a bigger chunk, say 64KB, which gets stored in the page cache. There is a certain amount of latency between the time a page is requested from the storage and when it appears in the page cache; that latency varies greatly over the wide variety of storage types that Linux supports. For network storage, those types can range from locally stored data on multi-gigabit Ethernet to data stored halfway around the world over decidedly slower links. Similarly, for local storage it can range from a 5GB-per-second NVMe SSD to some "crappy USB key picked up from a vendor at a trade show". There is "a lot of stuff to contend with there".

      • LWNRemote participation at LSFMM

        As with many conferences these days, the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM) had a virtual component. The main rooms were equipped with a camera trained on the podium, thus the session leader, so that remote participants could watch; this camera connected into a Zoom conference that allowed participation from afar. In a session near the end of the conference, led by conference organizer Josef Bacik, remote participants were invited to share their experiences—on camera—with those who were there in person. It was an opportunity to discuss what went right—and wrong—with an eye toward improving the experience for future events.

        Ric Wheeler was first up; he said that aside from the first few minutes where he could not hear anyone, "it was a good virtual experience". Mel Gorman echoed that and noted that it "was infinitely superior to not being able to participate at all". One thing he noted is that the "raised hands" in the Zoom interface were not monitored in some sessions. There were two sessions that he remembered where the speaker asked for objections or other comments and he was left "screaming at the mic". It is difficult to keep an eye on that when leading a session, he said; it was only a minor detraction from the overall great experience.

    • Applications

      • Libre Arts - LSP Plugins 1.2.2

        Vladimir Sadovnikov released a new version of his free/libre LSP PLugins pack, this time featuring a multiband dynamics plugin in four variations: left/right, midside, mono, and stereo. Basically it’s an 8-band compressor (only 4 enabled by default to start small probably).

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Trend OceansWhere Do Files Go When the rm Command Is Issued?

        The data itself is not destroyed or shredded; it is only unlinked from the filesystem that references the data and indicates the block as free when you remove it using the rm command.

        In this scenario, recovering the files becomes too complex, and it’s a good choice not to rewrite something on your system (ex: copying, moving, installing), which overwrites the unlinked block

      • H2S MediaHow to Install Jenkins on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 Linux - Linux Shout

        Learn the steps and commands to install Jenkins software on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy JellyFish or 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux.

        Jenkins is a software common in the field of professional software development. When more than one developer is working on a software project, it becomes confusing when all of their changes are put together. To solve this Jenkins comes in to picture. Jenkins is a Continuous Integration System (CI system) programmed in Java, which is used in agile software development: It ensures that small code changes are always immediately tested and imported into the software. Jenkins was first known as Hudson but after some dispute, all developers involved in this (open source) project decided to rename it to Jenkins.

        Hence, in a few words, Jenkins is an open-source project that helps software developers in development by automating various aspects of software app coding such as building, testing, and deploying…

      • TecMintHow to Install SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4

        SUSE Enterprise Linux Server (SLES) is a modern and modular Linux distribution that was developed mainly for servers and mainframes. It focuses on supporting production workloads and is typically used by large organizations to host and run applications.

        SUSE also supports traditional IT environments and is also available for desktop/workstation lovers as SUSE Enterprise Linux Desktop (SLED). Check out the release notes for more information about SLES 15 SP4.

        SUSE Enterprise Linux Server provides a 60-day Evaluation that allows you to get patches and updates.

        In this guide, we will demonstrate how to install SUSE Enterprise Linux Server 15 SP4.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Use Grep to Extract Emails from a File in Linux

        If you have once crossed paths with data entry and extraction tasks either as a freelancing virtual assistant or for a personal/work project, you have understood the importance of data organization and management. The Linux operating system always transforms its users into data specialists.

        An important piece of data that is irreplaceable in both personal and work projects is the email address. It uniquely identifies and links specific user information within a data management system.

        Using an email address as a primary data reference point meets the following objectives.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Watch a Growing Size of a File in Linux

        Linux operating system distributions are masters at solving computing riddles. These operating system distributions do not entertain computing myths. Therefore, its open-source attribute makes all Linux OS activities transparent to its users.

        This article guide will try to uncover the possibility of monitoring the growing size of a file in a Linux operating system environment.

      • DebugPoint5 Useful Linux Command Line Tools that Everyone Should Use

        A set of five useful Linux command(s) which gives you ultimate productivity boost in your day to day workflow.

      • Error messages

        There's no shortage of dire error messages produced by software. There's an old joke referencing Ken Thompson[a], one of the creators of Unix, as well as the creator of the programming language ‘B’ (the predecessor to ‘C’) and the video game ‘Space Travel’...

    • Games

      • Inscryption Mac and Linux ports now available

        Bonkers card game Inscryption can now be enjoyed by more people thanks to a new launch on Mac and Linux.

      • Linux Hint10 Best Linux Games for Free 2022

        Gaming on Linux has become very popular and gained the trust of hardcore gamers in very short period of time. Thanks to digital video game distribution services like Steam and PlayOnLinux, it has been possible for gamers like me to enjoy my favourite video games from Windows on Linux and its distributions.

