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Your source for GNU/Linux news, reviews and HOWTO guides. And some K-pop news too.

Top Story

  • 30+ South Korean Governmental Organizations, Local Governments And Schools Have Switched To Linux
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    The South Korean government has been gradually replacing the proprietary Windows operating system with Linux-based free software operating systems during the last four years. Windows 7 reaching end-of-line has accelerated the process. We asked 김형채 (Kevin Kim), the leader of the South Korean HamoniKR Linux Distribution Project and President of Invesume Inc, the corporation behind it, some questions about the current state of Linux in South Korea.

Breaking News

  • Chrome and Chromium 80 Have A New Directly To Text Snippet Linking Feature
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    The latest version of Chromium (and Chrome) let you link directly to parts of web pages using a shiny new #:~:text= URL argument which works similarly to the existing #ancor feature which has been around for decades. It is only worth mentioning because of the way some larger publications are making it out to be some kind of gigantic security concern. It's not. The most logical explanation as to why they claim it is is that it brings them clicks and attention and therefore profit. The only other possible explanation is ignorance and utter stupidity.
  • Sweden Has Ended Democracy With The Passing Of A New Secret Electronic Surveillance Law Which Allows Law Enforcement To Secretly Install Hardware And Software Backdoors On Electronic Devices
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    Sweden has passed a new secret surveillance law which allows law enforcement to secretly install spyware as well as malicious hardware on or in any and all electronic devices on the mere suspicion that someone could be doing something criminal. Warrants are not required to install spyware on computers, smartphones and other "smart" devices like routers, HiFi receivers, refrigerators and smart home assistants. The law goes into effect on April 1st.
  • Mesa 20.0.0 Is Released
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    Mesa 20 is a big release. It has Vulkan 1.2 support for AMD and Intel graphics cards, including older ones, as well as many Vulkan improvements. The new Iris OpenGL graphics driver for Intel graphics cards has become the default for Intel gen8+ graphics chips. AMD users can enjoy a new experimental, and still optional, ACO GPU program compiler from Valve.
  • Humble Bundle Has A Huge Sale With Many Native Linux Games
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    The indie-game focused Humble Bundle games store is currently having another sale with several Linux games available at a 40% to 90% discount as a part of their regular "Indie Hits Sale". This may be a good time to pick up some native Linux games if you have time to play games and you enjoy lesser-known indie-games. Games on Humble are not free software, you will not get the source code and you will have to pay for a DRM-free copy of games which you can download and keep. The most discounted native Linux game, Dex, is just $2 with its 90% discount.

Quote of the week

"This isn't the library routine, it is only used in the kernel. as such, we don't care about years<1970 etc, but assume everything is ok. Similarly, TZ etc is happily ignored. We just do everything as easily as possible."

mktime.c in Linux 0.01

Latest software reviews

  • Spectacle
    Org.kde.spectacle.svg
    Spectacle is a simple and easy to use screenshot utility written with KDE in mind. It is the default application bound to the PrtSc (printscreen) key in KDE Plasma. It can also be used in any other desktop environment. It has all the features you could possible want from a screenshot application which makes it a good choice to set as a default action when the PrtSc button is pressed in any desktop environment.
  • Polari
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    Polari is a extremely simple IRC client designed specificially for GNOME. It uses the practically abandoned Telepathy communications framework to communicate with IRC servers. Polari will, by default, not run in the background so you get messages if it is minimized. There is no system tray support since GNOME 3 does not have any system tray. There are no configuration options what so ever and no useful options in the mobile-phone style hamburger menu beyond Quit which is something you will likely want to do after testing it and discovering how much of a joke of a IRC client it is compared to any other IRC client made the last two decades.
  • Nano Adblocker
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    Nano Adblocker is a web browser advertisement filter based on Ublock Origin. It is basically Ublock Origin with a few patches on top and one additional Nano-specific filter list with around 300 entries. Nano Adblocker releases trail the Ublock Origin releases and the Nano Adblocker offers shockingly little extra compared to the original it is based on. It works fine but there is no reason to use it over the original it is based on.

