Links 23/11/2020: GNU Guix 1.2.0, Evaluating Precursor’s Hardware Security, Kdenlive 20.08.3, Kodi 19.x Beta, Vulkan 1.2.162

Posted in News Roundup at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Best Linux distros for Windows users in 2020

        Switching operating systems is no small feat. You have to learn to find your way around the alien environment, traverse a new applications menu, and navigate through the nooks and crannies of the system settings to set up your new digs as per your requirements.

        It can be an inundating experience, especially for people coming from proprietary operating systems like Windows. Linux distributions, thanks to their open source nature, offer a lot more access than their closed source cousins, which makes the transition particularly difficult for many users.

        This is where these specialized distros, designed for Windows users, come into the picture. Their objective is to allow users to experience the goodness of Linux while minimizing the learning curve that’s associated when switching to a different operating system. They all take various steps to ensure that the transition is as effortless as possible.

      • PinePhone becomes a DIY Linux laptop with this 3D printed keyboard

        The folks at Pine64 are designing an official keyboard accessory for their Linux-powered smartphone. Eventually you’ll be able to purchase a physical keyboard that snaps onto the phone by replacing the back cover, and which will allow you to type with your thumbs without covering the display.

        Or you could just 3D print your own keyboard for the PinePhone. That’s what one person seems to have done, and thanks to a series of design files posted a Thingiverse, you may be able to make your own… although there’s still some work required to make it fully functional.

      • Latest Chromium OS build for the GPD Pocket 1 and 2 brings hardware, software fixes for these mini-laptops

        The GPD Pocket and Pocket 2 are tiny laptops small enough to fold up and slide into (some) pockets… thus the name. With 7 inch touchscreen displays and QWERTY keyboards, they’re about as small as you can get while still supporting touch-typing on a laptop.

        GPD ships the Pocket mini-laptops with Windows 10 software, but independent developers have been porting alternate operating systems for years. You can run GNU/Linux distributions (there’s even a version of Ubuntu MATE designed for these little PCs). And developer Keith Myers has been offering up builds of Chromium OS for those that want to turn their GPD devices into tiny Chromebooks.

      • What Does the Penguin Say?

        I chalk this up to a few factors. First, Linux was practically born on the Web. In Linux’s infancy, Linus Torvalds not only made the kernel available online, but he attracted a throng of would-be contributors via Usenet who collaborated in Linux’s development. The Internet has been a significant distribution channel ever since, facilitating the obtainment and installation of desktop Linux distributions in the large majority of cases today.

        Second, since one could not easily purchase a computer with Linux preinstalled until around the last decade, online communities were essential for fielding the questions of Linux initiates. It is comforting to know there are veterans who can help when setting up an entirely new OS, especially one so off the beaten path. This has traditionally been, and remains, Linux’s main analog to customer support that competing OSes offer.

        Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Linux simply offers so many choices. Windows gives you Windows the Windows way. On Mac, you get Mac the way Mac was intended. Not so with desktop Linux. Why? Simply put, there is no one “desktop Linux.” With Linux, every distribution gives you a completely different suite of user programs built atop the kernel, sometimes with its own repackaging of the kernel itself.

        Not least of the cornucopia of options that the desktop Linux world offers is that of desktop environments. Most distros present a handful of curated desktop environments. Between all the Linux distros out there, one will encounter literally dozens of them. The only hope a humble Linux user has of figuring out which one they might want, aside from taking them all for a spin, is to ask around. Users also really get into advocating for particular desktops. This is nearly always good-natured, leading to amusing, if not informative, discussion threads.

    • Server

      • Istio 1.8 Released

        The Istio community has announced the latest iteration of the open source service mesh platform, Istio 1.8.

        To support open hybrid cloud architectures, the Istio 1.8 release adds new features that make Istio easier to upgrade, clearer information about maturity of each feature, better documentation, and tons of exciting experimental features.

        The latest release includes updates to clarify when to use in-place upgrades and when to use revision-based upgrades.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.10 release might get messy around Christmas

        Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the Linux kernel, has expressed concern about the rate of changes in the current release, and how it might cause issues with the imminent holiday season.

        Torvalds noted his surprise at the uncharacteristically increasing number of changes and how it could lead to an issue in the release announcement for the fifth release candidate (rc5) of the upcoming v5.10 of the kernel.

        “The 5.10 release candidates stubbornly keeps staying fairly big, even though by rc5 we really should be seeing things starting to calm down and shrink,” observed Torvalds.

      • Linux in 2020 [Ed: This is clearly conflating the kernel (Linux) with GNU, which predates it by almost one decade. It also perpetuates the myth that only Ubuntu brought GNU/Linux to the masses.]

        Hello. Today I would like to share with you, my perspective of Linux. Please take note that this is all my opinions and the way I see it. If you feel that I missed something very important or have a fact or two wrong, please let me know.

        So Linux was announced for the first time, on the 25 of August 1991 by a Finnish student, called Linus Torvalds. Little did he know, and the world knows that 30 years later the world would be using it on a daily basis.

