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Aujourd’hui — 23 septembre 2017Its F.O.S.S.

GNOME and KDE Join Librem 5 Linux Smartphone Party

Par Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

 

KDE and GNOME support Purism for Librem 5 Linux smartphone

Brief: Purism is making a true Linux smartphone called Librem 5. KDE and GNOME have just lent their support for Librem 5.

You probably already know that Purism has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to create a Linux smartphone. The goal is to raise $1.5 million to bring the world’s first truly free and open source smartphone with enhanced user protection and end-to-end encryption into the market.

Librem 5 wants you to be able to run any major Linux distributions such as Debian, Arch, Ubuntu etc on your smartphone. And to support this ‘dream’, two big Linux desktop projects, GNOME and KDE are joining hands with Purism so that Librem 5 would be able to run KDE and GNOME desktop environments on it.

These announcements came at an interval of a few days and we have covered both news in this one article.

Librem 5 and KDE

The partnership with KDE is for KDE to adapt Plasma Mobile for Librem 5 smartphone. Plasma Mobile is a full-featured graphical environment developed by KDE for mobile devices. It has been tested on some devices but since it is free and open, it clashes with most smartphones as their hardware needs proprietary software to work.

Purism and KDE have a shared vision of “freedom, openness and personal control for end users”. This common goal has brought them together, as announced by KDE.

Building a Free Software and privacy-focused smartphone has been a dream of the KDE community for a long time….Partnering with Purism will allow us to ready Plasma Mobile for the real world and integrate it seamlessly with a commercial device for the first time,” Lydia Pintscher, president of KDE said.

Librem 5 and GNOME

GNOME Foundation has announced that it will create emulators, tools as well as build awareness in moving GNOME/GTK onto the Purism Librem 5 smartphone. If everything goes on well, the GNOME Foundation will enhance GNOME shell and its system performance with Purism that will enable features on the Librem 5.

It should be noted that GNOME technologies have been used in embedded devices like Nokia 770, N800 and N900 even though the developers had some challenging experience with the devices.

According to Neil McGovern, the executive director or GNOME Foundation, “Having a Free/Libre and Open Source software stack on a mobile device is a dream-come-true for so many people, and Purism has the proven team to make this happen”.

What it means for Librem 5

For Purism, getting an endorsement from such communities means the world is getting closer to a phone that “avoids the handcuffs of Android and iOS”. “Purism is excited to work with many communities and organizations to advance the digital rights of people,” Founder & CEO of Purism, Todd Weaver said.

At the time of writing this, the crowdfunding campaign had raised 47.70% ($625,464) of the required $1,500,000 with 31 days to go.

The initial plan was to ship the smartphone with a GNOME desktop environment and GTK toolkit-based custom user interface. Now they are partnering with both the GNOME and KDE teams in order to “test, support, and develop with KDE and the KDE community” as well as using the Qt toolkit and GTK to develop apps.

Purism had already used GNOME for its PureOS software which is used in its tablets and laptop computers. They say they will continue to test both GNOME or KDE-based software and will decide after the project is funded which of them to use to ship the phone with.

If you want to make Librem 5 a reality, please contribute to the project:

Support Librem 5

Hier — 22 septembre 2017Its F.O.S.S.

WallpaperDownloader: Automate Your Wallpaper Management in Linux

Par Aquil Roshan

One of the main reasons why I use Linux on my computers is customizability. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Having an imagination for your desktop and realizing it, well, I’m pretty sure no other OS will beat Linux here. On other operating systems too, there are tools which are capable of altering the desktop to some extent, but they are nothing compared to Linux tools.

To begin with, there is a wide variety of desktop environments you can use on your Linux desktop. And if you are not completely satisfied with any of them, you can go ahead and use extensions for fine-tuning. And how can we forget about wallpapers when we are talking desktop customization?

WallpaperDownloader

WallpaperDownloader is a nifty application by Eloy García Almadén which has got you covered as far as wallpapers are concerned. WallpaperDownloader is a Java-based application which not only downloads wallpapers but is also a full-fledged wallpaper manager.

It is simple to use. It has got every functionality of a wallpaper manager. Right from downloading, storing, changing to space management. It works on Mate, GNOME Shell, Unity, XFCE and KDE Plasma (5.0 and above).

Basically, all you have to do is fill in your screen resolution, select the wallpaper providers and enter the keywords for wallpapers and rest is taken care of by WallpaperDownloader. Images are downloaded and changed automatically at your specified time interval.

WallpaperDownloader Menu

You can also customize the time interval for the wallpapers to change.

WallpaperDownloader Menu

I input “Game of Thrones” as keywords and it was definitely impressive. BTW did you check out the Game of Thrones parody by SUSE Linux? A major Linux distro got dissed. So check it out. It’s war.

WallpaperDownloader in action

Nuff said. The installation instructions of WallpaperDownloader for different distros are given below.

Arch Linux/ Manjaro/ Antergos:

Run the below command in the terminal

yaourt wallpaperdownloader

Ubuntu/ Linux Mint/ Elementary OS and other derivatives:

Run the below commands in the terminal

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:eloy-garcia-pca/wallpaperdownloader
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install wallpaperdownloader

Launch WallpaperDownloader from the Dash or the menu. And put in the parameters. Just be sure not to close the application but click on the  ‘minimize’ button. That’s it. Give it a minute or two to see the changes.

Wrapping up

WallpaperDownloader is the best wallpaper tool for Linux. And it is a must-have in your arsenal if you’re serious about desktop appearance customization. Do give it a try. Use the comments below and let us know what applications and extensions you use to make your desktop more aesthetic. We’d love to hear. Don’t forget to share this article. Cheers.

À partir d’avant-hierIts F.O.S.S.

Manjaro Linux Discontinues 32-bit Support

Par John Paul

Free HD Linux Wallpapers to download

Brief: Manjaro has joined the long list of Linux distributions dropping support for older hardware.

You might already know that I love Manjaro Linux. And as an ardent Manjaro Linux fan, I have a bad news for you.

Recently, Philip, the lead developer of Manjaro Linux, announced that the project would be dropping support for the 32-bit architecture. He said that the reason for the move was “due to the decreasing popularity of i686 among the developers and the community”.

While Manjaro 17.0.3 is the last release to have a 32-bit ISO, current 32-bit installs will receive a short window of continued support. During September and October, 32-bit package will continue to be updated. However, starting in November, packages will be limited to 64-bit. After that period, 32-bit installs of Manjaro will essentially be unsupported.

Note: if you are currently using an application that depends on a 32-bit package, it will continue to be supported through the mulilib repo.

Alternatives

If you currently have an older device that can’t run 64-bit, don’t worry, you have several alternatives to choose. Debian 9 dropped support for 32-bit, but if you install Debian 8 you’ll get 32-bit support until 2020. Canonical has been hinting that Ubuntu 18.10 will be the last release to support 32-bit, but if you install the 16.04 LTS release, you’ll have support until 2021.

Another possible alternative is Void Linux. This rolling release distribution is built completely from scratch with its own package manager.

If you want to stay in the Arch family, check out. ArchLinux32. There isn’t much information available on this distro, but it appears to be a community effort to keep Arch available for older systems.

If you are looking for a small distro that can run on anything, I suggest trying out the Puppy Linux family of distros. There is also Damn Small Linux. In fact, the lightweight Linux distributions should support 32-bit systems for several years.

Final Thoughts

This announcement isn’t really that big of a shock. After all, Arch Linux, the distro that Manjaro is based on, dropped support for 32-bit in February. Other distros like Debian, Ubuntu, Tails, Bodhi, Fedora, and others have either talked about doing the same or have already done it.

Change is inevitable. At one time, all computers were 8-bit and were replaced by 16-bit. And the cycle continues to this day and far past it. Thankfully, I only have a couple computers that I manage that need 32-bit support. Not much of a worry here.

What do you think? Are we looking at the end of 32-bit Linux?

Get Certified in Linux, AWS and More with Linux Academy [57% Off for Limited Time]

Par Abhishek Prakash

Linux Academy deal

You might have already heard of Linux Academy. In the last couple of years, it has become a prominent name in Linux training at an affordable cost.

They offer high-quality, self-paced cloud training courses on Amazon Web Services, OpenStack, Linux, Azure, Containers, DevOps, and more! They are official training partners of Linux Professional Institute (LPI), Chef, CompTIA Linux+ and AWS.

These training courses are scenario-based and include hands-on labs to practice common tasks in live servers. This way you gain the skills required to pass certification exams and excel at your job.

