Links 10/6/2021: KDE Gear 21.08 Schedule, Librem 5 USA Supply Chain Security

Posted in News Roundup at 6:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Interview with a Site Reliability Engineer

        I’m interviewing a friend and coworker who is a Senior Site Reliability Engineer (SRE). She’s been doing some form of DevOps for many years now, and has a LOT of experience that’s relevant to early- and mid-career folks.

      • The Internet Died And Everybody Cried

        Due to a CDN outage from Fastly CDN a massive portion of the internet was left unusable for about an hour yesterday and people unsurprisingly were freaking out the second that it started but even though some companies lost a lot of money, it wasn’t a massive outage.

      • “Hey, DT! I Want A Distro In Between Ubuntu and Arch.” (And Other Questions)

        Topics of discussion on this episode of “Hey, DT!” include: Audacity and alternatives, the middle ground between Ubuntu and Arch, my favorite music genre, the Windows package manager, Artix Linux, Javascript, audio interfaces that work with Linux, and Notepad++ dropping Bing over censorship.

    • Kernel Space

      • Microsoft’s Hyper-V DRM Display Driver Will Land For Linux 5.14 [Ed: Microsoft turning 'Linux' into proprietary software of Microsoft]

        Last summer Microsoft engineers posted a DRM kernel display driver for their Hyper-V synthetic video device. One year later after going through a few rounds of code review, this Hyper-V DRM driver will be going mainline with the upcoming Linux 5.14 kernel cycle.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Finishes Linux 5.14 Graphics Driver Feature Work With More Alder Lake P Code

          Intel’s open-source graphics driver engineers have sent in their final feature pull request to DRM-Next of new material they are wanting incorporated into Linux 5.14.

        • I’m Gonna Pretend I Didn’t See That

          At present, mainline zink uses a hammer-and-nail methodology that I came up with last year: the total amount of GPU memory in use by resources in a given cmdbuf is tracked, and that amount is tracked per-context. If the in-use context memory exceeds a threshold of the total VRAM, the driver stalls, thereby freeing up all the resources that are in use so they can be recycled into new ones.

          There’s a number of problems with this approach, but the biggest one is that it fails to account for cases like a AAA game that just uses as much memory as it can in order to optimize performance/resolution/graphics. I discovered such a case some time ago while running Tomb Raider, and then I set out to improve things since it was costing me about 10% of my perf on the title screen.

          The annoying part of this problem is that the piglit test is a very uncommon case, and it’s tricky to handle it in a way that doesn’t also impact other cases which appear similar but need to not get memory-clamped. As a result, it’s tough to really do anything based on “overall” memory usage.

          In the end, what I decided on was using the per-cmdbuf memory usage counter to trigger a check for completed cmdbufs on submit, iterating over all the pending ones to check whether they’ve completed, resetting them and freeing associated resources when possible. This yields good memory reclaiming behavior for problem cases while leaving games like Tomb Raider untouched and definitely not deadlocking or anything like that.

    • Applications

      • Make Your Linux Desktop Look Beautiful With Dynamic Wallpaper

        Linux might not be the first operating system that comes to your mind when speaking of customizations, but it is quite the contrary. While most Linux distributions may seem plain and boring on the first boot, there are countless customization options to make your desktop pop and look unique.

        If you’re a proficient Linux user, you might have realized that Linux can offer more personalization depending on the desktop environment and window manager you use. Let’s take the first step towards a better desktop appearance and switch to dynamic wallpapers.

        What Is Dynamic Wallpaper?

        Static wallpapers are those wallpapers that do not change automatically over a period of time. These are the type of wallpapers that come built-in with your Linux distribution and desktop environment. However, you can go beyond the regular static wallpapers and make a leap towards dynamic wallpapers.

        Dynamic Wallpaper is a simple bash script that allows you to set wallpapers according to the current time, using a cron job scheduler. Confused about what that means? In a nutshell, it allows you to set different wallpapers for different times of the day. Imagine using a brighter version of wallpaper during the day and a darker one at night. With Dynamic Wallpaper, you can make your desktop look reactive.