        So From 1991, Linux has been maturing several Linux Distros (operating systems) came and went away, with a few of the first ones still around today. But it was mainly/only for those who are computer “geeks” and not for everyday users. But that all changed in October 2004, when the first version of Ubuntu was released.

      • Reiser5 Logical Volume Management – Updates
          Reiser5 Logical Volume Management - Updates
        I am happy to inform, that Logical Volumes stuff has become more
        stable. Also we introduce the following changes, which make logical
        volumes administration more flexible and simple:
                          1. No balancing by default
        Now all volume operations except brick removal don't invoke balancing
        by default. Instead, they mark volume as "unbalanced". To complete any
        operation with balancing specify option -B (--with-balance), or run
        volume.reiser4(8) utility with the option -b (--balance) later.
        This allows to speed up more than one operations over logical volume
        being performed at once. For example, if you want to add more than one
        brick to your volume at once, first add all the bricks, then run
        balancing. There is no need to balance a volume between the addition
                            2. Removal completion
        Operation of brick removal always includes balancing procedure as its
        part. This procedure moves out all data block from the brick to be
        removed to remaining bricks of the volume. Thus, brick removal is
        usually a long operation, which may be interrupted for various reasons
        In such cases the volume is automatically marked with an "incomplete
        removal" flag.
        It is not allowed to perform essential volume operations on a volume
        marked as "with incomplete removal": first, user should complete
        removal by running volume.reiser4 utility with option
        -R (--finish-removal). Otherwise, the operation will return error
        There is no other restrictions: you are allowed to add a brick to
        unbalanced volume, and even remove a brick from an unbalanced volume
        (assuming it is not incomplete removal).
        Comment. "--finish-removal" is a temporary option. In the future the
        file system will detect incomplete removal and automatically perform
        removal completion by itself.
                        3. Balancing is always defined
        Operation of volume balancing (regardless of its balanced status) is
        always defined, and can be launched at any moment. If the volume is
        balanced, then the balancing procedure just scans the volume without
        any useful work.
        It is allowed to run more than one balancing threads on the same
        volume, however currently it will be inefficient: other threads will
        be always going after the single leader without doing useful work.
        Efficient volume balancing by many threads (true parallelism) is not a
        trivial task. We estimate its complexity as 2/5.
                  4. Restore regular distribution on the volume
        Custom (defined by user) file migration can break fairness of data
        distribution among the bricks. To restore regular (fair) distribution
        on the volume, run volume.reiser4 utility with the option -S
        (--restore-regular). It launches a balancing procedure, which performs
        mandatory data migration of all files (including the ones marked as
        "immobile") in accordance with regular distribution policy on the
        volume. Moreover, when the balancing procedure encounters a file
        marked as "immobile", its "immobile" flag is cleared up.
                                 5. How to test
        The new functionality is available starting with the kernel patch
        reiser4-for-linux-5.10-rc3 and reiser4progs-2.0.4 (Software Framework
        Release number of both is 5.1.3).
      • Reiser5 Stabilizing Its Logical Volume Functionality – Phoronix

        This New Year’s Eve will mark one year since the announcement of the in-development Reiser5 file-system. While the outlook for getting Reiser5 upstreamed into the mainline kernel remains murky given the out-of-tree status of Reiser4, Edward Shishkin does continue advancing this latest Reiser file-system iteration.

        Since last year’s initial Reiser5 announcement, more features continue to be ironed out for this evolution of Reiser4. The latest Reiser5 functionality hitting a point of stability is its logical volume management.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA Releases Beta Driver With Khronos Vulkan Ray Tracing Support

          While NVIDIA has supported its own vendor-specific Vulkan ray-tracing extension on Windows and Linux since the GeForce RTX GPUs originally debuted, they are moving quick to support the Khronos ray-tracing extensions for Vulkan given the industry adoption and games coming to market likely opting for using the KHR version.

          This morning with Vulkan 1.2.162 the Vulkan KHR ray-tracing extensions were made official after being out in provisional form since earlier this year. NVIDIA has now released beta drivers for Windows and Linux that support these finalized versions.

        • Vulkan Ray Tracing becomes official with Vulkan 1.2.162 (updated) | GamingOnLinux

          The day has arrived, along with the release of Vulkan 1.2.162 being tagged in the Vulkan-Docs repository on GitHub the Vulkan Ray Tracing extensions are now officially released. From being announced as a provisional set in March 2020, The Khronos Group formally announced it’s done.

          “Welcome to the era of portable, cross-vendor, cross-platform ray tracing acceleration!” – Daniel Koch, NVIDIA

        • Vulkan 1.2.162 Released With Ray-Tracing Support Promoted – Phoronix

          Earlier this year Vulkan ray-tracing arrived in provisional form while with today’s Vulkan 1.2.162 specification update this functionality has been promoted to stable and ready for broad industry support.

          The Vulkan ray-tracing support is now deemed final and out of the provisional guard. This includes the finalized versions of VK_KHR_acceleration_structure, VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline, VK_KHR_ray_query, VK_KHR_pipeline_library, and VK_KHR_deferred_host_operations.