Linux Academy has a monthly subscription plan that costs $29 per month but in a limited time deal on It’s FOSS Shop, you can get 12 months subscription for $149 instead of $348, saving you 57% on the purchase.

You’ll:

  • Get unlimited access to over 1,200 hours of in-depth video content, labs, study groups, flashcards
  • Gain real-world skills through hands-on lab training
  • Utilize full-time instructors for advice & to answer your questions
  • Follow curated learning plans to keep yourself on track
  • Earn certificates as proof of your hard-earned skill and knowledge
  • Join the community to learn from other students
  • Learn from an Official Linux Professional Institute Training partner, Official Chef Training partner, Official Quality Content Approved CompTIA Linux+ provider, & an Official AWS Technology Partner

I don’t always cover such deals but since this could help you build a career in Linux, I have dedicated an entire article for this.

If you think that $149 is a bit out of your pocket, I suggest that you pool a group of friends and take the yearly subscription. This way you and your friend(s) can follow various courses of your choice.

Get Linux Academy: 1 Year Subscription [57% Off]

How to Create a Bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux

Par Abhishek Prakash

Brief: This tutorial shows you how to create a bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux with a GUI tool called WoeUSB.

I have talked a lot about creating bootable USB of Linux in Windows. How about the other way round? How about creating a bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux?

If you are uninstalling Linux from dual boot or if you want to reinstall Windows completely or you simply want to have a Windows installation disk ready, you’ll need a bootable Windows 10 USB or DVD.

In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to create a Windows 10 live USB in Linux. I am using Ubuntu for this tutorial but the steps should be valid for other Linux distributions as well.

How to Create a Bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux

How to create bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux

Here’s what you need:

  • Windows 10 ISO
  • WoeUSB application
  • A USB key (pen drive) with at least 6 Gb of space

If you have an active internet connection, you can follow the instructions below. If not, you’ll have to get Windows 10 ISO and WoeUSB installer from some other means.

You can also watch a video of creating Windows 10 bootable USB. Do subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Linux videos:

Let’s see how to create a bootable Windows 10 USB in Ubuntu and other Linux distribution.

Step 1: Download Windows 10 ISO

Go to Microsoft website and download Windows 10 ISO:

Download Windows 10 ISO

Step 2: Install WoeUSB application

WoeUSB is a free and open source application for creating Windows 10 bootable USB. It is actually a fork of WinUSB tool that has been discontinued now. 

Ubuntu and other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, elementary OS etc have a PPA available. You can use the command below to install WoeUSB:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb

For other Linux distributions, you can check out the source code from the GitHub repository:

WoeUSB

Step 3: Format USB drive

Now, plug in your USB key. You’ll have to format it first. I presume you know how to format a USB key in your Linux distribution.

Ubuntu users can simply right click on the USB and click format.

Format before creating Windows 10 USB in Linux

The important part here is that you should format it in NTFS:

Format in NTF mode to create bootable WIndows 10 USB in Linux

Note: If you use Fat 32 file system for formatting, you may see encounter the error below later on:

Creating Windows 10 bootable USB in Ubuntu Linux

Step 4: Using WoeUSB to create bootable Windows 10

We have everything ready for us now. Start WoeUSB program.

Browse to the downloaded Windows 10 ISO file and select the USB drive on which you want to install it. Just click on Install to begin the process.

Create bootable Windows 10 USB in Ubuntu Linux

Note that it may take up to 15 minutes in creating the Windows 10 USB. Don’t get fooled by the ‘done’ on the screen.

Create bootable Windows 10 USB in Ubuntu Linux

That’s it. You should see a success message.

Create bootable Windows 10 USB in Ubuntu Linux

Step 5: Using Windows 10 bootable USB

Once the bootable USB is ready, restart your system. At boot time, press F2 or F10 or F12 repeatedly to go to the boot settings. In here, select to boot from USB.

Booting Windows 10 USB

You’ll see that Windows 10 is being booted and it gives you the option to install or repair your system. You know what to do now from here.

Booting Windows 10 USB

I hope you find this tutorial useful for creating bootable USB of Windows 10 in Linux. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free leave a comment.

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Products for Linux

Par Ambarish Kumar

Brief: In this article, we list the best Adobe alternatives for Linux. These Adobe Creative Suite alternative for Linux are also free and open source.

Adobe provides a number of applications under Adobe Creative Suite, now under Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s not just limited to Photoshop but contains various other software that helps primarily in Web design, logo making, video editing, pdf editing and more.

However, Adobe Creative Suite is a proprietary software costing you a good amount of your money and if you are a Linux user, even if you are willing to spend that money, it’s not available for your OS.

In this article, we are going to cover some of the best Adobe products alternative for Linux.

Best Adobe alternatives for Linux

If you are not in a mood of reading the article, you can watch this video from our YouTube channel. Do subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Linux related videos.

I have included one non-FOSS item in this list. This is because I really couldn’t find a decent alternative to Adobe Acrobat in Linux.

For the rest, here we go!

1. GIMP: Alternative to Adobe Photoshop

GIMP Interface

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular and widely used graphics editing tool both for regular and professional users. It’s an excellent tool for photo editing, website design, and graphics creation.

When it comes to an alternative to Adobe Photoshop, GIMP provides the best replacement.

GIMP is a free and open source image editor available for GNU/Linux, Mac, Windows and other Operating System. It provides a handful of sophisticated tools that make a graphic designer and photographer’s work easier.

From high-quality photo manipulation to original artwork creation, GIMP includes options to create icons, graphical design elements, color management features etc. And the customization options along with third-party plugins make your work a bit easier.

Most likely GIMP is already installed in your system. If not, you can search in the official software repository to install it.

Get GIMP

2. Inkscape: Alternative to Adobe Illustrator

Inkscape is one of the best vector graphic editor for Linux

Adobe Illustrator is a standard tool suited for vector graphics editing and design. With an impressive set of drawing tools and effects, it is widely used for vector editing, posters creations etc.

Inkscape is a very competitive, free and open source tool to Adobe Illustrator. A powerful vector editor, Inkscape has flexible drawing tools, various file format compatibility, powerful text tools and support for Bezier and spiro curves. It supports advanced scalable vector graphics features like markets, clones and blending.

Get Inkscape

3. Scribus: Alternative to Adobe Indesign

Scribus is alternative to Adobe Indesign in Linux

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing application used primarily for creating posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, books etc. It supports exporting a file to epub format for creation of e-books. When it comes to an alternative to Adobe InDesign, Scribus provides a powerful and easy alternative.

Scribus is a free and open source application available for all major operating systems and is based on the free Qt toolkit. From creating layouts to typesettings and creating animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms, Scribus is used to write newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters, and books.

4. OpenShot: Alternative to Adobe Premiere

Openshot free video editor on ubuntu

Adobe Premiere Pro is video editing application from Adobe System which is used for high-resolution video editing, audio sample-level editing, 5.1 surround sound mixing and more.

OpenShot is a powerful and easy to use video editor which serves as the best replacement for Adobe Premiere Pro.

With a simple user interface, OpenShot provides a large number of features.

Get OpenShot

5. Synfig: Alternative to Adobe Animate

Synfig is alternative to Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate is useful for creating interactive animations that work on everything from mobile devices to the ultra-high resolution displays. When it comes to an alternative to Adobe Animate, Synfig is an awesome open source replacement.

Synfig is a free and open source 2D vector graphics and timeline-based animation program for animation designing and rendering. The goal of the application is to provide quality animation with fewer resources and provides manual tweening, hence saving you from the pain of drawing each and every frame.

Synfig can simulate soft-shading using curved gradients and provides a wide variety of real-time effects which can be applied to layers or a group of layers. You can control and animate the width of lines at their control points and link any related data from one object to another.

Get Synfig

6. darktable: Alternative to Adobe Lightroom

Darktable is Linux alternative of Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a photo processor and image organizer which allows viewing, organizing and retouching large numbers of digital images. With Lightroom, you can enhance and your photographs, punch up colors, remove distracting objects and straighten skewed shots.

When it comes to an alternative to Adobe Lightroom, the best free and open source software is Darktable.

darktable is a photography workflow application and raw developer which manages digital negatives or RAW images, lets you view them and have features to enhance them.

It provides basic image operations like crop and rotation, highlight reconstructions, white balance, invert operation and exposure control. Tone image operations include modification to the exposure, level adjustments, changing lightness, recreating contrast for HDR images etc.

darkable also includes color image operations for correcting overexposure and color, contrast, enhancing saturation and manipulation of RGB channels. The Correction modules helps you manage sharpening of details, noise level, spot removal, chromatic aberrations and more.

