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Links 31/1/2022: Linux Lite 5.8 and Tiny Core Linux 13.0

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Review: MNT Reform laptop has fully open hardware and software—for better or worse

        If you’re a Linux fan or open source advocate looking for a decent laptop, you actually have some solid options right now—much better, at least, than buying a Windows laptop, installing Linux on it, and hoping for the best.

        Dell has offered Ubuntu editions of some of its XPS laptops and other PCs for years now, and Lenovo sells a respectable collection of desktops and laptops with Linux. System76 sells a selection of Linux-friendly laptops preloaded with Ubuntu or its own Pop!_OS distribution. The repair-friendly Framework Laptop doesn’t ship with Linux, but it can be configured without an OS, and Framework promises robust Linux support from multiple distributions.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linuxfx Brings Everything Wrong With Windows To Linux - Invidious

        I have had a lot of viewer requests asking me to look at really unique Linux distribution called Linuxfx. What makes this Linux distro so different? Well, it tries to mimic Windows 11, both in look and feel, as well as in function. The Linuxfx desktop is built using KDE Plasma.

      • LHS Episode #451: VSCode Deep Dive [Ed: Absolutely foolish of Linux in the Ham Shack to promote or sort of endorse proprietary software of Microsoft, which moreover spies for Microsoft]

        Hello and welcome to the 451st installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss the care and feeding of VSCode. VSCode is a developer environment and testing platform for almost any language and is cross platform, leveraging all the beast parts of your operating system and programming tools. We touch on everything from installing to configuring to using the platform for development, debugging and version control. We hope you find this discussion entertaining and informative. We also hope you have a great week.

      • Audacity Is Dead, Tenacity & Audacium Killed It - Invidious [Ed: The very high cost of so-called 'telemetry' scoundrel]

        A few months back the whole Audacity drama happened and a few forks spawned and from the flames, the 2 notable ones being Tenacity and Audacium but what state are these forks currently in and should you use them.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16.4
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.16.4 kernel.

        All users of the 5.16 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.16.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-5.16.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.15.18
      • Linux 5.10.95
      • Linux 5.4.175
      • Linux 4.19.227
      • Linux 4.14.264
      • Linux 4.9.299
      • Linux 4.4.301
      • Intel Revs New Linux Patches Providing For Shadow Stacks For User-Space - Phoronix

        For years Intel has been working on Linux patches for supporting their Control-Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) with Indirect Branch Tracking and Shadow Stack support. It's been in the works for years and through many revisions while now they are pursuing a new route and focusing just on the Shadow Stack user-space functionality.

      • Btrfs Extent Tree v2 Work Progressing For Improving The File-System's On-Disk Format - Phoronix

        You may recall the news from a few months ago about the work to improve Btrfs' on-disk format in addressing "painful parts" of its design. That "extrent-tree-v2" work has been progressing and recently was queued up into the Btrfs for-next code albeit hidden behind a debug flag.

        The extent-tree-v2 work by Josef Bacik was initially motivated to address locking contention within global roots and block group items being spread throughout the extent tree. With extent-tree-v2 improvements to the Btrfs design are being made as part of a long-term project to enhance Btrfs. When complete, users would need to migrate to the new on-disk format for existing file-systems and in the process lose support for booting older kernels.

      • Intel's ConnMan 1.41 Released With WPA3-SAE WPA_Supplicant Support, New IWD Too

        Intel open-source engineer Marcel Holtmann is marking the end of January with new releases to their ConnMan Linux network connection manager software along with a new IWD as their iNet Wireless Daemon as an alternative to WPA_Supplicant on Linux systems.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Numerous Linux/X11 Display Drivers Can No Longer Even Properly Build - Phoronix

          While many Linux enthusiasts like to cite Linux's stellar support for older hardware platforms, in reality that isn't always the case. For instance with many old X.Org user-space mode-setting drivers for powering old graphics cards at least for display purposes, they can no longer even build with with modern toolchains / software components. Given the lack of bug reports around such issues, there are very likely few users trying some of these vintage hardware combinations.

          Longtime X.Org developer Alan Coopersmith of Oracle recently looked at going through all of the available X.Org drivers that aren't in an archived state and seeing how they fare -- with a goal of at least setting them up for simple continuous integration (CI) builds on GitLab.

        • NVIDIA 470.103.01 Linux Driver Brings RTX 2050 / MX 570 / MX 550 Support - Phoronix

          While we are awaiting the stable debut of the new NVIDIA 510 Linux driver series, NVIDIA's long-lived 470 series driver production branch has been updated.

          Today's NVIDIA 470.103.01 Linux driver release brings support for the new mobile GPUs of the GeForce RTX 2050, MX 570, and MX 550 graphics processors.

        • GPU RAM Upgrades Are Closer Than You Think | Hackaday

          We’re all used to swapping RAM in our desktops and laptops. What about a GPU, though? [dosdude1] teaches us that soldered-on RAM is merely a frontier to be conquered. Of course, there’s gotta be a good reason to undertake such an effort – in his case, he couldn’t find the specific type of Nvidia GT640 that could be flashed with an Apple BIOS to have his Xserve machine output the Apple boot screen properly. All he could find were 1GB versions, and the Apple BIOS could only be flashed onto a 2GB version. Getting 2GB worth of DDR chips on Aliexpress was way too tempting!