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon RX 6800 Series Performance Comes Out Even Faster With Newest Linux Code

        Last week we delivered AMD Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT Linux benchmarks and the performance was great both for Linux gaming as well as the OpenCL compute performance. But for as good as those Big Navi numbers were on the open-source Linux graphics driver stack, they are now even better.

        That launch-day testing was based on the Linux state in the second-half of October when the cards arrived and initial (re-)testing began in preparing for the Radeon RX 6800 series reviews — not only the Radeon RX 6800 series but re-testing all of the other AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards for the comparison too. Thanks to the rate of the open-source graphics driver progression and the newest code always being available, now just days after launch the numbers are even more compelling for Linux gamers with the slightly newer Linux 5.10 and Mesa Git compared to just weeks ago.

        In particular were the last minute NGG fixes and other Big Navi tweaks along with an important Radeon RX 6800 (non-XT) fix. There has also been other RADV improvements and more that accumulated in Mesa 21.0-devel this month. On the kernel side, Linux 5.10 is still at play. Both the old and newer Mesa snapshots were also on LLVM 11.0.

      • Intel: AMD Gimps On Battery-Powered Laptop Performance – But DPTF On Linux Still Sucks – Phoronix

        Again, all Windows data so Linux laptop users… But with my love for benchmarking, I do plan to devote some time over Thanksgiving with my limited selection of notebooks to carry out some similar tests on Ubuntu and see how the performance differs from AC to battery between AMD and Intel. I’ll be highly surprised if there is any big AMD vs. Intel battery performance difference on Linux.

        I didn’t expect them to have any Linux numbers at the presentation, but I dialed in so I could ask about DPTF being one of the few sore spots in their Linux support. While for nearly all areas the Intel Linux laptop support is in good standing from their side, it’s less than desirable with regards to Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework. That’s where many Linux distributions don’t even ship Intel Thermald and it’s not in an optimal configuration unless running the binary-only dptfxtract utility, etc. DPTF isn’t properly documented and the out-of-the-box support on Linux as a result is less than optimal. Weird DPTF tables on various laptops have caused performance regressions in the past under Linux as we’ve spotted as well as other performance issues.

        Take for example the recent issue of some HP laptops have been performing less than optimally on AC power on some Linux kernel versions due to DPTF handling issues. There have also been thermal throttling issues under Linux with Lenovo acknowledging is due to closed-source Intel DPTF settings. Earlier this year some work got underway outside of Intel on reverse engineering Intel’s DPTF adaptive policy but that didn’t seem to bear any dramatic improvements yet.

    • Applications

      • ympd – MPD Web based GUI

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

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

        I’ve covered a fair few MPD clients over the past year or so including Cantata, Ymuse, ncmpy, and ncmpc. My favorite of them is Cantata although Ymuse is a simple alternative. There’s lots of differences between these front-ends. For example, Cantata uses the Qt widget set, whereas Ymuse offers a GTK front-end. And ncmpy and ncmpc are terminal-based clients.

        ympd takes a different route. It’s a web-based client. This software lets you use your web browser to interact with MPD. ympd runs without a dedicated web server or interpreters like PHP, NodeJS or Ruby. It’s tuned for minimal resource usage and has minimal dependencies. The software uses Websockets and Bootstrap/JavaScript.

      • Kodi 19.x “Matrix” – Beta 1

        Lights! Camera! Action!

        … nearly. It’s Beta time for Kodi 19.x “Matrix”, so let’s take another step towards the Great Unveiling.

        As we now move into Beta, this release is much more about fixes than features: while there will be the odd new functionality, we’re concentrating very much more on getting everything working properly from this point.

        To recap, then, one of the main objectives of 19.x “Matrix” is to release a production version of Kodi with Python 3 addons as early in 2021 as we can. That can only happen with enthusiastic community support, lots of good humour and willingness to see the best in others – well, that and coffee/beer (delete as applicable), of course!

      • Kodi 19 Now In Beta With Python 3 Addons, AV1 Software Decoding

        The Kodi HTPC software formerly known as XBMC is now up to a beta state for their big version 19 “Matrix” release.

        Kodi 19 is a big update for this open-source, cross-platform HTPC software. Kodi 19.0 is gearing up for release in early 2021 and features a wealth of improvements, especially at the low-level in that they have been working to gut out the EOL’ed Python 2 and replace it with Python 3 for the software’s add-ons. That Python 3 add-on conversion remains ongoing and with the help of the community should be in good shape by the time Kodi 19 is ready for its official release.

      • Richard Hughes: fwupd 1.5.2

        If you’re running 1.5.0 or 1.5.1 you probably want to update to this release now as it fixes a hard-to-debug hang we introduced in 1.5.0. If you’re running 1.4.x you might want to let the libcurl changes settle, although we’ve been using it without issue for more than a week on a ton of hardware here. Expect 1.5.3 in a few weeks time, assuming we’re all still alive by then.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Configure Hadoop on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        Hadoop is a free, open-source and Java-based software framework used for storage and processing of large datasets on clusters of machines. It uses HDFS to store its data and process these data using MapReduce. It is an ecosystem of Big Data tools that are primarily used for data mining and machine learning.