        Even though there are over 25 different wallpaper sets of various resolutions, from HD to 5K, you can also create your own wallpaper set for a custom look. It also supports pywal, a tool that generates a color palette from the dominant colors in an image and then applies the colors system-wide and on all of your favorite programs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Grafana on Almalinux or Rocky Linux 8 – Linux Shout

        Steps and command to install Grafana open source on Almaliux or Rocky Linux to visualize data in dynamic and interactive dashboards. 

      • How To Install Spack on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Spack on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Spack is a package manager for supercomputers, Linux, and macOS. Its advantages are that Spack is not tied to a specific language; you can create a software stack in Python or R, link to libraries written in C, C ++, or Fortran. It supports MAST (Multidisciplinary-design Adaptation and Sensitivity Toolkit) and also PNGwriter.

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

      • How to Monitor real-time System Metrics using Glances tool on Linux

        Linux provides a wide range of command-line monitoring tools for monitoring various system metrics. We have the top command that monitors various processes, and htop which is an interactive monitoring tool and an improvement of the top command. All these work perfectly fine, but they are limited and don’t provide a complete picture of other equally crucial metrics such as network statistics.
        Developed in Python, Glances is a cross-platform tool that provides a user-friendly and elegant overview of the system’s performance.

      • How to install Kali Linux 2021.2

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Kali Linux 2021.2.

      • How to install mediawiki on FreeBSD – Unixcop

        Everybody knows wikipedia, the free some students even thanks wikipedia for its degree. In this article I will show you how to install the wikipedia software, mediawiki, on your FreeBSD server with Apache and MySQL.

        In my case, I’ve installed our own mediawiki to document my work.When I started working here, my then boss gave me my first task: to install some server for some service and hand me his cheat sheet on how to do it. This cheat sheet was an actual sheet of paper handwritten; he also had a block of paper with different cheatsheet for different services.

        Less than a month after that first task, uncountable visits to his desk looking for another cheat sheets and a couple of new systems (that I didn’t document how to do it), we both realized that we need a better system. Also my handwriting it’s very hard to read and in the future some new people could begin to work with us and we will need better documentation. That’s why I suggested to install mediawiki and my boss was ok.

      • Reduce CPU and Disk load of backup scripts with nice and ionice

        Running a nightly backup script on a server system, such as a web hosting server, can result in a heavy load and longer latency for other processes, for example, HTML or .php pages load slowly during the backup because the backup script requires too many I/O or CPU resources.

      • Install Python PIP on Ubuntu & CentOS/RHEL – LinuxTechLab

        PIP is a package manager for python-based software, PIP actually is a recursive acronym for ‘PIP installs python’ or ‘PIP install packages’. Using PIP, we can install, uninstall the python based packages along with their required dependencies. Many of the packages can also be found at PyPI (Python Package Index).

      • How to Burn ISO to USB

        In this guide, we will show you how to burn ISO files to a USB drive for different operating systems. We will also go through the process of booting and extracting ISO files to new devices.


        An ISO file, or an ISO image, is used to create an archived copy of large sets of data, which is stored for backup purposes. Therefore, it’s best to view ISO files as smaller versions of original files. That’s why large programs, video games, and operating systems are usually duplicated as ISO files.

        While ISO files used to be burned to CDs and DVDs, in today’s modern practice, they are more frequently burned to USB drives. Apart from storing and backing up large amounts of data, ISO files are also extracted and booted from USB drives to be transferred to new devices.

      • How To Install HestiaCP on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install HestiaCP on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, HestiaCP is a free and open-source web server control panel and is a fork of the popular Vesta Control Panel. It provides a simple and clean web interface, and it offers the possibility for administrators to easily manage core features of their web server, including managing and deploying websites, mail accounts, DNS zones, and databases.

        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 Hestia Control Panel on a Debian 10 (Buster).

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Stable 6.0.1 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu

        Wine 6.0.1, the open-source compatibility layer to run Windows apps on Linux, was released as the first point release in the 6.0 stable series.

        The release contains mainly bug-fixes, translation updates, and Documentation updates. It also adds a new feature: supporting for wine64 on Apple M1.

        A total of 63 bugs has been fixed in the release for the Windows apps or games including Dark Sector, Earth 2160, Shadow Warrior 2, The Elder Scrolls V, The Witcher 3, Adobe Audition 2020, World of Tanks, iTunes, and more. See the release note for details.