    • Benchmarks/Performance

      • AMD offers new adaptive algorithm, Process Adaptive autoNUMA, to increase performance in Linux

        AMD's open-source department recently revealed a new kernel feature called Process Adaptive autoNUMA (PAN). The new feature allows for increased performance in specific server workloads in Linux operating systems.

        PAN, or Process Adaptive autoNUMA, is a constantly adjusting algorithm that computes the AutoNUMA scan duration. Utilizing the PAN Linux kernel build, AMD open-source engineers found that the Graph500 interconnect HPC benchmark profits from a higher performance by up to 14.93% compared to a standard Linux kernel.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to determine OS of the remote host

        When performing digital reconnaissance or penetrating testing, it’s important to fingerprint a network by understanding what operating system is used on a remote a host.

        Nmap is a great tool for this job. Although normally associated with the cybersecurity field and penetration testing, Nmap can also be used for benevolent purposes, such as a system administrator taking an inventory of what operating systems all the systems on his network are running.

      • How to determine OS of the remote host

        When performing digital reconnaissance or penetrating testing, it’s important to fingerprint a network by understanding what operating system is used on a remote a host.

        Nmap is a great tool for this job. Although normally associated with the cybersecurity field and penetration testing, Nmap can also be used for benevolent purposes, such as a system administrator taking an inventory of what operating systems all the systems on his network are running.

        Using nmap for this kind of job does not mean that you can identify remote OS with 100% accuracy, but nmap certainly equips you with a solid educated guess. In this tutorial, you will learn how to determine the operating system of a remote host by using Nmap on a Linux system.

      • How to Lock Your Terminal Sessions on Linux With vlock

        vlock lets you lock your terminal on Linux so no one else can tamper with your system through the command line in your absence.

        You may be running commands on your Linux terminal, but might need to step out for a second to get a cup of coffee or do some other task, but you don't want someone else to be able to run commands on your machine when you're away from keyboard. What do you do?

        vlock is a command-line program that will lock your Linux terminal, as well as virtual consoles.

      • How to Install AbanteCart with Nginx and SSL on Debian 11

        Abantecart is a free, open-source and feature-rich e-commerce application. It is written in PHP and is powered by the latest technologies like HTML5, Bootstrap, MVC and more. It can create multiple online stores using a single installation with support for digital and physical products, integration with multiple payment gateways and currencies, multiple languages, coupons, store credits and a customer dashboard. You can run an email marketing campaign through it or create banners to increase user engagement. Moreover, it is SEO optimized with support for friendly URLs, integrates with multiple analytics platforms and supports plugins. In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Abantecart on a Debian 11 based server.

      • How to install and set up Grafana in Ubuntu 20.04 using Ansible

        Grafana is a multi-platform open source analytics and interactive visualization web application. It provides charts, graphs, and alerts for the web when connected to supported data sources.

        Grafana connects with every possible data source, commonly referred to as databases such as Graphite, Prometheus, Influx DB, ElasticSearch, MySQL, PostgreSQL etc. Grafana being an open source solution also enables us to write plugins from scratch for integration with several different data sources. The tool helps us study, analyse & monitor data over a period of time, technically called time series analytics.

        Ansible is an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application-deployment tool enabling infrastructure as code. It runs on many Unix-like systems, and can configure both Unix-like systems as well as Microsoft Windows.

      • Install Ping On Ubuntu : Ping Command Not Found |

        Docker is a set of platforms as a service where you can use containers to deliver the software or applications. So you are using Ubuntu in a docker container and trying to run a command to execute a ping command then you might have come across the error like...

      • Linux Essentials - sudo - Invidious

        When you need to run Linux commands with elevated privileges, sudo is the tried and true method to run commands as another user (such as root).

      • Kubernetes Deployment Delete Tutorial [How To] |

        Kubernetes is an open-source container that is used for automating containerized software deployment, scaling, and management. In this Kubernetes tutorial post, we are going to show you the multiple methods to delete the Kubernetes deployment.

    • Games

      • Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer - Part 10: For I Have Sinned | GamingOnLinux

        It was another shovelware collection that first introduced me to XEvil, in this case 300 Arcade Games by Cosmi Corporation made in 2000 for Microsoft Windows. This X11 classic was ported to DirectX by Micheal Judge, with the original game being first released by Steve Hardt in 1994 as a way to teach himself C++ as a sophomore. XEvil would grow in popularity from there, even being the star of organized tournaments similar to those done for Doom and Quake at the time.

        The version included on 100 Great Linux Games is actually the forked 1.5.5 Mutant Strain with inferior sprite work, worse controls, and choppier performance than the final stable 2.02 release. A controversial opinion in some quarters as the comments section of The Linux Game Tome illustrates, with people bemoaning the loss of the green chopper boys and black aliens, with some even pining for a return to the original black and white graphics.

        That final version of XEvil has near feature parity between the Linux and Windows releases, with one glaring omission. The interfaces are a little different but accomplish the same thing, with the Linux version having more graphics options but the Windows version supporting full screen. On Linux smooth scrolling is disabled by default and needs to be toggled due to the performance penalty, but it gave me no problems running on my Pentium III 500 Katmai.

      • Portal 2 gets an upgrade ready for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for some more testing? Valve has put up a brand new update for Portal 2 as they ready up for the Steam Deck. As one of their most popular titles, it's no surprise to see upgrades coming in.

      • This tool will make playing Epic Games on Steam Deck much easier | TechRadar

        We’re less than one month away from the launch of the Steam Deck, and it looks like players might now find it easier to take more than just their Steam library out on the go.