Get darktable

7. Natron / ButtleOFX: Alternative to Adobe Aftereffects

Natron is Linux alternatives to Adobe Aftereffects

Adobe After Effects is a visual effects and motion graphics application used for filmmaking and television production.

Natron provides a perfect alternative to Adobe After Effects with motion editing and multi-view workflow. With an intuitive user interface and a quick rendering, you can work with keyframes with a very accurate curve editor.

It can be used as a command line tool and the command line version is executable from ssh on a computer with any display. It supports smooth zooming and panning for large images, and includes a full-featured dope-sheet to quickly edit clips and keyframes in time-space.

You can download a deb/ rpm package or a portable archive form the page below:

Get Natron

ButtleOFX is another open source composition software which provides an intuitive Graph Editor to connect nodes, Parameters Editor to customize effects and three different Workspace layouts to switch in-between according to your needs.

The project is still in alpha state so there will be bugs. If you are willing to try, you can grab a copy from here

8. Ardour: Alternative to Adobe Audition

Ardour audio editor alternative to Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a digital audio workstation from Adobe Systems for editing and mixing audio contents. When it comes to open source alternative to Audition, Ardour is an excellent application.

Ardour is a free and open source, cross-platform application to record, edit and mix different audio files with ease. Let us look at the features which Ardour provides.

Get Ardour

0. Master PDF: Alternative to Adobe Acrobat [Non-FOSS]

Adobe Acrobat is another application from Adobe Creative Suite which is mainly used to view, create and modify PDF files. The Adobe reader supports viewing, printing and annotating of PDF files while the Acrobat is used to create, edit, convert, digital sign, encrypt and export PDF files.

It’s difficult to find a fully functional open source PDF editor. LibreOffice can be used edit a pdf file with some limitation, and so can Inkscape. However, Master PDF, the only proprietary software in this list supports all the features for editing a PDF file. 

It allows creating, editing, encryption and signing the PDF documents with ease. You can comment documents with stamps, notes, text underlining and fill PDF forms easily.

There are both commercial and free versions available for Linux.

You can download a .deb package from below link. 

Get Master PDF 

Do you have any suggestion to an open source PDF editor which works well on Linux, let us know in the comments and we will update it here.

Final Words

Adobe Creative Suite is a commercial product with continuous development and release. When it comes to open source alternative to Adobe products, we have several choices some of them are at par with the Adobe products while some are lagging a bit. However, there is always an application which can make things work for you, you just have to find it.

Let us know in the comments, which open source product you use as an alternative to any Adobe Products. 

Sublime Text 3.0 is Here! See, How to Install it on Linux

Par Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Brief: After several years in beta, Sublime Text 3.0 is finally here. Check out the new features and installation of Sublime Text 3.0 in Linux.

The stable version of Sublime Text 3.0 has been released with major changes seen in almost every aspect of version 2.0. According to the release statement, “virtually every aspect of the editor has been improved in some way, and even a list of the major changes would be too long.”

Sublime Text is a cross-platform proprietary text editor that is available for Linux, Windows and macOS used for “code, markup and prose”. It has often been termed as the best code editor but as Abhishek said, “it was one of the top choices once but things have changed in last few years after Atom entered the scene”.

The major changes to be seen in Sublime Text 3.0 are the Goto Definition, the new UI, syntax highlighting engine and an expanded API. Spell-check and word wrapping work better now.

The release specifies that Sublime Text 3.0 has more performance when compared to Sublime Text 2 even though it is larger in size than 2. It now has a faster startup, scrolling is more efficient and files open faster.

Sublime Text 3.0 Interface

New Features in Sublime Text 3.0

General UI

  • The most prominent change here is the settings which now opens in a new window. The user and default settings stand side-by-side.
  • Image preview is added when opening images
  • A preview tab is created when previewing files from the sidebar
  • The status bar now displays encoding and line endings
  • Panel Switcher has been added to the status bar
  • When pressing ctrl+w, a tweaked window closing behavior is seen

OS Integration for Linux

  • Starting Sublime Text from the command line will daemonize the process by default
  • Sudo save has been added
  • Menu hiding now possible
  • Other fixes like the incorrect handling of double clicks in the Find panel and underscore display in some of the menus

Editor Control

  • An “Open URL” will show when you right-click on a URL
  • Word wrap behavior improved
  • Word navigation has been improved
  • Paste from History added
  • Autocomplete works as expected in macros
  • Spell checking word selection behavior has improved

You check out all the Sublime Text 2.0 to 3.0 changes here.

Sublime Text may be downloaded and evaluated for free for unlimited time, however, a license must be purchased for continued use.

Sublime Text 3.0 already accepts license key for those who purchased it in February 2013. For those who have a license key for Sublime Text 1 or 2, they can purchase an upgrade.

Install Sublime Text 3 in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

Packages and package repositories have been provided for major Linux distros.

Users of Debian, Ubuntu and other Ubuntu-based Linux distribution such as Linux Mint, elementary OS etc, can follow the commands below to install Sublime Text 3:

wget -qO - https://download.sublimetext.com/sublimehq-pub.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/stable/" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sublime-text

For Arch, CentOS, Fedora and openSUSE, please follow the installation instructions on the page below:

Install Sublime Text 3 on Linux 

Fake A Hollywood Hacker Screen in Linux Terminal

Par Abhishek Prakash

Brief: This tiny tool turns your Linux terminal into a Hollywood style real time hacking scene.

Hollywood hacking terminal in Linux

I am in!

You might have heard this dialogue in almost every Hollywood movie that shows a hacking scene. There will be a dark terminal with ascii text, diagrams and hex code changing continuously and a hacker who is hitting the keyboards as if he/she is typing an angry forum response.

But that’s Hollywood! Hackers break into a network system in minutes whereas it takes months of research to actually do that. But I’ll put the Hollywood hacking criticism aside for the moment.

Because we are going to do the same. We are going to pretend like a hacker in Hollywood style.

There’s this tiny tool that runs a script turning your Linux terminal into a Hollywood style real time hacking terminal:

 

Like what you see? It even plays Mission Impossible theme music in the background. Moreover, you get a new, random generated hacking terminal each time you run this tool.

Let’s see how to become a Hollywood hacker in 30 seconds.

How to install Hollywood hacking terminal in Linux

The tool is quite aptly called Hollywood. Basically, it runs in Byobu, a text based Window Manager and it creates a random number of random sized split windows and runs a noisy text app in each of them.

Byobu is an interesting tool developed by Dustin Kirkland of Ubuntu. More about it in some other article. Let’s focus on installing this tool.

Ubuntu users can install Hollywood using this simple command:

sudo apt install hollywood

If the above command doesn’t work in your Ubuntu or other Ubuntu based Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, elementary OS, Zorin OS, Linux Lite etc, you may use the below PPA:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:hollywood/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install byobu hollywood

You can also get the source code of Hollywood from its GitHub repository:

Hollywood on GitHub

Once installed, you can run it using the command below, no sudo required:

hollywood

As it runs Byobu first, you’ll have to use Ctrl+C twice and then use exit command to stop the hacking terminal script.

Here’s a video of the fake Hollywood hacking. Do subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Linux fun videos.

It’s a fun little tool that you can use to amaze your friends, family, and colleagues. Maybe you can even impress girls in the bar though I don’t think it is going to help you a lot in that field.

And if you liked Hollywood hacking terminal, perhaps you would like to check another tool that gives Sneaker movie effect in Linux terminal.

If you know more such fun utilities, do share with us in the comment section below.

GNOME 3.26 Released! Check Out the New Features

Par Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Brief: GNOME 3.26 has just been released. Check out the news features in GNOME 3.26.

GNOME 3.26 is the latest version of GNOME 3 released six months after the last stable release GNOME 3.24. The release, code-named “Manchester”, is the 33rd stable release of the free, open-source desktop.

New Features in GNOME 3.26

1. An Improved System Search

GNOME 3.26 features

One of the major changes seen in the GNOME 3.26 shell is the improved layout that makes it easier for users to read and show more items at the same time. It is now also possible to search for system actions like the power off, lock screen, suspend orientation lock, log out and switch user. It should be noted that the last two can appear in search results if there is more than one user. Also, Orientation lock will appear only if the device supports automatic screen rotation.

2. Settings Application Got a New Layout

GNOME 3.26 features

GNOME Control Center is now called Settings. A side bar has replaced the previous grid of icons which allows the user to switch between different areas. This helps to ease navigation in the settings application. The settings window can now be resized and is bigger and more comfortable. The GNOME network settings also saw some changes. There is a dedicated settings area for WiFi only.