        Now that we’re in mid-2022, there are many games from popular developers and publishers available for Linux and its distributions like Ubuntu. But games from popular publishers guarantees one thing and that is price tag and some games are very expensive too. So, today I’m going to introduce you to the 10 free games for Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • MiTubo comes to macOS | Mardy

          While bringing in the macOS version, I updated the QScreenSaver library to support inhibiting the screensaver on macOS too.

        • KritaFirst Beta for Krita 5.1.0 Released | Krita

          We’re releasing the first beta for Krita 5.1.0 today. Krita 5.1.0 is packed with new features! For the full list, check out the work-in-progress full release notes!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Pango 1.90 | Goings on

          I’ve finally convinced myself that I need to make a Pango 2.0 release to clean up the API, and introduce some new APIs without breaking users that expect Pango to be very stable.

          So, here it is… well not quite. What I am presenting today is not Pango 2.0 yet, but 1.90 – an unstable preview of the coming changes, to gather feedback and give some heads-up about whats coming.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Red Hat / IBM

      • OpenSource.comApplying smart thinking to open organization principles [Ed: What "open org"? IBM is not an open organisation but a proprietary and patent bully corporation whose own president (the author of the "open org") quit abruptly]

        Habits have an unfair reputation of being bad things that need to be stopped. But consider this: Automation and habits have many things in common. First, they're both repetitive. They're done over and over, the exact same way. More importantly, they reduce costs (both cost per piece and cost of energy used).

      • Enterprisers ProjectIT leadership: 3 ways CIOs prevent burnout

        Fighting employee burnout is a key priority for CIOs, especially as teams deal with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and embrace new hybrid ways of working. But IT leaders are not immune to the impacts of burnout. In order to truly help their employees manage work stress and find work-life balance, leaders have to start with themselves.

        We asked CIOs who recently won the 2022 Houston CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards how they personally protect themselves from burnout. Read their responses for advice on how to maintain a healthy work-life blend while continually finding inspiration at work.

      • Enterprisers Project3 E's of effective leadership

        Almost two years ago, I shared what I learned about leadership from my experience in a leadership development program. The takeaway? In order to be a strong leader, especially in times of crisis, it’s imperative to be vulnerable and create a psychologically safe environment for your team.

        I was reflecting recently on my leadership style and how it may have changed over the past two years. In some ways, I am the same person, the same colleague, and the same leader. In other ways, I have evolved and adjusted my style to fit the new ways that we engage and work together.

        Three distinct words came to me during this reflection time (and I do love alliteration!). These three words represent what I think is most important in effective leadership today, maybe more so than ever.

      • Red HatMulti-cloud storage strategies for SaaS applications

        The SaaS architecture checklist is a series of articles that cover the software and deployment considerations for Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. In this fourth article in the series, you'll learn about software SaaS providers can use to simplify their storage architecture while still accommodating a multi-cloud strategy.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • CNX SoftwareMaaXBoard 8ULP SBC leverages NXP i.MX 8ULP Cortex-A35/M33 SoC for Edge audio and HMI applications - CNX Software

        Avnet MaaxBoard 8ULP will be one of the first single board computers (SBC) based on the new NXP i.MX 8ULP Cortex-A35/M33 processor designed for Edge audio and HMI applications, and featuring NXP’s EdgeLock for device-to-cloud security.

        The board will come with 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC flash, a MIPI DSI display connector, a MIPI CSI camera connector, Fast Ethernet and WiFi 5 connectivity, a digital microphone, and a 3.5mm stereo audio jack, and provide expansion capabilities via a 40-pin header for Raspberry Pi HATs and a 16-pin Shuttle Click header for MikroE Click add-on boards.

      • CNX SoftwareDevTerm portable Linux terminal now supports Raspberry Pi CM4 via a $19 adapter

        DevTerm modular, portable Linux terminal initially designed for modules based on Raspberry Pi CM3 form factor, can now work with Raspberry Pi CM4 for extra performance and memory thanks to a $19 adapter.

        The Devterm was initially launched in 2020 with a 6.8-inch IPS screen, a keyboard with 67 keys, and a battery module, all connected through the ClockworkPi v3.14 carrier board taking a choice of core modules based on Allwinner H6 or Rockchip RK3399 (now supported in Armbian), besides the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 mentioned above. More recently, it also got an Allwinner D1 RISC-V module.

      • Linux GizmosOrbbec introduces Femto Time-of-Flight 3D Camera line

        Following the introduction of the Persee+ 3D embedded camera in April 2022, Orbbec has released a complete new line of 3D cameras optimized to capture static or moving objects and scenes with superior accuracy. The company ensured the Femto ToF 3D cameras are enabled to be used in applications including healthcare, robotics, augmented reality and more.