        The main selling point of the handheld PC is its portability - at the expense of performance (compared to a powerful gaming PC), players can enjoy their Steam library no matter where they are. However, PC game libraries aren’t confined to just one platform; what if you want to play all those free Epic Games Store games you’ve collected?

        This is where Heroic comes in. It’s an open-source, Linux-compatible game launcher that can boot up Epic Games Store titles. Because the Steam Deck is a Linux-based PC (albeit in a handheld form), Heroic’s Linux compatibility means it should be fairly easy to install on the system.

        This means that you won’t need to muck around with trying to install a new operating system on your Steam Deck to run your Epic Games library - and (as noted by Forbes) the new 2.1.0. Heroic update (nicknamed “Rayleigh”) has added several Steam Deck-friendly features.

        First up is the newly added support for gamepads. While it’s unlikely the Steam Deck's controllers will be compatible right away, we suspect it won’t take long to make them work in Heroic now that the UI is already compatible with Xbox and PlayStation controllers.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Falkon 3.2 Web Browser is Here After 3 Years of Development

          In Falkon 3.2 the DuckDuckGo engine is used for conducting web searches but can be changed into anything else, depending on your preferences.

          The project has been originally started only for educational purposes. But from its start, Falkon has grown into a feature-rich browser with all the standard functions you expect from a web browser. Falkon supports current web standards and comes with a built-in ad blocker, which is activated by default, eliminating the need of installing an extension for this purpose.

          The previous Falkon 3.1 version was released all the way back in March 2019. Today, almost 3 years later, Falkon 3.2 is out. So without further ado, let’s quickly take a look at what’s new.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • ‘Burn My Windows’ Extension Adds Breaking Glass Effect & More Options
          The effervescent animation add-on has won itself a legion of fans thanks to its crop of cool animated window closing effects that look good and aren’t super-heavy on system resources.

          In its latest update, a ‘Breaking Glass’ effect has been appended to add-on’s animation armoury, albeit only for GNOME 40 and above. As with other effect there are controls to adjust animation time, scale, gravity, and “blow force”. You can also choose to make the window shatter from the location of the mouse pointer, for some added reality.

    • Distributions

      • Top 10 Sandboxie Alternative for Windows & Linux

        Sandboxes can be encountered when software components must be utilized but cannot presently be verified or trusted. Sandboxed components are frequently thought to be harmful or vulnerable to assault. Popular browser engines (e.g., Google Chrome and Internet Explorer), productivity applications (e.g., Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader), and operating system kernels, for example, have all been sandboxed to varying degrees.

      • 6 Best Linux distros to try on VirtualBox virtual machine - Linux Shout

        Do you want to use a Linux distro on VirtualBox Virtual machine and wondering which one to choose? Then here is the list of lightweight GUI Linux operating systems to start within a virtualization environment.

        Well, if you already using a Windows operating system and want to learn Linux but without any dual boot configuration; then virtualization using VirtualBox is a nice option. The key thing to look at when you want to use a Linux OS on regular basis on a virtual box is the number of resources you can allot to it. If your host doesn’t allow it or you cannot assign a big chunk of memory to your virtual machine then look for some Linux distros which provide fast and high performance without putting much load on your host system.

      • Things You Must Know About Clear Linux OS! - Unix / Linux the admins Tutorials

        Welcome Again! Clear Linux OS is developed by the Open-Source Technology center of Intel. The OS is specially designed to perform with Intel hardware. Along with power management and performance optimization, there is also a host of other features. Here, based on my experience I will try to review the OS.

      • Elementary

        • elementary OS 7 Will Be Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Offer GTK4 Apps and Power Profiles

          Elementary Co-founder and CXO Cassidy James Blaede talks in a recent blog post about some of the features and enhancements that may or may not land in the final elementary OS 7 release.

          First things first, the developer revealed the fact that elementary OS 7 is being built on top of the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) operating system series, which is also under heavy development over at Canonical’s labs.

        • Updates for January, 2022

          We just released OS 6.1 in December, and this month we’re back with a handful of updates and fixes.

          An update to Mail brings support for the unified Inbox view to Microsoft 365 accounts, enabling more users to mix e.g. their work and personal inboxes into one super view. We also fixed a few rare freezes and crashes, and fixed duplicate sender addresses when composing messages. As a nice detail, the compose window now uses the subject as the window title to make things easier to find in the Multitasking View and the AltTab window switcher.


          At this point in the development cycle, we’ve started to shift our focus to developing elementary OS 7, the next major release. OS 6.1 will continue to receive updates and security fixes to underlying components from the Ubuntu repositories, and we’ll continue releasing updates to the core apps and components as we’re able—but in some cases, we’re focusing on new OS features that rely on underlying technologies that are not available in the OS 6 base.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite 5.8 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Based on the Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS, Linux Lite 5.8 is here eight months after Linux Lite 5.7 to provide users with an incremental update to the Linux Lite 5 series that updates the default Papirus icon theme, adds the Neofetch utility, and Linux Mint’s Mintstick tool to format USB sticks and create bootable USB drives.

          The Linux Lite 5.8 release also brings the latest Conky syntax to the Lite Widget and adds nine new wallpapers to make your Linux Lite desktop experience more enjoyable, and updates the Help Manual to make it easier for ex-Windows users to switch to Linux.