3. Browser Synchronization

GNOME 3.26 features

It is now possible to synchronize bookmarks, browser history and passwords in the GNOME browser using Firefox Sync service. Hence you can now have an online backup of browser information which you can share with Firefox desktop and mobile. This can be setup in the preference section of the Web application.

4. Color Emojis

GNOME 3.26 features

GNOME now has color emojis in the GNOME 3.26 release. GNOME’s IRC client, Polari has got a dedicated emoji picker. It is also possible to search and copy emojis and insert into messages and documents thanks to the Characters application.

5. Other changes

Nautilus, GNOME’s file manager has a lot of bug fixes and improvements. You can now perform a full text search, a feature requested by many users. It uses both the file name and matching words inside supported documents for a better search result.

GNOME 3.26 features

Other major changes include a redesign of the display settings and system refinements. With the new display settings, you can have a preview version of the scaling setting. With this, what you see on the screen is adjusted to match the display density usually expressed in DPI. This makes it easy for the user to read as well as displaying only the right amount of content.

GNOME 3.26 features

System refinements include a smooth transition of windows when maximized, snapped to half screen or unmaximized; an increase in the size of windows thumbnails to make it easier to choose the window you want.

Here’s a video from GNOME showing new features in GNOME 3.26. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel for Linux videos.

Getting GNOME 3.26

Rolling release distro such as Arch and Antergos should be getting it pretty soon. Upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 will be released with GNOME 3.26.

For other Linux distributions, it will depend on when your distribution provides the update.

GNOME Trivia

GNOME gives its stable versions an even version number while the odd version number is used for the development release. And so the GNOME team might have started working on GNOME 3.27 which will be later released as GNOME 3.28 stable version.

Like Ubuntu, GNOME follows a six monthly release cycle and thus we have one GNOME release in March and another in September each year.

Another fun fact. GNOME started using codenames for its releases in 2015. These releases are named after the host city of GNOME events.

Now you can guess why GNOME 3.26 is named Manchester.

StationX Announces New Laptop Customized for Manjaro Linux

Par John Paul

Manjaro Linux now has Station X laptops

The majority of laptops and PCs built today are designed to mainly run Windows. Several companies have popped up building machines that have been specially designed to run Linux. To continue this trend, StationX will be releasing a special laptop this October.

Announcement

Monday, Eddie Vassallo of StationX went on the Destination Linux Podcast to announce the release a number of new devices. One of the biggest announcements was the release of the Manjaro Special Edition Spitfire Laptop.

Who is StationX?

StationX is a rather new entry into the world of Linux hardware. They originally started the business as a software developer for the web and mobile. From there they moved to designing and building amazing Linux hardware. (Interesting side note: StationX names all of their products after World War II fighter planes and bombers.) Currently, StationX only ships to the UK and 7 European countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands. However, Eddie mentioned on Destination Linux that they hope to add US and Canada by the end of the year.

You can read more about Station X Linux computers in this article.

More Than Just a Preload

In the podcast, Eddie revealed that StationX didn’t just take a current product, install a popular Linux distro on it and jack up the price. Much like Apple, the Manjaro team has worked with StationX to create a version of their distro specially tailored for the StationX Spitfire. According to the Manjaro announcement, “From intricate kernel tweaks, to streamlined settings, and even custom changes to battery, CPU, and even sound settings – the Spitfire has now become the ultimate Manjaro Machine.”

With the Manjaro logo laser etched onto the lid, the Special Edition Spitfire looks like a Macbook on steroids. It will also include fully custom designed XFCE themes, wallpapers, and icons designed by the Manjaro team.

System Specs

Here are just a few of the specifications of the upcoming laptop:

  • 7th Gen Intel® Core™ CPUs (i5-7200u or i7-7500u
  • INTEL® HD GRAPHICS 610/620
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Silver Aluminium Chassis
  • DDR4 Memory Support up to 32 GB of RAM
  • Ultra thin: just 17.8mm!
  • Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080
  • SuperFast SSDs (up to 500 GB)
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • HDMI Output Connection
  • Mini Display Port
  • 1.0MP Webcam
  • Wireless Fitted as Standard

Availability and Pricing

Thus far, the Manjaro Special Edition Spitfire has only been announced. Those who are interested in buying one will have to wait until October 13 to pre-order. StationX expects to start actually shipping them out at the end of October. For the foreseeable future, shipments will also be limited to the UK and parts of Europe. As noted above, that may change soon.

Do note that these are premium laptops and existing versions of Spitfire starts from 850 GBP (around 1000 Euro). So consider the same price tag for Manjaro edition as well.

The Future

Eddie revealed that while the first version of the Special Edition Spitfire will be limited to the flagship XFCE version of Manjaro, more desktop environment choices will be possible in the future. He specifically mentioned KDE and GNOME. He also revealed that the Manjaro team is working to find solutions to problems that StationX has been having, such as switching between integrated and dedicated graphics. The goal is to create Manjaro Special Editions of other StationX hardware.

Final Thoughts

As a big fan of Manjaro, I’m thrilled that Manjaro has finally gotten its own laptop. This will give the easy to use Arch-based distro a real chance to shine.

The fact that StationX started the ball rolling by flying to Austria to meet with the developers of Manjaro, show that they are very interested in making this project work. I’m sure that it will greatly benefit both Manjaro and StationX in the long run.

As a guy who experiences Linux through older and lower power computers (my most powerful laptop is a Dell Latitude D630), I’d love to get my hands on something as powerful as the Special Edition Spitfire to test the full potential of Manjaro.

Your Thoughts

Would you be interested in buying a laptop with a Linux distro tailored to the hardware? Would you buy a Special Edition Spitfire? Let us know in the comments.

If you found this article interesting, please share it with your friends and family on your favorite social media sites.

Linux Foundation Head Calls 2017 ‘Year of the Linux Desktop’… While Running Apple’s macOS Himself

Par Abhishek Prakash

Linux Foundation head uses MacOS

Open Source Summit 2017 is going on these days. Linux and Open Source biggies from across the globe have flocked to LA to attend this event.

Jim Zemlin, the executive director of The Linux Foundation, announced in the event, “2017 is officially the year of the Linux desktop!”. This is the tweet from the official Linux Foundation account:

Zemlin: 2017 is officially the year of the Linux desktop! #OSSummit

— The Linux Foundation (@linuxfoundation) September 11, 2017

This should not come as a surprise. The head of Linux Foundation calling 2017 the year of Linux desktop, what could possibly be wrong with that?

But here’s a catch! Jim Zemlin doesn’t use a Linux desktop. Perhaps, he hasn’t used a Linux desktop in years. And the worst thing is that he prepared his slides to announce 2017 the year of Linux desktop on an Apple device:

4 years later, @jzemlin is still rocking an iPad and doing his slides under MacOS

— Matthew Garrett (@mjg59) September 10, 2017

Matthew Garret is a security developer at Google and works extensively on Linux. And he is the same person who has spotted Jim Zemlin using Apple’s macOS twice in last four years.

Is it really a big deal that Linux Foundation head doesn’t use Linux desktop?

Perhaps I am creating unnecessary controversy. Perhaps this simply should be ignored. After all, he has the freedom of choice, freedom to choose his operating system. Doesn’t he?

I mean, would it be a big deal if a Coca Cola executive drinks Pepsi, or if Apple’s head, Tim Cook, unveiled the next iPhone while using a Microsoft Surface device?

It would be! Of course, it would be.

While Linux enthusiasts worldwide try to encourage people to start using Linux on their desktop, it is disheartening to see the head of Linux Foundation not using Linux on his desktop.

The Linux Foundation doesn’t care about the Linux desktop?

I am not the first one to notice this. FOSS Force has already written an article about The Linux Foundation’s apathy towards desktop Linux.

Lately, The Linux Foundation has focused too much on the server side. Cloud, container and everything else that powers network infrastructure and it has done an excellent job in this regard.

Which is fine because Linux rules that domain. But in order to do that, The Linux Foundation has neglected the desktop Linux it seems. Remember that they give free Chromebooks with their Linux training courses, not a ‘real Linux computer’.

It’s not like The Linux Foundation is short on money (at least that’s what I think). They have membership plans where big corporates join the board by paying millions of dollars. Then why is desktop Linux neglected?

Only The Linux Foundation can answer that.

What do you think of it?

What do you think of the entire episode? Am I reading too much between the lines or my worries are legitimate?