        Orbbec’s new Femto line consists of three models, the Femto (standard), the Femto W and the Femto Live. All models share a similar design as seen in the image below.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Mariuz's Blog: Firebird 3.0.10 sub-release is available

        Firebird Project is happy to announce general availability of Firebird 3.0.10 — the latest point release in the Firebird 3.0 series.This sub-release offers a few important bugfixes, please refer to the Release Notes for the full list of changes.

      • PostgreSQLPostgreSQL: InfluxDB FDW 1.2.0 released

        We have just released version 1.2.0 of the Foreign Data Wrapper for InfluxDB. This release can work with PostgreSQL 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

      • PostgreSQLPostgreSQL: PGSpider extension 1.0.0 is released

        We have released PGSpider extension v1.0.0.

        This is an extension to construct data virtualization engine by PostgreSQL. As compared to the first release of 10 months ago, the quality and connectivity of FDWs were improved. Please refer for supporting FDWs.

      • PostgreSQLPostgreSQL: JDBC FDW 0.2.0 release

        We have just newly released Foreign Data Wrapper for databases with JDBC interface.

        This release can work with PostgreSQL 13 and 14.

      • PostgreSQLParquet S3 FDW 0.3.0 released

        We have just released version 0.3.0 of the Foreign Data Wrapper for Parquet file on Amazon S3. This release can work with PostgreSQL 13 and 14.

    • Programming/Development

      • Java

        • LWNRethinking Fedora's Java packaging

          Linux distributors are famously averse to shipping packages with bundled libraries; they would rather ship a single version of each library to be shared by all packages that need it. Many upstream projects, instead, are fond of bundling (or "vendoring") libraries; this leads to tension that has been covered here numerous times in the past (examples: 1, 2 3, 4, 5, ...). The recent Fedora discussion on bundling libraries with its Java implementation would look like just another in a long series, but it also shines a light on the unique challenges of shipping Java in a fast-moving community distribution.

          As is often the case with Fedora, the conversation started with the announcement of a Fedora change proposal; this one is authored by Jiri Vanek. The proposal is aimed at the Fedora 37 release, which is currently planned for late October. Vanek proposes to change Fedora's builds of the OpenJDK Java development kit (JDK) to link against several of that project's bundled libraries (including zlib, FreeType, libjpeg, and HarfBuzz) rather than the versions packaged separately in Fedora. The JDK would also be statically linked against Fedora's build of the libstdc++ library.

          This proposal, however, is only the first step in a longer project to change how the JDK is built. In short, once the JDK (along with the Java runtime environment, or JRE) has been made to use its own libraries, the way these components are packaged will change. The RPM for a given JDK release will contain a single tarball that will be unpacked on the target system. Notably, this tarball will be the same for all Fedora releases, from the oldest supported release through Rawhide; the use of bundled libraries will help to ensure that this package will work the same way on all target distributions.

      • Rust

        • Rust BlogThe Rust Programming Language Blog: Call for testing: Cargo sparse-registry

          The Cargo nightly sparse-registry feature is ready for testing. The feature causes Cargo to access the index over HTTP, rather than git. It can provide a significant performance improvement, especially if the local copy of the git index is out-of-date or not yet cloned.

        • Rust Weekly UpdatesThis Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 448
        • LWNVetting the cargo

          Modern language environments make it easy to discover and incorporate externally written libraries into a program. These same mechanisms can also make it easy to inadvertently incorporate security vulnerabilities or overtly malicious code, which is rather less gratifying. The stream of resulting vulnerabilities seems like it will never end, and it afflicts relatively safe languages like Rust just as much as any other language. In an effort to avoid the embarrassment that comes with shipping vulnerabilities (or worse) by way of its dependencies, the Mozilla project has come up with a new supply-chain management tool known as "cargo vet".

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • The beauty of equations in Physics

        I have been stereotyped by many I know (and understandably so) as a quintessential computer geek, probably someone who dabbled in computers since his childhood and is his first love. That is however far from the truth because I first programmed a computer at the age of 20 and started my career soon after as a lowly back office outsourced engineer that a lot of the geek community looks down upon. What I did grow up with was something related but still different - mathematics and physics.

        Around the age of 15 my mother enrolled me for IIT coaching classes (a huge financial struggle and a social shock for me, but that’s another story) and I found teachers that ignited a love for these subjects. I was always technically inclined thanks to my father who was an engineer. After his early death everyone around me wanted me to be his ‘successor’ as an engineer and I happily (almost proudly then, what does a 9 year old know!) obliged. Whatever technical inclination I had was due to watching my father as a 6-9 year old (another interesting story) and it was enough to make me an above average math and science student.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Getting rid of obesogens and endocrine-disruptors by (usefully) bleeding

        One of the things that people are starting to worry about, at least a little bit, are endocrine disruptors. In a nutshell, endocrine disruptors mess with your hormones. Since your hormones get your body to do all sorts of different things, endocrine disruptors can have wide-ranging, if subtle, effects.

        There are also obesogens — things that make you fat. When I say “make you fat” here, I’m specifically claiming that they’ll get your body to generate fat with the food you eat instead of doing something useful with it, like making your mitochondria generate more energy for you to use.

    • Proprietary

    • Linux Foundation

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