        • Linux Lite 5.8 Final Released

          Linux Lite 5.8 Final is now available for download and installation. This release includes updates to the Help Manual - our extensive, easy to follow Linux Lite guide, Lite Widget has caught up with the latest Conky syntax, there's an updated Papirus icon theme, Neofetch has been included, we've added Mintstick to our Accessories, there are 9 new wallpapers, and a host of bug fixes and enhancements for our target audience. If you're coming from Windows, you'll find this to be a solid, stable release that will help make your transition to a linux based operating system, user friendly. If you're coming from another linux based OS, you'll come to understand that this lightweight OS is the feature complete desktop you've been searching for. We've been repeatedly described as underrated, here's your chance to find out why.

        • Nitrux 2.0.0 released []

          Version 2.0.0 of the Debian-based Nitrux distribution is available. "This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support."

        • Tiny Core v13.0

          Team Tiny Core is proud to announce the release of Core v13.0

        • Tiny Core Linux 13.0 Released

          v13.0 Core v13.0 updates the linux kernel version to 5.15.10

          glibc updated to 2.34 gcc updated to 11.2.0

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Rancher streamlines operations at Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court | SUSE Communities

          We are back in Brazil this week to discover how SUSE Rancher has streamlined the judicial apparatus responsible for safeguarding Brazil’s constitution, at the highest judicial institution in the country.

          Demands on the Supreme Federal Court (STF) are constantly growing; with a 21% increase in cases year on year. To maintain excellent service levels, the organization has embarked on an extensive digital transformation program.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch, a recap | SleepMap

          One of the things, that has kept me (increasingly) busy over the past few years is my involvement with the Linux distribution Arch Linux. While I have been using Linux for probably about 14 years it is frankly hard to pinpoint when exactly I went down the rabbit hole that this operating system/ ecosystem/ community is (relevant XKCD). However, I can elaborate on my motivation and where that got me.

          As a musician of a varying background (from band-based rock music to solo performances on guitar or with a modular synthesizer) I have found myself evaluating the available pieces of software that are commonly used in music production (e.g. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and audio plugin-ins). Most of them are proprietary and only available for Windows or macOS (both proprietary as well). During my studies a lot of the software in use has also not been free, but was provided by the university with a student discount (e.g. Operating Systems (OSes), Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) or certain types of Visual Programming Languages (VPLs)). I got increasingly annoyed by dealing with intransparent proprietary OSes, vendor lock-in schemes, paying for software updates and being driven into software piracy for working with so-called industry standards.

          Some time during the studies for my B.Sc. I decided to "try out Linux", not knowing what that would mean actually. So there I was, booting an Ubuntu Live CD and clicking around in an interface, that would install the OS alongside a still existing Windows 7. At that point I did not yet know about the joys of missing or failing device drivers. Many hard fights with the X Window System later I settled on Ubuntu Studio for a while, as it had many nice audio related pieces of software available out-of-the-box.

          I have always been a person that is interested in "how things work". Soon I realized, that the Linux ecosystem consisted of people that thought quite similarly. Through various (often distribution specific) online documentation, forums, mailing lists and the documentation of software projects for the first time I felt as if I could actually learn something that mattered, because it was not sold in a box and instead had a community of like-minded people gathering around it. I found quite appealing that a lot of things were not polished and that some things were not easy, because it provided the sense of achieving something or getting good at something. Where in Windows land I would have reinstalled the OS upon getting intermittent bluescreens, in Linux land I just kept reading about a certain topic until I was able to fix it myself.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat and LLVM in 2021

          LLVM is a set of reusable compiler components that provide building blocks for creating compilers and related tools. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), these components are used in the Rust compiler, embedded shader compiler in Mesa, and BPF tools like BCC and bpftrace. In addition, LLVM itself comes with it's own C/C++ compiler (Clang) and linker (LLD) which are also a part of RHEL.

          The upstream project for LLVM is very large and moves quickly with almost 100 commits per day and over 250 unique contributors per month. In addition to building and packaging the LLVM sources for RHEL, Red Hat engineers are actively engaged in the upstream community working hard to make the project better. Here is what Red Hat has been doing with LLVM in the past year.

        • Curated, tested and supported: How enterprise vendors mitigate open source supply chain risk

          I've been participating in open source for a long time, and when I think of open source being ubiquitous, it’s exciting and terrifying! It’s exciting because as a society we can achieve so much more, and so much faster, than we could otherwise. It’s terrifying because if there’s a problem in software, and there always is, there are potentially many places where something might need to be corrected.

        • FedoraShareYourScreen week (F35)

          The Fedora Project, through the Marketing team, is happy to announce the first FedoraShareYourScreen week!

          We know that even though the stock look of Fedora Linux is awesome, most people love to tweak and adapt their systems to their own workflow. We want to see how your Fedora Linux desktop looks.

        • Statement on We Make Fedora [Ed: IBM is not afraid of people who actually built Fedora]

          As part of our Code of Conduct, the Fedora Project has pledged to collaborate in a respectful and constructive manner, to make participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone, to avoid personal attacks on others, and to avoid inflammatory language and speech that perpetuates discrimination.

          Recently, the website We Make Fedora (WMF) has come to our attention. WMF scrapes and aggregates (via RSS/Atom) the blog feeds from Fedora and Fedora contributor sites. These scraped posts are intermingled on WMF with other posts.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.9.8 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.9.8 is generally available as of January 27, 2022.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

        • CentOS 9 Stream - Too early to have full-blown desktop fun

          Over the years, CentOS has narrowed the gap between RHEL and Fedora. This Stream edition takes it to the next level. With kernel 5.14 and Gnome 40.4, you're kind of using a long-term Fedora in essence, except there's a dearth of modern software for desktop usage at the moment. But I presume that will be fixed sometime in the near future.