Do share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Oracle is Set to Kill Solaris. Here are the Alternatives to Solaris

Par Sylvain Leroux

In January 2017, Solaris 12 disappeared from the official Oracle roadmap.

Even if Oracle denied it, preferring to claim they will move to “continuous delivery” instead of “point zero” upgrades, that raised a lot of question and rumors about the future of Solaris under the umbrella of the firm of Redwood Shores.

In September 2017, the decision of Oracle to laid off the core Solaris technical staff confirmed our worries concerning the future of the Sun inherited operating systems. So, is this the end of Solaris? Not necessary…

Solaris 12 has disappeared from the Oracle roadmap published in January 2017

A quick look back at Solaris history

The younger readers among you may have only known Linux and eventually some *BSD Unix-like systems. But for people of my generation, Solaris –just like AIX— is another big name. A little bit of history might help you understand why this operating system has a special place in our hearts — and in our server racks.

It all started in 1982 when three and a half students of Stanford university founded Sun Microsystems. I said three and a half since Bill Joy is considered as a co-founder alongside Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Scott McNealy, even if the former joined the team only after few months. Sun aimed initially at being a hardware company, designing high-quality MC68000-based graphical workstations.

But with the arrival of Bill Joy, a core BSD developer (and the original vi writer— yeah!), all was ready for Sun to become a leader in the software industry too. It was notably the case with the development of SunOS, the BSD-based operating system powering the commercially successful Sun SPARC servers and workstations.

SunOS rapidly gained a reputation for quality and innovation, introducing technologies and concepts several years ahead of their competitors like NFS (the Network File System, whose version 3 and 4 are still in use today), NIS+ (an alternative/predecessor of LDAP), Sun RPC (formally Open Network Computing Remote Procedure Call or SunView (a windowing system developed in the early 80s that were superseded by X10/X11 based products only several years later)

But the real birth of Solaris dates back to the 90s, after AT&T entered in the Sun Microsystems capital, and the OS switched from BSD base code to the (then newly) AT&T System V release 4. With that change, SunOS was rebranded Solaris.

During almost 20 years, from 1992 to 2010, Sun provided regular release of its OS, initially for its SPARC architecture, then for SPARC, UltraSPARC, x86 and finally x86_64. Each release providing its share of new technologies — some of them you may know because of their later port to other OSes like Linux: CacheFS, Doors), ZFS, DTrace, IPMP, Solaris Multiplexed I/O, or –pay special attention systemd haters– modern init replacement with SMF. Not mentioning the development of the Oak programming language since 1991 … and released in 1995 under the name Java because of trademark issues.

The 90s decade was rich in term of innovations, and during that period, Sun Microsystems had solid and constantly increasing incomes. Unfortunately, a large share of those incomes was the result of the “dot-com bubble”. And when the bubble burst, Sun faced a demand shortage and consequently important financial losses.

In an attempt to switch to a different model, in 2005 Sun launched the OpenSolaris project. For the first time in its history, the sources of the upcoming Solaris 10 would be available. While acclaimed by the community, observers predicted that move was too late given the predominant position already occupied by Linux at that time.

And indeed, they were right: only five years later, in 2010 Sun was finally bought by one of its competitors: Oracle Corporation. Rapidly, Oracle abandoned the OpenSolaris project and resumed Solaris development using a closed source model. That leads to the release of Solaris 11.0 to 11.3 from 2011 to 2015.

Is Solaris a legacy software?

Probably there is a share of nostalgia in our (my?) attachment to Solaris. But Solaris remains a robust, secure and scalable operating system. Particularly well suited for cloud computing infrastructure given its strong and native support for virtualization (Solaris zones, including branded zones), software defined network (Crossbow), real-time monitoring (DTrace) and fault tolerance (Solaris Fault Management, SMF). Worth mentioning many of these technologies were actually developed for Solaris 10 — so were an integral part of the OpenSolaris project.

Solaris has a pretty complex history

During the writing of this article, I started drawing infographics you can download from my website to summarize the long and complex history of Solaris. Anyway, after several twists and forks, Solaris has given birth to a few projects. Let’s have a look at them:

Operating Systems based on Solaris

1. illumos

If today the plans of Oracle for Solaris remains nebulous, hopefully, the ephemeral OpenSolaris project opened the door for a life for Solaris-based projects outside of the Sun/Oracle umbrella.

A corner stone of that “free” Solaris ecosystem is illumos. The illumos project is an open and independent successor of OpenSolaris, whose main goal is to continue the development of OS/Net, that is the Solaris kernel, the base libraries, and the core userland tools. Today, the illumos implementation of OS/Net is known as the illumos-gate project. And the core userland utilities port is part of the illumos-userland project.

illumos is not a distribution per-se, but serves as a base for most if not all non-Oracle Solaris distributions. The best known of them being OpenIndiana.

2. OpenIndiana

OpenIndiana is the continuation of the Sun Indiana project. While OpenSolaris aimed at providing the source of OS/Net, the Indiana project aimed at providing a full Solaris-like distribution around OpenSolaris.

OpenIndiana was announced in 2010 after Oracle has discontinued the support for open-source development around Solaris. While initially based on OpenSolaris, the project switched to illumos OS/Net implementation one year later.

Today, OpneIndiana is the de-facto standard for illumos-based general purposes distributions. OpenIndiana is actively maintained and is suitable both for server and desktop usage. For that latter use case, while other projects exist, OpenIndiana is clearly the most successful.

If you’re looking for a GUI version of Solaris, or if you come from a Linux background and want to try out Solaris in a familiar and rather comfortable environment, OpenIndiana is certainly for you.

3. OmniOS Community Edition (OmniOSce)

  • http://www.omniosce.org
  • x86-64 only since r151022, IA-32/x86_64 before r151022
  • FOSS
  • Backed up by OmniIT until mars 2017
  • illumos-based distribution for server

OmniOS Community Edition is the continuation of the OmniOS project originally supported by OmniTI. The goal of OmniOS is to provide an “illumos based server OS with ZFS, DTrace, Crossbow, SMF, KVM, and Linux zone support”.

While OpenIndian is a general purpose distribution that you can use for server applications, OmniOSce is specifically designed for that purpose. The project is actively developed and aims at delivering a stable release every six months, and the long term support distribution every two years. The latest LTS version at the time of this writing is OmniOSce r151022 — whose supports should continue until 2020 (http://www.omniosce.org/schedule.html).

If you’re looking for a Solaris distribution for your server, OmniOSce is the place to start.

4. SmartOS

Linux is well-known and used by a wide variety of users with many different needs. On the other hand, Solaris appears more confidential and was confined in high-end applications and niche markets. And with the release of the sources as part of the OpenSolaris project, some companies have started to develop very specialized distributions tailored for their operational needs.

This is the case with SmartOS. As the opposite of previous distributions, this one is a “Live” distribution in that sense it runs entirely on RAM. You boot on SmartOS from a USB device, from an ISO image, or –probably your choice in production– over the network via PXE.

The goal of SmartOS is to provide a complete virtualization environment using zones for containers (including bare-metal performances for Linux application in LX zones) and KVM for running arbitrary OS. In some sense, SmartOS is an hypervisor rather than an OS. SmartOS is a free and open-source project developed by and for Joyent (recently bought by Samsung) and used on their own cloud infrastructure.

Being build for cloud applications, SmartOS might seem confusing if you don’t have a previous experience in virtualized environments or server administration. But if you’re looking for a free alternative to VMware ESXi, SmartOS is certainly the illumos distribution to consider.

5. NexentaStor

Given it runs entirely from RAM, SmartOS is suitable as the embedded OS on appliances or smart devices. But if you need an illumos-based distribution specifically designed for that purpose, take a look at NexentaStor.

Worth mentioning, as the opposite of the previous solutions, NexentaStor is no longer open source. As its name implies, it is specifically well suited for storage devices and appliances (NAS, SAN, iSCSI or Fibre Channel applications).

There used to be a NexentaStor Community Edition, but from what I saw, this project is more or less canceled and if you login on the Nexenta website and try to download NexentaStor 5.x CE, you end up having to request a license for the “free version for up to 10TB of allocated disk space”. So it looks more like a trial version than a community edition to me. Or am I wrong? Don’t hesitate to use the comment section below if you have more information on that topic!

A reason to mention NexentaStor here is Nexenta Systems alongside with Joyent were very active members of the illumos community. Being at the core of many improvements and features we can use today on any illumos-based distributions.

The few project mentioned above are clearly the “big names” of the illumos ecosystem today. But besides them, they are countless lesser known projects that ensure Solaris remains alive — and that actually play a significant role in the IT landscape.