    • Games

      • Hex Of Steel Now Available On PC, Mac, And Linux Operating Systems

        Independent video game developer SuperIndie Games has officially launched a new title for devices with PC, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Hex of Steel is a hexagonal grid-based strategy game that puts you in the hot seat in the midst of World War II. The game covers all fronts, and its editor system allows the recreation of virtually any conflict.

      • Frogun is a ‘PS1/N64 era styled platformer’ where your grappling hook is a Frog | GamingOnLinux

        Giving some high marks for some hilarious originality here overall, Frogun looks delightfully charming as a “PS1/N64 era styled platformer” with a great style. With Linux support fully confirmed by the Kickstarter page and the publisher, it’s another great title to look forward to.

        “Game like it’s the 90s all over again with vibrant, colorful, crispy pixelart lowpoly graphics, in modern high resolutions, while jumping, shooting and solving little puzzles in the spirit of good ol’ platformers.”

        It’s going to be a highly interactive game too, with levels full of things to mess with like bouncy mushrooms, finding levers to open gates and much more. Plenty of places in the levels will also have several ways to get through them, allowing for a little exploration and experimentation to figure out the best way. You’re going to want to keep an eye out for various secrets too.

      • GOG are doing an early Summer Sale that’s now live | GamingOnLinux

        Prefer your games in a DRM-free download direct from the website? GOG are here to provide with a huge early Summer Sale with thousands going cheaps. On top of that, the excellent OpenTTD is now available free on GOG so now you have another place to grab it if you prefer.

      • Piepacker goes Open Beta, play retro games online with friends in a browser tab | GamingOnLinux

        Piepacker is something we previewed recently, a game streaming / cloud gaming service designed around retro games that enables you to seamlessly play online with others. It’s now in Open Beta. With the Open Beta, it’s open to everyone. It’s free right now too, enabling you to play 60+ games. Although, with a caveat that it currently only works in Chromium based browsers (although Firefox is supposed to be supported eventually).

        What can you do with it? Well, apart from playing games (obviously), it gives retro games a fresh new way to be played. It integrated voice and video chat, proper modern controller support and it’s fast too.

      • Season of Pride sales are live, ahead of a full month of livestreams in July | GamingOnLinux

        Season of Pride, the new and more internationally inclusive name for Summer of Pride due to different hemispheres, has a few sales live right now with a lot of livestreams planned for July.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How Red Hat and Capgemini helped Deutsche Telekom enable greater connectivity

          As one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies, Deutsche Telekom has an overarching goal: to enable connectivity in society. And providing fast, reliable internet to as many people as possible is one way it’s achieving that goal.

          Deutsche Telekom is currently replacing copper cables with fiber-optic lines, including a rapid mass rollout to almost 40 million homes across Germany. Red Hat and our partner Capgemini, a global systems integrator (GSI), are providing the expertise and technology Deutsche Telekom needs to make this initiative possible.

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FLOSS Weekly 633: Open Source Education and Privacy – ANOM, College Education

        Doc, Shawn and Aaron co-host each other in a lively and deep conversation about higher education, open-source techies making themselves valuable, and a world in which there seems to be no limit to what can be done with surveillance—including what law enforcement does, for example, to tempt and trap bad actors with, a supposedly anonymous and secure messaging app (ANOM) that is neither.

      • Redis as Cache: How it Works and Why to Use it

        Redis gained very high popularity as being a cache. It is not only fast, but also easy to use. Let us show you why you should use Redis as a cache.

        Each of us met the situation when application was working slowly. Even the best code will slow down its performance at high load. Caching can be fast and relatively cheap way to highly increase performance and reduce response time.

      • The Apache® Software Foundation Welcomes its Global Community Online at ApacheCon(TM) Asia 2021

        The Apache® Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced keynotes, sponsors, and program for ApacheConTM Asia, taking place online 6-8 August 2021. Registration is open and free for all attendees.

        “We’re excited to hold ApacheCon Asia online following last year’s highly successful ApacheCon@Home,” said Sheng Wu, ApacheCon Asia co-Chair and member of the ASF Board of Directors. “The pandemic mobilized the global Apache community to collectively produce a first-rate online event, supported by an outstanding group of sponsors. We are proud to build on ApacheCon’s new virtual format and bring the ApacheCon Asia program to participants joining us from any location.”