          All in all, my early experiment is encouraging, but this ain't the CentOS of old. This is something else. And I don't want to debate the politics of it all. For home users, Stream makes a lot of sense, puts Fedora in a weird light, and yanks CentOS out of the old enterprise game. Since I've always focused in my CentOS reviews here on the (delightfully unexpected) desktop value proposition, this is what I intend to keep doing. At the moment, you won't be able to assemble that perfect desktop, as you don't get the full load of programs for home use and there are some obvious bugs in the software stack. I do intend to keep on testing this distro, and I want to see how it pans out a month or three down the line. For now, you should test and explore, but keep your enthusiasm in check.

        • Patching the CentOS 8 Encryption Bug is Urgent – What Are Your Plans?

          There are three things you can be sure of in life: death, taxes – and new CVEs. For organizations that rely on CentOS 8, the inevitable has now happened, and it didn't take long. Just two weeks after reaching the official end of life, something broke spectacularly, leaving CentOS 8 users at major risk of a severe attack – and with no support from CentOS.

          You'd think that this issue no longer affects a significant number of organizations because by now, companies would have migrated away from CentOS 8 to an OS that is actively supported by vendors. After all, vendor support is critical for security and compliance.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian tweaks its resolution process

          The vote has concluded in the Debian project on a general resolution affecting the way such resolutions are discussed in the future. The changes, as proposed by Russ Allbery, have been adopted with the required three-to-one supermajority, though the overall level of voting was low. The new process is mostly as described in this article from October with a few changes. The end result may be to shorten the discussion period for controversial issues and make the end of that period more predictable.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Design and Web team summary – 14 January 2022 | Ubuntu

          The Web and design team at Canonical run two-week iterations building and maintaining all of the Canonical websites and product web interfaces. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

        • The State of IoT – January 2022

          No day goes by without innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape, affecting enterprises and individuals alike. In case you missed it, here is a roundup of last year highlights from the IoT world. January was a month packed with IoT-related news, so brace for a ride as we dive straight into this monthly series of exciting IoT updates from across the world.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Integrating systemd-oomd For Improving Low Memory Handling - Phoronix

          Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is going to be making use of systemd-oomd for aiming to improve the experience when out of memory or under heavy memory pressure on the Linux distribution.

          Ubuntu is now the latest Linux distribution shipping with systemd-oomd for improving Linux's behavior when having low RAM availability. Ubuntu is building off of Debian's systemd-oomd integration. The systemd-oomd is triggered prior to the Linux kernel's OOM killer and the Ubuntu package is relying on the default configuration. By default that configurable limit is a 20 second memory pressure duration and a 50% memory pressure limit for user sessions.

        • What New Features Can You Expect in Linux Mint 20.3?

          The year 2022 has arrived with Linux Mint’s newest version, 20.3 Una, in tow. The titular OS carries over the enhancements of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and a mix from Ubuntu's interim versions released simultaneously.

          Linux firmware 1.187 and stable kernel 5.4 power up this new release, making it an elaborate yet stable version with a deep-set dark mode user interface. Nonetheless, the real highlights are Mint's up-to-date software repository and robust feature augmentations, which improve the distro's overall experience.

          Let's take a look at what new features the latest Linux Mint release has brought to the table.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • DeskPi Lite - A Raspberry Pi 4 enclosure with full HDMI ports, two extra USB ports - CNX Software

        In 2020, we wrote about the DeskPi Pro enclosure for Raspberry Pi 4 with 2.5-inch HDD/SSD bay, full-sized HDMI ports, and a PWM fansink as an alternative to the popular Argon One case that also brings all ports to a single side and improves cable management.

        The company informed us of a new low-cost model, the DeskPi Lite, with a more compact design since it lacks the 2.5-inch SATA bay, and two extra USB ports at the front which may be convenient to connect USB flash drives or anything that may be temporarily connected to your Raspberry Pi 4.

      • Wi-Fi 6E access point has 10GbE with PoE++

        Lanner’s “LWR-X8460” is a 12-stream, Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E access point powered by Qualcomm’s up to 2.2GHz quad -A53 IPQ8076A. The system ships with 4x GbE and 2x 10GbE ports, one of which offers PoE+, as well as Enhanced Open security.

        Lanner announced a WiFi access point with up to 12-stream, Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E. The “enterprise grade” LWR-X8460 is designed for applications in crowded and dense WiFi environments that require “more capacity and wider channels for network video streaming needs,” says the company. These are said to include remote video conferencing, telehealth, distance learning, public safety monitoring, and IoT.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • See how Nikodem Bartnik integrated LIDAR room mapping into his DIY robotics platform | Arduino Blog

          As part of his ongoing autonomous robot project, YouTuber Nikodem Bartnik wanted to add LIDAR mapping/navigation functionality so that his device could see the world in much greater resolution and actively avoid obstacles. In short, LIDAR works by sending out short pulses of invisible light and measuring how much time it takes for the beam to reflect off an object and return to its detector. By combining this distance value with the angle of the sensor at the moment of measurement, a virtual cloud of points can be built and used to represent the entire space around the robot.

        • Portenta Cat. M1/NB IoT GNSS Shield: Connectivity and positioning for your boards

          Despite how powerful and high-performance we make our boards, we know some of you always want more – especially in the fast-evolving Industry 4.0! Enter the Portenta Cat. M1/NB IoT GNSS Shield, a new product we developed in partnership with aerospace, defense, transportation and security multinational Thales.

