06.27.22

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Links 27/06/2022: New Curl and Okular Digital Signing

Posted in News Roundup at 7:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Applications

      • Linux LinksExcellent Utilities: Extension Manager – Browse, Install and Manage GNOME Shell Extensions


        This series highlights best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

        Part 22 of our Linux for Starters series explains how to install GNOME shell extensions using Firefox. Because of a bug, our guide explains that it’s not possible to install the extensions using the Snap version of Firefox. Instead, you need to install the deb package for Firefox (or use a different web browser).

        However, if you have updated to Ubuntu 22.04, you’ll find that trying to install Firefox using apt won’t install a .deb version. Instead, it fetches a package that installs the Firefox Snap. You can install a Firefox deb from the Mozilla Team PPA. But there has to be an easier way to install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions.

      • Daniel Stenbergcurl 7.84.0 inside every box

        Welcome to take the next step with us in this never-ending stroll.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Install Fail2ban on Ubuntu 22.04

        Fail2ban is a free and open-source IPS that helps administrators safeguard Linux servers against brute-force assaults. Python-based Fail2ban has filters for Apache2, SSH, FTP, etc. Fail2ban blocks the IP addresses of fraudulent login attempts.

        Fail2ban scans service log files (e.g. /var/log/auth.log) and bans IP addresses that reveal fraudulent login attempts, such as too many wrong passwords, seeking vulnerabilities, etc. Fail2ban supports iptables, ufw, and firewalld. Set up email alerts for blocked login attempts.

        In this guide, we’ll install and configure Fail2ban to secure Ubuntu 22.04. This article provides fail2ban-client commands for administering Fail2ban service and prisons.

      • Red Hat OfficialHow to install software packages on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) | Enable Sysadmin

        There’s a lot of flexibility in how you install an application on Linux. It’s partly up to the software’s developer to decide how to deliver it to you. In many cases, there’s more than one “right” way to install something.

      • TecAdminWhat is the /etc/hosts file in Linux – TecAdmin

        /etc/hosts is a text file on a computer that maps hostnames to IP addresses. It is used for static name resolution, which is not updated automatically like the Domain Name System (DNS) records.

        /etc/hosts are usually the first file checked when resolving a domain name, so it can be used to block websites or redirect users to different websites.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Digitally signing PDF documents in Linux: with hardware token & Okular – Soliloquies

          We are living in 2022. And it is now possible to digitally sign a PDF document using libre software. This is a love letter to libre software projects, and also a manual.

          For a long time, one of the challenges in using libre software in ‘enterprise’ environments or working with Government documents is that one will eventually be forced to use a proprietary software that isn’t even available for a libre platform like GNU/Linux. A notorious use-case is digitally signing PDF documents.

          Recently, Poppler (the free software library for rendering PDF; used by Evince and Okular) and Okular in particular has gained a lot of improvements in displaying digital signature and actually signing a PDF document digitally (see this, this, this, this, this and this). When the main developer Albert asked for feedback on what important functionality would the community like to see incorporated as part this effort; I had asked if it would be possible to use hardware tokens for digital signature. Turns out, poppler uses nss (Network Security Services, a Mozilla project) for managing the certificates, and if the token is enrolled in NSS database, Okular should be able to just use it.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Felipe Borges: See you in GUADEC!

          After two virtual conferences, GUADEC is finally getting back to its physical form. And there couldn’t be a better place for us to meet again than Mexico! If you haven’t registered yet, hurry up!

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Fedora MagazaineAccessibility in Fedora Workstation – Fedora Magazine

        The first concerted effort to support accessibility under Linux was undertaken by Sun Microsystems when they decided to use GNOME for Solaris. Sun put together a team focused on building the pieces to make GNOME 2 fully accessible and worked with hardware makers to make sure things like Braille devices worked well. I even heard claims that GNOME and Linux had the best accessibility of any operating system for a while due to this effort. As Sun started struggling and got acquired by Oracle this accessibility effort eventually trailed off with the community trying to pick up the slack afterwards. Especially engineers from Igalia were quite active for a while trying to keep the accessibility support working well.

        But over the years we definitely lost a bit of focus on this and we know that various parts of GNOME 3 for instance aren’t great in terms of accessibility. So at Red Hat we have had a lot of focus over the last few years trying to ensure we are mindful about diversity and inclusion when hiring, trying to ensure that we don’t accidentally pre-select against underrepresented groups based on for instance gender or ethnicity. But one area we realized we hadn’t given so much focus recently was around technologies that allowed people with various disabilities to make use of our software. Thus I am very happy to announce that Red Hat has just hired Lukas Tyrychtr, who is a blind software engineer, to lead our effort in making sure Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Workstation has excellent accessibility support!

      • OpenSource.comWhat is distributed consensus for site reliability engineering? | Opensource.com

        With microservices, containers, and cloud native architectures, almost every application today is going to be a distributed application. Distributed consensus is a core technology that powers distributed systems.

        Distributed consensus is a protocol for building reliable distributed systems. You cannot rely on “heartbeats” (signals from your hardware or software to indicate that they’re operating normally) because network failures are inevitable.

        There are some inherent problems to highlight when it comes to distributed systems. Hardware will fail. Nodes in a distributed system can randomly fail.

        This is one of the important assumptions you have to make before you design a distributed system. Network outages are inevitable. You cannot always guarantee 100% network connectivity. Finally, you need a consistent view of any node within a distributed system.

      • Enterprisers ProjectHow Cloud AI Developer Services empower developers

        It’s been almost 11 years since Marc Andreessen famously posted, “Software is eating the world.” Over the last decade in IT, we’ve seen some amazing transformations happen – from companies fundamentally changing the way they deliver software to how we as consumers use web and mobile applications and services in our daily lives. Research shows that the average person in the U.S. now uses at least four to five software programs a day to do their job – partially due to the pandemic.

