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

Breaking News[edit]

  • Linux 5.1.5 released with IMPORTANT Fix for Users of Encrypted LVM volumes on SSDs
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    It could appear that Linux 5.1 got a bit too eager when it comes to file-system trimming after a simplification of the code which decides what to discard. This could lead to data-loss on certain setups. Linux 5.1.5 has a patch which makes fstrim obey max_io_len_target_boundary again.
  • Intel's back on top
    Intel.jpg Intel's far from being bankrupt and finished after the parade of security issues with their CPUs. They were the worlds biggest chip-maker in Q1 of 2019 and they held that position throughout Q2. Samsung was #1 in 2018. Intel's expected to be #1 for 2019 as a whole.
  • BlackArch Linux 2019.06.01 brought Back From the Future is Now Available
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    Version 2019.06.01 of the Arch Linux based Live ISO penetration testing distribution is now available with 150 new security tools, kernel version 5.1.4 and updated packages across the board.
  • GNOME Developers have Made Their Moves against Themes
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    The GNOME community has been debating removing theme support to secure a "consistent GNOME experience" for quite some time. A hand-full of developers of some GNOME apps have now published an "open letter" to "the community" asking distributions to not include custom themes.
  • KDE's Kate text editor has too many bugs, developers call for help
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    There's currently over 200 open bugs in Kate and the KTextEditor code used to implement it and other KDE editors like KWrite and KDevelop.
  • Microsoft GitHub launches "Sponsors" feature allowing users to Pay Open Source Developers
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    Microsoft has added a "Sponsors" function to GitHub which will make it possible to fund free software developers either once or monthly the same way services like Patreon work online Entertainers.
  • K-Pop group Pristin has disbanded
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    Pledis Entertainment has ended their contracts with the individual members of Pristin after just two years. It's over, there will be no more Wee Woo from Pristin.
  • Will Huawei laptop improvements get accepted into the Linux kernel?
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    The US trade-war against China is currently raging in the technology sector with a US ban of Chinese telecoms gigant Huawei. Companies ranging from Google to Microsoft to ARM are cutting ties with Huawei. How this affects the Linux kernel and open source projects in general will be telling as to how much influence the US empire has over free software projects.
  • GNOME will have 10 Students making "Improvements" during Google's Summer of Code
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    Google has approved 10 different GNOME projects for this years Summer of Code. The students will be working in projects ranging from moving GStreamer from C to Rust to website design and image preview in the Polari IRC client
  • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS from Feral Interactive now available
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    The game publisher Feral Interactive continued it's recently started tradition of releasing new games on Linux, macOS and Windows at the same time. It can be yours from their website or Steam for $60 or 60€ depending on where you are.
  • Indian state reportedly Saved 430 Million USD by using to their own Ubuntu-based Linux distribution in Schools
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    The Indian state of Kerala, with a population of 33 million, is using Linux on about 200,000 computers in schools and the cost-savings are adding up. And the advantages of using entirely free software their education system don't stop there.
  • GNU Parallel Akihito released
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    The GNU project is proud to announce a new version of the command-line utility Parallel which is now nearly 10 years old. The new version supports grouping jobs and there is quite a few bug fixes.
  • Version 0.4.0 of the KDE-focused Music Player Elisa Released
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    A new version of the potentially really nice and user-friendly music player Elisa is released. The use of libvlc as a back-end and a context view is new to this release. There are glaring usability-problems and oversights in v0.4.0 and all earlier versions of this player released and we do not recommend that anyone waste time trying to use it as of now. It does have great potential.
  • OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 released
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    A new version of the "Community" editon of the Swedish-owned German Linux distribution SUSE Linux Enterprise is now available with back-ports of newer graphics drivers and improved network management in their custom YaST configuration tool.
  • Third Mesa 19.1.0 release candidate and new stable version available
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    Mesa 19.0.5 and 19.1.0-rc3 are released with smaller fixes for both the stable version and the upcoming Mesa 19.1 which is expected to be released in two weeks time. The two blocker-bugs in 19.1.0-rc2 which must be solved for a final release remain unfixed.
  • End Of The Read for Arch Linux fork Antergos
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    The developers of the the seven year old Arch Linux fork Antergos have announced that they are closing the project. It's over, Antergos is finished. Users of Antergos do not need to worry too much though, the distribution was not more than plain Arch Linux with some extra packages and distribution repositories on top. It will keep on working without the extra Antergos-bits.
  • Kernel 5.2-rc1 is Released with A Lot of Changes and Potential Performance Improvements