          It’s what you need to unleash a world of new opportunities for edge computing. By leveraging a Cinterion TX62 wireless module built for highly efficient, low-power IoT applications, the Portenta Cat. M1/NB IoT GNSS Shield delivers optimized bandwidth and performance, while adding global connectivity and positioning capabilities to Portenta and MKR boards.

        • KrakenSDR is a 5-channel software-defined radio based on RTL-SDR

          KrakenRF KrakenSDR is a software-defined radio (SDR) with five coherently-operated receive channels that’s basically the equivalent of five cheap RTL-SDR USB dongles based on the R820T2 chip with a single board housed in a metal enclosure equipped with five custom antennas.

          KrakenSDR operates in the usual 24 MHz to 1766 MHz tuning range and connects over USB to the host system, preferably a Raspberry Pi4 as the open-source Core DAQ and DSP software is designed for the popular single board computer. There’s also an Android for location finding that is free to use for non-commercial applications.

        • Try Turris Omnia, the open source router |

          In the early 2000s, I was fascinated by OpenWrt and wanted nothing more than to run it on a router of my own. Unfortunately, I didn't have a router capable of running custom firmware, and so I spent weekends going to garage sales hoping in vain to stumble upon a "Slug" (the slang term hackers were using for the NSLU2 router). Recently, I got hold of the Turris Omnia, which, aside from having a much cooler name, is a router from the Czech Republic using open source firmware built on top of OpenWrt. It has everything you'd expect from hardware running open source, and quite a lot more, including installable packages so you can add exactly what your home or business network needs the most while ignoring the parts you won't use. If you've viewed routers as simple appliances with no room for customization or even utility beyond DNS and DHCP, then you need to look at the Turris Omnia. It'll change your perception of what a router is, what a router can do for your network, and even how you interact with your entire network.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Redis 7.0 Is Near With "Significant Performance Optimizations" - Phoronix

        The first release candidate of Redis 7.0 was made available today. Getting us excited about this updated in-memory key-value database are "significant performance optimizations" among other improvements.

        Redis 7.0-rc1 comes with performance optimizations and more but as well a number of changes that break backwards compatibility support for this popular open-source project. The performance work for Redis 7.0 includes "significant" memory savings from various optimizations, lower copy-on-write memory overhead, memory efficiency improvements, improvements to fsync to avoid large writes to disk, improved latency, and more.

      • The Apache Weekly News Round-up: week ending 28 January 2022

        Farewell, January --we're wrapping up the month with another great week. Here are the latest updates on the Apache community's activities...

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Jan-Erik Rediger: This Week in Glean: Building and Deploying a Rust library on iOS

            We ship the Glean SDK for multiple platforms, one of them being iOS applications. Previously I talked about how we got it to build on the Apple ARM machines. Today we will take a closer look at how to bundle a Rust static library into an iOS application.

            The Glean SDK project was set up in 2019 and we have evolved its project configuration over time. A lot has changed in Xcode since then, so for this article we're starting with a fresh Xcode project, a fresh Rust library and put it all together step by step. This is essentially an update to the Building and Deploying a Rust library on iOS article from 2017.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Hacks Decoded: Adewale Adetona

            Once a month, Mozilla Foundation’s Xavier Harding speaks with people in the tech industry about where they’re from, the work they do and what drives them to keep going forward. Make sure you follow Mozilla’s Hacks blog to find more articles in this series and make sure to visit the Mozilla Foundation site to see more of our org’s work.

          • Mozilla Reps Community: The Reps and the Month of MDN!

            In the middle of November last year, we launched the “Month of MDN”.

            … Ok, it lasted a bit more than a month, but the “Month and a bit of MDN” does not sound that good.

            This was part of an effort to introduce our local communities to meaningful contributions to different Mozilla products and projects with the support of the Reps. We want to continue on this path (incorporating all that we have learned!), so wait for a new “Month of …” to come soon.

          • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Changes in the Core Team

            We want to say thanks to three people who recently have decided to step back from the Core Team...

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Liz Rice on Programming the Linux Kernel with eBPF, Cilium and Service Meshes

          Charles Humble and Liz Rice discuss eBPF, a way of making the Linux kernel programmable. They talk about why it exists, how it works under the hood, and what you can and can’t do with it. They also talk about Cilium, an open source library for observing network connectivity between container workloads, and the new Cilium-based service mesh currently in beta.

        • No, Linus Torvalds is not Bitcoin's legendary creator Satoshi Nakamoto

          One of the great tech mysteries is "Who really is Bitcoin's inventor, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto?" Recently, some people thought Linus Torvalds, the developer behind both the world's most popular operating system, Linux, and its most popular development tool, the Git distributed version control (DVC) system, had also claimed he was the world's most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, inventor: The perplexing Satoshi Nakamoto.

        • d-ptr pitfalls | [bobulate]

          A “smart” pointer manages a chunk of memory it points to. Examples in Qt include QScopedPointer and QSharedPointer. C++ standard examples are std::shared_ptr and std::unique_ptr.

          Smart pointers need a particular implementation: the Qt source code implements the Q-flavored ones (in Qt source code, and there’s only one Qt source code), but the standard ones are implemented by multiple standard libraries. There’s GNU libstdc++ and LLVM libcxx, for instance. There are differences in the implementations.