        Apache Hadoop 3.3 come with noticeable improvements any many bug fixes over the previous releases. It has four major components such as Hadoop Common, HDFS, YARN, and MapReduce.

      • How to create a Cloudwatch Event Rule in AWS

        A near-real-time stream of system events that describe changes in AWS resources is delivered by CloudWatch Events. We can create a rule that matches events and route them to one or more target functions. We can use CloudWatch Events to schedule automated actions. These actions can be self-triggered at certain times using cron or rate expressions. We can have EC2 instances, Lambda functions, Kinesis Data Streams, ECS tasks, Batch jobs, SNS topics, SQS queues, and a few more services as target endpoints for CloudWatch Events. To know more about Cloudwatch events, visit the official AWS documentation here.

      • How to use Bash file test operators in Linux

        File Test Operators are used in Linux to check and verify attributes of files like ownership or if they are a symlink. Every Test operator has a specific purpose. The most important operators are -e and -s. In this article, you will learn to test files using the if statement followed by some important test operators in Linux.

      • How To Install Wireguard on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Wireguard on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Wireguard is an open-source, dependable, advanced, VPN tunneling software you can install and use right now to create a secure, point-to-point connection to a server. It is cross-platform and can run almost anywhere, including Linux, Windows, Android, and macOS. Wireguard is a peer-to-peer VPN. it does not use the client-server model. Depending on its configuration, a peer can act as a traditional server or client.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of the Wireguard VPN on CentOS 8.

      • How To Install NVM on CentOS/RHEL 7 – TecAdmin

        NVM stands for Node Version Manager is a command-line utility for managing Node versions. Sometimes you required to deploy multiple node application with different-2 versions.

        Managing the multiple Node.js versions for differnt-2 projects are a pain for the developers. But NVM helped to easily manage multiple active Node.js versions on a single system.

        This tutorial will explain you to install NVM on CentOS/RHEL 7/6 systems and manage multiple Node.js versions.

      • How to install Kali Linux 2020.4 – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Kali Linux 2020.4.

      • How to make your own personal VPN in under 30 minutes

        In the Distribution box, choose the newest available Ubuntu LTS release — as of the time of writing, that’s 20.04 LTS. Below that, pick the region you want your VPN to be located in. It’s possible to change the location later, but you’ll have to contact Linode support. For the plan, select ‘Nanode 1GB’ from the list of Shared CPU options. VPNs don’t need much processing power, so this low-spec option will work just fine.

      • Use nnn as a File Manager for Linux Terminal – Make Tech Easier

        If you have used the Linux terminal for an extended period of time, you probably know some of the useful commands, like cd to move into and out of folders, create new ones, and copy or move files. Still, you may prefer how desktop file managers are more user-friendly and quicker for some tasks. In that case, you’ll love nnn.

        nnn is the equivalent of a desktop file manager for the terminal. Although not an ultra-complex solution like Midnight Commander, nnn is light on resources, fast, and allows you to navigate your file system without having to type commands.

      • An introduction to Prometheus metrics and performance monitoring | Enable Sysadmin

        Use Prometheus to gather metrics into usable, actionable entries, giving you the data you need to manage alerts and performance information in your environment.

      • Why does Wireshark say no interfaces found – Linux Hint

        Wireshark is a very famous, open-source network capturing and analyzing tool. While using Wireshark, we may face many common issues. One of the common issues is “No Interfaces are listed in Wireshark”. Let’s understand the issue and find a solution in Linux OS.If you do not know Wireshark basic, then check Wireshark Basic first, then come back here.

      • How to Solve “Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)” In Ubuntu

        It’s not uncommon to run into an issue of broken packages in Ubuntu and other Debian-based distributions. Sometimes, when you upgrade the system or install a software package, you may encounter the ‘Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code’ error.

        For example, a while back, I tried to upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 and I bumped into the dpkg error as shown below.


        This type of dpkg error points to an issue with the package installer usually caused by the interruption of an installation process or a corrupt dpkg database.

        Any of the above-mentioned solutions should fix this error. If you have come this far, then it’s our hope that the issue has been successfully resolved and that you were able to reinstall your software package.

      • inttf NVIDIA Patcher [BASH Script] – If Not True Then False

        This is a BASH script, which download NVIDIA installer, extract it, patch it and make new patched installer package. This is very quickly tested alpha version so if you have any problems please let me know or if this works as it should you can also let me know. I use here currently Isaak I. Aleksandrov patches with my own modifications.

      • How to increase the size of your swapfile | Arcolinux.com

        Always think out of the box. Do not restrict yourself to just Arch Linux articles or ArcoLinux articles.

      • How to Install and Use PHP Composer on Linux Distributions

        The PHP composer is a dependency manager of the PHP framework that you can use on your Linux system to install PHP modules, applications, and packages. The PHP composer is a command-line based tool for Linux. If you are a programmer, you might know that different languages use different package dependency managers to install and update modules inside the system. Like, Python uses Pip, RUBY uses Bundler; in the same way, you can use the composer tool to install the PHP modules and packages on your system.