      • 13 Greatest Open Source Chatbot Frameworks

        Now the framework provides you with the best solution for developing well-structured maintainable and upgradable software it saves a lot of time by reusing generic modules and libraries to focus on other areas of applications developed using a framework that is interoperable with the market standards.

        in today’s world messaging has become one of the more popular methods of communication whether it’s through text messages or messenger apps it’s how many people prefer talking with one another because of these businesses are developing chatbots.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox UX: Content design considerations for the new Firefox

            Introducing the redesigned Firefox browser, featuring the Alpenglow them

            We just launched a major redesign of the Firefox desktop browser to 240 million users. The effort was so large that we put our full content design team — all two of us — on the case. Over the course of the project, we updated nearly 1,000 strings, re-architected our menus, standardized content patterns, established new principles, and cleaned up content debt.

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • p6steve: Can Raku replace HTML?

            In my last post, I listed three recent posts that got me thinking about Raku and HTML. I wondered if two of these could be used together to streamline the composition of web sites.


            This post illustrates how Raku can combine detailed syntax control to smoothly embed HTML within code logic. This helps to refactor awkward syntax islands so that the underlying problem-solution logic can be encapsulated and clearly expressed, It demonstrated the practical combination of the Cro template language with innate Raku power-of-expression to drive more comprehensible, consistent and maintainable code.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Opera 77 is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux

          Norwegian browser maker Opera has announced the availability of the standard version 77 of Opera for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • EU approves digital health pass as Linux Foundation launches trust network

                The EU COVID digital health pass has been issued to a million people, according to an announcement in European Parliament by EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders and reported by The Local ahead of the vote which granted final approval to the plan.

                The EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) was approved by a vote of 546 to 93, with 51 abstentions, according to Euronews. The European Council is expected to grant its rubber-stamp approval ahead of the EU’s self-imposed July 1 deadline to enable travel within the EU.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (eterm, mrxvt, and rxvt), Mageia (cgal, curl, exiv2, polkit, squid, thunderbird, and upx), openSUSE (firefox and libX11), Oracle (libwebp, nginx:1.18, and thunderbird), Red Hat (.NET 5.0, .NET Core 3.1, 389-ds-base, dhcp, gupnp, hivex, kernel, kernel-rt, libldb, libwebp, microcode_ctl, nettle, postgresql:10, postgresql:9.6, qemu-kvm, qt5-qtimageformats, rh-dotnet50-dotnet, and samba), SUSE (apache2-mod_auth_openidc, firefox, gstreamer-plugins-bad, kernel, libX11, pam_radius, qemu, runc, spice, and spice-gtk), and Ubuntu (intel-microcode and rpcbind).

          • Why Ransomware Attacks Are Becoming A National Security Risk : NPR [Ed: NPR is funded by Microsoft and Bill Gates, so they won’t name the culprit. Ryan: “No mention of Windows.”]
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Once the heart and soul of Russia’s anti-Kremlin opposition, Alexey Navalny’s entire political movement is now illegal

        As expected, the Moscow City Court has sided with the district attorney’s office and formally designated Alexey Navalny’s entire national political movement as illegal “extremist” organizations. The ruling applies specifically to the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation (both of which Russia’s Justice Ministry has already designated as “foreign agents”), and Navalny’s nationwide network of campaign offices.

        Navalny’s organizations are now prohibited from distributing any information, raising any money, participating in elections, and organizing public demonstrations. The verdict takes effect immediately.

      • Russian State Duma adopts law banning involvement in ‘undesirable organizations’

        The Russian State Duma has adopted in the third and final reading a law banning Russian citizens and legal entities from involvement in the work of “undesirable organizations” around the world.

        The legislation also allows for any foreign or international NGO to be designated as “undesirable,” if it helped transfer money or other assets to an organization that is already on this blacklist.

        These provisions will come into force 10 days after the official publication of the law.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Weekly Musings 115 – On the Follow Button

        No matter what people say, pulling the plug on Google Reader didn’t kill RSS. It didn’t hurt RSS. RSS might have been knocked around a bit by Reader’s disappearance, but it’s far from dead.