          One important difference lies in the implementation of the destructor of a std::unique_ptr. The LLVM implementation replaces an internal pointer by a nullptr and then calls the destructor of the held object, while GNU calls the destructor of the held object and leaves the internal pointer alone (the std::unique_ptr is being destroyed anyway, so why bother updating the pointer-value).

          This becomes visible in some situations where a not-completely-destroyed smart pointer is used: with the GNU implementation it may still hold a valid pointer, with LLVM it holds nullptr. Some will crash, some will not – it doesn’t really matter because to get into this situation you need to be in Undefined Behavior territory anyway and you should be glad that your computer doesn’t catch fire, fall over, and then sink into the swamp.

          The visible symptom in a backtrace is an unexpectedly nullptr “smart” pointer.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Annual Report - 2021

            Thanks to the Team PWC, I completed one more year of weekly challenge. It may not sound a big deal but for me it is. I wouldn't have done without the support of the team. I would like to mention one name, Colin Crain, our in-house, Perl reviewer for the hard work in reviewing Perl solutions every week without fail for so many months now.

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2022.05 foo = 42

            Ralph Mellor published a Request For Comments allowing for a new syntax to define constants in the Raku Programming Language. And quite some discussion followed, and some clarifications. In any case, it caused the creation of one new module in the ecosystem: immutable.

  • Leftovers

    • Jean-François Fortin Tam: New photography portfolio

      I can hear you say, “But Jeff, you already had a photo gallery on your personal website, for years!” and you would be right, but it’s an extensive and informal gallery, not a select portfolio. In a portfolio, less is more: it is meant to be shown to people who only have 30 seconds to spare, not to friends, family and community members who wish to see the whole story of a trip to Zanzibarland or to find a reasonably complete depiction of a particular FLOSS conference event.

      On my computer, my photo library has somewhere around 49 thousand items. Building this portfolio was thus an exercise in self-restraint, a ruthless selection & elimination process, going through my many thousands “good to excellent” pictures then culling the finalists, in multiple plasses, to only one or two dozen “top 1%” eye-catching pictures for each category.

    • DIY Acoustic Panels Or Modern Artwork? Can’t Tell | Hackaday

      The acoustic properties of a room have a surprising impact when you want to use a microphone. [RayP24]’s son was trying to make his bedroom into a better recording studio, and for [Ray], that turned into an artfully-executed wall panel project. Fortunately, the process is documented so we all can learn from it. When it comes to acoustics, you can often get a whole lot of improvement from surprisingly few changes. And, as this project demonstrates, you can make it look like a decorative piece to boot.

      When arranged and placed on the wall, these panels look like an art piece, a decoration you could get from a somewhat fancy store. If you show them to someone, they might not believe that they also serve as a functioning home acoustics improvement, dampening the sound quite well for audio recording needs. The panels are built out of individual circles, cut out in a way that uses as much of a 3/16″ (5mm) plywood sheet as possible, with hollow circles serving as frames to attach foam-backed fabric. In the Instructables post, [Ray] talks quite a bit about how you can assemble your own and what liberties you can take. There’s also a short video accompanying this project, which you can see after the break. This project is begging to be recreated.

    • Hardware

      • Factory Defect IC Revived With Sandpaper And Microsoldering | Hackaday

        We might be amidst a chip shortage, but if you enjoy reverse-engineering, there’s never a shortage of intriguing old chips to dig into – and the 2513N 5×7 character ROM is one such chip. Amidst a long thread probing a few of these (Twitter, ThreadReader link), [TubeTime] has realized that two address lines were shorted inside of the package. A Twitter dopamine-fueled quest for truth has led them to try their hand at making the chip work anyway. Trying to clear the short with an external PSU led to a bond wire popping instead, as evidenced by the ESD diode connection disappearing.

      • Another Neat General Purpose Soldering Iron Driver | Hackaday

        Over on, user [Tomasz Jastrzebski] has designed a tidy-looking custom controller for driving temperature-controlled soldering irons. The design is intended to be general purpose, capable of operating with irons rated for different voltages and probe type, be they thermocouple- or thermistor-based. Rather than integrating a power supply, this is handled by an external unit, giving the possibility of feeding this from a variety of sources that are not necessarily tied to the grid.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday []

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache-log4j1.2, expat, libraw, prosody, and python-nbxmpp), Fedora (chromium, hiredis, java-11-openjdk, java-latest-openjdk, lua, rust-afterburn, rust-ammonia, rust-askalono-cli, rust-below, rust-cargo-c, rust-cargo-insta, rust-fd-find, rust-insta, rust-lsd, rust-oxipng, rust-python-launcher, rust-ripgrep, rust-ron, rust-ron0.6, rust-similar, rust-similar-asserts, rust-skim, rust-thread_local, rust-tokei, vim, wpa_supplicant, and zola), Gentoo (chromium, chrome), openSUSE (log4j12), Oracle (log4j and polkit), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk), SUSE (log4j12), and Ubuntu (ldns).

          • Twelve-Year-Old Linux Vulnerability Discovered and Patched

            It was discovered in October, and disclosed last week — after most Linux distributions issued patches. Of course, there’s lots of Linux out there that never gets patched, so expect this to be exploited in the wild for a long time.

            Of course, this vulnerability doesn’t give attackers access to the system. They have to get that some other way. But if they get access, this vulnerability gives them root privileges.