Hot News

  • Wine 5.2 Is Released With 22 Bug-Fixes And New Features
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    The Wine Is Not An Emulator development branch is moving full steam ahead after the release of Wine 5.0, which was a major milestone. Wine 5.2, which is a development release, not a bug-fix release for Wine 5.0, has support for using the null (no) display driver as a real driver, better UTF-8 support and 22 bug-fixes. One general fix makes a whole range of new Steam games work in Wine, another makes control buttons in a wide range of applications appear as they should.
  • Mutazione Got A Native Linux Version
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    The "mutant soap opera" game Mutazione from the small game studio Die Gute Fabrik has a native Linux version ready. Mutazione is an original adventure game with has cartoon-like hand-illustrated graphics. It was made using the Unity game engine. It is not free software, buying it will set you back $20 or 18€.
  • Cantata 2.4.0 Is Released
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    It has been a year since the last version of the best Music Player Daemon front-end built on the Qt and KDE libraries was released. The latest version has some new features but it also lacks a rather important one previous versions have: Support for showing the currently playing songs album cover in the playlist window has been taken away due to issues with that feature when Cantata is build against Qt 5.12. That huge disappointment can safely be fixed by changing the cmake configuration file if you compile against newer Qt versions.
  • Firefox 73 and 68.5.0esr Are Released With Security Updates
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    Firefox 73 has a new global zoom setting under "Language and Appearance" which, unlike the regular per-site zoom (changed with ctrl++, ctrl+- and ctrl+0 to re-set), has a "Zoom text only" option. There is also a Windows-specific improvement when "High contrast mode" is enabled on Windows. The most important changes in Firefox 73, as well as Firefox 68.5.0 (The long-term support version), are security fixes.
  • Tor Browser Bundle 9.0.5 Is Released And You Should Upgrade To It
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    The latest version of the Tor Browser bundle has Firefox 68.5.0esr with NoScript 11.0.13 and version 0.4.2.6 of the underlying Tor client used to connect to the Tor anonymity network. There are several security issues with Firefox 68.4.1esr which the previous Tor browser bundle 9.0.4 uses. Those using the Tor browser bundle to browser the web using the Tor anonymity network should upgrade.
  • Mesa 20.0.0-rc3 Is Released With Barely Nothing New Since rc2
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    The puny size of the latest Mesa 20 release candidate indicates that it will likely be the last before the final Mesa 20 release. A handful of fixes for Vulkan, the optional ACO Vulkan shader compiler for AMD cards and two small fixes for Intel graphics is all that is new since the last release candidate. Mesa 20 will have Vulkan 1.2 support on Intel and AMD graphics cards and the new Iris OpenGL driver is now default on gen8+ Intel graphics drivers.
  • Wondering What Is On A Child's Computer? The United Kingdom's "National Crime Agency" Can Help
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    The United Kingdom's "National Crime Agency" wants to help you understand what scary programs like Kali Linux, which could be on your child's computer, really are. They have made a highly informative and totally factually accurate poster which you, as a parent, should read so you can understand what kind of dangerous computer programs your child might be using.
  • 30+ South Korean Governmental Organizations, Local Governments And Schools Have Switched To Linux
    Flag of South Korea.png
    The South Korean government has been gradually replacing the proprietary Windows operating system with Linux-based free software operating systems during the last four years. Windows 7 reaching end-of-line has accelerated the process. We asked 김형채 (Kevin Kim), the leader of the South Korean HamoniKR Linux Distribution Project and President of Invesume Inc, the corporation behind it, some questions about the current state of Linux in South Korea.
  • Proton 5.0-1 Is Released With Wine 5.0, DXVK 1.5.4 and FAudio 20.02
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    The latest version of Valve's Wine bundle for Steam has Wine 5.0, DXVK 1.5.4, FAudio 20.02 and better compatibility with games using the Denuvo "anti-piracy" scheme in this release. Wine 5.0 has a lot of improvements, including proper multi-monitor support, which should make a lot of Windows games in Steam's rather large games catalog run better and smoother.
  • Xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.4.0 Greatly Improves The Alternative Xfce Desktop Menu
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    The latest version of the optional Whisker menu for the Xfce desktop environment has a tree view for categories with sub-folders, an option to show menu items as icons with text below similar to file managers, a new option to hide menu item by right-clicking on them and choosing "Hide application" and much more. The new icon view, which worked fine up to a day ago is, unfortunately, all messed up in this release.
  • New Nvidia 440.49 Linux Driver Brings DisplayPort Multi-Stream Audio Support
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    The latest Nvidia driver for Linux has PRIME synchronization support on Linux kernel 5.4+, multi-stream DisplayPort audio on kernel 5.5 and display hotplug support for NVIDIA High Definition Audio (HDA). There are also several fixes including one for DXVK.
  • Steam And Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Set New Concurrent User Records Sunday
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    The now eight year old game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which Valve made free to play last year, set a new all time high for concurrent users on Sunday with a 24 hour peak at 901,681 players. The Steam store and launcher set a new all time high with a peek of 19,107,803 concurrent users.
  • Mastodon 3.1.0 Is Released With Bookmarks, UI animations And More
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    The latest version of the free Mastodon social media software has a ton of new features including follow request notifications, group actors, new animations in the web user interface, download buttons in the audio and video players and a lot more. There's also many new server-side features. Several social media websites running the Mastodon have already upgraded to 3.1.0.
  • Rackspace's Free Hosting For Free Software Program Has Ended
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    Rackspace had a very nice "free hosting" program for free software projects going the last 10 years. It's over, they ended the program and everyone who signed up for free hosting are getting bills for full retail rate starting with January 2020. It is time to move elsewhere if you thought they would host your free software project for free forever.