        Developing software has emerged as perhaps the most critical business function for companies as they undergo digital transformation to adapt to fast-paced change, delight their customers, and stand out from competitors. As such, the role of software developers has evolved at such a rapid pace that it is now more common to deliver software u

      • Business InsiderWhat is next for Open Source- Alma Linux and beyond | Business Insider India

        When Red Hat announced that it will no longer support open-source CentOS, a wave of disturbance was caused throughout the open-source community. In response, the open-source community formed an alliance and started building alternatives for CentOS.
        While they initially named it Lenix, which was a paid offering and was initially restricted to hosting providers, its eventual success led the community to make it 100% free and open-source and renamed it to AlmaLinux.
        Today, AlmaLinux has delivered over three releases with millions of downloads. It has become an alternative platform for developers for CentOS Stream and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Even though its user-facing features are limited, its speed and agility have made it an attractive avenue for the open-source community.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • CNX SoftwareESP32 board with 150Mbps 4G LTE modem also supports RS485, CAN Bus, and relay expansion – CNX Software

        LILYGO has designed another ESP32 board with a 4G LTE modem with the LILYGO T-A7608E-H & T-A7608SA-H variants equipped with respectively SIMCom A7608SA-H for South America, New Zealand, and Australia, and SIMCom A7608E-H for the EMEA, South Korean, and Thai markets, both delivering up to 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds.

        The board also supports GPS, includes a 18650 battery holder, and features I/O expansion headers that support an add-on board with RS485 and CAN bus interfaces, in a way similar to the company’s earlier TTGO T-CAN485 board with ESP32, but no cellular connectivity.

      • CNX SoftwareICE-V Wireless FPGA board combines Lattice Semi iCE40 UltraPlus with WiFi & BLE module – CNX Software

        Lattice Semi ICE40 boards are pretty popular notably thanks to the availability of open-source tools. ICE-V Wireless is another ICE40 UltraPlus FPGA board that also adds wireless support through an ESP32-C3-MINI-1 module with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth LE connectivity.

        Designed by QWERTY Embedded Design, the board also comes with 8MB PSRAM, offers three PMOD expansion connectors, plus a header for GPIOs, and supports power from USB or a LiPo battery (charging circuit included).

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Tom’s HardwareRaspberry Pi Zero Prints Giant Pictures with Thermal Receipt Printer | Tom’s Hardware

        It’s no secret that thermal receipt printers can print much more than receipts, but this Raspberry Pi project, created by a maker known as -PJFry- on Reddit, has taken the idea to a new extreme. With the help of a Raspberry Pi Zero, they’ve coded an application to print huge, poster-sized images (opens in new tab) one strip at a time on their thermal printer.

        Inspiration for this project came from similar online projects where users print large-scale images using regular printers or thermal printers like the one used in this project. In this case, however, -PJFry- coded the project application from scratch to work on the Pi Zero. It works by taking an image and breaking it into pieces that fit across the width of the receipt printer and printing it one strip at a time. Then, these strips can be lined up to create a full-sized image.

        It is the only microelectronics project we can find that -PJFry- has shared, but it’s clear they have a great understanding of our favorite SBC to craft something this creative from scratch. According to -PJFry-, the project wasn’t created for efficiency but more for fun as a proof of concept. The result is exciting and provides an artistic take on the Raspberry Pi’s potential.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

        • 9to5LinuxMozilla Firefox 102 Is Now Available for Download, Adds Geoclue Support on Linux


          Firefox 102 is now here to introduce support for Geoclue on Linux, a D-Bus service that provides geolocation services when needed by certain websites.

          It also improves the Picture-in-Picture feature by adding support for subtitles and captions for the Dailymotion, Disney+ Hotstar, Funimation, HBO Max, SonyLIV, and Tubi video streaming services, and further improves the PDF reading mode when using the High Contrast mode.

    • Funding

      • Donating to FLOSS projects

        I depend *a lot* on FLOSS for my work (and personal life) and I am doing my tiny bit to contribute and I am doing some financial donations too. Especially for the work part I’m more and more starting to feel it’s my duty to help out financially, we’ve all seen too many stories of underfunded FLOSS projects not having the capacity to fix crucial bugs causing severe security problems, or projects throwing in the towel leaving downstream projects stranded. Most (all?) of the companies I’ve worked with in my career depend heavily (completely?) on FLOSS to do their heavy lifting. A typical business application build upon FLOSS covers less that 1‰ of the entire deployed code base so some compensation for those hard working maintainers and developers would seem helpful.

  • Leftovers

    • Security

    • Environment

      • Relative degrees

        Consumtion-based CO2e footprint per capita in Sweden: 7.14 metric tons. In India: 1.67 metric tons.

        [...]

        Even in the context of shitshows like The Great Leap Forward, and in by no means a defense of those atrocitities (let’s try to do better), market capitalism is the worst by a huge margin. If it hasn’t doomed the Earth, it has at least risked it. It has directly caused the death of millions. It also caused CAGW. There’s a good argument for the case that the war in Syria, as one of many examples, was climate/famine related.

        The horribly wrong-headed policies (such as, but not limited to, the “Four Pests” theory that wrecked the ecosystem) exacerbated the 1958–1961 China famine to almost rival the famines in neighbouring market capitalist (colonially exploited) India, and that’s not OK.

        People wrote in suggesting “patches” on capitalism like internalizing emission costs, and that’s not an argument against my position, it’s a vindication of it. I’ve been kvetching about capitalism being broken for 20 years and if they can finally patch it, then that’s cause for celebration. I’ll believe it when I see it, but I do want it.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

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