For example, I can mention MenloStor from MenloWare, that leverages the power of ZFS and software defined network capabilities of illumos to provide advanced storage solutions.

Or napp-it which targets a similar market and you can use for free at home or in SOHO environment. During my researches for this article, I was told about Delphix OS too — especially well suited apparently for database storage and backup. But I must admit I didn’t review this one in details. Finally, besides industry-supported distributions, there are a couple of lesser known projects like Tribblix — which aims at providing a lightweight and accessible desktop and server distribution that can run anywhere, including on SPARC and 32bit x86 (IA-32) hardware with limited resources. And there are probably many other great projects I forgot in that list!

What do you think?

I wish to thank Peter Tribble (author of Tribblix), Theo Schlossnagle, Jim Klimov and all other people on the OmniOS mailing list for their help during the writing of this article. And more generally, thanks to the whole illumos community for your great work!

So, is Solaris dead? Well, the Solaris brand maybe. But the Solaris spirit and its unique combination of innovative features are still alive. And well alive.

I can only encourage you to try one or the other illumos distributions mentioned above: at the very least, you will discover something different. And who knows? Maybe you could realize that Solaris was the OS you were looking for. As of myself, I’m really looking forward to reading your feedbacks about Solaris/illumos in the comment section below!

GeckoLinux Review: A Hassle-Free openSUSE Spin

Par Ambarish Kumar

GeckoLinux is an openSUSE spin that is available both in static and rolling editions.

It comes in two flavors, the Static editions for GeckoLinux are based on openSUSE Leap 42.2 with its periodic life cycle and long support lifetime while the rolling edition is based on the stable openSUSE Tumbleweed release.

GeckoLinux screenshot
GeckoLinux GNOME screenshot

More of a refined edition of openSUSE, GeckoLinux uses the official repo with modifications to the theme, patterns and allows installation from additional repositories. openSUSE uses Patterns that install a lot of applications that most of us don’t need it. GeckoLinux tries to solve this problem as it comes with very minimal usage of patterns to avoid extra packages that keep coming back even after uninstalling in the former.

Let us look at the features, installation steps and also see how GeckoLinux is different than openSUSE.

Features of GeckoLinux

  • GeckoLinux comes with offline installation live DVD / USB image for both static and rolling editions.
  • It offers various customized editions optimized for different desktop environments. There is a Cinnamon, XFCE, Gnome, Plasma, Mate, Budgie LXQt and Barebones edition for both static and rolling editions.
  • It comes with various pre-installed open source applications and proprietary ones like media codecs saving you from the pain of manual installation.
  • GeckoLinux supports packages from the Pacman repo.
  • It comes with a better font rendering and does not force the installation of additional recommended packages after system installation.
  • Desktop programs in GeckoLinux can be uninstalled with all their dependencies.

Download GeckoLinux

You can grab a copy of GeckoLinux from its download page:

Download GeckoLinux

There are different flavors for both static and rolling release.

Installation

I grabbed a copy of GeckoLinux Rolling Gnome edition, Gnome is always the second best for me after Unity. The installation process was simple and without hassle in a Virtual Box. Once I was done with the initial VM set up of assigning memory and hard disk creation, I went on to boot the VM with the ISO downloaded.

Calamares Installer was there on the Desktop, which while running shows the openSUSE installer title. It took another 30 min to install everything up.

Click to view slideshow.

Restarting and selecting “Boot from Hard disk” took me to the login screen. The experience thereafter was smoother and soothing.

As I said, it uses the openSUSE tumbleweed installer, and hence the final screen :)

Difference between GeckoLinux and openSUSE

  • openSUSE requires you to have the minimal understanding of installing patterns and packages for a desktop environment while GeckoLinux offers several desktop environments which do not require you to learn additional skills.
  • Proprietary media codecs and other necessities are pre-installed in GeckoLinux whereas, in openSUSE, you have to do it manually.
  • openSUSE is strict with proprietary software while GeckoLinux uses packages from the Pacman repo when they are available.
  • GeckoLinux has a better font rendering than openSUSE default font configuration.
  • While uninstalling a desktop program, GeckoLinux removes it along with their dependencies while openSUSE’s pattern sometimes causes uninstalled packages to be reinstalled automatically.

If I can summarize it in a line, GeckoLinux is an improvement to openSUSE with better font rendering, pre-configured with different desktop environments and a bit more proprietary friendly with a very less usage of patterns.

If you prefer doing things yourself, go with openSUSE. If you want to avoid it, GeckoLinux serves your purpose. To some, it fixes things which they dislike about openSUSE.

Have you tried it yet? If no, time to give a try to another Linux distribution. If yes, do share your experience in the comment section.

Mastodon: The Open Source Alternative To Twitter

Par Kev Quirk

I don’t know about you, but I have long yearned for a social network that I can truly call home. Facebook is no good as it’s full of pictures of people’s cats and their dinner. Twitter is full of trolls and rude people, in my experience at least. When Google+ came along, I had high hopes for it, but alas, it’s pretty much a ghost town these days.

So what is an intrepid lover of all things FOSS supposed to do with their spare time? Well, the answer is now simple – use Mastodon of course!

What Is Mastodon?

Mastodon is the world’s largest free, open source, decentralized micro-blogging network. Quite a mouthful, right? Basically, Mastodon is an open source alternative to Twitter. It has many of the advantages of Twitter, but none of the trolls, or none that I have found so far at least.

As you can see from the image above, the Mastodon feed looks a lot like the popular Twitter client, TweetDeck and it does work in much the same way. So if you have used TweetDeck in the past, you should be right at home on Mastodon. There are, of course, also various Android and iOS apps available, most of which work really well – my personal recommendation for Android would be Mastalab.

Advantages Of Mastodon

This is where things get interesting! I’ll start with the simple stuff – you’re not restricted to 140 characters like on Twitter. On Mastodon, you have 500 characters to play with. This has been more than enough for me personally, without having to mess around trying to shorten what I want to say.

Right, on to the really good stuff…

Possibly the biggest advantage of Mastodon over any social network is that you can self-host it. That’s right, you can spin up your very own Mastodon instance, keep it public, or make it private for your own use. Now, you might be thinking “what’s the point in self-hosting? You’re just going to end up with a load of insular servers sprawled all over the Internet.”

If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. You see, each Mastodon instance is part of a federated network. This means that all instances can talk to one another. So if my account is on instance A, and Bill has an account on instance B, we can still follow one another and see each other’s updates.

Think of it like email – you and I don’t need to have our emails hosted with the same provider, because they all use open standards. Which means that even though our email servers are completely separate, they can still email one another. That’s basically how Mastodon works, even your handle looks like an email address. For example, mine is @kev@fosstodon.org.

However, if you want a completely private Mastodon instance, you can also turn federation off.

Feda-what?!

So what does all this mean? Well, if Twitter goes down, that’s it. Bye bye Twitter and all your tweets. It’s the same story for Facebook, Google+, and pretty much any other social network. On Mastodon that isn’t the case. For example, if my instance goes down, the rest of the network continues on and all my users can quickly and easily sign up to another instance and be back up and running in no time. Plus, there isn’t a single entity controlling Mastodon – like all good things, it’s managed by a community.

When you’re browsing your Mastodon instance, you can view you home feed, which consists of only the people you follow. Your public feed, which is all the toots (Mastodon’s version of a tweet) on that particular instance. Or you can look at the federated feed, which is all the toots from all the instances that are connected to your instance. This makes it incredibly easy to consume content and find interesting people to follow.

How Do I Get Started?

It’s quite simple really, there are tonnes of Mastodon instances online, so there is likely to be at least one in the niche you’re interested in. You can search for some here.

However, judging by the fact you’re reading a FOSS website, I’m willing to bet that you’re interested in FOSS. If that is the case, you can join my instance, Fosstodon, where you will be made very welcome. Or you can check out some other really great Linux/FOSS-centric instances, like LinuxRocks.Online or Mastodon.Rocks.

Are you already a Mastodon user? If so, why not tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.

I look forward to seeing you guys on Mastodon soon!

Mozilla is Funding Open Source Projects in India

Par Ambarish Kumar

Mozilla to fund open source projects in India

In an encouraging move, Mozilla announced the launch of “Global Mission Partners: India”, an award program for open source enthusiasts from India to participate and win funding up to Rs 1.0 crore. Applicants can apply for funding to support any open source/free software projects which extends Mozilla’s Mission.