      • Synchronize Files Between Multiple Systems With Syncthing – OSTechNix

        In this step by step tutorial, we are going to learn what is Syncthing, how to install Syncthing on Linux, how to synchronize files between multiple systems in real time, and finally how to troubleshoot common Syncthing problems.

      • Install the XFCE desktop on your Raspberry PI – PragmaticLinux

        In this article you’ll learn how to install the XFCE desktop on your Raspberry PI. We’ll take a minimal install of the Raspberry PI operating system as a starting point. The XFCE installation on your Raspberry PI includes setting up all necessary building blocks, such as: display server, display manager, session manager, window manager and desktop environment.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.0 Release Preparations Begin In Two Weeks

        With Wine on an annual stable release cadence for shipping new stable feature releases generally at the beginning of each calendar year after a year’s worth of bi-weekly development snapshots, Wine 6.0 is due for release around January.

        Following Friday’s Wine 5.22 release, Wine project founder and leader Alexandre Julliard sent out word this morning that the processes will soon begin rolling for that Wine 6.0 release.

        Two weeks from now for the next development release will also mark the start of the code freeze for Wine 6.0. Following that, the Wine 6.0 release candidates will continue until the official Wine 6.0.0 release is ready to ship.

    • Games

      • A chat with Trese Brothers Games about the upcoming cyberpunk Cyber Knights: Flashpoint | GamingOnLinux

        We have a chat with Trese Brothers Games who are currently developing Cyber Knights: Flashpoint following a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier in March 2020.

      • Big adventures ahead – Little Big Adventures

        Once upon a time in the past – around the year 1994 – a software company called Adeline Software International released a game titled “Little Big Adventure” or “Relentless: Twinsen’s Adventure”. This game, a classic pseudo-3D action adventure game with an epic story set on a fantastic planet, has now entered the testing stage in ScummVM. Please, note that a few features of the original game are not implemented yet. However, we also added a few features which are new for the game.

      • The upcoming metroidvania RPG ‘Heart Forth, Alicia’ is looking gorgeous | GamingOnLinux

        Here’s a game I haven’t heard of for a few years. Heart Forth, Alicia is an upcoming modern Metroidvania RPG, filled with devious monsters, lethal dungeons, creative puzzles, lively towns & many uncharted wonders.

        “On the night of your coming of age trial, the sky rains fire over your village, scorching everything in its path. Soon, you’re catapulted into an ongoing war between the wizards of the forest and the desert army of the West. Desperate to reunite with your loved ones, you embark on a journey across the landscapes of a beautiful but threatening world, sculpted by the pulsing violence of its past.”

      • Have a short immersive narrative adventure with Beyond Your Window | GamingOnLinux

        A pretty apt game for 2020, as Beyond Your Window is a narrative game about what goes on outside as you look outside your window as you search for new stories to tell. Quite on-point, given the various lockdowns across the world thanks to the COVID19 pandemic.

        Developed by Italian studio Team SolEtude, it’s something of a visual novel / narrative adventure filled with wonderful art and relaxing chilled tunes. Divided up into four short-stories, with each giving you an epilogue that changes depending on your choices.

      • The modern retro adventure Alwa’s Legacy is now available on itch.io | GamingOnLinux

        Do you prefer to buy your games from the indie store itch.io? Good news, another quality game arrived with the platformer adventure Alwa’s Legacy. A good chance to remind you about this one, as it’s really good. Successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2019, it was released on other stores back in June 2020 and has gone onto receiving positive reviews overall.

      • Open source Linux game overlay manager GOverlay adds more customization | GamingOnLinux

        GOverlay helps you to manage Linux game overlays including MangoHud, the vkBasalt effects layer and also the ReplaySorcery screen recorder. A pretty useful application putting a bunch of sort-of related open source projects under one roof, giving you a few easy buttons and check-boxes to fiddle with instead of typing lines in configuration files.

        Recently the application moved over from GTK2 to QT for the toolkit it’s built with, along with the Fusion QT Style which means it should look the same across all Linux desktops. There’s also a bunch of new options, including the ability to quickly switch between a full and minimal readout for MangoHud. You also now get the ability to change the text colours of more titles right inside the app.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kdenlive 20.08.3 is out

          The third and last minor release of the 20.08 series is out with the usual round of fixes and improvements. Focus is now set on finishing the same track transitions and the subtitler features for the next major release due in December. Please help test the Beta release and report any issues.

        • Kdenlive Devs Fix Multitude of Bugs in Latest Release

          Kdenlive 20.08.3 is the third and final update in the Kdenlive 20.08 series, a feature-filled run that launched earlier this year to plenty of positive feedback.

          Among issues ironed out by this update are correctly displayed frame rate values on monitor; opening project files with missing version numbers; and finesse to the Qtcrop video effect.

          The timeline ruler is now updated properly when switching profile, while project files with a single clip in the timeline are updated to reflect the correct duration.

          Finally, projecting archiving now checks if archiving is possible, and introduces the option to use zip instead of tar.gz; and a pair of crashes related to keyframes are now resolved.