        The narrative about the death, or ill health, of RSS persists. A headline at Techcrunch, for example, proclaims that Google revives RSS. But Google’s second go around won’t save RSS, if only because RSS doesn’t need saving. It won’t revitalize or revive RSS (sorry, TechCrunch), if only because RSS isn’t struggling. RSS isn’t fading away. It doesn’t require any tender ministrations

        Unlike some of the doomsayers, I don’t believe that the Follow button will kill RSS, either. The Follow button in Chrome has little or anything to do with RSS. In some ways, it seems to be an attempt by Google to replace or supplant RSS rather than being a direct existential threat to RSS. The Follow button and what it does are more of a Frankenstein-like mash-up than anything else. It’s an information delivery chimera that’s a little bit RSS reader, a little bit read-it-later tool, and a little bit Google News.

        I’m not sure the Follow button will catch on. At least, not in the way some people think it will. The Follow button might just be another of Google’s countless public experiments, an experiment designed to see if an idea sticks. And what if it does stick? Just as Slack, Teams, and their cousins didn’t put an end to email, I don’t believe that little button will be an RSS killer.

        No. The Follow button will more than likely exist side by side with RSS readers. Some people will prefer to tap it rather than using an RSS reader. Some will stick with their feed readers of choice.

        That’s not to say that the Follow button is innocuous. It has the potential to be very dangerous. As I mentioned at the top of this musing, when you tap the button, an algorithm is also making suggestions. That can quickly build a filter bubble around you, pushing misinformation and the like your way. Whether you want it to or not. Worse, you don’t have any control over what’s pushed your way unlike the control that you have with RSS.


        RSS will die only if we let it die. Nothing Big Tech can do will change that. You can keep RSS alive and well by using it. Not with the software handed to you by some firm more interested in raking in your data and cornering a market, but by embracing more artisan software crafted by smaller developers. Developers who care about an open web. That’s your choice. Make it wisely.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Global Patent Index (GPI) now with access to more than 130 000 000 patent documents

          GPI is the EPO’s advanced prior-art search tool. To use it, all you need are some basic Boolean search skills, which you can easily learn from the handy GPI pocket guide or the more detailed GPI user manual, both of which are available on the EPO website.

          The tool now gives access to more than 130 000 000 patent documents for searches in the EPO’s worldwide data collection, i.e. DOCDB bibliographic data, INPADOC legal events and full-text data. It also provides features for downloading or visualising the results for statistical analysis. You can follow GPI activities and interact with other users on the GPI forum.

        • Launch of survey to help us to shape the EPO’s future payment functionalities [Ed: EPO censors its stakeholders, so it’s now pretending to do the exact opposite]

          Today, 9 June 2021, the EPO issued an invitation via email to EPO smart card holders and users of the credit card payment service to take part in a survey on batch payments and future fee payment functionalities.

        • Parameters At The EPO – Issues Concerning Clarity And Sufficiency [Ed: This alludes to the EPO's Technical Boards of Appeal, but they lack independence and basically do what corrupt managers tell them]

          Parameters are generally used in patent claims to define subject matter which cannot be expressed in terms of structural features. They are often relied upon for inventions in the chemical field, but can in fact be used in any technical area. Parameters can relate to features that can be measured directly, such as the density or melting point of a substance; measured indirectly, such as the tacticity of a polymer; or that can be calculated, such as the superficial velocity of a flow in a reactor. They can also be expressed in terms of relationships between such features.

          Some interesting themes have developed from the decisions of the EPO’s Technical Boards of Appeal for parameter cases, in particular in relation to the assessment of clarity and sufficiency. These are reflected in the Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, Part F, Chapter IV, 4.11, which indicate that when inventions are characterised by parameters, it is necessary that “those parameters can be clearly and reliably determined by objective procedures which are usual in the art”. Further, in order to fulfil the requirements of clarity, the method for measuring the parameter, or at least a reference thereto, needs to appear completely in the claim. It is therefore important that a definition of any parameter is included in the specification at the time of drafting. Careful consideration needs to be given to ensure that any such definition will allow for the parameter to be determined accurately, since objections relating to this can prove problematic to overcome.

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    Links for the day

  25. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)

  26. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing

  27. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day

  28. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves

  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021

  30. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now

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