Mozilla Mission is basically 10 principles which the organization is dedicated to. These principles support Internet as an integral part of modern life and must remain open and accessible for all. Internet must enrich the lives of the individual and their security and privacy should be the fundamental right. Individuals must have the ability to shape the internet and their experiences.

Mozilla believes free and open source promotes the development of the internet as a public resource and transparency is a key component promoting participation, accountability, and trust. Mozilla also acknowledges commercial involvement brings many benefits to the web and lists magnifying public aspects of the internet as important goal.

To support and further extends its Principles, Mozilla has come up with the “Global Mission Partners: India” promoting the active participation of Indian students and professionals in the area of open source and free software.

With Linux and Open Source gaining popularity lately in India, if you are already onto something which can benefit the open source world, you can get a funding of Rs. 1.25 lac – 50 lac ($2000-$80,000)!

Project Criteria

For your project to qualify, you must be an individual resident of India, a company registered in India or a non-profit organization which is FCRA-registered. An umbrella organization who intend to use the money to contract an individual resident of India can also participate.

The project should meet the below criteria:

  • The project should be to write or enhance some software or software documentation which already falls in Open Source / Free Software license.
  • The project should benefit Mozilla’s Mission listed above.
  • Project activity must be endorsed by someone well-known and respected in a wider community of which the project is a part of.

Selection Criteria

Mozilla explicitly mentions these selection criteria are indicative and does not really guarantee a particular outcome, however these will help them more or less likely to make an award.

  • How significantly your project advances Mozilla mission.
  • Will the award make a significant impact on the project?
  • Is level of funding appropriate for the completion of the task?
  • What reputation the project have in technical, inclusion or other areas.
  • Your track record of delivering.

A committee of 5 participants has been formed to assess awards.

How to apply

You can apply by filling the form below:

Apply for Mozilla Funding

The last date to apply is September 30, 2017, midnight IST.

We at It’s FOSS sincerely thank Mozilla’s initiative to promote and fund open source projects in India.

A Kidney Stone Could Not Stop Linus Torvalds from Releasing Linux Kernel 4.13

Par Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Linux Kernel 4.13 is released

Just months after the release of Linux Kernel 4.12 which had support for Nvidia’s GTX 1000 Pascal and AMD’s new Radeon RX Vega graphics card, Linus Torvalds has gone ahead to officially release Linux Kernel 4.13.

According to the release on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, Linus said he saw no reason delaying the release of 4.13 even though “last week was actually somewhat eventful”.

He continued to inform public on how he passed “seven hours of pure agony due to a kidney stone”. In a more welcoming note, he said “I’m all good, but it sure _felt_ a lot longer than seven hours, and I don’t even want to imagine what it is for people that have had the experience drag out for longer. Ugh”.

One of the most important changes seen in Linux 4.13 is the generic protocol security issue where users have to be aware of the behavior change before thinking of upgrading.

This comes from the default cifs behavior. Users have been asked to use SMB 3.0 instead of SMB 1.0 as default cifs mount. He said users “shouldn’t have been using SMB1”, though some must have been “blithely continued using SMB1 without thinking about it”.

However, they can continue to use it but need to be aware of the recent default change. Users have also been advised to preferably use “vers=2.1” because SMB1 “is just bad, bad, bad”.

Other changes that could be seen are the DRM sync object, AMD Raven Ridge and initial Cannonlake supports, a new DMA mapping system, subsystem merging of MUX, enhanced hardware support and others.

Linux Kernel 4.13 features

Major Feature Changes in this release are:

  • Initial Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake support

  • DRM synchronization object support has been merged to core DRM

  • There have been many fixes for Vega and AMD Raven Ridge support which is new on the AMDGPU DRM. There is no display support for Raven / Vega since the DC/DAL code wasn’t merged.

  • The pl111 display controller code has been merged

  • Thunderbolt improvements
  • cpu_cooling integration with CPUFreq and POWER saw some improvement and updates respectively

  • F2FS has been improved and now supports statx for enhanced file information. EXT4 also supports “largedir” feature which now lets about two billion entries in one directory as against ten million in the previous. XFS has been enhanced also to support SEEK_HOLE and SEEK_DATA.

Check out Phoronix to get additional features of Linux Kernel 4.13.

Get Linux Kernel 4.13

Your distribution might provide it in near or distant future. I advise waiting for it but if you can’t, get it from kernel.orgUbuntu users can easily upgrade kernel thanks to GUI tool Ukuu.

Don’t forget to share your views on the new Linux Kernel 4.13 features in the comment section.

Desktop Linux Now Has its Highest Market Share Ever

Par Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Linux Market Share has increased

There has been an upsurge in the desktop Linux market share which has seen a rise to 3.37% in the latest statistics on Net Market Share for operating systems. Linux market share has witnessed a steady increase, especially in the last two summer months.

The stats show May 2017 with 1.99%, June with 2.36%, July had 2.53% and August showed Linux market share increasing to 3.37%.

Net Market Share is an analytical company that “collects data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of HitsLink Analytics and SharePost clients”. Their network includes over 40,000 websites across the globe.

Quite clearly this is not the real statistics on how many Linux desktops are in use and perhaps that is even not possible. But this is as close as we can get in collecting data on Linux market share.

Chromebooks help Linux Market Share?

The stats seem to take count Chrome OS as Linux since it is built on top of Linux kernel. Chromebooks, devices pre-installed with Chrome OS, have grown popular lately especially among college going students.

Chromebooks are usually lower end devices that have low prices and are lightweight. They come handy in carrying around and taking notes and saving them to cloud.

This might be a factor as students preparing to go to college may have boosted Chromebook sales.

However, this is my speculation and it may happen that more people are actually using desktop Linux. It is worthy to note that Linux distros dominate the market in servers and embedded devices. Not to forget that Linux simply rules super-computers with almost all of the top 500 supercomputers running on Linux.

Leave your comments below on what you think might have caused the increase in Linux market share for operating systems.

9 Amazing Facts About SUSE Linux You Should Know

Par Abhishek Prakash

Brief: SUSE Linux is one of the most prominent names in Linux industry. Here are 10 facts about SUSE Linux that you should know.

SUSE Linux does not need an introduction. A dominant player in enterprise Linux market, SUSE is also known for its contribution to the community in form of openSUSE.

You might already know a lot about SUSE Linux but I am still going to list 9 SUSE Linux facts that you may still found amusing.

9 facts about SUSE Linux

Facts about SUSE Linux

1. In the beginning, SUSE was not a Linux distribution. It was founded on 2nd September 1992 by three German students mainly as a service provider. It regularly released software packages for Slackware and printed Linux manuals along with offering technical assistance.

2. SUSE was originally named S.u.S.E., the German acronym for “Software und System-Entwicklung” which means “Software and systems development” in English. Few years down the line, it got renamed to SuSE and later SUSE. The full German name was never really used.

3. The first version of SUSE Linux, S.u.S.E. Linux 1.0 was released in 1994. It was basically Slackware scripts translated into German. In other words, it was a German version of Slackware Linux. (I think it was not released under the name S.u.S.E. but I don’t have data to back my claim).

4. The first ‘real’ SUSE Linux was released in 1996. It was based on Jurix distribution (now defunct). This release was named  S.u.S.E Linux 4.2.

SUSE Linux 4.2 release CDs
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The release number 4.2 is actually a reference to number 42 in Hitchhiker’s Guide to Linux, meaning the answer to life, the universe and everything. The releases afterward continued in incremental order until openSUSE was further divided into openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed.

While Tumbleweed is rolling release and hence has no version number, openSUSE Leap releases are versioned in 42.X format.

5. SUSE Linux has seen several owners so far. In 2001, SUSE Linux started struggling financially. This resulted in the US based Novell acquiring SuSE Linux for $210 million in the year 2004.

Novell was later acquired by The Attachmate Group in 2010 for $2.2 billion. However, The Attachmate Group couldn’t survive for long and it was acquired by Micro Focus group in 2014 for $1.2 billion.

6. Although SUSE Linux was open source from the beginning, Novell created openSUSE in 2005 as the ‘open source community version’ of SUSE Linux and started accepted changes from the community developers. Before this, all the work on SUSE was done by the in-house developers.

7. The official logo and mascot of SUSE is a chameleon officially named, “Geeko”.  Geeko derives its name from Gecko (a type of lizard/chameleon) and geek.

SUSE Linux mascot Geeko

8. For some years, openSUSE tried to code name its releases based on different shades of green color. Thus you had openSUSE released named Teal, Emerald etc. Prolonged releases were called evergreen.

This was changed in 2015 when openSUSE resurrected into Leap and Tumbleweed and the versioning changed to 42.X. SUSE Linux releases don’t have a codename anymore.