        • Kdenlive Video Editor 20.08.3 Released, How to Install via PPA

          The third and last minor release for Kdenlive video editor 20.08 was released today with many fixes and improvements.

        • Plasma 5.20 & display scaling – Excellent

          Excellent results. I’m happy. And also annoyed. The real problem with Plasma 5.20 is that it’s not LTS, and that its superb features won’t be backported to either 5.12 or 5.18, which means I will have to wait YEARS before I finally get to enjoy the truly spectacular package that is the latest Plasma release. Until then, I’ll be forced to cope with various outstanding glitches and problems present in the earlier versions. Yes, the way things are, I’m not going to enjoy Plasma the way it ought be – scaling, Samba tweaks, looks – until Kubuntu 22.04.

          That’s the price I need to pay for expecting stability first. Which is great when you work with a complete, mature set of features in an operating system. But when Plasma evolves so quickly, including some erratic developments along the way, it’s rather hard to settle and enjoy only a subset of the things you need due to administrative partitioning. Perhaps one day, it will be possible to completely decouple the underlying system from the desktop and applications. Until then, I must praise Plasma 5.20 for its outstanding job and be sad that my LTS won’t be getting any of this sweet nectar. Back to our topic – scaling, job well done. Bye bye.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: ArchBang Linux 0111

          ArchBang Linux is a lightweight distribution based on Arch Linux. Using the i3 window manager, it strives to be fast, up-to-date and suitable for desktop systems. The current snapshots of ArchBang use an unusual versioning convention with a day & month combination. For example, 0811 is the snapshot for the 8th of November. Previous versions used a year & month combination so that a snapshot from January 2014 would be 2014.01.

          Apart from the shift in version numbers since the last time I tried ArchBang the distribution has also swapped out the Openbox window manager for i3 on the install media. I was curious to see how this would work. ArchBang has just one download option, a 914MB ISO file that runs on 64-bit (x86_64) machines.

          The live media boots and brings up the i3 window manager. The wallpaper displays a nice water-focused nature scene. There is a Conky status panel displayed to the right of the desktop. Under the status readout there is a listing for keyboard shortcuts we can use to launch some programs, access desktop settings, and start the install process.

      • New Releases

        • openmamba “light” with LXQt desktop

          The “light” version of openmamba is renewed by adopting the LXQt desktop environment which replaces the previous LXDE environment.

          Meanwhile, the main release continues to provide users with an always up-to-date KDE Plasma desktop environment.

          In the Downloads section all the supports are available to run in live mode and install openmamba on PCs (64 and 32 bit x86 compatible archs):

          openmamba livecd rolling – ISO for live execution and installation of openmamba with KDE Plasma environment

        • GParted Live 1.1.0-8 Stable Release

          The GParted team has released a new stable version of GParted Live.

          This release includes GParted 1.1.0, updated packages, and other improvements.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Xfce Virtual Machine Images For Development

          The openSUSE distributions offer a variety of graphical desktop environments, one of them being the popular and lightweight Xfce. Up to now there was the stable tested branch available in Tumbleweed already during install. Furthermore, for interested users the development OBS repository xfce:next offered a preview state of what’s coming up next to Tumbleweed.

          Xfce Development in openSUSE

          Thanks to the hard work of openSUSE’s Xfce team there is a third option: Xfce Development Repository aka RAT In a playful way, a rat is meant to represent the unpolished nature of this release: a rat is scruffy looking compared to a mouse (the cute and beloved mascot of Xfce). And the RAT repository provides packages automatically built right from the Git Master Branch of Xfce upstream development. The goal of this project is to test and preview the new software so that bugs can be spotted and fixed ahead of time by contributing upstream. The packages pull in source code state on a daily basis and offer a quite convenient way to test and eventually help development. So this is where the team builds and tests the latest and unstable releases of Xfce Desktop Environment for openSUSE.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Order from chaos: Red Hat and Starburst come together to simplify data access

          Enterprises rely on data to bring order to their organizations through automation, business process management and optimization, and increased intelligence that leads to better decision making. Yet data can be difficult to access, especially when it exists in many places.

          Today, data can be found in data centers, the cloud, vendor environments, and in traditional and software-defined data sources. Data ingested from the network edge may be aggregated at remote locations, transactional databases and data warehouses typically live in the core datacenter, while cloud-native applications generally store data in a private and/or public cloud. Data stores can be found in distributed, hybrid cloud, traditional, and modern applications—in many cases within the same organization.

        • Extending choice for more flexible, more secure open hybrid cloud: Red Hat Enterprise Linux on AWS Outposts

          Linux and open hybrid cloud go hand-in-hand – the power, flexibility and scale of hybrid cloud is made possible by the foundation of the Linux operating system. The world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), already delivers this foundation across nearly every public cloud, server architecture and virtualized environment, but customer needs aren’t static. As new options for hybrid cloud computing emerge, we work to extend RHEL to meet these deployments, highlighted by support today for RHEL on AWS Outposts.