Older news:

Check out the news archive for more news.

Recent software reviews

  • MangoHud
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    MangoHud is a modified version of the built-in Mesa heads up display for Vulkan. It is prettier and more configurable than the built-in Mesa HUD and it has handy keyboard shortcuts for turning the HUD (F12) and logging (F2) on/off. It is specially useful for games who play Windows games using Wine and DXVK.
  • NodeTube
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    NodeTube is a free software video hosting package written for Node.js. It uses MongoDB for storage, redis modules and ffmpeg for video conversion. It does not use WebTorrent or any similar technology for bandwidth reduction which means that hosting using NodeTube is quite bandwidth-expensive. NodeTube is easy to install for those who are familiar with hosting applications on Linux servers and it is mature enough to be used as a smaller personal video hosting platform. Scaling it to serve a really huge number of users may be somewhat problematic.
  • MongoDB
    MongoDB is a document-oriented database program utilizing JSON-like documents with a schema. It is licensed under a special sort-of free software Server Side Public License (SSPL). Many free software web applications requires it.
  • NAVER whale
    Naver whale logo.png
    NAVER whale is a Chromium-based web browser from the South Korean Internet giant Naver Corporation. It has many unique features like a toolbox with a calculator, timer, calendar and unit converter and a built-in music player. There are also a lot of not-really builtin features like stock price monitoring and exchange rate conversion which in reality access and use various NAVER web services. Most of those services are only available in Korean language. The web browser itself has English text in most menus and help texts. Some features, like the built-in music player, do not have any English translation. Whaleis overall a fine web browser but the tie-ins with South Korean web services who are only available in Korean language and the lack of translations for some of its features means that it is not the best choice for English-speaking people.
  • Alien
    alien is a command-line tool for converting Linux software packages between Debian .deb, Red Hat .rpm, Software .tgz and even Solaris .pkg file formats. The resulting converted packages it produces may or may not install and they may or may not work depending on the original package which has been converted. Converted packages who do install will, in most cases, only do so after going through some hoops.
  • Tor Browser
    Tor.png
    The Tor Browser is a web browser bundle distributed by the non-profit Torproject organization which includes a customized version Firefox ESR, some Firefox extensions and a Tor client for accessing the traffic analysis resistant Tor anonymity network. The Tor Browser sends your web traffic through the Tor network so the websites you visit will see a Tor exit nodes IP address instead of your actual IP address.
  • Chromium
    Chromium-icon.png
    Chromium is a BSD licensed web browser developed by Google. It is used as the basis for Google's commercial "Chrome" web browser product. The Linux version of Chromium is very easy to use and the fastest there is when it comes to WebGL performance. It does not come with any web garbage filtering, user script manager or style editor so you would have to install those things yourself.
  • Xfce4 Task Manager
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    Task Manager is a simple Xfce program capable of showing the processes running on a system along with grahpics showing total CPU usage, memory usage and swap usage. It is simpler than top and htop in terms of features. It be used to terminate, identify or prioritize processes. The very basics a task manager should have are covered but it does lack more advanced features like GPU monitoring, listing a processes open files and things like that.
  • Xfce 4.16
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    Xfce 4.16 is the next iteration of the popular light-weight Xfce desktop environment. It is scheduled to be released sometime in the fourth quarter of 2020. It will have client side decorations for all the configuration dialog boxes, a more advanced optional Whiskermenu, animated panel when it is set to auto-hide and it could get support for hybrid sleep when the power button is pressed or a laptop lid is closed. There will likely be more changes before Xfce 4.16 is released around October/November 2020.
  • GFXBench
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    GFXBench is a graphics benchmark suite. A OpenGL only version (GFXBench 4) is available for GNU/Linux. There is also a version 5 for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. GFXBench 4 has three different scene rendering tests (Car Chase, Manhattan, T-Rex) which it can test in various ways (on-screen, off-screen, etc). Detailed results are shown for each individual test. It produces scores for each individual test but does not produce any overall score for all the tests it runs.

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