          • New LockBit Ransomware Variant Evolves To Target Linux Systems [Ed: It take effort to actually install this thing, it's a Windows thing, and it targets VMware; calling it "Linux" and blaming Linux is dishonest.]
          • Do You Need a VPN on Linux? - Linux Stans

            When using a public/open network, it’s strongly recommended that you use a VPN. Hackers can easily snoop traffic on that public network and gather your important, sensitive data.

            That’s why I have a VPN on my phone – when I connect to public WiFi, I always turn my VPN on. It gives me peace of mind and I worry less about what I’m doing on my phone.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Dear Big Tech: Don't help Russia de-platform civil society - Access Now

        On December 27, Russia’s censorship body, Roskomnadzor, unexpectedly blocked the website of a prominent human rights organization, OVD-Info. The judicial order granting the blocking stated that by reporting on the political repressions and arrests during protests, and by providing legal assistance to detained individuals, OVD-Info may create the “impression” of justification for “extremist activities.” Even more concerning, Roskomnadzor also sent notifications to social media platforms — Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, VKontakte, Yandex, and Google — asking them to block OVD-Info’s social media pages.

        Blocking OVD-Info for advocating on behalf of individuals accused of terrorism or extremism laws would be equivalent to blocking the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which defends individuals accused of similar crimes in the U.S. We call on tech companies to push back against these orders and show the strength of their commitment to human rights. If companies like Meta, Twitter, Google, and other platforms value our rights, they should demonstrate it by protecting the voices of human rights defenders, journalists, and activists.

      • Telegram must protect LGBTQ+ people

        Telegram must protect LGBTQ+ people from hate and violence on its platform, and set a new standard of upholding and promoting human rights in its business practices.

        Access Now supports the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, a Belarusian human rights organisation and a trusted partner, in its appeal to Telegram to block channels and materials that demonstrate violence against, and hate speech towards, LGBTQ+ people.

        “This is not the first time civil society has been forced to publicly appeal to Telegram in an attempt to persuade the tech giant into addressing its dismal human rights practices,” said Anastasiya Zhyrmont, Regional Outreach Coordinator (Eastern Europe and Central Asia) at Access Now. “LGBTQ+ people have a right to use Telegram not only without being the targets of hate, but with the knowledge their rights are important and will be upheld.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • A year after Myanmar coup, growing surveillance threatens lives | Reuters

        A group of young men were recently stopped at a security checkpoint in Yangon and asked to hand over their mobile phones. After being questioned about social media apps on their phones, one was fined for using a virtual private network (VPN).

        The crackdown on VPNs, which anonymise a user’s Internet Protocol address and help bypass firewalls, is the latest attack on digital rights in Myanmar - alongside internet shutdowns and growing surveillance - since a military coup on Feb. 1, 2021.

        Authorities say the surveillance measures are part of a drive to improve governance and curb crime.

      • Open letter to the Prime Minister of Norway: stop the sale of Telenor Myanmar to M1 Group - Access Now

        We write to you to express our grave concern regarding the announced sale of Telenor Myanmar to the Lebanese M1 Group. The Norwegian government are the majority owner of Telenor Group ASA – the parent company of Telenor Myanmar.

        Prior to Telenor receiving a telecom license in Myanmar, you held the position Foreign Minister in Norway. Together with Telenor’s CEO you travelled to Myanmar to promote Telenor and Norwegian industry, and the ties between the two countries became even closer as Telenor received a telecom license shortly after. As representatives of civil society, we know that the majority of human rights defenders, activists and members of civil society in Myanmar had chosen Telenor for its prior commitments to human rights principles and transparency, and for security reasons. For eight years, these subscribers have generated data held by Telenor.

        On behalf of civil society in Myanmar, we are deeply worried about what that sale could mean for the people of Myanmar, especially those who have been customers of Telenor and now risk persecution if the sale of Telenor Myanmar is allowed to proceed. As the majority shareholder in Telenor, we expect the Norwegian State to set an example in respecting human rights and to conduct its business in a responsible manner.

    • Monopolies

      • Congress Wants to Regulate Your App Store By Picking Winners and Losers - But They Aren’t Doing It With Your Best Interest in Mind - Disruptive Competition Project

        On February 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee is poised to vote on S. 2710, the “Open App Markets Act”, a bill that, as drafted, regulates a handful of app stores by requiring interconnection with third-party payment systems and mandating the installation of third party apps and app stores and other pricing and business decisions, all of which could negatively impact innovation and competition.

        The bill requires certain app stores to use third-party in-app payment systems, regulates pricing terms and conditions of sale in those app stores, and mandates that developers be allowed to interoperate and communicate directly with users side-stepping the covered company.

        Despite this overreach, the bill is shortsighted about how consumers use technology today and is not future proof. For example, it excludes from its definitions the app stores of consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox, where people are increasingly accessing apps. Consoles are no longer solely gaming devices. Case in point: as early as 2017, Xbox’s most popular app wasn’t even a game; it was Netflix. The bill also excludes a variety of other app stores on televisions, streaming boxes, and other computing platforms.

        The effect of the bill is to regulate a few U.S. app stores without regard to business models, privacy or security of data, and concern about competition or the welfare of users. Ultimately, the bill would have negative effects on competition, innovation, and privacy. The only winners here are multi-billion dollar companies like Epic Games, Spotify, and Match Group (Tinder) in their lobbying and legal battles, not users. Rather than the Senate Judiciary Committee picking winners and losers in the app ecosystem, they should take a measured and thoughtful approach. Below are some of the concerns with the bill.

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