          While many organizations are able to reach outside of the confines of their datacenter to explore public and hybrid cloud options, some cannot due to unique security or compliance needs. Outposts bring the scale and power of Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud to corporate datacenters in an appliance managed by AWS experts. Now, the organizations using Outposts can turn to RHEL to provide greater consistency across their IT estate, from traditional bare-metal servers, virtualized environments, private cloud infrastructure and their gateway to public cloud resources.


          Our goal with RHEL is to deliver an operating system that spans the open hybrid cloud, regardless of the path that an organization takes or the tools that they choose to use. With this new support for AWS Outposts, we have continued to drive customer choice in how they build hybrid cloud deployments with a single common platform in RHEL.

        • Run serverless functions, Kubernetes ingress controllers comparisons, and more industry trends | Opensource.com

          As part of my role as a principal communication strategist at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends. Here are some of my and their favorite articles from that update.

        • Fedora 34 Change: Route all Audio to PipeWire (System-Wide Change)
        • Fedora 34 Might Try To Use PipeWire By Default To Replace PulseAudio/JACK

          Red Hat for several years now has been working on PipeWire to overhaul audio/video stream management on Linux while being able to fill the duties currently managed by the likes of PulseAudio and JACK and being engineered with Wayland and Flatpak security in mind among other modern Linux technologies. With Fedora 34 next spring they may try to ship PipeWire by default in place of JACK, PulseAudio, and even legacy ALSA.

          For a while now Fedora has offered PipeWire packages but not yet used by default when it comes to audio handling. A pending change proposal for Fedora 34 would now route all audio through PipeWire rather than the existing JACK and PulseAudio.

          With the proposed plan, Fedora 34 next spring with PipeWire would take over all desktop audio duties by default from PulseAudio. PipeWire provides a functionally compatible implementation of the PulseAudio daemon so existing Linux software should continue to work fine. Similarly, PipeWire would provide F34′s JACK support for professional audio needs. For legacy ALSA clients, an ALSA plug-in for PipeWire allows routing audio through it as well.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

            Four months later, Mattis and fellow University of California Berkeley student Spencer Kimball delivered what they described as software “designed to provide an intuitive graphical interface to a variety of image editing operations.”

            The software ran on Linux 1.2.13, Solaris 2.4, HPUX 9.05, and SGI IRIX. The answer to the file format support question turned out to be GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and XPM.

            The rest is history. Richard Stallman gave Mattis and Kimball permission to change the “General” in its name to “GNU”, reflecting its open-source status. Today the program is released under the GNU General Public License. As the program added features such as layers, it grew more popular and eventually became a byword for offering a FOSS alternative to Photoshop even though the project pushes back against that description.

            The project’s celebration page says volunteers did their “best to provide a sensible workflow to users by using common user interface patterns. That gave us a few questionable monikers like ‘Photoshop for Linux’, ‘free Photoshop’, and ‘that ugly piece of software’. We still can wholeheartedly agree with the latter one only!”

          • GNU Guix 1.2.0 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of GNU Guix version 1.2.0, right in time to celebrate the eighth anniversary of Guix!

            The release comes with ISO-9660 installation images, a virtual machine image, and with tarballs to install the package manager on top of your GNU/Linux distro, either from source or from binaries. Guix users can update by running guix pull.

            It’s been almost 7 months since the last release, during which 200 people contributed code and packages, and a number of people contributed to other important tasks—code review, system administration, translation, web site updates, Outreachy mentoring, you name it!

            There’s been more than 10,200 commits in that time frame and it is the challenge of these release notes to summarize all that activity.

      • Programming/Development

        • 6 predictions for JavaScript build tools | Opensource.com

          Code used in production is different from development code. In production, you need to build packages that run fast, manage dependencies, automate tasks, load external modules, and more. JavaScript tools that make it possible to turn development code into production code are called build tools.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The mysterious case of the SVt_PVIV | The Incredible Journey

            The other day I wanted to send my friend some silly emojis on LINE and so I updated my flaky old Unicode browser to the new-fangled Unicode with values above 0×10000, so that I could fetch the Emojis, which start around here. The thing also features a perl script which fetches values from Unicode::UCD using the charinfo function. I also updated to Perl 5.32 around the same time. Now the funny thing was that I started getting all kinds of errors about invalid JSON in the browser console. My Perl script was sending something of the form {… “script”:Common …} from my module JSON::Create, which is not valid JSON due to not having quotes around Common, and obviously my module was faulty.

          • JSON::Create now features indentation | The Incredible Journey

            In version 0.27 of JSON::Create I added a new indentation feature. This was added basically out of necessity. Originally the purpose of the module was sending short bits of JSON over the internet, but I’ve been using JSON more and more for processing data too. I’ve spent quite a long time working on a web site for recognition of Chinese, and I’ve been using JSON more and more extensively. The basic data file for the web site is a 168 megabyte JSON file. Not indenting this kind of file makes for “interesting” problems if one accidentally opens it in an editor or on a terminal screen, a million characters all on one line tends to confuse the best-written text reading utilities. So after years of suffering the relief is tremendous, and now I have tab-based indentation in JSON::Create.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • 1 in 49 Coloradans contagious with COVID-19, says Polis

        In a Friday afternoon press conference, Governor Jared Polis continued to encourage Coloradans to avoid interactions with people outside of their household unless absolutely necessary. He also delivered the news that around one in 49 Coloradans are contagious with COVID-19.