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    Kernel 5.2 is shaping up to be a really big big release compared to 5.0 and 5.1. The amount of changes in this version is unusually high. On the graphics side there's now support for Intel Icelake and Elkhart Lake graphics, AMDGPU FreeSync improvements, support for the GeForce GTK 1650 in Nouveau and fixes for Valve's Index VR headset. And that's just scratching the surface.
  • Firefox 67 Released with Promises of Faster Startup Time and other Performance Improvements
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    Firefox 67 adds the ability to choose which extensions should be used for "private" tabs. It also adds support for cryptminers and fingerprinting in it's "Content Blocking" preferences. The AV1 video decider has been switched to dav1d.
  • Linux compilation benchmark on Ryzen 2600 with and without Red LED fan
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    We all know Red LEDs make computers faster while blue LEDs make them run cooler. Just how much of a performance-bump do you get by using a red LED on your CPU cooler? We have done the benchmarks and found the answer.
  • GNU Guix version 1.0.1 released
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    The GNU project is "pleased" to announce a new release of GNU Guix just two weeks after the release of v1.0. It is primarily a bug-fix release which addresses a rather embarrassing bug in the graphical installer, among other things. There has been 706 new commits by 40 people since the release of version 1.0.
  • Web browser showdown: Chrome 74 vs Chromium 73 vs Firefox 66
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    Which web browser has the performance advantage on GNU/Linux? Here are some benchmarks of Firefox 66.0.5, Chromium 73.0.3683 and Chrome 74.0.3729 on two Intel-based laptops and a AMD desktop which will help you choose which one is better for you.
  • The Combined Performance Penalty of Intel CPU bugs Zombieload, Meltdown, Spectre and L1TF
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    'Zombieload is just the latest of a torrent of security holes in Intel CPUs found the last year. Each has required mitigations both at the firmware and kernel level and the sum of these is adding up. Some workloads are barely affected, others have a very real, measurable and noticeable slowdown.
  • Minor flaw found in Linux's RDS implementation
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    The Linux kernel was quietly patched with a fix in it's RDS implementation in version 5.0.8 and since there's a minor chance this could, in theory, be used to do a Denial of Service attack on a server it is now assigned CVE-2019-11815.
  • The South Korean government is to switching to Linux
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    The South Korean Ministry of the Interior and Safety announced that the South Korean government will start test-running Linux PCs and gradually roll out Linux across the government if no problems arise. The decision appears to be concerns regarding the cost of maintaining and using Windows 7 after free support ends in 2020.
  • Linux Kernel Developers are leveraging GPU vendors into Doing the Right Thing
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    The Linux kernel is mostly free as in freedom but there are proprietary closed-source binary firmware blobs used for GPU drivers, network drivers and other drivers. These binary blobs are inherently evil. Distributions like Guix use a "libre" kernel without them at a price: No binary GPU-blob means no hardware video decoding, no OpenGL, no Vulkan, no nothing. And WIFI drivers can't even connect you to a wireless network if you do not submit to the binary blobs.
  • New Xfce desktop, appfinder, configuration tool and panel released
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    A new version of Thunar was just the beginning of a rain of new Xfce desktop components begin released this weekend. There's a new version of xfce4-panel, xfce4-power-manager, libxfce4ui, xfce4-appfinder, xfdesktop, tumbler, xfce4-settings, xfconf and the window manager xfwm. There's many improvements and bug-fixes across the board. Most immediately noticeable is a fix for desktop icons on multiple monitor setups, the previous version limited them to just one monitor.
  • The Xfce team is proud to announce the release of Thunar 1.8.5
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    A new stable release of the lightweight yet powerful file manager Thunar is now available. It is primarily meant for the GTK-based Xfce desktop environment but can be used with on any desktop. Version 1.8.5 has many bug fixes and a whole lot of translation updates.
  • HOWTO make Linux run blazing fast (again) on Intel CPUs
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    It's just been one security disaster after another for Intel the last few years. Meltdown, Spectre variant after variant and this week the "Microarchitectural Data Sampling" aka Zombieload attack have all required performance-degrading fixes and workarounds. There is no way around turning hyperthreading off to be safe from MDS/Zombieload and this is a rather high performance-price to pay. So what if you don't want to?
  • Steam Client Beta 1557957375 released with several Linux improvements
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    Valve released a new beta version of their Steam store on May 15th. It has quite a few general improvements and some Linux-specific ones. Steam In-Home Streaming has been re-named Steam Remote Play and it can now be used anywhere as long as the network connection is good enough.
  • Microarchitectural Data Sampling: The Latest Side-Channel Vulnerability In Intel CPUs
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    Another CPU side-channel attack vector similar to meltdown and spectre was disclosed this week. Microarchitectural Data Sampling ("MDS") allows software running on a machine to get access to potentially sensitive data it shouldn't be able to access. MDS can be abused to expose data from fill buffers, store buffers and load ports. New kernels with patches addressing this are available and everyone using Intel CPUs should upgrade.