9. SUSE Linux has released Linux parody videos of popular songs for last few years. One of my all time favorites is the Linux version of Uptown Funk:

I hope you found these SUSE Linux facts interesting. You should also read why you should use openSUSE.

If you have other interesting facts to add to this list, feel free to mention it in the comment section below.

Zelda Style SciFi RPG Action Game Songbringer Released, Available for Linux

Par Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Brief: Songbringer is Zelda inspired game with a Star Wars makeover. This pixel art RPG game is available for Linux and other platforms now.

Songbringer game for Linux released

You are an accidental hero and play the role of a protagonist in a sci-fi action-filled game with swords, dungeons, secrets, bosses and other stuff. Your name is Roq Epimetheos. You can make music and cruise the galaxy with a skybot Jib on board the ship, Songbringer, in search of verdant planets.

This is the plot of Songbringer, a sci-fi pixel art action game developed by Wizard Fu Games based in Oakland California. The game has been released on Linux (via Steam), Windows and XBox. A PlayStation version will be coming next week.

Songbringer was funded on Kickstarter in May 2015. It all started with a few simple live streams and later got a growing community of backers. The game has had many alpha releases to Steam with a beta version released in February 2016 on Steam.

Infinite possibilities in Songbringer Game

To progress in the game, the player needs to explore the world and discover new items that will enhance his abilities and give access to new areas. Some of the items in Songbringer can be combined – the fire cube when combined with the top-hat turns into a flaming top-hat.

In the process of the game, the player will encounter different types of enemies that include gigantic bosses. The many puzzles in the game keep it fresh and varied.

The unique feature here is that Songbringer is a procedural game. Which means that the world is automatically generated at the start of the game giving you a different world, different dungeons, different enemies, and bosses.

The players need to enter a six-letter world seed to generate a random world before starting a new adventure. This way it is possible to generate millions of world although the same seed will always generate the same world.

Get Songbringer game

The game can be played using Steam in Linux. You can get a DRM free version of Songbringer game on Humble Bundle.

Get Songbringer from Humble Bundle

How to Install and Remove Software in Manjaro Linux

Par John Paul

Software Management in Manjaro Linux

Brief: This complete beginner’s guide shows you multiple ways to install and remove software in Manjaro Linux.

There are many people who would like to use Linux instead of Windows but are deterred because they believe in Linux myths such as it is difficult to use. This tutorial will try to overcome that error by showing how easy it is to install and remove software on Linux.

You probably already know by now that I love Manjaro Linux, so in this article, I will be focusing on Manjaro. There is a similar article on managing software in Ubuntu that Ubuntu users can follow.

Since Manjaro is based on Arch Linux, this tutorial can also be used for Arch and Arch derivatives. The methods will be listed from easiest to more advanced. It will also include several tricks that I use to make things easier.

For this tutorial, I will be using Manjaro 17.0.2 with both the XFCE and KDE desktop environments. This tutorial also works with other desktop environments.

1.1 Install Software in Manjaro Linux with Pamac

Pacman is the package manager created by the Arch team and used by Manjaro. We will cover it in depth later on. Right now, will focus on Pamac. Pamac is a graphical application created to make Pacman easy to use.

You can either access Pamac by selecting “Add/Remove Software” the menu or by right clicking the icon in the system tray.

Pamac allows you to view software already installed, search for new software by name or by category. You can also search the Arch User Repository (AUR).

Let me explain. There are quite a few applications that have been packaged by the Manjaro team to specifically install on Manjaro. If there is a package you want to install and it’s not available in the Manjaro repositories, you can probably find it in the AUR. The AUR consists of a bunch of scripts to install software on your computer. Often these are beta builds of software or software that haven’t been officially added to the repos.

When you find an application that you want to install, you can view a description by double clicking on it or right clicking and selecting “Details”. To install it you can either right click on it and select “Install” from the search results or click “Install” on the description page. This works whether you are installing from the Manjaro repositories or the AUR.

Your application will not be installed until you click “apply”. You will be prompted to enter your password and after showing you a list of files it will download it will go to work. You can click “Details” to see the terminal output.

Enabling AUR support in Pamac

Using the AUR takes a couple of extra steps in Pamac. Click the hamburger menu in the upper right corner and select “Preferences”. You will be prompted to enter your password. Now, select the “AUR” tab. Now flip the switch and select the two options. Now, close the setting window. You will be able to install software from the AUR and keep them up-to-date.

1.2 Remove Software in Manjaro Linux with Pamac

Removing software using Pamac is easier than installing it. All you have to do is search for the package that you want to remove. Once you find it, right click and select “Remove”. Hit “Apply” and “Commit” and your program is now uninstalled.

2.1 Install Software in Manjaro Linux with Octopi

Octopi is a Qt based Pacman front end used in KDE and LXQt. Just like Pamac, it can install applications from the Manjaro repositories or the AUR.

 

In order to find an application to install, you can either search for it by name or search for it by a group. You can see a description of each application, as well as, what files are included. Octopi also offers distro new and usage instructions.

Once you find the application you are looking for, right click the name from the list and click “Install”. If you select several applications to install, they will be listed under the “Transactions” tab. When you are ready to install, click the checkmark icon on the left or press Ctrl-M to commit changes.

You will then be prompted to approve the installation process. You can also choose to see the output in the terminal. After you enter your password, your application will be installed.

In order to search for an application in the AUR using Octopi, click on the little green alien to the left of the search box. Once you right click on an application title and select “Install”, you will be taken to the terminal where the install will begin. You will be asked if you want to edit PKGBUILD. Select “no” for this query and “yes” for the rest. Unfortunately, this means you will only be able to install one application at a time from the AUR.

Please note that Octopi does not allow you to install applications from Mnajaro repositories and AUR at the same time.

2.2 Remove Software in Manjaro Linux with Octopi

Uninstalling applications with Octopi is just as easy as Pamac. Search for the application, right click the title from the list and select “Remove”. Once you click “commit”, it will be removed.

3.1 Install Software in Manjaro Linux with Pacman

Graphical applications are easy to use, but terminal or command line programs can be just easier to use while being more powerful and faster.

As I stated in section 1.1, Pacman is the command line package manager for Arch based distros. To install an application, all you have to do is enter sudo pacman -S PACKAGENAME. Just replace PACKAGENAME with the name of the application that you want to install.

You will be prompted to enter your password. Once you enter it, your application will be downloaded and installed.

You can also install a group of packages such a Gnome using this command: sudo pacman -S gnome.

It’s that easy!

3.2 Remove Software in Manjaro Linux with Pacman

Removing software with Pacman is just as easy. All you have to do is enter the following command: sudo pacman -R PACKAGENAME. Just replace PACKAGENAME with the name of the package you want to remove.

3.3 Tips to Improve Pacman Experience

Since it’s a terminal application, Pacman can run pretty quickly, Unfortunately, the process can be slowed down by a bad mirror. (A mirror is one of a number of servers around the world that host of the files that you are downloading.)

You can use this command to rank mirrors by speed and remove out of date mirrors: pacman-mirrors -g. When that is finished you will need to sync the Pacman database with this command: sudo pacman -Syy.

Finally, this command will optimize the database: sudo pacman-optimize && sync. Please note that this last command will defragment the Pacman database, which will make it run quicker, but can cause problems on solid state drives.

4.1 Install Software in Manjaro Linux with yaourt

While you can’t install an application from the AUR using Pacman, there are a number of terminal programs that allow you to do just that. One of the most well-known examples it is yaourt. You can install it by searching Pamac or using this command in the terminal sudo pacman -S yaourt.

Once nice thing about yaourt is that it gives you the ability to search for the application you want to install, all you have to do is use this command: yaourt PACkAGENAME. Don’t forget to replace PACKAGENAME with the name of the application you are looking for.

You will be presented with a list of applications with similar names to choose from. You can select several packages by typing the number for each with space in between and pressing “Enter”.

When you are asked if you want to edit the PKGBUILD, hit “n” because you don’t need to. You will be prompted to enter “y” to continue. You will be prompted to enter your password and asked a couple more questions verifying that you want to install this application.

Depending on how large the file is and how much work yaourt has to do to prepare the file, the install may be finished quickly or take a while to complete. For example, installing Chrome will take longer than installing

4.2 Remove Software in Manjaro Linux with yaourt

To remove an AUR application with yaourt, just use the following command: yaourt -R PACkAGENAME

How do you add and remove applications?

If you use Manjaro or any other Arch derivative, what is your preferred method for adding and removing applications?

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