        With an estimated population of 5.8 million people, that means that 118,000 Coloradans are contagious – roughly 2 percent.

        Data currently shows that each infected person is contagious for 9 days on average.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cimg, golang-1.7, golang-1.8, krb5, mediawiki, mupdf, php-pear, samba, thunderbird, and zabbix), Fedora (chromium, krb5, microcode_ctl, pngcheck, and rpki-client), Mageia (librepo, postgresql, python-twisted, raptor2, tcpdump, and thunderbird), openSUSE (blueman, java-11-openjdk, moinmoin-wiki, python, rmt-server, SDL, and tcpdump), Red Hat (chromium-browser and thunderbird), SUSE (c-ares, ceph, dash, firefox, java-1_8_0-openjdk, postgresql10, postgresql12, postgresql96, u-boot, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (openldap).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The New Humanitarian | Afghanistan’s donor summit: Aid cuts loom as emergency needs rise

        Donors and Afghan officials are meeting in Geneva for a key summit that could determine Afghanistan’s fiscal future, as aid groups warn of funding cuts and soaring humanitarian needs.

        The 23-24 November pledging conference, which is largely online, comes at a pivotal moment for aid-dependent Afghanistan. The country faces a second wave of COVID-19, warnings of widespread hunger in the coming winter months, political turmoil on home soil and abroad, and rising conflict violence – including a barrage of rockets that killed at least eight people and injured dozens in the capital, Kabul, on Saturday.

      • The New Humanitarian | Conflict hotspots in Ethiopia

        The conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has cost hundreds of lives and sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to Sudan over the past three weeks. But the region is just one of several in the country experiencing violent unrest amid a fraught political transition.

        Some analysts fear the conflict in Tigray – which pits the northern region’s heavily armed leadership against the authority and forces of the central government – could fuel conflict in other parts of the country, which is divided into 10 ethnically-based regions. Armed violence may increase due to opportunism or a heightened sense of grievance.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Acceptance Without Rancor: A Father-Son Conversation About Black Lives Matter

        It’s uplifting to hear my son, Jay, talk to reporters. They wanted to understand how Black Lives Matter protests had erupted in Missoula, Montana, soon after the murder of George Floyd. Jay was facing down pickup truck drivers who brandished guns and flew Trump flags. Between speaking through bull horns and vigorous chanting, my twenty-one-year-old son answered a journalist’s query about why he was there: Just being a Black man, there’s part of me that . . . I have to. For my own personal safety, and the safety of my friends and future generations. I feel like it’s my responsibility to be here. His words sounded calm, cool, and deliberative, but I thought they might also cloak an anger bubbling beneath the surface.

        There’s more complexity here than the typical dichotomy between “Black Lives Matter” protesters facing “Blue Lives Matter” counter-chants. It’s especially complex considering that though Jay is Black, his mother and I are white. He came to us in 1998 at just nine months old via the “Fost-Adopt” program championed by Hillary and Bill Clinton. It was intended to place kids likely to face a lifetime in foster care into adoptive homes. My wife’s father was abusive, and my father abandoned my mother and me; so we both agreed that blood had little to do with being a loving family. We also couldn’t afford a private adoption and felt there were too many kids without homes in the public system. We officially adopted Jay when he was four. Now that he was an adult helping to lead a BLM protest in Montana, I wanted to understand what drove him to this decision.
        So I called Jay up to find out. In what follows, his words are in italics, mine in regular type. You’ll notice that his voice becomes more dominant as we get closer to the present.

        Though we spent three years in New Jersey, our life as a family blossomed when we moved in 2001 to Athens, Ohio—a small college town in the middle of Appalachia. Jay spent his preschool years in a Head Start program. There we witnessed the white poverty the area is known for. My wife and I made a quick friendship with the only other couple who would turn up to volunteer. The void between our families was large. They lived paycheck to paycheck; we were a college professor and a stay-at-home (at least at that point) mother. We often talked about poverty with Jay, who probably didn’t really understand something so foreign to his own experience.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Remand with Guidance

          Modified opinion (underlined portion is the new part). The court also explained that the appellate panel “will not consider either Network-1’s alternative grounds for JMOL or its new-trial motion in the first instance.”

          In its briefing, HP explained its position that Network-1 had forfeited its right to make its renewed-JMOL motions on sufficiency of the validity evidence because Network-1 had failed to raise that particular challenge in its R.50(a) motion.


          Network-1 had requested that the Federal Circuit order the district court to consider “Network-1’s previously asserted substantive grounds for JMOL” and did not mention the forfeiture issue. Although not entirely clear, it appears that this requested order might have overcome the potential waiver. The Federal Circuit was careful to require only examination of Network-1’s “entitlement to JMOL” without requiring that the merits of the motion be considered.

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