Older news:

Check out the news archive for more news.

Latest software reviews[edit]

  • GNOME Web
    "Web", known as Epiphany before the GNOME theme decided to rename everything according to their function, is GNOME's default web browser. It is built on top of the solid rendering toolkit WebKitGTK which secures accurate web page rendering. The browser is seriously lacking in terms of features but it is possible to use it for basic web browsing.
  • GNOME Music
    GNOME Music is a crippled feature-less unusable music player for the Gnome desktop environment which will only work in that specific desktop environment.
  • Ncmpc
    ncmpc is a terminal Music Player Daemon client made using ncurses. It allows you to browse your music collection and manage a playlist from the comfort of your favorite terminal emulator.
  • Cantata
    Cantata is a really nice and user-friendly music player client for the music player daemon made in Qt5. It is the best and most feature-rich MPD client and the combination of Cantata and MPD is the overall best music player solution for Linux desktops.
  • Elisa
    Elisa is a simpler music player built for KDE while being compatible with any desktop environment which aims to be easy and strait-forward to use. It is a database-oriented player which will scan your music folder(s) and lets you search albums, tracks and genres and matches to a playlist. It has a lot of potential but fails miserably at being user-friendly as of version 0.4.0.
  • Cool-Retro-Term
    Cool-Retro-Term is a terminal emulator program which gives you a terminal window which looks like your average terminal running on a computer monitor made between the late 1970s and the mid 1980s. You can choose which monitor you want it to mimic with a fair selection or profiles. It's a fun thing to play around with for about 3 minutes. It is not very usable as a regular terminal.
  • Pitivi
    Pitivi is a free software video editing program for GNU/Linux desktops which is closely tied to the GNOME desktop environment. It can be used in Xfce and KDE Plasma too as long as you have the GNOME libraries. Pitivi is designed to be strait-forward and easy to use and in some areas it is, in others it's absolutely not. Feature-wise it's got a wide range of effects to choose from and it has more than kdenlive. However, there are some really basic features missing which makes Pitivi kind of a non-starter for all but the most basic video editing jobs. And there's bugs which it a poor choice even in those cases.
  • Linux Video Editor Comparison
    Braze yourself, for this article isn't very kind. The state of Linux Video editing software is depressing, to put it mildly. If you are looking for a good video editor to use on your Linux machine, or not. You will learn the harsh truth and you may not like it.
  • Kdenlive
    Kdenlive is the best and most mature free software video editing program for GNU/Linux systems as well as FreeBSD and Windows. Kdenlive is easy to use and lets you get most simpler video editing jobs done. It offers a variety of effects and compositions and has features such as webcam and screen recording.
  • GNU Guix
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    GNU Guix is an operating system from the GNU project with a "libre" Linux kernel and the GNU toolchain. It differs from other Linux-distributions in several key ways including it's unique package management system and it's service-manager. It's default desktop environment is Xfce.

See the Software reviews for more.

Latest HOWTOs[edit]

See the HOWTO for more.

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